Skip to main content

Full text of "Papers in Illinois history and transactions"

See other formats







3 1833 00828 8760 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


President Illinois State Historical Society, 1905-1906. 




Illinois Stole Histoiicol Societn 

For the Year 1905. 

Springfield, 111., Jan. 25-26, 1905 

Published by Authority 
of the Board of Trustees of the 


Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 

1 906 



ntroductory note i \' 

Part I. — Kecokd of the Official Proceedings, 

1— Minutes of the S ciety 1 

2— Minutes of the Board of Directors 12 

3— Report of the Secretary 3 

4— Financial statement 4 

Part II. — Papees Read at the Annual Meeting, 1905. 

1— J. p. Dunn. "Father Gibault: The Patriot Priest of the Northwest" 15 

2— James Haines. "Social Life and Scenes in the Early Settlement of Central 

Illinois" 35 

3— J. N. Perrin. "St. Clair County" 58 

4— Mrs. Mary S. A. Cushman. "Gen. James Semple" 62 

5— Henry McCormick. "The Value to Both of a Closer Connection Between the 

State Historical Society and the Public Schools" 75 

6— C. W. Leffinffwell. "Bishop Chase and Jubilee College" 82 

7— J. O. Cunningham. 'The Bloomington Convention of 1856 and Those Who Par- 
ticipated in It" 101 

8— Homer Mead. "Ancient Fort Chartres." Synopsis Ill 

9-R. W. Mill3. "Dr. George Cadwell" 112 

10--J.C. Allen. "Palestine: Its Early History" 122 

11— Stuart Brown. "Old Kaskaskia Days and Ways" 128 

Paet III.— Contributions to State History. 

§ 1— Morris Birkbeck. "An Appeal to the People of Illinois on the Question of a Con- 
vention" (reprint) 147 

§ 2— Charles Wesley Smith. "A Contribution Toward a Bibliography of Morris Birk- 
beck and the English Settlement in Edwards County." 165 
§ 3— Edward Everett. "A Narrative of Military Experience in Several Capacities" — 179 

§ 4— Albert E. Ebert. "Early History of the Drug Trade of Chicago" 237 

§ 5— Carrie Prudence Kofoid. "Puritan Influences in Illinois Before 1860" 261 

§ 6— McKendree H. Chamberlin. "Captain Thomas J. Robinson" 339 

§ 7— John F. Snyder. "Forgotten Statesmen of Illinois. Conrad Will" 349 

Part IV. — In Memoriam. 

Members of the lUinois State Historical Society, deceased January, 1904-January, 1905.. 38C-396 



The present volume, edited by the publication committee of the Ill- 
inois State Historical Society, is made up on a plan substantially 
similar to that of the preceding volumes. It includes the larger part 
of the papers read at the annual meeting in 1905; but with the in- 
creasing bulk of the annual volumes, it has seemed to the committee 
no longer desirable to print all the papers at length. The commit- 
tee desires to lay stress on the Contributions to State History, as il- 
lustrating that part of the society's publication work which needs 
further development along judicious lines. The policy of the present 
committee may be indicated by the following extract from a circular 
letter recently issued by the chairman. 

Committee on Publication. 

"It is proposed to include in this and subsequent volumes the following- 
kinds of historical material: 

(1) "Hitherto unpublished letters and other private documentary material. 
It is thoug"ht that public documents may be best provided for in the official 
publications of the State Historical Library. 

(2) "Papers of a reminiscent character. These should be selected with 
care, with a view to securing- material of real historic value. 

(3) "Historical essays or brief monographs based upon the sources and con- 
taining g-enuine contributions to knowledg-e. Such papers should be accom- 
panied by foot notes indicating with precision the authorities upon which 
the papers are based. 

(4) "Bibliographies of special subjects in the history of the State. 

"It is hoped that with the cooperation of historical students throughout the 
State, these annual transactions may be given a substantial character which 
will secure for them the respect and confidence of scholars and of all who are 
interested in an accurate record of the history of Illinois.'" 


General Alfred Orendorff. Sj^ringfield. 

First Vice President, 
Paul Selby, A. M., Chicago. 

Second Vice President, 
Captain J. H. Burnham, Bloomingtoii. 

Third Vice President, 
General Smith D. Atkins, Freeport. 

Board of Directors — Edmund Janes James, PI1.D..LLD.. President 
of the University of Illinois, Urbana; Hon. George N. Black, Spring- 
field; J. H. Burnham, Bloomington; M. H. Chamberlin. LL.D.. 
President of McKendree College, Lebanon; Hon. David McCuUoch. 
Peoria; Evarts B. Greene, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana; 
Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield; Edwin Erie Sparks, Ph.D., 
University of Chicago, Chicago; Hon. William H. Collins, Quincy; 
Hon. J. O. Cunningham, Urbana; Hon. Andrew Russell. Jackson- 
ville; Professor George W. Smith, Southern Illinois Normal l^ni- 
versity, Carbondale; Rev. C. J. Eschmann, Prairie du Rocher; J. W. 
Clinton, Polo; Hon. L. Y. Sherman, Macomb. 

Secretary and Treasurer to the Board of Directors — Mrs. Jessie 
Palmer Weber. 

Honorary Vice Presidents — The Presidents of Local Historical 

Committees of the Illinois State Historical Society, 1905 P.H)(>. 

Publication Committee — E. B. Green(\ chairman: (^eorge X. 
Black, M. H. Chamberlin, Jessie Palmer Weber, Alfred OrendortV, 

Program Committee — Jessie Palmer Webcu', chairman; J. H. 
Burnham, E. E. Sparks, Charles P. Kane, Catherine (lOSS Wheeler, 
Paul Selby, Smith D. Atkins, Alfred Orendorff, e,v-o^tJirio. 

Finance and Auditing Committee— George N. Black, chairman, 
E. J. James, Jessie Palmer Weber, Alfred Orendorif, e.r-ofiicio. 

Constitution and By-Laws Committee — David McCulloch, chair- 
man, J. H. Burnham, J. O. Cunningham, Alfred OrendortV. c.i-ojjicio. 


Committee on Legislation — E. J. James, George N. Black, M. H. 
Chamberlin, Henry McCormick, E. A. Snively, Andrew Russell, 
J. McCan Davis, David McCulloch, Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 

Committee on Local Historical Societies— J. H. Burnham, chair- 
man, David McCulloch, J. O. Cunningham, George W, Smith, Frank 
J. Heinl, W. W. Davis, Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 

Special Committee on Membership — Charles L. Capen, chairman, 
J. W. Clinton, J. Nick Perrin, Daniel Berry, M. D., Dr. William 
Jayne, John M. Rapp, Arthur L. Harvick, Mrs. Thomas Worthing- 
ton, E. M. Bowman, Miss May Latham, Dr. A. W. French, Alfred 
Orendortf, ex-officio. 

Committee on the Commemoration of the Semi-Centennial of the 
Lincoln- Douglas Debates of 1858 — E. E. Sparks, Chicago, chairman; 
E. C. Swift, Ottawa. 111.; Smith D. Atkins, Freeport, 111.; Clark E. 
Carr, Galesburg, 111.; H. W. Clendenin, Springfield, 111.; M. C. 
Crawford, Jonesboro, 111.; W. H. Collins, Quincy, 111.; Sumner S. 
xlnderson, Charleston, 111.; W. T. Norton, Alton, 111.; Alfred (3ren- 
doriJ, ex-officio. 

Committee on the Marking of Historic Sites in Illinois — Edwin 
Erie Sparks, chairman, Mrs. Thomas Worthington, Harry Ainsworth, 
Col. D. C. Smith, J. H. Collins, Reed Green, Mrs. Alice S. Brown, 
Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 




*Boal, Dr. Robert Lacon, 111. 

Bradwell, Hon. James B Chicag-o, 111. 

Deneen, Mrs. Marv F 

6401 Stewart av. , Chicagro, 111. 

Edwards, Mrs. Benjamin S.. Springfield, 111. 

Johnson, Hon.CharlesP St. Louis, JVJo. 

*McClernHnd, Gen. John A.Spring^field. 111. 
McClernand, Mrs. John A ..Springfield, 111. 

Morrison, Mrs. 1. L Jacksonville, 111. 

*Palmer, Gen. John M Springfield, 111. 

Palmer, Mrs. John M Springfield, 111 

*Kuggles. Gen. James M Havana, 111. 

*Stuart, Mrs. John T Springfield, 111. 

Thwaites, Ruben Gold: LL. D 

Madison, Wis. 

Yates, Mrs. Catherine, (Mrs. Richard 

Yates, Sr.) Jacksonville, 111. 

Yates, Hon. Richard Springfield, 111. 


Barry, P. T., 77-79 Jefferson st., Chicago, 111. 

Borders. M. W 

4050 Gi and bouL, Chicago, 111. 

Gunther, C. F 212 State st., Chicago, 111. 


Adams, Mrs . Albyn 

Jacksonville, (Morgan Co.) 111. 

Ainsworth, Harry 

Moline, (Rock Island Co.) 111. 

Alvord, C. W., Urbana, (Champaign Co.)Ill. 
Ames, Mrs. Lucy V . Semple 

3824 Linden boul., St. Louis. Mo. 

Ames. Mrs. John C U. S. Marshall's 

office, Government build., Chicago. 111. 

* Anderson, Horace G Peoria, 111. 

Anderson, Summer S 

Charleston, (Coles Co.) 111. 

Austin, E. T., Sterling, (Whiteside Co.) 111. 

Bacchus,. Annie (Mrs. Leroy) 

Springfield, 111, 

Bacon. PaulB 

399 Lafayette St., Aurora, (Kane Co.) 111. 
Baker, George R 

Masonic Temple, Chicago, 111. 

Baldwin, Jesse A 

99 Washington st, Chicago, 111. 

Bangs, J. E Springfield, 111. 

Bangs, Margaret M., (Mrs. J. E Bangs) 

Springfield, 111. 

Barker, H. E .....Springfield, 111. 

Bartlett, C . C 1109 Title and Trust 

build., 100 Washington st., Chicago, 111. 

Baxter, William G 

Winnetka, (Cook Co.) Ill 

Beach, Myron H 40l-4fJG 

The Kookery.2l7 LaSalle st.,Chi(ag(j, 111 

Beadles, Rev. Wm. T 

Paxton. (Ford Co. j III 

*Beckwith. Judge Hiram W., Danville. Ill 

Beebe, Avery N 

Yorkville. (Kendall Co. j 111 

Bell, Robert, Mt. Carmel, (Wabash Co.j 111 
Berry, Charles P....Carmi, (White Co.j 111 

Berry, Dr. Daniel Carmi, 111 

Best, Dr. John E 

Arlington Heights, (Cook Co.j 111 

Biroth, Henry 485 

(25th house) Blue Island av., Chicaero, 111 

Black, George N Springfield, 111 

Black, Mrs. George N Springfield. Ill 

*Blanchard, R uf us 

Wheaton, 111., (Du Page Co. 

Blocki, John 189 Mich, ave., Chicago, 111 

Bodemann, W 

Lake ave. and fiftieth st. Chicago. Ill 

Bowman. E. M Alton, 111. (Madison Co. 

Braun, Thomas 

3137 South Park ave.. Chicago. 1 II 

Brevoort, J. H Rutland. 111.. ( La :5alle Co. 

Bridgman. I. M Polo. 111. (Ogle Co 

Broadhead, G. C Columbia, Mo 

Brown, Mrs. Alice S 25 Clark ave . 

Freeport, 111. (Stephenson Co. 

*Brown, Hon. C. C Springfield. Ill 

Brown, Mrs. C. C Springfield. Ill 

Brown , Edward O 

400 N. State St., Chicago. Ill 

Brydges, W. R 

277 Division st., Elgin, 111. (Kane Co. 

Buchanan, L. L . . . . Winnetka, 111. (Cook Co. 
Burnham, J. H 

Bloomington, 111. i McLean Co 

Burchard, Horatio C 

Freeport, 111. (Stephenson Co. 

Bu-ke, Rev. J. J Bloomington. ill 

Burnap.Prof. W. L..Lake Forest L'nivers.ty 

Lake Forest 111. i Lake Co. 

Bush, J. M PHtsfield. 111. (Pike Co. 

Butcher, U. G Astoria. 111. i Fulton Co. 

Byron, Eddie. .. .Sullivan, 111. (Moultrie Co. 

Callender. Eliot 

Y. M. C. A. Building, Peoria. 11). 

Cantwell, Robert E 

. .232 S. Waller a\ e., Austin sta.. Chicago. Ill . 

Capen, Charles L Bloomington. 111. 

Carlin, W. E. .. .Jersey ville, HI. iJersey Co.^ 
Carpenter, George A 

28 Portland Block. Chicago, 111. 

Carpenter, Richard V.. sec'y Boone Co. 

H istoricai Society 

Belvidere, 111 (Boone Co. ^ 

Carr, Col. Clark E . . Galesburg, 111. iKnox Co.^ 



Members of the Illinois State HistorHcal Society — Continued. 

Carriel, Mrs. Mary Turner 

Jacksonville, 111. (Morg-an, Co.) 

Caswell, Charles L 

630 Chicago Opera House Bk., Chicago, 111. 
Chamberlin, M . H LL. D. President 

McKendree College 

Lebanon 111. (St, Clair Co.) 

Chenoweth, William J., M. D 

Decatur, 111., (Macon Co.) 

Clark, Prof. Olynthus 

Eureka. 111. (Woodford Co.) 

Clary, Prof. J. M . . . . Pres. Greer College, 

Hoopeston, 111. (Vermilion Co.) 

Clay,Merton J...56E. Kinzie st., Chicago, 111. 

Clendenin, H. W Springfield, 111. 

Clifford, James E 

Phillipstown.Ill. (White Co.) 

Clinton. J. W Polo, 111. (Ogle Co.) 

Coble, Robert K...' 

1414 Dempster St., Evanston, 111, (Cook Co.) 

Collins, Prof. J. H Springfield, 111. 

Collins, W. H Quincy, 111. .(Adams Co.) 

Colyer, Walter. . . . Albion, 111., ( Edwards Co.) 
Congdon, George E 

Waterman, 111. (DeKalbCo) 

Conkling, Clinton, L Springfield. 111. 

Converse, Ira C. Sandwich, 111, (DeKalbCo.) 

Cook, J.S Leroy, 111 (McLean Co.) 

Cooper. John L.. Fairfield, 111., (Wayne Co.) 
Covey, Frank D..Belvidere, 111. (Boone Co.) 
Crabbe, Harriet Palmer (Mrs. Edwin G. 

Crabbe) Springfield, 111 . 

Crandon, Frank P 

1414 Forest Ave., Evanston, 111. 

Crebs,John M Carmi, 111. 

Crews, Rev. E. K 

Fisher, Champaign Co., 111. 

Cunningham, G. W 

Pekin, 111 . (Tazewell Co.) 

Cunningham, J. O 

Urbana,Ill. (Champaign Co.) 

Currey. J. Seymour 

Sec. Evanston Hist. Society, Evanston, 111. 

Cushing,Prof. J. P New Haven. Conn. 

Cushman, Mrs. Mary S. Ames (Mrs. Way- 
man C. Cushman) 

3824 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, Mo, 

Davidson, Mrs. George M 

305 N. East Ave., Oak Park. 111. (Cook Co.) 

Davis, (jeorge P Bloomington, 111 . 

Davis. J. McCan Springfield, 111. 

Davis, Mrs. J. McCan Springfield. Ill . 

Davis, W. W . . . .Sterling, 111. (Whiteside Co.) 
Dearborn. Luther M 

Title and Trust Building, Chicago, 111 . 

Degge, A. R 

Petersburg, 111. (Menard Co.) 

Dent, Thomas, Portland Block 

107 Dearborn St.. Chicago, 111. 

Dew, Jere C 

818-821 N. Y. Life Bldg., Kansas City, Mo. 
*Dieffenbacher, Philip L 

Havana, 111. (Mason Co.) 

Dilg, Charles A 

606 Diversy Boul.,Lake View, Chicago, 111. 
Dilg. Philip H 

1727 Oakdale Ave., Lake View, Chicago, 111. 

Dougherty, N. C Peoria, 111. 

DuBois, Agnes E Springfield, 111. 

Dunn, Mrs. Julia Mills 

Moline, 111. (Rock Island Co.) 

Dupuy, George A 

262.5 N. Paulina St. .Chicago, 111. 

Dyche, Grace Locke Scripps (Mrs. F. B. 

Dyche) . . .1896 Sheridan Road, Evanston, 111, I 

Eberhard, Max 

436 Ashland Boul., Chicago, 111 . 

Ebert, Albert E 

276 Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111. 

Edens, William Grant 

6156 Greenwood Ave., Chicago, 111. 

Edwards, Albert S 

4.30 South 8th St. , Springfield, 111 . 

Edwards, Dr. Richard Bloomington, 111. 

Engelmann, Mrs. Mary K 

468 Giddings Ave., Cleveland, O . 

Ensign, Dr. W. O. Rutland, 111. (LaSalle Co.) 
Eschmann.Rev. C.J 

Prairie du Rocher, 111. ( Monroe Co.) 

Evanston, 111., Public Library, Evanston, 111. 

Fairbank, Rev. John B Jacksonville, lil. 

Fancher, Miss Grace Springfield. Ill . 

*Faxon,E. W Piano, 111. (Kendall Co.) 

Felmly, Prof. David Normal, 111. 

Fisher, Albert Judson (Historian Illinois 
Society Sons of the American Revolu- 
tion ) 604 Masonic Temple, Chicago, IJl . 

Fitzwilliam, Mrs. Sarah E. Raymond. ... 
4824 Vincennes Ave., Chicago, 111. 

Folsom, Wm. R 

100 Washington St., Chicago, 111 . 

Forbes, Prof. S. A 

(University of Illinois) Urbana,Ill. 

Forsyth, William K 

3100 State St., Chicago, 111. 

French, Dr. A. W Springfield, 111 . 

Funk,D. M Bloomington, 111. 

Funk, Lafayette Bloomington, 111. 

Garrett, T. M.....301 Ontario St., Chicago, 111. 

Giddings, George 314 Ann St., Elgin, 111. 

Gillespie, Joseph 418 North 

McLean St., Lincoln, 111. (Logan Co.) 
Gillespie, Matilda (Mrs. David Gillespie) 

418 N. McLean St., Lincoln, 111. (Logan Co.) 

Grassly.C. N 287 W. 12th St., Chicago, 111. 

Gray, Lucien Lewistown, 111. (Fulton Co.) 

Gray, Robert A 

Blue Mound, 111. (Macon Co.) 

Greene, Professor Evarts B 

(University of Illinois) Urbana, 111. 

Greenfield, George W 

Sandwich, 111. (DeKalbCo.) 

Gridley.J. N Virginia. 111. (Cass Co.) 

Gridley, Mrs. W. H Springfield. 111. 

Griggs, Hon. Clarence 

Ottawa, 111. (LaSalle Co.) 

Gross, Prof. Lewis M 

Sycamore, 111. (DeKalb Co.1 

Gross, W. L Springfield, 111. 

Hagler, Dr. Elmer E Springfield, III. 

Haines, James Pekin , 111. (Tazewell Co) 

Hall, Charles G 

.525 N. Grove Ave., Oak Park, 111. 

Hall, Henry H Jacksonville, 111. 

Hall, Rots C 

309 S. Scoville Ave., Oak Park, 111. 

Harvey, B. A 

Mount Carmel, 111. (Wabash Co.) 

Harvick, Arthur L 

Vienna, 111. (Johnson Co.) 

Hatton, Fredeiick Hammond 

140 1.5th St., Milwaukee, Wis. 

Hay, Logan Springfield, 111. 

Healy, DanielM ". 630 

Chicago Opera House Bldg., Chicago, 111. 

Heinl, Frank J Jacksonville, 111. 

Henderson, Judge John Cj 

615 Orchard street, Chicago, 111. 



Members of the Illinois State Historical Society — Continued. 

Henninger, Professor J. W 

Macomb, 111. (McDonough Co.) 

Hinrichsen, Miss Savillah Lincoln. 111. 

Hollen back. George M 

44 North View St , Aurora, 111. 

Holmes, Manfield J Normal, 111. 

*Hood, Dr. H. H 

Litchfield, 111. (Montgomery Co.) 

Hood, Mrs. H. H 321 Union 

Ave., Litchfield, 111. (Montgomery Co.) 

Hostetter, A. B Springfield, 111. 

Hostetter.C. L..Mt. Carroll, 111. (Carroll Co.) 
Houston, J. W.. Farmer's 

State Bank, Berwick, 111. (Warren Co.) 
Hubble, Emily K. (Mrs. Lee J. Hubble) 

Springfield, 111. 

Hunt. A.... 2820 Newman Ave., Chicago, 111. 
Huskinson, George .Alton, 111. (Madison Co.) 
Hut chins, George W 

Lacon, 111. (Marshall Co.) 

James, Edmund J., Ph. D., LL. D. (Pres. 

of the University of Illinois). ..Urbana,' 111. 
James, Prof. J . A 

..(Northwestern University) Evanston, 111. 
Jamieson, Thomas N 

4.508 Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, 111. 

Jayne. Dr. William Springfield, 111. 

Jessup, Theodore 

259 South Clinton St.. Chicago, 111. 

Jones, Miss Emma F Springfield, 111. 

Jones, Miss Lottie E 112 West 

North St., Danville, 111. (Vermilion Co.) 

Kane, Charles P Springfield. 1 11 . 

Keen, John R .. ..Fairfield, 111., (Wayne Co.) 

*Kepley, Henry B 

Effingham, 111. (Effingham Co.) 

Kerrick, L. H Bloom ington, 111. 

Kimball, Rev. Clarence () LaJunta, Colo. 

Kincaid. Lee Athens, 111. (Menard Co.) 

Kirby, E. P. .. Jacksonville, 111. (Morgan Co.) 
Kiselbach, Otto . . . Mendota, 111. (LaSalle Co.) 

Lambert, Belle Short ( Mrs. E. C. Lambert) 

Jacksonville, 111. 

Lampert, Mrs. Clara Lampert 

Belvidere, 111. (Boone Co.) 

Latham, Miss May ..Lincoln, 111. (Logan Co.) 

Lear, Mrs. Mary S., Brighton 

Ontario, Canada. 

Lear, Walter Edwin, Ph. I)., LL. D. (Chan- 
cellor Anglo American University) 

Brighton, Ontario, Canada. 

Leffingwell, Rev. Charles W 

Knoxville, 111. (Knox Co.) 

Lewis, Ira W Dixon, 111. (Lee Co.) 

Little, Mrs. Helen M. J.. ..Bloomington, iJl. 
Lodge. Wm. F .. . . Monticello, 111. (Piatt Co.) 

Long.G. Frank Alton, 111. (Madison Co.) 

Longworth, Abel.. .Clay City, 111. (Clay Co.) 
Lord. D. M... 5450 Cornell Ave.. Chicago. 111. 
Lord. Mrs. F. W ... Piano, 111. (Kendall Co.) 
McAdams, William, Sr., Kansas. (Edgar 
Co.) Rural Route No. 13, (Edgar Co.) 

McCagg. E.B 67 Cass St., Chicago, 111. 

McClelland, Thomas 

161 Randolph St.. Chicago. 111. 

McConnel, G. M. (Chicago Chronicle) 

Chicago, 111. 

McCormick. Prof. Henry, Illinois State 

Normal University, Normal. Illinois. 

McCulloch. David Peoria, 111 . 

McLean County Historical Society 

Bloomington, 111 . 

McManis,C. J.. .Princeton, 111. (Bureau Co.) 

McNeely. T. W Petersburg, 111. 

McPike, H. G Alton, 111. 

* Deceased. 

Manny, Walter I 

Mt. Sterling, 111. r Brown Co.. 

Marmon, Mrs. W.W Bloomington. Ill 

Marney, John D Springfield, 111 

Mead, Dr. Homer. Camden, Ill.^SchiiylerCf.. > 

Mead, I>r. Mary Ward Camden, ill 

Meese, William A Molinc, ill 

Merritt, E. L Springfield, 111 

Miller, Bertha R. (^Mrs. 1. Ci. Miller^ 

811 Park Ave., Springfield, III 

Miller, John E 

East St. Louis, 111. fSt. Clair Co. > 

Milligan, Dr. Josephine. .. .Jacl<sr)nville, 111 
Mills, Richard W.. ., Virginia, 111. (Cass Cf». i 
Miner, Dr. James.. Winchester, 111. Scott Co. i 
Moore, Clara (Mrs. Ensley Moore) 

Jacksonville, III 

Moore, Ensley JacksonvilU-. 111. 

Moore, Col. Risdon M . .san Antonio. Texas 
Morris, Henry C.4442(9randBlv., Chicago, 111. 
Moses. Adolph.. ..The Temple, Chicago. Ill 
Moss. John R . Mt. Vernon, 111. (Jefferson Co. i 
Munsell.W. W 

1106 Monadnock Building, Chicago, 111. 

Nelson, William E 

804 W.Williams St., Decatur, Ill,(Macon Co. I 
Norton, W. T Alton, 111. 

Orendorff^, Alfred Springfield. Ill 

Orendorff, John B Bloomingtcjn. 111. 

OrendorfT, Mrs. Julia W., (Mrs. Alfred 

Orendorft") Springfield, III. 

Osborne, Miss(jeorgia L.. Jacksonville, 111. 

Page, Prof. E. C, Northern Illinois Nor- 
mal School DeKalb, 111. 

Palmer, Ellen R., (Mrs. John Mavo Pal- 
mer) Chicago, 111. 

*Palmer, John Mayo Chicago, 111. 

Parker.C. M ..Taylorville, 111. (Christian Co. i 

Parkinson, D. B 

Carbondale, 111., (Jackson Co.) 

Pearson, J. M (Godfrey, 111., i Madison Co.* 

Peoria County Hist. Society . Peoria. 111. 

Perrin, J. N Belleville, 111., i St. Clair Co. • 

Phillips, Edward O., The Republic 

.St. Louis, Mo. 

Phillips, Winfield S 

Ridgeway, 111., (Gallatin Co.* 

*Pierce, Frederick C. Chicago, 111 

Pitner, Dr. T. J Jacksonville. 111. 

Prmce, Ezra M., Secretary McLean Co. 
Historical Socie;y Bloomington. 111. 

Putnam, Prof. J. \V Madison, Wis. 

Quincy Historical Society Quincy. 111. 

Rahmeyer, Louise Hood (Mrs. B. F. Rah- 

meyeV) No. 1.50 

Protenciana Intramuros, Manila. P. I. 

Rammelkamp, Prof. C. H.. Illinois Col- 
lege Jacksonville. 111. 

Rapp, J. M Fairfield, 111., i Wayne Co. ^ 

Raymond, James H 

Suite 1513-15 Monadnock blk., Chicago. 111. 

Reeves. Mrs. Kate K Springfield, 111. 

Reeves, Judge W. W 

Tuscola, 111., ^ Douglas Co. 1 

Reul. J. G Mendota, 111., ^LaSalle Co.> 

Roosa, Mrs. S. V Springfield. 111. 

Rose, James A 

Golconda, 111., (Pope Co.^ 

Rose, Mrs. James A 

(Jolconda, 111., (PopeCo.'* 

Russell, Andrew Jacksonville. 111. 

Sanders, Col. Geo. A Springfield. 111. 

Members of the Illinois State Historical Sociecy — Concluded. 

Sattley , Miss Olive 

411 E. Capitol av., Springfield, 111. 

Sayler, H. L..13S Jackson boul.. Chicago, 111. 
Scherer, Andrew., 3S3 N. State st. .Chicago, III . 

Schmict, Dr. Otto L 

3328 Michigan av., Chicago, 111. 

Schneck, Dr. Jacob 

Mt. Carmel. ( Wabash Co.) 111. 

Schoolcraft, Prof. H. L 

Urbana, 111., (Champaign) 

Schroter, Fred J 

5244 Greenwood Ave.. Chicago, 111. 

Scott, EdgarS Si.ringfield, 111. 

Scott, Julia iTreen ( Mrs. M. T. Scott) 

Blooniington, (McLean Co.) 111. 

Selby. Paul.. .5468 Monroe Ave., Chicago, 111. 

Sheets, J. M Oblong, Crawford Co., 111. 

Sheppard,Prof. R. D., Northwestern Uni- 

versitv Evanston.Ill. 

Sibley, H. F Fairfield. HI. 

Sibley, Dr. VV. C Fairfield, 111. 

Silliman.E. C Chenoa, McLean Co ,111. 

Smith, Col. D. C Normal. 111. 

Smith, George W., Southern Illinois State 

Normal University Carbondale.IU. 

Smith, Col. Randolph Flora. Clay Co., Til. 

Snively.E. A Springfield, 111. 

Snively, Mrs. E. A Springfield, 111. 

Snyder, Dr. J. F Virginia, Cass Co., 111. 

Souther, George H Springfield, 111. 

Sparks, Prof. E. E., Ph.D., University of 

Chicago Chicago, 111. 

Sparks, H . B Alton , 111. 

Spear, S. L Springfield, 111. 

Stearns, Arthur K., 112-114 (ienesee St, 

VVaukegan,Lake Co., 111. 

Stennett, Dr. W. H 

303 Linden Ave., Oak Park, 111. 

Sterlcker, Louise B.(Mrs. George F. Ster- 

icker) Springfield, 111. 

Stevens, F. E.. 1205 Chamber of Commerce 

Building Chicago, 111. 

Steward, Miss Bertha, Steward, Lee Co., 111. 
Steward, John F 

1889 Sheridan Road, Chicago, 111. 

Steward, Julian R Piano, Kendall Co., 111. 

Stringer. Lawrence B Lincoln, 111. 

Stubblefield. George VV Bloomington, 111. 

*Stuve,Dr. Bernard , Springfield, 1 11. 

Swift, E. C Ottawa, La Salle Co. . 111. 

Tauchan,Mrs. Marie., 1012 West Argyle, 
Irving Park Chicago, Cook Co., 111. 

Taylor, Charles R Springfield, 111. 

Taylor, Mrs. Harriet Ruinsey, Springfield, 111. 

Thayer. Miss Maude Springfield, 111. 

Thompson, Henry Avery 

Galena, Jo Daviess Co., 111. 

Throgmorton,Rev. W. P 

Marion, Williamson Co., 111. 

Tomlin, Mrs. Eliza I. H Jacksonville, 111. 

Vandervort.Or. F. C Bloomington, 111. 

Vocke, William, President German Amer- 
ican Historical Society, 103-109 Ran- 
dolph Street Chicago, 111. 

VVaite, Dr. H . N Johnson, Vt. 

Walker, Rev. Edwin S Springfield, 111. 

* Wallace, Joseph Springfield, 111. 

Way, V^irgil G Proctor, Ford Co., 111. 

Weber. Mrs. Jessie Palmer. .. .Springfield, 111. 
Wells, Frederick Latimer 

Wheaton, Du Page Co., 111. 

Wertz. Miss Ada P 

Carbondale, Jackson Co.. 111. 

West, Simeon H Lerov, McLean Co., 111. 

Wheeler,C. Gilbert.. 14 State St., Chicago, 111. 
Wheeler, JM^rs. Katherine Goss 

Springfield, 111. 

Wheeler, S. P Springfield, 111. 

Wightman.G. V Lacon, Marshall Co., 111. 

Wiles, Mrs. Alice Bradford (Mrs. Robert 

H. Wiles), 5711 Woodlawn Avenue, 

Chicago, 111. 

Willcox, F. S Peoria, 111. 

Withers, Henry C 

Carrollton, Greene Co., 111. 

Wohlgemuth, Dr. Henry Springfield, 111. 

Woltersdorf, Louis 

360 Ashland Boul., Chicago, 111. 

Woodworth, A. P 

Robinson, Crawford Co., 111. 

Woolard, F. M Fairfield, 111. 

Worthington, Miriam M., (Mrs. Thomas 

Worthington ) Jacksonville, 111. 

Worthington, Thomas Jacksonville, 111. 

Wyckoft^, Dr. Charles T., Bradley Poly- 
technic Institute Peoria, 111. 

Young. J. H Oakwood, V^ermilion Co., 111. 

Zeller,Rev. J. CChebanse, Iroquois Co. ,111. 




Aktki^k I — Name and Oiukxts. 

Section 1. The name of this society shall be the Illinois State Historical 

Section 2. The objects for which it is formed are to excite and stimulate 
a g-eneral interest in the history of Illinois; to encourage historical research 
and investigation and secure its promulgation; to collect and preserve all 
forms of data in any way bearing upon the history of Illinois and its peoples. 


Section 1. The management of the affairs of this society shall be vested 
in a board of fifteen directors of which board the president of the society 
shall be ex-officio a member. 

Section 2. There shall be a president and as many vice presidents, not less 
than three, as the society may determine at the annual meetings. The board 
of directors, five of whom shall constitute a quorum, shall elect its own pre- 
siding officer, a secretary and treasurer, and shall have power to appoint 
from time to time such officers, agents and committees as they may deem 
advisable, and to remove the same at pleasure. 

Section 3. The directors shall be elected at the annual meetings and the 
mode of election shall be by ballot, unless by a vote of a majority of mem- 
bers present and entitled to vote, some other method may be adopted. 

Section 4. It shall be the duty of the board of directors diligently to pro- 
mote the objects for which this society has been formed and to this end they 
shall have power: 

(1) • To search out and preserve in permanent form for the use of the peo- 
ple of the State of Illinois, facts and data in the history of the State and of 
each county thereof, including the prehistoric periods and the history of the 
aboriginal inhabitants together with biographies of distinguished persons 
who have rendered services to the people of the State. 

(2) To accumulate and preserve for like use, books, pamphlets, newspapers 
and documents bearing upon the foregoing topics. 

(3) To publish from. time to time for like uses its own transactions as well 
as such facts and documents bearing upon its objects as it may secure. 

(4) To accumulate for like use such articles of historic interest as may 
bear upon the history of persons and places within the State. 

(5) To receive by gift, grant, devise, bequest or purchase, books, prints, 
paintings, manuscripts, libraries, museums, moneys and other property real 
or personal, in aid of the above objects. 

(6) They shall have general charge and control under the direction of the 
board of trustees of the Illinois State Elistorical Library, of all property so 
received and hold the same for the uses aforesaid in accordance with an act 
of the Legislature approved May 16, 1903, entitled ''An Act to add a new sec- 
tion to an act entitled, an act to establish the Illinois State Historical Li- 
brary and to provide for its care and maintenance, and to make appropria- 
tions therefor," approved May 25. 1889, and in force .July 1, 18S9: they shall 
make and approve all contracts, audit all accounts, and order their payment, 
and in general see to the carrying out of the orders of the society. They may 
adopt by-laws not inconsistent with this constitution for the uuinagenient of 
the affairs of the society; they shall fix the times and places for their meet- 
ings, keep a record of their proceedings, and make report to the society at its 
annual meeting. 


Section 5. Vacancies in the board of directors may be filled by election by 
the remaining members, the persons so elected to continue in office until the 
next annual meeting-. 

Section 6. The president shall preside at all meetings of the society, and 
in case of his absence or inability to act one of the vice presidents shall pre- 
side in his stead, and in case neither president nor vice president shall be in 
attendance, the society may choose a president pro tempore. 

Section 7. The officers shall perform the duties usually devolving upon 
such offices, and such others as may from time to time be prescribed by the 
board of directors. The treasurer shall keep a strict account of all receipts 
and expenditures and pay out money from the treasury only as directed by 
the board of directors; he shall submit an annual report of the finances of 
the society and such other matters as may be committed to his custody to 
the board of directors within such time prior to the annual meeting as tliej'- 
shall direct, and after auditing the same the said board shall submit said 
report to the society at its annual meeting. 

Article III — Membekship. 

Section 1. The membership of this Society shall consist of five classes 
to-wit: Active, Life, Affiliated, Corresponding and Honorary. 

Section 2. Any person may become an active member of this society 
upon payment of such initiation fee not less than one dollar, as shall from 
time to time be prescribed by the Board of Directors. 

Section 3. Any person entitled to be an active member may upon the 
payment of twenty-five dollars be admitted as a life member with all the 
privileges of an active member and shall thereafter be exempt from annual 

Section 4. County and other historical societies, and other societies en- 
gaged in historical or archeological research or in the preservation of the 
knowledge of historic events, may upon the recommendation of the lioard of 
Directors be admitted as affiliated members of this Society upon the same 
terms as to the payment of initiation fees and annual dues as active and life 
members. Every society so admitted shall be entitled to one duly accredited 
representative at each meeting of the Society who shall during the period of 
his appointment be entitled as such representative to all the privileges of 
an active membership except that of being elected to office; but nothing 
herein shall prevent such representative becoming an active or life member 
upon like conditions as other persons. 

Section 5. P rson^ not active nor life members but who are willing to 
lend their assistance and encouragement to the promotion of the objects of 
this Society, may, upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors, be 
admitted as corresponding members. 

• wSection 6. Honorary membership may be conferred at any meeting of the 
Society upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors upon persons who 
have distinguished themselves by eminent services or contributions to the 
cause of history. 

Section 7. Honorary and corresponding members shall have the privilege 
of attending and participating in the meetings of the Society. 

Article IV — Meetings and Quorum. 

Section 1. There shall be an annual meeting of this Society for the elec- 
tion of officers, the hearing of reports, addresses and historical papers and 
the transaction of business at such time and place in the month of January 
in each year as may be designated by the Board of Directors; for which meet- 
ing it shall be the duty of said Board to prepare and publish a suitable pro- 
gram and procure the services of persons well versed in histor^^ to deliver 
addresses or read essays upon subjects germane to the objects of this organi- 

Section 2. Special meetings of the Society may be called by the Board 
of Directors. Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by 
the President or any two members of the Board. 


Section 15. At any meeting- of the Society the attendance, of t(*n irutinljcrs 
entitled to vote shall be necessary to a (juorum. 

A It'I'ICr.IO V A M EN 1 ).M KNTK. 

vSection 1. The Constitution may be amended by a tvvri-tiiirds vote of the 
members present and entitled to vote, at any annual meetinj;^; Provldcil thai 
the proposed amendment shall have first been snbmitte<l tf> the lioard of l)\- 
tectors, and at least thirty days prior to such annual meetinj^ notice of prrj- 
posed action upon the same, sent by the Secretary to all the meinlxM-s f)f the 



On pa^e 110, for Leonard Sweet read Leonard Swett . 

On page 112, last line, for later read latter. 

On pag-e 116, for Mr. Thompson, Speaker jora tempore, read Mr. Jamison. 

On page 196, for Captain Moore read Captain Mowet. 

On page 196, for General John A. Wool read General John Ellis Wool. 

On page 197, for General Packenham, read General Pakenham. 

On page 201, for Fanning read Fannin. 

On page 205, for Travers read Travis. 

On page 213, for Point Isabelle read Point Isabel. 

On page 213, for General Urea read General Urrea . 

On page 216, for Col. George Groghan read Col. George Ctoghan. 

On page 217, for Capt. John A. Veache read Capt. John A. Veatcli. 

On page 227, for Pass Cavallo read Pass Carallo. 

On page 245, for Brinckerhoff & Fenton,;read Brinckerhoff & Penton. 

On pages 276, 278, for John Milcot Ellis read John Millot Ellis. 

On page 360, for Timothy Gard read Seth Gard. 

FIELD, ILL., JAN'Y 25-26, 1905. 

FiEST Session, Wednesday, Jan'y 25, 1905, 9 a. m., in State Library 


The Illinois State Historical Society met in annual session, January 
25, 1905, at 9 o'clock a. m. In the absence of President J. F. Snyder, 
the first vice president, Paul Selby, A. M., called the meeting to order 
and presided over the sessions. The secretary offered a communica- 
tion froni President Snyder in which he resigned from the presidency 
of the society. This paper, at the request of the chair, was read by 
Professor E. E. Sparks. 

Professor Sparks offered resolutions on the services to the society 
of Dr. Snyder. Captain J. H. Burnham made some remarks appre- 
ciative of Dr. Snyder's services, and explanatory of his views. Dr. 
Chamberlin also spoke at length of the debt of gratitude which the 
society owes Dr. Snyder and asked permission to read a bill prex^ared 
by Dr. Snyder and embodying his views as to the future interests of 
the society. This bill to be presented to the General Assembly of 
the State, and efforts made to secure its joassage. 

The bill was read by the secretary. 

Professor Greene called for action on the resolutions presented by 
Professor Sparks. The resolutions were again read and were unani- 
mously adopted by the society, and the secretary was directed to send 
a copy of them to Dr. Snyder, and to spread them upon the records 
of the society. 


Whereas, Dr. J. F. Snyder, for the past two years president of the 
Illinois State Historical Society, has given to the organization un- 
sparing effort, untiring devotion and the benefit of his ripened ex- 
perience in the local history of the State, and 

Whereas, Much of the prosperity of the society during that ])eriod 
is attributable directly to his administration; therefore, be it 

Resolved. That the society accepts w^ith regret the resignation of 
Dr. Snyder from the presidency of the organization: also 

Resolved, That the society hopes to have the continued aid of Dr. 
Snyder in its further work. 

Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of the 
society. Captain J. H Burnham asked that the secretary read the 
proposed bills for legislation affecting the interests of the society. 
The secretary read the bills as directed. 

Remarks were made on the provisions of the bills by Judge Mc- 
Culloch, Captain Burnham and Dr. Chamberlin. 

Professor E. B. Greene spoke at some length on the same subject, 
during the course of which he reviewed the work of the board of trus- 
tees of the Illinois State Historical Library. The bill which had 
been sent by Mr. J. P. Dunn, secretary of the Indiana State Historical 
Society, and which is a copy of the one recently introduced in the legis- 
lature of Indiana, was read by the secretary. It was voted that all 
these bills be approved in a general way, and that they be referred to 
the committee on Legislation for final action. 

It was announced by the chairman (Mr. Selby) that nominations 
for officers for the coming year January 1905-1906 were in order. 

It was moved by George N. Black and seconded by E. A. Snively 
that the chair appoint a nominating committee of five. This motion 
was carried. 

The chair announced the nominating committee as follows: Messrs. 
Burnham, Snively, Chamberlin, Jayne, McCulloch. 

Captain Burnham declined to serve and General Smith D. Atkins 
was appointed in his place, and the nominating committee retired to 
the Historical library room. 

During the absence of the nominating committee the chair called 
for the report of the secretary and treasurer. It was suggested that 
as these reports were made to the board of directors they should be 
approved by it before being read to the society, but there being no 
further business meeting of the society announced to be held at this 
annual session, the secretary and treasurer was asked to read the 

The reports of the secretary and treasurer were read, and were ac- 
cepted by the society and referred to the board of directors. 

The chair called for reports of committees. 

The report of the committee on local historical societies prepared 
by Judge David McCulloch was read by Captain J. H. Burnham. 
The report was accepted and approved. 

The report of the program committee was made by Mrs. Weber, 
and was accepted and approved. The report of this committee was 
verbal and asked active work from its members. Judge McCulloch 
rex^orted from the committee appointed to attend the meeting of the 
Illinois Press Association at Galesburg. The report which was a 
verbal one was accepted and aj)proved. 

General Orendorff moved that the secretary be. directed to prepare 
a circular on the relations which now exist and which should exist 
between the Illinois State Historical Society and the Illinois Press 
Association. This motion was seconded and on being put to a vote 

was carried. Professor E. E. Sparks read the n^port of the f;omriiittee 
on Marking Historic Spots in Illinois. R(iport accfiptcd and ap- 

Professor Sparks made a verbal report of the special Coniniitteci on 
Membership. Report approved and accej^ted. 

Professor SparKs made a verbal report in bc^half of the committee 
which represented the society at the meeting of the American His- 
torical Association in Chicago, December, 1904. The report w;is ;i{j- 
proved and accepted. 

Mrs. Weber made a verbal report from the Publication committee 
and made some suggestions as to the work of the conmiittee. This 
report was referred to the board of directors of the society. 

The Nominating committee returned and expressed itself as ready 
to report. The committee reported as having nominated for officers 
of the society for the year January 1905-1906, for president of the 
society and ex officio a member of the board of directors, (xeneral 
Alfred Orendorff, Springfield, Illinois. 

First Vice President — Paul Selby, Chicago. 

Second Vice President^ J . H. Burnham. Bloomington. 

Third J^ice President — General Smith D. Atkins, Freeport. 

Board of Directors — J. F. Snyder, Virginia, E. J. James, Urbana. 
George N. Black, Springfield, J. H. Burnham, Bloomington, M. H. 
Chamberlin, Lebanon, David McCulloch, Peoria, E. B. Greene, 
Urbana, Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield, E. E. Sparks, Chi- 
cago, W. H. Collins, Quincy, J. O. Cunningham, I^rbana, Andrew 
Russell, Jacksonville, Professor George W. Smith, Carbondale. 
Rev. C. J. Eschmann, Prairie du Rocher,' J. W. Clinton, Polo. 

It was moved and seconded that the secretary be directed to cast 
the ballot of the society for the officers as named by the nominating 
committee. This motion was carried and the secretary cast the ballot 
of the society as directed. 

The chairman declared the officers elected for the year January 
1905-1906, Professor E. E. Sparks asked permission to make a few 
remarks relative to the plan of celebrating the year 1908, the semi- 
centennial of the Lincoln- Douglas debates of 1858, and urged that 
the society make plans to cooperate with the schools and clubs and 
other organizations. It was moved and carried that the society ap- 
prove the plan, and that the matter be referred to the board of 

There being no further business presented the society adjourned to 
meet in literary session at 2:00 p. m. the same day. 


To the Board of Directors oj the Illinois State Historical Socicfi/. 

Springfield, Illinois: 

Gentlemen — I have the honor to submit to you my rei)ort as sec- 
retary to the board of trustees of the society. eTanuary, 1904- Janna\v, 

1905. At the annual meeting, 1904, it was decided that the society 
accept the fund offered it by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition 
commission for making an historical exhibit at St. Louis, to be placed 
in the Illinois building, and that the matter of the exhibit be placed 
in the hands of the Board of Trustees of the Historical Library with 
full power to act. The exhibit was prepared under the supervision of 
Mr. Black and was, I think, most creditable to the society. A large 
number of valuable articles were borrowed for the exhibit and have 
been returned by the society, but the library has reaped its reward in 
the possession of the remainder. This exhibit was restricted to the 
life of Abraham Lincoln. The time was so short and the fund so 
small that it was not possible to represent more than a single phase of 
the State's history and the Lincoln exhibit was the choice of the 
members of the commission, as well as of the board of trustees of the 

The collecting and arranging of the exhibit required a great 
amount of labor and I spent much time upon it, assisted by the ad- 
vice and direction of Mr. Black and 1 had the assistance of my 
faithful, industrious and painstaking assistant. Miss Georgia L. Os- 
borne, who is always ready to give her time and services, in season 
and out of season, for the work of the society. A full report of the 
exhibit appears in the report of the Illinois Commissioners to the 
Exposition. The membership committee of the society has been 
doing effective work and I have to report thirty-one new members of 
the society since the first of November, 1904, 

The society now has 251 members, including two life members and 
seven honorar}^ members. The number of active members includes 
twenty-eight editors or publishers of newspapers in the State who 
send copies of their papers to the library and in return are made 
members of the society without the payment of further dues. 

The library and the society have moved into their new quarters on 
the third floor of the Capitol, in the rooms formerly occupied by the 
State Geological Museum. Our quarters are much better and more 
convenient than the old ones, but we are already crowded. Publi- 
cation No. 9, of the library publications, the transactions of the fifth 
annual meeting of the society is ready for distribution. It is a much 
larger book than our last year's volume, containing 701 pages and 
twenty-four illustrations. The society is to be congratulated on the 
increase of interest shown in it by the people of the State and for the 
large increase in its membershi]3. 



HaJance ou hand from 1903 

$47 04 

Annual dues. 1904 

74 00 


$121 04 

$38 00 

42 50 

Exfjenses of sending materials to Bloomin^ton for annual 


10 00 

$90 50 



To the Officers and Members of the Illinois Slate Historical Socichj: 

Your committee on Local Historical Societies be<<s leave to report 
as follows: 

No material progress has been made in the i^ast year in t}i(- jjhin Utv 
a closer cooperation between the State and local societies. 

It is eminently desirable as soon as possible for the State Histor- 
ical Society to secure a more detinite foundation for its own work, 
and to assert itself as determined to carry it on with more vigor than 
ever before; making its influence felt in every county of th(i State. 
ancj, in the performance of its duties, the State Historical Society 
should endeavor to bring about a much more practical union be- 
tween itself and the local societies with a view for a better utilization 
of the forces which may be set to work in all portions of th(^ State; 
but in the meantime, while perfecting its own organization, and while 
local societies are gradually being organized, we believe no time is 
being wasted by proceeding slowly with the matter of maturing plans 
for a better understanding between the different historical societies 
of the State. 

These different societies are proceeding along different lines, and 
are pioneering their way through many difficulties, and are met by 
much opposition from indifference, and an indisposition to work, 
rather than from any well founded arguments against their organi- 

We believe the time is close at hand, and it may be actually pres- 
ent, for the adoption of some comprehensive plan, not yet sufficiently 
outlined for recommendation. 

The work of our local societies is really in its infancy, and as these 
organizations progress, their leading members are fast finding out 
what appears to be their own appointed field of labor, and in what 
manner the State Society can be of the most benefit; and the near fu- 
ture will doubtless open many doors for efficient co-operation. 

As at present informed; it appears to your committee that these so- 
cieties are actually nurseries, which furnish many good friends to the 
8tate Societies; and which are also gathering up very many valuable 
historical papers, and much historical information of far more than 
local interest, instead of drawing off historical matter from the State 
Society as some have feared, and arresting this material which ought 
to be on its way to our own repositories. We believe the societies 
will, in many different portions of the State prove to be depositories 
where the State Society can always find material which would other- 
v\^ise be forever lost. 

We desire to urge upon these local soci«tic« the importance of pub- 
lication. History which is merely given verbally to interested listen- 
ers, or even read "from manuscript to a small audience, falls far short of 
its mission unless put in type, furnished to the public, and placed in 
libraries for the benefit of future generations. 


It is a pleasure to be able to show that something has already been 
done in the direction of publication, and such societies as have done 
nothing in this line should be encouraged to make the attempt as 
soon as possible. 

In this connection, your committee desires to commend "'A bill for 
an act to provide for the promotion of historical research in the sev- 
eral counties of the State" which will be introduced in the Legisla- 
ture in a few days. If this bill becomes a law, it will allow the board 
of supervisors, or county commissioners, if they so desire, to use 
public money in the publication of the proceedings of local historical 
societies. The present law for this purpose, merely provides for 
such publication on a vote of the people, and so far, we believe no 
such vote has ever been taken, owing to the technical difficulties in 
the way of submitting anything to a vote of the people. 

Another bill soon to be presented to the Legislature, is. to provide 
for the transferring of interesting or important public documents to 
the State or any other historical society. Both of these acts are 
very necessary to the welfare of all historical societies. State and 
local, and your committee not only endorses them in its capacity as 
the standing committee on Local Historical Societies, but urges upon 
the State Historical Society and the State Historical Library, the im- 
portance of separate endorsements of these bills from each organi- 

The following are the different societies engaged in historical in- 
vestigation in the State of Illinois, so far as your committee is able 
to report: 

The Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, 111. — President, Franklin 
H. Head; Secretary, James W. Fertig. 

This is much more than a local society, its field being the entire 
northwest; it possesses a very imposing, fireproof building of its own, 
and the value of its property, including building, grounds and invest- 
ed funds, is over 1300,000; it has accummulated a very fine library 
and has also gathered a vast amount of historical material. 

The Illinois Society, Springfield, 111. — President, Secretary, 

T. J. Crowder, Springfield. 

This society has large plans for the future, and has already held a 
number of interesting meetings. One of its published specialties is 
genealogy, and if this or some other society would develop into a 
State Genealogical Society it would find a very important field of 
labor at present almost entirely uncultivated. 

The German-American Historical Society, Chicago, 111. — Presi- 
dent, Hon. Wm. Vocke; Secretary, Emil Mannhardt. 

This society publishes a quarterly devoted to the history of the 
Gorman settlements in the different portions of this State, and is do- 
ing a very important work which should be imitated by the various 
European nationalUif^s in the State of Illinois.' 

The three societies above montioned are not properly local societies 
as their field is the State or the entire northwest, but we desire to in- 
corporate this account in our list of historical societies. 

There are several societies which are known as city societies. 

The New England Society, Rockford, 111. 

This society does not keep up its organization by regular meetings 
but it has done an important work by securing the publicatir^n of a 
very tine history of Rockford and Winnebago counties. 

The Elgin Scientific Club has asi)irations in this direction, but of 
late years has held few or no meetings and we have no late rejjort 
from this society. 

The Evanston Historical Society, Evanston, 111.- President, Har- 
vey B. Hurd; Secretary, J. Seymour Curry. 

This society has done some excellent work. Our soci(3ty, in its cur- 
rent issue, publishes a letter written last year by Mr. Curry stating 
very clearly the careful and thorough method of the society's work. 
He writes this year, "the society ip soon to have a room in the new 
public library now building," and that it may be expected to do bet- 
ter work now than ever before. 

The Quincy Historical Society, Quincy, 111. — President, Lorenzo 
Bull; Secretary, S. H. Emery. 

This society has been assisting some publishers who are preparing 
a history of Quincy and Adams county which is soon to be published, 
and the society will take a large number of copies of this book. 

It was organized quite a number of years ago, being one of the 
pioneer societies of the State, and will be able to show important re- 

There are two small societies which have not made great preten- 
sions, but whose published work during the year, in pamj^hlet form, 
is to be commended, as they have the one great element of success. 

One is the Polo Historical Society, Polo, 111., and the other is the 
LeRoy Historical Society, of LeRoy, McLean county. 111. 

The ofiicers of the first named society are: President, J. W. Clin- 
ton, Polo; Secretary. J. M. Bridgeman, Polo; and of the other are: 
President, T. L. Buck, LeRoy, 111.: Secretary, James Coons, LeRoy, 

The Jersey County Historical Society was the first county society 
organized in this State and is more than a dozen years old but at last 
accounts was in a condition of suspension. 

The DeKalb County Historical Society was organized at Sycamore 
on the same day on which the Illinois State Historical Society was 
organized. It makes no report and appears never to have held but 
one meeting. Probably the intense local feeling generated by the 
county seat feud between Sycamore and DeKalb is the cause of non- 

The Pike County Historical Society was organized three years ago. 
and after holding one or two meetings has become merged in the 
"Old Settler's Association," but we hope to hear of its revival at some 
future time. 

There are nine well organized county societies in the State of Illi- 
nois, the most of them actively engaged in work, as follows: 

Champaign County Historical Society, Urbana, 111. — President. 
J. O. Cunningham. 

A county history will soon be published which will contain many 
of the papers of this society, which has done very important local 
historical work. 

Maramech Historical Society of Kendall County, Piano, 111. — 
President, John F. Steward, 1889 Sheridan Road, Chicago, 111.; 
Secretary, Avery N. Beebe, Yorkville, 111. 

This society has organized itself into divisions for practical work, 
and is likely to be one of the most successful societies in the State. 

Madison County Historical Society, Alton, 111. (No re^^ort this 
year.)— President, 1903, E. P. Wade, Alton, 111.; Secretary, Miss 
Julia Buckmaster, Alton, 111. 

Whiteside County Historical Society, Sterling, 111. — President, 
Moses Dillon, Sterling, 111. ; Secretary, W. W. Davis, Sterling, 111. 

'•Established January, 1903; about 300 books, files of pamphlets, 
old magazines and papers, ten show cases of early local cards, circu- 
lars, pictures, ballots, badges, programmes and jDosters, relics and 
curios of every name. In fact enough material to start a museum. 
Few societies of two years standing can make so good a show. 
W. W. Davis, Secretary." 

Woodford County Historical Society, Eureka, 111. — President, Col. 
B. D. Meek, Eureka, 111.; Secretary, J. C. Jeanport, Eureka, IIJ. 

This society holds annual meetings. 

Logan County Historical Society. Lincoln, 111. — President, J. T. 
Hoblit, Lincoln, 111.; Secretary, Lelia B. Collins, Lincoln, 111. 

This society will soon be in a room in the new court house now 
being erected at Lincoln, and in connection with the Daughters of 
the American Revolution, will soon be doing good work in Logan 

McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, 111.— President, 
George P. Davis, Bloomington, 111.; Secretary, E. M. Prince, Bloom- 
ington, 111. 

This was the second county historical society to be organized in 
Illinois. It has published three volumes of its transactions and has 
other material in course of preparation for future publication. 

Green County Historical Society, Carrollton, 111. — Organized Oc- 
tober, 1904 — ^^President, H. C. Withers, Carrollton, 111.; Secretary, 
Gharles Bradshaw, Carrollton, 111. 

Morgan County Historical Society, Jacksonville, 111. — President, 
Carl E. Black, Jacksonville, 111.; Secretary, Frank J. Heinl, Jackson- 
ville, 111. 

The work of this society will have special reference to Morgan 
county as originally organized, comprising the counties of Cass, 
Scott and Morgan. 

Jackson County Historical Society, at Carbondale- not fully organ- 
ized or named. 

It may take the name of Jackson County Historical Society or the 
Southern Illinois Society > 

Peoria Historical Society, Peoria, 111. — This society was organized 
in 1903 -President, David McCuUoch, Peoria. 111.; Secretary, Helen 
M. Wilson, Peoria, 111. 

The Peoria society is not a county soci(.'ty; its fi<;l(i of rescarcli is 
intended to be primarily the Illinois valley, though it will also 
perform the functions of a county society; bein^ at orni of the centers 
of historic interest, its pax)ers, several of which are already prejian-d. 
will have much more than local interest, and it is to be hopf-d tliat 
our State Society will have an opportunity to jjiiblish some of the 
most important of these papers. 

It will thus be seen that at more than a dozen diffeniiit i.oints in 
Illinois, may be found centers of local, or much mor(3 than local his- 
toric interest; centers from which, if projjerly nursed and cultivated 
by the State at large, by the State Historical Society and by the peo- 
ple most vitally interested in the success of the local societies, it may 
vi^ell be exjjected that new recruits may at any time be discovered for 
our State Society, and very important influences at widely sepriratc.' 
ppints, may at any moment be set in motion to promot(^ the interests 
of the Illinois State Historical Society, and be the means of causini^ 
this society to take the rank it so richly deserves among the leading 
historical societies of the union. 

j. h. burxham. 
Geo, W. Smitii, 
J. O. Cunningham, 


W. W. Davis. 

Meeting of the Board of Directors, Illinois State Historical 
Society, January 25, 1905. 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society nut 
at 12 o'clock noon on January 25, 1905, at the close of the morning 
(first session) session of the annual meeting of the society. Present. 
General Alfred Orendorff, Hon. David McCulloch, Professor E. E. 
Sparks, Professor E. B. Greene, J, H Burnham, J. W. Clinton, Dr. 
M. H. Chamberlin, George N. Black, Professor George W. Smith. 
Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber. 

General Alfred Orendorflf was asked to preside as temporary chair- 
man and on motion of Mr. George N. Black he w^as made the perma- 
nent chairman of the board of directors. Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber 
was elected permanent secretary and treasurer. The reports of the 
secretary and treasurer were read and approved. The appointments 
of committees for the year were called for. The members of the pro- 
gram committee were announced as follows: Mrs. Jessie Palmer 
Weber, chairman, Dr. J. F. Snyder, J. H. Burnham, Professor E. E. 
Sparks, Paul Selby, Smith D. Atkins, Mrs. S. P. Wheeler. This 
nomination was on motion, carried. 

The finance and auditing committee was nominated and elected. 
Its members are: George N. Black, E» J. James, Jessie Palmer 
Weber. ... 

The president named as the publication committee: E. B Greene, 
chairman; Geo. N. Black, M. H. Chamberlain, Jessie Palmer Weber, 
Alfred Orendorflf, ex-officio. This nomination was confirmed. 


The constitution and by-laws committee was continned. 

It was voted that the committee on legislation be composed of the 
three trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library and three mem- 
bers to be named by the president, This committee has power to add 
to its own membership. 

A discussion of the question of local historical societies was held 
and was quite general. The committee on local historical societies- 
was named by the president and approved. It was composed of the 
following persons; J. H. Burnham; chairman, J. O. Cunningham^ 
George W. Smith, David McCulloch, W. W. Davis, Frank J. Heinl. 

The Peoria Historical Society, the McLean County Historical So- 
ciety and the Polo Historical Society applied for membership a& 
affiliated societies. Judge McCulloch representing the Peoria so- 
ciety. Captain J. H. Burnham the. McLean county society and Mr. J. 
W. Clinton the Polo society. The applications of these societies 
were approved and accepted and the societies were received as affili- 
ated societies of the Illinois State Historical Society. 

It was moved and seconded, and the motion was carried, that the 
president be a member of all committees. 

On the motion of Dr. M. H. Chamberlin, Mrs. Mary F. Deneen, the 
widow of Professor Samuel H. Deneen, and the mother of the present 
Grovernor of the State of Illinois, was elected an honorary member 
of the society. On motion of George N. Black, Hon. Richard Yates, 
the retiring Governor of the State of Illinois was elected an honorary 
member of the society. 

Professor E. B. Greene asked that the question of the place of hold- 
ing the next annual meeting of the society be considered and stated 
that he desired to ask the society to meet at the University of Illinois. 
This question and the invitation were on the motion of Mr. Chamber- 
lin postponed until the next session of the board of directors to be 
held at the call of the president the following day (Thursday, Janu- 
ary 26, 1905). 

There being no further business presented, it was moved by Cap- 
tain J. H. Burnham, that the board of directors adjourn to meet the 
following day at a convenient time and at the call of the president. 

This motion prevailed and the meeting adjourned. 

Meeting of the Board of Directors, 12 o'clock Noon. Jan. 2(3, 1905 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society met 
in the rooms of the library at 12 o'clock noon, January 26, 1905, at 
the close of the morning session of the annual meeting of the society. 
Present, General Alfred Orendorff, Rev. C, J. Eschmann, George N. 
Black, Professor George W. Smith, Hon. David McCulloch, J. W. 
Clinton, Captain J. H. Burnham, Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber. 

It was moved by Mr. Burnham, that Congressman George W. 
Smith be asked to procure for the society from the proper officer of 
the United States such charts, or plats as may be available of the 
Mississippi river and its deviations, near Kaskaskia, 111. This motion 
was carried. 



The question of the study of the; history of the State d 
the public schools was discussed. It was niov(!d by Professor (i<'orge 
W. Smith that the society nr^a on th(i pr{;s(;nt scssiori of th(; (ieneral 
Assembly of the State, that a bill be passed retpiirin^ tc^achcrs in tint 
schools of the State to pass an examination in State history and that 
the society endorse the views expressed by l^rofessor Henry McC.'or- 
mick in his paper, read before the society, entitkid "The X'alue to Both 
of a Closer Connection Between the State Historical Society anrl 
the Public Schools." The matter was referred to the committee on 
legislation. It was moved that Professor Henry McCormick be m;id(* 
a member of the committee on legislation. This motion was seconded 
and carried. 

The bills of General Alfred Orendorff and Judge McCulloc-h i'or 
expenses in attending the meeting of the Illinois State Press Asso- 
ciation at Galesburg were presented and were allowed. The treas- 
urer was ordered to pay them. 

There being no further business presented the board of directors 
adjourned to meet later in the day at the call of the president. 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society met 
in the library rooms at 4 o'clock P. M., Thursday. January 2G. 11)05. 
Present — General Alfred Orendorff, Capt. J. H. Burnham, J. W. 
Clinton, Dr. M. H. Chamberlin, Hon. David McCulloch. George N. 
Black, Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber. 

President Orendorff presided. It was voted that the invitation of 
the University of Illinois for the next annual meeting of the society 
to be held at Urbana be declined, as it was decided that Springfield 
was the best place for holding the meeting, and it was decided that 
the annual meeting be held in Springfield on January 24 and 25. 11H)(). 

It was moved by Dr. Chamberlin that the president and secretary 
be authorized to send representatives to assist local historical socie- 
ties, or to visit them on the occasion of meetings when it seems nec- 
essary, and that the president, as occasion demands it, authorize the 
treasurer to pay the expenses of such agents from any fund not other- 
wise appropriated. This motion was carried. 

It was moved and seconded, and the motion was carried, that Dr. 
Chamberlin and Father Eschmann be appointed to visit the Missouri 
Historical Society and confer with the officers or other representa- 
tives of it for the purpose of formulating some plan for a memorial to 
Father Pierre Gibault. The secretary was directed to procure a 
proper seal for the society. The board of directors endorsed the plan 
suggested by Mr. J. P. Dunn for a memorial volume to be issued 
jointly, by the States of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri in honor of 
Father Pierre Gibault. 

The president announced the following named persons as a si)ecial 
committee on membership of the society — Prof. E. E. Sparks, chair- 
man, J. W. Clinton, Polo, Charles L. Capen, Bloomington. J. Nick 
Perrin, Belleville, Arthur V. Harvick, Vienna, Mrs. Thomas Worth- 
ington, Jacksonville, Miss May Latham, Lincoln. Dr. A. W. French, 
Springfield, Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. This committee as announced 
was approved by the board of directors. 


The president announced as the committee on legislation — E. J. 
James, George N. Black, M. H. Chamberlin, J. McCan Davis, E. A. 
Snively, Henry McCormick, Andrew Russell, Alfred Orendorff. ex- 

There being no further business presented, the board of directors 
adjourned to meet at the call of the president. 

Meeting of the Board of Directors, February 21, 1905. 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society met 
in the library rooms on February 21, 1905 at 2:00 o'clock p. m. Pres- 
ent—General Alfred Orendortf, Dr. M. H.. Chamberlin, George N. 
Black, Hon. David McCulloch, Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, and by in- 
vitation Prof. Henry McCormick and Mr, E. A. Snively. 

The resignation or declination to serve on the board, of Dr. J. F. 
Snyder was announced and Hon. L. Y. Sherman was elected to fill 
the vacancy. 

There being no further business the board of directors adjourned 
to meet at the call of the president. 

Meeting of the Legislative Committee of the Illinois State Histori- 
cal Society, February 21, 1905, in the Illinois State Historical Li- 
brary at 3 o'clock, p. m. Present — General Alfred Orendorff, E. A. 
Snively, Hon. David McCulloch, George N. Black, Prof. Henry Mc- 

General Orendorff was made chairman of the meeting and Mrs. 
Weber was asked to act as secretary. Judge McCulloch read a copy 
of a bill recently introduced in the Legislature, which if passed would 
create the office of State Historian. Mr. Snively read a proposed bill 
which proposed reorganizing the State Historical Library and the 
State Historical Society, etc. Both of these bills were discussed at 
length. By request- Mr. Snively again read the bill relating to the 
library and society. Professor McCormick suggested that the bill be 
re-written and moved that a committee be appointed to draft the bill. 
Mr. Black made some remarks opposing some features of the proposed 
bill and Professor McCormick withdrew his motion. The president 
suggested that Messrs. James, Chamberlin and Black be appointed a 
committee to draw uj) a bill. Doctor Chamberlin declined to act. 
There was no second to the motion and it was not offered. Mr. Black 
moved the postponement of the entire matter. Professor McCormick 
moved, and it was seconded, that Doctor Chamberlin, Judge McCul- 
loch and the president be appointed a committee to carefully consider 
the provisions of the bills which had been offered and to draft a suita- 
ble bill, if in their judgment it was expedient to offer a bill to the 
Legislature at this session. The president declined to act on such a 
committee as he expected to be away from Illinois for a time. The 
motion was an^ended that Doctor Chamberlin and Judge McCullocli 
act as the committee. This motion was carried. 

There being no further business before the committee, it adjourned. 


Papers Read at the Annual 
Meeting, 1905 




Sixth Axnual Meeting of the Illinois State Historical Society. 
Supreme Court Room, State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois. 

Wednesday, January 25, 1905, 
In the Supreme Court Room, State Capitol. 

First Session, 9:00 o'clock, A. M. 
Bi isin ess M eetin g . 
Election of Officers. 
Committee Reports. 

Second Session, 3:00 o'clock, P. M. 
Literary Sessions. 

Social Life and Scenes in the Early Settlement of Central Illinois 

Hon. James Haines, Pekin 


St, Clair County Hon. J. Nick Perrin, Belleville 

A Short Sketch of the Life and Public Services of General James Semple, 

by his g-rand daug-hter . . . .Mrs. Mary Semple Ames Cushman. St. Louis, Mo. 

Third Session, 7:45 o'clock, P. M. 

Music Illinois 

Annual Address Hon. J. P. Dunn 


Thursday, January, 26. 

Fourth Session, 9:00 o'clock, A. M. 

The Value to Both of a Closer Connection between the State Historical 

Society and t^he Public Schools. .Professor Henry McCormcik. Normal, 111. 


Bishop Chase and Jubilee Colleg-e Rev. C. W. Leffing-well, Knoxville, 111. 

The Republican State Convention of 1856 and Those Who Participated 

in It Hon. J. O. Cunningham. Urbana, 111. 

Fifth Session, 2:00 o'clock, P. M. 

Ancient Fort Chartres. the Birthplace of Illinois 

Homer Mead, M. D. , Camden, 111. 

Dr. Georg-e Cadwell Hon. R. W. Mills. Virginia. 111. 


Father Gibault, the Patriot Priest of the Northwest 

J. P. Dunn, author of History of Indiana, etc., Indianapolis, Ind. 

Old Palestine \ Hon. J . C. Allen. Olney, 111. 

Sixth Session, 7:45 o'clock, P. M. 
Kdskaskla Erieiihig. 
Music. Quartette — Illinois. 

Old Kaskaskia Days and Ways Mr. Stuart Brown. Springfield, 111. 

Reception in the Rooms of the Illinois State Historical Society. 

Local Committee on Ai{i;ange>[ents 

With Power to x\ppoint Associates. 

Mrs. S. P. Wheeler, INHss Emma F. Jones. 

Mr. (Jeorge N. Black, ■ Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, 

Hon. Alfred Orendorff, Mrs. J. INIcCan Davis, 

Mrs. Thomas Worthinston, Dr. William Javne. 

Used by permission of Mr. \V. E. Englisli. 





(By J. P. Dunn) 

There are no two states of the Union which have been so closely 
and yet so diversely united in their history as Illinois and Indiana. 
•Since their admission as states their common interests have been, of 
•course, much the same as those of other adjoining states. In the 
territorial period, from J 800 to 1809, Illinois was a part of lndi;ina 
Territory, and, as the Indiana side was settled the more rapidly, it 
■dominated in the territorial government. The seat of government 
was within the bounds of Indiana. Under the Northwest Territory, 
both were subject to Ohio domination. Prior to American occupa- 
tion, under the British both were ruled from Quebec through Detroit : 
but under the French both were ruled from New Orleans ; and under 
both British and French rule Illinois was the dominating factor. 

The dominance of Illinois began in the time of LaSalle. who in- 
duced all of the Indian tribes of Indiana to move into Illinois and 
join his confederacy, which was located around Starved Rock on the 
Illinois river, leaving Indiana uninhabited. After his death the 
tribes gradually moved back to their old homes on the Wabash, and 
north of it, but there were no permanent white settlements in Indiana 
for many years, though there were i^robably French trading houses 
near the site of Ft. W'ayne as early as 1718, and at Ouiataiion in 
1720. ("Indiana," American Commonwealth Series, Chapters 1 
and 2.) 

In this latter year there came to Kaskaskia a man who was destined 
to have a more permanent influence on the region than LaSalle. 
This was Nicolas Ignace de Beaubois, a Jesuit priest, born at Orleans. 
France, Oct. 15, 1689, who had come into Canada in 1718. When he 
was appointed cure at Kaskaskia, two years later, the place, which 
had until then been a mission only, was established as a parish. It 
should be understood that although the Bishop of Qnebec was eccle- 
siastical superior over Louisiana as well as Canada, the church es- 
tablishments of the two provinces were practically distinct, ami that 
of Louisiana was largely controlled by the Company of tlu^ Indies 
which supported the priests and missionaries of that province. In 


1722, owing to friction between the varions reliajions orders, the 
Louisiana authorities divided the spiritual jurisdiction among them, 
much as our Indian tribes w^ere i^arceled out to the various churches 
by President Grant. All the region north of the Ohio was given to 
the Jesuits, while, south of the Ohio, the region east of the Missis- 
sippi was assigned to the Discalced Carmelites, and that west of the 
river to the Capuchins. This arrangement lasted about six months, 
when the Bishop of Quebec, dissatisfied w^ith the w^ork of the Carmel- 
ites, added their district to that of the Capuchins. A year later, as 
the Capuchins did not furnish clergymen enough to suit the com- 
pany, it gave to the Jesuits all the territory north of Natchez, and 
restricted the Capuchins to the region south. This move alarmed the 
Capuchins, who demanded guaranty against further aggressions, and, 
finally, in 1725, the matter was permanently adjusted on the basis of 
the Natchez boundary, and confirmed by patent of the King. 

From the time Father de Beaubois was stationed at Kaskaskia, 
letters began to go to France urging the desirability of a post on the 
^^Ouabache,"' under which name was included the A^'abash proper and 
also the Ohio below the mouth of the Wabash; for during the first 
half of the eighteenth century the French always described the Ohio 
as emptying into the Wabash, and the Wabash as emptying into the 
Mis^sissippi. Father Charlevoix, LaHarpe, De Boisbriant, and De 
Beaubois himself, all joined in the call for a fort on the Ouabache. 

Meanwhile the Louisiana authorities w^ere being impressed with the 
fact that the Capuchins were not able to furnish the clergy needed in 
the province, and, on Feb. 20, 1726, they entered into an agreement 
with the Jesuits to supply missionaries not only for their own district 
but also for the Indians in the Capuchin district, and, in addition, to 
secure an establishment of nuns at New Orleans. To do all this. 
Father de Beaubois was to go to France, and in aid of his mission the 
Chevalier de Bourgmont gathered at New Orleans twenty-two Indian 
chiefs and other tribal representatives who were to accompany him. 
Just before they were to embark, the ship in which they were to sail 
sank at its moorings, and this so frightened the Indians that only 
half-a-dozen of them finally consented to go, the most important of 
these being the Mitchigamia chief Agapit Chicagou. In this connec- 
tion, permit me to diverge for a moment to say that the controversy 
which has so long raged in Illinois over the meaning of this word 
''Chicagou.'' is disposed of by a memoir of La Mothe Cadillac, the 
founder of Detroit, written in 1695 from Michilimackinac, where he 
then commanded. In describing the various French posts and Indian 
villages, he says: "The post of Chicagou comes next. This word sig- 
nifies the River of Garlic, because it produces naturally, without any 
cultivation, a very large quantity of it.*' (Margry's Decouvertes et 
Etablissements, Vol, 5, p. 128.) 

De Beaubois and his Indians w^ere well received in France. They 
were presented at court, and royally entertained. De Beaubois ac- 
com]:>lished all his undertakings, and sent over the nuns who founded 
the famous iTsuline Convent at New Orleans, and a supply of mis- 
sionaries, among w^hom was Father Stephen D'Outreleau, destined 
for the proposed establishment on the Ouabache. By this time the 


Oiiabache project had taken definite; shape, and apparently uruhtr iu- 
spiration of De Beaubois. During the Fn^rich njginie, all of Illiiif^is 
except the northeast corner was includ(;d in Louisiana, but the divid- 
ing line between it and Canada crossed the,' Wabash n(;ar the pres(;nt 
site of Terre Haute, and all of the Indians in Indiana lived north of 
that point. Consequently De Beau})ois would have no Indians for 
his Ouabache mission unless they could be induced to move;; and IIk- 
new plan was, instead of establishing a large and expensiv(i fort. tc> 
build a small one, and bring enough Indians to the lower Wal^ash to 
protect it from the English. To secure this n^sult, Sieur d(; \'in- 
cennes, who was with the Wabash Indians, and was very popular 
with them, was to be given a position in the Louisiana service, and to 
use his influence to induce the Indians to move. This lAnn was car- 
ried out, but not speedily, for not until the summer of 17IU did Vin- 
cennes get the leave their old village on the Vermilion, 
and begin building his fort. By that time De Beaubois had got into 
an awful row with the Louisiana authorities, and had been exxjelled 
from the province, while Father D'Outreleau had become weary of 
waiting and gone down the river. After narrowly escaping death at 
the hands of the Yazous, he located for a time at New Orleans, where 
he is said to have served as Spiritual Director of the Ursulines, and 
chaplain of the hospital. (The Mission to the Ouabache, Ind. Hist. 
Soc. Pubs., Vol. 3, No. 4; The Jesuit Relations, Vol. 67, p. 842; Vol. 
70, p. 248; Vol. 71, p. 169.) 

After the removal of Father De Beaubois the life seems to have 
been taken out of the mission work north of the Ohio so far as ag- 
gressive development was concerned. There were still priests labor- 
ing in this region, but their efforts were rather to hold the ground 
already occupied than to open new fields, and from all appearances 
they had ample work to occupy all their time at that. They had to 
cover a great deal of ground, and their flocks were not so deeply con- 
cerned with religious duties as they should have been. The preserved 
records of the Vincennes parish go back only to 1749, and \^^hat was 
done there prior to that time is uncertain. It appears, however, that 
there was some sort of church establishment at the place prior to that 
time, for the Abbe Tanguay states that Father Pacome Legrand. wlio 
died on Oct. 6, 1742, was at the time returning from a term of service 
at Vincennes. (Shea's Catholic Church in Colonial Days, p. 578. ) 
In the period of the preserved records the priests who served at Vin- 
cennes bore names familiar in the Illinois parishes. The first entries 
were made by Father Sebastian Louis Meurin. In 1752 the name of 
Father Peter du Jaunay appears. In 1758 Father Louis Vivier. 
writer of the well known letter from the Illinois in 1750 which appears 
in the Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses, came to Vincennes for a tliree 
years' stay. He was succeeded in November, 175(), by Father flulian 
Devernai, who was the last of the old Jesuits at Vincennes. 

The times on which Father Devernai fell were indeed troublous, 
for they covered the French and Indian war, which ended Frencli 
rule in America. When the news of the Treaty of Paris reached tlie 
Illinois country the settlers were filled with alarm, for they were 

—2 H 


handed over to the mercies of the Protestant English, the ancient 
enemies of their country. Many of them left the settlements, some 
going to New Orleans, and others to the region west of the Mississippi. 
Thither, to the new settlement of St. Louis, or Pain Court, as it was 
called, went Neyon de Villiers, commandant of the Illinois country, 
after calling St. Ange from Vincennes to take his place at Ft. Chart- 

You will pardon me for again diverging, to straighten out the St. 
Ange family, which has been sadly mixed by all of our historians. It 
has been a common impression that this St. Ange who came to the 
command of Ft. Chartres in 1764 was the same one that commanded 
there thirty years earlier. I corrected this error some years ago in 
my history of Indiana, getting a clue from a foot-note of Margry that, 
in 1736, after the disastrous Chickasaw campaign in which Sieiir de 
Vincennes was killed, the St. Ange then at Ft. Chartres asked for his 
place for his son. (Decouvertes et Etablissements, Vol. 6, p. 448.) 
I sent to Paris, and through the kindness of Miss Jessie McDonald 
— granddaughter of the late Senator Jos. E. McDonald — obtained a 
copy of the passage to which he refers. It is in a letter from Bien- 
ville, dated at New Orleans, June 29, 1736, recommending appoint- 
ments for the places of officers lost in the Chickasaw campaign, and 
reads as follows: 

"The death of M. de Vincennes leaves vacant a position of half-pay 
lieutenant. M. de St. Ange, the father, who has served the king for 
more than fifty years, and who had a son killed at the Chickasaws, 
has asked me to request this place for the last son who remains to 
him. He is commanding at present a little post on the Missouri, and 
M. D'Artaguiette has often spoken to me of him as a brave youth and 
one of much merit." 

Miss McDonald also obtained for me copies from the Alphabet 
Lafillard, or memorandum of appointments kept at Paris, of the fol- 
lowing entries under the name St. Ange: 

"St. Ang-e (pere) capitaine d'armes a la ^2 solde 

enseigne reforme (Louisiana) 20 mai 1722 

lieutenant " " 19 decembre 1722 

confirme par le roi 4 avril 1730 

capitaine reforme 17 avril 1738 

"St. Ang-e (fils aine.) 

enseigne reforme 19 decembre 1722 

enseigne au pied 1 avril 1730 

lieutenant 17 aout 1732 
tue a la guerre des sauvages & remplace 15 October 1736 

"St. Ange (cadet) 

lieutenant reforme 15 October 1736 

I also obtained from the Canadian archives a copy of a certificate 
made at St. Louis in 1773 by ''Louis St. Ange de Bellerive,'' then in 
the Spanish service, that he commanded at Post Vincennes from 173() 
to 1764, succeeding Sieur de Vincennes in the command. 

In 1885, Mr. O. W. Collett, of St. Louis, published the will of "Mr. 
St. Ange de Bellerive," who died at St. Louis on Dec. 27, 1774, and 
among his listed effects were the following: 


First, a commission or order from M. De La Buissoniere, wlio 
succeeded D'Artaguiette in command of the Illinois 8(jttJen)(,*ntb, dat(;d 
July 1, 1786, directing St. Ange to take command of th(i Post of tJie 
Pianguichats, which was the official title of Post Viric(jnri(;s at tliat 
time; second, a commission from the King as li(;ut(*nant reforriK'^ 
dated Oct. 16, 1736; third, a commission from th(i King as captain, 
dated Sept. 1, 1738. (Mag. of West Hist., Vol: 2, pp. 60-65. ^ 

These documents make it plain that there were three? St. Angf.s in 
the Louisiana service, a father and two sons; that the eld(;r son was 
killed in 1736; that the second son commanded at Vincenn(;s from 
1736 to 1764, and then at Ft. Chartres; and that the father probably 
died in 1738, after the issue to him of the commission as captain 
reforme on April 17, 1738, and before the issue of the commissicm as 
captain reforme to the surviving son on Sept. 1 of the same year. 
This last presumption is confirmed by entries in the jjarish records of 
Prairie du Rocher, in 1743 and 1744, concerning "Madame St. Ange, 
widow of the late M. de St. Ange, captain reforme." (Pub. No. 8. 
111. Hist. Library, pp. lo2, 138.) The record of his death will prob- 
ably be found at some future time buried away in some of the parish 
records of Illinois. 

It will be noted that Bienville calls the father "M. de St. Ange,*' 
and this title was usually given by his contemporaries, as, for ex- 
ample, in his memorandum concerning the war with the Fox Indians 
in 1730, in recommending the St. Anges, father and elder son, for 
promotion for meritorous service, Beauharnois calls the father "Sieur 
de St. Ange." In the son's certificate above mentioned, in his will. 
in the minutes of the formal surrender of Ft. Chartres (N. Y. Col. 
Docs., Vol. 10, p. 1161) and elsewhere, the son is called "St. Ange de 
Bellerive." American writers, myself among them, have adopted this 
nomenclature, and so careful and learned an investigator as the late 
E. G. Mason makes it "M. de St. Ange de Bellerive." But in years 
of search I have been unable to find any irace of any such title as 
"St. Ange" or "Bellerive," either in France or Canada. There was 
never any estate, seigniory or fief bearing either name. Whence 
then were these titles derived? 

As we have seen, Bienville states in 1736 that the father had then 
been in the King's service over fifty years, although he had been on 
the Louisiana rolls less than fifteen years. It is a matter of history 
that a Canadian officer called St. Ange accompanied Father Charle- 
voix on his trip down the Mississippi in 1721. (In his "Historical 
Journal," or letters to the Duchess de Lesdigieres — letter No. 27 — 
Charlevoix says: "M. de St. Ange who has since very much distin- 
guished himself against the Foxes, commanded my escort.") For- 
tunately the parish records of Canada have been made accessible 
through the magnificent Dictionnaire Genealogique of the Abbe 
Tanguay, and from it we find that the name "St. Ange" occurred in 
Canada only as a nickname, or ''surnom" of one Robert Groston, wlio 
was married at Quebec in 1693, and who was then a sergeant in the 
"Compagnie de Noyan." His bride was Marguerite, daughter of 
Christopher Crevier, who had already been three times widowed. 
She was first married to Jacques Fournier, May 14. 1657: si^cond to 


Michel Gamelin in 1663; and third to Francois Renon, Aug. 21, 1683, 
She bore the nickname of "Beilerive/' (Tangnay Diet. Geneal., Vol. 
4, p. 382.) To this couple were born six sons and two daughters, as 
appears by the Canadian parish records. Of the sons, Jacques, the 
third, died in infancy. Joseph, the second, and Dominique, the fifth, 
married and lived in Canada. But of the eldest, Pierre, christened 
Nov. 17, 1693; the fourth, Louis, christened Oct. 16, 1698; and the 
sixth, Louis Daniel, christened Feb. 20, 1702, the Canadian records 
give no further trace. Obviously Pierre was the one killed in 1736, 
and Louis was the one who commanded at Vincennes. He probably 
took on his mother's nickname to distinguish himself from his father, 
or because his father had survived the doughty Widow Renou and 
married again, for, as appears by the parish records of Prairie du 
Rocher,* the name of the Madame St. Ange who survived him was 
Elizabeth St. Romin. The French indicated a nickname by the word 
''dit," and it is possible that the St. Ange's themselves may have 
written it "de" without any thought of false pretense, for our French 
settlers were no slaves of custom in the matter of spelling. At any 
rate Louis Groston, dit St. Ange, dit Bellerive, was metamorphosed 
into Sieur de St. Ange de Bellerive in a permanent way. There was 
nothing remarkable in this change, for often these French nicknames 
superseded the original family names, and some of our Vincennes 
families have lost their original names altogether, and are known only 
by the nickname of some ancestor. Nor was it uncommon for an 
official to use his nickname for official signatures and to be so recog- 
nized officially. The last commandant at Vincennes was known 
officially only as "Ste Marie," but his real name was Jean Baptiste 
Racine. Our St. Ange's did not belong to the king-made nobility of 
the old world, but they were worthy pioneers in the nobility of 
America — God-made noblemen of high purposes, who served their 
generations well; and, incidentally, we may note with satisfaction 
that "the beautiful bank," which "Bellerive" signifies, was not a 
financial institution. 

But to resume, British rule was not the most serious affiiction of 
the clergy of the upper country. Following the suppression of the 
Jesuits in France, on June 9, 1763, the Superior Council of Louisiana 
issued a decree suppressing the Jesuits in the Province, forbidding 
their performance of religious functions, ordering all their property 
except the personal clothing and books of the priests to be seized and 
sold at auction, and the priests themselves to be expelled from the 
country. Fathers Watrin, Aubert and Meurin were turned out of 
their homes and sent down the river and Father Devernai was 
brought over from Vincennes and sent with them. The provisions 
and other property of the missions were seized and sold. (Jesuit Re- 
lations, Vol. 70, p. 281.) It must be confessed that this was a high- 
handed proceeding, at least as to the country north of the Ohio, which 

* The present population of Prairie du Rocher, and many others, pronounce this name as 
if it were Prairie du Roche. This is merely an instance of the inveterate French habit of ab- 
breviation, which gave us "Okas" for Kaskaskia, "Okos" for Cahokia. and "Opee" for 
Peoria. The name coidd not have been Prairie du Roche originally, because Roche is a fem- 
inine noun, and therefore would have been Prairie de la Roche. The final syllable of Rocher 
was formerly sounded, for Clark, who usually spelled phonetically, wrote it '•Paraderushi." 


had been ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris ori Feb. 10. 
1763; but King Pontiac was preventing the Jiritish from takirjg pos- 
session; and the Jesuit priests were bundled on to the; ''Miri(*rv(i'' and 
shipped to France on Feb. 6, 1764, excc^j^ting Father d(i la Morinie, 
who w^as allowed to remain until sjjring, and Father Mciurin. The 
latter insisted on returning to the Illinois country, which hjid Ix-cji 
left almost destitute of clergymen, and was finally permitted tfj do ho 
on signing an obligation to recognize no superior but the Supr^rior of 
the Capuchins at New Orleans, and to hold no communication with 
Quebec or Rome. 

It was indeed a deserted land to which Father Meurin niturncd. for 
not the Jesuits alone were gone. In 1698, when the missionary fever 
was on, the Seminary of Quebec, which was an outgrowth of the Sem- 
inary of Foreign Missions at Paris, had been given a grant of land at 
Cahokia, to found a residence for their mission to the Tamaroas at 
that point. This had been reconfirmed in 1717. In 1768 this post 
was held by the Rev. Francois Forget Duverger, a priest of the For- 
eign Missions. When he saw the country ceded to the English, and 
the Jesuits expelled, he sold all the property of the Seminary at Ca- 
hokia — house, land, mill, implements and slaves — notwithstanding 
the protests of his parishioners, and went down the river with the ex- 
iled Jesuits. The only priests then left in the upper country were 
two Franciscans at Ft. Chartres — Father Hippolyte and Father Luke 
Collet — and of these the former withdrew in 1764, and the latter died 
on Sept. 10, 1765 — a month before the formal surrender of the fort to 
Capt. Stirling by Capt. Louis St. Ange. 

Without means, and without expectation beyond the promise of the 
Louisiana authorities to solicit from the court an allowance of about 
$120 a yuar for his support. Father Meurin made his w^ay up the 
Mississippi and went to work. The task was too great for one man, 
and with poignant grief he saw both French and Indian converts slip- 
ping away from the restraints of the church. He appealed for aid to 
New Orleans, to Quebec, to Paris, and to Philadelphia, but for some 
time with little success. On Jan, 21, 1776, Rev. Olivier Briand was 
confirmed Bishop of Quebec — the office having been vacant since the 
death of Bishop Pontbriand on June 8, 17()0. The new bishop en- 
tered actively on the work of rehabilitating his demoralized see, but 
he did not get to take up his western domain for some months. In 
1767 Father Meurin wrote to him: "This Illinois country consists of 
only six villages, each of about fifty to sixty homes, not including a 
considerable number of slaves. These villages, on account of their 
distance and situation, w^ould each require a priest, especially in the 
English part — the parish of the Immaculate Conception at the Kas- 
kaskias, that of St. Joseph at Prairie du Rocher (which is only a suc- 
cursal of St. Anne at Fort Chartres, now abandoned by the inhabi- 
tants), and the parish of the Holy Family of the Kaokias or Tama- 
roas, and the Indians, It is twenty-five leagues from the first village 
to the last. On the French or Spanish side beyond the river are situ- 
ated the village of Ste Genevieve, title of St. Joachim, on which de- 
pend la Saline and the mines, and thirty leagues higher up the new 
village of St. Louis which is made up of the remnants of St. Philip 


and Fort Chartres. These two villages are as large as the former in 
inhabitants or in red and black slaves. St. Joachim or St. Genevieve 
is my residence, as it was stipulated in the conditions for my return 
to this country. From it I come every spring and visit the other vil- 
lages for Easter-tide. I return again in the autumn and whenever I 
am summoned on sick calls. This is all my infirmities and my means 
enable me to do, and this displeases and prejudices the people at St. 
Genevieve, who alone maintain and support me, and they complain of 
it. In this state the people, and especially the children and slaves, 
lack sufficient instruction, and, deprived of a pastor's vigilance, they 
are insensibly losing piety, and giving themselves up to vice. 

''There are still many families here in which religion prevails, and 
who justly fear it will die out with them. They join me in beseech- 
ing you to take compassion on their children, and to send them at 
least two or three priests, if your Lordship cannot send four or five^ 
who would be necessary, one of them with the title of Vicar General 
of your Lordship. 

"I endeavor to keep up the use of the public offices and prayers in 
my absence, to aid them to sanctify Sundays and holydays. There 
are many already who no longer come to church, or come only to 
show disrespect. Some, indocile or insolent, say openly enough that 
I have no authority, that I am not their pastor, that I have no right 
to give them advice, and that they are not obliged to listen to me. 
They would not have dared to speak so while Messrs. Stirling and 
Farmer were commandants. Under the rule of these two, no one 
dared commit the least disrespect. 

"For the last year St. Anne's Church has been without roof or 
doors, etc. 

•'The post of Vincennes on the Wabash among the Miami-Pinghi- 
chias, is as large as our best villages here, and needs a missionary 
even more. Disorders have always prevailed there; but have in- 
creased in the last three years. Some come here to be married or to 
perform their Easter duty. The majority cannot or will not. The 
guardian of the church publishes the banns for three Sundays. He 
gives certificates to those who are willing to come here, whom I pub- 
lish myself before marrying them. Those who are unwilling to come 
here, declare their mutual consent aloud in the church. Can such a 
marriage be allowed?" (Life and Times of Archbishop Carroll, pp. 

The keeper of the church here referred to was Etienne Phillibert, 
the village notary, who kept the church record in the absence of a 
priest, and gave private baptism to infants. He was commonly 
known by his nickname, "Orleans." He died April 25, 17H(). 

In the second letter to Bishop Briand, on May 9, 1767, Father 
Meurin wrote: "I am only sixty-one years old; but I am exhausted, 
broken down by twenty-five years mission work in this country, and 
of these nearly twenty years of malady and disease show me the gates 
of death. * * * I am incapable of long application or of bodily 
fatigue. I cannot therefore supply the spiritual necessities of this 
country, where the stoutest man could not long suffice, especially as 


the country is intersected by a /ery rapid and dangerous river. It 
would need four priests. If you can give only one, he shoiiJd he ;i]j- 
pointed for Kaokia." 

In June Bishop Briand sent a message of checjr in nipJy, appoint- 
ing Father Meurin his Vicar-General for all the Illinois country. On 
Aug. 7, he sent another, promising two priests in the spring, and with 
this inclosed Father Meurin's commission as Vicar-(ien(^ral, am] a 
pastoral letter addressed to "the inhabitants of Kaskaskia" but 
directed to be read in all the churches, exhorting the peophi to niturrj 
to their duty and to give obedience to Vicar-General M(mrin. This 
appointment came to the ears of Rocheblave, then commandant at 
New Orleans, who forbade Meurin to exercise any functions west of 
the Mississippi, and also issued a decree proscribing him, and order- 
ing his arrest for recognizing a foreign authority in Spanish territory. 

To the aid of this lone Jesuit, who was upholding the cross in the 
Upper Mississippi Valley, Father Pierre Gibault was sent in the 
spring of 1768., He was of an old Canadian family, his great grand- 
father, "Gabriel Gibaut, dit Poitevin," a native of Poictiers, France, 
having been married at Quebec, Oct. 30, 1667. His father and his 
grandfather, both of whom bore the same name of Pierre Gibaut ( The 
Abbe Tanguay dses this spelling of the family name, and treats 
Gibault, Gibeau, etc., as variations), were natives of Canada. His 
mother's maiden name was Marie-Joseph St. Jean. His parents 
were married Nov. 14, 1735, at Sorel, and he, the eldest son. was 
christened on April 7, 1737, at Montreal. After his primary- school- 
ing, and some travel in the western wilds, he was educated in theology 
at the Seminary of Quebec, and, by an odd coincidence, the expense 
of his education was paid out of a remnant of the Cahokia Mission 
property, which had been invested as a "rente" or mortgage annuity 
of 333 livres a year, on the Hotel de Ville. He was ordained at Que- 
bec on the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 1768. He celebrated his 
first mass on the following day, in the Ursuline Church, and served 
for a short time in the Cathedral at Quebec, after which he set out 
for the Illinois country. His journey was delayed by adverse weather 
but he reached Michilimackinac in July, and put in a week there, con- 
fessing the voyageurs and converted Indians, baptizing the children. 
and blessing one marriage. 

It was intended that he should locate at Cahokia, but on reaching 
the place a change of plans was made. Kaskaskia was the principal 
settlement, and the people there wanted the young priest, while the 
people of Cahokia wanted the veteran, so Father Meurin located there, 
taking charge also of Prairie du Kocher, and Father Gibault took up 
his residence at Kaskaskia, his first recorded service there being a 
baptism on Sept. 8, 1768. 

Soon after arriving at Kaskaskip, Father Gibault was attacked by 
the ague, which was always prevalent there, and had a long and ener- 
vating struggle with it; but he kept on incessantly with his pastoral 
work. By his efforts he not only succeeded in getting the people to 
attend to their church duties but also to pay their tithes, which, ac- 
cording to the Canadian usage, were one-twenty-sixth of the prcniuce. 
instead of one- tenth, but yet gave good support to the clergy in the 


times of the virgin fertility of the soil. He also attended to the 
spiritual wants of the Missouri settlements, from which Father 
Meurin was debarred, and in 1769 blessed the little chapel which the 
settlers had erected at St. Louis. In the same year, evidently at the 
desire of Father Meurin, Bishop Briand made him Vicar-General for 
this region. It was not until the winter of 1769-70 that he reached 
Vincennes, and then through peril; for hostile Indians beset the set- 
tlements, and twenty- two of the people had fallen victims to them since 
he reached the country. Shea says that "the frontier priest always, in 
these days of peril, carried a gun and two pistols," so that Maurice 
Thompson's description of the armament of "Father Beret," in "Alice 
of Old Vincennes," has historical basis. Father Gibault reached the 
little post in safety, and in a letter to Bishop Briand, after deploring 
the vices and disorder that prevailed there, he says : 

"However, on my arrival, all crowded down to the banks of the 
River Wabash to receive me, some fell on their knees, unable to 
speak; others could speak only in sobs; some cried out: 'Father, save 
us, we are almost in hell;' others said: 'God has not then yet aban- 
doned us, for He has sent you to us to make us do penance for our 
sins. * * * Oh sir, why did you not come sooner, my poor wife, 
my dear father, my dear mother, my poor child, would not have died 
without the sacraments." (Life and Times of Archbishop Carroll, p. 

For two months. Father Gibault remained at Vincennes, and not 
only revived the faith of the Catholics, but also brought into the fold 
a Presbyterian family which had settled there. The parishion(!rs 
gave earnest of their zeal by erecting a new church — a wooden struct- 
ure that was occupied for some fifteen years, (The somewhat more 
substantial church which followed this one was also erected through 
the efforts of Father Gibault. Life and Times of Archbishop Car- 
roll, p. 470.) and when he set out for Kaskaskia a guard of twenty 
men accompanied him across the Illinois prairies. 

On his return he found the Spanish in possession of the region 
west of the Mississippi, but with no priests. He ministered to them 
until 1772, when Father Dagobert, Superior of the Capuchins at New 
Orleans sent Father Valentine as parish priest to St. Louis and, in 
the next year. Father Hilary to Ste. Genevieve. This left Father 
Gibault free to devote his time to the country east of the river, but 
that occupied him fully, for Father Meurin, was old and feeble, and 
in 1774 a crushing message came to him from New Orleans in the 
news that Pope Clement XIV had suppressed the Society of Jesus. 
In the whole Valley of the Mississippi Father Meurin, who had labor- 
ed so faithfully there, was the only priest affected by the Brief of 
Suppression; and he, who had kept on with his work for more than a 
decade without local or provincial superior, now threw himself on the 
mercy of Bishop Briand. and wrote to him: "Free, I would beseech 
and beg your charitable goodness to be a father to me, and admit ab- 
solutely among the number of your clergy, instead of an auxiliary as 
I have been since February 1, 1742. I should deem myself happy, if, 
in the little of life left me, I could repair the cowardice and negli- 


gence of which I have been guilty in the space (jf thirty-three yearn. 
If you will adopt m(i, I am sur(3 you will pardon rue und ask mercy 
for me/' (Life of Archbishop (yarroll, p. 129.) 

In 1775 Father Gibauit visited (panada, and on liis return reache-d 
Michilimackinac in September. Aft(^r waiting a montli without find- 
ing opportunity to reach the Illinois, he returned for tlie winter to 
Detroit, making the journey in a canoe, with great jieril and suffer- 
ing. He wTote from Detroit, on Dec. 4, to Bishop Briand: "The suf- 
fering I have undergone between Michilimackinac and this place lias 
so deadened my faculties that I only half feel my chagrin at being 
unable to proceed to the Illinois. I shall do my best not to bf? use- 
less at Detroit, and to relieve the two venerable old priests wh(j attend 
it." (Life of Archbishop Carroll, p. 130.) He had visited N'incennes 
in March 1775, and did not reach that point again until the summer 
of 1777, Phillibert officiating in lay capacity in the meantime. 

The Revolutionary War was now under way, and the harassing of 
the frontiers by Indian allies of the British led to the memorable ex- 
pedition of George Rogers Clark. Imagination could hardly picture 
anything more desperate than this undertaking. With a force of less 
than 200 men (English, Conquest of the Northwest, Vol. 1, p. 154.) 
and a military chest supplied only with 8,000 pounds sterling of 
almost worthless Virginia scrip, he marched into the Northwest. It 
was evident that he could succeed only through the friendship and 
cooperation of the French settlers, and Clark realized it. And of all 
of these, now that their old military leaders were gone, no man's in- 
fluence was so important as that of Father Gibauit, who for ten years 
had ministered to the spiritual wants of the x^eople, had advised them 
in their business and other affairs, had baptized their children, liad 
given consolation to their sick, had buried their dead. The astute 
American leader understood this, and was well pleased when after the 
capture of Kaskaskia, the priest came with half-a-dozen elderly citi- 
zens to ask the privilege of assembling the people in the church that 
they might prepare for their separation. He extended a little hope, 
and was not surprised when, after spending some time at the church, 
the delegation returned, with Father Gibauit at its head. Says Clark. 
in his memoir: "They remained a considerable time in the church, 
after which the priest and many of the principal men came to me to 
return thanks for the indulgence shown them, and begged permission 
to address me further on the subject that was more dear to them than 
anything else; that their present situation was the fate of war: that 
the loss of their property they could reconcile; but were in hopes that 
I would not part them from their families; and that the women and 
children might be allowed to keep some of their clothes and a small 
quantity of provisions." This was the point of depression at whicli 
Clark was prepared to act. He says: "I asked them very abnqnly 
whether or n'ot they thought they w^ere speaking to savages: that 1 
was certain they did from the tenor of their conversation. Did \\\c\ 
suppose that we meant to strip the women and children, or take the 
iDread out of their mouths or that we would condescend to make war 
on the women or children or the church? It was to prevent the oWu- 
sion of innocent blood by the Indians, through the instigation of tluMr 


commanders' emissaries, that caused us to visit them, and not the 
prospect of plunder; that as soon as that object was attained we 
should be perfectly satisfied; that as the King of France joined the 
Americans, there was a probability of there shortly being an end of 
the war (this information very apparently affected them.) They were 
at liberty to take which side they pleased, without any dread of losing 
their property or having their families destroyed. As for their church, 
all religions would be tolerated in America, and so far from our inter- 
meddling with it, that any insult offered to it should be punished; and 
to convince them that we were not savages and plunderers, as they 
had conceived, that they might return to their families and inform 
them that they might conduct themselves as usual, with all freedom 
and without api^rehensions of any danger." 

This declaration relieved all fear, and the town was soon in a noisy 
demonstration of joy and gratitude. And the effect was lasting, for 
the French volunteered to go to Cahokia and indiice their friends 
there to join the American cause, and in a few days the Illinois settle- 
ments were peopled with men who had taken the oath of allegiance 
to the American colonies. 

In his broad promise of religious toleration Clark was perhaps 
wiser than even he realized, for the church had suffered under British 
rule. Of course, the French authorities of Louisiana were responsi- 
ble for the expulsion of the Jesuits, but it had occurred after the 
country had been subject to Great Britain. Moreover, church prop- 
erty, and especially that of the Seminary at Cahokia, which had been 
unlawfully disposed of, had not been restored. The English com- 
mandants were repeatedly asked to restore the Cahokia mission prop- 
erty, but refusea to do so, and Gibault was never able to carry out his 
instructions from the Bishop of Quebec in regard to it. Moreover, 
Clark states in his letter to Mason that Gibault, in his recent visit to 
Canada had become somewhat acquainted with the issues between 
Great Britain and the colonies, and "was rather prejudiced in favor 
of us." He further states that when the declaration of religious freedom 
was made to Gibault, it "seemed to complete his happiness." Cer- 
tainly Gibault was heart and soul with the Americans from that time 
forward. He promoted the movement for bringing all the French of 
the Illinois settlements into allegiance; he volunteered to go to Post 
Vincennes and win over the people there; in company with Dr. 
Lefont he made this journey, administered the oath of allegiance to 
the French settlers, secured possession of the fort, and urged 
the Indians to take sides with the Americans as the French were 
doing. After Hamilton had recaptured Vincennes, when Clark start- 
ed on his desperate winter march to retake it, Gibault made a patri- 
otic address to the troops, and gave his blessing to them and their 
enterprise. Perhaps even more important were his services in a fi- 
nancial way for he publicly sold his own property to the Americans, 
accex)ting for it Virginia scrip at face value, and by his example he 
induced the Frenc^h settlers and merchants to do the same. Judge 
Law did not at all overestimate Gibault's services when he said, ''To 
him, next to Clark and Vieo, the Ignited States are more indebted for 


the accession of the states comprised in what was the original north- 
western territory than to any other man." (History of \"\n(-<tiii\f<. 
p. 55.) 

There is perhaps a better measure of Fath(ir (jfibaulfs sacriiicf-s for 
the American cause in the testimony of his enemies than in that of 
his friends, for the British recognized the damage ha had done to 
them ever more keenly than the Americans recognizcid the sfirvine to 
their cause. Immediately after hearing of (Jlark's capture of Kask^js- 
kia, Hamilton sent a dispatch with the information, in which ha said: 
"The rebels have sent a detachment with an offic(;r to (^ahokia tf) re- 
ceive the submission of the inhabitants, and the pcjrson who brought 
the account has no doubt but those of St. Vincennes an? by this time 
summoned, as a French priest named Cxibault had his hors(i ready 
saddled to proceed there, from Cahokia. with design to act as agent 
for the rebels. This Ecclesiastic is a fellow of infamous morals, and 
I believe very capable of acting such a part." (Griffin's Am. (.'atli. 
Hist. Researches, Vol. 8, No. 4, (Oct. 1891) p. 18().) In the year aft(-r 
Gen. Hamilton had retaken Vincennes, a half-dozen of the French 
militia, having deserted him, he wrote: "One of the deserters was 
a brother to Gibault, the priest, who had been an active agent for the 
rebels and whose vicious and immoral conduct was sufficient to do in- 
finite mischief in a country where ignorance and bigotry give full 
scope to the depravity of a licentious ecclesiastic. This wretch it was 
who absolved the French inhabitants from their allegiance to the 
King of Great Britain. To enumerate the vices of the inhabitants 
would be to give a long catalogue, but to assert that they are not in 
possession of a single virtue is no more than truth and justice recjuire: 
still the most eminently vicious and scandalous was the Revc^rend 
Monsieur Gibault." (English, Conquest of the Northwest, Vol. 1. 
p. 242.) 

These bursts of wrath from the "hair-buying general" would be 
almost amusing were it not that the slander here uttered was persist- 
ently repeated, and worked most serious injury to the victim. In 1779 
Lt. Gov. St. Clair reported: "General Carlton and the Bishop sent 
up one Gibou, a priest, on a mission for reasons best known to them- 
selves, the part which he at present takes in the rebel interest and 
may hereafter improve upon, requires in my humble opinion a }ii(ni- 
date from Mon Seigneur for his aj)pearance at Quebec. His conduct 
will certainly justify me to the General in making this representation, 
and I do it to avoid any future severity which may, by means of 
Indians, be necessary to direct against an individual of the sacred 
and respectable clergy. He removes to the Spanish and this sidt* of 
the Mississippi occasionallv, and maybe addressed at theCascaskies." 
(LetterofLt.Gov. St. Clair to Capt. Brehm, dated Oct. 15, 1779. 
Haldimand papers — quoted in Am. Cath. Hist. Researches. Vol. 5, 
No. 1 (Jan. 1888) p. 52.) In 1780, perhaps in pursuance of this sug- 
gestion, the Bishop of Quebec ordered him to present hiuis(4f and 
answer certain accusations that had been made against him. ( Records 
of the American Catholic Historical Soc, Vol. 12, p. -188. Miss Pey- 
ton's prize essay.) The exact character of the accusation is not 
known, and it appears that the order was not pressec^. for (libault did 


not go to Quebec, though he made defense by letter in 1786 to the 
charges accumulated to date. In his letter of June 6, of that year, 
he gave the old and simple answer, "The works that I do in my 
Father's name, they bear witness of me" — putting it in these words: 

"To all the pains and hardships I have undergone in my different 
journeys to most distant points, winter and summer, attending so 
many villages in Illinois distant from each other, in all weathers, 
night and day, snow or rain, wind, storm or fog on the Mississippi, so 
that I never slept four nights in a year in my own bed, never hesi- 
tating to start at a moment's notice, whether sick or well, how can a 
priest who sacrifices himself in this way, with no other view than 
God's glory, and the salvation of his neighbor, with no pecuniary 
reward, almost always ill-fed, unable to attend to both spiritual and 
temporal needs; how, I say, can you know such a priest zealous to 
fuliill the duties of his holy ministry, careful to watch over his flock, 
instruct them in the most important tenets of religion, instruct the 
young unceasingly and untiringly not only in Christian doctrine but 
teaching the boys to read and write, as one who gives scandal, and is 
addicted to intoxication?" (Life and Times of Archbishop Carroll, 
p. 470.) 

All the evidence existing confirms this statement, and indicates 
that these charges were utterly unfounded. His own letters bear 
testimony. In this same year he writes to Bishop Briand from Vin- 
cennes: "I should be well enough pleased with the people, were it 
not for the wretched liquor trade which I cannot eradicate, and which 
compels me to refuse the sacraments to several, for the Indians com- 
mit horrible disorders when in liquor." (Life of Archbishop Carroll, 
p. 470.) These were indeed strange sentiments for a man "addicted 
to intoxication" — a man who carried his temperance reform work to 
the extent of refusing the sacraments of the church to a liquor dealer 
who refused to submit to regulation. 

But Father Gibault's good character has other witnesses. Father 
Meurin, himself a post-graduate in the hardships of missionary life, 
had always the warmest commendation for his assistant. He wrote: 
"M. Gibault is full of zeal, and for this reason he cannot last lon^, 
unless it pleases our God to renew ancient miracles; he has often to 
go on perilous journeys, across woods and mountains, exposed to 
weather, rivers and torrents. M. Gibault, since his arrival in this 
country, has always been sick of fevers — first great and dangerous, 
then slight and slow, — against which his courage has always sus- 
tained him so that he could perform his duties in the parish of the 
Immaculate Conception at Kaskaskia." (Records of Am. Cath. Hist, 
Soc, Vol. 12, p. 472.) That his superiors held him in esteem is con- 
clusively shown by his retention as Vicar- General by the Bishop of 
Quebec so long as this region was in his jurisdiction. It is unques- 
tionable that his people had high regard for him, and it is notable 
that in one of the few printed documents of the Illinois country of 
this period — a pamphlet printed about 1772, urging better govern- 
ment, the establishment of schools, etc. — is found the testimonial. 
"We have had a long experience of the exemplary piety and virtue of 
our worthy Fathers Meurin and Gibault." (Quoted in Life of Arch- 


bishop Carroll, p. 182.) In the face of this evi(l(;nf*e no ori(- carj on-rlit 
such charges with so evident a source of nial(;vol(*ric(* iu plain view. 
Nevertheless the reiterated slander had sonu; (iifect, and it w;ih iu\(\<'(\ 
to by a peculiar complication. After th(; tn^aty with (ircat ijritain 
at the close of the Revolutionary war, the authorities at Konie made 
the church in the United States indeiX3nd(mtof thfjdiocese of London: 
and in 1784 John Carroll of Baltimore, was mad(i Pref(?ct Apostolic 
for the United States, and, in 1790, Bishoj) of a (]ioc(;se including 
them. He naturally assumed that thci Illinois country was in his 
jurisdiction, and appointed Rev. Huet de la Valinic^rc his Vicar-(ien- 
eral for the region. But Detroit and th(3 country about the lakes was 
still held by the British, and the Bishoj) of (,)uebec still exercised 
control there. Neither Bishoi^ Briand nor his successor. Bishop 
Hubert relieved Father Gibault of his resijonsibility as Vicar- (Gen- 
eral, and as he declined to give way without orders from his superior, 
a double spiritual rule ensued and continued until 1791, when Father 
Gibault withdrew from Cahokia, where he had been officiating, and 
retired to the Spanish territory west of the Mississippi. It is (juite 
probable that this withdrawal was partly due to Father (Tibnnlt's 
treatment by the United States authorities. 

In the spring of 1790, Congress having ordered donations of lands 
to those who had served in the militia. Father Gibault asked for a 
small return for his services. His letter addressed to Gov. St. Clair 
is well known, and there is a simple pathos in its recitation of his 
sacrifice of 7,800 livres in goods and money to aid Clark, not a cent of 
which had been repaid, of the straits to which he had been reduced 
on this account, of his hope that justice would be done, and of his 
continued service to the United States. He says, "The love of his coun- 
try and of liberty has also led your memorialist to reject all of the 
advantages offered him by the Spanish government; and he endeavored 
by every means in his power, by exertions and exhortations, and by 
letters to the principal inhabitants, to retain every person in the do- 
minion of the United States in expectation of better times, and giving 
them to understand that our lives and property, having been employed 
twelve years in the aggrandizement and preservation of tht^ United 
States, would at last receive acknowledgment, and be compensatetl 
by the enlightened and upright ministers, who sooner or later would 
come to examine into and relieve our situation." He asked for the 
old Cahokia mission property, about five acres, the title to which had 
been unsettled for so long that nobody seemed to have any claim to 
it. (Am, State Papers, Pub. Lands, Vol. 1. p. 21.) But. unfortu- 
nately for his hopes, St. Clair had no authority to make such a grant, 
and reported the request to Washington, saying, "I believe no injury 
would be done to anyone by his request being granted, but it was nc^t 
for me to give away the lands of the United States."* (Am. State 
Papers, Pub. Lands, Vol. 1, p. 14.) 

Shea states that this request was granted, but that Bishop Carn>ll 
entered a protest against the proposal to couA-ey church ])roivrty to 
an individual, and "apparently in consequence the Rev. Mr. Gihault 
left the Diocese of Baltimore and retired to the Spanisli territory be- 
yond the Mississippi.'' (Life of Archbishop Carroll, p. 17:2. ) 1 find 


no basis for this statement. It is hardly possible that Bishop Carroll 
could have interposed while the matter was in Governor St. Clair's 
hands, and if he had St. Clair would probably have mentioned it. No 
one else had any authority to make the donation except Congress, and 
there is nothing to indicate any movement in that direction by Con- 
gress. It was a case of seeking relief from a wrong source, a mistake 
natural enough to one accustomed to the plenary power of the French 
commandants, who made all the land grants in the olden time. There 
is mention made in a list of allotments to "heads of families" which 
had never been confirmed, but which "ought to be confirmed," of one 
to Pierre Gibault, but the owner of the claim at the time was John 
Rice Jones, to whom the original allottee had evidently been obliged 
by his necessities, to sell his claim, and if the claim was ever con- 
firmed, it, of course, was to Jones. ^ 

1— American State Papers, Public Lands, II, 229. 

It has also been commonly stated by historians that Father Gibault 
received a "concession" of a small tract of land in Vincennes from 
Secretary Winthrop Sargent, the impression being given that this 
was a donation from the government. This is entirely erroneous. 
Sargent, as well as St. Clair, acted under the congressional resolution 
of August 29, 1788, which, among other things, provided for "confirm- 
ing in their possessions and titles, the French and Canadian inhabit- 
ants and other settlers at Post St. Vincents who, on or before the 
year 1783 had settled there, and had professed themselves citizens of 
the United States, or any of them and for laying ofi^ to them, at their 
own expense, the several tracts which they rightfully claim, and 
which may have been allotted to them according to the laws and 
usages of the government under which they have respectively settled." 
(Jounals of Congress, Vol. 4, p. 858.) 

This was a legal obligation on the United States, expressly im- 
posed by the deed of cession from Virginia, which stipulated that 
the private property rights of the French settlers should be protected. 
Sargent included this lot of Gibault's in his list of the "ancient 
rights" that were to be surveyed "at the expense of the proper claim- 
ants;" and the only "concession" he made was the concession that 
Father Gibault had shown by legal evidence that he was the owner 
of, and entitled to possession of it. 

But even this confirmation of ancient titles, which was intended as 
an act of justice, was in reality a serious hardship to the French set- 
tlers, and Gibault and eighty-seven others united in a protest to the 
government against it. In this document they maintained that the 
order was neither necessary nor judicious, saying: "It does not ap- 
pear necessary, because, from the establishment of the colony to this 
day, they have enjoyed their property and possessions without dis- 
putes or lawsuits on the subject of their limits; that the surveys of 
them were made at the time the concessions were obtained from their 
ancient kings, lords and commandants; and that each of them knew 
what belonged to him, without attempting an encroachment on his 
neighbor, or fearing that his neighbor would encroach on him. It 
does not aj)pear adapted to pacify them, because, instead of assuring 
to them the peaceable possession of their ancient inheritance, as they 


have enjoyed it till now, that clause obliges them to bear exjx^nses 
v^hich, in their present situation, th(3y ar(} absolutely ineapabJe of 
paying, and for the failure of which th(iy must b(; deprived (A' thr-jr 

"Your excellency is an eye-witness of th(i pov(;rty to whicli i\ut in- 
habitants are reduced, and of the total want of ijrovisions to subsist 
on. Not knowing where to find a morsel of bread to nourish th<?ir 
families, by what means can they supjjort the expense of a surv(;y 
ivhich has not been sought for on their parts, and for which it is cou- 
•ceived by them there is no necessity? Loaded with misery, and 
groaning under the weight of misfortunes, accumulatcid since the 
Virginia troops entered their country, the unhappy inhabitants thnjw 
themselves under the protection of your excellency, and take the lil)- 
■erty to solicit you to lay their deplorable situation before Congress: 
and, as it may be interesting for the United States to know exactly 
the extent and limits of their ancient possessions, in order to ascer- 
tain the lands which are yet at the disposal of Congress, it appears to 
them, in their humble opinion, that the expense of survey ought more 
properly to be borne by Congress, for whom alone it is useful, than 
hy them who do not feel the necessity of it." (Am. State Papers. 
Public Lands, Vol. 1, p. 16.) 

This may seem a dark picture, but it is not overdrawn. Even na- 
ture seemed to have turned against these people, and floods, frosts and 
droughts ruined their crops. There was actual famine. People lost 
their lives by eating poisonous roots to satisfy their hunger. Grov. 
St. Clair and Major Hamtramck not only testified to the facts, but 
furnished corn from the government supplies to the starving people. 
(Dunn's Indiana, pp. 2()8-9.) In truth, our French friends fared 
hardly under American rule, and none so badly as Father Gibault, 
who did not get any return in land as a militiaman or the head of a 
family, and lost his ecclesiastical support on account of the change of 
jurisdiction. He never received a particle of compensation from Vir- 
giana or the United States for his services, and he never received one 
'oent of repayment for money and goods actually furnished to our 
troops. The situation seems almost incredible, but it was a horrible 
reality. The French claimants had neither the knowledge nor the j^e- 
•cuniary ability to press their claims, and there w^as no one to do it for 
them. In truth, the situation of the French settlers justifies tliis 
•conclusion of President Roosevelt: 

"The conquest of the Illinois Territory was fraught with the deep- 
est and most far-reaching benefits to all the American people: it like- 
wise benefited, in at least an equal degree, the boldest and most ener- 
getic among the French inhabitants, those who could hold their own 
among freemen, who could swim in troubled waters: but it may well 
be doubted whether to the mass of the ignorant and simple Creoles it 
was not a curse rather than a blessing." (Winning of the West. 
Vol. 2, p. 185.) 

To Sargent's credit be it said that on July 31, 1790, he wrote to tlie 
President: "I must take the liberty of representing to Conirress. by 
desire of the citizens of this country, and as a matter which 1 humbly 
-conceive they should be informed of , that there are. not only at this 


place (Vincennes) but in the several villages upon the Mississippi, 
considerable claims for supplies furnished troops of Virginia, before 
and since 1788, which no person yet has been authorized to attend to, 
and which is very injurious to the interest and feelings of men who 
seem to have been exposed to a variety of distresses and impositions 
by characters pretending to have acted under the orders of that gov- 

This was sent to Congress, but nothing was done. It is not sur- 
prising that after years of weary waiting Father Gibault at length 
abandoned the country of his choice and went to the Spanish settle- 
ments beyond the Mississippi, where he might at least hope to avoid 
starvation. Of his life after that time the fullest information collect- 
ed is by the Rev. J. Sasseville, cure of the Parish of Ste. Foye, near 
Quebec, who says: "In 1790, M. Gibault still resided at the parish 
of Cahokia, as the date in his memoir indicates. The registers of this 
parish still bear his signature the following year, when he disappeared 
without ever returning. In the archives of the Archbishop of St. 
Louis, we find that M. Gibault gave a mission among the Arkansas 
in 1792 and 1793, and that this same year he was nominated pastor of 
New Madrid in the southern part of the State of Missouri. This is 
the last trace we have of him. My final researches have been unsuc- 
cessful. It is certain that he died at New Madrid in the end of the 
last century or at the beginning of the present." (Lambing's Cath- 
olic Historical Researches, Vol. 2, p. 118.) Shea says that he died at 
New Madrid in 1804. (Life of Archbishop Carroll, p. 596.) Unfor- 
tunately the old parish records of New Madrid were destroyed by fire 
during the Civil War, and it may now be impossible to ascertain the 
date with certainty. The probability is, as stated by Edmond Mallet 
that he passed his last days "in unmerited poverty and obscurity 
among his compatriots of the Mississippi Valley, and that his ashes 
rej)ose in the land which he illumined by his charity and patriotism. 
The Republic may -yet repair its neglect of this great patriot, and the 
Grreat West may yet erect a monument to his memory. Be that as it 
may, his name must ever be cherished by American Catholics as one 
of the foremost of those glorious heroes of the faith who merited well 
of their country during the struggle for American Independence.'' 
("Very Rev. Pierre Gibault, the Patriot Priest of the West," in 
Washington Catholic, September 30, 1882. By an evidently erro- 
neous citation of this article, Mr. Shea does a great injustice to its 
author by charging him with holding Father Gibault responsible for 
executions for witchcraft in the Illinois country. Life of Archbishop 
Carroll, p. 190. There is absolutely no reference to the subject in the 
article. I have never found the charge anywhere except in Roose- 
velt's Winning of the West, Vol. 2, p. 175. It is there based on an 
inferential argument that is very far from being conclusive.) 

It is cause for congratulation that the Illinois State Historical So- 
ciety has taken up the task of seeing that a suitable memorial is given 
to this American ijatriot, for one may well (juestion whether we of 
this generation have room to criticise our predecessors, his contempo- 
raries, for their neglect. True they neglected him in his life, but we 
have neglected him in the tomb. They were more closely acquainted 


with his great and unquestionable services, but they who knew this 
region as the wilderness of more than a century ago h;j(l no crinrcp- 
tion of the magnitude of those services as have wc;, who know to-day 
the empire he contributed so largely to giv(3 us. We realize, as they 
did not, that his service to our country was not only in the aid givcm 
to Clark, but also in the long life of arduous labor for th(i welfare of 
the people and the reclamation of the fertile land we enjoy, and yf^t 
we have let the record of those labors lie in our midst unpu})lish('f]. 
almost inaccessible, and in danger of destruction by fire as cK:curr<'d 
to the parish records of New Madrid and Pensacola or from other 
cause. And we have done this to our own hurt, for we profess tc; b(? 
interested in the history of this region, and yet we have sj^ent years 
puzzling over questions that would be readily answered if the ancient 
records of the parishes in which Father Gibault officiated were pub- 
lished. I have mentioned how we have stumbled and grofjed in the 
dark in the case of the St. Ange family, and how even now we lack 
information concerning them that lies within our reach. This is })ut 
one of many cases. Indiana historians blundered for years concern- 
ing William Clark, one of the first judges of the Territorial Court of 
Indiana. Some confused him with William Clark, a prominent land 
surveyor of the territory. Some confused him with William Clark, 
brother of George Rogers Clark, and subsequently of the celebrated 
Lewis and Clark expedition. At length Hon. W. H. English thought 
to have an investigation made of the parish records of Vincennes, and 
there was found the record of his death and burial, fully explaining 
the mystery. (Conquest of the Northwest, Vol. 2, p. 1015.) 

Moreover, while the Eastern states are collecting and publishing 
all the information that can be obtained concerning their revolution- 
ary soldiers, shall we neglect this mine of information concerning the 
revolutionary soldiers of this region who served under George Rogers 
Clark and whose services were recognized and rewarded by their 
American contemporaries? Do we not owe them something? 

It may be thought that the work proposed is large. In reality it is 
small as compared with the similar work covering all the ancient i^ar- 
ish records of Canada, every item of which is made available in the 
great Genealogical Dictionary of Canada by the Abbe Tanguay. 
Shall not this generation do its duty to that past generation and to 
Father Gibault by the publication of a Gibault Memorial Volume 
which shall include the ancient parish records of this region, and the 
correspondence from the clergy that lies unpublished in the archives 
of the Bishop of Quebec? Surely Illinois, Indiana and Missouri owe 
this much to the man who was Vicar General of this region for twen- 
ty years, and who did so much to bring it into the United States. 

It may be said that this would be more a service to ourselves than 
a memorial to him. Not so. We can do him no direct service. In 
such a situation, confronted by unrequited merit, we may well remem- 
ber the solemn words: 

"Can storied urn or animated bust 
Back to its mansion call the fleeting- breath? 

Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust? 

Can flattery soothe the dull, cold ear of death? 

—3 H 


The utmost we can do for Father Gibault is to hold him in grate- 
ful memory, and make the record of his service known to the world, 
that others may do likewise. But if he could speak, — if we could ask 
him what memorial he would prefer — can we doubt, knowing his life 
of self-sacrifice and labors for others, that he would answer, "What- 
ever would most benefit my fellow men." And he would answer 
rightly, for in that service man attains title to the highest tribute that 
can be paid to the dead: "He rests from his labors, and his works do 
follow him." 





(By James Haines.) 

Our president has asked me to write about ''Social LitV' and Sf<'iies 
in the Early Settlement of Central Illinois." I should Vje gofxl 
authority on this theme as I lived continuously through and was an 
ardent participant in all its young activities from tive years of age up 
to this mv eighty-second year. 



A plain, succinct account of the labors, pursuits, interests, amuse- 
ments and achievements of common life during a period of nearly 
thirty years will display about what I wish to lay before my hean^s. 
This survey will bring my comments up to about 1855. And I wish 
to present it as if a transcript of my young, fresh memory-plates were 
spread out palpably before you to read from. To do this I know is 
very difficult. And even if this be fairly done I cannot then hope 
you will see incidents, events and results as my young, eager eyes and 
faculties saw and recorded them then. 

To give you my impressions of that early time in all their vivid- 
ness, I cannot hope to do in their fullness. But I may expect better 
success in reaching your understanding if I j)lace you as nearly as I 
can in possession of the conditions and surroundings of the early in- 
habitants of Central Ilinois during this pioneer period which T i)ro- 
pose to write about and discuss as intelligently as I can. 

For portrait of this condition and the environment my memory is 
quite the sole authority. Books were not written in this locality 
then, diaries or records were not kept of current events and even im- 
portant transactions worthy of local history were not recorded. It' 
such records had been made by the authors and participants in the 
local history of that time it would be a far easier and more succt^ssful 
task to write and fill with interest and intelligence^ the story I wonld 
fain rehearse for your ears, and the picture I wonld like to paint to 
feast your eyes upon, all in illustration of social life and scenes in the 
early settlement of central Illinois. There were no newsi)apers at 
first. Very few at any time — fewer novels and no librarit^s. 



7^ ^ ^ ^ y^ ^ ^ 

It is not the present population of central Illinois whose social 
life and scenes I wish to portray before you, but that of the pioneer 
population emigrating to and dwelling there in the early settlement of 
central Illinois. There was great variety too and disparity in this 
new-comer population. Gathered as it was from many and widely 
distant states of the older portions of the union, it would necessarily 
partake somewhat of each locality whence it came. Dress, manners, 
language ^nd occupation gave token of the land and race furnishing 
the supply of individuals to form the mass of population whose social 
life I wish to describe. 

All were common in dress, some rude in manner, few boisterous, 
mostly quiet in speech and slow in movement, very little refined as 
now gauged, no learning from books outside the bible, hymn, song, 
music, and school books. Intercourse between inmates and close rel- 
atives, frank, laconic, abrupt, good natured;with acquaintances only, 
and strangers, inquisitive, genial, tolerant and leading to more inti- 
macy. These characteristics I recall of men mostly. Women con- 
formed in milder degree of each phase of speech, manner and action. 

Necessary labor was fairly well performed but little love for it was 
displayed, except by the women, whose greatest and constant toil was 
feeding the hungry — cooking, housekeeping, nursing the children 
and sick — where as ever frorn first history they were always present, 
active, patient, successful and pleasing. * * * All females of age to 
work found constant, useful employment about their cabin homes at 
the time and place which I am trying to illustrate. 

Sheep were raised as much for their wool as for their flesh. Flax 
and cotton were cultivated too. All these home-grown materials 
combined to furnish a fairly full supply of home-made clothing for 
winter and summer. The hunter contingent for the population fur- 
nished a useful share of material for the clothing department as well 
as food supply. Preparation of the clothing material fell largely to 
the womankind, and after the web was produced cutting, fitting and 
making the garments for all the family was entirely their work, ex- 
cept moccasins, shoes and boots, which were made by the males of 
the family, or hired cobblers. 

All home-grown cotton had to be ginned by a rude home-made gin 
of my elder brother's invention and had to be carded by hand-cards as 
there was no power-driven machinery for that purpose then known to 
us. Thus production of cotton yarn for cotton cloth became tedious 
and a heavy draft on labor of the household, and was early abandoned 
by the new comers. But it was soon afterward quite easily obtained 
from St. Louis, Mo., by keel boats, Mackinaw boats and pirogues — 
very large canoes. Home-made cotton yarn was never used by the 
population I am writing of for warp or length- wise thread of cloth 
or web, but only for woof, or filling, as more generally designated 
then. Hence wool and flax became of general use as material for all 
our clothing and nearly all labor for its production was woman's work. 


'This added to "house affairs," care of children, nursing the sif:k. en- 
tertaining comimny, and going to mcietings— as chnrcli gatlierings 
were called — left little time for females of early (ventnil IlJiuois to 
'•cultivate and improve their minds" by reading and study of books 
or practice of literary pursuits. Would not a jury of present day 
women, on above evidence, excuse them if they failcnl in (;xaniin;]tion 
in "book-larnin" and "the higher education?" 

This jury would surely allow them — which I do not- time fr^r 
dressing. I ought to say something about their dress(;s— frocks, as 
then called, and about their dressing — putting these frocks on; but I 
fear I shall bungle here. As to the frock itself, first: It was com- 
posed of wool, flax, cotton, or a combination of two or mor(3 of th(;s<' 
materials, plain or plaid, relieved with all the colors of the rainljow. 
in part or whole, as fancy or taste dictated. For vegetable jjroduc- 
tions of prairie and of forest bark had well supj^lied all these colors 
to tliese embryo chemists seeking color, tint and shade. And these 
were fast colors too, not fading when the garments were cleansed by 
frequent washings. 

Their construction was usually much simpler than their ornamen- 
tation by color and stripe. A common garment for all females of 
working age while working in the cabin home during summer and 
mild weather was a common, plainly made skirt of "rainy day" length 
with sleeves attached, made of wool, flax or cotton, put on by sliioping 
it down over the head, fastening to its place by tying a draw-string 
of cord or tape fairly tight at the throat under the chin. A collar of 
same or kindred stuff, with plain, scalloped or stitched edge might be 
added around the neck, and a like draw-string inserted all round the 
skirt at a point desirable to establish the waist; and tied there like 
the draw-string round the neck. Puckering string we boys called 
this device. A few buttons, when obtainable, placed below the chin 
down the opening in front would complete the garment, and when 
properly donned would present a fully dressed female equipped for 
work in her home. This was the work-a-day dress or frock-slip it 
was usually called. Other and better dresses — frocks, all females of 
that time usually had, but I feel wholly incompetent to attempt their 
description before this present day, intelligent, critical and highly 
artistic audience. 

However, dressed in slips or frocks of w^ool, flax, cotton or tow- 
linen suitable to her work, occupation or position, the pioneer female 
of mature age and mind in the early settlement of Central Illinois 
was the peer of any of her sex in truth, purity, virtue and morality. 
Great Caesar himself could have sanely and safely chosen a wife 
there and then, without fear she would fall below his high require- 
ment — "Must be beyond suspicion." 


More intimate association between parents and children in the old 
pioneer days than now and sharing with them by the parents in ail 
important matters of family and life interests increased the kindred 
ties of blood, affection and love. This strengthened the force of 
parental control — convincing the children of that over-mastering 


power the parental tie, especially as manifested in the mother's love. 
Children were not spoiled "by sparing the rod" however, as some 
stings in my memory recall. 

Demonstrations not unfrequently witnessed then of the force of 
these sentiments calls to mind what the same great poet wrote of 
parental affection near the period we are now considering: 

"Some feeling's are to mortals g-iven 
With less of earth in them than heaven, 
And if there be one human tear 
From passion's dross refined and clear — 
A tear so limpid and so meek 
It would not stain an ang-eFs cheek, 
'Tis that which pious parents shed 
Upon duteous childhood's head."' 

Perhaps I have given more space and more fatigue to my helpless 
hearers in praising the female branch of my subject and "magnifying 
their office" in all good works of the heart and the affections than is 
justly their due. But I had a mother and five sisters all older and 
better than 1, and it is all from the precious memory of their good 
deeds, constant care and tenderness for me — the baby of the large 
family — their innate truth, purity, and active watchful charity and 
love unfailing for me, that I have been able — inspired — to write this 
all-too-feeble and faulty tribute to the woman-kind in the early settle- 
ment of Central Illinois. 


Amusements of the time I write about were quite equally dis- 
tributed between male and female. While the women cultivated the 
joys and pleasures of the hearth and home and were themselves the 
authors of their happiness, they fully shared in all their delights and 
enjoyment. Men had the hunt, the chase, the horse-race, foot-race, 
the jolly meetings at rude elections, school meetings, muster-meet- 
ings, cabin-raisings, road making and road repairing, pitching horse- 
shoes — instead of quoits, town-ball and bull-pen — quite all to them- 
selves. Women of that day attended none of these rough and excit- 
ing sports of men. Foot-ball had not yet come to pollute the purer 
taste of that day to its brutal grade of barbarity and cruelty. 

1 had five brothers, all older than I, making me as above stated the 
baby of the whole family of eleven children. From memory of their 
work, amusements, conduct, characters, I draw my descriptions of all 
other like population of the territory and time I try to illustrate be- 
fore you. 

My brothers were all tender, kind, considerate, helpful to all my 
wants and needs; physical, mental, moral and social. Like conditions 
and relations I know prevailed in many other families of that time 
and country, and hence I believe these noble sentiments and worthy 
characteristics dominated and controlled largely all the population, 
male and female. 

One marked characteristic of all gatherings of these people was in- 
terest in each other and care for each other's well fare and comfort, 
showing a bond of union and of good will. The affection and love 


manifested by children for their parents, Vjrothers Mrid sist^Ts, and Vjy 
the parents for their children, as 1 have tricnl to show, existed so ^(tn- 
erally among the pioneer ijopulation, and th(j ^ood cihtcA, it prfjfliKMfl 
on the children in early Central Illinois as compared with conduct of 
children in the same territory now, lead to the b<?li('f th(rc was a 
latent power ruling in the family then that does not wholly dominate 
it now. As I call to my memory to give me the clue to this pot<'nt 
ruling force echoes of its name and office com(; to my ears and kindle 
response in my heart and impel the tongue to sp(.'ak, the pen to write, 
words of the grand poet so often called on in this paper. 

"Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, 

And men below and saints above; 

For love is heaven and heaven is love." 

In all gatherings of both sexes of this peojjle while there was 
levity, jollity, frankness and liberal affection manifested thc^re were 
few or no sallies or attempts at flirting with the true, ijur(3 feelings of 
the heart, now called flirting. 

I recall no such word then in use ; perhaps because no such trivial 
practice then existed to require such odious name. Independent, 
manly and honorable, the males could not stoop to such trifling con- 
duct, while the females were too pure, too true, too worthy to ask aid 
from falsehood and deceit. Neither sex feared recognition of all their 
good qualities and honest claims of merit and had no fear on this 
point, only the fear of doing wrong and being unworthy of true love 
and its just reward. 

Of such honest, manly and pure womanly characters I have appealed 
to my youthful memory to give me record, and lo, is it not fairly. 
though feebly, written above? 


Having written freely about female dress, male attire should also 
have some attention now: 

All males of work age dressed nearly alike. Male apparel too, at tlie 
time I am writing about, was made almost wholly by the females, the 
wearers' associates. The common working boy and man. during 
summer and mild weather, in field, prairie or forest, wore no more 
than three articles of dress at one time. Hat of plaited rye. oats or 
wheat-straw; shirt and pants of cotton, flax or tow-linen cloth. All 
made in simplest, plainest manner, indeed so uniform in style as to 
claim the title of fashion. Comfort and utility absolutely controlUnl 
material, make, and fit of all male garments, whether for summer or 
winter, hot or cold weather, home or wear abroad. Traveling or kx^al 
cobblers were utilized for supply of boots and shoes for mah^s anil 
females of all ages. Almost the sole thought controlling change of 
apparel for male wearers was to suit the weather and work t^ngagtnl 
in. Attending meetings of church or other interests had little influ- 
ence as to dress. Greater cleanliness of apparel was desired when 
going away from home among strangers. 

There was very little time spent in what deserves the name o^ busi- 
ness as now understood, either private or xmblic. Trade, barti^- and 


exchange of commodities and swapping work in corn-planting and 
harvest time, for work back in corn-hnsking and hay-making time, 
was the only commerce known in very early times. Honest, faithful 
memory, discarding day book and ledger, held all accounts and 
recorded balances of money and labor due; and merciful, charitable 
memory forgot all debts of debtors too poor to pay. 

So simple and domestic were all the ways and wants of that early 
country life. Loafing was yet unknown. That came with earliest 
saloons for sale of intoxicating liquors, in small towns. They were 
called groceries, or doggeries then. Road-making, efforts to secure 
schools or aid church interests, to regulate militia musters and drills, 
to select the best candidates for elective offices of county, state and 
nation required only a small portion of time, at command of the ordi- 
nary citizen. 

As to the last duty, selecting candidates for offices of all kinds and 
grades, serious attention and ample time were always given and the 
best, wisest and most competent men were always sought and selected; 
differing diametrically from the custom of the present-day population 
of the same district in this most important duty of citizenship in a 
republic like ours. 

The voting citizens of that time seemed more intelligently con- 
cerned about a wise use of the ballot. The close of the revolutionary 
w^ar and the achievement of our independence of England and all 
other foreign powers, w^as much fresher in the memories of the voters 
of that day than now. And the value of liberty, newly and blood- 
bought, seemed greater to them than to us. The war of 1812 with 
England had been lately fought in defense of this inestimable liberty, 
and they had helped to win the victory that would make liberty a 
permanent possession of our whole country. Hence the revolutionary 
war and the war of 1812 that demonstrated our ability to defend and 
maintain our dearly bought rights were the leading and constant 
themes of thought and discussion. Nobler and more patriotic themes 
than now absorb and control the whole thought, aim and struggle of 
our active, strenuous, commercial, money-grabbing voting population. 
They talked of, admired and sought to imitate the pure patriots, great 
statesmen and generals who won our independence and established 
free government by the people for the greatest republic the world has 
ever known. Pure, noble thoughts and desires indulged by a people 
will make them strive to achieve and secure their high aspirations 
and ideals. Such were the early settlers of whom I write. 

Elective officers and rulers of our State and its organized counties 
in these early days have made and left a history that proves the ballot 
of that time and territory was not only highly esteemed but honestly, 
wisely and successfully used to secure happiness and prosperity to 
the vast population that has won third place in our union, for Illinois. 

y^ 7|c y^ TJ^ yp y^ y^ 


fSome one esteemed for wisdom said or wrote: If he were allowed 
to write the songs of a people any one else might make their laws. A 


large share of the amusements and entertainments irjclnl^fid in and 
practiced by the early population of Central Illinois consisted in so- 
cial singing of play or forfeit songs, illustratini^ th(j evcjning (-ntertai/j- 
ment of home and fire-side, for girls and boys. Singing of weJJ-knrjwn 
hymns to familiar tunes used at church and religious UKKitings en- 
listed the aged also of both sexes. So it often happened after th<i 
light and frolic plays of the youth had ended in sale and redemjjtion 
of all play-forfeits and pawns in affection and hilarity, somfj eklcr 
witness of the youthful jollity would raise a tuneful voic(; of psalm- 
ody, reciting in solemn melody the words of some "Hymn, d(ivout or 
holy psalm," in which all, young and old, would join to make a bono 
diction to close the evening's entertainment. 

I wish to enlarge somewhat on this branch of old fashioned early- 
time youthful entertainment. Each play or individual entertainment 
was introduced by a song or words in jingling rhyme sung in chorus 
iDy all taking part in the play. These words explained and carried 
forward as it were, the movement and progress of the play to its own 
close, when another song for like purpose would start and carry for- 
ward another play. 


We are marching" down towards Old Quebec 

Where the drums are loudly beating-, 
The Americans have g-ained the day 

And the British are retreating. 

The wars are o'er and we'll turn back 

No more forever to be parted; 
We'll open the ring and choose a couple in 

Because they are true-hearted. 


King William was King James' son 
And for the royal race he run, 
Upon his breast he wore a star, 
That always points to the compass far. 

Go choose you east, go choose you west, 
Go choose the girl that you love best. 
If she is not here to take a part. 
Go choose another with all your heart. 

Down on this carpet you must kneel 
Sure as the grass grows in the field, 
Salute your bride and kiss her sweet, 
And then arise upon your feet. 

O, Sister Phoebe how merry were we 
That night we sat under the Juniper tree. 

The Juniper tree, heigho. 
Put this hat upon your head 

To keep your head warm 
And take a sweet kiss, 

It will do you no harm — , 

■ It will do you much good — heigho. 


I won't have any your weevily wheat 

I won't have any your barley, 
I won't have any your weevily wheat 

To make a cake for Charley. 

Charley he is a nice young- man, 

Charley he is a dandy; 
Charley likes to kiss the g-irls 

Whenever it comes handy. 

The needle's eye that doth supply 

The thread that runs so truly throug-h, 

How many a lass have I let pass 
Because I wanted you. 

There's a rose in the g-arden 

For you young- man; 
There's a rose in the g-arden 

For you young- man 
So we'll open the ring- and choose one in 

And choose you a fair one 
Or else choose you none. 

There is a happy miller 

Grinding- in the mill; 
As the wheel turns round 

He's gaining- what he will. 
One hand is in the hopper 

And the other in the bag-. 
When the wheel turns 'round 

He cries out "Grab." 

It rains and it hails, 

And it's cold stormy weather, 
When in comes the farmer, 

Bring-ing- in the cider. 

I'll go a-reaping-, boys. 

Who'll be the binder? 
I have lost my true love 

And where shall I find her? 

Oats, peas, beans and barley grow — 
Oats, peas, beans and barley grow — 
You nor I but the farmers know 
Where oats, peas, beans and barley grow 

Thus the farmer sows his seed. 
Thus he stands and takes his ease, 
Stamps his foot, and claps his hands,' 
And whirls around to view his lands. 

Sure as grass grows in the field 
Down on this carpet you miist kneel. 
Salute your true love, kiss her sweet. 
And rise again upon your feet. 


The language, poetic measure and harmony of thesf; HODgB are 
woefully irregular in feet — almost hicking whole iirriljs in some lines. 
But this infirmity of movement and action in sound and rhythm was 
quite cured and redeemed by the glib, Hippant and jolly notes of th(.' 
singers as they gushed from their laughing jubilant lips almost 
smooth and flowing as Lord Byron's Assyrian battle song: 

''The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, 
And his cohorts were g-leaming- in purple and ^old. 
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea 
When the blue wave rolls nig-htly on deep (iallilee." 

These plays were sung and x^erformed around the fir(?sides of the 
log cabin homes in presence of the family and assend^led guests and 
participants. Each pawn or forfeit of the x)lay was rejjresented by 
some small article from pocket or dress of its owner, such as a pen- 
knife, glove or handkerchief and was held over the head of the blind- 
fold judge or umpire who was supposed not to see it or know who 
owned it. Intimating thus that justice was blind. Is it not often so 

The pawn or forfeit was held over the judge's head out of his or 
her sight and this formula cried aloud: "Heavy, heavy hangs over 
your head." ''Fine or superfine?" came the inquiry of the judge- — 
(Fine meaning boy's, superfine girl's pawn.) Then the penalty was 
declared. If a boy's forfeit, say: The penalty might be: ''Go kneel 
to the wittiest, bow to the prettiest, and kiss the one you love best." 
If a girl's pawn perhaps the penalty would be: "Go choose a boy 
partner and with his aid measure ten yards of tape," as follows: 
Take one end of the tape between thumb and finger of one hand and 
draw it between two fingers of the other hand pressed on your lips 
till your arm is fully extended, then cut it off at your lips with a kiss 
to your partner on his lips, loud and clear so all can hear to the end 
of ten yards, each yard cut off with a hearty, distinct smack. 

Innumerable like penalties were thus imposed and infinite jollity 
and amusement produced for all present. Our present 400 of best 
society would be shocked at the present day by such rude, vulgar 
behavior between girls and boys, yet evil results did not follow these 
innocent entertainments of that earlier time in our social history. 

Children, boys and girls, were more obedient and respectful to their 
parents and guardians, chaste and moral then than now, while ler.d- 
ing single lives; and divorce and disagreement after almost universal 
marriage were quite unknown instead of quite usual as now, when 
the dance, refiaed, elegant and intellectual amusements prevail among 
our better educated, more polite and accomplished citizens, male and 
female. And I believe parents suffered far less then than now from 
that sorrow of sorrows which Shakespeare describes as. "How 
sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child."" 


Pioneers, old settlers, new-comers of central Illinois were generally 
a jolly, hilarious, happy population, manifesting their dis]>osition by 
speech and action. One early and long resident I recall as remark- 
able for his social greetings and conversation with familiar friends. 


On meeting sucli after long separation he would manifest his delight 
by declaring he "would rather see them than his own heart's blood." 
Or if speaking of death he would wish its delay for him, and when it 
must come he "hoped he might be kissed to death by pretty girls 
and die laughing." 

Odd pronunciation of many English and most foreign words made 
cause of pleasantry to the few able to detect the erroneous pronun- 
ciation and accent. Necessity was quite frequently rendered need- 
cessity and vehicle, vichle; catastrophe, catisfere; faux paux [pas] 
fox pox. Rude, unlearned, almost barbarous though this pronuncia- 
tion was, those who perpetrated it knew as well the real meaning of 
these mutilated, tortured words in this shape as did the most polite 
Frenchman or learned Englishman when they were pronounced 
according to the latest standard of the French or English tongue. 


The first new-comers found no school houses and could not build 
any for many years. The same was true of church buildings. 
Schools and church meetings had to be held in private homes. 
School teachers and preachers were very scarce, too. My father 
hired a Yankee girl about 18 years old, fresh from Vermont, to come 
to our house and teach "us children," six or seven in number, till 
school houses were built and regular school teachers employed, under 
whom we "finished our education." A very limited one indeed, cov- 
ering the "elements of the three R's," with a smattering of geo- 
graphy and history thrown in as a kind of dessert after the feast of 
other commoner studies. 

Preachers and exhorters were plentier than school teachers, and 
found ready welcome in every cabin home where they held religious 
and prayer meetings for attending neighbors and strangers. Method- 
ists and Baptists predominated here then. The singing master soon 
invaded Central Illinois, too. His classes were gathered from the 
elder children and youth verging into manhood and womanhood, and 
added largely to the higher grade of social amusements for youth and 
age as well. 


"Blood is thicker than water" we quote as an adage now, but we 
practiced the precept then effectively and generally. Not to the ex- 
tent of bloody feuds and extermination of whole families by use of 
shotguns, revolvers and bowie knives, as Kentucky and some other 
states execute the adage now and have for years past. But this kin- 
shij) of blood was held in high esteem by way of preferment over 
others not within its limits. And disagreements within its binding 
reach generally developed by showing lack of courtesy or kindness, 
want of resjject and privileges of intimate friendliness. Such as bar- 
ring neighborship and close social relations between the families 
while in a quarrel, or "at outs," as termed; discouraging or denying 
entirely to the younger members of both sexes permission "to keep 
company," court and "spark" each other with indications of engage- 
ments and final marriages. 


Among the males the unpleasantneBS somcitimes went so far as op<n 
boisterous quarrels and personal combats or fights at el(^ctioris. rniJitia 
musters or other jolly gatherings. The better si(l(;, how(^ver, of tliest* 
blood kinships was revealed in the many clos(;-cIinging, d(*vot(irl frifiiifl- 
ships, increased cultivation of the better affections and tender Hala- 
tions between blood relatives, rijjening into lifelong, pun?, honorable 
devotion of mind and heart, so frequently illustrated in th(; history of 
frontier and pioneer life in our great West. 

While blood affinity constrained all to lov(? each other bettf^r within 
its influence than those outside of its control, even within tiiis c-ircle 
of preference there was a choice again of finer, higher regard the 
highest of all selection of affinity. 

This supreme selection I made quite early in life between all my 
numerous brothers and sisters. One brother and one sister I set 
apart and above all the others, and of course above all other human 
beings excepting only my father and my mother. And this canoniza- 
tion has never wavered or changed and I still hold, one a saint, th(^ 
other my ideal now in life. The whole population, both men and 
women, young and old, paid great respect and obedience to this blood 
line of affinity in their intercourse and social conduct with each other. 
Though frankly courteous and jolly, inclined to joke and jest with all 
acquaintances, the blood line of relationship always marked the line 
of their finer, warmer feelings. 


Hospitality of home and hearth, table and bed was quite universal, 
Cabins, though generally small, like an omnibus would always admit 
one more to share in all the comforts they afforded. These were few 
and simple, but supplied all real wants and pressing needs of that 
time. They w^ould fall far short of the demands of present-day luxury, 
of warmth, cupboard and bed room equipment. The fireside was wide 
and generous in heat, but sometimes one side of its guests froze while 
the other side burned. 

The table of rude puncheons or unplaned boards, sj)lit from green 
trees lately cut in the forest, was held up by rough legs firmly inserted 
and spread out to support it safely. Table cloth of home-made tow- 
linen for common use, flax-linen for ''company.*' Its burden of 
"creature comforts" abundant in quantity, rich, toothsome and healthy 
in quality, and quite various in kind. Corn bread baked in many 
ways furnished "the staff of life," and corn-pone was the king of all 
its varieties. Mush and milk and fried mush were very pojmlar with 
old and young. Home-raised vegetables, wild honey and wild fruits 
were liberally used, suj)plying dessert and sauce to the meal. Lye 
hominy was an old-fashioned, much-prized article of food taken with 
milk or honey, and often with both. To this limited enumeration of 
food material was added fish, flesh and fowd of great variety and almost 
unlimited quantity and rare quality. Rivers, lakes, fori^st. jirairit^ and 
barnyard were bountiful sources producing these food supplies. Their 
skillful preparation for table use. increase of health, animal vigcn* and 
palate delight, were all entrusted in simple faith to the female artists 
of the cabin kitchens of that happy primitive time. 


Real tea and coffee of commerce could not be used at meals during 
the early period of which I write. Their supply was limited to that 
brought with new comers from home lands till improved transi3orta- 
tion from St. Louis, su^Dplied them for common use in Central Illi- 
nois. Herbs and roots from forest and prairie, supplied the only 
tea generally used by pioneers. Dr. Wm. S. Maus, my father-in-law, 
told this anecdote about early use of tea. The family doctor in early 
days stood next to the preacher in respect and esteem — even in pref- 
erence at births. Dr. Maus practiced widely and had to make long 
rides on horseback to reach patients in need of his services, hence 
was often hungry. The custom was universal to ask the doctor to 
"stay and eat something" before leaving his patient, and equally cus- 
tomary for him to accept offered hospitality. ITsually just before the 
meal was "set up" inquiry came from the cook: "What kind of tea 
do you like best, doctor? We have both kinds, in plenty, sage and 

Liberality of supply, frank heartiness in offering — even pressing — 
food on table guests were prominent and X3leasing graces at all meals. 
No suggestion of stint or stinginess ever appeared in manners, acts 
or words of gracious host or hostess. Greed of gain, that insidious 
poison that kills all real enjoyment of food bounties, lest hospitality 
exhaust the supply and want may follow, had not touched or stung 
the broad liberality of the big generous hearts of that day. 


One gentle touch on young memory's valve and the old light of 
pioneer days streams in showing the interior of a log cabin home 
complete, of that day. 

An elder wife — perhaps grandmother in person — sits at the small 
spinning wheel driving it rapidly by intermittent pressure of 
her right foot on the treadle, with eye and mind intent on drawing 
out and twisting the fine linen thread from the flax-covered distaff in 
even size and continuous length, while a younger wife or unmarried 
girl drives a big wheel to furious motion and loud hum with the 
wheel-j)in in her right hand dashing backward to draw the roll of 
carded wool to jDroper size as the whirring spindle unites and hardens 
it into yarn-woof for the loom. And ever as she returns in gentle 
pace from the utmost stretch of the yarn she jogs with her foot the 
sugar-trough cradle close to her line of retreat to reunite the baby's 
broken slumber. Meantime the low sound of gently simmering cab- 
bage and bacon — j^erchance fresh venison, fruit of the hunter's skill — 
from the singing iron pot on the wood fire, joins with the hum of 
wheel and lullaby song of the spinner. Rare fragrance from the 
boiling TJot fills the cabin area with ax^petizing odors reminding all its 
occupants of approaching meal time. The spinner hastens her hum- 
ming wheel to complete the half dozen cuts — her stint for the dinner 
hour, eighteen cuts or hanks being a big day's work. 

When at noon the simple^ meal is set up and all the family gather 
at the table to discuss the ''creature comforts'' of a log cabin dinner 
the graceful, health-giving exercise of the big wheel over a puncheon 


floor and the rugged sprinting demands of tlu; chase or long plodding 
guidance of the i)low, all prove th(3ir pow(ir to win a vigorous ajjpctit*-. 
Not strictly a "dinner of herbs" yet it had th(* Bible element to 
sweeten it — 'dove therewith." 


The great annual growth of tall thick i^rairie grass covc^ring v;ist 
areas of surface when killed by autumn frosts and dried to tinder In- 
Indian summer suns was liable to accidental and malicious fires each 
year. A conflagration of this abundant material forming a contin- 
uous line of many miles in length driven by a high wind would makf; 
the solid earth tremble and quiver beneath the fV^et as if the (*inbrtt- 
tled charging columns of flame had weight equal to their brilliant 
light. A low sullen roar, like distant Niagara, accompanied its niarcli 
as i'f Pluto, from his fiery regions, lent it subterranean music. Flame, 
light, motion and sound combined to make a spectacle and scene, in 
night time, unequalled in beauty and grandeur. 

Often alarm for safety of property, home and human life, added 
excitement to the absorbing manifestation of power and splendor. 
Billowy swaying clouds of black smoke, lifting skyward would sud- 
denly explode into flame, lighting the whole landscape and heaven 
above, beyond the brightness of noonday even if the hour was mid- 
night. All combustible substance melted and vanished before this 
besom of heat and flame. Its progress was swift as the wind. The 
fleetest horse could hardly escape it by utmost strain of speed. Birds 
of the air and wild beasts of the prairie and grove, fled before its 
withering, scathing march with cries, screams and howls of fright 
and terror, sometimes overtaken and burned to cinder despite their 
wings and fleetness of foot. 

Early inhabitants, from experience, had learned to guard against 
danger and loss from prairie fires, by plowing wide and numerous 
furrows round fields, cabins, stables, stacks of hay, grain, fodder and 
all exposed property. But sometimes great sheets of flame driven by 
strong winds would be torn from the line of fire and leap over pro- 
tecting plowed spaces and kindle in hay stack or thatch of stable or 
shed, threatening cabin-roof and all property and life, home and sor- 
roundings. If instant sufficient help were not present, all might be 
swept away in one fell swoop of fire and devastation. Sometimes 
such fiery visitation came in the darkness of night and neighboring 
homes were added to the smoking ruins of the same fire. To skill- 
fully fight and rescue life, homes, and property from the ravages and 
loss by prairie fires, offered quite as wide opportunity to bravery and 
heroism of that time, as did fear, danger and suffering from tomahawk 
and scalping knife. And there were many men of that day, and not 
a few women too, ever present to act the brave hero and fearless liero- 
ine in time of need. 

For days after an extensive prairie fire the whole landscape was 
covered with a black pall or robe of ash and cinders of charred grass. 
Soon the sweeping winds of autumn would lift this black debris- 
sole remnant of the prairie's beautiful summer drapery of grass and 


flowers. During the annual Indian summer season the "prairie land'" 
rarely lacked the bible illustration of "a pillar of cloud by day and 
a pillar of fire by night." 


I can't hope it possible, for your imagination, to produce before 
your minds the picture my memory now presents to my ready famil- 
iar vision of the physical aspect of this same wide belt of territory 
then fresh and glowing with that youth and glory only once incident 
to all sentient or inanimate creations of nature's God. Only the poet's 
words can faintly shadow forth what my faithful memory tries in 
vain to spread before your inquiring gaze. 

"Fade day-dreams sweet, from memory fade, 
The perished bliss of youth's first prime, 
That once so bright on fancy played, 
Reviving no more in after time." 

Unable to produce for your view the charms of the wilderness of 
that time as seen by its then scattered inhabitants, all justly termed 
'"new-comers", how shall I hope to give you knowledge and under- 
standing of its new tenants and would-be owners, cultivators and re- 
deemers? Then it was a wonderland to them, new in all its features 
and quite diiferent in many of its characteristics from any of the 
home lands they had left to seek this long dreamed of, hoped for^ 
home in the west. The prairie feature of this new land was the most 
remarkable in distinction from any other land known to the new- 
comers and called forth constant surprise and enjoyment. It was 
this grand feature too, that gave to Illinois by its first impression on 
all first immigrants the well earned appellation of "prairie land." 

The best picture I can recall of a prairie and of prairie scenes I 
quote from "Groing to hear Peter Cartwright preach in Early Days," 
written by myself in after years, and being one of the party then and 
about ten years old. 

•'Surely this continuous 'blossomed plain' over which our wagon_ 
wheels rolled so swiftly without jolt or jar was all one of Bryant's 
Gardens of the Desert for which the speech of England has no name — 
the prairie, about which he sang in noble strain soon after. The 
whole glowing landscape about and around us far as eye could com- 
mand, gave hint that the stars of night when eclipsed by the trans- 
cendent glories of dawn had slipped from their high places in the 
cerulean dome down to the green flowered earth, kindling it to 'rival 
the constellations.' The sunny, fragrant atmosphere palpitated with 
glad songs of mocking birds, thrush and meadow-larks, soaring on 
wing or swaying in the tall white-bloomed milkweed. 

Inspiring scenes and sounds entranced the little party. Our ani- 
mal companions, horses and dogs, seemed quite as much excited as 
their superiors and more demonstrative in expressing their joy. 
Had we by accident discovered and assumed possession of the long 
lost primeval "Garden of Eden?" Was this "Paradise Kegained?" I 
don't believe within the four corners, or upon the round surface 
of this globe exists such beautiful scenes or swell such melodious 
sounds as greeted and blessed our eves and ears that dav. Such full 


appreciation of the simx^le joys, beauty and p](;asi]n;H of life uru] 
earth I never hope again to realize ifi the body. Hut th(; rncniory, as 
now aroused of such long jjast pleasun^s, is a v(;ry precious legncy ;i/id 
still warms and quickens the; pulse of old age." 

Fitly ornamenting, dividing and illustrating these; vast ijrairi(; sf^as. 
tangled forests, well defined groves, wide flowing rivers, rushing 
creeks, winding streams and placid lakes, combined to form a wlioh? 
country unsurpassed, if anywhere equaled in the gn^at Mississi|jpi 
valley, for landscape beauty, forest, stream and prairicj attractifjns. 
And forest, stream and prairie were filled with game, birds, wihi 
beasts and fish, making this land the hunter's imradis(3 for sport; in- 
cluding supply of food and raiment for hunter, family and gu(;sts. 

The charms and attractions of this country were innunK^rabh.*, suit- 
ing and satisfying well the wants of its newly-come inhabitants. And 
I have now written fully about them. Yet I feel all this labonnl d(3- 
scription of them fails to place you in possession of knowledge ee^ual 
to what a single glance of my backward memory reveals to me. 

Perhaps I would better illustrate my theme and create for you and 
for me an atmosphere in which we both could realize more clearly 
what I wish you to comprehend of social life and scenes in the early 
settlement of Central Illinois, by reading liberally an address deliv- 
ed by me before the Tazewell County Old Settlers' annual meeting at 
Delavan, 111., in 1899. 

At that time I told of the things which appear retold in the fol- 
lowing paragrajjhs. Among other things 1 said that my parentage 
entitled me to speak of pioneer life and its incidents. 

My father came of Swiss descent and my mother of old New Jersey 
stock. Both were born in New Jersey. My father spent his youth 
in Philadelphia and saw General Washington frequently, and his 
memory was especially impressed by the pictorial occasion where, on 
his military charger, he is represented as riding nearly stirrup deep 
in flowers strewn before him by beautiful girls clothed in white, who 
address him in smiles and tears: "He who saved the mothers will 
protect the daughters." He often worked for Stephen Cxirard by 
day's work at 50 cents a day, paid in silver half-dollars. Emigrating 
to Ohio at an early day, he was offered choice lots in Cincinnati at '2~^ 
cents apiece. He volunteered in the war of 1812 against England, 
and was engaged against the Indians in northern Ohio about the 
Maumee river county. 

Stories told in this campaign turned his thoughts toward the "Illi- 
nois country," and he made ready in the fall of 1827 for a second em- 
igration westward; so that when he reached Illinois in that year he 
became an early settler of four states — New Jersey, Pennsylvania. 
Ohio, and Illinois, all holding high place in the grand union of states 
since their birth as states of the l^nion. 

Only a small portion of the inhabitants of Illinois know anything 
of its early pioneer life, and this number is growing rapidly smalh^r. 
Our foreign population, now forming a large proportion, know almost 
nothing of early life, labor, and enterprise that wrenched this beauti- 
ful land from the savagery of life and occupancy of man and btvist 

—4 H 


and the rude wilderness of nature. A glance at its history is there- 
fore pertinent, and if I give the record of my family's emigration to 
this country at that period it will suffice as a history for all others 
making the like emigration. Not at all that my family "was the 
whole thing," but that its record was "a specimen brick" of the time, 
and that what befell us was similar to the happenings of others who 
were "in the swim" of old settlers' days. 

^ , vP" ■^ tT^ ^ y^ ^ 

The period of arrival and location in the new country closely allied 
with vivid events of the tedious journey accomplished by old fash- 
ioned and nearly forgotten means of transportation, stands first on 
memory's page. Strong and roughly-built wagons, surmounted by 
Pennsylvania -fashioned beds closely covered by heavy tow-linen cloth, 
woven from flax, home grown, and manufactured entirely by members 
of the family in Ohio, composed the ark, car or moving house or home, 
that transported the "new-comers" to the "Dillon Settlement," Taze- 
well County, Illinois. These wagons so equipped were drawn by 
horses or oxen, and sometimes by both, jointly, when heavily loaded. 
A span or pair of horses being used in the lead, and a yoke of oxen 
being hitched next the wagon; and sometimes two or three yokes of 
oxen were required to draw a very heavy wagon and its load. Traveled 
roads and bridges were unknown to the first comers, only wagon tracks 
guided "movers" to the unbridged fords or best crossing of streams, 
sloughs or swamps. Plentiful and continous rains of spring and fall, 
thawing out of the frozen ground, or when only slightly frozen, made 
conditions of travel quite impossible to imagine now, with our graded 
and graveled roads, with iron and stone bridges wherever needed; 
and the memory of mud, slough, swamp and impassable stream seem 
like fables or unreliable dreams to us now. All difficulties of the trip 
from the starting point, in our case Butler County, Ohio, to the desti- 
nation or accepted location, Dillon Settlement with us, being endured 
and overcome, next followed a choice of a new home in the newly 
found promised land. 

But, says some tenderfoot traveler of this palace-car by day, and 
sleeping-coach by night railroad- time, had you no troubles, accidents, 
sufferings and pains, during this long six weeks' struggle with the 
wilderness, swamps, and streams and cold of the bleak frosty autumn, 
running far into the cheerless blasts of November? Truly and indeed 
we had our full share of all these terrors of the pathless wilderness, 
unknown sea of prairie, without guide or compass to show us on our 
way. Agonies of toothache, wrenchings of rheumatism, scorchings 
of fever, assailed and tortured us by day, and ''murdered sleep" by 
night. But we had bidden farewell to the old home, we must find a 
new one. 

Some bright flashes of memory lighten the gloom of that long, 
toilsome journey. Boy of only five years old then, I well remember 
the first wild deer brought into camp for food! It was a fine fat buck 
of four prong;s. Cainp had becni made and November twilight was 
gathering fast, but rashers of venison from that buck's saddle soon 
smoked and sputtered on the coals, and joininl their appetizing odors 
with the boiling coffee^ pot, and the feast that followed in that forest 


bivouac far outranked in joy and gladness Belshazzar's royfd banquet, 
and no fateful handwriting marred its progress or paralyzed ;iJJ guf^sts 
with fear at its conclusion. Impassable sloughs and more; tre^icherous 
swamps compelled long detours to circumvent th(3ir imixidiment to a 
direct route. Swollen, ferryless, bridgeless streams barred our pass- 
age except by waiting until they fell to a fordable stage, or by con- 
structing dugouts or rafts of dry logs to transport ourselves and goods 
over them, dragging the empty wagons through the raging floods and 
compelling the live stock to swim. 

Arrived on the hither shore, wagons reloaded and the caravan 
reorganized, forward march was sounded, or if too late in the day, 
camp was made, stock corralled in some way, and all sought rest. 
with hooting owl for lullaby, or howling wolf to frighten the timid. 
O, . tenderfoot man, or too softly nurtured woman of our present 
effeminate civilization and comfort, do you shudder at this picture 
and fear for the safety of our repose ? Possibly the winds howled too, 
and the rain and sleet "froze as they fell" and 

The trees, their g-iant branches tossed 
Ag-ainst a dark and frowning- sky, 

above our tents and covered wagons, but peace and trust reigned 
therein. My memory recalls cuddling close and warm to my mother's 
side, her arm beneath my head, surrendering myself to "Tired nature's 
sweet restorer, balmy sleep," which came more graciously to me in 
this rude "wild west" camp, if history speaks true, than it comes to 
downy couch in gilded chamber of royal guarded palace, for czar, 
emperor, king or queen. 

Our long journey came to a close just as winter began to set in. 
Fortunately for us, a vacant cabin in the Dillon settlement afforded 
temporary shelter till the February following. By that time my 
father had located a claim and built a cabin on it by help of all the 
male members of the family old enough to work. This was (and is) 
situated three miles southeast of "Town Site" then, Pekin now 
About this log cabin, its wild vicinity and incidents connected there- 
with cluster all the sweet memories of my childhood, youth and early 
manhood; and in common with all present, as to these mornings of 
life, come as their fullest, sweetest expression of recall the words of 
an early American poet: 

How dear to our hearts are the scenes of our childhood, 

As fond recollections present them to view; 
The prairie, the hilltop, the deep tang-led wildwood, 

And every loved spot that our infancy knew. 

The cabin — our home — was rude in construction, as all buildings 
of that period necessarily had to be. There was not a nail, or screw, 
or bolt, or scrap of iron used in any part of it, or any tin or metal at- 
tached to it. No glass could be obtained for window, door or tran- 
som, or sky light. Containing only one room below of 16 by 18 feet, 
an upstairs room, loft or garret, of more limited dimensions, as the 
sloping roof greatly curtailed the area of height sufficient for erect 
occupation and use. Within these two rooms, father, mother and 
eight children, then at home, found ample accommodation and happy 
entertainment throughout the circling year of summer's heat and 


winter's cold. Within these two rooms of circumscribed size and 
height we found all the pleasures and joys now distributed by modern 
civilization, refinement and the best society over habitable house- 
territory designated in part by hospitable fashion, as: Hall, reception 
room, sitting room, parlor, double parlor, music room, bed room, 
guest room, chambers ad libitum, library — generally small and few 
books — dining room, store room, china closet, kitchen, laundry, lava- 
tory, bath room, servant's room, etc., etc. 

Of the eight children, inmates of our cabin, four vvere sisters, four 
were brothers, and the poetess, Mrs. Hemans, aptly described them 
with prophetic pen in her home across the ocean when she sang: 

They grew in beauty side by side, 

They filled our homes with glee, 
Their graves are severed far and w^ide, 

By mountain, stream and sea! 

Of our whole family, eleven children, father and mother, in all thir- 
teen, only two are left — an elder sister and myself. She to recall all 
the important events of the old home in Ohio and of the new one in 
Illinois, and I to recite a few of them here today. Two brothers and 
a sister were married before we came to the new country, and never 
lived with us in our cabin, having each one like it of their own not 
far away, and were always welcome visitors at the main family cabin, 
which seemed to extend its walls to fully accommodate the three 
kindred families whenever they chose to join us. 

In fact, memory supplies no limit to the capacity of the old settlers' 
cabins to give room and hospitality to all friendly comers, and would- 
be guests. Not for a few brief minutes of hasty inquiry and question 
as to results of the last card party, dance or ball, and if baby slept, 
well during its mother's necessary attendance on these functions of 
fashion in the present time. No, bless the memory of visiting and 
hospitality of good old log cabin days, time was the essence of enjoy- 
ment, jollity and fun, and a visit meant nothing short of a whole day, 
including the night, when story and song and game could be shared 
in by all after the day's work or hunt brought the entire family and 
guests together. So flowed on this simple, happy life in the new- 
comers' homes till many years greatly multiplied their number 
throughout this "Prairie Land," as our part of Illinois had then won 
that name. 

"Natural and constant change in family and neighborhood relations 
kept pace with increase in age and numbers of our population. Suit- 
ors came to woo and win the sisters from their parents' arms and pro- 
tection, to join their lovers in making new homes for themselves ; and 
blushing happy brides left their girlhood homes in faithful love and 
trust and tearful joy! The brothers, with like intent, moved by the 
sweet, invisible, all-pervading law of love, left the old cabin door to 
make like reprisal in kind, and brought back with them willing, 
happy brides to replace the lost sisters, till a cabin could be built for 
the last mated pair. So went on the endless chain, the golden chain, 
of love and marriage until our land became thickly dotted with homes 
of new made families in addition to those of the original "new- 
comers." Humble and simple in manner and form, these marriages 



promised and produced more happiness in family and social life than 
most marriages of princes and princesses, att(3nded Vjy grand cAtia- 
monies in palaces where transfer of wealth or acquisition of politic?jl 
power outweighed the impulse of love or regard for honor or purity of 
life in the holy state of matrimony, As for time and oj^jjortunity to 
make matches and marriages, these came by nature as it were. No 
matter how many others were around, eyes could wink and blink 
faster than tongues could clatter and a squeeze of the hand or pinch 
of the arm or ear could be executed with effect if not too much light 
present. Lamps and candles were scarce and feeble in those days— 
and above all in favor of effective sparking, that greatest enemy of all 
private, social enjoyment of chat, or reverie, or tete-a-tete, the electric 
light, was not then known! Call to mind the many quilting, carpet- 
rag sewing, apple paring, pumpkin peeling frolics, made by the girls 
and matrons, the corn shuckings, wood choppings, rail splittings, 
house and barn raisings by boys and men, wild berrying, nutting and 
many other parties made and joined in by male and female of all 
ages, and sparking opportunities were plenty. 

And then, over and above all, and better than all other opportun- 
ities for sparking, love making and falling in love wdth each other 
came the annual Methodist camp meeting! Blessings on the 
memory of these rude, wild, exciting camp meetings! Organized 
by the religious element in good men and women of that illiter- 
ate period, when nearly all the books known to us were summed up 
in the scant list of the Bible, Hymn Book, Pilgrim's Progress, Rob- 
inson Crusoe and "The Indian Book." for spiritual culture and com- 
fort. All classes and conditions, far and near, attended and were 
made hospitably and socially welcome to tent and table, mourners' 
bench and family circle. Preachers, elders and heads of families 
gave devout, inspired attention and labor to the spiritual demands 
and needs of the miscellaneous congregation, and looked after the in- 
terests of the Methodist church organization. The younger persons 
present, of both sexes, gave more attention to v/orldly interests, and 
affairs of the heart were in ascendant. Too young to join in these 
delectable enterprises myself, memory seems to say all times, all 
places, afforded ample opportunity — nay, inducement — to spark the 
pretty girls, fall in love with them, marry them, and live happy, pros- 
perous lives. Getting married meant something practical then. A 
log cabin soon followed on a claim made by the husband. Corn bread, 
hominy, wild game, bacon, eggs and butter were the main articles of 
living, all cooked and served by the new wife. No hired girls, no 
boarding-house life then as is so general now. Husband and wife 
both joined at once in bread winning, left [felt] no fear of the wolf of 
want. Health and happiness, crowned with parentage and frequent 
use of the sugar-trough cradle won the highest position ever attained 
by man and woman, makers of a virtuous, happy home; helpers to 
make a patriotic nation. The sugar-trough was fashion's baby home 

Only a few years pass, and the cabin was enlivened by bright-eyed, 
rosy-cheeked children, laughing and shouting like the wild bird's 
song and the prairie wolves' yelp — crowding in clusters at the cabin 


door to see a stranger pass, thick as grapes on the wild vine. Early 
mating, almost universal marriage, and few divorces, was the main- 
spring of rapid population. 

Scattered settlements in a new country traversed by Indians and 
wild beasts, made friendly association and frequent visits among dis- 
tant neighbors necessary and pleasant. Friendship then was warm 
and true, not merely 

A name, 
A charm that lulls to sleep, 
A shade that follows wealth or fame, 
But leaves the wretch to weep. 

Needs of mutual help bound old settlers in fraternal bonds of 
closest, tenderest ties. None knew when "the savage Indian war- 
whoop might rouse the midnight slumber of the cradle, and the burn- 
ing cabin force them to flee by its light for safety to the forest and 
hills." Mutual dependence for help in raising their cabins and barns, 
for aid in time of sickness, accident and misfortune, incident to pio- 
neer life, kept alive and active all the better instincts of our nature. 

Many practical demonstrations of true friendship, uninfluenced by 
hope of financial gain, can be recalled of these early times. Horse- 
stealing was held the highest crime against property rights. Next 
after this came "jumping" a new-comer's claim, that is, taking forcible 
or other unfair possession of a claim to a homestead or location for a 
home. One of the most noted old settlers in this region felt himself 
aggrieved in this way. Not having money enough to enter at the be- 
ginning of the "land sales" all the pieces he had made claim to, he 
was compelled to leave one eighty exposed to the claim jumper. 
Time passed and he could not secure the one hundred dollars in 
cash — silver was all our. money then — to enter the coA^eted tract. 
Rumor came to him that a neighbor had entered it away from him — 
jumped it! He sought the offender at once and charged him with 
the great wrong.- "Yes," replied the great transgressor, "I have en- 
tered thy favorite eighty of timber because thee said thee could not 
get the money, and I feared somebody else would enter it away from 
thee. But, friend Martin. I entered it in thy name, and it is thine 
now forever — and not mine. Thee need not worry about payment for 
it. Whenever thee gets a hundred dollars thee can give it to me. 
There will be no interest to pay. The land is thine." And lo, his 
lineal offs]Dring occupies the land to this day, and it blooms as the 
Garden of Eden, yielding an hundred fold. 

This was the act of the good old Quaker friend, JJr. Griffith. Per- 
sonal test compels the declaration that his doses of "Peruvian barks" 
for "fever 'n ager'' were large, frequent and very bitter, but his words, 
when he said: "James, these will make thee better," were sweet as 
the fabled honey of Hymettus, and his gentle hand when he pressed 
the fevered brow was soft and cool as the leaves that fall in Vallom- 
brosa's Vale. 

The "laws of the land" were not much in evidence then. Justices 
of the i^eace only administered them, aided by constables. The sheriff 
and his deputies were seldom seen in early days. But good order 
and peace prevailed generally. Differences of opinion were discussed 
at house raisings and like gatherings. Serious quarrels were settled 


at election by personal combat. Social intercourse was frank to a 
degree and devotees of fashion today would d(iclar(^ it rud(3 and vulvar. 
Whatever form of words used they declared their meaning c^Jearly ;ind 
did not hide or stimulate imi)ure thoughts, or lead to im^jroper con- 
duct. Social purity between male and female, old and young, was 
strictly observed and all lapses from its simple code were ijunishcid by 
reprobation and discredit by all the good. Lack of certainty as to 
male parentage never occurred then as it is said to liapi)eii often now 
— in foreign countries The classic denunciation of broken faith in 
love was then real, not as we hold it now, only poetic: 

Is there no bolt in the stores of Heaven 

Red with uncommon wrath, 

To blast the man, who to please 

His own desires, blights a maiden's fame? 

Early in our pioneer life in Illinois came the Black Hawk Indian 
war. This brought days of fear and nights of terror from Springfield 
to Chicago — Fort Dearborn. Captain Adams raised a company of 
volunteers in this neighborhood and went at once to the front, meet- 
ing defeat with General Stillman in command at "Stillman's Run" 
and his own death while fighting desperately hand-to-hand with the 
main force of the Indians, striving in vain to form and protect his 
surprised and panic stricken men. Majors Bailey and Perkins, by 
their bravery and coolness, saved many lives also at this time. Eleven 
of this command were killed in the battle and flight, and many were 
wounded. This bloody disaster covered the country round with grief 
and foreboding as to the future. It was for some time feared all our 
homes and property would have to be abandoned in flight South for 
safety. Though temporarily victorious, the Indians feared a return 
of the white settlers and fled toward the North and were soon over- 
whelmed and practically destroyed at the battle of the "Bad Ax." 
We were left to mourn our dead and bring home the wounded and 
nurse them back to health and strength. To comfort our sorrow we 
remembered and sung the immortal song for the fallen brave: 

How sleep the brave who sink to rest 
By all their country's wishes blest; 
When spring- with dewy fingers cold 
Returns to deck their hallowed mold 
She there shall dress a sweeter sod 
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod. 

Time had but little softened grief for those slain by Indians when 
the cholera spread a funereal pall over the same territory lately 
stricken by war. The swift flying messengers on horseback in pur- 
suit wherever to be found dotted the prairies with omens of dread. 
For when the fell disease struck its victim no time could be lost be- 
fore active remedies were applied. Death was the quick result if po- 
tent relief was not found within the early hours of attack. In my 
family four were fatally stricken in as many days. Many who were 
not at once attacked fled their homes, only to meet death a little later 
in the lonely prairie or unsettled forest. Bereavement and sorrow 
were widespread — almost universal — over a great part of the West. 


Typhoid and other fevers followed this dreadful visitation, swelling 
the death list generally from those who escaped the cholera. Indeed, 
the "cholera year," as it was long referred to, was a period of gloom 
from which memory turns in horror. From this period may be dated 
most of our country graveyards, being then set apart for burial of our 
lirst dead. 

Then to us were verified the comforts found in the good old hymn: 

There is a calm for those who weep, 

A rest for weary pilgrims found; 
They softly lie and sweetly sleep, 

Awaiting us, low in the ground. 

Sorrow, affliction, and trouble are incident to every stage and situ- 
ation in life. Neither country nor climate can entirely protect us 
from misfortune and defeat at some periods of our life. To make 
wise selection least liable to a multiplicity of disagreeable conditions 
seems a natural incentive of all intelligent creatures. The pioneer 
incentive to man, however, seems a violation of this common princi- 
ple of self- protection or self -escape from disagreeable conditions. My 
family were comfortably located in a happy home and a desirable part 
of Ohio, but insidious whisperings of a better, brighter, newer coun- 
try west of us invaded our ears and influenced our desires to the point 
of change of our home. Hence the trip above narrated and all its at- 
tendant afflictions. Yet no one of the survivors ever thought or 
dreamed of return to the old location. No, indeed! 

There w^as a charm about the new home, a fascination in all our 
surroundings that claimed our allegiance and love in spite of all 
temporary inconvenience, sickness, sufi^ering, death, and sorrow. 
The broad, limitless expanse of unclaimed, unused virgin nature ap- 
pealed to us in all its smiling beauty, to be used, occupied, and en- 
joyed by man and woman for virtuous, civilized homes of love and 
human production. Tt seemed a new Garden of Eden without a ser- 
pent. Knowledge was ours, our eyes were opened, and we feared 
no fall. 

The earliest noted writer to praise our "prairie land" says of it: "I 
have lo>^ed the West, and it still claims my preference over all other 
portions of the earth. Its magnitude, its fertility, the kindness of the 
climate, the variety and excellence of its productions, are unrivaled in 
our own country, if not on the globe. In these characters it presents 
itself to my mind, in the light of a strong and generous parent, whose 
arms are spread to extend protection, happiness, and life to throngs 
who seek them from other and less favored climes. The magnificent 
freedom and beauty of the country form, as it were, a common ele- 
ment in which all varieties of character, education, and prejudice are 
resolved into simple and harmonious relation. Living near to nature, 
artificial distinctions lose much of their force. Humanity is valued 
mainly for its intrinsic worth — not for its appurtenances or outward 
belongings. "The writing of these sketches," the writer continues, 
"has heretofore been a labor of love. While engaged upon them I 
have lived again in the land of my heart. I have seen the grasses 
wave, and felt the winds, and listened to the birds, and watched the 
springing flowers, and exulted in something of the old sense of free- 


dom which these conferred upon me. Visions prox)hetic of thf; glory 
and greatness which are to be develo^x^d her(3 have dwelt in my njind 
and exalted it above the narrow personal cares of life." 

Such are the declarations of one who had larg(; opportunity jjiid 
kindred capacity to judge fairly the charms of this country in its days 
of pristine beauty and enchantment— the days we are now recalling. 
And who of us old settlers today cannot lift the veil from memory's 
page and see again before us this beautiful land as it then absorVjed 
our vision, enchanted our fancy, and filled our long cherished hojje 
as the "land of hope" realized at last. 



(By J. N. Perrin. 

In 1890 was celebrated the centennial of St. Clair county, Illinois, 
at Belleville, the county seat. On that occasion a vast concourse of 
people from various portions of our State took part in the exercises; 
a monster street parade took place in which a great number of floats 
represented both old and new conditions of agricultural, industrial 
and social life; the festivities were graced by the presence of two of 
Illinois' most distinguished characters- — Hon. Lyman Trumbull and 
Gov. Richard J. Oglesby — both of whom participated in the pro- 
gram by making addresses. The management had assigned me 
the pleasant duty of presenting an historical address and in conclud- 
ing its delivery I made use of the following language w^hich I beg to 
submit as an introduction now to the presentation of this sketch of 
the "mother of counties." 

"This is the place where Indian warriors camped; w^here Jesuit 
priests brought forth the cross: where first the Frenchman came; 
where England ruled and swayed; where old Virginia sent her sons; 
where pioneers blazed out the path: and where the hand of toil since 
then has wrought another wonder of the world." 

As historians and historical students you are expected to be histor- 
ically cognizant of the events which occurred prior to the formation 
of this county from the day when Cartier landed on the St. Lawrence 
in 1534 down to the proclamation in 1790 by Arthur St. Clair which 
established the first county in Illinois. Hence a cursory review suf- 
fices as a historical stepping-stone to the subject in hand. 

The Spaniards had traversed the Southland, the English had skirt- 
ed the Atlantic sea-board and the French had established themselves 
in the North-East and had spread their discoveries along the St. 
Lawrence and the chain of Great Lakes before the middle of the seven- 
teenth century. 

We shall briefly follow the French explorations, as it is to them 
that we are indebted for the discovery of this Mississippi Valley. 
All through the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth, 
they opened up the North-East, which was called New France. It 
was during the last half of the seventeenth that the northern Missis- 
sippi river was discovered. In 1673 a young Jesuit missionary. 
Father Mar(]uette, 36 years old, immortalized himself through this 
discovery. Through the discovery all the territory bordering on the 


river and its tributaries became French territory and was so consid- 
ered in the proclamation issued through the LaSaUo expedition in 
1682. As a part thereof Illinois became French. Under the French 
occupation which lasted for more than three quart(3rs of a century 
the earliest settlements in Illinois were made of which we have any 
historic knowledge. Kaskaskia ranking as the oldest had its begin- 
ning in a mission established by Marquette on the northern Illinois 
river. About 1700 we find it in the southern portion of the present 
state on its present site practically at the mouth of the Kaskaskia 
river where it empties into the Mississippi. In the same year w(3 also 
find Cahokia having a definite beginning. These two pioneer settle- 
ments, the subject of so much dispute and historic misstatement, can 
not lay claim to greater antiquity with any historic truthful accuracy. 
In 1718 Fort Chartres was commenced which for a half century was 
the headquarters of the French government in the West. A year 
later almost within the shadow of this great military fort the village 
of St. Anne's was begun. There is now^ no vestige left of this vil- 
lage. In 1722 Prairie du Rocher was established. Prairie du Pont 
near Cahokia commenced in 1760. At the time of the transfer of this 
territory from the French to the British in 1763 these with Peoria in 
the north were the centers of population in what was then termed the 
Illinois country so named from the Illinois confederacy of Indian 
tribes who originally had their habitat on this soil. 

At the close of the French-Indian war in the treaty of Paris in 
1763 this Illinois country was embraced in the cession and in 1765 
the formal transfer was made when St. Ange de Belle Rive delivered 
up the keys of Fort Chartres. The Illinois country did not have to 
remain British long for during the war of American Independence it 
was delivered to the American cause by George Rogers Clark through 
his capture of the North-West in 1778. During the brief jDeriod of 
English occupation of this territory from 1765 to 1778 an incident 
took place which is of vast historic importance. This was the assas- 
sination of Pontiac near Cahokia. Cahokia is in the present county 
of St. Clair and this famous historic happening enriches the annals 
of the county greatly for Pontiac was probably the greatest of all the 
Indians of whom we have any historic information. 

After the capture of the Northwest by Clark the stream of Ameri- 
can migration began to set in to the West. The Illinois country was 
erected into the Illinois county with John Todd of Kentucky as 
commandant. The Americans settled in what is called The Ameri- 
can Bottom. In 1781 came Moore and Bond and Garrison and 
Rutherford and Kidd and settled at The Beautiful Fountain in Mon- 
roe. Later the Lemons and Ogles and Pulliams and Whitesides 
came. A few years later, at the close of the War of Independence, it 
was suggested that some of the states should cede their lands to the 
national government and in 1784 the Illinois county was ceded to the 
United States by Virginia and erected into the Northwest Territory 
by the ordinance of 1787, with Gen. Arthur St. Clair as the territorial 
governor, in which capacity he served until 1802. It embraced Ohio. 
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. 


Under the ordinance of 1787 among other things it was provided as 
follows: "For the prevention of crimes and injuries the laws to be 
adopted or made, shall have force in all parts of the district, and for 
the execution of process criminal and civil, the governor shall make 
proper division thereof; and he shall proceed from time to time, as 
circumstances may require, to lay out the parts of the district in 
which the Indian titles shall have been extinguished, into counties 
and townships, subject, however, to such alteration as may thereafter 
be made by the legislature." By virtue of this authority was issued 
the proclamation dated on the 27th day of April, 1790, and signed by 
the Governor and his secretary organizing the county of St. Clair, so 
named after the Governor himself. It was the first county organized 
within the present limits of our State of which it embraced fully one- 
third. The population of Illinois at that time is supposed to have 
been about 2,000. 

Upon the organization of St. Clair county the political machinery 
was put in operation and the first evidence of legal proceedings was 
seen in the legal tribunals established at Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher 
and Cahokia. A judge presided at each one of these places. In 
those days the superstitious feelings of the jjeople had not yet been 
eradicated; in the very year when this county was created the belief 
in witchcraft was prevalent and two instances are recorded of negroes 
being executed. Judge William H. Snyder told me of a conversation 
had in his youth with a very aged Frenchman who had witnessed the 
execution of some negroes for witchery and also witnessed the flying 
of some crows overhead immediately afterward and believed that the 
bad spirit had gone into the crows and was taking its flight. 

The j)i"oclamation establishing St. Clair county fixed its boundaries 
as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of the little Michillimackinack 
river, running thence southerly in a direct line to the mouth of the 
little river above Fort Massac upon the Ohio river; thence with the 
said river to its junction with the Mississippi; thence uj) the Missis- 
sippi to the mouth of the Illinois river, and so up Illinois river to the 
place of beginning, with all the adjacent islands of said rivers, Illi- 
nois and Mississippi." 

When a division of this county took place in 1795 and Randolph 
county was formed out of the southern part below a line drawn east 
and west from the Mississippi to the Wabash through the New De- 
sign Settlement in the present county of Monroe, Cahokia became the 
county seat of St. Clair and remained so for nineteen yenrs. A 
division took place in the year 1800, as stated in the title of tlie Act 
of Congress of May 7th of that year, of "the territory of the United 
States, northwest of the Ohio, into two separate governments.'' The 
west part was called Indiana Territory and included Illinois. St. 
Clair county was then represented in the legislature at Vincennes and 
the members used to ride on horseback across the country along what 
was called the old "Vincennes Trace." William Henry Harrison was 
api)ointed as Governor of the Indiana Territory in which this section 
was included. The po]3ulation of Illinois then was reported at 2,458. 
Through a division in 1809 of the Indiana Territory, Illinois became 


a territory with Ninian Edwards as its first territorial Governor. In 
18] 2 when Illinois became a territory of the second grade by a vote of 
the people, Governor Edwards also by his proclamation hu.(] estab- 
lished the counties of Gallatin, Johnson and Madison. 

In 1814 the county seat of St. Clair county was removed to Belle- 
ville where for ninety years it has witnessed the steady growth of an 
industrious people. From time to time divisions have been made 
until the present county is reduced to its i^resent size; though within 
its present bounds we have a population of 90,000 whose hearts beat 
with gladness because they live within those bounds where nature 
yields her choicest gifts; where orchards bear their choicest fruits; 
where meadows smile beneath the sun; where farms are scattered 
o'er the fairest soil; where mines give up abundant fuel; where forges 
blaze and chimneys smoke; where hammers sound and anvils ring; 
where the army of progressive toil keeps pace with the forward tread 
of legions marching on to their destined goal; and where the eye of 
man in perpetual glee beholds the scene. 

Within the present limits of the county many of the most note- 
worthy events within the history of the State have transpired. Such 
as the founding of one of the very earliest of all the settlements in 
the West when Cahokia began in 1700; the assassination of Pontiac 
near Cahokia in 1769; the establishment of the first Protestant Theo- 
logical Seminary in the West when in 1827 John M. Peck built the 
Rock Springs Seminary half way between O'Fallon and Lebanon, 
which has since been transferred to Upper Alton and grown to be 
Shurtleif College; the first railroad in the West which was built in 
1837 across the Grand Marais and the American Bottom to where 
the thriving city of East St. Louis now stands and had no less re- 
nowned a personage than Gov. John Reynolds for its projector; the 
first legal execution which took place in the State when Timothy 
Bennett was hanged at Belleville on Monday the 3rd day of Septem- 
ber, 1821, for the murder of Stuart in a sham duel. 

These events of course all occurred within the bounds of the orig- 
inal county necessarily. Besides them the territory within the 
bounds of the original county witnessed the building of the most 
famous of all American forts at a cost of a million dollars and became 
the home of all of the Capitals of the State, namely Kaskaskia from 
1818 to 1820, Vandalia from 1820 to 1839, Springfield from 1839 to 
the present. 

Prior to the era of authentic history this section also witnessed the 
greatest events of antiquity as evidenced in the mammoth mounds 
scattered over St. Clair, Madison, Clinton and Washington counties. 
Recent explorations of these by Dr. E. A. Woeld of Belleville have 
added immensely to the department of Archeology, And thus 
archaeologic proof brings forth antiquity in corroboration of the 
present in its insistence that this favored spot of earth was designed 
by Nature and by Nature's Ruler as the seat of a mighty civilization 
from which shall radiate a countless throng of blessings to the world. 



(By Mary Semple Ames Cushman.) 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gtentlemen: 

I deem it an •Qnusual privilege to present this paper on the life and 
Public services of Gen. James Semple to the Illinois State Historical 
Society. Certainly no Association of a similar nature, in the various 
States of the Union, could be a safer repository and custodian for 
that large amount of material from which the historian must gather 
his facts and draw his inspiration. 

Heredity and environment are such potent factors in the develop- 
ment of human character, that it is undoubtedly germane to this 
sketch to refer briefly to the early ancestry of General Semple. 

The recorded history of the Semple family dates back to the year 
1214. Its original founder, Guillaume de Sempill, was among the 
adventurous warriors who accompanied William the Conquerer from 
Normandy, when he laid low the British supremacy at the battle of 
Hastings in 1066. Tradition tells us that he, with other ambitious 
nobles of the Norman army, was dissatisfied with the share of booty 
assigned him for his services, and on invitation from the King of 
Scotland, who offered more substantial inducements, traveled north- 
ward to settle in the beautiful and romantic hills of the country of 

Here, near the little town of Ailsea, his descendents acquired vast 
domains, built many beautiful castles on the picturesque crags over- 
looking the lakes, and became one of the oldest and most illustrious 
houses of the Scotch peerage. Offices of great importance were held 
by them under the Stuarts; and their history, like that of other noble 
families of these early centuries, is one of wild romance and inter- 
mittent strife, according to the varying fortunes of those to whom 
they had sworn allegiance. 

But about the year 1700 we find one of the sons forsaking the pro- 
fession of arms for the church. This was the Rev. James Semple, of 
Dreghorn, the great grandfather of Gen. James Semple of Illinois., 
His son, John Semple, emigrated to Virginia in 1752. He acquired 
a large fortune and founded an estate in King and Queen county 
which he named "Rosemount." John Walter Semple, his oldest son, 
married Lucy Robertson, also of Scotch ancestry. He was a man of 
some political ambition and served several terms in the Legislature; 



but the potent fascination of the great western country, of which 
Daniel Boone had brought back such wonderful tah^s, hnd aJrriridy 
started the migration which soon peopled Kentucky with scions of 
the old Virginia families. 

Major Semple was among those who deterndned to seek fortunfi 
and success in these promising new fields; and he and his wife joined 
a party of their relatives and friends, and together accomplished the 
long journey down the Ohio River on flat boats. The party sejjarated 
at Lexington, the Semples settling in Greene county; and her(,\ two 
years before the close of the 18th century, in 1798, James Semjjle, the 
subject of this sketch, was born. Shortly after this event the family 
removed to Clinton county where his father built his permanent 
home, which in memory of the great national struggle, he called "76." 
. Young Semple's mother was a woman of remarkable force of 
character and unusual ability. Possessed of a keen intellect and 
great vitality, she readily adapted herself to the exigencies of pioneer 
life, even arguing her own law cases in court when no lawyers coidd 
be found. 

The lack of facilities for any adequate education for the fast growing 
children was perhaps the chief disability under which these early 
settlers labored. Young Semple was fortunate, however, in being 
able to acquire a fair education under the tutelage of his uncle, Isaac 
Robertson, who was a graduate of Princeton College. 

At the early age of sixteen he volunteered and joined the army 
under Gen. Jackson; two years later he was elected an ensign in the 
81st regiment of Kentucky Militia, and at a public meeting held at 
this time, he was appointed a member of a committee to draft resolu- 
tions on the politics of the day, which were adopted and published in 
the democratic newspapers. 

It is seen how Semple thus gravitated from his earliest youth into 
public life. This was during the "era of good feeling," as it was 
called when statesmanship was considered the most honorable pro- 
fession to which a young man could aspire. The flush of the recent 
victory of freedom over old world oppression was still powerful to 
imbue men with splendid patriotism and high standards. Such ideals 
could not fail to appeal with intensity to a mind naturally "tuned to 
tine issues," and under such influences, Semple grew to manhood, a 
good type of the gentlemen of the old school, a Jeffersonian Democrat. 

Under the necessity of seeking his fortune, Mr. Semple moved to 
Edwardsville in J 818, but remained only nine months, when he re- 
turned to Kentucky, and shortly after was married to Ellen Dufl' 
Green, a niece of the distinguished politician of that name. A year 
later the young couple established themselves at Chariton, in the 
newly admitted state of Missouri, where Mr. Semple engaged in 

When he left the parental roof a slave had been given him as his 
original capital in life. This slave was soon liberated by his young 
master, and on the document conveying this intelligence was written, 
"This is the only slave I have ever owned or ever will own." 

During his absence from home, Semple kept in constant corres- 
pondence with his mother. His letters breathed the most tender af- 


fection for her and "his little brothers and sisters" as he always called 
them. Being the eldest of nine children, he realized at the death of 
his father, in 1820, the responsibilities placed upon his shoulders, as 
the one to whom his mother would naturally appeal for counsel and 
support. In these he never failed her, and the relation between 
mother and son to the day of her death at the advanced age of ^4 was 
a most beautiful one. 

Being elected, shortly after his arrival in Chariton, one of the 
Commissioners of the Loan Office, to which was attached a good salary, 
new and more promising prospects were opened up to his ambitions ; 
but the great blow he received in the death of his wife, discouraged 
for a time his efforts, and it was not until later that he began the 
study of law, into which he threw himself with ardor, partly to forget 
his cruel bereavement, and partly from a growing conviction that a 
profound legal knowledge was essential to the kind of success in life 
to which he aspired. He wrote to his mother that he had 158 law 
books in his room, which was quite a collection for an impecunious 
young man of that period, and that he devoted every spare moment 
to their perusal. 

Mr. Semple removed from Chariton to Louisville to continue the 
study and practice of law and remained there three years, when he 
returned to Edwardsville, which was henceforth to be his home till 
his removal to Alton in 1837. He now threw in his fortunes with 
the rising young state of Illinois, and worked with sincere affection 
and pride during many years of public life, for her advancement and 

At the outbreak of the Black Hawk War, although Gov. Ninian 
Edwards had commissioned Mr. Semple adjutant of the 8th regiment 
of militia, he enlisted first as a private, and was subsequently com- 
missioned by Grovernor Reynolds Adjutant in the Mounted Volun- 
teers and later made Aide de Camp to General Whiteside. 

In the year 1833 lie was elected to the House of Representatives 
from Madison County, which he ably represented for six terms, three 
of which he presided over the House as Speaker. His services as a 
legislator were interrupted by his election as Attorney General of the 
State, which office after one term, he resigned, and again entered the 
House. From the first years of his residence in Edwardsville, the 
talents and legal ability of Mr. Semple had been the means of his 
acquiring an extensive law practice. He was considered one of the 
distinguished lawyers of his State, (having been elected first district 
and then circuit Judge, at an unusually early stage of his career.) 
and it has been said that the bar of 1836 has never been surpassed. 

Mr. Semple was married in 1833 to Mrs. Mary Stevenson Mizner, 
a daughter of Dr. Caldwell Cairns, one of the members of the first 
Constitutional Convention of Illinois. Mrs. Mizner was possessed of 
great beauty, accompanied by sterling qualities of mind and heart. 

General Semple was urged by his friends, in the year 1836, to be- 
come a candidate for the United States Senate. Stephen A. Douglas 
wrote to him at this time, "The use of your name among the people 
will give strength to our party in this county." Another admirer 
praised the manly and dignified way he had presided over the House 


for so long and said, "You occupy a high x)lace in th(3 JiffV^ctions of 
the people of this State, more so than any man of your age in any 
state in the union." Judge Richard M. Young, a pc^rsonal friend of 
General Semple's, was his o^jponent in this contest, and the mutual 
generosity of their attitude towards one another is worthy of note^ 
Each was willing to concede his claim for the success of the party, to 
which all personal advancement was cheerfully sacrificed. As it de- 
veloped, however, General Ewing was re-elected over both. 

During these years, a tremendous amount of speculation had been 
indulged in all over the country, but particularly in the new western 
states. Great sums were voted by Congress for internal imx^rove- 
ments, and so numerous were the railroads and state roads jjrojected 
in Illinois that there were not enough inhabitants to make use of 
them. As a result of the general prosperity, town building became 
one of the pastimes of the moneyed classes. General Semple had 
engaged in this fascinating operation in connection with Mr. Adam 
Snyder, Mr. Suppiger, and others, and had laid out the towns of 
Highland and Tamarawa. Lots were sold on long credit and were 
quickly disposed of, and a fortune for the projectors seemed in sight. 
But in 1837 the great panic occurred, and such hard times set in that 
it was recounted that ''even the moon could not make its change." 
Naturally all payments on real estate ceased, and the towns were re- 
luctantly abandoned, their founders losing a considerable amount of 
money thereby. 

On the return of Gen. Robert McAfee, in 1837, from the post of the 
United States charge d'affaires to New Grenada, the friends of 
General Semple in Washington, without solicitation or even know- 
ledge on his part, presented his name for this position. Some of his 
friends at home, however, were adverse to his acceptance of this 
office in a foreign land, arguing that he could better serve his coun- 
try and advance his personal interests in his own state. He was at 
this time about to be tendered the nomination for Governor, and his 
name was again prominently mentioned for the Senate. 

Judge Sidney Breese wrote, "I think our party will lose by your 
absence if you decide to go to South America, as it was our intention 
to run you for Governor. We must have some firm anti-bank man, 
and I know of none more so than yourself." A letter from Isaac 
Cartwright reads: "I do not believe this appointment was any of 
your own seeking, and I sincerely hope you will not accept it. In the 
present crisis your talents in the cause of democracy are greatly 
needed in this state." It was with considerable reluctance that 
General Semple, notwithstanding the advice of some of his friends, 
finally reached the decision to accept the post in South America. 

At the time of the wildcat speculation period, he had not only 
laid out towns, but had made heavy investments in land. The panic 
found him with a host of others financially embarrassed, and in the 
hope of recuperating his fortunes and his health, which was far from 
robust, he determined to venture in new fields. In later years he 
fully realized that his absence from Illinois for so long a time, just at 
this crucial period, was the mistake of his political career. He re- 

—5 H 


2:retted not having heeded the advice of sincere consellors, and the 
suspicion was borne in upon him that he had perhaps been relegated 
to this distant post in order to clear the arena for the political am- 
bitions of others. When his nomination for the office came up in the 
Senate it was nnanimously confirmed, Messrs. Linn and Benton, of 
Missouri, giving a highly eulogistic statement of his character and 
his qualifications for the place, with the added remark by Benton 
that Semple was "an unusually fine looking man." 

A journey to Bogata in 1837 was of far greater duration and at- 
tended with more numerous dangers than a trip around the globe in 
our day. 

General McAfee described his own journey there as being one of such 
hardship and peril that General Semple reluctantly abandoned the 
idea of taking his wife and children with him on the initial voyage. 
Although nominally occupying the position of charge d'affaires to 
New Grenada, General Semple was endowed with all the powers of 
a minister plenipotentiary. His reception by Mr. V^an Buren, on 
reaching Washington, was most flattering, and many attentions 
from prominent iDublic men were shown him. 

Having reached New York on January 5th, he embarked on the 
brig "Sadi," a seaworthy little vessel carrying fourteen sails. 

On February 11th, the beautiful green island of Martinique was 
reached,' and on the 22nd, Santa Martha came in sight. The ex- 
istence of taverns and hotels was unknown in South America. 
Travelers of distinction were entertained at private houses with the 
most lavish hospitality, the citizens vying with one another for the 
privilege. After four days spent most delightfully at the residence 
of Don Joaquim di Mier in Santa Martha, the trip up the Magdalena 
River began. 

General Semple describes some of his experiences as follows: "I 
embarked on what they called a burrgo, a large canoe dug out of a 
tree, with a small space in the middle covered with palm leaves. 
I put my trunk under this frail cover, and took my seat in the small 
space left. To connect the idea of comfort with a voyage of thirteen 
days in this situation would be a perversion of the English language. 
One has on this trip all that is grand, romantic and beautiful com- 
pounded with all that is nauseous, disagreeable and dangerous." He 
mentions the wild beasts and the chattering monkeys, and marvels 
at the tropical vegetation, stating that after the country had been 
settled 300 years there had not yet been found names for the vast 
number of fruits and flowers. 

At the Port of Ocana a halt was made, mules were secured, and 
packed with the luggage, and the arduous crossing of the mountains 
began. The manner of traversing some of the rivers was both novel 
and exhilarating, tlie passengers being placed in baskets suspended 
high in the air by raw hide ropes and drawn across by means of a 
pulley. On April 10th, ninety-five days after his departure from 
New York, General Semple and his little party reached Bogota, 
where Mr. Gooding had his house in readiness for him. 


The first impressions received on his arrival were extremely agree- 
able. "I never saw a more kind and hospitable people," wrot(i Mr. 
Semple. "I am in truth highly delight(3d with them, and as for 
robbers, of which I had some fear in traveling, I could send a com- 
mon peon with a thousand dollars from one end of the country to the 
other in perfect safety. Bogota is all new Grenada, as Paris is ail 
France, and the people dress very fashionably in French and English 

I cannot dwell longer on the entertaining accounts of (General 
Semple's private life, and experiences in South America, which would 
furnish material for a volume. His official life was under a great 
pressure of business. Many claims of citizens of the Ignited States 
against the Columbian Grovernment were sent to him to adjudicate. 
BQsides this press of correspondence, he had jurisdiction over many 
of the consuls, who referred all matter of importance to him. To 
keep from all entanglements with the warring factions in the Repub- 
lic, and still maintain a conciliatory attitude tow^ards all required 
•delicacy of handling. The frequent revolutions which devastated the 
country he attributed to the machinations of priests, and the am- 
bition of the old Spanish grandees; and the mass of the people, who 
would fain have lived in peace, w^ere the unhappy victims. 

Much of his time was taken up in formal visits and diplomatic 
dinners. Among his intimates he mentioned Baron Gros and Mr. 
Adams, the French and English charge d'affaires, the Pope's Nuncio, 
and the Archbishop of Bogota, a man of distinction and learning. 
General Semj)le very soon acquired a remarkable mastery of the 
Spanish language, for which he had a great admiration. 

He kept more or less in touch with the atfairs at home through an 
active correspondence wdth friends in Illinois, among whom were 
Adam Snyder, Gustavus Koerner, Sidney Breese, James Shields. 
Richard M. Young and Governor Ford. At the end of his first year 
of exile, he received permission from our Government for several 
months' leave of absence and returned to America. He entertained a 
hope that he would be allowed to hand in his resignation, but finding 
it unacceptable to our government, he made preparation to have his 
family accompany him back to his post. The return journey to 
Bogota with Mrs. Semple and his four children was accomplished 
safely, the crossing of the mountains being pursued by a different 
route, over which the travelers were carried in chairs strapped to 
the backs of Indians. Mrs. Semple was much interested in her new 
surroundings, the little children prospered, and learned Spanish, and 
the two following years were spent very happily. 

In letters from home, disquieting news had been received regard- 
ing the re-election of Mr. Van Buren, upon which the Democrats 
felt the salvation of the country depended. Party feeling ran high. 
The most virulent abuse was heaped upon the Whigs, who were sus- 
pected of secretly conniving with England. They were denounced 
-as traitors without principle or decency. After one of the most 
heated campaigns in the annals of our history, the election of Gen. 
Harrison by overwhelming majorities, came with surprise and con- 
sternation to the Democratic party. One of Gen. Semple's corres- 


pondents wrote, "You will ere this have read President Harrison's 
inaugural, and will see that the Whigs have complete ascendency 
in both houses. Mr. Clay will in fact be president for the next four 
years and Mr. Webster will look on and say amen!" 

The Whigs being hungry for office, Gen. Semple anticipated his 
immediate recall from South America. He was surprised and could 
not but feel gratified that Mr. Harrison on the contrary made no 
move to have him replaced. But political and business considerations 
determined him nevertheless to yield to the solicitation of his friends 
at home ; and he accordingly presented his resignation to Mr. Tyler, 
who had, through the death of Gen. Harrison, become president one 
month after the inauguration. It was accepted with expressions of 
regret, the efficiency of Gen. Semple as a diplomat having been fully 
recognized by our government. In June, 1842, Gen. Semple arrived 
in Washington, where he was congratulated by Mr. Webster, then 
Secretary of State, on having so satisfactorily discharged his duties 
as charge d'affaires to New Grenada. 

The news of Gen. Semple's return to his native state met with a 
warm welcome. While he was still in Washington Judge Martin 
had written, "I regret very much you were not at the seat of Govern- 
ment this winter. You could have been made United States Senator 
instead of McRoberts, by common consent." His friends were clam- 
orous for him to resume his political activity and put his shoulder 
to the wheel of Democracy. 

Madison County, which he had so long represented in the Leg- 
islature, had become somewhat disaffected, and needed stirring up. 
Whiggery had made advances in Illinois which the old time Dem- 
ocrats felt must be stopped at any hazard. In fact, the whole country 
was in a very unsettled and dissatisfied condition, Mr. Tyler having 
disappointed both parties. Recent negotiations with England had 
resulted in the Ashburton Treaty, w^hich determined the boundaries 
of the State of Maine, in a manner much resented by the Dem- 
ocrats ; and now the Oregon question was violently agitating the public 
mind. Gen. Semple, bitterly disappointed at the cession of so large 
a part of Maine to British greed, became immediately one of the 
ardent advocates of iTisisting on our full rights in regard to the 
northwestern boundaries. He was instrumental in calling, at Alton, 
the first meeting held in the west for the discussion of these grave 
questions, and here and later at Springfield he made two brilliant 
speeches, in which he advocated giving immediate notice to England 
that the United States desired the "joint occupation" of the Oregon 
country to cease. Gen. Semj^le's prophesies concerning the future 
population and riches of this territory, which have since been more 
than verified, subjected him to the ridicule of his contemporaries. 

Shortly after Gen. Semple's return from abroad he could in all 
probability have been elected to the Senate, but it was deemed ad- 
visable by the party leaders that Judge Breese should fill the position 
at this time, to which determination, Semple willingly acceded, ac- 
cepting in lieu of the higher position the judgeship in the Supreme 
Court, left vacant by Breese's promotion. This post was only occu- 
pied by him a few months, as the death of Senator Samuel Mcfioberts 


created a vacancy in the Illinois delegation, to which (jov\ Ford at 
once api^ointed Gen. Semph^. A warm p(irsorial frifiiidship existed 
between Ford and Semjjle, but this was not th(; ground on whif^h 
the appointment was made. It was necessary to nani(; a man who 
was well known all over the state, and who would be ac(;eptabl(.' to both 
the northern and southern sections. As Gen. Semj^le had always re- 
garded the interests of the whole state, and was heartily in favor of 
the completion of the Illinois and Michigan canal, (xovernor Ford felt 
that the appointment would give general satisfaction. The only 
possible objection that could be raised was that of residence, as 
Semple and Breese were practically from the same section. Jud^ 
Breese was delighted at having for his colleague so old and good a 
friend as Gen. Semple. Stephen A. Douglas who was at the time 
in. Congress, wrote his warm congratulations, and added, "I am glad 
we will spend the winter in Washington together, and propose that 
we make a mess of the entire delegation. They are all good fellows 
and would make pleasant companions." 

Gen. Semple went to Washington to take up his official duties in 
December, 1843. He established himself in the house of Mrs. 
Mount, near Capitol Hill, where he met and became acquainted with 
the aged widow of Alexander Hamilton and her daughter, Mrs. Holly. 

The session of 1844 was looked foward to as promising to be more 
heated and exciting than any since the time of Jefferson. The Senate 
was controlled by the Whigs-, but the House was Democratic. Many 
burning questions w^ere before Congress, such as the adjustment of 
the tariff, the annexation of Texas, the admission of Florida, the 
troubles and issues on the Bank, and above all the settlement of the 
Oregon country. There was no subject that aroused the enthusiasm 
of the west as much as this. During the foregoing session Dr. Linn, 
of Missouri, had introduced and ably championed in the Senate a bill 
looking toward the defining of our boundaries. In November, 1843, 
his death occurred, which was deeply regretted by all who advocated 
this important measure. Upon Gen. Semple, whose views were 
already so w^ell known, devolved the duty of carrying on the crusade. 
He was keenly alive to the necessity of an early settlement of the 
question in the interests of the entire w^est, and particularly of the 
American pioneers already domiciled on the banks of the Columbia 
who were virtually under the jurisdiction of England. The Hudson 
Bay Company, rich and powerful, was becoming more and more 
insolent in arrogating to itself an arbitrary authority, deeply resented 
by our people. 

The boundary lines had been a source of friction and debate ever 
since the treaty of 1818, which permitted a joint occupation of the 
country by Great Britain and the United States, under which condi- 
tions all benefits accrued to the former. 

It is impossible to enter here into the validity of our claims to the 
Oregon country up to 54: 40, which were disputed by Great Britain. 
Gen. Semple had gathered a remarkable fund of information per- 
taining to the matter, and made out a very clear case in support of 
our contention. He deprecated the attitude of the eastern states. 


that, for fear of war, would relinquish our just rights. He felt he was 
as much in favor of peace as any man ought to be, but personally he 
would prefer war before he would yield an inch of American soil. 

In order to facilitate the emigration towards the Oregon, he advo- 
cated that a direct communication be established by our government 
overland between the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. On this vital issue 
he stood almost alone, finding practically no support in or out of 

On the eighth of January, 1844, Gen. Semple introduced in the 
Senate a resolution "that the President of the United States be re- 
qciested to give notice to the Government of Great Britain, that it is 
the desire of the United States to annul and abrogate the provisions 
of the 2nd article of the Convention of October 20th, 1818, and inde- 
finitely continued by the Convention signed at London, August 6, 
1827." This was a privilege granted either of the contracting parties 
under the existing treaties, and simply meant that after the expiration 
of twelve months, the joint occupation should cease, and negotia- 
tions be put under way, looking to the amicable adjustment of the 

The Democrats were divided on the issue. Gen. Semple wrote 
home at this time, ''The Oregon question is still debated every day, 
we shall undoubtedly have many high winds and squalls,'' and later, 
"the discussion still drags itself along, a case of masterly inactivity." 
The bill was purposely delayed in the Senate for many months, and 
finally lost. Other resolutions to the same effect were at once in- 
troduced, amended and re-amended, the policy of intentional delay 
prevailing throughout; but finally in the spring of 1846 a bill was 
passed by both Houses which declared the "joint occupation" at an 

If this question had not been brought to a focus just at this time, 
there is a possibility that through procrastination and inertia on the 
part of our government. Great Britain might have persisted in her 
unwarranted claims, and this large and fertile region been lost to us 
forever. As a result of the passage of this bill, negotiations were 
started, which finally added to the Union the vast territory west of 
the Rockies up to the 49th parallel of latitude, and down to the line 
of California, to be followed later by the acquisition of this state also. 

To return to Illinois politics, when Governor Ford's appointment of 
Gen. Semple to the Senate came up in the Legislature for confirma- 
tion, it appears that a coalition had been formed against him, and 
several other candidates for the senatorship were in the field. It was 
rumored that the whole Illinois delegation, with the exception of 
Ficklin, had gone over to the enemy, even Breese was reported to 
have deserted the cause of his old friend. Shields afterwards de- 
clared he believed this report to be without foundation. 

Eager for the success of his friend. Gen. Shields hurried to Spring- 
field to fight and break up the coalition, and with characteristic 
eloquence and Irish impetuosity succeeded in bringing back to Semple 
all the scattering forceps which resulted in his almost unanimous 
election by the Legislature, his opponents withdrawing their names 
on the final ballot. 


Another important measures introdnc(;(l by (tcu. Sernplc on his re- 
turn to the Senate was the bill for the reor^anizjition of onr consular 
establishment. During his years of residence in South America he 
had occasion to notice the grave defects of our system. Our consuls 
received no salaries whatever, and were grant(;d so little discnitionary 
power and influence as compared with the rex)resentatives of other 
nations, that the prestige of the United States suffered in compar- 
ison, and its commerce failed to receive the stimulation it should 
have had through these important channels. 

This bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, where in 
spite of its great importance, it lay dormant until long after General 
Semple's retirement from the Senate. 

Being a member of several different committees, his correspond- 
ence was enormous, hundreds of letters of application for offices- 
being addressed to him not only from his own state, but from every 
part of the Union. On account of the engrossing duties of his office 
his private affairs suffered neglect. He wrote to his wife early in '46, 
*'My business requires my constant attention. I am determined to 
come home in the spring. From present appearances I fear they 
want me to run for Governor, but I hope the Convention will not 
nominate me." He thought seriously of resigning his position, but 
said: "If my car succeeds I can float along, if not I go to Oregon in 

General Semple's invention of what is called a prairie car is of 
great interest as being probably the first precursor of the automobile. 

On the flat prairies of Illinois, where there were as yet few, if any 
railroads, the value to that section of some cheap means of transpor- 
tation would have been inestimable. This car was very similar to 
the old fashioned locomotive in appearance, but differed materially 
in its mechanical construction, having very broad wheels to enable it 
to run over the prairies in all kinds of weather, without tracks or 
special roads. 

General Semple secured patents in 1845, and spent much time, 
energy and money in perfecting its mechanism. He interested Com- 
odore de Kay, of New York who took a large amount of stock, and a 
company was formed and a charter secured. Capitalists in the east 
were much impressed with the novelty of the idea and acknowledged 
fully its merits, but already plunged in speculations of every descrip- 
tion, they were fearful of taking up any new thing. Apart from 
this, great difficulty was experienced in having the new ideas carried 
out by the mechanics of those days, who had not the appliances nec- 
essary to perfect the machinery. But not withstanding these numer- 
ous obstacles the prairie car worked successfully, and had General 
Semple himself been possessed of sufficient means to forward the 
project, there is no doubt that so-called automobiles would have been 
in general use fifty years ago. 

General Semple was on the point of returning home from Wash- 
ington when the Mexican War broke out. He was enthusiastically 
in favor of the annexation of Texas, and was extremely anxious to 
enter the army and go to the front. These were troublous and moment- 
ous times when Congress was called upon to guide the nation through 


a critical test. It was generally held that war with Mexico would 
lead to hostilities with England. Under the circumstances General 
Semple resisted the temptation to leave his x^ost, as he realized what 
grave issues might depend upon the casting of. one vote. He ex- 
pressed great satisfaction that his step-son Lansing Mizner had en- 
listed in the army and regretted that his little boy Eugene was not 
old enough to buckle on his father's sword and engage the enemy. 

Congress was in session all summer, not adjourning till September. 
On the eve of his dej^arture for home General Semple wrote to his 
wife, "I was never so sick of politics in all my life as at present. I 
have seen enough of it and henceforward will keep myself in the 
cool, sequestered vale of life. "We have not yet heard a word of who 
is likely to take my place here, but suppose it will be Douglas. 
General Semple made no effort whatever to retain his seat in the 
Senate at the expiration of his term, and also firmly declined the 
overtures of hi's friends at home to accept the nomination for Gover- 
nor. He wrote Governor Ford that not unless the serious welfare of 
the party should be imperiled would he accept this nomination. 

The increased changes in political methods from the high ideals of 
statesmanship which he had always held, created in him a strong 
aversion to public life. No doubt he enjoyed honor as much as any 
man, but he could not and would not condescend to the means and 
methods then in vogue to curry favor. Political preferment and ma- 
terial success were not the paramount considerations that directed 
him. The compensations of a tranquil domestic life were of as much 
import to him as the uncertain honors of a fickle public. 

On his return to Illinois in 1847 he spent many anxious weeks of 
uncertainty as to the outcome of his negotiations concerning the 
prairie car. When he was finally forced to abandon the project, his 
disappointment was keen. He left the car standing out in the prairie 
near Springfield where it gradually fell to pieces and was pointed out 
by passers-by as "Semple's Folly." 

Following the failure of this venture, General Semple gave his en- 
tire attention to his private affairs. He had the interest of Alton, 
where he had resided since '37, much at heart and firmly believed in 
the greatness of its future. He laid out a large tract of land in the 
upper part of the city which was named Sempletown. He had in- 
vested in numerous other real estate holdings here which proved un- 
successful, and believing he might be more fortunate elsewhere, and 
that his efforts for the welfare of Alton had not been appreciated, he 
determined to remove permanently from the town. 

Four miles below the mouth of the Illinois River on the bluff's of 
the Mississippi, and extending far back into Jersey County, General 
Semple bought a large estate. Here, in the heart of the forest he 
built a comfortable home, where he brought his family to reside in 
1858. Again he laid out a town which he named Elsah, in memory 
of the place in which his forefathers had lived in Scotland; and like 
them he also created a sort of patriarchal domain, of which ho became 
the central figure. For in spite of the fact that General Semple had 
througliout his life sincerely held and advocated the most demo- 
cratic sentiments he had at lieart some of the ineradicable instincts 


of the aristocrat. In this little retreat of his own, he felt that he w;is 
sufficiently removed from the corruption of jniblic life and tlie iu- 
gratitude of men, and here he passed the remainder of his years in a 
tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. He was once again, several years 
later, waited upon by a delegation and importuned to acjcept th(i nom- 
ination for Governor of Illinois, which he firmly declined. The glit- 
ter of public honors could no longer lure him from the peace and 
quiet which he had sought and found. 

In the seclusion of his later years he devoted his hiisure hours to 
literary pursuits, having written a valuable history of Mexico and 
South America, which unfortunately was never jjublished. 

The little family circle gradually decreased by the marriages of his 
sons and daughters, but the old homestead remained always the head- 
quarters for the gathering of his own and his children's children. 

' In the winter of 1866, on December 20th, still in the prime of life, 
General Semple passed away at Elsah, Jersey county, Illinois. 

General Semple had the misfortune to be in advance of his age. 
He held ideals impossible of accomplishment at the period in which 
he lived. Notwithstanding these discouraging conditions, he put 
forth his best efforts, and rendered his country and his state services 
of signal value. The example of a private life such as his cannot be 

In appearance General Semple was far above the average height, 
presenting a commanding and distinguished bearing, accompanied by 
that courtly manner which is now a relic of the past. 

I cannot, in conclusion, more fittingly sum up the general character 
of the subject of this sketch than by quoting the eloquent words of 
one who knew him most intimately in life and regretted most sincere- 
ly his loss: 

"General Semple was a man of clear, strong mind and self reliant 
character, kind, affectionate in his manner toward all, but to his 
family it approached adoration. Positive and decided in his opinions 
he never aspired to a divided empire, but went for a clean victory or 
a clean defeat. He had the faculty of attaching to himself warm 
and devoted friends and his enemies respected while they feared him. 

"General Semple was an old fashioned democrat of the 'States Rights 
School,' and while he in no manner changed his political opinion, he 
was devoted to the union of the states, a union of consent, and he 
felt that war was fatal to such a union. He denounced disunion from 
whatever quarter it came, north or south, and was exceedingly hostile 
to the style of radical politicians who then ruled the land. 

"His moral character was bey odd reproach. His motives of religion 
were of the most exalted nature and while he had a most profound 
respect for the church, no sect or denomination could control him, 
but conscious of his own rectitude and fortified by immutable love 
and truth he seemed to commune with and be at peace with his 
Maker. Having thus lived a long and eventful life, holding nearly 
all the high places of honor and trust which his adopted state could 
bestow upon him, and in full possession of all his faculties, his spirit 
passed away to the God who gave it.'' 


Of the four children of General Semple three survive: one son, 
Ex-Governor Eugene Semple, of the state of Washington; Mrs. L. V. 
S. Ames, of St. Louis, Mo.; and Mrs. Ashley D. Scott, of the same 

General Semple's step-son, the Hon. Lansing Mizner, closed a dis- 
tinguished career in California, he having been one of the pioneer 
residents of that state, and at one time U. S. minister to Central 

Mrs. Semple died in the year 1875. Her memory is enshrined in 
the hearts of all who knew her, for her beneficent deeds and kindly 
disposition, and for her unusual grace of person and mind. 



(By Henry McCormick, Normal.) 

The State of Illinois supports a system of free public schools in 
order that its citizens may be intelligent men and women. It recog- 
nizes the fact that intelligence promotes virtue, and that virtue is 
essential to the stability of the State. But it is impossible for the 
State to be virtuous unless its individual members possess that 
quality. Consequently it has made ample provisions for the educa- 
tion of all its boys and girls. And it asks us older peojjle, especially 
those engaged in teaching, to see to it that they receive such an edu- 
cation as will best equip them for life. 

People may differ as to what this education should be, but all 
thoughtful persons will agree that it should create in the learners a 
strong love for the State, and that to be of any real worth, this love 
must be based on intelligence. The children must be educated into 
the belief that cheerful obedience to law is the highest civic virtue; 
for without such obedience there can be no sound public order, and 
disorder works injury not only to the State, but to the individual a& 
well. For society is so constituted that the greatest good of the State 
promotes the greatest good of the individual. 

One of the things the schools are trying to do is to impress upon 
the children, that loyalty (patriotism, if you will) which ends in words 
is a spurious article; that to be of value it must be embodied in acts. 
One of its main elements must always be honesty. The man who is 
not honest is not loyal to the State, no matter how noisy he may be 
in his protestations of patriotism. To be loyal he must not only be 
honest with his fellow-man, he must also be honest with the com- 
munity as a whole. It is claimed that there are men who would scorn 
to cheat a private individual, but who would not hesitate to cheat the 
town, the county, or the State, or all three of them, if they could do 
so without fear of detection. The schools should diminish the num- 
ber of such men, and they are doing so; at least they are trying to. 
and that is worth considerable. 

Not only are the schools trying to train the children to be honest 
and true in their attitude towards the State, but they are leading them 
to see that they owe it such a course of conduct. This seems to be 


necessary not only in dealing with children, but in dealing with some 
•adults as well. The belief is quite prevalent among many people 
that the State owes them everything, and that they owe the State 
nothing. This is a mistake. The debt is mutual, and the obligation 
for its discharge equally binding upon both parties. This is a truth, 
however, that an ignorant person cannot appreciate, as he does not 
understand why it should be so. "Get everything and give nothing" 
is usually his motto in dealing with the community. From this false 
view of life the schools are striving to save the children. 

In teaching, as in other occupations, not only must the material 
upon which we work be considered, but so, also, must the material 
with M'hich we work. And it is generally conceded that there is no 
better material than history with which to train the children' into 
good citizenship. This is due to the fact that it deals with people, 
and pretty much such people as the children see every day. It tells 
of their acts, the motives which prompted them to act, and shows the 
results of their acts upon themselves and others. Any history is thus 
valuable because it reveals the experience of the race. 

With beginners, however, the history of their own country is more 
valuable than that of a foreign country, and the history of their own 
State is the most valuable of all. It touches their interests at most 
points. It is concrete, and the young mind grasps the concrete more 
readily than it does the abstract. And of all phases of history bi- 
ography is the most concrete, because it is the most human. Conse- 
quently in teaching history and the civic virtues to children, there is 
no material that can compare in value with biography. There they 
learn of men and women of moral worth, and studying about such 
reacts beneficently upon their own character. The history of Illinois 
is rich in the biographies of men and women who were actuated by 
high motives, and so were able to accomplish a work for the State 
that is still felt, and shall be felt for ages to come. Their privations 
and victories, their high aims and heroic deeds, their prayers and 
w^orks form the warp and woof of our history. It is not necessary to 
mention their names in this presence. They are familiar to you all, 
and so are their struggles. They fought a good fight, and we have 
entered into their labors. We are reaping a rich harvest as the re- 
sult of their sowing. And we teachers demand, as a matter of justice 
to the children of the State, that the record of their patient sufferings 
and heroic achievements be i^laced within our reach, to be used in fit- 
ting our x^ux^ils to carry forward the work so ably begun by those who 
have gone before. For it should be borne in mind that those who 
sit under our instruction to-day will in a few years be the men and 
women who will be influencing the destiny of the State for weal 
or woe. 

The State Historical Society is collecting and preserving such ma- 
terial as I have described. It is ransacking private and public libra- 
ries, delving into State and national archives, and even into the 
archives of foreign nations to obtain a knowledge of the men who first 
explored the State, and made known to the world its prairies, wood- 
lands, and rivers. It is faithfully striving to rescue from oblivion the 
memory of the men and women who first settled here among wolves 


and savage Indians ; and who dared the ravages of fev(»r and ague,, 
milksickness, and typhoid fever; who endured gr(;at privations, often 
suffering for the common necessaries of life, but who, having ruapx^f^d 
out their course, hung on with grim det(;rmination. Thc^ir houses, 
in many instances, were the rudest kind of cabins, with earthen 
floor, axe-hewn stools, and oiled paper windows, with no i)ictures, no 
papers, no books. But through the doors of those comfortless homes 
they could, by faith, see the commodious frame dwelling into which 
they should move when faith came to fruition, and they never doubted 
but what it would do so at some time in the near future. 

No palatial High School invited their children to its well-lighted, 
well-ventilated class-rooms; even the "little red school house" was 
missing. Yet it would be a mistake to think they allowed their child- 
ren to grow up in ignorance; they were not that kind of peoj^le. 
Some settler's cabin was first used as a schoolroom, and if there were 
not enough benches for the children, they sat upon dried leaves, 
prairie hay, or even the floor. These poor accommodations were im- 
proved upon as soon as jjossible by the building of a special cabin 
for a schoolhouse. And how glad they were when they could get 
hold of some peripatetic schoolmaster, even if he could do no more 
than teach the elements of the "three Es'\ The sacrifices made by 
these people to give their children even a little schooling are not ap- 
preciated as they should be. The State has made liberal provisions 
for the education of our children. Then the parents had to pay the 
teacher — not always in money, for that article was scarce in i^ioneer 
days; but in calves, colts, or wheat. And the cheerfulness with which 
they gave these articles is highly to be commended. They gave the 
best they had, because they esteemed the education of their children 
of more value than the products of their farms. 

And they did not stop with the intellectual education of their 
children; but took great pains with their moral and religious training 
as well. There is no more interesting chapter in the history of Illi- 
nois than the one treating of the efforts of the pioneers to establish 
morality and religion in the land. They felt there could be no last- 
ing social order unless it was based on intelligence, morality and 
religion. Although there were no elegant churches with graceful 
spires pointing sinners to heaven, the cabin of the pioneer was always 
open to the itinerant preacher. And what hardships and privations 
those preachers endured in order to proclaim the gospel of their 
Master to the people! They swam turbulent rivers, crossed pathless 
prairies, and often spent the night in the woods without fire or food, 
and in constant danger from the treacherous savage. Their preaching 
sometimes lacked the polish of the college and the theological school, 
but more than made up for the lack in directness and fervor. Their 
message being delivered at the hearthstone, it found its way the more 
readily to the hearts of the hearers, and cheered them in their isola- 
tion. Illinois owes much to the labors of Peck, Walker, Cartwright, 
and others like them, who, because of their love for humanity, made 
an indelible impression for good upon the history of the state. 

I know of [nothing that can have a higher educational value ah^ng 
the lines here indicated than the proceedings of this Society. The 


papers read here from year to year contain such a vast amount of 
concrete material that it is a great pity to deprive the children of the 
benefit that would accrue from their study. No school text can en- 
ter so fully into details; it would be too cumbersome; and details are 
what count in teaching history to children. Through them the child- 
ren accompany the pioneers on their tedious, and sometimes danger- 
ous journey from their old home to Illinois. By the study of these 
papers they also see the primitive cabins, >vith their still more primi- 
tive furnishings. The souls of the inmates are laid open before them, 
and they become familiar with the homesickness, and with the long- 
ing and yearning for the letters that were so slow in coming. They 
witness the heroic struggles with Indians, disease, and death: and 
become acquainted with the lack of medical skill in sickness, and of 
religious consolation in dying. They also learn of the high resolve 
that will not give way to discouragement, privation, sickness, or death 
even, until compelled to, but rises above them all, and says we will 
not submit; we will be masters of our environment. It is not diffi- 
cult to see that such heroic conduct, such devotion, will be sure to 
make an imx)ression for good upon the pupils. 

Since the jDroceedings of the State Historical Society can be made 
so valuable to the children of the State, they should be accessible to 
them. How they can be made thus accessible is a j)oint worthy of 
serious consideration; and jDerhaps we can learn how to accomplish 
our purpose by observing how other organizations accomiDlish theirs. 

You have noticed, no doubt, that speakers at farmers" institutes 
and writers on agricultural topics never tire of urging that whatever 
we would have apiDear in the lives of the i3eople we must put into the 
schools. To show their faith in the value of their theory, they insist 
that elementary agriculture, floriculture and horticulture be taught in 
the schools — hence the school garden. Without at all discussing the 
merits of the school garden as an attachment to the school, the fact of 
its widespread existence shows the wisdom of the course pursued by 
its advocates. It also points out the method by which this society 
can best accomplish one of the main purposes of its existence. 

One of these purj^oses is the accumulating of facts from which the 
future historian shall write the history of the State. For with all 
gratitude to Brown. Reynolds, Breese, Ford, Davidson and Stuve, 
Mason and John Moses, and with a full acknowledgment of our in- 
debtedness to them, we believe that the history of Illinois has not yet 
been written, and probably will not be for years to come. But when 
the proper man arrives he will And abundance of reliable material at 
hand through the labors of this society. 

. Another main object of the society is to spread among the people 
a knowledge of the State and of the men and women who have been 
instrumental in advancing it to its present high rank. And while it 
is important to collect facts for the future historian, it is still more 
important to spread a knowledge of these facts among the people. 
The facts are of value only as the people bt^come interested m them, 
and knowledge must precede interest. 

These facts have other values than that of information merely, im- 
portant as that is; they have a high ethical value. Meji's motives 


and acts may be changed by them, and their livens made of more worth 
to themselves and others. This is not claiming too mnch for th(i facts 
of history when properly presented. For if a knowledge of what 
others have done, and of the results which foUowc^d, do not influence 
men's lives, then nothing but the grace of God can. 

A closer union between the State Historical Society and the puV)- 
lic schools would be highly beneficial to both. The jjeople would ha- 
come interested more generally in the work of the society, and many 
would join its numbers that do not now, as they regard it simply as 
an instrument for gathering and storing up dry and musty facts for 
later generations to jjuzzle their brains over. This, of courses is 
a wrong conception of the society and its jmrpose; and x^ains should 
be taken to remove it. The proposed union would be sure to remove 
it, as the proceedings of the society would reach the fireside of the 
paople by means of their children. It is generally true that if the 
children are interested, their parents will be. 

As a consequence of this interest, more of the people w411 become 
enthusiastic students of Illinois history. They do not belong in that 
category at present. The ignorance of the people in regard to the 
history of their own State is marvelous, or would be, were it not so 
common. This is true of our young people especially. They know 
many facts about the discoveries, explorations, and early settlements 
in the United States, especially along the Atlantic coast. They know 
something of the wars of the country, of the different administrations, 
and of Jackson's fight upon the bank of the United States. But 
when questioned upon the explorations and early settlements of Illi- 
nois, or upon the struggles between the red man and the white for the 
possession of its soil, they are dunib. And they could easily prove 
an alibi as far as any knowledge of its educational and industrial 
development is concerned. 

This greatly to be desired interest in the history of the State will 
lead people to become friends and supporters of the society, and the 
more friends and supporters the society has, the greater will be its 
usefulness. It never will be as useful as it should be. and may be. 
until it has gained the esteem and support of the people. The best 
way to gain this is through the children. 

Among the benefits which the schools would derive from a closer 
connection with the historical society is that they w^ould be sux^plied 
with proper material with which to create in the children w^hat may 
be termed the historic spirit. This spirit once created would beget a 
love for the study of history instead of the abhorrence with which 
many children regard the subject at present. For deplore it as we 
may, there is no denying the fact that many of them do abhor it. To 
them it is tedious and tasteless, and they are always glad when 
through with it; and they are usually through with it w^henthey have 
^'carried" the subject in school. Their study of history ceases at 
that point. 

A third benefit that w^ould come from a closer union of the State 
Historical Society and the schools is that the children would grow up 
to be men and women with an intelligent love for their State and her 
institutions. Love is the fulfilling of the law; and unfortunate is the 
state whose people do not love it. 


For the reasons cited above, and for others not named, the proceed- 
ings of this society should be placed in every school house at the 
expense of the State. It will require money to do this. And yet the 
expense for doing it would not be very great. There are only about 
thirteen thousand school houses in the state, and it would cost but 
comparatively little more than is paid for publication at present, as 
the forms are made up, anyway, and the additional expense would 
only be for paper and binding. 

It may be urged that the Legislature will not make an appropria- 
tion for this purpose. Perhaps not. Has it been asked to make it? 
It surely will not make the appropriation unless asked to do so. If it 
is not worth asking for, it is not worth having. The society should 
ask for it, and ask with confidence, feeling that the work in which it 
is engaged is sure to yield large returns in the way of more intelligent 
citizenship. It is confidently believed that if the members of this 
society used their influence with the members of the Legislature from 
their districts, and the matter was brought before the Legislature in 
a proper manner, the appropriation would be made. But again let me 
say it never will be made unless it is asked for. 

It may be objected that even if the appropriation was made and the 
proceedings placed in every school house in the State, but compara- 
tively little benefit would be derived therefrom; that the books would 
not be used, and would eventually serve as kindlings with which to 
start the fire on some cold morning. This might be so, and it might 
not; it would depend largely upon the teacher and the county super- 
intendent. Both of those august personages can be reached, however, 
and their interest enlisted in behalf of the work which the society is 
attempting. Many of them are in full sympathy with it at present, 
and more will be when they know what the work is. A large number 
of teachers are kept from attempting to teach the history of the State 
by the dearth of material. No one who has not tried to teach the 
history of Illinois to children can know how diflicult it is to find 
proper material to place in the hands of the pupils, or even of the 
teachers of the rural districts. This society, it is hoped, will take 
steps to supply these lacks, and remove the diflSculties that stand in 
the way of the teacher. It is doing so already to some extent by the 
distribution of its proceedings. It will do so more extensively in the 
near future when its publications reach every school district in the 
State. If this cannot be done by obtaining a direct appropriation 
from the Legislature, cannot that body be induced to order the State 
printer to print a sufficient number of copies to supply the schools? 
Perhaps this is thef best way to accomplish this laudable object. 

The university can do much towards popularizing the history of the 
State. While the province of that institution is to deal with the 
higher walks of learning, yet it might find time to give attention to 
this subject. A semester's work in the history of Illinois would mean 
much. Many of the hundreds of young men and women who go out 
from the university to teach school would be more likely to teach the 
subject in their . own schools than if they had not studied it 
themselves. ^ 

[' The ccMirse recommended bv Professor McCormick is now offered at the State Uni- 
versity.— Kd.I 


To have studied it at the university would give the subject a dignity 
in their estimation it would not otherwise have. They might even 
regard it as equal in importance to the history of ancient Persia, 
Greece or Rome. Indeed, some peojjle think to be ignorant of the 
history of one's own state is more humiliating than it is to be ignorant 
of the history of any of those countries. Not that they would neglect 
the history of ancient nations, but that they would have jjeople know 
that there is such a subject as the history of Illinois, and that it is 
well worth the attention of classical scholars even. 

The normal schools, also, can do much along this line. These 
schools have been established by the State, and are being supported 
for the express purpose of preparing teachers for the schools of the 
State. And surely young men and women who go out from those 
schools with little or no knowledge of the history of the State are not 
well qualified to teach in its schools. 

At present some of the normal schools offer a term's work in the 
history of Illinois. Perhaps all of them do: I am not sure on this 
point. This term's work, however, is elective. Students need not 
take it imless they choose to; and but few of them take it, as they are 
in a hurry to get through. Consequently the classes are small, and 
will continue to be small until the study is made obligatory. When 
that is done, the study of Illinois history will receive an impetus that 
shall be felt from Cairo to East Dubuque. 

It will not be taught in all of the schools, however, until the school 
law requires all who teach in the schools of the State to be examined 
in its history as it now requires them to be examined in the history 
of the United States. This is not asking too much. And it is either 
a remarkable oversight in the State, or else criminal negligence, that 
it does not insist on its own history being taught to its children. 
This will not be done, however, until, as has been stated above, the 
teachers are required to stand an examination in the subject in order 
to obtain a license to teach. 

Can the law be amended so as to make this examination obligatory? 
Many believe it can, and more believe it should be.^ It is certain that 
until it is done, the great wealth of historic material which this soci- 
ety is accumulating will reach but comparatively few of the j^eople. 
The volumes will reach the libraries of those who need them least; 
and remain there. The members of the society will be delighted by 
them, and some benefit may ooze through to their immediate circles 
of acquaintance. But the young people, those whom the society 
should have it constantly in mind to interest in the history of our 
noble State will not be reached. For their sakes I plead that the 
Illinois Historical Society come into closer touch with the public 
schools, either by the means indicated in this brief paper, or by some 
other means equally effective. 

[^ It may be noted that this proposal was substantially carried into etf ect by the General 
Assembly in 1905.— Ed.] 

H H 



(By Rev. C. W. Leffingwell, D. D.) 

References to the subject of this paper may be found in the following- books and pamplets: 
Bishop Chase's Reminiscences (1848) ; The Life of Philander Chase, by Laura Chase Smith, 
E. P Button & Co., New York, 1903; Convention Journals, Dioceses of Ohio and of Illinois; 
Journals of the General Convention : White's Apostle of the Western Church; The Motto, 
a periodical of Jubilee College; The life of Bishop Chase, by John N. Norton, (I860) ; Church 
Review, Vol. 1; History of the Diocese of Chicagro. Francis J. Hall, D. D.; Papers and pam- 
lets on file in the Diocesan Archives, Chicago. The first two volumes named above have 
been most frequently quoted in the following pages. 

To few men has it been given to organize two dioceses, to accomp- 
lish the founding and partial endowment of two colleges, and to share 
in the making of two great States. Philander Chase, sturdy pioneer 
Bishop of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys, has left this record, the 
result of a life of extraordinary energy, devotion, and opportunity. 
He came of a family of pioneers ; was born of Puritan stock, Dec. 
14, 1775, on the banks of the Connecticut, where the present town of 
Cornish, N. H., is located; the fifteenth child of Dudley and AUace 
Chase. One child died in infancy. Fourteen children of this re- 
markable family grew up to be useful and honored men and women. 
(Life of Philander Chase, p. 17.) A log cabin was the place of his 
birth, the shelter of his family in three different States, his episcopal 
palace, and the home of his age. The courageous spirit of the mother 
who gave birth and pious nurture to fifteen children, was illustrated 
in the following of her husband from Fort No. 4, on the Connecticut 
river, to the heart of the wilderness in 1765. The Indians were 
hostile. She was in constant anxiety. She would not be detained 
by expostulations or entreaties of friends. "I will go," she said, 
"with all my children, and will endure any hardship, if you will but 
give me a speedy conveyance to my husband. If there be no shelter, 
or fence or fort, his faithful arm will guard me, and his trusty men 
will aid him; their God, who is above all, ruleth and directeth all; 
He will provide." 

A good neighbor took her and her seven little ones, with supplies, in 
a frail, open canoe. They made the journey safely. One can imagine 
the surprise and alarm with which the coming of the helpless ones 
filled the hearts of the woodsmen. "Are you come here to die before 
your time?" exclaimed the agitated husband and father. ''We have 
no shelter for you and you will perish." "Cheer up, my faithful," 
replied Mistress AUace, "let the smiles and rosy cheeks of your chil- 
dren, and the health and cheerfulness of your wife make you joyful. 
If you have no house you have strength and hands to make one. 
Tlie God we worship will bless us and help us to obtain shelter. 
Cheer up, cheer up! my faithful!" 



In a few days a comfortable cabin was built, and there was shfil- 
tered with her children this first woman who had jjenetrated the 
wilderness above Charlestown. 

Under the tuition of the brothers, Philander i)repared for Dart- 
mouth College, entering at sixteen and graduating in 1795. While 
in college he found a book of Common Prayer, was impressed with 
the beauty and dignity of the services, brought it to the attention of 
his family and neighbors, with the result that the old Congregational 
meeting house in Cornish (out of repair) was torn down and in its 
place an Episcopal church was erected. Such was the aggressive and 
impressive power of character and conviction which carried this re- 
markable man through a life of great achievement. 

Young Chase taught school for a time; acted as lay reader; was 
married in his twenty- first year to Mary Fay, a girl of sixteen; was 
ordained deacon in St. George's Church, New York, by Bishop Pro- 
voost, in 1798; was itinerant missionary in western New York; was 
ordained priest in St. Paul's Church, New York, by Bishoj) Provoost, 
in 1799. The record of a single year shows 4,000 miles travelled, 14 
adults and 319 infants baptised, 213 sermons preached, seven jDarishes 
organized. Wherever he finds two or three gathered together and 
reverently disposed, he prays and preaches; in the woods, in the way- 
side hut, on a vessel's deck, by the camp-fire of the Indian; cheering 
the suffering, consoling the dying, administering the sacraments. 
"On a floor of rough hewn planks, with scarce a pane of glass to ad- 
mit the light, we knelt down together in the little cabin, and there 
the holy offices were reverently used." (Reminiscences.) 

On account of the delicate health of his wife he sought work in the 
South (1805), and is recorded as "the first Protestant minister who 
had ever preached in Louisiana." The parish of Christ Church, New 
Orleans was organized and Mr. Chase became its rector. Of those 
who attended the first service (November, 1805) he writes in his diary, 
that they "were numerous and of the most respectable Americans, and 
very decorous in their conduct." 

All the household goods, books, clothing were lost by the wreck of 
the Polly Eliza, which followed the vessel bearing the family. The 
rector's small salary was insufficient to supply the needs of his family 
(he had then two sons) and were supplemented by teaching. To his 
abounding energy and enthusiasm no amount of work seemed 

Mr. Chase remained in New Orleans six years, laying good founda- 
tions for the building up of education and religion among the most 
intelligent and influential families in Louisiana. Mrs, Chase was 
greatly improved in health. Her tireless husband soon became rector 
of Christ Church, Hartford, where he continued until 1817. Of his 
life in Hartford, Conn., he writes: 

"In the bosom of an enlightened society, softened by the hand of 
urbanity and kindness, my enjoyments, crowned with abundance of 
temporal blessings, were as numerous and refined as belong to the lot 
of man. Of the time I spent in this lovely city I can never speak in 
ordinary terms. It is to my remembrance as a dream of more than 
terrestrial delight. Of its sweets I tasted for a while and thought 


myself happy, but God, who would train His servants more by the 
reality of suffering than by ideal and transitory bliss, saw tit to direct 
my thoughts to other and more perilous duties." 

This lovely home and happy work were left behind, as the born 
missionary felt the irresistible impulse of conquest and heard the call 
of the wilderness pleading for help. The leaving of wife and children, 
the comforts of home and the pleasures of social life, to take up again 
the ministry of the camp and cabin without any pledge of support, 
was the most heroic act of this remarkable life. From that hour 
Philander Chase was a maker of history, a factor in the world's pro- 
gress, a leader of men, a founder of institutions, a benefactor of his 
country. By a toilsome and perilous journey in the early spring of 
1817, he reached his missionary field, and after some months of itin- 
erant work, traveling in wagons and on horseback, he was joined by 
his wife and infant son and made a home on a farm near Worthing- 
ton, Ohio. In May, 1818, his beloved wife was called to rest, and the 
husband was left with an infant son in his arms and two boys to main- 
tain in Dartmouth College. 

In June, a month later, the first convention of the Diocese of Ohio 
met at Columbus. Philander Chase was elected bishop, and cano- 
nical notices were sent to the several dioceses. On going to Phil- 
adelphia to receive his consecration, the bishop-elect was informed 
that consents from a majority of the dioceses (expressed through their 
standing committees) could not be obtained. A board of inquiry was 
demanded, and after months of delay and anxiety for the candidate, nO' 
reasonable objection could be discovered. The consecration took 
place in Philadelphia, on Feb. 11, 1819, Bishop White presiding. 
Other consecrators were Bishops Hobart, Kemp, and Croes. 

The opposition to the consecration of Bishop Chase, and the later 
opposition to his plans in the founding of colleges, have never been 
fully accounted for.. The former has generally been charged to some 
incidents in his relations to slaves and slave-holders, during his resi- 
dence in the south. The only slave that he ever owned he emanci- 
pated. The . fact is, everybody who succeeds in doing much of 
anything, is sure to antagonize some people. There are two kinds of 
people, those who are trying to do things, and those who are trying 
to prevent them. Bishop Chase, perhaps, had more than his share 
of attention from the latter. 

On Sunday, July 4, 1819, Bishoi) Chase was united in marriage to 
Sophia May Ingraham, whose nephew (Wm. Ingraham Kip) after- 
wards became the first bishop of California. She was in every way a 
woman worthy to stand in high places, and proved to be a true help- 
meet to her husband in the labors and trials of his later life. 

The work was hard and the life was hard, in those early days in 
Ohio, when the bishop was giving everything and receiving nothing 
but the answer of a good conscience. There was not enough money 
coming in (no stated salary) to pay the wages of a helper on the farm. 
With his own hands the bishop had to minister to the necessities of 
his family. He was sometimes discouraged and doubtful. There 
were many painful hours. His lot seemed to be harder than that of 
the first Apostles. They would not leave the ministry of the word. 


said the bishop, to serve tables, whil(3 he found himself ''obliged to 
leave the higher duties of his calling to serve stabl(3S." J^ut later he 
realized that those dark hours were most prolitic of good, With all 
the wear and worry of domestic affairs th(i work that he did in his 
diocese was immense. The Convention Journal gives the following 
statistics for one year: 

Travelled on horseback 1,279 miles; 

Confirmed 174; 

Baptized 50; 

Preached 182 times. 

There were but six clergymen in the diocese, beside the Bishop. 
In 1821 he accepted the charge of the college in Cincinnati, for a time, 
presiding at the graduation of one class. Two years later (1828) 
cajne the inspiration which resulted in the founding of Kenyon Col- 
lege at Gambler. An appreciative notice, in the British Critic, of the 
Bishop's work in Ohio, was the incident which suggested an appeal 
to churchmen in England for aid in building a college and seminary, 
primarily for the education of ministers for his missionary field. 
Determined and persistent opposition was encountered, even from 
some of the most influential bishops, and that opposition followed 
Bishop Chase to England, in private letters and printed protests. 
This made his difficult mission far more difficult, at times most dis- 
tressing. The opposition seems in part to have grown out of the idea 
that it was discreditable for America or the American church to 
ask anything of England. There was a disposition in the east to 
centralize all church interests there, and a feeling that the prestige 
and influence of the General Theological Serninary in New York 
might be impaired if another institution should be established. 
Bishop Chase, while acting entirely within his right to provide a 
seminary for his diocese, was referred to as "schismatic." A remark 
which the Bishop made concerning his opponents in this matter, 
might be quoted in some other cases of eastern estimate of western 
affairs: None of these persons had crossed the Alleghany mountains. 
They all lived on the Atlantic side; therefore, their judgment was not 
much esteemed, for this simple reason — it was a one-sided judgment." 

Nothing daunted, the great missionary of the middle west did go 
and did succeed. For the sake of his Master and his mission he 
feared not to stand before kings. By his sturdy personality and 
apostolic spirit he won the confidence of some of the best people in 
England, and instead of being "ruined" by his presumption, as some 
of the American bishops had prognosticated, he brought home within 
a year five thousand pounds sterling, and friendships which he en- 
joyed through life, and which subsequently yielded much revenue in 
aid of his good works in another field. A clergyman of the English 
Church, near the close of his mission, wrote to him: ''All pretension 
that you have degraded the American Church in the eyes of the 
Church of England, must be put out of countenance. The contrary 
is most certainly the case; you have raised it in our estimation, and 
endeared it to us." 

Among the notable and generous contributors in England were 
Lord Gambler and Lord Kenyon, whose names are thus permanently 


associated with the development of Ohio and the progress of educa- 
tion in that noble state; from the former the locality was named, and 
from the latter, the college. 

Forty-three days were spent on the ocean, in the return voyage. 
To the convention of his diocese which was held after his return 
(November, 1824), meeting in Chillicothe (there were four clergymen 
and twenty-three lay delegates present), in reporting the success of his 
mission to England, the bishop said: "Never was benevolence more 
disinterested; never was christian zeal more active. Delicacy as well 
as generosity characterized our benefactors. The task of soliciting 
being assumed by the most respectable characters, the rich feasts of 
intellectual intercourse were everywhere spread before your Bishop, 
and he has reason to bless God for giving him grace in the eyes of 
this favored people, whose God is the Lord, and whose kindness to 
him was evidently the fruit of the gospel of peace." Of course the 
convention was very glad to praise the Bishop and to approve all that 
he had done, though he had received no encouragement from Ohio 
churchmen on going forth, and later he received little but ingratitude. 

The Bishop began to collect students in his own house even before 
the location for the new seminary was chosen. The following from 
his convention address, 1825, in which the location was to be decided, 
sets forth the principle by which he was guided both in Ohio and 
Illinois: "Put your seminary on your own domain; be owners of the 
soil on which you dwell, and let the tenure of every lease and deed 
depend on the express condition that nothing detrimental to the mor- 
als and studies of youth be allowed on the premises." 

A year later, after much opposition to the location of the institu- 
tion in the country, the site was fixed in Knox county, and there 
today still flourish the schools built on that foundation of generos- 
ity of the Mother Church of England. 

Of the clearing of the site, superintended by the bishop, living in 
a tent cabin, cooking his own meals, and writing his letters by a 
"hog's lard lamp"; of the erection of buildings, with the unprece- 
dented regulation of total abstinence among the workmen; of the 
Sunday school and Sunday services in the woods; of visitations to 
the scattered flock in the wilderness ; of the temporary school sheltered 
in log cabins and fed at the bishop's table; of his fruitless struggle 
in Washington to secure a grant of land for the Gambler institution; 
of his strenuous and romantic life, beginning his letter- writing at 
H:00 o'clock in the morning; of those foundation days, that seem so 
far away, yet are not beyond the memory of some now living, the story 
is intensely interesting, and we are grateful to the busy bishop for 
having preserved such an account of it in his "Reminiscences." 
These can seldom be procured in our day, but a very excellent life of 
the bishoj^, mostly compiled from the "Reminiscences", has lately 
been written by his grand daughter, Mrs. Laura Chase Smith, pub- 
lished by Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. To the courtesy 
of this firm we are indebted for the portrait of Bishop Chase which 
accompanies this sketch. 


Henry Caswall, a young Englishman who came to Ohio in 1828 and 
afterwards graduated at Kenyon, thus describes his first visit to the 

"I requested to be driven to the bishop's residenc(3, and to my con- 
sternation I was deposited at the door of a small and rough log cabin, 
which could boast of but one little window, composc^d of four squares 
of the most common glass. 'Is this the bishop's x^^laceV I involun- 
tarily exclaimed. 'Can this,' I thought, 'be the residence of the ajjos- 
tolic man whose praise is in all the churches, and who is venerated 
by so many excellent persons in my native country V It was even so. 

"On knocking for admittance the door was opened by the bishop's 
wife, who told me that the Bishop had gone to his mill for some flour 
and would soon return. I had waited but a few minutes when I 
heard a powerful voice outside, and immediately after the bishop en- 
tered with one of his head workmen. The good prelate, then 5)> 
years of age, was of more than ordinary size, and his black cassock 
bore evident tokens of his recent visit to the mill." 

This prelate, whose palace was a log cabin, and whose cassock bore 
the decoration of the flouring mill, was a founder of institutions, a 
moulder of civilization in tht empire of the Middle West. 

At the opening of the school on the bishop's farm the first year, 
there were twenty-five students including five Indian boys. Board 
was $1.25 a week and tuition from $10.00 to $20.00 a year. From the 
diary of the first pupil the following is quoted by his biographer: 

"Philander Chase, the founder of Kenyon College, was a man of 
heroic mold in every way. His body was of gigantic proportions, 
with a strength and endurance which, in these softer days, seem al- 
most fabulous, and his mind was of the same commanding propor- 
tions as his body. Add to these an indomitable will, impatient of 
restraint or opposition, and one can see with the mind's eye some- 
thing of the striking and altogether extraordinary personality of the 
founder of the first western college. He was a veritable giant, raised 
up, as it would seem, for the special work that was given him to do." 

Chief-Justice, Salmon P. Chase, a nephew of the Bishop, writing 
of these days, says: 

"Out of school I did chores, took grain to the mill and brought 
back meal and fiour;lnilked the cows, drove them to and from pasture, 
took wool to the carding factory over the Scioto — an important journey 
tome — built fires and brought in wood in the winter time; helped 
gather sugar water and make sugar when winter first turned to spring; 
helped plant and sow in the later spring. In most of whatever a boy 
could do on a farm I did a little." 

He speaks of going one morning to Columbus, on horseback, and 
after making some purchases returning before breakfast: — eighteen 

Kenyon is perhaps the only college in the world that started in log 
cabins: students, professors, and president all lived for some years 
in five or six of these rude shelters. Many eminent men have been 
students of this pioneer institution. Besides Chief- Justice Chase. 
may be mentioned Justices Davis and Matthews, President Hayes. 


Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War. The latter declared: -'If 
I am anything, I owe it to Kenyon." The late Bishop Wilmer, five 
living bishops, and many of our prominent clergy graduated at Kenyon. 
During the recent commencement week at Gambler (1904), the 76th, 
in the history of Kenyon College, the following appreciative and 
humorous verses were read at a glee club festival: 

"The first of Kenyon's g-oodly race 
Was that g-reat man, Philander Chase: 
He climbed the Hill and said a prayer, 
And founded Kenyon Colleg"e there. 

"He dug- up stones, he chopped down trees, 
He sailed across the stormy seas. 
And beg-ged at every noble's door, 
And also that of Hannah More. 

"The king, the queen, the lords, the earls, 
They gave their crowns, they gave their pearls, 
Until Philander had enough, 
And hurried homeward with the stuff. 

1 "He built the college, built the dam, 

He milked the cow, he smoked the ham, 
He taught the classes, rang the bell. 
And spanked the naughty Freshmen well. 

"And thus he worked with all his might 
For Kenyon College day and night: 
And Kenyon's heart still keeps a place 
Of love for old Philander Chase." 

On this occasion announcement was made of a gift of $50,000 by 
Andrew Carnegie, to found a chair of Economics in honor of Edwin 
M. Stanton, a former student. 

The crisis in the bishop's life came in 1831. His episcopal and 
educational work had been greatly pros^Dered; the substantial stone 
buildings of the college and seminary had been completed and filled 
with more than a hundred students; the prospect was most hopeful. 
Then discontent was fostered in the faculty by the very men whom 
the bishop had nominated and supported. They sympathized with 
those outside who desired to secularize the institution and sacrifice 
its religious and theological character, in consideration of which its 
endowments and benefactions had been secured. Discontent devel- 
oped into discourtesy. ''Episcopal tyranny was denounced so openly 
that the bishop could not fail to hear it. Not being sustained by his 
diocesan convention to which he explained the situation, the Bishop 
promptly resigned his headship of the institution and of the diocese, 
and retired with his family to the shelter of a log cabin on a tract be- 
longing to Mrs. Russell, twenty miles away in the woods. "The pre- 
siding over such a diocese would be but the carrying on of a perpet- 
ual war; a thing most abhorrent to his soul." He could not and 
would not consent to be ignored as bishop in an institution of 
which he was the founder and ex-officio president. 

In view of all accessible records and information, the action of the 
convention seems indefeiisibk\ Conventions like corporations ap- 
pear sometimes to have no souls. His resignation was accepted with 


heartless indifference. Two lay members of the conv(jntion ?jfter- 
wards declared: "Bishop Chase has been most cru(;lly injurcA." 

The bishop had not received enough from the diocese to pay liis 
expenses, yet the convention could meet year after yc^ar on (iambicr 
Hill, partaking of his hospitality, without taking any stcjjjs to pro- 
vide for his support, to pay his expenses, or to help th(i college. Ha 
had given to the diocese the most energetic years of his life, had 
founded and moderately endowed a seminary and college in face of 
opposition even from his own people; yet now, because he claimed 
the right to rule it, as those who contributed to it, desired, a few men 
who never gave a dollar to the college, made it imx^osible for a man 
of his high spirit to remain. It was, as his biograx^hy justly remarks, 
"a sad ending, humanly speaking, of the great and noble work u^jon 
wljich he had ventured his hopes, his fortune, his very life and that 
of his best beloved, his home and friends both in this country and 

Some have regarded the bishop's resignation as hasty and ill ad- 
vised; perhaps no one now approves the action of the Ohio conven- 
tion, or regards the conduct of the faculty with favor. No one, 
certainly, can refrain from sympathy with the bishop, when, as he 
says, "he beheld the whole diocese, for whom he had labored so much 
and so faithfully, now as one man combined against him, not a voice 
being heard in his behalf." 

From the temporary shelter of the ruined cabin in the "Valley of 
Peace," the bishop in 1832 removed his family to the virgin wilderness 
of Michigan, and the place chosen for his clearing, in the St. Josei3li 
country, he named "Gilead," for there he hoped to find balm for his 
wounded soul. There, under the energetic and intelligent industry 
of gifted parents and dutiful children, a thrifty farm was developed 
and a happy home was made, the land flowing with the milk of the 
dairy and the wild honey of the woods. There was "a limpid lake 
full of the finest fish," the forest and prairies were well stocked with 
wild deer and grouse. The fields were enlarged, cattle increased to 
more than a hundred, cheese and butter were plenty, a comfortable 
house and a mill were erected. "Not a day, not an hour, was spent 
in idleness." 

In making provisions for his family the bishop did not forget his 
holy calling. In a wide circuit his pastoral visits were extended. 
"What though there was no wordly emolument attached to his holy 
duties in God's husbandry,'' he writes. "He was but imitating the 
first preachers of Christianity, by paying no regard to the circum- 
stance; if they had w^aited until salaries had been prepared for their 
maintenance, no gospel had been spread throughout the world." 

But the bishop was not to linger long in this arboreal paradise. 
The wilderness again held out her hands to him. At the primary 
convention of the Diocese of Illinois, held in Peoria March 9, 1835, 
Bishop Chase was chosen as the episcopal head, and invited to remove 
to the diocese. "There was something so unexpected," he writes, 
"and yet so solemn, in the reception of the above appointment, that 
the writer could not help feeling as if a Divine hand were laid upon 
him, and a voice from God were uttered in his ears." 


In 1835 there were four Episcopal clergymen at work in Illinois. 
The Rev. Isaac W. Hallam, St. James' parish, Chicago; the Rev. 
Palmer Dyer, St. PauFs, Peoria; the Rev. Henry Tullidge, at Jackson- 
ville, and the Rev. James C. Richmond, at Rushville. 

The bishop was at that time 60 years old, hale and hearty, and 
somewhat heavy for itinerant duty. His unusual stature, his 
keen eyes, his vigorous action, his impressive demeanor, attracted at- 
tention everywhere. He was evidently a man of the first rank. A 
writer (quoted in a private letter) says: ''Whether in the log cabin 
of Ohio, or in the magnificent halls of Lord Kenyon, surrounded with 
the refinements of the Old World, Bishop Chase was equally at home 
and capable of winning golden opinions." 

Accompanied by the Rev. Samuel Chase, who had married the 
daughter of his niece. Bishop Chase was soon on his way to Chicago, 
"then a newly built town, of a few houses and flourishing trade.-' 
From Chicago the bishop goes to Peoria, the most prosperous town in 
the State, then to Springfield, where Mr. Chase arranges to open a 
day school. From Jacksonville the bishop writes to his wife in 

"How delightfully does it picture to my mind's eye your peaceful 
state in Gilead — the herds of innocent animals all around you; the 
corn all planted; the sweet garden which I toiled to arrange for your 
enjoyment, so flourishing; Mrs. R., our loved niece, and Mary, now 
recovered, and full of employment! How full your cup of earthly 
felicity! May it put you in mind of the peace of heaven, where our 
joys are permanent. Here, alas, how transient!" 

In the summer, Bishop Chase returned to his family in Michigan, 
driving alone 350 miles, sometimes "across wide and trackless prai- 
ries, and through deep and muddy ponds and streams." Later he 
writes: "When reflecting on the temerity of this enterprise in his 
even then advanced period of life, he can scarcely refrain from shud- 
dering at the perils he passed; and at the same time adoring the Di- 
vine goodness which kept him from imminent death." 

By the records of the General Convention of 1835, in which the 
Diocese of Illinois was admitted and the choice of bishop was rati- 
fied, it appears that then there were in the diocese one bishop, four 
Presbyters, and two deacons; four parishes with 39 communicants; 
16 baptisms were reported, 13 confirmations, 58 Sunday school 
pupils, three marriages and five burials. In the three dioceses into 
which the original Diocese of Illinois has been divided, there are 
(1905) five bishops, over 150 clergy, and about 30,000 communicants. 

After some months of toilesome visitation of his few sheep in the 
wilderness, the bishop, in his "Reminiscences", thus describes the 

"There was no salary attached to his appointment; no home for 
the bishop; nor parish to receive him and maintain him for his paro- 
chial services; no school of the prophets founded, or even proposed 
to be founded, and patronized in his new diocese. But one church 
in the whole diocese, (that at Jacksonville,) and only three or four 
clergymen, and two of them on the wing, with no permanent support 
to detain them. 


"What hope, then, was there to cheer the writer in his return to- 
his wilderness Diocese of Illinois V His best days had been sjjent in 
another diocese, once most beloved. His m(3ridian strength had been 
exhausted on other fields, till they were white unto harv(ist, and 
others were reaping where he had sown. He had now become too old 
and unwieldy to travel on horseback through the wide jjrairies, and 
over the unbridged sloughs, as he had done in Ohio, through mud 
and beech roots. The necessity inevitably followed; this work must 
be done by others. And whence could these be obtained in sufficient 
numbers to the vast demand, but from sons of the soil? And how 
could these be duly prepared but in a well-founded, well- arranged, 
and liberally-supported school, as had been founded on Gambler 
hill, in Ohio?" 

, To England, the Bishop again turned for aid, as he had done in 
1823 for his Kenyon college, and thither he went, spending nearly a 
year in his mission. After his return from England, with encourage- 
ing results, he proceeded to remove his family from Michigan to his 
new and almost unexplored diocese in Illinois. It was a picturesque 
procession which started from Gilead on that July day in 1836; first 
the ox-team driven by the hired man; next came the bishop and Mrs. 
Chase with some of the children, in the Quaker coach ; then followed 
the farm wagon drawn by "Pompey" and "Nero", while "Cincinna- 
tus" with a youngster on his back, brought up the rear. In Peoria 
county were found lands "suitable for the establishment of an institu- 
tion for the encouragement of religion and learning." About fifteen 
miles from Peoria Bishop Chase preempted a farm for his family and 
built thereon a log cabin which he called "Robinsnest", beeause "it 
consisted of mud and sticks and was filled with young ones." The 
bishop had collected perhaps ten thousand dollars, (the most of it in 
England) which he determined to invest in land as the safest endow- 
ment for the proposed institution. The time spent in collecting the 
money, following the panic of 1837, in waiting the opportunity to buy 
land from the government, in securing release from preemptions of 
the land he had selected, and in visiting his scattered flock in the 
wilderness of Illinois, held back the work on the college buildings 
several years. The good bishop at last secured over thirty-two 
hundred acres, mostly in Peoria county, and selected a beautiful site 
for the building, one mile from his Robinsnest, overlooking the val- 
ley of the Kickapoo. In his "Reminiscences" he describes it as 
"commanding a cheering and variegated prospect up and down the 
two branches of a beautiful stream of pure water. It looks to the 
south and has a fine grove of trees which shield it from the north 
and west winds in the winter, and which, overshadowing the build- 
ings, will make it pleasant in summer." 

Most of the money collected by the bishop was required in pay- 
ment for the lands and preemptions. How should he go on with so 
great a work without funds? "My dependence," he says, "is simply 
and solely on the promise and providence of Almighty God." The 
corner stone was laid in April, 1839, and the bishop named the insti- 
tution elubilee College. "That name of all others, suits my feelings 
and circumstances," he writes. "I wish to give thanks and rejoice 


that after seven years passed in much trouble, pain, and moral servi- 
tude, God hath permitted me, for Jesus' sake, to return unto his gra- 
cious favor." So with great joy did the bishop blow the trumpet in 
Zion on that April day, while a multitude of the country people 
gathered around the foundation walls. 

In his address at the laying of the corner stone the bishop empha- 
sized the fact that, in accordance w4th the intention of the benefac- 
tors, the institution was to be primarily theological, a school of the 
prophets, where ministers of the Gospel should be trained, ''which 
end, therefore, is never to be merged into any other." "All things 
being conducted according to the well known principles and worship 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church * * * the design and will 
of the donors and founders of this institution will be answered and 
not otherwise." 

The chapel was first erected, then the school room opening into it, 
and long afterwards the w^est wing with dormitories. At times the 
work was suspended for want of funds, but the bishop never lost 
hope or failed in faith. "Jehovah Jireh!" (The Lord will provide) 
was his motto, and often his prayer of faith was most impressively 

In the winter of '39 and '40, while work on the college was mostly 
suspended, he made a long journey in the South and secured sub- 
stantial aid. He was cordially received nearly everywhere, especially 
in New Orleans, in Georgia and in the Carolinas. It is perhaps not 
known to many that in 1840 a few people in Charleston. S. C, con- 
tributed 110,000 to endow a professorship in Illinois. The bishop 
was also greatly encouraged and aided by further contributions from 
the East and from England, amounting to several thousand dollars. 
Some of these contributions were for his own and for his dear wife's 
use, and with these he made his Robinsnest more commodious and 
comfortable. The building of the college went on, and temporary 
houses for a store and shelter of students were erected. A frame 
structure of fourteen rooms, designed for a girls' school, was built, to 
which the bishop later removed his family and received a few young 
ladies. They did not recite with the young men of the college but 
were taught separately. While the bishop approved of "higher edu- 
cation" for women he would not consent to confer degrees upon them. 
His own granddaughter, who mastered all the studies of the college 
course, was never honored in that way. 

In 1840 Mrs. Chase, in a letter to a friend in England, says: "It 
would do your heart good to look into Jubilee chapel; the pulpit, 
desks, and folding-doors of black walnut, the pews painted in imita- 
tion oak, everything plain but neat and in very good taste. The 
soimd of the bell almost makes me weep." A visitor in November of 
1840, as quoted by Bishop Chase in his "Reminiscences,'' says: 
^'For the purpose designed I have never seen a spot combining so 
many advantages. In the first place, it is easily accessible by means 
of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers and Michigan canal. The pros- 
pect is remarkably beautiful and attractive. On the ground there 
is an abundance of clay for making brick, and wood to burn them. 
There are inexhaustible beds of bituminous coal. Only a half a mile 


distant, a quarry of freestone has recently been ojjened; nor must I 
forget to mention an abundance of i)ure water, two bold springs uuit- 
ing their currents near by." 

In those days when a fifteen mile drive to the postoffice in a farm 
wagon, fording streams on the way, was thought nothing of. Jubilee 
College might be said to be "easily accessible." Yet, even then, dur- 
ing the flood time of the Kickapoo, the bottom land was imj^assable 
except on horseback. The bishop once nearly lost his life in trying 
to reach his home after a visitation. As railroads became the com- 
mon means of travel in the West, Jubilee was isolated, and its loca- 
tion was unfortunate for educational purposes. In "The Motto," 
June, 1851, the bishop gives an account of a flood almost surrounding 
the college, which carried away corn fields, fences, hay-stacks, and 30 
or 40 acres of turnips. For several days the college was shut off' from 
the world. Similar floods have since occured. There is no railroad 
station within six miles of Jubilee, nor is there prospect of any in the 

Bishop Chase, even long past the age of sixty, was leading a very 
strenuous life. Too heavy to ride much on horseback, he was com- 
pelled to make long journeys over dangerous roads, by stage or in the 
old family coach. Several times he came near losing his life, suffer- 
ing from exposure and accidents. Some one has declared that every 
bone in his body, except his head, had been broken; some of his ribs 
were broken several times. Along the rivers the way was somewhat 
easier by steamboat, yet speed was not always assured. Starting on 
Tuesday from St. Louis, by the steamboat America, the bishop 
arrived in Alton on Wednesday morning, twenty-two m.iles in eleven 
hours. Leaving the river at some point, he was taken with his luggage 
in a "dearborn" to Rushville. "But the roads, O the roads!" he 
writes. "For nearly a quarter of a mile the water had overflown the 
path about two feet, and this together with the deep mud below, ren- 
dered our progress almost impossible." On the Sunday following he 
consecrated the new church, confirmed two, baptzied five children, 
administered the communion to seven persons, and preached both 
morning and evening. "The night was spent in tossing to and fro, as 
usual after excessive fatigue." Going on to Sterling, he says the 
roads were exceedingly bad, "but the strength of our team and the 
blessing of God overcame all obstructions." The town consisted of 
about forty small houses. The bishop preached in the school house, 
"to get at which I had some difficulty, on account of the mud," and 
there was plenty of it on the floor inside. This was in March, 1837. 

The bishop frequently accepted the courtesy of Methodist and 
Presbyterian brethren, holding services and preaching in their 
churches, always taking the prayer book and instructing the people 
in its use. In hotel offices, stores, and even in a blacksmith's shop 
the bishop preached and baptized. He notes the prevalence of 
speculation and worldliness, a tendency to intemperance, coarseness, 
and profanity everywhere, and is deeply concerned for the future of a 
country which is opening under so many evil inffuences. "Infidelity 
and sin stalk fearlessly abroad wherever I travel," he says. "Our 
whole country seems to be forgetting God. In all their ways they 


acknowledge not God, nor think that he exists, much less that he 
will bring them to an awful account for abused favors. My heart 
seems to sink within me as I contemplate the down-hill course of my 
dear country." 

The bishop was taken ill at Oquawka, where in March he had to 
sleep on the floor in a very poor cabin, ''the best lodging these aliec- 
tionate people could give me." He pushed on to Monmouth and held 
two services. After spending several hours "in pious conversation" 
with the neighbors who dropped in after evening service, the bishop 
retired to a cold room and soon was "in great agony." By the aid of 
two physicians he was relieved, and two days after, in an open wagon, 
continued his homeward way, with more than sixty miles before him. 
It both snowed and rained. Spoon river was a raging torrent. The 
horses and wagon were driven through; the bishop followed in a 
canoe, a log of black walnut with the bark on, hollowed but in the 
middle. The canoe sank almost to filling, as it was pushed out into 
the stream with the bulky bishop amidship. ''Can you swim?" 
shouted the man in the stern. "Like a duck," was the reply; "all I 
fear is, if she turns over 1 cannot extricate myself from my squeezed 
position on the log." With grateful hearts they reached the shore 
and mounted the muddy bank. There they satisfied their thirst from 
the overflowing of the clean troughs, filled with the fast droppings of 
the delicious sugar water. They were sheltered in a cabin during a 
stormy night, and pushed on over rapid streams, overflowed prairies, 
and muddy sloughs, the snow "blowing horizontally." All this time 
the bishop was a sick man. The greatest exposure and peril, how- 
ever, he encountered almost in sight of Kobinsnest, when he came to 
the Kickapoo, which he was assured could not be crossed, either by 
swimming or by a canoe. "But I must see my family," he declared. 
^'I must be ministered to or perish." His passage through a part of 
the flood by wagon, and then over the stringers of a skeleton bridge, 
is an exciting story. " "Never had I more reason for the blessing of a 
clear head and a firm faith in (xod's supporting hand.'' Praising God 
he got safely over. 

These are only illustrative incidents in his laborious life. What- 
ever he found to do, he did it with all his might, on the farm, in his 
visitations, soliciting for his colleges, directing laborers, writing 
letters and "Reminiscences." Nothing was too great to be attempted, 
nothing so small as to be lightly regarded. He gratefully accepts 
from a friend a package of rutabaga (turnip) seed, and by good atten- 
tion to planting secured a large crop of "that excellent vegetable." 

Bishop Chase had a vein of humor and of poetry in his soul. Some 
sheep which he bought with money paid to him by the stage company 
as damage for breaking his bones, he called his "ribs.'' He had 
•scriptural names for his pastures, and the shepherd of his Hocks 
carried the traditional crook, He called his family carriage "Noah's 
Ark." The names that he gave to places were striking and enduring. 
"Robinsnest" is certainly very pretty as well as humorous. His 
selection of sites for his homes and colleges showed a tine apprecia- 



tion of the beauty of nature. He could scarcely fon'see the corning 
of an age when steam should count for more than aesth(itics, iii fidu- 
cation as well as commerce. 

In 1843, on the death of Bishop Griswold, Bishoj) (yhase, as s<.'nior 
in consecration, became the presiding bishoj) of the American church. 
During the term of his primacy, fifteen bishops were consecrated; 
among them our first missionary bishop to foreign lands. To Bishop 
Chase came also the sad duty of pronouncing sentence of susxx'nsion 
upon two of his brother bishops. 

For some years the bishop held the lands of the College in his own 
name, not being willing to secure incorporation under the conditions 
that had been imposed upon other institutions, viz, that no creed of 
any denomination whatever should be inculcated, and that the char- 
ter might be repealed. For this reason he suffered undeserved re- 
proach and opposition. In 1844 a friend in the legislature secured 
a charter, but the bishop refused to accept it, on the ground that it 
would be a betrayal of his trust. It was so exceedingly liberal, he 
said, that it took the college out of the Church and placed it in the 
world. At a later session (Jan. 22, 1847) a charter was obtained, in 
every way satisfactory. Under this charter the bishop should nom- 
inate trustees; there should be a theological department and a col- 
lege proper, an academy for boys, and a seminary for girls; the bishop 
of the Episcopal Church in Illinois should be ex-officio President; 
the number of trustees from four to eight, ail communicants of the 
Episcopal Church; the trustees to have power of veto of the Presi- 
dent's nominations, subject to appeal to the Convention of the Dio- 
cese; a report to be made every three years to the Convention, of the 
affairs of the institution and "the mode in which benefactions have 
been used." 

By the provision of the Charter the trustees were to be nominated 
by the bishop "in his last will and testament, or otherwise." This 
arrangement insured to him personal control and security from in- 
terference as long as he lived. In view of his experience in Ohio he 
should not be blamed for protecting himself and his family in every 
way consistent with his duty and his high office; and at the same 
time the arrangement was doubtless for the best interest of the in- 
stitution. This is evident from the fact that after his death, without 
his influence and administration, the income and patronage of the 
college were greatly reduced. 

The trustees constituting the corporation at the death of the bishop 
were: Ex-officio, the Bishop of Illinois (Bishop Whitehouse. who 
had been assistant bishop for about a year); The Rev, E. B. Kellogg, 
the Eev. C. Dresser, the Rev. Samuel Chase. D. D., the Rev. Phil- 
ander Chase, Messrs. John Pennington, William Wilkinson, and H. 
S. Chase. 

In 1843 Bishop Chase wrote to his granddaughter Laura: "I 
think the reputation of the college is increasing. We have a good 
mathematical teacher and also a teacher of languages, besides the 
Rev. S. Chase, who is over the school and regulates the whole, hear- 
ing all the upper classes. Mary has charge of the female department, 
being a small number taught and boarded in the cottage. The build- 


of the west wing will go on as soon as the frost is out of the ground, 
which this year continues longer than was ever known before. The 
cold has killed more than one hundred of the college lambs." 

The first formal "Commencement" was held on July 7th, 1847. 
Five students, "after a due course of study, by strict examination," 
were admitted to the bachelor's degree; a master's degree was also 
conferred. In the "Reminiscences" the occasion is thus described: 

"Never was there a finer day, or more joyful occasion. Between 
seven and eight hundred persons assembled on the college hill, where 
so lately roamed the untutored native, and to which the wild deer, 
from habit, paid frequent visits, in great numbers. The college 
chapel was filled with devout worshippers, and when the divine ser- 
vices were over, all retired to the green arbor, two or three hundred 
yards off, under the deep shade of spreading trees looking down on 
the verdant lawns surrounding the chapel. Here the orations of the 
first class of students were delivered to a delighted and enlightened 
audience. Here the degrees were conferred, and here ascended the 
Christian prayer for a blessing from on high on the glorious work 
thus prosperously commenced. All expressed the highest g-ratifica- 
tion, and the day being far spent, and places of entertainment, for 
w^ant of means, having been erected on the hill, all were invited to 
partake of a frugal repast, distributed at the expense of the college." 

Most of the students boarded in the houses provided for the col- 
lege, and some with families in the neighborhood. The charges for 
board and tuition, at first were $100; this was afterwards raised to 
$120, and finally to $200. Some of the students worked for their 
board. The instructors were capable, and the course of study for 
that day was sufficiently extended. French and German, as well as 
the classical languages, were included. 

The by-laws enacted by Bishop Chase, and in force for some years 
after, would scarcely suit the college boy of our day, though some of 
them might be good for him. The cigarette smoker would find his 
occupation gone if he were not allowed to carry any matches in his 
pocket. Indeed, there could be no use of tobacco in any form at 

No games of chance, no cards or dice were allowed. Every student 
had to keep a bucket of water in his room, for fire protection. No 
one could leave the farm without a jDermit. Morning prayer was 6:30, 
and the tardy student lost his breakfast. There were 28 rules pub- 

One of the instructors now living, Mr. Wm. Blenkiron, writes: 
"After 13 days of constant travel from New York City to Peoria, we 
walked from Peoria to Jubilee. February 14, 1852, (fifteen miles.) 
The ladies and the trunks were carried on the farm wagon. On the 
following day Dr. Chase took me to the bishop, and after a short 
interview Samuel was told to put this man to work. The Eev. Phil- . 
ander Chase (son of the bishop) had charge of the school room in the 
morning, and D. W. Dresser, a student, in the afternoon. There 
were about 50 pupils, from twelve to twenty years of age. All the 


boys respected Dr. Samuel Chase. Our nearest villMge was Kickapoo, 
two and one-half miles, and with r(;asonaV)le watc;h fulness wa had 
little trouble with the boys." 

One of the ''old boys," the Rev. John Wilkinson, who is still serv- 
ing in the ministry with unabated zeal and usefulness, contributes 
the following sketch of a Jubilee College Sunday in his, day: "In the 
year 1845 the buildings of Jubilee College were new and substantial, 
though less picturesque than at this time. They were the jjride of 
the inmates and the wonder of the country round about. The chax^el. 
with cross, bell and organ, was the center of church life for th(i 
county, outside of Peoria, and the gathering on a Sunday morning 
was a scene not soon to be forgotten, one that could not be produced 
anywhere else. 

"At the first or warning bell for service, the students retired to 
th'eir rooms, the grammar school boys to their dormitories. Soon, 
wagons were rumbling up the hill, and unloading their groups of old 
and young in the outer driveway or on the campus. Meanwhile, the 
bishop and Mrs. Chase were driven to the door of Dr. Chase's study, 
the bishop to be vested and helped to his place in the pulpit where, 
propped up by cushions, he remained during the service, and Ihen, 
still sitting, delivered his sermon. Soon after the bishop's arrival 
came the procession from the girls' school, conducted by the bishop's 
daughter (Mrs. Chamberlain, died, 1904), and took their places in 
their accustomed corner. The men and boys had fallen into line, and 
at the sound of the last bell (a signal for which was always given by 
the bishop when present) they entered from the scho ^1 room which 
opened into the chapel by sliding doors. The seats in this study 
room were so constructed that the desks in front could be let down 
out of the way, giving somewhat the appearance of pews. When the 
sermon began, these desks were swung up again, forming a comfort- 
able resting place for the head of many a sleepy eutychus, when the 
good bishop, like his predecessor at Troas, was long in preaching." 

In the year 1845, Lord Bexley wrote to Bishop Chase that he could 
not believe that the bishop would ever be able to found another col- 
lege, and so far toward the setting Sun. To this the bishop an- 
swers: "Another college is founded, and is now rearing its head on 
the prairies of our far West, whose walls we trust will prove salvation, 
and whose gates will speak praise to the Saviour of men. We have 
now in Jubilee College nearly fifty students, the most of w^hom are 
designated for the ministry. Our clergy are noTr rising of twenty. 
In the course of this summer and fall I hope to consecrate seven more 
churches to the glory of God." 

Bishop Chase died in 1852, a few days after being thrown from his 
carriage, in his seventy-seventh year, the thirty-fourth of his episco- 
pate. Jubilee College continued its good work until the Civil war, 
with fair success. Among its students were many from the South, 
and their withdrawal reduced the revenues even more than the num- 
bers, for they were "good pay." The Principal, Dr. Samuel Chase, 
went into the army as Chaplain. After the war, for about ten years. 
Dr. Chase continued the school, but with small success. It was 

—7 H 


finally closed, and though the trustees have made several efforts to 
revive it, nothing of importance has been accomplished. Even in its 
best days its revenues were inadequate. The only endowment was 
the South Carolina professorship. This was largely invested in mills 
which were burned (without insurance). Several thousand sheep 
were another investment which failed to be profitable when disease 
attacked them. The entire charges were $100 (later $120 to $200) a 
year, for board and tuition, and from many students nothing at all was 
received. No one was turned away for want of money. With the 
clearing and breaking of land, the fencing of farms, the construction 
of buildings, bridges, etc., and a small income from students, aided 
by uncertain contributions, no wonder that at the death of Bishop 
Chase the institution was heavily in debt to him. Before the final 
closing of the school the debt was considerably increased, and from 
time to time land was sold to meet obligations. About 500 acres re- 
main at the present date. This land, (one-half of it brush pasture) 
with the old stone college building, comprising chapel, school room, 
and dormitories, constitutes the present college domain. 

In^ its more than twenty years of successful activity in a time 
when Illinois most needed the upliftinp; influences of education and 
religion. Jubilee College was a power for good. Many of its students 
have been useful in church and State. Among them were Henry A. 
Neely, afterwards bishop of Maine: D. W. Dresser, afterwards presi- 
dent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Springfield; T, N. 
Morrison, whose son is now bishop of Iowa; W. W. DeWolf, who 
entered the sacred ministry after serving successfully as lawyer and 
judge; John Wilkinson, Erastus DeWolf, March Chase, and other 
honored and useful clergymen are still living and in active work. 
The Rev. Dudley Chase, retired chaplain, U. S. N., is now living in 
Philadelphia. Mrs Chamberlain, the bishop's daughter, who had 
the care of the girls in "The cottage," lived for many years in Jubi- 
lee, on the old Robinsnest farm. Other members of the faculty, 
(assisted by the candidates as tutors) were the Rev. Samuel Chase, 
D. D., vice-president; the Rev. Israel Foote, D. D.; the Rev. A J. 
Warner, now living in Angelica, N. Y.; the Rev. Charles Dresser; 
Mr. William Blenkiron, now living in Pekin, Illinois; the Rev. T. N. 
Benedict, and the Rev. S. D. Pulford. Useful laymen, as well as 
clergymen, in almost every section of the country, during the last 
half century have caused the light of old Jubilee to shine before 
men. James Anderson, a gallant officer in the Mexican war, Col. 
D. C. Smith, of Normal; Judge Harvey B. Hurd, still living an hon- 
ored citizen of Evanston; the late Henry H. Candee, of Cairo, one of 
the most active, helpful, and respected churchmen of Illinois: Dr. 
Thomas Dresser, a widely known and highly honored physician of 

The one to whom the bishop and the college owed most, for self 
sacrifice and faithful and helpful service, was his honored wife Sophia; 
the sharer of his anxieties, the trustee of his fianances, the guardian of 
his peace, the maker of his home; companion of his joy, she was also 
the comforter of his sorrow; unobtrusive in his presence, she met 



every emergency in his absence with wisdom and firmness. Of her 
he writes to his granddaughter, Laura, to whose life of Bishop (J base 
we have referred: 

"The whole college establishment would at this critical period go 
to ruin if she were to be absent from it this summer. Tothis neces- 
sity she submits with resignation becoming a saint. She looks up 
and says "It is thy will, O God." This calms the temi)est in her 
faithful bosom and then all is serene. She is finishing the last gar- 
ment to make me decent with the least expense, for the summer. 
Would that our churchmen could generally know what this dear 
mother in Israel has suffered and done to build up the Kingdom of 
God in the Wilderness. She stays at home and works for God. 
When money is sent her from those who hear of her devotedness in 
far countries, she applies it all to pay for the college goods in New 
York, and when bills accumulate against her husband at home she 
will not allow even the smallest sums to be deducted from them on 
account or any salary to be allowed her or husband. Such is the 
wife of Bishop Chase, and in contemplating her character who can be 

"Aunt Lucia" (Mrs. Russell), the Bishop's niece, should not be 
forgotten in any retrospect of the college or consideration of the life 
of its founder. She came to him in her widowhood, soon after the 
death of his first wife, and was in his declining years a great comfort 
to him and his children and a blessing to his work. Mrs. Smith 
speaks of her as ''the incarnation of loving kindness," and the bishop 
declared she was "one of the chief instruments in founding both 
Kenyon and Jubilee." 

Of Dr. Samuel Chase, the vice president and active manager of the 
school from the beginning to the end, more than a passing mention 
by name should be given. He was a scholar and a gentleman, in the 
best sense of the word. He gave the school the best years of his life, 
with small remuneration, and the reward of final success was denied 
to him. After the bishop's death the whole burden fell upon his 
nephew, and at the same time most of the sources of revenue were 
closed. Samuel Chase bravely stood by the sinking ship, and strug- 
gled almost to his dying hour to save it. 

Dr. i^Vancis J. Hall, in his History of the Diocese of Chicago, 
gives the following description of Bishoj) Chase: "Bishop Chase is 
said to have been over six feet tall, and to have possessed a large and 
impressive figure. He is reported to have weighed fully three hun 
dred pounds in his later years. His countenance was pleasing and 
gracious, although marked with indications of an indomitable and 
commanding will. His strength of will was one of his most promi- 
nent traits, and was accompanied by other peculiarities characteris- 
tic of a rugged pioneer. Strong convictions, unqualified by any 
doubts as to the correctness of his position and judgment, induced a 
somewhat dogmatic and impulsive tone and temper. His energy was 
untiring, and his care for every portion of his field, however remote 
and sparsly settled, was unremitting. He was possessed of strong- 
lungs, and his powerful voice added to the impressiveness of his 


oratory. His piety was deep and genninie, and his motto, Jehovah 
Jireh, the Lord will provide, is well keown; * * * Bishop Chase 
was a man built on gigantic lines, To no other prelate has fallen the 
task of founding two Dioceses— now divided into five — and two Theo- 
logical Seminaries. He had his faults, but he was a chosen vessel. 
and God has taken him to Himself. May perpetual light shine upon 

The remains of the great prelate and his faithful lieutenant Samuel 
Chase lie in the old college cemetery on Jubilee Hill, where the 
ancient oaks that welcomed the Bishop with joy now seem to whisper 




(By J. O. Cunningham.) 

No meeting of the people of the State of Illinois was ever held 
which effected greater results to the State, the Nation and to those 
who participated in its deliberations, than did that which assembled 
at Major's Hall in the City of Bloomington, on the 29th day of May, 

If any excuse is due for an attempt to introduce here matters which 
then partook of the severest partisanship of the day, it should be 
found in the fact that the partisanship and i^artisan contests of 1856 
have long since passed into the history of the State and the Nation, 
and so, in a manner, have lost their offensive character. Especially 
is this true when we consider that of those who participated there 
and in the political campaign which it initiated, very few remain in 

Topics relating to the institution of American Slavery had been but 
little discussed in most parts of the State of Illinois after being laid 
to rest in 1824, until the introduction, by Senator Douglas in 1854, 
of the bill for the organization of the territories of Kansas and Ne- 
braska. Up to that date no ballot had ever been cast in perhaps a 
majority of the counties of the State for the candidates of the 
^'Liberty" or "Free Soil" party, and such as had been cast, not ex- 
ceeding 6 per cent of the entire vote of the State, were in the 
northern counties; so that slavery agitation before the latter date, had 
prevailed only within a few of the counties. 

The introduction and passage through Congress of that measure, 
which in fact changed a Congressional prohibition of slavery in the 
territories north of the parallel of 36 degrees and 80 minutes into a 
local option for such territory, had the effect, all over the north and 
especially within the State of Illinois, one of whose senators in the 
Congress stood as sponsor for the new plan of settling the slavery 
question, to arouse violent agitation. 

Many of Senator Douglas' friends in Illinois, who had never been 
suspected of entertaining sentiments unfriendly to the holding of men 
in slavery, but who had always regarded the legislation of 1820 as a 
finality as to the question of slavery in the territory affected by its 
terms, were aroused to a tierce opposition, and were well backed and 


encouraged in their opposition by the Whigs who were not committed 
to the support of slavery, as well as by the Free Soil element of the 
northern part of the State. 

The segregation of these elements at the election in November, 
1854, brought about by a common impulse rather than by the usual 
party organization, effected through State conventions, resulted, for 
the first time in the history of the State, in the choice of a General 
Assembly made up of elements adverse to the party of Senator 
Douglas, as well as of a majority of the representatives of the State 
in Congress, of like proclivities. 

The legislature so chosen elected to the United States Senate to 
succeed James Shields, a political friend of Judge Douglas, Lyman 
Trumbull, an opponent, which was the first instance during the thirty- 
seven years of the history of Illinois, as a State, of an election to that 
high office of a candidate from a party or faction openly opposed to 
the then ruling party. 

The few weeks which preceded this remarkable election witnessed 
an experience in the politics of Illinois entirely new to the State. 
The slavery question, as connected with the choice of officers of the 
State, became for the first time a topic of general discussion upon 
the stump and elsewhere. 

Lyman Trumbull, John M. Palmer, John Wentworth, N. B. Judd, 
Burton C. Cook, Isaac N. Arnold, Gustavus Koerner and other of 
Senator Douglas' political friends, took issue with him upon the wis- 
dom and policy of the Kansas-Nebraska legislation and at once broke 
with their party upon that issue; while Abraham Lincoln, O. H. 
Browning, Joseph Gillespie, Richard Yates, Leonard Swett, Jesse O. 
Norton, James C. Conkling, and many other old line Whigs who, by 
the death of their party, were a strong force without a party organiza- 
tion, joined them in their opposition to the policy of Senator Douglas. 
The discussion of that policy in connection with a pending election 
of members of Congress could lead nowhere else than to a general 
discussion of the slavery question, whether they wished it or not. 
This it did, necessarily and almost involuntarily. So, in the autumn 
of 1854, the politicians found themselves talking about slavery upon 
the stump. 

Mr. Lincoln, of whom it may be said that until that year he had 
grown up in the shade of Judge Douglas' great reputation, it would 
seem now saw his opportunity and entered into the contest in advo- 
cacy of the election of candidates op^josed to him. He spoke at 
Chicago, Peoria, Springfield, Urbana, and probably at other places. 

The writer listened to the Urbana speech, delivered in the court 
hoase on Oct. 24, 1854, during court week, to an audience made up 
mostly of men who had never in their lives heard the rightfulness of 
slavery questioned in a public address, The caution and delicacy 
with which the slavery question was handled by the speaker caused 
no little surprise to one listener, whose political views had been shaped 
largely by listening, in another state, to Parker Pillsburv, Abbie 
Kelley, S. S. Foster and Joshua R. Giddings. Mr. Lincoln well knew 
his audience and the horror in which the epithet, ''Abolitionist," was 
held by them, and so carefully avoided running afoul of thatdilemna. 


The policy of the admission of slavery into the territory north of the 
prohibited line, and not the moral wrong of slavery, was argued by 
him; meantime the fugitive slave law of 1850 was upheld. 

As before said, in spite of the appeals of Douglas and the offensive 
use made by him of the favorite ejnthet, "Abolitionist," with the 
prefix of "black," added, his party lost in this jjreliminary contest. 
This much by way of explanation of the causes which h^d up to th(i 
convention which forms the subject of this paper. 

Chief among the causes which contributed to the concentration of 
an unorganized anti-slavery sentiment in the State in favor of candi- 
dates opposed to the policy of Senator Douglas, w^as the press of the 
State. In Chicago every newspaper, both Whig and Democratic, 
made war upon the senator, and the Whig newspapers of the State, 
with few exceptions, joined in the opposition. It was this influence 
that kept the opposition alive and finally crystalized it in Illinois, 
into a definite, live, winning party. It was then known as the "Anti- 
Nebraska" press and party. 

Upon the initiative suggestion of the Journal, published at Jackson- 
ville, and edited by our venerable co-laborer, Paul Selby, seconded by 
twenty-four other newspapers of the State, a meeting of newspaper 
men having in view organization, was held at Decatur, Feb. 22, 1856. 
Twelve newspaper men answered the call and were organized under 
the leadership of Mr. Selby. Mr. Lincoln, naturally feeling an in- 
terest in the movement, and perhaps others, joined in the consulta- 
tion. The result was a moderate declaration of principles held by the 
meeting upon the political topics uppermost in the public mind and 
the appointment of a provisional committee charged w^ith the duty of 
calling a convention to meet at Bloomington on the 29th day of May, 
1856; to fix the ratio of representation for the convention and to take 
such steps as may seem desirable to bring about a full representation 
from the whole State. This committee well performed its duty and 
published its call in apt time. 

It will be seen that according to the code of political ethics under- 
stood to govern political movements, this convention lacked in that 
it was not legally called by a general committee representing a recog- 
nized, existing political party, for there was no Republican party in 
Illinois. It however held a higher claim to regularity, in that it did 
represent the people who opposed the further extension of African 
slavery, then an unorganized mass of independent Democrats, Whigs„ 
and Liberty men, acting together and bound by a common sympathy. 

Up to that date the term "Republican," as the name of a political 
party had been made use of in other states and in a few localities in 
this State, as a party designation; but with the use made of it by Sen- 
ator Douglas in connection with the prefix "Black,"' and the hated 
epithet "Abolitionist," it carried with it much that was obnoxious to- 
the people of a considerable part of the State. So the call for the 
convention made no use of this name, but on the contrary called for 
a "State Convention of the Anti-Nebraska Party of Illinois." At that 
time this name had a definite meaning and all understood that all 
shades of opposition to Senator Douglas new policy were intended 
and invited by the call. 


Singularly enough, the names of the nominees of that convention 
for the office of Grovernor and for Lieutenant Governor were well 
settled and agreed upon and most enthusiastically announced by 
public opinion, aS declared through friendly newspapers, before the 
date fixed for it to assemble. One voice went up in favor of Col. 
William H. Bissell, a veteran of the Mexican war, for Governor and 
for Francis A. Hoffman, a popular German citizen of Chicago, for 
Lieutenant Governor. So far as candidates for these offices were con- 
cerned, the convention had but to record and announce the verdict of 
its constituency. 

I now come to speak of my own personal observations in connec- 
tion with the convention. 

Mr. Lincoln, who according to all accounts, figured so largely, both 
in the calling and in the conducting of the meeting, the week before 
the date fixed, had been in attendance upon the Champaign county 
circuit court, and during convention week, was at the Vermilion 
court; at both places using his influence to bring together a good 
representation of the people in sympathy with its purposes. Citizens 
of both counties on the day before the convention, with Mr. Lincoln, 
came west to Decatur upon the same Wabash train, on their way to 
Bloomington, We arrived at Decatur about the middle of the after- 
noon, where, on account of there being no train for Bloomington that 
evening, all remained for the night. A considerable portion of the 
day remained before us and the company kept well together, strolling 
around the town, and finally, at the suggestion of Mr. Lincoln, all 
went to the then near-by Sangamon timber. Here, seated upon a 
fallen tree, Mr. Lincoln talked freely as he had during the afternoon, 
of his hopes and fears for the coming convention, and of his earnest 
wish that the Whig element of the southern counties might be well 
represented there. He was among political friends, there being 
several lawyers and editors who sympathized politically with him, 
and he did not attempt to conceal fears and misgivings entertained 
by him as to the outcome of the gathering. He was well assured 
that the radical element of the northern counties would be there in 
force, and feared the effect upon the conservative element of the cen- 
tral and southern i3arts of the State. It was for the latter he seemed 
most concerned. 

Mr. Lincoln seemed much inclined to indulge in reminiscences of 
his coming to Decatur twenty-five years before, as an immigrant 
from Indiana with his father's family, in an ox wagon, and could 
point out the exact locality in front of the public square where he 
halted the team driven by him which brought the Lincoln family and 
its belongings. 

Early the next morning all took the northbound train for Bloom- 
ington, Mr. Lincoln had hardly entered the train until he began a 
search for the Whig element bound for the convention from the 
south, and was much gratified in finding one, Jesse K. DuBois, from 
Lawrence county. 

Arriving in Bloomington, we found the Pike House, the principal 
hotel of the city, at the corner of Center and North streets, now (Mon- 
roe) full to overflowing and the streets alive with partisans of the 



* 'Anti-Nebraska" tyi)e. Among them was the tall form of John 
Wentworth, earnestly engaging one after anoth(;r in his attempts to 
make democrats, whigs and free-soilers forget old ditferencM^s and join 
hands upon the uppermost issue, ''Free Kansas." So too there was 
the athletic personality of Owen Lovejoy, making love to the aboli- 
tion haters of the center and south. Archibald Williams and O. H 
Browning, those conservative towers of ancient Whiggery, were there 
and alike surprised to find how much they now loved those rierce 
Democrats, John M. Palmer, Burton C. Cook, Norman B. Judd and 
Gustavus Koerner. 

Governor Reeder, who in the face of hostile Missourians had abdi- 
cated the governorship of Kansas, to which he had been appointed by 
President Pierce, and in disguise fled the territory, had arrived in 
Bloomington the evening before and had addressed the assembled 
delegates at an open air meeting, telling them in detail and in a plain 
manner of the outrages perpetrated by the Missouri invaders upon 
the free state men of Kansas and upon himself, making it evident 
that the federal officers were parties thereto. Other speeches were 
made from the veranda of the Pike House on the preceding evening, 
the whole burden of which was the unholy conspiracy to fix upon 
Kansas the burden of a slave code, whether the people were willing 
or unwilling. Kansas and its wrongs was upon every lip and the 
very air was charged with the idea of resistance to what seemed to 
be the policy of the national administration towards free territory. 

Delegates came to Bloomington highly excited by the news of the 
day and its verification by eye-witnesses of high character who had 
witnessed the outrages and suffered the wrongs, wrought them to a 
high state of excitement. The morning of the 29th came and with it 
the Chicago dailies giving the particulars of the destruction of the 
Free State Hotel and the newspaper press of Lawrence. Isaac N. 
Arnold, from a perch upon the main stairway of the Pike House, read 
with almost tragic emphasis, accounts and dispatches from the seat 
of war to the crowds in and about the hotel. All these things com- 
bined to inflame the sentiment of listening delegates and others in 
attendance upon the convention to the highest degree, even the old 
Whigs, proverbially conservative and forbearing, were moved te 

In this mood early in the day the crowds moved to Major's Hall, 
the place set apart for the convention. The hall, not a large one, was 
promptly filled with an eager crowd of men who had evidently been 
much moved by the speeches and intercourse of the miscellaneous 
gathering about the Pike House, which, up to that time, had been 
the storm center of the town. The convention was called to order 
and Archibald Williams, of Quincy, the conservative Whig, called 
temporarily to the chair, a precaution well taken at this juncture. 
H. S. Baker, of Alton, was made temporary secretary. 

No sooner had this temporary organization been effected than 
Leander Munsell, a delegate from Edgar county, an old Whig and a 
former member of the General Assembly, got recognition from the 
chair and gave vent to pent up enthusiasm by nominating Colonel 
Bissell for Governor. The lapse from conventionalities was little 


noticed, for the nomination met with a tornado of seconds from ail 
parts of the hall. The convention, even in its unorganized condition; 
was ready for action upon the premature nomination and impatiently 
awaited the reading of a letter from the candidate addressed to George 
T. Brown, stating that the condition of his health was such as to pre- 
clude an active canvass by him, which letter had no other effect than 
to add to the desire for his nomination, which was then made by ac~ 
clamation, amid a whirlwind of cheers and huzzas. This was followed 
as informally by a like nomination of Francis A. Hoffman, of Chicago,, 
a German citizen of great popularity, for Lieutenant Governor. 
Both nominations were the spontaneous outgrowth of previous dis-^ 
cussions among the newspapers and the people. 

This part of the business settled in advance, the convention pro- 
ceeded with its organization by the appointment of the usual com- 
mittees, which in due time made their reports. The time elapsing 
between the appointment of the committees and the report of the 
committee on resolutions, beside the formal approval of reports and 
the permanent organization, was occupied in listening to speeches 
from the men of the convention. In the opinion of the writer no 
speeches ever delivered in the State had more attentive listeners. 

The oratorical ball was fairly set in motion when John M. Palmer, 
upon his presentation by the committee on permanent organization 
was installed as president of the convention. A man of heroic figure, 
less than forty years of age, at the meridian of his physical strength^ 
florid of complexion and with nervous energy enough to well equip a 
platoon of ordinary men, his presence and bearing were such as to in- 
spire even a stranger with the conviction that the right man had been 
chosen to direct the forces of the convention. He had been a polit- 
ical and strong personal friend of Senator Douglas, who had freely 
criticised the late political departure of Illinois' favorite Senator, and 
all knew it. His address was brief, suited to the occasion, abounded 
in sharp thrusts for his late friend and the new theory of popular 
sovereignty, which was already bearing fruits in Kansas, yet states- 
manlike. It directed the attention of the convention to the wrong 
perpetrated by the repeal of the Missouri compromise and to the 
remedy for the wrong in the hands of the voters of the land. The 
sjjeaker was greeted with the most enthusiastic applause. 

Palmer was followed by O. H. Browning, of Quincy, another con- 
servative Whig, who sought by his speech to lay the ghost of Abolition- 
ism which all feared. Mr. Browning's high character and his con- 
nection with the old Whig party made him a tower of strength with 
that element in the convention. His address was wise, deliberate 
and abounded . in references to the utterances of Henry Clay, for 
whom he claimed a high position among the conservative opponents 
of the extension of slavery. He called upon his Whig friends to 
stand fast by the land-marks of their great leader, and evidently made 
a strong impression upon that element of the convention. 

Then came Owen Lovejoy. Many had only known him by what 
his enemies had said of him, and only expected to see the veritable 
''Raw Head and Bloody-Bones" of the Abolition Ogre, who surely 
niust be of kin to ''Auld Clootie." Lovejoy well knew the light in 


Picture taken in 1896. 


which he was looked upon by many of his hearers, and also knew 
that this was his opportunity to make friends, and nev(;r imt in a 
better day's work with this end in view. H(i had mingled with the 
crowd there assembled enough to know that the spirit which moved 
the men was opposition to the sjjread of slavery into the free terri- 
tories; so to this principle as connected with the work of Douglas, he 
gave especial attention. The horrors of the Kansas condition, exist- 
ing so near by, was painted in apt prose and poetry, as the work of 
the demon slavery; there by the invitation of Senator Douglas. 
His speech, as a piece of word painting of the subject in hand, with 
illustrations from actual life as at that moment transpiring in that 
unhappy territory, was vivid and moving to the greatest extent. 
Those who knew Lovejoy need not be told that his ability to move 
men by his oratory, has not been excelled in the case of any man of 
h'is century. When any topic connected with African slavery as it 
existed in this country prior to 1865, formed the theme of his dis- 
course, he became the blazing meteor upon the platform. His 
eloquence in argument and denunciation scorched and burned to the 
quick. It need not be said that on that 29th day of May, 1856, he 
carried his miscellaneous audience with him. He did more. He 
broke down much of the unreasonable prejudice against himself and 
secured for himself a hearing before an audience in Illinois without 
danger of insult, a treatment he could not, before then, expect. 

Among the crowd in the hall was one James S. Emory, a refugee 
with Governor Reeder from Kansas, whose printing press had a few 
days before been dumped into the Kansas river and his home broken 
up by invaders from Missouri. Emory was called to the stand for a 
speech. He was no tyro at delineation, and spoke with the vehemence 
of a man who had been cruelly robbed of his rights as an American 
citizen upon American soil. He spoke as an eye-witness and lacking 
nothing as a word painter, with language severe and almost intem- 
perate in his appeals for armed interference in Kansas affairs, he 
awakened much sympathy with some, and alarm at the effect of his 
words with others. 

During Emory's speech the committee on resolutions made its ap- 
pearance which was a signal for the termination of his remarks. It 
will be seen by a glance at the resolutions reported that they present 
a single issue, that of slavery extension in the territories. No ques- 
tion as to the rightfulness of the institution of slavery as an abstract 
proposition is presented or was raised, and upon this single issue, 
under the name of the "Anti-Nebraska Party," did the men there as- 
semble, go before the country and wage their war against Senator 
Douglas; for his personality became a part of the issue. 

The political promotors of today, with half a century of added wis- 
dom culled when politics had become a line art. with the situation of 
1856 in this State before them, will fail if they try to apply a criticism 
to it. The report as it came from the committee, wisely organized so 
as to include representations of every shade of opinions and with full 
knowledge of the difficult task before the convention — the welding in- 
to a working party of the heretofore diverse elements and opinions — 
showed their work well done. Looking at the report at this distance 


and considering the conditions, it must always be conceded to have 
been wisely done. The resolutions were unanimously adopted with- 
out discussion. 

This clear cut platform adopted, there was a wild yell for Lincoln, 
who had probably until then been with the committee on platform 
and had taken but little part in the prior proceedings, though he had 
listened to the speech of Emory, tlie most extreme of all in his de- 
nunciations of the administration at Washington. Mr. Lincoln ap- 
peared before the convention as the last speaker, was received with 
demonstration of applause and i)erhaps with exx3ectations on the x^art 
of some that he would fan the flame of acrimony and discontent 
aroused by the remarks of some of the preceding speakers, but if any 
so supposed they were disappointed, for he did no such thing. 

Seeming to know that there had been wild talk about people going 
to Kansas armed with Sharpe's rifles, with which to settle the con- 
tentions there in issue, he began most gently with a rebuke for such 
appeals to violence. In words he deprecated the use of force as a 
means of settling the issue, and concluded this part of his speech 
with these words as nearly as I remember them: ''No, mij friends. 
Fit tell you what we will do, we ivill wait until November, and then 
we will shoot jxipei' ballots at them,^^ referring, of course, to the com- 
ing presidential election and to tlie ballots to be then cast. 

From this pleasant disposition of the war talk, he then turned his 
remarks to a logical discussion of the legislation set on foot by Judge 
Douglas and illustrated its unwisdom by citing the then condition of 
Kansas, as a necessary result of the competition, invited by the law 
between freedom and slavery. He insisted that the Free State peo- 
l^le of Kansas were right in their attempts to exclude slavery from 
their territory, and earnestly appealed to his audience to support 
them by supporting the "Anti-Nebraska'" ticket there nominated. 
By frequent citations from the speeches of Henry Clay, with his 
views of the rightfulness of exclusive legislation for slavery, lie 
showed himself in line with the first Whig precedents and claimed 
the Whig vote of the State for the new party and its platform. 

Mr. Lincoln devoted much of his discourse to the threats and 
insinuation of a dissolution of the Union of the States, made by 
southern men and published broadcast in the North. He argued and 
reasoned as if the South in person then stood before him and was 
listening to him, a form of speech which he adopted with great effect 
in the latter part of his first inaugural address from the capitol steps 
at Washington. To this supposititious audience he argued the 
unwisdom of disunion and the direful consequences to the country 
of an attempt of any party at dissolution. He assured his audience 
that northern men had no desire for a separation and would never 
consent to it. Warming up with his topic and still using the pronoun 
of the second person, he closed this part of his speech with these 
remarkable words: ''We won't go out of the Union, and you 
sha'nt!" This was said with great deliberation, when he had raised 
his figure to its greatest height, his eyes, usually so mild and playful, 
now flashing wild determination, and with vehement gestures with 
his head and arms. The effect upon his audience was shown by the 


applause with which it was greeted, amid which the orator withdrew 
from the stand, and the work of the convention was over. There 
were then no Whigs, Democrats, nor Free-Soilers, but men of ev(.-ry 
shade had been fused into a conquering phakmx. 

Until this convention Mr. Lincoln was little known in many jjnrts 
of the State, as his law practice and political sjjeeches had been 
confined to the central counties, mostly. He went away better known 
throughout the State and with a reputation as a public speaker never 
before enjoyed. 

No stenographic report or otherwise was made of this speech or of 
any other delivered before the convention, so far as known, but the 
manner and matter of this speech were extravagantly praised by the 
daily press of the State. The fact of no report is to be regretted, as 
all who heard it and other speeches of the same man agree that it was 
among the greatest. It has since been called the "Lost Speech,'" but 
though lost to posterity, it was far from being lost upon his then 

Other candidates for State officers were nominated upon the 
recommendation of a committee appointed to name suitable persons : 
and as is well known the ticket thus named, with the exception of 
the candidate for Lieutenant Grovernor who gave place to another, 
was elected at the November election, 1856, the first instance in the 
history of the State where candidates for State offices adverse to the 
party of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were successful; 
while the •electoral vote of the State was given to the Democratic 
nominee. Had the entire Whig element of the State stood by 
Lincoln's choice, as it did by Bissell, Buchanan would have lost the 

The ultimate effect was to wholly change the political complexion 
of the State for the next half century, with the exception of one 
gubernatorial term. Another effect was to remove from a probably 
successful presidential candidacy. Judge Douglas, and to make Lin- 
coln the man of destiny, for he retired from that convention the 
acknowledged leader of the new party in Illinois, and before two 
weeks came near being made the candidate of his party for Vice- 
President, in that campaign. 

It was said at the beginning of this paper that no meeting of the 
people of the State of Illinois in state convention was ever held 
which effected greater results in the State and national history than 
did this convention. Half a century of history making proves this 
claim to be true. 

Another assertion there made as to those named as participants in 
its deliberations and as to its effects upon them, is also true. Coming 
from the doors of Major's Hail at the close of that convention 
was Abraham Lincoln, a future President of the United States, 
the Emancipator of a race, whose memory the wide world reveres: 
there came also Richard Yates, the great War Governor of Illinois, 
who was eminent as a United States Senator; another Governor of 
Illinois, no less distinguished as a Senator and as a Major General 
in the War of the Rebellion. John M. Palmer, was of the number: 
there came a future Cabinet Minister and United States Senator. 


Orville H. Browning; there were also William Pitt, Burton 

C. Cook, Thomas J. Henderson. Abner C. Harding, John Wentworth, 
Thomas J. Turner, Owen Lovejoy, and perhaps others who served 
terms in Congress of various periods; there was also Norman B. Judd, 
who became a foreign minister; there were well known citizens 
who afterwards became members of the General Assembly, among 
whom may be named A. W. Mack. J. V. Eustace. Isaac C. Pugh, 
Dr. Robert Boal, Nathaniel Niles, Isaac L. Morrison, JohnH. Bryant, 
H. C. Johns, and Washington Bushnell who also filled the office of 
Attorney General of this State; there were those who before and 
after this date distinguished themselves as leaders of x^ublic opinion 
in the capacity of editors of newspapers, among whom may be named 

D. S. Parker, of Kankakee, Geo. T. Brown, of Alton. George Schneider, 
of Chicago, B. F. Shaw, of Dixon, W. H. Bailhache, of Sj)ringfield, 
C. H. Ray, Joseph Medill and J. L. Scripps, of Chicago. It is but 
just to say that Mr. Selby was prevented from being at the conven- 
tion on account of having suffered from an assault made upon him by 
a ruffianly opponent. 

Other distinguished citizens of great prominence before or since 
the convention were in attendance, among whom may and should be 
named, such men as Leonard Sweet, Jesse W. Fell and W. W. Orme, 
of Bloomington, D. L. Phillips, of Union county, G. D. A. Parks, of 
Joliet, Gen. James M. Ruggles, of Mason county, M. P Sweet, T. J. 
Prickett, A. C. Fuller. A. J. Joslyn, W. H. Herndon and William 
Vocke. Among those in attendance were those eminent Jiistorians. 
Tohn Moses and John G. Nicolay. So this convention gave to many 
young men in attendance impulses which staid with them through 
life and gave them position and character. 

So there were many who, with some of those named above, five 
years afterward, when the South undertook to test Lincoln's declar- 
ation to the effect that this nation could not exist half slave and half 
free, took their places in the ranks of the Nation's defenders, and 
either came home with their chaplets of victory, or gave up their 
lives to verify Lincoln's other declaration to the effect that the South 
should not go out of the Union. 

While the convention was a notable one for the reasons given upon 
the preceding page, it was also notable on account of the absence of 
some. At many places in the State were individuals whose convic- 
tions were as strong as were those of Lincoln or of any other partici- 
pator in the convention, as to the policy of prohibiting slave r}^ in the 
territories, and who were unstinted in their opposition to the course 
of Senator Douglas, yet who, from a timid fear of being thought and 
called "Abolitionists," remained away from the convention, trained 
with the third party in the campaign of 185(), and left Mr. Lincoln 
and his friends to bear the burden of an active opposition to the 
policy of the national administration. These men, who shall be 
nameless here, were what are sometimes called moral cowards: but 
when the day of victory was seen to be sure for the new party, they 
took their })laces in the front ranks and have well maintained their 
claims to this day, the chief reapers in the harvest where others 
sowed the seed . 



( By Homer Mead. 

The writer points out the importance, esj^ecially for the people of 
Illinois, of this historical monument, only a few miles from the vilhige 
of Prairie du Rocher, with its associations which carry the visitor 
back to the days of the French and British dominion in the Illinois 
country The circumstances of its construction in 1718-1720, as a 
part of the great designs of Law and his Company of the West, are 
described, and there is a brief sketch of the subsequent history of the 
fort and the surrounding village dow^n to the close of the French oc- 
cupation m 1765. The attractiveness of the old French community 
life is emphasized. 

The conditions under the old English regime are then described 
and the period is characterized as one of neglect and decadence. The 
writer then summarizes various contemporary notices of the fort, in- 
cluding those of Gage in 1765, and those of Brackenridge, Beck, and 
Reynolds. The fort was abandoned after the flood of 1772, but the 
damage done by the rain has been greatly exaggerated. The writer 
regards the wholesale demolition of the walls as the work of persons 
in search of building material. He thinks however, "that the whole- 
sale, unrestrained grab after the useful material of the fort did not 
begin until 1840, when people should have known better." 

'•Up to July, 1902, Red Bud, twenty miles away, was the nearest 
railroad station to this locality; but the Illinois division of the Iron 
Mountain railroad now has a station at Prairie du Rocher" which 
makes a visit to the fort comparatively easy. Prairie du Rocher itself 
still presents a distinctly French aspect, though the coming of the 
railroad is gradually changing the unique character of the place. 

"In early days all roads led to Fort Chartres"and highways leading 
to it were prominent features of early maps but "now^ not even a cow- 
path leads to it." The fort area is reached by crossing a " beautiful 
level Held " and entered through "a rude farm gate." " Cellar walls 
are in many places intact and nearly filled with debris. The angle of 
the main wall remains and is used as a stable. Two rude houses oc- 
cupied by a farmer's tenants, are within the enclosure, which has 
been cleared of trees, except a few tall ones near the magazine." The 
magazine, itself is surprisingly well preserved. 

[It is to be hoped that this paper may help to stimulate public opinion and lead to some 
tangible action by the State for the preservation of what still remains of the old fort. Even in 
its ruins, Fort Chartres is undoubtedly the most important monument of the French dominion 
in Illinois. For further information regarding: Fort Chartres, see E.G. Mason, Illinois in the 
Eighteenth Centuary {Fergus Historical Series; also, Fort de Chartres, by Jos. Wallace, in Pub. 
No. 8 of III. State Hist. Lib.)— Ed.] 



(By R. W. Mills.) 

Dr. George Cadwell was born Feb. 21, 1778, at Wethersfield, Conn.^ 
where he spent his early youth. He acquired a literary education at 
Hartford, but his medical education was obtained in Rutland, Vt. 
While engaged in the study of medicine he became acquainted with 
Pamelia Lyon, of Fair Haven, Vt., with whom he was married on 
Feb. 19, 1797, at Vergennes. The mother of Miss Lyons, was, before 
her marriage, a Miss Hosford, and was a niece of the Revolutionary 
patriot, Ethan Allen, of Ticonderoga fame. Her father was the cele- 
brated Matthew Lyon, then a member of Congress from the state of 
Vermont and afterwares four times elected to Congress from the state 
of Kentucky and once elected a delegate to Congress from the terri- 
tory of Arkansas. 

For a time after his marriage Dr. Cadwell remained at Fair Haven 
practicing his profession and assisting in the management of the 
extensive business of his father-in-law. Among the other things in 
which Colonel Lyon was engaged and in which 'Dr. Cadwell assisted 
him was the publication at Fair Haven of a newspaper called " The 
Scourge of Aristocracy.'' Colonel Lyon was an ardent Republican, 
and oppossed to the Federalist principles of Adams and Hamilton. 
He published in his paper many articles denouncing the Adams 
administration and thus became entangled in the meshes of the law. 
The Alien and sedition laws passed about that time provided severe 
penalties for speaking evil of the rulers: and on account of a letter 
reflecting on the administration of the elder Adams, written by Lyon 
while in Congress at Philadelphia and published in his newspaper at 
Fair Haven, which would be considered very mild in these stirring 
political times (extracts from which may be found in Wharton's 
State Trials,'' page 338), Lyon was indicted and convicted under the 
Sedition act and sentenced to pay a fine of one thousand dollars and 
to be imprisoned in the jail at Vergennes for a period of four months. 
To pay this, at that time, enormous sum in gold, brought Lyon to 
the verge of financial ruin, and in consequence thereof he resolved to 
remove to Kentucky. He selected a location on the Cumberland 
river at the point in Lyon county, Kentucky, where Eddyville now 
stands and thither he sent his family in the spring of 1799, in com- 
pany with his two sons-in-law. Dr. Cadwell and John Messenger, the 
later subsequently becoming a prominent citizen of St. Clair county. 



In making this journey it is known that the jjarty constrnctf^l flat 
boats at Pittsburg and descended the Ohio river to th(; moutli of th(i 
Cumberland, and from thence ascended the ijumhar-lniul to th(3 point 
of Lyon's location. Very iitth;, however, is known of th(3 first j^art of 
the journey; but it would seem that the party traversed the entire 
state of New York and through Pennsylvania to PittsV)urg in wagons, 
as indicated by the following extract taken from McLaughlin's life of 
Matthew Lyon, page 407: ''The /John Adams or Ohipman party had 
subjected Colonel Lyon to such jjersecution during the Alien and 
Sedition reign of terror, and were still besetting his path with so 
many petty annoyances, that he determined to leave the beloved stat(3 
to which he had given the best years of his life. His departure was 
a notable event in the history of Fair Haven. The xjeople gathered 
in sorrow to say farewell to the founder and father of the town. 
Among them was a youth who was so deeply imj^ressed with the 
scene that he was able seventy years afterwards to recall, in a letter 
to the author of the History of Fair Haven, the lohiie canvassed 
caravan of Matthew Lyon as it wound its way along the Poultney 
river on the long journey to the more primitive settlement in the 
forests of Kentucky." 

In the spring of 1800 Colonel Lyon returned to Kentucky from the 
session of Congress, to which he had. been re-elected while in the 
Vergennes jail, and engaged in the slave trade. The institution of 
slavery and the business of dealing in slaves were so distasteful to 
Dr. Cad well and John Messenger that in 1802 they both removed 
with their families to St. Clair county, in Illinois Territory. 

In his Pioneer History of Illinois, ex-Governor Reynokls says: 
''Messenger and Cadwell left Eddyville in 1802 and landed from a 
boat in Morgan bottom not far from old Fort Chartres"'. This state- 
ment was incorporated in an article from the pen of the late Judge 
Thomas, published by the Jacksonville Journal in May, ] 874. Its 
accuracy was at the time questioned by two daughters of Dr. Cadwell 
then living in Morgan county, one of whom informed the writer that 
the journey was made in wagons across the territory of Illinois from 
some point on the Ohio river and gave him an account of the trip 
obtained from her mother, in which she stated that when the journey 
was begun in February, 1802, the weather was warm and pleasant, 
but during the trip they encountered a furious snow storm and bitter 
cold weather; that owing to the entire absence of anything like roads 
the wagon in which Mrs. Cadwell was riding with her two infant chil- 
dren was completely overturned and the occupants were only saved 
from death or serious injury by the fact that the wagon box was of 
the crescent shape peculiar to that period, and in falling rested on its 
long projecting ends. At that time there were but two trails across 
Illinois territory used by emigrants from Kentucky, one from Shaw- 
neetown and the other from Fort Massac, and it is highly probable 
that Dr. Cadwell and Messenger floated down the Cumberland and 
Ohio rivers in flat boats to the latter point and went across to the 
Mississippi overland. If Fort Massac were substituted in the account 
of Cadwell and Messenger given by Governor RBynolds, it would 

—8 H 


probably be nearer in accordance with the facts, as a portion of the 
bottom near Fort Massac was called Morgan bottom, but no such 
place was known near Fort Chartres. 

If Dr. Cad well made a settlement in the neighborhood of Fort 
Chartres, it must have been of a temporary character, as a careful 
examination of the records of Randolph and St. Clair counties fails 
to disclose any conveyances to or from Dr. Cadwell in Randolph or in 
St. Clair county south of its present northern boundary. It is, there- 
fore, believed that his first permanent settlement was made on the 
bank of the Mississippi river, opposite Gaboret island, where he pur- 
chased 2 00 acres otf of the south end of the Nicholas Jarrott survey, 
described in the deed of conveyance as "being in St. Clair county, 
Illinois Territory, between nine and ten milts north of Cahokia, on the 
bank of the Mississippi river, beginning at the southwest corner of 
the Nicholas Jarrott survey at a point on the bank of the Mississippi 
river, from which a black walnut 15 inches in diameter bears south 
75 degrees east 170 links, and running thence north 15 degrees east 
170 poles; thence south 75 degrees east 188.2 poles; thence with the 
boundary of the Nicholas Jarrott tract to the place of beginning." 
This land is located a short distance north of the Merchant's bridge 
and immediately west of Granite City, 111. 

Here Dr. Cadwell built a cabin and engaged in farming and in the 
practice of his profession. This cabin was subsequently utterly de- 
molished by a tornado. In an account of this storm given to the late 
Rev. William Rutledge by Mrs. Cadwell she said she saw approach- 
ing from the west side of the river a funnel shaped cloud but as she 
had never heard of a land storm having that appearance she suspected 
it was in the nature of a water spout, and fearing the destruction of 
her cabin by the fierce wind that preceded it she fled to a plum 
thicket near by, threw herself flat on her face and holding a child 
under each arm and grasping a plum bush with each hand she re- 
mained until the fury of the storm abated. 

St. Louis at that time was a thriving village of 1,200 inhabitants, 
most of whom were of French extraction. Captain James Piggott 
owned the ferry across the Mississippi and his boats were propelled 
with oars. Cahokia, seven miles below on the east bank of the Miss- 
issippi, was the county seat of St. Clair county, the only town within 
its limits, and was still an active rival of St. Louis. On Cahokia 
Creek just east of Dr. Cadwell's land. Nicholas Jarrott, the wealthiest 
and most prominent citizen of Cahokia, had constructed a water mill 
which, owing to its insecure alluvial foundation, proA^ed an unprofit- 
able investment and ultimately seriously depressed him financially. 
There were no Indians then in that part of Illinois Territory but until 
1808 visits were occasicnally made by roving bands of Kickapoos and 
Potta.watamies . The small remnant of the once powerful Illinois 
confederacy, reduced to less than 150 Kaskaskia and Peoria warriors, 
had departed for the far southwest the year before Dr. Cadwell's 

The first record w(^ have of the public life and services of Dr. Cad- 
well is that of his appointment as a Justice of the Peace of St. Clair 
county, on July 1), 1809, ''to continue during the pleasure of the 


Governor for the time being." On S(3pteniber 14, 1812, Ninian Ed- 
wards, (xovernor of Illinois Territory, })y proclaniation establish(.'d Uk; 
county of Madison with the following boundaries: "b(»girinirig on th(; 
Mississippi, to run with the second township above Cahokia east 
until it strikes the dividing line between the Illinois ?ind Indiana 
Territories, thence with said dividing line to the lineof Ujjper (^anada. 
thence with said line to the Mississippi, thence down the Mississippi 
to the beginning." This included the home of Dr. Oadwell, and on 
the 27th day of the same month he was appointed a Justice of th(.' 
Peace for this newly established county which embraced all of Illinois 
north of East St. Louis, all of Wisconsin and that part of Minnesota 
lying east of the Mississippi. 

At the August Term, 18] 3, of the Court of Common Pleas for 
Madison county, Dr. Cadwell was appointed commissioner to list the 
property in the county for taxation and it was ordered by the court 
that the following species of property be subject to taxation at the 
following rates: Each able-bodied single man, $1.00; each negro 
slave, $1.00; each horse, mule or ass, fifty cents; Baker's ferry on the 
Mississippi, $1.00; Gilliam's Ferry, $1.00; William Whiteside's ferry. 
$1.00; Walker's ferry, $1.00; houses, lands and water mills ordered to 
be appraised. The lists were made by Dr. Cadwell as ordered and the 
tax so extended amounted to $426.84. There were found in this im- 
mense county only 161 men who were subject to road labor. 

On December 11, 1813, Dr. Cadwell was appointed Judge of the Court 
of Common Pleas of Madison county, a court having a limited common 
law jurisdicticm, and on December 24, 1814, he received a Christmas 
gift from the Governor of the territory in the shape of an appoint- 
ment to the position of the Judge of the County Court of Madison 

Shortly after this appointment Dr. Cadwell removed to Edwards- 
ville, purchasing from Thomas Kirkpatrick on July 1, 1815, two lots 
containing the dwelling, which was by the proclamation of Governor 
Edwards above referred to. made the seatof justice of Madison county. 
This property is described as "lots 27 and 28 in the town of Edwards- 
ville, lying on the west side of Main street and on the north side of 
Cross street No. 5, containing one-quarter acre each." The original 
deed from Thomas Kirkpatrick is now in the writer's possession . 
At this time Edwardsville was a very important village, it being the 
home of Governor Edwards, of United States Senator Jesse B. Thomas. 
Emanuel West, Judge Theophilus W. Smith, Rev. Thomas Lippin- 
cott, father of General Charles E. Lippincott; Joseph Conway, Gov- 
ernor Edward Coles, and other distinguished men. A United States 
land office was at that time located here, as was a branch of the State 
Bank of Illinois. 

On January 11, 1816, Dr. Cadwell was re-appointed County Judge 
for Madison county ''during good behavior for three years," and on 
February 28, 1818, he was appointed one of the Justices of the Peace 
for Madison county. 

On August 26, 1818, the constitutional convention at Kaskaskia 
adopted a constitution for the State under the provisions of the Act 
of Congress of April 18, 1818. Section 2, Article 2. provided that 


the first election for senators and representative !S. should be held 
on the third Thursday of September, 1818, and continue three 
days. At this election Dr. Cadwell was chosen senator from the 
county of Madison. Section 4, Article 2 of the Constitution provided, 
that, at the first session of the General Assembly, the senators should 
be divided by lot into two classes, the seats of the first class to be 
vacated at the expiration of the second year and those of the second 
class at the end of the fourth year. In the casting of lots Dr. Cad- 
well drew the short straw and fell into the first class, making his 
term of office only two years. A copy of the Journal of the Consti- 
tutional Convention of 1818 was in 1905 presented to the State of 
Illinois by Mr. J. W. Kitchell of Pana. On account of the loss of the 
Senate Journal of the first session but little is known (^f his carreer in 
that important session which prepared a general revision of the laws 
of the State; but, as he was re-elected to the Senate from Madison 
county for the full term of four years on the first Monday of August, 
1820, it is fair to assume that his official acts were satisfactory to his 

During his second term he occupied a very prominent place in the 
Senate. An examination of the Journal shows that there were very 
few, if any, standing committees; but whenever a resolution, petition 
or measure was referred to a committee it w^as usually to a special 
one appointed for the purpose; and it appears that Dr. Cadw^ell was 
appointed upon almost all of the important committees, and was 
chairman of many of them. 

On December It), 1820, the Lieutenant Governor, Col. Pierre 
Menard, asked and obtained leave of absence until the first week in 
January. On motion of Mr. Jamison, Dr. Cadwell was appointed 
Speaker pro tempore. On December 18, on motion of Dr. Cadwell, 
Mr. Thompson took the chair as Speaker pro iem and the Senate pro- 
ceeded to elect a Speaker viva voce and Dr. Cadwell receiving nine 
votes was declared elected Speaker; but in January he resigned the 
position in order to take the floor against the pending measure for 
the establishment of a State Bank. 

That he was an active member is clearly shown by the Senate 
Journal. Among the measures of public importance which he was 
instrumental in having passed were the act of January 20, 1821, cre- 
ating the county of Greene with attached territory extending north 
to the Sangamon River, the subsequent act of January 21, 1823, cre- 
ating the county of Morgan out of the attached territory and the act 
of January 31, 1821, creating the County of Pike. 

He also secured the passage of an act for the establishment of med- 
ical societies which provided for the division of the State into four 
medical districts, making the physicians in each district a body cor- 
porate, and making it their duty to meet at stated intervals to ex- 
amine students and grant diplomas to such as were qualified to prac- 
tice medicine. The act also provided that no one could practice 
medicine except those possessed of a diploma from one of these 
societies, or from some respectable university of the Ihiited States. 
This act also required physicians to keep a record of all births and 
deaths. Section 11 provided that the board might examine all phys- 


ician's bills which any patient considered exorbitant and niakr; sucli 
deductions as to the board seemed reasonable; that the physif^ian 
could not collect the excess and he was required to refund it if it had 
been paid. But his activity was not wholly confined to the introduc- 
tion and passage of laws. On the contrary he appears more jjromi- 
nently and to better advantage, if j^ossible, in the opposition of 
measures which he did not approve. 

One of the acts of the Legislature was the passage of an act estaVj- 
lishing a State Bank of Illinois at Kaskaskia with a ca^jital stock of 
two million dollars to be subscribed by the State; but. as the stock 
was not subscribed by the Legislature, nothing came of it. In his 
message to the Legislature, which convened in October, 1820, the 
Governor made some recommendations concerning the State Bank 
which were on December 7, 1820, referred to a special committee of 
which Dr. Cadwell was a member. In 1821 the first act was repealed 
and another one passed establishing a State Bank at Vandalia with 
branches at Edwardsville, Brownsville, Shawneetown and Albion, the 
county seat of Edwards county. This bill having passed the Senate 
was amended in the House and presented to the Senate for concur- 
rence in the amendment. It was referred to a committee of seven of 
which Dr. Gadwell was the chairman. This bill had been opposed by 
the Council of Revision — consisting of the Governor, Shadrach Bond, 
and the four Justices of the Supreme Court, Joseph Phillips, Thomas 
C. Brown, John Reynolds, and William Wilson — on the ground that 
it provided for the issue of bills of credit which was contrary to the 
Federal Constitution. Dr. Cadwell voted to sustain the Council and 
against the measure, but the bill became a law in sjjite of his 

In 1820 he voted with the majority in rejecting the recommend- 
ation of a special committee that the territorial laws, except such as 
had been repealed or were inconsistent with the constitution, be con- 
tinued in force. In October, 1820, the lessees of the Ohio and Wa- 
bash Salt Works proposed to pay the State $8,000 per annum rent if 
allowed to sell salt at $1.25 a bushel, but would pay $10,000 per annum 
if allowed to sell it at $1.50. Dr. Cadwell voted against the motion 
to take the larger rental and allow it to be sold at the greater price. 

That he was in favor of observing the spirit rather than the strict 
letter of the law; that he believed a majority should rule and that no 
one should be disfranchised by a technicality, is abundantly shown 
by his attitude in the contested election between Willis Hargrave and 
Leonard White. In the schedule attached to the Constitution of 1818 
it was provided that White county should be entitled to one Senator 
and three Representatives. After the adoption of the Constitution a 
portion of the county of Jefferson was detached and added to the 
county of W^hite. In the election of 1820 the sitting member, White, 
had a majority of the votes in the whole county as then constituted. 
His seat was contested by Willis Hargrave, who was a candidate at 
the same election, on the ground that he received a majority of the 
votes in the territory comprising the county of White as it was con- 
stituted at the date of the adoption of the Constitution, contending 
that the inhabitants of the portion of Jefferson added to White had 


no voice in the election and claiming that he received a majority of 
the votes in the whole connty as then constituted. The committee to 
which the contest was referred reported in favor of Hargrave but the 
report was not adopted by the Senate. Dr. Cadwell voted against it 
and on his motion Leonard White was declared entitled to the seat. 

In the memorable contest in 1823-24, between the pro-slavery and 
anti-slavery elements in the Legislature, the story of which has al- 
ready been told before this society and need not be repeated. Dr. Cad- 
well took a prominent part in opposition to the convention. A large 
majority of the Senate were pro-slavery and in favor of submitting 
the question of a convention to the people but in the House it was 
expected the vote would be very close with the chances against there 
being a two-thirds vote in favor of the convention. Fearing defeat 
in the House an effort was made by the pro-slavery members of both 
houses to secure a joint session which would have enabled them to 
secure a vote in favor of the convention on a joint ballot. In further- 
ance of this revolutionary purpose a resolution was adopted by the 
Senate on February 1, 1824, declaring that "if two-thirds of all the 
members elected to the Greneral Assembly shall vote in favor of 
recommending to the people to vote for or against a convention it 
shall be sufficient to effect that measure.'' 

Dr. Cadwell opposed the resolution but when defeated was not 
content to allow it to rest there. He, together with William Kinkade, 
Daniel Parker and Stephen Stillman, caused to be entered upon the 
Journal of the Senate a written protest against its validity. In this 
protest they state that although the resolution is ambiguous, yet 
according to the way it is interpreted by the advocates of the measure 
it is plain that the design of it is to compel both branches of the 
Legislature to give a joint vote on the question of recommending the 
people to vote for or against the convention. They take the ground 
that the Constitution designed the two branches of the Legislature 
should be mutual checks upon each other and that the resolution 
destroys this salutary purpose by blending them together in one of 
their most important legislative acts. They point out that in this 
resolution the question of the convention may be submitted though a 
majority of the Senate be opposed to it. They say it was evidently 
the purpose of the Constitution to require more members to recom- 
mend a vote for the convention than is required to pass a law, yet ten 
members of the Senate (the whole number being eighteen) can prevent 
the passage of the law although the other forty-four members of the 
Legislature should favor it, but according to this resolution eighteen 
members of the Senate might not be able to prevent the submission 
of the question of a convention as the thirty-six members of the House 
constitute two-thirds of all members elected to the Cxeneral Assembly. 
The protest concluded with the following ringing sentences: ''For 
the correctness of our sentiments we appeal not only to our constitu- 
ents but also to the people of the whole State. As men sworn to ob- 
serve the (^institution, as representatives appointed to defend the 
rights of the people, we solemnly enter our protest against this 
resolution as being, in our opinion, subversive of the one and wholly 
injurious to the other." 


The Governor at the time, Edward (yoles, took strong ground jjgainst 
the convention and thereby incurred the; displ(iasur(i of th(i pro-shivery 
imrty in the Legishiture. Th(i Senate esijecially did evfirytfiing to 
make itself obnoxious to the Grovernor. Senators h(,'ld up his apj^joint- 
ments and sought every occasion to annoy him. 

Dr. Cadwell had recommended the apix)intm(?nt of Dennis Kock- 
well to be Recorder of Morgan county, and John G. Lofton to be 
Recorder of Fulton county, and their several ax)pointments were sent 
to the Senate for confirmation. Dr. Cadwell moved that the Senate 
advise and consent to the appointments but on motion of Jones of 
Gallatin the nominations were laid on the table; the vote on the pro- 
position being a tie, the Speaker decided it in the affirmative. At the 
same time the Senate passed a resolution which in terms demanded 
that the Governor lay before the Senate all recommendations of 
candidates for the office of Recorder in Fulton and Morgan counties. 
Against this resolution Dr. Cadwell, William Kinkade, and Stephen 
Stillman entered a protest. Evidently the protest contained some 
very offensive language as the Senate refused to receive it, but w^as 
afterwards modified so as to entitle it to be spread upon the Journal. 
In this paper these three gentlemen solemnly protested against the 
proceeding of the Senate of February 14, in the passage of the resolu- 
tion offered by the Senator from Monroe requiring the Governor to 
lay before the Senate all recommendations of candidates for the office 
of Recorder in Morgan and Fulton counties; among other reasons, 
"because the executive is a co-ordinate branch of the government and 
it is wholly improper, indecorous and unreasonable for either branch 
of the General Assembly to make such an impertinent requisition on 
the Governor." And in conclusion they say "That it is the province 
of the Governor to nominate and for the Senate to confirm or repudiate 
as they think proper but his reasons for nominating any individual is 
his business and not ours." 

All are familiar with the history of this struggle and know that the 
requisite two-thirds majority of the lower house was obtained by the 
shameless robbery of the seat of Rejjresentative Hanson from Pike 
and the passage of the resolution was thus secured submitting to the 
people the question of calling a convention to frame a new constitution 
at a general election to be held on the first Monday, of August, 1824. 
Between the time of the passage of this resolution and the date of the 
election the pro-slavery and anti-slavery parties of Illinois were en- 
gaged in a struggle for supremacy that has probably never since been 
equalled for bitterness and acrimony. Fifteen of the members of the 
Legislature, including Dr. Cadwell, joined in an appeal to the people 
to rise in their might and save the state from the greatest shame and 
disaster that could ever be visited on any people. They urged the 
people of the state 'Tn the name of unborn millions who will rise up 
after us and call us blessed, or accursed, according to our deeds — in 
the name of the injured sons of Africa, whose claim to equal rights 
with their fellow men will plead their own cause against their usurpers 
before the tribunal of eternal justice, we conjure you, fellow citizens, 
to ponder upon these things!" 


Of these men Mr. E. B. Washburne in his sketch of Grovernor Coles 
says: ''There were fifteen members of the Legislature, brave, conscien- 
tious and God-fearing men, who signed this noble and timely appeal 
to the people of Illinois. I give all their names for they deserve to be 
written in letters of gold on the tablets of the state's history. Risdon 
Moore, William Kinkade, George Cad well, Andrew Bankson, Jacob 
Ogle, Curtis Blakeman, Abraham Cairnes, William Lowery, James 
Sims, Daniel Parker. George Churchill, Gilbert T. Pell, David 
McGahey, Stephen Stillman, and Thomas Mather." 

Dr. Cadwell was actively engaged in that campaign but was not a 
candidate for re-election and the proposition to call a convention was 
defeated by a majority of 1668 in a total vote in the state of 11,612. 
Dr. Cadwell's county giving 42 votes for the convention and- 452 
against it. His retirement from public life at this time was evidently 
voluntary as his district was in sympathy with him and voted more 
than five to one against the proposition to hold a convention. 

After his second election to the Senate, probably late in 1820 or 
early in 1821, Dr. Cadwell removed to a location near where Lynnville, 
in Morgan county, now stands, but then within the bounds of the 
county of Madison. The next session of the Legislature (1820-21) 
created the counties ol Sangamon and Greene comprising all the terri- 
tory north of the present boundary of Madison county, with attached 
territory, which extended as far north as the northern boundary of the 
state, including the new home of Dr. Cadwell. thus making him a non- 
resident of the county from which he was elected, and leaving Madison 
county without representation in the Senate. Eleven days later. 
January 31, 1821, an act was passed creating the county of Pike 
out of all the territory in the State north of the then northern bound- 
ary of Greene and Sangamon counties. At the same session an act 
was passed providing for the election of a Senator for Madison county 
at the biennial election of 1822, leaving Dr. Cadwell the Senator of 
the new counties carved out of Madison county. And the 3rd General 
Assembly, January 31, 1823, created the county of Morgan from part 
of Sangamon. Thus was Dr. Cadwell removed from St. Clair to 
Madison county by the proclamation of a territorial governor; and 
he was also, by legislative enactment, made successively an inhabitant 
of the counties of Greene, Sangamon, and Morgan, without changing 
his residence. 

The journey to Morgan county was made in flat boats propelled by 
poles and by pulling the overhanging boughs of the trees near the 
shores, up the Mississippi to the mouth of the Illinois, and thence 
up the Illinois to Naples, and the remaining distance of twenty miles 
was made in wagons. He made a claim to 240 acres of land, being 
the east half of the soi theast quarter of section 29, the east half of 
the northeast quarter of section 32. and the east half of the southeast 
(piarter of section 32, all in township 15 north, range 11 west of the 
3d i^rincipal meridian ; and afterwards entered the same at the land 
office in Vandal ia. Nearly three-fourths of this entry was' heavily 
timbered, and it contained more than twenty acres of hard maple 
trees, from which sugar and syrup were annually mndc until some- 
time in the fifties. 


Here lie laid off a town to wliicii he gave the name of Quincy. 
expecting to secure the location of the county seat upon it. Th(i t(;m- 
porary seat of justice of Morgan county was by the act cn^ating it 
fixed on Olmstead's mound, which adjoined his land, and the first 
term of the Circuit Court w^as held in one of his cabins, but the; Com- 
missioners appointed to locate the permanent seat of justice jjlaced it 
at Jacksonville. There is a tradition in the ffimily to the effect that 
his opposition to the constitutional convention lost him the county 
seat, but the facts upon which it is said to be based are not suf- 
ficiently authenticated to put down as history. 

The remainder of his life was spent in the practice of his profes- 
sion. He was the first physician in Morgan county and his field was 
so vast and his practice so extensive that he was frequently absent 
for several days at a time, sometimes visiting patients forty miles 
aWay. He built a frame house, the first in Morgan county, with a 
shingle roof and walnut weatherboards, the roof of which was taken 
otr by a wind storm in April, 1823. 

In 1823 Dr. Cadwell was instrumental in organizing the "Morgan- 
ian Society," the purpose of which was to "promote the public good 
by using all honorable means to prevent the introduction of slavery 
into this State, by maintaining the purity of elections, by cherishing 
political harmony and restraining vice and immorality," the constitu- 
tion being signed by Dr. Cadwell and 139 others. He was the first 
postmaster in Morgan county and people came many miles to receive 
their letters on which the postage was twenty-five cents each. The 
desk used for keepino,' the mails was brought from France and is now 
in the possession of Miss May Graves, of Jacksonville. 111. 

He was a man of medium height and of rather slender build. His 
family consisted of two sons, both of whom died before attaining their 
majority, and eight daughters, all of whom are now dead. The last 
survivor of them, Mrs. Harriet L. Rudisill, died at Jacksonville, Nov. 
9, 1893. 

Little is known as to his politics excejot that he was on principle 
opposed to human slavery and that he was a fearless advocate of the 
right as he saw it. In those days men and measures and principles 
stood for more than party; a public office was considered a public 
trust and not a private "snap," a condition which unfortunately for 
the welfare of the State does not exist today. 

He was not a religious man nor a member of any church organiza- 
tion, but held liberal views of matters of theology and w^as probably 
like Franklin, Jefferson and many other prominent men of his time, 
who to escape the rigorous and ascetic views held by the Puritans, 
and the licentiousness and arrogance of the Roman church, became 
followers of Voltaire, who was really not so heterodox as one is led 
to suppose from many things written against him, for his last words 
were: "I die worshipping God, loving my friends and not hating my 
enemies but detesting superstition." 

He died Aug. 1, 1826, not an old man as stated by Governor 
Reynolds and others, but at the age of 52, in the prime and vigor of 
manhood, and was buried on the farm which he entered. 



(By J.C.Allen. 

From a point opposite the city of Vincennes, Incl., north, on the 
west side of the Wabash river, to a point opposite the city of Terre 
Haute, Ind., lies a section of our State unsurpassed in beauty and 
fertility: Four prairies, Allison, Lamott, Union and Walnut; Allison 
in Lawrence county, Lamott in Crawford county, and Union and Wal- 
nut in Clark county; each covering an area of from three to four 
miles in width and eight to ten miles in length ; each surrounded by 
belts of heavy timber; each possessing a soil of sandy loam, easily 
cultivated and wonderfully productive. Each of these prairies had 
been favorite resorts of Indians, judging from the number of mounds 
burying places ) surrounding their borders ; and were evidently favor- 
ite hunting grounds before the advent of civilization. 

But it is to Lamott prairie and the old village of Palestine that I 
desire to confine myself in this paper; and as I dwelt among its people 
for nearly thirty years, I am somewhat familiar with its early history, 
as I gathered it from the children and grand-children of its early 
pioneer settlers. 

The village of Palestine is situated north of the city of Vincennes, 
Indiana, a distance of twenty-five miles by land and perhaps forty-five 
miles by the Wabash river. A short distance south of the village 
was a creek, called'Lamott creek. It derives its name from a French- 
man by that name, who had a trading post at a point where the creek 
intersects the river about two miles southeast from where the village 
is located. The prairie also took its name from this same trader. At 
this point Lamott carried on his trade in pelts and furs with the In- 
dians until the breaking out of the war of 1812 between this country 
and Great Britain, when the Indians, doubtless under the inspiration 
of the British commander at the post of Vincennes, became restless, 
when Lamott felt it unsafe to remain there. 

The village of Palestine is located on the south end of Lamott 
i:>rairie, about one and one-half miles from the Wabash river, and 
about one-half of this space is heavily timbered. On this east side 
of the i)rairie, northeast from the village is a deep lake covering sev- 
eral hundred acres of land, with a depth originally of from fifteen to 
twenty f(^et in places. The outlet from this lake was througli what is 
called Arthur slough, taking the name from a colored family that soon 
after the war settled on its west bank and Iniilt a cabin in which they 
resided for several years. 


Surrounding this prairie wc^re bolts of h(3a.vy timber, in the i";iJl of 
the year furnishing an abundant supply oi hickory nuts, waJnuts, 
butternuts and pecan nuts, and in the glad(?s surrounding tluj prnirie 
were found in the summer season, the wild jjlum, cherry and persim- 
mons, also strawberries, gooseberries and sarvice b(3rries, raspberries 
and blackberries in great abundance. Game was also abundant, bear, 
deer and wild turkeys; and of furred animals were the bears, otters, 
raccoons and other smaller animals; and of the cat-kind, th(3 panther 
and wild cats. 

On the south end of the prairie were patches of ground where the 
Indians raised their corn, and the stake around which they held their 
"green corn dance" was left standing for some time after the Indians 
had left. No wonder they were loath to leave, this to them, a very 
paradise and native garden. 

' In 1811 the first pioneers invaded this prairie. Three families from 
the state of Tennessee; their names were Boatright, Eaton and Cul- 
lom, distant relatives of Senator Cullom. These families only brought 
with them such property and oxen and cows as they regarded as 
necessary in their new homes. 

For some time after their arrival their relations with the Indians 
were amicable, but after the breaking out of the war with England, 
these friendly relations were soon somewhat less cordial and created 
apprehension of danger; and as among all races of people, the Kicka- 
poos (that being the tribe then occupying that section around there ) 
had among them some lawless men. These emigrants, being appre- 
hensive of injury from this element of the tribe, built two block 
houses, into which they removed their families, on the west side of the 
prairie, where they remained secure from attack from the evil-minded 
until after the close of the war; but when required to leave the fort 
to engage in the necessary work in their fields they took with them 
their rifles. The women kept watch all through the day and, at the 
approach of a party of Indians, blew a horn, when the men would 
drop the work and make for the block houses. During the war no 
serious harm was done to them except occasional theft. After the 
war there was an influx of population from the older states, Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. The town of 
Palestine was laid out near the southern line of Lamott prairie. 
Joseph Kitchell and Wilson Lagon donated a public square, and each 
alternate lot, on the plot of the town, to the county when it should 
be organized as a county seat. 

The county of Crawford was organized by the territorial legisla- 
ture in 1816, being the eighth county organized in the Territory of 
Illinois. In 1818 a convention was called to form a constitution with 
a view to being admitted into the union of States, eloseph Kitchell 
and Edward Cullom were elected as delegates from Crawford to that 
convention. The county was organized under the act of 1818 with a 
full set of county officers. David McGahey was elected Probate 
Justice of the Peace; J. S. Wood worth, Sheriff, and Edward C. Pifer. 
Circuit Clerk. Joseph Kitchell was elected to the State Senate, and 


David Porter to the House of Representatives. At the first session 
of the General Assembly, Palestine was fixed as the county seat, and 
so continued until 1844. 

I go back in point of time to about the close of the war of 1812. A 
man by the name of Hutson with his family settled at the mouth of 
Hutson creek, a small stream emptying into the Wabash river, where 
the village of Hutsonville was since built, nine miles north of Pales- 
tine. Both the creek and the village take their names from the 
original settler. Hutson was a Quaker and did not apprehend danger. 
While absent one day from his cabin the Indians, supposed to be 
Delawares, raided his home and killed his wife and three of his child- 
ren, and took his eldest daughter captive, as is supposed, her body 
not being found. From one Indian woman he learned that it was a 
party of Delawares that raided his home, and that they had crossed 
the river into Indiana. He determined to follow them arid was not 
afterwards heard of. It is supposed he was killed by them while 
searching for his daughter. 

Among the first records that were made by the clerk of the circuit 
court of Crawford county was a certificate of the clerk of the court 
of Battelora county, Virginia, given to one Abram Camp who on 
account of his color had been held as a slave. In his petition he 
averred that his mother was a Mohawk Indian and the evidence 
showed this to be true, and the judge decreed that he was entitled to 
his freedom. He came to Illinois and settled a few miles above Vin- 
cennes in what is now Lawrence county, then a part of Crawford. 
His certificate had become somewhat worn and obliterated, it having 
been given to him by the court in 1786 and he had it recorded in 
Crawford county so that he could be protected from arrest as a slave by 
men who were engaged in stealing negroes and taking them south, 
and when an owner or claimant was not found, selling them into 
slavery. Some of the descendants of Abram Camp are yet living in 
the regions where he settled and built a house. 

The records of the county also show that in July, 1819, three 
Indians of the Delaware tribe were indicted by a grand jury for the 
murder of one Thomas McCall, a white man. They called themselves 
William Kilbuck, Captain Thomas and Big Panther. Kilbuck 
claimed to be a chief in his tribe, and on being brought before the 
court for trial, Ca^^t. Thomas, and Big Panther, by their attorney, 
secured a continuance until the next term, Kilbuck, being a chief, 
disdained to ask for delay and demanded an immediate trial. Judge 
Thomas C. Brown, a member of the Supreme Court, was presiding; 
after ordering the two prisoners, whose cases had been continued, 
into the custody of the sheriff, the court proceeded to the trial of 
Chief Kilbuck. The jury found him '\guilty'' of murdering Thomas 
McCall. Motion was made by his attorney for a new trial. The court 
ordered the prisoners into the custody of the sheriff and adjourned 
court until next day, when he would hear the motion for new trial. 
In the morning the sheriff* reported to the court that all three of the 
prisoners had escaped from his custody. There being no jail, perhaps 
the "guards slept upon tluur watch." The motion for new trial is 
still pending. 


The Kickapoo Indians that occupied th(; country alon^ the WaVjash 
river on either side from the old jjost Vinc(3nnes to Fort VVayne, Ind- 
iana, seem to have been less troublesome to the settlers than those of 
the other tribes that often made incursions into their territory. * * * 
After the close of the war and after most Indians had left that sec- 
tion, a body of Indians were discovered on Africa Ridge. The river 
having overflowed the low lands, the ridge could only be reached by 
water craft. Much uneasiness was felt by the little settlement of 
emigrants. It was Anally agreed that a deputation of five men should 
cross the water to the ridge and ascertain what purjjose the Indians 
had in thus invading the ridge. So the live men entered the canoes, 
bearing a white flag, started for the ridge, a high point of land east of 
the village one mile; but before they reached the ridge the Indians 
began firing arrows at them. Regarding this as an unfriendly saluta- 
tion they turned the canoes to the other shore and escaped injury, 
though some of the men said they heard the whistle of the arrows 
rather close to their ears. In a few days the Indians embarked in 
their canoes and were no more heard of. There has always been some 
question whether they fired their arrows with intent to kill or whether 
they only desired to scare the men approaching them. 

Upon opening the Indian mounds in which their dead had been in- 
terred there were found bones, skulls, hair, arrow heads, stone 
hatchets, brass, and other trinkets, besides rude pottery, supposed to 
have belonged to the deceased, and supposed to be necessary for the 
use of the departed when they enter the "happy hunting ground.'' 
In two of the mounds opened on Africa Ridge were found skeletons 
of Indians, evidently men of large proportions, that had been buried 
in a sitting posture with a flag stone under their bodies and a like 
stone on either side and a covering of the same material, both bodies 
facing the east. Whether these were remains of a more ancient race 
or whether they had been distinguished chiefs remains an open ques- 

Having given a brief description of the country and its environ- 
ment when the first settlements were made in this locality in 1811, 
this being the first white settlement north of the Higgins family who 
came to Edwards County in 1809, I now propose to give you some 
account of the village of Palestine, for many years the most important 
commercial and trading point north of Vincennes on the west side of 
the Wabash river. For many years it commanded the trade of a 
large section lying northwest and south, but the small village labored 
under great disadvantage; until steamboats began to ply the river, 
the skiff, the pirogue and the bateau were the sole means of transpor- 
tation. When the steamers were introduced merchants could obtain 
their supplies more readily and at cheaper rates than by the old 
method. O. H. Bristol, an enterprising merchant of Palestine, built 
a warehouse at the mouth of Lamott Creek in which farmers could 
store their produce and merchants their goods to await removal 
either to their stores or to distant markets. 

The village was of slow growth, but contained an enterprising class 
of merchants and mechanics and continued slowly to increase until 
it lost the county seat. Then for a time it seemed to stand still. 


until the Effingham S. E, R. R. was completed, when it pnt on new 
life, and is now one of the most attractive towns in eastern Illinois, 
with its business houses, electric lights, shops, its schools and 
churches, surrounded by a prosperous farming community, rendering 
it in my view one of the most desirable localities in eastern Illinois. 

Palestine was not only the first settled in this section of the State 
but has furnished many of the officers of the State, having the land 
office for many years; the register and receiver were citizens of the 
place under appointment of the President. It had a delegate in 
every constitutional convention of the State except that of 1847. 
* * * It had the judge of the circuit court elected for the 
second term. It had the Attorney General of the State for one term 
(Wickliffe Kitchell). One of the citizens, A. C. French, was twice 
elected Governor of the State. One other of her citizens was nom- 
inated by the Democratic party for Governor, but failed oi election. 
And one of her citizens was three times elected to the Congress of 
of the United States, twice from the district and once from the State 
at large. It furnished the clerk of the House of Representatives 
of the United States for one term of Congress, besides clerk of the 
circuit and county courts for much of the time since the county was 
organized. Though a small village in point of numbers, she has 
made herself somewhat conspicuous in the life of the State. 

The county of Crawford when first organized embraced all of the 
country lying north of the north line of Edwards county, but the 
organization of other counties lying to the north and one county 
south (Lawrence) has circumscribed her limits to a reasonable size; 
but with her great variety of soil, her excellent climate and pro- 
ductions of fruits, grass and grains, she can compete with any county 
in this section. She has an enterprising class of business men and 
an exceptionally good class of farmers and is a desirable location for 
any one seeking a new location. 

The Kitchell cemetery near Palestine holds the remains of five 
daughters and two sons, the wife and children of Joseph and Rachel 
Kitchell. their daughters, the wives of E. S. Janey, O. H. Bristol, Dr. 
Harmon Alexander, Judge Presley, O. Wilson, Governor, A. C. French 
and J. C. Allen, besides many grand-children. It is also the last rest- 
ing place of Judge John Looker, a Revolutionary soldier under Gen- 
eral George Washington, an officer in his army. He was born in 
New Jersey and entered the army from that state; was with the army 
when it crossed the Delaware. After the close of the war he came to 
Cincinnati and was for several years engaged in the schools in that 
city. He was a man of fine education and acquired distinction as an 
educator, and afterwards was elected county judge of that county.* 
Though not a lawyer he was regarded as an efficient and upright 
judicial officer. In his declining days he came to Palestine in 1844 
to spend his last days with his daughter, Rachel Kitchell, widow of 
Joseph Kitchell, deceased. At a fourth of July celebration in 1.845, 
he [)resided over the meeting and delivered a short address at the so- 
licitation of his friends. He appeared in his continental uniform, 
though bowed with the infirmities of age, he looked ''every inch 
a soldier." I was with him in his last hour surrounded by his 


daughter and grand-children. His last words wenj, "My life has been 
spared. I have tried to be useful. God calls and I c)b(3y tlje sum- 
mons," and he fell asleep to wake as we belicive to a higher and better 
life. This is my tribute to one of the most loverly characters I have 
ever known. He was buried and his headston(3 marks his grave 
which is surrounded by his daughter and all his grand-children. 

I have tried to call attention to a part of our State that has received 
but little notice from its historians. 



(By Stuart Brown.) 

By a patent granted to John Cabot and his sons by Henry VII of 
England, they were empowered "to seek out and discover all islands, 
regions and provinces whatsoever that may belong to heathens and 
infidels, to subdue, occupy and possess these countries as his vassals 
and lieutenants." First discovery, first occupancy, peaceable and un- 
contested possession, these are the three bases upon which nations 
claim the territory of the weaker. As an example of this kind of 
reasoning Portugal claimed the Indian ocean, because of first discov- 
ery and navigation and forbade all others from using the route around 
the Cape of Good Hope. Further the discovery of the mouth of a 
great river was claimed to give the right of occupancy to a nation of 
the entire valley of the said stream and to all the countries watered 
by its tributaries 

These statements may seem dry as dust to you, but they were of 
great and absorbing interest to the dwellers in Old Kaskaskia. I 
cannot, in the short space of time allotted to me, do more than touch 
upon the facts, but just for a moment see where they lead you. 
John Cabot of the so-called civilized nations first touched upon the 
coast of North America. He was an Italian but he flew the flag of 
Henry and so England claimed all of North America. Jacques 
Cartier in 1584 sailed up the St. Lawrence and for Francis I, he 
claimed the whole mainland of Canada. This was afterwards elabo- 
rated into a claim for the valley of the St. Lawrence and all its tribu- 
taries which of course included the Great Lakes and all their sur- 
roundings. DeSoto, the Spaniard, in 1541 flrst saw the Mississippi 
and his party, or the remnants of it, sailed through its mouth. 

Marquette, the Frenchman, in 1673 first navigated its middle 
reaches and saw the Missouri and w^hat he calls the Ouabache, what 
is now the (3hio. And there you have the beginning of a very pretty 
quarrel, the shifting phase of which brought terror and troubles to 
Old Kaskaskians, for as family quarrels dip deep into fortunes so 
national disputes make and break towns. 

When Father Marquette, that courtly, yet childlike Jesuit, that 
weak emaciated bony frame of a man, yet with a mind true as Castil- 
ian steel to his church and pupils, entrusted his body to a birch bark 
canoe and his soul to God, and paddled through the Fox nnd Wiscon- 
sin rivers in 1()73, he stepped boldly, with open eyes, into the great 
unknown, and dared more highly than even Christopher Columbus. 


./S^-. "^ 



For in so much as death by fire at the stake with all the accomijani- 
ments of Indian torture exceeds the ill of death by drowning did his 
venture surpass that of the other. Marquette entered the Father of 
Waters from the Wisconsin and was not troubled by Fox, Sioux or 
Sac. He floated quietly down the great river, passed the Vjeautiful 
Rock river and came to the Des Moines, Here an Indian trail came 
down to the Mississippi. He stopped and followed it to the west, 
and came to an encampment of many lodges. 

Reflect what courage it required to step boldly from the timber and 
walk out into the open field and advance toward those painted sava- 
ges who stood in silent wonder to see the black robe approach. An 
old chief met him with a welcome and the pipe of peace. He was 
entertained by a repast. First he was given sampine or sagamite, a 
species of corn mush, then broiled fish from which the bones w^ere 
carefully taken, then with the greatest delicacy of all, roa&t dog. 
Each dish was taken and the first three mouthfuls were placed in his 
mouth by the hand of the chief, then the calumet pipe was smoked 
in religious gravity; these were the general customs of the Indians. 
Then, and not till then, was he asked where he came from and where 
he was going. To his question as to who they were, the chief re- 
plied, Inini or perfect men, so named to distinguish them from the 
Iroquois who were called beasts by the western Indians. This word 
Inini was changed to Illini by the French and in the Algonquin 
plural should have been Illiniwug but w4th the French plural became 
Illinese or Illinois, and thus our State obtained its name.^- 

Marquette passed the Missouri and the Illinois, the Kaskaskia, 
which then had another name, and the place where afterwards our 
Kaskaskia was built; passed the Ohio and when he ascertained that 
the Mississippi did not flow into the Pacific and probably did enter 
the Gulf of Mexico, returned on July 17th, to the North. Every- 
where his Illinois calumet brought him peace and safety. On his 
return he entered the Illinois river and saw the prairies; soon he 
came to the original town of Kaskaskia which was the home of the 
Indians of the same name. There were then 74 lodges. It was on 
the wide bottom and directly south of Utica in LaSalle county.-- 

This nation was very friendly and desired Marquette to return, and 
he did so in 1675 and established there a mission which he called 
''The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin." This was the 
Old, the oldest, Kaskaskia. When Father Claude Allouez came to it 
in 1676, there were 351 cabins ranged along the river, and Membre in 
the same year estimated the number of Indians at 7,000. It was 
probably one of the largest, if not the largest, Indian town in this 
country. The immediate successor of Allouez was Rasles, then came 
Gravier, who studied the langviage and stated its principles. In the 
meantime LaSalle and Hennepin had seen it. Tonti had lived and 
fought there. The Iroquois had descended upon the Illinois and 
killed thousands of men, women, and children. 

1. Jesuit Relaiions, vol 72, p. .SIO (references on the variations of name). 

2. Cf. this narrative with that of Marquette in The Jesuit Relations, (Thwaites ed.) vol. 
59, pp. 89-163. [Ed.]. 

—9 H 


Through the dispersion of the Indians by the Pottawattomies and 
the Iroquois and the change of route of the voyagers and fur traders, 
who found the way by the Fox and Wisconsin rivers to the Missis- 
sippi shorter and less difficult, the French post at Fort St. Louis was 
abandoned and Father Gabriel Marest, who was in charge there of the 
Jesuit Mission, persuaded the Illinois tribes to move down the Miss- 
issippi to get aw^ay from their foes and be in better touch with 
the French, who were settling at Mobile and at the mouth of the 
Mississippi. In the summer of 1700, Marest stopped at the mouth of 
the river which was later called Kaskaskia after the tribe. Then 
began the real Kaskaskia, Our Kaskaskia. The place took its name 
from the Kaskaskia tribe of the Illinois Confederacy of the Algonquin 
nation, and was spelled in many different ways at first: Cachecache- 
quia, by Marquette; Kachkachkia, by Allouez; Cascaskias, by Membre; 
Cascasquias, by Marest; Kaskasquias, by Charlevoix. At an early 
date in the eighteenth century it was settled, however, as Kaskaskia. 
Its significance in English, so far as I know, is unknown; but it is a 
singular fact that the only names containing the three K's in any 
language are all of the Algonquin tongue: Kalkaska, Mich.; Kekas- 
kee, Wis.; Keokuk, la; Kaskaskia and Kankakee in Illinois. i- 

The Illinois Confederacy was composed of the Kaskaskias, Caho- 
kias, Tamaroas, Peorias and Mitchigamias, and at one time was 
numerous, but finally was driven south by the Pottawatomies and 
Iroquois and all its tribes settled in or near Kaskaskia. In 1830 
they were all merged into the Kaskaskia tribe and in 1833 migrated 
in a body to the West. In 1849 there were 165 Peorias and Kaskas- 
kias at Quapaw, I. T. Ducogne, their last chief, boasted that his 
tribe had never shed the blood of a white man. The early explorers 
found them to be of a somewhat gentler and more refined nature than 
other savages. In later times they cultivated some corn in the 
American Bottom, exchanged furs with the white traders, became 
drunken, lazy, and degraded and lost that simple dignity which the 
American Indian is su^jposed to jjossess. 

The site of the new settlement was fixed on the right bank of the 
Kaskaskia river about six miles above its entry into the Mississippi 
river and about two miles from the latter. Here the Kaskaskia river 
was about 350 feet wide, and the bluffs on the opposite side were 
about 200 feet high. The village was named by the Jesuits ''Le Vill- 
age de ITmmaculee Conception de Cascasquias," and was not laid out 
in any regular form but like most Indian villages consisted of a row 
of lodges or huts scattered along the river. The scenery at the con- 
fluence of the two rivers is said by all observers to have been beauti- 
ful: the point of land with its cottonwood trees coming to the rivers ; 
the bluffs of the east towering above the placid river; crowned with a 
virgin forest, descending on the east gradually to the open prairies 
with their beautiful grasses and flowers. The place was well adapted 
to become a, center of influence for the western country; half way 
between the Wisconsin and Natchez, when the river route was the 
only way from Canada to New Orleans; with the richest of alluvial 

Cf. fesuii Reiatioits, (Thwaites ed.) vol. 53, references in index under Kaskaskia. [Ed.] . 


soils to furnish hominy and flour and bac3on for the voyageur; with 
the Kaskaskia to float down the peltries of Central and Eastern Illi- 
nois to the fur trader; with the Merrimac. a short distances above to 
lead out into Missouri and within 100 miles above the great tribu- 
taries, the Missouri and the Illinois; with wood inexhaustible for 
building and firewood; with water in abundance and ston(i of good 
quality in the blufl's; with the Mississippi as a barrier to the hostile 
western Indians; with the friendly Illinois to protect th(3m from the 
murderous Shawnees of the southwestern jmrt of Illinois, the warlike 
Pottawattomies of the north, and the thieving Kickajjoos of the east; 
with the English and the Spanish too far away to be threatening. 
This surely was a paradise for the hunter and voyageur. 

To the Jesuits, the Indian was as good a soul to save as the white 
man. For the coureur de bois and the voyageur the Indian woman 
made a good wife to take care of his house and toil for him in his 
winter holidays. There are few chronicles of this period except such 
as are contained in the letters of the missionaries and the church mar- 
riage and baptismal registers. 

But in 1712, on September 14, Louis XIV granted to one Anthony 
Crozat, a merchant of Paris, for the term of fifteen years a sole 
monopoly of commerce and a direction of afl'airs of all the vast terri- 
tory from the Carolinas to Old and New Mexico and from the Illinois 
to the mouth of the Mississippi. Crozat was after gold and silver 
and only incidentally expected profit from furs. Until his advent 
Kaskaskia was a portion of Canada; now it was a part of Louisiana. 
Crozat's exploring parties in all directions did not find gold or silver, 
but they did discover large deposits of lead and iron in southeastern 
Missouri, and the miners at these places had to draw their food sup- 
plies from Kaskaskia. Besides, many who came to work in the mines 
found the half nomadic life of Kaskaskia more attractive and located 
at Kaskaskia. Crozat's venture not proving a profitable one, he gave 
it up in despair and surrendered his rights on Aug. 23, 1717, and 
thereupon the government reverted to the crown. 

The history of a single voyageur and hunter will be enough to 
make a type of old Kaskaskia. Jules may have come to Mobile as a 
soldier under Iberville and concluded to remain after his term of en- 
listment had expired; he may have accompanied Phillippe Renault, 
who after stopping at San Domingo with his 200 artisans and pur- 
chasing 500 African slaves, came to Kaskaskia in 1719. It is more 
likely that Jules was a Canadian born in the woods and accustomed 
to the birch canoe since infancy. The birch canoe was the great carrier 
of the wilderness, the Frenchman's steamboat. It was of three sizes 
usually; the smallest for one or two oarsmen, about twelve to fourteen 
feet long, the second of about twenty feet in length for four paddles, 
and the largest called the canot maitre, which was thirty-six feet long 
and could carry fourteen persons and their bundles. All were riiade 
of light dry cedar frames, were pointed at the ends and constructed 
of a single roll of birch bark, fastened to the frame by sinews through 
holes made by a square shaped awl and made water-tight with pine 
gum. In these they voyaged on lake or river, and made those long 
and painful journeys. Capable of transporting heavy burdens, they 


could, when unloaded, be carried with ease upon the shoulders of 
men; they could ascend rivers, pass around rapids and falls, ascend 
mountains or penetrate the forest ; a terror to the inexperienced, they 
were swift and sure carriers for Jules. In one of these perchance he 
had sailed and paddled through the Great Lakes to Green Bay and 
then upon the Fox and down the Wisconsin and Mississippi to Kas- 
kaskia, or he had gone down Lake Michigan to Chicago and up the 
Chicago to go down the Desplaines and Illinois. In each case he 
must take the portage and this was the only craft he could carry. 

Jules was light hearted and gay. He was simple and temperate. 
He was placid as he smoked in his red cap by some cottage door; 
then he would be excited, raving, weeping, threatening in the crowd. 
The merriest of mortals, he was one of the hardiest and also the 
handiest. He could swim like an otter, run like a deer, paddle all 
day without resting; while he paddled he sang or told stories, and 
laughter was his dear companion. He could imitate the Indian yell, 
mimic the hissing rattle snake, could skin a deer, scrape a fiddle. 
And now Jules was come to Kaskaskia and he had saved a little sum 
of gold or silver, which he had concealed in some leathern bag in a 
place he knew of. And here at Kaskaskia was a place where nature 
had been bountiful. Here he could raise corn for sagamite and 
hominy. Here the maple yielded him sugar; here was cotton for 
garments; and wheat for flour. Around him were fertile, grassy 
prairies for cattle to grow fat upon, and rivers to travel by. Wild 
grapes, plums, persimmons and cherries in abundance for his use, and 
pecans, acorns, hickory nuts, hazel and walnuts for his swine. Here 
were buffalo, elk and deer for hides and food. The rivers were full of 
fish, while the forests abounded in fur bearing animals, whose skins he 
might acquire and sell. Then there were Indians to trade with in 
many directions. 80 Jules decided to settle here and marry a French 
woman, if possible; if not, an Indian maid. Here at Kaskaskia he 
could find these with music and dancing and a glass of domestic 
wine to complete his enjoyment. Here he could cut his own lumber, 
make his own mortar, get a lot near others of his kind and procure a 
deed for his corn field with a right of common for wood and pasture. 
Here he would marry and live in elegant ease on what he could farm 
and. shoot, and would make one voyage a year of three or four months 
long. Here he had no taxes. Here he had a mild, paternal govern- 
ment. Here he was lazy when the mood suited and happy always: 
with the Father to give him consolation on the door-step of death and 
bury him with the rites of Holy Church. 

During the time of Crozat, however, the Canadian French as hunters 
and voyageurs had been coming to Kaskaskia in increasing numbers, 
and quite a settlement had sprung up at several places on the Ameri- 
can Bottom. 

Oil Sept. 6, 1717, the Compagnie d'Occident was authorized by the 
Parliament of Paris, upon the plan of the English South Sea Com- 
pany. It was given the exclusive control of the commerce of Louis- 
iana for twenty- five years, to begin ffanuary 1, 1718. The company 
was under the brilliant, if erratic, leadership of John Law. The most 
extravagant dreams of the wealth of precious metals, and other pro- 


ducts of the vailey of the Mississij)!)! were toM as facts. The shares 
of the company were driven uj) in price until they had appn^ciated 
1300 per cent; whole streets in Paris were given over to stock jobbers 
and speculators. Fortunes were made in a day. The gains of regu- 
lar industry were despised and all classes went wild over the specula- 
tion. John Law was a demi-god. The bubble burst in th(} summer 
of 1720 and in December of that year John Law was a ijovcjrt}/ stricken 
wanderer on the face of the earth. 

The Company of the West with all its misfortunes did, howciver, 
benefit Kaskaskia. In December, 1718, M. Pierre Duque de Bois- 
briant came to Kaskaskia as commander of, or rather commandant of. 
the Seventh District of Louisiana, called the District of Illinois and 
Wabash, and Kaskaskia became the capital of a territory that was 
claimed to extend from the head waters of the Ohio to the Rocky 
Mountains. Kaskaskia, however, only enjoyed this eminence for 
fifteen months; for Boisbriant selected a suitable place for a wooden 
fort, to be called Fort Chartres, which was located about sixteen miles 
above Kaskaskia. Here the "company" built its warehouses and the 
Jesuits erected the Church of St. Anne de Fort Chartres. 

About this time Kaskaskia began to assume some form. The in- 
creased activity all along the river, the greater security, of life the 
greater ease and facility of transportation, gave an imx)etus to agricul- 
ture and a market for x^roducts of the soil and the chase. The farmer 
who had heretofore relied on Indian titles now applied to the com- 
pany and the crown to afiirm the same. 

Boisbriant laid out the great square or common field on the prairie 
and designated to each farmer his separate field, one-half arpent in 
width and one mile in length from the Kaskaskia to the Mississippi 
rivers. He then established also a common for stock and timber out- 
side of the cultivated fields and running to the mouth of the Kas- 
kaskia. On the east side of the Kaskaskia he also set apart the bot- 
tom lands for a cattle range. 

The town was laid out in blocks of 300 feet square with narrow 
streets at right angles. These blocks were divided into four lots, en- 
closed by cedar posts touching each other, two feet in the ground and 
five feet above ground, with tops sharpened to a point. This made a 
fence difficult to climb. A neat gate just opposite the front door of 
the hoQse allowed entrance. In each of these enclosures was a house 
made of posts set in the ground about two feet apart. The interstices 
were filled with a mortar made of clay and straw mixed. The houses 
were whitewashed inside and out. The roofs were of straw thatch. 
The windows were sometimes glazed; the doors were plain batten 
work. To each house was /ittached a porch called a gallery, and a 
stone well with a windlass was in the rear of the house. Later some 
few of the houses were built of stone. 

Though Boisbriant suggested it, not until 1727 did they fence off 
the common from the cultivated fields, and thus save the continnai 
herding of the cattle. It was during the administration of Boisbriant 
that France and Spain were at war, and Old Kaskaskia was saved 
from possible future trouble by the mistake of Indian guides. The 


Spaniards intended to employ the Osages to slaughter the Missonris 
but were led to the Missouris, and in ignorance exposed the plan, thus 
inviting their own destruction. ^ 

Here is the w^ay the news came to Old Kaskaskia.^ 
Monsieur Boisbriant was playing cards one Sabbath afternoon with 
St. Gemme Beauvais who afterwards made the long river journey to 
Duquesne and helped defeat Braddock; and with Langlois DeLisle, 
who was some years later burned at the stake with D'Artaguette, the 
young people were making merry with music and dancing in the large 
room of the barracks, with a father from the Jesuit college to watch, 
when the "assembly" sounded at the guard post on the Mississippi. 
You may be sure there was much hurry by the soldiers and young 
men to doif their Sunday best cloth and get into buckskin. By the 
time the culverines were loaded and the militia were properly disposed, 
a strange cavalcade came into sight. First came sixty Missouri war- 
riors armed with flint lock, saber, and hatchet, each bearing what 
looked like a lacrosse stick, but on closer inspection appeared as a 
scalp stretched on a willow frame attached to a pole. Then came old 
Merameck, chief of the Missouris, mounted on a beautiful grey roan 
with Spanish saddle and silver bit, and Father Benat threw^ up his 
hands in holy horror and told his beads rapidly; for, awful to relate, 
around the horse's neck was hung the holy chalice, as if it was a bell, 
while on Merameck's naked, painted body was the chasuble and sus- 
pended from his grimy neck the paten ; other warriors on horses came 
next, decked in garments of holy church. In grave silence they dis- 
mounted, gathered together and sat down upon the ground, and said, 
'•We come in peace, not war, O Chieftain." After the bread was 
broken and the pipe lighted in Indian religious gravity, Boisbriant 
said, "Why do you come, O Merameck. and what bring you?" 

And Merameck spoke as follows: Not half a moon ago we had 
just finished a fast of three days by the hung deer to apjjease Manito 
who had sent but little game to our hunting grounds; our sages had 
slept on fresh deer skins to bring wisdom from the dream god, when 
one of our young men came running up and said that a vast cavalcade 
from the Santa Fe country was approaching led by the riding 
Comanches. Soon we saw a captain with yellow face and hair of 
night, followed by seventy horsemen with as many more led horses 
and cattle loaded with burdens. When they apx^roached, we received 
them with hospitality and Manito unlocked their lips to tell us that 
they were Spaniards come by a long hard journey from the southern 
mountains to attack Kaskaskia. Manito also led them to believe we 
were Osages and, oh! wonder of wonders, they asked us as Osages, 
who, as you know, are our mortal enemies, to attack and slaughter 
the Missouris ourselves, knowing tha.t as Missouris we w^ould not per- 
mit you to be harmed. We asked to counsel on the matter and as 
they yet did not know us we promised to help them. Then they took 
down some of the burdens and gave us 500 muskets, sabres and 
hatchets. We asked for three days to assemble our warrriors. and on 

1 Cf. Bossu. Travels through that part of North America forvierlv called Louisiana. Vol. 

pp. i50-ir)(.-[b:D.] 

2. Wallace. 111. and La., pp. 268-269, from Bossu's Travels. 


the morning of the second day at dawn we attacked these perfidious 
ones and killed all but one blackrobe whom we s^jared and fillowf^d to 
flee as he was dressed as a woman and not as a warrior. This horse 
we bring to you, O chieftain, and these ornaments, which we cannot 
use we would exchange for goods. 

And Boisbriant gave them goods and took the holy ornaments which 
he afterwards sent to Bienville at New Orleans with his account of the 
tale. And that night, the flfteenth day having arrived, the jjeople of 
Kaskaskia went to the Missouri camp fire and saw them dance the 
scalp dance, and bury the scalps. For it is the custom of these people, 
after scalps have been taken, for fifteen days, each day, before retir- 
ing to rest, to gather in a circle around maidens who hold the sticks 
aloft upon which are the scalps, and dance madly around, emitting 
yells and war cries which would arouse the dead, feinting and striking 
at each other as if in war. And on the fifteenth night they do bury 
the scalps lest the spirits of the dead warriors may come to haunt 

Sometime in the summer of 1720 Boisbriant removed his head- 
quarters to Fort Chartres and Kaskaskia ceased to be the capital of 
the District. In 1725 Boisbriant became acting governor of Louisiana 
and went to New Orleans, and in this year the first great overflow of 
the Mississippi occurred. He was succeeded by Capt. deLiette of the 
Royal Army, who had many troubles with the Fox Indians on the 

In 1730 Capt. St. Ange was Commandant. In 1731 the India Com- 
pany gave back to the Crown the province of Louisiana and Louis 
XV assumed control on April 10, 1732. In 1734 Bienville came back 
as governor of Lousiana and appointed Cajjt. Pierre D'Artaguette as 
Major- Commandant at the Illinois. It was during his administration 
of the Illinois country that the war with the Chickasaws was carried 
on.i- Here is a picture of his march and fate. I introduce it to 
show what perils the old Kaskaskian soldier had to face besides the 
ordinary dangers of a war in the wilderness, without surgeons, with- 
out anaesthetics, without other food and powder than they could 
carry on their backs.) 

It was a chilly day in January 1736 ,when a "canot-maitre" came 
up the river and stopped at Old Kaskaskia. People were wearing 
bufi^alo robe coats and worsted stockings and were stamping around 
the landing" watching the big ice cakes whirl down the rapid running 
Mississippi. In the stern of the canoe was a man wrapped in a couple 
of blankets; his nose was blue and his teeth chattered when he asked 
if Major D'Artaguette was in Kaskaskia. The major happened to be 
there on that day and the stranger walked rapidly \ip to the town, 
leaving his men to take care of themselves as best they could. The 
curious followed after and soon it was noised about that Captain 
Le Blanc was come from New Orleans with news that a great cam- 
paign was to be commenced against the Chickasaw^s, and now couriers 
pushed across country to order Sieur Vincennes, who was well known 
to Kaskaskia people as a nephew of Joliet's and. a brave fighter, to 

1. Cf. Dumont. Memoires Nis/oriqjtes de /a Lotasiane. {Pans 1153) pp. 228-231; and Bossu 
Travels, vol. 1, pp. 311-312. [Ed.] 


gather together his French militia and Miami Indians and join 
D'Artaguette down the river. Orders were also sent to Moncherval 
at Cahokia to bring his Cahokias and Mitchigamias from the Illinois, 
and chiefs of the Kaskaskias and Missouris were hastening to their 
lodges to light the fires and dance the war dance. The trappers and 
hunters from many a winter hut on the Kaskaskia and the Merrimac 
came quickly to town and there was a general burnishing and sharpen- 
ing of arms and tinkering with batteaux and canoes. For everyone 
hated the Chickasaws because they had cut off many a boat load of 
furs and flour on the way to New Orleans and many a family had lost 
a voyageur. 

It was a long time though, as things go, before they were ready and 
not till late in February did the expedition start. After a special 
mass in the little church and a long procession to the boats the old 
men, the women and the children, saw the thirty regular troops with 
the white coats, the blue epaulets, and the funny hats, with the 
bright-eyed D'Artaguette and the black robed Father Senat at their 
head, and the 100 militia of the wood and river men, in white capots 
and elk-skin leggins take to the boats. Then came the 200 Illinois 
and Missouri Indians properly bedecked in paint and feathers, in 
their log canoes. Many an eye was sad, for the Chickasaws were 
valiant warriors; but there was a great chatter of bon voyage and a 
great waving of caps and handkerchiefs as the long procession dropped 
down the river and faded away. It was many weeks before Mon- 
cherval and his Cahokias passed on the same errand and then there 
were weeks of weary waiting. 

It was Sunday in old Kaskaskia and the cherry blossoms had come 
and gone, the June was here and the full leaved cottonwoods were 
dipping thirstily to the stream on the river banks. The whole popu- 
lation had gone to the church and the morning service was just fin- 
ished when a man with his clothing torn and bloody, with a face that 
looked like a death's head and eyes that were burning up w^ith fever 
staggered to the door. A w^oman cried, "Jules," and the priest stopped 
in his concluding remarks. The man walked in with his cap on, and 
like a child who has a confession to make began to speak hurriedly 
and with all his soul alert, and as he spoke, he feebly waved his hands 
as one who seeks for air and gets it not. 

"Tis malediction I bring to you blessed ones, but I must tell it now 
and quickly. We went to Fort Prudhomme with the Major, and Vin- 
cennes joined us with twenty French and 100 Mia mis. We waited 
long for Bienville; he came not; we waited longer for Moncheval, he 
was not there. Our maize and hog meat ran short; our Indians were 
clamorous to begin. We marched alone to the attack. We marched 
a weary twenty leagues and came to the towns of the Chickasaws; 
they were awaiting us, and we were forced to attack. We pass two 
lines of fortification. We are successful but we pay the price. At 
the third line D'Artaguette falls severely wounded. Thc^ Miamis be- 
tray us; the Illinois and Missouris run like sheep. They who were 
so (^ager to fight are cowards wh(m we need them. We try to drag 
Father Senat <\ud Vincennes away but they will not come and leave 
their wounded friend. These, with fifteen others are taken by the 


fiends. I hang around to try and help them. Bienville attacks from 
the other side and is defeated with great loss. D'Artngncttf.*, \'iii- 
cennes, Senat, and the others remain in the hands of th(i (Jliickasaws. 
Then comes a day of feasting and noise and in the afternoon they 
bring out the French. They tie them by fours to snplings and vlance 
the death dance, while I watch from a near by tree. They build piles 
of hickory poles in circles around them and set fire to the poles, and 
when the fires burn down they rush in toward them in crowds: they 
stick them with the hot poles; they discharge their guns loaded only 
with powder into their bodies. Ah, Jesus. I hear their hateful 
screams and above all the din the song of Senat as he chanted his 
requiem mass. My ears ring with it. My eyes burn with the sight. 
until I cannot eat or sleep. And then there was silence and they are 
all dead- all! all!" 

'And while he said this the people of Kaskaskia stood and listened 
and shivered, first a sweat and then a fever, and little groans ran 
through the crowd and lips were bleeding and hands were clenched 
and when the man threw up his hands and fell full length on the 
floor, it was as if a demon had seized the crowd for it rushed out the 
doors as if wdth a common impulse to seek the pure fresh air. After 
the cruel death of D'Artaguette, Alphonse de laBuissoniere was sent 
to Fort Chartres; in 1739 he led the Kaskaskians again to war on the 
Chickasaws. In 1740 came Captain Benoist de St. Clair and in 1713 
Chevalier de Bertel. In 1744 the war with England brought many 
apprehensions to old Kaskaskians; the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 
1748, allayed the suspense, but you must remember that it was months 
before it was known at Kaskaskia. 

In 1749 came back the popular Captain St. Clair who married a 
daughter of the town on his arrival. In 1751 came Chevalier de 
McCarty, an Irishman by descent and a Major of Engineers. He 
built the new stone Fort Chartres, said to have cost a million 
dollars. It was finished in 1756. Now came the seven years war 
with England, beginning with Fort Necessity and Braddock's defeat 
followed by Louisbourg and finally by Quebec. Kaskaskians saw 
George Washington march out of Fort Necessity and tramp back to 
Virginia, Kaskaskians shot at him on Braddock's field. Kaskas- 
kians were at Quebec and saw Wolfe storm the heights of Abraham, 
and Wolfe and Montcalm die gloriously on that field where the lilies 
of France in the New World were eaten up by the English lion. 

By the peace of 1763 Kaskaskia became English, but it was not 
until the first week of October, 1765, that Captain Thomas Sterling 
came from Fort Pitt with 100 Highlanders of the 42nd to take 
possession of Kaskaskia and Fort Chartres. It fell to the lot of 
Captain St. Ange de Bellerive to deliver up the possession. 

On Dec. 4, 1765, came Major Robert Farmer from Mobile with a 
strong detachment of the 34th foot, then Colonel Cole and Capt. 
John Reed. Lieut. Col. John Wilkins of the 18th Royal Regiment 
of Ireland, came from Philadelphia in 1768; his administration was 
unpopular. His successor, Capt. Hugh Lord of the 18th British Reg- 
iment came in 1771, and staid until 1775. In the freshet of 1772 one 
wall and bastion of Fort Chartres was undermined by the Mississippi 


river and fell; and the garrison was hastily transported to Kaskaskia 
which came back to its own as the capital. Fort Gage, just across 
the Kaskaskia river, was renovated and remained the seat of British 
authority on the Mississippi until the conquest by George Rogers 
Clark in 1778. When the English took actual possession of Kaskas- 
kia, many of the wealthiest people, although they were permitted the 
free exercise of religion, would not be ruled by the English and de- 
parted for Louisiana or to St. Genevieve and St. Louis. The Jesuits 
had been banished from France in 1764 and soon after the order was 
condemned by the Pope. 

The French method of government by a commandant and the parish 
priest was not suited to the Saxon education or temperment. The 
bulk of the population however remained in Kaskaskia for the English 
occupation was not a real settlement but only a military occupation. 

I shall not attempt to portray in detail the conquest of Kaskaskia 
by George Rogers Clark and his four small companies of rangers. 
How he assembled them at the head waters of the Ohio; brought 
them down in boats to Southern Illinois; made the weary march 
across the wilderness; surprised M. Rocheblave the Frenchman and 
English governor; how he took the town and by efficient aid of Gibault 
retained it and made our peace with the assembled Algonquin tribes. 
* * * I shall only point out how all the past dovetailed in 
to make our position more secure. If valiant old Champlain in his 
suit of plate armor had not met the Iroquois in the early part of the 
seventeenth centary and thus obtained the fealty of the western 
tribes by antagonizing their mortal enemies, the eastern sea coast 
would have been an easier prey for the French. But, on the other 
hand. Father Marquette and the voyagers could not have made 
friends with the Algonquins. If France had not made a treaty of 
alliance with the United Colonies in February, 1778, Clark could not 
have secured the willing aid of the Kaskaskian French in July 1778, 
and their Indian friends would not have been so easily dealt with. 

In 1784 came '"ie gros hiver" and the deep snow to make life more 
miserable for our gay subjects at Kaskaskia. In 1785 came the great- 
est overflow of the 18th century and the water rose to the floor of the 
old tavern. This caused more of the wealth and quality of Kaskas- 
kia to desert the town for St. Genevieve and St. Louis in Missouri. 
But now there were other troubles gathering around Kaskaskia. It 
is true it was the capital of the great County of Illinois of Virginia 
and the place of residence of Col. John Todd, the Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor, but the American troops were badly paid and were boisterous 
and troublesome. They took what they needed and did so with a high 
hand and Monsieur B. Tardiveau was sent by the French inhabitants 
to the Continental Congress at New York to obtain redress and like- 
wise to obtain some conflrmation of the individual and communal 
grants which had been made by French authority to Kaskaskians. 
For Virginia had by that time made a grant of all that county to the 
Congress. There are rumors that Tardiveau had some opportunity to 
settle with various members of Congress; that he had an anxious and 
weary time in obtaining Kaskaskian rights. The history of the tran- 
saction shows that it is not alone in our time that rings and political 

jobbery has had its birth. It was not until 1788 that Congress con- 
firmed a portion of the French titles. It was th(3n stated that there 
were eighty families at Kaskaskia. 

On July 13, 1787, the ordinance of the North West Territory was 
passed and Arthur St. Clair was made Governor. One of the pro- 
visions of that ordinance prohibited slavery in the new territory and 
many Kaskaskians moved with their slaves to St. Louis, which had 
been ceded to Spain in 1768. With the coming of the territory of the 
Northwest, Kaskaskia again ceased to be a capital and went back 
to be the county seat of the new county of St. Clair which was the 
third county organized in the territory of the Northwest. In March, 
1790, it was visited for the first time by Governor St. Clair. Later, 
in 1795, it became the county seat of Randolph county. 

,In 1800 Illinois became a part of the Indiana Territory and in 1809 
it became a territory of the second class, governed by a governor and 
judges appointed by the President. Ninian Edwards of Kentucky 
w^as the first territorial governor and Kaskaskia again came into 
prominence as the capital. The residence of Governor Edwards was 
not, however, in the old town, but at a country seat called Elvirade, 
near there. In 1812 Illinois became a territory of the first class 
with a governor, legislature and a delegate in Congress, and Kaskas- 
kia was still the capital. 

Up to 1800 Kaskaskia had not greatly changed in character of 
population or in the number of inhabitants. In that year Governor 
Reynolds says there were but seven or eight English families that had 
settled there. There were then only about 3,000 persons other than 
Indians in the whole Territory of Illinois, of whom the French and 
their slaves were the large majority. After that date the population 
began to increase rapidly and by 1810 numbered 12,282. Kaskaskia 
became a centre of much influence. The American Bottom, as the 
strip of alluvial ground extending from Kaskaskia to Cahokia was 
called, was recognized as a most fertile soil. Immigrants came to 
Kaskaskia and halted, while they looked around for a place to locate 
and make a permanent home. The French element looked on with 
dismay when they saw the machinery of government beginning to 
turn, for they reasoned that this would breed taxation. They thought 
that a people which installed judges, a sherifl', a jail, and lawyers 
must be looking for litigation ; that a community which needed two 
doctors must expect to be an unhealthy one. 

Besides, the individuals who came to the new places were of a 
totally different type. They were Protestants by inclination and 
looked on the French observance of the Sabbath with its strict church 
duties in the morning and its gayety of the afternoon and night as an 
inheritance from the devil. Also those who drank were not as tem- 
perate as the French. They were too, like all the English, unwilling 
to fraternize with the Indian. They killed him when he was bad; 
they robbed him when he was drunk. They took his lands away from 
him and were not particular as to the manner of doing so. They en- 
couraged the Indian in his dissipations and soon the Indian tribes 
began to melt away and the fur-bearing and food-producing animals 
departed with the coming of the settler and his farm : and so many 


more of the gentler spirits among the French left the old home and 
their places were taken by a more vigorous yet ruder, by a more ener- 
getic, yet more common type of the pioneer or forerunner of civiliza- 
tion. The sprightly but somewhat refined dance of the old French 
gave way to the tavern revel, the jig and reel; the gay flash of the 
voyageur wit was displaced by the rude practical joke. The manners 
which imitated the air of the royal court were roughly cast aside for 
the boisterous ways of the trapper, the ranger, and the cow boy; and 
horse races, foot races, and wrestling were the amusement of the 

The years 1811 and 1812 were years of trouble and dismay in Old 
Kaskaskia. In the first of these years, the inhabitants were frightened 
beyond description by a terrible earthquake which was felt in aitfer- 
ent degrees of intensity by the whole Mississippi valley. At Kaskas- 
kia, the earth several times waved like a river agitated by the winds ; 
the steeple of the church bent like a reed; the old bell rang with trem- 
ulous strokes like some unseen demon pulling on the bell cord; the 
cattle wild with a nameless fear, ran to and fro rilling the air with howl- 
ing; the soil cracked so deeply in the very streets that they could not 
sound the bottom of the crevice, and the water drawn from it exhaled 
a most disagreeable odor; stone and brick chimneys fell down; houses 
cracked as if it were doomsday. The people, believers and unbeliev- 
ers, flocked to the church and listened with a Catholic zeal to the 
stout old Father Donatien Olivier as he implored mercy from Him 
whom the elements obey. 

Those Kaskaskians who had presence of mind enough to watch the 
Indians saw that but few of those who had professed Christianity had 
the faith of their former promises. The many camps around Kas- 
kaskia were greatly disturbed and elaborate ceremonies were carried 
out to appease the visible wrath of Manito. Amidst the wailing and 
lamentations of the squaws and children the warriors cleansed their 
hands and faces and prepared for sacrifice to Manito. Deer freshly 
skinned were hung upon trees witn their heads up to heaven. The 
calumet was smoked with sighing and groans. For three days the 
men did not speak to women or children and at night lay upon fresh 
skins with the hair next to the body. No food was taken during this 
time. All this to provoke dreams which to the Indian was the only 
mode of communication with Manito. At the end of the three days 
the council was held and those who had had unfavorable dreams 
appeared with half the face painted black. After the relation of all 
the dreams, and not until then, did they feast. If in the general 
opinion the auspices were favorable then the young men adorned 
themselves and silent hours laying on the colors with a hand glass, 
arranging their tresses. When one finally appeared in full paint and 
with hair and body anointed with bear's grease with two or three 
broad clasps of silver about each arm; with jewels in his ears; with a 
thin circular piece of silver about the size of a silver dollar depending 
from his nose resting on the upper lip; with painted porcupine quills 
in his hair; with tails of animals hanging down his back; with a neck- 
lace of bear's teeth or the claws of the bald eagle; with little perfor- 
ated cylindrical pieces of silver or brass around his legs from the 


knee down, which tinkled as he proudly stepped; he would not laugh 
or jest, speak loudly or express surprise; he was cold(^r, more moody 
and more stolid than ever, but h(^. was ready for the dance? and th(3r(3 
was the proud triumph of* irrisistible charm in his eye. 

In the year 1812 while England and America were preparing for 
war, came the great cyclone; and now Kaskaskia families took to the 
cellars while chimneys' were humbled, log houses invert(3d, fences and 
strong posts carried away for miles, killing x^eople and cattle, and 
wide swaths cut through the forests around. 

The first territorial legislature of the Territory of Illinois, met at 
Kaskaskia on Thursday, the 26th day of November, 1812. Dr. George 
Fisher of Kaskaskia was elected Speaker of the House, and Mr. 
Thomas Swearengen doorkeeper. In view of certain recent contro- 
versies, it may be interesting to note that Mr. Swearengen was door- 
keeper for both House and Council ; that he was expected to carry all 
messages, both public and private; to provide wood and keep good 
fires in each room when the weather required it; to have each House 
swept clean every morning; to provide water for each House; to call 
any member by his proper name, and execute any other reasonable 
demands which a majority of either House might require. The Sen- 
ate at this time was composed of five members and the House of 
seven. It is said that they boarded at the same public house and 
lodged in the same room. This, however, is not surprising when we 
understand that the entire amount of money collected for the terri- 
torial expenses from Nov. 1, 1811, to Nov. 8, 1814, was $2,516.89. 

And now again there was a change, and between the years 1812 and 
1 818 it became pronounced. Men like Ninian Edwards, John McLean 
of Shawneetown; John Rice Jones, the Welsh lawyer from London, 
and his talented brood of boys; Nathaniel Pope, the secretary of 
Governor Edwards, the polished and educated gentleman; D. P. Cook, 
the editor of the Intelligencer; John Reynolds, chastened by his Ten- 
nessee education; Elias Kent Kane, the Yale graduate; Edward Coles 
of Virginia, private secretary to two presidents; the learned Sidney 
Breese, General Edgar J. Semple, Judges Lockwood and Wilson, 
Forquer, the Dodges, began to assert their places and exercise that 
influence which tells greatly in the formative period of a State; and 
to these were joined a great number of merchants who were men of 
rare common sense and ability, like the Mathers, the Lambs, the 
Morrisons, the Menards, the Judys. I wish I could go more deeply 
into this phase of Illinois history as it was fixed at Kaskaskia in 
order to give their proper meed of credit to these men, but time 

The first State Legislatures, and the convention which framed the 
first constitution were held at Kaskaskia, and the town was then at 
the height of its glory. It is said that the admission of the State to 
the Union was delayed until the Constitution was so amended that 
Menard might hold office. Finally, on Dec. 3. 1818, Illin6is was ad- 
mitted to the Union and Kaskaskia was a State capital. And now 
again fate was unkind to Kaskaskia, for but a short time was she per- 
mitted to hold that honor. Vandalia was selected and built as a State 
capital, and Kaskaskia begins her last and fatal decline. St. Louis 


began to absorb the growing trade with the great West. The poli- 
ticians desert her for Vandalia; her merchants move to more inviting 
fields of effort. 

In April 1825 General Lafayette, who had been touring the country, 
was persuaded by Governor Coles to stop at Kaskaskia on his trip 
from St. Louis to Nashville, Tenn. The visit was unheralded, but 
the townspeople trooped to the boat, and carried Lafayette in an 
informal procession to the residence of his old friend, Gen. John 
Edgar. Here he held an impromptu reception, which was followed 
by a banquet at Col. Sweet's, and a grand ball in the evening at Col. 
Morrison's. Levasseur, in his charming account of the trip was not 
as much impressed by the history and characteristics of the place as 
we would wish, but spent the greater part of the day in studying the 
Indian tribes, which were encamped around the town, and discovered 
an Indian woman, the wife of one Skiakape, whose father had been a 
chief in New York State at the time Lafayette was in command in 
northern New York at the close of the Revolution. This woman had 
kept a letter given her father by Lafayette at that time, which she 
proudly showed the General during the ball at night. This woman 
had been raised and educated by Col. Menard, but when she became 
of age had run back to the woods and married an Indian Chief. She 
sang for Lavasseur an Indian ballad, which has been paraphrased as 
follows : 

Wah-wah-taysee, little fire fly. 

Little flitting- white fire insect. 

By the shores of Arolachy, 

Where the deer in plenty wander; 

And the g-rasses and the flowers, 

Kiss each other on the prairie; 

Antakaya, brave and slender, 

Loved the charming- Manahella. 

And upon the moon of flowers 

He would take her to his wig-warn. 

Now, his heart was beating- loudly. 

For that moon would come tomorrow. 

When the sun rose in its splendor, 

Not for him was Manahella; 

For the war-cry, loud and startling. 

Called the warriors to the fray. 

Called to battle Antakaya, 

Called to fight the cruel white man. 

But, he said to Manahella, 

I will soon return, my sweetheart, 

And the doorway of our wigwam 

Will, with many scalps be furnished. 

Days passed over Manahella, 

Till her heart was sore and weary; ' 

On the shores of Arolachy 

Nig-htly did she pile the sea shells, 

Tribute to the evil spirits, 

Begged that they with all their powers. 

Would keep from harm Antakaya. 

But the unrelenting- spirits. 

Blew away with savage breathing*. 

All the tiny piles of sea shells; 

All the hopes of Manahella. 


And a warrior, pale and bloody, 
Told her with abated accent; 
How, her lover fig'hting- nobly. 
In the front of fiercest battle, 
Had surrendered to the War Ood. 
Weep poor ivy Manahella! 
Never more your heart can cling- 
To your lordly oak of forest, 
To the noble Antakaya. 
And the heart of Manahella, 
Broke, with all its weight of g-rieving-. 
Joined the fire flies of the evening-. 

But Antakaya sorely wounded 
Fled with honor only left him 
After days of weary travel, 
Reached the shores of Arolachy, 
Sought in vain for Manahella. 
And he shouted in his madness 
Manahella! Manahella! 

Gory, scalps, I could not bring thee. 
But it was not lack of courage: 
Evil spirits did command me, 
Manito will surely help us. 
Only come, and bring me pardon. 
Loud and long, he vainly called her. 
But the echo only mocked him. 
Then a bright light, pure and holy. 
Shone on the troubled Antakaya. 
In its radiance clear and lovely 
He saw the soul of Manahella. 
All the night he followed blindly. 
Praying it to stop and pardon: 
When the day broke, cold and clammy, 
To the great Lake Shore he stumbled. 
And, he saw the beacon swallowed. 
By the waters dark and gloomy. 
All that day, he w^eakly labored. 
Hollowed out a mighty tree trunk; 
From a branch he hewed a paddle: 
At the close of day he finished. 
With the dark, came Wah-wah-taysee, 
O'er the troubled waves he followed. 
Called the soul of Manahella: 
When the sun, with shining armor. 
From the great lake came up slowly, 
The lost soul of Manahella, 
In its arms took Antakaj^a.' 

Kaskaskia was now visibly on the decline. It was only sustained 
by the facilities it offered to trade in the river highways, but here it 
was greatly handicapped by larger places on the north and sonth. 
In 1833 a colony of nine nnns from the Convent of Visitation at 
Georgetown, D. C, started an academy for girls at Kaskaskia and it 
bade fair to become a school of importance. This academy was after 
the flood of 1844 removed to St. Louis where it became of great im- 

In 1844 came the greatest flood of all and Kaskaskia was almost 
destroyed. Water stood five feet deep in the old hotel building where 

1. See the English translation. (Philadelphia, 1829), vol. 1, pp. 136-U7. [Ed,] 


the high water of 1785 had only reached the floor. The bottom was 
covered many feet deep. Steamboats sailed from blnff to bluff. 
Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis, chartered a steamboat and went to 
Kaskaskia, w^here the young ladies of the convent were drawn through 
the second story windows to the boat. On April 20, 1881, the neck 
of land separating the Kaskaskia and Mississippi rivers was washed 
away. Three days after the cut off was made steamboats passed 
through the new channel. Since that time the State of Illinois has 
moved the bodies in the old grave yard to Chester and the site of the 
old town has steadily crumbled away. 

The story of Kaskaskia is but the story of the germ. It is, is 
planted, produces the seedling, the stalk. It does not die it but gives 
up its being to the plant. Older than St. Louis or New Orleans, this 
mission post, voyageur's rest, garrison town, capital of all the empire 
between the Alleghenys and Rockies, this district capital, territorial 
capital, State capital, lives only in history as a place to hang a story 
on, as a dream for the poet. The river has changed its course: the 
town has disapjDeared beneath the waves; the Indians have been de- 
stroyed; voyaging and hunting for a living are no longer occupations; 
the bark canoe has been displaced by the steamboat, which no'^ in its 
turn gives way to the railroad. Yet, Kaskaskia and her interesting 
types and people were influences, causes of great events, and the 
dream is a pleasant one. 


Contributions to State History. 

—10 H 








(By Morris Birkbeck.) 

Fellow Citizens— The framers of our social compact, profiting by 
the experience of all nations, to secure from light and capricious 
changes those institutions of government, which, on account of their 
superior importance, are coupled with first principles and embodied 
in the constitution, did most wisely ordain that a solemn measure of a 
convention should not be proposed to the people by any authority 
short of a majority of two- thirds of the general assembly. We are 
invited to vote on this subject, at the next election, by a very different 
sort of majority from that intended by the constitution, and framed 
after a new fashion, which it will be right for us to examine before we 
give it our countenance. The history of the business appears to be, 
shortly, this: 

Certain members of that body, anxious to introduce a forbidden 
system amongst us, formed themselves into a junto or caucus soon 
after the commencement of the session, and offered to other members 
their votes in favor of any proposition which those members had an 
interest in carrying, in consideration of their pledging themselves to 
support the measure of a convention. By the accession of these, 
their first victims, the caucus became, in fact, the legislature, as, by 
comprising a majority of both houses, it was capable of carrying every 
question, that one excepted. Others of your representatives, who had 
not, as yet, bartered away their independence, soon discovered that 
they were completely at the mercy of the junto; and, in order to re- 
cover the means of serving their constituents on those points of local 
interest, which, when combined, form the general weal, suffered them- 
selves, one by one, to be brought over, until the faction had acquire.d 
nearly two-thirds of the whole number of votes, the strength requisite 
for carrying their favorite measure — without the accomplishment of 
which, they declared, they would not quit Vandalia. 

They repeatedly tried their strength by preparatory resolutions, 
and at length, on the fifth of February, brought forward the main 
question, but it was decided against them by a majority of two. They 
were not, however, to be so baffled; they carried a vote of re-consid- 
eration, and the resolution was laid upon the table. 

On the eleventh of February, having gained over the deficient votes 
by means which it might seem invidious to detail, the resolution was 


again brought forward, and again lost through the defection of a 
member, who, on the former occasion, had voted for it. Notwith- 
standing this second decision, they persevered in their purpose. 

One of the party, although in the constitutional minority on the 
last division, again moved a reconsideration of the question. The 
speaker declared the motion to be out of order, because the mover was 
in the minority. They attempted to over-rule the decision of the 
speaker, by an appeal to the house, but the chair was supported by a 
majority of three. 

Here, it might be supposed, the question was finally decided, and 
would have been allowed to rest; but it proved otherwise. On the 
succeeding day the vote confirming the speaker^ s decision was 7'eversed, 
and the motion for re-consideration, made by one of the minority, 
carried; and to extinguish the vote of the defaulter, and create a favor- 
able one in the room of it, as no such vote could be found in the 
house, they had recourse to a proceeding the most unjust, and im- 
pudently tyrannical, that ever, as I believe, disgraced the legislature 
of a free country: By an arbitrary resolution, in direct violation of 
law, they expelled one of your representatives, who had been estab- 
lished in his seat by the decision of the house, and introduced in his 
room, a man favorable to their views, who had been declared, by the 
same decision, not to be a representative. Having accomplished this, 
they brought forward the main question the third time, and carried it 
by the vote of this man, whom they created a member for the express 
purpose, at the close of the session. 

Now, fellow citizens! I ask you how you feel under this sort of 
legislation? and the reply I seem to hear, from one end of the State 
to the other, is this: '"We have been insulted and abused by a base 
faction; but, unless it be by the appointment of such men for our 
representatives, we are not, as yet, degraded. The infamy rests, at 
present, on the heads of these persons — and there let it remain ! If 
we should give our sanction to their conduct, by voting for a conven- 
tion, at their instigation — then, indeed, would disgrace cover the 
country, and to be a citizen of Illinois will be no honorable distinc- 

This question having been thus forced upon the people, in defiance 
of law and constitution, our course, in regard to it, is plain: We 
must, on the present occasion, vote against a convention, or become 
accomplices in these nefarious doings. There are, no doubt, various 
particulars in our institutions which require amendment, as, in the 
early stages of a government, will naturally be the case. It is new. 
and has hardly had a fair trial. At a proper season, when our honest 
representatives, after due deliberation, shall, by a constitutional ma- 
jority, have resolved to propose it to us, let us then have a conven- 
tion. The defects of the present system are not of a nature so urgent 
as to forbid a short delay, and we shall be better qualified for a re- 
vision of the constitution from longer experience. A change in the 
county commissioners' courts — the removal of the seat of government, 
and annual sessions of the legislature — are, I believe, the chief 
amendments talked of. If the objections to the thing, as noir pro- 
posed, had no existence, it would be well for us to count the cost of a 


convention, and to consider, if, in the exhausted, and moni than ex- 
hausted, the insolvent, state of the treasury, it would b(j disfinn^t to 
add that expense to our present pecuniary (imbarrassnient, lu a few 
years it is probable we may better afford it; but, just now, th(; charge 
of the remedy, I do think, would be felt by the i^eople a greatcjr gri(3v- 
ance than all the diseases complained of. 

But the disease in the legislature demands our immediate atten- 
tion; for there the interests of the public have been bought and sold 
in the face of day; the law of elections, and the established rules of 
legislative proceedings, have been set at nought, in order to thrust 
this question upon us. Such a scene of base intrigue was never be- 
fore exhibited under a representative government, as jjrevailed at 
Vandalia through the last session. 

It cannot be for the interest or the honour of the citizens of Illinois 
that their affairs should be so conducted. Even if the object w^ere 
beneficial, and should accord with our wishes, to receive it through so 
impure a channel, would be unworthy of republicans. When we 
require a convention, we can have one, according to the constitution, 
through a sound and respectable legislature. We are not reduced to 
the humiliation of obtaining it by intrigue and chicanery, or of accept- 
ing it from hands which have violated our rights in the legislative 
assembly, their proper sanctuary! Though nugatory in j)oint of law, 
as having been illegally and corruptly carried, this measure will be- 
come a precedent for similar abuses, if it receive the sanction of the 
people. Should the mines of Golconda be offered to us on these 
terms, we should reject the offer with disdain. Such are, or ought to 
be, our reflections at this important crisis. 

Injustice, committed by a private citizen, is bounded in its mis- 
chief by the nature of the act, and the perpetrator, being an object of 
contempt, is not likely to prejudice public morals by the influence of 
example. Enormities are committed by despots in the wantonness of 
power, and the people submit until they acquire the means of aveng- 
ing themselves; but, as they detest the tyrant, and abhor tyranny, 
their sense of right may not be vitiated by the crimes of their rulers. 
But when a domineering faction, in a representative government, 
commits injustice, covering its deeds with the forms of legal enact- 
ment, a people, conscious of these jproceedings, and submitting to 
them because they may chance to accord with their inclination or sup- 
posed interest, bows its neck to the yoke, and is unworthy to rank 
among republicans; — because, from that time, their government ceases 
to be a representative government. One faction, having accomplished 
its purjjose, gives place to another, and that to a third — until it sinks 
into despotism of the meanest character; a tyranny of knaves, without 
honour or principle, or public spirit! What that is worth preserving 
can remain alive under such a system? 

"The end justifies the means," say these lawdess politicians, but it 
is a villainous plea, and would end in the destruction of our liberties. 
Would to heaven that were aU the end they aim at ! To it we should 
soon apply a remedy. Slavery is their avowed object — accursed 
slavery! Doubly accursed — in those who inflict it, and in its miser- 
able victims! When once introduced, for this, no remedv would be 


found. My fellow citizens! for the sake of our posterity — in the name 
of religion, in the name of virtue— I implore you to act uprightly at 
the ensuing election: Let us save our country! not from the evil of 
political corruption merely, but from this, the concentration of all the 
evils which afflict humanity. 

It is to you who have expended your labor and capital on permanent 
improvements, and considered yourselves settled for life in this State, 
with your families around you — that I have appealed thus earnestly, 
and I trust not in vain. There are others, and these form a large 
majority of the advocates of this scheme, who, like birds of passage, 
belonging to no country in ]3articular, look only to the interest of the 
moment, and are prepared to vote for a convention as an inlet to 
slavery, under the notion that it might advance the price of land, and 
enable them to sell their farms to advantage, and move off. And 
there are persons — as I have heard with sorrow and indignation — 
whose talents and standing entitle them to consideration, who are 
availing themselves of this topic, so important to our future well- 
being, merely as an engine of temporary, party politics. — Supposing 
(falsely as I believe and hope) that' iDopularity is on the side of slavery, 
they take that side, and, regardless of its calamitous consequences, 
they can — just to gain an advantage over rivals, who are supporting 
the cause of freedom — prostitute their influence to the ruin of their 
countr}^! — Such, I am told, is the position taken by some of the most 
prominent and zealous supporters of a convention; and thus, fellow 
citizens, may our dearest interests be trifled with by disappointed 
ambition, which, unless it can govern, will not hesitate to destroy! 

From a sentiment of clemency or of kindness. I forbear naming 
either these individuals, or the leaders of the faction in the legisla- 
ture. I arraign their proceedings at the bar of the public: but my 
controversy is with the measures, not with the men. This pamphlet, 
should it be circulated beyond the sphere of our contest, or survive its 
decision, shall not be the instrument of stamping with ignominy the 
memory of any of my fellow citizens. There may be extenuating cir- 
cumstances — infirmity of judgment, deeply-rooted prejudice, human 
weakness, in short, of various shapes, moral and intellectual, to save 
from absolute baseness of intention the projectors of enormous mis- 
chief. It is enough for us to see the actions in their true character: 
we will leave the agents to settle the account of motives with their 
own conscience, and proceed to consider what would be the conse- 
quences of their success. 

In regard to the price of land, no advantage could ensue from tlie 
admission of slavery. You might open the market to purchasers from 
the slave states, but. by so doing, you would exclude all from every 
state and every country who are averse to slavery. The owners of 
negroes, who may be inclined to change their abode, have stronger 
inducements towards the southern states of Alabama, Misssisippi. and 
Louisiana than to ours. This is confirmed by the experience of Mis- 
souri where the price of hind is said to be even lower than with us 
and the difficulty of selling at least etpiai. The want of money, also, 
prevails equally in the neighbouring slave states, and is quite suffi- 
cient to prevent the sale of their own lands, which is necessary, in 


the first place, to enable them to remove at all. It is vain, then^fore, 
to look to that quarter for many buyers; and it would sun.-ly be im- 
politick to confine the markcst to a class of j^urchasers who hav(i not 
the means of purchasing, and if they had the means would not bring 
them to us, but would carry them farther south. 

The exclusion of every other class for the sake of those who have 
neither the ability nor the inclination to buy, absurd as it would be, 
is not the only evil: Many more estates would immediately be offered 
for sale, so as to add to the glut in the market. For numbers, who 
had, as they hoped, made permanent homes for themselves and their 
families in this State, would hasten away at the approach of slavery, 
disposing of their property under every disadvantage; and thus, mon.^ 
sellers than buyers being created by this calamitous and foolish 
measure, the price of land would fall even below its i^resent rate. 

Let us now turn our thoughts to those who would be excluded by 
slavery, and we shall discover that they are far more numerous than 
those whom it would invite. 

Multitudes of the farming class, and others, in the old countries of 
Europe, (from whence we all derive our origin) are at this time 
driven by hard necessity to seek new homes. Their attention is 
drawn in a particular manner towards this State, as that section of 
the Union best adapted to their views and habits. It has been repre- 
sented to them, and they look to it as a land of freedom; but if we 
make it a land of slaves they will not come here. " No matter " you 
may reply, ''we want no English, or Scotch, or Irish, or Dutch set- 
tlers." But remember, they will bring capital; the farmers will buy 
your land, if you are disposed to sell. Those of other classes will 
establish manufactures and create a market for produce; and in due 
time they will all become, with their children after them, as you are, 
American Citizens. A numerous class of purchasers from the eastern 
states, who are beginning to form a just estimate of the advan- 
tages of our prairie country, would also be excluded, as well as the 
friends of freedom in the slave states, numbers of whom would be 
likely to settle here if we retain our integrity. 

Thus it is clear that the admission of slavery would operate most 
powerfully against that very interest which is a leading object with a 
majority of its advocates. It would throw many more farms on the 
market, and diminish instead of increasing the number of buyers. 

But you, who have at heart the future prosperity of the State, as 
well as the interest of the present hour, let me entreat you to pause, 
and direct your views a little forward, before you allow temporary 
motives to bias your judgment towards any measure which may 
favor the admission of slavery into our republic. 

Consider, that however small in number and contemptible in 
moral or physical power the negroes might be at their first introduc- 
tion, they would increase in the natural course of population and by 
the accession of fresh supplies, in a much higher ratio than the 
whites; so that in a limited period they would become in our repub- 
lican Illinois, the many who are doomed to labor for the few. 

Between these two classes, under the most despotick governments, 
excluding slavery, there may and do exist various strong ties of a 


political and social nature. They slide into each other by insensible 
gradations, forming no line of absolute demarkation. They have 
sundry common interests. They have family connections. Indivi- 
duals are perpetually changing positions ; the high are reduced by 
extravagance or misfortune; the low advance themselves by industry 
and enterprise. Therefore these classes are not naturally and of 
necessity hostile to each other. In peace they are friends, and fellow 
soldiers in war. 

But in a nation composed oifree ivhites and negro slaves, society, 
if it may be called such, is in a most deplorable condition. One por- 
tion of the people is separated from the other by an impassable 
barrier, in regard to all that binds man to man in social fellowship. 
They must not eat together, or pray together! There are no inter- 
marriages. There is no change of position producing a common 
sympathy. One class possesses — all ; the other — nothing. The laws are 
made by one class and only known to the other by their partial 
severity. It is not a republic — this; it is a confederacy of tyrants, 
pure aristocratical despotism! 

We may transfer the labors of cultivation to negroes, but there is a 
toil far more severe than the cultivation of the soil, commencing 
from the moment of their introduction, from which slavery cannot 
relieve us — the toil of protecting the morals of our youths from con- 
tamination and our persons and property from natural and deadly 
foes, whom we admit into the heart of our concerns. We can transfer 
no part of this to the negroes. It will be all our own! It will "grow 
-with their growth and strengthen with their strength" until at length 
even their condition may be enviable in comparison with ours. These 
are evils we cannot escape or mitigate; an incurable and increasing 
plague, in exchange for virtue, peace and security, which no accumu- 
lation of property can ever compensate. 

Consider the actual condition of the older slave states. South 
Carolina has just escaped a dreadful catastrophe; Virginia a few 
years ago also escaped. But the fire is still there, though smothered 
for a time under the ashes of former conflagrations. The sword re- 
mains over their heads, suspended by a single hair! Of this they 
are sensible; witness their painful precautions; the laws against educa- 
tion of slaves; the arms and barricaded dwellings; witness the nightly 
patroles, pervading the country like an immense camp. — A dreadful 
inheritance is slavery — even for those who inflict it! 

There is no need to expatiate on the evils of slavery; they are too 
well understood in this country to require description. We all know 
— its advocates themselves know — that it comprehends every shade 
of crime, every degree of misery! And shall we, the free citizens of 
Illinois, hold forth our arms to embrace this monster? Shall we 
invite slavery with its train of crimes and calamities, and leave it a 
curse to our posterity, for the sake of a little convenience — a little 
temi3orary, precarious profit? 

If such be the case, as stated above, where slavery has been estab- 
lished as to have become like the natural order of things, here, on its 
forced introduction, our condition would be still more difficult and 


The slave holders of Illinois, would suffer uiidcjr th(i increasing 
consciousness that their lands were cultivatcid and th(?ir families sur- 
rounded, not by free and happy dependents, partaking of th(; ^(tn(tni\ 
prosperity, but by degraded creatures, prone to theft jjnd perhaps 
plotting their destruction. This, they would sulTer, in common witli 
others. But the uns^oeakable abhorrence in which slavery is held by 
a great proportion of their fellow citizens, who took refuge in this 
state as an asylum from that calamity, would render it impossible to 
carry into effect the brutalizing system by which alone these devoted 
beings are kept down when their numbers become considerable. 

Having founded our constitution on the inalienable rights of man. 
and entered into a compact with each other and with the general 
government that slavery shall not hereafter be introduced, it will ha 
vain to urge its legality, although a short-sighted majority should oV)- 
tain its admission. As well might they legalize robbery and murder. 

Its introduction would always be felt by a very large part of the 
community as an invasion of their rights; they would view it as it 
stalked through the land, with a horror and impatient loathing as they 
would the intrusion of an armed foe. ^o laws on the subject could 
assuage the sense of injury in the minds of those jjersons, or repress 
the indignation they would experience on beholding their fellow 
creatures — bought and sold and trampled upon; no fears, as to conse- 
quences, could restrain them from the expression of their sentiments. 
Hence perpetual animosities and hatred would j)revail between 
neighbours, destroying all social enjoyment, and that fellow feeling 
among the citizens which is essential to the general happiness and 
prosperity, would cease forever. 

A people, on assuming the exercises of its rights, may discover 
wrongs in its old institutions which it cannot redress without the haz- 
ard of still greater; or, the influence of custom, or of avarice, or of 
ignorance in a portion of the community, may prevent it. 

Thus it was with the colonies on their emancipation from Great 
Britain. Among the institutions of their society there existed a s^,s- 
tem of ivrong, which, for some, or all of the causes above assigned, 
was not redressed. That system was slavery. It was not actually 
tolerated by the constitution, or meant to be, as no exception in its 
favor appears. The evil was suffered to exist, because it could )iof he 

Under the sacred transcript of universal rights on which the peo^jle 
of the United States founded their constitution, if it had not pre- 
existed in the community, it could not have been introduced : they 
could not have created slavery; nor can the people of Illinois create 
it for the same reason. 

It is, moreover, expressly prohibited in this State, not only by our 
own compact above alluded to, but by the ordinance of Congress pro- 
viding against its introduction into the North Western Territory or 
the states formed therefrom; which ordinance is the supreme law of 
the land, according to article () of the constitution of the I'nited 
States which is as follows: 

''This constitution and laivs of the United Stcdes ichich shcdl he 
made in pursuance thereof and all treaties made or which shall he 


made under the authority of the United States sJiall he the supreme 
laiv of the land, and the judges in every state shall be hound thereby, 
anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary 
I wthwith s tanding ' ' 

Those who settled in Illinois, before it became a State, received a 
pledge from the Congress of the United States, in the ordinance of 
1787, that slavery could not be introduced. When the constitution, 
in conformity with the ordinance, was accepted on that condition, 
others, in great numbers, repaired to this as a free State, and estab- 
lished themselves in it w4th entire confidence. They had selected for 
their abode, a country free, as they thought, from the pollution of 
slavery and by its constitution ever to remain so. 

With this calamity, under which their existence would be a burthen, 
they are now threatened, and the mere apprehension throws a gloom 
over their jDrospects. What can the advocates of slavery gain by its 
introduction, to put in competition with the evil and injustice they 
would inflict upon these, their fellow citizens? 

And is there, then, nothing fixed, nothing secure, in the foundation 
of our social compact? The blessings promised by a free constitu- 
tion, can they be taken from us and the greatest of curses given in 
their room, because pur-blind avarice may have gained a temi3orary 
ascendancy? Were it an affair of interest merely, how opposite so- 
ever to my judgment, it might take its course. Having stated my 
opinion I could submit in tranquility. But there are principles too 
sacred to be infringed even by a majority, on the plea of interest, or 
on any jjlea; and this is such a x^rinciple. To alter and amend the 
provisions of the constitution, is and ought to be the work of the 
majority, but not to destroy it. 

We are a society of free men: Our fundamental laws know no 
such being as a slave. In this State, every inhabitant is f)'ee hy 
rigid, derived from a power paramount to all majorities. Freedom is 
the basis of our social compact; a majority can regulate the institu- 
tions founded on this basis, but the basis itself is impregnable. 
Necessity, ''the tyrant's plea.'' in those states where slavery is estab- 
lished, supports the distinction of freeman and slave, a distinction 
abhorrent to reason, to religion, and to nature! Here we have no 
such plea, and our constitution admits no such distinction. If a ma- 
jority have the i^ower of affixing the brand of slavery on one portion 
of the community, where is the limit of this power? What portion 
is safe? What security remains for you or for me, if we chance to be 
in the minority? 

I trust, fellow citizens, I am not mistaken in my estimate of your 
general good sense and honorable feeling. But if those persons 
whose proceedings in the legislature have caused this alarm, are, in 
fact, a representation of the majority, the friends of freedom have yet 
a strong hold in the vast majority of the people of the Ihiited States, 
of which we form a comparatively insignificant portion. To this 
great and enlightened community we have our final appe.<il: and if. 
to the indelil)le disgrace^ of this government, such an appeal should 
be necessary, it must he cffcchial. In addressing you, I speak as a 
citizen of this particular section, confining my view to our own proper 


duty as regards this question. We are also citizens of the T'nited 
States, and, in that capacity, have our share in the (^omi^act betw(;en 
Congress and this State, at its admission, I r(;f*rain from discussirjg 
the validity of that instrument, in regard to both th(; contract] rjg 
parties, not from the smallest doubt on the subject, but because it is 
for us to do our own business, and render a recourse to it unnecessary. 

The annals of the republick afford no precedent of a people degrad- 
ing themselves by reverting to slavery; a system which is the abhor- 
rence of the civilized world, and acknowledged, by all, to be the Vjane 
of national prosperity and private happiness. In other states, the 
changes which have taken place have been on the side of freedom. 
And shall we, young as we are, cause the only blot, the only blurred 
page in the history of the Union? 

Take a view of the states which have emancipated themselves, and 
compare them with the slave states: Look at the state of Ohio, and 
compare it with Kentucky. Here are experiments on a large scale 
for our instruction, so uniformly decisive against slavery, that, if it 
were an affair of simple calculation, a question of political arithmetick 
merely, common sense would teach us to reject it. 

How the man of small xjroperty fares in a slave state 1 cannot de- 
scribe from x^ersonal observation, but I have learned so much on the 
subject from those who have experienced it, that I presume no poor 
man of sound judgment and independent spirit can desire the intro- 
duction of slavery. To labour for his living among slaves, or to 
labour at all where the idea of slavery is so blended with labour as to 
communicate to it something of disgrace, would be a sad exchange to 
a very large portion of the citizens of this State, where labour is, as it 
ought to be, in high and honourable estimation, and the sure road to 
independence. 1 have heard that the condition of the poorer de- 
scription of citizens in slave states is truly miserable: they are com- 
pelled to undergo much painful and degrading service in keeping 
down the slaves, for their wealthy neighbors, who form a sort of upper 
class — a set of lordly personages, who assume considerable state, and 
look down upon the industrious man who earns his living by the 
sweat of his brow. — And a poor living it is that can be earned in a 
slave country: —for, although it is demonstrable that slave labour is 
dearer, all things considered, than the labour of freemen, yet, where 
the former prevails, the latter is not in request; — so that, unless in 
the pitiful office of overseer or negro driver, the free labourer has not 
much chance of employment. Fellow citizens! you will reflect seri- 
ously on these things, and vote accordingly. 

Let us now compare the actual wealth of a free state with that of a 
slave state, containing the same number of inhabitants, and possess- 
ing equal capital. Suppose the number to be 200.000, and half the 
population of the latter to be slaves. One hundred thousand negroes 
would be the first line of the account of national wealth with the 
advocate of slavery. His opponent would reply, that, as the wealth 
of a nation consists chiefly in the skill, strength, and industry of its 
productive population, the value of those individuals is not increased 
by their being slaves; — that the wealth of the state receives no addi- 
tion in consequence of the productive class being held as the property 


of the unproductive. But, admitting them to be property, he would 
allege, that one hundred thousand of the citizens in the free state, the 
property of themselves, are to be considered as wealth to the com- 
munity, equal to the number of negroes in the slave state; and being 
more industrious and efficient as labourers, would place the balance 
greatly in favour of the free state. 

Suppose the capital in each to be forty millions of dollars, it would 
consist, in the slave state, of a population of 100,000 Negroes, of 
all ages, at $300.00 per head $20, 000,000 

Other property 20,000,000 

In the free state it would consist of the property of 200,000 free 

persons $40,000,000 

100,000 free persons valued at the same rate with 100,000 negroes. . 20.000,000 
Extra value of the labour of a free population compared with , a 

population of masters and slaves *10,000,000 


Thus it appears that, with equal capital and population, a free state 
is nearly twice as wealthy as a slave state. — But, in the materials of 
happiness — in moral riches — in the spirit pervading the community 
how great is the contrast! 

In the land of slaves there is despotic power, engendering pride and 
crueltj/, fomented by avarice: — There is contempt of labour, encourag- 
ing indolence and its companions, dissipation and profligacy, on the 
one hand; on the other there is brutal ignorance; — human forms, 
stripped of all that is estimable in human character: or, if aught re- 
mains of the nobility of man, it is that incurable hatred; that obsti- 
nacy not to be conquered by torture, and that thirst of vengeance, 
— which assume the lolace of virtue in the bosom of a slave, and con- 
vert him into a demon. 

In the free state, the vices inseparable from tyranny are unknown 
or strangled at their birth ; the meanness, or the malignity, produced 
by oppression, have no place there. There man holds his proper sta- 
tion; he looks up to no superior but in virtue and knowledge — and 
down upon no abject dependent. 

The contrast does not end here: Moral degradation has its re- 
action, and is not confined to the degraded class. The vices of the 
slave have the counterpart in those of the master. The female slaves, 
sunk below the restraints of moral decorum, and their honour deemed 
beneath the cognizance of law, become a nursery of vice in every 
family, and a general dissoluteness of morals is the consequence. — 
On the part of the whites this horror is superadded: they consign the 
fruits of their licentiousness to the miseries of perpetual bondage, and 
their own flesh becomes the object of unnatural and unhallowed 

At what degree, on the scale of turpitude, shall we place the man 
who, knowing these things, can be induced by sordid interest, to 
place himself and his posterity, his neighbors and his country, in 

*The difference would be much fzreater; because the labour of the white r)opuIation. in a 
slave state is of little account: Free labour retires from slavery as silver from a base currency. 
The overseers and the multitude of domestic slaves are also to be deducted: and where 
negroes are numerous, it is labour enough for the whites to watch them. 


such a predicament? and, if a vote should carry the qu(;stion, every 
man who holds up his hand in favor of a coriventicjn that should in- 
troduce it, may hereafter consider himself as the author of all the 
miseries and the crimes with which slavery would cover this fair 
portion of the globe. If it fails, as I trust will be the case, he will 
then have to reproach himself with having been a jmrtaker in the 
iniquity of the design. 

The evils, moral and political, with which our fellow citizens of the 
slave states are afflicted, are not, let us ever bear in mind, of their 
own creation. They were entailed uj^on them by the ignorance or 
avarice of their predecessors, and permitted by the im^jolicy of the 
British government, which departed from its own principles in its 
colonial legislation. We now stand, in regard to the state of Illinois, 
in the j)lace of those early settlers of the old states from which the 
curse of slavery has been handed down to posterity, and of that 
government which countenanced its establishment. But there is a 
difference between our position and theirs — in our favor, if we act 
justly, and to our accumulated disgrace, if otherwise. A century of 
bitter experience has exposed the abominations of the practice to 
the whole world; and we cannot now, as they might, avail ourselves 
of the plea of ignorance. In the present day, where is the man who 
will stand up in defence of the principle of slavery ? Inured to it by 
education and habit, chained to their slaves as their slaves are 
chained to them, there are many truly respectable persons who yield 
to it as a matter of necessity, from which they see no way of escape, 
and they act as well as they can in their circumstances. Under the 
shelter of their example, others who are not of that character are 
laboring to spread the evil — and they merit the execration of all 
mankind for the attempt, whether they succeed or not. 

The happiness of the slave, whose good fortune has given him a 
benevolent master, is brought forward in triumphant comparison — 
not with the happiness of the freeman — but with his sufferings under 
the scourge of adversity; and we are to admit, from this partial 
and false view of the subject, that slavery is preferable to freedom ! 
The man whose heart remains uncorrupted by the possession of ab- 
solute power, is an honor to his kind. A society of such men would 
have little need of the restraints of law and government. But how 
rare is the virtue that is proof against circumstances so predisposing 
and impelling to vice! It raises its possessor greatly above the 
average of his fellows. Happy the slave, if slave he must be, who 
falls into such hands. Man is, however, at best, a frail creature, sub- 
ject to caprice, and liable to error and imposition, and therefore not 
to be trusted so far. He is, moreover, mortal and has not the means 
of transmitting his virtues, together with his slaves, to his descendants. 
How must the hand of the good man tremble, and his heart sink 
within him, when, at the close of his life, he is about to commit to 
the power of a son, the reverse of himself, those defenceless beings 
whom he has soothed by his kindness into a forgetfulness of their 
bondage! Thus is slavery a thing to be rejected even in its mildest 


Persons who do not defend the principle of slavery, have stated in 
defence of its extension into new countries, that diffusion of the black 
population is a mitigation of the evil. Without examining this . 
argument, I shall merely observe, that, whatever may be the value, it 
does not apply to our case; it is not the motive which operates on 
the advocates for slavery in this state, and suppose it were the motive, 
as they have no right to serve others at our expense, it cannot be ad- 
mitted as an apology for the outrage they would inflict on their fellow 
citizens. In the next place, if we admit that diffusion might, in a 
supposed case of crowded population, lessen the immediate pressure, 
that case has not yet been made out. Where slaves are more num- 
erous, I believe they are also at the highest price, and are not, there- 
fore, likely to be transferred to a country where they are of less value. 
In the third place, the new states to the south, with the addition of 
Missouri, besides immense tracts of uncultivated lands in Georgia, 
Kentucky, &c., afford ample scope for the diffusion of slavery, with- 
out breaking faith with the United States and the friends of freedom 
in Illinois, by admitting it here. Therefore the argument, such as it 
is, has no relation to us. Yet, if the scheme of these benevolent 
diffusers of slavery included a plan for its gradual but certain and 
effectual abolition, their proposals would deserve attention. Their 
"plan, on the contrary, tends to its indefinite continuance, as well as 
extension. In the licentiousness of assertion, which seems to be in- 
dulged on this subject beyond most others, as is natural where there 
is no basis for sound argument; it is added by reasoners, who ought 
to blush at the absurdity, that, ivhilst diffusion mitigates the misery 
of slaves, it does not add to their number. Are there fewer slaves in 
the five old slave-holding states than existed previous to the settle- 
ment of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and 
Missouri? Was Europe, or even Africa, drained of inhabitants by 
peopling America?- Those provinces of Spain which contributed 
most to the settlement of South America, increased in population 
beyond the rest of the kingdom. Has not the extension or diff'usion 
of the general population, from thirteen states to twenty-four, in- 
creased the number of people in this republic? It is a fact estab- 
lished by experience that vacancies made by emigration are filled up 
by the stimulus of a more favorable proportion between the means of 
subsistence and the number of inhabitants: and whilst a population 
is created in a new country, the old country is relieved — and the 
effect of this relief, in giving a spring to population, is even greater 
than its numerical amount; so that the parent state becomes more 
populous by disseminating her offspring. Slave ijopulation increases 
according to the the same law: if diffusion mitigates their sufferings, 
it increases their number, and the room they leave behind them is 
soon filled up, as in other cases. 

But such is the criminality of slavery, and so completely has that 
criminality been exposed, that it seems to me to be incumbent on all 
man-kind who are blessed with freedom, to protest against the 
ordinances of the government which tolerates it, without providing 
for its abolition, and to make conunon cause in favor of tlieir degraded 
brethren in every country. The principles of universal justice are 


clear, and the duty of resistances to oppression, engraven on every 
heart, is inseparable from the duty of aiding the weak wlio ar(3 unable 
to protect themselves. This would b(;tter mcsrit th(i cipxxiUation of ;i 
Holy Alliance than a combination of soven^igns in support of Legi- 
timacy. The very princixjle is now in operation, in regard to the 
African slave trade. Little more than twenty years ago, that com- 
merce was sanctioned by the British government. Fifteen years have 
hardly elapsed since it was tolerated by the United States. It is now 
condemned as x)iracy by both these governments, and they have 
invited other nations to join them in the employment of force for its 
extirpation. The trade in slaves, in the interior of the United States, 
(in art. 1, sect. 9, of the constitution, veiled under the term "Migra- 
tion,") was, together with the African slave trade, guaranteed against 
prohibition until the year 3808. The latter has been abolished and 
declared a capital offense; and if the principle and practice of the 
former were examined, they would be found to differ, not at all in 
kind, and but little in enormity. The time surely apjDroaches when 
the virtue and- intelligence, diffused through this rej^ublick, will no 
longer sustain the inconsistency of tolerating the American slave 
trade, and punishing the African as felony! I crave your indulgence 
for this digression, and shall now draw to a conclusion. 

What think you, fellow citizens, is the compensation joroxDosed by 
the persons who have, at the expense of reputation and integrity, 
made those extraordinary efforts for the admission of slavery? We 
have seen that it cannot favour the sale of land, but will have a con- 
trary effect. We know that the pecuniary distress of the neighbouring 
slave states is greater than ours. Produce is so low as hardly to pay 
the charges of carrying it to market. The demand of the old countries, 
in their x^resent condition, is not equal to the superabundance of the 
new; and forcing cultivation, in the new countries, by the labour of 
slaves, is not likely to mend the matter. The natural and easy remedy 
for this inconvenience, (to call it an evil would be ingratitude) is, to 
create a market at home, by apj)lying ourselves to manufacture. But 
slavery would increase the emharrassYuent, and ohsfruct the operation 
of the remedy. To what motives, then, can their zeal be imputed, 
except the love of arbitrary power, and aversion to industry — and. 
with a few ambitious characters. iDolitical rivalship? 

The following positions have, I think, been fully established: That 
a convention, held in pursuance of the measures described, would be 
unconstitutional and illegal, and therefore of no just authority : — be- 
cause it has not been proposed to the people by a constitutional 
majority of their representatives, but was, on the contrary, twice neg- 
atived by such a majority: 

That the admission of slavery would increase our present difficul- 
ties, by lowering the price of land and produce — and would be destruc- 
tive of the future prosperity of the state, and happiness of the people, 
especially of that very numerous class of citizens who are possessed 
of but small property, and whose wealth consists in their industry: 

That it cannot be introduced but by breaking down the barriers of 
law and justice — which are, I trust, on too firm a basis to be disturbed 


by the intrigues of a corrupt faction. Yon will therefore agree with 
me — that we are bonnd by honour, interest, and duty, to vote, at the 
approaching election, for No Convenfion. 

1 was just laying down my pen, when I recollected a strange senti- 
ment entertained by some persons, who, having been brought up 
among slaves, have not reflected much on the nature of true liberty— 
that we are not free, because our constitution prohibits slavery — that 
this county, governed by laws of our own making, where every man, 
unless he be a criminal, is as free as another, is not a free country — 
in fine, that the State of Illinois is not a free state, because we have 
decreed that none but free men shall inhabit it. According to their 
opinion, if part of the people held the other part in bondage, could 
buy and sell them, and goad them to labor like cattle, ill en it would 
be a free country. But freedom, if it exists in reality, extends to all 
— it is the right to do every thing but injury, and the enjoyment of 
protection from being injured. Without this restraint, on the one 
hand, and the protection on the other, liberty is an empty sound. 
Difference of color makes no difference in the nature of oppression, 
or in the crime of inflicting it; and that only is a free country where 
every man in it is protected from oppression. 

In this happy and most honourable condition, of equal freedom and 
protection, we, the citizens of Illinois, now stand. It is the first rank 
of human society — the last and meanest is that of master and slave, 
to which the transactions of an unconstitutional majority are intended 
to degrade us. For myself I submit to no such humiliation. To me 
and mine the entrance of slavery would be the signal of departure, 
and to many others. It would be a sentence of banishment to us, of 
exclusion to countless thousands, and, to those who remain, of 
irretrievable debasement. 

To ward off this most calamitous result, I confide, fellow citizens, 
in your integrity and good sense; for I think you will, on considering 
the subject, join me in opinion that the principles of justice and hu- 
manity, in this case as in all others, are the principles of wisdom — 
and that cold-hearted, selfish politicians are the greatest fools upon 
earth. M. Biekbeck. 


At sun-rise on this Fourth of July, 1823, when the prairies and the 
woods are resounding with peals of triumph, I address the following 
serious expostulation to the attention of my fellow citizens, as my 
part in the service of this festive day. 

The practice of slavery, by a people exulting in their ow^n freedom, 
is a melancholy instance of human depravity or inconsistency, and 
shows how we may become reconciled, by custom, to the perpetration 
of the greatest injustice. 

The right to hold a man or a woman in bondage can only arise from 
forfeiture of liberty by t-he individual so held : but it is impossible 
that this forfeiture can extend to their posterity. For example, 
should slavery, by the will of the majority, be introduced among us 


we could only put it in practice, justly, upon tlie jjersons of criniinalB, 
who had so forfeited their freedom, under th(3 laws of tluit society 
from which we procured them, and of this fnct w(i must obt;iJr) 
irrefragable testimony. 

Supposing any number of these wretches! outcasts, of both sexes, 
to be received by us and employed on our plantations, what sort of 
claim could we set up against their children? Could the united votes 
of all the citizens in the State consign a single infant to bondage be- 
cause its parents had committed crimes and suffered the jjenaltyV 
The child born of these parents would have the same natural rights- 
with our own children; the same indefeasible inheritance from 
nature "of life, of liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;" and would 
have an additional title to kindness and protection from the un- 
fortunate circumstances of his birth. What would be the course of 
justice in regard to such children? Their parents having no political 
rights, they would be received as orphans into the arms of a virtuous 
and honorable society; they would be the children of the public, and 
be treated with that tenderness to which the orphan has an irresistible 
claim from every human being with a heart uncorrupted. 

No, — fellow citizens! — all the power of the community, directed to 
this single point, could not extend the right of slavery beyond the indi- 
vidual who has forfeited his freedom -by crime. With the condition 
of those societies where slavery has taken root we have here no con- 
cern. It has no legal existence here. A set of men called legislators, 
in this state or any other, have no power to give one man a title to 
the liberty of another, any more than to his life; or to doom infants 
to servitude, whatever may have been the crimes or complexion of 
their parents, any more than they have power to order them to be 
strangled at their birth; which, in fact, would be, of the two, the least 
criminal proceeding. 

Slavery, as offered to us, is a bottomless abyss of wretchedness and 
iniquity; the inquisition is a mere puddle compared to it! Could 
you, whilst hovering on the brink, behold it in its horrors, no power 
on earth could compel you to take the plunge — there would be no need 
of arguments to restrain you. But they crowd upon me as I meditate 
on the subject and before I conclude I must add the following for 
your consideration: 

The extent of surface at present occupied by the republick, under 
the organized jurisdiction of states and territories is a little more than 
one million of square miles. It appears that slavery is tolerated over 
650.000 square miles and prohibited over 402,000— thus, the extent of 
territory open to slaves is greater, by about one- fourth of the whole, 
than that from which they are excluded! 

It also appears, from the census of 1820, that there were at that 
time 5,175,080 inhabitants on the non-slaveholdimj ter^ntory and only 
4,394,963 inhabitants, including slaves, on the slaveholding territory, 
though so much more extensive! 

Yet under these circumstances, there are persons who speak of 
cmelty in penning up the negroes; and propose, with the humane 

11 H 


view of giving them still more room, to surrender this State to their 
accommodation; feeling no compunction about penning w^ their white 
brethren of the non-slaveholding states, who form a majority of free 
inhabitants of the union, as five to three; and are already excluded 
from more than three-fifths of our common country, unless they will 
defile themselves with slavery, or become sufferers under its degrad- 
ing influence! 

It is ascertained that the black population increases faster than the 
white in slave states. The necessary consequence of this is that 
negroes will be the majority in number on that portion of the United 
States which tolerates slavery, at a jDeriod not very remote. Rigorous 
treatment, augumenting in severity as their numbers increase, may 
for a time keep them in subjection: but this cruel system has its 
limits. Superiority in physical power they will acquire r^superiority 
in intellectual force will sooner or later follow. — When that time ar- 
rives they will destroy or expel the white inhabitants and remain the 
sole possessors of these countries. This process has had a successful 
beginning on the isle of St. Domingo. That the other West India 
Islands will soon follow the example, I presume no one doubts who is 
acquainted with the subject. I leave it to the advocates of slavery to 
pursue the painful speculation to the continent of America. 

It is also ascertained that the population in slave states does not 
increase so fast as the white population in free states, by from thirty 
to forty per cent in twenty years. — And that the population of a slave 
state, bond and free, does not increase so fast as the population of a 
free state. Therefore, slavery not only diminishes the number of free 
persons by occupying their places, but it retards population gener- 
ally. Of this. New York and Pennsylvania, compared with Virginia, 
afford a striking proof: — as also Ohio compared with Kentucky, and 
Indiana with Missouri. The difference in these last is very interest- 
ing to us. 

In 1800 Kentucky, 39,000 square miles, contained 320,9.59 \ Inhabitants 

In 1810 '■• '• '• " " 406..511 - black and 

In 1820 " " " '' '■ .564,317) white. 

In 1800 Ohio, 39,000 square miles, contained .55,356 ) . 

In 1810 " '\ " '' " 230,769 - T 1 i-t ^ 

Inl820 " - " - " .g^^34 ( Inhabitants 

In 1810 Missouri, 80,000 square miles, contained 20,845 ) Inhabitants 

- black and 

In 1820 '' •' '' " " 66.586) white. 

In 1810 Indiana, 36,250 square miles, contained 24.520 \ free 

In 1820 " " " " '' 147,178 inhabitants 

In regard to emigration, we should probably exclude ten by slavery 
for one that it would bring in. 

If we expect money we must not look to the slaveholders, for they 
will bring only negroes: whereas emigrants from the east or from 
Europe all bring money, more or less. 

If we wish to sell land th(^ difference is still in favor of a free emi- 
gration. The slave owner will purchase from congress; eastern or 
European emigrants are more likely to buy improvements. 


Produce would be lowered in price by the introduction of sl?iv(.'ry; 
because slaveholders with their n(;groes are all producers. Other 
emigrants will be partly consumers who by introducing manufactures 
and dollars to be expended in labour, will create a home markc.'t for 
produce and increase the price. 

So that in every view in which we can place it, independent of 
moral considerations, slavery would be against our interest. But, if 
all the arguments of a temporary and inferior interest were as much 
on the side of slavery as they are opposed to it, what are they in com- 
parison with the miseries and abominations which are its inseparable 
companions ? 




English Settlement in Edwards County, Illinois, Founded by Morris 
Birkbeck and George Flower, 1817-18. 




At the suggestion of Professor Evarts B. Grreeiie, of the University 
of Illinois, the writer began, during the spring of 1905, an examination 
of m«.terial relating to Morris Birkbeck and the founding of the 
English settlement in Edwards county. The present trial bibliography 
is a result of this search. It is by no means exhaustive, but it is 
hoped that its appearance at this time may serve to bring to light ad- 
ditional information and thus hasten the accumulation of material for 
a complete bibliography. 

Morris Birkbeck exerted an influence in the development of the 
American nation not likely to be overestimated. As author-emigrant, 
he attracted to the United States, and particularly to Illinois, a large 
number of especially desirable English settlers. That Birkbeck 
settled in Illinois was the result of no accident. His hatred of slavery 
in any form caused him to avoid the slave states and it was his 
thorough knowledge of agriculture, combined with a keen judgment 
of values, that led him w^estward to the prairies. Having once de- 
cided upon a point for settlement, his ever active pen, by means of 
published accounts and personal letters, drew to him many substantial 
English farmers. In this way he hastened and to some extent guided 
the course of westward migration. 

As an anti-slavery agitator, he rendered a service equalled by few^ 
men of his time. Illinois had been admitted to the Union in 1818 as 
a free state, but the right to hold slaves wdthin her bounds was 
urgently demanded. Large numbers of immigrants were coming in 
from the south and the strongest eft'orts were made during the first 
years of her statehood to turn Illinois into a slave state. The struggle 
took the form of a controversy over the question of a convention to 
amend the State Constitution. As an anti-conventionist, Mr. Birk- 
beck's power was felt and recognized throughout the state. He took 
a leading part in the newspaper debates and whether in the homely 
dispassionate logic of the "Jonathan Freeman" letters or in direct, 
forceful appeals over his own signature, he was ever earnest and con- 
vincing. The English settlers were generally opposed to the con- 
vention, so that Birkbeck's service as colonizer, no less than his skill 
as agitator, was an important factor in this critical campaign. The 
election of August 2, 1824, resulted in a victory for the anti-convention 
party and Illinois remained a free state. Without Illinois as a free 
state one would hardly wish to conjecture on the outcome of later de- 
velopments which eventually led to the war for the preservation of 
the Union. 


An examination of printed sources of information shows a meager 
and inadequate literature relating to the life and anti-slavery service 
of this remarkable man. Of Birkbeck's own writings, his published 
books, though becoming comparatively rare, are nevertheless readily 
available to students who can combine the resources of several of the 
larger libraries. Unfortunately, so much cannot be said of the 
pamphlets and newspaper articles. Several of the pamphlets seem to 
be entirely lost, though there is reason to hope that they may yet be 
found. Much of the contemporaneous newspaper material, however, 
seems to be hopelessly lost. The periodical in which appeared Birk- 
beck's principal contributions, including the ''Jonathan Freeman" 
Letters, was the Shawneetown Gazette, the issues of which are prac- 
tically all lost or destroyed. Files of the Edwardsville Spectator, 
covering more or less completely the years 1819-25, are available in 
the library of the Chicago Historical Society and in the St. Louis 
Mercantile Library — the files in the later library being the more 
complete and in an excellent state of preservation. In this news- 
paper, fortunately, can be found, besides a limited amount of original 
material, copies of articles and letters first printed elsewhere. Ten of 
the famous "Freeman" letters were thus copied from the Shawnee- 
town Gazette. Birkbeck's writings combined with a wide current 
interest in the subject of emigration, caused many travelers to visit 
the English settlement, and numerous published accounts were the 
result. These descriptions, combined with English and American 
reviews of the same, give a good idea of the way in which Birkbeck 
and his Illinois settlement were regarded by contemporaries. 

In spite of several disastrous fires, i- the Chicago Historical Society 
has in its possession some rare and interesting material, including an 
engraving of Morris Birkbeck, portraits of Mr. and Mrs. George 
Flower, and valuable letters and other manuscripts bearing upon the 
history of the English settlement. 

The writer is under special obligation to Professor Greene, of the 
University of Illinois, at whose suggestion the work was undertaken. 
Grateful acknowledgement for valued assistance in the collection of 
material is due to Miss Caroline M. Mcllvaine, the efficient librarian 
of the Chicago Historical Society, and to Mr. .William L. R. Gilford, 
the librarian of the St. Louis Mercantile Library. I shall be grate- 
ful also to anyone who will call my attention to inaccuracies, or who 
will send additional information. Such contributions may be sent to 
me in care of the Library of the University of Washington, Seattle, 
Washington, or they may be addressed to the Department of History. 
University of Illinois. Charles W. Smith. 

Waverly, N. Y., July 25, 1905. 

1. The manuscript copy of George Flower's then unpublished History of the Eng^lish 
Settlement in Edwards County, tog^ether with other valuable Birkbeck material, had been 
loaned out of the city just before the great fire of 1S71. 



1814 — Notes on a Journey Throug-h France, from Dieppe through Paris and 
Lyons, to the Pyrenees, and back throug-h Toulouse, in .July, Aug-ust 
and September, 1814, describing- the habits of the people, and the 
agriculture of the country, [Edition 1.] 115 p. 8°. London, 1814. 
W. Phillips. 4s.. boards. (Copy in British Museum.) 
Same. Edition 3. 8°. London, 181.'"). (Copy in British Museum.) 
Same. First American from the third London edition with an appendix. 
143-f28p. 12°. Philadelphia, 181.5. Carey. (Copy examined in the 
St. Louis Mercantile Library.) 
Same. Edition 5. 115+33 p. apx. London, 1815. W. Phillips. (Copy 
examined in the Mason collection, Champaign, 111., Public Library.; 


For reviews of Notes on a Journey Through France, see the fol- 
lowing: . 
Monthly Review, January, 1815, (Poole) 76:59-66. 

"Mr. Birkbeck is a tourist of no common sort. . . . We recognize in 
him the true statistical and agricultural observer. . . . He appears to us 
to have been very diligent and fortunate in his inquiries." 
Monthly Review, April, 1815, (Poole) 76:445-47. 

Reviews favorably the appendix to the second edition. This appendix 
would seem to have been issued separately as a 23 p. pamphlet published by 
Arch & Co., 1815. 

1817 — Notes on a Journey in America, from the coast of Virginia to the Terri- 
tory of Illinois, with proposals for the establishment of a colony of 
English. [First American edition.] 189 p. 12°. Philadelphia. 
1817. Caleb Richardson. (Copies examined in Newberry Library of 
Chicago and Buffalo Public Library.) 
Same. [First London edition.] 144 p., map. 12°. London, 1818. 

Ridgway. (Copy in the Library of Cong-ress.) 
Same. Second London edition. 163 p., fold. map. 8°. London. 1818. 
Ridgway. [With his Notes on a Journey Through France.] (Copy 
in Library of Congress.) 
Same. Third London edition. 103 p., fold. map. 8°. London, 1818. 
Ridgway. (Copies examined in University of Illinois Library and 
in the Mason collection. Champaign. 111., Public Library.) 
Same. Fourth London edition. 156 p , map. London, 1818. Ridg-way. 

(Copy examined in St. Louis Mercantile Library.) 
Same. Fifth London edition. 8°. 1819. (Copy in British Museum.) 
Same. Dublin edition. 158 p., fold. map. 12°. Dublin. 1818. Larkin. 
(Copy in Library of Congress. Also, copy in Illinois State Historical 
The Notes on a Journey in America was also published in Cork. 1818. and 
in 1819 was translated and published in Paris under the title of "Lettres Sur 
les Nouveaux Etablissemens qui se forment dans les parties occidental des 
Etats-Unis Amerique." (See Flower-History of the Eng'lish settlement in 
Edwards county, p. 92, note.) 


For contemporaneous reviews of Notes on Journey in America, see 

Edinburgh Review, June, 1818, 30:120-40. 

"One of the most interesting- and instructive books that have appeared for 
many years. . . . The author is an eye witness of everything he de- 
scribes. . . . He is content to tell what is material without tedious dis- 
sertations. . . . His matter is condensed and his style is unexceptionable." 
p. 130. 
Monthly Review, February. 1818, 85:146-64. 

"Though the present work professes to be only a rapid outline of the most 
striking features of the country, we believe that Mr. B"s. pages convey a 
more correct idea of its natural resources, and its present state of cultivation, 
than we can elsewhere obtain. . . The style is in some parts careless, 

and in all less polished than in the "Notes on a Tour Through France," the 
work being evidently written in haste, during his journey." p. 163. 
Portfolio (Bennies'), March, 1818, (Poole) 19:306-315. 

The style of this book is uniformly neat and perspicuous. We are con- 
vinced that the author is a man of practical knowledge and that his state- 
ments may be received with perfect confidence." p. 315. 
Portfolio (Bennies"), July, 1819, (Poole) 33:77. 

(Quotes from a conclusion of a review of Birkbeck's notes in "The Scotsman,"' 
which it says is in the true Tewkesbury style. "Mr. Birkbeck says little of 
public affairs, but it is quite obvious that the Americans are far behind the 
more enlightened nations of Europe in their ideas of legislation and govern- 
Quarterly Review, April, 1818, 19:54-78. 

The writer of this review takes a very unfavorable view of American set- 
tlement. The book is regarded as an advertisement and Birkbeck and his 
project are held up to ridicule. 

For a recent note of evaluation see 
Larned, J. N. ed. The Literature of American History, p. 173. 

"This is a brief and intelligent accouiit of the journey of an English 
farmer traveling from Virginia to Illinois Territory, then a frontier settle- 
ment. Birkbeck was a radical both in politics and religion and his judg- 
ments show a slight bias. He had a keen eye for a suitable place for future 
settlement and. in agricultural matters, showed practical knowledge. The 
book gives a vivid picture of the difficulties attending pioneer settlement."" 
From an annotation by B. R. Bewey. 

1818 — Letters from Illinois . . . illustrated by a map of the United States 
showing Mr. Birkbeck's journey from Norfolk to Illinois and a 
map of English Prairie and the adjacent country by John Mellish. 
[Edition Ij 154 p. Philadelphia, 1818 Carey. (Title page bears 
the motto, "Vox clamantis e deserto."' Copies examined in the 
Mason collection. Champaign, 111., Public Library, and in the St. 
Louis Mercantile Library.) (Copy in Illinois State Historical 

Same. [Second London edition.] 154-114 p. 8°. London, 1818. Taylor 
and Hessey. (Copj?^ examined in University of Illinois Library.) 
(Copy in Illinois State Historical Library.) 

Same. Editions. 15 + 114 p. 8°. London. 1818. Taylor and Hessey. 
[With McLeod, J. Voyage of His Majesty's Ship Alceste. 
London, .1818. J (Copy in Ivibrary of Congress ) 

Same, 17 + 136 p. 34°. Boston, 1818. Wells and Lilly. (Copy in 
Library of Congress.) 



For contemporaneous reviews of Letters from Illinois, see the fol- 

Johnson, Dr. C. B. Letters from the British settlement in I*ennsylvania. 
1819, p; 128-47. 

The English settlement in Illinois is compared to the one at Montrose, l^a.. 
to the disadvantage of the former. Fears are expressed as to the healthful - 
ness of the settlement and Mr. Birkbeck's aversion to religion is deplored. 
On pages 144-47 is a "Notice of Mr. Birkbeck's Letters" taken "from the Vil- 
lage Recorder of 18th November, 1818." 
Niles Register, 1818, 1.5:102-3. 

Favorably reviewed. "Written by an honest and intelligent gentleman and 
an Englishman to boot." 
North American Review, March, 1819, 8:347-71. 

"Has considerable literary merit. . . . He is a shrewd observer, and 
writes with great ease and vivacity. As to the correctness of the accounts, 
we will not say that the remark which has been made upon the book, that it 
is a 'mere advertising puff,' is altogether just, but then it is certainly true 
that Mr. Birkbeck writes very much like an advocate." p. 347-48. 
Portfolio (Bennies'), January, 1819. (Poole) 21:72. 

A mere allusion to the Letters and to their publication in London. 
Quarterly Review, April, 1818, 19:73-78. 

A scathing criticism. The Letters are termed "suppositious epistles" and 
"dullness" is mentioned as the chief characteristic of the book. "There is 
nothing in them that can excite the least degree of interest, except, perhaps, 
in those unfortunate persons whom he may succeed in seducing from the land 
of their fathers, in order to dispose of that property, which, with all its 
cheapness, is evidently a dead weight upon his hands." 

For a recent note of evaluation, see 

Larned, J. N. ed. The Literature of American History, p. 173. 

"An intelligent, discriminating statement by a foreigner who soon came to 
understand his adopted country, and did much to inspire English emigration 
into Illinois." From an annotation by R. G. Thwaites. 

Letter to Nathaniel Pope, dated Princeton, Jan. 16, 1818. 

Through Mr. Pope, delegate for Illinois Territory in Congress. 
Morris Birkbeck had memorialized Congress over date of Nov. 20, 
1817, for the pre-emption of a tract of land lying some tw^enty miles 
north of Wanborough for the purpose of introducing a colony of 
English farmers. Mr. Pope stated in reply that the petition was 
too vague for definite action. The letter above referred to explains 
that extension of payment and not reduction of price was solicited 
and that the size of tract desired was from 20,000 to 40.000 acres at 
the pleasure of Congress. The originals of both Mr. Pope's and Mr. 
Birkbeck's letters are on file in the library of the Chicago Historical 
Society and copies of both are to be found in Flower's History of 
the English Settlement in Edwards County, p. 81-83. For Birk- 
beck's Memorial to Congress, see his Letters from Illinois. Ed. 2, 
Letter XXII, p. 108-09. 
1819 — Extracts from a supplementary letter from the Illinois, dated Jan. 31st, 
1819; Address to British emigrants arriving* in the eastern ports, 
July 13th, 1819; Reply to William Cobbett, Esq., July 31, 1819. 29 p. 
8°. New York, 1819. C. Wiley c^' Co. (Copy examined in the Mason 
collection. Champaign, 111., Public Library.) 

Eight blank leaves (sixteen pages) are bound in at the end of the 
volume, apparently for the use of emigrants in making notes or 


Same. 36 p. 8°. London, 1819. Ridg-way. [Bound with Notes on a 
Journey Throug-h France, 3rd edition.] (Copy in the library of the 
Chicago Historical Society.) 

This copy contains also the eig"ht blank leaves at the end and con- 
tains an "Extract from a letter to a friend in Yorkshire."' An ex- 
periment made by the librarian upon the ink has proven that this 
letter is not a fac simile as had previously been supposed, but is 
more likely an annotation made by the owner of the book — possibly 
an emig-rant. In this interesting- volume is inserted also a long 
sheet of old water-marked paper on which are memoranda forming 
a rough index to Notes on a Journey in America. (Copy of this 
edition, bound alone (without Notes on a Journey Through France), 
in Illinois State Historical Library.) 

1820 — Letter to Henry S. Dodge. Esq., Secretary of the Agricultural Society, 
dated Wanborough, April 20. 1820. enclosing an address which Mr. 
B. was unable to give at the meeting of the Agricultural Society 
owing to absence. See Edwardsville, 111.. Spectator, June 6, 1820. 
Two columns. 
Letter to Hon. John Reynolds, dated Wanborough, Edwards county, 
Oct. 22, 1820. See copy in Edwardsville, 111., Spectator. Nov. 28, 
1820. In reg'ard to drainage as a means of increasing the healthful- 
ness of the country. 

1821— Letter dated Wanborough, May 7, 1821. 

For extract of this letter see Flower's Letters from Lexington 
and the Illinois, in Thwaites, R. G. ed., Early Western Travels, 10: 

1822 — An address to the farmers of Great Britain, with an essay on the prairies 
of the western country; to which is annexed the constitution of the 
State of Illinois. 52 p. 8°. London, 1822. Ridgway. Is. 6d. 
(Copy in British Museum; also, copy in Illinois State Historical 

For contemporaneous review of An Address to the Farmers of Great 
Britain, see 

Monthly Review, March, 1823, 181: 250-56. 

Favorable. The writer accounts for the hard usage that Mr. B. had re- 
ceived at the hands of British critics by the fact that he was a dissenter from 
the established administration of England. 

Oration delivered at Wanboroug-h, 111., on July 4, 1822. For text of this 
oration, see Niles Register, Oct. 5. 1822, 23: 73-75. 

At the time of giving this address, Mr. Birkbeck had been five 
years a resident of America. He took the occasion to compare the 
advantages of his adopted country with those of European coun- 
tries. The Register comments thus: "There is much sound sense 
and wholesome instruction in this product of a late British subject." 
1823 — Appeal to the people of Illinois on the question of a convention. 25 p. 
8°. Shawneetown, 1823. (Copy in the Boston Athenaeum.) 

A reprint of this pamphlet appeared in the Edwardsville Specta- 
tor for Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, 1823. It is also reprinted in this volume, 
from the original in the Boston Athenaeum. 
1823 — "Jonathan Freeman"" Letters. 

During the month of June and hiter in the year, 1823, INIr. Birk- 
beck contributed a series of anti-slavery articles over the sig-nature 
of "Jonathan Freeman." The majority of these appeared orig-in- 
ally in the Shawneetown Gazette, provoking and answering a pro- 
slavery advocate who signed himself ".John Rifle.'" These letters 
were widely read and exerted no small influence in the struggle 
then being waged to prevent the introduction of slavery into the 

state of Illinois. It is unfortunate that students of Illinois history 
do not have access to the early files of the Shawneetown (jazette, 

Ten of the "Jonathan Kreeman" letters are to be found r(iprinted 
in the Edwardsville Spectator for Nov. 1 and Nov. 8, \H2'.'>. and an 
additional letter replying- to "W. K." appears in the numljer for 
Nov. 39, 1833. Tw^elve of the "Freeman'' letters, includinjf four not 
in the Edwardsville Spectator, are contained in Flower's History of 
the Eng-lish Settlement in Edwards County, p. 310-43. 
1834 — Letter, to the editor of the Illinois (Gazette, dated "Wanboroug-h, Jan. 
6, 1834." This letter was in reply to one which had appeared in the 
Illinois (xazette for Jan. 3, signed "Americanus." For reprint see 
Flower, History of the Eng-lish Settlement in Edwards county, p. 
Letter, "to Americanus," dated "Wanboroug-h, Feb. 18, 1834. 

This letter was written "For the Intellig-encer." It appeared in 
the Edwardsville Spectator for March 16, 1834, and is also to be 
found in Flower's History of the Eng-lish Settlement in Edwards 
county, p. 344-45. 
"An address to the citizens of Illinois for the day of election, and 
worthy of their serious attention preparatory thereto." 

This was printed in the Illinois Gazette just before the election 
of Aug. 3, 1834. It was also published as a handbill and its free 
distribution is believed to have aided very materially in the defeat 
of the convention party. For copy of this address see Flower, 
History of the English Settlement in Edw^ards County, p. 307-09. 
1835 — Letter, addressed to "Fellow Citizen," appearing in the Edwardsville 
Spectator for Feb. 1, 1835 

Mr. Birkbeck had been appointed by Governor Coles as Secretary 
of State. On the assembling of the Legislature his nomination w^as 
rejected by a pro-slavery senate. In this letter Mr. B. names the 
men who voted for and against his confirmation. 


Biography of Morris Birkbeck. 

Berry, Dr. Daniel. 

Morris Birkbeck and His Friends. (See Illinois State Historical So- 
ciety. Transactions, 1904, p. 359-73.) 

Throvs^s light on the times of Birkbeck and emphasizes the part played 
by the itinerant preacher in the anti- convention struggle. Portrait and 
fac siynile of signature opposite p. 359. 
Death of Morris Birkbeck. (See Niles Register, July 9, 1835, 38:304.) 

Mr. Birkbeck w^as drowned w^hile returning home from a visit to Mr. 
Owen at New Harmony. 
(An) English Viev^ of Birkbeck. (See Quarterly Review, April, 1833, 37:91.) 

"Mr. Birkbeck, in fact, hunted through every shape, will alwaj^s be 
found to settle at last in that of the hard-hearted, selfish, greedy, 
avaricious and unprincipled land-jobber." 
President of the Illinois State Agricultural Society. (See Edwardsville Spec- 
tator, Dec. 36, 1830.) 

Mr. Birkbeck was elected first president of the Illinois State Ag-rioul- 
tural Society. 
Reynolds, John. 

Birkbeck an Early Settler. (See his My Own Times, 1855. p. 38(5-87. 
Speaks of Birkbeck's services as a colonizer. Inaccuracies. 
Secretary of State, Appointment as. (See Niles Register, Nov. 30. 1834. 


Secretary of State, Rejection. (See Edwardsville Spectator. Feb. 1. 1825.) 

A letter dated Vandalia, Jan. 18, 1825, over the signature of Geo. 
Churchill speaks of the reg-ret occasioned by the rejection of Mr. Birk- 
beck as Secretary of State. 
Secretary of State. Resolution of thanks. (See Edwards\ille Spectator. Feb. 
1, 1825.) 

Resolution of House of Representatives thanking- Mr. Birkbeck for 
the way he had discharged his duties as Secretary of State. — Adopted 
Jan. 15, 1825, by vote of 27 to 4. 
Some Account of Morris Birkbeck. (See Portfolio (Bennies"). (Poole) 34:445.) 
Washburne, E. B. 

Morris Birkbeck. (See Sketch of Edvs^ard Coles, 1882. Use Index.) 


Flower, George. 

Anti-Slavery Services of Morris Birkbeck. (See his History of the 
English Settlement in Edwards County, 1882, p. 197-256.) 
The best account available. 
Ford, Thomas. 

Morris Birkbeck. (See History of Illinois. 1854, p. 54.) 
Birkbeck mentioned as a writer of fiery handbills against the con- 
Harris, N. D. 

Birkbeck as Anti-slavery Advocate. (See his History of Negro Servi- 
tude in Illinois, 1904, p. 42, 44, 48.) 

Brief mention: Reference is made to five important newspapers in 
Illinois at the time of the anti- convention controversy and their stand 
upon the slavery question is indicated. 
Moses, John. 

Morris Birkbeck. (See his Illinois, Historical and Statistical, 1889. 
vol. 1, p. 322.) 

Birkbeck "published a pamphlet which is said to have contained the 
best arguments presented against slavery." 
Wilson, Henry. 

Anti-slavery Agitation in Illinois. (See his History of the Rise and 
Fall of the Slave Power in America, 1878, vol. 1, p. 164.) 

Birkbeck mentioned in connection with the attempt to introduce 
slavery into Illinois. 



AND GEORGE FLOWER, 1817-1818. 

Cobbett, William. 

A Year's Residence in the United States of America. London. 1819. 

In three parts. Part III, pages 439-610, containing "Mr. Ilulmes' In- 
troduction to his .Journal; Mr. Hulmes' Journal made during a tour 
in the western countries of America, in which tour he visited Mr. Birk- 
beck's settlement; Mr. Cobbett's letters to Mr. Birkbeck remonstrating 
with that gentleman on the numerous delusions contained in his two 
publications, entitled, 'Notes on a .Journey in America' and 'Ijctters 
from Illinois." '" Mr. Cobbett accused Birkbeck of wilful misrepresenta- 
tion and discoiinted the Illinois prairies as a place for settlement. For 
review of A Year's Residence, alluding to Cobbett's attack on the Birk- 


beck plan of emigrating- to the prairies, see the Ti(;kler letters in lilack- 
wood's Edinburg-h Mag-azine, September, IH'.i'',, H:.'>M)-:iO. Mr. Cob>>ett's 
A Year's Jlesidence had a wide circulation, passing- through at least five, 
different editions. 
Books on American Travel. (See Edinburgh Keview, July, ]H:>A. 40:4:^7 4:i.) 

Reviews of Duncan, Hodgson and 'An P^nglish (Gentleman." 
Birkbeck referred to, p. 440, in connection with Mr. Rapp and the Har- 
Faux, W. 

Birkbeck 's Settlement in the Illinois. (See his Memorable Days in 
America,* 1833, p. 2.50-312.) 

Mr. Faux visited the English settlement in 1819 and his account of it 
attracted much attention in the Eng-lish reviews. He seems not to have 
been a very systematic observer and his descriptions betray a certain 
vulg-aritj^ of mind. Notwithstanding- the blemishes of his account, how- 
ever, it is an important contribution to our knowledge of the settlement. 

For reviews of Memorable Days in America, see the following: 
Blackwood's Mag-azine. November, 1823, 14:.561-72; Monthly Review, Decem- 
"ber, 1823, 183:443-45, and Westminster Review, January, 1824, 1:101-15. 
Fearon, Henry Bradshaw. 

Sketches of America. (See his Narrative of a Journey of Five Thous- 
and Miles through the Eastern and Western States of America . . . 
with remarks on Mr. Birkbeck's Notes and Letters. London, 1818, p. 

Adverse criticism. The author was never at the Eng-lish settlement. 
"Mr. Fearon's book of travels, although appearing under his own name, 
it is said, was edited and published by the poet-laureate, and so worded 
by him as to g-ive an unfavorable turn to everything- American in the 
eyes of the English emigrant.'' — Flower, History of the Eng-lish Settle- 
ment in -Edwards County, p. 195. 

See review in Edinburgh Review, Dec. 1818, 31:132 ft\ Very little 
about Birkbeck. 
Ferrall, S. A. 

Albion village. (See his Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the 
United States of America. London, 1832, p. 109-12.) 

Speaks of Albion as a small, insig-nificant town. Says that Mr. Tiirk- 
beck is here' called the "Emperor of the Prairies," but that he is re- 
spected in other parts of the State. 
Flower, Georg-e. 

History of the Eng-lish Settlement in Edwards County, Illinois. 
Founded in 1817 and 1818, by Morris Birkbeck and Georg-e Flower. 
Chicago, 1882. (Chicag-o Historical Society's collection. Vol. 1.) 

An invaluable source of information written by one of the founders. 
The inception and early history of the settlement are fully given and 
later developments down to the year 1860 are noted. 
Flower, Richard. 

Letters from Lexington and the Illinois. London, 1819. 

Written while Mr. Richard Flower was journeying from Lexington. 
Ky., where he had spent the winter, to Albion, 111., the home of his 
son, Georg-e Flower. 
Flower, Richard. 

Letters from the Illinois, 1820-1. London, 1822. 

"Describing- the condition and environment of Birkbeck's ICng-Hsh 
colony at Albion, Illinois. . . . Written to encourag-e mig-ration and 
to refute the charges ag-ainst the region made by William Cobbett in his 
Weekly Political Register during- the year 1821." E. E. Sparks in 
Larned, Literature of American History, p. 175. 

Faux, W. (An Eng:lish farmer.) 

Memorable Days in America, being a journal of a tour to the United States, prin- 
cipally undertaken to ascertain by positive evidence the condition and probable pros- 
pects of British emig'rants, including accounts of Mr. Birkbeck's settlement in the 
Illinois, and intended to show men and things as they are in America. 4SS p. 8'-'. 
London, 1823. Simpkin. 14s. bds. 


German Emigration in America. (See North American Review, July, 1820, 

Birkbeck's letters referred to as having- popularized the colony at 
Harmony, p. 13. 
Healthfulness of the English Settlement. (See Niles Reg-ister, April 15, 1820. 

A statement correcting- misrepresentation as to healthfulness of the 
country inhabited by Mr. Birkbeck and his associates. Population of 
settlement g-iven as about 400. 
Hodg-son, Adam. 

Birkbeck's Illinois Settlement. (See his Letters from North America^ 
written during a tour in the United States and Canada. 1824, Vol. 2. 
p. 65, 78. 

Unfavorable view of the settlement. See Monthly Review, November. 
1824, (Poole) 105:245-62; also, Westminster Review, April, 1825, 3:469-70. 
Hulme, Thomas. 

The English Settlement in Illinois. (See his Journal of a Tour in the 
Western Countries of America, Sept. 30, 1818-Aug. 8, 1819, as reprinted 
in Thwaites ed. Early Western Travels, Vol. 10, p. 19, 47-51.) 

A generally favorable view of Birkbeck's settlement which was used, 
however, by Wm. Cobbett as a basis for an attack. 
Improvements at Albion. (See Niles Register, May 19, 1821, 20:192.) 
Johnson, Dr. C. B. 

Remarks on Birkbeck's Letters. (See his letters from the British 
settlement in Pennsylvania, 1819, p. 128-41.) 

Unfavorable view of the settlement. (See review of Johnson's letters 
in Portfolio (Bennies'), March, 1819, 21:238-47.) 
Letter regarding the settlement at Albion. (See Niles Register, Nov. 6, 1819. 

Extract of a letter to the Register. Attempts to correct false impres- 
sions created by Mr. Cobbett. Mentions the public library at Albion. 
Library at Albion. (See Edwardsville Spectator, Dec. 26, 1820.) 

Refers to the establishment of a library and a reading society in 
Albion. Mr. Richard Flower credited as being the founder and pro- 

The public library at Albion was founded in 1818 and attracted the 
attention of distinguished visitors and reviewers. It was housed in 
one part of a brick building used for a market house. It was free to 
the public and was open on Sunday afternoons. Allusions to the 
. library are found in several of the references elsewhere given. W, 
Faux, in his Memorable Days, 1823, p. 269, speaks thus: 

"A good market house and a public library is at the end [of Albion], 
in which a kind of Unitarian worship is held on Sunday, when a ser- 
mon and the church service purified is read by any one who pleases. 
The books are donations from the Flower family and their friends in 
England. By sending donations, people become honorary members, 
and Mrs. Flower has by all legal means secured perpetuity to this 
institution which few expect to find in this distant wilderness."" 

George Flower, in his History of the English Settlement, p. 328-29, 
names some of the principal donors of books and mentions as draw- 
backs to the usefulness of this early collection, the character of the 
community and the absence of a fund for a salaried librarian. 
Population of the English settlement. (See Niles Register, Jan. 27, 1821. 

Population of Albion is given as 700. Settlement said to be pros- 
perous. The library is mentioned. 
Portfolio (Dennies"), November, 1819, (Poole) 22:434. 

The writer of "Literary Intelligence" refers to a reviewer who, in 
the last number of the British Review, had regretted not having room 
to quote from Dr. Johnson's letters from the British settlement which 
he terms "ah exposition of the fallacious statements contained in Mr. 
Birkbeck's letters from Illinois."" 


Peck, J. M. 

The Settlement at Albion. (See his (iazetteer of Illinois, ed. 2, 18:57. 
p. 101.) 

Brief notice. 
Stuart, James 

Visit to the English Settlement. (See his Three Years in America, 
ed. 3, Edinburg-h, 18:53, vol. 2, p. •}62-63, 380-402.) 

Favorable account. Mr. Stuart visited Albion in May, 1830, twelve 
years after its founding. He regarded J>irkbeck's statements as gen- 
erally correct, but believed that he had been misinformed as to the 
price of farm labor. 
Walsh, Robert, Jr. 

Birkbeck's Travels (See his Appeal from the Judgments of Oreat 
Britain Respecting the United States of America. London, 1819, p. 

Points out inconsistencies in British reviewers as illustrated by the 
various reviews of Birkbeck's Travels. (For review of Walsh's Appeal, 
' see Portfolio (Bennies') December, 1819. (Poole.) 22:49.3-.515.) 
Welby, Adlard. 

A Visit to North America and the English Settlements in Illinois, 
with a winter residence in Philadelphia. London, 1821. 

Unfavorable. Mr. E. B. Washburne, in a note to Flower's History of 
the English Settlement, p. 319, says: ''The book would seem to disclose 
that his [the author's] real object was to decry the country and dis- 
courage the emigration of the English to it. It is written in a spirit of 
mean prejudice and is full of misrepresentation and abuse." 
Woods, John. 

Life in the English Settlement. (See his Two Years' Residence in the 
Settlement on the English Prairie in the Illinois Country. London, 
1822, p. 141-304.) 

Favorable view. Written by a practical English farmer, who came 
to Albion, 111., in June, 1820. A trustworthy account, giving many de- 
tails of actual every-day experiences in this pioneer English settlement. 
Reprinted in Thwaites' ed. Early Western Travels, vol. 10, p. 260-3.51. 
Wright, Frances. 

(The) Settlement at Albion. (See her Views of Society and Manners 
in America, ed. 2, London, 1822, v. 235-38.) 

Favorable account. Library and postoffice mentioned. Two mails a 

-12 H 



I N 


B Y 









Some items in the history of an independent company, raised and 
organized in one of the minor cities of the interior, at first solely for 
the pleasure of the young men composing it and to satisfy that mili- 
tary ardor to indulge in the mimic evolutions of war, which most 
experience at the vigorous age of early manhood, and without a 
thought of ever being called to perform actual service, may not be 
uninteresting; and the account I have to give may also tend to popu- 
larize such organizations and show the importance of fostering these 
schools of military knowledge and discipline by favorable legislation 
and by the influence of those who have much to lose by disturbances 
of the public peace, and even by war itself, which our late experience 
has shown may fall upon the country with unprecedented severity, 
without previous consciousness of its proximity or readiness to 
meet it. 

The officers of our volunteer forces in the late war for the Union, 
as well as the previous war with Mexico, had for the most part 
received their only preliminary knowledge of military matters, and 
had learned to command men, or had shown their ability to do so, in 
organizations such as I refer to. And with regard to the company of 
which I have to speak, the members of it, who have subsequently 
held important commands, or have otherwise done good service to 
the cause, are not a few. 

An apology for presenting the narrative at this time, written about 
1881, is that the Mormon question is again prominent before the 
country and as the company referred to was called to take a promi- 
nent part in the suppression of disturbances in Hancock county. 111., 
occurring at intervals from 1844 to 1846, the few particulars relative 
to the Mormons incidently introduced may serve to illustrate their 
career and show how impossible is the peaceable existence of a com- 
munity governed by religious and moral laws differing from those of 
their neighbors and growing by degrees so powerful as to put the 
laws of the country at defiance. Such as the experience of this 
people has been in their successive settlements in New York, Ohio, 
Missouri and Illinois will in all probability be eventually repeated in 
Utah, and on a scale in proportion to their vast increase in numbers. 

The writer would have preferred to have told his story in the third 
person, but having preserved notes of little beyond his personal 
experience, unavoidably himself assumes more prominence in the 
narrative than is desirable. His adventures, therefore, must be taken 
as a fair sample of those of his companions. 


Under the name of the "Quincy Riflemen" the company was 
formed in March, 1843, under James D. Morgan,* captain; Benjamin 
M. Prentiss, 1st lieutenant; W. G. Henry, 2d lieutenant, and Charles 
Everett, Jr.,t 8d lieutenant. 

Of the usual parades and encampments on the several "days "we 
celebrate" it is unnecessary here to speak; the first event worthy of 
notice occuring early in the morning of June 28, 1844, when in con- 
sequence of the disturbed state of Hancock county and the murder of 
Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, and his brother Hiram, in the 
Carthage jail, our company and other forces of Quincy, organized 
and unorganized, together forming a battalion under Major Flood 
were hastily called out and proceeded by steamboat to Warsaw, in 
Hancock county, about thirty miles above Quincy, and there 'en- 
cami3ed. As we were then about eighteen miles distant from the 
scene of the murder and no orders having reached the force assembled 
at Warsaw it returned, after a three days stay, to Quincy. As the 
"riflemen" were not on this occasion required to act on any serious 
duty, the time between drills, etc., was passed in fun and frolic, the 
intensity of which may be judged by a humble message sent up 
by another company lodged below us (a rain storm having compelled 
all to seek shelter in an old warehouse) that the racket might cease 
for a few moments while they called the roll. 

In the following September the "riflemen" again received orders to 
repair to Hancock county, in anticipation of fresh disturbances be- 
tween the Mormons and anti-Mormons. The company marched to 
Nauvoo, about sixty miles, mostly on foot, in forty-eight hours. 
They there joined a force of about 600 men under Governor Ford. 
The whole force encamped on the river bank about a mile below the 
Mormon city. The prompt presence of so large a force probably 
jjrevented or postponed the anticipated collision between the contend- 
ing i^arties, as no action of a serious nature took place. 

In order to test the promptness and readiness for action of the 
troops the officers caused a false alarm to be created in the middle of 
the night, giving orders to some to fire in certain directions, and as 
proper precaution had not been taken to withdraw the guard, this ill- 
advised proceeding caused the death of a member of the Springfield 
Cadets, who was shot in the groin. 

Some arrangement was patched up between the contending parties 
for a cessation of hostilities and the troops returned to their homes. 
But the Mormon troubles continued with increasing virulence 
throughout the year and were accompanied by frequent outrage, 
murder and burning of houses and barns. Politics had a large share 
in promoting animosity, as the Mormon vote was a bone of contention. 

* J. D. Morgan was a Brigadier General throughout the late war and with his command 
accompanied (jeneral Sherman in his march to the sea. B. M. Prentiss was also Brigadier 
General. He and his command were taken prisoners atShiloh in consequence of having held 
his ground longer than the brigades on his tlanks. owing to which they were surrounded. 
The younger brother of the writer, a Brigade Surgeon, was killed in this engagement. 

There were a number of others once belonging to the "Quincy Ritlemen" who afterwards 
held rank during the war whose careers I have not traced. 

t Charles Everett was with (General Butler at the taking of New Orleans, was badly 
wounded at Port Hudson and was afterwards with General Bankson his unfortunate Louisiana 
expedition and was brevetted Brigadier General. 


On Sept. 27, 1845, in pursuance of orders from Governor Ford to 
join the troops under General Hardin, for the purpo8<; of suppressing 
another outbreak of hostilities in Hancock county, our comijany 
again proceeded by steamboat to Warsaw and from thence marched 
to Carthage, joining there the encamx)ment of General Hardin where 
a force of about 400 men were assembled. On the ):50th the force 
marched to Nauvoo. Our company was placed in the advance with 
loaded rifles, and we entered the city with some expectation of meet- 
ing resistance from the Mormons who were well armed and organizc^d. 
After marching through the city the force encamped on the same 
piece of ground as on the year before. The weather was very cold 
and windy and as it fell to my turn to be sergeant of the guard, I 
had a hard duty to perform. A guard had been selected by details 
from the several companies, many of which had only been raised on 
the spur of this excitement and would again resolve into their 
elements on their return. No one who has not attempted to drill an 
awkward squad can conceive the obstinate stuxDidity of the country 
bumpkin on his flrst initiation into military service. When called 
to relieve guard, some being so overcome by sleep and fatigue could 
hardly be made to stand up, and far less to understand their duties 
and perform them, while others shirked altogether, so that the bur- 
den of the duty fell upon the better disciplined jDart. 

The next day the Mormon temple and other localities were visited 
by portions of the force for the purpose of searching for suspected 
individuals but without result. The assembled forces then returned 
to Carthage, and after being disbanded, to their homes. 

A conference had been held and it having been judged best by the 
State authorities to station an armed force in the county during the 
coming winter for the prevention of aggression on either side and to 
preserve the peace between the hostile parties, the "Quincy Rifle- 
men" received and accepted an invitation to return to Hancock 
county as a mounted troop, to remain in the service of the State all 
winter. We then returned home to make our preparations, which 
were completed by the Uth of October, at which date the company, 
consisting of such of the old members as could leave their homes for 
so long a period and a number of recruits, together numbering fifty 
men, mounted on good horses, and armed and equipped as cavalry, 
left Quincy and rode to Warsaw and the following day proceeded to 
Carthage, the county seat, and were there mustered into the service 
of the State. 

Another mounted company from Morgan county were also stationed 
there on the same duty, but were discharged after a short period of 
service, one comjDany being deemed sufficient for the purposes desired. 

The.object of thus stationing an armed force in the county was to 
prevent the breaking out of open hostilities between the Mormons 
and other citizens of the county and to assist the civil authorities. 
We were placed under the command of Major W. B. Warren. 

But a short time before, a settlement of Mormons had been attacked, 
the houses burnt, and the inhabitants driven off, one man having been 
killed. Aggressions had been constantly taking place on the part of 
the Mormons, and their villages as well as Nauvoo City, had become 


harbors for horse thieves, coiners and other like professions, who when 
detected and brought before the courts, were snre to be acquitted by- 
Mormon juries. Things had got to such a state that justice could not 
be executed, and the Anti-Mormons, though not justified in the vio- 
lent course they had pursued in the murder of the Smiths, the burn- 
ing of the villages and the like, were nevertheless not so much to 
blame as was generally supposed at the time by those who had no op- 
portunity of ascertaining the true state of affairs. An agreement had 
been made by the Mormons with the State authorities, that the former 
should leav^ the State as early in the spring as it was practicable for 
them to travel, on condition that they should remain unmolested until 
that time, or as it was expressed, " until grass grew and water ran." 

The drill of the company was both in infantry and cavalry tactics. , 
In the former the previous practice of the older members, soon en- 
abled them to bring up the new recruits to the standard of efficiency 
— and with the cavalry exercises, though new to all, as well as to the 
horses, — all could ride, or thought they could, and constant practice 
made them, in time, good horsemen, and the animals became accus- 
tomed to standing and moving in order, and the company made a good 
appearance on parade, and were effective on actual duty. 

The uniform of the " Riflemen" was a dark green frock coat and cap, 
with dark trousers, and the men carried old-fashioned flint-lock rifles. 
As cavalry they were armed with sabres and pistols. 

Our duties were frequently arduous and much of it disagreeable, 
having to ride long distances, frequently by night, exposed to all varie- 
ties of winter weather, over the bleak and treeless prairies, Carthage 
lying in the center of the county of which it was the seat, from twelve 
to twenty miles distant from other towns or villages, and being forty- 
one miles from Quincy in Adams county. Most of the county was 
then unsettled and open, the Mormon difficulties having retarded im- 
provements. We were kindly treated by the citizens both at Carth- 
age and Nauvoo, and by the opposing parties in the county, when not 
acting against them; and though considerable opposition was mani- 
fested by either party when our duties compelled us to thwart their 
purposes, our course won the good opinion of right-thinking men of 
both parties, when they found that it was impartial and for the gen- 
eral good. Scarcely a day passed without some expedition being un- 
dertaken for putting down disturbances, hunting horse thieves, recov- 
ering property, protecting individuals, etc., etc. 

In the intervals between our duties, drills, etc., we managed to pass 
the time pleasantly, as in the company were several good musicians 
and singers; and among so many some very agreeable companions 
could be found. We had frequent invitations to dancing parties and 
other merry makings, and did our part in getting up others, as well as 
concerts amongst ourselves. 

On the morning of October 2Hd a request for protection was received 
of which the following is a verbatim copy: 

" Camp Creek, Hancock Co., Illinois, Oct. 22, 1845. 

Major Warren Sir this is to certify that we ns peaceable citizens 
having returned to hour dwellings was threatened and abused by a 
Mob night before last and ordered of by thursday or we would be put 


out if it was by the Shedding of bloud they also stat(jd that they had 
orders from the Govenar and other officers to order us of and we wish 
your assistence immediately 

Nahum Bigelow 

Peter Gunsolley 

Edgar Grunsoiley " 
My brother, Lieuterjant Charles Everett, with three men, at once 
started out for the purpose of affording the protection demanded, but 
the place, though only about fifteen miles distant, was in a thick for- 
est, and by some mistake the jjarty lost their way, and did not arrive 
at Bigelow's house 'till after dark. Seeing no one about, my brother 
dismounted, and finding the door partly oj^en, pushed it more so, and 
proceeded to enter the house, when the Mormon supposing it to be the 
party coming to execute their threats and burn his house; and being 
determined to defend himself, discharged a gun loaded with buckshot 
at hiy brother's breast, and then seizing a pistol loaded in a similar 
manner, fired that also, and was on the point of taking up another 
loaded gun, when my brother stepped forward and prevented him, and 
only then succeeded in making the Mormon understand that he had 
come as a friend to protect him, and not to do him injury. One of the 
men was at once dispatched to Carthage for a doctor, arriving about 
midnight. I accompanied the physician and reached the place about 
daylight, and found my brother faint and weak from the shock of his 
wounds, which had not at first very seriously affected him. On ex- 
amination one charge was found to have taken effect in his right breast, 
making six wounds, arranged in a circle; two of the shots remained 
in, and the rest were extracted or were found in his clothes, which 
were fortunately very thick at that point. The other charge had 
struck him on the left hip, but as the shot had first to penetrate a 
thick, buff sword belt, this would only amount to a severe bruise. 

Bigelow, the Mormon, was an old man, and with his family w^ere 
apparently living in extreme poverty. He expressed much sorrow at 
his all but fatal mistake, and rendered every assistance in his power. 
As it was judged best to take my brother home by way of the river, a 
buggy was procured, and we laid him in it, he being too weak to help 
himself; and thus we conveyed him to Pontoosuc, a distance of about 
five miles. We met with much kindness at Pontoosuc, and passed the 
night there, and in the morning, as no steamboats were running in 
consequence of low water, I hired a skiff, and fixed up a kind of couch 
in the stern sheets, with an awning made by stretching a cloak over 
some barrel hoops, and engaged a man to row us down the river. 
Charles was then carefully laid in the skiff, and we pushed off, but the 
skiff was leaky and we barely managed by active bailing to keep her 
from being swamped, until we reached Fort Madison, Iowa, where we 
landed. On hearing our story the citizens bore my brother, dressed 
in a red flannel shirt, up to the hotel, where every comfort was sup- 
plied to him, and another physician was called to see him. AVhen he 
had rested sufficiently, and the boat had been caulked and made a lit- 
tle more seaworthy, we pursued our way down the river with the help 
of an additional rower. 


The day was one of the finest of the " Indian summer" and the 
placid river, the islands and sandy bars studded with wild geese, and 
the wooded-bluff shores in rich autumnal coloring, made up some de- 
lightful scenes. We passed round the City of Nauvoo, with its Tem- 
ple situated on a commanding eminence in its center, possessing ap- 
parently every advantage as the site of a great city. 

After passing Montrose we entered on the rapids, which in times of 
low water then, formed a bar to steamboat navigation, except to those 
of extremely light draft, for twelve miles between this place and Keo- 
kuk. It now began to get dark, and as none of the party had ever 
been over the rapids before, the passage was attended with consider- 
able danger, at least to my brother, who could not have helped himself 
if the boat should have been stove to pieces against a rock. This was 
not an unlikely thing to happen as the water ran rapidly, with a roar- 
ing noise over and among numerous rocks and stones. However, we 
arrived at Keokuk about 8:00 p. m,, and Charles, who was much fa- 
tigued, was put to bed at the hotel. About midnight the steamboat 
Boreas came up, and we went on board, and were landed in Quincy 
early next morning. My brother rapidly recovered from the effect of 
his wounds, and returned to his duties in Hancock county, six or 
seven weeks after. 

One day in December a strong party, led by Lieutenant Prentiss, and 
accompanied by a United States marshal with a warrant for the ar- 
rest of Brigham Young, went to JS'auvoo. On arrival they were in- 
formed that that apostle was then at the Temple, to which they rode 
at once. While arranging how they should proceed, a person appar- 
ently high in authority descended the temple steps. He was recog- 
nized by the marshal as Brigham Young and was at once arrested, 
and taken in Brigham's carriage, which stood at the foot of the steps, 
to a hotel. The bystanders expressed their sorrow and indignation at 
seeing Brother Brigham taken away by the Grentiles. At the hotel a 
crown collected armed with clubs and other weapons, and Prentiss had 
to threaten death to any who should interfere. The prisoner was taken 
to Carthage. At the hotel there, some doubts were expressed as to 
the identity of the prisoner, and great excitement ensued, some declar- 
ing that he was Brigham Young, and others being equally positive 
that he was not. The question was at last submitted to the prisoner 
himself, who replied that his name was Miller, of which he should 
have informed them before if the question had been put to him. It 
became evident that he had been palmed off on his captors, to save the 
Mormon chief — men, women and children aiding in the deception, 
and calling him " Brother Brigham." 

In January, 1846, the writer was detailed to accompany to Nauvoo, 
a constable who had a warrant for the arrest of a Mormon who had 
stolen two horses the night before. We went and returned in the 
stage, without finding the man, but having ascertained where he lived. 
Accordingly a party of ten, commanded by Lieutenant Everett, in- 
cluding the constable and myself, started on horseback at ]0:80 at 
night. It was bright moonlight, with snow on the ground and bitter cold. 
About two o'clock next morning we passed the guard house on the 
outskirts of the city at a rapid rate, without question; and afterward 


divided the party as we had a warrant for another marj also. My 
brother with half the i)arty went to the house of th(; hors(3 thief and 
surrounded it, and was just in time to cat(;h him in the act of gritting 
away over the back fence. I with the rest of the party s(.'arched an- 
other house but without finding the man we were? aft(ir. The jjrisoner 
was comj)elled to get a horse for himself, and my brother, myself, and 
two others started off with him, leaving the remainder of the party in 
Nauvoo to make further search for the other man and the missing 
horses. Large numbers of the Mormons collected and were much ex- 
asjjerated on learning that a prisoner had been taken out of the city; 
this being the first successful expedition of the kind. Learning that 
the other man's wife was at Golden's Point, six or eight miles south 
of Nauvoo, we turned off that way in hope of finding him there; and 
also with a view of eluding pursuit, in case of a superior force being 
sent after us to rescue the prisoner. After searching a house there, 
in vain, we returned with our captive to Carthage, having been riding 
about eleven hours. The fatigue of this expedition was excessive, 
especially to myself as I had had the long stage ride, during which I 
had frequently to get out and run to keep warm, and had also spent 
several hours in walking about Nauvoo, in addition to the long ride in 
the saddle, during an intensely cold night and mostly over the bleak 
and unsheltered prairie. I had travelled about eighty miles, within 
the twenty-four hours, without interval for sleep. The stolen horses 
were afterward traced to Missouri, where they had been traded for 
oxen, and the oxen brought to Golden's Point, where they were sub- 
sequently found concealed in a stable beneath a huge straw pile. 

Omitting accounts of other exjjeditions of more or less importance, 
I pass on to one in April, when a party of five of the " Riflemen," un- 
der my command, with an officer of the law, x^roceeded to Nauvoo for 
the purpose of taking some property on attachment for debt. It was 
a fine, cool day and we got to our destination about 10:00 a. m. The 
constable proceeded to levy on a yoke of oxen and two wagons. While 
putting the oxen to the wagon, the owner, named Brigham, came up, 
and with great anger endeavored to unhitch the oxen. I had been 
taught the " menage " by an English dragoon, and by its use was able 
to crowd the man away with my horse's shoulder, and defeat his ob- 
ject, at which, after repeated attempts, he became exasperated and 
seized my rein, with one hand, which I struck off with a rap of the 
back of my sword. He then picked up a club, threatening violence, 
and a large crowd of Mormons began to collect, and many following 
his example armed themselves with clubs from the wood pile, and 
others, seeing the likelihood of an afl^ray brought out their rifles, pis- 
tols, and other weapons. In this position of affairs my endeavors 
were directed to allay the excitement, but without much effect, as all 
were talking excitedly, mingled with oaths and threats. My men had 
their swords drawn and pistols out, and with one of them I had much 
difficulty to prevent his using his pistols without orders. The crisis 
was such that if one rash blow had been struck, or a pistol fired, a col- 
lision would have been brought on in which our small party must have 
been over-powered by numbers, and perhaps our lives sacrificed by the 
enraged Mormons. If, on the other hand, we had shown the least 


symptom of fear, or less determination to carry throngli our object at 
all risks, the result might have been the same, as nothing but the risk 
thay would have incurred kept their violence in check. To prevent 
their unyoking the oxen, attempts at which were still persevered in, I 
started them up, using the point of my sword as a goad, but the beasts 
alarmed at the disturbance of which they were the innocent cause, in- 
stead of keeping the road, turned aside and rushed down a steep bank 
towards the river; and after running some distance partly in the water, 
brought the wagon in contact with a large saw log, by which accident 
the yoke was detached from the tongue, and the oxen from each other. 
This occurrence put a stop to our proceedings for the time, and gave 
opportunity to the Mormons whe had augmented in number to several 
hundred, to reflect on the consequences of open resistance to a legal 
proceeding. So after getting back the oxen, and instructing my men 
to keep together and remain inactive, unless attacked, until my return, 
I rode to another part of the city to confer with the authorities. I 
succeeded in finding Mr. Babbit, who was then one of the principal 
men, who after examining the warrant, rode with me to the scene of 
action and informed those who had resisted us that we were acting 
under legal authority, and directed them to make no further opposi- 
tion. No further open resistance was attempted but every means was 
used to baffle us in our efforts to get off with the property. First the 
log chain, which had been laid down and one of the men instructed to 
watch it, while the rest were re-yoking the oxen, was missing. Notic- 
ing a suspicious wisp of hay near, I rode my horse over to it, and by 
its clink, discovered the chain which had been thus neatly concealed. 
Then on going to the wagon which was partly in the river where the 
oxen had broken away from it, we found that all the linch pins had 
been abstracted. We soon, however, supplied their places with 
wooden ones, whittled from the chips lying about, and hitched the 
oxen to the wagon once more. We then drove to the place where the 
second wagon stood, which was also found to be minus the linch pins. 
Substitutes were supplied as before, and the pole of the second 
wagon lashed to the rear of the first. All this labor was performed 
amid the threats and maledictions of the Mormon mob, who declared 
we should not leave the city alive. Paying no heed to them, we were 
at last ready to proceed with our prey; but on starting up the oxen, the 
body of the second wagon came down with a crash — the king bolt 
having been secretly removed. This occurrence raised the laugh 
against us, in which we could not help joining. We were all too 
much exhausted by our previous exertions and the intense excitement 
lasting through three or four hours, to attempt the task of remount- 
ing the wagon; and so we went on our way with what we had, namely 
the yoke of oxen, one wagon and the fore wheels of another, which 
proved of sufficient value to cover the debt they were taken for. We 
arrived all safe at Carthage after 10:00 p. m., much fatigued with the 
day's work. 

To put a stop to the practice on the part of tlie Mormons of re- 
sisting officers in the execution of their duties, and to make an ex- 
ample which would deter such demonstrations in future. Major 


Warren with a party of about twenty of our officers and men, myself in- 
cluded, set off early next day to Nauvoo. There we captured i^righam 
and his brother, and two other Mormons, whom I pointed out as hav- 
ing been conspicuous in the fracas of th(3 day before. It was found 
necessary to bind the hands of one of them who made resistance to 
our taking him. The boys threw stones at us and abusive language 
was freely used, as well as insulting songs which were sung for our 
benefit. I remember but one stanza of a long doggerel, very popular 
among them, sung to the tune of "Old Dan Tucker." 

"There's Governor Ford with mind so small, 

He hasn't room for a soul at all; 
He can't be either damned nor blest, 

If heaven or hell should do their best." 

•The presence of Major Warren and our decided demonstration that 
we were not to be trifled with, suppressed any general show of re- 
sistance on the part of the Mormons, and we returned with our 
prisoners and placed them in the Carthage jail. 

A few days after I again went to Nauvoo, and remained there two 
days for the purpose of making a drawing of the Mormon temple. 
Being now on a peaceable mission I was well treated and every 
facility furnished for the prosecution of my object, and I obtained 
measurements and made sketches, from which I subsequently made 
drawings of the building. It was eighty-six feet wide in front and 
one hundred and twenty-six feet long, well and solidly built of lime- 
stone of a good quality, of a bluish white shade. The upper parts 
above the entablature were of wood, painted. The style of architec- 
ture displayed little taste, and there was nothing imposing about the 
building but its massiveness, and its fine position, which made it a 
conspicuous object in the view for miles around. There was but little 
ornament, and that consisted of suns, moons and stars, incongruously 
introduced as capitals, bases, etc., to the pilasters. The effect was 
spoiled by the numerous round and round topped windows, plenty 
enough for a factory. The whole was surmounted by a steeple. In 
the basement of the interior stood the immense stone baptising basin, 
supported on the hinder ends of a number of stone oxen, whose heads 
and horns radiated from the center. The sculpture was unlifelike 
and unfinished. The body of the building was occupied by two 
meeting rooms, or auditoriums, one above another, and alike in size 
and shape. The ceilings were flat at the sides, with a semi-cylindrical 
arch in the center, supported on pillars ; being the worst arrangement 
possible for acoustic properties. In the roof was another large hall 
and there were numerous small rooms disposed in the spaces left over 
the low parts of the large halls. Subsequent to the final departure 
of the Mormons their temx^le was burnt, and its stones were taken by 
whosoever needed them. 

May ] , 1846. The term for which the "Quincy Riflemen" were 
stationed in Hancock county having now expired, the company was 
dismissed from the service of the State by Major Warren, who ex- 
pressed the highest satisfaction of the manner in which its duties had 
been performed, and the conduct of the men while under his com- 
mand. We then mounted our horses and left Carthage, amid the 


cheers and good wishes of the inhabitants, and after a nine hours 
ride through mud and water and streams high with the spring rains 
we reached Quincy, where we found a supper provided for us as a 
welcome home. 

Before we left Carthage a petition was presented to Major Warren, 
that a small force might be retained in the county, to keep the peace 
between the two parties, and see that the Mormons performed their 
agreement of leaving the county. As the Mormons also made peti- 
tion to a similar effect, it was decided that a force of ten men should 
be stationed at Nauvoo for a short time longer. Accordingly a de- 
tachment consisting of Captain Morgan, Lieutenants Prentiss and 
Henry, and seven others, returned and proceeded to Nauvoo and made 
its headquarters at the house of Joseph Smith's widow. 

Disturbances were already on the point of recommencing, but were 
checked by proclamation from Major Warren. The Mormons were 
selling their property at a sacrifice and moving off rapidly; crossing 
.the river at an average rate of four hundred and fifty teams a week 
during our stay, and a little before the end of the month six hundred 
and seventeen teams were counted in various stages of preparation. 
Undoubtedly there was much distress amongst these poor people 
driven from their homes in an inclement season and compelled to part 
w^ith such iDroperty as they could not transport at ruinous prices, in 
order to provide the means for their journey into the wilderness, and 
for their necessities on their long and winding way. 

We had not much to do during these four weeks of our stay be- 
sides looking on to witness this remarkable exodus. We were well 
quartered and the season was getting pleasant for out door exercise, 
and w^hen otherwise, we found books to occupy our time. 

The widow of Smith appeared a sensible woman, and the son of the 
prophet, who afterwards claimed the succession, was an intelligent 
lad of about fourteen years. The prophet's mother w^as also living, 
though very aged. Her duty and delight was to exhibit an intermin- 
able roll of cere cloth, said to have been unrolled from a mummy, and 
which was covered with hieroglyphics and figures, which the old lady 
undertook to explain, but in such a mumbling tone of voice, that we 
did not learn enough to convert us to Mormonism. All we could make 
out was the frequently repeated statement "that it all went to prove 
the Book of Mormon true." 

The detachment was discharged from further service of the State 
and we returned to Quincy on the 31st of May. 

The value of the services of the "Riflemen" in causing the peace to 
remain unbroken in the disturbed county during their stay, was 
made manifest soon after our final departure by the breaking out of 
fresh hostilities between the contending parties. 

The company had very much improved in its appearance on parade, 
and its manoeuvers were executed with promptness and precision, 
and this commendation also applied to the horses who shared our 
toils and exposure.. 

It might be presumed that a number of young men thrown together 
with much idle time on their hands might run into excess, or follow 
bad examples. But strict temperance was always preserved amongst 


lis, and gambling was prohibited. As I have before indicated we had 
some good entertainers amongst ns and in music and dancing we had 
many proficients. Books wer(3 kindly loaned to ns, and athh^tic (exer- 
cises were always in order. 80 the intervals betw(H;n active duti(js 
were profitably employed to the improvement both mentally and 
physically of the individuals composing the "Quincy Rifle Company." 

13 H 



During the month of our stay in Nauvoo, war with Mexico had been 
declared, and as it was anticipated that troops would be called out 
from the several states, General Hardin invited our company to vol- 
unteer, as a part of a brigade he designed raising for an expedition 
against Santa Fe and New Mexico, which invitation we cheerfully ac- 
cepted. The project was, however, abandoned in consequence of the 
requisition of the general government for three regiments of infantr}" 
from Illinois to serve in the war with Mexico for one year. We then 
resolved to volunteer in one of the regiments called for, as a company 
under our then organization and officers ; and on returning to Quincy, 
we at once proceeded to recruit the requisite number of men. In a 
day or two this was accomplished as there were plenty of men eager 
to join, and on the 2nd of June we reported ourselves to the Gover- 
nor as ready for service, and awaiting his orders. 

To those unacquainted with the state of the western country at that 
time it may appear strange that myself and others of respectable 
standing and fair abilities, should first enlist in a troop, employed in 
so disagreeable and exposed a service, as that of ours before described, 
in the so-called " Mormon War," in which there was little to be gained 
of either honor or profit; and then after eight months of such service, 
should volunteer for actual warfare, in an infantry regiment. But for 
some years the times had been " hard " in the fullest sense of that ex- 
pression. Money was extremely scarce, except that of broken banks, 
and failure followed every attempt at industrial or commercial enter- 
prise. Living was, however, cheap and plenty, for the farmers could 
not sell their superabundant produce at remunerative rates. War is 
always popular under the pressure of bad times. And the. Mexican 
War offered an outlet for the unemployed energy and spirit of adven- 
ture; with the certainty of change, and the hope of advancement. I 
have become aware that the war was not looked upon with favor at 
the East, and with the light acquired since as to its causes and its 
purposes, I should have concurred in its condemnation. In the West- 
ern States the war was almost universally popular, and little was said, 
or if said was listened to, in opposition to it, and its ulterior objects 
were kept out of sight. L(^aving the rights and wrongs of the matter 
to the judgment of Congress, the love of adventure, or the remote 
prospect of " sacking the Halls of the Montezumas " overbore every 
other consideration, with those whose impulses led them to join the 


Oil the lf)th of June, 1846, ordors wero recfiived from Oov(?rnor 
Ford for the company to jjroceed to th(i rerid(3Zvous at Alton. Irj the 
meaiitime we had been perfecting our organization, drilling, and fur- 
nishing ourselves with new uniforms; wh.i(di hitter consisted of a gn^y 
frock coat, trimmed with black, and forage cap to match, and }>hick 
pantaloons. Being at St. Louis on other business, I called on Gov- 
ernor Ford and informed him of our state of readiness. 

On the 18th of June we landed from the steamboat which took us 
down the river from Quincy, at Alton, where we were mustered into 
the service of the United States; being the seventh company mustered 
in, and the only one as yet with full numbers. The company con- 
sisted of Captain J. D. Morgan; First Lieutenant B. M. Prentiss; 
Second Lieutenant W. Y. Henry; Sergeants Archer. Evans, myself and 
Wood, ranking as named, four corporals, two musicians and eighty priv- 
ates — together ninety-three men. Of this number only thirteen had 
previously belonged to the " Quincy Riflemen." The act of Congress 
(though afterwards altered in this respect) called only for two lieu- 
tenants, on which account together with some dispute, my brother re- 
signed his position in the company. I continued to act as secretary 
of the company, making out and taking charge of all the books and 
papers, calling the roll, etc. After a few weeks' practice in the latter 
duty I was suddenly ordered to call the roll when I had not my book 
with me. Without hesitation I went through the whole list from 
memory, and from that time discontinued the use of the book for this 

Having drawn some provisions and camp equipage, and having 
brought our own tents with us, we sought a camp ground, but none 
but a side hill offered itself, the slope of which made it difficult to 
maintain our positions and sleep also; and having no straw and no 
fuel to cook our suppers, we felt this as rather a hard beginning, but 
this was only a slight foretaste of what was to come. 

Camping grounds suitable for large bodies of men were scarce in. 
the neighborhood of Alton, the formation of thegrorund being remark- 
ably uneven, with deep sink holes, having no apparent outlet for the 
water, and large ravines betw^een broken hills. A place, however, was 
found about a mile and a half from the city which had a limited level 
spot, near a fine grove of large trees. Another company had encamped 
on the ground under brush tents, which shelter did very well in fine 
weather, but mould leak when it rained. Other companies joined the 
encampment from time to time, and after a few days all were supplied 
with tents. 

Two days after our arrival a selection of about half the company 
marched into town, and drilled there, going through the manual and 
various evolutions w^ith great precision, to the astonishment of the 
citizens and other volunteers. In the drill and discipline the " Rifle- 
men " had the advantage from the start, of other companies, which 
they maintained to the end of their service. This was mainly owing 
to the thorough acquaintance of the officers with their duties, and the 
experience gained during their service in Hancock county in the man- 
agement and instruction of men. The qualifications and behavior of 
the officers determine the character of the men under their command. 


Rough mannered officers have disorderly companies; and those com- 
panies having steady and intelligent officers are to be depended on 
for good behavior, both on and off duty. The same principle even 
extended to matters of health, as there was sure to be more sickness 
in companies whose officers were out of health or deficient in energy, 
though not exposed more than others. 

In addition to rifles, our comj)any was armed with artillery swords. 
They were about two feet long and two inches broad and double edged, 
and were a formidable addition to our means of offense at close quar- 

A sufficient number of companies having assembled, they were or- 
ganized into four regiments: The First, to which we belonged, elected 
John J. Hardin as its colonel, who thereupon mounted his s^jleiidid 
white horse, and after returning thanks, appointed our first lieuten- 
ant, B. M. Prentiss, adjutant of the regiment. W. Wetherford was 
then elected lieutenant colonel, and W. B. Warren major. 

The First Regiment of Illinois volunteers was made up of the fol- 
lowing comiDanies viz: 

The "Quincy Riflemen" from Adams county, Captain Morg-an 

A company from Cook county, Captain Wells. 

A company from Green county, Captain Fry. 

The Hardin Guards, from Morg-an county, Captain Roberts. 

A company from Schuyler county, Captain Richardson. 

A company from JoDaviess county, Captain Crow. 

A company from Morg-an county. Captain Wyatt. 

A company from La Salle county. Captain Dickey. 

A company from Scott county, Captain Montg-omery. 

A company (Rifle) from Cook county, Captain Moore. 

As Morgan's commission was the oldest by some years, our com- 
pany was awarded the right of the line. 

The Second Regiment was commanded by Colonel W. H. Bissell 
(afterward Governor of Illinois). 

The third by Colonel Forman, and the fourth by Colonel E. Baker, 
whose life was lost .at the battle of Ball's Bluff', 1861. 

General John A. Wool, U. S. A., arrived, and orders were issued 
for the several regiments to be in readiness to embark for the seat of 
war. The first and second regiments were to go to San Antonio de 
Bexar, Texas, and the third and fourth to Point Isabelle, at the 
mouth of the Rio Grande. Before embarking, the ''Riflemen'' being 
desirous of doiiuj things up in styk\ gave a dinner at the Alton 
House, to which General Shields, Colonel Churchill. Inspector Gen- 
eral U. S. A., the field officers, and captains of our regiment, and the 
colonels of the others, were invited; and most of whom attended. 
We had a jjleasant dinner, and finished off with songs and speeches. 
Colonel Churchill look(^d as if he felt himself out of place, and that 
this was an unheard of innovation on the practice of the service for 
privates to join their officers to invite a personage of his raidv. 

July IS. Our company, together with three others of the first regi- 
ment and three of the second regiment, amounting, with officers, to 
about 700 men, embarked on the steamboat "Missouri," then the 
largest boat on the river. The remainder of the force left on other 


boats about the same tim(3. Wo were rejoiced to leave Alton, as our 
stay there was rendered very uncomfortable by the exccissive heat 
and dust, which i)revailed the whole time of our stay. 

The voyage down the river was not on the whole iinxjlc-asant, 
though on drawing lots for choice of quarters we had the last, and 
had to take the only j^lace left, which was the larboard cabin guard; 
turning out, however, the most comfortable place, outside the cabin, 
on the boat. Those companies who had first choice took jjossession 
of the space abaft the engine, which was fitted up with berths, and 
before starting was cool and comfortable. But on getting under way, 
the scene changed. The engine leaked steam, the furnaces and cook 
stoves emitted smoke which, with the heat, noise and smells produced 
forward, but finding their way aft, rendered their position scarcely 
habitable. In addition to these discomforts, the lower deck was 
crowded with stores; and last, but not least, weighty annoyance was 
that the boat took on at several points large quantities of pig lead 
which was deposited V edges up on the deck, covering a large portion 
of their sleeping space. Such is the common experience of steerage 
passengers on western boats. The sergeants were offered cabin pas- 
sage at half price, but we preferred not to shrink the hardships, but 
to rough it with the rest. Our fare was hard bread, bacon and coffee 
and Mississippi water, the two latter without settlement — cooked by 
ourselves on tires built on frames tilled with earth. At night it was 
our custom, after spreading our blankets on the cabin guard, to form 
the company, and then lie down in line. 

The shore scenery of the Mississippi was monotonous until we 
reached the lower part of the river where the banks were occupied by 
plantations in a high state of cultivation, with their rows of bright 
green sugar cane running in perspective lines from the river to the 
background of dark cypress timber, overhung with Spanish moss. 
The villa residences of the rich planters were surrounded with gar- 
dens filled with flowering trees and shrubs, mostly unknown in the 
north; and near by were the humble "quarters" for the darkies, in 
strong contrast to the magnificent dwelling of their masters. As seen 
from the lofty ''hurricane deck" of our steamboat, the height of which 
enabled us to overlook the "levee" and see down into the plantations 
beyond lying many feet below the river level, [this] was to us an 
interesting and novel sight. 

We landed July 24 at the battleground, eight miles below New 
Orleans, where General Jackson defeated the British under General 
Packenham, January 8, 1814. We encamped on a flat plain, dry and 
cracked on the surface, but quakey. and seemingly semi-fluid below. 
A damp steamy heat pervaded the air, and the sun's heat was intense, 
from which there was no protection but our thin tents, and had the 
stay been long much sickness would have resulted. In a stagnant 
pond near our encampment, a young alligator about ten feet long, 
was caught and killed by the volunteers after an exciting battle, both 
in and out of the water. After tw^o days' stay, the force was shipped 
on transports to be conveyed to Texas. Two steamboats and three 
or four brigs and schooners were employed in this service, and the 
•companies were distributed to them by lot. Our company and that 


of Captain Dickey embarked on the brig "Albertina," which, with 
other vessels, was towed by a steamboat as far as the mouth of the 
river. The peculiar forms of the mouths of the Mississippi, and the 
natural formation of the "levees" which have only to be completed 
by man by adding a few feet to their height, are among the remarka- 
ble jDhenomena of the Delta. For miles before coming to the outlet 
of the river it is confined between two lines of naturally formed 
banks, separating it from the water outside, gradually decreasing in 
elevation, and continued under water long after they are lost to view. 
They are formed by the overthrow of the muddy river, which on 
escaping from its proper channel, and finding space where its velocity 
and turbulence are dinunished, drops its hitherto susj^ended allu- 
vium, and adds to the height of the banks which confine it during 
lower stages of water. The same causes produce the bars at the 
several months of the stupendous stream which, however, are contin- 
ually shifting and increasing their encroachments on the gulf.* 

The water beyond the narrowing lines of the river banks looked 
clear and placid, and water fowl abounded. 

Passing the bar the sea voyage commenced. For myself, as far as 
health was concerned, I enjoyed it, as the fresh, cool sea breezes soon 
dispersed the languid, sickly feelings which had come on during our 
short stay in Louisiana. Of my comrades, mostly western men, who 
had never seen the sea before, I regret to say that the motion of the 
vessel failed to agree with them. 

The vessel was an old one, and the rigging and sails were unsea- 
worthy, and an ordinary gale would have blown the latter to shreds; 
and some one was to blame for risking the lives of the troops in such 
vessels, particularly in the gulf, where sea room is limited, and harb- 
ors scarce and difficult to enter. The number on board was nearly 
200, including the crew, which consisted of a captain and three men, 
and on emergency, what little I knew of seafaring matters enabled me 
to be of some use in working the brig. The weather was warm, that 
is, scorching in the sun, and mild at night. The commissioned offi- 
cers occupied the cabin, but no accommodation was provided for the 
rest. It was too hot to sleep between decks, and but few availed 
themselves of quarters below. At night the tops of the cabin caboose, 
water casks, and the long boat as well as the deck, were covered by 
sleei^ing men, mostly lying spoon fashion to economize space. My 
place was on the edge of the cabin roof, where I slept soundly, un- 
conscious of discomfort, though in considerable danger of being- 
crowded off, or being swept into the sea by the spanker boom. The 
worst feature of the voyage remains to be told; when about two days 
out, the water which had been put in new casks, began to ferment and 
soon became disgusting and ropy, and its flavor was communicated to 
all food cooked in it, as well as the coffee. We refrained from drink- 
ing it as long as we could, Hut our thirst was aggravated by our diet 
of hard bread, salt pork and beans. Some in their distress attempted 
to drink the clcvir sparkling water, which Uioked so tempting when 

* It must be borne in mind that these remarks were made some years before the era of 
Captain Kads. 


just drawn from the sefi-. Our liigiily flavored drink accompanying a 
diet of fat pork, did not assist th(3 recovc^ry of th(; seasic^k, who looked 
disconsolate as they lay in the long boat amidships. 

On the )30th we made land off Passo Oabello, and after taking a 
pilot, ran into Matagorda Bay. The l)rig anchored about ten miles 
from Port Lavaca, our destination, and we were compelled to remain 
there and endure our discomforts a day and a half nior(3, though miti- 
gated partially by the finding of one or two casks of good water which 
had been reserved for cabin use, which the men tapped and drank up 
forthwith. After being eight days on board the "Albertina " we were 
landed by a tug, all in good health, excep)t one who had to be left 
when we moved on. 

August 8d, after some hard work in transferring stores from the 
boat to wagons, we left ''Port Lavaca" and marched twelve miles to 
Placideres Greek, which had been selected for the encampment, named 
" Camp Irwin " from a gentlemanly United States quartermaster (who 
since died in Mexico). We were received with cheers by those al- 
ready encamped there, who had also pitched our tents and prepared 
supi^er for us. 

'' Port Lavaca " was an inconsiderable village which had been se- 
lected as the dejDot for landing supplies for this division of the army. 
Its situation was flat and muddy, ^and the march from it was over 
prairie denominated, and justly so, " hog wallow," of which descrip- 
tion there is abundance in Texas, near the Gulf. 

Camp Irwin was on slightly rolling Jand, on the banks of a creek, 
which though dignified by that name could be jumped across, when 
not swollen by heavy rains. The weather was warm with frequent 
heavy showers, rendering the ground soft and muddy, so that parad- 
ing and drilling were performed with difficulty. The camp was or- 
ganized on strict military principles, and discipline was rigidly en- 
forced. We here received our new rifles and other equipment.* 

From this time forward our duties absorbed most of our time and 
strength and at every interval we w^ere glad to rest, no sujDerabundant 
energies and spirits were left, to get up fun and frolics, as was our 
custom in the Mormon campaigns. Our principal sport and luxury 
was bathing, which we resorted to at every opportunity. 

General Wool arrived at the camp and was received in due form by 
the two regiments. He went on the 8th. with a small escort, to San 
Antonio. On the 10th our company having been ordered to march as 
a guard to a train of wagons on the road to San Antonio, we struck 
our tents before daylight, and after breakfasting, loaded our wagon, 
only one being allowed to each company to carry all its baggage con- 
sisting of tents, tools, cooking utensils, provisions for one or more 
days, officers personal baggage, etc. By dividing the men into messes 
of twelve instead of six (the usual number), we economized in the 
weight to be carried, by dispensing with nearly one-half of the mess 
pans, camp kettles, etc., allowed, which permitted other articles to 

*It is a sing-ular fact, not creditable to the War department, that although percussion guns 
had been invented many years, and that there were many other improved and .areatly super- 
ior firearms known, that the war with Mexico was fought with old-fashioned flintlock guns. 
To this there were few exceptions, one of which was the regiment commanded bv Jeff Davis 
who had percussion rifies. 


take their place in the wagons. We shouldered our knapsacks, con- 
taining our j)ersonal baggage, which with blankets, haversacks con- 
taining provisions for the day, canteens holding about a quart of 
water, together with swords, rifles, cartridge boxes and ammunition, 
made up a considerable load to carry over the wretched roads we had 
to traverse. 

When the teams were ready to start we commenced our day's march 
to Victoria, which was said to be eighteen miles distant, but seemed 
to us much longer. For nearly two-thirds of the way the water stand- 
ing on the prairie varied from ankle to knee deep and the mud on the 
wagon track, and the long tangled grass greatly impeded both men 
and the teams ; only three of the latter were able to get to Victoria 
that night, and four of our men slept out on the prairie, being too ex- 
hausted to reach camp. For myself, I was almost overcome by the 
fatigue and the excessive heat, of the sun between the frequent show- 
ers; but finding a hillock above water about large enough to recline 
on, I laid down and slept a few minutes, under a refreshing rain, 
which so revived me that I accomplished the remainder of the march 
without difficulty. We camped on the bank of the ''Guardalup " river. 
Much rain fell in the night. 

The remainder of the force left "Camp Irwin" the next day, and 
their experience on the road was similar to ours. About two hundred 
men were unable to reach Victoria, having " give out,'' and as the 
teams also failed to get through, they all had to pass the night with- 
out tents. This exposure increased the number of sick considerably; 
many having also been left behind at " Camp Irwin." 

The " Guadalupe " at Victoria, was a deep, muddy, rapid stream 
about 200 feet wide, with perpendicular, alluvial banks. It was 
crossed by a scow ferry, propelled by the oblique action of the water 
on the scow, which was fastened to a pully running on a rope stretched 
across the river. 

With much labor the teams were crossed and assisted in getting 
through two miles of deep mud on the other side; after which the 
road led over a fine rolling prairie, crossed by two or three small streams, 
which we waded through nearly waist deep, having ceased to be par- 
ticular about wetting our feet, after the experience of the preceding 
day. We were thankful to have clean water to wade through. We 
camped on the " Coleto,-' twelve miles from Victoria, and this stream 
being too high to cross, we remained on its banks during the next 

The " Coleto " was a beautiful, clear creek with a rocky bottom. I 
here witnessed a novel process of ferrying a traveller to the other 
side, by a Mexican, who made up a large bundle of weeds in a dry 
rawhide, by drawing the corners together with his lariat. This buoy- 
ant vessel was then launched and the traveller with his baggnge, sad- 
dle, etc., seated on top. The Mexican then taking the end of the lar- 
iat x^lnnged in and swam across, towing the hide with its load to the 
other side, where th(^ traveller safely landed. The horse was then led 
over, the Mexican swimming in advance. 

About noon on the 13th, the stream having fallen a little, we began 
to get our things across. To accomplish this ^^as a matter of some 


difficulty as the water was up to our necks and running with great 
velocity, and it was only by holding up a load over our h(*ads that we 
could keep our footing. In this mnnner the bnggnge was carried 
over, and then the empty wagon was dragged through by a rope. We 
rather enjoyed the sport, but it is a wonder our health did not suffer 
from the consequences of working for several hours naked, in and 
out of the water, under the noon-day sun. After crossing we camped 
about three-quarters of a mile from the creek. 

This day the brigade came ux:» and encamjjed on the other side of 
the stream. On the 14th we started early, in the hope of keeping 
ahead of the brigade, as we much preferred detached duty which left 
us more at liberty, and under less restriction than when with the 
large body. But having a wagon train to escort, we had a hot, tedious 
march to a creek called Manahuila, where the main body came up 
with us. Here the brigade remained, to allow time for some lagging 
companies to come up. 

The country about here had a fine appearance, consisting of rolling 
prairie with scattered patches of timber, principally live oaks with 
their branches festooned with Spanish moss, with long hanging points 
waving in the breeze; its greenish grey tint harmonizing richly with 
the bright varnished leaves of the evergreen oak. Wild grapes 
abounded, rivaling in appearance tlie finest cultivated kinds. The 
men who had a craving for something acid, after having so long been 
confined to salt and dry provisions, ate of them with avidity, and evil 
consequences were feared from the indulgence; but none ensued, un- 
less it was the sore mouths from the acid quality of the grape skins. 
Deer w^ere plenty, and many were brought in by hunting parties, giv- 
ing an agreeable variety to our fare. 

The march of the 16th, was about fifteen miles, passing over the 
ground on which Fanning and his men were cut off and massacred by 
the Mexicans. The whole force marched together for the first time, 
this day. The "prickly pear" began to be abundant, and some of the 
men were made sick by eating its rich looking, but insipid fruit; be- 
sides being wounded by its sharp thorns, some being so fine as to 
look like tufts of fur, but producing bad sores where they stick. 

The march of the 17th, in consequence of not finding a suitable 
place to encamp, where it was intended to stop, was prolonged to over 
twenty miles. The excessive heat of the day, and the sandy roads to 
which we were confined much of the way by "chaparral" or low 
prickly trees and shrubs mingled with long tangled grass, impossible 
to march through, the scarcity of water, and the absence of a breeze, 
rendered this day's march very exhausting and two or three hundred 
men were unable to reach camp before night. Some of the wagons, 
also, did not arrive, so that some of the comj^anies were deprived of 
both tents and suppers. The energy of our company was shown in a 
strange manner. After having marched fifteen miles the men began 
to feel impatient to get through, and gradually increased their rate of 
walking, till the pace obliged the colonel to trot his horse to keep 
ahead of us; this was kept up for one or two miles, until we received 
positive orders to slacken our speed. 


On the 18th the encampment was moved to a better place, about a 
mile distant. It was resolved to leave here a company in charge of 
the sick, of which there were now many, the measles having broken 
out during the march from Lavaca. The whole force, as well as the 
animals, being in much heed of rest, we went no further that day. 
Insects had become troublesome, and were of all varieties and sizes 
from "trantulas" as big as a hen's egg down to a microscopical scarlet 
bug which burrowed into the skin of our feet, producing intense itch- 
ing and sores, called ''jiggers" (probably '"chigres"). 

On the 19th the brigade with the exception of the one company to 
be left and the sick, among whom were three of. our men, resumed 
their march, and after having traveled six miles, about noon, were 
met by an express from General Wool, with orders for Captain 
Webb's company, 2d regiment, to make a forced [march] in advance of 
the brigade, in order to reach San Antonio as soon as possible, where 
their services were required to guard the public stores. It so 
happened that Captain Webb's company w^as the one left behind that 
morning with the sick; and on consultation the held officers decided 
to send on the "Quincy Kiflemen" as the company in the best con- 
dition for the march, instead. 

Two mule teams had been sent to carry our baggage and ]3rovisions, 
and were at once loaded uj). The tents and all that could be spared 
were left behind to make room for our knapsacks and blankets in the 
wagons. We were then seventy-one miles distant from San Antonio. 
About 1 p. m. we commenced this march and about sunset reached 
the banks of the "Cibolo," or Cervela as they called it, a beautiful 
creek running here through a ravine about thirty feet deep. After 
bathing in the cool stream we cooked and ate our suppers and laid 
down to rest in the long grass, which before morning was saturated 
with dew. The distance marched since noon was about hfteen miles. 
The '"musquite" trees began to be abundant, and ''chaparral" more 
dense and frequent; and the short grass was so rough and sharp-edged 
that it cut and wore out our shoes and pantaloons very fast. 

Before daylight next morning we arose and were on the march, and 
crossed the creek about three miles higher where it was shallow and 
the banks less steep. From this point we could obtain no water until 
we reached the San Antonio river about noon. The sun was very 
hot, the road sandy and loose, with little shade, and we suffered much 
with thirst. We halted at a "ranche" on the river bank, and spent 
several hours resting, bathing and refreshing ourselves. It was here 
I first saw a specimen of the hairless or naked Mexican dog. A 
small party of Lipan Indians came up and examined us, and we them, 
with equal curiosity. The river at this point was about one hundred 
feet wide, with rapid current thick with whitish mud, and having 
high precipitous alluvial banks. The morning's march was twenty 
miles. At 5 p. m. we resumed it and went fourteen miles further, and 
/)7?;o/^.acA:rd on the banks of a. small stream, and having supped, laid 
down on our gmreUy b(Kls for a few hours slec^p. The march was re- 
commenced at 4 a. m. on the 21st, and by 10 o'clock we had reached 
the "'Salado" a narrow but ])retty stream fourteen miles from where 
we had passtxl the night, and about seven from our destination. 


Here we spent an hour in our usual manner, namely, in the water, 
and getting something to eat, and then pursued our weary way. The 
last tew miles of this march w(;re distressingly difficult and painful. 
The dry dusty road, under a, burning, almost vertical sun, liedged in 
on each side with low musquite bushes and ''chaparral," just sufficient 
to keep off the breeze without affording any shade, aggravated the 
effect of fatigue. Many had blistered feet, and those who had 
not, felt every time they ]put a foot down, as if it was placed on a hot 
iron. But the sight of our goal from the high ground on our way, 
encouraged us to proceed, and we arrived at the outskirts of the town 
about 8 p. m., having accomplished a distance of seventy-one miles 
within fifty-one hours, including two nights — and that at the end of a 
march of one hundred and fifty miles, in all, performed under every 
'disadvantage of season, climate, etc. We halted outside of the town, 
at one of the irrigating ditches to wash and clean up), while the caj)- 
tain went forvv^ard to report our arrival and readiness for d\ity to 
General Wool. The general was astonished at our rapid march, as 
an express which we had actually beaten in time, had reported that 
we should probably reach San Antonio in about two days more. On 
the return of the captain, the company was formed and we marched 
to our place of encampment, concealing our sufferings from sore feet 
and fatigue as best we might. The place selected w^as in a grove of 
large cotton-wood trees, or ''alamos'^ being called the ''Alameda." 
We were furnished tents by the quartermaster. 

Next day an order was received to detail a guard each night at 6 id. 
m., consisting of a sergeant, a corporal, and nine privates for the pur- 
pose of protecting the public stores. Many Indians, half breeds, 
Mexicans and disorderly stragglers of all sorts were about, rendering a 
guard highly necessary. On the 24th the brigade arrived and en- 
camped near the town and the next day moved to a fine position near 
the head of the river, to which the name of "Camp Crockett" was 
given. The volunteers looked tired and dirty, although they had 
been three days longer marching the last half of the w^ay than we 
had been. 

San Antonio de Bexar had long been a military frontier post, 
under all the changes of government Texas had undergone, namely, 
Spanish, Mexican. Texan, and that of the United States. Its general 
plan was rectangular, having a "Piazza" or open square in the cen- 
ter, and another called the "Military Piazza." The river approached 
the town from the north, and after embracing a large part of the 
tow^n in its convolutions, x^nrsued its general course to the southeast. 
The houses of the more substantial class were built of rough stone, 
plastered outside, seldom over one story high. The roofs were nearly 
fiat, constructed of cross joists of red cedar, between w^hich strips of 
wood were laid, and upon this plaster in successive layers, forming a 
mass sixteen to twenty inches thick, which, when well finished, was 
impervious to water or heat. The walls carried up formed a parapet 
to the "housetops," which were used like those of the Orientals as 
pleasant evening resorts. Windows w^ere scarce, or altogether want- 
ing, and only a few had balconies, indicating that there was an upper 
floor within. Some were built round an inner court, which, when 


there was a fig tree in the center, looked cool and shady. The lower 
class of buildings were bnilt of '^adobes'" or sun-dried brick; or of 
upright jDoles set close and the interstices plastered with the same 
white marly mud that the adobes were made of. The poles were 
bound together with strips of rawhide, and the roofs of these build- 
ings were thatched with "tule" grass from the river. The door 
openings were closed, except in very bad weather, when a stiff raw- 
hide stood on end served the purpose of a door. Within these 
'• Jackels'' little or no furniture was seen other than the universal raw 
hide, which did duty in place of beds, tables, chairs, or wheelbarrows, 
and a thousand other purposes in its whole state, in addition to its 
numerous uses when cut into strips. 

In addition to the river, and a very pretty rivulet on the west side, 
the streets were intersected by small canal which conducted a sup- 
l^ly of water in front of the houses. The river was crossed by a 
bridge, which was repaired with our help, leading to our encamp- 
ment in the "Alameda," and there was a good ford on the south side. 
The general appearance of the place was highly picturesque, being 
irregularly built, and having an Oriental style, which might perhaps 
be traced to its derivation from the Moors of old Spain. On one side 
of the plaza was the Church of San Pedro, in which services seemed 
constantly going on, the peals of its cracked bells sounding at inter- 
vals both day and night. 

We were not sorry to be continued on detached duty, although that 
we were called pn to perform was perhaps more severe than those of 
the companies with the brigade. In addition to the regular guard 
duty before mentioned, we were required to keep a force of ten or 
twelve men on duty as a patrol guard, during the first half of the 
night, to preserve order, and be ready in case of any emergency; for 
the majority of the inhabitants being Mexicans, it was much like 
being in an enemy's town. We also had frequent calls on us for 
men to assist in loading or unloading stores, and other labors. 
These various duties left us but little time for rest or recreation, and 
for the latter we had few energies to spare; the men being on duty 
about every fourth night, and the sergeants every other night, which 
together with three to five hours drilling every day, was about as 
much as we could stand. The company had rapidly improved in 
their drill and exercises, and were highly complimented on the pro- 
ficiency shown, in general orders; and both in these particulars and 
in general discipline and behavior we were far ahead of others. 
When by ourselves we paraded as a battalion, each sergeant having 
command of twenty men, which were maneuvered as companies. 

By si^ecial order of Colonel Hardin, Lieutenants McConnel and 
Black and private Henry, from other companies, and myself, were 
assigned the duty of collecting information respecting the history, 
customs, etc., of places passed through on the line of march, and of 
making drawings of buildings and objects of interest, particularly 
those in the neighborhood of San Antonio; and we were to have 
leave of absence whenever we required it for the purpose. Making 
the drawings was the share of work allot(Hl to me. I first made a 


drawing of the "Alamo" in India ink;* and then procficdHd to take 
a sketch of the Mission Church of San Jose, which being about seven 
miles from San Antonio, one of th(^. offic(;rs kindly loan(?d me his 
horse for the expedition. 1 started one afternoon and found my way 
to the "Mission" without difficulty, ird^sing on my way to the "Mis- 
sion Conception" which I intended to take a drawing of on another 
occasion. "San Jose" was remarkable for its facade, which was 
elaborately carved in stone, scroll work, supporting statues of the 
Virgin and Saints, surrounding the entrance and central window. 
The workmanship was excellent, and the design unique and rich. 

The building itself, though of tine proportions, was plain, and the 
bell tower of a rough Moresque style. The roof was of stone, arched, 
and covered with a vegetation, much of it flowering. A bearing peach 
t;ree was a conspicuous object projecting over the front. The edifice 
was fast going to decay by disintegration by weather, and the action 
of the roots of the vegetation flourishing at its expense; and though 
occupied as a church, it showed neglect of ordinary care. The inte- 
rior was plain, with a dome surmounting the transept. At the rear 
was a long range of buildings with an arched stone gallery, which 
looked as if it might have been used as cloisters. The church stood 
in the middle of a large court yard, around the wall of w^hich, w^here 
not dilapidated, were rough stone hovels and ''jakels" inhabited by 
Mexican families of the lowest class. There were also a few Texans, 
looking like bandits, occupying the rear buildings. I commenced my 
sketch from the top of one of the hovels, but as it was late and I 
feared I might not have another opportunity to complete it, I resolved 
to pass the night at the "Mission," though aware that I was incur- 
ring considerable risk in doing so. I procured some forage for my 
horse, and tied him near by, and having got some supper with a 
white man who had i30ssession of one of the rear rooms, I spread my 
blanket on the earthen floor of the long gallery, and placing my 
pistols so as to be in readiness. I laid down to sleep with my saddle 
for a pillow. I had not laid long before I was savagely attacked, by 
enemies who would be satisfied with nothing short of my heart's 
blood, and against whom all the jorecautions I had taken were of no 
avail. In short, I was nearly devoured by fleas, one of the iDlagues of 
Texas, which abounded in this old building, and flourished in the 
dust of its decay. Passing the night in an agonizing doze, I rose 
from my dusty bed on seeing the first streaks of dawn, and resumed 
my drawing; and from the rough sketch so obtained I subsequently 
made the drawing here given. I designed taking drawings of many 
other objects of interest in the neighborhood, but an event occurred 
which put an end to such intentions for the time. 

In the evening of Sept. 11th it was my turn for duty as sergeant of 
the patrol guard, and I went with a party of eight or ten men into the 

The name "Alamo" was applied greneralU' to the whole series of buildings standing, or 
which had stood around a larg-e quadrangle, as well as to the ruined church "(represented in 
the engraving-) which, though adjoining, was outside the quadrangle. The whole had been 
reduced more or less to a state of ruin by its siege and bombardment in the war for Texan 
Independence, concluding in the massacre of the entire garrison, including several who have 
become famous for their deeds, or eccentricities, t<uch as Tra\ers, Howie, Crockett and 
others. The church seemed to have been the last stronghold, and amidst the debris of its stone 
roof, when subsequently cleared away, were found parts of skeletons, copper balls, and 
other articles, mementos of the siege; as were the numerous shot holes in the front. 

The keystone over the entrance bore the date of ' '1758." 


town. Our orders were generally to suppress any disturbances which 
might occur, and arrest any riotous or disorderly persons, and to re- 
main in town until quietness prevailed. We were armed only with 
our swords, mine being a light officer's sword, and the men wearing 
their short artillery swords. Having given the men their instructions 
we separated, and while walking 'round by General Wool's headquart- 
ers the general, who was sitting outside, called me to him and en- 
quired respecting the state of the town. I told him that all was quiet 
as yet, but that there were a good many ''fandangoes "' going on, on 
which he said, " You must keep a sharp lookout on those fandangoes." 
These "fandangoes," as they were called, were dances held in the 
Mexican houses; sometimes inside and sometimes out, but in either 
case on the bare ground. They were open and free to all who chose 
to participate — it being expected, however, that the gentlemen at the 
conclusion of each dance would lead his partner to the refreshment 
table. For music they had one or more violins on which was played 
a waltz, which answered for all kinds of dances; and on other occa- 
sions this same waltz served to enliven funerals, religious processions, 
serenades, etc. The company attending these orgies consisted of 
Texans, of whom there were many about, lately discharged from serv- 
ice, teamsters, soldiers from the camps away without leave, mingled 
with Mexicans, gamblers, and roughs. Of the feminine portion of 
these assemblages I will say nothing. The scene was both disgusting 
and highly ridiculous. An apartment of considerable length and 
height but cramped in width, badly lighted with smoky candles, 
crowded with human beings, dancing furiously, perhaps a cotillion to 
a waltzing tune, or if a waltz or " contra " dance, but one portion (the 
Mexicans) knowing how, and the rest going through the figures with a 
double shuffle or other fancy steps, much to their own satisfaction. 
All this XDerformance in an atmosphere obscured with thick clouds of 
dust, raised from the dirt floor, mingled with steam from the perspir- 
ing throng, and flavored with the fumes of whisky and vile smells — 
and at a temperature which must have ranged very high in the centre 
of the mass, judging from the warmth of the weather outside. In 
connection with these " fandangoes " were " monte '' tables at which 
their visitors could try their fortune against the bank, in amounts 
from a " j)icayune " and upwards. It could hardly be expected other- 
wise, than that these disorderly assemblages should lead to quarrels 
and outbreaks amongst their ill-assorted attenders, excited by drink 
and plaj^ Accordingly about 11:00 o'clock information was brought 
to me that a violent disturbance had broken out at a " fan- 
dango" in one of the houses on the square. With two or three. of our 
men I went to the place and found a man in a high state of excite- 
ment, swearing awfully, and threatening the lives of all who inter- 
fered with him. What the row was about or how it commenced, I 
never learned. I stepped up and requested him to be quiet, when he 
turned on me, x^resenting Ids pistol to my breast. I then spoke in a 
more pertniiptory tone and advanced on him, while he retreated hold- 
ing th(^ pistol between us. until his friends opened a door beliind him 
and he made his escape. I would liave becni wt^ll satisfied to have it 
end so, but a few minutes after word was brought me that the same 


man was going on as before^ and boasting that ha had driven off the 
guard. Upon this I rtisoived to arrest him and w(3nfc to the scernj of 
action accompanied by anoth(3r s(3rgeaiit of our company ;ind three; or 
four of our men. I entered the building, which was n gambling house; 
full of people, in the midst of whom was the ruffian, who as I ap- 
proached again presented his j^istol, when I for the first time drew my 
sword, but without making further hostile demonstration. As I ad- 
vanced he in the excitement of rage or liquor, fired, but without de- 
liberate aim, or he would have aimed at a more vital part. Had I 
been properly supported, it is likely that on seeing a superior force 
against him he would not have used his pistol, but the sergeant who 
was with me not only did not enter the building himself, but pre- 
vented the men from following me in, and assisting in the intended 
capture. The shot took effect in my right knee and I fell back on a 
settee but sprung up again intending to cut him down, but my right 
leg failing me I fell to the floor in a sitting posture but with the limb 
below the knee at an unnatural angle. Our men rushed in and seized 
the man, and came near executing summary justice on him, and I was 
near being trampled to death in the confusion. Assistance was sum- 
moned from the camp, and the prisoner taken there under a strong 
guard. I was carried on the settee to a house ajjpropriated for a hos- 
pital, but without any accommodations beside the bare room. There 
were no beds, and I was laid on the floor with nothing but a single 
blanket between me and the boards, and not until the next night was 
a cot provided. The ball had entered about an inch above the knee, 
breaking the end of the thigh bone, and resulted in the shortening of 
the leg, and partial stiffening of the joint. The ball was lodged in 
the bone and no attempt was made to extract it. Amputation was 
usual in such cases, but being in perfect health at the time, and no 
unfavorable symptoms showing themselves the operation was not per- 
formed. I omit the detail of what I suffered, and the lack of com- 
forts for a wounded man for there was no '' sanitary commission '" 
then. . 

By General Wool's order Hardy, the Texan who had shot me, was 
turned over to the civil authorities, who immediately set him at liberty 
— when he was again seized by our men and taken to the camp on 
the Alameda. They were followed by a large mob of Texans who 
threatened to release him by force. The com^^any was then drawn up 
with loaded rifles, and their spokesman who was very abusive, was 
arrested by order of Captain Morgan, when the Texans, seeing that 
their menaces were of no avail, retired. Both prisoners were then 
again given up by order of General Wool, who would not take the re- 
sponsibility of punishing Hardy, as the place had not been placed 
under martial law. Such being the case, the orders under which we 
were performing this disagreeable duty, should not have been given, 
unless the general was prepared to sustain us in the consequences of 
carrying them out. The civil authorities had neither the will nor the 
power to execute justice against Texans, and Hardy was not even 
brought to trial. He met the fate he deserved at other hands, at Mat- 
amoras in 1850, when he was hung by lynch law, for having shc^t a 
man down. He had taken several lives before. 


As it was very hot in the house where I was, I was taken to a tem- 
porary hospital nncler the trees of the Alameda, near the encampment 
of the company. It consisted of a light wooden frame over which was 
stretched large tarpaulins, with tent cloth curtains to let down at 
night. In it were arranged rough cot bedsteads for the xDatients. In the 
day time when there was a fresh breeze I found it more tolerable than 
the house, but when night came and the curtains were let down, the 
sights, sounds, and odors from the numerous patients, sick or injured, 
was horrible; some delirious with fever, tossing, moaning, and talking 
constantly, others suffering from neglect, and occasionally when some 
man was near his end, his friends would assemble round and howl 
Methodist hymns to the annoyance of those in want of sleep. Through 
long wakeful nights I have listened to these sounds, interspersed with 
the shrill howling and barking of the wolves, over the shallow graves 
of those volunteers who had finished their earthly campaign. I was 
myself well attended to by members of my own company, and though 
at one time, reduced very low by complaints brought on by rain leak- 
ing on to my cot, my wound healed rapidly and the bone united, 
though tender for a long time. 

Our first lieutenant, B. M. Prentiss, was elected captain of Com- 
X^any I, in place of Captain Dickey, who resigned on account of ill 
health, and Sergeant Evans was elected to fill the vacancy in our com- 

On September ^6th the first division of General Wool's army 
marched, enroute for the Rio Grande, consisting of two companies U . 
S. Dragoons, one company Flying Artillery, two companies U. S. In- 
fantry, Captain William's company Kentucky Infantry, six com- 
panies Arkansas Cavalry, Colonel Yell's , Captain Morgan's and Cap- 
tain Prentiss' companies of the First regiment and Captain Webb's 
and Captain Lemon's of the Second regiment, Illinois A^olunteers; the 
whole under the command of Colonel Harney, U. S. A. 

The rest of General Wool's army took their departure early in 
October — leaving Captain Hacker's 2nd Illinois in charge of San 
Antonio. A number of sick were left behind, including four of our 
company. I felt somewhat sad on parting with the comrades I had 
been with so long. Colonel Hardin, Major Warren and many other 
officers of the two regiments came also to take leave of me, as also did 
Adjutant General McDowell and other officers, who had shown me 
much kind sympathy in my misfortune. 

Captain J. H. Ralston from Quincy, 111., with whom I had hereto- 
fore had some acquaintance, arrived in San Antonio October 1 3th, 
having been assigned to duty at this Post, and came to see me. He 
was in want of a clerk, particularly of one who could be depended on 
to remain in the office, as steady characters were difficult to obtain; 
and seeing that I, in my then condition, could not but suit him in 
that particular, he agreed to employ me, being also prompted by his 
kind feelings to remove me from the discomforts of the hospital, to 
his own quartc^rs. 

The building formerly occui)ied as headcpiarters being now vacant, 
th(^ hospital was established there, and the weather having become 
cold and disagreeable, all the sick and disabled were removed thither 



with the exception of myself and the corpse of a man who had dif;d 
that day, It became late and the chill of (evening w;is apx^roachin^; 
and thus in the dismantled hospital, in solitude, and almost as help- 
less as my quiet comi^anion, was 1 left, and I fean.'d forgotten. 
From this hour I date the turning point in my fortunes. 

However, before it was quite dark, a party of Captain Hacker's men 
apijeared and carried me, cot and all, to Cajjtain Kalston's quarters. 
From this time I was able to make myself useful as a clerk, first sit- 
ting up in bed, with a small desk before me, and then as my wound 
gradually healed, I was able to do more and increase in usefulness. 

Of the subsequent career of the "Quincy Riflemen" I have little to 
say, as I did not rejoin them. They preserved their character for 
energy and discipline throughout the campaign. 

During the battle of Buena Vista it was, with three other selected 
companies, charged with the defence of Saltillo, but they were not 
attacked. On the third day of the battle they were called to the 
front, but the Mexicans had retreated. 

Colonel Hardin was killed on the field of battle. 

14 H 



In about a month after I was wounded (September 11, 1846) I was 
removed from the military hospital tent to the ofSce of Captain J. 
H. Ralston, a newly appointed Assistant Quartermaster U.S. Army. 
Being" still unable to stand I was removed in my cot, and. for some 
weeks I transacted business on a table constructed for that purpose, 
and set across my bed. My recovery was slow but improvement was 
continuous and in November I was able to get about a little on 
crutches, and in a few months more to substitute for these, two, and 
then one, cane. 

From December 18, 1846, to January 3, 1847, was occupied in a 
journey to a post on the Rio Grande, at the point where the army of 
Greneral Wool had crossed into Mexico. It was about one hundred 
and eighty miles from San Antonio and six miles from the town in 
Mexico called Precedio. We accompanied a large train of loaded 
wagons, and a body of about two hundred men, consisting of a small 
cavalry guard, a lot of mechanics and other employes, and a number 
of invalids who had been left behind, but were now sufficiently re- 
covered to join their regiments. Captain Ralston and myself had 
expected to proceed with the train to the seat of war, but after the 
train had gone a day's journey on its way from San Antonio orders 
were received from the head of the department for Captain Ralston 
to relieve Captain Wall of his duties in San Antonio, while the latter 
was ordered to report for duty in the line. Under the circumstances 
it was arranged that w^e should go with the train as far as the Rio 
Grande, and there turn over tlie property to another officer who would 
proceed with it to Mexico, while we returned to San Antonio. 

On the return of Captain Ralston and myself to San Antonio, the 
Quartermaster's stores and other property remaining in the hands of 
Captain Wall, U. S. A. were ''turned over'' to Captain Ralston; the 
process of which occupied us busily for several days. These stores, 
in addition to animals, wagons, etc., denominated "means of trans- 
portation," consisted of articles which had been purchased on the 
outbreak of the war, and forwarded to San Antonio, many of which 
were in surplus quantity, or w^re unsuitable to the needs of the army. 
For instance, a large quantity of pack saddles had been provided in 
view of a probable advance across a rough or mountainous country, 
impassable to wagons, as was known to be the direct route to 
Cliihuahua. Of course the best and most serviceable of everything 
was taken on by tlie army on its march into Mexico, and consequently 
most of the ])roperty thus left in our hands was unsuitable to the 
necessities of tlie army at that time or was in bad condition. Horses 


and mules worn out, sick, and disabled, mostly by harness galls, re- 
quired rest, medicine and recuperation; wagons re{|uir(.'d (extensive 
repairs, and even rebuilding, in some cases, from th(i dc^bris of s(;v(;ral 
shattered vehicles of the kind, the parts of which thus Vjrought 
together would again become serviceable. The care of all this pro- 
l)erty, with the i)urchase of other animals, forage and material of 
many kinds, together with the receipt of large supplies from New 
Orleans, and its distribution, some to the army gone to the front, nnd 
some to posts on the Texan frontier, constituted a very large Vjusiness, 
involving the expenditure of large sums of money and the employ- 
ment of many men. The ready money for these operations was ob- 
tained by drafts on the U. S. Quartermaster at New Orleans, which 
were readily cashed by the merchants of the town. The cash thus 
furnished us was mostly in Mexican dollars, dirty to count, and in- 
convenient to handle, though occasionally we would get a few gold 
pieces. Requisitions for Quartermaster's sux)plies, including at first 
much grain, were made on the department at New Orleans, all of 
which had to be hauled from Port Lavaca. Besides that of our own 
department, the transx3ortation of large supplies for the subsistence 
department had to be provided by us. 

We continued to fit out wagon trains and load them with supplies 
for the army until it had advanced too far into Mexico, or occupied 
positions where they could procure supplies from other directions. 
Afterwards the fitting out of Texan troops for frontier service, and 
their subsequent supply of forage and other necessaries furnished 
employment for a large number of men and animals. 

We purchased from time to time a large number of horses and 
mules, besides paying rewards for animals brought in occasionally by 
men who had picked up abandoned or lost horses, some of which had 
been found running with herds of mustangs, and had been recap- 
tured. Having the U. S. brand indelibly marked on them, rendered 
these animals liable to be reclaimed by the U. S. authorities wherever 
found— otherwise we should have had to pay full value for their 
return, if returned at all. 

It was a remarkable circumstance, that being so near the seat of 
war, we were in almost total ignorance of the great events which were 
going on, and did not learn of the movements which were made, of 
the numerous skirmishes of the enemy, or even of the great battles 
until long after they were fought. Our only mode of communication 
with the army in front was by means of solitary ex^jress riders, who 
were employed only when there was anything especially important to 
transmit. These men would choose a fast horse capable of long 
endurance of fatigue — lightly equipped with skeleton saddle, bridle 
and lariat; with a bag of corn meal and grated meat and a little 
ground coffee, and a coffee mug as their only cooking utensil. A 
Mexican blanket, buckskin leggins, in addition to their ordinary 
apparel, a knife and a pair of pistols, completed their equipment, 
Depending on their alertness, and on the fleetness of their horses for 
their safety, these riders had to run the gauntlet of the numerous 
enemies in their path — Indians, Mexicans, or wolves. Sometimes 
news was brought in by Mexicans. It was in this way that we heard 


the first rumor of the battle of Buena Vista. I gather from some of 
my old letters the following: In February, we heard of the capture 
of Cassius M. Clay and Major Borland with a small force of Arkansas 
cavalry. In March, an express arrived in ten days from Comargo, 
with an order from Colonel Curtis, commanding there, to the Gover- 
nor of Texas, calling for 2,000 mounted men, in consequence of news 
having been received there that General Taylor had had several 
fights with the Mexicans, and was retreating from Saltillo, and that 
Mier was in the hands of the Mexicans, who were then marching on 

On March 22, (a month after the battle of Buena Vista) a report 
was brought in by a Mexican, who said that he was at a x^lace about 
150 miles from San Luis, and saw Santa Anna and his army XD'ass 
on their way to attack General Taylor at Saltillo, 20,000 strong. He 
afterwards saw them returning in full retreat with only 17,000 men, 
they having attacked General Taylor at his camp nine miles beyond 
Saltillo, and were repulsed with a loss of 5,000 men killed, wounded, 
prisoners or deserted. They could not tell how many Americans 
were killed, as they could not penetrate their camp. This news, so 
substantially true, came in so questionable a shaj^e that we hardly 
knew whether to believe it or not; and knowing that a large portion 
of the troox^s had been withdrawn from Taylor's army to join that of 
Scott, and that the remaining force was only about 1,000 to 5.000 
men, we could hardly believe that our friends had defeated four times 
their number. Our anxiety to know more was consequently intense, 
mine esxjecially so, to which was added the disappointment I felt at 
not being able to be with my comrades in the hour of danger.* 

In our state of isolation at that time, even news from the States 
and letters from home were several weeks on their way, and occasion- 
ally months, from their having been sent to the army in other 
directions. From occasional return volunteers we obtained some 
particulars of which I here summarize a few relating to the division 
and company to which I belonged: 

On the march into Mexico, Colonel Churchill, Inspector General 
U. S. A., was in command of one division. He was so much of a 
martinet as to be exceedingly unpopular with volunteers, who of 
course took their revenge on him whenever opportunity otfV^red to do 
so without detection. Guns would be fired off at night contrary to 
strict orders; altercations and imaginary dog fights would be gotten 
up in the vicinity of the officers' tents, and the suppositious canines 
woukl be incited to the attack with cries of "Go it, Churchill!"' 
"Seize him, Thomas!" — the latter being the name of the quarter- 
master in chief, who had rendered himself almost equally unpopular. 
One day a man shot a deer within the prescribed limits in the 
vicinity of the camp, and being arrested. Colonel Churchill, after 
lecturing him severely, hinted that he would let him off if he would 

* Perhaps the wound T had received had hcen fortunate in one respect, for at the time that 
our lirst lieutenant was chosen to command another company, it was intimated to nic, 1 know 
not on what antliority, that I would have been ai)pointed to the adjutancy he resifjned. had 
not my wound prevented my performing: the duties. The new adjutant of the reafiment, 
Whiteside, was killed on the field of battle with Colonel Hardin and others. 


send around a quarter of the venison to his tent— lout the volun- 
teer, seeing his oj^portunity to turn th(3 tables on his jud^e, drew 
himself up and said, quoting the language of (Jolonel Churchill, "that 
he could not think of becoming a party to such a breach of rlis- 

Morgan's company had been sent on with the advance, and had 
given further proofs of its discix^line and endurance in the long 
marches, and of its reliability when stationed in towns, on the line 
of march. It was with several other companies for some time sta- 
tioned in Monciova to guard the magazines and stores, and control 
the population, who were very hostile. As the Mexican authorities 
had been deposed, a member of our company, who at home had been 
familiar with the practice in petty courts, was appointed "Alcalde." 
It is related that his rule partook somewhat of the character of justice 
a's administered in some Eastern nations, and that when a Mexican 
was brought before him for some misdem.eanor, it was his custom to 
order him "half a dozen" to prepare his mind for the examination. 
Severity was, however, tempered by fun in most cases. 

The companies of Morgan and Prentiss and two others had been 
selected by General Wood to occupy and defend Saltillo, and conse- 
quently they were not in the Battle of Buena Vista, though threatened 
with attack by a large force in the rear, under General Urea. On the 
night following the second day's fight, this reserve force was ordered 
to the front, where they expected to meet the enemy on the third day, 
but to their great surprise, at break of day no enemy was to be seen. 
They had gone, leaving their fires burning to deceive us, and were 
already many miles on their retreat. 

The regiment remained in that vicinity till near the expiration of 
its term of service, when they were ordered to New Orleans, and were 
there discharged and paid in June, 1847. As my company did not 
return through San Antonio, I was disappointed of the pleasure of 
meeting with them. My eldest brother. Charles, who had joined the 
4th Illinois regiment in the capacity of sergeant major, had gone 
with it to Point Isabelle at the mouth of the Rio Grande. He was 
soon after promoted to adjutant of the regiment, and. from his 
superior experience, substantially its commander. His regiment 
went to Comargo, and then to Tampico and from thence by water to 
Vera Cruz, and was present at its bombardment and capture. At the 
Battle of Cerro Gordo the two Illinois regiments were under fire for 
some hours, and a large number of their men were killed and wounded, 
and the commander of the brigade. General Shields, was severely 
wounded by a ball through the lungs. While the regulars were at- 
tacking the principal forts, the Illinois men found their way round 
to some batteries on the left of the Mexican line, which they captured 
and turned the guns upon the enemy as the latter retreated. Con- 
tinuing the charge they soon after came upon the carriage of Santa 
Anna, from which the General had but just before escaped on one of 
the mules, cut from the traces. Amongst the effects found in the 
carriage was the General's cork leg, which was held up as a trophy 
4.0 the view of the troops. 


The 8rd and 4th regiments suffered much by sickness, losing by 
death and discharge for disability, nearly one-half their numbers, 
contrasting strongly with the 1st and 2nd regiments, who, having a 
healthier line of march, lost comparatively few. 

To return to the subject of our life and duties at San Antonio. 
Every three months very voluminous accounts of all business done 
in that interval had to be rendered to the proper accounting officers 
at Washington. These were not only money accounts of amounts re- 
ceived and expended, but jDroperty accounts, showing how and from 
whom all articles of pro^Derty had been received, purchased, made, 
found or otherwise acquired; and how the same had been issued, 
turned over, used, lost or otherwise expended, concluding with the 
balance of each article remaining on hand; and eA^ery transaction 
having to be supported by satisfactory vouchers. The number of 
different articles being very large, and each requiring a separate 
column, the several classified abstracts, and the general account filled 
many pages of foolscap; and having to be made out in triplicate, the 
ends of the several quarters were busy times for us. In addition, 
other accounts had to be made out monthly, and there were many 
letters and reports, which were mostly written by myself. Similar 
accounts had to be rendered also of the ordnance and medical stores 
in our hands. 

The system of army accounts is very elaborate, and holds officers 
to a very strict account, charging to them personally any deficiency 
for which they cannot render a satisfactory explanation. In many of 
the casualties of war, however, it is impossible to take vouchers for all 
hurried issues and much property is found wanting and unaccounted 
for. Many a staff' officer is indebted to a battle or some like dis- 
turbance for enabling him to settle accounts which otherwise could 
not bear too close a scrutiny. 

Office work was done at considerable disadvantage in the Mexican 
building we occupied; as for light and ventilation, the doors had to 
be kept wide oioen, and the floors being level with the streets, and 
composed of the same materials, the dust was very annoying. Not 
from the doors alone did this pest of a dry climate come uiDon us, 
but having had spread over our tule thatched roof a large tarpaulin 
to remedy some of its deficiencies, on one occasion a violent 
"Norther" suddenly ripx3ed it otf, and we were showered with the 
accumulated dust in the old roof. 

Early in the spring of 1847 the idea of turning the then ruinous 
Alamo building to some account as a depot for army stores, and for 
offices, workshops, etc., was entertained, These buildings having 
been used by Texas as a fortification in their war Avith Mexico, they 
became by the treaty of annexation the property of the United States. 
Captain Ralston seeing that they could be made aA^ailable at an in- 
considerable expense, and having obtained permission from the 
quartermaster general, proceeded to put the plan in execution, and 
by his direction I made out plans and estimates for placing them in 
serviceable condition, in which my knowledge of construction became 
available. In thc^ coarse of a few months these ruins were cxDUA^erted 


into amjjle storehouses for ({"aartermastc^r x->roijerty, mu] otlicrs for 
ordnance proi:)erty and medicine stones, foragfi hous(;s, fjJacksrnitlis, 
carpenters, wagon makers, harness and other workshojjs, nisostabling 
and mule yards. Besides these, a convenient office and quarters for 
Cajjtain Kalston, and myself and other clerks wer(3 fitted ujj. 

The lumber for the roofs, floors, etc., of Southern iniic, shingies,- 
etc., was obtained from Bastro^J, and hauled from there a distance of 
about one hundred miles, timber suitable for the jjurixjse not b(3ing 
obtainable nearer. The ruinous portions of the walls were re^jaired, 
and the old plaster or concrete roofs removed, in which operations 
many thousands of bats were unceremoniously evicted, and rendered 
homeless, and from that time each was dependant for a lodging liter- 
ally on his own hook. 

The buildings thus remodelled, extended (see plan) from the corner 
next to the church, along the east line of the quadrangle, a length of 
about two hundred feet. They averaged about eighteen to twenty 
feet wide outside and twelve to eighteen inside. The height of the 
walls was twenty feet and over, so that in parts we put in floors 
midway. The office was in the south end, and Captain Ralston had 
a room 'round the corner. They were fitted up with rough tables, 
stools and cot bedsteads. These quarters being elevated one story 
above the ground, and having plastered walls, glass windows and a 
wooden floor, were a vast improvement on those we before occupied. 

I can present nothing new regarding the history of the Alamo, but 
can only give the account of the condition in which we found it in 
1846-47, and subsequent developments on clearing away the debris of 
the fallen walls and roofs. There was no pretentions to ornamental 
architecture except in the facade of the church, and portions of its 
interior. Such of the other buildings as remained, having the usual 
thick and roughly-built stone walls, and heavy plaster roofs. These 
we rebuilt and adapted to our purposes without remorse, but the 
church we respected as an historical relic — and as such its charac- 
teristics were not marred by us. We had the debris cleared away 
from the interior, in which process several skeletons and other relics 
of the siege were found. I regret to see by a late engraving of this 
ruin, that tasteless hands have evened off the rough walls, as they 
were left after the siege, surmounting them with a ridiculous scroll, 
giving the building the appearance of the headboard of a bedstead. 
The care thus shown, however questionable the taste of its execution, 
is highly commendable, when compared with the wanton destruction 
with which other curious buildings in the vicinity have been visited, 
by relic hunters, or other vandals and iconoclasts. 

The keystone over the front entrance bore the date, 1758. Numer- 
ous shot holes, and the demolished roof, and probably towers, bore 
testimony to the severity of the bombardment; this part, from its 
stronger built walls, having been resorted to as the last stronghold of 
the devoted band. On either side of the entrance was a small vaulted 
room, having each a small window opening to the front. The roof 
had been of stone, of a semicircular arch springing from the side 
walls, which were as usual in the form of the Latin cross, and were 


well and solidly built. Adjoining the transept on one side was a 
vaulted room strongly built of stone, which we made use of, after 
properly securing the entrances, as a magazine, in which was stored 
the large amount of ammunition in our hands. 

Captain James H. Ralston 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 construc- 
tionist " 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." 

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 
dei^artments at Washington were gotten up in the same manner. 
When it became probable that we should be stationed for some time 
at San Antonio, Captain Ralston sent for his wife to join him. She 
died in a few months after her arrival. 

My brother, S. W. Everett, was in Quincy, 111., studying medicine, 
and as we had medical stores to receive and issue, as well as need for 
his services otherwise, I sent for him to come to us. Of course I was 
rejoiced to see him after so long a separation, during which I had 
been through so much. He was put in charge of the ordnance and 
medical stores, and besides these duties he had many opportunities of 
practice in his profession, and was sometimes called on to take the 
place of the surgeons at the Texan camps during their temporary ab- 
sences ; and although at that time he had not attended even his first 
term at a medical college, he was very successful in the treatment of 
such cases as came into his hands. 

Soon after our return from the Rio Grrande, attempts were made to 
raise a Texan regiment for the war, and Colonel Groghan, inspector 
general, was at San Antonio for the purpose of mustering them in. 
This officer was a striking contrast to his brother inspector, before 
spoken of, in his manner towards volunteers and others. He took 
much interest in me and promised to use his influence in getting me 
a i30sition in the engineer department. I made for him some maps 
of the Texan frontier from the best information then obtainable. 

The attempt to raise Texan troops for the war was almost a failure, 
as they were unwilling to volunteer for a service where they would 
have to submit to discipline the same as other troops and have their 
plundering and murderous propensities interfered with. Enlistment 
for this service was conseqiiently very slow, but at the same time 
there were plenty of volunteers to be had for service on the frontiers 
of Texas to defend the sparse outside settlements from Indian raids. 
I suppose there was sonu^ real need for a force for this purpose, but 
to furthc^r influence the government to authorize, and pay for its es- 


tablishment, it was said that fictitious Indian raids wore gotten up, 
and these demonstrated being (enhanced by (jxaggf^rated n^ports, at 
last had the desired effect; and the several conijjanies, as they were 
successively organized and equipped, were located at widely s(ij;arated 
posts. The distance from the Red River to the Rio (xrandci measured 
on the curve enclosing the outside settlement was probably over seven 
hundred miles, and the several comfjanies or detachments of them 
were stationed at varying intervals where their presences was thought 
to be most needed, some being as far as three hundred miles from 
San Antonio. 

The Texan Volunteers who had participated in the war, had no 
doubt rendered efficient service towards the conquest of Mexico — but 
it was in their own way — and their conduct when not restrained by 
the presence of other troops, resembled that of what is known as "bum- 
mers " and a not infrequent exploit was the plunder and outrage of 
defenceless villages or ranchers. When compelled to observe the 
rules of discipline, the war became distasteful to them, and when 
disbanded many returned and joined the Rangers for service in their 
own State. I speak and judge of them on the average, according to 
what I saw and heard — but in corroboration of my view it is reported 
that when General Taylor disbanded them after the taking of Mon- 
terey, ''he thanked God that the last Texan Ranger w^as discharged." 

Of their mode of fighting Indians; I present an account written by 
one of themselves, cut from newspaper, which may be taken as a fair 
sample, showing how, after allowing their horses to be "stampeded" 
(which was because they were too lazy to keep guard, or watch over 
them) a strong force of Rangers followed and fought the Indians, 
charging, as they express it, "furiously within two hundred yards" — 
but keeping at long range so that the only man injured, beyond the 
surmise that a chief was killed, was one wounded of their own party. 
The principal execution done being the shooting of their own horses. 
(See following extract): 

Indian Fight. — We take the following extract from a letter written 
by Samuel C. Whiting, a member of Cax^tain Yeache's company of 
Rangers stationed on the Rio Grande. The letter is dated 30th 
April, ultimo. 

"On the 13th inst., six of us left our encampment for Captain 
Gillette's station, ninety miles from this post, on the Arroyo Leona. 
Our scouts meet regularly on the first and fifteenth of every month 
for the purpose of conveying letters, etc. As w^e were on our return 
back to our station on the evening of the seventeenth, we had 
encamped near a salt lake within five miles of Live Oak creek, when 
twenty-five or thirty Indians came yelling through our camp with a 
most frightful appearance and stampeded all our horses but one, 
which fortunately had been made secure close by our camp. When 
the Indians found that they had our horses safe, they halted and 
fired a few rounds at us, thinking to drive us from our position; but 
meeting a firm resistance, they traveled on, yelling after our horses, 
as far as we could hear them. During the stampede we made our 
rifles tell a frightful tale among the savages, but they kept such a 


prancing and capering about that we could effect but little. In this 
skirmish none of us received any injury but the loss of our horses. 
Old Hose, a Mexican who was with us, was immediately dispatched 
to the main encampment for more men; and had not started more 
than five minutes when we heard the Indians whooping in pursuit 
and followed him nearly to the Rio Grande, about thirty miles dis- 
tant, but his horse being very fleet he made his escape. The remain- 
ing five of us commenced our march about dark for camp, trudging 
through mud and water ankle deej), which we reached next day about 
twelve o'clock, after a tramp of thirty-five miles, worn down with 
fatigue and hunger, having nothing to eat for forty-eight hours. 

'*0n the twentieth, forty of us left camp in pursuit of the Indians. 
We struck their trail within 200 yards of the place where our horses 
were stampeded. They had come to our camp on the morning after 
we left, cut to pieces our bridles and saddles, and then moved down 
the country, making a large trail. We followed them till the evening 
of the twenty-third through boggy prairie, rain falling every day, so 
that our horses came near sinking from exhaustion. On this evening 
our spies ahead waved their hats for us to move on. The place of 
their encampment was in sight. As soon as they perceived the spies, 
six in number, the Indians hoisted a red blanket and raised the war- 
whoop. But when the main body of us dashed furiously up within 200 
yards, dismounted and tied our horses for the fight, the Indians low- 
ered their red flag and hoisted a white one. But the boys couldn't 
swallow this deceptive pill, and commenced pouring a broadside into 
the ranks of the enemy. The Indians now formed in battle array and 
we fought them about half an hour, when they fled into the chaparrel, 
leaving all their effects behind them. During the fight, the Old 
Chief charged about on one of the horses which was taken from us 
before — a beaiitif ul gray, with his neck painted red. We are satisfied 
that he was killed, as he was found dead and his war club and shield 
near him, which I have in my possession. I made two fair shots at 
him, besides many others which he received. Fifteen of us pursued 
them through the chaparrel on foot and gave them a running fight, 
while the remainder of the company went in pursuit of the cavayard. 
Doubtless, many of the Indians were killed, judging from the blood 
found in many places. Samuel Turner was the only man of us 
wounded — who was shot through the right breast — none killed. The 
Indians numbering thirty- five or forty. When we charged them, 
they cried out, "Lipans!" after having showed us a fighting pro- 

''We took from the Indians twenty-seven mules and two horses, 
besides their entire camp effects of buffalo robes, Spanish blankets 
and many other articles, amounting in value to perhaps eight or nine 
hundred dollars. 

"\AV found them on a creek called Arroyo Pena, about seventy 
miles from this post." 

It was said that one of the party returning to the camp on foot, 
after having suffered the Indians to steal their horses, commenced 
his narrative by cautioning his companions '"not to laugh,'' in a most 
m(macing manner. 


I do not remember of hearing of any more serious engagement, 
though occasionally a member of a scoutirig party would conK.^ in, 
with exhausted steed, and tell a tale of honor that the party had 
been attacked and thtit all had been cut olf but himself. Soon after 
another of the party would arrive, with a similar but not quite the 
same story— then others would arrive, 'till the whole party would 
assemble, proving that they had been more frightened than hurt. 

In one of my brother's letters I find the foUovving extract, ha hav- 
ing gouQ to one of the most distant of the cam^JS to supply the jjlace 
of a surgeon, temporarily absent: 

'" The Texans treated me very well, and appeared to more advfint- 
age in canvp than they would in courf. They were out of spirits, and 
this circumstance caused great imjjrovement in their conduct. I be- 
lieve they are the most ungovernable set of beings in the world: no 
officer dare command them to do anything they do not like, although 
they will suffer and api^ear to expect the worst of swearing and bad 
language whenever they are addressed." 

Their general feeling towards the United States was, as it is re- 
ported to have been said by Colonel Hayes, '' that he did not care if 
the United States were to sink, if Texas floated." 

The first few companies of Rangers were long in organizing as be- 
fore mentioned, and w^ere meanwhile encamped in the vicinity of San 
Antonio, and being under no discipline whatever, the men came into 
town when they pleased, frequenting the grog shojjs, and gambling 
houses and committing outrages of all kinds. 

One day while sitting at my writing table within a few feet of the 
open door, two drunken Eangers rode past, and a young man em- 
ployed in the office, impudently made some remark, at w^hich they 
chose to take offense, and stopi^ed their horses, and rode back. The 
young man had gotten himself out of the way — but seeing me the 
Rangers turned their abuse on me, drawing their pistols and calling 
me with dire imprecations to " come out and they w^ould give me an- 
other lame leg." I had no weapons handy, and the odds were against 
me if I had, and if I had retreated probably a shot would have fol- 
low^ed me. So I sat still, pretending to go on w4th my writing, and 
paying no attention to them. They continued riding to and fro be- 
fore the office for some time, and at last rode off, I presume to take 
another drink and boast of their courageous conduct. 

The usage of the Mexican population by these men and their com- 
peers was shameful. Shooting or robbing them was of frequent oc- 
curence, and little was thought of it, and no redress was to be had. 
On the other hand, justice (?) was not inclined to let the accused es- 
cape punishment when the culprit was a Mexican or an Indian. A 
Mexican had been shot by an Indian, it was supposed by accident, 
and the Indian was caught and confined; but in the night they left 
him apparently unguarded, so that he got out and tried to get away. 
But the Texans were on hand and shot him as he ran, and then dis- 
patched him with an axe. 

A not uncommon outrage was for a mounted and armed Texan to 
ride into a store and defy any one to put him out. On one occasion, 
however, one of these desperadoes met his match, and was without 


ceremony pulled off his horse and stabbed or shot before he could nse 
his own weapons. 

The man who had shot me was never brought to trial. He was so 
highly esteemed for that and other exploits that he was made a lieu- 
tenant of one of the new companies. 

I had a dispute with a Captain Crump of one of these Ranger com- 
panies, on account of some pistols which they had from us for a day's 
expedition in consequence of some false alarm of Indians. These pis- 
tols were returned in such bad order that I refused to receipt for 
them as in good condition. Upon this, Captain Crump got very angry 
and tried to bully me into compliance. He treated me to a course of 
abusive language, and then invited me to go outside with him and 
fight it out. I coolly told him that I had no personal quarrel- with 
him, and that he could shoot me as well where I was if he wanted to. 
Finding that he could not frighten me, he changed his manner and 
wanted to shake hands. This I declined doing until he had with- 
drawn his offensive language, which he did with full apology, and 
took his receipt as it was first written. This man was not above 
shooting an unarmed man — for a short time before the altercation 
with me his brother had had a shooting match with another Texan, 
in which both parties were hurt. To avenge his brother he went to 
where his antagonist was lying on the floor, writhing with pain, and 
deliberately shot at the wounded man, the ball passing through the 
clasped hands. The only way at all safe in dealing with these des- 
peradoes was to keep perfectly cool, showing no fear, and making no 
demonstrations, as from constant practice they were probably quicker 
with a i)istol than one could expect to be. Most of the fights where 
both parties were armed, came to an unnecessarily rapid and fatal 
conclusion, owing to the mutual dread that the other party would get 
the first fire, and thus quarrels begun about trifles, it may be. were 
hurried by the mere show of arms, to a serious termination. I did not 
make a practice of carrying arms but went about my business or pleas- 
ure unarmed, except when on a journey, or there was some special 
reason for so doing. Once when w^e had several thousand dollars in 
specie in the office, a rumor reached us that there was a plot to rob 
our office, and there were many rough characters about. We prepared 
by loading a large number of rifles, with which to give them a warm 
reception if they came. We heard no more of it, however. The mere 
risk from accidental shooting, where arms were so freely and carelessly 
handled, was considerable. A fine young man belonging to the Rang- 
ers was shot by another recklessly snapping off a pistol just outside 
the office. The wound cut the femoral artery and he bled to death in 
about twenty minutes. So also was the danger from drunken men. 
I met one of our teamsters once with a loaded horse pistol in each 
hand, on his way as he said to shoot a barkeeper, who had refused to 
sell him liquor. I delayed him as long as possible in conversation in 
the hope of cooling his anger, and diverting him from his purpose, which 
perhaps had some effect for though he went on to liis destination, I 
did not learn that his design was consummated, Of course we dis- 


charged such men when such charact(;ristics ditvitlopcA tlieriiselves, 
but for the occupation of niuhi driving and otlicr rough Jailors we 
could not be over ijarticular in our selection. 

Worse (;ha,ract(3rs (;ven than the Rangers w(3n; lli(i professifjiial 
ganibk^rs, who rode fine horses and dn.'ssed expc^nsively. One of th(;se 
named Blanton, excelled all others in unrestraincid lawlessn(,'SS. One 
day he and a companion wantonly attacked a house where two min- 
isters resided. Being refused admission th(iy fired sevc^ral shots 
through the door, one going through the hat of one of the minist(.'rs. 
Getting in, they fired a number of shots while in the rooms, and the 
frightened clergymen hid in the closets or und(;r the furnitun.'. This 
Blanton shot dead a- United Stat(!S soldier of the Eighth infantry who 
he accused of calling him a padre as he passed him on the street; and 
this case will serve to illustrate Texan justice as administered in San 
Antonio. Blanton was nominally arrested, and taken before a justice, 
and as he sat there surrounded by his comrades I could see the butts 
of his pistols projecting under his cloak. Captain Ralston undertook 
the prosecution and made a powerful speech, during one part of which 
when his remarks bore pretty haid on the prisoner, Blanton put his 
hand into the breast of his coat, as if about to draw a weapon, with a 
view to intimidate Captain Ralston, but without effect in abating the 
severity of the address. Though the evidence was clear that the 
soldier was unarmed and was shot 'down in cold blood, Blanton was 
discharged, on the ground of having shot the man in self defense. 
Though the following incident did not occur 'till near the time of our 
departure, it may be as well to finish here what more I have to tell of 
this desperado. The clerk of the quartermaster who came to relieve 
us of our duties, was w^alking in the middle of the street, when Blan- 
ton and another came riding in the opposite direction. As they passed 
Berrier, one on each side of him, Blanton struck him a heavy blow on 
his head with a revolver, knocking him senseless, and inflicting a 
wound that took him many days to recover from. I heard some 
months after I had left Texas that this same Blanton, who had formed 
a band for the purpose of plundering travellers on their way to Cali- 
fornia, somewhere on the upper Rio Grande, was shot down, a fate 
that should have overtaken him earlier. 

The process of mule breaking was a summary one. We bought 
many of these animals wholly untamed, and brought in in herds and 
turned loose into a yard of the Alamo buildings. They were then 
caught one by one with a lasso, in the use of which the Mexican 
herders were very efficient. The noose being thrown "round the 
mule's neck, it was drawn to a post, 'round which the animal would 
wind the lasso, until strangulation, or a near approach to it, ensued. 
While in a state of unconsciousness, ready hands would put on the 
bridle and harness and almost before the mule had come to his senses 
he would find himself a member of a six mule team, attached to a 
heavy loaded wagon with locked wheels, mules of longer experience 
being hitched next to the wagon, and in the lead; and on one of them 
was mounted the driver, controlling his team with the whip and a 
single rein to one of the leaders — a steady pull meaning turn to the 


left, and a smart twitch of the line, to the right. The mules soon 
took to their duties, and when the wagons were in train, they would 
follow the leading wagon with such persistency that nothing short of 
a fight could turn a single wagon out of the line. We fitted out, also, 
many horse teams and amongst them were many good animals, which 
on reaching the army could be used as cavalry or artillery horses. At 
all times there were horses in the sheds, used as stables, which my- 
self and other clerks could ride at intervals of leisure. Captain 
Kalston of course had his own horse, and I had one appropriated to 
my own use. This horse was a bright bay with black legs, mane and 
tail. He was purchased of a returning volunteer of Marshall's regi- 
ment from Kentucky, having served through the year's campaign and 
had been in the battle of Buena Vista. Though very poor and ''fun 
down" by th^ long journey, he soon picked up and became a very 
handsome and serviceable animal, and I had many a long ride on him 
which proved his endurance and spirit. I found that the injury to 
my knee did not interfere with my riding on horseback, and I used 
my opportunities to explore the neighboring country which in many 
directions had great attractions to the lover of beautiful streams and 
forest scenery. The head waters of the San Antonio river were re- 
markable in this respect, and also as a geological curiosity. Amid a 
dense and almost impenetrable forest, encumbered with rocks and. 
precipices, was a long and narrow strip of water, still, and of an opal- 
escent green color from its great depth — reflecting the live oaks and 
other trees growing on its margin draped in Spanish moss, its width 
varying from one hundred and fifty feet, to places where you could 
cross it on a foot log. I was never able to i3enetrate to the fountain 
head of the river, but a road passed 'round it, without crossing water, 
within about four miles of San Antonio. The main spring must have 
been in the bottom of the part above described, as but few springs 
were noted on the banks and the flow of the river was copious from 
that ijoint, and during my long stay in San Antonio, was unchanged 
in volume to any notable extent, although the seasons were verv dry. 

I had an adventure near the upper part of the river in which I came 
near losing my horse. l*had tried to ford the river, but at the oppo- 
site side the water being deep and the bank steep, I slipped off my 
horse to enable him to get out. I easily got on shore, but the horse 
instead of landing, turned down the stream partly swimming and 
l^artly wading, according to the depth. I followed on the bank, mak- 
ing my way with much difficulty through the thicket. At last the 
horse trying to land on the opposite side iDecame embraced by logs and 
the depth of water, so to help him I had to swim the river, and I 
found him against a vertical bank in water up to his ileck, apparently 
chilled, and without hope of getting out. With much difficulty I 
succeeded in leading him 'round to a place where he could get out, on 
which event he made his gra.titude and delight evident in his own 

ill the other direction I followcnl the course of the river downwards, 
finding scenes of great btviuty, with numerous waterfalls and rapids, 
parts of the adjoining bottom lands being cultivated. The magnificent 


pecan trees added not a little to its nttniotioiis. 1 visited n^ain the 
several Mission churches befon; dc^scribcd, and completed my draw- 
ings of them. 

Several times we rode out to Oastroville, a (xerman settJc'iiKMit about 
twenty-eight miles west of San Antonio, and partook of the hospi- 
tality of its founder, Mr. Castro. 

A longer trip which I made on horseback alone was to Austin, 
ninety miles distant. I accomplished the distance in a day and a 
half, both in going and returning, without distressing my horse, 
although the weather was very warm. There had been recent rains 
at the head waters, and consequently most of the streams I had to 
cross were very high, but "Buena Vista" was an excellent horse in 
the water, either wading or swimming. On the journey out, after 
riding about sixty miles, I stopped for the night at a solitary farm 
house on an open prairie. They gave me a bed in a detached log 
house which apx^eared to have been used as a general store room. 
My horse was tied outside, and to keep watch that he was not inter- 
fered with, and also on the account of the heat, I had to keep the 
door wide open. I had four hundred dollars in gold in my pockets to 
carry to Austin, whither I was going on important business of the 
department, the safety of which sum caused me some anxiety. But 
no disturbance occurred till about daybreak, when my room began to 
be invaded by the various domestic animals of the farm as ,they suc- 
cessively awoke from their slumbers. Finally a goat entered, and, in 
attempting to reach some vegetables on an upper shelf, iDroduced a 
crash, which put an end to my further sleep and I arose and after a 
hearty breakfast, resumed my journey. Between the streams the 
country w^as prairie land, with a rich black soil, differing much from 
the generally sterile uplands near San Antonio. In some places 
where the mud had been plowed up by wagon wheels in the spring, 
the road ran between dense rows of tall sunflow^ers. The streams 
which crossed my course and their wooded bottom lands w^ere very 
beautiful, especially the Comal near New Braunf els, \vhich had much 
of the character of the San Antonio, The Colorado being a much 
larger river than the others, was crossed in a scow" ferry a few miles 
below Austin, which place I soon reached. Austin at that time, 
though the capital of Texas, was but an inconsiderable place with 
few attractions but its site, which was commanding. Above it the 
country was wild and hilly, and betw^een the elevations the river 
broke through in a broad and turgid stream. It was then high, and 
in fording the river near the city it w^as so deep that my horse swam 
for some distance. In the vicinity w^ere some remarkable springs 
rising from the bottom of deep pools, one of which was about twenty 
feet deep, and though a good swimmer, I failed to reach the bottom. 
Having concluded my business, in a few days I returned to San 
Antonio by the same route, passing the night at New Braunfels. a 
thriving German settlement, contrasting favorably with Mexican or 
Texan towns I had seen. 

The climate of Western Texas is very dry, at least such was my 
experience wdiile at San Antonio, during which time I do not remem- 


ber more than three or four thoroughly wet days. Most of the time 
the sky cloudless, with a hot sun, but seldom without sufficient 
breeze to modify the heat. The nights were cool, and the evenings 
the pleasantest part of the day. The winters were mild and I have 
bathed in the river in midwinter without discomfort. There was 
actually such long continued fine weather that we became tired of it, 
and longed for a rainy day for a change and to lay the dust. The 
most unx^leasant feature in the winter climate is the "Norther," which 
comes on with so little warning that there is no time to prepare for 
it, and the chill occasioned by the sudden fall of temperature is very 
trying to man or beast who is unfortunately exposed to its blast, when 
no shelter is at hand. Once when riding a few miles south of the 
town, in a warm sunny afternoon, a black cloud was noticed rising 
like a curtain in the northern horizon. We at once turned our horses 
towards home, but before long we were met by the most violent 
Norther I had yet experienced. The horses could hardly be made 
to face the storm of wind loaded with dust and sand that rushed 
upon us, and we had to use the spur freely in order to reach our 
quarters before we were chilled to the bone. At the coming of this 
same- storm a man was in the river bathing, when seeing his clothes 
fly away, he emerged in chase of them. He soon had a coat of sand 
on his back, which adhered in his damp condition. 

In the seasons referred to, crops planted on the uplands generally 
failed in consequence of the drought, and it was only where irrigation 
could be resorted to that a return for the labor expended could be 
expected. The system of irrigation introduced by the founders of 
the several Missions on the banks of the San Antonio, were no doubt 
copied from the practice of agriculture in Old Spain, and were well 
adapted to the needs of this region; but much of its value is attrib- 
utable to the extraordinary constancy in the volume of the stream. 
A slight dam thrown across the river was sufficient to turn a part of 
its current into a line of ditches, so laid out as to embrace between 
itself and the river as much land as the elevation of the land would 
permit. By arrangement among the tillers of the bottom land so 
inclosed, each was allowed to turn the water on to his land on certain 
days, and by a suitable arrangement of other water courses the whole 
or any part of his land was saturated with moisture from time to 
time. The plows used by the Mexicans were without improvement 
on the pattern known from time immemorial — made from the fork of 
a tree, one prong left long enough to be lashed to the yoke, which 
itself is lashed to the heads of the oxen, the other prong being cut 
short and pointed and sometimes tipped with iron. With this rude 
instrument the soil was stirred to the average depth of about three 
inches, and thanks to the means of irrigation good crops were raised. 

The resident society of San Antonio was not large, and there were 
many classes among them. The Mexican population were of many 
shades and color, according to the proportion of Spanish blood 
infus(Hl into the original dark skinned race. Those who were white, 
or n(>arly so, held <doof from association with the deeper colored: and 
with the American race, whom thc^y probably looked on in the light 


of their conquerors, their intercourse was r('S(3rv{'(I and far from cor- 
dial. Some of the senoritas were pretty, but withcjut much lif<' or 
expression, and they were kept in such close seclusion, ns was but 
prudent in that community, that we saw but litthi of them. Man- 
chac, Navarro, Koderiguez, and like old Sj^anish names were among 
the residents; and one old Mexican was said to have, in his youth, 
belonged to LaFitte's band of pirates, and was at the battle of New 
Orleans. They lived in the stone houses such as I have before 
described, having few external attractions, and the interior of such as 
I saw were bare and destitute of modern comforts. 

The lower class Mexicans lived in adobe houses, or in those built 
with upright posts, stoj^ped between with mud and thatched with 
tule grass, with rawhide for beds, as well as other furniture. The 
sraall children ran about in all weather stark naked, in which condi- 
tion they, as well as the hairless Mexican dogs, enjoy a partial 
exemption from fleas, which find no harborage on their jD^rsons, 
though abounding in their surroundings. The principal occupations 
of the men were those connected with horses, mules or cattle, and we 
employed many as herders, or in the stables or yards — besides others 
with their ox teams. They show much skill in reducing wild cattle 
and mustangs to obedience, but their methods are cruel, and when a 
horse is subdued by them his- spirit is gone and there seems to be no 
motive for his actions, but abject fear and compulsion. The children 
take at an early age to the oppression of animals and practice with a 
lasso on a hen or duck until they are big enough to torment some- 
thing larger. Many of the Mexicans in these parts w^ere peons who 
had escaped from compulsory service for debt from the Haciendas on 
the other side of the Rio Grrande. In exchange for these, however, 
many negro slaves crossed that boundary into Mexico, both parties 
being in search for a land of freedom. For this reason few slaves 
were brought to Western Texas, where chances of escape were so 
open to them. 

There were but few families of America settled permanently at that 
time in the place, though there was a considerable population of 
traders and other business men brought there by the exigencies of 
the times. However, we made a few pleasant acquaintances, and 
would now and then spend an evening, or attend a little dance. We 
used, also, to ride out to visit families residing in ranches on the 
margins of some of the beautiful streams in the neighborhood, and 
we spent many pleasant afternoons in this manner. I call these 
places '"ranches" for want of a better name, being more like tempo- 
rary camps than permanent residences. They were mostly built of 
rough posts like the Mexican jakels and seemed to be occupied only 
for some temporary purpose, or until time, funds or opportunity was 
convenient to build a better residence. The ladies residing in them 
would endeavor to conceal their deficiencies and rough points by a 
tasteful arrangement of draperies, and disposition of the furniture, 
and a frequent substitute for a plastered ceiling- was a cotton cloth 
stretched from wall to wall and caught up in the center. 

—15 H 


After peace was concluded with Mexico, several companies of United 
States infantry were sent to San Antonio, and they encamped near the 
Saluda creek. We rode to the camp occasionally, and were politely 
received by the officers and their ladies. 

In the fall of 1848 a party was fitted out for the purpose of explor- 
ing the country between San Antonio and that part of the Rio Grrande 
which divides Texas from the Mexican State of Chihuahua, and as- 
certain if a practicable wagon road could be laid out on a course about 
due west from the former place. General Wool's army was, it was 
understood, at first designed to invade Chihuahua in this direction, 
but not being able to learn anything, or at least any good of the char- 
acter of the country to be crossed, this route was T)rudently abandoned 
in favor of the line of march pursued into Mexico direct. From one 
of the party who was sent from our office in charge of the United 
States i3roperty we had been authorized to supply for the purposes of 
the ex^Dedition, I learned a few particulars which were altogether 
ommitted from a report made to the Secretary of War, by Colonel J. 
C. Hayes, who led the expedition, in which report he professed to 
have discovered a practicable road. The direct course pursued on the 
outward trip soon led them into a country utterly barren, and devoid 
of water. On reaching the Pecos river it took the party a whole day 
to find a passage down the sides of the canon to the bed of the stream, 
and the track upwards was almost equally difficult. I do not remem- 
ber the time it took to reach the Rio Grande, but it was a period of 
severe and long suffering. The scarcity of forage was so great that 
many of the horses and mules were broken down and lost by starva- 
tion — besides those which had to be sacrificed to feed the starving 

No game worthy of the name could of course be found in a region 
destitute of herbage, but my informant said that he had partaken of 
twenty-six different kinds of animal food while on this journey, a bill 
of fare which included, besides mules and mustangs, lizards, insects, 
rattlesnakes, etc. One of the party whose stomach turned against 
such diet grew insane with hunger and thirst, and ran away from the 
party several times, and finally eluding their search was heard of no 
more. The road said to have been discovered was found on the re- 
turn journey, it was zig zag in course and many miles out of the di- 
rect line (see report of Colonel Hayes) and for the most part was well 
known previously. It turned out that an ulterior object of the expe- 
dition was to give opportunity to some speculators to locate some of 
the best lands bordering on the Rio Grande which they succeeded in 
doing; but on the return, one of the land sharks outwitted, the rest by 
bribing some Indians who accompanied the expedition as scouts to 
guide him by a short cut to Austin, where he recorded in his own 
name the choice of the claims, in advance of his fellows. 

In November. 1848, Captain Ralston was relieved of his duties as 
quarterniMster at San Antonio, by Captain M. Morris, A, Q. M. — V. 
8. A,, and for several weeks we were very busy in turning over the 
property in our hands to him. and in settling up our business at the 
post. Our intercourse with Captain Morris and his clerk, Mr. Ber- 
rier, both officially and socially, was pleasant and agreeable. 


My brother, who was desirous of attending a medical course at St. 
Louis during the winter, left us early in the fall; and pref(;rring to 
travel overland, with a companion also going home to (^u'lncy, 111., 
they purchased mules, and prepared outfit for the trip, each having a 
mule to ride and another to carry his luggage. 

Having completed preparations for our own departure, our farewells 
to the friends we had made, and those who had been associated with 
us in carrying on the business of the department as employes and 
otherwise, were accompanied with many manifestations of regard and 
good feeling, and regret at our departure. 

Our destination was Washington, D. C, to which place we were 
ordered for the x^urpose of finally closing our accounts with the de- 
partments, and with the accounting officers of the government. Our 
route was first to Port Lavaca, over a newly laid out road, not 
passing through any towns between San Antonio and Victoria, but 
running on a line between the Guadalupe and San Antonio rivers. 
We had a wagon for our baggage. Captain Ralston rode his own 
horse, occasionally resting himself in the wagon, and I a horse belong- 
ing to the department which I rode the entire distance, averaging forty 
miles the first three days, and twenty- five miles on the last. The road 
was a fair one, but little had been done on it beyond what nature had 
provided, and one evening, being belated, we had to guide our course 
over a prairie by the stars. The unfinished condition of the comntry 
in general was illustrated by the accommodations we were provided 
with. The first night's stopping place was at a lonely ranch, where a 
good supper and comfortable bed were provided for us ; but the latter 
was in a new addition to the dwelling, built with upright round tim- 
bers, but unstopped between them — so that our apartment resembled 
a bird cage. The weather, however, was mild, and we did not suffer 
with cold. The second night we spent in a frame house, the owner of 
which, trusting to the leniency of the climate, had only boarded up 
three sides, leaving that to the south entirely open. The third night 
we had a bed in a log cabin, with roof and sides not to be complained 
of, unless by the fastidious. But there was, alas! no floor laid on the 
log beams which were raised about four feet from the ground. After 
getting safely to bed, this circumstance would not have troubled us, 
but as the ground floor beneath was inhabited by a large family of 
pigs, clamorous for nursing at all hours of the night — our slumbers 
were not unbroken. 

Near Port Lavaca we passed the camp of the 8th U. S. Infantry, 
who were then on their way to take the place of the Ranger com- 
panies, then stationed on the frontier of Western Texas. 

We had a few moments interview with some of the officers, one of 
whom on meeting me in Springfield, 111., twenty-three years after, 
remembered my face, and asked where we had met before. 

On arrival at the Post we at once embarked on the fine steamer, 
LTnited States, for New Orleans, but owing to a violent ''Norther'' 
which had blown the water away from the coast (it was said) there 
was not sufficient water on the bar of Pass Cavallo to allow the 
vessel to put to sea. We laid in the shallow waters of Matagorda 


bay four days, having a monotonous time, exce]3ting for the generous 
fare, the like of which we had not partaken of for several years. One 
day a party landed on one of the low sandy islands separating the 
bay from the Gulf of Mexico, in search of fish, numbers of which 
were caught by nets dragged through shallow ponds or bays, where 
the retreat of the fish had been cut off by the falling water. * After 
passing the bar, two days took us to New Orleans. While at sea we 
had a rough time, and I was more seasick than I have ever been be- 
fore or since. Perhaps the unusual good living on board had some- 
thing to do with it. 

This reminds me that I have said nothing of our fare while at San 
Antonio. Venison and w^ild turkeys were plenty and cheap and were 
our principal animal food as beef was poor and tough, and mutton 
scarce. The army rations made a large share of our living, and 
parties with whom we boarded were glad to take them in part pay- 
ment, as they were worth more than the commuting price. When 
employing a cook and boarding ourselves, we could hangup a venison 
ham and cut from it our daily use — for in this dry climate it never 
spoiled. Milk and butter we seldom tasted, although this was a graz- 
ing country, and cattle roamed upon a thousand hills. Vegetables 
were little cultivated and fruits scarcely at all — private property of 
such nature not being much respected in the neighborhood of Texas 
Rangers. I understand that since that time the place has become a 
marvel for the abundance of flowers and fruits, which would indicate 
much improvement also in other respects. 

At New Orleans we stayed two days in almost constant rain so that 
we did not see much of the city. We passed up the Mississippi and 
Ohio rivers, enjoying the trix3 on the splendid river steamers and be- 
ing unhindered by low water on sand bars. The Mississippi was un- 
usually high, and at the lower part of its course almost breaking 
through the levees. - We landed at Wheeling, Va., and from there 
took the stage across the Alleghany mountains, giving us some sharp 
exjjerience of a northern winter, to the then terminus of the raiiioad, 
by which we reached Washington. Here w^e made up our final 
accounts, and explained such points as were objected to by the audi- 
tors. The sum of public money expended by Captain Ralston while 
in Texas was a very large one, besides which the i^roperty, 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 w^as finally allowed and Captain Ralston 
and myself were honorably discharged. While making out the papers 
I needed assistance, and my brother Charles then being in Boston, I 
invited him to come on and help me. He came, and from that time 
made Washington his residence. After the accounts were laid before 
the auditors, we had plenty of time while awaiting action, and availed 
ourselves of the opportunity to witness the proceedings of the House 
of Congress, to attend the levees of President Polk and see the sights 
of the Capitol, and later to witness the inauguration of General 
Taylor. We were introduced to many public men, and saw^ a number 
of the great men of the period: Clay, Webster, Benton, Calhoun, etc. 


In Washington I met with Colonel Hughes of the engineer depart- 
ment, who was then preparing his report of the march of (xf^neral 
Wool's army, and on seeing my drawings of the Mission buildings 
near San Antonio, desired me to make duplicates of them to have 
lithographed to accomimny his rei^ort, which I did, besides making 
finished drawings from some pencil sketches by others. 1 was also 
employed by the Topographical Engineer Department to make the 
original drawings for a U. H. Hosi^ital, Congress having authorized 
the erection of such buildings at several points on the western lakes 
and rivers. For these and other services I was well remunerated, and 
having saved the greater part of my salary as Quartermaster clerk, I 
returned home in April and invested my earnings to good advantage. 
The knowledge and experience of the workings of the Quarter- 
master's Department, and its methods of accounting, which I had 
gained as I have described in Texas and subsequently in Washington, 
w^ere to prove of a value then unanticipated in the organization and 
conduct of the Quartermaster's Department of the State of Illinois, 
upon the breaking out of the Civil war thirteen years later, when, it 
is believed, by the means of an efficient department, the necessities 
of the large numbers of volunteers furnished from our State, were 
well and promptly supplied. 

Edward Eveeett. 





OF ILLINOIS, 1861-2. 

The problem of how volunteers in unprecedentedly large numbers 
could have been, on a sudden call, raised and equipped for active and 
immediate service, in some instances without preexisting organization 
even of a militia system, or any staff which could be charged with 
the outfit and supply of such bodies of men, is a subject to which 
the general reader while pursuing with intense interest the accounts 
of military movements and of battles fought, scarcely gives a thought 
— resting content, may be, with the idea ^'That armed men sprang 
from the ground" read}' equipped for the fray by some such simple 
means as "sowing the Dragon's teeth," as is said to have been prac- 
ticed on emergency in ancient times. 

In some of the older states large bodies of splendidly equipped 
troops, w^th a fully organized staff and supply of material, w^ere ready 
for the emergency 'when the call for seventy-five thousand men was 
made in April, 1861 — and the promptitude with which such forces 
were brought into active service had, it is more than probable, the 
result of saving to the nation, its Capitol. 

But how was it with States whose military organization was not so 
complete? As to the way other states furnished their quota of men 
and fitted them for the field, I am not informed; but with regard to 
the State of Illinois I can give some particulars which may be of 
interest, and show how an effective Quartermaster's Department was 
brought into being and accomplished its arduous labors in a manner 
that contributed largely to the comfort and efficiency of our men. 

On the outbreak of the war the officers of the Regular Army, hav- 
ing had their numbers extensively depleted by the resignation of 
those of them who had joined in the Secession movement, were all 
needed to take important commands, or perform other duties requir- 
ing officers fully educated in military affairs. 

The organization, equipment and supply of the volunteers therefore 
devolved on the several States, and su(*h duties w^ere and continued to 
be performed by officers appointed by the States,, until officers of the 
government could be appointed to relieve them. 


The militia laws of Illinois, if any there were, hfid b(ieii suffered 
to become a dead letter, aiid thc^re was no orgfiriization capjible of 
serving as a nucleus, so tliat th(i staff of suijjjly h^^d to be creatfid '"de 
novo", simultaneously with th(5 assembhige of volunteers, and from 
material for the most part as new and unprepared for such duties as 
were the volunteers themselves, at that time, for engaging in actual 
war. Two or three days after the call for trooi)S had been made, and 
resi^onded to largely from Quincy, 111., where I then resided, the 
writer, with many others, repaired to Springfield, the State Cajntol, 
and the rendezvous for the six regiments called for, to assist if our 
services were required. All there was in great confusion and excite- 
ment. Volunteers were arriving in numbers largely in excess of the 
call of the President, in general without having made any jjrovision 
whatever for their own shelter, sustenance and comfort, and clamorous 
for food, blankets and other necessities of a camp life. Officers, 
apparently self -constituted, were riding to and fro, giving orders, 
making purchases, and issuing articles to the assembling volun- 
teers at the State Fair Grounds, about two miles from Springfield. 
These gentlemen did good and necessary service in providing food 
and shelter for the large bodies of men rapidly arriving, and in gath- 
ering from neighborhood stores all the blankets, cooking utensils, 
etc., they could find, and issuing them, somewhat indiscriminately, 
to the men. But in the haste and confusion which reigned, no record 
of where the articles came from was made, nor was there anything to 
show where they went to. The result was, that the large business 
done in those few days never could be cleared up; and also show^ed the 
necessity of system and method. 

At the State House the Governor and other State officials were 
endeavoring to organize the several departments by the appointment 
of efficient individuals as their chief officers. J. B. Wyman was 
appointed Adjutant General; Hon. John Wood, Quartermaster Gen- 
eral, and John Williams, Commissary General of Subsistence. 

Upon my arrival I was at once engaged by Ex- Governor Wood to 
assist in the organization of his department, he being aware that I 
had served for a period of over two years, during and subsequent to 
the Mexican War, as chief clerk to an officer of the Quartermaster's 
Department stationed at San Antonio, Texas, who forwarded supplies 
to General Wool's army, and was also charged with the supply of 
Quartermaster and Ordnance stores to the troops stationed on the 
whole northwestern frontier of Texas; in which service I had become 
conversant with the needs and modes of supply of troops, and familiar 
with the army rules and regulations, and with the system of accounts 
therein prescribed; and being the only one present i:)Ossessed of such 
information, my powers were at once put to the test in reducing the 
chaos, w^hich existed, to order. 

To give some idea of the nature and magnitude of the duties per- 
formed by our department, I make some extracts from a report made 
in February, 1862 — following one of the Adjutant General's depart- 
ment dated December 10, 1861, in which latter it was shown that up 
to that date the State of Illinois had furnished to the General Armv: 


Infantry 46,439 

Cavalry" 13,416 

Artillery 1,695 

Total number of men 60,540 

" Of this force — exceeding at least four times the whole army of 
the United States in time of peace, and outnumbering the force at 
any one time in the tield during the Mexican war, not less than three- 
fourths of the whole have been clothed and equipped by this de- 
partment, both as respects their outtit, and to a great extent their 
subsequent sui^plies. The articles supplied to the troops by this" 
department consisted of clothing, blankets, tents, camp equipage, ac- 
coutrements, equipments, books and stationery, and horse equipments, 
forges, tools, horse medicines, etc., for cavalry and artillery. 

" In addition to the duties properly appertaining to the quarter- 
master's department, those of the ordnance department have de- 
volved upon it, in the absence of any separate ordnance officer * * 

* The aggregate amount of purchases made by the de^Dartment 
was $3,7 14,122.30. In the transaction of this immense business 
the rules and regulations of the United States army have been ad- 
hered to as closely as circumstances would permit; vouchers have 
been taken for all transactions in the prescribed forms; and the 
property which has come into the hands of the department will be 
fully accounted for." 

The legislature which had been called together in extra session, on 
the outbreak of hostilities, authorized the appointment of three com- 
missioned officers for the quartermaster's department, viz: Quarter- 
master general with the rank of colonel, at a salary of $8.00 per day, 
and two assistants, ranking respectively as lieutenant colonel and 
major, the first at $6.00 per day, and the second at $5.00 per day. 

John Wood, of Quincy, 111., the chief of our dejDartment, was a man 
of striking character, hardy and energetic, with a physical constitu- 
tion seemingly indefatigable. He had been one of the first pioneer 
settlers of Quincy, where he had secured several quarter sections of 
land, which subsequently became portions of that flourishing city. 
The sale of parts of this tract in lots has been a source of great 
wealth to him, but his extravae-ance in buildings and otherwise, and 
reckless loans and obligations incurred on account of his relations and 
friends, squandered his means, so that in hard times when lots could 
not be sold he was in straightened circumstances. He has given 
largely to x^ublic charities, and was deservedly popular with his fellow 
townsmen, and had frequently held the office of mayor. He had 
served in the legislature and had been elected Lieutenant Governor 
under Governor Bissell, who dying soon after, the Governorship had 
been filled by him for the remainder of the term, with general satis- 
faction. He had also been a member of the peace congress held just 
before the war, to endeavor to avert, by conciliation, the threatened 
secession. A body which he used frequently to refer to as the "Old 
Grannies' Convention " whose labors came to nought. His early edu- 
cation had been very deficient, but his information was varied and ex- 
tensive. I never saw l^im write anything but his signature, and that 


was not always very legible, but he r(iad aloud well, in ol(;ar sonorous 
tones, and not infrequently business was considerably imij(^ded by his 
habit of sitting in the middle of the office r(;ading aloud the exciting 
news of the day, or telling stories of his adventures and exp(3ri(?nce 
during his chequered life; and of his exjjeditions to the seat of war 
in Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. Nevertheless his aijjjointnient 
to the position of Quartermaster General of the State was eminently a 
good one. His well-known character inspired respect, his colloquial 
powers were of great service in bringing down contractors to their 
lowest terms, and his judgment was good in selecting articles and 
making purchases. His energy for action was an examjjle of prvi^mpti- 
tude to his subordinates, while his probity frowned down indications 
of corruption which not infrequently presented themselves from con- 
tractors and others who swarmed around us, seeking for advantageous 

On the other hand, in systematic business he was like a child, 
knowing nothing of accounts, and reckless of responsibilities he 
might incur. His zeal in conducting the business for the first few 
months was highly praiseworthy, but did not hold out after the more 
active demands of the service began to slake ; or rather the attention 
of his ardent temperament was naturally diverted from the dry details 
of settling up, and turning over accumulated supplies to United States 
Quartermasters, to the more congenial occupation of witnessing the 
prosecution of the war in the field — for which his position, and ac- 
quaintance with officers of high rank afforded him many opportunities. 

Our first assistant, a young gentleman from the business circles of 
Chicago, was stationed at Cairo, as being the most important point for 
the supply of the volunteers who were mostly sent there as soon as 
ready for service. He seemed disposed to make the most of his po- 
sition by taking it easy in a comfortable office, with an unnecessary 
number of clerks. There was, however, difficulty in getting satisfac- 
tory accounts from him, and after a few months' service he was re- 
lieved, and his duties placed in the hands of an agent. 

The appointment of second assistant was given to myself and I was 
stationed at headquarters, Springfield, 111., and charged with the full 
control, under Ex- Governor Wood, of all the operations of the de- 
partment through the State, having under me a large number of 
clerks, store-keepers, agents, mechanics, and other employes in various 
capacities. Being so short handed in responsible officers we were 
compelled to employ special agents to transact the business of the 
department at each of the widely separated points at which troops 
were to be assembled, in whose hands vast quantities of valuable 
property were placed for distribution. They were selected on short 
notice, with but slight credentials as to their capacity or integrity, 
and in no instance was any security for their faithful performance of 
their duties exacted of them. It is much to their credit that so few 
delinquencies were committed. A strict system of accounts was 
established requiring them to show vouchers for the disposition of all 
articles placed in their hands, and giving them to understand that 
they would be held responsible for all losses or deficiences not satis- 
factorily accounted for. 


The duties assigned to me embraced the voluminous correspondence 
of the office, drawing up contracts, examination and certifying of bills 
and vouchers, making occasional reports of our operations to the 
State and U. S. authorities; the instruction, superintendence and 
holding to account of the numerous clerks, agents, etc., together with 
attending to applications and demands of officers of the volunteers, 
who were alike ignorant of what they were entitled to, and of how to 
make application for what they wanted. And most of this business 
w^as done in a crowded office, in which loud talking and confusion 
frequently prevailed, and was often, especially during the first few 
months, continued till late in the night. 

The six regiments first called for by the President from this State 
assembled within a few days at the rcmdezvous ; and soon after, wisely 
foreseeing the approaching necessity, the Legislature authorized the 
formation of ten other regiments, in readiness for another call. These 
were supplied with the essential articles, such as tents, blankets, and 
camp equipage, as rapidly as the articles could be obtained. For 
clothing more time was required for its production, and contracts w^ere 
made for clothing, shoes and other articles, without unnecessary de- 
lay. The sudden and enormous demand for clothing materials soon 
emptied the markets, and although but a short time elapsed before 
more were manufactured or imported, the delay seemed unwarrantably 
long to many a volunteer who had left his home in poor or insufficient 
apparel. The clothing at first supplied was somewhat heterogeneous 
in kind and color, as we had to take what could be. had, but after the 
first rush the uniform of the U. S. army was universally adopted. It 
w^as a wise economy, as well as to the merits of the volunteers to pro- 
vide them with an outfit of the best quality, and so satisfactory were 
these sux3X)lies to the troops that many regiments continued to send 
their requisitions to our department from distant fields of service. 

The great want, felt to be a very serious one, at the outbreak of the 
war, particularly in the western states, was that of arms and ammu- 
nition. At that time Cairo, at the junction of the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi rivers, was in a defenseless condition, and it was feared that the 
rebels would get possession of it before troops properly armed and 
equipped, could be sent for its defence. Its possession would have 
given the rebels command of those rivers as well as of the Cimiber- 
land and Tennessee, and it would have been very difficult to dislodge 
them. The imjoortance of an early occupation of that point was 
therefore apparent. " In this emergency a large supply of arms and 
ammunition Avas secured, at the same time depriving the rebels of what 
they deemed securely w^ithin their grasp, by a stratagem, which as it 
may not be generally known. I will give as I remember the circum- 

It was known that a large number of Enfield rifles and other arms, 
and also a considerable quantity of ainmunition were stored at Jef- 
ferson barracks, a few^ miles below St. Louis, which city w\as then 
held by a, large force of secessionists under Jackson, governor of 
Missouri, wdio were only waiting till they were ready, to pounce upon 


the arms alluded to. Three or four individuals, whose rifinies I do 
not now recall, having consulted with (xovcjrnor Y;jtes, arranged a 
plot, which was (executed as follows: 

They went quietly to St. Louis and there chartercxl a fast Alton 
packet boat and started "tip the river, and before getting out of sight 
of the city they made believe that the boat was disabled Vjy some 
breakage of the machinery, and as they drifted helpkissly down with 
the current past the city, they sent word ashore that they were going 
to float down to the lej^air shops at the barracks, as w^as usual for 
boats in such condition to do. This disarmed susfjicion, and the 
boat landed at the barracks, where all had been arranged for the 
occasion. Guards were posted at the gates to prevent egress of any 
who might give information. Men were on hand with trucks, who in 
f^n incredibly short time ran the arm and ammunition chests on board 
the steamer, together with several pieces of artillery. The boat then, 
with a full head, of steam, to be used in the event of a race being 
necessary, ran up the river and passed St. Louis without exciting 
suspicion of what her cargo consisted, and reached Alton, about 
twenty miles above. There the arms, etc., were landed and at once 
placed on a train of cars in waiting for them, with a loaded cannon 
pointed to the rear to repel pursuit if attempted. Within a few 
hours this precious freight was received by us in Springfield. It 
consisted of 21,000 stand of new Enfield rifles, with a full supply of 
equipments and ammunition, several field pieces and other arms. 
Without the delay of a single day enough of these rifles were issued 
to arm the six regiments then assembled, the greater part of w^hich 
body, being otherwise in a tolerable state of jDreparation, w^ere at once 
despatched to Cairo. Of the remainder of the rifles, several thousand 
each were shipped to neighboring states, w^ho like our own had but 
few, if any, serviceable arms available for the emergency. 

In view of further call for troops and the necessity for their arma- 
ment, agents were set to work to hunt up and collect arms belonging 
to the State, which had been issued in j^ast times to amateur soldiers, 
or to those who had been called out to suppress Mormon disturbances. 
These arms were scattered over the State and consisted of old fashioned 
muskets, rifles, and pistols with flint locks, generally in bad order; 
also some sabres and a number of pieces of artillery. To put these 
in serviceable order, and furnish them with ammunition, work shops 
and laboratories were improvised, in which the small arms were re- 
paired and their flintlocks altered to percussion ; and \x\y to the date 
of the report before referred to, 4,618,000 rounds of ammunition for 
small arms and 32,570 rounds of fixed ammunition (namely round shot, 
canister, and shell) had been manufactured. Large quantities of 
arms and ordnance materials v/ere also purchased by the State and 
were received and issued to the troops throughout our department. 

The Legislature had provided for the appointment of an Auditing 
Commission by the Governor, consisting of three gentlemen, who 
were to audit all bills accruing on the part of the State from matters 
pertaining to the war. The first and most prominent of these gentle- 
men had acted in some capacity in the Black Hawk war in 1832, and 


having taken up the idea that accounting for the present business 
should be done after the style pursued in that somewhat irregular 
campaign, he opposed a more systematic and less antiquated method; 
or rather he assumed to ignore the mode prescribed in the regulations 
of the U. S. army, and adopt a system of his own. This gentleman 
took upon himself the principal share of the duties of his office, and 
is entitled to great credit for the industry with which he devoted him- 
self to the task. The second was a Democratic editor, whose services 
as an auditor were not very apparent, but he seemed to take pleasure 
in thwarting the efforts of others to facilitate business. The third 
commissioner only appeared now and then, when his presence could 
not be dispensed with. This commission received the bills certified 
by our department, had them copied and consolidated with other bills 
due to the same jDarties, and gave warrants on the Treasurer for their 
payment. This process destroyed the identity of the vouchers and 
their correspondence with the proj^erty accounts of our dej)artment. 
Indeed they ignored property accounts altogether, contenting them- 
selves with looking into bills for purchases and other expenditures, 
without troubling themselves to examine further into the disposition 
of the articles so purchased, or whether they were properly applied or 
otherwise. My experience with army accounts had shown that the 
slightest irregularity in money or property accounts were looked into 
with microscopical exactitude by the Auditing Department at Wash- 
ington, and any discrepancy was, until corrected or explained, charged 
to the officer. I had no reason to believe but that our transactions 
would be as closely scrutinized when the final settlement was made 
with the United States, and had accordingly prepared vouchers to 
account for all the vast amount of property which passed through our 
hands ; from which full and regular property returns could have been 
made ujd, had I been permitted to do so. The final settlement with 
the Government was made by others, I supj)osed, on the presumption 
that all that was paid for was expended legitimately for our A^olun- 

In the spring of 1862 our department was relieved by officers com- 
missioned by the United States, and the Quartermaster's and other 
property remaining in our hands was turned over to them. 

One object in the foregoing sketch has been to call attention to 
those laborers, who though not technically inthe /?e/(/, are essential to 
the formation and maintenance of an army, and without whose ser- 
vices any number of fighting men would prove unserviceable and im- 
potent. The departments of supply seldom receive the consideration 
and credit to which they are entitled. When, however, movements 
have been delayed, or a victorious army has been unable to pursue 
the enemy, the Quartermaster or Subsistence officers are generally re- 
membered in the reports, and are required to ' bear an undue pro- 
portion of the blame. Napoleon's favorite remedy for occasional 
failures of his army was to hang a commissary now and then. But, 
when all goes well in the theatre of war, but little is thought of those 
actors whose part may lie behind the scenes. Edward Everett, 

* Major- and Asst. Q. M. Gen. of Uh'nois. 




Compiled from the records of the Chicago Veteran 
Druggists Association by 

ALBERT E. EBERT. Historian 

Continued from page 274 of the Publication No. 8 
of the 

Illinois State Historical Library 




In continuing our history of the early drug trade of Chicago, we 
have reached the forties. The village of Chicago has become a city, 
and the new-born municipality is forging ahead in its phenomenal 
increase in population and in the erection of modern buildings, in 
spite of the depressed financial conditions which ensued from the 
crisis of 1837. This prosperity, however, did not follow the drug 
business, for we find that of the seven firms of the thirties, but four, 
viz; Philo Carpenter, Clark & Co.. L. M. Boyce and Dr. Sidney Saw- 
yer, have weathered the financial storm. We find that they left 
their former locations and followed the shifting of the business center 
from South Water street to Lake street. 

In the thirties business had centered about the forks of the river, 
this being the intersection of Market, South Water and Lake streets. 
As business spread it went east on South Water street to Dearborn, 
then south on Dearborn to Lake street, when it again proceeded west 
on Lake street toward the forks of the river from whence it had 

The modern buildings were being located on Lake street. Thomas 
Church had erected a three-story brick building on this street, just 
east of Dearborn. The first big fire of Chicago, which occurred Octo- 
ber 29, 1839, laid waste the district from Dearborn street on the north 
side of Lake street, nearly to Clark street, destroying some seventeen 
buildings, with a loss of nearly $100,000. This space was rebuilt in 
the early forties and became at once the fashionable shopping center. 
The drug store of Clark & Co. was located in the Tremont building. 
No. 102 Lake street, and Dr. S. Sawyer moved his drug store to 124 
Lake street, near the corner of Clark street, while the saloon build- 
ing. No. 113 Lake street, became the home of L. M. Boyce's drug 

Philo Carpenter came from South Water street, leaving his own 
property for rent, and located in William Wheeler's building at 143 
Lake street, where he opened what was known as the ''checkered drug 
store," the front of the building being laid off in squares, painted in 
red. white and black. From the foregoing we see that at the opening 
of the forties all of the drug stores were grouped together on Lake 
street within a block of each other. 


At this time a new drug store came on the scene, that of O. H. 
Perry Champlain, whose advertisement appeared in the Daily Amer- 
ican of June 13, 1841, in which he respectfully announces to the 
people of Chicago that he is a druggist and apothecary lately from 
Butfalo, N. Y., and has opened a new drug store as ''Champlain's 
Cheap Drug Store," in the saloon building at 35 Clark street, next 
door to the postoffice, where he offers to the pubUc his services in the 
preparing and disj^ensing of drugs and medicines from a complete 
fresh stock at the very lowest prices. "Special attention is given to 
physicians' prescriptions." 

For how long a time this newcomer followed the profession and 
practiced the art of pharmacy, or to what extent he was apx^reciated 
and patronized by the people of Chicago, we are unable to find any 
record. However, the following may throw some light ux3on what 
became of the stock and fixtures of the Champlain store, as about this 
time Dr. William B. Egan, a practicing physician, a politician, an 
extensive dealer in Chicago real estate and a public character among 
the early settlers of the city, engaged in putting up Dr. Egan's Sarsa- 
parilla Panacea, and advertised its sale at his city drug store on the 
west side of Clark street, north of the City Hotel (Sherman House) 
and next door to the postoffice." The postoffice had been removed 
from the saloon buildings on the east side of Clark street to the west 
side of Clark street, on the southwest corner of the alley between 
Randolph and Lake streets. This advertisement of Dr. Egan extol- 
ling the virtues of his sarsaparilla and certified to by Dr. Chas. V. 
Dyer, L. D. Boone and J. J. Stewart, appeared in the Chicago 
Express of October 24, 1842, while in the same issue appeared an 
advertisement of Bristol's Sarsaparilla, with Dr. Sidney Sawyer, 124 
Lake street, as sole wholesale and retail agent, and ''denouncing un- 
scrupulous persons for pirating his (Bristol's) rights to the patent, 
and the counterfeiting the name of the King of Medicine 'Sarsa- 
parilla' as originally introduced to suffering humanity by C. C. 
Bristol, of Buffalo, N. Y." 

If we may divert, we wish briefly to say, that judging from the 
above advertisement we see that the nostrum manufacturer of early 
days possessed the same acumen and resorted to the same exag- 
gerated claims for originality of discovery and virtues for his con- 
coctions as is practiced by his descendant of the present day. It 
is a well known fact that sarsaparilla had been introduced into 
European Medicine by the Spaniards shortly after the discovery 
of America; that at the time it acquired considerable reputation as 
a blood purifier; that it soon fell into disrepute; that at various 
times thereafter it was again revived and as often declared inert. 
However, it is a fact that Bristol was the founder of what is 
known as the "Sarsaparilla Era," for it was his propaganda of the 
miraculous cures performed by his sarsaparilla that made this medi- 
cine famous through the Eastern States during the thirties, and in 
the early forties he established an agency for its sale in Chicago 
when Champlain, who hailed from Butfalo, opened a drug store here. 
It was customary to place patent medicines with firms only on com- 


mission. During the thirties, the more saloa>)le propric^taries, like 
Brandrith's j^ills, Morrison's pills, F[olloway"s ointnic'rit and pills, were 
only sold at the bookstores. This changed in the forties and we find 
that the druggists of this date became generally the agents. When 
Chamxjlain discontinued business, which must have been about Octo- 
ber, 1842, the agency of Bristol's sarsaparilJa was turned over to Dr. 
Sawyer, and while Dr. Egan succeeded to the stock and fixtures of 
the Champlain store he did not succeed to the agency of the Bristol's 
sarsaparilla, and this induced Dr. Egan to jjut up his own sarsajja- 
rilla, reference to which has been made. 

The Egan store which bore the name of the ''City Drug Store" 
located at 54 Clark street, was carried on for several years by Dr. Wm. 
B. Egan and his brother, Charles B. Egan, when it was moved to Dr. 
Egan's i3roperty, 7() East Lake street, where it was managed by Fran- 
cis Stead until 1846, when the stock and fixtures again were moved 
westward, locating on Randolijh street, northwest corner of Market 
street, the back end of the store fronting on the river. An advertise- 
ment in the weekly Democrat of February 24, 1846, reads as follows: 
"Dr. Norman, lately from England, has associated himself with Dr.. 
Wm. B. Egan in the practice of medicine and will be found at Dr. 
Egan's Drug Store, near Randolph Street bridge. At the store will 
be found Dr. Egan's Sarsaparilla which is prepared with great care 
by himself. Also Dr. Norman's Medicamentum, which as a tonic and 
aperient medicine has no equal in bilious derangement and chronic 
debility. Prescriptions carefully and elegantly put up," The follow- 
ing year, 1847, Dr. Henry Ritchie from Lexington, Ky., came to Chi- 
cago and purchased the Egan store and continued the business under 
the firm name of Dr. Henry Ritchie, at the same time continuing the 
practice of medicine. 

In the early part of 1848, at the suggestion of L. M. Boyce, he 
made a proposition to Henry Bowman, a former clerk of Boyce, at 
that time clerking in Waukegan. As a result Mr, Bowman and Dr. 
Ritchie y/ent into partnership. On Jan. 27, 1848, the store was moved 
to 13B Lake street, the firm name being H. Bowman & Co. Here the 
store continued until the summer of 1851, when some of the stock was 
(lestroyed by a fire which started in the Lake Street House, next door. 
The salvage was moved to 117 Randolph, one door west of Clark street, 
under the Sherman House, and here the store was re-established. The 
partners not agreeing, Henry Bowman withdrew and Dr. Ritchie con- 
tinued the store alone. In the Chicago Daily Democrat of Nov. 18, 
1851, appeared a card saying, "that owing to loss from the recent fire 
in which the Bowman & Co. drug store was destroyed, Dr. Ritchie 
had been obliged to resume the drug business, but hopes that his 
friends will not suppose that the supervision of one important branch 
of medicine need incapacitate him from doing justice to a higher part 
of the science — the practice." 

The following is another one of Dr. Ritchie's advertisements: 

16 H 


"Drugs, Medicines, Chemicals, Perfumery and Fancy Articles. Dr. 
Ritchie has just finished opening at his store under the Sherman 
House an entire new and fresh stock of Drugs, Medicines, &g. Nov. 
4, 1851. . H. Eitchie." 

Dr. Ritchie continued the drug business and the practice of medi- 
cine until 1858, when he sold the store to Thomas Hyte who continued 
the same until 1861 and sold it to F. H. Thayer, who moved the store 
onto the corner; the following year it passed into the possession of 
Harrall Resley and Kitchen, wholesale druggists of New York City, 
who turned it over to John Parker who in turn sold it to J. B. Stark- 
weather in 1864, who carried it on for a year under the Sherman 
House and then moved the stock and fixtures to Kenosha, Wis., where 
it is still in existence. 


In the Fall of 1848 I left the employ of L. M. Boyce and engaged 
as clerk with N. T, Cody, of Waukegan, 111. In the spring of 1849, 
Dr. Henry Ritchie, of Chicago, wrote to me that Mr. Boyce had 
recommended me to him as a desirable x^artner for his drug store, 
located at Randolph Street bridge. I at once came to Chicago, called 
upon Mr. Boyce, and told him that I did not consider the Randolph 
street location a good one for the drug store, and asked him if he 
would have any objection to my coming onto Lake street and thereby 
becoming a competitor of his. He not only had not, but advised me 
to take the very location that I had picked out, saying that he in- 
tended to do as far as possible an exclusive wholesale business, and 
that he would be loleased to have me as a neighbor.* 

I had never before met Dr. Ritchie but found him a very pleasant 
man to do business with, and without much difficulty a partnership 
was formed under the firm name of H. Bowman & Co., I to have the 
sole management of- the drug business and he to devote his time to 
the i3ractice of medicine. We moved the stock and fixtures from 
Randolph street down to 133 Lake street, into a frame building pre- 
viously occupied by H. H. Yates as a grocery store. We fitted up the 
storeroom quite nicely and conveniently and did a good prescription 
business from the start. I was the first in Chicago to introduce bound 
prescription blanks with the physician's name and address and stubs 
to them. Over the store was a Dr. Bacheldor who kept Thompsonian 
and botanic medicines; and around the corner on Clark street, upstairs, 
Drs. Duck and Ritchie were associated in the practice of medicine. 
The store was about sixty feet deep, there was a rise of two steps to 
the rear twenty feet. There was a back stairs to reach the secndo 
story from the yard, which was in the rear of the adjoining hotel (the 

*Henry Bowman was born in Montreal. Canada, in 1823, came to Chicago in the summer of 
1841: he entered thr- emploj' of I^. IVl.. Boyce, IKS Lake street in the fall of 181.5. remaining- until 
the fall of 1818, when he formed a partnership with Dr. Henry Ritcliie under the firm rame of 
H. Bowman iSc Co., opening a retail drug store. 188 Lake street, where he was burned out in 
1851. He tiien removed to California, entering in the drug business in vSacramento and remain- 
ing there twenty-one years. He then removed to Oakland. Cal.. where he is actively en- 
gaged at the present time. His contributions to the records of tlie Chicago \'eteran Druggists 
association are extensive and very valuable, having personally known the pioneers of the '80s 
and 'lOs, who were engaged in the business. Mr. Edwin O. Gale was an apprentice of Mr. 


Lake Street House, kei^t by Aiken). A barn was there and teamsters 
drove into the yard from Clark stn^et. It was in this barn that the 
fire originated that burned out our store in 1851. By the fire I lost 
my moneyed interest in the firm. I bargained with Dr. Kitchif? for 
his interest in what was saved, and fitted uj^ another store at 117 
Randolph street, under the Sherman House. 

After it was fitted up he demanded security on my notes. I could 
have given it, but I concluded I did not want the business and told 
him to take the store, and he took it and carried it on until 1858, when 
he disijosed of it. I came on to California and have been here ever 
since, never regretting that I did not carry on the drug business in 

Charles N. Ellinwood was clerking for me when I gave up the store. 
He came to California and has been for many years a professor of 
physiology in Cooper Medical College. He was at one time surgeon 
of the San Francisco United States Marine Hospital. He has recently 
been appointed one of the regents of the State University at Berkeley 
and has a large practice. He and Edwin O. Grale were with me at the 
same time in Chicago and were good clerks and good boys. 

I will here give a description of the interior arrangements of 
the H. Bowman & Co.'s drug store, at 133 Lake street, from the 
spring of 1849 till the fall of 1851, the time of the fire: 

We had the usual bay windows and show bottles, the same blue- 
stone and ammonia and the same cochineal and vitriol colors, same oil 
lamps behind them. I don't seem to remember about the bay win- 
dows of olden times except of the disagreeable duty of putting up the 
wooden shutters at night. I think we used camphine for lighting the 
store. I don't remember when gas was first introduced in Chicago. 
We may have used gas for lighting it. On further reflection I think 
we had the gas about 1850. My recollection is so mixed up with the 
early California experiences in these small matters that I often get a 
little confused. I recollect an incident that recalls the gas-light. I 
slept in the store. The night bell rang. I hastily dressed and lit up 
the store. I went to the door and no one was there. I was mad. 
The whole air was musical as an seolian harp with the tuneful /a of 
ten million mosquitoes. I sat down "under the gaslight,'' yes, it must 
have been gas, and lit a Principe cigar ("Cruz E Hijas Flor") and 
watched the smoke curling upwards until I was nearly " pacified,"' 
when a man came in the store, out of breath, and said he had been to 
every drug store in town and could not get any one up. He had com- 
menced his second round. I told him that if he should go around 
again he would find the clerks all up, and swearing mad. I asked 
him if he supposed we slejDt all night with our hand on the door knob ? 
He wanted some medicine and I gave it to him with free advice and 
a blessing at parting. I then sponged my face and hands with solu- 
tion of camphor in 95 per cent alcohol to keep away mosquitoes, and 
then went to bed. I had lit up in a hurry and I don't remember hav- 
ing to light a lamp. Gas? Yes, certainly. 

The drawers, counters and all the woodwork of the main store was 
of w^hitewood in its natural color, slightly darkened by age and varn- 
ish. The counters had marble tops, white Italian, in long slabs. 


There were no counter show cases but large bottles of cologne, etc.^ 
on the end of the counter, On the right hand as you entered the 
store were the drawers and principal furniture bottles. There were 
four rows of drawers. Directly above these was a row of doors 
(glass) about twenty inches wide and fifteen inches high. These 
little cases had divisions between them and were shplved differently 
to suit the patent medicines, or perfumery, or whatever use they were 
put to for convenience in retailing. They opened with hinges. The 
tox3 of these cases was nearly or about five feet from the floor or per- 
haps fifty-eight inches. There were two rows of half gallon tincture 
bottles (round) and two rows of quart (fluted) saltmouths. The 
little cases extended nearly to the end of shelving and against the 
wall was the prescription counter and its drawers, bottles, cupboards,, 
etc. The scales were enclosed in a case. They had the beam and 
marble standard. We used green fluted vials at first and afterwards 
for prescriptions fiint fiuted; deep- nested pill boxes, black outside 
and red inside, tin boxes for "anguintem" and gallijoots for oint- 
ments. I think, however, we had begun to use patch boxes. 

The left hand side was fitted up the same as the right hand side 
except that there were cupboards below the show cases instead of 
drawers. In these we keiDt the larger bottles of patent medicines 
and the shaker herbs in packages and all sorts of goods for retailing. 
There was a stair case on that side and of couise a jog beyond it. 
There was but one counter on that side and that was back a little 
ways. In the little cases against the stairway there were fancy 
wrapped French soaps in papers and cartons, the shelves placed at 
an incline for display. The glassware on this side consisted of one 
row of gallon ring jars and two rows of tall urns the whole length. 
All the glassware on both sides of the store was stained. There was 
an equal number of green, blue and red and these colors alternated 
all through the store. The labels on the tinctures and saltmouths 
were lettered on gold paper and were as brilliant as the present glass 
label. Of course the urns and ring jars were not labeled. Those 
against the stairway had showy goods in them but they did not show 
off to. very good advantage for the color of the glass. A short counter 
was placed across at the end of the stairway for the soda fountain. 
The draught apparatus was a six-sided marble column with a single 
draw pipe. We used cast iron fountains with a bolted flange around 
the center. They were lined with wax. We had them charged for 
us. They required a good deal of ice which was 25 cents for 100 
pounds and the addition of a little salt. The rear twenty feet of the 
store was fitted upon the right hand side with shelves foi- stock con- 
tainers, mostly galenical preparations. In front of these shelves was 
the working counter with the working utensils, sink and storage for 
empty bottles. On the left side of the room were arranged t^^o rows 
of barrels containing dye woods and heavy chemicals. Above these 
barrels were shelves for the storing of stock of bulky drugs in 
original packages. We carried no paints, oils or window glass, wish- 
ing to do a pure and simple retail drug and prescription business, 
and which, with the many friends that I had among the physicians 
of the city I can pride myself in saying we did. 


Dr. John Brinckerhoff. 

Dr. John Brinckerhoff was a physician and came to Chicago in 
18;^6. He had an office at 40 Clark str(3et. We find that in 1841 his 
office was in the second brick hous(3 on Clark street, south of iian- 
dolph street. In 1842 he ojjened a drug store at 170 Lake street, 
three doors east of the New York House. This store was oihuicA 
Oct. 24, 1842. The following year he bought out Philo Carpenter at 
143 Lake street. In the Daily American of Aug. 24, 1842. Dr. 
Brinckerhoff advertised: "Having recently opened a drug establish- 
ment at 170 Lake street, three doors east of the New York House, I 
have on hand a general assortment of drugs, medicines, dy(3 stuff's, 
etc., etc., which will be sold for cash as low as they can be bought in 
the city." Dr. Brinckerhoff' also advertised Resurrection or Persian 
Pills, Jew David or Hebrew Plasters, and Richardson & Company's 
Celebrated Panacea. 

When Dr. Brinckerhoff' bought out Philo Carpenter he associated 
with him Mr. Thomas B. Penton, his brother-in-law, who had been 
with W. H. & A. F. Clarke and Clarke & Co., as a clerk, and 
formed the firm of Brinckerhoff & Penton. 

Brinckerhoff & Penton. 

The firm did a wholesale and retail drug business at 143 Lake 
street until May 1, 1849, when the business was moved to the north- 
east corner of Lake and Dearborn streets, opposite the Tremont House 
(No. 94 Lake street.) In 1852 the firm advertised in the Weekly 
Democrat : 

Wanted — 1,000 pounds Beeswax 

1,000 pounds Ginseng- Root 

.500 pounds American Saffron 

1,000 pounds Seneka Snake Root 

For their time Brinckerhoff & Fenton were extensive retail dealers 
and were the first concern to carry surgical ax3pliances to any extent. 

Among the clerks of this firm we find the names of Messrs. Osborii 
Gamble, John M. Howard, John H. Hagaman, Samuel Kirk, Riley 
M. Graves, E. P. Dwyer, Henry R. Sibley and Robert Penton. a 
brother of Thomas B. Penton. 

Brinckerhoff' & Penton remained in business until 1855. when 
Archibald M. Robinson bought an interest in the wholesale depart- 
ment, the firm then consisting of Dr. Brinckerhoff, Thomas B. Pen- 
ton and A. M. Robinson, and the wholesale and retail departments 
were separated, the former moving to 15 South Water street and do- 
ing business under the firm name of Penton & Robinson, and the 
retail department remaining at 94 Lake street under the firm name 
of Penton, Fisher & Co., consisting of Thomas B. Penton, William- 
son P. Fisher and Archibald M. Robinson. 

Penton & Robinson. 

This firm began business as above stated at 15 South AYater street, 
where they did a wholesale business exclusively. In 1858 tlu^ busi- 


ness was moved to 39 South Water street and the firm name was 
changed to Penton, Robinson & Smith, Dr. Brinckerhoff having, in 
the meantime, retired and David Smith of the retail store coming into 
the wholesale firm. 

It is necessary now to revert to the retail branch, Penton, Fisher 
& Co., which firm in 185H was dissolved by mutual consent and on 
June 1 of that year were succeeded by the firm of Penton & Co., con- 
sisting of Thomas B. Penton, Archibald M. Robinson and David 
Smith. This company continued in business until 1860, when the 
business was merged with the wholesale business of Penton, Robin- 
son & Smith, and was carried on at the old location, 94 Lake street, 
under the firm name of Smith & Dwyer, the firm consisting of D.avid 
Smith and E. P. Dwyer. 

Smith & Dwyer. 

The business was continued in this location until 1862. In 1865 
the firm was agarin changed, becoming E. P. Dwyer & Co., the part- 
ners being E. P. Dwyer, Robert Stevenson and James Poland. 

E. P. DwYEE & Co. 

This firm continued until 1870, when Mr. Dwyer w^as killed in a 
runaway accident and the interest of E. P. Dwyer was sold to Peter 
Van Schaack and W. H. Reid. 

The name of the new firm became Van Schaack, Stevenson & Reid, 
and it continued in this style until 1877, when it became Van Schaack, 
Stevenson & Co,; in 1885 it became Peter Van Schaack & Sons, 
Robert Stevenson having withdrawn and started the firm of Robert 
Stevenson & Co. 

The clerks of the wholesale firm of Penton & Robinson were Messrs. 
R. R. Ball, James Boland, Robert Stevenson, David Smith, who was 
the bookkeeper, and E. P. Dwyer. 

J. H. Reed & Co. 

The firm of J. H. Reed & Co. w^as famous among the drug stores 
of Chicago in its day and generation. It was the first store selling 
soda w^ater on anything like the modern scale, the first store to burn 
gas for illuminating purposes, and in other ways it was famous. 
Before its doors during the Lincoln campaign of 18(50 was a broad 
stone slab which had been ferried up on the canal and hauled over to 
the store on rollers during the night. Before it had been placed in 
position some nocturnal humorist secured a can of paint and when 
the morning dawned the owners found that their big stone slab had 
been christened "The Republican Platform.*" 

The original firm was Stebbins Sc Reed and the members of the 
firm came from Auburn, N. Y., to Chicago in the latter part of 1844. 
stopi)ing on their way out at Buffalo and Detroit for the purpose of 
noting the business opportunities in those cities. On their arrival 
in Chicago they secured the refusal of the store at J 59 Lake street, at 


the southwest corner of LaSalhi stn^et. Upon their firjfil d^^cisiori to 
remain in Chicago they rented this store for a j^eriod of three years 
at an annual rental of $f)75.()(). This store was sciventy f(.(.'t long, 
twenty feet wide and had three stori(iS and an attic, and in those days 
was considered fire proof. From sj^ace not used by them in th(j 
second and third stories the firm received an annual rental of about 
$250.00. The firm of Htebbins & R(3ed opened their store on May 20, 
1845. The names of the partners were S. N. Btebbins and Josiah H. 
Keed. Before beginning business Mr. Stebbins Vjecame dissatisfied 
with Chicago and wanted to return to Buffalo. At this time (Chicago 
had a population of about 11,000 and Buffalo was rated at about 
25,000. They retraced their steps accordingly to Buffalo, but the 
second visit convinced Mr. Reed more firmly than ever that Chicago 
gave the better opportunity and in May of 1845, the Chicago store 
was opened for business. It prospered from the very beginning and 
the foundations were laid for more than one business enter^jrise of 
magnitude and success. In 1848, having a fine opx3ortunity to go 
into business in New York, Mr. Stebbins sold his interest in the 
Chicago firm to Thomas M. Hunt and John Olmsted of Auburn, N. 
Y. The new firm began business April 1, 1848, under the firm name 
of J. H. Reed & Co., with a capital stock of $8,000 of which Mr. 
Reed owned one-half. In 1853 Messrs. Hunt and Olmsted sold their 
interest in the firm to Mr. Horace A. Hurlbut who became the com- 
pany part of the concern. About the beginning of the civil war Mr. 
Reed removed to New York and became the resident buyer for J. H. 
Reed & Co. The firm had large government contracts during the 
war for drugs and other medicinal supplies. When, in 1868, Mr. 
Reed sold his drug interests in Chicago, the firm name of J. H. Reed 
& Co. was the oldest in Chicago. 

On the 26th of October, 1851, Messrs. J. H. Reed & Co. moved 
their store to 144 Lake street, where they opened the finest drug 
store ever seen up to that time and up to the jDresent time in Chicago. 
In this connection the following announcement in the Chicago Daily 
Democrat of Oct. 29, 1851, may be of interest: 

"Splendid Store— Messrs. J. H. Reed & Co., druggists, have re- 
moved their business from their old stand at 159 Lake street to the 
spacious and handsome block at 144 Lake street, erected this season 
by Mr. J. Price. This store is fitted up in the most magnificent style 
with marble Mosaic floors, Italian marble counters, etc., while taste- 
fully arranged around are statuary, vases, urns, etc. In fact, the fit- 
ting up is not excelled by that of any similar establishment in the 

"Messrs. J. H. Reed & Co. intend doing an exclusively prescription 
business at their new store, the back and upper portions of the build- 
ing alone being used for the wholesale trade.*' 

In 1856 S. S Bliss, who had been the principal clerk in the retail 
store was taken into partnership and the store next door at 14() Lake 
street was added, and to this store the wholesale department was 
transferred. In 1863 the wholesale department was transferred to 32 
Lake street at the corner of Lake street and Wabash avenue, the 


retail business remaining at 144 Lake street under the name of Bliss 
& Sharp. In 1868 the firm of J. H. Reed & Co. was changed to 
Hnrlbnt & Edsall, Mr. Reed disposing of his entire interest. 

On Sept. 7, 1 858, the firm advertised for sale 1,000 i^ieces of the 
Atlantic cable, then a great curiosity. In 1859 or 1860 the members 
of the firm of J. H. Reed & Co. were instrumental in getting the 
buildings on Lake street, between Clark and LaSalle streets raised to 
grade. Mr. J. H. Reed was one of the original members who organ- 
ized the Chicago board of trade. 

During the Civil war the firm of J. H. Reed & Co. took immense 
government contracts for supplies. At one time over sixty men were 
at work on government orders in their store. Orders for 60,000 or 
70,000 pills at short notice were nothing unusual. One day Mr. Reed 
bought 34,000 ounces of quinine in New York, expecting to sell it on 
government orders, which, however, were for some reason at that time 
transferred elsewhere, and Messrs. Reed & Co. were left Vv'ith an im- 
mense quantity of supplies on their hands. When the situation was 
becoming very serious for them, it was found that the other dealers, 
who had the government contract, could get no supplies except from 
J. H. Reed & Co., who had cornered about all the supplies to be had: 
so Messrs. Reed & Co. came out more than whole after all. 

During the days of the stump-tail currency, in 1857, the house of 
J. H. Reed & Co. took radical action regarding credits. It had been 
customary for wholesale merchants to give about six months' credit, 
but during the panic, J. H. Reed & Co. established the rule that all 
bills must be paid at the end of thirty days. This rule was soon 
adopted by wholesale merchants, to the great advantage of the busi- 
ness interests of the city. 

Among the clerks of Stebbins & Reed and their successors were 
W. R. Lee, H. A. Hurlbut, W^ H. Cheesnmn, D. R. Penton, J. A. 
Moore, M. B. Murphy, B. Spencer, S. S. Bliss, Llenry E. Prouty, Ed- 
win O. Gale, Porter 'Warner, Joseph A. Montgomery, George AY. 
Montgomery. Robert Ainsworth, E. P. Hooker, William F. G. Ben- 
son, W. C. Childs, James Smith, Charles Heckman. Louis Hunt, 
Henry Strong, David L. Whittier, George C. Talman, William Lang- 
lands, William Page, Frank A. Palmer. William Ready. J. P. Sharp. 
George Buck, James B. Rayner, John Parsons. Frederick AY. Dodge. 
Charles J. Hurlbut, John Hilaiid, John Lyon, Lucius Larrabee, C. L. 
Hervy, J, J. Siddall, Henry Smith, Lucius B. Cheney and James H. 
Hyde. George Buck was for some time with J. H. Reed & Co. and 
was in charge of the prescription department until 1858, when he 
associated himself with James B. Rayner and opened a retail and pre- 
scription store at 85 Clark street, founding the W(41 known tirni of 
Buck & Rayner. 

John Parsons was in charge of the prescription departnu^nt until 
January, 18())J, when he left and went to New York with the intention 
of buying a store. Not being able to make a suitable arrangement, 
he returned to Chicago in May, 18()8, and opened a store at 41 South 
Clark street. He is now located at Thirty-first street and Prairie 
avenue. At the time Mr. Parsons left the store it became Bliss c\c 
Sharp ill the retail department, Thomas H. Thomas, an English- 


man, taking charge of the prescrii)tion (l(3partnient. Mr. Thomas uow 
owns a store in Rock Island. 111. H.J. Beckvvith followed Thojji?iS 
and now owns and conducts a ston; at Thirty-first street and W'jiIkisIi 


Dr. F. Scammon, of Hallowed, Me., established himself in Chiciago 
in 1846, opening a wholesale and retail drng business in the saloon 
buildings at 119 Lake street, where he continued until Nov. 2z, 1851. 
when the business was moved to 140 Lake stre*et and the firm of F. 
Scammon & Co. was formed, consisting of Dr. F. Scammon, L. Myrick 
Scammon, a brother of the doctor, and E. H. Sargent, who had come 
from Lowell, Mass., where he had been employed as chief clerk by 
the then well known firm of Carlton & Hovey, of that place. 

F. Scammon & Co. 

This firm continued in business until 1857, when the business was 
sold to Sargent & Ilsley. 

Sargent & Ilsley. 

E. H. Sargent, a partner in the old firm of F. Scammon & Co., and 
John C. Ilsley, a former clerk of Sears & Smith, made up this firm. 
Mr. Ilsley came to Chicago from Maine.- Sargent & Ilsley, when they 
bought the business of F. Scammon & Co., divided it into tw^o depart- 
ments, retail and wholesale. The front of the store was fitted wp very 
attractively for the accommodation of the retail trade, the rear por- 
tion of the first floor and the remaining three floors and basement be- 
ing used for the wholesale business. 

Beginning business in January, 1857, just before the financial crisis 
of that year, the firm began apparently under the most favorable au- 
spices. Their retail clerks were selected by Mr. Sargent from the 
house of Carlton & Hovey in Low^ell, Mass., and consisted of Fred E. 
Willis and James W. Mill, with Thomas Whitfield as assistant. The 
former attaches of the wholesale department remained and the firm 
was favored with large orders, such as the outfit order of Snyder <S: 
Dyche, at Iowa City, la., and by large purchases from firms locating 
camps in the lumber districts. The large business done by the whole- 
sale department necessitated both the giving and receiving of ex-- 
tensive credits; and when the crisis of 1857 came the affairs of the 
firm were in a desperate situation, no one being able to collect out- 
standing accounts. The firm had expended all its available capital: 
but continued, however, until the fall of 1859, when the inevitable 
happened and the business was forced into liquidation. The stock 
and fixtures were bought by William P. Wright and James B. French, 
both formerly of Lowell, Mass., and they moved the stock and a part 
of the fixtures to the northwest corner of Eandolph and State streets, 
where a retail drug store was fitted up, of which E. H. Sargent was 
placed, in charge as manager. The firm was known as \A'right c'c 


Wright & French. 

This firm continued in business until 1865, when Mr. Wright's in- 
terest was purchased by E. H. Sargent and the firm name was changed 
to E. H. Sargent & Co. 

E. H. Sargent & Co. 

The retail store of this company was one of the most prominent in 
Chicago and did a large prescription and general retail drug and sun- 
dries business from 1861 to 1871, when the store was destroyed in the 
great fire of Oct. 9. During the decade previous to the fire this firm 
had become well known as manufacturing pharmacists. Prior to the 
fire Mr. French had sold his interest to Dr. Livesey, who, in turn, in 
May, 1871, sold out to Mr. Sargent, so that the latter at the time of 
the fire was the sole owner of the business. The fire left it almost a 
total loss, but with about 10 per cent of the insurance (all he was 
able to collect), and the assistance of friends, Mr. Sargent re-estab- 
lished himself at the northwest corner of Wabash avenue and Six- 
teenth street within six months after the fire. A branch store which 
was started in 1868 at 612 Cottage Grove avenue was, of course^ 
spared from the general destruction wrought by the fire. This branch 
store was under the management of Thomas N. Jamieson who, as a 
clerk, had entered the employment of Mr. Sargent at the main store 
June 21, 1865. Mr. Jamieson afterward became the proprietor of the 
Cottage Grove avenue store. 

In 1876 Mr. Sargent oi^ened a central store at 125 State street, one 
door north of Madison street, still continuing the store at Wabash 
avenue and Sixteenth street. Later he removed the State street 
store to 108 Wabash avenue, where it still is at the time of writing. 

The clerks of F. Scammon and F. Scammon & Co. were as follows, 
so far as we have been able to obtain their names: F.W.Crane, 
Kyder P. Forrest, Henry Harding, Wm. McMillian, Riley M. Graves, 
Samuel H. Larminie, Valentine Hohenadle, Francis Jacoby, Peter J. 
Singer, Albert E. Ebert, S. A. Sanborn and W. H. Childs. 

Among the clerks of Sargent & Ilsley we find Fred E. Willis. 
James W. Mill, Thomas Whitfield, W. T. Baird. Albert E. Ebert and 
Peter Wetterer. 

Among those who clerked for E. H. Sargent & Co. prior to the fire 
were Albert E. Ebert, Edwin R. Smith, John Corbidge, Louis Strehl, 
N. Gray Bartlett, Thomas N. Jamieson, Judson S. Jacobus, H. E. 
Hildebrand. Isaac H. Fry, Charles W. Gill and a Mr. Irish. 

H. C. Watson & Co. 

This firm advertises in the Weekly Democrat of June 29, 1816, that 
they had opened a new store at (57 East Lake street, with a com})lete line 
of drugs, medicines, chemicals, dye stufi^s and liquors, also fine gro- 
ceries, dry goods, boots a-nd shoes, and hardware, and solicit the trade 
of cash buyers. The existence of this firm must not have been of 
long duration for we find no further record or mention of them as 
being connected with the drug trade. Thi^y certainly were behind 


the progressive times of 1846, as most of those (?rigfiged in the drug 
business at that period were getting rid of the sid(i lines, as groccrie-s, 
dry goods, hardware, etc. 

In the latter i^art of the year 1846, the first German drug slon.- 
"Deutsche Apotheke" was established in Chicago by Frederick Kos- 
enmerkel who had come from Bavaria, Germany, in the early part of 
this year. The store was opened on the north side of Lake street. 
No. 197, just west of Wells street in a two story frame building, the 
property of Silas B. Cobb. The store room was jmrtitioned off, the 
family of the apothecary occupying the rear part as its residence. 

We are told that the business had a precarious existence at the 
start, The winter was a severe one; the spring of 1847 was wet and 
late, the roads were bad, preventing the farmers from coming to 
tow^n, so that it became necessary for joint action on the part of the 
city and county authorities for inij)roving the roads for a distance of 
ten miles out of the city. 

From an account that has been given us of the Lake street drug 
store we are impressed that Mr. Rosenmerkel's experience in manag- 
ing a drug store at Filzhofen, Bavaria, just previous to his coming to 
this country was not of such a kind as to have been any advantage to 
him in a commercial way in doing business here. He fitted and 
stocked up the store on strict professional lines. It was when oxoened, 
purely and simply a German apothecary shop, containing only such 
drugs and medicines as were suitable and necessary for dispensing 
and retailing purposes. 

It must be remembered in this connection, that there w^ere few 
physicians in the city and a limited German population, the census 
of 1845 giving about 1,000 in number. There were only a few Ger- 
man families near Rosenmerkel's store on Lake, Wells and Franklin 
streets, and the remainder were scattered over the whole city. There 
was a small settlement of them on State street, south of Van Buren 
and another south of Van Buren on Sherman street; a few were scat- 
tered on the w^est side of the river on Canal, Clinton and Desplaines 
streets, between W^est Lake and Adams streets; and the remainder, 
the greater number, w^ere located in the "Dutch Settlement,'' which 
was on the north side of the river west of Clark street. The forego- 
ing statement would indicate that he was not overburdened with busi- 
ness calls and it confirms the story that he spent most of his time 
during the winter of 1846 and 1847 in reading and visiting his neigh- 
bors, while w^aiting for business to turn up. In this connection it 
may not be out of place to chronicle the names of some of the more 
prominent German settlers of the 40's. 

These were: Amberg, Baumgarten, Berdel, Berg, Best, Bishoff, 
Blasy, Barmann, Boyce, Busch, Dieden, Diversey, Doctor. Ebert, 
Espert, Eich, Falsch, Getzler. Gross, Haas. Hahn. Hagemann, Hand, 
Hartmann, Hettinger, Hoeffgen, Huber. Jung, Kassler, Kohn. Land- 
graff, Letz, Malzacker, Mattern, Nibus, Otto, Periolot, Peteri, Pfeiffer, 
Pfund, Raber, Reis, Rosenberg, Rosenmerkel, Rue, Sauter. Schall. 
Schaller, Schmur, Schuttler, Schirra, Spahn. Strehl, Stumpf. l^hlich, 
Warlich, Weitzel and Wehrli. The German physicians were Boen- 
ing, Boyer, Hellmuth, Lange, Max Meyers and Varges. None of 


these were near enough located to the Rosenmerkel store to assist 
him materially in his business and therefore the Lake street location 
was not a good one. 

These adverse circumstances induced him early in the year 1848 to 
move the store from Lake street to 94 Wells street (now Fifth avenue), 
on the west side of the street and near the corner of Washington 
street. The building was a two-story frame erected for and owned 
by him, the family occuxDying the upi^er story of it as a residence. 
The store was 20 feet by 40 feet, with working and sleeping rooms in 
the rear. Mr. Rosenmerkel proiited by experience and did not fit this 
store up quite as exclusively on professional lines as he had the Lake 
street store. His stock was not as varied as that of other drug stores 
of the city; yet it is said that he made an effort to supply his cus- 
tomers with everything that was generally called for. We are told, 
on the authority of the late Dr. Henry Tomboeken, who was in the 
employ of Mr. Hosenmerkel for many years, that on one occasion he 
ordered some ''Holland herrings'' from New York for a sick customer, 
the same not being obtainable in Chicago at the time. The surround- 
ings of the new location was much better than the old one. The 
German Catholics had erected an edifice, '"St. Peter's Church," on 
Washington street just west of Wells street, thereby making the neigh- 
borhood a nucleus for Grermans, who at this time were flocking in 
great numbers to the city on account of the unsuccessful revolution 
which had taken place in the fatherland. 

To help in the drug line there came to Chicago in 1848 and 1849 
that dreaded scourge, the cholera. This made an increased demand 
for drugs and made business lively for all the druggists in the city. 
From this time until the time of his death in 1854 by cholera, Mr. 
Rosenmerkel did a most successful and lucrative business. 

Prior to his demise he erected a four-story brick house at 130 Wells 
street, one door north of Madison street, which was especially de- 
signed and built for carrying on the retail drug business. The 
interior arrangement was in the most improved and elegant style, re- 
taining largely the German professional lines for the manufacture, 
sale and dispensing of drugs and medicines. The fixtures were solid 
mahogany, the shelfware of glass and porcelain was of the finest cut, 
imported from Bohemia. The labels were gold-enjimeled and burnt 
into the ware. The apparatus and implements for the store and labor- 
atory came from Germany, among which for the laboratory was an 
improved Beindorf's apparatus, the first of the few that have ever 
been in Chicago. When the store was ready for business it was with- 
out doubt 'the most com.pletely fitted up drug store on continental 
lines in this country; but its designer and owner was not allowed to 
enjoy its beauty and usefulness, as that dreadful plague, the cholera, 
of 1854, carried him off. 

The new store at 130 Wells street, was carried on by the widow and 
managed for her for several years by Philip H. Matthei, who is a prac- 
ticing physician of this city at the pn^sent time. 

Mr. Matthei was succeeded as manager by William H. Mueller, in 
1857, who subsequently married the widow and the business was con- 
tinued very successfully under the new firm name of Wm. H, Mueller, 


until his death which took lAnca in 1870. Th(3 widow, with th(? aid 
of her son, Adolj^h Rosenmerkel, again assunuid the r(;sponsibiiities 
of the business, conducting it successfully up to the time of the V^ig 
fire of 1871, when it was destroyed and she retired. Sh(3 lives, at the 
time of this writing, with one of her daughters. Although aged, she 
is sprightly and active and full of recollections and reminiscences of 
the Chicago drug business in the '40s, '50s, 'GOs and '70s. 

Of the clerks in the employ of Messrs. Rosc^nmerkel nnd Mueller, 
we can record the names of Adolph Rosenmerkel; Fredrick Huscher, 
Henry Tomboeken, Joseph Feilmeier, Ferdinand Rogler, Vincenz 
Faika, August Schaefer, Joseph Steinkeller, Adolj^h Settheimer. Wil- 
liam Hasselbach, Albrecht Keyer, and Messrs. Denks, Doe^jx^, Gelharr. 
Kroell, and Wittstein, the latter being the nephew of the celebrated 
author and chemist. Professor C. (Jr. Wittstein of Munich, Bavaria. 

Louis Warlich. 

The next drug store in chronological order was also a German store. 
It was located at 42 South Franklin street between Lake and Randolph 
streets in 1847. The firm name was '' Warlich's Deutsche Apotheke'" 
the owners being Louis Warlich and Dr. Louis Boening. It remained 
in this location one year when the stock and fixtures were removed 
over the river, this being the first Grerman drug store in the North 
division. It was in this year and thereafter that the German settlers 
began to flock to Chicago and the greater number of them located on 
the "North Side," the district west of North Clark street was known 
as the "Dutch Settlement;" Germans were in those days called 
" Dutchmen." The Warlich drug store, of which we have a picture, 
was located on the northwest corner of North Clark and Kinzie streets, 
in a substantial two- story frame building and was for years a land- 
mark of that district of the city. The firm name of the business was 
" Louis Warlich's Drug Store." Dr. Boening retained an interest in 
the business for several years w^hen he withdrew, giving his attention 
solely to the practice of medicine in which he was very successful; 
and it may be mentioned here that he was one of the first if not the 
first German regular practicing physician of Chicago. Mr. Warlich. 
who was a highly-educated German ax^othecary, gave close personal 
attention to the business which soon assumed a prosperous aspect so 
that after the lapse of a decade he had acquired such a competency 
that he sold the business to one of his clerks, Mr. Julius Roemheld, 
who continued it in the new four story brick building erected especi- 
ally for him by Mr. Louis Warlich for carrying on the drug business. 
The business was conducted by Mr, Roemheld very successfully and 
was disposed of to Messrs. Dietzsch Blocki & Co. in 18(35, for 850.C00. 
Two years later Mr. Henry Biroth acquired Mr. Dietzsch's interest 
and the firm now became Biroth. Blocki & Co. Just before the big 
tire Mr. Biroth acquired the sole owmershij) of what had become one 
of the largest retail drug stores of Chicago, wdiicli, however, w^as swept 
out of existence by the great calamity that befell the city of Chicago 
in 1871. Mr. Henry Biroth re-established himself, immediately, in 
the retail drug business at 2127 Archer avenue, where he was very 


successful in regaining, in a short period, the great loss that he had 
sustained by the fire. He is now one of the successful chemical manu- 
facturers of Chicago. 

Dr. F. C. Hageman. 

During the early 40s, we find a record of a German family of Hage- 
man consisting of three brothers residing on North Water street. It 
seems that during the summer season, these brothers followed the 
lakes as barbers on steamers plying between Chicago and Detroit. 
There is a record that Frederick C. Hageman (one of the brothers) 
was the barber on board the steamer Madison during the season of 
navigation of 1843. We also learn that about the beginning of the 
year 1847 Frederick C. Hageman had become a doctor of medicine 
and ox^ened a store on North Water street, near North Clark street, 
for the sale of medicines and drugs; and that his brother Christopher, 
who had formerly been engaged in selling groceries, was now engaged 
in the capacity of a drug clerk. 

The following year, 1848, the business was removed from North 
Water street to 26 North Clark street and here conducted as full 
fledged drug store under the firm name of Dr. F. C. Hageman. 

We extract the following from a letter written by W. S. Pearce, 
the j)ioneer druggist of Waukegan, Illinois, under date of August 15, 
1901. He writes:— 

" In September of 1849, on returning from a visit to England, I 
stopped at Chicago, which at that time, I think, had about 16,000 in- 
habitants. In walking over the city I found only one drug store on 
the North Side, kept by Dr. F. C. Hageman at 26 North Clark street. 
I, being a druggist of seven years' experience, which I gained in Eng- 
land, and seeking some employment, stepped into the drug store and 
had a talk with the doctor. I learned that he had recently been 
elected County Physician, that his practical knowledge of running a 
drug store was not much, and that he was desirous of taking in a 
partner who had a knowledge of the business so as to relieve him of 
this duty. After thinking over the proposition that he olfered me I 
thought it a good chance to enter business and went into partnership 
with him; but at the end of nine months, he objecting to enlarging 
the stock and improving the building by putting in a new store front, 
we dissolved partnership, I withdrawing and purchasing a farm in 
DuPage county. Having had no experience and no knowledge of 
farming and not used to the work in the sun, I soon had enough of it 
and yearned to be back in a drug store. Learning that Dr. Hageman 
was again anxious to dispose of his drug business I negotiated with 
him, and traded half of my farm for his stock of goods, fixtures and 
building, and returned to Chicago in 1852 and resumed the drug 
business under the firm name of W. S. Pearce, Apothecary and Phar- 
maceutical Chemist. Meanwhile, in 1850, Louis Warlich had opened 
a drug store at 39 North Clark, corner of Kinzie street, and, beino- a 
good druggist, did a good business. I, too, did a good business for 
the next three years, two of which were cholera years; having an 
attack of this myself and seeing daily the many funerals x)<issing the 
store on their way to the city cemetery (now Lincoln Park) produced 


such an impression on my mind that a living dog was better than a 
dead lion, and I decided to sell out and get out of Chicago, which I did, 
in 1855, selling the business to J. C. Lowrie, a good druggist, who had 
recently come to Chicago from Cape Town, Africa. Hit carried on 
the business successfully until 1858. when he sold it to Mr. Henry 
W. Robinson, who moved the store to 2H North Clark street, which 
was one door north of the old location. After disposing of the store. 
Mr. Lowrie concluded to return to his native city. Cape Town, but 
during the passage he must have changed his mind, for he committed 
suicide by jumping overboard, and became '* food for the fishes." 

Mr. Robinson remained in possession for about a year, when it 
passed to Luther F. Humiston, a druggist from Holyoke, Mass. In 
1859, Mr. Humiston studied medicine, and after graduating as a phy- 
sician, sold the drug store to Mr. Chas. H. Gardiner, a brother of Mr. 
Gardiner of the firm of Lazell, Marsh & Gardiner, No. 10 Gold street. 
New York City. He entered the army as surgeon of the 87th Illinois 
Infantry, serving through the war, and on being mustered out of ser- 
vice, returned to his native city where he died several years after. 
Mr. Gardiner carried on the drug business at 26 North Clark street 
until the fire of 1871, when the stock and fixtures were destroyed. 
He re-established himself after the fire at the southeast corner of 
Wells and Erie streets, continuing here ujd to the time of his death. 

This brings to a close the history of the first drug store of the 
North Division, founded by the barber, F. C. Hageman, in 1848. 
Hageman also held public office; he w^as i^hysician of Cook County in 
±849 and was elected Alderman of the city of Chicago for the term 

George Bormann. 

The third German druggist to locate in Chicago was George F 
Bormann, who came from Braunschweig, Germany, to Chicago in 

1847. The store w;as opened by him about the beginning of the year 

1848, under the firm name of George Bormann, at 184 East Randolph 
street, in a brick building erected and owned by the parents of Gale 
Brothers, who, ten years after, succeeded Mr. Bormann in the busi- 
ness at the same location, although the number of the store has been 
changed from 184 to 202 East Randolph street. There had been an 
error of eighteen numbers in the numbering of East Randolph street 
and this w^as corrected by order of the council in the year 1858. 

Mr. Bormann was a highly educated and trained German apothe- 
cary and conducted the drug business on purely professional lines, in 
which he was quite successful. He enjoyed the confidence and pat- 
ronage of the German physicians and the German public of the south 
and west divisions of the city so that in about ten years, with close 
attention to business, he had acquired quite an independence in 
worldly possessions and decided upon retiring from the drug busi- 
ness, disposing of the same to the Gale Brothers, the firm consisting 
of Edwin O. and William H. Gale, the latter brother. William H.. 
having served his apprenticeship with Mr. Bormann, while Edwin O. 
had learned the business with Henry Bowman and J. H. Reed c^' Co. 
Gale Brothers, after acquiring the business, remodeled the store and 


stock to bring it up to the American idea of a drug store and carried 
it on very successfully under the firm names of Gale Brothers and 
Grale & Blocki, at this location up to the time of the big fire in 1871, 
by which it was totally destroyed. 

Mr. George F. Bormann, in 1858, associated himself with Frederick 
Fuhring and bought out the drug firm of C. Schlemm at 182 (new 
number) East Randolph street and, in 1859, removed the store to 195 
East Randolph street where it was continued under the firm name of 
George Bormann & Company until 1860, when it was sold out, re- 
moved and disappeared as a stock. Mr. Bormann now retired from 
active business, spending the remainder of his days in philanthropic 
work. He w^as one of the founders of the " Deutsche Gesellschaft " 
(German society), of which he was the presiding officer for a number 
of years and was active in a number of other benevolent organiza- 
tions. He finally took up farming, following a quiet retired life up 
to the time of his death, which occurred during the 70s. He was 
born in the year 1801. 

Among the clerks of George Bormann. that we have a record of, are: 
William Schafer, Javis D. Cole, Frederick Liese, Constantin Schlemm,^ 
Dr. Spiegelhalter, Dr. Lampe and William H. Gale. 

R. AND H. Anderson. 

This firm was composed of the two brothers, Robert C. and Hiram 
C. Anderson, who came to Chicago from Aurora, Illinois, and opened a 
drug store in 1848 on the south side of West Randolph street, be- 
tween West Water and Canal streets, which was the first drug store 
that we have any record of as being located in the Avest division. 
The following year the store was removed to B-l West Randolph street, 
which was a few doors west of Canal street. Here the business re- 
mained and was conducted by the firm during the years of '50 and 
'51. At this time it was announced that the firm had a branch store 
in Aurora, 111., and that they were general dealers in drugs, medi- 
cines, paints, oils, window glass and dye stuffs; and that they were 
manufacturers of camphine, spirit gas and alcohol, the factor}^ being- 
near the railroad depot. 

The following year (1852) the firm was dissolved, Hiram C. Ander- 
son assuming sole ownership and management of the Chicago store, 
while Robert C. Anderson associated himself with a Mr. Boutwell 
and succeeded the firm of R. & H. Anderson, at the Aurora store, 
under the firm name of Anderson & Boutwell. This firm existed for 
two years, making large purchases of merchandise in Chicago: most 
of the accounts were never paid, the parties absconding to parts 

Hiram C. Anderson continued the Chicago store during the years 
of 1852 and 1858, advertising in the Chicago papers of these dates 
that he was the sole manufacturer of camphine and burning fluid or 
spirit gas, also of alcohol. In the beginning of the year 1851 the 
store was removed from rU West Randolpli street east to the south- 
east corner of Canal and Randolph streets by William H. Cheesman, 
the clerk, who was in charge of the business, and it was sold a few 


months later to E. L. O'Hara. We have been uiiabh^ to obtain any 
record of what became of Hiram C Anderson after the store was sold 
to O'Hara, 

Edson L. O'Hara, successor of the Anderson business, was born in 
Orleans county, New York State. Of his early life we have not been 
able to get any record. -He came west to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 
1852 or 1853, clerked in one of the stores of that city and came to 
Chicago about the first of the year 1854. A sister of O'Hara was the 
wife of Dr. De Laskie Miller, one of the jjrominent physicians of 
Chicago, and it is most likely that the doctor assisted the new comer, 
who was a most qualified jjharmacist, to purchase the Anderson store. 
The store, under O'Hara's able management, became a landmark of 
the west division of the city; and he did a most prosperous business 
from the year 1854 to the early 60s, when it commenced to decline on 
account of the habits that he had contracted. This went from bad to 
worse when the business was taken in charge of by Dr. Waldo W. 
Lake in 1865, who sold it the following year to W. Harry Stowe, and 
it was consumed by a fire during 1867, thereby ending the stock and 
fixtures of the Anderson's drug store. During the prosperous years 
of O'Hara's possession of the store it did an extensive prescriptive 
business. Mr. O'Hara had quite a scientific turn of mind. He fur- 
nished for years the meteorological reports to the Chicago Tribune. 
He died suddenly while in the counting room of that paj^er, in 1867. 
I. H. Thompson was a clerk of O'Hara in 1854. 

James Andrews. 

Mr. James Andrews came from Rome, New York, to Chicago about 
1847 and connected himself with the lumber business. In the early 
part of 1849 he engaged in the drug business by opening a drug store 
on the southwest corner of Eandolph and Canal streets, in the three- 
story brick building known as the Western Hotel, now the Barnes 
House. This was the second drug store in the west division of the 
city that we have any record of. 

The following year, 1850, he removed the business a few doors west 
of the corner, the number being 42 West Randolph street. Here it 
remained until the year 1854 when he removed still farther west to 
No. 56 West Randolph street. This year, 1854, Mr. Andrews was 
elected sheriff of Cook county and he disposed of the drug store to 
Franklin A. Knapp and Dr. Henry T. O'Farrell, who continued the 
business for one year under the firm name of Knapp and O'Farrell. dis- 
posing of the same in 1855 to F. and H. M. Hooker, who carried on 
the retail drug business until in 1868 they went into the oil, paint 
and glass business on the northeast corner of Randolph and Clinton 

During Sheriff Andrews' term of office the noted murder trial of 
banker George W. Green took place, Mr. Green was convicted and 
sentenced to be hanged on the direct testimony of Professor James 
V. Z. Blaney, of Rush Medical College. The stomach of the mur- 
dered wife had been given to Dr. Blaney for examination, and without 

—17 H 


any knowledge of what poison had been administered he found and 
isolated strychnine in such quantities that he was enabled to demon- 
strate by new and novel tests before the court and jury the presence 
of this poison and satisfied them that it was the cause of the death of 
the woman. This was a revelation in the chemical science and pro 
duced quite a sensation, especially in England where recently the 
noted Palmer murder case had been tried, and although it was known 
that strychnine had been administered yet the chemists had been 
unable to find it. Prior to the day of execution Mr. Green made a 
confession substantiating the correctness of Dr. Blaney's analysis, 
and on that same night the guilty man committed suicide by hanging 
himself to the door of his cell. It is reported that SherifP Andrews, 
being opposed to capital punishment, was much relieved in mind by 
the termination of the case. The following year, 1855, Mr. James 
Andrews died. 

Among the employes of this drug store were William A. Bacon 
and George Mason, son of Charlie Mason of the Excelsior Iron 
Works, who, leaving drugs and following his father in iron, is, at the 
present time of writing, the president of the company. 

Seaes & Bay. 

Prior to his death in 1849, Mr. L. M. Boyce expressed the desire 
that the drug business bearing his name at 1]{3 Lake street (Saloon 
Building), should be sold to Mr. Edwin R. Bay, who had been for 
many years his principal and confidential clerk. To carry out this 
request and enable him to do so, Mr. Bay secured the assistance of 
Mr. John Sears, Jr., a capitalist and merchant, who, with James 
Peck, had been engaged as a contractor in the building of the Illinois 
and Michigan Canal, and later on as a general merchant in the com- 
mission and provision business in Chicago. 

A ^partnership was formed under the firm name of Sears & Bay to 
carry on the w^holesale and retail drug business. Mr. Sears, having 
large means, furnished most of the capital, while Mr. Bay, having the 
practical knowledge and experience, managed the business. 

After two years continuance of the business, Mr. Bay. withdrew 
from the firm and associated himself with Mr. William Anson Bald- 
win, another capitalist, and instituted a new" wholesale drug house in 
Chicago, which was located at 139 Lake street, under the firm name 
of Bay & Baldwin. 

The old firm name of Sears & Bay was changed to John Sears, Jr., 
and continued at the old stand. No. 113 Lake street. The following 
advertisement apjDeared in Tlie Weekly Democrat of March (), 1852: 
"' Notice. John Sears, Jr., has succeeded to the business of Sears & 
Bay, at 113 Lake street, and solicits a continuance of the patronage 
given the old firm. [Dated] February 3, 1852. John Sears, Jr." 
On the retirement of Mr. Bay from the management of Sears & Bay, 
Mr. Charles G. Smith, who served an apprenticeship with the old 
firm, was advanced by Mr. Sears to head clerkship and managership 
of the business of the firm of John Sears, Jr. 

On the first of January, 1854, Mr. Smith was taken into partnership 


by Mr. Sears, and the firm name became Sf^ars & Smith, occupying 
the same premises at 113 Lak(3 street. During the first ye;ir of part- 
nership the business doubled and every appearance for trade (exten- 
sion was good. In order to enlarge, there were admitted into the firm 
in February, 1855, Mr. Edward Burnham and Mr. Riley N. Graves as 
partners, and the firm name was changed to Sears, Smith & Co. 
This firm continued for two years when Mr. Sears retired, disposing 
of his interest to the remaining partners, who continued the business 
under the firm name of Burnham & Smith, and removed the same to 
No. 23 Lake street. 

This location was held for three years, when the growing demands 
of business imperatively called for more room, and a removal was 
made to 16 Lake street. Here the business was continued until 
March, 1864, when the firm of Burnham & Smith was dissolved, Mr. 
Peter Van Schaack becoming associated and purchasing the interest 
of Mr. Chas. G. Smith, who retired from the firm. The firm name 
was changed from Burnham & Smith to Burnham & Van Schaack, 
and the business was continued at No. 16 Lake street. 

After the dissolution of Burnham & Smith, Mr. Charles G. Smith 
again established himself in the wholesale drug business at 259 South 
Water street, pending the erection of a building for him by J. Young 
Scammon at Nos. 1 and 3 Randolph street. In January, 1866, 
Messrs. C. Henry Cutler and Henry T. West became his partners and 
the business was conducted under the firm name of Smith, Cutler & 
Co. This firm continued in business until the beginning of the year 
1867 when the business was sold to the old firm of Burnhan & Van 
Schaack, who removed their stock from No. 16 Lake street and con- 
solidated it with the stock of Smith, Cutler & Co. at Nos. 1 and 3 
Randolph street. Messrs. Smith and Cutler retired from the drug 
business altogether, Mr. Smith removing from Chicago to the city of 
Washington, D. C, where he is now residing; Mr. Cutler entered the 
varnish business and is still a resident of Chicago. The remaining 
partner, Mr. West, became a partner of Burnham & Van Schaack, 
which firm continued until 1870 when Mr. Peter Van Schaack sold 
out, and, associating himself with Robert Stevenson and W. H. 
Reid, under the firm name of Van Schaack. Stevenson & Reid, X3ur- 
chased the wholesale drug business of E. P. Dwyer & Co., Nos. 92 and 
94 Lake street. 

On Mr. Van Schaack's retiring, the firm name was changed to E. 
Burnham & Son, the partners being Edwin Burnham, Edwin R. 
Burnham and Henry T. West, the business being continued at Nos. 
1 and 3 Randolph street up to May, 1871, when it was moved to No. 
19 Market street. It was at this location at the time of the fire of 
1871, when all of it went up in the fiames. The loss of the firm was 
estimated at $100,000. A short time after the fire, the firm opened 
temporarily for business at 157 and 159 South Canal street, when it 
removed to permanent quarters at 52 and 54 East Lake street. In 
1876 the firm of E. Burnham & Son was succeeded by the firm of 
Morrisson, Plummer & Co., which was composed of Robert Morris- 
son, Jonathan W. Plummer and Leonard A. Lange. In 1885 the firm 
was incorporated under the same firm name with Robert Morrisson 


as president, J. W Plnmmer as vice president, and L. A. Lange as 
secretary. After the death of Robert Morrisson in 1888, Jonathan 
W. Plnmmer became president, James L Morrisson, of Richmond, 
Indiana, father of Robert Morrisson, a heavy stockholder, 1st vice 
president, L. A= Lange, 2nd vice president and secretary, and John 
T. Plummer, treasurer. 

In 1891, the building occupied not furnishing sufficient room for 
the increased business, the company moved to Nos. 200, 202, 204 and 
206 Randolph street, where it is at present located. In 1893 James 
L. Morrisson died at his home in Richmond, Indiana, and his grand- 
son, the son of Robert Morrisson, and Elgar G. Hibbart, a son-in- 
law of James L. Morrisson, came into the company, and its officers 
were: J. W. Plummer, president, Elgar G. Hibbart, 1st vice presi- 
dent, James H. Morrisson, 2nd vice president and treasurer, and 
Walter G. Bentley, secretary. 

Mr. John Sears, Jr., while engaged in the wholesale drug business 
at 113 Lake street, was also interested with his brother-in-law. Dr. 
Joseph Blount, in a retail drug store located, from 1852 to 1853, at 
the southwest corner of Randolph and State streets, and known as 
the " McMillan Store,'' the business being managed for them by 
James F. Smith. Jr. This store was sold to Messrs. Breck and Paine, 
who had been clerks for McMillan. In the 50s Mr. Sears, with Silas 
R. Ball, entered into the manufacture of lard, oil and candles; the 
firm name was Ball & Sears. In 1860 Mr. Ball retired from the busi- 
ness and Mr. Isaac Wells became a partner, the firm name being 
John Sears & Co. Subsequently, this business was succeeded by N. 
K. Fairbanks & Co., who are in direct line at present the successors 
of Ball & Sears of 1850. 

Mr. John Sears, Jr., was also engaged in the lumber trade, the firm 
name being Wells & Sears. Mr. Isaac Wells, who had been clerk and 
bookkeeper for the drug firms of L. M. Boyce. Sears & Bay, John 
Sears, Jr., was his partner. 

Clerks of the above drug firms, of which we have a record, are: 
Isaac Wells, John A.'Bav, John C. Illsley, E. T. Cheesman, Henry 
T. West, Chas. G. Smith,"' James Barrett, M. L. Barrett, T. J. Bond, 
Dr. John Bryan, Charles Pearson, Peter Wetterer and Messrs. C. Z. 
Town, Harry Blakeslee, J. H. Allen, F. L. Gridley, John Dexler, Ed- 
ward Harper, James P. Knox, R. J. Walters and R. S. Ramsey. 

This closes the history of the drug firms in business in Chicago 
from 1840 to 1850. 


Puritan Influences in the Formative 
Years of Illinois History 






Chapter I. A Puritan villag-e in Illinois 2G4 

II. Org-anization of Home Missionary Societies in New Eng- 
land. Motives which led to their continued support. 
Methods adopted for their work 266 

III, First missionary tours in Illinois 271 

IV. 1812-1826. Beginnings of missionary work. The Andover 

period 276 

V. 1826-1833. The Yale period. Entering Central Illinois. 

Opening of Illinois College. The outpost at Galena. . . . 278 

yi. 1833-1860. Growth of the churches in northern Illinois. 
Chicago, Fox River region, Rockford. A lessened inter- 
est in Southern Illinois. Effect of the Illinois Central 
Railroad on church growth in Eastern Illinois 287 

VII. Difficulties of the New England pioneers 291 

VIII. The effect of economic conditions on growth of churches. 
Rapid immigration, inflation, depression, crop adapta- 
tion, emigration 294 

IX. Internal difficulties. Separation of the Congregational 

and Presbyterian organizations in frontier work 297 

X. Special Pkoblems of Missionaky Wokk in Southekx 

Illinois 300 

XI. Adverse sentiment 303 

XII. Puritanism and the Slavery issue. Proposed constitu- 
tional amendment of 1823. Riots in Alton and Quinc3\ 
The Underground Railroad. Anti-slavery politics 308 

XIII. Ecclesiastical rivalries 323 

XIV. Educational influence. Contest for free schools. Jona- 

than B. Turner and the State University. Academies. . 329 




In the north central part of the State of Illinois, a hundred miles 
above Springfield, lies a little village in the midst of the rich prairie 
country. The town itself is on a slight rise of land so that it over- 
looks the country for miles around. On every side stretch the well 
kept farms. On a bright fall day it is a particularly pleasant scene; 
everywhere the great fields of corn, golden brown in the sunlight, and 
moving slowdy here and there the huge wagons laden with the golden 
ears. The expanse of field is broken by orchards, a little woodland 
w^here some prairie stream makes its way toward the Illinois river, or 
a clump of trees or a windmill which indicates the location of some 
well-kept farm house. There is little going on in the tiny town itself ; 
a few stores, dispersing points for necessary supplies, a large school 
house with its ebb and flow of noise and silence. The roads are 
good, the trees abundant and large, the houses neat and comfortable 
and all pervaded by an air of quiet and repose that calls at once to 
mind the old New England village off the line of the railroad. Not 
until 1900 did a railroad reach this village. No mines, no large in- 
dustries have ever been started in its vicinity. Everything has 
consi^ired to keep the community, aside from the slow progress and 
material improvement that comes with years, in the same social con- 
dition with the same ideals and ideas that were stamped on it in the 
first thirty years of its existence. It is a town typical of many that 
have arisen in northern Illinois, but owing to its comparative isolation 
it has preserved longer than many its independence of the bustling 
activities of the world. Yet this little town and others like it have 
stood for much in the development of the great State. What has 
been the central organization, the central force to hold it together 
and make it count for something both for its own community and the 
world at large? Where, to borrow a term from silence, has been the 
dynamic center? 

All the week the ordinary busy routine of life goes on, each family 
working to and for itself. When Sunday comes there is a change. 

From practically every house in the village the people take their 
way to that modest, ample church, so centrally and conspicuously 
placed. From away out over the prairie the teams come with whole 
families. About the church the wagons stand thick; and inside, the 
large and handsome audience room is well filled. They are all there, 

* This paper was accepted by the University of Illinois as a thesis for the degree of Master 
of Arts in History.— [Ed] 


men, women and children, the aged jjeople and the young men and 
women. After the morning service apxmrently a large jjart ot the 
congregation remain for Smiday School or gather about th(3 building 
and talk in little groups. On every face is an aspect of deep satisfrjc- 
tion with the course of the day's procedure. Perhaps today this 
scene cannot be witnessed in many places in Illinois, a community 
where the church lays her hand on the whole x^opulation and where 
willing and glad, even if somewhat conventional, allegiance is granted 
to her claims. 

But in this town for some sixty years this scene has been renewed 
from week to week and it is the only x^ower, the only organization in 
the community, which has so brought its people together. This 
phenomenon, if one pleases so to call it, so remarkably preserved to 
U.S today, is but the working of an organization which in earlier years 
deliberately entered Illinois to have its part in moulding its future. 
It has worked hard and long. It has accomplished much. 

The history of this one church of the New England faith is typical 
of many others. Some two miles out of town where the pioneer set- 
tlement began was the pioneer church, a rude building twenty by 
forty feet, at first built of logs, but gathering a congregation of two 
or three hundred on Sunday. This log church was followed in time 
by a large brick building, the pride of all the region around. Today 
its plain Doric outline, softened by ivy, deserted and crumbling, is 
pleasing and satisfying to the eye. In the 40s it was called one of 
the most flourishing churches in the State. It gathered into its am- 
ple fold both Northerner and Southerner. It was in the church that 
their conflicting opinions were worked over and, not without suffering 
on both sides, the New England ideal maintained. To this region 
also came in the 40s and 50s, the thrifty Germans, Danes and Swedes 
from the old country, seeking earnestly freedom and enlightenment. 
There was power in the church to adapt itself to the needs of these. 
All were made one in the house of God. Today you trace their fair 
hair and blue eyes in the congregation and the children of the for- 
eigner are at home in the teachings of the Puritans. 

This community had its theological difiiculties; organized as a 
Presbyterian church, divided by Old School and New School doc- 
trines, it emerged in the 50s as a Congregational church. Within its 
walls its chief talk was of personal righteousness; but there was a 
firm belief that next to righteousness the success of the community 
and of the state and nation of which this community was so conspicu- 
ous a part, rested on education. So under the fostering care of the 
church grew up the public school, the village academy, which might, 
if circumstances favored, grow even into a college, and the young 
ladies' seminary. They sent east for teachers that their youth might 
have the best. The special glory of the little town is, that here first 
gathered kindred souls to talk over a form of education which should 
be the crown of all the State's work for her children, plans that finally 
led to the State universities which are doing so much for the west. 

With this one record in mind, we turn to conditions in New Eng- 
land for the starting point. 




Efforts for the propagation of the Gospel characterized the early 
settlers of New England and have always had a place in the activities 
of their descendants. Opportunities and methods have changed, but 
under such form such work has gone on from the beginning of New 
England's history. In the eighteenth century the General Associa- 
tion of the churches superintended such work, sending out settled 
pastors from their home churches for periods of missionary work in 
new settlements and among the Indians. Toward the end of the 
century special societies began to come into existence, the New York 
Missionary Society in 1796, the Massachusetts Home Missionary So- 
ciety in 1799. The work of these societies advanced to the west with 
the settlements; at first, limited to the region of the Mohawk and 
Genesee rivers in New York, then extending to '' New Connecticut '^ 
in Ohio and reaching Illinois for the first time in 1812.* The most 
active of these societies in western frontier work was the Missionary 
Society of Connecticut which, with some help from the Missionary 
Society of Massachusetts, carried on most of the work in Illinois till 
the formation of a national society in 1826. This society was organ- 
ized June 19, 1796, at Hebron, Connecticut, at the regular meeting of 
the General Association of Connecticut, with the following consti- 
tution: t 


The General Association of the State of Connecticut, impressed 
with the obligation on all the friends of Christianity to propagate a 
knowledge of its gracious and holy doctrines, also encouraged by the 
late zealous exertions for this end, in sundry Christian bodies, cannot 
but hope the time is near in which God will spread his truth through 
the earth. They also consider it a thing of great importance that 
some charitable assistance be extended to new Christian settlements 
in various parts of the United States. The salvation of these souls 
is precious. The happiness of the rising generation and the order 
and stability of civil government are most effectually advanced by the 

*E. P. Parker, Historical Discourse on Missionary Society of Connecticut. { Hartford, 1898.)- 
t Parker, Historical Discourse, 13. 


diffusion of religious and moral sentiments through the prea-ching of 
the gospel. In deep feeling of th(ise truths, having Vjy prayer sought 
the direction of God, in the fear of His great name, they have adopted 
the following Constitution of a Missionary Society: 

Article I. This society shall be known by the name of the Missionary So- 

Article II. The (General Association of the State of Connecticut shall be 
the said Missionary Society. 

Article III. The General Association shall, annually, by ballot, appoint 
twelve trustees, whereof six shall be clerg-ymen and six shall be brethren of 
our churches, who shall conduct the business of our society in the manner 
hereinafter prescribed. 

Article IV. The object of this society shall be to christianize the heathen 
in North America, and to support and promote Christian knowledg-e in the 
new settlements, within the United States; and both shall be pursued as cir- 
cumstances shall point out, and as the trustees, under the superintendence of 
the General Association, shall direct. 

Article V. The General Association and the Trustees shall adopt such 
measures, from time to time, for raising- funds, as they shall judg-e to be ex- 

Article VI. The trustees shall have power to apply the funds of the 
society, according- to their discretion, in all cases, in which they shall not be 
limited by the General Association, or by the donors. They shall correspond 
with other missionary societies; shall have power to appoint and dismiss mis- 
sionaries; to pay them; and g-enerally to transact all business necessary to 
attain the ends of the society; and sliall be paid their necessary expenses, 
but nothing- for their services. 

Article VII. The trustees shall, annually, appoint a secretary, who shall 
keep a fair account of the proceedings. They shall also appoint a chairman, 
who, with four of the trustees, shall be a quorum to transact business; or. if 
the stated chairman shall not be present, any seven of the trustees shall be a 

Article VIII. The chairman shall have power to call a meeting- of the 
trustees at his discretiofi, by letters left with them, or at the houses of their 
residence; and it shall be his duty to call such meeting- whenever requested by 
any two of the trustees. And in case of the death of the chairman, or of his 
absence from the State, any two trustees are hereby empowered to call a 

Article IX. The General Association shall, annually, appoint a treasurer 
and auditor of accounts; and the treasurer shall exhibit, both to the General 
Association and to the trustees, the state of the treasury, whenever he shall 
be called upon for that purpose. 

Article X. The trustees shall, annually, exhibit to the General Association 
a particular account of the missionaries employed by them— of places to 
which they are sent— of the missions— of the state of the funds — of the re- 
ceipts and expenditures — and of whatever relating- to this institution the 
General Association shall require. 

Article XI. The trustees, and all the officers of this society, shall enter on 
their respective offices on the first Wednesday of September, annually: and 
shall continue in office for one year. 

Article XII. The trustees shall hold their first meeting- at the State House 
in Hartford, on the first Wednesday of September next, at 31 o'clock A. M.. 
and every year thereafter they shall meet at the same time and place, unless 
otherwise ordered by the General Association. 

Article XIII. If on experience it shall be found necessary to alter this 
constitution, an alteration may be made by the General Association at their 
stated meeting; but not without having- been drawn up in writing- and lying- 
under consideration one year; nor unless all adopt the said alteration. 

Benjamin Trumbull, Moderator. 

Passed in General Association, at Hebron, June 31, 1798. 

Test: Nathan Pekkins. Scribe. 


The General Assembly of the State granted authority to ask con- 
tributions from the churches and the Governor issued an annual pro- 
clamation reminding the people of the contributions to be taken on 
the first Sabbath in May, and exhorted them to liberality in the same. 
These proclamations were directed to be publicly read by the several 
ministers to their congregations. More than twenty of these pro- 
clamations are preserved in the Historical Society in Hartford. i- 

The settlers were expected to co-operate with contributions and 
much responsibility was laid upon them to continue the institutions 
and religious customs of New England. In 1816 President Dwight 
of Yale said in an address to emigrants from Connecticut, which was 
printed and distributed by the Missionary Society of Connecticut, 
"Upon the decision of a few depend the interests of millions in after- 
times. It devolves upon you to lay out the streets and plant the 
foundations of literature and religion and to give a shape to the 
institutions of society. "-■ 

Too great stress cannot be laid upon the clear apprehension the 
founders and i)romoters of these societies had of the grave importance 
and far reaching influence of their labors. The phrase "the fathers 
builded better than they knew" is familiar, but it has been cleverly 
and truly amended, "They often knew better than they were able to 
build." The constitution of the Missionary Society of Connecticut 
emphasizes the "propagation of the gracious and holy doctrines of 
Christianity" and feels this necessary "to the order and stability of 
civil government." Those continued to be the chief motives for the 
support of the society. They were, however, amplified, and additional 
reasons were pressed upon the constituency of this society and the 
larger national society to which it became auxiliary as time went on. 
The spread of personal religion and the growth of righteousness were 
always the first consideration. On these it was felt profoundly that 
the stability of a self-governing nation depended. It seemed at times 
as if institutions of New England's faith and order must be submerged 
by the opposing elements it encountered; but, instead, those very 
elements of opposition only served as an added ground of appeal for 
stronger support. At first, and for many years, the appeal was simply 
to extend the gospel to frontiers where irreligion and ignorance pre- 
vailed. In 1835, with the beginning of extensive foreign immigration. 
Dr. Lyman Beecher's Plea for the West was published, warning the 
friends of religion and liberty that Romanism was seeking to take 
possession of the whole Mississippi valley; and from this time on for 
a decade, the rescuing of the West from Romanism was a powerful 

In the early forties the rapidly increasing population of the North- 
west brought into prominence the political argument. It was felt that 
"Catholic influences would co-oj^erate with infidelity and native de- 
pravity to make voters and legislators."^- By 1842 tables were pre- 
pared and presented through the publications of the society to the 
churches of New England showing the relative influence of the East 

1. E. p. Parker, Historical discourse, l'^^. 

2. Ibid. 20. 

3. T/ie Hone Missionary, April, 1842. 


and West in the National Legislature, and that between the year& 
1830 and 1840 the East had lost and the West had gained in repre- 
sentatives, urging this as an argument for Christian activity in behalf 
of the new states. The West, in this period, had gained twelve re- 
presentatives while the East had lost thirty, "a matter of trifling im- 
portance if those men and the constituents by whom they are elected 
are intelligent and virtuous." Otherwise, it was felt, they would be 
men "chosen for their subservient views to transient and party in- 
terests whose affinities are with the boisterous blasphemer, the duelist 
and the assassin." In 1845, the constituents of the society are told 
with elaborate proofs that the emigrants who are flocking to the West 
are largely paupers and criminals, that in five years the West will 
hold the balance of power in Congress, and that now is the time ta 
affect the character of the stranger. In 1848, two addresses were 
published and widely circulated: "The Church Essential to the Re- 
public," by Rev. E. N. Kirk; and "The Evangelization of the Masses 
of the People the Only Guarantee of Representative Democracy," by 
John Thompson of Poughkeepsie.^- 

With a keen apprehension of coming dangers Horace Bushnell 
published in 1847 his "Means of Our Country's Salvation." He 
claimed that Vermont, Western New York and part of Ohio were 
safe. "We have only to make sure of all the states this side of the 
Mississippi and then the critical point is past. We must get rid, if 
possible, of slavery; it aggravates every bad tendency we suffer. We 
can not, as American Christians be at peace with it longer. Not for- 
getting the moderation that belongs to every just course, w^e must 
lift our voices against it and must not desist from all proper means to 
secure its removal, till the work is done. "2- 

These may be taken as representative utterances expressing the 
motives used at different times to gain support for missionary societies 
for their work on the frontier. 

By the beginning of the nineteenth century the method of sending 
out settled pastors for short periods had become inadequate and men 
were employed for continued service, which generally took the form 
of itineraries. In 1801, the societies of New England and New York 
had agreed upon a "plan of union" under whose provisions missionary 
work should be conducted. This agreement continued in force till 
1852 with growing dissatisfaction to the two principal bodies involved,, 
the Presbyterians and the Congregationalists. The text of the agree- 
ment is as follows: 

" Regulations adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyte- 
rian churches in America and by the General Association of the State 
of Connecticut with a view to prevent alienation and promote union, 
and harmony in those new settlements which are composed of inhabi- 
tants from those bodies. 

" First — It is strictly enjoined on all missionaries to the new settle- 
ments to endeavor by all proper means to promote mutual forbear- 

1. Home Missionary, April, 1842; March, 1845; September, 1847; May, 1848. 

2. The Home Missionary, November, 1847. 


ance and accommodation, between those inhabitants of the new 
settlements who hold the Presbyterian and those who hold the Con- 
gregational form of church government. 

Second — If in the new settlements any church of the Congrega- 
tional order shall settle a minister of the Presbyterian order, that 
church may, if they choose, still conduct their discipline according to 
Congregational principles, settling their difficulties among themselves 
or by a council mutually agreed upon for that purpose. But if any 
difficulty shall exist between the minister and the church, or any 
member of it, it shall be referred to the Presbytery to which the 
minister shall belong, x^rovided both parties agree to it; if not, to a 
council consisting of an equal number of Presbyterians and Congre- 
gationalists agreed upon by both parties. 

Third — If a Presbyterian church shall settle a minister of Congre- 
gational principles, that church may still conduct their discipline 
according to Presbyterian principles, excepting that if a difficulty 
arise between him and his church, or any member of it, the cause 
shall be tried by the association to which the said minister shall 
belong, provided both parties shall agree to it; otherwise, by a coun- 
cil, one-half Congregational and the other half Presbyterian, mutu- 
ally agreed upon by the parties. 

Fourth — If any congregation consist partly of those who hold the 
Congregational form of discipline and partly of those who hold the 
Presbyterian form, we recommend to both parties that this be no 
obstruction to their uniting in one church and settling a minister and 
that in this case the church choose a standing committee from the 
communicants of said church, whose business it shall be to call to 
account every member of the church who shall conduct himself in- 
consistently with the laws of Christianity and to give judgment on 
such conduct; and if the person condemned by their judgment be a 
Presbyterian, he shall have liberty to appeal to the Presbytery; if a 
Congregationalist, he shall have liberty to appeal to the body of the 
male communicants of the church. In the former case the determi- 
nation of the Presbytery shall be final, unless the church consent to 
a further appeal to the Synod or to General Assembly: and in the 
latter case, if the party condemned shall wish for a trial by a mutual 
council, the cause shall be referred to such council, and. provided the 
said standing committee of any church shall depute one of themselves 
to attend the presbytery, he may have the same right to sit and act 
in the Presbytery as a ruling elder of the Presbyterian church.''* 

The originator of this " plan " is sujjposed to have been the younger 
Edwards. It was adopted by the General Association of Connecticut 
and proposed by that body to the General Assembly. f 

* American Church History, Series VT. 353. 

t J. B. Clark, Leavening the Nation (New York, 1903,) 38. 




'Under the auspices of the Missionary Society of Connecticut, with 
some help from the Missionary Society of Massachusetts, and in 
accord with the terms of the " Plan of Union," the first of these New 
England missionaries visited Illinois in 1812. Illinois was then the 
extreme frontier of the United States.* In fact, but a small part of 
what is now Illinois was then open to sett4ers, only a narrow strip 
along the Ohio and up the Mississippi as far as the trading post at 
St. Louis. The main attractions to settlers were the salt works about 
Shawneetown and what little business was doing about the seat of 
government at Kaskaskia. The soldiers of George Rogers Clark 
were followed by settlers from Virginia, the Carolinas and Kentucky. 
They had with them Methodist and Baptist ministers, generally igno- 
rant and prejudiced, whatever their native ability may have been. 
To these people were sent out the first missionaries from the east, a 
notable event both on account of the aim of the expedition and be- 
cause of the character of its leader. 

This leader was Samuel J. Mills, who was born in Litchfield county, 
Connecticut, in 1788, that county particularly distinguished for the 
religious leaders it has given to the country. Mr. Mills' father was a 
Congregational minister. He was himself educated at Williams' Col- 
lege and Andover Theological Seminary and was resident graduate 
for a few months at Yale. He was ordained to the ministry at New- 
buryport, Massachusetts, the stronghold of Presbyterianism in New 
England. He died June 16, 1816, at the age of thirty-five; yet in 
this comparatively short life he accomplished an amazing amount of 
work of a wonderfully broad quality and work that has touched 
national life in many ways. During his college and seminary days 
he was living through those experiences that filled him with a burn- 
ing zeal for the extension of Christianity to foreign lands He was 
one of four to take the initial steps in the formation of the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. At the time of his 
death, parties of missionaries had gone to India, Ceylon, to the Cher- 
okee and Choctaw Indians and to the Sandwich Islands, many of 
them personally influenced by him to this work.f 

*See map in McMaster, History of the People of the Ujtited States, IV. 
\GdiX<lmerSv)r'mg,, Memoir of Samuel J. Mills {'^e-^ York, \?>2Q), 


With this work under way he turned his attention to " Domestic 
Missions," as the phrase was then, and, from 1812 to 1815, undertook 
two tours through the West and Southwest. The first trii) was under 
the joint patronage of the Connecticut and Massachusetts societies, 
and he had as companion Eev. J. F. Schermerhorn of the Dutch Re- 
formed church. The second trip of 1814 was under the patronage of 
the Connecticut society, with the aid of Bibles and tracts from the 
Philadelphia Bible Society. The purpose of the trip, in the words 
of Ellis' biographer, Gardiner Spring, was "'to preach the gospel to 
the destitute, to exxDlore the country and learn its moral and religious 
state and to promote the establishment of Bible societies and other 
religious and charitable institutions." The plan of the first trip was 
to separate in journeying through New York and Pennsylvania, unite 
at Marietta, Ohio, go down the Mississippi to New Orleans, thence 
across the Mississippi Territory, returning by way of the western 
parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia; this plan was carried 

It was Mr. Mills' custom to keep a diary and on the return he and 
Mr. Schermerhorn made full report to the societies. On the first 
page of Mr. Mills' journal are found the following subjects of inquiry: 

1. Are the people supplied with Bibles and tracts? 

2. How many Bibles are wanted in a community or a town? 

3. Have supplies of Bibles and tracts been received in part? 

4. From what societies may supplies be expected? 

5. The number of regular clergy in each county? 

6. The nimiber of towns able and willing to support ministers? 

7. Ascertain, as far as may be, the most hopeful fields for mission- 
ary labor. 

8. Whence did the people originate? 

9. An institution for the benefit of the Africans. 

Of the Northwest Territory Mr. Mills says: " South of New Con- 
necticut, few Bibles or religious tracts have been received for distri- 
bution among the inhabitants. The Sabbath is greatly profaned, 
and but few good peox^le can be found in any one place." Of the 
people on either side of the Ohio river, he says: "We found the 
inhabitants in a very destitute state, very ignorant of the doctrines 
of the Gospel and in many instances without Bibles or any other re- 
ligious books. The Methodist ministers pass through this country 
in their circuits occasionally. There are a number of good people in 
the Territory who are anxious to have Presbyterian ministers among 
them." Introduced by Dr. Gideon Blackburn in Tennessee to Gen- 
eral Jackson, who was just starting for Natchez with 1,500 volunteers, 
the two missionaries were his guests down the river. 

In the report to the Connecticut and Massachusetts societies,* Mr. 
Mills gives the results of his investigations in regard to the distribu- 
tion of Bibles while Mr. Schermerhorn makes the more general 
report. The following is the report as to Illinois: " The settlements 
in'Jthis territory are very small and are much scattered. Those on 

* A Correct View of That Part of the United States W/iich Lies West of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains with Regard to Religion and Morals (Hartford, 1814). 


the Ohio are few, except the Saline and Shawneetown, and about 
Kaskaskias on the Mississippi at the Ani(?rican bottom. This country 
is delightfully situated as to climate and is almost a continual jjrairie, 
interspersed with copses of wood from Vincennes to St. Louis. From 
a survey of a road between these places, lately made, it appears that 
for this distance of 150 miles, the country is for every half mile or 
mile alternately prairie and open wood land. The American bottom 
is said to be the finest body of land to be found in the western coun- 
try. This territory has only two counties at present, Randoljjh 
containing 7,275 inhabitants, embracing the settlements on th(3 Ohio 
and Kaskaskias, and St. Clair 5,007, embracing the settlements oppo- 
site St. Louis and Missouri on the upper settlements. Of this county, 
Cahokia is the county town. In this whole territory is not a solitary 
Presbyterian minister, though there are several families of this de- 
nomination in different settlements. At Kaskaskias they are anxious 
to obtain a Presbyterian minister of proper character and talents who 
would be willing to take the charge of an academy. The Baptists 
have four or five small churches consisting of not more than 120 
members. The Methodists have five itinerants, besides some local 
preachers, and perhaps 600 members in their society. This country 
was rapidly settled before the war and should peace be restored, will 
greatly increase in population and ought to receive early attention 
from Missionary bodies." 

Mr. Mills urged the appointment of a missionary to St. Louis, and 
Salmon Giddings was appointed by the Connecticut society. The 
report from which these extracts are taken stirred all New England 
and even interested philanthroxjists abroad and led to the speedy 
formation of the American Bible Society. 

In 1814, Mr. Mills started on a second tour to the west, accompa- 
nied by Rev. Daniel Smith. Pilled with enthusiasm for the distribu- 
tion of Bibles, he wrote: "At Shawneetown we saw Judge Griswold, 
formerly from Connecticut. He favored us with letters of introduc- 
tion to Governor Edwards and other gentlemen at Kaskaskias. The 
Governor has promised to patronize the society should one be formed. 
This Territory is deplorably destitute of Bibles. In Kaskaskias, a 
place containing from eighty to one hundred families, there are, it is 
thought, not more than four or five." In a letter addressed to Jere- 
miah Evarts, and dated at Shawneetown, January 12, 1815, he reports 
a second interview with Governor Edwards on the subject of a Bible 
Society and the continued encouragement he received from him. 

From his observations on this trip he reported the population of 
Illinois at 15,000, retarded in growth by the hostilities of neighboring 
savag:es. '• Until the last summer, titles of land could not be obtained 
in this territory. But now land offices are opened, as some portions of 
the country are extremely fertile it is probable that settlers will begin 
to flock in, especially if the war should soon terminate." He reports 
the Eastern settlements as extensive, reaching thirty miles up the 
Wabash and forty down the Ohio. Many people are employed at the 
United States Saline works where salt, to the amount of 3,600 bush- 
els, is produced each week. " Shawneetown is the seat of justice. It 

—18 H 


contains about 100 houses, situated on the Ohio, subject to be over- 
flowed at high water. But it is continually deluged like most other 
towns in the territory by a far worse flood of impiety and iniquity.'' 
" Kaskaskias is the key to the western settlements and must, there- 
fore, become a place of much importance, although at present it does 
not greatly flourish. It contains between eighty and one hundred 
families, two-thirds French Catholics. Governor Edwards assured 
us that a preacher of popular talents would receive a salary of $1,000 
l^er annum for preaching a part of the time and instructing a small 

The development of St. Louis meant much to Illinois, particularly 
to the western settlements. Mr. Mills wrote: " St. Louis has a pop- 
ulation of 2,000, one-third Americans; the rest French Catholics. 
The American families are, many of them, genteel and well informed; 
but very few of them religious. When we told them that a mission- 
ary had been appointed to that station by the Connecticut Missionary 
Society, they received the information with joy. The most respecta- 
ble people in town assured us that a young man of talents, piety and 
liberality of mind would receive an abundant support; $1,200 or 
$1,400 a year might be relied on by such a man if he would teach a 
school and preach but a part of his time. When we consider the 
present situation of St. Louis and the high probability that it will 
become a flourishing commercial town, we cannot but desire that the 
person already appointed may speedily be sent. No place in the 
Western country, New Orleans excepted, has greater natural advan- 

The general conclusions on the religious situation in the regions 
visited were, as follows: "The character of the settlers is such as 
to render it peculiarly important that missionaries should early be 
sent among them. Indeed, they can hardly be said to have a char- 
acter, assembled as they are from every state in the Union, and origi- 
nally from almost every nation in Europe. The majority, although 
by no means regardless of religion, have not yet embraced any tixed 
principles respecting it. They are ready to receive any impressions 
which a public speaker may attempt to make. Hence, every species 
of heretics in the country flock to the new settlements. Hence, also 
the Baptist and Methodist denominations are exerting themselves to 
gain a footing in the territory. Some portions of this country are 
pretty thoroughly supplied with their preachers. Why, then, it may 
be asked, should we not leave it wholly to them? We answer, the 
field is large enough for us all. Many of their preachers are exceed- 
ingly illiterate. We have mentioned a number of places in which an 
earnest desire was manifested to have missionaries sent among them. 
This was not the desire of a few individual Presbyterians merely, but 
of many of the officers in the civil government of the Territories and 
some of the most respectable citizens of various denominations. The 
three Governors and a number of judges in the respective Territo- 
ries expressed to us their feeling upon the subject. Governor 
Edwards, of Illinois, has been for some time endeavoring to obtain a 


Presbyterian preacher there, and Grovornor Posy, of Indiana, pro- 
posed himself to write to some missionary society to obtain one for 
his neighborhood." 

A final communication was directed to th(i soci(;ty after thf^y 1i;k] 
returned. " Ever since we came back to this land of (christian privi- 
leges, we have been endeavoring to arouse the attention of th(3 public 
and to direct it toward the West. These exertions hav(3 been stimu- 
lated by a deep conviction of deplorable state of the country. Never 
will the impression be erased from our hearts that has been mad(i by 
beholding those scenes of wide-spreading desolation. Th(? whole 
country from Lake Erie to Gulf of Mexico is as the valley of the 
shadow of death. This vast country contains more than a million of 
inhabitants. Their number is every year increased by a mighty flood 
of emigration." 

'We have noticed that one subject of inquiry with Mr. Mills was to 
be some method of improving the condition of the Africans. Col- 
onization schemes were then occupying the attention of the philan- 
thropic. England had founded her colony of Sierra Leone in 1792, 
and this method of dealing with a question, which troubled many 
conciences, seemed to win the support of both Northerners and 
Southerners. Mills' biographer says that, while in the southern 
states, he collected facts respecting the condition of " his poor African 
brethren." In the western states he was endeavoring to arouse the 
attention of the charitable and influential, because he conceived that 
their weight in the councils of the nation and their pecuniary aid 
might be afterwards wanted. In Ohio, Indiana and Illinois he la- 
bored much to procure the grant of a township of land, on which a 
small colony might be established, both for the purxDose of making 
the experiment and evincing the utility of such attempts, and, more 
particularly, to prepare a number of persons to take the lead in some 
more enlarged establishment of Liberia as a free colony for negroes 
on the coast of Africa. 




The main result of these tours for Illinois, outside the interest 
aroused in its condition, was in the securing the appointment of Sal- 
mon Giddings to St. Louis. He was a native of Hartford, Connecti- 
cut, brother of the famous anti-slavery leader, Joshua Griddings, of 
Ohio. He received his education at Williams' College and Andover 
Seminary.^ Contemporary notices show that Connecticut felt she was 
giving her best in sending him to the frontier. He was sent out as 
a missionary to "vacant settlements" and authorized to preach 
statedly in any particular place for such a portion of the time as the 
people should see fit to employ him at their own expense.- When 
he reached St. Louis he picked up a newspaper published in that 
city, in which he found an article headed "Caution." The public 
were informed that a society at Hartford, Connecticut, was about to 
send missionaries to that region and the citizens should be on their 
guard. He won his way, however, into the confidence of the people. 
He was active in making trips as far and as often as he could 
and keeping the East informed of the religious condition of the fron- 
tier.^ He took the settled region under his care, and to the time of 
his death, in 1828, was the founder and overseer of its churches. Of 
some twenty churches, eight were in Illinois, located at Kaskaskias, 
Shoal Creek, Lebanon, Belleville, McCord's Settlement, Turkey Hill, 
Collinsville and Edwardsville.^ The first of these Illinois churches 
was at Belleville, founded August, 1816. The Missionary Society of 
Connecticut was called on to supply these churches with ministers, 
and to some extent did so. A number of men were sent out with 
commissions in rather general terms like that of Salmon Giddings. 
They were commissioned to Indiana and Illinois, to Illinois and Mis- 
souri, to regions "West of the Alleghanies.'' Sylvester Larned, com- 
missioned to New Orleans, preached at settlements in the Northwest 
on his way. David Tenney, of Harvard College and Andover Semi- 
nary, went to Shoal Creek in 1818 and died there the following year. 
John Milcot Ellis, educated at Dartmouth and Andover, was sent to 

1 M. K. Whittlesey, The Record of Fifty Years, {Historical Papers. Ottawa, 1894). 

2 T. Lippincott, in Hotne Missionary, August, 1846. 
8 The Fanoplist. 

4 J. E. Roy, Fifty Years of Home Missions {Hist. Papers. Ottawa, 1894). 


Kaskaskias, and lived to accomplish a great work for Illinois. Mills, 
Giddings, Tenney and Ellis were all from Andover, th(3 fruit of An- 
dover's missionary enthusiasm, so conspicuous in the first part of the 
century. 1 

Most of the men sent out by the Missionary Society of Connecticut 
up to 1826, were transients, so far as Illinois was concerned. In 1826, 
the year of the founding of the National Society, E. G. Howe was at 
Diamond Grove. Thomas Lippincott was commissioned as mission- 
ary* in 1829, although he had come to St. Louis from Connecticut as 
early as 1817 and removed to Illinois in 1818. Besides these com- 
missioned missionaries, who were permanently at work in Illinois by 
the year 1826, there were few resident New Englanders. Mills men- 
tioned Judge Griswold, of Connecticut, in Shawneetown in 1815. In 
1817, the Collins brothers came from Litchfield, Connecticut, from 
Lyman Beecher's church. Later other members of the family joined 
them. They established themselves opposite St. Louis. They were 
energetic, prosperous people, establishing tan yard, lumber mill, farm, 
store, distillery, and running a steamboat on the Mississippi. They 
were strong in principle as well as energy and gave ap their distil- 
lery when Lyman Beecher's great temperance sermon convinced 
them of the wrong of it. 

One sister married Salmon Giddings, and as a family they marked 
not only the geography of that part of Illinois with its Collinsville 
and Lebanon, named after the Litchfield county town of that name, 
but also had a strong influence on the religious and political history 
of the State.2 

The year 1826 brought a change in missionary method. The 
American Home Missionary Society was founded, surely needed to 
avoid the conflicts of the New England, New York, New Jersey and 
Pennsylvania societies. The policy of sending itinerants was 
dropped. Hereafter, men were appointed to definite places and a 
more stable work begun. 

1 J. E. Roy, Fifty Years of Home Missions (Hist. Papers, Ottawa, 189i); Andover Obituary 

2 W. H. Collins, ConsregationaVists of Western Illinois {Hist. Papers. Ottawa, 1S94). 



1826-1833. THE YALE PERIOD. 

A second period of New England missionary activity may well 
include the years between 1826 and 18B3, when the close of the 
Black Hawk War opened the northern part of the State to settle- 
ment and New Englanders began to come in, in large numbers, and 
demand churches like those they had left. Till that time, the relig- 
ious efforts of New England for the frontier were directed toward a 
population with social customs and religious ideas different from 
her own. 

The new society assumed Ellis and Howe as its missionaries; and, 
in the years that immediately followed, commissioned Solomon Hardy, 
of Andover, to Shoal Creek; J. G. Bergen, of New Jersey, to Spring- 
field; John Matthews, to Kaskaskias; Cyrus Watson, of Connecticut, 
to Edwardsville, and Aratus Kent, of Connecticut, to Galena. ^ Mean- 
while, Stephen Bliss, of New Hampshire, had been adopted as pastor 
by the church founded in Edwards county by a New England colony 
coming by way of West Virginia;- commissioned by the society, he 
was, by 1829, urging missionaries for Wayne, White, Gallatin and 
Pope counties.^ 

As the religious work for Illinois up to 1826 had emanated so 
largely from Andover, so the period now contemplated was enriched 
by a strong religious movement, arising from Yale College and yet in 
direct line of succession to the Andover movement, through the efforts 
of John Milcot Ellis. When he was ordained in the Old South 
church in Boston, in 1825, the charge contained the instructions, 
that he was "to build up an institution of learning which shall bless 
the West for all time." * He was located at Kaskaskia from 1825 to 
1828, and in 1828 he undertook, for the society, a trip through the 
" upper counties," visiting Edwardsville, CarroUton, Jacksonville and 
Springfield. All the time he had in mind a desirable location for the 
school he had been charged to found. 

1 Roy, Fifty Years of Home Missions {Hist. Papers, Ottawa, 1894). 

2 G. R. Parrish, History of Congregational Association of Soni/iern Illinois (Chicago, 1892). 

3 Home Missio7iary, 1892. 

4 Roy, Fifty Yeais of Hotne Missions. 



Jacksonville particularly pleased him, the church had ^rown rap- 
idly and desired him as pastor. It seemed the most promising jjart 
of the State. He wrote: " Sangamon, Morgan and (ireer] counties 
are taking the lead in this state. This is that jjart of Illinois whicli 
now is, and, from all appearances, is destined to be the most populous 
and wealthy. It is even proverbial that it jjossesses a rare combina- 
tion of beauty of prospect, richness of soil and salubrity of climate. 
A spirit of industry and enterprise is found in these counties, not to 
be found in this state or elsewhere nor in Missouri. Many English 
farmers, and many from New England and New York, are effecting a 
happy state of agricultural improvement. No country can exceed 
this for farming. Common crops of corn yield fifty to seventy- five 
bushels per acre; wheat, of the best quality, too, twenty-five bushels 
per acre, thirty-five not uncommon. Through this flourishing coun- 
try flows the Illinois river, admitted to be without a rival in beauty 
and excellence of navigation. The market on the Illinois was o^^ened 
the present year by steam. Eight or ten steamboats have already 
visited the Morgan landing since the spring and more are expected,*' 

Mr. Ellis made this trip in the spring of 1828. By September he 
bad removed to Jacksonville and had secured between two and three 
thousand dollars for his " seminary of learning." The half-quarter 
section purchased for its location he described as " the most beautiful 
spot I have ever seen." John Ellis, with Thomas Lippincott, had 
been appointed as an educational committee by the Presbytery of 
Missouri, which then included Illinois. They had asked aid from the 
Presbytery for the Jacksonville school, but were refused, and had 
then raised the money mentioned above by circulating an " outline " 
through Bond, Sangamon and Morgan counties. ^ 

In the early part of 1829. the " Illinois Association " had been 
formed at Yale College. Mr. Theron Baldwin read, in December, 
1828, an essay before the Society of Inquiry, at Yale, on Individual 
Effort in the Cause of Christ. It stirred Mr. Mason Grosvenor to 
thoughts of immediate activity and to the idea of an association of 
young men of like mind, to such an end. He talked with other young 
men in the college and theological seminary suggesting the formation 
of an association whose members should pledge themselves to go 
West as home missionaries, to locate near each other for mutual ad- 
vice and encouragement and to found a college; in short, to give 
themselves to the development of the frontier.- Just at this time 
they read in the " Home Missionary " of Mr. Ellis' plan for a semi- 
nary of learning at Jacksonville. Mr. Grosvenor immediately wrote 
him, told him of the suggested Yale organization, and suggested that 
the two projects might be combined. When his answer was received, 
after the two months it took for a letter to reach Illinois and its 
answer to return, it proved so satisfactory that the organization was 
at once completed with the following compact:^ 

1 Home Missionary , August, 1828; September, 1828; May, 1830. Historic Morgan and Classic 

2 Samuel Willard, Memorial of the Life and Work of Dr. J. M. Sturtevayit {Illinois School 
Report, 1885-86), 98. 

3 Julian Sturtevant. An Autobiography (Fleming H Revell &. Co. 1896), 138. 


"Believing- in the entire alienation of the natural heart from God, in the 
necessity of the influences of the Holy Spirit for its renovation, and that 
these influences are not to be expected w^ithout the use of means ; deeply im- 
pressed, also, with the destitute condition of the Western section of our 
country and the urgent claims of its inhabitants upon the benevolent at the 
East, and in view^ of the fearful crisis evidently approaching-, and which we 
believe can only be averted by speedy and energetic measures on the part of 
the friends of religio7i and literature in the older States ; and, believing that 
evangelical religion and education must go hand in hand to the successful 
accomplishment of this desirable object — we, the undersigned, hereby express 
our readiness to go to the State of Illinois for the purpose of establishing a 
seminary of learning, such as shall be best adapted to the exigencies of that 
country, a part of us to engage in instruction in the Seminary, the others to 
occupy, as preachers, important stations in the surrounding country, provided 
the undertaking be deemed practicable and the location approved; and pro- 
vided, also, the providence of God permit us to engage in it. 

Signed — Therox Baldwin, William Kirby, 

John F. Brooks, Julian M. Sturtevant, 

Mason Grosvenor, Asa Turner, 
Elisha Jenney, 
Theological Department, Yale College, Feb. 21, 1839.', 

This was the first " band" of the kind to take to itself a particular 
field of effort Five other men joined the " association " later from 
Yale and And over. Their first effort was to start a subscription for 
Illinois College; Jeremiah Day, President of Yale College, and other 
professors, approved the plan and gave their aid in raising $10,000 to 
help in the work. The institution was to be controlled by ten trus- 
tees, seven of whom were to be the men who had signed the compact 
of the association, while the remaining three were to be elected by 
the Illinois subscribers.^ The plan was submitted to the American 
Home Missionary Society, which pledged its endorsement and coun- 
tenance to the educational plans and agreed to send the men to Illinois 
and provide their support so far as necessary. 

As a matter of fact the original gift of $10,000 was by no means 
tlie end of Eastern giving to Illinois College. For several years it 
was almost entirely dependent on the gifts of Eastern friends, and 
later often sent some representative of the college, President Beecher, 
Mr. Baldwin or Mr. Sturtevant, to gather funds in New England. 

In September, 1829, the association sent J. M. Sturtevant and The- 
ron Baldwin to Illinois to complete arrangements for combining the 
two enterprises. They brought with them the promise of the $10,000, 
and, on December 18, 1829, an agreement was concluded between the 
original stockholders and the "Illinois Association of Yale College." 
The stockholders voted their confidence intheir new eastern members, 
thanking them and J. M. Ellis and the non-resident contributors. 
The new college opened its doors January 4, 1830, with nine students 
and J. M. Sturtevant as chief instructor. 

Without dwelling here on the influence of this college on the de- 
velopment of Illinois, w^e wdll notice a little further the work of tlie 
" Yale Band " for this state. While the interests of these theological 
students was always so strong in Illinois College as to serve as a bond 
between them and a place where they might sometimes meet, their 
lives for the most part were devoted to other regions in Illinois and 

1 Julian M. Sturtevant. An Autobiography, 139-14L 


other interests. It was an advantage for Illinois, not to })e calcu- 
lated, that so early in her history men of broad education and an 
interest in the broadest and best develoi^ment in th(3 state should 
have devoted themselves to her interests.* It is fitting to record these 
names with some brief account of their labors. 

The seven men who formed the original association were Mason 
Grosvenor, Theron Baldwin, John F. Brooks, Elisha Jenney, William 
Kirby, Asa Turner and Julian M. Sturtevant. Those who joined 
later were Romulus Barnes, William Carter, Flavel Bascom, Albert 
Hale and Lucien Farnham. 

Mason Grosvenor ^ was born in Pomfret, Connecticut, September 
13, 1800. He graduated from Yale College in 18'Zl, and studied three 
years at the Divinity School. He was the prime mover in the organi- 
zation of the " Yale Band " and took an active i:)art in raising funds 
for Illinois College; but he was prevented by ill-health from going 
to Illinois till 1858, when he became for some time a teacher in 
Illinois College. 

Theron Baldwin ^ was born in Goshen, Litchfield county, Connecti- 
cut, in 1801. He graduated from Yale in 1827, studied two years in 
the Divinity School, and went to Illinois in 1829. He was a trustee 
of Illinois College till his death, and always active in its interests. 
He was pastor at Vandalia and Godfrey, where he organized and con- 
ducted Monticello Female Seminary. For some years he was agent 
of the American Home Missionary Society for Illinois, and his re- 
ports are notable for their elegance of style and breadth of view. He 
was promoter and secretary of the Collegiate and Theological Educa- 
tional Society at the West. Mr. Sturtevant said of him, "he always 
meant business.""^ 

John Flavel Brooks ^ was born in Westmoreland, New York, De- 
cember 3, 1801. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1828, stud- 
ied three years at Yale Divinity School, and went, in 1881, to Illinois 
as Home Missionary to St. Clair county. He preached in Collinsviile 
and Belleville, but preaching gave way to teaching, and he is best 
known in Illinois for his long years of service in teaching. He taught 
school in Belleville, and, in 1887. he ojDened a teachers' seminary in 
Waverly, one of the earliest attempts to give normal instruction to 
teachers. His seminary was not, however, successful, and, in 1810. 
he went to Springfield where he opened an academy in which special 
attention was given to the education of teachers. He continued to 
teach till the academy gave way to the public high school, and after- 
wards taught in a small i)rivate school till his death, in 1887. As 
teacher ''no one else has served so long and none more devotedly."* 

* Julian Sturtevant. An Atitobiography, 181 ; Historic Morgan and Classic JacksonrilJc: Home 
Mzj-j-zwzarj, May, 1836; Samuel Willard, Edtication in Illinois {Illinois School Report, 1883-84). 112. 

1 Obituary Record of Yale College. 

2 Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale College, No. II. 

3 Julian M. Sturtevant. An Autobiography, 151. 


Elisha Jenney^ was born at Fairhaven, Massachusetts, November 
7, 1803. He graduated from JJartmouth College in 1827, and studied 
at Yale Divinity School for three years. He was pastor at Alton, 
Waverly, Monticello, Spring Creek and Island Grove, up to 1849. 
From 1849 to 1858, he undertook evangelistic work for the Alton 
Presbytery. In 1858, he became agent of the Home Missionary So- 
ciety for Central and Southern Illinois. He died at his home, in 
Gaiesburg, in 1882.1 

William Kirby^ was born in Middletown, Connecticut, July 10, 
1805. He graduated from Yale College in 1827 and studied in Yale 
Divinity School for three years. He then became an instructor in 
Illinois College for two years and then pastor to the churches in 
Union Grove, Blackstone Grove and Mendon, successively, till 1845. 
In ten years he organized forty-one churches. For several years 
before his death, in 1851, he was a general agent for the society in 
Illinois, especially valuable for his fine business capacity, though he 
himself never received more than $400 per year. 

Asa Turner 2 was born in Templeton, Massachusetts, in 1799, grad- 
uated from Yale College in 1827, and studied two years in the Yale 
Divinity School. His early work was in Quincy, though later he was 
identified with Iowa and was one of the founders of Iowa College. 

J. M. Sturtevant 2 was born in Warren, Connecticut, in 1805, and 
graduated from Yale College in 1821. He became, in 1830, the first 
teacher in Illinois College, continued work in that college till 1885, 
and for many years was its president. In his later years he pub- 
lished several books on religious and theological subjects, and always 
devoted himself to the educational development of the West. 

The following are the men who joined the association after 1829: 
Romulus Barnes, William Carter, Flavel Bascom, Albert Hale, Lucien 

Romulus Barnes'^ was born in Bristol, Connecticut. October 16, 
1800. He graduated from Yale College in 1828 and studied for three 
years in the Yale Divinity School. He served as home missionary 
in Peoria, Knox and McDonough ' counties and started a seminary at 
Washington, Tazewell county. He died in 18^6, at the age of 

William Carter was born in New Canaan, Connecticut, in 1803, and 
graduated at Yale in 1828. He remained at Yale in the Divinity 
School, and as a tutor till 1833, when he went to the Congregational 
church in Jacksonville, and remained in Illinois for the rest of his 
life. He was pastor for many years (1838-1866) at Pittsfield, and 
resided there till his death in 1871. He was a trustee of Illinois Col- 
lege and director of Chicago Theological Seminary. 

Flavel Bascom was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, in 1804, and 
graduated from Yale in 1828. For three years he was a student in 
the Divinity School, and for three years more a tutor in the college. 
He worked in Peoria, Bureau, Putnam and Tazewell counties. He 

1 Seventh General Catalogue of the Divinity School of Yale University, 14; Pillsbury, ///.f^r?Vv7/' 
Sketch of Illinois State Normal University {Illinois School Report, 1SS7-SS), 90; Willard, Educa- 
tion in Illinois {School Report, lfs83-84), 119. 

2 Obituary Record of Yale College. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 



was pastor in Galesburg, Dover, Princeton, Hinsdale, and, from 1840 
to 1850, in the First Presbyterian chnrch of Chicago. He was one of 
the founders of Beloit College and one of its trustees for thirty- seven 
years. He was also a trustee for Knox College and a director for 
thirty years of Chicago Theological Seminary. ^ 

Albert Hale was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, in 1799, gnul- 
uated from Yale in 1827, and studied for three years in the Di- 
vinity School. From 1831 to 1836, he was a home missionary in 
Illinois. He was agent of the Missionary Society from 18*J6 to 
1839, and then became pastor of the Second Presbyterian church 
of Springfield, where he remained till his retirement in 1867, " a fear- 
less advocate of human rights and Christian patriotism." " The mis- 
sionary tours of Mr. Hale and Mr. Baldwin extended from the Ohio 
river to the northern border of the state, and their good results con- 
tinue to this day." ^ 

Lucien Farnham was born July 8. 1799, at Lisbon, Connecticut. 
He graduated from Amherst College in 1827, and from Andover Sem- 
inary in 1830. He was thus the only member of the " band " who 
never studied at Yale. He went as home missionary to Illinois in 
1830, and preached there till his death, in 1874. He preached in 
Jacksonville, Princeton, Hadley, Batavia, Lockport and Newark. ^ 

Before this group of men had entered Illinois to advance with its 
population toward the center and north, an isolated settlement had 
appeared in the extreme northern part of the state where, at Galena, 
the government lead mines were attracting a rude population. In 
April, 1828, a resident of the settlement made an appeal to the Home 
Missionary Society for a resident missionary. ^ He justified his ap- 
peal by giving a description of the condition and prospects of Galena. 
At that time it had 1,200 to 1,500 inhabitants, although only two 
years before there had been but fifty people there. Two-thirds of 
the present population were from the United States; the remainder 
were mostly Irish Catholics. The United States agent reported five 
million pounds of lead as taken from the smelting establishments. 
" Every steamboat brings workers and by July it is thought the num- 
ber will be 10.000." There was no clergymen, Protestant or Catholic, 
and no school. A movement was on foot for erecting a place of 
worship and starting a subscription for the support of a clergyman; 
two names were down for $125. July 7th, the same correspondent 
reinforced his appeal by saying the population had reached 10,000, 
and the subscription $400. 

Meanwhile, Aratus Kent, of Suffield, Connecticut, had graduated 
from Yale in 1816, and studied theology in New York for four years. 
During the year 1822-1823, when he was a student at Princeton The- 
ological Seminary, he had offered his services to the Missionary So- 
ciety, asking to be sent " to a place so hard that no one else would 
take it." In March, 1829, he was commissioned to Galena. After a 

1 Obituary Record of Yale College: Seventh General Catalogtie of the Divinity School , if Yale 
University, 14. 

2 Julian M. Sturtevant. An Auto biography, It^Z. 

3 General Catalogue of the Theological Seminary, Andover, Mass, ISSO, 75. 

4 Home Missionary, April, 1828. 


journey of eighteen and a half days he reached his destination with a 
feeling of elation that all the broad region above St. Louis was '' his 
diocese," since there was no clergymen anywhere in it. Thus began a 
service of thirty-nine years for northern Illinois. For nineteen years 
his labors centered about Galena. He then became agent of the so- 
ciety for northern Illinois. He did much for the religious and educa- 
tional interests of this part of the state. He helped to found Beloit 
College, and was its first president.^ 

When he reached Galena, he did not find conditions so favorable 
as he had hoped. ''A combination of unpropitious circumstances has 
already produced and threatens still great embarrassments in this 
place and the adjoining country. The regulations of government are 
oppressive. I shall not take it upon me to say that they require too 
great a proportion of the lead, but the requisition that those who live 
fifty miles out should deliver their tithes here, and the restrictions 
by which people are X3re vented from cultivating the soil and are then 
made to depend on markets a thousand miles distant, are oppressive 
beyond endurance. The merchants and smelters have sold their 
goods on credit to such an unwarrantable extent that the country is 
become bankrupt. The i^rice of lead is so low that, under i^resent 
disadvantages, it will scarcely pay for digging, smelting and convey- 
ing to market. In addition to all this, the capitalists, who generally 
live at a distance, are taking the alarm and are using oppressive 
measures to call in their funds. The consequence of all which is. 
that the peojDle are fast retreating, and the present prospect is, that 
but few, comparatively, will remain here through the winter." ^ 

In the fall of 1829, Mr. Kent made a tour to St. Louis, and, on his 
return by way of the Illinois river, visited the settlement of Union 
Grove, where a little community of twenty families had built a 
church, the first north of Springfield and a 100 miles above it. These 
families were all from the south.' Some, coming originally from 
Tennessee, had first settled in Bond county and founded Bethel 
church, to which Thomas A. Spielman was commissioned in 1829, 
Some came by way of Bond county from the Red Oak church, Brown 
county, Ohio, led by their pastor, Rev. James Gilliland from South 
Carolina. Others came directly from the church of Rev. John Ran- 
kin, in Ripley, Brown county, Ohio. Most, if not all. of these people 
had left the south to escape the evils of slavery, and their churches 
were anti-slavery churches. Aratus Kent preached the first sermon 
to the new settlement and reported to the society their desire for a 
minister. Rev. John McDonald, ''a western man," was commissioned 
to Union Grove in 1831.^ 

By 1830, even before the Black Hawk War, Mr. Kent is exploiting 
the excellence of northern Illinois and calling for settlers: '' I am still 
of the opinion that this mining country will settle with unexampled 
rapidity when it is thrown into market, as I think it will be, within 
two years. Believing as I do that the soil, the minerals, the salubrity 
and the water power afi:ord a combination of inducements to settlers 

1 C. A. Church, History of Rockford, 1%^\ Home Misstoiiaiy, March, 1829. 

2 Home Missionary, 1829. 

3 Correspondence with H. E. Leeper. Princeton, Illinois. 


unequalled in the United States, and such as will soon render it a 
populous district, I am extremely anxious that laborers should takfi 
the field in time." He pleads for a colony to come out like that of 
Plymouth Rock. They should come from ijrincix)le. '' Bibles, tracts 
and missionaries are indispensable, but they must be accompani(Kl by 
intelligent and matured piety in the ordinary walks of life." 

By 1831, Galena had recovered her prosperity. By 1833, Mr. Kent 
impressed by the military defences of the frontier, fancies a line of 
evangelical posts along the northern boundary of the state. This is 
suggested by a second visit to Union Grove and one to Fort Dear- 
born, where he found Jeremiah Porter, just arrived with the troojjs 
from the north and ready to take up missionary duties among soldiers 
and civilians. He would have Union Grove and Fort Dearborn serve 
as^ evangelical posts to resist the onsets of sin just as the military 
post was set for the protection of the country. Mr. Kent's pride in 
Galena is shown in his comment on Chicago at this time: "It is an 
important station, and if the pier now commencing should be perma- 
nent and the harbor become a safe one, Chicago will undoubtedly 
grow as rapidly as any village in the western country." In 1841, he 
wrote, that " more business is done in Galena than any place either 
in the state or territory." ^ 

In 1829, Aratus Kent found Union Grove in Putnam county, isola- 
ted by a 100 miles of uninhabited prairie from Springfield. It was 
the navigable Illinois river that thus drew settlers into the center 
and north of the state. In 1831, a settlement was formed at Pekin, 
and a church founded the following year, even during the progress of 
the Indian war, showing how settlers were crowding into the Indian 
country. In 1828, the "upper counties" were Sangamon, Morgan and 
Greene, according to John Ellis. In that same year another writer 
describes Greene, Morgan, Sangamon, Tazewell, Peoria, Fulton, 
Schuyler, Adams and Pike, as counties in the northern part of the 
state. 2 He says settlements in Morgan and Sangamon began as early 
as 1820. All of these counties, except Tazewell, were in the military 
bounty tract which had been surveyed and laid off into counties to 
41°. Six of these — Peoria, Fulton, Schuyler, Calhoun, Pike and 
Adams — had been organized and courts held. " Communication with 
other parts of the state is at times very difticult, on account of ice, bad 
ferries and overflowing of the Illinois and its tributaries." 

Rev. J. G. Bergen was sent into this region in 1828, receiving cour- 
tesies from Governor Edwards, at Belleville, on his way. He found 
Springfield a town of 1,800 inhabitants, with traders coming in from 
twenty to forty miles around. In 1830, he writes: " One never beheld 
a fairer or more inviting region than the upper counties to which a 
tide of emigration rolls with an unexampled rapidity." " We must 
have pious laymen. Let such individuals consider well and they 
will find the appeal is strong to their interest and duty, for the pres- 
ent and the future, for themselves and the generation which is to 

1 Home Missionary, 1831. 

2 Home Missionary, ',1828. 


come." 1 He, too, rei3orts the advanced settlement of Union Grove 
and Pekin, the latter " only came into market last autumn." In 1881, 
a writer from Yandalia calls attention to the fact that the missiona- 
ries are altogether neglecting the south and east of the state for the 
north and west, and that, too, when the bulk of the population is 
south of Vandalia. 

This then was the state of settlement in 1838, at the close of the 
Black Hawk War. The majority of the population was in the south- 
ern part of the state, but there was more of interest and promise on 
the northern frontier. Immediately upon the close of the war the 
eastern emigration, which had already begun and had had an influ- 
ence upon the " upper counties " of 1828, was increased to a great 
extent. Not without influence upon would-be settlers must have 
been the ajDpeals of missionaries published and distributed widely 
as they were through the East. They never failed to describe the 
beauty and fertility of the country, its promise of future fruitfulness. 
and the need of " pious families " as settlers to possess the land for 
righteousness. Who could resist the optimism and hopefulness of 
Mr. Bergen, as he wrote, in 1829, from Springfield i^ "It has ap- 
peared to me after a year's observation of climate, soil, production 
and great water privileges in these parts, having the Wabash on the 
east, the Ohio on the south, the Mississii^pi on the west, the Illinois 
and Sangamon through the center, and the inexhaustible mines on 
the north, that here are held out the brightest and richest prospects 
of abundance, usefulness and comfort to thousands in the eastern and 
middle states. And is not noiv the time while there is a stagnation 
of business in the old states, a depression in many of your great es- 
tablishments and hundreds are thrown out of employment, and here 
the best selections are yet to be made? A thorough conviction on 
these points by many letters from my relations and others in this 
coantry, together with a full belief that our population in the West 
was out-growing the institutions of religion, science and common 
learning, induced me with my little family, voluntarily to lay down 
our many endearments in the East and to take up our stand here. 
When I first saw Mr. Ellis, more than a year ago, he told me he was 
fixed in his purpose to abide in this state, while up to that hour he 
could scarcely see a ray of hope dawning on our cause in Illinois." 

1 /did. December, 1828; 1831. 

2 Borne Missionary, June, 1829. 




Chicago was the first place to spring into importance after the 
Black Hawk War. In 1833, i Theron Baldwin, of the " Yale Band,*' 
visited the place and thus described it: " Chicago is destined soon to 
be a place of great importance. It is fast becoming a great thorough- 
fare, furnishing, as it does, the only harbor on all that portion of the 
lake; especially, when the canal or railroad is opened, there must be 
a vast amount of business drawn to that point. It has increased with 
astonishing rapidity the present season. I was told that since the 
opening of spring, not far from seventy buildings of all sorts had 
been erected, or were under way. There are more than twenty stores 
of different kinds, and, I regret to add, that with few exceptions they 
traffic in ardent spirits. I saw nothing in Chicago to induce the 
belief that the morals of the people generally were below other new 
towns of a similar character. No instance of intoxication on the part 
of the white man fell under my notice. But the degraded Potawatta- 
mies, who on some days throng the streets, presented a most disgust- 
ing and affecting spectacle. One could hardly walk out at any time 
without coming in contact with more or less cases of beastly intoxi- 
cation among them." It was on this trip that the deserted forts, con- 
structed as protection against the Indians, were used as preaching 

A little earlier, Jeremiah Porter, educated at Williams' College and 
Princeton Theological Seminary, was commissioned as missionary to 
the military post at Sault de Saint Marie. When Major John Fowle 
was sent with troops to build a pier and cut the sand bar at Fort 
Dearborn, he asked Mr. Porter to go with him. He at once found 
material for a church, many of whose members had been born in New 
England. Writing on his arrival, he said: "A papal priest reached 
this place from St. Louis a fortnight since and I hope Providence 
has sent a counteracting influence here just in season.'' Mr. Porter 
was not so optimistic about Chicago as was Mr. Baldwin. '' Iniquity 
has abounded here," he wrote. " The awful scenes of ' the treaty,* 
the unprovoked and wanton violence of the Sabbath, the disregard i3y 

1 Home Missiondity, 1833. 


multitudes of the necessary laws and customs of well regulated com- 
munities, the ridiculous imitation of the follies of the most profligate 
cities of our land, have made Christians tremble for the future pros- 
pects of this place." This same year both Mr. Porter and Mr. Kent 
visited the settlement at Fountaindale, or DuPage, where were a 
cluster of families from Vermont, and founded a church there. 

The valley of the Fox river and the region between the Des Plaines 
river and Lake Michigan now became a favorite place for settlement. 
in 1834, Rev. N. C. Clarke was sent to DuPage and became the active 
missionary and organizer of churches of all the Fox and DesPlaines 
river region. A grant for a railroad between Chicago and Galena 
shows the rising importance of this region. Churches were founded 
in Plainville (1836), St. Charles (1835), Elgin (1836), Aurora (1838). 

In 1837, the First Congregational church of Rockford was organ- 
ized. Its early establishment in the town, its peaceful history, its 
strong and influential position, are typical of the history of these 
Congregational churches in most northern Illinois towns. The flrst 
permanent settlers of Rockford were Germanicus Kent and Thatcher 
Blake, the former a native of Suflield, Connecticut, and a brother of 
Aratus Kent, the missionary at Galena. Thatcher Blake was from 
Maine. One came to build a saw mill, the other to farm. This was 
in 1831. Mr. Kent's family joined him, coming from Galena in the 
spring of 1835. Other people had by this time settled in the locality. 
On the second Sunday of June, 1835, the first religious service was 
conducted in the house of Germanicus Kent by his brother, Aratus 
Kent, and the church was organized May 5, 1837, with nine members. 
Its first church building was made possible by gifts from friends of 
the early settlers in New York, amounting to $800. The church 
seems to have supported its minister alone from the beginning. The 
longest pastorate has been that of Rev. Henry M. Goodwin, from 1850 
to 1872. In 1849, a second Congregational church was founded, and, 
in 1858, a third; both daughters of the first. Rockford has always 
been a stronghold of Congregationalism. ^ 

Through the rest of the 30s and 40s, there was persistent and in- 
creasing demand for missionaries as the country filled up with eastern 
settlers. Churches generally became self-supporting, such was the 
material prosperity of the country. Yet in 1844, of forty-six Congre- 
gational churches, all but two were helped by the society; and that 
same year there was a call for twenty missionaries for northern Illi- 
nois, many of the towns offering to pay part, at least, of the salary. 
It was clear that during these years the southern part of the state 
was neglected by, or inhospitable to, the eastern missionaries. In 
1847, about Jacksonville, which in 1828 was the center of missionary 
work, twelve churches were without ministers. The new population 
coming to the northern part of the state showed tastes agreeable to 
the missionary, and the work in the north and west was urgent and 
prosperous One pastor wrote of his parish, as follows: ''Permit me 
to notice a fact which finds a parallel only in the early history of New 
England; that Christians seem to be roused to the importance of lay- 

1 Church. History of Rockford. 28, 87, 306. 


ing well the foundations of socic^ty in the new l3ut rapidly rising 
communities of the West. They have an interest not only to know, 
but to decide what shall be the moral and religious tona of f(i(iling. 
Christians at this day, stimulated by a sense of duty, chc^erfully k^ave 
the favored scenes of older states to exert their influences in forming 
the character of the infant portions of our country." 

The year 1851 marked an advance in the economic development of 
the state and also a development of her religious interests. This was 
due to the opening of the Illinois Central railroad, which made land 
available for settlement which had hitherto been so inaccessible as to 
be undesirable. The missionary saw the importance of such a road 
when it was first talked about. The main x^lan was a line from Cairo 
to Galena with east and west connections, and this meant access to 
bot'h a southern and an eastern market. William Kir by, of the "Yale 
Band," estimated that no less than fifty-seven counties would be 
crossed, or nearly approached. ^ " The scarcity of timber and remote- 
ness from the natural channels of trade have been the great obstacles 
to the temporal and religious interests of the interior counties which 
will be reached by this vast chain of iron roads. These obstacles 
will now be removed. The timber and coal of the southern counties 
will supply the deficiency of the middle and northern; and the ease 
of finding the best markets will allure ~ emigrants of every description 
from the older states. This quickening of the stagnant life in so 
large a portion of the state cannot but ojjerate favorably to the spread 
of religion. Enterprise is both the result and the harbinger of its 
triumphs." ^ 

In 1852, Enoch Kingsbury, the pioneer missionary of eastern Illi- 
nois, who had been in Danville since 1882, uttered a plea for mission- 
aries for nine eastern counties where none were then stationed. This 
led to investigation, and the report, that there was a region nearly 100 
miles in width from Kankakee to the Ohio river in which the work of 
the society had barely been commenced. In eight contiguous coun- 
ties, containing a population of more than 30,000, no missionary had 
ever been stationed.-*^ By 1855, the main line of the railroad was com- 
pleted. There followed an increase in the value of land and its 
productions and a large increase in population. Many villages sprang 
into existence or became of new importance. Of these were Cen- 
tralia, where were the repair shops of the road and the homes of many 
of the men, where both freight and passenger trains were held over 
Sunday; LaSalle and Peru, the terminus of the grand canal, and the 
meeting place of the lines from Chicago, Galena and Cairo. At 
LaSalle, Rev. William H. Collins, of the family who settled Collins- 
ville in 1818. organized a church and tried to introduce a higher tone 
into the money-making spirit of the place. Here he preached to 
Baptists, Unitarians, Universalists, " Moralists,"' " Infidels,'" and 

1 Borne Missior7afy (Annual Report) 1851. 

2 Hot7te Missionary, 1852. 3 Ibid, 1853. 

19 H 


" Skeptics," to men glorying in their shame, distillers, bartenders 
who say that they " like to hear a good string of common sense well 
fixed up." 1 

The " road" itself did much to help the church in the new commu- 
nities. Land was given for church sites, freight houses were loaned 
for religious services till churches could be built. It observed the 
Sabbath by stopping all work on its lines. It contributed to the sup- 
port of religious institutions and employed colporteurs to work among 
its own workmen. It also showed its interest in anti-slavery agitation 
by aiding fugitive slaves in their flight to Chicago.- 

This last stage of the opening of churches which took place in 
eastern Illinois, x^ractically covers the time till 1860. Our outline 
indicates how thorough was the work of the eastern missionary in 
reaching all parts of the state. It indicates how he sought to impress 
the ideals of New England upon this state, so rapid in its growth, so 
important to the nation in the stand it took in the following years, 
reflecting as concretely as it is possible to imagine the real effect of 
the moral and religious ideals, persistently proclaimed by the New 
Englander, to a large population made up of those by no means natu- 
rally inclined or predisposed to these ideals. 

1 Home Missionary, January, 1857. 

2 W. H. Siebert, The Underground Railroad. (New York, 1898), 97. 




Although many of the communities were settled from all parts of 
the Union, yet an examination of the mere names on the map of Illi- 
nois proves its intimate connection with New England. This often 
indicates merely the desire of a leading family or influential individ- 
ual to use again some old and loved name as Lebanon ; but sometimes 
it is in evidence of the sentiment of a colony moving from New Eng- 
land as in the case of Bunker Hill, Macoupin county, or Marine, 
Madison county, which was settled by a company of sea-captains and 
and seamen from Connecticut. It might indicate a colony from the 
very place after which the new settlement was named, as Guilford, 
Adams county, and Wethersfield, Henry country. 

Quincy, Elgin, Granville, in fact all the northern towns, had New 
Englanders as a large portion of their population; but the most con- 
spicuous example of the New England colony migrating as a religious 
organization, was furnished by the founders of Princeton. Theirs 
was a quaint story typical in many ways of the hardships of the 
early settlers, yet enriched and idealized by their appreciation of 
their connection with the religious past and their sense of responsi- 
bility for the future of an important part of their country. The 
prime mover was Deacon Ebenezer S. Phelps, of Northampton, 
Mass.^ The object, as published in the circular issued at the time, 
was " to advance the cause of Christ by planting religious institu- 
tions in the virgin soil of the West and aiding the cause of Christian 
education in its various departments." The foundation of this colony 
was regarded as a matter of grave importance in Northampton and 
vicinity. The meeting of the council to organize the colony church 
in 1831, aroused great interest in that place and in the adjoining- 
towns. It drew together a very large congregation. Eighteen people 
proposed to unite with this church. The churches represented in the 
council were from Northampton, Beechertown and Putney. Eev. 
Ichabod S. Spencer, of Northampton, delivered a discourse on the 
text: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your father's good pleasure to 
give you the kingdom." This sermon is still preserved as a sort of 

1 The Hampshire Colony. Historical Papers (Princeton, 1881). 


sacred relic in Princeton and sometimes read in their chnrch services. 
The council was followed by a series of very successful revival 

At last the little colony started, though rumors of Indian hostili- 
ties deterred many from joining and several families postponed their 
removal, while a few members had gone to Illinois in advance in 
1830. The main body met in Albany and embarked in a canal boat 
May 7, 1881, with Cotton Mather, of Hadley, for captain. They en- 
tered into a contract not to travel on the Sabbath, and on the first 
Sunday they rested in Amsterdam. These names and circumstances 
were pleasantly suggestive to them of early Pilgrim history. The 
next Sabbath they were in Buffalo. They expected to find a schooner 
here bound for Chicago, but were disappointed. They took a steam- 
boat to Detroit and there found a schooner sailing for Chicago, but 
without room either for themselves or their goods. They contracted 
to have their goods taken on the next trip, two or three months later, 
and set out with teams for Chicago. In a few days a pair of horses 
died, and the eight young men of the party had to travel on foot. In 
this manner they reached Mottville, on the St. Joseph river. 

Up to this time they had no definite locality selected for a home: 
but they now learned that Mr. Jones, who had come out the previous 
autumn to pick out a place, was at Bailey's Point on the Vermilion 
river, and had built there a double cabin for their reception. The 
young men decided to make the rest of the journey by water. They 
bought two canoes, lashed them together, put their trunks aboard, 
and started down the St. Joseph. It is a rapid stream and they 
reached the portage, sixty-five miles, in twelve hours. Here they 
hired an ox team to transport them to a lake or swamp, the source 
of the Kankakee river, a branch of the Illinois. They were told it 
was 160 miles to Ottawa. They expected to make that distance in 
three or four days and laid in provisions accordingly. They found 
navigation on the Kankakee swamp and river much less rapid than 
on the St. Joseph, and by Saturday night they were still some dis- 
tance from the union of the Kankakee and the Des Plaines. Rain 
induced them to tie to a tree for the night, and Sunday morning 
found them lying in several inches of -water in the bottom of their 
boats, After building a fire and drying their clothes, they reluctantly 
decided to travel that Sabbath day, for the first time on their jour- 
ney. Their only rations for some time had been slippery elm and 
bass-wood bark. Sunday night they spent on shore in a drenching 

Monday was clear and they soon reached an Indian encampment 
and applied in vain for food. Pressing onward they heard a cow-bell 
in the distance. Leaving the river and ascending the blutf, they 
found a cabin occupied by a white family, who could give them noth- 
ing but mush and milk. To prepare this the woman shelled some 
corn and ground it in a hand mill. The young men ate just enough 
to appease their hunger. It was still twenty miles to Ottawa and 
they pushed on. About sunset they saw a cabin on the south side of 
the river, and on in(iuiry how far it was to Ottawa, the}- were told, 
" This is Ottawa." Here they feasted on mush, milk and honey, and 


slept on a puncheon floor. The next day they reached a point on the 
Illinois, opiwsite the present city of LaSall(3, and the following cJay 
joined the rest of their company at the cabin at Bailey's Point. 

These last had arrived the same day only a. few hours in advance. 
This was June 9, five weeks and two days since leaving Albany. Th(i 
journey to Chicago had been exceedingly dreary and fatiguing. With 
much difficulty and delay they procured other teams at Chicago to 
take them the 100 miles to Bailey's Point. They found th(i Vermil- 
ion river in flood and were ferried across one by one, reclining on 
the bottom of a dug-out, lest it be upset. After some rest, they de- 
cided to locate on the prairie east and south of Bureau Creek timber; 
but they found the prairie almost too wet to travel on. Finally, 
leaving their wagon stalled in a creek, their guide undertook to pilot 
them to a certain cabin to pass the night ; but they failed to find it 
and slept under the open sky. In the morning they could have no 
breakfast till they went back five miles to their wagon. 

In the late summer, others joined them, coming out by way of the 
Ohio canal and the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers, sending 
their goods by way of New Orleans. The members of the colony 
kept dispersing to other parts for settlement, so that by November. 
1831, there were but four resident members of the colony church and 
they had to go to the older settlements on the Illinois for aw^hile for 
fear of Indians. Three heads of families died in the first month. 
Such hardships incident to the journey to the new country and to the 
first year or two of settlement, were followed by hardshii3S arising 
from the new conditions of living, particularly the sickness and death 
that bore so hard upon the people for many years. Here the mission- 
ary was particularly tried; for, not only did those sorrows come to 
his own family, but he must minister to the sick and dying in other 
families, and often felt with peculiar keenness the loss to infant set- 
tlements of those who had for it the same high aims that he cherished. 
Cholera was severe in 1833. Carrollton lost one-sixteenth of its 
population, Jacksonville and Quincy fifty of their inhabitants. In 
1849, there was a serious cholera epidemic in Belleville, 250 dying of 
a population of 3,000; and, in 1851, it is again mentioned in Hancock 
county. Cholera seems usually to have follow^ed the rivers. Bilious 
fever and fever and ague w^ere for years the almost constant scourge 
of the peojDle. Even missionary magazines contained articles of 
instruction to the people as to the care of their lands, so as to avoid 
these constant sicknesses. ^ 

1 Home Missionary, 1833; November, 1841; October, 1849. 




Perhaps no class of men was more sensitive to the economic 
changes in Illinois than the home missionary pastors. The growth 
and prosperity/ of the churches were favorably affected by emigration, 
good markets and good prices ; on the other hand, they were unfavor- 
ably affected, as regards numbers and financial support, by the tide 
of migration away from Illinois, by general " hard times," by local 
losses in crops due to floods or inadaptability of crop to soil. We 
have noticed the active part the earlier missionaries took in inviting 
settlers into the country just before the B^ck Hawk War. For a few 
years thereafter the chief matter for comment in their reports, out- 
side of matters purely religious, was the rapid increase in population. 
One can fancy the bustle and activity of these years, the optimism 
induced by the attractiveness of the country and the large returns 
from the land. If there was anything in all this for the missionary 
to deplore, it was the spirit of speculation starting in the land and 
spreading to all industries. ^ 

Every village with the smallest prospect of growth, and some unin- 
habited spots in the wilderness, had a large area staked off into town 
lots and platted in a highly ornamental style for the information of 
purchasers.2 And those lots were actually sold at stiff city prices. 

The larger towns were already great cities on paper. Alton, with a 
13opulation of 4,000 or 5,000, had staked off all the surrounding bluffs. 
A short time before his death, Mr. Lovejoy had predicted, in the 
Alton Observer, that in ten years the city would contain 50,000 in- 
habitants. From Peru to Ottawa, about sixteen miles, the whole 
Illinois bottom, and even the top of Buffalo Rock, were platted for a 
continuous city. Even in Jacksonville, then containing a population 
of not more than 1,200, speculation was so active that a man could 
hardly keep pace with the real estate transfers in the vicinity of his 
own dwelling. The sale of these western " city lots " was not con- 
fined to the western market. Land titles came gradually to form "a 
part of the circulating medium in New York, Boston and Phila- 

1 Home Missionary October, 1836. 

2 Jtilian M. Sturtevant. An Ajitob'wgraphy, 233 


In 1887, came the hard times felt so geiKirnJly throw jj;\\()ui the 
country. In Illinois, the price of labor, building material and provi- 
sions increased 100 per cent. Flour rose to fift(;en dollars a barn.-l, 
pork to ten dollars a hundred weight, and butter to tifty-six cents a 
pound.^ For several years this condition continued in the west, (xifts 
from the east to the Misssionary Society fell off. As a result of this 
economic situation, the growth of Illinois received a sudden check. 
It was only in later years that the pastors could look back and see 
any good result from that time of trial. "Adversity," they said, '• has 
saved the West. It has repressed inordinate enterprise and sobered 
the aims of men; it has sifted the people and driven out or kept away 
many unprincipled adventurers whose influence would have been 
only to corrupt." - They also saw a spiritual gain in the fact that the 
churches were kept longer in close connection with the eastern 
churches by continued dependence on them for support. The unity 
of the churches was thus preserved and the centrifugal tendencies of 
sectarianism so prevalent in this new country were, for the time at 
least, checked. 

By 1842, the stream of immigration again began to pour into Illi- 
nois. The center of the state now showed populous towns. Spacious 
barns and dwellings appeared where, twelve years before, w^ere only 
the wolf and badger.^ The year 1848 seems to have been particularly 
disastrous for Illinois. In the summer there were floods, in the win- 
ter extreme cold so that many of the cattle died of starvation. There 
was little money in circulation and pastors would have been in want 
had their only source of supply been the contributions of their little 
churches. As it was, months went by without the sight of a dollar, 
and even taxes went unpaid.'* But, by 1846, settlement w^as pushing 
into the open prairie, whereas before, it had kept to the borders of 
rivers and streams where the woodlands furnished fuel. 

About this time Illinois began to feel in her turn the drain upon 
her population that she had before inflicted on the states east of her. 
The frontier was now beyond the Mississippi and emigrants from 
Illinois, previously not numerous enough to excite comment, now 
attracted public attention. Not only adjoining territories, but distant 
Oregon attracted them and the missionaries tried to rouse in the 
emigrants the same religious sentiment that had attended their own 
coming to Illinois. In 1849, the destination became California. 
" Hundreds of families in Illinois, Missouri and low^a are making 
arrangements to push on " and, equally significant of a change in 
Illinois, "their places are taken by settlers from the old world.'' ^ 

Here are brief descriptions of the effects on two settlements of the 
"gold fever:" "From one village twenty-five active men are drop- 
ping everything else and rushing off to the gold region, the whole 
country is run wild here, perfectly wild." In another promising set- 

1 f/ome Missionary, December, 1837. 

2 /did, June, 1842. 

3 No?ne Missionary, March, 1842. 

4 /did, April, 1843. The family budget of a missionary in 1838, in one of the most pros- 
perous communities, was as follows: Rent and food. $300; grirl at $1 a week, $104; wood, 
$80; horse and cow, $100; postage and periodicals, $50; clothing, $200. Total, $834. 

5 //ome Missionary, January, 1849. 


tlement the " mania for California gold took possession of the hearts 
of men and women so that it would have required but comparatively 
a small amount of money to have bought up the whole settlement." ^ 

The following description of the setting out of a company makes 
the scene very vivid i^ "First came the excitement, every report 
eagerly sought after — farmers, mechanics, merchants and doctors be- 
gan to think their several pursuits too dull and prosy. Then came 
the decision — who will go? First messes, then companies, were 
formed. Next came the preparation; everybody was busy. Then 
approached the day of departure — the day was set, but before it came, 
train after train of California wagons from the other places further 
east began to roll through our village toward the far distant Pacific. 
Twenty wagons from our village and the community immediately 
around it were ready, averaging nearly four men to a wagon. Tues- 
day was the time appointed to leave, and I gave notice that I would 
preach a Californian sermon on the afternoon of the Sabbath preced- 
ing their departure. The day was stormy, but the congregation was 
large. It was a solemn meeting. There was a breathless stillness 
and many a silent tear was seen to fall from the eye of the husband, 
the wife, the son, or the brother. I had provided myself with a 
basket of Bibles, testaments and tracts, and gave away the testa- 
ments and tracts to those who would carry them to California. The 
last we heard from this company, they were keeping the Sabbath 
about 150 miles on their way toward the land of gold." 

The depression caused by migration was followed by the depression 
of " hard times." A period of floods again ruined crops in 1851, and 
it became apparent as time went on that wheat could not be depended 
ux^on as a paying crop. For three years the wheat failed, both in 
quality and quantity. Nineteen-twentieths of the farmers were said 
to be in debt. Many loaned at 25 per cent, and in some communi- 
ties nearly every farm was offered for sale.^ Better methods of agri- 
culture, the substitution of corn for wheat, and the opening of the 
Illinois Central railroad with its ''market at every man's door," 
brought better times, though complaints about wheat continued into 
the '60s. One witness, however, to the steadily increasing prosperity 
of the state, is found in the fact that communities were erecting 
church buildings, with some outside help, even during the years of 
the Civil War. 

1 Home Missionary, June, 1849. 

2 /did, October. 1849. 

3 Home Missionary, 1851. 




In addition to these economic and social factors which modified the 
growth of the pioneer churches in Illinois, there were certain internal 
complications arising from the conditions of church organization, 
including the connection with the supporting society in the East, 
which exercised an important influence in the Congregational and 
Presbyterian churches of the West. 

At first, all of the churches founded by the Missionary Society 
were in the Presbytery of Missouri, which was organized in 1819; 
not till 1828 was the Illinois Presbytery organized, and, until 1830, 
Indiana, Illinois and Missouri were included in the same Synod. 
The churches of Northern Illinois united in the Presbytery of Ot- 
tawa in 1834; but in the same year an association of Congregational 
churches was formed in Western Illinois and another among those of 
the Fox river region. By 1853 there were eight associations of Con- 
gregational churches. These facts of local organization reflect in a 
measure the difficulties which attended the cooperation of the two 
denominations in the Home Missionary Society, and which led ulti- 
mately to separate denominational societies. 

In the beginning Congregationalists and Presbyterians worked 
together with enthusiasm under the " Plan of Union." There was an 
honest intention that each local church should adopt for itself its 
own form of policy; and, apparently without hesitation, such men as 
Salmon Giddings, Jeremiah Porter and Aratus Kent, though trained 
to New England Congregationalism, worked most or all of their lives 
as Presbyterians. Till 1834, the organization of the churches was 
wholly Presbyterian, and it is claimed that the word " Congrega- 
tional" was rarely heard before 1841. ^ 

The first churches that took to themselves the name and organiza- 
tion of the Congregational church did so on the initiative of the lay- 
men. The ministers were as a rule greatly opposed to this, to the 
introduction of what seemed a new sect, though some of them were 

1 Whittlesey. The Record oj Fifty Years {Historical Papers, Ottawa, 1894). 

2 Home Missionary. 


becoming increasingly attached to the simple and flexible principles 
of Congregationalism, believing that the multiplied sectarian divi- 
sions were largely due to too rigid and complicated systems of church 

The Home Missionary Society also opposed such innovation. In 
1833, when a Congregational church was about to be formed in Jack- 
sonville, the thirty or forty residents of the town who were ready for 
the movement, sought the cooperation of Mr. Beecher and Mr. Sturte- 
vant of Illinois College. ^ But these able men considered such action 
undesirable or inexpedient, and the enterprise would have gone 
through without any countenance from them, except that at the last, 
the church failing of the expected minister, Mr. Sturtevant was pre- 
vailed upon to officiate at the organization. When he was at the 
office of the Home Missionary Society in New York some time after 
this, Mr. Sturtevant was sharply rebuked for the countenance he had 
thus given to Congregationalism. In 1842, it was said that there was 
no part of the country where greater harmony prevailed between 
Presbyterians and Congregationalists than in northern Illinois, and 
a few years later a town in Morgan county was named " Concord.'' to 
indicate the state of harmony between Presbyterians and Congrega- 

In 1835, however, the trial of Rev. Albert Barnes, in the East, led 
in a few years to the division into " Old School " and " New School,*' 
a division in doctrine and sympathy which affected Illinois churches. 
In some places certain "Old School" churches refused to grant let- 
ters of dismission and recommendation to '" New School '' churches. 
At this time, also, there arose in the General Assembly of Presbyte- 
rian churches, opposition to the financial support of " voluntary 
societies," such as the Home Missionary Society — called " voluntary," 
since their organization was outside the control of the assembly. 
This matter occupied the attention of the General Assembly from 
1834 to 1837.4 The Assembly of 1837 called for the abrogation of the 
" Plan of Union," the exclusion of four Synods, and withdrawal of 
support from the Home Missionary and Educational Societies, on the 
ground of the preservation of peace and purity to the Presbyterian 
churches. A protest was presented in the interests of the 400 
churches then maintained by the Home Missionary Society, and in 
behalf of the good name and work of these societies. It was signed 
by Absalom Peters, Ephraim Cutler, David Porter and Horace Bush- 
nell; but the report was carried and lost to the support of th^^ 
American Home Missionary Society, the contributions of many Pres- 
byterian churches. Some Presbyterian support still continued, how- 
ever, in spite of this formal action. 

There was temporary misgiving and ill-feeling. " Extracts almost 
innumerable might be taken from our missionary correspondence 
which illustrate the dreadful evils of division, pastors driven away, 
churches divided." In a short time, however, the resources and work 
of the society were larger than ever. It was nine years after this 

1 Julian M. Stiirievant. An Autobiography., 184. 

2 Ibid, 195. 207. 210. 

.3 Home Missionaty (Annual Report), December, 1848. 
4 Ibid, 18.37. 


action of the Presbyterian Assembly that the first formal move was 
made by the Congregationalists looking toward their abrogation of 
the "Plan of Union." i 

In 1846, the Congregationalists held a " Congregational Conven- 
tion " in Michigan City, their first national meeting. Hc^re the 
majority of the delegates were from the northwest, and their feeling 
was shown in the resolution that " in the judgment of this convention 
the ' Plan of Union' should be dissolved." It was not set aside, how- 
ever, till 1852, when the whole matter was again discussed at a rejjre- 
sentative meeting of the whole Congregational denomination in 
Albany .2 The eastern delegates, with President Humphrey of Am- 
herst, as leader, were strongly opposed to its abrogation, and only 
yielded when thoroughly convinced by the delegates from the north- 
west that in practical experience the " Plan of Union " was not 
accomplishing the results aimed at. This decision in no way afPected 
the support of dependent churches, Congregational or Presbyterian, 
by the society which continued to give aid to churches as it had done 
before. In 1854 ^ the General Assembly asked for a ruling of the 
Home Missionary Society by which it would aid Presbyterian churches 
in towns where Congregational churches already existed and were 
still receiving aid. This was refused, and, in 1855, the assembly be- 
gan its own " church extension " work, sustaining Presbyterian 
churches where it saw^ fit. Final action was not taken till 1861, when 
the General Assembly assumed the responsibility of conducting its 
own missions, and instituted a committee for that purpose. The in- 
come of the American Home Missionary Society fell from $188,000 to 
$164,000. This was in 1862.* 

The difficulty which led to a final abrogation of the " Plan of 
Union," arose out of conditions in Illinois. The Presbytery of Alton 
was carrying on vigorous missionary work for the southern part of 
Illinois, a region which had not kept pace with the rest of the state 
in its economic, intellectual or moral progress. Impelled by interest 
in their growing and commendable work, they had given as generously 
themselves as could be expected — from the year 1856 to 1858 some 
$2,500 — and had received $7,500 from the Home Missionary Society, 
though this Presbytery no longer reported to it or contributed to its 
treasury and did not wish the society to commission its missionaries. 
This case, w^hen it came to light, caused much feeling. Religious 
journals took up the matter, one paper devoting thirty columns to the 
subject.^ Statements made on one side led to " corrections " by the 
other; one article is entitled, "thirty errors corrected.'' Division 
was the only sure ground for peace, and it is well that it was accom- 
plished. It is well, however, to emphasize the fact that up to 1860, 
during the formative years for Illinois, Congregationalists and Pres- 
byterians did work together in Illinois in such a way that it would be 
impossible now to divide the results of their work and ascribe them 
to either body as a definite source. Moreover, the results aimed at 
were the same and sprang largely from the same body of ideas. ^ 

1 Home Missionary, (November, 1839). 

2 Historical Papers (Ottawa, 1894). 

3 Home Missionary, 1854. 

4 Annual Report of Home Missionary Society, 1862, 49. 

5 Home Missionary, 'i\x\Y yVih'^; October, 1859. 6 Home Missionary, October, 1859. 




In spite of the internal agitation, there was a commendable degree 
of heartiness, far-sightedness and generosity in the conduct of the 
missionary work. Nothing shows this better than the efforts for 
southern Illinois to which the Alton Presbytery was so thoroughly 
devoted. The tendency of missionaries to go to the northern, western 
and eastern parts of the state as each section in turn developed, re- 
sulted in an unfortunate situation to which Theron Baldwin, as agent 
of the society, called attention in 1835: "In the southern and eastern 
side of the state are seventeen Presbyterian churches, widely separa- 
ted, many destitute, famishing and some expiring, supplied only by 
four ministers." In 1840, in thirty-nine counties there were seven 
ministers, ten churches, and 399 members. ^ It was fitting that the 
churches opposite St. Louis, where had been the beginning of mis- 
sionary work in Illinois, should take the initiative in trying to bring 
about a better condition. Rev. William Chamberlain had gone to 
Alton in 1842. He had for many years been a missionary to the Cher- 
okee Indians under the Foreign Missionary Society and he brought 
new life to the work. The Alton Presbytery established a "commit- 
tee of missions," and, with the help of the national society, set to 

In 1845, two missionaries made a tour of investigation and made a 
report for the thirteen counties forming the extreme southern part of 
the state. In this area they found five ministers who might claim to 
be educated. Most of the people were Baptists. Schools were rare. 
County seats usually kept a feeble school open for part of the year. 
Many jDarents opposed having their children taught lest they should 
learn to be bad. Sunday schools and temperance societies were not 
popular. The missionaries who went afterward to these places found 
a "general coldness" around them. Through the years that followed 
they sent to the society exceedingly doleful accounts of the state of 
society in southern Illinois. If there was a part of Illinois where the 
work of the eastern missionary accomplished little, it was here. The 
country was thoroughly exploited, its natural advantages set forth, 
and New Englanders, both lay and cleric, urged them to come. The 

Home Missionary, 1810. 


society commissioned men freely, and, by 1852, the churches had 
increased from ten to thirty-two. The enterpriser and industry brought 
in by the Illinois Central railroad, helped matters; but it was hard 
to keep men at posts where they felt they were accomplishing so 
little, where the manners and customs of the community weni so 
foreign to what they most highly esteemed. Just before the Civil 
War, the influence of the missionaries was greater there than it had 
ever been before, but it was at the expense of great labor arid in the 
face of great obstacles. ^ 

The missionary's program was rather a definite one. Thf^re were 
certain interests which he was expected to jjromote in a community 
and forms of religious activity which he was expected to establish. 
His commission was explicit. In 1830, its terms were as follows: The 
limits of his field were defined. He must keep his personal life be- 
yond reproach. He was charged to give especial care to the sick and 
perform all pastoral offices. He was instructed, in addition to regu- 
lar Sunday services, to hold weekly prayer meetings and a monthly 
" Concert of Prayer " for the conversion of the world. He was ex- 
pected to promote an interest in benevolent societies, to give instruc- 
tion in temperance and to promote Sunday schools, Bible classes, and 
day schools. 2 To this might be added the general exi^ectation in the 
mind of the community that the -missionary be " foremost in all the 
moral movements of the day. He must have well digested views of 
political economy, must be able to lecture on the history and progress 
of any science, must have an opinion on all points of theology, civil 
affairs or art."^ 

Tlie earlier missionaries organized tract and Bible societies and a 
few colonization societies, the then accepted form of philanthropic 
effort for the negro. The effort to distribute Bibles and tracts, in- 
cluding treatises on moral questions of the day or reprints of suc- 
cessful sermons and lectures, brought out the fact that a large part 
of the population could not read.* So, from 1830, the establishing of 
Sabbath schools was an important and popular measure whose main 
purpose was to teach the attendants, old and young, to read the Bible. 
There was much enthusiasm in this work throughout the northwest 
and a large part of the population joined the schools, either as teach- 
ers or learners. Sabbath schools were important forerunners of day 
schools. At Vandalia, members of the legislature visited the Sab- 
bath school, and an " individual of distinction " from the South was 
delighted with it, declaring that he should, on his return home, found 
such schools. The prominent topic in reports for 1830 and 1831, is 
the Sabbath schools. Supplementary Bible classes were also estab- 
lished, often running through the week. 

A distinct sentiment arose as to the advantage of living in towns 
that one might avail himself of such means of self-improvement, and 
immigrants were advised against settling on farms remote from each 
other. They were urged to follow the early New England method of 
settling in towns that they might have schools, churches, and social 
intercourse, and thus save the first generation from growing up in 

1 Home Misuofiary, December, 1845; Aug-ust, 1851 ; November, 1852; \Sh^ {Annual Report) . 

2 Hoi7ie Missionary, May, 1830. 3 Ibid, 1852. 4 Il^id. August, 1S30. 

302 • 

ignorance. 1 One is not surprised to find the " Lycenm." '' We select 
some of the branches of knowledge and by an exhibition of facts, en- 
deavor to awaken and instruct the public mind. One man talks over 
the subject of geograjDhy; another takes up the subject of common 
school education; another, agriculture; and another, the history of 
the United States. We open and close our meetings with prayer and 
endeavor to give every subject a religious bearing." - 

The missionaries felt the need of temperance reform. People on 
the frontier were much given to excessive drinking of very strong 
liquors. A changed sentiment in regard to the moral aspect of this 
question came to religious minds in the '20s and '30s. The Collins 
family of Collinsville were so moved by a sermon of Lyman Beecher's 
on the subject that they gave up their lucrative business of distilling 
whiskey and destroyed their still, cutting it into bits that it might 
never be used again. ^ Till 1842, temperance reform and instruction 
was a part of the church's work. Temperance societies were com- 
mon, often with total abstinence pledges. Later, these societies 
became popular social organizations and were no longer directed by 
the churches. A proof of the sensitiveness of the church on the 
whole matter is shown by the standing rule of the Congregational 
church of Champaign, founded in 1854: "This church, for reasons 
too apparent to require mentioning, cannot receive into its commun- 
ion anyone who manufactures, buys, sells or uses as a beverage, in- 
toxicating drinks, whether they be distilled or fermented liquors, nor 
can this church fellowship anyone who owns tenements and rents 
them for the purpose of the sale or manufacture of liquors, nor can 
we receive into or retain within our communion any person who sells 
corn or other grain to the distiller, or his known agent — and brethren 
are expected to make suitable inquiries respecting that matter — or in 
any other way directly aids or cooperates with dealers in, or manufac- 
turers of, ardent spirits in this unrighteous traffic." 

1 Home Misswna?y, 1836. 2 Idid, April, 1833. 

3 W, H. Collins, Cojigregationalists in Eastern Illinois. {Historical Papers, Ottawa, 1894). 




Naturally enough, this programme of instruction and organization 
did not meet with entire ai^ioroval from the heterogeneous population 
of Illinois. The eastern missionary and the settlers who followed 
him, the forms and customs in which they were bred, and the ideas 
and institutions they tried to establish, were thoroughly repugnant to 
many of the settlers from the states other than New England. We 
have a clash of sentiment and opinion over almost every public enter- 
prise. It took fifty years of living together and a great subject of 
common sympathy, like the devotion to national unity brought out 
by the Civil War, to make the State of Illinois as united in sentiment 
as it is today. These older differences were very exasperating to both 

It is, perhaps, impossible to give a fair view of the way in which 
the easterner appeared to the earlier settlers of Illinois who had long 
preceded him from the South. He was very ready to exjDress his criti- 
cisms in rude and forcible speech, but he w^as not given to leaving a 
written record of his feelings. On the other hand, the Easterner 
could express himself with clearness and force on the deficiencies of 
his neighbor and could, moreover, get his opinion published and pre- 
served. We can, however, make out some of the traits with which 
the word " Yankee " was associated and which served to make it a 
term of opprobrium. The Yankee was shrewd and his main purpose 
was, by hook or crook, to make money; while the Illinoisan was an 
" independent, self-made, generous son of the West." The Yankee 
peddler, desirable as his goods were, afforded evidence of this petty 
money-making spirit. As a neighbor, the Yankee was considered 
inhospitable and penurious. Often he did not so much as offer re- 
freshment to the passing stranger or urge a neighbor to a meal, even 
if the meal hour was at hand. Worse than all this was his intolera- 
ble self-conceit, which made it possible for the wife of a missionary to 
ask a full grown woman if she knew who made her. The Illinoisan 
was sensitive to the constantly implied disapproval of himself and 
his manners and customs. ^ 

The Easterner who displayed Unitarian tendencies or a smattering 
of scientific knowledge, shocked the Illinoisairs religious sentiments, 
which were profound. Occasionally, a missionary realized how deep 

1 Home Missionary, April, 1841. 


was their religious feeling. " I judge," says one,i " that the people 
of Egypt have sometimes been underrated because they have been 
dressed in homespun. It is true we have vice here and rustic vice, 
and yet we have not so much upstart infidelity as in some other ap- 
parently moral and religious communities. Many a person will shoot 
a deer or a turkey on a Sabbath and swear like a sailor when angry, 
drink a glass of grog with their neighbors, and run their horses a 
quarter for a wager, who would feel shocked at the thought of treat- 
ing religion with disrespect or denying its divine origin.'' 

It needed a tact and adaptability that was not alw^ays present to 
win one's way with this people. That veteran worker, William 
Chamberlain, once uttered his complaint: '' There is, in my opinion, a 
great deficiency in educating ministers for this western country, and 
how that deficiency is to be remedied I know not. Ministers for the 
West should be well educated in what we call common sense. They 
should understand human nature as exhibited in daily life. For the 
want of this, many otherwise well educated and good men fail. The 
most illiterate preachers draw from them their congregations and de- 
prive them of their means of usefulness. The people of the West 
are generally shrewd and well versed in common sense, and their 
ministers have a good stock of scientific knowledge; but the space 
between them and the people is too wide for the power of attraction 
and they never come together. The result is, the minister's reports 
will be filled with dark accounts of the deep ignorance and degrada- 
tion of the people; and the people will be laughing among themselves 
about the minister for his want of common sense. I think it would 
be better for us to say less about the ignorance of the people and do 
more toward instructing them." 

On the missionary's part, nevertheless, there could be at the best 
but profound pity for the ignorance of these earlier settlers. He 
found their religious' life ministered to by illiterate ministers, some- 
times representatives of cults of which he had never heard. From 
the beginning he distrusted the tempests of religious emotion which 
swept over the people because they had so little permanent effect. 
As early as 1812, J. F. Schermerhorn, after his trip to the West with 
Samuel Mills, wrote thus of a revival in Ohio: " The Methodists say 
there has been a very great revival of religion among them, as also do 
the Baptists. From the best information that we could obtain from 
eye witnesses of this work, there is great reason to believe that it was 
principally terror and fear which induced numbers to join those 
societies; for this work began and ended with the earthquakes in 
those countries and the whole straiji of preaching by the Baptists and 
Methodists was, that the end of all things w^as at hand and if the 
people were not baptized, or did not join a society, there was no hope 
for them. This may be deemed uncharitable by some, but not when 
it is considered that the Methodists in that region require no evidence 
of holiness of heart to become members of their society, and that the 
religious experiences of many consist only in dreams and visions or 
the remarkable suggestion of some alarming texts of scripture, and 
after that some which afford great comfort." Forty years '' later there 

1 Home Missionary, January. 1848. 2 Il'ui, April 1850. 


was the same difficulty. " The effect of the senseless haningnes ujxl 
consequent sj^urious revivals with which w(3 are curscKl and of whicli 
the people are very fond, is similar to the raging fir(3 that sweeps 
through the forest, deadening and blackening everything which it 
leaves unconsumed." In 1857,^ a missionary in southern Illinois 
describes a complete " indifferentism " a stujjidity and brutality even 
in their lack of feeling over the death of friends which h(3 thinks due 
to the fact that in their religion a " wild excitement is the all in all." 

In this connection Mr. Schermerhorn's characterization of the in- 
habitants in 1812 is interesting. He says, " Those from New Jersey 
and Pennsylvania, particularly of the Scotch and Irish descent, are 
very ready to unite in promoting the establishment of schools and in 
supporting the gospel, whilst those of German extraction, together 
wii;h emigrants from Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky, are too fre- 
quently regardless of both, and too often cherish that high-toned and 
licentious spirit which will suffer neither contradiction nor opposi- 
tion and which is equally inconsistent with civil and religious order."' 
He went on to describe the three leading denominations. •' The 
Baptists," he wrote, "were generally illiterate. Learning is rather 
ridiculed than desired. Against the salaries of ministers they are 
clamorous, and they denominate Presbyterian ministers as ' fleecers 
of the flock.' As a body they deny the morality of the Sabbath or 
Lord's day. * * * * The manner of the Methodist 
preaching very much resembles that of the Baptists; is very contro- 
versial and most bitter against Calvinists. They rail very much 
against the practice of the Presbyterians receiving pay for preaching, 
calling them hirelings, but most unreasonably, for their salaries are 
more certain and, in general, greater than those against whom they 
speak. The Presbyterians are noted for their strict observance of 
the Sabbath. They are the most intelligent part of the community, 
lovers of order and promoters of knowledge; the most ready to sup- 
port schools, the Gospel and missionary and Bible societies." 

The New Englander brought with him the Puritan views of observ- 
ance of the Sabbath and was shocked at the disregard of that day by 
the older settlers of Illinois. " The native preachers were largely 
itinerants and communities did not expect a religious service every 
Sunday, so often the day was given over to rough sports, and re- 
ligion left to the enthusiasm of the 'big meeting;' so also, the 
woman who washed out a garment, or did a bit of ironing on Sunday, 
offended the religious sentiment of the missionary." 

The native preacher, often a man of sense and integrity, even if 
very illiterate, sometimes used his strong influence over the people to 
the disadvantage of the eastern missionary. In his view, the man 
filled with learning was so much the less filled with spiritual power. 
He was " machine-made." The schools turned them out all alike. A 
common proverb was: "He has learning enough for two ministers." 
The missionary was constantly held up to scorn because he received 

1 Home Missionary, September, 1857. 

—20 H 


a salary. It seemed to them that a man could not be trnly filled with 
the si)irit of God and accept pay for doing the work inspired by Him. 
"Jndas," they said, ''was the first to take pay." 

Rev. J. M. Stnrtevant tells of a sermon which he heard on the third 
Sabbath after his arrival in Jacksonville. Through a mistake, for 
which no one was to blame, the Presbyterians and Methodists found 
themselves together in the court house. Each expected to hold ser-. 
vices, but as the Methodists had already begun Mr. Sturtevant and 
his peox^le joined the congregation, The minister was the famous 
Rev. Peter Cartwright, whose life work was certainly commendable; 
but such was the bitterness of the sectarian and sectional spirit of 
the time that he took occasion to make a bitter attack on Calvinism, 
caricaturing it and holding it u^d to ridicule; and, in the face of the 
young enterprise for a college in Jacksonville, he took, particular 
pains to ridicule a college education, repeating the old saying: '' I 
have never spent four years of my life in rubbing my back against 
the walls of a college." ^ 

The native was much opposed to agitation in behalf of temperance 
societies. Strong liquors were used freely and there was much 
drunkenness. A definite crusade against intemperance seemed an 
infringement of personal rights, and the warmest opposers of temper- 
ance were said to be ministers and church members. The following 
notes taken from the anti-temx:)erance lecture of a native preacher are 
typical of the times i^ " The tem^jerance society is productive of more 
harm than good. It slanders those who do not fall in with it. Its 
documents were charged with falsehoods. The state legislatures are 
taking up the subject and it is high time to give the alarm. The 
heroes of the revolution were not temperance men. The subject of 
temperance is not in the Constitution of the United States, though 
the framers were wise men. It has religious and political designs. 
Massachusetts is in danger; its legislators are almost all temperance 
men. This society gives all the liquor to the clergymen and physi- 
cians, and that is popery. The Law of Moses was not against drink- 
ing. The more institutions there are, the more money will be wanted. 
The temperance society sows the seeds of discord in the church and 
community. The curse of God is now resting on Ireland in the shape 
of a famine, because so many Irish signed the i3ledge." To the East- 
erner, on the other hand, the man who pretending to be a spiritual 
leader could yet hobnob with his people at the grocery and tavern and 
join with them in drinking, seemed utterly disgusting. 

Sunday schools, missionary societies, and even day schools, met 
with the same opposition. Even when education came in some de- 
gree to be desired, the people had not been trained to that united 
public action which would have secured it quickly. Often a commu- 
nity was in existence twenty or thirty years before there was any 
school house. Many of the peoi:)le could not read and their pn^achers 
did not teach and insist that they have schools and instructors. 
This suggestive re^^ort was made in 1848 to the Missionary Society: 

1 Jjilian M. Stnrtevant. Aii Aitfo/'iogmp/iy, 161. 

2 Home Missionary, July, 1847. 


" I know no other community in the state where u missionary of your 
society has labored one year that is not suj^plied with a good week- 
day school and a Sunday school, and I know of but few which have 
not been thus supplied that have such schools." In 1852 then^ was 
not a school in Puhiski or Alexander counties. In IHof) southern 
counties could not produce teachers who could jjciss the examinations 
required by law.^ On one occasion a school house was donate.^d tf^ a 
community by a man of some means, but with the distinct provision 
that no eastern teacher should be employed to teach in it - 

This spirit of prejudice and lack of public enterprise marked many 
of the undertakings of the earlier days. Illinois College first apjjiied 
to the legislature for a charter in 1830. Prejudice against the '' Yan- 
kees " and fear of ecclesiastical corporations defeated the char- 
te-r.'^ Said one member: " If they granted a charter at all, he was in 
favor of restricting the corporation to one quarter section of land; for 
otherwise, those college men, with their immense funds, would buy 
up new land in the northern ]Dart of the state and then put on ten- 
ants at will and finally sway the political destiny of Illinois. So, 
also, they opposed taxation for common schools on the ground that it 
worked injustice to those without children or those j)atronizing pri- 
vate schools. The bill for the Illinois and Michigan canal was 
opposed, because it would open an easy entrance to " Yankees " and 
the state would be flooded with them."^ 

Two citations in regard to the Mexican War will show the conflict- 
ing sentiments of eastern and native preachers on that subject. The 
native preacher said it would do the Mexicans good to give them a 
sound drubbing, and concluded with terrible denunciations upon 
those who spoke against the war; while the missionary lamented: 
" Shame, indeed, that there should be a Massachusetts and a New 
England [How art thou fallen from heaven, O, Lucifer, son of the 
morning] regiment in this war. But when we look at the hordes 
which Illinois and Missouri have poured forth, we see where Satan's 
seat is." 5 

Of course, this division came out clearly in the agitation over 
slavery. In 1850, a spiritual appeal came from a Presbytery in Mis- 
souri; they wanted men of the right stamp, "rough and ready," w^ho 
could preach at all times, let slavery alone, leave their eastern preju- 
dices at home. Western xjeople are born and grow up in excitement 
and their religion must have more or less of that ingredient." To 
this appeal there was the equally spirited reply: "Our Western 
friends may as well understand first as last, that the Eastern churches 
have a pretty well defined idea of what sort of religion they wish to 

1 Home Missionary, May, 1848; July, 1852; May, 1856. 2 Ibid, August, 1847. 

3 Historic Alorgan and Classic Jacksonville. 

4 Patterson , ^(jr/j History in Southefn Illinois {Fergus'' Historical Series). 

5 Home Missionary, May and December, 1847. 





The moral agitation that filled the country in regard to slavery, was 
manifest in these years in Illinois. There was never any imcertainty 
as to the attitude of the eastern missionary or his denomination upon 
this subject; bilt at first the missionary was not so outspoken as he 
became later. At times even there was a deprecating tone toward 
the hot-headed opponent of slavery and a tenderness and sympathy 
for the slave owner. These words from a missionary in Missouri, 
written in 1829, exhibit this feeling: "Let me mention what I fear 
will be a permanent obstacle to a regular and competent support of 
the ministry in this state. This obstacle is found in the existence of 
slavery. Slaveholders purchase extensive plantations, and in this 
way the inhabitants are kept in a scattered state. This evil, it is 
true, will not exist in towns, and many find a partial remedy in a 
minister's dividing his time between two or three settlements: but 
such a state of things will always diminish the effect attending the 
dispensation of God's word. I am aware that I have now touched a 
subject of very delicate nature. Slavery, perhaps, exists in its mild- 
est form in this state, but it is still a great evil and one that is most 
sensibly felt by slaveholders themselves. How is this evil to be re- 
moved? Not by denouncing the slaveholder as an unprincipled and 
unfeeling man. This only tends to aggravate the difficulty. It must 
be removed by action, and not by declamation. The people at the 
east must feel that there is a duty devolving on them in relation to 
this subject. The evil is attached to us as a nation, and if it is ever 
removed we must, as individuals of this nation, contribute our pro- 
portion. When an owner of slaves tells me that he knows and feels 
that slavery is a crying sin and that he will freely relinquish his slaves, 
or even that he will relinquish one-half their value on condition that he 
be compensated for the other half and provisions be made for their trans- 
portation, I feel that he has made a generous proposal, and I cannot 
charge him with all the guilt of slavery, though he may continue to 
be a slaveholder. Some remarks have lately appeared in the eastern 
l^apers which will be hailed by many at the West and South as indi- 
cations of the increasing prevalence of just views on this subject and 
as harbingers of good to the degraded blacks. Let it be acknowl- 
edged by the' inhabitants of the free states that slavery is a national 
evil and that they are bound in duty to contribute to its removal, and 
there are thousands at the South and West who will join them heart 
and hand in th(^ great work of emancipation." ^ 

1 Home Missionary. February, 182'.». 

For many years few among th(3 missionaries cared to own the* name 
of ''abolitionist." Yet in spit(3 of this moderate jjosition on the sub- 
ject of slavery the missionary found his principles so at variance with 
those of the jjeople about him in southern communiti(^s th?it his work 
languished. In Missouri, and the southern states generally, where 
much money had been spent and long continued effort had Vjeen 
mad(? by the Home Missionary Society, it generally became evident 
that the struggle was a losing one. So much opposition was encoun- 
tered that for years the work declined, and it was practically cut olf 
when, in 1856, the society decided to grant no appropriations to the 
churches containing slaveholding members. ^ At this time the situa- 
tion was reviewed and it was shown that auxiliary societies and eccle- 
siastical bodies in the South and Southwest had withdrawn their 
sjLipport from the main society, less than |2,000 having been received 
from these states in the preceding year. In southern churches more 
slaveholders were being received into the membershij^ than in former 
years, and ministers who owned slaves were advanced. Liberty of 
speech was no longer allowed and the ministry must even be cham- 
pions of the " institution." The missionaries in slaveholding states 
were decreasing in spite of all efforts to increase their numbers. In 
Illinois there were many to sympathize with the southern cause, and, 
in some localities, a majority took the part of the South. This was 
especially true in the southern part of the -state and in the river 
towns. Yet there was generally a chance for the growth and victory 
of contrary opinion. 

Not all of the anti-slavery sentiment came from the East. In the 
early years the northwest was the only region into which the south- 
erner could migrate when he became discontented with the conditions 
of society which he found becoming fixed about him. While many 
of the settlers were merely poor, and so without slaves and therefore 
content to settle in a region where slavery was forbidden, others came 
from principle. Many a Scotch Presbyterian came to Illinois from 
the Carolinas for conscience sake. These are facts, of which there 
are necessarily few recoTds, but they are none the less true and inter- 
esting. It is, however, a matter of record that " the first settlement 
formed within its bounds, of emigrants from the United States, was 
made in Morgan county in 1781 by James Moore, who was a native 
of Maryland, but came to Illinois from Western Virginia. In 1785-6 
this settlement was strengthened by a number of families from the 
same region. They were opposed to slavery and took up their long- 
line of march for these wild regions that, themselves and their pos- 
terity, might enjoy the advantages of a country unembarassed by 
slavery. * * * '^he first Protestant church was a Baptist 
church at New Design, formed in 1796. This church was originally 
formed with rules opposed to slavery, and, in 1803, adopted a rule 
that no person guilty of slavery could be admitted to membership. 
It was constituted by Rev. Josiah Dodge, originally from Connecti- 
cut, who was one of the first two ministers who, with their congre- 
gations, separated from the Baptists in Kentucky on account of 

1 Home Missionary, December, 1856. 


slavery." 1 The Union church of Edwards county was opposed to 
slavery and moved, as a chnrch, from the South, though its leader, 
Rev. Stephen Bliss, was from New England. ^ 

In the contest of 1823 over a new constitution which should permit 
slavery, the few New England missionaries made themselves felt by 
joining with laymen in the work to preserve a free state. Only two 
of the five newspapers stood for freedom, and one of these was edited 
by Hiram Eddy of New England. Rev Thomas Lippincott, an early 
missionary from New England, wrote fiery handbills, and contributed 
to one of these papers on the subject of slavery, while Rev. Stephen 
Bliss, just referred to, was elected to the Senate on the anti- slavery 
issue. Another powerful anti-slavery worker of those days was Rev. 
J. M. Peck, missionary of the Massachusetts Baptist Society, and 
later an agent of the American Bible Society. His constant travel- 
ling gave him opportunity to spread anti-slavery ideas. " His plan 
of organizing the counties by a central committee, with branches in 
every neighborhood, was carried out by his own exertions and per- 
sonal supervision, and was greatl}^ instrumental in saving the 
state." ^ Another writer probably refers to the same plan when he 
says that J. M. Peck organized an anti-slavery society in St. Clair 
county, with which fourteen societies of other counties became affili- 

When this crisis was. past, there was for many years a hopeful atti- 
tude on the part of the missionaries on the subject of the overthrow 
of slavery. It was felt that the spread of education, the growth of 
missions, the efforts of colonization societies would do away with the 
evil. Since Illinois herself was not facing the question, and since 
she had put an end to efforts to introduce slavery within her borders, 
the subject, for some ten or fifteen years, did not occupy the public 
mind so much as might now be supposed. Missionaries made their 
frequent reports to the home office, dwelling fully on all their difficul- 
ties and discouragements and extremely sensitive to the moral atmos- 
phere about them; but little, in Illinois, was said about slavery. 
Then in the '30s, 1836-7 especially, came the attempt of the South to 
prevent free speech, a time noted for mobs and riots. Illinois, as a 
border state, was doomed to feel the evil of the troubled times and to 
contribute her victim. 

Elijah P. Lovejoy was born at Albion, Maine, in 1802, the son of 
Rev. Daniejv. Lovejoy, a Congregational minister. He graduated at 
Waterville College, Maine, and went to St. Louis as school teacher 
and editor. Here he had a religious experience which led him to return 
East for theological training at Princeton, and, on his return to St. 
Louis in 1833, he was commissioned as missionary to that city by the 
Home Missionary Society. In addition to preaching, he edited and 
published the St. Louis Ohsrvver as an organ of the Presbyterians 
of Illinois and Missouri. His character was earnest and transparent, 

1 Home Missionary, March, 1835. (Statement by Rev. Theron Baldwin, indebted to Rev. 
M. Peck.) 

2 History of the Congregational Association of Soiithern Illinois (1892"). 

3 W. H. Brown, Eatly History' of Illinois (F'erffus' Historical Series). 

4 Patterson, Early Society in Southern Illinois. 


but not by nature combative or pugnacious. Bold and fViarless he 
was, nevertheless amiable, affectionate, and lovabh;.^ In his writings 
he was mild, temperate and gentlemnidy. \j\ his reports to the so- 
ciety he had more to say of the dangers from Catholicism than of those 
from slavery .2 In his paper he declared himscilf in favor of gradual 
emancipation, and disclaimed the name abolitionist. After 18o."3 he 
was not in the employ of the missionary society. Probably his duties 
as editor absorbed all his time. During his service as missionary he 
had been moderator of the Presbytery of Illinois. It was in 1835 
that he published an account of the burning of a negro at St. Louis. 
Moved by the horror and inhumanity of the scene, he sharply criti- 
cised the community which allowed such a deed. Upon this, a mob 
destroyed his press and he moved to Alton, across the river, in 

In the contest that followed, Lovejoy acted on the advice of his 
ministerial friends. After his second press was destroyed, he iDro- 
posed to his friends that he withdraw; but at the meeting of the 
synod in November, 1837, at Springfield, where one evening the situ- 
ation was thoroughly discussed, with but one dissenting voice, his 
friends persuaded him to remain, feeling that the great principle of 
the freedom of the press was at stake. The third press was given by 
sympathizing friends in Ohio, in this contest for freedom of speech. 

Meanwhile, in accordance w4tli plans, a meeting was called to con- 
vene in Alton, November, 1837, to form a state anti-slavery society. 
This call was signed by fifty-six of the residents of Quincy, forty-two 
from Cxalesburg, thirty-two from Jacksonville, twenty-three from 
Alton, twenty from Springfield and seventy-two from other places. 
It was held the week after the meeting of Synod and Mr. LoA'ejoy's 
friends were urged to be present.'^ Among those who gathered at 
Alton were Edward Beecher from Illinois College and Asa Turner 
from Quincy. The meeting was captured by the friends of slavery 
and the audience heard a tirade against " Yankees," home missiona- 
ries, Sunday schools, abolitionists, and temperance societies. After 
the adjournment of the convention, it became known that the new 
press was expected, and President Beecher remained to see what 
would happen. The press came at night and Mr. Lovejoy and Mr. 
Beecher went to the landing, superintended its storing in the ware- 
house, and guarded it till morning. In the morning Mr. Beecher 
left for Jacksonville. On the following night, the w^arehouse was 
attacked by the mob and Mr. Lovejoy killed,^ 

This was an event to stir the country. It won to the cause of the 
abolitionists the fiery eloquence of the brother, Owen Lovejoy in the 
pulx^it and as member of Congress, while the town of Alton went 
through a season of deep moral agitation and became a center of 
anti-slavery effort,^ But a group of residents of this city, led by Dr. 
Haskell of Massachusetts, a graduate of Dartmouth, removed to 
Rockford, in the northern part of the state, in order to be in a region 

1 Julian M. Sturtevant. An Autobiography, 222. 

2 Home Missionary, December. 1835. 

3 Jtihan M. Sturtevant. An Autobiography, 223. 4 Ibid, 224. 

5 J. E, Roy, Fifty Years of Home Missions; fl. Tanner, Martyrdom of Lovejoy. 


where pro-slavery sentiment was not predominant. Unfortunately, 
these events in Alton had nnhappy results for Illinois Col- 
lege. The excitement aroused, the hatred generated, were directed 
toward Mr. Beecher and the college. These feelings were entertained 
not alone by the mob, but by people of wealth, social standing, and 
even of religious reputation. The newspapers of St. Louis which 
had wide circulation in southern Illinois, were intensely hostile in 
their opposition to Illinois College. For a time there was fear of 
attack on the college buildings and of personal violence to Mr. 
Beecher. In time these jDrejudices were lived down, but for years 
there were constant annoyances in the vicinity of the college. ^ 

Quincy, another river town, went through a similar experience as 
regards the x^rinciple at issue. This city had had, to its great advan- 
tage, a strong spiritual leader in Asa Turner, of the " Yale Band," 
who had located there in 1830. In four years his church had become 
self-supporting and the town exiaerienced " a most clear and decided 
moral improvement." ^ Many Easterners flocked to Quincy and there 
was a strong sentiment of sympathy with the other centers of eastern 
thought like Jacksonville and Springfield. Asa Turner organized 
tract, Bible and temperance societies, and developed out-stations 
which soon became independent churches. His aim was, " a mission- 
ary and half a dozen Christian families for every county." 

The first church building in Quincy gained the name of the " Lord's 
Barn *' from its general appearance. In 1836, some people in Quincy 
wished to hold an anti-slavery meeting in this church; but the mere 
design caused a great ferment in the town and country round about 
and threats were made that no such meeting should be held. As the 
day approached many men rallied to the defence, not so much from 
their love of anti-slavery sentiments as because they believed in 
freedom of speech. Under the raised platform they stored guns, 
clubs, poles, etc. The speakers were the pastors of the Methodist and 
Bai3tist churches. As soon as the speaking began the mob began to 
throw brick and stone through windows. Joseph T. Holmes, who was 
both deacon and magistrate, and later a Congregational minister, led 
the counter charge, and a very successful charge it was, dispersing 
the mob altogether. After this, the better elements of society ruled 
in Quincy.^ 

The carrying out of the fugitive slave law gave deep offence to the 
ox3ponents of slavery. Interesting testimony to the intense feeling 
of the Puritan New Englanders in Illinois on this subject is found in 
" The Underground Railroad," by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert. 

Mr. Siebert says: " In general, it is safe to say that the majority of 
helpers in the north were of Anglo-American stock, descendants of 
the Puritan and Quaker settlers of the eastern states or of southern- 
ers that had moved to the northern states to be rid of slavery.'" The 

1 Julian M. Sturtevant. An AiitobioRraphy, 225. 

2 Home Missionary, P'ebruary, 1838. 

.3 Manuscript History of Quincj'^ church by Thomas Pope, in library of Chicago Theolof?- 
ical Seminary. 


Scotch communities were also centers of Underground Rn 11 road oper- 
ations as, for examjjle, those of Randolph and Washington counties 
in Illinois. 1 

In Illinois, the southerners who gave such assistance, are tniced 
for the most part to members of a Presbyterian church, which, under 
the leadershi]p of Rev. J. Rankin, had first settled in Brown county, 
Ohio, because of their views of slavery. Some of these families came 
to Bond county, Illinois, about 1820, and later, about IH'M), moved 
into Putnam and Bureau counties, forming the little church at Union 
Grove, which Aratus Kent discovered in 1829, and to which he called 
the attention of the Home Missionary Society, which thenceforth 
took it under its i^rotection. Those who went to Bureau county 
united with the Princeton colony. These people were extremely 
active in their assistance. No complete figures exist as to the num- 
ber of fugitives assisted; but one member of this band of southerners 
testified to the assisting of thirty-one men and women in six weeks 
time as the highest record reached.^ 

Few of those at the north who assisted runaway slaves, imbued as 
they were with respect for law, cared to entice slaves from their mas- 
ters, or to serve as guides in the first steps of their escape. On the 
ground of humanity and the pity for the needy, enjoined by the 
Bible, northerners would give aid at their door and even speed them 
on their way. The few who incited slaves to leave their masters were 
conspicuous, and there was usually some ground for unusual bitter- 
ness of feeling on the subject of slavery in their cases. 

Illinois had one conspicuous example of a man who was willing to 
aid in abducting slaves. This was David Nelson, who, himself a 
southerner, an avowed atheist and a slaveholder, had, on conversion, 
become a Christian minister and located in Missouri. Here he en- 
countered so much opposition that he had to take hasty flight. Find- 
ing refuge in Quincy he allied himself with the New Englanders and 
their church there. In the spring of 1840 he instigated two of the 
pupils in his mission institute to cross the river into Missouri and 
aid some slaves in escaping. The students were captured and taken 
to the jail at Palmyra and tried. There was no legal evidence, as 
slave testimony was not admissible, but they were condemned to 
twelve years imprisonment. By their conduct they shortened their 
term more than one-half, and there was a remarkable revival of re- 
ligion while they were there among the prisoners. One of these 
young men afterward went as missionary to Africa. Later, the main 
building of the Mission Institute was burned by a mob who came 
from the Missouri side of the river for the purpose.^ 

Everywhere in northern Illinois the fugitive slave found friends 
and helpers. The motives for this help to the slave are to be found 
in the teachings of the New England churches. Indeed, the men 
most iDrominent in these efforts were vigorous adherents of those 
churches. Owen Lovejoy, the Congregational minister, proclaimed in 
Congress, on being taunted as a "nigger stealer": " Owen Lovejoy 

1 W. H. Siebert, T/ze Underground Railroad, 90,92. 2 Ibid, 41. 

3 Thomas Pope, Wanuscript History of Qiiincy Church: Siebert, The Underground Rail- 
road, 155, 156. 


lives at Princeton, Illinois, three-quarters of a mile east of the vil- 
lage, and he aids every fugitive that comes to his door and asks it." 
Philo Carpenter, the real founder of the First Congregational chnrch 
in Chicago, guided not less than 200 fugitives to Canada, finding ves- 
sels to carry them to its shore. Dr. Richard Eells, whose case for 
secreting a slave was in litigation for ten years and who was finally 
fined and XDaid the costs of the trial, was a prominent member of the 
Quincy church. i 

Professor J. B. Turner, while- at Illinois College, assisted in at 
least one such rescue. James Collins, the lawyer who defended those 
charged with breaking the Fugitive Slave Law, was of the Collins 
family of Collinsville, famous for their uncompromising stand on all 
moral questions.^ 

Scrutiny of the map given by Mr. Siebert, showing the lines of the 
Underground Railroad, reveals the suggestive fact that most of the 
towns given on those lines were early occupied by New Englanders 
and their churches. Often the name of a station given on this map 
is simply that of the man giving aid, but where a X3lace is named it is 
apt to be a New England church center. Thus Springfield, with its 
church founded in 1830, was the converging point for three lines: (1) 
through Alton (1S31) (the dates are those of the founding of churches 
by the missionary society) and Reno; (2), White Plains, Jerseyville 
(1835), Waverly (1843); (3), Quincy (1831), Adams, Jacksonville 
(1829). From Springfield a line extended north to Gralesburg (1853) 
through Farmington (1811); but the usual route seems to have been 
by stage to Ottawa (1834), thence through Northville (1835) to Chi- 
cago. Lines also passed from Jacksonville and Springfield through 
Delavan, Tremont (1841), Dillon, Washington (1835). Metamora 
(1840), Magnolia (1851), Granville (1831)," and Peru (1843), to 

Galesburg (1853) was an especially active station on the Under- 
ground Railroad for fugitives from Missouri through Quincy (1831), 
Mendon (1845), Carthage (1835), Augusta (1837), Plymouth (1840), 
La Harpe (1848), and then by the old state road to Chicago with sta- 
tions at Knoxville (1835), Osceola, Pawpaw (1844), Sugar Grove 
(1843) and Aurora (1840). In the northwestern part of the state 
there was a line conducting fugitives to points on the lake farther 
north than Chicago. The fugitives taking this route passed around 
Missouri, crossing Iowa and then through New Windsor. Andover 
(1850), Genesee (1839), Erie, Prophetstown, Lyndon (1840), Sterling 
(1812), Lee Center (1852), and Dixon (1856). Another line entering 
the state at Port Byron (1851), after passing Hillsdale, joined this 
northern route. "^ 

From the history of Putnam county, located in the north-central 
part of the state, something of the origin and method of conducting 
such work appears. Also, earnest orators like Owen Love joy, 
Ichabod Codding and others, encouraged the people in the different 
towns to organize routes. Such was the sense of the need of secrecy 

1 Siebert, The Underground Railroad, 107, 147, 278. 

2 Karnes, Hi'^toric Morgan and Classic Jacksonville. 

3 Siebert, The Undergronnd Railroad. 


and caution that few, even of those actively eiign^ed in the work, 
knew anything of agc^nts along the entire linci, b(?ing definitely posted 
only as to those stations immediately ri(^xt to them on either side. 
The chief thought each agent had was to hurry the fugitive's ah^ng 
beyond all i^ossibility of caj^ture. The fugitives who were helpe'cl 
along by means of this regular though secret line did not Vjegin to 
appear till about ] 840. They came mostly from Missouri and K(.*n- 
tucky, and they averaged on this one line thirty or more per year.^ 

By the early '40s, the deep feeling on the subject of slavery is 
apj:)arent in missionary reports, though there is still a certain hesi- 
tancy to call the evil by name. This was left to the more outspoken 
abolitionists. In 1841 we have these testimonies to the feeling of the 
missionaries: " It is evidently a general feeling among the missiona- 
ries in the West that our country is rapidly advancing to a critical 
point in her history. Letters from all parts of the great field, written 
without any concert of the authors, either exj^ressly assert or imply 
that a struggle is now going on which must ere long terminate for 
weal or woe to our beloved America. The missionaries seem to agree 
in their belief that the eastern churches do not appreciate the critical 
nature of the present opportunity to save the land."''^ 

The following citation came from an Illinois missionary: "The 
crisis we are approaching as a nation, it is feared, is not begun to be 
understood by the mass of people of God. Not the moral x:>nrity of 
the West alone, but the preservation of the whole community is at 
stake. Our country is in danger w^hile Christians all over the land 
are suffering everything but Chiistianity to take root in the West." 
Another writes: "We have reached an appalling crisis. Our ablest 
patriots are looking out on the deep, vexed with storms, with great 
foreboding and failing of heart for fear of the things that are coming 
upon us."^ 

It is not claiming too much to say that the New England element 
led, and, guided by the leaders in the New England churches, origi- 
nated and fostered the expression of anti- slavery feeling in anti- 
slavery societies and political parties. The motives were supplied in 
the religious teachings of the Puritan churches. The leaders in the 
anti-slavery societies, and later in the anti-slavery political parties, 
were men who were members and leaders in those churches, though 
they were not politicians. These years of political and moral agita- 
tion afforded the best educational training, even in times of tempo- 
rary, failure for the time, when success finally did come. 

The first anti-slavery society was formed in a New England settle- 
ment in Putnam county in 1835, and by 1838 there were thirteen 
societies in northern Illinois.^ We have already seen that Elijah P. 
Lovejoy, Edward Beecher and Asa Turner were leaders in organizing 
the state anti- slavery society. 

1 Spencer Ellsworth, Record of the Olden Time: or. Fifty Years on the Prairie (.Lacon. Illi- 
nois, 1880). 

2 Home Missionary, November, 1841; December, 1841. 

3 Home Missionary , November and December, 1841. 

4 T. C. Smith, The Liberty and Free Soil Parties in the Xorthurst. [Hanard Historical 
Studies), 14. 


Before 1889, these societies confined their efforts mainly to a moral 
and religious agitation, and it was such agitation that led to the for- 
mation of the succeeding anti-slavery political parties, and that 
prompted the old parties as well to anti-slavery action. Besides the 
propagation of principles, this anti-slavery society of Illinois sent 
petitions to Congress to abolish slavery and the slave trade wherever 
its constitutional jurisdiction permitted. Feeling the impulse toward 
political interference apiDearing elsewhere in the country in 1839, the 
society voted "that every abolitionist who has a right to vote be 
earnestly entreated to lose no opportunity to carry his abolition XDrin- 
ciples to the polls." 

In 1810, the Liberty party was in the field with a ticket headed by 
Birney and Earle. The State Anti-slavery Society of Illinois, in 
convention at Princeton, decided on a course of neutrality; but the 
men in favor of a third ]party held a separate meeting; under the lead- 
ership of David Nelson, and agreed to support the Liberty candidates. 
The result was the tiny vote of 157. The center of agitation was 
Adams county, which gave forty-two votes. This was double the 
vote of the northeast counties which later became comparable in 
anti-slavery influence, to the Western Reserve in Ohio. This is 
ascribed to the influence of the murder of Lovejoy, but it should be 
noted that Adams county was also the seat of David Nelson's Mission 
Institute and the Qaincy church so recently incensed by mob inter- 
ference. It was not until the next presidential election in 1844 that 
the Liberty Party was thoroughly organized in Illinois. This party 
sprang directly from the old anti-slavery societies which, in Illinois, 
were found in clusters of communities where northern settlers pre- 
dominated. Its purpose, like that of its successors, was to form a 
permanent northern party, and it relied for growth on the spread 
of anti-slavery principles. 

In 1841 the State Anti-slavery Society, in its meeting at Lowell, 
openly advocated independent nominations; but the Liberty Party 
made but one nomination, that of Frederick Collins, for Congress in 
the third congressional district. In 1842 it nominated candidates for 
Governor and Lieutenant Governor, C. W. Hunter of Madison county 
and Frederick Collins; but, in 1843, there were candidates for Congress 
from all the districts, except in the southeastern part of the state. 
By this time the northeastern part of the state had come to that 
leadership, which it afterwards held. '" Nothing is so stimulating to 
a party as to have some district in which it is generally victorious to 
which in any circumstances it may reasonably look for support.'' ^ 

It has been claimed that as the moral effects of the anti-slaver-y so- 
cieties came to be supplemented by political methods, the leadership 
fell to "laymen," to the "American man of affairs" in the countr}^ at 
large.2 This, however, was not the case in Illinois. When the lead- 
ership passed from the hands of David Nelson, it fell to Owen Love- 
joy, who for the next fourteen years was the leader and personification 
of Illinois abolitionism, " a zealous, persistent agitator, eloquent in 
speech, radical and sometimes bitter to the point of virulence, but 

1 Smith, T//e Liberty and Free Soil Parties, 47, 52, 301, 301. 

2 Smith, The Liberty and Free Soil Parties, 18. 


capable of inspiring the greatest resp(3ct and confidenccj in the cinti- 
slavery men of the northeast counties." He was a favorit(i delegate 
to the National Conventions, a favorite candidate for Congress from 
northern Illinois; but he was during all this time a Congregational 
minister. A native of Maine, educated at Bowdoin College and 
Bangor Theological Seminary, he x^reached for a short time at the 
Presbyterian church in Alton and then went to the Congregational 
church at Princeton, where he was pastor from 1888 to 1855, the 
years of the rise and fall of the Liberty, Free Soil, and Free Democratic 
parties. He preached later, also, in the First Congregational church 
of Chicago. His boldness and courage in politics was equalled by his 
boldness in the pulpit. All his congregation did not like his anti- 
slavery views, and on one occasion, when he saw some leaving the 
ch,urch, he said: "Brethren, I see some of you don't like my anti- 
slavery doctrines; but I am going to preach them till you do like 
them, and then preach them because you like them." Another in- 
stance was when a saloon was opened in Princeton with a sign, "Hole 
in the Wall," and Owen Lovejoy preached from Ezekiel viii, 7-10, 
congratulating the owner on his appropriate sign. The saloon was 
soon closed. 1 

Of the other acknowledged leaders in the political movement, Fred- 
erick Collins, who was a favorite anti- slavery candidate, was one of 
the live sons of Deacon William Collins who founded Collinsville. 
All had been in Dr. Lyman Beecher's church in Litchfield, Connecti- 
cut, and were staunch upholders and j^romoters of the Puritan. 
cause.2 Dr. Richard Eells, who was a candidate of the Liberty party 
for Governor in 1846, was deacon in the Quincy Congregational 
church. He was prominent in a long law case growing out of the 
Fugitive Slave Law. Dr. Charles Volney Dyer,^ who was the Free 
Soil candidate for Governor in 1848, was a native of Clarendon, Ver- 
mont, and a graduate of Middlebury College. Ichabod Codding,^ who 
lectured extensively on Anti-slavery, especially on the Kansas-Ne- 
braska issue, and who " was a power in the organization of the 
Republican party," also studied at Middlebury College and became a 
Congregational minister. He held pastorates in Princeton, Lockport 
and Joliet. 

Zebina Eastman, the editor of the Anti-slavery papers, " The Ge- 
nius of Liberty" and " The Western Citizen,*' and easily the leader 
in this field of anti-slavery agitation, was a native of North Amherst, 
Massachusetts. From 1842 to 1861 he made his home in Chicago. 
His wife has recently testified to the unpopularity he incurred as 
editor of " The Western Citizen ": " From the windows of her hum- 
ble home on the corner of Madison and Dearborn streets, she often 
saw her neighbors use tongs to remove the objectionable copies of 
the abolitionist paper left on their doorsteps." He and his wife were 
leaders in the movement by which, in 1852, forty-eight members of 
the First Presbyterian church of Chicago withdrew from that church 
and organized the Plymouth Congregational church. Their reason 

1 Thomas Pope, Manuscript history of the Qumcy Church. 

2 Smith, The Liberty and Free Soil Parties, 63. 

3 Bateman and Selby, Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. 


for so doing was, that they did not believe that the Presbyterian 
church had taken a sufficiently bold stand on the side of freedom for 
the slave. ^ 

With these acknowledged leaders in Illinois who served as candi- 
dates, speakers, and publishers of papers and hand -bills all so defi- 
nitely allied with the Congregational churches, one cannot say that 
in Illinois the " clerical anti- slavery forces '' were so involved in sec- 
tarian troubles, that they had to leave the leadership of anti-slavery 
matters to others.^ 

At the National Liberty Convention in 1844, at Buffalo, C. V. Dyer 
was a vice president and Owen Lovejoy a secretary. In 1846, the 
Liberty Party polled the highest vote in Illinois, with the main inter- 
est centering on the candidacy of Lovejoy for Congress in the fourth 
congressional district. With the year 1848 arose the issue of territo- 
rial slavery and the Liberty Party gave place to the Free Soil Party. 
Lovejoy served on a committee at the Convention of Free Soilers in 
Buffalo, August, 1848, when Van Buren was nominated for the Presi- 
dency. Northern Illinois was enthusiastic for the new movement, 
and the total vote of 15,774 — three times the largest vote of the Lib- 
erty Party — came largely from the northeastern counties. The Free 
Soil Party, however, rapidly declined in Illinois. The combinations 
and coalitions of that party facilitated a rapid disintegration and did 
not satisfy the desires of the anti- slavery leaders. 

With the compromise of 1850, reappeared the religious, moral, non- 
imrtisan anti-slavery agitation induced in Illinois, especially by the 
o^Dposition in the northern counties to the Fugitive Slave Law. In 
July, 1850. a Northern Christian Convention was held in Chicago 
with representatives from the slave states. Owen Lovejoy was promi- 
nent in its deliberations, and the convention insisted on the religious 
character of its anti-slavery action. In 1851 there was a drawing to- 
gether of the old anti-slavery men for political action, a return to first 
principles, and the name "Free Soil"' was generally abandoned for 
that of Free Democracy.^ 

In the same year a convention was called at Granville and a new 
society was formed on religious, moral and political grounds, of which 
J. H. Collins was made president. The language and methods of 
the early years of anti-slavery agitation reappeared. In 1852, at the 
last National Convention of Free Soilers, or Free Democratic Party, 
when John P. Hale was nominated for the Presidency, Lovejoy was 
the representative from Illinois. Illinois gave 9,9(^6 votes to Hale, 
including the votes of many clergymen and professional men as well 
as young men who cast their first votes under the influence of the 
anti-slavery reaction produced in northern Illinois by the FugitiA^e 
Slave Law. 

With the passage in 1854 of the Kansas and Nebraska Bill, aboli- 
tionists, Liberty men and Free Democrats were ready to unite in a 
new northern anti-slavery party; and in that year the Republican 
Party was successfully organized in the two northern districts of 

1 Chicago Legal Ne%vs (December 6. 1902). XXXV. lli"). 

2 Smith, The Liberty and Free Soil Parties, 18. 70. 

3 Smith, The Liberty and Free Soil Parties, 144, 156, 22r)-229, 244. 


Illinois, with Lake coiinty as the? "focus of anti-slavery sctntiment." 
The efforts of Lovejoy and Codding to create a state organization by 
a convention at Springfield, failed for lack of the co()peratiori of the 
anti- slavery Whigs. A few years after this the successes of the lie- 
publican party j^laced Lovejoy in Congress, when he gave up his 
regular pastoral work and the field of his activity i)assed largely from 
Illinois to the national capital. 

Meanwhile, the Home Missionary Society and its friends, as they 
became more outspoken, used the facts of the existence of slavery 
and its attendant evils as one more reason for the greatest ijossible 
effort to extend the work of the eastern churches and the priiiciples 
held by them. In 1844, in the annual report of the society, slavery 
is named for the first time as one of the leading hindrances to the 
growth of the churches in the West and South: "Another obstacle 
and one of increasing magnitude which may well fill the heart of the 
philanthropist with deep concern, is the existence of that horrible 
anomaly in American institutions — slavery — covering so large a por- 
tion of our territory and enthralling more than two and one-half mil- 
lion souls, made in the image of God, in a bondage worse than Egypt- 
ian, that prevents the most direct and effectual efforts for their sal- 
vation." ^ In this same report a chance sentence shows how the 
thought of disunion was then even in men's minds: "Admit that our 
Union may not continue; its disruption would only increase our work 
and call more loudly for the intensest efforts." 

The Mexican War so outraged the sentiments of the society's 
officials that they were willing to publish letters which before they 
had thought wise to suppress: "Much public attention has recently 
been given to the enlargement of our national domain, and, in con- 
nection with this, to the probable extension of slavery over large 
sections of the territory which has been, or may be, annexed to our 
country. To show how slavery affects the progress of evangelical 
religion in the communities where it exists, the following letters from 
different states are given: First — 'Were this a free state I would 
not falter a moment, but, looking to God for assistance, would 
go forward. As it is, I have many fears. Slavery here is strong. It 
affects every nerve and fibre of society. Not a single one of them 
that I have heard of can read the Bible, and there are not a half 
dozen of them that make any pretensions to piety. They are almost 
never called in to be present at family worship. I know of no way 
in which they are instructed. I do not know of a single master or 
mistress that ever teaches them any systematic religious truths. I 
do not see a cloud as big as a man's hand that portends their emanci- 
pation. I could not say a syllable to the slaves themseh^es in private 
without setting in motion a train of opposition that would soon drive 
me from the state. The masters are nearly as inaccessible as the 
slaves. They are sensitive and suspicious to a very great degree. 
Second — '' In this state this institution keeps 200,000 immortal beings 
in deep ignorance. Ninety-nine hundredths of them receive no in- 
struction, not even in a Sunday school. In almost in every part of 
the South where there is no positive law forbidding their being 

1 Home Missionary,, June, 1844. 


instructed, public sentiment amounts to a prohibition equally effect- 
ive. If a minister should preach much to them, he is liable to be sus- 
pected as an abolitionist.' Third — 'Scattered population, due to the ag- 
ricultural system, prevents schools and instruction of children. Leads 
also to ignorance of white children who cannot be sent away. A free 
school system has never flourished. Churches are few and feeble. 
This condition has exiled many of our best ministers to the free 
states.' Fourth — ' You are already aware that many devoted minis- 
ters of the gospel have left this and other states, because of the 
patriarchal institution.' " 

In the '50s, with the agitation in Kansas and Nebraska, came freer 
expression of opinion. In 1853, an able paper in the Home Mission- 
ary, enumerated as "Three Dangers to American Institution," arising 
out of x4-merican prosperity: The influx of foreigners, the growth of 
slavery, and the increase of territory by annexation. Under the last 
point the writer justified the annexation of Louisiana by national 
interest, and the annexation of Florida, by universal patriotism; but, 
from the annexation of Texas, he claimed many evils had resulted, 
chief among them, war; while the addition of New Mexico and Cali- 
fornia had aroused great sectional animosity. He goes on to say: 
'' The interests of the annexation are determined almost solely by the 
interests of slavery. Cuba, Hayti, and the neighboring states of 
Mexico, and even the distant Sandwich Islands, are all viewed 
through this medium. We cannot in our present condition make 
another stride in annexation without fearfully augmenting our most 
imminent and threatening dangers." ^ 

Meanwhile, the society was rather sharply called to account by its 
constituency for what seemed to them an inconsistent policy in con- 
tinuing to send funds to slave states. A resolution adopted by the 
Congregational church, in Champaign, shows the feeling. They 
voted '" to make no .contributions to, or countenance in any way, any 
society upholding slavery." ^ 

The society attempted a justification of its policy: '* While it may 
not be accomplishing all it could wish for the removal of this great 
evil, it is doing much. Some things which have been suggested it 
does not attempt, because they do not seem to the society or to the 
great mass of judicious persons, to be right or proper. For example, 
it does not, as some would have it, wholly withdraw^ from slave states. 
It does not, as others advise, make the exclusion of slaveholders from 
communion a condition of missionary aid and thus interfere with 
the rights of the churches to define their own terms of membership. 
But it bears an open and unembarrassed testimony against slavery; 
it ranks it among the chief evils wdth which the Gospel must grapple; 
it sustains no ministers in slave states who are implicated in this sin, 
it claims as the right and duty of missionaries so to bring the Gospel 
to bear on this subject that the moral sense of their people shall be 
awakened and enlightened and they may be led to free themselves 
from its guilt. When the missionary in fulhllment of this duty en- 
counters opposition and oblo(piy, he is sustained by the sympathy 

1 Nome Missionary, May, lcS53. by Rev. L. P. Hickok, of Union College. 

2 Mimtfcs of the Co)igregat'to>iaI C/noch, Champaign, Illinois. 


and pecuniary aid of the society as long as there is hope of ns(;fnl- 
ness, and then when duty bids him depart, he is assistcKl to enter 
other fields." In this utterance, the society claimed thnt it stood on 
the same ground as the New School Presbyterian and Congregation Jil 
churches as affirmed by the General Assemblies of 1818, 1840 find 
1850, and by the General Convention of Congregational Ministers at 
Albany in 1852. The latter declared it " to be the duty of the mis- 
sionary societies to grant aid to churches in slaveholding states, in 
support of such ministers only as shall so preach the Gospel and, 
inculcate the principles and application of Gospel discijjline that, 
with the blessing of God, it shall have its effect in awakening and 
enlightening the moral sense in regard to slavery and in bringing to 
pass the speedy abolition of that evil." ^ 

In spite of this statemc^nt, the society had soon to take the i^osition 
of the churches and refuse financial aid to all churches not excluding 
slaveowners from membership. An example of the divisive power of 
this great question is shown in the history of the Third Presbyterian 
Church of Chicago. Up to 1851, all churches of eastern origin in 
Chicago were Presbyterian. The Third Presbyterian Church was 
noted for its strong anti-slavery sentiment, including as it did in its 
membership Hon. W, W. Farwell, prominent in anti-slavery political 
measures of the time, and Philo Carpenter, whose house and store 
were famous terminals of the Underground Railroad. The General 
Assembly of 1850 meeting at Detroit, having failed to take positive 
ground against slavery, a majority of the Chicago church voted to 
stand aloof from all meetings of Synod and Presbytery till this policy 
should be changed. Disciplined for this irregularity, a majority of 
the church established themselves in the lecture room of the church, 
the personal property of Mr. Carpenter, and there formed the First 
Congregational Church of Chicago, preached to in its early days by 
Jonathan Blanchard, later identified with Wheaton College, by J. M. 
Sturtevant and Owen Lovejoy, and in time proud of its record as 
" turned out, burned out," jeered at as a "nigger church." This church 
strongly criticised the conservatism of the Home Missionary Society. 
For years it held a Fourth of July prayer-meeting for the deliverance 
of the slave; it observed a month of prayer before the inauguration 
of President Lincoln. 

There was much in the internal development of Illinois to lead to 
a constantly increasing anti-slavery feeling. Even her early settlers, 
mainly from the south, did not wish slavery in Illinois, both for 
economic, and, in many cases, for moral reasons. This was proved 
by the majority, small indeed, which prevented the constitutional 
amendment permitting slavery in 1821. Then came the large influx 
of Easterners, most of them opposed to slavery, and accustomed to 
give ear to the moral instructions of their religious leaders. Their 
moral sentiments were shocked by the turbulent acts and temper of 
the border and by the sight of thp enforcement of the Fugitive Slave 
Law. Moral sentiment aroused led to such a certainty of conviction 

1 Home Missionary, March, 1853. 

—21 H 


that Illinois could even criticise New England for her moderateness 
of statement; churches criticised the society that gave them exist- 
ence; and church members criticised the reserve of the church itself; 
and the religious leaders saw in all the agitation and in the threat- 
ening danger still greater need for the spread of Christian truth. 
As the contest deepened and patriotism was invoked to bring the 
country out of her trouble, it seems only a natural result that one in 
four of the entire male membership of the Puritan church in Illinois 
sprang to the defense of the Union against the coalition of slavehold- 
ing states. 




'During this era of anti-slavery agitation, New England Puritanism 
was disturbed by the rapid development of the Roman Catholic 
Church in the Northwest. The French Catholic priests of the early 
days had offered little opposition to the Protestants They did not 
object to the distribution of tracts and Bibles among their own 
people, and they never attempted to take the matter of education 
from the Protestants, who were so eager and so sure of their own 
method. What now particularly alarmed the Home Missionary So- 
ciety and its constituency, was what appeared to be a definite plan on 
the part of European Catholics to capture a large part of the North- 
west for their faith. 

A warning was given in May, 1842, through the organ of the 
society: "The territory of this nation is an unlimited and inviting 
field, to which the human swarms are gathering from other lands. 
The crumbling dynasties of the old world are sending hither materials 
to reconstruct the fabrics which are there tottering to ruin. Already 
the foundations are laid for social institutions such as our own fathers 
knew not. Foreign Papists are jjlanting our fairest territories thick 
with their schools. Colony after colony of men of a strange tongue 
and stranger associations, are possessing themselves of our soil and 
gathering around our ballot boxes." "In Missouri, Illinois and 
Arkansas there are seventy-four priests with literary institutions of 
every grade in which, at least, a thousand youths are now training — 
here then the very heart of the West is infected and every pulsation 
throws abroad a strain of influence baneful to the civil freedom and 
religious well-being of unnumbered thousands." ^ 

More hopeful was the following expression: "The most formida- 
ble foe of the universal spread of the Gospel is, doubtless, to be found 
in the Roman apostacy — where else could the contest be bloodless, 
where so successful as here, where no racks or tortures forestall the 
force of argument — here where the benighted children of error will 
surrounded and pervaded by the silent but resistless influence of our 
schools and presses; here, where every one of them may stand erect 
and feel that he is a man and may assert his right to doubt as well as 
to believe; to discuss and judge as well as to listen and obey? In- 
stead, therefore, of deprecating the coming of so many foreigners as a 
curse, we should regard it as the fulfillment of our national destiny." 

1 Annual Report of Home Missionary' Society, June, 1842. 


In July of this year, 1842, it was reported that an agent from Illi- 
nois had been in England and on the continent for the purpose of 
sending emigrants to the western states. Money to buy lands in 
Illinois and elsewhere had been raised. Land offices had been opened 
in England and Germany for the sale of western lands. The emigra- 
tion from Ireland, England and Germany was large. ^ 

In November of this year, the " Grand Scheme " itself is fully ad- 
vertised and exposed with increased effort to rouse public sentiment 
against what was held to be an impending danger: •' That there is a 
formal conspiracy of the crowned heads of Europe to bring our republic 
under papal control, as has been sometimes asserted, may or may not 
be true. But there can be no doubt that many of the potentates and 
grandees of Catholic Europe greatly desire such a result. The no- 
bility and political economists who regard with amazement. and terror 
the accumulation of masses of population in the overcrowded states 
of the old world, without instruction, without employment, and with- 
out bread, have a powerful reason for pushing these masses off' uiDon 
our comparative vacant territory.'' 

During 1842 a pamphlet was issued in London and Dublin, enti- 
tled "Proposed New Plan of a General Emigration Society; by a 
Catholic Gentleman." The object was to be the sending of the Irish 
poor to America. From this well written pami3hlet the editors of the 
missionary magazine made large extracts. The reasons for such 
emigration are stated, as follows: " 1. To dispose of excess of popu- 
lation. 2. To create demand for British manufactures. 3. To make 
the Catholic religion predominant in the Ignited States." The 
pamphlet contained a map coj^ied by the missionary magazine to 
show the region it was thought best to settle in. The territory in- 
cluded Upper Canada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois 
and x^art of Iowa. The desirableness of this country was proven by 
descriptive extracts - from De Tocqueville, Captain Marryatt, Miss 
Martineau and Judge Haliburton. The officials of the Home Mis- 
sionary Society drew three conclusions from this document: " 1. We 
may expect colonization stimulated and systematized more and more. 
2. The great field of conflict for religious and political supremacy 
will be the West. 3. Now is the the time to save the West." 

In the following year, 1843, the foundation of certain benevolent 
societies in Europe to advance Catholicism in America gave further 
occasion for alarm. Frederick Rese, Vicar General of the Diocese of 
Cincinnati, interested himself particularly in the spread of Catholic 
missions in America, promoting the gathering of funds for this pur- 
pose in a memorial to Leopoldina. Empress of Brazil. The Pope 
granted special indulgences to those aiding this fund, and Metter- 
nich wrote to the Bishop of Cincinnati commending the movement. 
It soon gathered 161,000. The Society for the Propagation of the 
Faith at Lyons, during 1840, appropriated $1()0,000 to missions in 

The intense feeling on the subject occasioned even such extra-sa- 

gant InngUcige as that used in an address in Painesville, Ohio, in 

• % 

1 Home Missionary, July, 1842. 

2 Home Missionarv, February, 1843. 


1844: "The Apocalyptic Beast is Writching with ijitense anxiety, and 
straining his eyeballs for a favorable moment to spring in upon us 
with one immense bound and make us his prey. Roma has more 
men, more money, more cunning and more perseveranc(i thaii we 
have. Rome never stops short of universal victory or universal 

From this time on Romanism is classed with intemperance and 
slavery as an evil threatening the country. The citation of a few 
titles of articles api^earing in the Home Missionary, show the nature 
of the Protestant ojDposition: "Jesuits in the United Stcites,'" Janu- 
ary 1846; "Catholic Clergy in the United States,'" February. 1846; 
"Indulgences," June, 1848; "Aid to the Roman Catholic Church in 
America," August, 1848; "Jesuit Seminaries at the West," October. 
1851; "Does the Romish Church Discourage the Reading of the 
Bible?" July, 1853. 

The utterances on the subject, of some of the most distinguished 
men of the day will show how seriously the matter was regarded. 
Dr. Leonard Bacon referred to the "gigantic efforts of the Papal 
church to achieve for itself the dominion of this hallowed soil."- 
Professor Park, of Andover, wrote: "Send our armies to the great 
valley where the Pope will reign unless Puritanism be triumphant. 
Remembering the fires of Smithfield and the ashes of our fathers who 
sleep in Bunhill fields, let us pray together for this 'vine'."^ Speak- 
ing of the moral conflicts before the country, Dr. Mark Hopkins 
wrote: "Rome and despotism are pouring in the materials of which 
mobs are made. Infidelity in its various forms is more extensive 
than many suppose. When we remember the sectional jealousies 
and distracting relations of slavery, and see how easily the standard 
of a civil and servile war might be unfurled, we cannot see the burden 
on the church likely to be diminished in our day."* 

Catholicism was not the only "error" by which the West was 
assailed. The missionary fathers, after the comparative uniformity 
in religious beliefs to which they were accustomed in New England 
were astonished and shocked at the sectarian divisions, the multi- 
plicity of sects, with which they came in contact in the West. Rev. 
Julian M. Sturtevant writes as follows of the conditions in New 
England when he was a boy:^ "W^e had Baptist, Episcopal and 
Methodist churches, but they were far too few in number to seriously 
impair the unity of the New England church life. The Baptists 
were numerous only in Rhode Island. Both they and the Methodist 
societies that were beginning to be organized here and there, usually 
sought locations remote from Congregational places of worship, and 
thus rarely came in contact with them. The world was then broad 
enough for all. There was no crowding. The consequence was that 
the church in any particular town was not regarded as the representa- 
tive of some distinct denomination, but simply as a branch of the 
•church of Christ, ' the Church Universal.' We thouo-ht of ours as 

1 Home Missionary, June, 1844. 

2 Hovie Missionary, May, 18o2. 

3 Ibid., September, 1845. 

4 Ibid., November, 1845. 

5 Julian M. SUirtevant, An Autobiography, 2-3. 


the ' Warren Christian Church.' If, in my childhood, I had heard 
our place of worship mentioned as Congregational, I would have 
needed to ask an explanation of the unusual term. Such was the 
vantage ground of the Connecticut churches at the time of which I 
am speaking, and the same thing might be said of the larger portion 
of Massachusetts and also of a considerable part of Vermont and 
New Hampshire. I call it vantage ground, not, however, to Congre- 
gationalists as a religious denomination, but to Christianity." 

How different the condition in Illinois. One settlement of eighty 
families had fourteen sects. One town of 800 inhabitants had eight 
denominations. The missionaries soon began to class together the 
forms that seemed to them most disastrous. This despairing picture 
of southeastern Illinois in 1835 brings them all together: ''One" or 
two churches are dead, two or three more are soon to expire. At 
Vincennes a Catholic college and nunnery are soon to be built. 
Romanism, Arianism, Universalism, Campbellism, Deism and almost 
every delusion prevail. "^ Another writer sums up the errors in this 
form: "The West is the arena where the contest is to be carried on 
between Infidelity, Romanism, Mormonism and Satanism on one 
side and Christianity on the other." 

To their sorrow they had to confess that many of the "false teach- 
ers," the Roman Catholic priests, the Mormons, preachers of 
Universalism, the Millerites, lecturers on Atheism, mesmerism and 
phrenology, came from the east. Another cause for chagrin was that 
Northern Illinois was most seriously affected; the Fox river region 
was the "stronghold of Universalism," Hancock county was almost 
entirely given over to the Mormons, while the nearby valley of the 
Des Moines was a center of infidelity under the leadership of Abner 
Kneeland. "Paine's 'Age of Reason' is read with avidity in many 
families and its doctrines advocated by men of influence. Not a few 
mothers drink in this poison. Many immigrants from Europe are 
disciples of Hume and Voltaire, Clubs and associations are found in 
almost all of our towns on the rivers.''^ One family went so far as to 
keep their family record in Tom Paine instead of the Bible. 

One sect, which at the present time has good standing, in that day 
particularly aroused the indignation of the Easterner. '"Campbellism" 
was described as the "bane of the West," the "common enemy of all 
evangelical Christianity." These people were also known as "Dis- 
ciples," and were the followers of Alexander Campbell of Bethany, 
Virginia. Rev. J. M. Sturtevant was much criticised for fellowship 
with a church of this sect near Jacksonville, and it was scarcely 
considered an evangelical body. While not slow to oppose the doc- 
trines of some of their leaders, Sturtevant kept up his friendly rela- 
tions with the Disciples and in his old age wrote: "It is my belief 
that no portion of the religious community around us has grown in 
grace more rapidly than that denomination."-^ 

1 Home Missionary, March, 1835. 

'I Home Missionary, December, 1841. 

3 Julian M. Sturfevant, An Antobios^rnpliy, 248. 


Most blighting in its influence for the short time it remaimid in 
Illinois was the Mormon propaganda. Driv(in from Missouri the 
Mormons had established themselves at Nauvoo, in Hancock county, 
where they arrived in 1839. The effect on the community wns 
immediate. Nearly all the old citizens became anxious to sell their 
property and many prepared to move away, so grent was the dis- 
inclination to live near the Mormons. "Their recruits com(; from 
churches where the cardinal doctrines of the Bible are kept in the 
the background." A Mormon preacher was reiJort(3d to have said 
that he would as soon undertake to make "sugar out of dry hickory 
as to make a Mormon out of a Congregationalist.''^ 

In a year or two it was apparent that the Mormons intended to rule 
the region politically as well as religiously. Since somewhat recently 
popular articles by Mormon writers have appeared in some of the 
magazines in which persecutions suffered by the Mormons in Illinois 
and attending their departure from Missouri are dwelt upon, contem- 
porary witness to the experiences and feelings of the community may 
be of interest. In August, 1842, a missionary in Hancock county 
wrote: "' The Mormon farce is manifestly drawing to a close. They 
are rallying from every point to this county for the purpose of carry- 
ing the elections and thus getting all the public business into their 
own hands, and there is a state of growing excitement among the rest 
of the community. I am afraid the next August election will not pass 
by without bloodshed. I presume Nauvoo is as perfect a sink of de- 
bauchery and every species of abomination as ever w^ere Sodom or 
Nineveh."- The next year the report is that there are 15,000 Mormons 
in the county; that they hold all the offices. Old citizens are much 
disturbed. It seems like the eve of an outbreak, while the Mormons 
themselves are "worse than all that has been said about them."^ But 
the end was not yet. It 1815 the "old citizens are irritated almost to 
desperation by the daily insults and depredations upon their property, 
by a people whom a few years since they received into their bosom 
and both clothed and fed as poor, deluded, persecuted objects of char- 
ity. But they were themselves scarcely less deluded. They now 
suffer, as a consequence of their benefaction, the loss of business, of 
personal safety and general prosperity to the country. The absorbing 
question with this whole people now is, how shall w^e rid ourselves of 
this curse? We were afraid the people w^ould drive it from their 
borders by violence, but God seems to have purposed that it shall 
ripen among us and with wonderful suddenness perish utterly in its 
own corruption.""^ 

Rev. •!. M. Grout, the missionary at Warsaw, wrote in February, 
1846, that life and property were not safe. In September of the same 
year he wrote that ten surrounding counties had pledged themselves 
to see that the Mormons move from Illinois and already most of them 
had fled to Missouri. He had attended three funerals of prominent 
citizens killed by Mormons in the last three months. At one time 

1. Home Missionary, November, 1840. 

2. Ibid., August, 1842. 

3. Ibid,, October, 184.3. 

4. Home Missionary, October, 1845. 


parties of Mormons went about terrorizing the county. The next 
month Mr. Grout reported nearly all the Mormon property as sold and 
at higher rates than their opx^onents could have got for theirs had 
the Mormons remained. "A miserable remnant, perhaps 2,000, still 
remained in Nauvoo, the objects of suspicion, hatred and fear. Their 
temple is yet unsold. The main body is encamped almost within 
speaking distance. The old citizens are impatient of such delay and 
fearful of their return." Four months later he writes: " Controversy 
seems to have closed. Order and quiet has reigned since a few days 
after the battle which induced Mormons and semi-Mormons to leave 
Nauvoo. A few acts of theft have been committed, but the offenders 
have been dealt with prom|Dtly according to law." His words of a 
year later show how deej) the demoralization of the region had been. 
''Great prudence, discernment, patience and forbearance were neces- 
sary to persuade a population which had been inflicted with the 
vicinity of Mormonism to commence anew to build up society and the 
utmost sagacity to keep them at work."i The "temple," which seems 
to have been a problem to both parties, was burned in 1848; the "work 
of some nefarious incendiary," an act which was not approved by the 
better portion of the population. It was not till 1853 that the mis- 
sionaries reported Hancock county as really recovering from the Mor- 
mon occupation. 

Jo Daviess county suffered from a smaller Mormon invasion under 
rather peculiar circumstances. Many came directly from Nauvoo, but 
more "from the colony of one Strang, who, in view of the corruption 
of the church at Nauvoo, attempted to establish a reformed Mormon 
church in Wisconsin. Many of his followers left him, and his at- 
tempt to impose phosphorescent light for cloven tongues defeated his 
whole enterprise. This colony is the result of the breaking up of 
these two dens since their faith and confidence in their leaders is not 
strong enough to take' them to California."- 

One cannot emphasize too strongly the utter lack of any ground of 
agreement between such colonies and the New England settlers. The 
Mormons appeared too late to gain a real foothold in Illinois and had 
to do pioneer work in the unoccupied field of Utah to make a perma- 
nent hold for themselves. 

1. Home Missionary, March, 1848. 

2. Ibid., September, 1848. 




Turning to a successful side of the missionary's work, it is to be 
noticed that his influence in educational matters was creative, defin- 
ite, permanent. Illinois owes much in her educational development 
to him. He brought with him the knowledge of the three-fold edu- 
cational organization of New England, the college, the academy and 
the common school; and he added to this, wrought out from the cir- 
cumstances of his surroundings, the idea of industrial education by 
the State. 

Applying this program to Illinois, we find, in the local conditions, 
certain helps and certain hindrances to the cause of education. To 
begin with there was generous financial encouragement provided by 
the general government in the terms of the ordinance of 1787 for the 
disposing of lands in the Western Territory, by which section sixteen 
in each township was devoted to school purposes. The enabling act 
of 1818 also devoted one entire township for the use of a ''seminary 
of learning" and of the five per cent of the net proceeds of the sale of 
government lands within her limits granted to the use of the State, 
it was provided that three- fifths should be used for educational pur- 
poses, one-sixth of this sum to be used for a college or university. 
In 1882 this, together with a surplus revenue fund given by Congress 
in 1837 and certain county funds, amounted to a principal of $9,691,- 
932.89 with an income of $63H,204.64. 

In enumerating the disadvantages with which education had to 
contend it is obvious at once that funds would not flow into the State 
treasury very early from these provisions since the sale of lands 
would naturally be slow till settlers became abundant. In fact the 
first sale was not made till 1831 in Greene county. Again the early 
settlers were not in so prosperous a condition at first as to lead them 
to imxDose taxes upon themselves nor were they as a class at all dis- 
posed to promote free schools. ^ 

To this should be added the fact that the legislative bodies of the 
State were controlled by representatives of the southern settlers dur- 
ing all the, years we were considering. Any advance in educational 
matters was wrested from these men only by long siege and after 
repeated rebuffs. These legislators diverted the school funds to the 

1 W. L. Pillsbury, in Report of the Superintendent of Pjiblk Iiistrucfioii, ISS/-S3p. CXXIII, 
CXXVII; in Report, 1887-88, LXVII; Samuel Williard, History of Earh Education in lUinois. 
in Report, 1883-84, LXVI I. 


payment of other State expenses so persistently in the early years 
that Congress withheld the fund for several years previous to 1881. 
By act of 1885 the interest was distributed to the counties and no 
longer loaned to the State. The State by public act pays interest on 
all the funds which have accrued to it from the sources named 
although the funds themselves were long ago diverted to State uses.^ 

The establishment of free schools, the appointment of a State 
sujDerintendent of public instruction, an institution for the education 
of teachers, and an "industrial university," where the main objects 
for which special and long continued effort were necessary. 

"The paramount influence of the New Englanders in accomplishing 
this program is fully acknowledged by those most conversant with 
the educational history of the State. The origin of the American 
common school in Illinois was due to the tide of immigration from 
New England." ''But as the immigration from the south and es^Dec- 
ially from the east poured in the modes of life of the people changed; 
then the earth floor and the slab seats and the puncheon writing desk 
gave way to oaken boards from the saw mill. The ceilings and the 
walls ere long were clothed with lath and plaster; the chimney of 
brick and the stove superseded the hugh chimney of sticks; glass 
windows admitted light; the framed and boarded house took the place 
of the log structure, and change followed change till the present 
tasteful, well-furnished school house caused the older expedients of 
the early days to be forgotten. With these the pupil and teacher and 
text books changed in equal ratio." This authority it should be said 
is particularly anxious to give pro^Der credit to all the sources of help 
in the educational struggle.^ 

The earliest of New England educational workers to be noted was 
Rev. J. M. Peck, also remembered for his services in keeping Illinois 
an anti-slavery state, a missionary of the Massachusetts Baptist 
Society and later a^ agent of the American Bible Society. He is 
described as "perhaps the most indefatigable worker in behalf of edu- 
cation the State has ever known." He furthered the educational 
interests of his own denomination in Rock Spring Seminary and 
Shurtlelf College. "He brought teachers from the east and helped 
them to employment; in every way and at every time he used tongue, 
pen, time, means and influence for the cause of education.""^ In 1833 
at Vandalia in the first educational convention ever held in the State 
he organized the hrst educational society, "prominent among those 
special agencies, educational associations. State legislatures, ladies 
educational societies, teachers institutes and popular methods" which 
jjarticipated in the struggle for popular education up to 1855.^ 

This society was called the Illinois Institute of education. Mr. 
Peck was made a corresponding secretary. It devoted itself to the 
gathering of information as to the condition of the primary schools of 
the State, to corresponding with centers of school information outside 

1 Pillsbury, in Report, 1SS1-S2, XXXVI. 

2 Mayo, Education .in the Northwest, iti U.S. Co»i»iissioiier of Education Report, 1S94-5, II, 
1.54.3; Willard, Early Education in Illinois, cxviii. 

.3 W. L. Pillslniry. /// Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1SS.')-S(), pp. cvi, 
cxx; Willard, as al'ovc, p. cxviii. 
4 Mayo, as above, p. 1541. 


of the State and to an effort to inform and arouse the ijnblic on the 
subject. Mr. Pe