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Champaign Public Library 


Information Center 

Champaign, Illinois 








Governor of Illinois. 






Illinois Stale HislorlGdi Socielij 

For the Year 1906. 


Springfield, 111., Jan. 24-25, 1906. 

Published by Authority 

of the Board of Trustees 

of the 



Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 





Illinois State Historical Library 

E. J. James, Urbana. 

Vice- President : 
M. H. Ohambeblin, Lebanon. 

Secretary : 
George N. Black, Springfield. 

Librarian : 
Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber. 



Illinois State Historical Society 

E. B. Greene, Chairman. 
George N. Black, M. H. Chamberlin, 

George W. Smith, Jessie Palmer Weber, 

George A. Dupuy. Alfred Orendorff, E.r-officio. 


Officers of the Illinois State Historical Society, 

January, 1905-1906. 

President : 
General Alfred Orendorff, Springfield. 

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

Second Vice President : 
Captain' J. H. Burnham, Bloomington. 

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

Board or Directors: 

Edmund Jaynes James, Ph. D., LLD., President of the Uni 
versity of Illinois, Urbana; George N. Black. Springfield; J. 
H. Burnham, Bloomington; M. H. Chamberlin, LLD.. Presi- 
dent of McKendree College, Lebanon; Hon. David McCulloch. 
Peoria; Evarts B. Greene, Ph. D., University of Illinois. L"r- 
bana; 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, Jack- 
sonville; Professor George W. Smith, Southern Illinois Normal Uni- 
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 Societies. 



Illinois State Historical Society, 1906. 

Publication Committee. 

E. B. (ireene. Urbana, Chairman. 
George N. Black, Spring-field. M. H. Chamberlin, Lebanon. 

George W. Smith, Carbondale. Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield. 

George A. Dupuy, Chicago. Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 

Program Committee. 

Jessie Palmer Weber, Chairman. 
J. H. Burnham, Bloomington. Mrs.CatherineGoss Wheeler, Springfield 

J. A. James, Evanston. Paul Selby, Chicago. 

Charles P. Kane, Springfield. Wm. A. Meese, Moline. 

C. H. Rammelkamp, Jacksonville. Alfred Orendorff, ex-offioio. 

Finance and Auditing Committee, 

George N. Black, Springfield, Chairman. 
E. J. James, Urbana. Jessie Palmer Weber. 

Alfred Oi-endorff, ex-officio. 

Committee on Legislation. 

M. H. Chamberlin, Lebanon, Chairman. 

E. J. James, Urbana. George N. Black, Springfield. 

Henry McCormiek, Normal. E. A. Snively, Springfield. 

Andrew Russell, Jacksonville. • O. F. Berry, Carthage. 

J. McCan Davis, Springfield. David McCulloch, Peoria. 

R. V. Carpenter, Belvidere. Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 

Committee on Local Historical Societies. 

J. H. Burnham, Bloomington, Chairman. 
David McCulloch, Peoria. J. O. Cunningham, Urbana. 

George W. Smith, Carbondale. Frank J. Heinl, Jacksonville. 

W. W. Davis, Sterling. J. Seymour Currey, Evanston. 

Alfred Orendorff, e.v-offlcio. 


Committee on Membership. 

Charles L. Capen, Bloomington, Chairrmtn. 
J. W. Clinton, Polo. J. N. Perrin, Belleville. 

Daniel Berry, M. D., Carmi. Wm. Jayne. M. D., Spring'field. 

John M. Rapp, Fairfield. Arthur L. Harvick, Vienna. 

Mrs.Thos.Worthington. Jacksonville. E. M. Bowman, Alton. 
Miss Maj' Latham, Lincoln. Dr. A. W. French. Springfield. 

Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 

Committee on the Commemoration of the Semi-Centennial of 
THE Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. 

Edwin Erie Sparks, Chicago, Chairman. 
E. C. Swift, Ottawa. Smith D. Atkins, Freeport. 

Clark E. Carr, Galesburg. H. W. Clendenin, Springfield. 

M. C. Crawford, Jonesboro. W. H. Collins, Quincy. 

Sumner S. Anderson, Charleston W. T. Norton, Alton. 

Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 

Committee on the Marking of Historic Sites in Illinois. 

Edwin Erie Sparks. Chicago, Chairman. 
Harry Ainsworth, Moline. Col. D. C. Smith, Normal. 

Mrs. M. T. Scott, Bloomington, J. H. Collins, Springfield. 

Reed Green, Cairo. Charles B. Campbell, Kankakee. 

Alfred Orendorff, ex-officlo.' 

^ Committee on Genealogy and Genealogical Publications. 

Georgia L. Osborne. Springfield."C7iai?'?/MX7i. 
Mrs. E. G. Crabbe. Springfield. Mrs. E. S. Walker. Springfield. - 

Alfred Orendorff. ex-officio. 




Introductory Note viii. 

Officers and Committees of the Illinois Historical Society, 1906 iv-vi. 

Members of the Illinois State Historical Society ix-xiii. 

Paet I.— Record of Official Proceedings. 

1— Minutes of the Society 3-6 

2— Minutes of the board of Directors 16-19 

3— Report of the Secretary 6-9 

1— Financial Statement .' 10 

5— Reports of Committees 11-15 

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

1— Clarence W. Alvord, The Finding of the Kaskaskia Record'! 27-31 

2— George A. Dupuy, The Earliest Cotiris of the Illinois Country 32-48 

3— Newton D. Harris, Negro Servitude in Illinois 49-56 

4— Charles P. Kane, The Wedding of the First White Couple in the County or Territory 

Which Become the Cottnty of Sangamon 57-64 

5— Charles B. Campbell, Bourbonnais : or the Early French Settlement in Kankakee County. 65-72 

6— Samuel Willard, Personal Reminiscences of Life in Illinois, 1830- 1850 73-87 

7_Orville F. Berry, The Mormon Settlements in Illinois 88-102 

8_]VIrs. I. G. Miller, The Icarian Community of Naiivoo, Ilhnms 103-107 

9— James A. Rose, The Regulators and Flatheads in Southern Illinois 108-121 

10— William D. Barge, The Rejected Illinois County Name? 122-137 

11— Clark E. Carr, Liticoln at Gettysburg 138-152 

12— Alexander J. Jones, The Chicago Drainage Canal and lis Forbear, the Illinois and 

Michigati Canal 153-161 

13— Jane Addams, Social Settlements in Illinois 162-171 

14— Ezra M . Prince, The Fourth Illinois Infantry in the War with Mexico 172-187 

15— Caroline M . Mcllvaine, Libraries as Local History Centers 188-199 

16— Frederick J. Turner, Sectionalism in Illinois (see note, p. 26) 

Annual Address 

Part III. — Contributions to State History. 

1— Theodore Jessup, Starved Rock and Its Neighborhood 203-213 

2— William Conkey, A Journey from Massachusetts to Illinois in 1830 214-218 

3— J. F. Snyder. M. D., The Armament of Fort Chartres 219-231 

4— Ella F. Newbauer, The Swiss Settlements in Madison County, III 2.32-237 

%— Laws of Illinois College, 1850. [Reprint] 241-257 

6— Mary Allinson. A Trial Scene in Kaskaskia, 1781 258-269 

7— Paul Selby, The Genesis of the Republican Party in Illinois 270-283 

8— Lucia A. Stevents, A Study of the Developcment of Opinion in the East with Regard to 

Lincoln, (before 18G0) 284-301 

9— John F.Snyder,M. D., Forgotten Statesmen of Illinois,Hon. Richard M. Young. ..302-327 

Part IV.— Obituary Record. 

l-George Schneider, by Paul Selby 3.31-333 

t- Henry L. Boltwood, by J. O. Leslie 334-337 

Z— Harvey B. Hurd, [Reprint from Chicago Legal News] 338-340 

i—/ohn H. Mulkey, by Committee of Alexander County Circuit Court, John M. 

Lansden, Chairman 341-346 

Part V. — In Memoriam. 

Membersof the Illinois State Historical Society, Deceased, January 1905-1906 347-357 



Following the practice of the Publication Committee in previous 
years, this volume includes, beside the official proceedings and the 
papers read at the last annual meeting, some essays and other matter 
contributed during the year. It is hoped that these C07itr ibid ions to 
State History may, in larger measure as the years go on, deserve their 
title, and form an increasingly valuable part of the Society's Transac- 
tions. The contributions are intended to include the following kinds 
of material: 

1. Hitherto unpublished letters and other private documentary 
material. It is thought that public documents, especially in the case 
of extensive series, may best be provided for in the official publica- 
tions of the State Historical Library, notably in the Illinois His- 
torical Collections. 

2. Papers of a reminiscent character. These should be selected 
with great care; for memories and reminiscences are at their best an 
uncertain basis for historical knowledge. 

3. Historical essays on brief monographs, based upon the sources 
and containing genuine contributions to knowledge. Such papers 
should be accompanied by footnotes indicating with precision the 
authorities upon which the papers are based. 

4. Bibliographies. 

It is the desire of the committee that this annual publication of the 
Society shall supplement, rather than parallel or rival, the distinctly 
official publications of the State Historical Library. In historical re- 
search, as in so many other fields, the best results are likely to be 
achieved through the cooperation of private initiative with public 
authority. It was to promote such cooperation and mutual under- 
standing that this society was organized. 

In conclusion it should be said, that the views expressed in the 
various papers are those of their respective authors and not necessarily 
those of the committee. Nevertheless, the committee will be glad to 
.receive such corrections of fact or such general criticism as may ap- 
pear to be deserved. 

EvARTS B. Greene, 

Chairman, Publication Committee. 

University of Illinois, August, 190(). 





Addams, Miss Jane Hull House, Chicago 

*Boal, Dr. Robert Lacon, 111. 

Bradwell, Judge James B Chicago, 111. 

Carr, Hon. Clark E Galesburg, 111. 

Culloni. Hon. Shelby M Springfield, 111. 

Deneen, Mrs. Mary F 

6401 Stewart av., Chicago, 111. 

Edwards, Mrs. Benjamin S.. Springfield, 111. 
Harris, Hrof . N . Dwight 

...Lawience University, Appleton, Wis. 

Johnson, Hon. Charles P St. Louis, Mo. 

Kane, Mrs. Caroline M. B.. .Springfield, 111. 
*McClernand, (jen. John A.Springfield, 111. 
McClernand, Mrs. John A ..Springfield, 111. 
Mcllvaine. Miss Caroline M., Lit)rarian 

Cliicago Historical Society . Chicago, 111. 

Morrison, Mrs. 1. L Jacksonville, 111. 

*Palmer, Gen. John M Springfield, 111. 

Palmer, Mrs. John M Springfield, 111. 

*Ruggles, Gen. James M Havana, III. 

♦Stuart, Mrs. John T Springfield, 111. 

Stevenson. Hon. A. E Bloomington, 111. 

Thwaites, Reuben Gold, LL. D 

Madison, Wis. 

Turner, Frederick Jackson. Ph. D., Uni- 
versity ot Wisconsin Madison, Wis. 

Willard, Dr. Samuel 

865 Jackson boul., Chicago, 111. 

Wilson, Mrs. Eliza Kincaid Sterling. 111. 

Yates, Mrs. Catherine G. (Mrs. Richard 

Yates, Sr.) Jacksonville, 111. 

Yates, Hon. Richard Springfield, 111. 


Barry, Hon. P. T 

77-79 Jefferson st, Chicago, 111. 

Borders, M. W 

40.50 Grand boul., Chicago, 111. 

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


Adams, Mrs. Albyn Jacksonville, 111. 

Adams, J. C, editor The Peotone \'e- 

dette Peotone, 111. 

Adams, J R., editor The Mystic Worker 

Piano, 111. 

Ainsworth. Harry Moline, 111. 

Alvord, C. W Urbana, 111. 

Ames, Mrs. Lucy \'. Semple 

.3824 Lindell boul., St. Louis. Mo. 

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

Office, tjovernment bldg., Chicago, 111. 

*Anderson, Horace G Peoria, 111. 

Anderson, Hon. Sumner S. ..Charleston, 111. 

Atkins, Gen. Smith D Freeport, 111. 

Austin, E.T Sterling, 111. 

Bacchus, Annie (Mrs. Leroy). Springfield, 111. 
Bachand, Vertefeuille, Louis J., editor 

LeCourier Canadian Chicago, 111. 

Bacon, Paul B..399 Lafayette st., Aurora, 111. 
Baker, George R 

Masonic Temple, Chicago, 111. 

Baldwin, Jesse A 

99 Washington st , Chicago, 111. 

Bangs, J.E Sprmgfield, 111. 

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

Springfield, 111. 

Barker, HE Springfield, 111. 

Bartlett, C. C 1109 Title and Trust 

bldg., 100 Washington st., Chicago, 111. 
Baugh, Joe V., editor The Mt. Vernon, 

News Mt. Vernon, 111 

Baxter, William (i Winnetka, 111. 

Beach, Hon. Myron H 404-406 The 

Rookery, 217 LaSalle St.. Chicago, 111. 

Beadles, Rev. Wm. T Paxton. 111. 

Becker. J. W., editor Jerseyvllle Repub- 
lican Jerseyville, 

*Beckwith, Judge Hiram W Danville, 

Beebe, Hon. Avery N Yorkville, 111 

Bell, Hon. Robert Mount Carmel, 111 

Belleville, (The) Advocate, editor of 


Bentley, George L. L., editor l he Elm- 
wood Gazette Elmwood, 

Berry, Charles P Carmi, 

Berry, Dr. Daniel Carmi, 

Best, Dr. John E Arlington Heights, 111 

Biroth, Henry 485 (2.5th 

house) Blue Island ave., Chicago. 111. 

Black, George N Springfield. 111. 

Black, Mrs. George N Springfield, 111. 

*Blanchard. Rufus Wheaton, 111. 

Bliss, C. P., and Bliss, C. W., Eds. The 

Montgomery News Hillshoro, III. 

Blocki, John. 189 Michigan ave., Chicago, 111. 
Bodemann, Dr. Wilhelm 

Lake ave. and ^Oth st., Chicago 

Bowman E. M Alton 

Bradshaw, Charles, Ed. The Patriot 

CarroUton, 111 

Brandenlnirger, Peter Belleville, 111. 

Braun, Thomas 

.3137 South Park ave., Chicago, 111. 

Brevoort, J. H Rutland, 111. 

Brewster, Thomas T 

302 Houser bid., St. Louis, Mo 

Bridgman, I. M Polo 

Broadhead. G. C Columbia. 

* Brown, Hon. C. C Springfield 

Brown, Mrs. C. C Springfield 

Brown, Judge Edward O 

400 North State street. Chicago, 111. 

Brydges, W. H ...277 Division st., Elgin, 111. 

Buchanan. L. L Winnetka, 111. 

Bucklin. (ieorge, Ed. The Grundy Co. 

Sentinel Morris, 111. 

Burnham, Captain J. H... Bloomington, 111. 









Deceased . 

Mcnihcrs of the Illinois iState Historical Society — Continued. 

Burcliard, Hon. Horatio C Freeport. 111. 

Burke, Kev. J. J Bloomington, 111. 

Buriiap, Prof. VV. L 

Lake Korest University, Lake Forest, 111. 

Burns, James C Macomb, 111. 

Burt, J. J. & Son, Eds. The Henry 

Times Henry, 111. 

*Bush, Hon.J.M Pittsliekl, 111. 

Butcher, 1.'. G Astoria, 111. 

Byron, Eddie Sullivan, 111. 

Callender, Eliot 

Y. M.C. A. Building, Peoria, III. 

Campbell, Charles B Kankakee, HI. 

Cantwell, Robert E 232 South 

Waller ave., Austin Station, Chicago. 111. 

Capen, Charles L Bloomington, 111. 

Carlin, W. E Jersey ville, 111. 

Carpenter, George A 

26 Portland Block, Chicago, 111. 

Carpenter, Richard V., Secy. Boone Co. 

Hist. Soc Belvidere, 111. 

Carriel, Mrs. Mary Turner.. Jacksonville, 111. 

Carruthers, Dr. George C Springtield, 111. 

Castle J. B., Ed. The Sandwich Argus, 

Sandwich, 111. 

Caswell, Charles L 630 Chi- 
cago Opera House Block, Chicago, 111. 
Chamberlin, M. H.. LL. D., President 

McKendree College Lebanon, 111. 

Charleston Daily News, Ed. of 

Charleston, 111. 

Chenery, Miss M. Frances ..Springfield, 111. 
Chenoweth William J., M. D... Decatur. 111. 
Cherry. Mrs. Mary B 

609 East Empire St., Bloomington, 111. 

Clark, Prof. Ulynthus Des Moines, la. 

Clary, Prof. J. M., President Greer Col- 
lege Hoopeston, 111. 

Clay, Merton J 

21.5 Jackson boul, Chicago, 111. 

Clendenin, Hon. H. W Springfield, 111. 

Clifford, James E Phillipstown, 111. 

Clmton, J. W Polo, 111. 

Coble, Robert K 

1414 Dempster street, Evanston, 111. 

Colby, Guy I Springfield, 111. 

Collins, Prof. J. H Springfield, 111. 

Collins, Hon. W. H Quincy. 111. 

Colyer, Walter Albion, 111. 

Congdon, George E Waterman, 111. 

Conkling, Clinton L Springfield, 111. 

Converse, Ira C Sandwich, 111. 

Cook, J. S Leroy, 111. 

Cooper, Hon. John L Fairfield, 111. 

Couch, E. B HannaCity, 111. 

Covey, C.C Farmer City, 111 

Covev, Hon. Frank D Belvidere, 111. 

Crabbe, Harriet Palmer, (Mrs. Edwin G. 

Crabbe) Springfield, 111. 

Crabbe, Mrs. J. D Springfield, 111. 

Crandon, Frank P 

1414 Forest ave., Evanston, 111. 

Crawford, A. W Girard. 111. 

Crawford, F. J., editor Polo Semi- Week- 
ly Visitor Polo, 111. 

Crebs, John M Carmi, 111. 

Crews. Rev. E. K 

E"isher, Champaign county. 111. 

Cunningham, Hon.G. W .Pekih, 111. 

Cunningham, Judge J. O Urbana. 111. 

Currey, J. Seymour, Secretary Evanston 

Historical Society Evanston, 111. 

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

Cushman, Mary S. Ames (Mrs. Wayman 

C. Cushman i 

.3824 Lindell boul., St. Louis, Mo. 

Cyrus, George W.. editor The Camp 

Point Journal Camp Point, 111. 

Dadant, C. P Hamilton. 111. 

Davidson, Mrs. George M 

305 N . East ave.. Oak Park, 111 . 

Davis, George P. Bloomington, 111. 

Davis, J. McCan Springtield, 111. 

Davis, Mrs.J.McCan Springheld, 111. 

Davis, W. VV Sterling, 111. 

*Dearborn, Hon. Luther M 

Title and Trust bldg., Chicago, 111. 

Degge, A. R Petersburg. 111. 

Dent, Thomas Port- 
land Block, 107 Dearborn St., Chicago, 111. 
Dew, Hon. J ere C 

818-21 N. Y. Life bldg., Kansas City, Mo. 

I Dewey, Dr. Grace Jacksonville, 111. 

*DiefTenbacher, Philip L Havana, IIL 

Dilg, Charles A 606 

Diversev boul.. Lake View, Chicago, 111. 
Dilg, Philip H 1727 

Oakdale av., Lake View, Chicago, HI. 

Diller, Isaac R Springfield, 111. 

Donaldson, Owen M., editor Oak Leaves 

Weekly Oak Park, 111. 

Dougherty, N. C Peoria, 111. 

DuBois, Agnes E 

Hotel Beacon, Los Angeles, Calif. 

D'unn, Mrs. Julia Mills Moline, 111, 

Dupuy, Hon. George A 

2625 N. Paulina St., Chicago, 111. 

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

Dyche).1896 Sheridan Road, Evanston, 111. 

Eberhardt. Max 

436 Ashland bldg, Chicago, 111. 

Ebert, Albert E 

276 Michigan av.. Chicago, 111. 

Edens, William (irant 

61.56 Greenwood av., Chicago, 111. 

Edwards, Albert S 

430 S. 8th St., Springfield, 111 . 

Edwards, Dr. Richard Bloomington, 111. 

Elliott, Rev. J. C Swanwick, 111. 

Englemann, Mrs. Mary K 

468 Giddings av.. Cleveland, O. 

Ensign, Dr. W. O Rutland, 111. 

Eschmann, Rev. C. J. .Prairie du Rocher, 111. 
Evanston, 111., Public Library. Evanston, 111. 

Fairbank, Rev. John B Jacksonville, 111. 

Fancher, Miss Grace Springfield, 111. 

*F~axon, E. W Piano, 111. 

Felmly, Prof. Da> id Normal, 111. 

Ferguson, Elbert C 

4551 Ellis av., Chicago, 111. 

Fisher, Albert Judson (Historian Illinois 
Society Sons of the American Revo- 
lution). 604 Masonic Temple, Chicago, 111. 

Fitzwilliam, Mrs. -Sarah E. Raymond 

4824 Vincennes av., Chicago. 111. 

Folsom. Wm. R 

100 Washington St., Chicago. Ill . 

Forbes. Prof, S. A. (University of Illinois) 
Urbana, 111. 

Forsvthe, William K 

.; .3100 State St., Chicago, 111. 

French. Dr. A. W Springfield, 111. 

Funk, Hon. D. M Bloomington, 111. 

E'unk, Hon. 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. 

Gillespie, Matilda (Mrs. David (iillespie) 

418 North McLean St., Lincoln, 111. 

Godlev. Mrs, Frank Springfield, 111. 

Goff, Rev. Charles S Flat Rock, 111. 

Graham, Hugh J Springfield, 111. 

Graham, James M Springfield. 111. 

Deceased . 


Members of the Illinois State Historical Society— Conthmed. 

Crassly, C. N...287 W. I2th St., Chicago, 

Gray Lucien Lewistown, 

Gray, Huq. Robert A Blue Mound, 

Greene, Prof. Evarts B 

(University of Illinois) Urbana, 

Greentield, George W Sandwicli. 

Gridlev, J.N \iry;inia, 

Gridlev. Mrs. \V. H Springfield, 

Griggs. Hon. Clarence Ottawa, 

Griinrield Bros 

Editors, The Atlanta Argus, Atlanta, 

Gross, Prof. Lewis M Sycamore, 

Gross, W. L Springfield, 






Hagler, Dr. Elmer E Springfield, 111 

Hames. James Pekm, 111. 

Hall, Charles G ...... 

52.JN. Grove Ave., Oak Park, 111. 

Hall, F. H. Editor 

...The Joliet Weekly News, Joliet, 111. 

Hall, Henry H Jacksonville, 111. 

Hall, Ross C 309 South 

Scoville Ave., Oak Park, 111. 

Hardacre, O. V Editor, The 

Lnvrence Co. News, Lawrenceville, 111. 

Harvev, B. A Mount Carmel, 111. 

Hatfield, Dr. Marcus P 

1412 Heyworth Bldg., Chicago, 111. 

Hatton, Frederick Hammond 

1512 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 111. 

Hay, Logan Springfield, 111. 

Haves, Howard H Metropolis, 111. 

Head, Wm. R Chicago, 111. 

llealy, Daniel M 630 Chicago 

Opera House Bldg., Chicago, 111. 

Heinl, F>ank J Jackson' ille, 111. 

Henderson, Judge John G 

615 Orchard St., Chicago, 111. 

Henninger, Prof. J. W Chicago, 111. 

Hinrichsen, Miss Savillah T LiDCOln, 111. 

Hollenback, George M 

44N.ViewSt., Aurora, 111. 

Holmes, F. E Editor 

The Dundee Hawkeye, Dundee 111. 

Holmes, Man field J Normal, 111. 

Hood, Geo. P.- 

.. .202 Hastings St., Grand Rapids, Mich. 

*Hood, Dr. H. H Litchfield, 111. 

Hood. Mrs. H. H LitchHeld, 111. 

Hostetter, A. B 

No. 2 Munger Terrace, Duluth, Minn. 

Hostetter, C. L Mt. Carroll, 111. 

Houston, J. W 

Farmer's State Bank, Berwick, 111. 

Hubble, Emily R. (Mrs. Lee J. Hubble) 

Springfield, 111. 

Hull, Charles E Editor. The 

Salem Herald Advocate, Salem, 111. 

Humphrey, Judge J. Otis. ...Springfield 111. 
Hunt, A. 2820 Kenmore Ave., Chicago, 111. 

Huskinson. George Alton, 111. 

Hutchins, George W Lacon, 111. 

James, Charles J. 8.5 Galena St., Aurora, 111. 
James, Dr. Edmund J . (President of the 

University of Illinois) Urbana, 111 . 

James, Prof. J. A 

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

4508 Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, 111. 

Jayne, Dr. William Springfield. III. 

Jessup. Theodore 

259 S. Clinton St., Chicago, 111. 

Jones, MissEmmaF Springfield, 111. 

Jones, Miss Lottie E 

112 W. North St.. Danville. 111. 

Kane, Judge Charles P Springfield, 111. 

Keen, John, Jr h airfield. 111. 

*Keplev, Henrv B Eflingham, 111. 

Kerrick", Hon. L. H Hloomiiigton, 111. 

Kimball, Rev. Clarence O .. .LaJ unta, Colo. 

Kimzev, Prof. Walter. R DuUuoin, HI. 

Kincaid, Lee Athens, 111, 

Kirbv. Hon. E. P Jacksonville, ill. 

Kiseibach, Otto Meiidota, 111. 

Lambert, Belle Short (Mrs. E. C. Lam-lZZ 
bert) * Jacksonville, HI. 

Lampert, Mrs. Clara Lampert.Belvidere, HI. 

Latham, Miss May Lincoln, 111. 

Lear, Mrs. Mary S.. Brighton, Ontario, Can. 

Lear, Walter " Edwin, Ph.D., LL.D. 
(Chancellor Anglo-American Univer- 
sity) Brighton, Ontario, Can- 

Leffingwell, Rev. Charles W.Knoxville, 111. 

Lemmers, C. A., Ed. The Woodstock 
Republican Woodstock. 111. 

Lewis, Hon. Ira W Dixon, lil, 

Lewis, J. B., Ed. The Marion County 
Democrat Salem, HI. 

Little, Johns Rushville. 111. 

Lilly, (Mrs.) John P Sullivan, 111. 

Lodge, William F Monticello, 111. 

Long, G.Frank Alton, HI. 

Longworth, Abel Clay City, 111. 

Lord, D. M.,. 5450 Cornell Ave.. Chicago, 111. 

Lord, Mrs. F. W Piano, 111. 

Lowe, Leo H., Ed. Kewanee Weekly 
Star-Courier Kewanee 

Lumaghi, Joseph, 411 Olive St., 'St. Louis, Mo. 

McAdams, William, Sr 

Kansas, Edgar County. Rural Route No. 1.3 

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

McCalmont, Samuel M Morrison, 111. 

McClelland. Thomas 

161 Randolph, St., Chicago, 111. 

McConnel, G. M. (Chicago Chronicle) 

Chicago, 111. 

McCormick, Prof. Henry, Illinois State 

Normal University Normal, 111. 

McCulloch, Judge David Peoria, 111. 

McDonald, I Ed. Phoenix Advertiser 

Lockport, 111. 

McGlynn, P.S., Ed. The Moline Review- 
Dispatch Moline, 111. 

McLean County Historical Society 

Bloom ington. 111. 

McManis, C.J Princeton, 111. 

McMerney, J. J. Ed. The Alton Sentinel 

Alton, 111. 

McNeely. T. W Petersburg, 111. 

McPike, H.G Alton, 111. 

Manny, Hon. Walter I Mt. Sterling, 111. 

Marmon. Mrs. W. W Bloomington, HI. 

Marnev, John D Springlield. HI. 

Matthews. Hon. A. C Pittsfield, 111. 

Matthews. Mrs. E. A Carlinville, 111. 

Maxey, B. M., Ed. Southern Illinois 

Journal Flora. 111. 

Mead, Dr. Homer Camden, 111. 

Mead, Dr. Mary Ward Camden, 111. 

Meese, Hon. William A Moline, III. 

Merritt, Hon.E. L Springfield, 111. 

Miller, Bertha R. (Mrs. 1. G. Miller) 

.Springfield, 111. 

Miller. Mrs. Flo. J Wilmington. 111. 

Miller, John E East St. Louis, HI. 

Milligan. Dr. Josephine Jacksonville, 111. 

Mills, Albert T Decatur. 111. 

Mills, Richard W Virginia, 111. 

Miner, Dr. James Winchester, 111. 

Moore, Clara (Mrs. Ensley Moore) 

Jacksonville, III. 

Moore, Hon. Ensley Jacksonville, 111. 

Moore, Col. Risdon M.San Antonio. Texas. 



Members of the Illinois State Historical Society — Continued. 

Morris, Henry C, 4442 Grand Blv., 

Chicago. 111. 

♦Moses, Hon. Adolph, The Temple 

Chicago, 111. 

Moss, John R Mt. Vernon, 111. 

Munsell, W. VV., n06 Monadnock Bldg. 

Chicago, 111. 

Myers, Hon. Colostin D. Bloomington, 111. 

Nelson. Hon. William E 

*04 West William st., Decatur, 111. 

Norton, Hon. W. T Alton. 111. 

Odenweller, A. L Frederick, 111. 

Orendorff. Alfred Springfield, 111. 

Orendorff. Hon. John B... Bloomington, 111. 
Orendorff, Julia W. (Mrs. Alfred Oren- 
dorff) Springfield, 111. 

Osborne, Miss Georgia L.. Jacksonville, 111. 

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

*Palmer, Mrs. Ellen R Chicago, 111. 

*Palmer. Hon. John Mayo Chicago, 111. 

Parker, C. M., Ed. School News 

Taylorville, 111. 

Parkinson, D. B Carbondale, 111. 

Payne, Wm. T 

119-121 LaSalle st , Chicago, 111. 

Pearson, Hon. J. M Godfrey, 111. 

Peoria County Historical Societv. Peoria. 111. 

Perrin, Hon. J. N B'elleville, 111. 

Pettit, Guy V^Ed. Reynolds Press 

Reynolds, 111. 

Phillips, Edward O., the Republic 

St. Louis. Mo . 

Phillips, Winfield S Ridgeway, 111. 

*Pierce, Frederick C Chicago, 111. 

Piiner, Dr. T. J Jacksonville, 111. 

Polo Historical Society Polo, 111. 

Porter, Capt. Thomas I Chicago, 111. 

Postle, Dr. J, M DeKalb, 111. 

Pyle, Prof. J. Oscar. Ewing College 

Ewing, 111. 

Primm, Enoch W Belleville, 111. 

Prince, Ezra M., Secy. McLean Co. Hist. 
Soc Bloomington. 111. 

Putnam, Prof. J. W., Northwesrtern Uni- 
versity.. Evanston, 111. 

Quincy Historical Society Quincy, 111. 

Rahmeyer. Louise Hood. (Mrs. B. F. 

Rahmeyer) No. 150 Potenciana 

Intramuros Manila. Philippine lislands. 

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

Rapp. Hon. J. M Fairheld. 111. 

Raymond, James H Suite 

1.51S-1.5 Monadnock Block, Chicago, 111. 

Reeves, Mrs. Kate K Springfield, 111. 

Reeves, Judge W. W Tuscola, 111. 

Reul, J. G... Mendota. 111. 

Richardson. D. H Belvidere. 111. 

Ridgelv. Mrs. Charles Springfield. 111. 

Roberts. Prof. L., Western State Normal 
School Macomb, 111. 

Roosa, Mrs. S. V Springfield. 111. 

Rose, Hon. James A Springfield. 111. 

Rose, Mrs. James A Springfield, 111. 

Rounds, H. E., Kd. The North Shore 
News Rogers Park, 111. 

Routson, Clarence M Farmington, 111. 

Rowland, J. R Avon, 111. 

Russell. Andrew Jacksonville. 111. 

Rutledge J. E St Louis. Mo. 

Sanders, Col. George A Springfield, 

Sattley, Miss Olive Springfield, 

Sayler, H. L 

138 Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, 

Schrerer, A ndrew- 

38.3 North State street, Chicago, 

Schmidt Dr. Otto L 

3328 Michigan ave., Chicago, 

Schneck, Dr. Jacob Mt. Carrnel, 

Schoolcraft, Prof. H. L Urbana, 

Schroter, Fred J 

.5244 Greenwood ave., Chicago, 

Scott, Edgar S Springfield, 

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


Seil, VV. J., Ed. Grayville Mercury 


Selby, Paul 

5468 Monroe ave., Chicago, 

Sheets, J. M Oblong, 

Sheopard. Prof. R. D., Northwestern 

University Evanston, 

Sibley, Dr. Frank C Carmi. 

Sibley, H. F Fairfield, 

Sibley, Dr. W. C Fairfield, 

Silliman, E. C Chenoa. 

Silver. Miss Anna Barnet Urbana. 

Smith. Col. D. C Normal, 

Smith. George W., Southern Illinois 

State Normal Univerity.. Carbondale, 

Smith, Randolph Flora, 

Snively, Hon. E. A Springfield, 

Snively, Mrs.,E. A Springfield, 

Snyder, J. F Virginia, 

*Souther; George H Springfield. 

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

Chicago Chicago, 

Sparks. H. B Alton. 

Spear. S. L Springfield. 

Spence, M. H., Ed. The Elmwood Ga- 
zette Elmwood, 

Stearns, Arthur K 

112-1 14 < 7enesee St., Waukegan , 

Steenburg, Alice VV- (Mrs. Alfred C.).... 


Stennett, Dr. W. H 

303 Linden ave.. Oak Park. 

Stericker. Louise B. i,Mrs. (Jeorge F. 

Stericker) Springfield. 

Stevens, F. E 1205 Chamber 

of Commerce Building, Chicago. 
Steward. Miss Bertha .Steward, Lee Co., 
Steward, John F 

18S9 Sheridan Road, Chicago, 

Steward, Julian R Piano. 

Stewart, Charles S Elmwood, 

Stice, Heniy Normal. 

Stillwell. Hon. L Erie. Kansas. 

Stringer. Hon. Lawrence B Lincoln. 111. 

Stubblefield, Hon. Georere W ...< 


*Stuve, Dr. Bernard Springfield , 

Swift, E. C Ottawa, 

Tauchan. Mrs. Marie 

Itil2 VV. Argyle. Irving Park, Chicago, 

Taylor. Charles R Springfield, 

Taylor, Mrs. Harriet Rumsey 


Thaj'er, Miss Maude Springfield, 

Thompson. Henry Avery Galena, 

Throgmorton, Rev. W. P Marion, 

Tietsort, H. VV., editor The Medora Mes- 
senger Medora. 

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



Members of the Illinois State Historical Society — Concluded. 

Tompkins, W. H., editor The Dundee 
Hawkej'e Dundee, 111. 

Tuttle, W. R East St. Louis, 111. 

Urech & Son, editors The Mendon Dis- 
patch Mendon, 111. 

Utterback, J. C, editor The Republican. 
Salem, 111. 

Vandervort, Dr. F. C Bloomington, 111. 

Vocke, Hon. William, President Ger- 
man-American Historical Society 

103-109 Randolph St., ChicaRO, 111 . 

Waite, Dr. H. N Johnson, Vt. 

Walker, Rev. Edwin S Sptingtield, 111. 

Walker, Mrs. Edwin S Springfield, 111. 

♦Wallace, Joseph Springfield, 111. 

Watterman, Judae A. N 

40 Groveland Park, Chicago, 111. 

Way, Virgil G Proctor. Ford county, HI. 

Weber, Mrs. Jessie Palmer.. Springfield, 111. 

Wells, Frederick Latimer Wheaton. 111. 

Wertz, Miss Adda P Carbondale, 111. 

West, Hon. Simeon H Leroy, 111. 

Wheeler, C.Gilbert 

14 State St., Chicago, 111. 

Wheeler, Mrs. Katharine Goss 

Springfield, 111. 

Wheeler, Judge S. P Springfield, 111. 

Wightman, F Lacon. 111. 

Wiles, Alice Bradford (Mrs. R()l)ert H. 
Wiles) .5711 Woodlawn av., Chicago, 111. 

Willcox, E S Peoria, 111. 

Withers. Henry C Carrollton, 111. 

*Wohlgemuth. Dr. Henry .. .Springfield, HI. 

Woltersdorf, Louis 

360 Ashland av.. Chicago, 111. 

Woodworth, A. P Rol)inson, 111. 

Woolard, F. M Wauwatosa, Wis. 

Worthington, Hon. Thomas 

Jacksonville, 111. 

Worthington, Miriam I. (Mrs. Thomas 
Worthington ) Jacksonville, 111. 

Wright, Joseph. 811 Park av., Springfield, 111 

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

Young, J. H Oakwood, 111 

Zeller. Rev. J. C 

.WT E. Chestnut St. Bloomington, 111. 





Article I — Name and Objects. 

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 general 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. 

Article II — Officers of the Society — Their Election and Duties. 

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 manj^ 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 secretar3' and treasurer, and shall have power to appoint from 
time to time such ofiicers. 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 members 
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 people 
of the State of Illinois, facts and data in the history of the State and of each 
county thereof, including the pre-historic periods and the history of the abor- 
iginal 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 articlesof 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, monej's 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 Historical 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 Library 
and to provide for its care and maintenance, and to make appropriations 
therefor,"" appi'oved Maj' 25. 18S9, and in force .Itily 1. 1889: 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 management of the 
affairs of the Society; they shall fix the times and places for their meetings; 
keep a record of their proceedings, and make report to the Societj' at its an- 
nual 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 meeting's 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 preform the duties usually devolvincp upon 
such offices, and such others as maj' from time to time be prescribed by the 
Society or 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 they shall direct, and after auditing the same, the said board shall submit 
said report to the Society at its annual meeting. 

Article III — Membership. 

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 that 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 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 dues. 

Section 4. County and other historical societies, and other societies engaged 
in historical or archeological research or in the preservation of the knowledge 
of historic events, may upon the recommendation of the board of directors be 
admitted as affiliated members of this Society upon the same terms as to the 
payment of initation fees and annual dues as active and life members. Every 
society so admitted shall be entitled to one duly acccedited 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 member 
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 

Section .5. Persons not active nor life members but who are willing to lend 
their assistance and encouragement to the promotion of the objects of this 
Society, maJ^ upon recommendation of the board of directors, be admitted as 
corresponding members. 

Section 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. Honoi-ary 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 election 
of officers, the hearing of reports, addresses and historical papers and the 
transaction of business at svich time and place in the month of January in 
each year as may be designated by the Board of Directors, for which meeting 
it shall be the duty of said Board to prepare and publish a suitable progi-am 
and procure the services of persons well versed in history to deliver addresses 
or read essays upon subjects germane to the objects of this organization. 

Section 2. Special meetings of the Society may be called by the Board of 
Directors. Special meetings of the Boai-d of Directors may be called by the 
President or anj^ two members of the Board. 

Sections. At any meeting of the Society the attendance of ten members 
entitled to vote shall be necessary to a quorum. 


Article V — Amendments. 

Section 1. The Constitution may be amended by a two- thirds vote of the 
members present and entitled to vote, at any annual meeting: Provided, that 
the proposed amendment shall have tirst been submitted to the Board of 
Directors, and at least thirty days prior to such annual meeting notice of pro- 
posed action upon the same, sent by the Secretary to all the members of the 



On page 3, for David McCullough, read David McCulloch. 

On page 165, for John Morly, read John Morley. 

On page 233, for Supper family, read Siippiger family. 

On page 235, for Aaran, Switzerland, read Aarau, Switzerland. 

On page 236, for Jas. Speckers, read Jas. Speckart. 

On page 237, for H. F. Bandelier, read Ad F. Bandelier. 

On page 237, for J. S. Horner, read J. S. Hoenier. 

On page 285, for Mr. Crary of Ohio, read Gen. Isaac E. Crary aj Michigan. 

On page 237, for Gustave Krimer, read Gustave h'orner. 

On page 287, last line, for Sweet, read Swett. 


Record of Official Proceedings. 


Senate Chamber, State Capitol, 

Springfield, III.. Jan. 24-25, 1906. 

Business Meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 1906, 10:00 O'clock A.M. 

The seventh annual meeting of the Illinois State Historical Society 
was held in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol, January 24-25, 

The session opened with the business meeting Wednesday morn 
ing, January, 24, at 10:00 o'clock. 

President Alfred Orendorff presided. 

The society proceeded with the regular order of business. 

The secretary's report was read and approved. The treasurer's 
report was read and approved. 

The president called for the reports of committees. E. B. Greene, 
chairman of the Publication committee, made a verbal report for 
that committee. Chairman Greene said that the annual transac- 
tions of the society had grown to such proportions that it seemed 
best to print some of the papers and addresses by summary instead 
of in full. He asked the opinion of the members of the society on 
this point. Chairman Greene moved that the Publication committee 
have authority, and that it be authorized to exercise discretion in 
the matter. This motion was seconded by Capt. J. H. Burnham, 
and, on being put to a vote, was carried. 

The report of the Program committee was called for, and a verbal 
report was made by Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, the chairman, who 
said, in substance, that the program of the literary sessions to be car- 
ried out after the close of the business meeting would speak for the 
labors of the program committee. 

The committee on By-Laws was asked to report. In the absence 
of Chairman McCullough, Mr. J. H. Burnham reported for the com- 
mittee. He said, in substance, that the committee had found that 
the constitution of the society meets all the needs for the government 
of the society, and that for the present at least a code of by-laws is 
not needed. He therefore moved that the constitution of the society 
be declared to be the rule for its government and that the committee 
on By-Laws be discharged. This motion was seconded, and being 
put to a vote, was carried. 

The election of officers was then called for. 

Mr. Snively moved that the secretary be directed to cast the ballot 
of the society for the present officers. This motion was seconded. 
Dr. A. W. French objected to this method of electing the officers of 
the society, and moved that a nominating committee be appointed. 
There was no second to Dr. French's motion; and Mr Snively's mo- 
tion being before the society, it was voted on, and carried. The sec- 
retary was directed to cast the ballot of the society for the present 
officers. This she did, and the officers for January, 1905-1906, were 
re-elected for the year January, 1906— January, 1907. 

Dr. M. H. Chamberlain addressed the society in regard to the ill- 
ness of Hon. Cxeorge N. Black, one of its most active members, and 
asked, by a motion, that the society send him (Mr. Black) a message 
of symjjathy. The motion was amended by Captain J. H. Burnham. 
who moved that the chairman appoint a committee to formulate reso- 
lutions of sympathy for Mr. Black. The motion, as amended, was 

President Orendorff appointed as the committee: 

Mr. Paul Selby, H. W. Clendenin and Charles P. Kane. 
Mr. R. V. Carpenter offered the following resolution: 

That the president appoint a committee of eight members, which shall 
include the three trustees of the State Historical Library, which committee 
shall draft and cause to be introduced in the next General Assembly of the 
State of Illinois, a bill providing for a sufficient appropriation for a suitable 
building to be erected by the State of Illinois, in the city of Springfield, for 
the use of the State Historical Society and State Historical Library, and for 
the maintenance of said building and the extension of the work of the said 
State Historical Society and State Historical Library: and that the said com- 
mittee and the members of the Illinois State Historical Society shall use 
their best efforts to place the merits of such a bill before the members of 
the next Legislature and to secure its passage. 

This motion was duly seconded and carried. 

Mr. E. V. Carpenter offered the following resolution: 

Whereas, Genealogy is the history of individuals and families; and the 
history of our great commonwealth is bxit the composite history of its indi- 
vidual citizens; 

And Wherea.s, There are many persons in the State interested in geneal- 
ogy who would be valuable additions to the working strength of this society; 

Rexolved, that the president appoint a committee of three members (includ- 
ing Capt. J. H. IJurnham) to formulate a plan for establishing a genealogical 
department of this society; and to present same to the board of directors 
during the coming year, and that the board of directors may, if it deem 
advisable, establish such department of genealogy along the lines formulated 
by said committee, with such changes as the board sees fit to make. 

Mr. Carpenter moved the adoption of the resolution offered by him. 
The motion was duly seconded, and, on being put to vote, was carried. 

The committee, to whom had been entrusted the duty of preparing 
resolutions of sympathy for Mr. Greorge N. Black, on account of his 
illness, signified its readiness to report, and were directed to so do. 
Mr. Paul Selby read the report, which is as follows: 

Your committee, to whom has been entrusted the dutj' of formulating an 
expression of the feelings and sentiment of the members of the society, in 
view of the affliction through whicli our esteemed friend and associate, Mr. 
(ieorge N. IJlack, has been passing during the last few weeks, and which has 

compelled his absence from the post which he has so long filled with such 
regularity and faithfulness, beg leave to suggest that the following message 
be addressed to him: 

Remembering with gratitude and high appreciation your long, faithful 
and efficient sex-vice in connection with the affairs of the Illinois State His- 
torical Society, your associates and fellow-members in annual session assem- 
bled, desire to express to you our profound regret in view of the suffering 
which has deprived us of your presence on this occasion. 

While tendering you oiir profoxind sympathy, we take pleasure in congrat- 
ulating you on your improved condition at the present time, giving promise 
of your ultimate and early restoration to health. "With the sincere hope and 
anticipation that this will be the result of your present affliction, we. indi- 
vidually and as a body, beg to assxire you of our belief that many years of 
happiness and usefulness are yet in store for you. 

[Signed] Paul, 

Hkxry W. Ct-endenix, 
Charles P. Kane, 


The report of this committee was adopted by a rising vote. 

There being no further business presented, the business meeting 
was declared adjourned, with the announcement by the president 
that matters of business might be presented at any convenient time 
during the sessions of the annual meeting. • 

On Thursday afternoon during the regular session of the society, 

Mr. E. S. Willcox offered the following resohition: 

Resolved that in the opinion of the Illinois State Historical Society the 
the proper pronunciation of the name of our state is and of i-ight historically 
ought to be llllnoi with the sound of the final letter "s" omitted. 

Mr. Willcox moved the adoption of the resolution. The motion was 
seconded, and on being voted upon was carried. 

On Thursday evening the president read to the society the names 

of a number of persons whom the board of directors recommended for 

honorary membership in the society; they were as follows: 

Miss Jane Addams, Hon. Clark E. Carr, Hon. S. M. Cullom. Professor X- 
Dwight Harris. Mrs. Caroline M. li. Kane, Miss Caroline M. Mcllvain, Hon- 
A. E. Stevenson. Professor Frederick J. Turner, Dr. Samuel Willard, Mrs- 
Eliza Kincaid Wilson. 

On motion of Dr. M. H. Chamberlin, duly seconded, honorary 
membership was conferred by a unanimous vote of the society upon 
the persons above named. 

C.^aptain J. H. Burnham moved that the society express its apjoreci- 
ation and thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who read pajoers and 
addresses before it; to the ladies and gentlemen who had favored its 
sessions with music; to the press of the city of Springfield for its full 
and able reports of our sessions ; and to the local committee on enter- 
tainments for its kind and untiring efforts, by means of which our 
meeting has been made comfortable and pleasant. This motion was 
seconded and unanimously adopted. 

The literary sessions were carried out according to the program, 
and the seventh annual session of the Illinois State Historical Society 
closed with a reception in the Illinois State Library, at which the 
officers and members of the society received their friends. 



Report of the Secretaey to the Board of Directors of the 

Illinois State Historical Society, January 25, 1905, 

TO January 24, 1906. 

GtENTLEMEN — I have the honor to submit to you my report as your 
secretary for the year beginning January 25, 1905 and closing Janu- 
ary 24. 1906. The Illinois State Historical Society has made en- 
couraging growth in every direction. Great credit is due the special 
committee on membership under the direction of Prof. E. E. Sparks. 
The distribution of the transactions of the society has as usual been 
most helpful. The interest in and the demand for the annual volumes 
continues to grow. All of the earlier numbers are out of print, the last 
volume. No. 9, the 1904 meeting, being the only one of which there re- 
mains any number. I used more care in the distribution of this num- 
ber and had an edition of 5,000 instead of 3,000 the usual number print- 
ed. The members of the Legislature were most friendly to the socie- 
ty, many of them expressed their a|Dprobation of its work and objects, 
and a number of gentlemen members of the last General Assembly en- 
rolled themselves as members of the society. The annual volume for 
1905 is not yet ready for distribution. There have been many things 
which have contributed to this delay, the last and principal one being 
the scarcity of printers in Springfield. The publication committee 
will report on the volume. The society now has 828 active members, 
(this includes the editors who send their paper to the library and are 
exem[)t from the payment of annual dues), we have also three life 
members, ten honorary members and four local historical societies 
which are affiliated members. The hand of death has been laid heavily 
upon the society, eight of its members having been called to their re- 
ward. A brief sketch of each of the deceased members will be read 
to the society. 

Some of our members have suffered sore bereavements in the death of 
dear ones, others have been called upon to bear wearing and painful 
illnesses. To those suffering ones our sympathies are extended. At 
the suggestion of Gov. Charles S. Deneen, I was asked by the commis- 
sion to prepare an exhibit for the Lewis and Clark Exposition at Port- 
land, Oregon. This exhibit consisted of the collection of Lincolniana, 
which was shown at the St. Louis exposition and additional matter 
in the nature of a collection representing some phases of State history. 

This exhibit was placed in the Illinois building at Portland and it re- 
ceived a gold medal, the highest award, as an historical exhibit. The 
Illinois bnilding which was a reproduction of the Lincoln home in 
this city also received the highest award as did the exhibit of the 
University of Illinois. The entire exhibit of Illinois was placed in 
the Lincoln home, the State bnilding. This exhibit has been returned 
to the library by the commission, but as the library is too crowded, 
having insufficient wall space or floor space to accommodate it, fully 
half of it has been placed in storage. 

The work of the librarian of the library and of the secretary of the 
society goes hand in hand, and it is hard to separate them in making 
a report, but I will be pardoned if I say that the Library now has 
about 18,0C)0 books and pamphlets bearing upon western history par- 
ticularly the history of Illinois. The collection of newspaper tiles is a 
most valuable one, it is not very large but it is most valuable, we have 
tiles of the Illinois State Register and of the State Journal that are in- 
valuable, the Journal begins with the first year of the paper, 1831, and 
the Register goes as far back to 1835-1836. We have lately received 
through the kindness of Auditor J. S. McCuUough and Mr. W. H. 
Eubanks of the same office, a priceless addition to our newspaper collec- 
tion. It is a file of the Illinois Intelligencer, Vandalia, 1822-1826, which 
was presented to the State of Illinois by Governor Edward Coles, and 
contains that dedication written by Governor Coles' own hand. "From 
Edward Coles to the State of Illinois". This precious file has lain 
for years in the vaults of the Auditor's office and was found recently 
when an overhauling of the vaults was made preparatory to the 
putting in of new steel vaults. We have a number of local papers 
sent us under the agreement with the State Press Association, we 
have some files too of the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Times, 
prior to the great fire of 1871, we have a file of the St Louis and Al- 
ton Observer (Lovejoy's paper), from 1835-1838. A list of our news- 
papers will be found on pages 56-57 of the Outline of State history 
recently issued. Members of the Historical Society receive all of the 
publications issued by the Department of State History, so I need not 
describe them. At the last session of the General Assembly, Mr. 
J. W. Kitchell of Pana, presented to the State a copy of the Journal 
of the Constitutional Convention of 1818. This is the most valuable 
historic document, as it was not known that there was a copy in 
existence. Moses and other historical authorities have stated that 
all records of the 1818 Constitutional Convention were lost. The 
General Assembly jmssed a resolution of thanks to Mr. Kitchell for 
this most valuable gift. 

A circular of the library, "An outline for the study of State His- 
tory, with a reference list," has been issued. It was issued to supply 
a demand which was constantly growing. The president of the 
society, General OrendorflP. suggested the work as a necessity since 
the Legislature had passed a law requiring teachers to be examined 
in Illinois history. This pamphlet has been received with much 
favor and is in great demand. Prof. C. W. Alvord will tell you of 
the finding of important manuscripts at Belleville and Kaskaskia, 
and of the intention of the library board to publish and translate 

part at least of these important papers. The reference work of the 
Department of History is growing rapidly. It is not joossible for me 
to do justice to it, though I try to meet it as best I can and my 
assistants devote much time to it. 

At the last annual meeting of the society Professor Henry McCor- 
mick read a paper on ''The value to both of a closer connection 
between the historical society and the jjublic schools." This 
paper was a most timely one and I believe was the impetus 
which caused the members of the Historical Society to urge their 
representatives in the General Assembly to interest themselves 
in the passage of an act, or rather in the amendment of a part of the 
public school law of the State, by which an examination in Illinois 
history is necessary to the securing of a teachers' certificate in this 
State. I do not think it is claiming too much to say that the histor- 
ical society is entitled to the credit for the passage of this law. 

The society is to be congratulated that the committees have been 
more active than ever before, though there is still room for improve- 
ment along this line. The reports of the committees will be read by 
their respective chairmen, hence it is not necessary for me to call 
your attention to their work. The interest in State history grows in 
a most gratifying manner. It is apparent to any one that it is grow- 
ing in all parts of the State. The law to which I have already referred 
is one reason for it, the woman's clubs have become interested in it, 
and so have the Daughters of the American Revolution and other 
organizations. Study clubs and classes for the study of Illinois State 
history have been organized in many parts of the State and are doing 
excellent work. We try to be of assistance to them in advising as to 
authorities, and in a great deal of reference work, many localities 
having not the advantages of suitable books. 

A notable class of this kind is one which is a department of the 
Springfield Woman's club. It is under the leadership of Mrs. Mar- 
garet M. Bangs, a member of the State Historical Society. It has 
more than 100 members and is doing earnest work. Mrs. Bangs has 
prepared a splendid syllabus for the use of the class and she is giving 
the students the benefit of her earnestness and exceptional ability as 
a teacher. If classes of this nature could be organized all over the 
State (if necessary by this society), and ]3laced under the leadership 
of some competent person, the cause of State history would advance 
by leaps and bounds, and the next generation of Illinoisans would 
not be as ignorant of State history as the present one. The mothers 
would take care of that. Many persons (some, our own members) in- 
terested in the cause of State history have written to the secretary of 
the society asking for aid in the organization of local historical soci- 
eties. I suggest that the officers of the society give more attention 
to this matter and that the Committee on Local Historical Societies 
have greater powers and that some means be devised by which some 
agent of the society can. with expenses paid, make visits to the local 
societies, either to aid in their formation or to assist in the celebration 
of the anniversaries of local historical events. These visits would be 
very encouraging to local societies and I think would be the means of 
greatly increasing the membership of the State society. 


There has of late been much comparison of the Illinois State His- 
torical Society with other societies in oiir neighboring states, particu- 
larly Wisconsin. It is true that we must bow to the superior facilities 
and possessions of Wisconsin, but it should be borne in mind the 
length of time that has elapsed since the formation of the Wisconsin 
society. It had been formed more than lift}' years when a few of us 
met over in Champaign to talk over plans for the formation of this 
society. We must not forget that when Mr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, 
the secretary of the Wisconsin society, delivered before this society 
the annual address at its second annual meeting, held in. this house 
January 30, 1901, he made the following statement in his address: 
"Fifty-two years ago tonight the Wisconsin Historical Society was 
born. January 80, 1849, a hundred or more state officers, members 
of the legislature, Wisconsin's first state legislature, and other prom- 
inent citizens, met in a hotel parlor in Madison and organized the 
society.'' Mr. Thwaites closed his address with the words, "We of 
the Wisconsin society, upon this, our hfty-second birthday, bid the 
young society of Illinois, Godspeed." This message was brought to us 
at the second annual meeting of the society, at the close of the first com- 
plete year of the society's work. This society received its charter May 
80, 1900. We are behind Wisconsin, we are behind other states, but we 
are growing; and from Chicago to Cairo, and from the Wabash to the 
Mississippi, come cheering words of hope and courage and promise. 
Work of this kind, if it be well done, takes time as well as money. We 
have no right to be discouraged. It is ungrateful to the memory of 
Hiram W. Beckwith, it is ungrateful and unappreciative of the efi'orts 
of Dr. J. F. Snyder, of Capt. J. H. Burnham, of George N. Black, who 
now from a sickbed sends us anxious and loving thoughts and greeting; 
to E. B. Greene. Dr M. H. Chamberlin, General Alfred Orendorlf, 
President E. J. James, Mrs. Catherine Goss Wheeler, Paul Selby, 
James Haines and others of the pioneers in the work of this society, 
who have given unstinted time and labor to the advancement of the 
Illinois State Historical Society. I repeat, it is ungrateful to them 
to speak of discouragement. This discouragement on the part of the 
public is really encouragement. It means interest. When people 
notice that we are "far behind" in this work, it means they have 
noticed it and that they wish to remedy the condition. The people 
must demand these things of the Legislature. The Legislature of 
Illinois will not deny us what we ask when the importance of the 
Historical society and its woi'k is made apparent to it. How can we 
expect it to give us what we have never asked for? Too many inter- 
ests press their merits upon its members to expect them to provide 
largely for an interest, no matter how important, unless its friends 
champion it and work for it. If we expect to grow, to fulfill our des- 
tiny, we must work and we must work in harmony. We must be prudent 
and conservative, we must mature our plans and know what we want. I 
again congratulate you upon the growth of the society and its pros 
pects. It is a young society, it is true, but it has something to show 
as the results of the labors of the few years of its existence, and though 
it ig but an infant, it is a most hopeful and jjromising one. 

Respectfully submitted. Jessie Palmer Weber. 

Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society. 


January, 1905 — January, 1906. 

Report of the Treasurer of the Illinois State Historical Society- 
January, 1905 — January. 1906. 

Amount on hand from 1904 $ 30 .54 

Received from annual dues and one life membership 163 00 

$193 54 
Total receipts $193 54 


Paid for printing programs, circulars, etc 


Maldanei & Soq. supplies for annual meeting 

David McCulloch. expenses to Galesburg, meeting Press Association 

Bessie O'Brien, services at annual meeting 

R. A. Guest, services at annual meeting 

R. L. Berry, rent of piano 

Emanuel Salzenstein, carriage (twice! for J. P. Dunn and wife .. .. 

Leland Hotel, board for J. P. Dunn and wife 

Brown & Canfield. supplies for annual meeting 

Bell Miller, supplies for annual meeting 

J. H. Burn ham. expenses 

C. K. Bolton, Boston cop.ving '. .......... 

Woman's Club circular 

Jessie Palmer Weber. Chicago and return ..........!..! 

Alfred Orendortf, expenses to Galesburg and return, meeting of Illinois Press 


Type- writing ..........!..!..!!....!![..! 

Postage * 

$26 50 

13 00 

14 60 

4 00 

10 00 

10 00 

4 00 

4 00 

9 00 

2 00 

2 35 

4 50 

3 40 

3 79 

•22 10 

7 50 

13 90 

11 25 

$165 89 

Total expenditures $165 89 

Total receipts $19.3 54 

Kxpenditures 165 89 

$27 65 

Balance on hand $27 65 



The Illinois State Historical Society. 

Gentlemen^ Your committee on publication begs leave to submit 
the following report: 

The work of the committee during the present year has consisted, 
substantially, in the preparation of the annual volume of Transac- 
tions now passing through the press. Early in the spring a circular 
letter was sent to a considerable number of persons who, it was 
thought, might have matter suitable for publication. The circular 
contains a statement of the various kinds of material desired, in- 
cluding historical manuscripts hitherto uni^rinted, monographic es- 
says based on the scources, reminiscences, and bibliographies. Some 
material for each of these classes is included in the forthcoming 
volume in which there will also be found a fuller statement of the 
committee's recommendations for future publications. The committee 
desires especially to urge the contribution of unprinted source, ma- 
terial, such as the letters of prominent public men. 

Respectfully submitted, 

EvERETS B. Greene, 
Chairman, Committee on Publication. 



Springfield, 111., January 24, 1906. 
To the Officers and Members of the Illinois State Historical Society: 

There are many evidences of a rapidly growing public interest in 
local as well as general history. Among these evidences may be 
mentioned the increasing attention now being given to anniversary 
celebrations, the greater space devoted by the press to historical arti- 
cles, and the larger appropriations granted by our State Legislature 
for such purposes as monuments marking Revolutionary forts, sites 
of battles or skirmishes during the war of 1812, the Indian and Civil 
wars, the latter class of monuments being of munificent proportions. 

We are glad to report that St. Clair county has lately organized a 
county historical society which bids fair to utilize that ancient county's 
great wealth of historical materials, which possesses not only a local 
interest, but is of even more than State importance. 

In order to properly stimulate the organization of new local histor- 
ical societies, and assist those already organized to work to better 
advantage to themselves, and at the same time to harmoniously and 
vigorously assist the State society in its larger field of labor, it is nec- 
essary for us to give more careful thought and more energetic action 
to this important subject, which is at present in rather a chaotic and 
unsettled condition. At the Chicago meeting of the American His- 
torical Association, in December, 1904, the relation of state historical 
societies to each other, and the relation of local societies to the state 
societies, received careful attention. Most of the discussion, how- 
ever, concerned the relations of state societies, and the important 
question of local societies was postponed to the Baltimore meeting of 
the association, which took place a month ago. We have not yet 
had access to the conclusions arrived at, which were probably of 
such great importance that we ought to postpone our recommenda- 
tions concerning local historical societies to our next annual meeting, 
in order to be able, if we think best, to proceed in harmony with the 
recommendations of the National Historical Association, the leading 
historical association of the country. 

At the Chicago meeting referred to above. Prof. B. F. Shambaugh. 
of the Iowa State Historical Society, made the following reference to 
local societies, which is so truthful and comprehensive that the quo- 
tation here made proves to us that from such able minds we may 
reasonably ex^ject to receive the inspiration and assistance so much 


'•The State Historical Society, with its larger library and collections, its 
broader scope, its publications, and its touch with American and world his- 
tory, will attract, stimulate and encourage the scholar. On the other hand, 
the local society of the town or county, with its more popular membership, 
can do most to arouse that local patriotism and foster that spirit of local pro- 
vincialism which, when wideh' diffused throughout the community, means 
for the state society that moral support which leads to rich gifts and large 
appropriations. Thus the state and local societies, being mutually supple- 
mentary, may through affiliation and cooperation become effective in spread- 
ing the gospel of historical interest." 

A bill for an act to enable county boards in certain cases to pub- 
lish the proceedings of local historical societies, came very near 
becoming a law at the last term of the Legislature of Illinois. Its 
failure was said to be owing entirely to the press of business in the 
closing hours of the session, and there is good reason to believe a 
similar measure will fare better at the next session. There is every 
probability that the work of our local societies would be greatly stim- 
ulated by a law such as the one proposed last winter. We would 
suggest that at the meeting of this society next winter, the bill which 
was then before the Legislature be recommended, and also such other 
legislation as may be thought advisable. 

We would also suggest that at the next annual meeting of the 
State Historical Society the subject of local historical societies be 
given a place on the program by such recognition as may be thought 
wise, in order to bring the whole matter prominently before the 
general public. It may be out of place here, but we cannot refrain 
from urging upon the friends of historical investigation the import- 
ance of the organization of a State Genealogical Society. The citi- 
zens of this great State possess a remarkably varied ancestry, coming 
from nearly all the states of this union and from all the nations of 
Europe. Already there are large numbers of people deeply inter- 
ested in genealogical investigations and the work should be under- 
taken at once by competent and enthusiastic students. 

In conclusion, we desire to compliment such local societies as have 
persevered in historical work, to urge the dilatory societies to renewed 
effort, and to advise the immediate organization of new societies for 
cooperation with the State Historical Societies in all places where 
there is any hope of successful eflPort. 





The committee appointed to encourage the proper observance of 
the fiftieth anniversary of the Lincoln- Douglas debates, is made up 
of one representative from each of the seven cities in vrhich the 
debates were held, together with one representative from Springfield 
and one from Chicago. As thus composed, the committee consists 
of: E. E. Sparks, chairman; Smith D. Atkins, Freeport; Clark E. 
Carr, Galesburg; H. W. Clendenin, Springfield; M. C. Crawford, 
Jonesboro; W. H. Collins, Quinoy; Sumner S. Anderson, Charleston; 
W. T. Norton, Alton. 

The first meeting was held at Springfield. April 1, 1905. It was 
decided to provide for a celebration in each of the seven places 
where the debates were held, the principal exercises to be given on 
the anniversary day of each as nearly as possible. Efforts looking 
toward the erection of tablets commemorative of the debate, were to 
be encouraged. Loan collections were also suggested, the articles 
illustrating the lives of each of the debaters to constitute the nucleus 
of permanent exhibitions. Efforts were also to be made to collect 
contemporaneous accounts from newsjaapers of the day. Arrange- 
ment of details of the several celebrations were left to the individual 
members of the committee from the several places, 

The newspapers of the State have printed several encouraging edi- 
torials on the proposed celebrations. It is to be hoped that the 
public schools of the State will call attention in their rhetorical work 
and by special celebration to the formative influence of these debates 
on both State and nation. Some arrangement may be possible by 
which a syllabus and a suggestive outline of exercises suitable for 
schools can be printed for general distribution. The many women's 
clubs of the State will, no doubt, cooperate by devoting some part of 
their programs and study classes during 1908 to the debates and 
the debaters. 

The attention of the advisory committee of the Illinois Historical 
Library has been called to the desirability of devoting a volume to 
the Lincoln- Douglas debates. Although the series has been reprinted 


several times, no attempt has been made to inchide contemporaneous 
acconnts of the circumstances under which the speeches were deliv- 
ered, nor has any estimate been made of their results. A compre- 
hensive and authentic history of the debates would be a credit to the 
publications of the library. 

No doubt the Program Committee of the Illinois Historical Society 
will aid the celebration by setting aside a portion or all the annual 
program and the printed proceedings for the year 1908 to the debates 
and the careers of Lincoln and of Douglas. Other suggestions will 
undoubtedly arise as the year approaches. The committee asks a 
hearty cooperation from all members of the society in this important 

The Committee on Marking Historical Places has had no opportu- 
nity of exhibiting great activity during the past year. The work of 
arousing public enthusiasm in any enterprise is difficult and the 
difficulty is increased by the distance in time. The women of Kan- 
kakee have undertaken the erection of a tablet or monument to 
Bourbonnais. The grave of Father Kinnison, sujiposed last survivor 
of the Boston Tea Party, was marked in Lincoln Park, Chicago. An 
attempt to place a granite boulder in the Lake Front Park, Chicago, 
in memory of one of the many claimants to the first use of ansesthet- 
ics, was frustrated by the park board. Likewise, a club of women 
appropriated a sum for placing a tablet on the public library, which 
stands on a part of the Fort Dearborn reservation, but the action was 
prevented by the opposition of the Board of Directors of the Library. 

Evidently the work of the committee may well be directed to creat- 
ing a new view among those in charge of public property, which shall 
see in commemorative tablets and monuments something more than 
disfigurements. On the other hand, those in charge of promoting 
these public enterprises must remember that both tablets and monu- 
ments must be in harmony with their surroundings and in accord 
with the eternal fitness of things. 

Whenever the condition of the treasury of the Historical society 
will allow a small appropriation for this purpose, or whenever a citi- 
zen able and willing shall donate a sum, the committee hopes to enter 
upon a printed propaganda throughout the State which will bring 
results. As a preliminary action there should be placed on file in 
the rooms of the society a list of all historic places in Illinois, show- 
ing those marked and those unmarked. To secure this would require 
funds for writing and for postage. The list should be supplemented 
by photographs of all tablets and monuments hitherto placed. To 
secure these would require a still larger fund. In the meantime, the 
committee hopes to prove its fidelity in a small way by encouraging 
efforts looking toward a continuation of this laudable work. 



Directors' Meeting, January 24, 190(). 9:00 o'clock a. m. 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society met 
in the rooms of the Illinois State Historical Library, January 24, 
1906, at 9:00 o'clock a. m. 

There were present — President Alfred Orendortf. who presided; 
J. W. Clinton, J. H. Burnliam, E. B. Greene, G. W. Smith, E. E. 
Sparks, Jessie Palmer Weber ; and by invitation, Mr. Paul Selby» 
vice president of the society. 

The secretary's report was read and approved. The treasurer's re- 
port was read and approved. 

The question as to what course to pursue in the matter of members 
of the society who fail to pay their dues was discussed, and referred 
to a committee, the membership of which is Jessie Palmer Weber, E. 
B. Greene, E. E. Sparks. 

Captain J. H. Burnham said that the Committee on By-Laws had 
found that the constitution of the society answered all purposes 
for the guidance of the society, and he recommended that the com- 
mittee be discharged and the constitution be regarded as the law 
governing the society and its affairs. Action on this matter was de- 
ferred until the business meeting of the society, or if necessary a 
later meeting of the board of directors. 

Reports of the several committees was received and ordered read at 
the business meeting of the society. 

The directors' meeting adjourned to meet at the close of the morn- 
ing session, (the same day; January 24, 1906,) of the annual meeting 
of the society. 

Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Illinois State 
Historical Society, 12:00 O'clock Noon, Wednesday, 

January 24, 1906. 

Present — President Alfred Orendortf, J. H. Burnham, J. W. Clin- 
ton, George W. Smith, E. B. Greene. E. E. Sparks, Jessie Palmer 

Mr. Paul Selby was present and presented the invitation of the 
Chicago Commercial Association to the society, to hold its next an- 
nual meeting in Chicago. Mr. Selby presented a letter from the offi- 
cers of the association in which the invitation was formerly pre- 
sented. The matter was discussed at some length by Messrs. Sparks, 
Greene. Orendortf, and Burnham. Professor George W. Smith 


moved, and the motion was seconded by Captain J. H. Bnrnham, that 
the secretary be directed to acknowledge the invitation and to state to 
the association that its invitation will receive due consideration. Tiiis 
motion was carried. 

Professor E. B. Greene moved that the matter of the place of hold- 
ing the annual meeting of the society for l'.K)!S be referred to the Pro- 
gram Committee and that the committee be requested to report to the 
1907 annual meeting. The motion was seconded by Professor 
Sparks, and being put to vote, was carried. 

Professor Sparks spoke of the necessity of raising funds for the 
celebration of the semi-centennial of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, in 
1908. The manner of raising the necessary money was discussed. 
Professor Greene moved that the president, the secretary and Pro- 
fessor Sparks be made a committee to take such steps and formulate 
such plans as may be necessary to raise funds for the celebration of 
the semi-centennial. This motion was seconded by Captain Burn- 
ham, and was carried. 

On motion of Mr. J. W. Clinton, General Alfred Orendorff was re- 
elected chairman of the Board of Directors of the society, and Mrs. 
Jessie Palmer Weber was re- elected secretary and treasurer of the 

The meeting of the board of directors adjourned. 

Director's Meeting Wednesday, January 24, 1906, 

4:50 o'clock p. M. 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society met 
in the librarian's room of the State Historical Library January 24, 
1906, at 4:50 o'clock p. m. 

Present— President Alfred Orendorff, Dr. M. H. Chamberlin, J, 
W. Clinton. E. B. Greene, George W. Smith, E. E. Sparks, J. H. 
Burnham, Jessie Palmer Weber. President OrendorflP presided. 

Committees of the society were appointed as follows: 


E. B. Gi-eene, Urbana, Chairman. 

Georg-e N. Black, Springfield. M. H. Chamberlin, Lebanon. 

George W. Smith, Carbondale, • Jessie Palmer Weber, Springfield. 

George A. Dupuy, Chicago. Alfred Orendorff^ ex-officio. 


Jessie Palmer Weber, Chairman. 

J. H. Burnham, Bloomington. Mrs. Catherine Goss Wheeler, Spring- 

J. A. James. Evanston. Paul Selby, Chicago. 

Charles P. Kane, Springfield, Wm. A. Meese. Moline. 

C. H. Rammelkamp, Jacksonville. Alfred Orendorff, ex-offlcio. 

— 2H 



George N. Black, Springfield, Chairman. 

E. J. James, Urbana. ' Jessie Palmer Weber, 

Alfred Orendorft", ex-officlo. 


M. II. Chamberlin, Lebanon, Chairman. 

E. J. James, Urbana. 
Henry McCormick. Normal. 
Andrew Russell, Jacksonville. 
J. McCan Davis, Springfield, 
R. V. Carpenter, Belvidere. 

George N. Black, Springfield. 
T^: A. Snively, Springfield. 
O. F. Berry, 'Carthage. 
David McCulloch, Peoria. 
Alfred Orendorff. t:v offic'm. 


J. H. Burnham, Bloomington, Chairman. 

David McCulloch. Peoria. J. O. Cunningham. Urbana. 

George W. Smith, Carbondale. Frank J. Heinl, Jacksnoville. 

VV. W. Davis, Sterling. J. Seymour Currej'. Evanston. 

Alfred Orendorff. ex-officio. 


Charles L. Capen. Bloomington, Chairman. 

J. W. Clinton, Polo. 
Daniel Berry, M. D.. Carmi. 
John M. Rapp, Fairfield. 
Mrs. Thomas Worthington, Jackson- 
Miss May Latham, Lincoln. 

Alfred Orendorft", ex-officio. 

J. N. Perrin, Belleville. 
Wm. Jayne, M. D., Springfield. 
Arthur L. Harvick. Vi«-nna. 
E. M. Bowman. Alton. 

Dr. A. W. French. Springfield. 


Edwin Erie Sparks, Chicago, Chairman. 

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

Clark E. Carr. Galesburg. H. W. Clendenin, Springfield. 

M. C. Crawford. Jonesboro. W. N. Collins, Quincy. 

Sumner S. Anderson, Charleston. W. F. Norton, Alton. 

Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 


Edwin Erie Sparks, Chicago, Chairman. 

Harry Ainsworth. Moline. Col. D. C. Smith. Normal. 

Mrs. M. T. Scott, Bloomington. J. H. Collins. Springfield. 

Reed Green. Cairo. Charles B. Campbell. Kankakee. 

Alfred Orendorft". e.r-offlcio. 


Georgia L. Osborne, Springfield, Chairman. 

Mrs. E. G. Crabbe, Springfield. Mrs. E. S. Walker, Springfield. 

Alfred Orendorff, ex-officio. 


The question of finance was discussed. President Orendorff said 
that he had had a conversation with President James of the Library 
Board as to the use of the fund appropriated by the last Legislatiire 
for the uses of the society. It was the opinion of President Orendorff 
that the expenses of the directors in attending meetings should be 
paid by the society. Captain Burnham and the secretary of the 
society (Mrs. Weber), each made some remarks touching this matter. 
It was decided that the matter of the State fund be left to the presi- 
dent and secretary, in conjunction with the board of trustees of the 

Captain J. H. Burnham spoke at some length upon the changes in 
the courses of the rivers in the neighborhood of Kaskaskia, and upon 
the importance and necessity of having charts and maps made showing 
the conditions and changes. The matter was upon motion referred 
to the Board of Trustees of the Library. 

It was moved, seconded and the motion was carried, that the presi- 
dent and secretary of the society, when asked to do so by local his- 
torical societies or clubs, furnish speakers for meetings of such socie- 
ties or clubs, if said societies or clubs will pay the expenses of the 

The board of directors' meeting then on motion, adjourned. 

The Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society, met 
in the librarian's room in the Illinois State Historical Library, Thurs- 
day, January 25, at 12:00 o'clock noon. 

Present — President, Alfred Orendorff, J. H. Burnham, J. W. Clinton, 
M. H. Chamberlin, George W. Smith, Jessie Palmer Weber. 

The following named persons were recommended for honorary 

membership in the Illinois State Historical Society and the secretary 

was directed to present their names to the Society for confirmation: 

Miss Jane Addams, Hull House, Chicag-o, Ills. 

Hon. Clark E. Carr, Galesburg-, Ills. 

Professor N. Dwig-ht Harris, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis. 

Mrs. Caroline M. B. Kane, Spring-field, Ills. 

Miss Caroline M. Mcllvain, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, Ills. 

Hon. S. M. Cullom, Spring-field, Ills. 

Hon. A. E. Stevenson, Bloomington, Ills. 

Professor Frederick J. Turner, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. 

Dr. Samuel Willard, Chicag-o, Ills. 

Mrs. Eliza Kincaid Wilson, Sterling, Ills. 

Professor George W. Smith asked if it would be possible to obtain 
permission to use cuts or pictures from the transactions of the society 
for illustrations for historical articles. The matter was, on motion, 
referred to the Board of Trustees of the library. 

There being no further business the meeting of the board of direc- 
tors of the Illinois State Historical Society adjourned. 


Papers Read at the Annual 
Meeting, 1906. 



WEDNESDAY; Januaky 24, 1906, 9:00 A. M., in rooms of the It.linois 
State Hokticultubal Society, Dikectoks' Meeting. 

0:30 A. M., Business Meeting in the Senate Ciiamheu. 

Reports of Officers — President, Secretary and Treasurer. 
Reports of Committees. 
Necrologist's Report. 
Election of Officers. 
Miscellaneous Business. 

11:00 O'CLOCK A. M. 

The Finding of the Kaskaskia Records — Prof. C. W. Alvord, Urbana, 111. 
Address: Early Courts and Lawyers of Illinois. — Hon. George Dunuy, 
Chicago, 111. 

Afternoon Session, 2:00 O'Clock. 

Some Facts Not Hitherto Published Relating to the Mormons in Illinois — 
Hon. Orville F. Berry, Carthage, 111. 


The Icarians in Illinois — Mrs. I. G. Miller, Springfield, 111. 

Personal Reminiscences of Life in Illinois, 1830 to 1850 — Dr. Samiiel Willard, 
Chicago, 111. 

The Rejected Illinois County Names — Hon. W. D. Barge, Chicago, 111. 

Evening Session, 7:45 O'Clock. 
Address of Welcome — Governor Charles S. Deneen. 
Response — President Alfred Orendorft". 

Annual Address: Sectional Influences in Western History, — Frederick J. 
Turner. Ph. D.. Professor of History in the University of Wisconsin. 

Thursday. January 25, 1906, 9:30 A. M. 

Social Settlements in Illinois — Miss Jane Addams, Hull House, Chicago. 

Wedding of the First White Couple in the Territory which became the 
County of Sangamon — Hon. Charles P. Kane. Springfield, 111. 

Bourbonnais; or, the French Settlements in Kankakee County, Illinois — 
Hon. Charles H. Campbell, Kankakee. 

The Fourth Regiment Illinois Volunteers in the Mexican War — E. M. 
Prince, Secretary McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington. 

Afternoon Session, 2:00 O'Clock. 

The Regulators and Flatheads in Southern Illinois — Hon. James A. Rose, 

The Chicago Drainage Channel, and its Forbear, the Illinois and Michigan 
Canal — Hon. Alexander J. Jones, former Trustee of the Sanitary District of 

Libraries as Local History Centers: The Chicago Historical Society — Miss 
Caroline B. Mcllvain, Librarian Chicago Historical Society, Chicago. 

Negro Slavery in Illinois — N. D. Harris, Ph. D., Professor in History in 
Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis. 

Evening Session, 7:45 O'Clock. 

Address: Lincoln at Gettysburg, ^Col. Clark E. Carr, Galesburg, 111. 
Reception — in Illinois State Library. 



Governor Charles S. Deneen. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the State Hlstorical 
Society: — It gives me great pleasure this evening to extend to the 
members of the State Historical Society a cordial welcome. The 
memorials to yonr labors, which are contained in the historical library 
in this building, attest the zeal and success with which you are prose- 
cuting the work of the society. The mass of historical documents 
and data gathered together by you has already become so. large that 
the demand for increased space is becoming imperative, and our 
State, the foremost commonwealth in the Mississippi valley, should 
make more ample provision for its accommodation. 

The material collected by you and by the numerous affiliated local 
bodies will furnish to the future historians of Illinois a rich variety 
of material, previously inaccessible, and should result in the produc- 
tion of historical works of the highest class. 

Thf; story of the making of our State and of its almost magical 
transformation from an unbroken wilderness of prairie, forest and 
stream to the great commonwealth we know today, could never have 
been adequately told without the labors of your association. Such a 
history of Illinois as is made possible by your researches will be a 
valuable contribution to the world's historical literature, for the 
annals of Illinois furnish as fascinating a tale as any which can be 
found in the pages of history. 

It is a tale which will be full of the most varied interest. Its early 
chapters will be alive with the romantic interest surrounding that 
ancient and extinct race, the mound builders, the Indian, the explorer, 
the missionary, the soldier, the trapper, the woodsmen, the miner and 
the settler. In it will be preserved for us the story of the perils 
which were met by the adventurous Europeans who penetrated the 
heart of the American continent and planted there strands of cross 
and crown on the banks of the Father of Waters. It will depict the 
building of the white village in the wilderness in the midst of hostile 
tribes, and will tell of Indian surprise and massacre, of the capture, 
the escape, the rescue. It will relate the mighty struggles waged by 
rival nations for dominion over the new and distant territory and 
their final displacement by the great republic. 

The later pages will tell of the birth of civil government, of the 
creation in the haunts of the Indian of the institutions of the civilized 


community — the church, the court, the school; of the beginning of 
legal administration and the replacing of the wild will of the savage 
by the trained discretion and orderly life of society. It will also 
portray the social, educational and religious life of the people. It 
will discourse of the rise and fall of political parties and of the part 
taken by the early citizens of Illinois in the affairs of the State and 
of the great nation of which it formed a part. It will recall the great 
debate in which Lincoln and Douglas defined the issues which were 
to be decided upon the field of battle, and will tell of the mighty 
response made by Illinois when her greatest son sounded the call to 
arms in defense of national unity. It will record the progress which 
our State has made in later years in every department of the world's 
work, and of her present proud position as one of the greatest of 
American commonwealths. 

The weaving of these materials into the enduring fabric of history 
is as important a labor as could be undertaken. Every civilized com- 
munity has recognized the value of historical research and has made 
provision for its pursuit in the extensive libraries and museums 
which have made famous the world's great capitals. These are not 
the resort of the antiquary alone, but of the student of society and 
the economist, who seeks in the facts of history a firm foundation for 
political theories, for in history alone they find a record of the actual 
workings of human governments. 

In preserving for us the past life of our community, history confers 
upon our institutions a kind of immortality, and it does much more 
than this. History is more than a repository of past deeds. In its 
pages also is found the promise of the future. From its treasures are 
drawn the wisdom of the statesman, the eloquence of the orator, the 
courage of the soldier and the inspiration of the patriot. To the leg- 
islator history discovers political defects and suggests practical reme- 
dies. It is the balance wheel of social progress which preserves the 
equilibrium between the radical and the conservative forces of soci- 
ety. It provides material for song and story, and all art and literature 
are its debtors. 

The work of historical associations is, therefore, of the highest 
importance, not only as erecting a memorial of the past, but as pro- 
viding the safest guide for the future welfare of the State; and in 
welcoming you to our capital city, I express the hope that we may be 
indebted to your present convention, for the addition of another vol- 
ume to the many interesting and valuable publications which contain 
the result of your former labors. 


Response in Behalf of the Society by Alfred Orendorff, 

President of the Society. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Governor Deneen — The Illinois State 
Historical Society asks me to voice its thanks to you for your cordial 
greeting and words of encouragement. 

The knowledge that the chief executive of the State supports and 
approves the objects for which this society was organized, stimulates 
its members to renewed and greater etf orts to consumate its purposes. 

It goes without saying, that in a government like ours, where the 
sovereignty is lodged in the people and where the will of the people is 
crystalized into the laws for the people, a knowledge of the first his- 
tory of the State is an important element in determining which is 
best for the common welfare. 

In view of this it seems strange that our magnificent school system 
did not, until the efforts of this society secured it, contain in the cor- 
rection of its studies, a knowledge of the history of this State. If 
this society had no other claim for being called into being that would 
be sufficient reason for its existence. 

The beautiful song of "Illinois," so exquisitely rendered by the 
quartette, contains a truth of which every Illinoisan should be proud. 
Truly, without the wonderous story of Illinois, the history of our 
country could not be properly written. Take from the nation's an- 
nals — Lincoln and Grant — and its brighest pages are destroyed. 

In the great battle between freedom and slavery, Illinois bore a 
conspicuous part, commencing with its organization as a State. Its 
geographical position made it the keystone of the Union. 

On the Mormon question an Illinoisian as representative in Con- 
gress and as a United States Senator, was the author of the legisla- 
tion and an Illinoisian as judge punished and extirpated from Utah 
the twin relic of barbarism. 

When anarchy was rampant throughout the nation the Illinois 
courts punished the enemies of government, and it was found that the 
atmosphere of our prairies was too pure for a red flag or any other in 
opposition to the stars and stripes. 

The field is too broad and I can only say that if moral issues must 
be settled, if graft is to be stifled we can find no better exemplar of 
rugged honesty than in the contemplation of the rugged, honest, im- 
mortal Lincoln. 

The Publication Committee very deeply regrets the fact that owing to absence from his 
home. Prof. Frederick Jackson Turner has been unable to furnish the manuscript for the 
annual address which was delivered by him before the society. 



(By Clarence Walworth Alvord.) 

It is as an agent of the Illinois State Historical Library that I am 
here this morning to make a report, containing an announcement of 
interest and importance to students of the history of the Northwest, 
and particularly that of Illinois. The Kaskaskia records, long sup- 
posed to have been destroyed, have been found. Found is perhaps 
too strong a word, for they never were lost; but the tradition of their 
total destruction has been given such wide currency by Mr. E. G. 
Mason in his publication on "'John Todd" and '"John Todd's Record- 
Book," and so deservedly high has been the estimate placed on 
his historical statements, that for all practical purposes they were 

In the summer of 1905 the trustees of the State Historical Library 
sent me into southern Illinois to spend a month searching for histori- 
cal materials. Much of interest was found, but the recovery of 
these supposedly destroyed Kaskaskia papers in Chester was the 
most unexpected and important find. Some information had reached 
me, before setting out, that my search in Chester would not be un- 
rewarded; for I learned from several sources that record-books and 
papers dating from the eighteenth century were in the office of the 
circuit clerk,, and I cherished the hope that where some were, others 
might not be far off. 

My task was far easier than I could have anticipated. After look- 
ing over three old French record-books, which were in plain sight on 
the f helves; search was made for further papers. No occult science 
was re(iuired. On top of the cases in the circuit clerk's office, behind 
a cornice which surmounts them, were found three large sacks and 
four paper packages full of old papers. T'pon investigation half of 
them proved to be French records written during the years 1720 and 
1790. These number 2.950 according to the count of a committee 
appointed by the commissioners of Randolph county to make an in- 
ventory of the documeiits before sending them to the University of 
Illinois for my further study. 

Since the seat of government in Illinois was removed in 1772 by 
the British commandant from Fort de Chartres to Kaskaskia, at which 
time the archives were also removed, we have in this collection, 
papers drawn up both at the fort and at Kaskaskia. From 1772 until 


the year 1848, these papers remained in the latter town, when they 
were removed to Chester, that city having become the county seat of 
Randolph county. For many years the older papers, including the 
French ones, remained in the dry goods boxes in which they had been 
brought from Kaskaskia. They stood for about ten years in an aisle 
of the court house and then were placed upon the landing of the 
stair-case. Here they remained until about the year 1878, when the 
deputy circuit clerk tied them in packages and placed them where 
they were found last summer. This disposal of the old French docu- 
uments was soon forgotten ; for when Mr. Mason appeared in Chester 
the next year, he was informed that all had been destroyed except the 
record-book of John Todd, which he says was found in a recejitacle 
for fuel in the county clerk's office. 

You will naturally be interested in learning what proportion of the 
old Kaskaskia records have been preserved. For making such an es- 
timate there exist data of two kinds, neither of which will give exact 
results; but which will yield us some idea how great the loss has 
been. There is in "Record A" of the recorder's office in Belleville a 
copy of a receipt given by the first territorial recorder of St. Clair 
county, William St. Clair, to Francois Carbonneaux of the Virginia 
court at Kaskaskia for the documents deposited by the latter in the 
archives of the recorder of the newly founded territory. The receipt 
is dated at Kaskaskia, June 12. 1790. In it, St. Clair describes six 
record-books, all of them more or less mutilated, and four bundles of 
papers entitled "Papier Terrier," and 1308 bills of sales. 

I'nfortunately St. Clair limited himself to the external appearance 
of the record-books without describing their contents, At Chester 
there were found three registers ; but, since hard usage during the last 
century has left the books in a worse condition than when delivered 
to the United States government, I have been able to identify only 
one with any described by St. Clair. Whether the other two are 
remains of the books noted in his receipt, I have no means of telling. 
Of the four bundles of "Papier Terrier", which were lists of the land- 
holdings on the royal domain drawn np in the fourth decade of the 
eighteenth century, only a few sheets have been preserved. Judging 
from the number of sales in the collection it is probable that very few 
of them have been lost. 

The second data make it possible to estimate the number of docu- 
ments that were originally deposited in the archives of Illinois during 
the eighteenth century, from which we may -judge what proportion 
has been preserved. One of the books of record found in Chester is a 
series of indices of notarial acts drawn up at different periods. The 
earliest list is alphabetical and covers the years from 1 120 to 1756: but 
since many pages have been lost from the indices of the earliest 
notaries in Illinois, we must base our estimate upon that of Bertlor 
Barrois for the years 1787 to 1756, which has been preserved in its 
entirety. He has indexed for these years 2029 instruments, either 
redacted by himself or deposited in his bureau by others. This gives, 


an average of lOH a year. Since very few acts were drawn up in 1720 
and 1721, I shall reckon from the year 1722. If the average of 106 
was maintained from 1722 to 1790, there were 7208 notarial acts 
redacted during those years. 

- Two serious objections may be made to this estimate. The years 
from 1737 to 1756 were the most prosperous in the history of the 
eighteenth century, so that such a high average for this kind of docu- 
ment could not have been maintained throughout the period. The 
second objection is that the index includes only notarial instruments 
and leaves out court records, depositions, papers drawn up by other 
officials, letters of instruction, othcial correspondence, etc. Possibly 
these two errors may approximately ott'set each other; but I believe 
my total is too small rather than the reverse. 

Another j)art of the index is of a somewhat diJTerent character; for 
it contains a list of papers, received by the clerk of the court, arranged 
by years. In this case the clerk has not separated his duties as notary 
and clerk, so that the index includes papers of all kinds. Only a few 
years of the record have been preserved; but, since these represent 
different periods, we have data upon which to base an average. By 
years the number of acts is: 1737, ISO acts; 1752, 105 acts; 1758, 72 
acts; 1783, 85 acts; 1784, 82 acts. This gives an average of 105 acts 
each year, which is only one less than the number obtained from the 
other data. Since this number does not include the official corres- 
pondence of commandants and judges, or military papers of any kind, 
or all the documents drawn up by the numerous officials of the govern- 
ments, we must conclude that our estimate is too low and that the 
total number was over 8000. Since the papers discovered in Chester 
will not exceed 3000, between 60 and 70 per cent of the Kaskaskia 
papers have been lost. 

Although I have not as yet made a careful study of these papers, it 
is possible to indicate their character. The great majority of them 
are notarial minutes of instruments drawn up in Fort de Chartres or 
Kaskaskia. They are almost all in the French language and follow 
the formulae of the French law. The royal French notary was a far 
more important official than the notary public of English law, for his 
acts had all the legal force of a judgment of an American court. In 
all affairs of life he was as frequently present as the parish priest. 
He. in fact, plays the counterpart in civil life to that of the priest in 
ecclesiastical. Like the latter he participates in marriages and is 
found almost as frequently at the side of the dying. His assistance 
is required at the formation of partnerships, at the loan of money, 
at the return of the same, for drawing up leases, at the settlement of 
estates, at the taking of inventories, at auctions, at all contracts, 
whether for the delivery of goods or for labor, including apprentice- 
ship. Thus his points of contact with the business and social com- 
munities in which he moved were almost limitless and his was one of 
the most familiar figures in any French town or village. In the 
Kaskaskia collection are examples of almost every kind of act drawn 
up by these officials. 

No great addition to the sum of our knowledge of Illinois history 
has been made by the finding of hundreds of such documents as 


these. Relatively little is to be made out of their tiresome repetition 
of, "Before the royal notary in the Illinois". Still they are not to be 
neglected; for careful study will reveal much. Their information in 
regard to family histories and business methods, about the whole 
business and social life of these Frenchmen, is by no means small. 

The notarial instruments, although the most numerous, are by no 
means the most important. The palm must be given to the court re- 
cords, whether in books or loose papers. With the aid of these, and 
they are most numerous, the changing forms of government in this 
region may be traced as has never been done up to this time. Among 
the papers are many petitions for justice and for the assignment of 
land dating from all periods of the eighteenth century. There are 
also depositions before various magistrates, reports of trials and re- 
ports of the final execution of the decisions of the court. There are 
twenty pages of a record of the sessions of the court under the French 
regime, very fragmentary in character; for so many pages have been 
lost. The first record is of a session in the year 1787, the last of 
one in 17<i5. For the English period, there is no similar document ; 
for whatever court records have been spared by time were carried 
away years ago. There is evidence that the Virginia court founded 
by John Todd at Kaskaskia found difficulty in supplying its clerk with 
blank books; for the records of the sessions of the court are found 
scattered on loose sheets and the blank pages of registers kept by 
previous clerks; but there is nothing among the Kaskaskia papers for 
the Virginia period comparable to the full record of the Cahokia 
court preserved at Belleville. 

Another class of papers corresponds to the books kept by our re- 
corders. They contain the registry of promissory notes, donations, 
agreements of all kinds, occasionally an ordinance or proclamation, 
letters of instruction, and action taken by the community. For the 
French period there is a record book in which were kept the registry 
of the appointment of guardians for minors and of the renunciation 
of community of goods by wives or widows. The book contains 68 
pages; but only 82 were used by the French court, the remainder 
being utilized by a clerk of the Virginia court as a record of deeds. 
The best preserved of this class of books is the one kept during the 
English period. There were originally 444 pages in it, but 41 are 
now missing. It contains copies of many documents of the previous 
period, as well as newly redacted acts. Some of these latter are in 
English, but most of them in French. 

Still another class of papers is formed by letters, generally, written to 
the magistrates in reference to legal matters ; V)ut they are not all of this 
character. The number from the French period is very small, from 
the British and later periods much larger. There are several letters 
from the Spanish commandant in St. Louis to the British commander 
and later to the Virginia justices of the peace. 

The last class of documents can only be called miscellaneous. It 
is impossible to make any general statement in regard to their gener- 
al character: but some of them are the most interesting and valuable 
papers of the collection. I call your attention to the earliest election 
returns in the Northwest. It is the announcement of the election of 


two justices of the peace in May, 1779, at Prairie du Rocher. An- 
other is a combined voting list and ballot used in the election of 1781 
at Kaskaskia. There were 10 candidates and 27 voters. There is also 
the paper containing the oath taken by the people of Vincennes on 
July 24th, 1778, renouncing their allegiance to George III and taking 
oath to Virginia. 180 signed this paper, the great majority of them 
making their mark. A paper from the British period is perhaps the 
most interesting of all for it is a draft of a civil government for Illinois 
with certain popular 'elements. The i^aper has neither date, place 
nor signature, but evidently emanated from the military government 
about the year 177H. 

From the description you see that the papers are for the most part 
private papers, such as contracts, deeds, etc., with a large number of 
court documents of all kinds with a smaller number of dociTments 
issuing from the administrative officers of the government. To the 
layman such a collection might well appear as curious but hardly of 
much historical value. But the historian sees in them valuable monu- 
ments of the past, true remains of past society. From these may be 
reconstructed the i^olitical, social and economic structure of the com- 
munity from which they have come. They are for him what the foot- 
prints and bones of extinct animals in the strata of rocks are to the 
paleontologist. From the Kaskaskia papers, therefore, we may hope 
to follow the changing fate of these French settlements of the Missis- 
sipi valley year by year, as has never been done up to the present 

Such are the Kaskaskia papers. Their recovery must be regarded 
as an important event %n the history of Illinois historical studies, 
since they threw light on every period of the eighteenth century. 
But their importance must not be exaggerated ; interesting as they are, 
as records of a romantic period of our past; for, in reading the crabb- 
ed hand-writing of these earliest documents of the Northwest, the 
historian cannot but feel that his enthusiasm is akin to that of the 
antiquarian; for from these French settlers did not spring the forces 
that have made Illinois one of the great states of our union. Our true 
history begins with the coming of the Virginians; and in so far as the 
Kaskaskia papers shed light on that event, they are of great histori- 
cal value. Only incidentally are the events connected with the 
names of Boisbriant, D'Artaguiette, and Delaloere Flancour of interest 
to the historian, his interest springing from the love of truth and 
accuracy and his desire to know exactly what did occur before the 
coming of the builders of the states. Not until he reads in these pa- 
pers the names of Thomas Brady, of John Edgar, and Shadrach Bond, 
does he realize that he is studying live forces incarnated in the men 
who assisted in the winning of the West. 




(By George Alexander Dupuy.) 

It was the original purpose of this paper, to give a brief sketch of 
the several courts that have successively exercised jurisdiction over 
the Illinois country, from the date of its settlement down to about 
the year 1825. It was suj)posed at the time the preparation of the 
paper was xmdertaken, that such an one, substantially authentic and 
correct, could be written from the existing printed volumes of Ameri- 
can and Illinois history. It has been ascertained since that this can 
not be done. A large number of ancient French court records and 
other documents, recently discovered at Chester and Belleville by Mr. 
Alvord of the University of Illinois, will throw a new flood of light 
upon the most obscure portion of our Illinois history. Until these 
documents and records, numbering more tlfan three thousand, shall 
have been carefully examined, and their contents understood, it will 
not be possible to treat the subject above proposed, with any sort of 
finality. These original documents, not only contradict in many im- 
portant particulars the histories heretofore written which have been 
considered authentic, but they will supplement and amplify our pre- 
vious real knowledge, to an extent that will be highly gratifying to 
every student of history. Therefore any paper prepared on this 
general topic, before Mr. Alvord shall have completed his task of 
classifying and translating these records, must be considered as some- 
what tentative, and as being subject to revision in important particu- 
lars, The most therefore the present writer can do, is to give the 
information furnished by those who have previously written, supple- 
mented and corrected to a limited extent, by knowledge derived from 
a very limited examination of the contents of these papers. 

I am sure that the topic itself can not be lacking in interest to stu- 
dents of early Illinois history, and especially to members of the legal 
profession. Every student of law or history, w^ho has explored with 
eager interest the beginnings of English jurisprudence, who has 
traced the evolution of the laws, and the development of the judicial 
system of Britain, will be prompted by the same spirit of inquiry to 
examine the beginnings of the judicial tribmials of our own State; 
not merely of our own State as it exists today, for the term Illinois 
in the earlier period of our history had reference to a portion of the 




province of New France that was greater in territorial extent and 
natural resources than the France of Louis XV — .that extended 
from Lake Superior to Louisiana and from the Ohio river to an unde- 
fined far-otf boundary in the West. 

It is with the courts of this j)rovince that we have to do in the first 
part of this essay. In considering our topic we shall have neither 
time nor space to make any but the briefest reference to the history 
of this country as it existed, first under the French, second under the 
British, third under the Americans. During this long period, reach- 
ing from the first settlement in the last decades of the seventeenth 
century, to the year 1825, it was successively under the dominion of 
these three great peoples. 


Materials for a critical and exact history for the first of these peri- 
ods — the French period — are exceedingly scarce and difficult of 
access. Indeed until Mr. Alvord's recent discovery such materials 
were not supposed to exist in this country. No doubt there are, in 
the monasteries of Quebec and Montreal, in the State archives of 
Canada and France, and in the libraries of Paris, many manuscrij)ts 
and volumes that would yield a rich return of information on this 
subject to one who had the time and opportunity to consult them. 
While the present occasion would be well worthy of an exhaustive 
paper based upon such research, such an undertaking is entirely be- 
yond the limits of my time and opportunities. 

A sketch covering the first part of the French period would be 
more an explanation of the absence of a judicial system than a his- 
tory of any institution that actually existed — for during this period 
there scarcely was in the country such a thing as a court of law. 
The reason for this is not difficult to discover in the history of the 
times. Civil institutions are not established until the need of them 
has been felt, and there was small need of courts among the sparse 
settlements of Frenchmen at Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Fort de Char- 
tres. The i^eople were poor; they had but little in the way of prop- 
erty concerning which controversies could arise; they were of ja 
gentle, quiet, law-abiding disposition; hence, very few crimes were 
committed. They had been reared in a country whose laws were, in 
a large measure, derived from the civil laws of Kome. in which the 
common law and the jury system had no place. They were ardently 
attached to the monarchical form of government, and to the Eoman 
Catholic Church; hence, they were submissive to authority, both in 
matters of civil conduct and of religious faith. They cheerfully 
accepted the laws given to them by the magistrate and priest, and no 
doubt they were glad to be rid of the trouble and perplexity of doing 
their own i^olitical thinking and making their own laws. They were 
of a tyi^e as different as can well be imagined from the stern 
Puritan democrats who, during this same period, were laying the 
foundations of Republican government and civil institutions in New 

—8 H S 


There is no record of any regularly organized court of law existing 
among the French settlers during the first quarter of a century of 
their history. ' There was at Fort Chartres during the latter part of 
this period a small military force, the commandant of whom was the 
head of the government. Such small controversies as arose were 
determined by him or by the village priest. The priest, in conse- 
quence of his close confidential relation to his people, was able, more 
in the character of an adviser than of magistrate, to settle such mis- 
understandings and disputes as arose among his communicants. One 
historian of the period says: 

"The first French settlers of Illinois were deeply imbued with a spirit of 
justice, honesty, charity and other virtues which enabled them to exist nearly 
a century without a court of law. * * * The confidence inspired by the 
priests as the ministers of a supposed infallible church, gave them ample 
authority to settle, without the tardy proceeding's of courts and their attend- 
ant costs, all differences which occasionally disturbed the peace of the colon- 
ists. Justice under these circumstances was dispensed, as in Israel of old, by 
the power of the mind to discriminate between right and wrong." 1 

Besides the " major commandant," as he was styled, who was then 
in chief authority in Fort Chartres or Kaskaskia, there was in each 
of the villages a commandant, as he was termed, who was also the 
captain of the local militia. This officer was elected by the voters of 
the village. He was a personage of much importance in his little 
community and, in addition to his military duties, he exercised judi- 
cial functions corresponding somewhat to those of a modern justice 
of the peace. From his decisions an appeal lay to the major com- 
mandant. The judgments of this latter officer were final except in 
capital cases, in which appeals were cognizable by the Superior Coun- 
cil of Louisiana. This Council, sitting at New Orleans, consisted of 
the intendant, who was styled the "First Judge," and of the King's 
Attorney, the Register of the province, and six principal citizens, all 
of whom were appointed by the King. ^ 

The first regularly organized court of which we have any knowl- 
edge was established in 1722. At that date an act or "regulation" 
was promulgated 

"for the establishment of a provincial council in Illinois to exercise pri- 
mary jurisdiction in matters civil as well as criminal and to direct the affairs 
of the company in that region and its dependencies. The council will consist 
of Sr. de Boisbriant, the Sr. de La Loere, the elder, chief clerk, the 8r. de 
Chassin, store-keeper, and Sr. Perillan, who will at the time be clerk of the 
Council." 3 

The Sr. de Boisbriant was at that time, and during the three years 
succeeding, the commandant at Fort de Chartres. 

This court held sessions for the dispatch of business until 1726, 
when there was established a court which seems to have been some- 
what more strictly a judicial court. This court bore the rather high- 
sounding title of "The Court or Audience of th.e Royal Jurisdiction 
of the Illinois." The specific reasons that called it into existence 

1 Davidson & Stuve, History of Illinois, 212. 

2 Breese, F.arly History of Illuiois, 216. 

3 Canadian Archives, 1904, Appendix K, p. 10. 


are difficult to discover at this time, but they can be easily conjec- 
tured. The population of the colony had grown to a considerable 
extent and was still rapidly increasing. The property interests were 
augmenting, and the necessity of a court in the midst of the people 
was becoming more and more pressing. It was exceedingly tedious, 
difficult and expensive to prosecute appeals from the judgments and 
decisions of the commandant to a hearing before the Superior Coun- 
cil at New Orleans. 

The sessions of this court were held first at Fort Chartres, and a 
little later at Kaskaskia. Notwithstanding the very imposing name 
of the court, it appears to have been extremely simple in its constitu- 
tion. It was held by a single judge without any assistance from the 
military commandant, and without the aid of a jury. He was as- 
sisted, however, by a royal attorney and notary clerk. The judge 
heard the causes, which were submitted either orally, or upon a brief 
petition in writing, and entered his decisions in a record book called 
the ' Register." I cannot forbear to recite here one of these judg- 
ments or decrees of the year 1756, as an illustration of the simplicity 
of procedure and the quaintness of the record. It ran as follows: 

"Between Raymond Brosse, called Saint Cernay, inhabitant of Kaskaskia, 
plaintiff, to the effect that the defendant, Charles Lorain, be made to acknowl- 
edge a note for sixty francs, executed by the deceased, Louis Langlois, and by 
Louise Girardy, his widow, now the wife of Charles Lorain, the aforesaid 
defendant on the other part. The said note being examined, the parties heard 
and all things considered, we condemn the defendant to pay. without delay, 
to the plaintiff the sum of sixty francs (livers), the amount of said note, and 
also the cost of suit, which we have taxed at twenty-eight francs and ten 
cents (sols). Done at New Chartre, in our hearing, we holding court, Satur- 
day, the .5th of June, 1756. Chevallier."* 

Many of these judgments or decrees are to be found in the recently 
discovered record of this court, to which I have already alluded. 
This court remained in existence and continued to hold its sessions 
until the end of the French regime. 

The system of laws which was established not only for the Illinois 
country, but for the whole of New France, was the "Custom of Paris." 
These were the laws under which justice was administered by the 
"Court or Audience of the Royal Jurisdiction of the Illinois" at Kas- 
kaskia and New Chartres. A few words of explanation may be given 
concerning this system of laws. The term "Custom" or "Customs' 
as used in the French laws of this period and of an earlier date, sig- 
nified that body of well known and generally understood usuages that 
prevailed within a given city or province. These "Customs," tech- 
nically so-called, originated in the tenth and eleventh centuries, 
which were periods of the greatest ignorance and intellectual dark- 
ness, as well as of great social violence and disorder. The Roman 
laws, especially the code of Theodosious, had always had much 
authority in all parts of France. This law was freely consulted, 
especially in matters relating to contracts, conditions, titles to prop- 
erty and other fundamental topics, but it is manifest that many new 

* Breese, Early History of Illinois, tVl-tX^ 


laws were needed in such a condition of society as sjjrang up during 
the feudal times. Feudalism, which was then at its height, brought 
in a whole vast social system unknown to the Koman law. The 
Catholic Church, then rapidly dominating all Europe, wrought 
vast changes in the relations of men to each other and to society. In 
the settlement of controversies growing out of these new relations, 
new principles and decisions were necessarily demanded. These 
principals and decisions became the "custom" of the city or province 
in which they were administered. Since at this time the royal in- 
fluence was at its lowest ebb, and the power of the feudal barons was 
at its greatest height, it was most natural that the people of each 
province should make no point of having laws and customs in com- 
mon with other parts of the kingdom. Hence, history mentions the 
Custom of Burgundy, the Custom of Orleans, the Custom of Paris, 
the Custom of Brittany, etc. There were about sixty of these prin- 
cipal Customs in France; and of these, as before stated, the Custom 
of Paris was adopted as the law to govern in the administration of 
justice in the Courts of New France. 

The reason why the Custom of Paris was selected in jDreference to 
any of the others, I have not ascertained. An inquiry as to those 
peculiarities of the Custom of Paris, which distinguished it from the 
other Customs prevailing in the provinces of France, would be an 
interesting topic of research, but it is wholly outside of the scope of 
this paper. It is sufficient to say that the courts of Illinois in set- 
tling the disputes or controversies that arose between the citizens of 
this remote outpost of civilization in the western wilderness, were 
guided by the same laws that dictated the decisions of the judges 
of Louis XV sitting in the royal palaces of justice on the banks of 
the Seine. 


The year 1764 marked a new and wholly distinct epoch in the 
jjolitical history of the Illinois country, and necessarily also in the 
history of its judicial institutions. On the 10th day of October of 
that year, the fleur de lis was lowered for the last time from the 
ramparts of Fort Chartres, and in its place rose the banner of Saint 
George. That day marked the end of the dominion of France in the 
valley of the Mississipi, and the beginning of the domination of the 
Anglo-Saxon. By the terms of the treaty of Paris, all this vast ter- 
ritory east of the river passed over to Great Britain. The disappoint- 
ment and chagrin of the French people of the settlements was in- 
tense. Fully one-third of them, comprising most of the people of 
wealth and prominence, unable to reconcile' themselves to living 
under the rule of the hated English, took all of their portable posses- 
sions and made their way to New Orleans, St. Genevieve, Mobile 
or St Louis. Those who remained were intensely dissatisfied with 
the new order of things. The tranquil and happy state of society 
that had existed under the old regime, was superseded by conditions 
of disquiet and uneasiness. The British government, however, had 
already wisely adopted a course of pacification. General Gage, the 


chief commander of the British forces in North America, issued a 
proclamation, dated at New York, on December 30, 17()4, in which 
such of the French people as still remained were granted the full lib- 
erty of the Catholic religion and the right of an unmolested removal 
of their portable goods to other communities. 

On the 5th day of September, 1768, Lieutenant-Colonel Wilkins 
arrived as commander or governor at Fort Chartres. He brought 
orders for the establishment of a court to have jurisdiction for the 
trial of all controversies between the inhabitants. It is a reasonable 
surmise that between the first taking of possession by the English in 
1764, and the date of Colonel Wilkins' arrival, there had been no 
regular administration of justice by any established court. Further 
research may give us reliable information concerning this. Although 
I have not been able to learn definitely that such was the fact, it is 
fair to presume that the judge or judges of the court of Royal Audi- 
ence went away with the other principal families in the hegira that 
followed the lowering of the ensign of France from the walls of Fort 

By the proclamation of Colonel Wilkins. issued in September, 
1768, there was established a court consisting of seven persons ap- 
pointed by him, as magistrates or judges. These were to sit as a 
civil tribunal and hold monthly terms ot court. The common law of 
England, of which we are so justly proud, and to which all Anglo- 
Saxon peoples are so devotedly attached, took the place of the "Cus- 
tom of Paris." Trial by jury was introduced either then or not very 
long thereafter, and such procedure prevailed as had grown up 
through long centuries of development in the courts of London, 
York and Chester. It is unfortunate that neither the official name of 
this court nor the names of its first judges have been preserved by the 
historians whose writings cover this period. 

Within about three months after the organization of this court, 
namely, on the 6th day of December, 1768, it held its first session for 
the trial of causes at Fort Chartres. In the absence of any detailed 
report of the first sitting of the court, we are left without information 
concerning many things incident thereto which it would be exceed- 
ingly interesting to know. We can, however, easily picture to our 
minds many things connected with this first session. The court must 
necessarily have been held in some of the buildings within the walls 
of the fort, either in the big stone government house, or in the great 
warehouse of the Royal Company of the Indies. The garrison 
soldiers in uniform, the fur traders, coureurs de 6o?'s,and the French 
peasant people from the villages around, undoubtedly made up the 
list of those who were in attendance. As the new magistrates were 
not trained lawyers or experienced judges, we can imagine a degree 
of diffidence marked their proceedings. The first session must surely 
have been very brief, for not more than a very short docket of cases 
could have accumulated in the space of three months. 

For several reasons, this court did not acquire popular esteem. 
The judges, being untrained and selected from the bcdy of the people, 
were not very competent. And then, the people of the country 


greatly preferred their old laws to the English common law Trial 
by jury was intensely unpopular. It was peculiarly unsuited to the 
genius of the French mind. It seemed to these people, as they said, 
the height of absurdity that these English should require them to 
submit their disputes to a nondescript covirt made up of one judge 
and a dozen jurors who were carpenters, shoemakers, artisans and 
other tradespeople, rather than to judges trained for their profession 
and learned in the law.* The clamor against trial by jury later be- 
came so loud that in 1774 parliament restored the ancient French 
laws and dispensed with trials by jury. This was highly gratifying 
to the people of the Illinois country, and had a decided tendency to 
replace discontent with feelings of security and satisfaction, although 
this action of the British parliament — as it might be noted in pass- 
ing — was a cause of alarm and of severe denunciation in the New 
England colonies. Indeed, it was this action of the British parlia- 
ment that led to that ringing indictment of George III in the Decla- 
ration of Independence: 

•'For abolishing- the free system of Eng-lish laws in a neighboring province 
establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundai-ies, 
so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the 
same absolute rule into these colonies." 


The 4th day of July. 1778 marks the beginning of another entirely 
new and distinct epoch in the history of the Illinois country. It was 
on that day that the intrej^id backwoods warrior, George Rogers 
Clark, entered Kaskaskia in triumph and took possession thereof in 
the name of Virginia. His decisive, bloodless campaign ended forever 
the domination of Great Britain and put the country in a way to be- 
come a i^art of the great American commonwealth. 

One of the first acts of Clark was to make provisions for the ad- 
ministration of justice in the newly conquered territory. He relates 
this in his memoirs where he says: 

"I inquired particularly into the manner the people had been governed 
formerly, and much to my satisfaction (I found) that it had been generally as 
severe as under the militia law. I was determined to make an advantage of 
it, and took every step in my power to cause the people to feel the blessings 
enjoyed by an American citizen, which I soon discovered enabled me to sup- 
port, from their own choice, almost a' supreme authority over them. I caused 
a court of civil jurisdiction to be established at Cahokia. elected by the 
people. Major Bowman to the surprise of the people held a pole for a mag- 
istracy, and was elected and acted as judge of the coui-t (manuscript here 
eligible). After this similar courts were established, in the towns of Kas- 
kaskia and St. Vincent. There was an appeal to myself in certain cases, and 
I believe that no people ever had their business done more to their satisfac- 
tion, than they had through the means of these regulations for a considerable 

* Mr. Alvord is of the opinion that trials by jury did not prevail under the English. He 
savs: ' "This ceurt did not introduce trial by jiiry as has been stated" (by other writers). Also 
"The trials (by this court) were held without jury." The first record he finds of trial by jury 
■was in 1780. 


This court was in session as early as November 2, 177S— four 
months after Clark's arrival. Some of the records of its proceedings 
are still extant. In them it is designated as "Court of the Commit- 
tee of Cahos" (Cahokia). These records show that it exercised 
jurisdiction both civil and criminal. Major Bowman was president 
of the court and Lieutenant Perrault was vice-president. The court 
consisted of seven judges, as had been the case with the preceding 
court established by Colonel Wilkins. At one time these judges 
were Langlois, Gratiot. Girardin, Granot, Beaulieu and Captains 
Trottier and Turanjeau. 

In October, 1778, the Virginia Assembly erected this territory into 
the "County of Illinois"" and required the election of officers "for the 
preservation of peace and the administration of justice" such as the 
inhabitants were accustomed to. A few months later, on December 
12 of the same year, Governor Patrick Henry appointed Colonel John 
Todd commandant of the county. It appears that Todd established 
a court on the model of the courts in other counties of Virginia. This 
court consisted of the County Lieutenant and the justices of the 
peace of the county. Colonel Todd spent but little time in the coun- 
ty. He was killed at the battle of Blue Licks in Kentucky in 1782. 
This court continued until 1790, 


On March 1, 1784, Virginia ceded this territory to the United 
States, and in 1787 Congress passed an Act for the government of 
this territory. This Act was the famous "Ordinance of 1787'' so of- 
ten referred to in our history. In establishing a scheme of govern- 
ment for the territory northwest of the Ohio river, it provided for the 
appointment of three judges, with common law jurisdiction, and es- 
tablished the right of trial by jury. This ordinance exjjressly saved 
to the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, St. Vincents and the neigh- 
boring villages, who had theretofore professed themselves citizens of 
Virginia, their laws and customs theretofore in force among them re- 
lating to the descent and conveyance of property. It also vested 
legislative power in the governor and judges, and provided that 
such laws as they enacted should be in force until such time as the 
legislature should be organized, unless sooner disapproved by Con- 
gress. The governor and judges were to adopt and publish "such 
laws of the original states, criminal and civil, as may be necessary 
and best suited to the circumstances of the districts." 

On October 5, 1787, General Arthur St. Clair was selected by Con- 
gress as governor of this northwest territory. Shortly afterwards, 
Samuel Holden Parsons, James Mitchell Varnum and John Cleaves 
Symmes were made judges of the court provided for in this ordinance. 
In the summer of 1788, the governor and these judges met at Mari- 
etta, within the presnt State of Ohio, then the seat of government of 
the county of Illinois, and adopted a system of laws for the govern- 
ment of the territory. Inasmuch as no prisons or jails had yet been 
erected, the punishments provided in their criminal code were decid- 
edly summary. Death was inflicted for murder, treason and (in some 


cases) for arson. Whipping, stocks and pillory were brought into 
frequent requisition. For non,payment of fines the sheriff might 
bind out the culprit for a term of years. I have not been able to 
learn whether this court held sessions at any place except Marietta; 
certain it is. no sessions thereof were ever held within the present 
boundaries of Illinois. 

This period, extending from 1787 to 1790, was emphatically a period 
of transition, the going over from one system to another, and the un- 
certainty and inconvenience of it were felt nowhere so greatly as in 
Kaskaskia and vicinity — these settlements being the most remote 
from the seat of government. In Kaskaskia and the adjacent villages 
through a period of several years the civil courts of law held only 
irregular sessions, if any, and no civil government worthy of mention 
existed. Not only was this so, but it was very uncertain what laws 
were to be regarded as in force. The English had in 17H8 introduced 
the common law. Then in 1774 the English parliament had restored 
the ''Custom of Paris," as the law of the country. Then the ordinance 
of 1787 re-established the common law — with certain exceptions. 
All this within the space of a few years left the law and the means of 
its administration in the Illinois country in a state of great confusion. 

February, 1790, is the beginning of another era in the judicial 
history of Illinois. On that date Governor St. Clair arrived at Kas- 
kaskia and proceeded to organize a county which embraced all the 
territory of our state as it now exists, lying south of the mouth of the 
little Mackinaw creek and the Illinois river. This county, as we all 
know, was named for the governor. It was divided into three judicial 
districts and a court, with was known as the Court of Common Pleas, 
was established in each of these districts. Three judges were appoint- 
ed, namely. John Edgar, of Kaskaskia; Jean Baptiste Barbeau, of 
Prairie du Rocher, and John de Moulin, of Cahokia. A term of court 
was to be held every three months, and so it came aboiit that the 
court acquired the popular appellation of "court of quarter sessions." 

In addition to these courts, justices of the peace were appointed at 
convenient places in various portions of the county, with a jurisdiction 
limited to $20.00. An appeal lay from their judgments to the com- 
mon pleas court. Jury trials were discountenanced before justices. 
It would seem that more of these petty magistrates should have been 
provided, as distances were so great. One instance is related by one 
of the historians of the time, of a case where, on account of the dis- 
tance between the places of residence of the litigants and the place of 
the sitting of the court, the sheriff's fees and mileage amounted to 
$900. while the amount of judgment was but $16. 

I am sure that everything pertaining to these courts, and to the 
judges who presided over them, has a peculiar interest for us. They 
are the connecting links in our history between the old order of things 
and the jiidicial institutions of the present epoch. Beyond them 
everything is vague and uncertain, lost in the obscurity of a long- 
gone past. From their time on, we are not lacking in complete in- 
formation. Many men who were the immediate successors of the 
judges of these courts have been alive and active until very recent 
times. Several of these, as Reynolds, Ford, Breese, and others, have 


left us written records of subsequent times in which they lived. 
These older judges were themselves at once a part of the old regime, 
and a part of the new. With the beginnings of this court the com- 
mon law had tinally overthrown the civil law and the Custom of Paris. 
The ages-old customs of the Enlish people had finally supplanted the 
system of usages that grew up among the inhabitants of Burgundy and 
Paris. But the names of Barbeau and de Moulin tell us unmis- 
takably that these two judges were of French, not of English origin. 

The peculiar interest with which these new courts and their first 
judges are invested justifies a moment's notice of these men. We re- 
call them, not because they were giants in law or jurisprudence, as 
were Blackstone and Mansfield, Marshall, and Story, but because they 
dwelt both in the twilight of a dying and retreating civilization, and 
also in the dawn of a newer and greater; because they lived in a ro- 
mantic, formative j)eriod in the history of our beloved state, the an- 
nals of whose institutions we love to study and whose traditions we 
love to perpetuate. 

John de Moulin, of Cahokia, justice of the common pleas court for 
the Cahokia district, was a native of Switzerland. He came from 
Canada to Cahokia shortly before the time of his appointment. His 
talents and personality were such as to make him immediately popu- 
lar. In personal appearance he was handsome and commanding. 
His education was liberal, as he was well versed in classic learning, 
and was a lawyer possessing a respectable knowledge of the civil law. 
He was a trained military commander and was soon elected colonel of 
the militia of the county. He was a great figure on parade days, as 
in a handsome uniform, in which he took great i3ride, he reviewed his 
troops. He was an active and successful dealer in lands and acquired 
quite a fortune for his time. He was for during years a justice of 
the peace, jjrobate judge and judge of the court of quarter sessions. 
His death occurred in 1808. 

General Edgar, another of the common pleas judges, residing in 
Kaskaskia. was an Irishman by birth. He left the naval service of 
Great Britain at the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, and arrived at 
Kaskaskia in 1784. He subsequently lived there nearly half a cen- 
tury, dying at the same place in 18-32. He was a stalwart character 
in th'at frontier community. Large and portly in person, easy, 
gracious and accomplished in manner, open-hearted and generous in 
disposition, with the largest wealth of any resident of the country, 
living in a handsome mansion, his home the center of whatever there 
was of fashionable life in the region — he was easily the most con- 
spicuous man of the community. Like his colleague, de Moulin, he 
was a long justice of the peace, probate judge and finally one of the 
first judges of the newly established common pleas court. 

Of the third judge, Jean Baptist Barbeau, I have not been able to 
learn much. One historian says he was of the original French-Cana- 
dian stock long settled in the Illinois, of fair business talent, and of 
extensive experience. 


Jean Francis Perry, a lawj-er from Lyons, France, a man of exten- 
sive and. varied acquirements, with an interesting and eventful his- 
tory, long a resident of Prairie du Pont, shortly afterwards became a 
judge of the court and served as siich many years. 

The writer of this paper has examined the records of this court, a 
part of which at least are still preserved in the courthouse at Belle- 
ville. Mr. Alvord ^ has fully described these. 


In the spring of 1800 another mutation was at hand. By act of 
May 7, of that year, the extensive Northwest Territory was divided. 
The western portion of it, comprising the jjresent States of Illinois, 
Wisconsin and Indiana, was constituted the Indiana territory. The 
principal reason for this action was the great extent of the region. 
The congressional committee reported that in the two counties of 
Illinois, viz.. Randolph and St. Clair, there had been held in five 
years only one term of a court which had jurisdiction to try criminal 

On the 18th of May, 1800, General "William Henry Harrison was 
appointed Grovernor of Indiana Territory, thus superseding General 
St. Clair as the chief executive. At the same time William Clark, 
John Griffin and Henry Vanderburgh were appointed territorial 
judges. The governor and judges, as under the ordinance of 1787, 
possessed legislative powers. 

In January. 1801, the governor convened the judges, to take action 
for the adoption of "such laws as the exigency of the times" required. 
Among laws which they adopted at this time was one which estab- 
lished courts of quarter sessions of the peace in the Illinois counties 
of St. Clair and Randolph. Shortly afterward, on the 3rd day of 
March, 1801, a general term of court for the Indiana Territory was 
held by the three judges — doubtless sitting at Vincennes, then the 
Territorial seat of Government. ^ 


The year 1809 marks another imi^ortant date in the judicial as 
well as the general political history of Illinois. By an act of Con- 
gress of February 3rd of that year, the Indiana Territory was divided 
and the western portion of it became the Territory of Illinois. This 
effected another complete change in the courts of the country. Alex- 
ander Stuart. Obadiah Jones and Jesse Burger Thomas were ap- 
pointed judges. Xinian Edwards, who prior to that time had been 
chief justice of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, was appointed 
governor of the new Illinois Territory by President Madison. His 
commission bore date April 21, 1809. On the 11th day of June, Gov- 
ernor Edwards assumed the duties of his ofiice. One of his earliest 
acts was to convene a meeting of the judges, for the adoption of a 
code of laws for the government of the said territory. The governor 

1 Alvord, Illinois in Eighteenth Century, Bulletin 111. St. Hist. Lib., Series 1| No, 1. 

2 Davidson & Stuve, History of Illinois. 


and the judges were empowered by the fifth section of Ordinance of 
1787, as we have already seen, to adopt such a code. At this meet- 
ing were present the governor and Judges Stuart and Thomas, the 
latter having but recently returned from Washington. They re- 
enacted or re-adopted for the most part the laws of the Indiana Ter- 
ritory, which had been in force prior to the separation. Many of 
these laws were the same that had been adopted by the judges of the 
Northwest Territory, from the codes of the older states. The com- 
mon law of England was put in force in said territory by article 2 of 
the Ordinance of 1787, and the same, of course, has remained in force 
until the present day, except as repealed or modified by legislative 
enactment. The act creating Illinois Territory provided that all 
suits pending in any of the courts in Illinois, and certain suits pend- 
ing before the general court at Vincennes, should proceed to final 
judgment or decree, the same as though said territory had not been 
divided.' I have not been able to find any specific reference to the 
judicial labors of these judges. 

In the year 1814 the territorial legislature had under consideration 
an act for the creation of a Supreme Court for the territory, doubt- 
less on somewhat the same model as that of our present Supreme 
Court. The territorial judges were greatly opposed to this act, in- 
sisting to the legislature that it had no power to create such a court. 
Their argument was that the Federal court, of which they were the 
judges, was created by the Supreme authority of the United States 
Congress, and that the territorial legislature, which possessed only 
subordinate and derivative authority, had no power to pass such an 
act, because it would, in effect, nullify a law of Congress, and legis- 
late the Federal court out of existence. The argument seemed so 
conclusive, that the legislature took no action at the time except to 
refer the matter to Congress, together with Governor Edwards' argu- 
ment in answer to the judges. 

In 1815 Congress enacted further legislation in relation to the 
United States judiciary in Illinois.- This act divided the Illinois 
Territory into three separate circuits. At this time there were six 
counties in the territory. Madison and St. Clair counties constituted 
the first circuit; Randolph and Johnson the second; aiid Gallatin 
and Edwards the third. 

Governor Palmer says that the annals of Illinois Territory furnish 
no account of Obadiah Jones, appointed by the President one of 
these judges, March 7, 1809. It is doubtful whether he accepted the 
place or performed any of its duties. I infer that Judge Sprigg 
must have been appointed his successor early in 1809. 

Judge Stuart remained on the Illinios bench but a short time, 
when he was appointed to a judicial position in Missouri; but it now 
appears from the recently discovered records, that he signed all the 
laws adopted by the governor and judges, between July, 1809, and 
March, 1810. On March 6, 1810, he was succeeded in office by Stan- 
ley Griswold, of whom Governor Reynolds says: 

1 Hurd Revised Siaitttes of Illinois, 1903, p. 25. 

2 VsAmGX Bench and Bar oj Illinois, Vol. 1, pp. 10- 11. 


" He was a correct, honest man — a good lawyer — paid his debts and sung 
David's psalms." 

Jesse B. Thomas, one of the first Illinois Territorial Judges, was 
very much more of a character than his associates. He was born in 
Maryland and was reputed to be a lineal descendant of Lord Balti- 
more. He was an able, energetic and ambitious man. He was, how- 
ever, throughout life, much more of a politican than a lawyer or 
judge. His political methods would do credit to the most astute 
politicians of the present day. This is illustrated by one incident in 
his career. At the time of the separation of Illinois from Indiana 
was being mooted, Indiana was exceedingly opposed to the division, 
while the Illinois portion of the territory greatly favored it. Thomas 
was a member of the Territorial Assembly of Indiana and Speaker of 
the House. He was exceedingly anxious to go to Congress. In con- 
sideration that the Illinois members would work for his election, he 
made profuse ijromises and finally gave a written bond that he would 
procure a dii^sion of the territory. So hateful was his conduct to 
his own Indiana constituents, that he was hung in effigy in Vin- 
cennes. He was, however, elected by a majority of one (including his 
cwTi vote). He discharged the condition of his bond, as well as re- 
deemed his promises, and procured the passage of an act of Congress 
for the division of the territory. He returned with a commission 
as one of the judges for Illinois Territory, and took up his residence 
in Kaskaskia. He afterward lived in Cahokia and later in Edwards- 
ville. He was one of the first two United States Senators from the 
State of Illinois, and was the author of the famous legislation known 
as the Missouri Compromise. He was also chairman of the conven- 
tion that adopted the Illinois Constitution of 1818. 


The next distinct period in the history of the courts of Illinois 
begins with its statehood. On April 15, 1818, Congress passed an 
act "to enable the people of Illinois Territory to form a constitution 
and state government, and for the admission of such states into the 
Union on an equal footing with the original states." This act, among 
other things, provided for the election of thirty-three delegates to a 
convention to be held at Kaskaskia on the first Monday of the suc- 
ceeding August. All white male persons who were over the age of 
twenty-one years, and. who had resided in the territory six months 
prior to the day of election, were to be privileged to vote. There 
were at that time fifteen counties in the territory. Two delegates 
were apportioned to each of the counties of Bond. Monroe, Randolph, 
Jackson, Johnson, Pope, White, Edwards, Crawford, Union, Wash- 
ington and Franklin, while the counties of Madison, St. Clair and 
Gallatin had three representatives each. 

This convention accordingly met and on the 2Hth day of August 
passed an ordinance accepting the terms of admission imposed by 
the act of Congress. This convention proceeded promj)tly with the 


labor of forming a constitution for the new state, and on the 26th day 
of the same month in which it met finished the task and adopted 
the first constitution for the government of the new state. 

By this instrument radical changes were made in the courts. It 
provided that the judicial powers should be vested in one Supreme 
Court and such inferior courts as the General Assembly should estab- 
lish. The Supreme Court was to consist of a chief justice and three 
associate justices. These were to be elected by joint ballot of the 
two houses of the General Assembly, and were to hold office during 
good behavior, until the end of the session of the General Assembly 
to be held in 1824. Until this time they were to hold the circuit 
courts in the several counties; after 1824 the judges of the Supreme 
Court were to hold office during good behavior — which, in practical 
effect, meant for life— but were not further to hold circuit court. In 
the interest of strict economy and the protection of the people 
against the possible reckless extravagance of an incompetent or dis- 
honest General Assembly, their salaries were fixed at the sum of 
$1,000 per annum, payable quarterly. The constitution, however, did 
not hold out a word of hope, for it provided that after 1824 these 
judges should have a "competent and adequate salary" — to be fixed 
by the General Assembly. 

The whole subject of the establishment of circuit courts and other 
inferior courts was left by the constitution to the General Assembly. 
The first session of the General Assembly of Illinois began October 
5, 1818, only five or six weeks after the adjournment of the constitu- 
tional convention. It was held at Kaskaskia, which was still the 
seat of government, and was probably still the largest town in the 
territory. Upon joint ballot of the two houses, Joseph Phillips was 
elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the first ballot. John 
Reynolds, William P. Foster and Thomas C. Browne were elected 
Associate Justices. 

All of the early historians of Illinois who have written concerning 
these men agree that the selection of Judge Phillips was an excellent 
one. He was a lawyer of superior attainments and a man of aiarked 
intellectual ability. From the history of nearly all of the judges of 
this period, it is painfully evident that the excellent doctrine now, 
happily, largely prevalent in the state and especially in Cook county 
- that judges should keep out of politics— did not then prevail, for 
on July 4, 1822. less than four years after his appointment. Judge 
Phillips resigned as Chief Justice by reason of his being a candidate 
for governor. Judge Scott says, writing on this subject: 

••Office seekincr seems to have been a mania of that period, and became a 
mad passion with all professional men— lawyers, doctors and even ministers 
became attracted with the maelstrom of politics " 

The historian might well have added that the judges were no less 
guilty than the others named. 

On the :31st day of August 1822, Judge Phillips was succeeded by 
Thomas Reynolds, who appears to have been one of the masterful 
spirits of his time in this new west. He was a Kentuckian by birth, 
and at the time of his elevation to the highest judicial position in 


Illinois was only twenty-six years old. And, although so young, he 
had already filled the office of Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives of the General Assembly. He failed of reappointment in 1825 
and soon after removed to Missouri. In 1840 he became governor of 
that state, and, except for his untimely death, would almost certainly 
have been a member of the United States Senate. 

The Associate Justices Browne, Foster and John Reynolds, were 
men of widely different types and personalities. Foster appears to 
have been purely a political adventurer. Of polished manners, insin- 
uating address, unscrupulous character but unbounded assurance, he 
came a stranger to Illinois, and in the course of a few weeks, so 
worked himself into favor with the members of the General Assem- 
bly that he captured one of the highest judicial offices in the state, a 
place for which he was totally unfit, either by training or character. 
He had never studied law and had been a citizen of the state only 
about three weeks when he was elected. ^ The only judicial service 
he ever rendered to Illinois was to remain off the bench — and to 
draw his salary for a year. He never took his seat as a member of 
the court, and at the end of a year he resigned and left the country. 
His subsequent life appears to have been that of a migratory 

Judge Brown is reputed to have been a man of strict integrity and 
of decided i^ersonal worth. He was not regarded as a lawj^er either 
of great attainments or of much ability. As to the value of his judi- 
cial services, there seems to have been a great difference of opinion. 
He was just and impartial in the administration of the laws; at the 
same time, he was sometimes considered incompetent. An unsuc- 
cessful attempt to remove him from office, for want of capacity to 
discharge its duties, was made in 1843. He succeeded in being re- 
elected in 1825 and held the office until the Constitution of 1848 
went into effect. Governor Palmer says of him that: 

"He delivered no opinion upon any important subject and did no act 
worthj'^ of being- remembered. Though a member of the council of revision, 
he did nothing- for the reform of the lav? or the improvement of the stat- 
utes." 2 

John Reynolds, the third member of the first Supreme bench, was 
familiarly known to those of his times as the "Old Ranger." He 
came to Illinois in 1800. and in 1812, at the age of twenty-four, was 
admitted to practice by the judges of the Territorial Court. He was 
a persistent office seeker and was well up in the arts of the politi- 
cians of his time. He failed of re-election in 1825. He, however, 
engaged ardently in politics and in 1880 was made governor of the 

The General Assembly in 1825 elected William Wilson, ChieffJus- 
tice, and Samuel D. Lockwood and Theophilus W. Smith, and 
re-elected Thomas C. Browne, Associate Justices. 

1 borci's History of lUhiots, p. 2) 

2 1 Bench and Bar of Illinois, p. 15. 


It is with feeliiiors of relief that we turn aside froui the dismal 
stories of unworthy political ambitions and disgraceful political in- 
trigues on the part of too many judges of the time, to contemplate 
for a moment the pure, disinterested and altogether admirable char- 
acter of the new Chief Justice Wilson. A self-made man who had 
come up through struggle and adversity, a man of purest character, 
of highest ideals, of real professional instinct, a lawyer and a judge 
and that only, as ignorant and innocent of political arts as a child, he 
came to his high ofRct^ January 19. 1825, and for a period of some 
thirty years he discharged the duties of Justice of the Supreme Court 
with singular conscientiousness, fidelity and ability. 

Associate Justice Lockwood was another man who was, in many 
ways, a worthy associate of Chief Justice Wilson. A lawyer by learn- 
ing and by instinct, of great mental strength, of restless, untiring 
energy, he did more than any or all the other judges and lawyers of 
his time to bring into an intelligent and connected system the jumble 
of laws that had prevailed in Illinois through the territorial period. 
It is said that he is chiefly responsible for our Criminal Code, drafted 
by him while a member of the Council of Revision of our laws. 
Although the provisions for punishment by whipping, pillory, stocks 
and other similar methods have been eliminated from the code as it 
left his hands, the definitions of crimes as therein contained are so 
felicitous and accurate, that but few changes have ever been made. 

If of Judge Smith, the other member of the court as constituted in 
1825, we were not required to speak, it would be a relief. He be- 
longed to the other type, so prevalent in his time. One of the writers 
of this period, who knew him well personally, says he was an "active, 
bustling, ambitious, turbulent" politician. "He never lacked a plot 
to advance himself or to blow up others." ^ An unsuccessful attempt 
was made in 1833 to remove him from office, one of the charges being 
his arbitrary suspension from practice of an attorney who had taken 
a change of venue from his court, another being his imprisonment 
for contempt of a Quaker who, through conscientious scruples, had 
declined to remove his hat while in court. Judge Smith resigned 
his seat in 1842 and died in 1846. 

This completes our survey of the courts of Illinois down to the 
year 1825, the limit set for the scope of this paper. No judges of 
the Circuit Court had been elected prior to that time, and hence 
nothing will be said here in regard to those courts, or can be here 
said of the judges who presided over them. 

By the year 1825 the population of the new state had very greatly 
increased. Immigrants came in great numbers and scattered them- 
selves all over the rich prairies of Illinois. These floods of immigra- 
tion poured in from the south, mostly from Kentucky, the Carolinas 
and Tennessee. The immigrants were a hardy, intrepid, self-reliant, 
utterly fearless race of people, sometimes turbulent, plain in dress 
and manners, not well educated, but possessing elements of great 
strength and a real respect for law and order. Some very graphic 

1 Ford's History ot Illinois, p. 220. 


pictures have been left to us of what might have been seen in a ses- 
sion of one of the circuit courts of that time. I have before me such 
a description of the first term of the Circuit Court held in Mont- 
gomery county, the county in which the writer spent his boyhood 
days. Judge Reynolds, afterward the governor of the state, presided. 
The clerk of the court made his home with one of the farmers in the 
vicinity of the present city of Hillsboro. in a house consisting of two 
rooms. In one of these rooms the first court was held. The judge 
sat upon the side of the bed and impannelled the first grand jury, 
which, being duly sworn in, retired to the adjacent woods, where the 
jurors sat upon a log and made their investigation of the lawlessness 
of the county. After mature deliberation they presented to the court 
that they had no indictments to return, and they were discharged 
from further labors, "with the thanks of the court for the efiicient 
and fearless manner in which they had discharged their duties." 
There were three cases on the docket at that term of court. 

It has recently been stated in one of the great magazines of the 
country that the first courthouse in the city of Springfield was built 
of logs, consisted of two rooms, and cost the sum of $62.75. The 
same style of architecture jjrevailed in the erection of courthouses 
throughout all this great new republic. The appearance of the 
judges, and the manners of the jury, were what would at this time be 
considered very uncouth, but it should not be supposed that there 
was not among these people a deep-seated reverence for the law, and 
for the method of its administration by the courts created by the 
independent liberty-loving citizenship of the state. 



(By Newton D. Harris.) 

In 1744 a young French officer at New Orleans wrote to a friend in 
Paris: ''The country of Illinois is full of mountains, from which they 
get stones for building houses. There are iron and lead mines among 
the Illinois. They make salt in earthen kettles, and get water for it out 
of the neighboring lakes which are salt.'" 

This statement sounds as astounding and j)reposterous to us now, 
as the person who, writing to the ''Alton (Observer" under date of 
August 17, 1837, said: ''There are among us, chietly between Alton 
and Chester, several hundred slaves, held in perpetual and absolute 
servitude in the same manner, so far as I know, that they are held in 
the south." 

Yet there are large elements of truth in both communications. 
The first refers clearly to those two early industries of the state — the 
mines near Galena and the salt works near Shawneetown — which 
more than anything else gave cause at first for the bringing of the 
negroes into Illinois. The second describes with a fair amount of ac- 
curacy the system of ''indentured servants," then so largely practiced 
in the state in spite of the ordinance of 1787, and what was supposed 
to be the law of the land 

In 1719 when Philip Renault came from France to promote the 
mining industry in the Illinois country, he brought with him 500 
negroes purchased at San Domingo. During the next two years 1,500 
more were landed in Mobile bay; and, although the upper Mississippi 
district did not profit by the slave trade (pursued with so much industry 
by the Dutch, the English, and even by the American colonists 
themselves) as the southern colonies, the number of negroes in the 
Illinois country steadily increased until there were over 900. This 
was in 1763. 

After the English assumed control in the west, the negro popula- 
tion decreased considerably owing to the removal of many French 
families. Another decrease occurred inniiediatly following the pass- 
age of the ordinance of 1787, but by 1800 the introduction of negroes 
was resumed and steadily practiced until the United States census 
showed in 1820 that the number had reached 749. 

The French slaves were a happy and contented people. Their 
masters were kind and lenient. Along with the white children the 
colored servants were taught the catechism; and no labor was required 
of them on Sundays, or on the many holidays of the church. 

— 4 H S 


They were not allowed to marry, to hold property, or to meet in 
public gatherings without the master's consent; but the torturing of 
slaves was forbidden; and, if abused, the owners might be prosecuted 
through the procureur-general of the territory. ' The negro servants 
were owned and sold like the other species of property, but it was not 
the practice to separate parents from one another or from their child- 

When Virginia ceded her claims on the Northwest territory to the 
federal government she stipulated that the inhabitants of Kaskaskia 
and the neighboring towns should continue to enjoy all their ancient 
rights and privileges. The ordinance of 1787, however, with its anti- 
slavery clause frightened them. They were commencing to move out 
of the territory when Governor St. Clair persuaded most of them to re- 
main by the assurance that the ordinance did not apply to ne- 
groes then in servitude, but was intended to prevent the further in- 
troduction of slaves into the territory. He wrote to Washington that 
he hoped he had not misunderstood the intention of Congress. 

The interpretation of Mr. St, Clair was generally accepted as correct; 
and the first territorial legislature proceeded to legalize what was 
later known as the "Indenture System." All negroes under 15 years 
of age were to serve till the age of 85 (women 32). Children born of 
slaves then in the territory were required to serve 80 years (28 for 
women). Every colored person brought into the territory must be 
registered with the county clerk within thirty days, and must serve 
out the full term. Transfers of slaves were permitted and masters 
were allowed to leave the territory with their property. Finally a 
slave code, similar to those of Virginia and Kentucky, was adopted. 

This "'system." if we may call it such, was confirmed and perpetu- 
ated by the Illinois Constitution of 1818 and the statutes of the Leg- 
islature of 1819 which, although reducing nominally all periods of 
service to one year, provided that all contracts made prior to 1818 
were valid and should be enforced. The age limit for service was 
lowered to 21 and 18 years respectively. In addition, it was made 
unlawful to bring in negroes for the purpose of freeing them. Ne- 
groes without freedom papers were forbidden to enter the state. 

The right to hold the indentured servants was generally believed in 
and defended by the leading lawyers of the time. Ninian Edwards 
made a legal defense of it and declared that indentures were reasona- 
ble, "beneficial to the slaves, and not repugnant to the public inter- 
ests." The common or popular attitude on the matter is best shown 
in a speech of John Grammer of Union county, uttered a few years 
later in the State Senate: "I will show that the proposition is uncon- 
stitutional, illegal and fornist the compact. Don't everyone know, 
or leastwise ought to know, that congress that sat at Vincennes guar- 
anteed to the old French inhabitants the right to their niggers. And 
hain't I got as much right as any Frenchmen in this state, answer me 
that, sir?" 

It is well known how an attempt was made in 1823 to extend and 
perpetuate the practice of holding indentured servants, or as it has 
been commonly expressed — to make Illinois a slave state, by calling 
a convention to amend the constitution. It is not necessarv to dis- 


cuss that contest here, otherwise than to remind jou that after a most 
exciting campaign the citizens decided against the convention by a 
majority of only 1,668 votes. 

Several of the registration books kept by the county clerks of those 
days have been preserved for us. From these, from bills of sale, 
from wills, and other documentary evidence, we are able to obtain 
a fairly accurate idea of how the practice of holding negro servants 
was really managed in Illinois. 

Nearly every one lived up to the law sufficiently to register their 
negroes. I counted 324 enrolled upon the books of Gallatin, St. Clair, 
Madison and Randolph counties alone. Little effort seems to have 
been made to conform further to the laws. Indentured negroes were 
registered for periods of service ranging all the way from 18 to 99 
years. The ag^ limit for service of "21 years" appears in curious 
ways. Infants are brought in and registered to serve 21 years. Some 
servants were put down to 21 years' service, no matter what their age 
happened to be. Others — children of slaves — were assigned 35 years 
on the ground that they were not born in the state. 

The consent of the negro was legally necessary to an indenture, 
but this was easy to obtain by commuting, or pretending to commute, 
the period of service. If any slave refused to serve, his master could 
remove him from the state. There was no limit on the number of 
servants a man might possess and the number in servitude reached 
746 in 1830. 

Sales and transfers of negroes were common. Advertisements like 
the following were to be read in the newspapers of the day: "Sale of 
personal f)roperty, including two negro boys, of plantation utensils, 
furniture, horses, cattle, and several valuable servants of both sexes"; 
and "For sale — a likely negro woman about 30 years of age, warranted 
perfectly healthy and an excellent house servant." 

Slaves were handed down from father to son by will, and used as 
collateral or security upon notes or for money loaned. In case their 
owner had little need of their labor, they were rented out by the 
month or year for fixed sums. 

The colored servants themselves enjoyed few privileges and only 
certain negative rights, such as to be free when their term of service 
was ended, to be well treated, to serve under nominally one year con- 
tracts, and not to be transferred without their own consent. 

They were not allowed to vote, to hold property, to sue for freedom 
or to act as witnesses in the courts, or to serve in the state militia. 
Their children were not admitted in the public schools. And all the 
doors to material advancement and social improvement were closed, 
not only to them, but also to all the free colored people in the state. 
In fact, no free negroes were allowed to cross the borders of Illinois 
unless they carried freedom papers and gave a thousand dollar bond 
that they would never become a county charge. There is no evidence 
that the last clause was generally enforced. Probably not. Still at 
best they were but grudgingly admitted. 

Bytwoen the years 1820-26 a goodly number of notices of runaway 
servants appeared in the newspapers. Rewards ranging from $25 to 


$50 were offered for their capture and return: but, judging from the 
number of times that the same notices appeared, not many were 

After 1826 such notices ceased to appear and with good reason. 
There remained almost no incentive to run away. With his master 
the indentured negro found steady employment, food, lodging and 
protection. As a free man, few were interested in his welfare, only a 
limited line of work lay open to him, and he ran every chance of 
being kidnaped and sold into slavery in the southern states. 

Kidnaping began very early in the history of the state; and, al- 
though the legislature commenced as early as 1816 to take measures 
against it, the practice gradually assumed extensive proportions. The 
laws concerning the free blacks and the fugitive slaves furnished 
effective weapons to the kidnapers in their search for victims. 

There were two chief centers through which most of the business 
was carried on. One was near Shawneetown on the Ohio, and the 
other near Illinoistown, now East St. Louis. From these centers 
the negroes were smuggled on the river steamers and carried down 
the Mississippi to be sold by agents in the South. The profits were 
large, for one was sure to get at least SlOO for an able-bodied slave. 

To evade the laws against kidnaping, a very neat little scheme 
was resorted to. The negroes were conducted from county to county 
by different relays of men and delivered at the border to non-residents 
of the state, who saw to their disposition in the South. In this way 
no citizen of Illinois was directly concerned in taking them out of the 

In the northern part and in various sections in the central and 
southern parts of the state public sentiment was with the colored 
people in this matter. The growing opposition to the enforcement of 
the congressional laws on fugitive slaves increased the desire to aid 
them. The abolitionists embraced every opportunity to help escap- 
ing negroes northward to freedom. 

In this way the so-called "Underground Railway" was inaugurated 
which gave a little more system to the efforts in behalf of hapless 
negroes sought by Southern slave owners or by the kidnapers. This 
series of refuges — if we may call them such — consisted of a scatter- 
ing line of j)laces where colored people were sure to be fed and pro- 
tected for limited periods. No direct connection was maintained be- 
tween the stations, but the negroes were sent forward from one with 
direction — more or less specific — how to reach the neighborhood of 
the next. 

There were three main "lines"' through the state. ,One starting 
near Chester, ran close to Eden. Coulter ville and Nashville, and north 
to the Illinois river. Another ran via Alton. Jacksonville, the Illinois 
river, LaSalle and Ottawa to Chicago. A third, beginning near 
Quincy, proceeded by way of Mendon, Galesburg and Princeton to 
LaSallc. The objective of all lines was, of course, Chicago, and ulti- 
timately Canada. 


It is not supposed that the "conductors" of these lines were able to 
carry on their work without molestation. They were sturdy, coura- 
geous men living up to their convictions with determination. They 
were criticised, persecuted and performed their duties often at an 
imminent risk to life and property. 

The arrest and trial of Owen Lovejoy, Richard Eells and Julius 
Willard for harboring runaways, are well known instances of what 
the friends of the negroes had to undergo in those days. Such trials 
as these, the continuous appeals to the legislature for a repeal of the 
^'black laws," and the attempt to keep up an anti-slavery discussion, 
only served to keep the slavery question before the people. 

It brought no relief to the indentured servants; but it stirred up 
the pro-slavery men and rendered the opponents of slavery agitation 
very bitter and aggressive. 

In reality there was but one way in which the system 'of indentures 
could be abolished. This was through the courts. Some of the law- 
yers began quite early to tell the negroes that they were free and to 
defend their rights in the courts when possible, even without pay. 
The most prominent of these were Nathaniel Niles erf Belleville. W. 
T. M. Davis of Alton, Gustave Koerner of Belleville and Lyman 

But the courts were very slow in rendering decisions which would 
effect the condition of the negroes. It was not until 1830 that the 
first move was made by declaring in the case of Boon vs. Juliet that 
the children of indentured servants were not to be held in bondage. 
Other decisions followed at intervals, acting for the most part against 
the validity of the system, until the celebrated case of Jarrott vs. Jar- 
rott in 1845. Here it was affirmed that slaves might sue for services 
in the courts, and that the slaves of French settlers, or the descend- 
ants of such slaves, could not be held in bondage. This was gener- 
ally accepted as putting an end to the system of negro indentures 
in Illinois; and many people, like the Wests of Belleville, freed their 
slaves at once. 

It was surprising, however, to note how slow individuals were to 
obey the decisions of the Supreme Court. They seem to have done 
so reluctantly, and often then because the negroes had served out 
their time or given service equivalent to their piirchase money. I 
have seen many freedom papers dating between 1846 and 185H, and 
some dating between 1856 and 1868. 

The question of indentures was somewhat complicated by reason 
of the laws concerning the free negroes. Besides the regulations 
mentioned above, they were denied the right of suffrage by a large 
vote in 1848, and the legislature ordered to take steps to prohibit 
their coming into the state. In 1858, under the leadership of Air. 
John A. Logan, a law was passed making it a crime punishable by a 
fine of $1,0(X) to $1,500 to bring a free colored person into Illinois. 
All negroes found without freedom papers were to be arrested and 
sold out by the month or year to pay their fines, in case no owner 
claimed them. Some were sold into service again in this way; but 
the Supreme Court soon declared this illegal. 


It is astonishing, however, to note the attitude of hostility which 
continued to be manifested toward the negro. In 1862 the people of 
Illinois approved an amendment to the proposed constitution prohib- 
iting the immigration of colored people into the state, by a majority 
of over 100.000 votes; and, by the enormous majority of 176,000, ex- 
pressed their opposition to his holding office or voting. The fact that 
a Republican state legislature repealed the old "black laws" of Illinois 
and approved the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitu- 
tion of the United States does not prove that the opinion of the 
majority of the people as to negro citizenship had materially changed. 

In 1860 there were about 7,600 colored persons in Illinois. At 
present there are about 100,000. In the decade from 1890 to 1900 
the negro population almost doubled. They are coming to us in large 
numbers, doubtless because there is more opportunity to get ahead 
here than in the Southern states. 

What have we done for them? What are we doing to aid them? 
Almost nothing, I fear. We have accepted their money for educa- 
tional purposes, and have admitted them grudgingly into our schools. 
In fact, it wa^ necessary for the legislature to pass in 1874 a special 
act protecting them before they could get the full advantages of the 
schools with any degree of safety and comfort. And today, wherever 
they are congregating in large numbers — even in Chicago — their 
children are being shoved oif into schools by themselves. In the 
majority of the professions and walks of life they are not wanted. 
The trades-unions do not like them because they have been used as 
strike breakers. Nowhere are the colored people particularly wel- 
come or made to feel at home. 

The fact of the matter is — if it were carefully analyzed — that Illi- 
nois has come face to face with the same problem as exists in the 
Southern states. In reality the so-called "negro question'' is no 
longer a Southern problem. The south cannot solve the problem 
alone. It will only be satisfactorily adjusted when the people of the 
United States shall recognize that there is a negro question and that 
the responsibility of solving it rests upon them alone. 

The Southern states, both before and since the war, have done 
much to aid and educate the colored people. They have profited con- 
siderably in the same direction through the schools and efforts of 
Northern men. Yet it is generally admitted by all students of the 
question, that, as a race, they have not risen far above the barbaric 
state in which they were brought from Africa. 

That he is capable of progress and development is shown by the 
example of Junius Groves, the "Potato King" of Kansas, the Penny 
Savings Bank of Birmingham, Ala., and the niamber of successful 
men and women trained under Booker T. Washington. 

That they are not hopelessly weak on the moral side is demon- 
strated by the fact that there are thousands of law-abiding citizens 
among them, and that the records of the Chicago police courts show 
that the ratio of licentious living among the blacks is only 3 per cent,, 
while it is 30 per cent among the whites. 


The question accordingly narrows down to two or three important 

First, the negro must be given an equal chance with everyone to 
earn an honest living and to make his way upward in life. As Bishop 
Strange of North Carolina puts it, he is entitled to "liberty, ec[ual 
industrial opportunity, equal rights before the law, equal political 
privileges — a suffrage based on character and intelligence for blacks 
and whites alike. The same public advantages of education." 

Second, this is not all. Not only must the door of the future be 
opened to the colored man, but he must be aided and encouraged to 
enter in and help himself. In many ways he is still a child; and the 
stronger, more clever and self-reliant Anglo-Saxon must help the 
weaker brother to rise. 

I do not mean that the government of the southern states should 
be turned over to them, or that they are everywhere to be received on 
a social equality, or even that we are to make professional or learned 
men or statesmen of them all. But, simply, they should seriously 
and definitely be aided to become intelligent and industrious men, by 
giving them every inducement through assistance in purchasing land, 
in opening new industries and by rewarding his efforts when possible. 

The salvation of the nation depends upon the purity and integrity of 
its citizens. And the Tnited States cannot permanently endure with 
any large i^roportion of its citizens — degraded, disenfranchised or de- 
prived of their just rights and oiDiJortunities. 

Professor Scarborough of the Wilberforce University, and others, 
in speaking for the welfare of the negro have urged that he go, and 
be aided to go, to the Philippines and to Africa where no color line 
exists, and where there is every chance for the black man to get 
ahead. This may alleviate the question and make it easier to handle; 
but it cannot solve the problem for us. 

The negroes are here — they are here to stay — no matter how much 
we may grumble at those who brought them in the first place. To 
care for them and to make them a blessing and not a menace to our 
nation is our work, or duty. 

We all applauded Mr. Roosevelt when he said: "I believe in the 
Southerner as I believe in the Northerner. I claim the right to feel 
pride in his great qualities and his great deeds exactly as I feel pride 
ill the great qualities and deeds of every other American. For weal 
or for woe, we are knit together and we shall go up or down together; 
and I believe that we shall go up and not down, and that we shall go 
forward instead of halting and falling back, because I have an abid- 
ing faith in the generosity, the courage, the resolution and the com- 
mon sense of all my countrymen." 

Are we going to let our President lose faith in us, by shrinking 
these, our responsibilties? Shall we allow him to bear alone the 
burdens and duties of the American jDeople? Or shall we, like men 
and honest citizens, rally about him and face with intelligence and 
determination this great and pressing national problem? 


Is it not time that the doctrine of the brotherhood of man should 
become a realty in this country, instead of a sham and a lie? If we 
are to set an example to the civilized world for our intelligence, our 
integrity, and our Christianity, we must live up to the teachings of 
Christ. If republicanism is not to fall into derision and foolishness 
before all people, we must see to it that every man. whatever his color 
or condition, has a fair and equal chance in life, and that each person 
not only enjoys his liberty and his rights, but shall also do his duty 
faithfully and honestly as a true and loyal citizen of these United 


rst white man whose marriage occurred within present liorders of Sangamon County. 





(By Charles P. Kane.) 

It might seem that upon a program so laudably ambitious as the 
one offered at the present meeting of your society, treating with seri- 
ous dignity of momentous steps in the unfolding of our State life, 
small room should be given to tales of love and marriage, which the 
sedate affect to view with mild indulgence or harsh disdain. Yet a 
famous Illinois soldier, senator and man of affairs said of such narra- 
tives, they are the only true history. Any account of social or politi- 
cal movements which ignores the woman in the case is incomplete. 
The settlement and ajipropriation of the new world without her co- 
operation is unthinkable. The ranger of the wood, who chased or 
trapped forest game; the hunter, who, like the aboriginal savage, pur- 
sued wild herds over virgin prairies, left shallow footprints, soon to 
be effaced and forgotten. He was a mere intruder; he forsook a lord- 
less region, as he found it, unsubdued. But the pale-face, who came 
with his wife, took the significant name of settler. He became the 
builder of habitations, the founder of homes, thereby masterfully 
establishing his right to possess the land. Not until some brave 
woman placed her hand within her husband's and they twain faced 
toward the west could history trumpet abroad that the procession for 
the conquest of the great wilderness had actually begun its march. 

Much or little of this thought may have occurred to the two prin- 
cipal figures in our story, as each unconscious of the other, they set 
out adventurously, by separate ways, the one from Connecticut, the 
other from New York, for the distant western frontier, to meet at last 
and plight their vows as man and wife in the heart of far-away Illi- 
nois; and so to be the first bridal pair of the Caucasian race to wed 
within these borders which later outlined the county of Sangamon. 

The year 1818 that witnessed the admission of our imperial State 
into the American union, witnessed also other incidents of less import- 
ance. It found, for example, Abigail Stillnian, a widow, living with 
her thriving family at Canandaigua, N. Y. She and her husband. 
Benjamin Stillman. had met and married in Boston, Mass., but later 
moved to Ontario county, N. Y., settling in the village of East Bloom- 


field. Here Stillman died and bequeathed to the worthy Abigail the 
care of four lusty sons and as many high-spirited daughters, one of 
the latter being a lass called Martha, with whom this narrative chiefly 
has to do. * 

To the task of fitly rearing her orphaned progeny Mrs. Stillman. 
addressed herself with Puritanical gravity. Imbued with the Yan- 
kee notion that good schooling is the prime birthright of every child, 
she took up her residence in Canadaigua, the county seat, the better 
to educate her children. The sons were instructed at the best avail- 
able schools, one of them being qualified for the practice of medicine 
and surgery; the daughters had the advantages of ladies' seminaries 
at Junius and Aurora. Our Martha was given a finishing course at 
the latter institution. 

And now the eight children have arrived at man's and woman's es- 
tate, a son and a daughter are married, six remain fairly equipped to 
encounter the real problems of life, but wanting opportunity. 
Through roving spirits from the west, rumors reached Canadaigua of 
a marvelously rich and beautiful tract, near the center of Illinois terri- 
tory where broad prairies spread their green carpets under the wide 
sky and the most fertile of lands may be had for the asking. 

It is therefore resolved that the family shall set out for the distant, 
but inviting valley, of the Sangamo. The home and the immovables are 
disposed of; wagons are provided, covered with canvass stretched 
upon high arching hoops, after the fashion of similar vehicles, which, 
in other times upon trans-Mississippi trails, received the name of 
prairie schooners. Into these wagons was loaded all portable prop- 
erty; lastly the precious human freight was stowed away in their ca- 
pacious holds and the long weary journe5^ was begun. 

The summer of 1819 finds our wayfarers loitering at Morganfield, 
Union county, Ky., from whose borders they can look across the 
Ohio into Illinois. They have been advised to tarry and raise a crop 
of vegetables and corn for their first year's consumption at their des- 
tined home in the wilderness. This they are assured may be done 
with much greater ease upon the cultivated lands of Kentucky than 
upon the raw sod of the Sangamon prairies. The following spring 
they pushed on over the Ohio, up from Shawneetown to the San- 
gamon river. Crossing this stream, they decided to rest near the 
edge of a fine natural grove, upon a tract designated by government 
survey as section 8, town 17 north, range 4 west of the third jjrincipal 
meridian, now in Williams township, Sangamon county. 

Here a roomy log cabin was constructed as speedily as might be; 
what furniture had been conveyed from New York was disposed about 
the rude mansion with such taste and skill as graduates from the 
seminaries at Junius and Aurora, under the circumstances, might dis- 
play, and things were made as comfortable as possible, but the result 
was so pitifully disappointing, that mother Stillman sat upon the side 

* The facts, relating to the history of Philo and Martha Beers, recited by this paper and 
not of record, were communicated to the writer mainly by their daughter Caroline Beers 
Kane, now living. 

See also "History Early Settlers of Sangamon County, " by John Carroll Power, 1876, 
under the names Stillman, Stewart and Beers. 


of her bed, hid her face in her hands and allowed her tears to fall un- 
restrained. Her children began to realize in much dismay the sacri- 
fice she had made for them in undertaking the life of a pioneer of near 
a century ago. 

During the sojourn of the Stillmans at Morgantield several young 
gentlemen of their party attended the secret communications of the 
Freemasons' lodge. At one of these Dr. Stillman met a brother of 
the mystic tie by the name of Philo Beers. 

Young Beers \yas a native of Woodbury, Conn., a son of Zechariah 
Beers, who enlisted iowi times in the Connecticut militia during the 
Revolution, the first time at sixteen years of age. Subsequently he 
ac(iuired local celebrity as a poet: specimens of his verses are pre- 
served in Cothren's History of Ancient Woodbury. * Zechariah was 
blessed with a large family. Philo, the sixth child, upon attaining 
the stature of manhood, resolved to see some of the world for himself. 
After a varied experience, including a brief service in the American 
militia in the war of 1812, he went west. At the date of this narra- 
tive he had been prospecting in western Kentucky, southern Illinois 
and parts of Missouri. He had contracted for the purchase of a large 
tract of land in the vicinity of St. Louis, which place he described by 
letter to a friend in the east as ''nearly as large as Poughkeepsie," and 
shrewdly prophesied that within a short time it would be "a place of 
great consequence." In this letter, dated April 10, 1819, the writer 
enlarges upon the advantages offered by the territories, and urges his 
friends not to be daunted by the seemingly impassable distance, as- 
suring them that when Pittsburg is once reached "one may say his 
journey is in a manner over." 

Dr. Stillman was so pleased with his new friend that he invited the 
stranger to his abode, proposing an introduction to his mother and 
sisters. The proposal was promptly accepted, and Mr. Beers often 
was heard to say that from the moment his eye fell upon Martha 
Stillman at Morgantield he determined to win her for his wife. 

Doubtless our prospective groom pressed his suit with becoming 
diligence, for within eight months after the Stillmans had located 
north of the Sangamon he presented himself at their homestead with 
parson and license, and found an expectant bride all ready for the nup- 
tial ceremony. 

Mr. Beers was now a resident of Carlyle, IlLf The Sangamo coun- 
try had not yet been severed from Madison county, and it became 
necessary to apply at Edwardsville, the old county seat, for the mar- 
riage license. A minister for the occasion was discovered in the per- 
son of the Rev. Stephen England, who resided near the present site 
of the village of Cantrall. X Mr. England had proven the hardness 

* "History of Ancient Woodbury," by William Cothren. 18.54. \ ol. 1. pp. 286. 359. 515. 

t The earliest settlers called this region "Sangamo country," as more nearly representipg 
the sound of the original Indian name. In a like endeavor the French spelled the name bam- 
Que-mon." See old French maps. , , , ., ^ ^ 

Judge Jas. H. Mathenv. son of Chas. R. Matheny. first clerk of ^angamon county, from 
hearing the Indians themselves, told the writer, the correct Indian pronunciation was bang- 
am-ugh. the first syllable accented and prolonged, the last being the Indian gutteral ugh! 

See also title "Sangamo Journal," piililished at Springfield. 1831-3 

i "Philo Beers and Martha Stillman obtained license to marry Oct. 27, 1820. License bears 
number 279. The marriage was solemnized bv Rev. Stephen England, Nov. 2, 1820. This is 
all my books show." From certificate by clerk of Madis'.n county m possession of Caroline 
Beers Kane, dated April 29, 1871, and signed "B. K. Hoffniann, Clerk." 


of frontier life, and at his setting out to render the service entreated 
of him was shod with a pair of Indian moccasins, evidently much the 
worse for wear and tear. Passing his brother-in-law, Evans Brittain, 
plowing in the field, he prevailed upon his complacent relative to ex- 
change a pair of leather shoes for the moccasins till his return, and 
so the minister went happily on to the wedding. At the conclusion 
of the ceremony the proud groom swept a gold eagle from his pocket 
and offered it to Mr. England as a marriage fee. The good man was 
amazed and insisted that though he did not object to reasonable com- 
pensation for such a service, his conscience would not permit him to 
accept so large a sum. After much persuasion he consented to take 
half the amount tendered and declared he was more than satisfied. 

The parlor in which the ceremony was performed (if a room in a 
log cabin may be so designated) should receive a word of special notice. 
Over the puncheon floor, spread with a soft matting of straw, had 
been neatly laid an ingrain carpet, a bright pattern of interwoven red 
and green. On one side of the room stood a small piano of primitive 
design and construction, which, upon the exodus from Canadaigua, 
had been bereft of its legs for convenience of transportation. The 
deficiency was supplied by brother Stephen, who cut a sapling of 
suitable size into jjroper lengths, peeled ofp the bark and stained the 
glistening wood to resemble the body of the instrument, and our piano 
stood once more upon a proper footing. On another side of the room 
a tall, narrow mirror, framed in gilt and reaching from the floor nigh 
to the ceiling, gaily bedecked the clay- daubed wall and blithely re- 
flected the smiling faces of the merry company. In the middle of the 
apartment was placed a center table of oak having a curious foot, 
deftly carved in imitation of a huge pineapple. These, with other 
less conspicuous articles of furniture, were reminders of the eastern 
home abandoned the year before. 

The bride, as all brides are, was altogether interesting. A petite 
young lady of twenty summers, who weighed but a hundred pounds, 
and could stand erect under her husband's outstretched arm. Her 
shapely head was adorned with a heavy suit of dark brown hair that 
fell when loosened in luxuriant tresses below her waist. Eyes clear 
gray, complexion fair and features indicating sane mental poise and 
strength of character. 

The gowns of the bride's trousseau were limited to two. The wed- 
ding dress, we are told by a daughter of Mrs. Beers, was of fine white 
jaconet, cut low in the neck, with putfed sleeves of but a finger's 
length, trimmed with a dainty ruffle; waist no longer than the sleeves, 
gathered into a belt, from which a gored skirt fell to the floor, termi- 
nating in a generous flounce of the same material as the whole gar- 
ment. The other gown, intended to be what was then called a "second 
day dress," was made of lilac silk, fashioned as a traveling suit and 
ornamented with two rows of silk covered buttons running down the 
front and extending over the shoulders. The materials were brought 
from the east along with the piano and center table. The dresses 
were cut fashioned and finished by the nimble fingers and deft need- 


les of sisters Mary and Caroline, wisely and efficiently aided doubtless 
by good mother Stillman. The wedding dress was long preserved and 
years afterwards was presented by Mrs. Beers to her daughter, Mrs. 
Caroline M. Kane. 

The groom, of course, is of minor consequence at his own nuptials. 
He usually suffers a partial, if not a total eclipse though the occasion 
to him is most momentous. Suffice it to say of him then, he was a 
proper sort of young man, his companion's senior by seven years. He 
was naturally intelligent, kindly disposed and imbued with another 
Yankee notion that the way to get on in the world is by management. 
He stood six feet in his stockings, and was well able to take care of 
himself, and his wife, too, in the battle of life. 

The feast spread for the delectation of the guests had both its 
sumptuous features and of necessity its shortcomings. The hosts 
were almost wholly dependent for the viands they offered upon the 
bounty of nature. Of such there was a generous supply. But having 
arrived on the ground only a few months prior to the events we 
describe, there was neither time nor opportunity, in this new, wild 
region, to provide by purchase or cultivation the delicacies usually 
employed to tempt the palate at wedding breakfasts under more 
recent and more favorable conditions. Of delicious meats there was 
a superabundance, venison, turkey, prairie chicken, quail, squirrel and 
fish, and in the woods could be found wild honey, fruits and nuts. 
But a serious predicament arose from a scarcity of wheat flour, and 
and what to do for white bread, cakes and pastries was the perplexing 
question confronting the ladies responsible for the entertainment. 
The few scattered settlers, who had found lodgement in the vicinity 
relied altogether upon ground maize for bread; the nearest mill and 
flour market was at Edwardsville, eighty or ninety miles distant. 

Mr. James Stewart, who had married in New York, Roxana, the 
eldest daughter of the Stillman family, and who had preceded them 
to Illinois and located near by, brought with him from Shawneetown 
two barrels of flour, one of which was so damaged in transit as to be 
unfit for use, and the other was almost consumed. What was left, not 
enough to be sure, but what was left Mr. Stewart donated for the good 
of the cause. Two loaf cakes of moderate dimensions were made by 
the ladies and beautifully coated with white sugar icing. These were 
thought not imposing enough adequately to grace and adorn the ban- 
quet board, and for this purpose a resort was had to the following 
expedient: A large loaf of cornbread was baked in the shajje of an 
immense cake and this in turn skillfully coated with an icing of daz- 
zling whiteness. Grandly it appeared to perform its important func- 
tion in the center of the board. The ladies craftily conspired to 
invent some excuse for not cutting this exquisite work of art, and to 
remain silent regarding the secret of its construction, but the insistent 
guests demanded a slice and would not be denied. Then its secret 
came out and the laugh went around, in which entertainers and enter- 
tained heartily joined. ''And they all did eat and were filled," is the 
well authenticated tradition handed down to the lineal descendants of 
the said Philo and Martha Beers. 


As for the guests, it is said all the neighbors were asked to the 
wedding, which probably meant those residing not more than ten or 
twelve miles away, as few residents were to be found within this dis- 
tance. The names of such as attended have not been preserved. It 
is also vaguely related that two or three aboriginal red men were 
present by special invitation, but were so amused and delighted at 
beholding their noble forms in the tall mirror on the parlor side, that 
they gave little heed to less absorbing incidents of the occasion. It is 
worth our while withal as historians of this interesting event in the 
early story of Sangamon county, to glance briefly at the members of 
the family who sat at the bridal feast, and only to hint at some of 
their claims to recollection. 

Of Mother Abigail Stillman mention has already been made. Of 
the brothers, three were present. Joseph Bennett Stillman, soon to 
be commissioned surgeon in the United States, navy. He made a 
cruise with his vessel in the Mediterranean and died upon the return 
voyage of yellow fever at Key West. 

Stephen, the artisan of the new piano legs, gave the name of Fancy 
Grove and Fancy Creek to those natural features of north Sangamon, 
names which they still bear. He became postmaster in his settle- 
ment, the first in the county north of the river. He also presided as 
master in the first Masonic lodge opened in the county. He sat upon 
the grand jury which indicted Nathaniel Vannoy for homicide. Van- 
noy was executed November 20th, 182B, the earliest instance of capital 
punishment in the county.* 

Heinry Stillman a few years later received appointment as govern- 
ment Indian agent at Fort Clark, afterward called Peoria. He engaged 
in wholesale merchandising and owned and captained the largest 
steamboat of his day plying between Peoria and New Orleans, in 
which occupation he acquired a competence. 

A fourth brother, Isaiah, had married a wife in New York and could 
not come to the wedding, but the laggard joined the family a year or 
two later. He aided in organizing the First Presbyterian church of 
Springfield, and bore a major'sf commission in the Black Hawk war. 

Of the sisters, Roxana, married to James Stewart, was present with 
her husband. One of her sons. Captain William Stewart, for a time 
directed the movements of the gunboats Carondelet and Mound City 
in naval operations on the Mississippi during the civil war. In one 
of them he ran the batteries at Island No. 10, under command of Com- 
modore Foote. A grandson was a colonel in the field in the same con- 
flict, and another endured eleven months of unhappy existence in the 
Confederate prison at Andersonville, Ga. 

Caroline, the youngest sister, became the wife of Colonel Peter 
Menard, son of Pierre Menard, first" lieutenant governor of Illinois, 
whose statute in bronze stands upou the green in front of our State 

Mary, a fourth sister, died unmarried. 

of . 


in t _ _ _ ._ , ^ ... . _^ .^ ^ 

t iMoses, "History of Illinois." vol. 1, [j. 3 lo, miscalled by Moses "Josiah'" .Stillman. 


Daughter of Philo and Martha Beers, an Honorary Member of the 

Illinois State Historical Society. 



Thus the first marriage within the present borders of Sangamon 
coimty* was solemnized on the second day of November, 1820. In 
order that this incident may be considered in its proper perspective 
we may note that when it occurred the entire population of the state 
hardly exceeded that of Springfield at this time. The number of resi- 
dents in Sangamon county now surpasses by thousands those of Illi- 
nois in 1820. The county itself had no corporate existence, being 
constituted by statute the following year, and its seat of justice located 
"at a certain point in the prairie near John Kelly's field, on the waters 
of Spring creek." Only nine dwellings, all cabins, were to be found 
within a radius of two miles of the site of the court house, and this 
was the largest settlement in this county. f 

A majority of the inhabitants of Illinois then lived in the southern 
portion, in a belt extending from Vincennes and Shawneetown to 
Kaskaskia and St. Louis. The Indians had been crowded to the 
north, but an agency was located at Fort Chirk, only fifty miles from 
the Stillman homestead, where the tribes met and treated with officers 
of the national government. The wasted remains of the papooses, 
enwrapped cocoon-like in coffins of wickerwork, still swung rocking in 
the treetops of Fancy Grove. Wolves and deer were far more numer- 
ous than human beings along the Sangamon. 

And the winsome bride placed her hand within her husband's and 
they twain set our for their new home at Carlyle, across the unfenced 
prairies and thro.ugh forests scarcely fretted by the woodman's axe: 

"And the birds sang in the thickets. 
And the streamlets laugrhed and glistened, 
And the air was full of fragrance, 
And the lovely Minnehaha 
Said with voice that did not tremble: 
'I will follow you, my husband.' " 

Mr. Beers lived in Carlyle about four years, during which time he 
served one term as Justice of the Peace and sat for Washington 
county in the State General Assembly, meeting at Vandalia in De- 
cember, 1824, and January, 1825.;]; Soon after the adjournment of 
the session he returned to Sangamon county and settled upon a farm 
on Fancy creek, near the old Stillman homestead. There he remained 
but a short time, then removed to Springfield and built the first brick 
dwelling house in the city, at the corner of Fifth and Madison streets, 
the present site of the Ideal Engine works. 

Philo and Martha Beers were charter members of the Christian 
church organized in Springfield in 1833. Mrs. Beers was chosen 
deaconess of the congregation and conducted a Bible class for the 
benefit of the adult members. 

Three children were born to them, but one of whom survives, Mrs. 
Caroline M. Beers Kane of Springfield. They lived lives of true 

* "Early Life and Tirnes," published bv Elijah lies at Springfield, 1883. Born 1796, died 
1884. Mr. lies donated part of the site on which Springfield was located and opened there the 
first merchandise store in the country in 1821. "Philo Beers and Miss Stillman were the first 
couple married in Sangamon county."— "Early Life and Times." 

t See House Journal, session at Vandalfa, 1824. Letter written by Philo Beers, while 
member of Assembly, dated V'andalia, December 16, 1824, in possession of Caroline Beers 
Kane. Caroline Maria i^eers was born in Sangamon county, February 20. 1827. She was mar- 
ried in 1847 to Rev. Andrew J. Kane, active in the Christain ministry for overtifty years. Mrs. 
Kane is still a resident of Springfield and prominent in the social set of the capital. She is a 
member of S[)ringficld Chapter, D. A. R., and an honorary member of this societ}'. 

i lies' "Pearly Life and Times," ante, p. 31 


worth and of genuine value to their neighbors and their posterity. 
Mrs. Beers died in 1845. Her husband survived her thirteen years. 
Both were given interment at the old Hutchinson graveyard, but 
upon its abandonment as a place of burial their remains were removed 
to Oak Ridge, the beautiful cemetery near the capital city. 

There they rest, side by side. Where strong trees spread their 
giant branches and wear their leafy crown; where soft winds whisper 
to the grasses and sway the flowers; where the sunshine plays by day 
and dews shed gentle tears for the dead by night ; where waking birds 
in the gray light of each succeeding dawn twitter prophecies of an. 
eternal morning, they sleep well. 



(By Hon. Charles B. Campbell.) 

One of the streams whose courses lent their aid to the first explor- 
ation of the Illinois country was the river Kankakee. It is interest- 
ing to recall that it takes its rise only about two or three miles from 
the southermost bend of the St. Joseph river, whose waters flow into 
those of Lake Michigan, and that the short extent of land between 
these two rivers is the only interruption to continuous Wciter from the 
Atlantic ocean, by way of the St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes, the St. 
Joseph. Kankakee, Illinois and Mississippi rivers, to the Gulf of Mex- 
ico. When LaSalle consigned his shipbuilding materials to the point 
on the Illinois where he purposed to construct a vessel worthy to nav- 
igate the Father of Waters, this short portage was the inducement to 
him to route his shipment the Kankakee way, and the story of his 
men's canoeing down the Kankakee river in 1H79 is familiar to all. 
In the early part of the following century the boats of the traveler 
Charlevoix glided down its current; while about one hundred years 
after the voyage of LaSalle, Paulette Meillet,* Peoria's early French 
settler, with his force of about three hundred men, entering from the 
Illinois, moved up the Kankakee in that adventuresome sally that 
made him the victorious captor of the British fort and stores on the 
St. Joseph. These are some of the few authenticated facts that make 
the Kankakee river interesting to the student of its early annals. 

And not only was its course convenient to the purposes of such 
early expeditions. Its waters afforded sanctuary to the trees of the 
forest, and along its banks beautiful and luxuriant woods found re- 
fuge from their inveterate enemy, the devastating fire of the prairie; 
and in the shelter of these woods was the congenial home of all the 
various birds and animals that comprised the family of the Illinois 
wild. And in all that grand prairie, that stretched two hundred and 
fifty miles from east to west across the greatest breadth of what is 
now the State of Illinois, and to the southward three hundred miles 
from the southern limits of the present commonwealth of Wisconsin, 
one of the not numerous regions fitted by nature for the early abode 
of man was these woodlands along the Kankakee. Here lived prehis- 
toric members of our race, and built those mounds of earth now found 
in the county to which the river has giveji its name. After them 
here, too, dwelt and hunted successive Indian peoples — the Illini. the 

•Mason, Chapters of Illinois history, p. 285. 

— 5 H S 


Iroquois, the Pottawatomies. And it is not difficult to imagine, stim- 
ulated somewhat by tradition, that the possession of this attractive 
region was the object of many a savage conflict among the aboriginal 
tribes; and it may be that the broken flints along the stream now 
mark the sites of arsenals where the weapons of their warfare were 
wrought and chiseled by the arrowsmiths of that olden time, and that 
if we could translate the language of the lance heads and the axes of 
stone frequently picked up by the present inhabitants, we should read 
the tragic history of war as well as exciting stories of the chase. Al- 
luring it is; but this realm is not to be entered by the writer of his- 
tory, and so with only this wistful glance we turn from the flowery 
fields of imagination and tradition, to delve in the field of fact. 

For miles and miles the waters of the Kankakee spread themselves 
in a wide, currentless, marshy exjjanse, before they are gathered and 
confined and directed in and along the definite channel we call the 
river. And likewise for years and years only indefinite tradition 
holds the events of the Kankakee river region, until about the second 
or third decade of the last century they begin to gather and flow into 
the constant, steady current of authentic history. And the place 
where the events of the Kankakee country first assume this definite 
course is marked on the map of this day by the good French name: 
Bourbonnais. For Bourbonnais is the earliest settlement on the 
Kankakee river. 

The present village of the name is a few rods back and northeasterly 
from the Kankakee river and is in the county of Kankakee, about 
four miles northwesterly of the city of Kankakee, and about fifty-two 
miles southerly from Chicago. 

The name itself was undoubtedly taken from that of Francis Bour- 
bonnais, Sr.. who is known to have lived in the vicinity at an early 
day. The exact date, or even year, of his comiiig to the locality is 
probably unascertainable. 

The Peoria county personal assessment list for 1825 contains the 

following two items: 

Francis Burbonne. trading- house $200 00 

Burbonne. Jr. , Frs. . trading house 100 00 

The real estate records of Kankakee county warrant the inference 
that the Francis Bourbonnais, Sr., under consideration, had a son. 
also named Francis Bourbonnais, and, therefore, it is likely that Fran- 
cis Bourbonnais. Sr.. of whom we write was the same as Francis Bur- 
bonne mentioned in the Peoria county tax list, and that as early as 
1825, he was a resident of that county. But as Peoria county was 
then large in its territorial extent, it does not follow that he was then 
in the locality of the site of the village that now bears his name. 

Some light is obtainable from N. Matson's '"Kieminscences of 
Bureau county." published in 1872. in which a Bulbona is mentioned, 
who, for many years was in the emj)loy of the American Fur 
Company, on the Illinois river, and who upon leaving the company, 
commenced trade on his own footing, establishing himself at a grove 
in what is now Bureau county, where he built a trading house about 
two miles southwest of the present site of Wyanet. and acquired a 
large trade, as Indians from a distance patronized his trading house 


in preference to that of the fur company. And the anthor states that 
after the commencement of the Black Hawk war, Bulbona left this 
grove and never returned to it again, but settled in the eastern part 
of the State, in what is now Kankakee county, at a grove which still 
bears his name. It is also stated that this Bulbona married a Pota- 
watomi squaw. 

In another work by the same author ("Memories of Shaubena." 
Published 1872), this same Bulbona is referred to as Pierre Bul- 
bona, and it is stated that his Potawatomie wife obtained from the 
Government a reservation of land on the Kankakee River. As the 
wife of Francis Bourbonnais, Sr., was a Potawatomie (named 
Catish), and obtained from the Government a reservation to her of a 
tract of land on the Kankakee River, and as this is the only reserva- 
tion on the Kankakee to the wife of a Bourbonnais, it seems probable 
that the Bulbona mentioned by Matson is the Francis Bourbonnais, 
Sr., under consideration. And if the identity is a fact, then Francis 
Bourbonnais, Sr., probably did not come to the locality of the present 
village of Bourbonnais till the time of the Black Hawk war, and the 
trading house near Wyanet may be the one mentioned in the Peoria 
County personal property tax list as early as 1825. 

Whence Francis Bourbonnais, Sr., came is also, only to be guessed. 
The cognomen Bourbonnais occurs in the parish records of Kaskaskia in 
the following entry: ''Bourbonnais Cecilian, dau. of Joa Brunet B., 
baptized at Kaskaskia, Nov. 24th, 1712." And again the same cog- 
nomen is discovered in the records of a notary public in Kaskaskia, 
wherein is registered the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Bourbonnais gave 
a negro slave to their son-in-law Nov. 18th, 1751. It also appears 
that the owner of certain claims in the old French village at Peoria 
was one Antoine Bourbonnais. So it may be that the original settle- 
ment of the family in the Illinois country was at Kaskaskia, and that 
members of later generations thereof moved northward, up the Miss- 
issippi and the Illinois, planting a branch at the French settlement 
at Peoria; and that finally a scion of the old family settled on the 
Kankakee, in the person of Francis Bourbonnais, Sr. On the other 
hand, he may have come direct from Canada in the employ of the 
American Fur Company and immediately located on the Kankakee. 

As to Francis Bourbonnais Sr.'s personal characteristics little is 
known. In his "Reminiscences of Bureau County," Matson says: 
"Bulbona was of French parents, and was reared and spent his 
youthful days among the Indians, in the wilds of the West; he was a 
large, rawboned, dark complexioned man, and had a coarse bass voice, 
and at the time we refer to [probably between 1828 and the com- 
mencement of the Black Hawk war] was far advanced in life. His 
wife was an Indian squaw of the Potawatomie tribe, with whom he 
had lived many years and raised a number of half-breed children. 
Their habits and dress, as well as their language, was a cross between 
the French and Indian, understanding and speaking the English 
language very imperfectly." 

It is said that by his association with the Indians he became thor- 
oughly "Indianized," and seemed to retain none of the traits of the 
Caucasian. One fact seems to be authentically preserved, viz.: That 


when traders visited Bulbona Grove to barter for furs, after the trad- 
ing was tinished, whiskey could be dispensed to the Indians, and on 
such occasions ■'Old''' Bourbonnais would drink as immoderately as the 
Indians themselves, and like them become intoxicated to helpless- 

The reservation of land to Catish Bourbonnais, before mentioned, 
consisted of six hundred and forty acres, being parts of four differ- 
ent sections on the north bank of the Kankakee River, and constitutes 
an important part of the site of the City of Kankakee. Catish and 
her husband conveyed the east half of said tract Oct. 14, 1883. The 
deed was acknowledged before Isaac Harmon, a justice of the peace 
of Cook County, Illinois, in which said land was then situated, which 
indicates that the Bourbonnais were then still residing in the locality. 
The remaining half of said tract was conveyed March 23, 1847, and 
the deed was acknowledged before A. H. Argyle, a justice of the 
peace of Atchison County^ Missouri. This induces the belief that 
the Bourbonnais had at that time changed their residence. It is 
probable that, they were removed westward with the Potawatomies 
in 1836 or 1837 to the vicinity of Council Bluffs, low^a — Atchison 
County Missouri, being not far from that place. (It may be inter- 
esting to note in passing that this latter conveyance of land by Catish 
and Francis Bourbonnais, Sr., was to Major Isaac C. Elston, who was 
the father-in-law of General Lew' Wallace and of Senator Henry S. 
Lane of Indiana.) 

When or where Francis Bourbonnais, Sr., died, the writer has not 
been able to ascertain. 

It would seem that originally the name Bourbonnais was applied 
to all that timber where now are the city of Kankakee and the village 
of Bourbonnais, which was accordingly known as Bulbona's Grove. 
W^ho first applied the name to this portion of the Kankakee woods 
cannot now be learned, but such a prominent landmark as this grove 
could not long remain without receiving a designation, and trappers 
and hunters and traders and travelers fell naturally into the custom 
of referring to it by the name of its white denizen. 

One of these early traders passed up the Kankakee river through 
this locality as early, probably, as 1820, or perhaps even two years 
earlier; but it is not known that at that time he stopped here, or 
that he received any particularly favorable impressions of the place, 
or that he had any thought or any intimation as to its future import- 
ance and his connection with it. He continued his course up the 
Kankakee to the point where it receives the Iroquois, a few miles 
above the city of Kankakee, and thence up the Iroquois to a crossing 
of that stream. This crossing seemed to focus numerous Indian trails, 
which led from all directions over the Grand Prairie. This fact may 
have suggested to him the strategic value of the place for traffic with 
the Indians, and there he established a trading post and engaged in 
the Indian trade. The place has since come to be commonly known 
as Bunkum, and lies near the point where the C. C. C. & St. L. R. R. 
now crosses the Iroquois river in thecounty of Iroquois. This trader 


was a French Canadian, and his name was Noel Le Vassenr. And as 
it was he who afterwards made Bourbonnais a French settlement, a 
somewhat detailed account of him is warranted in this address. 

He was born at St. Michel de Yanaska, Province of Quebec, Canada, 
in 1791). The exact date of his birth is preserved in his name, for 
Noel is the French word for Christmas, and he was born on Christmas 
night. His family was poor. Theirs was a log cabin home, and it is 
probable that very early the boy Noel became inured to hardship and 
developed the traits of character and powers of endurance that were 
to serve him in this new country. Before he had completed his 
eighteenth year he went west with eighty men, under one Rocheblave, 
to engage in trade with the Indians. He left Montreal May 15, 1817, 
and was in Mackinac during the succeeding summer. Here Roche- 
blave sold his project to the American Fur Company. 

It seems that Le Vasseur must have abandoned the service of the 
fur company here, for it is said that he and a companion, tegether 
with an Indian, during the year 1M17 embarked in a frail canoe on a 
hazardous trip through the country now embraced within the boun- 
daries of Wisconsin. Following the west shore of Lake Michigan to 
Green Bay, and thence going by way of the Fox river and the portage 
to the Wisconsin, they paddled down the latter to the place where is 
now Prairie du Chien. Here they found favor with a band of Chippewa 
Indians, and remained with them iintil the following spring. Le 
Vasseur's adaptability is evidenced by the fact that he so ingratiated 
himself with the Indians that when he desired to leave them the chief 
informed him that he had been made a membar of the tribe, and they 
would not consent to his departure ; and he and his companion were 
compelled to plan a secret escape, which they successfully carried out. 
But it involved much privation. They made their way on foot to 
Green Bay. They were ragged and weakened from insufficient food 
when they found succor at a temporary camp of the American Fur 
Company on Green Bay They were then sent on to Mackinac, and 
there re-engaged in the service of the fur company. 

But Le Vasseur's experience with the Indians on this adventure 
proved of great value to him. He had learned their tongue, and from 
this time foward he, was sent to various distant points to barter with 
the Indians, until the fur company finally deputed to him the im 
portant mission into the Illinois Country to open trade relations with 
the Potawatomies, who were reported very successful in capturing 
furs. It is said that Le Vasseur's dealings with the Indians were 
very successful, and were likewise always satisfactory to the Indians. 
In those early days in all of his transactions with his red brethren, as 
well as in his relations to others, he exemplified the spirit of what 
our President has popularly characterized the '"square deal.'' 

One of his methods of bookkeeping, particularly, is of interest, 
especially in view of the fact that he could not read or write. His 
entries were pictorial. At the head of the account with any particular 
Indian he would draw a picture of that which the Indian's name 
would ordinarily suggest. For instance, if he had opened an account 
with an Indian by the name of Beaver, at the top of the page he 


would draw the picture of a beaver. And if Beaver had bought 
powder on time, there would have been numerous black specks placed 
on the page, with the picture of a round moon for each month of time 
that credit was given. Or if Beaver had bought a gun or knife an 
appropriate picture would be the entry. And when Beaver would 
come with his pelts and furs to pay his bill he himself could read and 
understand this account in LeVasseur's ledger, and would be entirely 
satisfied with its correctness. 

In 1818, at Mackinac, LeVasseur had become acquainted with 
Ciurdon S. Hubbard, and it is said that some years later he and 
Hubbard both left the service of the fur company and formed a part- 
nership and engaged in the fur business themselves. It may be that 
this was about the time of the establishment of the post on the Iro- 
quois, and that this post was established in the interest of their part- 
nership and not for the fur company. It is, however, certain that 
for many years LeVasseur maintained this post, himself making trips 
into the tributary country, and frequently coming to Bulbona's Grove 
to trade with Burbonnais and his Potawatomie kinsmen. And it is 
not to be doubted that he was much impressed by the beauty and 
fertility of the region. 

I understand thatGurdon S. Hubbard was authority for the state- 
ment that LeVasseur settled at Bourbonnais Grove in March, 1882, 
and that he was Bourbonnais' first actual white settler. In the fall 
of this year, by the treaty of Tippecanoe, the Potawatomies ceded to 
the United States Government a large area of land, including that 
along the Kankakee, except certain reservations made therein. Most 
of these reservations were contiguous to Bourbonnais Grove, and Le- 
Vasseur bought much of this reserved land from the Indians. 

About 18Hf) and 1887, under the supervision of the Government, 
the Indians were moved westward, and Mr. LeVasseur was the 
Government agent in charge of their removal. At this time his wife, 
an Indian woman, went with her own people, her husband, LeVasseur, 
continuing his residence at Bourbonnais Grove. In passing, it may 
be stated that her name was Watseka, and that it was after her that 
the county seat of Iroquois county was named. As issue of his 
marriage with Watseka, Mr. LeVasseur had three children, but they 
all afterwards died without descendants. 

The opening of the Indian lands to the whites, in consequence of 
the treaty of 1882. attracted not a few settlers to the vicinity of 
Bourbonnais Grove. A postoffice was established in the locality as 
early as 1886, which, by the way. for nearly two years was officially 
designated as "Kankakee," but on March 15. 1838. its designation 
was changed by the postal authorities to "Bull-bonas Grove." 

Catholicism made its advent in 1887, when in June Father 
Lalumiere said the first mass; and it was at this mass that the first 
baptism occurred, that of a child named Andr6 Bray. But not for 
several years did French settlers come, and as the theme assigned me 
pertains to the French settlement, I will not appropriate any of my 
time to the worthy pioneers who preceded the French immigration. 

In 1840. LeVasseur built his first house near the place where St. 
Viatcur's College now stands in the village of Bourbonnais. And 


then he went to Canada in quest of a wife and also to induce 
Canadian immigration to the Bonrbonnais country, which it is said 
he portrayed as the second promised hmd. He came back the follow- 
ing year without a companion however, but the stories he had told to 
his Canadian countrymen, of how fortune smiled on the frugal and 
industrious in his adopted home, illustrated and corroborated by his 
own success in the accumulation of landed wealth, kindled their im- 
aginations. His reports were published far and wide. One who was 
induced by them to try his fortune on the Kankakee, makes the fol- 
lowing statement: "They read like interesting romance. They 
caused a great sensation. In some localities people became greatly 
excited and prepared to sell their farms and holdings forthwith in 
order to goat once to the new country." 

But it is said that the immigration to Bourbonnais did not com- 
mence until 1844. That year there came the Rivards, St. Pierres, 
Flageoles, Legris, Delunais, Lapolice, Martins, Savoies, Belgards, 
Latluers, Coriveaux and other families no less prominent. 

Le Vasseur interested himself actively in the welfare of all the new 
accessions to the colony. He located their land at the government 
land office; sold them land, and helped them to build their homes. In 
1846 the early reports of Le Vasseur, concerning this splendid coun- 
try, were revived; and that year witnessed perhaps the largest number 
of French Canadain immigrants to Bourbonnais. In 1847 three men 
came on behalf of Canadian friends and relatives to investigate con- 
ditions and report thereon. They were John B. Letourneau, Captain 
Fortin and Alexander Boucher. They all returned to Canada, carry- 
ing back most encouraging reports of the general prosperity enjoyed 
by the Bourbonnais settlers. But with them had come George R. 
Letourneau and Godfrey Mathieu, who remained and became perma- 
nent and substantial factors in building up this prosperous commun- 
ity. The next year, others came, moved by the favorable reports of 
.John B. Letourneau and his associates of the preceding year. 

Among those who came in the years 184(), 1847 and 1849 were Peter 
Spink, the four Fortin brothers and families, the two Langlois broth- 
ers and their families, the Dellibacks, David Granger, the Brosseaus, 
Joseph E. Labrie, the Bissettes, Rossettes, Lesages, and Alexis Car- 
rom. The French immigration practically ceased with the years 1850, 
1851 and '52. Among the last immigrants were the families of the 
Grandpr^ brothers, of Constantin, of the two Berard brothers, the 
Lesages and Brais. 

For years all immigrants from Canada, whatever their ultimate ob- 
jective, came primarily to Bourbonnais and made this the base of 
their first plans and operations in the new country. Many of them 
settled afterwards in other portions of the county or in neighboring 
counties. Our appreciation of the importance of the French settle- 
ment here and our interest in it must be greatly increased when we 
pause to think that from it went forth the people who established 
every other French town in Kankakee and Iroquois counties. Kan- 
kakee in a large measure, St. Anne, LeErable. St. Mary, Paj^ineau, 
all must acknowledge Bourbonnais as the mother: and. more than 


that, from old Bourbonnais and these, her nearby children, sprang all 
the French Canadian colonies of Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota and the 

This is the story of Bourbonnais and the early French settlement 
thereof; but we must not leave the account of Le Vasseur so incom- 
plete. He was united in marriage with Miss Ruth Bull, of Danville. 
As the issue of this marriage there were eight children, four boys and 
four girls; all of whom are now deceased, except one, Mrs. Dr. Mo- 
nast, of Chicago. Mrs. Le Vasseur was a protestant. but she reared 
all of her children in the Catholic faith of her husband. She died in 
18(50. Mr. Le Vasseur was again married in 18(U. 

On March 15. 1875, there was held an election of the Bourbonnais 
citizens for the purpose of voting on the ijroi30sition to incorporate 
the Village of Bourbonnais under the general law. The order in 
which the citizens cast their votes at this election, was probably not 
prearranged, but it seems appropriate and the fact is that a list of 
names of voters who participated in that election as it appears among 
the tiles of the County Court of Kankakee county, is headed by the 
name of Noel Le Vasseur It seems that another election was held 
on the l-3th of April of that year, for the same purpose, which resiilted 
in the incorporation of the Village of Bourbonnais; and Noel Le Vas- 
seur appears as a voter at that election also. 

He died in 1879; full of years and honor. His mortal remains rest 
in the cemetery near the old town and in the locality wherein through 
his influence thousands of his Canadian countrymen found and made 
contented, prosperous homes. 

It is not improbable that there are still extant in Canada, old news- 
papers or other prints, containing the accounts which Le Vasseur 
gave to his people sixty-six years ago, — and his glowing prophesies 
of the future greatness of the country to which he then urged them 
to come. They would be interesting at this time. Events have con- 
firmed and fulfilled them all. Those people who acted iTpon his rep- 
resentation have been benefited and they have benefited others. 
Their material prosperity has been great. They have made their little 
city a seat of learning. St. Viateur's college attracts the ambitious 
youth of many states and jjrepares them for the best in life. They 
have supported that other pillar of good government, religion. And 
at Bourbonnais, the mother of the French towns, and the mother of 
Catholicism in the Kankakee country, there seems to be a double sig- 
nificance in the appellation of her great religious congregation and 
institution, "The Church of the Maternity."' Her people have been 
sober, industrious, energetic and progressive. They have proven 
themselves useful and worthy citizens of the country they have 
adopted as their own. From among them have been chosen men who 
have honorably filled jjositions of jiublic trust; and there is not a legi- 
timate industry or business, there is not a learned profession, whether 
it be of music or medicine or law or theology, that is not today graced 
by descendants of the early French settlers of Bourbonnais. 




1880 TO 1850. 

(By Samuel Willard.) 

A little Yankee boy, then just nine years old, in December, 1830, 
familiarly walked the streets of mazy Boston, all nnforeseeing that in 
April of the next year he should become an lUinoisan, and so remain 
for the next seventy-five years of his long life. That boy, now in his 
eighty- fifth year, is asked to tell how Illinois, which was, as a state, 
only three years older than himself, looked to his observant eyes; and 
what he thought of the peoj)le, mostly southern, among whom he was 

It is a very trite saying that we live in a transitional age. I object 
to that sage maxim if it is understood to mean that other ages are 
not transitional. The student of man and of history sees that all 
ages have been ages of movement. One need not be a believer in 
Darwin's special theories of evolution to assert that, as strongly as 
does the Darwinian. The fact is as patent in the time of Solon in 
Athens or of Caesar in Rome as it is in European history from 1700 
to 1900. But there are vast differences of movement. Take the 
eighty-four years of my life as a measuring rod and apply it any- 
where upon the panoramic map of history; nowhere else will you find 
such rapid movement, such far-reaching occurrences, such heart- 
shaking catastrophes, and such splendid triumphs for man as illus- 
trate my eighty-four j^ears. 

Will you make with me the vain effort to reconstruct the world into 
which I was born? Dismiss at once the telegraph, telephone, and 
phonograph, and electricity as a working force, with its trolley cars 
and its illumination. Take up your railroads ; for in my fifth year the 
first rail in America w^as laid by Solomon Willard, my grandfather's 
first cousin, to carry from the Quincy quarries to the water's edge the 
granite blocks for the Bunker Hill monument which he was building. 
Live without your daily paper and the news from every hemisphere. 
Let the furnaces and stoves be as rare in dwellings as open fires are 
now; and let the fuel be wood; our great steamers on the western 
rivers feed their fires with green cord-wood obtainable on the shores. 
Let the home light be a dipped candle, a whale-oil lamp, or a saucer 
of lard with a rag wick burning at the brim; for by the latter I 
studied most of my evening lessons in college. Bring back into most 
country houses the two spinning-wheels for wool and flax, and clothe 


men and women in home-spun and home-dyed garments; for the few- 
factories are insufficient and Lowell is not yet built. Shoes are made 
by the shoemaker only, of the same shape for both feet, not for right 
and left. Let your colleges be few, the preparatory schools be pri- 
vate enterprises called academies; and the common schools, except in 
New England, mere puny promises of what we have now. Restore 
slavery with its inhumanities and its political jealousies and bicker- 
ings in nearly all the states except New^ England and the free North- 
west; for it did not end in New York until my sixth year. Cut down 
the number of states to twenty four, all east of the Mississippi, save 
Missouri and Louisiana; and count the total population of the w^hole 
land less than ten million, or less than twice what Illinois has now. 
Give back to Mexico, Texas and all the states that bestride the Eocky 
Mountains or border the Pacific, except Washington and Oregon, wild 
wastes, of which Bryant wrote, 

' 'Or lose thyself in the continuous woods, 
"Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound 
"Save its own dashings.",, 

Cover all the gold of California, and return to the time when the 
owner of a gold watch was surely an^opulent person, and the mines of 
the Rockies had not cheapened silver spoons. 

If it were not so far from my assignment I would expatiate upon the 
moral, social and spiritual effects of the great changes, who^e proxi- 
mate cause I find in Watt's perfecting the steam-engine in 1780, forty 
years before my time; he gave a push and set millions of wheels to 
whirling. I can only say that I w-as born into one world, and shall 
die in another. 

My father migrated from Boston to CarroUton, Greene County, in 
March and April, 1881, taking 27 days to reach Bluffdale, in Greene 
county. He had his wafe and three sons, of whom I was the oldest. 
We traveled by stage and steamer till we reached Pittsburg, and there- 
after by steamers only on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois. I thus 
saw the steamboats of that time, and the broadhorns or flatboats, and 
the keel boats, not then obsolete, but near the end of their days. 

I saw St. Louis when it was a city of less than 5,000 inhabitants, 
fast growing out of its French characteristics, one of which was the 
European narrowness of its streets, few in number. Third street 
was a border street on the edge of the country. 

The end of our travel was a passage in a canoe up a "sloo," and we 
were put upon a prairie with two and a half miles to walk to John 
Russell's house. Household goods went from Boston to New Orleans, 
and came north by boat, arriving much later. Another colony of 
Yankees came during the summer. 

Perhaps the first thing that caught my attention in my new home 
was the language of the people. My parents had kept me from any 
of the rustic ways of New England speech and from its snappy word- 
clipping; but the broad vowels of the south and west were Strang^ to 
me. For instance, I was used to the flat vowel in "there" rhyming 
with "fair": our neighbors said "tha-r". It was no longer strange, 
yet notable, when in New Orleans, in 1884, I heard in contrast in the 
parlor of the hotel the voices of both the southern women and the 


northern from Illinois and adjacent states. Of words, powerful for 
very, was amusing. A man saw no incongruity in saying of his sick 
wife, ' she's powerful weak today." Mighty was used in the same 
way: "A mighty nice woman." There is a single instance in King 
James's Bible; '"A mighty strong wind." "Right" for very, was new 
to me. "right smart chance" for a large quantity seemed ludicrous. 
"Ridiculous" was an epithet for something excessive, scandalous or 
unreasonable; when one man injuriously assaulted another, "the way 
he behaved was ridiculous." Toothache was "a misery in the teeth." 
Why should a bride groom of twenty-one call his bride of sixteen at 
once "my old woman", while she spoke of him as "her old man"? To 
the Yankee the most of the day before the meridian sun was the fore- 
noon, the western peo})le knew no such time and never used the word; 
they took the Bible literally — "the evening and the morning were the 
first day" — and spoke of no other divisions of the day. On the play- 
ground when the signal for ihe beginning of school was heard, the 
cry was "Books! Books!" and when the pupils rushed out, "School's 
broke!" "Su-vi-grus'' I heard often, meaning tierce, cruel, sincere; it 
was a coinage for savage, in the form of sav-ag-er-ous; so sockdologer, 
the finishing or decisive stroke in a fight, was only a coined transpo- 
sition of doxology. 

Money had new designations. The Yankee and the Virginian 
agreed on six shillings to the dollar, but the Yankee reckoned by shill- 
ings and pence; the Virginian, in Illinois at least, did not. American 
coins were few: the Spanish dollar and its fractions had the field, the 
dime came in slowly, "the dollar of our fathers" was never seen. From 
1835 to 1844 there was a great circulation of French five-franc coins, 
with many an Italian, Austrian, or German piece, but Spain held its 
ground until the L^nited States put the value of the Spanish quarter 
at twenty cents at the post ofRce, and in 1844 for the first time 
charged postage in its own coin. In Illinois the eighth of a dollar was 
a "bit," the sixteenth was a "picayune" — a word, strange to say, of 
unknown source, being neither Spanish, French, nor Italian. Prices 
were oftener given as two bits, four bits, or six bits, than in cents or 
the fraction of a dollar. The joke ran that the countryman asked six 
bits for his load of wood, but refused seventy- five cents and three- 
c[uarters of a dollar, the latter expression being unfamiliar. The 
Yankee had to drop his "fo'pence" and "ninepence" for the bit and 
the picayune. But the bit. or eighth of a dollar was also called a York 
shilling, because in the Revolutionary war the credit of New York 
had fallen so far that eight shillings equalled one dollar. 

As I have said that the United States post office was an agency in 
driving out the Sjsanish coin. I will tell of the operation of the pos- 
tal department. I remember reading in the papers of those times 
about extravagant contracts for wrapping paper and twine for the 
post office department. No one hears of such complaints now, but 
then the paper and twine were a necessity. Let us suppose that the 
postmaster at Alton has nine letters to send out when the next stage 
shall arrive. Two are for Boston, on each of which the postage is 
25 cents, one paid and the other un])aid. He has a waybill, three 
inches square, printed in columns. He writes the heading "Alton to 


Boston,'* puts in proper columns the facts about the letters, dates it, 
and signs his name, David Smith, Postmaster, puts the waybill with 
the letters and wraps all up in a piece of brown paper furnished by 
the post office department, ties it with United States twine, and di- 
rects it to Boston, Mass. The next letter is to go to Dayton, Ohio. 
He must go through the same process, except that he first consults a 
directory and finds that the distance is such that he must charge 18| 


cents for it. Now he has four letters for St. Louis, the postage on 
each 6| cents. But no letters are in envelopes in those days, and if 
a letter contains another piece of paper or anything else, a sample of 
ribbon, for instance, the postage must be doubled. Postmaster 
Smith is suspicious of one of these letters, so as a vigilant servant of 
the government he turns and twists and squeezes the suspected letter 
to see if it may bear double postage, and despite ingenious folding he 
discerns a bit of silk and a bankbill. So he mai-ks the letter 18| 
cents; but as the sender has joaid him a picayune, that fact must ap- 
pear on the letter and on the waybill Just then Willard comes in 
with the tenth letter, also to St. Louis, written on a sheet as large as 
the leaf of one of our metropolitan dailies, which he exhibits to the 
postmaster and folds and seals with a wafer in his presence, ten times 
as heavy and five times as large as the letter on which triple postage 
has been noted, but as it is but one piece, it goes for single rate. The 
other three letters being to different places, Smith must estimate their 
distances and price them and wrap them up. 

He has now his ten letters put up in six packages, tied and directed. 
An envelope could be used for a letter only by putting the letter into 
it in the presence of the postmaster to show him that but two 
pieces of paper were used; then it was charged double rate. Such 
was the awkward, cumbersome, costly way of the post office in this 
country, famous for its ingenuity, until July 1, 1S45. On that day I 
mailed a letter at a country post office where the postmaster said that 
he had forgotten that there was a new law! Stamps and full prepay- 
ment came by much later laws. England was in advance of us all the 
time until Armstrong devised the railway mail-service. 

I watched the process of the election of members of Congress and 
local officers in Greene county in 1832, my father being a clerk at the 
election. In preparation, large sheets of paper were ruled into col- 
umns, a broad one for the name of the voters, and as many narrow 
ones as there were candidates for the offices, their names being writ- 
ten at the heads of the columns. The voter came up and declared for 
whom he voted, the two or three clerks recording his declaration. It 
was slow work, but the voters were not many, and there was no crowd- 
ing or haste, I remember that my father said to the other clerks and 
judges of election, "while we are waiting for voters, let us do our vot- 
ing." There were three candidates for Congress, and one got so few 
votes that I wondered that he ran at all. He was Sidney Breese, later 
a famous man in the State, probably he ran well in other counties. 
This viva voce method gave the friends of local candidates an advan- 
tage, since they could keep track of the election and call in laggard 
voters for their candidate or party. But independent or whimsical 
voting was difficult. The ballot was introduced in 1848. 


Schools at that time were private schools, held by any man who 
could get subscribers enough to pay him for his imdertaking. Who- 
ever will may read of them in my History of Early Education in Illi- 
nois, included in the Biennial Report of the State Superintendent of 
Public Instruction for 188;^-84. No great scholarship was required 
of the teacher, as no pnpil expected to learn more than the famous 
triad of reading, writing and arithmetic, unless a teacher better than 
usual could get up a class in geography. Spelling fell in with read- 
ing. Isaac R. Greene was teaching in Carrollton in 1831; in the win- 
ter of 1831-32 my father followed him. Julius A. Willard was a 
natTiral teacher, and went beyond the customary lines. He made a 
small blackboard for his school, though there were few in the Boston 
schools of that date, and since slates were few and costly, he made the 
younger children learn to shape letters and to write by giving them 
small boards and chalk. He astonished his pupils at first by giving 
out the words of the spelling lesson not in the order in which they 
were in the column in the book, the pupils had counted and ascer- 
tained what word should come to each. When he gave out "intri- 
cate."' up went a hand in protf>st. "that isn't the word Mr. Willard, 
definite is the first word." Pupils changed place in the line when a 
word was missed, and the head of the class at night began at the foot 
the next morning. I saw not long since in the newspapers the death 
of Revel W. English, wdio was one of his older pupils. 

But the Yankee schools of Greene and Willard were not without a 
rival of an older type, known as the "loud school." In the loud school 
the pupil was not only permitted to study his lesson aloud, but was 
expected to do so, silence was evidence that he was not studying and 
might be at mischief. I was in a part of the town into which I rarely 
went, when I heard a humming sound like the noise of a distant mill. 
I looked for its source and went towards the nearest log cabin. There 
was the loud school. I could hear one going over his spelling: B-a- 
ba- k-e-r- ker, baker; c-i- ci- d-e-r- der, cider. Another i3upil would 
be reading from the English reader or from the stories at the end of 
the sijelling book : "My name is Novel"— "Norval," says the manly 
voice of the teacher; while another boy is struggling with the sevens 
in the multiplication table and has got as far as "7 times 8 is 4B," and 
the bass voice of the teacher chimes in "for reproof, for correction, 
for instruction." Children are apt to move their lips while studying, 
and it is reported that Saint Ambrose, in the sixth century, was 
wondered at because he could read and understand without moving 
his lips. 

One part of my real edncation, one practically very valuable, can- 
not be obtained by a boy in these days of factories and abounding 
commerce. In such a primitive community, all the primary and 
necessary trades could be seen in their operations, and as the work- 
men found that I never touched tools or materials, they allowed me 
considerable freedom in their shops, and answered my reasonable 
questions. I saw the round logs drawn from the woods and squared 
into building timber by old John Dee's broadax, queer with its handle 
set askew. I saw what I think cannot now be seen anywhere in the 
United States, the framing and raising of Joseph Gerrish's house, 


done in the old style. The timbers of two sides were° framed or put 
together with treenails or pins, while the timbers of the other sides 
were laid near where they would be wanted, every piece being marked 
and numbered. Then all the neighbors were invited to the "raising," 
and these sides were lifted by hands, then by pikes, and lastly by long 
poles, while Grerrish and Dee guided the tenons of the corner posts 
into the mortises. Had they been careless or let the post slip, the 
framing would have fallen in wreck with loss of life. While a few 
guarded these erected sides, most went to set up the timbers and 
studs of the other two sides, where many hands but less of strength 
were required. Whether Mr. (ierrish furnished the brown jug, usual 
upon such occasions, 1 do not remember, I suppose that he did. 
For the finishing of the house no costly pine or soft wood was had; a 
rough shed was built, in which oak boards were stacked on trestles 
loosely, so that fires built under them might slowly expel the sap and 
so "season'' them; laborious planing took otf the smoke and shaped 
them. I saw the making of liuie as it was done in Greece twenty-five 
centuries ago. A pile of hickory wood, eight or ten feet high, was 
topped with a load of broken limestone; the wood was fired, and, next 
morning there remained only the white ashes and the calcined stone 
turned to clear white lime. I watched the work of the tanner with 
the raw hides, and of the currier while he finished them, then I saw 
the shoemaker and the saddler in all the processes of their occupa- 
tions. I scanned the work of the blacksmith and the farrier, and 
learned its reasons. More familiar was the work in wood by the 
carpenter and the cabinet-maker. When Smith and Baker built a 
saw mill and then a flouring mill, I was the interested watcher of the 
whole proceeding. In the flouring mill I understood every step of 
the business, from the winnowing of the wheat to the barreling of the 
perfected flour. Pine lumber was in those days floated down the 
Mississippi in rafts which were broken up at St. Louis. The boards 
for CarroUton were brought up the Illinois to BushnelPs Ferry, now 
Columbiana, and taken thence in wagons. While in the river they 
became ingrained with sand, greatly to the discomfort of the carpen- 
ter, and caused the early dulling of his planes, as I knew from ex- 

How to put up an ash hopper and to make soap, both soft and hard, 
I knew before I was ten years old. The art of the cooper I did not 
see in CarroUton, but in 1835, in the shop of Irving Randall, I knew 
Elihu Palmer, afterward a noted Baptist preacher, and his brother 
John. Both went to the academy, out of which grew Shurtleff Col- 
lege, as fellow- pupils with me. Thus it happened that I saw our late 
senator and governor, John M. Palmer, make his first barrel. 

Since there was no sister in our family, I was made my mother's 
chief assistant and learned more of cookery than I remember, and my 
father taught me, often an unwilling pupil, much of gardening. All 
this sort of. technical education has proved of great use to me. 

I may record it as a part of my Illinois training, that my father 
took a Whig newspaper, the "Illinois Patriot," and before I was 


■eleven years old I was familiar with the names of the leading poli- 
ticians of the nation, Andrew Jackson and his cabinet, and with the 
vehement political controversies then going on. 

I think that few peojale are aware that our pbgue, the rat, is a later 
comer to America than the white man. He is a Tartar, he entered 
Eastern Europe soon after 1700, and reached England about the time 
of Braddock's defeat. Like the white man, he has traveled west. It 
is not strange then, that in 1831 I saw men looking with curiosity at 
a dead rat on the levee in St. Louis as Chicago boys would look at a 
dead raccoon in the street. In 18ii8 there were no rats in Carrollton 
except in the warehouse of John Evans and in the two or three 
houses next it. But in 1831 prairie wolves used to come within a 
half-mile of the village, and I heard them take toll of pigs, which 
beasts acted as scavengers and ran loose, like the cows. There were 
no laws for the enclosure of animals, the fields and the gardens must 
be fenced, which was at that time the most economical way. After 
the corn was gathered, gaps were left in the fences, and. the cows of 
the village found fodder in the stalks and the omitted ears. A 
"painter," that is a panther or really a cougar was said to infest the 
woods near Carrollton at that time, but there really was one near 
Upper Alton and even on the road between that place and Lower 
Alton in the year 1838. 

Strawberries were not cultivated, but delicious small ones were 
abundant in the grass of the prairies, tiny but sweet. I went into 
the woods to gather luscious plums for preserves, the canning of fruit 
was yet to be invented. The tomato was in 1828 regarded as a mere 
garnish to adorn the edge of the meat platter, ' many thought it 
poisonous since it belongs to the family of the belladonna or night- 
shade. By 1882 my parents, who were pioneers in experiments, were 
eating tomatoes as everybody does now. The New Englanders in 
Illinois greatly missed the golden glow of the dandelion in the grass, 
and wrote to their friends to bring seeds when they should come, and 
thus was it introduced. 

The country people of Greene county brought little of their produce 
to the town except cordwood, grain for the mill, and peaches, apples, 
and potatoes in their seasons. The women brought chickens alive,, 
eggs, and butter. Of the quality of the butter there could be no boast. 
Mr. Alexander said to one of his customers. "'If you had left a little 
more buttermilk in it, I could have squeezed out a good drink." An 
English woman who was noted fortheexcellenceof her butter thought 
that there was not ventilation enough in the dairies; and using a 
superfluous "h" she said to her mother. "They don't give it hair 
enough." But I saw some samples which could have been improved 
by putting the hair on one plate and the butter on another. Time 
and a perception of the demands of the market improved the butter. 

In this land of strange customs it disgusted me to see people eating 
loppered milk, calling it bonnyclapper, when at my grandfather's I 
had seen it as pigs' food only. In most things the Yankees soon 
accomodated themselves to western ways, and used the open fire and 
Dutch oven as if accustomed to them all their lives. (By the way, 
Bartlett in his Dictionary of Americanisms describes a Dutch oven 


about as well as if in telling of a goat he had described a jack-rabbit.) 
But in a few years stoves largely displaced the open fire for cooking, 
in the farmhouses as well as in the villages. Ten years saw a great 
change in that matter. 

The people of Carrollton and the vicinity were mostly of southern 
and western birth. They called those who- came from Pennsylvania 
or JSew York, Yankees. I do not remember anything but good feeling 
and hospitality on the part of the people toward the easterners unless 
the latter in some way assumed a superiority. Each side naturally 
felt some amusement at the different ways of the other; but exj^ression 
of the feeling was good-natured. The New Englander had to give up 
his Thanksgiving or celebrate it in his own home only. It was harder 
to adopt the western enjoyment of Christmas, since the Yankee had 
for two hundred years opposed the festivals of the English and the 
Roman churches, the children were easy converts. The Methodist 
church, pioneer Protestant body in the west, was early in the field at 
Carrollton, but in i8H2 the easterners were so numerous that a Pres- 
byterian church was formed, into which the Congregationalists went; 
and a revival meeting added to both churches and caused the formation 
of a Baptist church. That was organized by the greatest Baptist 
preacher in the State, who is memorable for his share in the warfare 
of 182)^-24, when a strong effort was made to turn Illinois into a slave 
State. John M. Peck was one of the mighty ones on the side of free- 
.dom. He traversed the State in a thorough canvass, preaching the 
gospel and liberty alike. He was at this time (1832) forty three years 
old and still in his prime. I count myself fortunate in having seen 
three of the leaders in that fight: Judge Samuel Drake Lockwood, 
John Mason Peck, and Thomas Lippincott, the latter was in 1824 a 
politician, but was the first pastor of the Presbyterian church in 

In 1831 a man named Sullivan was hanged on the prairie west of 
Carrollton. He had murdered a boy at Eminence, a place now in 
Jersey county, and fled to New Orleans. I heard the testimony of the 
man who recognized him there, arrested him and brought him back. 
A Catholic priest visited him in the jail, and I heard the voices but 
not the words of the two in their interview: His confession was 
printed in a handbill. The gallows was made of an upright timber 
with a projecting arm about thirty feet from the ground. Sullivan 
and the sheriff", Jacob Fry, rode to the place in a two- horse wagon 
in which was a platform about six feet high. This was brought to a 
stand just under the end of the arm, then the sheriff and the criminal 
mounted the platform, the sheriff' palled the white cap over the face, 
stepped down, and gave the word to the driver, and the wagon moved 
on. A great crowd surrounded the gallows, there was no attempt at 
privacy, which indeed it would have been impossible to have. I do 
not remember that I ran away from home to witness the scene, I am 
sure that my father was not there. I remember seeing one of the 
eminent attorneys-general of the State, George Forquer, at a trial in 
Greene county about this time, but not at Sullivan's trial. 

Another infliction of punishment which would now be more revolting- 
in public than the hanging would be, I saw on the public square in 


Carrollton in 1832. There was then no penitentiary in the State, 
hence other penalties had to take the phice of continement. Near the 
courthouse on the public square there was set a strong post, an un- 
hewn log, ten feet high, with a cross-piece near the top. I saw a man 
brought from the jail by the sheritJ and a constable, to be whipped 
thirty lashes for the theft of a horse. He was stripped naked to the 
hips, his hands were tied and the rope was carried to the cross-piece 
and drawn as tight as could be without taking his feet from the 
ground. Then Sheriff Fry took that terrible instrument of pun- 
ishment and torture, a rawhide. Probably many of you have not seen 
one. To make it, a taper strip of soft wet cowskin was twisted until 
the edges met, and the thing was dried in that iDosition. It was hard, 
ridgy, and rough, but flexible as a switch, three quarters of a yard 
long. The sheriff' began laying strokes on the culprit's back, beginning 
near his neck and going regularly down one side of his backbone, 
former sheriff Young counting the strokes aloud. Each stroke made 
a red blood-blister. When fifteen blows had been counted, the officer 
paused, and someone ran to the poor wretch with a tumbler of whiskey, 
then the other side of the man received like treatment. Then the 
man's shirt was replaced, and he was led away to the jail. One of the 
bystanders said. "O Lord! he isn't near as bad cut up as G. H. was 
when L. M. flogged him three or four years ago '" Boy as I was, I 
did not know what a dreadful infliction it was. The whipping-post 
remained there two or three years, but I never heard of any further 
use of it. 

The pestilence called Asiatic cholera was first described by a Portu- 
gese physician in 1560. A missionary doctor told me that it is always 
present in Hindostan. In 1817 it began a new career, moving west- 
ward from Bengal slowly but steadily, until it had overrun Persia, and 
in 1823 it had touched the borders of Russia. It lay dormant for 
seven years, and then it moved forward again, now rapidly, in the di- 
rection of the great human migrations. It swept Russia in 1830. and 
ravaged England in 1832. having left a record of 900.000 dead on the 
continent. It appeared in Quebec, June 8, 1832. and fourteen days 
later it was in New York, and following the lines of commerce and 
travel along the Ohio and Mississippi, it was by October of that year 
in New Orleans and St. Louis. Generally but not always the cold 
weather checked it. 

In a suppressed terror, as awaiting an inevitable fate, the village of 
Carrollton looked for the arrival of the pestilence in 1833. Its poison 
went in the air, even now we know not wholly how. In some cases it 
verified Magendie's dictum to his class. "Gentlemen, cholera is a dis- 
ease the first stage of which is death!" Its premonitory stage was 
one of painless purging and vomiting, this was followed by sinking of 
ail the powers of life, spasms, collapse, and death. Sometimes the 
first stage was brief, and the violent infection of the poison carried 
the recipient of it into the fatal stage at once. I was a patient with 
cholera in 1833, surviving three onsets of it, as a physician I met it 
in 1851. 

—6 H S 


Sometimes the infection was so slight that persons of vigorous con- 
stitution seemed to throw it off. Such was the case with my father, 
who never took to his bed, and with my mother. She went to St. 
Louis in the spring of 1838, and soon after was very ill. Dr. Burritt 
said after seeing cholera cases that she had had a touch of it. 

Before the middle of June, Mrs. Clemson, who had not been near 
our house, died of cholera. Instant alarm spread through the town. 
Many lied, most of those who did not or could not flee thought flight 
hopeless, for the poisoned air seemed to spread over the land. The 
shops and stores were open only when some one specially called on 
the proprietor. Nothing was brought in from the country. A towns- 
man went out to get some chickens for the comfort of the convales- 
cents; as he ai3proached a farmhouse, the question was shouted at 
him. '"are you from Carrollton '?*" At the word "yes," the family ran 
to the cornfield leaving him to take what he could find. 

In the town, the silence of night settled down upon the day, save as 
the physicians and the well moved about in care of the sick. "Are there 
any new cases?" was the word on meeting. The daily stage with the 
United States mail came and went as usual ; other wheels rarely broke 
the silence except as the dead were taken away from desolated homes. 
The sound of cabinet-maker's tools might be heard as he made a 
coffin of unseasoned black walnut — there were no undertakers then; 
and the rank smell of that wood became to me so associated with 
this horror that for years I could not bear the odor. 

There were no gatherings of people in groups; I do not remember 
any religious rites at the funerals, any word of hope or courage; I do 
remember hearing the doleful tones of Dundee one Sunday in the last 
of the sad time. 

In my father's family were eight persons. My mother's nurse, Euth 
Rider, was taken suddenly and died soon. I was then sick. Rachel 
Scott, the hired help, but more an equal member of the family than a 
hireling, was a little ill when her brother came to take her to Pekin, on 
the Illinois river. Against advice, as if glad to get away, she went 
with him. While they waited for a boat, cholera came upon her. 
The family of the house where they were fled away. Her helpless 
brother stood by until she died. He now looked for help for a burial, 
but the only word was given from a distance, "dig a grave on the 
river bank, wrap her in the bed clothes, and cover her in it." 

Jime 25th, my youngest brother, Charles, a sunny boy of four 
years, died of cholera: ten days later I first saw death as I watched 
with my father and the doctor till brother John drew his last breath. 
Four of the eight were now gone. I remember the anxious face of 
my father a few days later when I went through a third crisis and 
survived, left the only child of my parents. 

In the haste of the frequent funerals, the memorials at the heads of 
the graves were ill-marked or not marked, and few could tell where 
their dead were laid. 


At last life prevailed over death, and the plague abated as sinks a 
tidal wave. Of the 5(K) people in the town about thirty-three, one in 
sixteen I remember my father calculated, died in the seven weeks or 
more of the pestilence. I have no memoranda of names. After a iew 
days of rest, my father and Dr. Burritt went to Jacksonville to give 
help there. 

One singular thing remained in our memories in contrast with the 
sadness. It was noticed after the silence brooded over the town that 
every morning a mocking bird in a tree near our house would begin 
his song with all its rich variations, warbling and trilling with his 
clear voice. Starting on a lower branch, as he sang he would fly to 
one a little higher, then to another still higher, until at last he 
reached the topmost spray. Then, as if borne up by the stress and 
outburst of his own melody, still singing, he would fly np a few feet 
in air, and sink back as if exhausted, soon to begin his solo again. 

In the year when the cholera was overrunning Europe, the first 
complete railway, with Stevenson's newly-invented locomotive, was 
opened in England. The ensuing interest and imitation was world-wide. 
Among the states that plunged at once into building railroads to be 
owned and oj)erated by the state, our own Illinois was foremost. A map 
of Illinois for the year 1887 shows a wonderful network of projected 
railways notably unlike those that the developed commerce of later 
years has created. It was the politician's map, devised by personal 
greed and carried by log-rolling — "you vote for my road, I vote for 
yours." But the State set thousands of men at work to make cuttings 
and embankments. Almost all of this labor was in vain, and the com- 
mercial crash of 1837 left the State burdened with a heavy debt and 
with only one short railroad to show. That was called "The Northern 
Cross Railroad," running from Meredosia on the Illinois river to 
Jacksonville in 1839, when it was opened; later it was continued to 

Railroads were made in those days by laying upon the earth surface 
cross- ties as we lay them now; then timbers of about eight or ten 
inches s(puire and of convenient length were laid lengthwise as we 
now lay the T rail, and were fastened to the ties. Uijon the upper 
surface of these . stringers were laid bars of wrought iron an inch 
thick and about three inches wide, called strap-rails. These were 
pierced with holes so that they might be secured to the stringers, the 
holes being counter-sunk, so that the square heads of the spikes 
should not come above the surface of the rail. The end of the strap- 
rail was cut at the common miter angle of forty-five degrees so that 
each rail might match with its neighbor and avoid the break sc^uare 
across which causes the perpetual click and hammering which we 
now hear on our roads. All this looked like the making of a good 
road, but in practice the weight of the locomotive and loaded cars 
tended to lengthen the thin strap, to loosen the end spikes, to curve 
up the ends and draw the spikes, and at last to make the ends stand 
up several inches. Such elevated points were called snake-heads. If 
the snake-head rose so high that it struck an approaching car wheel 
above its middle, the strap would be forced up into the car, generally 


goinu; throui^h the car and doing mischief. A snake-head entered a 
car and shot up between a woman's knees, making a ridiculous mess 
of her skirts, but she was glad to have escaped deadly hurt. The 
accidents were often serious. Presco Wright, of Springfield, told me 
that he and a friend were about to start on the same car. While 
awaiting its coming, the friend said, "Come, Press, let's go and take 
our last drink together." The car had gone but a few miles when a 
snake-head came up through the floor, struck his friend under the 
chin, and pushed to his brain, carrying him up bodily, a quivering 
horror ! 

Of course trains must run slow; and there must be a perpetual 
lookout. Once when I was a passenger on the road from Jackson- 
ville to Meredosia, the engineer, Cornelius Ludlam. would stop the 
train whenever he saw a snake-head, no matter which way it pointed. 
He would jump down with a hammer and a box of spikes, run for- 
ward, and nail down the peril. One day the best engine, the '"Betsey 
Baker," went otf into the ditch; and raising her was too expensive. 
Her lack of speed w^as so notorious that it was said that the cow- 
catcher was put on the rear to keep the cattle from running over the 
train. Then for a while mule-power took the place of the engine; I 
rode thus from Jacksonville to Springfield in May, 1845. Next fol- 
lowed utter abandonment of the road; a hundred thousand dollars was 
almost wasted; the whole concern was sold to a corporation for ten 
thousand dollars. 

My father moved to Alton in 1884. There in 1837 I heard Web- 
ster speak, and got some notion of his power as an orator. My father 
was a friend of Elijah Parrish Lovejoy, and stood by him in the strug- 
gle that ended in the tragic death of that gentleman, Nov. 7, 1837. I 
often saw Mr. Lovejoy at my father's house and in the pulpit. He 
was a very gentle man: not impetuous, but mild: not of that stern 
stuff of which reformers are supposed to be made. He resembled the 
St. John of tradition, but not at all the St. Peter. His stand for the 
right was like that of Jesus, calm, without heat, but firm. My hear- 
ing Garrison in October, 1830, had made me hate slavery; the Lovejoy 
tragedy intensified the feeling. But I shall not tell of that great con- 
troversy, nor of my work in the famous Under Ground Railroad for 
fugitive slaves ; I shall tell of an incident to which my helping a run- 
away slave led, though I begin far back. 

The week of our arrival in Carrollton, in May of 1831, was one of ex- 
citement and stir in the little town. There was to be the wedding of 
Edward Dickinson Baker, a young man not yet twenty-one, with the 
widow Lee, older than he. I am not sure whether I then heard for 
the first time that French custom, the charivari or shivaree. a mock 
serenade of tin pans and horns, often inflicted upon ill-mated couples. 
I heard one that year, if not then. Baker was popular, and if some 
thought that he married for money, it was hardly made a fault. Cer- 
tain it is that business thrived thereafter in the store of Smith and 
Baker, and in the* mills which they built. Moses O. Bledsoe, an old 
lawyer, clerk of the circuit court, and probably the most infiuential 


man in Greene County, favored Baker and led him to study law. The 
liking was certainly reciprocated; Baker followed Bledsoe's lead, and 
was even called Bledsoe's shadow. 

The Campbellite Baptists were making many converts in 1882, and 
when Bledsoe became one of them, Baker soon followed. One Sun- 
day I went with my mother to their church, and there I learned what 
was abundantly proved afterward, that Baker, young and untrained, 
was an orator by nature. The chiirch was without a minister, and 
was served, somewhat Quaker fashion, by inspiration of the brethren. 
Report of Baker's exhortations had led my mother to go there. After 
I know not what of dull discourse by some one. Baker stepped into 
the pulpit. His motions were easy and graceful : his voice was full, but 
clear, sweet and smooth; his thoughts were pertinent, uttered in pure 
English, warmed by feeling and adorned with metaphors born of a 
fertile imagination. That all this should come vividly to me now, 
after the lapse of three-quarters of a century — for I even remember 
something that he said — shows how impressive was his speech. I 
know that he moved men whenever he spoke. 

From Carroliton, Baker went to Springfield, and there became the 
partner of the oldest son of Moses O. Bledsoe, Albert Taylor Bledsoe. 
After the incident in their office which I am about to relate, Baker 
went to Congress, and took i^art in the Mexican war as colonel of an 
Illinois regiment. He went to California in 1852, and won fame in 
politics: but California was too hopelessly under proslavery democ- 
racy. He went to Oregon, won a republican victory there and was 
sent to the senate in 18(iO. On his way east he called to see his 
friend Lincoln, so that I saw him in Springfield in December of that 
year and talked with him. I can still call up to my vision his face as it 
was, darkly clouded by the anxiety which he felt in common with all 
patriots from that time forward. Less than a year later, impetu- 
ously leading his men as commander of a brigade, he fell in the battle 
of Ball's Blutf. 

In February of 1848 my father and I were caught in assisting a fu- 
gitive slave to escape. It was our first attempt, neither of us was 
caught again. We were indicted under the statute against harboring 
fugitive slaves. My father was advised to get a popular pleader, one 
called a "good jury lawyer." We went to Springfield for one, taking 
advice about members of the bar in that city from a resident aboli- 
tionist, Mr. Luther Ransom. Naturally my father applied first to 
one whom he knew, and whose special abilities and reputation he 
knew. Mr. Baker frankly told him, "I am seeking a nomination for 
Congress, and my friends advise ,me not to take any case that can 
atfect me injuriously, any case involving popular prejudices." He 
recommended Stephen T. Logan, who had as a lawyer the highest 
reputation in the state. 

The Legislature was in session then in the yet unfinished and 
.unfurnished State house, and Logan was a member of it. My father 
and I took seats under the gallery, and a page took a note to Judge 
Logan. There came to us a small, thin man, dressed in home-made 
blue jeans, with a hickory shirt (that is, one of coarse cotton, not 


starched), not buttoned at the throat, and he had the marks of tobacco 
juice running down from the corners of his mouth. And this, we 
were told, was the foremost lawyer of Illinois! He sat down upon 
ont^ of the rude benches, pulled a knife from his j)ocket and began 
cutting the bench between his legs. As soon as the case was partly 
stated to him he shut his knife and rose up briskly, saying: "I don't 
practice in Morgan." 

After some further scrutiny of the list of Springfield's lawyers Mr. 
Ransom said to my father, "I think there is no other man here that 
can help you." Hesitating a little, he added: "There's Lincoln: he 
always helps me when I call upon him for a man that is arrested as a 
runaway. He is too little known; you want one that is popular and 
has made a name." And so we failed to employ Lincoln and make 
acquaintance with him. It made no difference to our case, any Mor- 
gan county jury must have convicted us on the evidence. For this 
reason, after the Supreme Court had decided against us on the points 
of law, I pleaded guilty and threw myself on the mercy of Judge 
Lock wood. 

The first day of our search for an advocate I had remained some 
hours in the office of Baker & Bledsoe. Several men came in, among 
them was one gaunt-faced, awkward, long limbed man, who took a 
law book from a case and sat down on a chair rather too low for him. 
I noticed the long leg thrown back and doubled up under the long 
thigh, like that of a grasshopper I wondered at his make-up. Some 
one called him Lincoln, and he smilingly replied. I had not heard 
the name before and remembered the man for his notable physical 

In that office I siaw at the same time three men — Lincoln, Baker, 
Bledsoe — whose futures no one could have guessed, even with the 
wildest imagination enlisted for the task. Bledsoe was of a logical 
mind, acute, learned, versatile, able and even powerful in any field of 
thought except natural science, in which he was untried. He had 
graduated at West Point, then taught mathematics, next studied the- 
ology and was ordained an Episcopal clergyman, but had turned to 
the law. Before a Supreme Court, where the humor and common 
sense of Lincoln and the eloquence of Baker would have availed little, 
the logic of Bledsoe might have outdone Logan, or have adorned that 
bench itself. 

Had one who knew the three men been told that one of the three 
should become the President of the l^^nited States, and were he then 
bidden to point him out, he would have said: "Baker is not the man. 
for he was born in England; besides, eloquence doesn't win. See 
Clay and Webster and, earlier, Fisher Ames and Pinckney. Lincoln 
will do for Sangamon county, or to go to Congress from this district; 
but if the lightning of a presidential nomination hits him. it will hit 
the wrong man; he has more risk of being hit by the real article. 
Bledsoe must be the man." 

But when we look back we see that it was the fate of Baker to share 
in a war with Mexico, to go to a land yet to be snatched from that 


power, to become Senator from a region then tenanted by Indians and 
hunters only, and to lay down his life for the preservation of a nation 
into whose allegiance he was not born. 

Bledsoe was in five years to leave his law books, to sink his splendid 
powers in the humdrum life of a professor of mathematics in a South- 
ern university, gaining time to write two books; one, a theodicy to 
defend the glory of God, which was needless : the other to defend the 
glory of negro slavery, which was vain. Then when the trumpet 
called to arms Colonel Bledsoe became Assistant Secretary of War 
for the Confederacy, and went down with it. He wrote books after- 
ward, the most notable one being entitled, "Is Davis a Traitor 'f' 

But the third man, that ungainly, uneducated man, what of him? 
His fame is eternal. A thousand pens have written of his history; 
ten thousand tongues proclaim it; I need not. The man of the great 
heart was found to be the man of the great brain, worthy to rank with 
Washington, but better known and better loved; for to him God gave 
the courage, the spirit, the love, the wisdom, and the opportunity to 
save the nation. 



(By Hon. Orville F. Berry) 

I feel safe in saying that more, possibly, has been written about 
the so-called "Mormons"' in late years, than any other one class of 
individuals of the same number and importance. They have attracted 
very much notice in various ways, for more than three-quarters of a 
century. During the latter part of that period newspaper articles, 
magazine articles and books almost without number, have been written 
bearing more or less upon the subject of Mormonism; some written 
from the extreme anti-Mormon view, showing much prejudice and 
dealing with facts in a very loose manner; others written from a Mor- 
mon view with equal amount of partisanship displayed and the same 
treatment of facts. I do not expect to throw much, if any, new light 
upon the subject and shall not undertake in any x^articular to write up 
the history of the Mormon church as such, or to follow their history 
much beyond the borders of Hancock county. 

I have, in jireparing this paper, interviewed at length a large 
number of individuals who have large personal knowledge of the 
history of the Mormon church, or more particularly designated at this 
time, in this community, as the ""Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter Day Saints.'" A brief review of the history of the Smith 
family prior to their arrival at Nauvoo, the conditions that moved 
them from place to place, as gathered from the members of the family 
largely, I believe will be of interest. 

One hundred years ago the 23d day of December last there was 
born in a farm house located exactly on the town line between 
Royalton and Sharon. Vermont, a child, whose name was Smith, who 
became Joseph Smith the Prophet and the founder of the Mormon 
church or Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. When a 
small boy he removed with his jjarents. in 1815, to Palmyra. N. Y. 

In the winter of 1828-20 in the State of New York, in the village 
of Palmyra, the several churches united in a revival. In that revival 
Joseph Smith, afterwards known as the Prophet, and his sister 
Sophronia, as well as other members of the family, became very much 
interested. His sister. Sophronia, immediately thereafter joined the 
Presbyterian church. After the revival had closed, Joseph was in 
doubt, so his family say, as to which one of the churches he should 
join and this question he sought by prayer to God to determine, and 







then announced to his family and other persons that while engaged 
in prayer and in answer to his inquiry an angel appeared to him and 
said of the other churches, "They are all abomination in my sight. 
None of them are good." To him. they say, was given at that time, 
or soon thereafter, the outline and detail of the church which he 
proceeded to organize. Very soon after that the family removed from 
New York to Kirtland, Ohio, and there Josejih began to preach and 
to teach the doctrines of thechitrch. and. in keeping with what he said 
the angel had told him, he attacked both the organization and the 
doctrines of jjractically all the other cliurches. In doing this he at 
once arrayed against liim all other denominations. That feeling grew 
so intense in that locality, under the teaching and preaching of Joseph 
that a body of twenty-five or thirty men one Saturday night, prior to 
the time that Josef)h was to preach in the neighborhood the next day. 
came to his house, tarred and feathered both Joseph and Hyrum and 
rode them on a rail, demanding that they should leave the community. 
After this episode. Joseph and Hyrum and their family i)ut in the 
balance of the night getting off the tar and feathers, which they suc- 
ceeded in doing in time to meet the appointment next day. His 
preaching in the same community the next day showed, in a large 
degree, the determined character and fearless earnestness of Joseph 
Smith which characterized his entire life. It is said (aiid I have no 
doubt from the information that it is true) that the persons who tarred 
and feathered Joseph and Hyrum Smith were highly respected peoi)le 
in the other churches in that community. Their being driven from 
Kirtland, Ohio, was, beyond question, a direct result of their religious 
belief and teachings. This fact, the Smith family admit. Jose})h's 
preachings and teachings at that time were so strong against other 
denominations that the feeling was so intense that they were jjracti- 
cally compelled to leave Ohio. Without stoi)pingfor detail, they went 
from there to Missouri. I am informed and believe it to be true, that 
among the other teachings of Joseph, he emphasized human freedom 
very strongly, and denounced in unmeasured terms, human slavery 
and particalarly. negro slavery as then practiced in the southern 
states. I am reliably informed that the Mormons who preached in 
Missouri, were wdiat would be called in that day, Abolitionists. 

Arriving in Missouri they at once announced the building of Zion and 
the ingathering of" the members of the church from all parts of the 
world. In the meantime they were preaching against slavery. At the 
same time not only in Missouri, but in Washington in the halls of Con- 
gress the question of the extension of slavery wag an interesting and 
growing subject and, without stop])ing to detail the history of the stay 
of the Mormons in Missouri, it is sufficient here to say that it is 
not strange that preaching and talking in reference to slavery as they 
did both publicly and privately, they aroused the enmity of the south- 
ern slaveholder; and they were driven out of Missouri, not nn account 
of their religious teachings in any particular, but peculiarly because 
of their political doctrines: for at that time slavery was an important 
political doctrine. Though I am informed that many of their ablest 


men insisted that it would be wise to refrain from teaching or preach- 
ing against the cruelty of slavery, most of the elders and preachers 
refused to do so, and it resulted in great persecution and the final 
driving out of Missouri of Smith and all his followers. From there they 
came to Illinois, and it is with their history in Illinois, in a large 
measure, that we are at this time interested. Hancock county. Illi- 
nois, was the headquarters of the Mormon church from 188U to 1646. 

Hancock county is situated about forty miles north of the center of 
the State, on the west line, and within what is known as the "Military 
Tract.'" It is bounded on the south by Adams county, on the east by 
McDonough and Schuyler counties, on the north by Henderson 
county, and on the west by the Mississippi river, which' sei)arates it 
from Clark county, Missouri, and Lee county, Iowa. The central por- 
tion of the county is composed of th(! finest prairie land bordered on 
the west by the Mississippi and on the east by the timber lands along 
Crooked creek. The prairie land around Nauvoo. except im- 
mediately around the city, is a deep, black loam. The county was 
first settled in 1814 by the establishment of Fort Johnson and Fort 
Edwards, the present site of Warsaw. Hancock was first organized 
as a separate county in 1829. and at that time contained 350 persons. 
In 1839 there was a little village on the river shore, where Nauvoo 
now stands, called '"Commerce,'' with but a few houses. Just below 
was the farm of Hugh White, and just northwest on the hill, 
where the temple later stood, was the farm of Daniel H. Wells, who 
became prominent in the church and went afterward to Salt Lake 

While Commerce City was in fact a very small town, it was a very 
large city on paper, with streets, parks and boulevards galore, which 
had been ushered into existence by a small band of speculators. At 
this period, eighteen miles below, was Warsaw, with, I think possi- 
bly about 300 inhabitants: Carthage, the county seat, with about the 
same number. There were also Augusta, St. Mary's, Plymouth. 
Fountain Green, La Harpe, and a few other villages, mostly on paper, 
with not a newspajDer of any kind in the county, the entire county 
having a poi^ulation not exceeding 6,000. Such were the surround- 
ings and conditions in Hancock county when the Mormon exodus 
from Missouri began. It will be remembered that the Smiths were 
in jail in Missouri when the Mormon caravan left there and arrived 
in Nauvoo. They afterwards escaped in some manner and appeared 
in Nauvoo. While a large proportion of the Mormons coming from 
Missouri had settled in Illinois, many of them settled just across the 
river from Nauvoo, in Iowa. 

If you have never been to Nauvoo, and have the means, and desire 
to confirm your belief that the men who selected the location of Nau- 
voo made no mistake, it would pay you to take a trip to this unique 
city, but. more particularly, the unique locality or situation. The word 
■•Nauvoo" comes from the Hebrew, and signifies "beautiful situation," 
or "beautifiil situation for rest." It is situated on the east bank of 
the Mississippi river, in Hancock county, Illinois, near the head- 
waters of the Des Moines Rapids, 12 miles above Keokuk, Iowa; 10 


Nauvoo, Illinois 


miles above Hamilton, Illinois; 18 miles above Warsaw, Illinois; 50 
miles above Quincy, Illinois; 9 miles below Fort Madison, Iowa; 80 
miles below Burlington, Iowa, and 100 miles below Rock Island, 111. 
Most of these cities, especially the larger ones, were organized prior 
to the Mormon settlement, and a careful study of their situation 
would indicate the wisdom of the location of the Mormons at Nauvoo. 

I have travelled the Mississippi river practically from New Orleans 
to St. Paul, and I say without any reservation that few, if any. loca- 
tions along this mighty river can compare with Nauvoo. As soon as 
you come into sight, and view, even at a distance, the bend of the 
river, the valley and the elevated blutf. you exclaim, naturally, "Nau- 
voo, beautiful for situation! "' The river, over a mile in width, in per- 
fect symmetry swings around a rockbound shore in a semi-circle, then 
drops away into the first chain of the rapids. The river approaches in 
a westerly course below it, goes over the rapids southward, presenting 
to the view a long reach of wooded bluffs from Fort Madison to Keo- 
kuk. In this bend is a most beautiful second bottom, just above high 
water mark, containing eight or nine blocks; then begins a gradual 
ascent to the Temple block, and then another, and then comes the 
level land and prairie to the eastward. The curve in the river is some- 
what like a horseshoe. A straight line at the back of the city from 
shore to shore would be four miles, while the distance as measured 
along the river would be twice that number. Just between Nauvoo and 
Montrose, probably half way across from the Illinois side, is an island 
about a mile in length and from 75 to 300 yards in width. This island 
contains a heavy growth of timber, and makes a most beautiful break 
in the river. This is the place selected by the Mormons in 1889. when 
they were driven from the state of Missouri. Here, on the banks of 
the Mississippi river, they began the erection of buildings for homes, 
storehouses, and workshops, together with the magnificent temj^le 
referred to. Joseph Smith, the prophet, had issued a proclamation 
that his people from all parts of the world should come to Nauvoo for 
the purpose of making this spot the new Zion, where the work of the 
last days should begin. In answer to this proclamation, the followers 
began to come to Nauvoo from all parts of the world. Nauvoo at that 
time bid fair to become the leading city of the West; and in four 
years from the time the Mormons first settled in Nauvoo it was a city 
of 8,000 inhabitants. 

The Gentiles, so called — meaning thereby all persons not Mormons 
— especially in Hancock and the surrounding counties, became 
alarmed at the growing jjower. and especially the political strength of 
this strange people, and. as Smith charged, became intensely jealous 
of their material, political, and religious progress. From facts ob- 
tained by the writer from interviews with old settlers and persons 
familiar with tht^ facts of Hancock county, it cannot be doubted that 
they wielded a wonderful political power. I do not find the facts to 
justify the statement that the Gentiles were in any way jealous in re- 
gard to the religious teachings of Joseph Smith except so far as he 
used his religious standing to control civil affairs. He was accused of 
that constantly. His brother, William Smith, whose portrait appears 


herein, was sent by the vote of his own people to the legishitiire from 
Hancock county. During one session he, together with the influence 
of f Joseph, was able to procure charters of various kinds fron the leg- 
islature which, it was claimed, and the best lawyers believe, were 
charters unconstitutional in the powe^r they granted. Under these 
special charters the civil courts of Nauvoo weie organized; and the 
using of the writ of habeas corpus in the civil courts of Nauvoo, au- 
thorized by these charters, was one of the principal elements that en- 
tered into the continual conflict between the other courts and this 
court. Many arrests were made by the sherift' and other civil officers 
in this and adjoining counties, and in many instances the parties w^ere 
released by the writ above referred to at the court at Nauvoo. 

Growing largely out of political difl^erences, "The Expositor," a 
newspaper, was started at Nauvoo by Frances and Joseph Higbee. 
formerly belonging to that church. In its first and only issue it at- 
tacked in a most bitter manner, Joseph and Hyrum Smith and the 
entire system. The city council of Nauvoo ordered it supj^ressed, and 
the type was broken and thrown into the river. This occurred in 1844 
and led to the arrest of the Smiths, and was the culmination of all the 
IDreceding troubles. Judge Thomas C. Sharp, for many years editor 
of the "Carthage Gazette,'' and at the time of the killing of the 
Smiths editor of the "Warsaw Signal," was one of the men charged 
with the killing of the Smiths, and, with a number of others, was ac- 
quitted of the oflPense. Judge Sharp was for many years the law part- 
ner of the writer, and, while it is true that he was very hostile to the 
Smiths and to their plan of political management, as he called it, he 
was not even favorable to the manner in which the Smiths came to 
their death. The conclusion reached by the writer, after a very care- 
ful examination of the conditions jjreceding and after the death of 
Joseph Smith, is that it was not religious controversies that led to the 
Mormon trou.ble in Hancock county and th'^ adjoining counties, but 
that it was purely political, as indicated in some of the interviews 
published herewith. The writer believes from well established 
facts that have come to him from interviews with men then in active 
life, that a large majority of the peopL^ here known as Mormons were 
good citizens, but that it is equally true that there were among them 
men who no doubt used the church to cover up their own wickedness. 
This has always been true, and will continue to be in some degree. 

The writer is satisfied, from evidence entirely satisfactory to him. 
that Joseph and Hyrum Smith did not teach and jjreach the doctrine 
of polygamy. I believe the facts justify the statement that polygamy 
was first promulgated and taught by Brigham Young. When Joseph 
and Hyrum were killed, a great struggle began among the men who 
had been high in the church to succeed Smith. They were unable to 
agree, and divided into a number of sects and companies, the larger 
part going west under the leadership of Brigham Young. A large 
branch of the followers of Joseph believed that his son Joseph was to 
become his successor and only successor: therefore for many years 
they were practically without a leader, and the branch of the church 

•r ^.- 




























now known in this community as the '"Reorganized Church of Jesus 
Christ of the Latter Day Saints," are the immediate followers of 
Joseph Smith Jr. This church was organized in 18f)(). The reason 
I have here stated that I did not believe that Joseph and Hyrum 
taught polygamy, is that more of the immediate family live here pos- 
sibly than in any other locality. Several of their sisters live here, 
and a large number of their nephews. The followers of Brigham 
Young have freqnently come here to interview them on this subject, 
and have repeatedly been told that Joseph did not so teach I have 
been unable to lind any person who ever heard either of them so teach, 
and the further fact remains that his son and legal successor does not 
teach this doctrine. The reorganized church, of which he claims to 
be the spiritual successor and which has been determined by the 
courts to be the legal successor of Joseph the prophet, does not so 
teach, and they are as bitter in their denunciation of polygamy as any 
other denomination. There are in this county quite a large number 
of members of the reorganized church, and as citizens of the commu- 
nity they stand high; while it is possible that some feel, even yet, 
peculiarly about them on account of the history of the church here, as 
individuals they could not so feel in regard to them. There resided 
in this county from the death of Joseph Smith, until her death a few 
years ago. Catherine Smith Salisbury. The writer knew her person- 
ally, has been in her house many times, and has grown up from boy- 
hood days with her sons and grandsons, and the world would be won- 
derfully well off if all women were as good as Catherine Smith Salis- 
bury. A few years ago, in an interview, she made the following state- 
ment : 

"I was in Nauvoo a few days before my brothers were brought to 
Carthage, where they met their death. I shall never forget that Sat- 
urday, June 2;j, 1844, when I last saw my brothers alive. 

''Joseph had preached a sermon to the largest crowd I have ever 
seen. It was his last sermon. I might say it was more in the nature 
of a prophesy than a sermon, for he said, turning on the platform 
where he stood and facing some of the high priests and elders sitting- 
there: 'There are those among you who will betray me soon; in fact, 
you have plotted to deliver me up to the enemy to be slain.' The 
truth of this prophesy is history. He was betrayed, and by his own 
alleged best friends. These same fellows attempted to assume charge 
of the church at his death. They not only attempted this but they 
also attempted to introduce obnoxious teachings into the church. My 
nephew, the present Joseph Smith, president of the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter Day Saints at Lamoni, Iowa, is the true and only 
successor of Joseph Smith the n)Jirtyr. 

"I returned to my home that Saturdny evening, and I shall never 
forget the jmrting with Jose])h and Hyrum. That picture you hold 
in your hand shows how Josejjh and Hyrum were dressed as they 
bade me goodby. JosejDh took my hand tenderly in his, saying: 
'Goodby, sister Catherine. When this trouble blows over, I will come 
down to Plymouth and make you a visit.' Hyrum said 'goodby' sim- 


ply, but with a deeper feeling than I had ever known him to enter- 
tain. It was my farewell to them on this earth." Mother Salisbury 
says that the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum Smith lie buried in the 
family burying lot near the Mansion house in Nauvoo. 

"There was a price on Joseph's head and we concealed the bodies 
for a day and a night. Then we buried them near the old home. 
There is no secrecy about their resting place. When 'Aunt Emma' 
Smith, who later was Mrs. (Maj.) C L. Bidamon,died, her six nephews 
buried her near the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum. The story that the 
bodies were taken to Salt Lake is without foundation.*' 

I interviewed personally Elder S. J. Salisbury, spoken of fully else- 
where, who stated the following interesting facts: 

"I was born in Kirtland, Ohio, Feb. 18, 1835. My mother's maiden 
name was Catherine Smith. She was a sister of the prophet, Joseph 
Smith, and was one of a family of nine children, namely: Alvin, Don, 
Hyrum, Joseph, Samuel, William. Sophronia, Catherine and Lucy, all 
of whom became members of the Mormon church. All believed that 
Joseph was a prophet and espoused the gospel that he taught and ad- 
vocated. The church was organized in 1830. The family moved 
from New York to Kirtland, Ohio; from there to Missouri, and from 
Missouri to Illinois. Sophronia Smith McClarey remained in Illinois 
and died at Colchester, McDonough coimty, Illinois, about twenty 
years ago. Lucy Smith Milligan lived in Illinois for many years and 
also died at Colchester." 

"Catherine Smith Salisbury lived and died in Hancock county. 
She came into the State in 1838 and remained here until her death. 
She married Wilkins J. Salisbury, a Mormon elder. Her family was 
composed of the following: Elizabeth, who died in infancy; Lucy, 
who died at Webster and is buried at Burlington, (she married a man 
by the name of Duke,) Solomon J., Alvin, Don C, Emma, who died in 
Missouri and is buried in the bottoms in Alexandria; Loren, who 
died in McDonough county; Frederick S., who is now living in Ft. 
Green township. 

"Joseph Smith, the prophet, left three boys. Joseph F. Smith, the 
present president of the Brigham Young faction, is the son of Hyrum 
Smith. Catherine Smith Salisbury belonging to the branch of the 
church called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ, of the Latter 
Day Saints, represented by Joseph Smith, son of the prophet, who is 
now president of the church located at Lamoni, Iowa. The Mormons 
numbered about 15,000 at the time of the emigration to Utah. The 
church was split up into many factions at the time of Joseph Smith's 
death. About 2,000 of them went west with Brigham. Blair, Briggs 
and Ginley still held aloof, waiting for Joseph to come out. They be- 
lieved that Joseph would come out and take the place of his father 
and lead the church. They repeatedly interviewed him on the sub- 
ject, but he took no part in the matter until the spring of '60, when 
he and his mother attended the assembly where the church was re- 
organized with a membership of 6,000 people. It bears relation with 
the church faction of Brigham Young. There is a faction called 
the Cutlerites who own the lots on which the temple stands. 



Top. (1) Joseph Smith's Riverside Mansion never completed. (2) Joseph Smith 

Homestead. Center. School House erected by the Icarians from rock from 

Mormon Temple. Bottom. (1) Nauvoo Opera House on Temple 

Block. (2) Tlie Bripham Young House. 


"They split upon the question of polygamy. The Brighamites 
tried to make the people believe that Joseph taught polygamy. They 
came to visit here in order to investigate this question. They were 
told that neither Joseph nor Hyrum taught it, but that Brigham was 
its author. It was never practiced until 1852, while they w^ere killed 
in 1844. Hy rum's son, John would not adopt it. Samuel had four 
or five wives and kept them. He was sent to the j)enitentiary for it. 
Joseph F. ran off to the Sandwich Islands where he remained in hid- 
ing until President McKinlev's administration when he took advan- 
tage of the amnesty proclamation and came back. Is still living with 
his wives. Samuel abandoned polygamy after getting out of the jDeni- 
tentiary. John never adopted it. Joseph F. visited in Hancock 
county twice. He has five different houses and 42 children — 21 boys 
and 21 girls. 

''Were expelled from Ohio for religious reasons. Mob of 25 or 30 
tarred and feathered Joseph and Hyrum and rode them on a rail. 
Worked until church time to get tar and feathers off then they 
preached. Mob was composed of deacons and church members of 
other churches 

"Sophronia joined the Presbyterian church. Joseph prayed to 
God to know which church to unite with, and said that the angel told 
him they were all an abomination in his sight. None of them were 
good. When driven from Ohio they went to Missouri. They said 
they were going to build Zion there and that the angel would rid the 
world of wickedness. For such talk the Missourians called them 
abolitionists. They were expelled from Missouri in June. Brother 
Alvin was born in a wagon on the w^ay from Missouri to Illinois. 
First we came to Illinois in 1838, moved on a farm east of Macomb, 
from there to Plymouth. Don was born in '41, at Plymouth. In the 
fall of '45 moved to Nauvoo and were driven out of there in "4(3. I 
will be 70 years old in Sej)tember. Am an elder in the church ; was 
baptized in 1873 and have been elder for the last thirty odd years. 
Don C. has been an elder for 18 months. Fred is deacon to the 
church. Believe in immersion. 

"I was nine years old when Joseph and Hyrum were killed. We 
were living at Plymouth. Story of the night the mob came after 
mother. Four children at home — Lucy, 11, Solomon, Alvin, and Don, 
a baby. Were frightened. At 10:00 o'clock went to Dr. Griswold's. 
Doctor out with mob, when came home said: We are not warring 
upon women and children. Stayed there until mother returned, 
three or four days later. Were expelled from Naiivoo in the spring 
of '46. Parching corn ail winter to take west. Ground it in coffee 
mills. Crossed on the ice. Men and women fighting over children. 
Trip down the river in a flat boat. Started in '46. Stopped at Keokuk 
and let woman and child off. Had a cow in boat. Tow head at Alexan- 
dria, could hardly get around. Row broke and Kelley went over- 
board. Swam to shore. Landed at wood yard. Having dance. They 
helped to get boat out. Got ready to start to St. Louis. Ladies 
would not get onto boat. Cut cord wood. Had ague all winter. 
Moved to Warsaw in '47, and have resided in McDonough and Han- 
cock counties ever since." 


I called upon Hon. (jeorgo Edmunds, one of the oldest settlers in 
the county and one of the oldest and ablest lawyers in Western Illi- 
nois. He was connected as attorney with much of the Mormon 
legislation. I asked him a number of questions about the Mormons. 
I quote the (luestions and his answers to them: 

"What is your tirst recoilec^tion of Joseph and Hyrum Smith?"" 

"I never saw Hyrum Smith. I once saw Joseph Smith, about 
seventy years ago. when he was taking a party of his adherents from 
Palmyra, N. Y., to Kirtland, Ohio. That was the only time I ever 
saw him.'' 

"Were either of them ambitious politically?" 

"No doubt Joseph was. He aspired to be President of the United 
States, and was a candidcite, I think, in '44, the year he was killed. 
I never heard of Hyrum's figuring politically, except in one instance, 
When Cyrus Walker, formerly of Macomb, was candidate for Con- 
gress, Josej)h had promised to vote for Walker, but the Sunday be- 
fore the election, at an immense meeting of the Mormons in Nauvoo, 
Hyrum got up before the congregation and announced that he had 
had a revelation, and that that revelation required the vote of the 
Mormon population to be thrown to the democratic candidate and 
against Walker, Joseph, thereupon, from the same stand, said that 
Hyrum was a good man and he no doubt had had the revelation he 
stated he had, but said that he personally had promised to vote for 
Walker, and that he would do so. The others were at liberty to do as 
they pleased. The result was that the entire vote of the Mormon 
population, except that of Joseph Smith and Kimball, was cast for 
the democratic candidate and against Walker. Joseph Smith and 
Kimball voted for Walker; and the democratic candidate was elected 
over Walker. This was one of the elements that brought about the 
death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith." 

"What part did they take and what influence did they exert in the 
political matters of Hancock county?" 

"There is no question but that they controlled the political status 
of Hancock county from '42 up to the time of Joseph and Hyrum 
Smith's death, having a large majority of all the legal voters of the 
county under their control." 

"Were Joseph or Hyrum, both or either of them, sincere in their 
political convictions, and did they use them to promote their other 

"I can only speak in relation to that from what I gathered at the 
time I came here. My impression has always been that neither of 
them cared anything about either political party. They were ready 
to go to either, where they thought it would work to their advantage." 

"I would like a brief, concise statement of the immediate cause 
leading up to the killing of the Smiths?" 

"The impression that I have and have always had since I came here 
is that politics was largely at the base of the trouble. Had the Mor- 
mon population voted for Walker, as Walker supposed they would — 
he having Joseph's promise to vote for him — the trouble with the 
Mormons, in my judgment, would not have culminated when it did. 
There was that sort of feeling existing in the county between the 











Mormons and the Gentiles, as they were called, that made it impossi- 
ble for them to live in the same community in peace. The Mormons 
had determined to leave, and had sent a commission to Mexico to look 
up a place to locate, and that commission reported in favor of Salt 
Lake. Now the question arose how to get all the people out there 
with them. My belief is that many depredations were committed by 
Mormons, or under their influence, that created mobs in different 
parts of the county, whereby large colonies that had settled at Green 
Plains, in Walker township, Hancock county, were driven into Nau- 
voo, and another like party settled at Shake Rag and Ramus, now 
called Webster, and others that were scattered all over the north and 
west part of the county. All were driven into Nauvoo. I have never 
had a doubt that these matters were instigated for the purpose of forc- 
ing the Mormon population to consent to leave this county and go west." 

"Give me your judgment of the justice or injustice of the driving of 
the Mormons out of Hancock county?" 

"I can say for the Mormon population, so far as I knew them, that 
I think I never knew so industrious, frugal and virtuous a set of peo- 
ple as they were. There were among them a few people who were of 
the criminal class— for instance, Wm. Hickman, a man by the name 
of Bear, two Hodges, and perhaps others who belonged to the Mormon 
church, and when outsiders committed depredations and ran to Nau- 
voo they were no doubt protected by the population there. They had 
an organization called the "Danite Band," whose mode of dealing with 
men that they did not want was to "whittle" them out of town. That 
was done in this way: A dozen or more men would get together with 
long bowie knives and pine sticks, and whittle, always striking the 
knife towards the person they wanted to leave; and when they 
marched toward him, the man invariably left." 

"I would like to have a few important events or incidents in relation 
to the Mormon period, which have not, to our knowledge, been pub- 
lished as yet?" 

"There was a universal feeling in this county among the Gentile 
population that was very inimical to the Mormon population. I do 
not think that any Mormon could get a fair and impartial trial before 
a jury of the county selected from the anti-Mormon population. 
Neither do I believe a Mormon could get a fair trial anywhere in the 
circuit, which was composed of the counties of Hancock. Adams, 
McDonoiigh, Schuyler, Henderson, Warren and Knox. It really, in 
my judgment, had become so thoroughly established by the acts on 
one side and the prejudice on the other, that it was not possible for 
the two elements to live in the same community, and it was wise for 
them to separate. Though the killing of Joseph and Hyrum Smith 
was a murder, it was done, beyond any question, by a respectable set 
of men — outside of these prejudices. While I believe that Backins- 
tos, as sheriff* of this county, endeavored to do his duty, yet it was 
nearly impossible for anyone to do so. One thing that occurred after 
Smith's death was that Backinstos, while sheriff, in calling out a 
posse of men to keep the peace of the county, incurred a bill of $15 

— 7 H S 


with some lady in the vicinity of Warsaw. He presented the bill to 
the county court, then consisting of three Mormons, for allowance. 
It was allowed, and George Thatcher, then county clerk, refused to 
enter up the allowance; for which refusal he was removed from office, 
and I was appointed county clerk in his place. He was committed 
for fifteen days, I think, for contempt. From the order of his re- 
moval he appealed and took a writ of habeas corpus to the supreme 
court, then in session, to relieve him from the commitment. The su- 
preme court, after going pretty thoroughly through the case, decided 
that the term of his imprisonment had expired, and he was released. 
That case, ex parte Thatcher, will be found in the 2d of Gilman. 
There are many cases that I might refer to in which 1 was interested 
as counsel for the Mormon population, that showed to my mind the 
state of feeling to be such that it was not possible for the two peoples 
to reside together in the same community." 

The writer also interviewed Wm. K. Hamilton, perhaps the oldest 
settler in Hancock county, who is familiar with the Mormon history. 
His father kept the only hotel in Carthage during the entire period of 
the Mormon trouble, and in answer to what his recollection was about 
Joseph and Hyrum. he said: *'! have seen both of them many times. 
Joseph and Hyrum both stopped in my father's house frequently, as 
w^ell as all the other prominent men in the Mormon church, and while 
I was only a boy, I remember them well. My father also had prac- 
tically the only conveyance between Carthage and Nauvoo, and I fre- 
quently drove parties from Carthage to Nauvoo. and was there a good 
many times. I have heard Joseph speak frequentl3^ He was a very 
interesting and fascinating talker. I remember very well when the 
Governor came here prior to the killing of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. 
He stopped at my father's house. Ford (the governor) was a weak,- 
vacillating man, not beginning to be able to intellectually cope with 
Joseph Smith." 

In answer to the question, "was either Joseph or Hyrum politically 
ambitious," he replied: "Joseph was. He wanted to be President of 
the United States, and everything else. It was their management of 
political affairs that brought about practically the entire trouble that 
ended in his death. When Cyrus Walker, of Macomb, was a candi- 
date for Congress, he claimed to be for him, but for some unknown rea- 
son the entire vote went the other way, and this caused a great deal of 
ill feeling throughout the Military Tract. He undertook, and did 
practically control from '41 until his death, the political situation of 
Hancock county. I do not think that either Joseph or Hyrum cared 
anything about political parties, only so far as they could use them 
from time to time to promote their own interests. A large proportion 
of the Mormon men, esj^ecially the leaders, were selfish, and some of 
them worse than that." 

In answer to the question, "State your best judgment of the im- 
mediate cause leading to the killing of the Smiths?" he said: "First, 
politics as I have referred to. Second, a number of men or bands of 
men directly or indirectly connected with the Mormons at Nauvoo 
made all kinds of raids throughout the county and adjoining counties 




Founder of the Mormon Church 


and stole all kinds of property. They were generally traced towards 
and sometimes to Nauvoo, and when warrants were issued for their 
arrests, they were in a mild way resisted or if arrested were released 
by the courts of Nauvoo on a writ of habeas corpus. No doubt there 
were men in other parts of the county, not connected with the Mor- 
mons at all, that did a great many things which caused the feeling 
only to reach higher. Excitement kept getting higher and higher. 
Every crime of every character which was committed was charged to 
the Mormons. Houses were burned and other depredations in differ- 
ent parts of the county, until small crowds of men practically forced 
the Mormons from the dilferent parts of the county, to leave the local 
community and go to Nauvoo. When Josph and Hyrum were arrested 
and brought here as a result of the action of the city council in Nauvoo 
in relation to the "Expositor," excitement ran very high. The Gov- 
ernor came here personally, and in a speech he promised the jieople to 
protect them from any further outrages by the Mormons. One day, I 
remember, very shortly before, or on the day they were killed, he had 
Joseph and Hyrum brought from the jail and taken to the hotel. The 
soldiers, many of them and the population generally were lined up 
along the streets. Four or five times from the jail to the hotel the 
officers in charge stopped and introduced the prophet and Hyrum to 
the crowd. 

This action, together with some others of a similar character that 
happened on that day, led many to believe that the Governor was 
really in sympathy with them. There is no doubt in my mind that 
the plan to kill the Smiths had been made a day or two before it was 
done, and while everybody in Carthage practically had disappeared, 
myself and another boy were told to go to the top of the court house 
and watch westward and see what we could see. We had been there 
but a short time when we saw a body of men coming from the west, 
bearing north. We went and told the parties what we had seen. 
They told us to go back and watch when they came out of the woods, 
if they came out. We did that, and very soon they came out of the 
woods north of Carthage and started for the jail. We watched awhile, 
but I was satisfied as to what was going to happen. We went to find 
the parties who had us watch, but they were not to be found. I then 
made for the jail and saw the prophet and Hyrum both shot. While 
there were guards around the jail, th^y were guards that did not guard, 
and, in fact, I think, understood the whole matter. I was the first one, 
I believe, to reach Joseph Smith after he was killed. The bodies were 
brought to my father's hotel, and afterwards taken to Nauvoo. I 
drove one of the rigs that took the bodies — I believe it was the body 
of Hyrum. Immediately after the killing of Joseph, all kinds of 
trouble began at Nauvoo. This ended in the final driving away of 
the entire crowd, except a small number who believed that Joseph's 
son should be the successor to his father. They remained here. At 
least they did not go with Brigham Young, and they are now known 
in this county as the 'Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter 
Day Saints.' No just criticism can be made of the acts of this branch 
of the church here." 


Believing that pictures will as well and of times better represent 
actual conditions not made in history, I have submitted with my paper 
thirty-eight pictures all of which bear directly upon the Mormon 
history of Hancock county. 

No. 1 is a view of Nauvoo from the center of the city looking 
southward, and gives a splendid outline of Nauvoo with the Mississippi 
river and Montrose. la., in the back ground. 

No. 2 is a view of Nauvoo taken from the Catholic church steeple 
looking southwest towards the river, and is a very good picture of 
Nauvoo as it appeared but a few years ago. 

No. 8 is a bird's eye view of Nauvoo taken from Blufif Park, la., 
and gives a most perfect view of the Nauvoo of today. 

No. 4 is a winter scene on Mulholland street. The first house to 
the left, as shown in the picture, is the building in which the "Nauvoo 
Expositor" was published. The Expositor was issued June 7, 1844, 
and was the only issue of the paper. It contained a so-called ex- 
posure of Mormonism and the city council declared it a nuisance and 
it was destroyed by the order of the city council by the city marshal. 
This was one of the acts which superinduced a great deal of the feel- 
ing against the Mormons in the county. 

No. 5 is a splendid view of the principal street of Nauvoo as it is 

No. 6 is a picture of the first house built in Nauvoo in 1828 by 
Capt. James White, from whom the Mormons purchased most of the 
land on which Nauvoo is built. 

No. 7 is the old White homestead near the village. 

No. 8 is the old postoffice building, built of rock that came out of 
the temple. 

No. 9 contains three small pictures: A, the only log house stand- 
ing in Nauvoo; during the Mormon times it was the home of Howard 
Cory, private secretary to Joseph Smith, the j)rophet. B, is one of the 
thirty pilasters in the temple, each one costing $3,000. C, is the 
secret closet in the Joseph Smith mansion at Nauvoo. 

No. 10 is a group of Mormon houses of notoriety in Nauvoo. A, is 
the residence of President Marks; B, Masonic temple; C, old home of 
Wilford Woodruff; D, home of Heber C. Kimball; E, residence of 
Wilson Law. These names will be readily recognized by every reader 
of Mormon history as very prominent characters in the history of 
Hancock county. 

No. 11 is another group of landmarks at Nauvoo. A, Joseph 
Smith's riverside mansion, under construction at the time of his death 
and never completed; B, school house erected by the Icarians from 
Mormon temple rock. 

No. 12 is a group of typical Mormon houses at Nauvoo. The top 
row are three houses owned by John Taylor; '"The Nauvoo Neighbor" 
office at the right; the center picture is the leading hotel during Mor- 
mon times. 

No. 13 is the old Mormon cemetery at Nauvoo. 

No. 14 is the grave of Emma Smith Bidamon. She was the wife 
of the prophet, Joseph Smith, to whom she was married January 9, 

One of the interestingr landmarks in Nauvoo. 

Now owned by Joseph Smith's Son, Joseph Smith, Jr., of Lamoni, Iowa. 


1827. She afterwards married L. C. Bidamon, on December 27, 1847. 
They completed the riverside mansion, and conducted a hotel there for 
many years. She died April 30, 1879. Mr. Bidamon was not a mem- 
ber of the Mormon church. The grave of Emma Smith Bidamon, as 
shown in this picture, is on the premises of the old Smith homestead 
in Nauvoo. The remains of Joseph and Hyrum Smith lie buried in 
unmarked graves very near the grave of Emma Smith Bidamon. 

No. 15 is a picture of the prophet, Joseph Smith, said by his 
relatives to be one of the best. He was born in Sharon. Windsor 
county, Vermont, Dec. 23, 1805; killed at Carthage, 111., while con- 
fined in the jail there, on June 27, 1844. 

No. 16 shows the prophet, Joseph, and his brother, Hyrum, in 
full dress. The cut of this picture was taken from a photograph now 
in the possession of Solomon J. Salisbury, of Burnside, Hancock 
county, 111., nephew of the deceased prophet. The picture was taken 
and given to Catherine Smith Salisbury and is said to be the most 
accurate i^hotograph of the two men extant. 

No. 17 is a picture of Hon. Wm. Smith, brother of Joseph and 
Hyrum Smith. He was active in Hancock county and was a member 
of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1842. He was a man of a 
great deal more than ordinary ability. 

No. 18 Catherine Smith Salisbury, sister of Joseph, Hyrum and 
William. We have referred to her and her family elsewhere in this 

No. 19 is the residence of the prophet Joseph Smith, in Nauvoo, 
and I am informed by men who have seen it personally, that it is a 
perfect picture. 

No. 20 is a picture of the prophet's old homestead, erected very 
soon after their arrival at Nauvoo. It is now owned by the prophet's 
son, Joseph Smith. Jr.. of Lamoni, Iowa, president of the Reorgan- 
ized Church of the Latter Day Saints, and it is said and believed by 
many that he is an abler man than his father ever was. The writer 
has heard Joseph Smith, Jr., preach and has met him personally. He 
is a man of fine presence and a speaker of great force and earnestness. 

No. 21 is taken from a painting said to have been made from a 
sketch taken at the time of the incident, and represents Joseph Smith, 
the prophet, talking to Pottawattamie chiefs on Jnly 2d, 1843. 

No. 22 is a picture of the first page of the "Nauvoo Neighbor," July 
3, 1844, containing the account of the killing of Joseph and Hyrum 

No. 23 is a picture of the old jail, as it appeared at the time Joseph 
and Hyrum were killed, June 27, 1844. 

No. 24 is a perfect likeness of the celebrated Mansion house, con- 
taining the secret closet so often referred to in Mormon history. 

No. 25 shows the door of the secret closet in the old Mansion house. 

No. 26 shows the temple. The temple was built of light gray 
limestone, was 128 feet long. 88 feet broad, 65 feet high, and to the 
top of the tower was 165 feet. The cost of the building was about 


$1,000,000. The baptismal fount, supported by two carved oxen, was 
in the basement story. The corner stone was laid April Bth, 1841, 
and the building was burned October 8 -9, 1848. 

No. 27 shows the present site of the once magnificent temple. 

No. 28 shows the "Hall of the Seventy," around which much of the 
history of the Mormon church in Nauvoo centers. 

No. 29 is one of the most interesting landmarks in Nauvoo, viz., 
the old Brigham Young homestead. 

No. 30 is the picture of the home of Joseph Young, of Nauvoo, 
brother of Brigham Young. 

No. 81 shows the first home of Brigham Young in Nauvoo. 

No. 32 shows the residence of Elder John Taylor, together with the 
ofiice of the "Times and Seasons.'' 

No. 38 shows a street scene in Nauvoo with the house of Elder 
Snow at the left. 

No 34 shows the home of Elder Heber C. Kimball. Possibly the 
finest residence in the city. 

No. 35 is a picture of Solomon J. Salisbury and his wife, Margaret, 
and their grandson, Hulen Furrow. Solomon J. Salisbury is a son of 
Catherine Smith Salisbury, sister of Joseph Smith, the prophet. 
Elder Salisbury is now a resident and one of the honored and respected 
citizens of Hancock county. The writer interviewed him a few days 
since and a synopsis of the interview appears herein. 

Mr. Salisbury is a successful farmer in Hancock county and has 
long been a resident thereof, as shown by this interview. The writer 
has many times heard him speak and preach. He is a man of more 
than ordinary ability and speaks with power and earnestness. His 
family are nearly all residents of Hancock county, and are numbered 
among its best people. 

No. 3(5 shows Don C. Salisbury and wife. Don C. is a brother of 
Solomon J ., just above referred to. He is also an elder in the church, 
a man of education and one of Hancock county's honored citizens. 
He has a family, practically all grown. Mr. Salisbury, himself, held 
a number of important ofiices and has always discharged them with 
credit to himself. His children are mostly settled in Hancock county. 

His son is the present Surveyor of Hancock county. 

No. 37 shows a picture of the Utah Mormon elders baptising a con- 
vert in the river at Nauvoo, October 3, 1905. It is the first Mormon 
baptism at Nauvoo since the expulsion in 1846. 

No. 38 is a jjicture of the Elders and Saints of the Utah Mormon 
church in conference at Nauvoo, 111., taken September 30, 1905, this 
being the first conference held by them there since 1846. The build- 
ing just back of the group is the Joseph Smith mansion in Nauvoo. 




(By Mrs. I. G.Miller.) 

On an eminence sloping down to and overlooking that river which 
has played so conspicuous a part in the history of our country, lies 
the little town of Nauvoo. It is not large in size or numbers, but is 
rich in historic events and picturesque in the extreme. An emerald 
set beside the clear and bubbling waters of the Mississippi, it is the 
ideal home of the idealist. Tliis town, founded by the Mormons in 
1889 and evacuated by them in 184(5, subsequently became the home 
of the Icarian Community. 

M. Etienne Cabet, born at Dijon, France, the son of a cooper, 
became, in the time of Louis Phillipije, one of the leading French 
jurists and ultimately Attorney General during the Second Republic. 
He was also a novelist of some note, having written, besides other 
books, the two entitled, respectively, "Voyage to Icaria" and "The 
True Christianity."' Cabet, living through the horrors of internal 
revolution in France founded in the Icarian Community, a life based 
upon a novel written by Victor Hugo called "Icaria." He was not 
among the first of his people to land in this country, a number of his 
adherents had before him crossed the Atlantic and landed at New 
Orleans. Hearing of land that was to be bought cheap, they repaired 
to Texas and settled on the banks of the Red River, almost opposite 
Shreveport, Louisiana. Finding this climate injurious to their 
health, they again returned to New Orleans, where they were joined 
by P6re Cabet who appointed a committee of three to sail up the 
Mississippi river to select a site for their final Settlement; he with his 
followers remaining in New Orleans until notified of the selection of 
the chosen land. The committee finally agreed to purchase about 
twelve acres of the Mormons' property. ( )h ! what a site for tired 
eyes to behold; eyes that had long sought for some peaceful place 
they might again call home! 

On evacuating, the Mormons had tried to destroy their temple; a 
beautiful work of art three stories of which were built of massive 
stone, these being surmounted by a like number of wood. The fire 
only destroyed the latter which was soon reconstructed by the 
Icarians; but after they had made splendid progress, a terrible storm 
came up undoing their work and also laying waste to much of the 
stone masonry. 

After this discouragement they determined to level what was left of 
the temple, using the stone thus taken to erect the required buildings. 
An immense structure was soon put up, the loM^er fioor consisting of 


one vast hall to be used for dining hall or auditorium. . This dining 
room had a seating capacity of 1,200, each table accommodating ten 
people. To the northwest of this hall was the kitchen presided over 
by one male cook with a detail of four women; and so systematic had 
they become that the 1,200 diners could be served almost at the same 
time. Tracks were laid from the kitchen to the dining hall, whence 
cars ladened with victuals were easily distributed to the different 
tables. From an artistic standpoint this dining hall was a work of 
beauty and exquisite taste. Around the walls were pictures painted 
by one Bergeron, an artist of no mean merit, with here and there 
mottoes of the creed of the Icarians, chief of which was "Every- 
body do according to his capacity." The upper floor of this vast 
building contained living and bath rooms, the latter having both hot 
and cold running water. Besides this, the largest building in Icaria, 
a school house was erected suitable for the accommodation of the 

The administration of this Community consisted of president, sec- 
retary, treasurer and seven directors or ministers. These ofiicers 
were elected for one year by the members of the Community, females 
of eighteen and males of twenty-one being eligible to vote. Besides 
this body, they also elected their members to the General Assembly, 
a legislative body which met in session every Saturday evening. 
Pere Cabet, founder of the Community, was also its first president 
and held that office for many successive terms. 

The application for admission into the Community must be accom- 
panied by 300 francs. The applicant was then put on probation for three 
months, balloted upon by the members and. failing of election, his 
money was returned with his rejection. Besides the official directors, 
each line of work had its special director or foreman appointed monthly 
and being subordinate to the general director of work. Each man or 
woman could select the work desired, but need not remain at that 
work, changing at times to vary the monotony. If, by any chance, 
there was a shortage of hands in any certain line of work, the general 
director would announce it at meal time and ask for volunteers; and 
he never asked in vain. The bakery was, like the kitchen, presided 
over by a man, but his helpers were women. The men did all the 
hard work, the head of the laundry being a man. but his helpers, like 
those in the kitchen, were women. Although there were many fami- 
lies, there were, at one time, lOH bachelors. Think what the mending 
must have been for this number. Of course the women attended to 
this. After the laundry work and mending for the week were com- 
pleted, each person's articles were put in the private box alloted for 
that purpose and the family washing returned to the receptacle placed 
for it. 

The school was divided into two sections, one for boys and the 
other for girls. Each section contained dormitories, which were under 
the supervision of two women appointed by the school director. To a 
certain degree, the boys were taught by the men. while the girls had 
female instructors. In the higher classes, professors taught the 
sciences, astronomy, geometry, etc., to both sexes. If a child was in 
good health, it was started to school at the age of seven years and 


Founder of the Icarian Conimunitj'. 


kept there until adjudged competent, the judges being appointed by the 
assembly. The education was liberal in the extreme, French and En- 
glish were taught and other languages, if such were desired ; and so good 
was the school considered that, at one time, about twenty outsiders 
were sent there to receive their education. In case of sickness of a 
pupil, the mother was first notified, then the doctor, of whom the 
Community boasted two, both good physicians and surgeons. 

All told there were about 1,800 Icarians during their sojourn at 
Nauvoo, but never more than 1,200 at one time. Most of the mem- 
bers were French, with a sprinkling of Germans and Americans, while 
Belgium, Spain and Italy were also represented. In religion they 
were also liberal, most of them being free thinkers; but joining a 
church was no bar to their membershiio, providing they broke no rules 
of the society. Children and adults had ijlenty of amusement, the 
children being provided with a large playground, while there was also 
plenty of space for the adults to practice their outdoor sports. The 
dining room could be emptied of its tables in about fifteen minutes 
leaving this vast hall free for whatever they wished to use it. 

On Saturday evenings, the General Assembly met, when its members 
would discuss all matters pertaining to the Community or try what 
cases of misdemeanor had been enacted during the week Of civil 
cases they doubtless tried some; of criminal cases, none. There was 
no cause for theft, for every member stood on an equal footing and 
shared all benefits alike: and murder was never even thought of. Had 
there been a^ny such cases the culprit would have immediately been 
turned over to the municipal authorities, for they never forgot that 
they were subjects of the United States, even raising the glorious 
"stars and stripes'' from their flag stafP. 

Sunday was generally set aside for recreation. After dinner the 
vast auditorium was given over to the discussion of scientific or other 
subjects; sometimes to music, the Icarians having one of the finest 
orchestras in the west, numbering about fifty members. 

During the early part of their sojourn in Nauvoo, conflicting and un- 
authentic reports went out to Washington concerning the Icarian Com- 
munity. The President sent a general and his stafl' to Nauvoo. to inves- 
tigate. The general's rejDortwas satisfactory. He was the guest of the 
Icarians for the better part of a week, and was particularly impressed 
with their music, which, he claimed, was unexcelled in the l^nion. 
On Sunday evening, in the winter time, the Community was generally 
regaled with some play; they had a stage in one end of the auditor- 
ium and also some actors of talent. After the theatre, adults and 
children indulged themselves in the terpsichorean amusement and I 
am told that there were none too old to dance. 

All that could possibly be done for the welfare of the members, was 
done. For the sick there were hospitals, one for men and one for the 
women. Should the mother of a family be in the infirmary, those not 
in school were sent to the play room for juveniles, presided over by a 
woman, or women, of mature judgment, the father attending to them 


at night. The "'Icarian,'" a periodical printed in the community, was 
issiied and circulated more for proselyting purposes than for the news 
it contained, even being sent to France, M^here from time to time, it 
won new members, particularly from the Commimistic party. 

Matters in the mother country had assumed a serious aspect for the 
working man. There was no work for the artisan and scarcely any 
hope for him who had passed his prime. On the accession of Napo- 
leon III to the throne, those who were known to have embraced the 
communistic cause were arrested. Such an experience was the lot of my 
informant :* arrested without joremonition, without even the shadow of a 
trial. transported to an African prison and there suffering tortures worse, 
if possible, than at Libby and Andersonville;this man of thrilling his- 
tory escaped by jumping into the sea from whence he was rescued 
and pulled aboard ship by one of his compatriots. After a lapse of 
tifty-four days he landed in America, making straight for the Icarian 
Community, where he was readily accepted and eventually became 
secretary of the assembly. He landed in this country in 1854. fought 
in the Civil War, and has since been a worthy citizen of Springfield 
for more than a quarter of a century. If, then, the conditions for the 
laboring man were such, what wonder that some of the best artisans 
of France migrated? 

Icaria represented those skilled in all workmanship: predominant 
among these were machinists, tailors and shoemakers. At one time 
the overproduction of goods by the two latter crafts was so great that 
a store was opened in St. Louis, Missouri, for the sale of clothes and 
shoes. Icaria jproduced its own flour, also its own lumber, having 
both flour mills and saw mills. Between Nauvoo, Illinois, and Fort 
Madison. Iowa, there are three Islands. From the nearest of these 
the Icarians cut their timber; in summer, they brought it by means 
of flat boats, of which they possessed two. and in winter the logs were 
transported over the ice to their saw mill on the river's bank. They 
had a cooper shop; a wagon factory, the excellence of which could be 
vouched for by many patrons in Keokuk, and a distillery producing 
twenty-four barrels of wh?skey daily and from the distillery waste they 
sometimes fed as many as 1,00() hogs. Overproduction of all 
kinds was sold in Keokuk. They possessed cattle in plenty and their 
stables were stocked with fortj^ oxen and about twenty head of horses. 
In dress there was no restriction as to style. They manufactured 
much of their cloth and bought some, and if the color and texture was 
alike it was so simply from economical motives, Crarden truck they 
raised in plenty and, though their living was not luxurious, every 
man, woman and child could have a surfeit of food. 

Early in the "fifties,*' the government offered land for sale in Iowa, 
near Council Bluffs. About forty-eight members of Icaria were sent 
there to pre-empt land which, of course, each man must take in his 
own name. In that way the Community acquired almost 8.00() acres 
of land. Once every month a large wagon load of provisions was sent 
overland, from Icaria, to its members in Iowa, the Community appar- 
eiitly foreseeing the day when its present quarters might become too 

* Mr. Jules Cottet. 

of Springfield, Illinois, a member of the Icarian Community. 


Like the Nauvoo of today the Community was skilled in the manu- 
facture of wines; but, though making alcoholic liquors, they never en- 
couraged their use nor that of tobacco. If a man so forgot himself 
as to become intoxicated, he was notified to appear before the General 
Assembly on the following Saturday, when he was well reprimanded 
for his fault. While life may have had its prosaic side, there was also 
romance in plenty, the sequel to which was an occasional wedding, M. 
Cabet deeming himself authorized under the law, as incorporator to 
perform the ceremony. Questions arising as to the validity of such 
marriages, all ceremonies thereafter were performed by justices of the 
peace. Justice Bauer, of Nauvoo, and others officiating. Weddings 
always took place on Sunday, when all members of the Community 
could take part in the jollification. 

Into this Eden, after a lapse of time, came the serpent of discon- 
tent. Members must share, and share alike, in work and benefits; 
work never exceeding eight hours a day in the winter and often only 
six hours during the warm weather, the sick and aged being exempt. 
With the understanding of what was expected, an application to join 
the Community must be accompanied by 800 francs and what worldly 
goods the applicant possessed, all money going into one common fund. 
Though the Community was managed on the most economical basis, 
the maintenance being but 7^ cents daily, per capita, including all ex- 
penditures, financially they were going slowly, but surely, to the wall. 
Coupled with this evident catastrophe, came the crowning fallacy of 
Pere Cabefs theory. He conceived the idea, and tried to convince 
others, that he, as founder of the Community, should be made Su- 
preme Dictator for life; at the same time he opposed the sale of goods, 
manufactured or agricultural, claiming that commerce and intercourse 
with the outside world would spoil, in theory at least. Community life. 
To this, most of the members retorted that, though they had tried by 
every means to economize; though they worked and struggled, their 
debts, instead of diminishing, were on the increase; that it had been 
sufficiently demonstrated to them that his theory was impracticable; 
why, then, keei3 skilled workmen on the jjlane with common laborers 
when the productions of the former might, by establishing manufac- 
turies for shoes, clothing etc., help to liquidate their indebtedness? 
They also tried to show him in a most respectful manner, that, unless 
something was done, inevitable doom stared them in the face. Their 
argumeiits. however, only angered him and made his opposition the 
stronger, the result of which was that, at the succeeding election, he 
was defeated for president. His disappointment at the turn affairs 
had taken, was so keen that he, with his minority of almost 200 souls, 
withdrew, going to Cheltenham, near St. Louis, in Missouri. He did 
not Iqng survive his defeat, dying suddenly; his adherents disbanded 
to mingle again with the world at large. The Community property 
was soon after sold, to pay the indebtedness; many of the members 
went to join those already settled on the pre-empted land in Iowa; 
and today there exists but a small Community, numbering about 
forty members, engaged in the fruit growing industry in California. 




By James A. Rose. 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen — When I was first in- 
formed that I had been selected to prepare for this society a paper 
dealing with the topic "The Flatheads and Regulators in Southern 
Illinois," I made up my mind that I would not be content with the 
preparation of a paper but would collect from every source possible 
all the data bearing upon this subject. I have therefore caused to be 
compiled every thing that could be found in the newspapers of that 
time, the Illinois Senate and House Journals, the acts of the Legisla- 
tiire, communications in the way of letters written by the Governor 
and executive orders of the Governor; and in addition to this I have 
obtained written statements from some of the older citizens giving 
their recollections of the caiise and the result of the disturbance 
known as the war between the Flatheads and Regulators. I desire 
now to give credit to the following persons who have kindly furnished 
me with statements: General Green B. Raum, Mr. James E. Y. 
Hanna. Mrs. Cornelia P. Boazman and Professor E. W. Edmonson. 

And thvis I believe I have collected for future reference about all 
the data it is possible to gather on this subject. This matter I have 
caused to be typewritten and bound in convenient form, and take 
great pleasure in presenting it to the Historical Library of the State. 
This lareserves for future historians all that seems possible at this 
time to obtain on the subject. Having placed the information where 
it is accessible to anyone who desires to consult it I shall make my 
paper a brief one. As these documents contain the names of many 
persons engaged, in this struggle and as many of their descendants on 
both sides are still living, respected citizens in Southern Illinois, I 
shall in the main refrain from using the names of participants in the 
controversy, only making mention of a few incidents of crime and acts 
of the Regulators as samples. 

I may here remark that the attempt to prevent and punish crime by 
means of regulating parties or societies has not been confined to 
Southern Illinois. At some time or other in the early settlement of 
different parts of the State it has become necessary, or, at least found 
exiDedient, for the law abiding citizeiis to band themselves together for 
the purpose of suppressing crime and exterminating criminals, and 


the compilation, by a competent person of all the data bearing upon 
this topic would make a very interesting chapter of Illinois history. 

In order to have a correct understanding of my topic it is well to 
remember that the southern part of the State was the first to be set- 
tled. The scene of the struggle between the so-called Regulators, or 
law abiding people, and the Flatheads or criminals, took place in that 
part of the territory bordering on the Ohio river, beginning at a 
point near Cave-in-rock, in Hardin county, and extending through the 
counties of Hardin, Pope and Massac to the Cache river. This 
territory was early settled by emigrants from Georgia, the Carolinas, 
Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. The great thoroughfare from 
this southeastern portion of the United States to the west crossed the 
Ohio river at Golconda, Illinois. Much of the territory comprising 
this section of country is hilly and at that time it was thickly 
timbered. Mammoth oaks, poplars, hickories, pecans and other trees 
were abundant. The hillsides abounded in springs of clear water. 
The forests were full of deer, wild turkey and other game; the Ohio 
river furnished fish. The bottoms, or low lands, were covered with a 
thick growth of cane and the hillsides with luxuriant grass. Acorns, 
hickory nuts and pecans were plentiful in the woods. The grass and 
cane aiforded pasture for the cattle most of the year, the hogs being 
able to live and even fatten on the acorns and nuts. So emigrants 
from the southeastern portion of the country going westward, after 
crossing the Ohio river, found themselves in a country where a living 
could be had with little work and where above all, they were upon 
free soil, and many of them instead of prosecuting their journey west- 
ward settled down in this territory, not, however, on the best lands, 
but in nearly every instance on the poorest lands, their homes, as a 
rule, being made on hillsides near springs of clear water. 

Again a great many emigrants came down the Ohio river on flat 
boats or keel boats and were enraptured with this country of beautiful 
vine-clad hills and stopped and entered government land and re- 
mained. So it was that this country was thickly settled when the 
greater portion of the State was almost uninhabited. 

Most of the people were good, law-abiding citizens — poor persons 
who had become dissatisfied with the existing order of things in the 
old slave states from which they came. They were not over energetic, 
nor were they avaricious. They cared very little for more wealth than 
was necessary to maintain them in comfort in their humble homes. 
But with them had come a small percentage of persons who had been 
compelled, to leave their old homes in the southern and eastern states 
because of crime and their tendency to break the laws was not lessened 
by reason of their exile from their former homes. 

As early as 1831 I find it recorded that a man by the name of Stur- 
devant located in the upper part of Pope county, now a part of Har- 
din county, and built a blockhouse and fort and entered upon the 
busines of coimterfeiting. It is said he was a man of genial manners 
and exceedingly charitable. He had a number of followers with him 
and for a number of months he and all his companions seemed to be 
good, law-abiding citizens. It, however, soon developed that he was 


making counterfeit bank notes; that he was giving them to his fol- 
lowers who went into adjoining states and distant parts of this State 
and were engaged in the passing of the money made by Sturdevant. It 
was found that he was receiving $16 in good money for each $100 of 
counterfeit bank notes that his confederates put in circulation. So 
well did he succeed in other parts that he soon allowed some of his 
followers to pass some of the money in the immediate neighborhood. 
Some of his retainers were arrested and tried, but in every instance 
they were able to have some one on the jury who would succeed in 
convincing the other members of the jury of the defendant's inno- 
cence, or in securing a mis-trial. Acquittals and mis-trials continued 
until the people became exasperated and an organization of prominent 
citizens was formed, composed of such men as Joseph Pryor, Dr. 
Wm. Sim, Rev. Wm. Rondeau, Hugh McNulty, Major John Raum, 
w^ho. with a large body of followers, armed themselves and descended 
on the Sturdevant stronghold only to find that their movements had 
been spied upon and that they were expected. A number of shots 
were exchanged; tradition says that three counterfeiters were killed, 
but 1 can not verify it, and finally a charge was made on the stockade 
and the door broken down. They found, however, that a small piece 
of artillery was trained on the stairway leading to the Sturdevant 
stronghold, and a halt was called and reinforcements asked for. Dur- 
ing the night Sturdevant and his band of criminals managed to make 
their escape and were never afterwards heard of in that section of the 
country. This is one of the earliest records of the citizens of this 
region taking the law into their own hands. 

For a time peace and quiet reigned throughout this section of the 
country, but soon other depredations began. From time to time a 
great number of horses were stolen and in nearly every instance it was 
impossible to trace the theft. Usually the horses were found in the 
possession of some person moving through the country on his way 
westward. He would be able to prove the purchase of the horse from 
some one while passing through this section of the country but would 
not be able to name or identify the seller. Again the country was 
flooded with counterfeit bank notes and silver coin. A great deal of 
it was passed by citizens living along the route of this thoroughfare 
leading from the ferry westward, and when they were detected their 
excuse always was that they had received it from some mover passing 
through the country in exchange for butter, eggs, meat or corn. The 
fact however became thoroughly impressed on the citizens that many 
of these persons while maintaining respectability in the neighborhood 
were connected with a gang of counterfeiters. Whenever any of the 
prominent, law-abiding citizens let drop any intimation that they sus- 
pected persons being connected either with horse stealing or counter- 
feiting it was not unusual for them to be visited with the burning of 
their houses or barns, and in a few instances, with either assassination 
or attempted assassination; and, as before in the Sturdevant matter, 
whenever arrests were made it was always found that the lawless ele- 
ment in some way or other, either through the chosen officers of the 
law or by packing the juries succeeded in getting free. Not only were 


thefts, arson and counterfeiting indulged in during the time interven- 
ing from 1881 to about 1838, but another species of crime became 
somewhat prevalent. A number of people from the south brought 
in their slaves and manumitted them; purchased homes for them. In 
some instances the younger members of these colored families were 
kidnapped and spirited away and sold in the south. In one instance 
the people took the matter in hand and spent considerable money 
and time in running the matter down and found the children had been 
captured, slipped through the country to St. Louis, taken to the 
regular slave market and sold. In this instance it so happened that 
a former respectable citizen of Pope county, by the name of Vaughn, 
had purchased them at the auction sale and then sold them to a 
southern planter. There was no doubt in the minds of the people 
that he not only knew of the theft of the children, but that he actu- 
ally knew the children, that it was he who planned not only this out- 
rage but others of a like nature as well as several robberies in the 
county. Several arrests were made and the matter was brought be- 
fore the grand jury. Vaughn was summoned before the grand jury 
but refused to testify. Later on he confessed to the grand jury that 
he had purchased the children in the open market at St. Louis, 
but they had been delivered to him by Joshua Handly, Peyton Gor- 
don, Caleb Slankard and John Simpkins of Pope county, and Joe 
Lynn and Hiram Campbell, of Massac county. This proved conclu- 
sively that Vaughn, at least, must have known that the children had 
been kidnapped. All of the parties were indicted. Within ten days 
from this time Vaughn was dead, dying as it was supposed, of apo- 
plexy; but strange to say, as tradition has it, the apoplexy came on 
immediately after taking a drink of whiskey given him by one of the 
parties who had been indicted with him. As the confession of 
Vaughn was the only evidence against the other parties they had to 
be discharged from custody. 

A short time after the death of Vaughn, a man by the name of 
Henry Sides, with his wife, moved into Pope county and settled some 
miles northwest of Golconda, freed a number of slaves, bought a farm 
and worked side by side with them. Soon after this another man 
named Dabbs came from Tennessee with his slaves and set them free, 
left enough for their immediate wants and returned to Tennessee 
where he died, leaving all his estate to his former slaves and making 
Mr. Sides his executor. The money from the estate, amounting to 
12,000, was shipped to Mr. Sides in two boxes, each containing $1,000 
in silver half dollars. There being no bank in Golconda, he hauled 
the money home and put it in the loft in a bag of seed cotton. In 
July, 1846, a gang headed by Hite Green visited the residence of Mr. 
Sides, knocked him and his wife, on the head, stole the money, set fire 
to the house and fled. Shortly after they left a heavy rainstorm came 
ap and extinguished the fire. Dr. Wm. Sim was in the neighborhood 
and in some way was informed of the affair. Visiting the house, he 
found it splashed with blood and the old people insensible. Though 
mangled, bleeding and all but dead, they were finally revived and told 
the story of the outrage. The crime excited the people to something 


like madness. For days a search was kept up, in and around the 
house. Only a button and knife were found. These were traced to 
the owner and the guilty parties thus made known. Some proved to 
be friends and neighbors of the victim. Hiram Green, the leader, was 
the son of an old and respected citizen. The knife had been made by 
a local blacksmith for one Ned Hazel, who, when arrested proved that 
he had disposed of the knife to Dan Hazel. Dan Hazel was then ar- 
rested and put in jail, but he refused to say anything about the 

At this time the organization called the Regulators was formed. 
Their object in the beginning was not to visit punishment themselves 
upon the culprits, but to see that the laws were executed throvigh the 
courts With this end in view, in order that no one might escape on 
straw bonds, the committee notified the sheriff that he was to take 
no bonds from anyone charged with the crime on the Sides family. 
This committee was composed of such men as Dr. Wm. Sim, a promi- 
nent physician of that time and afterwards a member of the Legisla- 
ture for several terms; Judge Wesley Sloan, for years a leader in the 
Legislature and the author of Illinois' first free school law, and lat- 
terly a judge for eighteen years on the circuit bench; William Fin- 
ney, the sheriff, James McCoy, Thomas Campbell, John Raum, father 
of General Green B. Raum; — and others. Such men as these formed 
the inner circle or ruling council of the Regulators. Hundreds of 
others were enrolled in the cause simply to execute the orders issued 
by the main council. 

The meetings of the council or managers were all secret, and at 
first no arrests were made until orders were given to make them. 
This council ordered the arrest of some eight or nine persons alleged 
to be connected with the attempted murder and robbery of the Sides 
family. These arrests were made in the regular way and while the 
sheriff nominally had charge of the prisoners, the Regulators, as a 
matter of fact, were in control. Whenever they wanted one of the 
prisoners out of the jail they sent a guard and took him out for the 
purpose of examination. None of the prisoners were allowed to fill 
bonds, and the sheriff' was ordered to keep them, as far as possible, 
entirely separated from each other. The prisoners all agreed that if 
a special term of court was called and indictments returned that they 
would enter a plea of guilty. But when the court was called and the 
grand jury impaneled, some of the prisoners who had agreed to make 
a clean breast of it before the grand jury, refused to testify. Finally 
Ahab Farmer, a young man of about 19 years of age, whose father 
and brothers were respected and honest citizens, accepted the terms 
given by the committee, which was immunity from further punishment. 
He testified before the grand jury. A bill was returned and the next 
day. instead of entering a plea of guilty as agreed, the accused pleaded 
not guilty and the court granted a change of venue to Johnson county. 
This was where the prisoners expected to go and they hoped to be 
liberated by their friends when put in the Johnson county jail. But 
in this they were disappointed. The council ordered it otherwise 
and kept them in the Golconda jail, and every night a guard of 


Kegulators numbering from fifteen to thirty stood guard around the 
jail. The Flatheads sent spies to the town to watch the guard and it 
turned out that reports were made every morning to the headquarters 
of the Flatheads of just what had occurred in the county seat the 
night before. The Regulators had spies in the camp of the Flatheads 
also; and it was learned through them that the Flatheads contemplated 
a raid on the town, their j^lan being to set fire to the town in many 
places at the same time and in the confusion incident to the fires the 
jail was to be broken open and the prisoners released. 

Some arrests were made by the Regulators of the persons who were 
engaged in this conspiracy. Others were notified to leave the country; 
others were taken out by the Regulators and whipped. One of the 
county commissioners, a George Vanduser, showed some little sym- 
pathy with the prisoners. He was at once notified by the Regulators 
that it would be best for him to resign and in some way proper per- 
suasion was brought to bear upon him and his resignation was handed 

In some way or other the Regulators impressed it upon those sus- 
pected of the Sides outrage that the taking of the money was the gist 
of the whole affair, and the prisoners after consulting among them- 
selves concluded that, if the money was returned, the Regulators 
would let up on the prosecution. So one of the prisoners, Hite Grreen, 
was selected to go with a company of Regulators to look for the money. 
It was his hope that he would be rescued by his friends. Such, how- 
ever, was not the case because he was too heavily guarded by the 
Regulators to admit of any successful effort at rescue. He waded out 
into a swamp, brought the money out and turned it over to the Regu- 
lators but instead of this appeasing these stern administrators of 
justice, it only put into their hands, in addition to the confession of 
young Farmer, the absolute proof of the guilt of the entire party. 

It was learned that an effort was to be made to rescue the prisoners 
on the over-land trip from Golconda to Vienna, the county seat of 
Johnson county. An army of more than a hundred Regulators, on 
horseback, marched the entire distance surrounding the prisoners who 
were heavily chained in wagons. The trial resulted in the conviction 
of six of the prisoners implicated. Four of them died in the jjeni- 

During the occurrence of these and other stirring events between 
the Flatheads and Regulators, the Legislature in 1843 erected a new^ 
county known as Massac, taking territory from both Pope and Johnson 
and thus creating a county full of the troubles already existing in the 
counties of Johnson and Pope. It has been said that the Flatheads 
were largely instrumental in having this new comity of Massac formed 
in order that they might be freed from the domination of the regulat- 
ing influence so prevalent in Johnson and Pope counties. Immediately 
both sides prepared for the political struggle in this new territory. 
The Regulators, following the example that had been set them in the 
older counties, formed themselves into companies with captains and 
leaders, and the Flatheads, likewise, had their organization. The 

— 8 H S 


election resulted in the choice of some of the Flatheads to important 
offices. It is alleged that the sheriff' of the county was a Flathead, 
or in sympathy with them, and that the county clerk was also a Flat- 
head. The Representative in the Legislature, Mr. Enloe, rested under 
the same charge, and in fact a letter from Mr. Enloe, Representative 
in the Legislature, to the State Register, which is to be found in the 
collection I have filed with the library, tends to substantiate that fact. 
But the fact that these gentlemen rested under the imputation of 
being Flatheads does not of necessity imply that they were not good 
citizens. The conflict between the two factions had already reached 
the stage where all good men were not Regulators and all bad men 
were not Flatheads. A point had been reached which is always 
reached in such movements where bad men were taking advantage of 
the so called law and order movement to vent their spleen on their 
enemies and to use the cloak of morality for illegitimate gain. 

The cruelties perpetrated by some of the so-called Regulators were 
such that many good men had begun to revolt. It was a daily oc- 
currence at this time for men under the charge of being Flatheads to 
be taken out and unmercifully beaten or tortured. Men were strajjped 
across logs and their bare backs beaten to a pulp with hickory withes 
Some were tied to trees with weights hung to their arms and compelled 
to stand until their tongues protruded from their mouths. 

The process of regulating had reached that frenzied point where it 
became dangerous for any citizen to express sympathy for anybody 
against whom the slighest imputation of being a Flathead had been 
lodged. Fathers who attempted to deny or disprove the charge of 
"Flathead" against their sons were ind anger of being driven from the 
county or summarily treated. 

Just prior to the election of county officers in 184H. it is said, that 
150 families were notified by the Regulators to leave the county or 
suffer the consequences, and that just before the election a false 
charge of counterfeiting was lodged against Mr. Read who was a can- 
didate for re-election as sheriff'. It is not therefore to be wondered 
at that many good citizens, while not in sympathy with anything in 
the way of counterfeiting or horse-stealing or crime in any form, 
should revolt against the criminal persecution of innocent peoijle. 
Perhaps no section of the country has undergone a greater reign of 
terror than that found in Massac county from about 1848 to about 
1850. Mr. Read, after his election to the sheriff's office in 1846, was 
compelled to leave the country and he spent the winter at the State 
Capital, not daring to go back into the county in which he had just 
been re-elected sheriff'. There is now in existence in the office of the 
Secretary of State an order issued by Governor Ford declaring the 
office of sheriff" vacant, for failure to qualify on the part of Read, and 
ordering an election. This order is dated September 12. 1846, the 
electiori being held in August 1846. Across this order, written in 
pencil, is the word "countermanded". Read afterwards qualified and 
served out his term of sheriff', and the Legislature in 1847. passed an 
act extending the time for him to collect the taxes in the county. 


At the fall term of the Massac circuit court, Judge Scates delivered 
a strong charge to the grand jury against the lawless proceedings of 
the Regulators. Quite a number of indictments were returned against 
Regulators, they w^ere arrested by the sheriff, and immediately there- 
after Regulators from Kentucky and neighboring counties in Illinois 
assembled in force and threatened to lynch Judge Scates if he ever 
returned to hold court in Massac county; and the grand jury and the 
witnesses who testified before them were ordered to leave the country 
under pain of punishment. The records show that Judge Scates re- 
signed January 11, 1847. Strange to say, notwithstanding this pro- 
cedure on the part of the so-called Regulators, the moderate men were 
afraid to join the sheriff when summoned to protect the jail and the 
court; but there did volunteer sixty or seventy men. most of whom 
were known to be notorious rogues and undoubted Flatheads. The 
Regulators, originally formed to uphold the law and strengthen the 
hands of the courts, found the courts at last arrayed against them and 
the rogues and Flatheads joining hands with the legally constituted 
authorities for the suppression of the lawless acts of these self- 
constituted guardians of the law and of the public welfare. The 
original motives of the Regulators were good and their methods the 
best at their command. By this time their motives were not above 
suspicion and their methods indefensible, and it was hard to determine 
from time to time which side was the side of the good citizen. 

The band of Regulators convened as above stated and marched in 
force several hundred strong against the sheriff and his party with a 
view to releasing the Regulators who were prisoners in the custody of 
the sheriff, but before violence was used on either side a parley was 
entered into in which the sheriff's party promised to give up the 
prisoners under promise of exemption from violence The Regulators 
liberated their friends and carried several of the sheriff's posse with 
them as prisoners, murdering some of them by drowning them in the 
Ohio river. The sheriff and his friends, after formal notification to 
leave, were driven out of the county. The sheriff, the representative 
elecf?, Mr. Enloe, and another gentleman proceeded to see Gov. Ford, 
who was at Nauvoo with a military force endeavoring to reinstate the 
exiled citizens of Hancock county. He was asked to send a military 
force to Massac, but as he was within twenty days of the end of his 
term he was loath to begin measures he thought might not be approved 
by his successor. He felt certain that it would be useless to order 
the militia to go to Massac to protect the horse-thieves. He also 
knew that the militia could not be raised for that purpose. He issued 
an order to Dr. Wm. I. Gibbs, of Johnson county, authorizing him 
to call upon the militia officers of some of the neighboring counties 
for a force to protect the sheriff and other county officers, the magis- 
trates, the grand jury and the witnesses before them, and the honest 
part of the community. 

Dr. Gibbs went to Massac county, and on Wednesday. November 
11, 1846, he called a meeting at the Metropolis House, in Metropolis 
City, when on motion of Richard S. Nelson, Dr. W. I. Gibbs was 
elected chairman and John B. Hicks, secretary. On the suggestion 


of the chairman a resolution was introduced that live justices of the 
peace to be selected by the chair from the hve counties named in the 
order of the Governor, should meet at the Metropolis House, whose 
duty it should be to hear and determine upon any charge of a crimi- 
nal character that might be preferred against any citizen of Massac 
county: and, on motion, the 21st day of November, 1846, was set as 
the day when the witnesses should appear before the justices of the 
peace named by Dr. Gibbs. The Regulators failed to appear before 
the justices of the peace, whereupon Dr. Gibbs adjudged there were 
no rogues in Massac county and that all were entitled to protection 
against the Regulators. He called out the militia of Union and other 
counties, but the militia refused to turn out for the protection of 
rogues. The Regulators were left undisputed masters of the county. 
They now proceeded to arrest a number of suspected persons and 
tried them before a committee. Some were acquitted, others con- 
victed and were whipped or were tarred and feathered. The number 
implicated in counterfeiting increased. Many persons, before con- 
sidered honest men, were now implicated, which increased the excite- 
ment. Many who were formerly in favor of the Regulators now left 
them and disapproved of their conduct. Thus the attempt on the 
part of Governor Ford seems to have increased rather than to have 
diminished the trouble. 

As a sample of some of the atrocities committed I will relate the 
following incident: The Regulators attempted to compel a man by 
the name of Mathis to tell of the guilt of certain suspected persons 
in his neighborhood. Upon his refusal to do so they attempted to 
arrest him without a warrant; he and his wife resisted. She was a 
strong woman and knocked two or three down with her fists when a 
gun was presented to her breast and she was told her heart would be 
shot out if she resisted: She caught the gun and shoved it down 
when it was discharged and she was shot through the thigh. The 
Regulators claimed the shot was accidental. The old lady got out 
warrants for the perpetrators of the crime and they were arrested by 
the authorities and taken to the Metropolis House and placed under 
a guard, while search was made for old man Mathis who could not 
be found. The news of the arrests went all over the county and it 
was rumored the Flatheads intended to put the suspects to death in 
case they were not convicted. A large force of Regulators went to 
Metropolis to release the prisoners, but they found the sheriff with a 
party about as strong as their own. A compromise was made by the 
unconditional release of the prisoners. After securing their friends, 
the Regulators arrested several members of the sheriff's guard and 
turned them over to their Kentucky allies to deal with as they saw fit. 

On December 23, 1846 a convention of regulators composed of five 
delegates each from Pope, Johnson and Massac counties met at Gol- 
conda, in secret session, and ordered the sheriff of Massac county, the 
clerk of the county court and many other citizens to leave the country 
within thirty days. The sheriff and many others left the country 
many of them coming to Springfield and appeared before the Legis- 
lature asking for relief. 


Descriptions of some of these events may be found in the Padncah 
papers, New Orleans Picayune. Louisville Journal, New York papers, 
Saturday Evening Post and Saturday Courier of Philadelphia. St. 
Louis Eepublican and other papers, extracts from which can be found 
in the bound vohmie heretofore referred to as being tiled by me in 
the Historical Library. 

The Legislature which met December 7, 1846. took cognizance of 
the matter by instructing the Judiciary Committee to examine the 
existing laws and report such amendments as might be necessary in 
relation to the power of the Governor to quell riots, etc. Immediately 
on the inauguration of Governor French he conmiunicated with Dr. 
William I. Gibbs. of whom I have heretofore made mention as being 
appointed by Governor Ford to look into the matter, in the following 

December 26. 1846. 
Dear Sik: — I am just informed by a letter from Governor Ford that you had 
received some orders from him in relation to the difficulties in Massac county, 
He informs me that by your report and the published proceeding's, which 
took place while under his orders, you failed to discover who the notorious 
rogues and horse thieves were against whom the people had become exasper- 
ated. That from the fact that the "Regulators" refused to appear and point 
these characters out. 3'ou thereby inferred that none such existed in your 
county and have formed your course accordingly. This he regards as founded 
in error. You will therefore suspend any further action in the matter under 
his orders until further advised from me in regard to the matter. In the 
meantime I will be pleased with any suggestions from you touching this 
unpleasant difficulty. 

AuGU.STUs C. French, 
Commander in Chief, Illinois Militia. 

On the same day the Governor wrote to Caj)tain Akin, of Benton, 
Franklin county, requesting him to go to Massac to make an investi- 
gation, and cautioned him to be prudent and observe an impartial 
position between the parties. He went to Massac county, accom- 
panied by A. D. Duff, who afterwards became one of the leading jurists 
of the country, and Samiiel K. Casey. The three made a report to 
the Governor, and they concluded their report in the following lan- 

•'From the best information we could learn there are but few responsible 
men who take an open part in favor of the 'Regulators" at this time, but there 
are some influential men behind the curtain, and stimulating others to act; 
some very abandoned, and some very honest men, who are acting with the 
best intentions; and the same may be said of the Flatheads. Of this, how- 
ever, we feel confident that a large majority of the people of that county are 
sick and tired of the difficulties, and are anxious to see them at an end. If 
allowed to continue no good citizen can remain in the county." 

From the journals of the Legislature of that session it seems that 
some part of almost every day was taken up with the discussion of 
bills for the relief of the trouble in Massac county. A number of cit- 
izens appeared before the Judiciary Committee, a number of inter 
esting speeches were made by Mr. Stickney, Mr. Tajjpan, of Macou 
pin: Mr. Eddy, of Gallatin; Mr. Marshall, of Hamilton, latterly for 
many years an honored representative in Congress; Mr. Underwood, 
of St. Clair, and Mr. Hicks, of Gallatin, of the House, and Senators 
McRoberts, of Vermilion, and Davis, of Massac. 


On January 11, 1847, by resolution of the House, the Governor was 
requested to transmit any late news in relation to the Massac difficul- 
ties, and in answer thereto he submitted the letter received from 
Captain Akin, heretofore referred to. Nothing definite, however, was 
done by the Legislature. Just how far the influence of politics went 
in the matter I am unable to say; but that the people in some portions 
of the State became exasperated by legislative delay is evinced by a res- 
olution passed at a mass convention at Benton, Franklin county, Jan- 
uary 2(5th, 1847, which is as follows: 

••Wiif;keas, The unfortunate difficulties in Massac county continue una- 
bated; the party called •■Regulators." not only killing, whipping and tortur- 
ing, in every way possible, men, but are engaged in tearing down houses, 
over the head of defenceless women and children, turning them adrift in the 
inclemency of the weather, unprotected: insulting and abusing them; tramp- 
ling under their feet all law and order, and the dearest and best rights of 
American citizens; therefore, be it 

He^olved. that we have lost all confidence in the Legislature passing any 
law to restore order, and punish the guilty, and secure the innocent in the 
enjoyment of their rights as American citizens. 

Resolved, that if the Legislature is disposed to spend weeks in making 
"buncomb" speeches, while the cries of innocent women and children fill the 
air ^vith their lamentations of distress. 

Resolved, that in the absence of any action in the Legislative department, 
we call upon the Executive of Illinois to take the 'responsibility." and with 
any necessary force put down the insurrection, punish the guilty, and pro- 
tect the interest of the innocent: and that he be earnestly requested to act 
immediately and promptlJ^ 

Resolved, that as lovers of justice, humanity, and the maintenance of the 
supremacy of the laws, we cannot longer look on with indifference, while 
such scenes of violence are being perpetrated, and unless the proper authori- 
ties act. and act promptl}' and efficientlj' . we believe it our duty to take the 
responsibilitj" into our hands, and save innocent women and children harm- 
less in the enjoyment of their homes, let consequences be what thej- may. 

Resolved, that a copy of the proceedings of this meeting be sent to the 
Governor of the State, and a copy to the editor of the State Register for pub- 

When on motion the meeting adjourned." W. R. Browning, 

W. S. Akin, 


The foregoing resolution was submitted to the Legislature and 
laid on the table. 

Finally the Legislature passed an act establishing a district court 
in the State of Illinois. The act provided that the court have juris- 
diction in all criminal cases: that the Governor, when he is satisfied 
that it is essential to preserve law and order shall give notice in 
writing to the district judge to call such court Avithin 30 days after 
such notice: that it shall be the duty of the judge to issue a precept 
to each of the sheriffs of the counties in the district to summon from 
each of the counties a fair proportion to be fixed by the judge of 
grand and petit jurors; that the prosecuting attorney of the district 
shall act as prosecutor; that the judge shall have power to appoint a 
prosecuting attorney j)ro tew, or assistant attorney, a marshal, who 
shall perform the duties required of sheriffs, and a clerk of the court. 
Process to be issued to the marshal and executed by him or by all 
sheriff's and constables. This bill was approved February 20. 1847 


On March 27th, 1847, Governor French issued his proclamation 
directed to Judge Wm. A. Denning, requiring him to hold a term of 
the district court for the trial of such persons as might be brought 
before it on a charge of aiding or being connected with any unlawful 
association in the county of Massac styling themselves Regulators , 
He wrote the Judge a strong letter of instructions, winding up by say- 
ing, "Almost everything depends upon the coolness, firmness and 
steady energy of this officer (the marshal) to sustain his ground at all 
hazards let the consequence be what it may. Keep me advised. Should 
any additional arms be necessary let me know and I will give orders 
that they await your demand at Alton." George W. Akin was ap- 
pointed marshal of the district, T. B. Cantrall, clerk of the district 
court, and S. K. Casey, assistant prosecuting attorney of the district, 

The court provided for in the act of the Legislature was called tO' 
meet at Benton, Franklin county, on Thursday, April 22, 1847. The 
balance of the week was taken up in the taking of bail. On Monday 
of the second week of court. Judge Walter B. Scates, who had re- 
signed from the circuit bench, and Hon. John A. McClernand, argued 
a plea to the jurisdiction of the court, taking the ground that the- 
court could not hear the cases on account of the fact that the offences,, 
if committed at all, had been committed in the county of Massac. 
After a nine days' session taken up in the arguing of motions, etc.,. 
the court adjourned until May 24th. The only record that can be 
found that there was ever any further holding of the court is the ren- 
dering of an expense account by the officers of the court. So far as I 
have been able to find there is no record .in existence of any trial or 
conviction or acquittal, or in fact any record of the court at all. 

Law breaking continued to be prevalent on both sides. Lynchings 
in the way of whipping, ducking and compelling people to leave the 
country were continued, and instead of the provisional court improv- 
ing the situation it seems to have had the opposite effect. 

At the session of the Legislature, w^hich met in December. 1848, 
and continued during the winter of 1848 and 1849, an amendment 
was made to the act for the suppression of riots. This session of 
the Legislature, the records show, also called for information from 
Governor French, all of which appears fully in the papers filed with 
the Historical Society. 

At the election of August. 1849. John W. Read was re-elected 
sheriff of Massac by a large majority. The Daily Journal of Spring- 
field, dated August 7th. 1849. in speaking of affairs in Massac county, 
says: "There is a perfect lawless state of things existing at Massac 
in this State. About two weeks ago in an encounter between the 
Flatheads and Regulators two of the former. Samuel Taylor and 
Robert Canada, were killed, and Daniel Eusloe. son of a former rep- 
resentative, wounded. Clinton King, on the side of the Regulators, 
was killed, and two others wounded, one dangerously. Both parties 
were well armed. Affairs are represented as proceeding from bad to 
worse; constantly. One of the i^arties will have to leave the country." 

On August 8th, the Journal says: "The feud between the Regu- 
lators and the Flatheads has been renewed in Massac county. The 


Cairo Delta says that the Metropolis and its vicinity has been the 
scene of a high state of excitement for two weeks past. A barn 
owned by a Mr. Tolson was burned. A t^uarrel ensued between the 
two parties, in which three persons were killed and a number 
wounded.'' A complete description, in detail, of this battle between 
the Flatheads and Kegulators will be found in the papers filed by me 
in the Historical Library, and I will not take up time by reading it, 
except to say that the evidence shows that there were about sixty 
Flatheads and eighty Regulators participating in, the atfray. 

The success of the people in favor of moderation had apparently 
again emboldened the criminals of the county, and the Flatheads 
had gathered in large numbers for the j)urpose of getting hold of two 
men" by the name of Backus and Shelby; and the Regulators, 
reinforced by a large number of citizens of Pope and Johnson coun- 
ties and from Paducah. Ky.. went to the rescue of Shelby and Backus 
and this, it seems, was the immediate cause of the battle. 

The Sangamo Journal on August 24th, says, editorially: "The state 
of aflPairs in Massac county is most disheartening. Something should 
be promptly done there to secure life, liberty and property in that 

The Governor, by his proclamation, called a special session of the 
Legislature to meet on October 22. 1849. The proclamation will be 
found set out at large in the papers tiled. In this proclamation con- 
vening the extra session the Governor says: "The executive has been 
called upon to arrest these outrages by the employment of military 
force, the existing laws being clearly inadequate,'' but he says in 
effect that he was thereby driven to the alternative of either sending 
a military force into that county involving the necessity of keeping it 
there an indefinite time, or of referring the matter to the General As- 
sembly for the enactment of such laws as the emergency might re- 
quire. Again in the message, he says: "I have no hesitation in de- 
claring my preference for a special session for this purpose alone, to 
the employment of military force, except in the last resort." 

The Governor's message in regard to the Massac difiiculties was re- 
ferred to the Judiciary Committee, composed of Yates, Bond, Linder, 
Bradley, Crandell, Dearborn, Guthrie, Keating, Page, Pattison, 
Smith, Waller, Walker, Carlin and Haven; several of these names 
have become almost household words in this State. 

On October 26th, a resolution was offered to lay before the Legisla- 
ture all the information in the Governor's possession concerning con- 
ditions in Massac county. In answer to which resolution the Gover- 
nor transmitted a message together with the e.r parte affidavits of 
John W. Read, sheriff: David Leach, clerk; John McDonald, Reuben 
King, Samuel Mussellman, justice of tlie peace; Wm. W. Clark, con- 
stable of Massac county: setting forth the facts that it was impossi- 
ble to enforce the laws or the process of the court. Also a report from 
Francis M. Rawlings, States Attorney for the Third Judicial Circuit. 
On October 8Uth, a bill was reported extending the jurisdiction of the 
circuit courts, which was rapidly passed through both houses of the 
Legislature and on November 3rd was approved by Governor 


The convening of the Legislature and the passage of the act ex 
tending the jurisdiction of the circuit courts and the evident intent 
manifested by the Legislature and the Governor to enforce th(^ law 
seems to have had a very salutary effect and lawlessness gradually 
subsided. By the close of 1850 peace and quiet reigned not only 
in Massac county, but in the other counties which had been affected 
by the contest 

During the years in which the struggle between the Flatheads and 
the Kegulators continued it is impossible to determine how many per- 
sons were killed either in open fights or by assassination, how many 
persons were driven out of the country, or how many hundreds had 
been whipped or maltreated. But, strange to say, when the end came 
it came most suddenly; and, while both sides before that time had 
grown into a condition of being willing at any time to resist the pro- 
cess. of the courts, almost with one accord the entire mass of people 
acquiesced and assisted in upholding the laws of the State. And 
from the close of the Regulator- Flathead struggle there has been no 
more law-abiding people to be found anywhere than in the counties 
of Massac, Pope, Johnson and Hardin. Mob law has never been heard 
of since. There is, perhaps, as small a number of crimes committed in 
proportion to the population as in any other portion of the United 
States, and the statistics show that when the life of the Nation was 
imperilled by the rebellion of the southern states these counties fur- 
nished a larger number of volunteer troops in proportion to inhabi- 
tants than any other section of the State. 

While for years there still lingered a prejudice in the minds of 
some against those who had been identified with the Flatheads, yet 
that feeling has entirely passed away. Some of the best citizens of 
this part of the State are descendants of persons who were actually 
engaged in what was known as the Flathead side of the conflict. 

In closing permit me to say that I realize that this paper is of 
necessity somewhat disjointed in its statements. This occurs very 
largely from the fact that from the records to be obtained it is im- 
possible to give anything like a continuous, connected account of the 

I again desire to extend my thanks to the parties named in the first 
part of this address for the information they have given me, and also 
to accord to my private secretary, Mr. Theo. S. McCoy, a large 
measure of praise for his efforts in collecting what I believe to be all 
the data to be foimd on this subject." 

Note— I do not hold myself responsible for the accuracy of any dates jri'^'en in the fore- 
going paper except such dates as are taken from puljlic records, as in many instances the recol- 
lections of different persons even as to years in which some events occurred are at variance.— 

James A. Rose. 



(William D. Barge.) 


This attempt to bring together all the names unsuccessfully pro- 
posed for our counties is merely an effort to preserve some items 
bearing upon the history of our State that are difficult to tind. some 
of which may soon be lost. 

A desire to know more of the history of my native county (Lee) led 
me to make an investigation of the various books and documents to 
which one might confidently apjjeal for knowledge of our State. This 
search brought to light many items that seem to have escaped the 
notice of our historians. Some of them may be of interest to those 
who want to know more of our history. 

The names of the authorities consulted would make a list too long 
for insertion. No State or county history has been overlooked. 
Many old newspapers, all printed statutes and legislative journals, 
and many of the documents on file in the office of the Secretary of 
State have been examined. 

The work is incomplete, for there are many documents yet to be 
examined, but it is submitted for what it is worth, in the hope that it 
may be of service to some one. 

Chicago. January 8, 1906. ' 

William D. Baege. 

Adair. — In the second session of the Tenth General Assembly, on 
July fifteen, 1837, James Craig of Jo Daviess, for the Committee on 
Internal Improvements, reported to the House a bill for "An Act to 
create the county of Adair, and for other purposes," which was read and 
ordered to a second reading. Later it was referred to a select com- 
mittee composed of Craig. Parven Paulsen of Pike and Mark Aldrich 
of Hancock, and they never reported upon it. 

ALLEX-^When the bill for the "Act to create and establish the 
county of Jersey," which was approved February twenty-eighth. 1839. 
was up for third reading in the House, John Naper of Cook moved to 
amend by striking out Jersey and inserting Benton. Orlando B. 
Ficklin of Coles called for a division of the ciuestion. and Jersey was 
stricken out, but the effort to insert Benton failed. William H. Hen- 


derson of Putnam moved to insert Allen, but the motion was lost. 
Upon a reconsideration Naper's motion was withdrawn, and the bill 

The House Committee on Counties of the Twelfth General Assem- 
bly reported a bill for "An Act for the formation of the county of 
Allen" which was sent to a select committee composed of James N. 
Brown of Sangamon, Lewis W. Ross of Fulton, Robert F. Barnett of 
DeWitt, Francis A. Olds of Macoupin and James Parkinson of Mor- 
gan and was reported in due time. Having passed both houses it 
was approved February twenty-seventh, 1841. The boundary line 
would have included parts of Macoupin, Morgan and Sangamon. 
The act provided for an election in those counties at which the ques- 
tion of the formation of the new county should be determined. It is 
matter of common knowledge that the effort failed. (See Oregon.) 

Ambraw. — When the bill for the "Act to establish Cumberland 
county,'' which was approved March second, 184H, was pending in the 
House George M. Hanson of Coles moved to strike out all after the 
enacting clause and insert provisions for a division of Coles by a line 
between townships twelve (in which Mattoon and Charleston are 
situated) and thirteen, and that if a majority of those voting on the 
question should favor this line then all of Coles north of the line 
should be the county of Ambraw and all south of it should be Coles 
county; and if a majority should be against this division and for a 
division by cutting off fourteen miles from the south end of Coles 
then the dividing line between Coles and the new county should begin 
at the northwest corner of section thirty, township eleven, north, 
range seven east of the third principal meridian, and run thence east to 
Clark, and the new county should be called Cumberland. The House 
would not agree to this and the bill passed without amendment. 
Cumberland was given all of Coles south of the last mentioned line. 

Athens. — Efforts to divide Sangamon led the House Committee on 
Counties of the Twelfth General Assembly, 1810-41. to report a bill 
for ""An Act to create the county of Athens"which was sent to a select 
committee composed of John Bennett of Menard, Josiah Francis of 
Sangamon and Solomon Parsons of Pike, who failed to report upon it. 

Audubon — The "Act to establish the county of Audubon," approved 
February sixth, 1848, submitted to the electors of Montgomery and 
Fayette, but not to those in Shelby, a proposal to form a new county 
out of territory in the three named. The project failed. 

AzBY — When the bill for the "Act for the formation of a new county 
out of the counties of Edwards and Crawford," which was approved 
January sixteenth, 1821, was before the House. January 4, 1821; 
David Blackwell of St. Clair moved to strike out Perry and insert 
Dubois, but the motion failed. Henry Eddy of Gallatin then moved 
to insert Decatur in lieu of Perry, and that failed. Then Blackwell 
moved that Pike be inserted instead of Perry, and the motion was lost. 
He then moved to strike out the word Perry and insert the word 
"Asby" in lieu thereof. This motion was also lost. On motion of 
Wickliffe Kitchell of Crawford, Lawrence was substituted, and the bill 

Benton — The fourth section of the House bill for the "Act to create 


certain counties therein named." approved March fourth, 1837, which 
created De Kalb. Boone and SteiDhenson. was amended in the Senate, 
on motion of Orville H. Browning of Adams, by changing the name 
of the new county from Benton to De Kalb. When the bill was re- 
turned to the House an effort to change the name of De Kalb to 
Marshall was made, but it failed. 

When the bill for the "Act to create and establish the county of 
Jersey," a^jproved February twenty-eighth, 1839. was before the House, 
John iSaper of Cook moved to amend by striking out Jersey and in- 
serting Benton. The question being divided, at the request of Orlando 
B. Ficklin of Coles, Jersey was stricken out, but the effort to insert 
Benton failed, under the rules only forty-six members voting for the 
change while twenty-four were opposed to it. A motion to insert 
Allen was made by William H. Henderson of Putnam, but it was lost. 
Naper's motion was then withdrawn and the bill passed. 

The bill for the "Act to create the county of Wilcox'' was amended 
in the House on motion of Andrew J. Kuykendall of Johnson, by 
striking out Wilcox and inserting Massac, after motions to insert 
Benton, Harrison, Ohio and Van Buren had failed. It was approved 
February eighth, 1843. 

An "Act for the formation of the county of Benton and for other 
purposes," approved March fourth, 1843, made provision for a county 
of that name out of territory in Morgan, Greene and Macoupin, but 
it failed to receive the necessary votes at the polls and was ineffective. 

Bradley — Efforts to make a new county out of Randolph or out of 
Randolph and Jackson led the House committee on counties of the 
Fifteenth Greneral Assembly. 1846-47, to recommend the passage of a 
bill for an "Act to establish the county of Bradley."' It was read three 
times and then, on motion of Edward 0"Melveny of the Randolph- 
Monroe district, indefinitely postponed. 

Brown — In the Sixth General Assembly, 1828-29, Peter Cart wright 
of Sangamon introduced in the House a bill without a title but which 
is known in the journal as a bill for "An Act forming the counties of 
Chicago. Pinckney and Brown." After second reading it was sent to 
the committee of the whole, amended there, and then, on motion of 
Jonathan H. Pugh of Sangamon, laid on the table where it remained. 
The proposed Brown would have had a boundary beginning at the 
northeast corner of township thirty-six, north, range ten. east of the 
third principal meridian (one of the Cook-Will corners), running 
thence west to the northwest corner of township thirty-six, range five 
(near Somonauk), thence to the southwest corner of township thirty- 
one, range five, thence to the southeast corner of township thirty-one, 
range ten, thence north to the place of beginning, thus including part 
of LaSalle, Will, Kankakee. Kendall and all of Grundy. 

The Brown we know was formed from Schuyler in 1839. an effort to 
create it, with a slightly different boundary, having failed in 1837. 

Calhoun — Formed in 1825 out of Pike. 

See Okaw. 

In the first session of the Tenth General Assembly, 1836-37, a House 
bill for "An Act to abolish the county of Calhoun, and for other pur- 
poses" was amended so that the title read "An Act to provide for the 


election of a probate justice of the peace," after the defeat of a motion 
of Richard B. Servant of Randolph to make it read "An Act inflicting 
a vital stab upon the constitution." At the same session the title of a 
bill for "An Act concerning the county of Calhoun, and for other pur- 
poses" was changed to "An Act to incorporate the Grafton and White- 
hall Hotel Company" and then passed. Neither of these acts has any 
bearing upon the creation or organization of a county. 

Carroll — Created by the "Act to organize the county of Carroll," 
approved February twenty- second, 1889. 

The House bill for the "Act establishing the county of Greene," 
approved January twentieth, 182J,was amended in the Senate, on the 
motion of Leonard White of White, by changing the name of the new 
county from Carroll to Greene. 

The original bill for the "Act to establish certain counties," ap- 
proved January sixteenth, 1886, which created Kane, Ogle, McHenry, 
Winnebago and Whiteside and changed the boundaries of Jo Daviess, 
gave the name of Carroll to one of the new counties, but it disap- 
peared in the committee room as did the words "in honor of Charles 
Carroll of Carrollton," that had been inserted after it on motion of 
George W. P. Maxwell, the Senator from Schuyler. 

Cass — Created by the "Act for the formation of the county of Cass," 
approved March third. 1887. 

When the bill for the act creating Kane, Ogle, McHenry, Winnebago 
and Whiteside, that we have just mentioned, was before the Senate 
W^illiam Thomas of Morgan moved to amend by inserting Cass and 
Reynolds in the blanks. It is a fair presumption that those blanks 
were left for the names of the new counties, but the printed journal 
does not show that fact, nor does it show any direct action on the 
motion. It seems that these names were intended for Kane or Ogle 
or Winnebago. (See Chippewa.) 

When the bill that created Cass was before the Senate Benjamin 
Bond of the Clinton-Marion district moved to strike out Cass and in- 
sert "Moredock. in honor of the late Col. John Moredock, of Monroe 
county." but the bill was sent to a committee without action on this 
motion. It was reported with amendments, one evidently furthering 
this motion for Richard B. Servant of Randolph moved to strike out 
Moredock and insert Marshall. This motion failed but the amend- 
ment was rejected and Cass retained as the name. The original title 
of the bill was "A bill for An Act to provide for contingencies." 

Chicago — Peter Cartwright of Sangamon, for the committee on in- 
ternal improvements, introduced in the House of the Sixth General 
Assembly. 1828-29, a bill that bore no title. In making up the journal 
the clerk entitled it a bill for "An Act forming the counties of Chi- 
cago. Pinckney and Brown." It was read twice, sent to the commit- 
tee of the whole and reported with amendments, and then on motion 
of Jonathan H. Pugh, of Sangamon, laid on the table where it re- 

As originally drawn the third section of the bill would have 

created "the county of " with a boundary line running 

west from the northeast corner of township forty-one north, range 
fourteen east of the third principal meridian (near Evanstonj, to the 


northwest corner of township forty-one, range ten, east, thence 
south (on the line between the towns of Barrington and Palatine) to 
the northwest corner of township thirty-seven, thence east to the 
northwest corner of township thirty-seven, range eleven (one of the 
DuPage-Will corners) thence south to the soiithwest corner of town- 
ship thirty-five, thence east on the township line to the east line of 
the state, thence north to Lake Michigan and along the lake to the 
place of beginning '"including and embracing the lands covered by the 
waters of the lake being within the jurisdiction of this State." 

In the original bill all the words describing this county have been 
crossed out and over them is pasted a slip, evidently the amendment 
of the committee, which names this county Chicago and runs its 
boundary thus, beginning on the eastern boundary line of the State 
at a point in Lake Michigan opposite the line between townships 
forty-one and forty-two, north, range fourteen east of the third prin- 
cipal meridian, and running thence west to the northwest corner of 
township forty-one, range ten east, thence south to the northwest 
corner of township thirty-seven, thence east to the northwest cor- 
ner of township thirty-seven, range eleven, thence south to the 
southwest corner of township thirty-five, range eleven, thence east to 
the eastern boundary of the State and along that to the place of 
beginning. The fourth section of the bill attached to this county all 
the country lying north of Chicago Pinckney (whose north line was 
to be the north line of township thirty-five north) and Brown (whose 
north line was to be the north line of township thirty-six north) as 
far west as the third principal meridian, and all the country south of 
these counties so as to include township twenty-eight north, "which 
is not included in the boundaries of any other county." 

The south line of these counties would have run from the Indiana 
line west along the north line of township thirty, north, to the south- 
west corner of township thirty- one, range four east of the third prin- 
cipal meridian, thence south to the southwest corner of township 
twenty-eight, and thence west to the Illinois. There was then no 
country south of this line that was north of township twenty-eight 
that was included in any other county. The country north of town- 
ship twenty-eight and west of range one west of that meridian to the 
Illinois was attached to Peoria; that in range one west and ranges 
one, two and three east of that meridian, north of township twenty- 
eight, and in ranges four, five and six north of township twenty to 
the Illinois was attached to Tazewell, while all north of township 
twenty-two east of Tazewell's attached territory was attached to Vier- 

It may be that the failure of this bill can be accounted for by the 
fact that the Senate had passed and the House was then considering, 
though it took no final action upon it, a bill for "An Act constituting 
the county of Michigan," which would have created a county includ- 
ing, with other territory, nearly all that was to go into the proposed 

Chippewa — The sixth section of the "Act to establish certain 
counties," approved January sixteenth, 183(3, created Whiteside. The 
name first jjroposed for this county was Chippewa. A motion to strike 


out that name and insert Dunn was made in the House by Willia m J. 
Gatewood of Gallatin, but it failed, and then an amendment was 
adopted, on motion of Samuel Hackelton of Fulton, that changed the 
name to Whiteside. 

Coffee— The "Act for the formation of the county of Coffee," ap- 
proved March first, 1887, made provision for the establishment of a 
county with this name composed of the territory in the present Stark 
and the southeast township in Henry, but the effort failed at the polls. 
(Chapman, History of Knox county; Shallenberger, "Stark County and 
Its Pioneers.") The county is shown on the map in A. D. Jones', 
'"Illinois and The West." A motion to change the name to Keokuk 
was lost in the House. 

Columbia — Petitions from Jo Daviess, Putnam and the Attached 
parts of Tazewell for the formation of a new county led the House 
committee on petitions in the Seventh General Assembly, 1830-31, by 
Jacob Ogle of St. Clair, to report a bill for "An Act to create and or- 
ganize the county of Columbia." No action was taken upon it by the 
House. Possibly the Legislature thought a sufficient answer to these 
petitions was made by the erection of Cook and La Salle by the "Act 
to create and organize the counties therein named,'' approved January 
fifteenth, 1831. 

During the session of the Eighteenth General Assembly, 1853, 
efforts to form a new county out of Cook and Will, or out of Cook 
Will and Iroquois, or out of Will and Iroquois led to the introduction 
of the Senate bill for an "Act to establish the county of Columbia, 
and for the other purposes therein named." It was read twice and 
sent to a committee that, at its own request, was soon discharged 
from further consideration of the matter, and the bill was laid on the 
table. This action was probably brought about by the passage of the 
"Act to establish the county of Kankakee, and for other purposes 
therein named," approved February eleventh, 1853, which created a 
new county out of Will and Iroquois. 

Cook — See Okaw. 

Dane — The "Act to establish the counties of Menard, Logan and 
Dane," approved February fifteenth, 1839, was not entirely satisfac- 
tory to the people living in the last named county and steps were soon 
taken by them to have the county's name changed. At a mass meet- 
ing held to consider the matter Thomas P. Uond moved that the name 
be changed to Christian, and this carried. The result of this effort 
was the passage of the "Act to change the name of the county of 
Dane to that of Christian," which was approved February first, 1840, 
This is the only county in the State whose name was changed after 
the county was created. 

Darke — When the bill for the "Act forming a new county out of 
the counties of Washington. Bond and Fayette," approved Decem- 
ber twenty-seventh. 1823, was before the House. Risdon Moore. Jr., 
of St. Clair, secured the adoption of an amendment changing the 
name of the new county from Darke to Clinton. 

Daveiss — When the House Bill for the act establishing -To Daviess 
county was pending in the Senate, it was amended on motion by Joseph 
Duncan of Jackson, afterwards Governor, by striking out the words "to 


be called" and inserting "and to perpetuate the memory of Colonel 
Joseph Hamilton Daviess who fell in the battle of Tippecanoe in 
gallantly charging upon the enemy at the head of his corps the said 
county shall be called Jo Daviess." Governor Reynolds says that he 
proposed the name and John McLean moved to make it Jo Daviess 
and this was promptly done ("My Own Times," p. 170). 

When the House Bill "An Act defining the eastern line of Tazewell 
county, and to locate a permanent seat of justice thereof" was pend- 
ing in the Senate of the Seventh General Assembly, 1880-81, Robert 
K. McLaughlin of Fayette moved to amend by adding a section mak- 
ing the name of this county Daviess, and requiring the Secretary of 
State to erase the word Jo from all laws in his office, but the motion 
was lost. 

The man for whom the county was named spelled his name thus — 
Daveiss. (Ind. His. Soc. Pub. v. 3, p. 177, note by J. P. Dunn, quot- 
ing the title of a pamphlet written by Daveiss.) 

Decatur — See Azby. 

There was introduced in the Senate of the Second General Assem- 
bly, 1820-21, a bill for "An Act forming a new county on the bounty 
lands." In it was a blank, evidently left for the name of the new 
county, and Edmund B. W. Jones of Union secured the adoption of 
an amendment inserting the name Decatur in this blank. The bill 
was afterwards laid on the table and another bill passed that created 

Douglas — An effort to divide Fulton led to the introduction in 
the Senate of the Fifteenth General Assembly, 1846-47, of a bill for 
"An Act to create the county of Douglas." The motion of George 
M. Hanson of the Coles district to strike out Douglas and insert 
Ficklin, was laid on the table on motion of Peter Warren of Shelby. 
The bill was lost in the House. 

Douglas was created out of Coles in 1857. 

Di^Bois — See Azby. 

Dunn — See Chippewa. 

Eagle — Silas Noble of Lee introduced in the Senate of the Fif- 
teenth General Assembly, 1846-47. a petition of citizens of Lee, 
DeKalb and LaSalle for a new county to be called Eagle, which should 
include those parts of the three counties lying in townships thirty- 
six, thirty-seven and thirty-eight in ranges one, two, three and four 
east of the third principal meridian, and township thirty-nine in 
ranges one and two east. It went to a committee that was afterwards 
discharged from further consideration of it, and Noble was given 
leave to withdraw the petition. 

In 1853 William B. Plato of Kane introduced in the Senate of the 
Eighteenth (xeneral Assembly, a bill for "An Act to establish the 
county of Eagle, and for other purposes therein named." After the 
second reading it went to the committee on elections and no report 
was made upon it. 

In the constitutional convention of 1869-70, W. W. Sedgwick of 
DeKalb introduced a petition of citizens of the same counties praying 
that the constitution be so framed that a new county could be formed 


out of their territory whenever two-thirds of the voters in that terri- 
tory petitioned the General Assembly therefor. It went to the com- 
mittee on counties and was not reported upon. 

FiCKLiN — See Douglas. 

Fleming — This is the name first proposed for the present Moultrie. 
The change was brought about by William Williamson, senator for 
that district, who desired to honor the memory of the hero of the 
Revolutionary War. (Brink, McDonough & Co.'s History of Moultrie 

FoRSYTHE — Citizens of Jo Daviess petitioned the Tenth General 
Assembly. 1886-37, for the establishment of the county of Forsythe. 
Stephenson was created by an act passed at that session and took part 
of Jo Daviess. This probably satisfied the petitioners for after the 
passage of the Act creating Stephenson the committee on petitions 
was discharged from further consideration of the Forsythe petition. 

Goth.— See Okaw. 

Hancock. — Created by the "Act forming new counties out of the 
counties of Pike and Fulton, and the attached parts thereof," approved 
January thirteenth, 1825. (See Hardly.) 

Hardly. — When the bill for the "Act altering the name of Johnson 
county" came up for third reading in the Senate of the Second Gen- 
eral Assembly, 1820-21, Zariah Maddux of Washington moved to strike 
out Hardin, and that was done. Lewis Barker of Pope moved to 
insert Hancock, but the motion was lost. On motion of Leonard 
W^hite of White, Hardly was inserted. Maddux then moved that the 
bill pass, and the result was the defeat of the bill. 

Harrison. — This is one of the names unsuccessfully proposed for 
Massac in 1843. (See Benton.) 

In February, 1847, Newton Cloud of Morgan, Speaker of the House, 
introduced, by leave, a bill for "An Act to create the county of Polk." 
It was read twice and, by a vote of forty-four to forty-one, ordered 
engrossed for third reading. At its third reading Stephen T. Logan 
of Sangamon secured the adoption of two amendments, one changing 
the boundaries, the other changing the name of the county from Polk 
to Harrison. It passed the House, fifty- eight to thirty-one, only to 
be indefinitely j}Ostponed in the Senate, on the motion of Ninian W. 
Edwards of Sangamon, by a vote of eighteen to seventeen. The ter- 
ritory proposed to be placed in the new county was in Morgan, Macou- 
pin and Sangamon. To one not familiar with that section this looks 
like an efl:'ort to make Waverly a county seat. 

The "Act to establish the county of Harrison, and for other pur- 
poses therein named," approved February fourteenth, 1855, submitted 
to the electors of Vermilion, Champaign and McLean a proposal to 
form a new county out of their territory. The result was adverse to 
the scheme. This was Saybrook's effort to become a county seat. 
(Le Baron's History of McLean County.) 

Hendricks. — Thomas Orendorff and James Latta, the committee 
having charge of the petition for the formation of a new county out 
of Tazewell, which led to the passage of the "Act creating McLean 

— 9 H S 


county," approved December thirtieth, 1830, called upon Speaker W. 
L. D. Ewing of the House to obtain his assistance. Latta stated that 
it was proposed to call the county Hendricks, after a Mr. Hendricks 
of Indiana, and Ewing, saying that he did not favor the plan of nam- 
ing counties for men then living, suggested that it be called McLean, 
and this was done. (Duis, "Good Old Times in McLean County.") 
The manner in which this bill was "jammed" through is good mate- 
rial for another story. 

Henry. — In the earlier days many of the bills introduced in the 
Legislature went without titles until they were engrossed for third 
reading, and they were known, or at least described in the printed 
journals, by names that were not always retained throughout their 
progress. The journal shows that a select committee of the House of 
the Third General Assembly, 1822-23, reported favorably a bill for 
"An Act to form a new county out of the attached part of Pike,'' and 
upon its second reading it was amended, on motion of Nicholas Han- 
sen of Pike, by filling the first blank, presumably the one left for the 
name of the new county, with the word Fulton. Alexander P. Field 
of Union moved, without success, to strike out Fulton and insert 
Henry. The bill that created Fulton was approved January twenty- 
eighth, 1823, and is entitled, "An Act forming a new county out of 
the attached part of the county of Pike." Henry was formed in 1825. 

Highland. — See Marquette. 

Holmes. — Petitions of citizens of Iroquois, that part of that county 
be placed in a new county to be called Holmes, with petitions for a 
new county out of Vermilion and Iroquois, and others that a part of 
McLean be included, led the Senate of the Twentieth General Assem- 
bly, 1857, to pass a bill for "An Act concerning the creation of a new 
county therein named, and to provide for attaching thereto a portion 
of Iroquois county." It failed in the House, where Oliver L. Davis 
of Vermilion had introduced a petition of citizens of his county pray- 
ing for the formation of the county of Savanna. The latter bill was 
sent to a committee that reported a bill for "An Act to create the 
county of Savanna, and for other purposes therein named." The last 
mentioned bill was amended, on motion of Davis, by striking out 
Savanna wherever it occurred and inserting Holmes. It passed 
both houses as a bill for "An Act to create the county of Holmes, and 
for other purposes therein named," and was approved January thirty- 
first, 1857. It was dependent upon the result of an election, and 
failed there. The county would have taken territory from Champaign 
and Vermilion. 

Homer — In Beckwith's History of Vermilion County, p. 587, in the 
chapter on Elwood township, the following is found: "In 1857 the 
vote for establishing Homer county was 1 to 189 against." This is the 
only mention of a county having this name that has come to our 

Hubbard — When the Senate bill for the "Act to form a new county 
out of the attached part of Greene county, north of town twelve," 
which was approved flanuary thirty-first, 1823, was before the House 
it was amended, upon the recoumiendation of a select committee com- 


posed of Thomas Rattan of Greene, James Sims of Sangamon and 
Nicholas Hansen of Pite, by. among other things, changing the name 
of the new county from Hubbard to Morgan. 

JoLiET — For the House committee on petitions, John T. Stuart of 
Sangamon, reporting upon a petition from Cook, La Salle and Iro- 
quois for a new county, which had been introduced by John Hamlin, 
of Peoria, rejDorted a bill for "An Act to establish the county of Joliet.'" 
It was amended by changing the name of the county to Will, and by 
making a slight change in the boundary. It was api^roved January 
twelfth, 1836. 

Kankakee — The "Act to establish the county of Kankakee, and for 
other purposes therein named." approved February eleventh, 1851. 
failed to get the approval of the people at the election for which it 
provided and that effort failed. The county was established under an 
act having the same title which was approved February eleventh, 1853. 
It is probable that the passage of the last mentioned act caused the 
abandonment of the effort to pass the bill for the "Act to establish 
the county of Columbia, and for other purposes therein named." 

Keokuk — See Coffee. 

Lincoln — The "Act to create the county of Lincoln, and for other 
purposes," approved March ninth, 1867, submitted to the electors of 
Champaign and Vermilion the question of the formation of a county 
with that name out of territory in those counties. The effort failed. 
This is the last act passed providing for the creation of a county. 

Ludlow — Kett's History of Jo Daviess county says that the name 
first proposed for that county was Ludlow. 

Mackinaw — The Legislative journals show that the House passed 
a bill for "An Act creating Mackinaw county." The Senate changed 
the name of the county and made other amendments, and passed the 
bill with the title reading, "An Act creating Tazewell county." It 
was reported enrolled as "An Act creating the county of Tazewell," 
and as laid before the Council of Revision entitled, "An Act creating 
Tazewell county." 

Marquette — The "Act to create the county of Marquette, and for 
other purposes therein mentioned," approved February eleventh, 1843, 
gave that county two tiers of townships off' the east end of Adams, 
with one tier of sections off the east end of another township so that 
the county seat would not be too close to the western boundary of the 
county. Although this was the result of a county seat fight the 
people of the new county would not organize. {People v Wren, 4 
Scammon's Reports, p. 269. ) The passage of the "Act to change the 
name of the county of Marquette, to organize the same, and to attach 
a portion of the county of Adams thereto, to provide for the collection 
of the revenue therein, and for other purposes therein mentioned," 
approved February twenty- seventh, 1847, did not induce the people to 
organize the county, and it went out of existence by operation of the 
Constitution of 1848. The new name proposed for the county by last 
mentioned Act is Highland. 

Marquette is shown on the map in D. W. Beadle's "American 
Lawyer and Business-Man's Form-Book," New York, 1852. 


Marshall — For the committee on petitions of the House of the 
Tenth Cxeneral Assembly, 18BG-7, upon a petition for a division of 
Sangamon, Stephen A. Douglas reported a bill for "An Act for the 

organization of the county of ." It was sent to a select 

committee composed of Abraham Lincoln and Robert L. Wilson of 
Sangamon and William A. Richardson of Schuyler, and was reported 
with amendments, one of which gave the name of Marshall to the 
new county. David A. Nowlin of Monroe moved to strike out that 
name and insert Van Buren and the motion prevailed. It passed the 
House only to be indefinitely postponed by the Senate. The county 
would have included about one-third of Mason, a small part of San- 
gamon and nearly all of Menard. 

At the same session the House laid on the table a bill for "An Act 
to establish the county of Marshall." which provided for a county 
with a boundary line beginning at the center of the main channel of 
the Illinois on the line between townships twenty and twenty-one 
north, third principal meridian, running thence east on the township 
line to the center of range five west; thence south to the corner of 
sections twenty-seven, twenty-eight, thirty-three and thirty-four, 
township eighteen; thence west to the corner of sections twenty-six, 
twenty-seven, thirty-four and thirty-five, range six; thence south to 
the corner of sections twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-six and 
twenty-seven, township seventeen; thence west to the center of range 
eight (the Sangamon-Morgan line); thence north to the Sangamon 
river and down its main channel to the Illinois and up that river to 
the place of beginning. 

The Marshall of our time was formed at a later day out of other 

See Benton, Cass and Van Buren. ' 

Mason — A petition from citizens of Sangamon and Tazewell for a 
new county out of their territory to be called Mason was presented to 
the Eleventh General Assembly 1888-39, only to meet the adverse 
rejDort of the committee considering it. The county of this name 
was formed in 1841 from territory in Menard, Tazewell and Sanga- 

Michigan — The Senate of the Third General Assembly, 1829, 
passed a bill for "An Act constituting the county of Michigan," but 
it failed in the House. The county would have been bounded on the 
north and east by the State line, on the west by Fox river and on the 
south by the Illinois and the Kankakee. Chicago was named as the 
county seat. 

McHenry is one of the five counties created by the "Act to estab- 
lish certain counties," approved January sixteenth, 1886. When the 
bill for this act was in the Senate William H. Davidson of White 
secured the adoption of an amendment changing the name of this 
county from Michigan to McHenry. 

The "Act for the formation of Michigan county," approved March 
second 1887, siibmitted to a vote, a proposal to form a county of that 
name with a boundary including the present DuPage and the parts 
of Cook lying north and south of it. 


In 1888 an effort was made to form a county having this name out 
of a portion of Cook and that part of McHenry lying east of Fox 
river. (E. M. Haines in Le Baron's ''Past and Present of Lake 

Miller — In his address before the State Bar Association upon the 
Organization of the State into Counties, Judge Moses says that in 
1841 provision was made by an act of the legislature for the forma- 
tion of the county of Miller out of Macoupin and Morgan, but there 
is no such statute, and the principal legislative journals make no 
mention of such a bill. Possibly the author was writing from mem- 
ory and intended to mention, as he does not, the "Act for the forma- 
tion of the county of Allen,'' approved February twenty-seventh, 1811, 
which provided for the formation of such a county out of Macoupin, 
Morgan and Sangamon. 

Milton — The "Act to create the county of Milton," api^roved Feb- 
ruary twenty-first, 1848, submitted to the voters in Vermilion a prop- 
osition to form a county with that name out of the southern part of 

MoNEE — Upon the report of its committee on counties the House 
of the Twenty-Sixth Cxeneral Assembly, 1869, struck out the enact- 
ing clause of a bill for "An Act to establish the county of Monee, 
and for other purposes therein named." It was introduced by George 
Gay lord of Will. 

MoEEDOCK — See Cass. 

Nelson — Citizens of Sangamon, Morgan and Macoupin presented 
to the House of the Eleventh General Assembly, 1888-89, a petition 
praying for the formation of a new county to be called Nelson out of 
territory in those named. It went to the committee on counties and 
no report was made upon it. 

Nile — The Fourteenth General Assembly, 1844-45, was asked by 
citizens of Alexander to create out of that county a new one to be 
called Nile. After the Senate committee had considered the petition 
some time it was discharged and the eflPort failed. 

Oakland — Peru's ambition to be a county seat led some citi- 
zens of La Salle and Bureau to petition the Eleventh, Thirteenth and 
Fourteenth General Assemblies to create a new county out of their 
territory, and the last efPort induced the introduction in the House of 
a bill for "An Act to create the county of Oakland, and for other pur- 
poses," which was laid on the table after the second reading. A final 
eifort was made before the Fifteenth General Assembly where a bill 
with same title was introduced in the House. It failed after a second 

Ohio — The Senate of the Fourth General Assembly passed a bill 
for '"An Act to establish Ohio county." On January nineteenth, 
1826, the House ordered it laid on the table until the fourth of July 
following, and the Assembly adjourned January twenty-eighth. Citi- 
zens of Pope and Gallatin remonstrated against the passage of the bill. 

See Benton. 

Okaw — The Senate of the Second General Assembly passed a bill 
for "An Act forming a new county out of the counties of Bond and 
Crawford." On third reading these motions were made and lost: By 


Michael Jones of Gallatin to strike out Calhoun and insert Goth ; by 
Milton Ladd of -lohnson to strike out Calhoun and insert Okaw; by 
Zariah Maddux to strike out Calhoun and insert Cook; by William 
Boon of Jackson to strike out Calhoun and insert Vandalia. The 
House striick out all after the enacting clause. It was the effort to pass 
this bill that led to the passage of the "Act forming a new county out 
of the parts of counties therein contained,'' approved February four- 
teenth, 1821, which created Fayette out of Bond, Crawford and Pike. 

The "Act to establish the county of Okaw," approved February 
twenty-fourth, 1841, made provision for a new county with practically 
the same boundaries that Moultrie has. It failed at the polls. 

The House passed a bill for "An Act for the formation of the 
county of Okaw." On motion of Peter Warren of Shelby the Senate 
amended the bill and its title by changing the name of the county to 
Moultrie. It was approved February sixteenth, 1848. 

In the Fourteenth General Assembly, 1844-45, petitions from Moul- 
trie, Coles, Shelby and Cumberland led to the introduction in the 
House of a bill for "An Act to create the county of Okaw out of the 
county of Coles." It was laid on the table after the second reading. 

Orange — The name originally proposed for Kendall was Orange. 
The change was made by the House on motion of Ebenezer Peck of 
Cook. Joseph Gillespie of Madison moved to prefix the words 
^'Honest Amos." but his motion was tabled on the motion of William 
H. Bisseil of Monroe. 

While the troubles caused by the failure of the citizens of Mar- 
quette to organize their county were disturbing the Legislature the 
House of the Fourteenth General Assembly, 1844-45, passed a bill for 
"An Act to create the county of Orange." It was lost in the Senate. It 
grew out of petitions from Adams, Marquette and Pike for a new county. 

Oregon — L pon i^etitions from Morgan and Macoupin for a new 
county there was introduced in the Senate of the Sixteenth General 
Assembly, 1849, a bill for "An Act for the erection of the county of 
Oregon." It was amended and passed by the Senate with the title 
reading "An Act for the erection of the county of Oregon, and the 
organization of the same." The House struck out the enacting clause 
and ended that effort. 

The "Act for the formation of the county of Oregon." approved Febru- 
ary fifteenth, 1851, made provision for the creation of such a comity out 
of territory in Macoupin, Morgan and Sangamon. The territory is about 
the same as that proposed for Allen. The effort failed at the polls. 

Park — Leonard Swett of McLean introduced in the House of the 
Twenty-first General Assembly, 1859, a bill for "An Act to form the 
new county of Park out of the counties of McLean, Champaign and 
Vermilion." It was not heard of after being ordered engrossed. 
Possibly the passage of the Act creating Ford was regarded as a suffi- 
cient answer to the petitions that induced Swett to act. 

Perry — See Azby. 

A bill for "An Act creating Perry county," passed the House of the 
Third General Assembly, 1822-23, but failed in the Senate. The 
county bearing this name was formed by an act having that same title 
which was approved January twenty-ninth, ]827. 


Pike— Created by the "Act to form a new county on the botuity 
lands," approved January thirty-first. 1821. An unsuccessful ell'ort 
had been made a few days before the passage of this act to give this 
name to Lawrence county. See Azby 

PiNCKNEY — Section one of the bill for the "Act forming the counties 
of Chicago, Pinckney and Brown," as it stood when introduced, pro- 
vided for a county to be called Pinckney, with a boundary line beginning 
at the north-east corner of township thirty-five north, range four east of 
the thii'd principal meridian, and running thence "easterly" ( manifestly 
an error) along the "north line of the surveys to the north-west corner 
of fractional township eighteen north, range ten east of the fourth prin- 
cipal meridian" (in Bureau coi:i;1y ): thence south on the range line to 
the southwest corner of township thirteen; thence east to main chan- 
nel of the Illinois river and down it to the "southwest angle" of frac- 
tional township twenty-eight, north, range four west of the third jjrin- 
cipal meridian; thence east on the township line to the east line of 
range four east of the third principal meridian, thence north to the 
place of beginning. The county seat was to be located near the 
mouth of the Little Vermilion. An amendment by the committee 
made the northeast corner of the county the north-east corner of 
township thirty-fiA'e north, range seven east of the third principal me- 
ridian, but did not change the other lines. The county would have 
contained parts of Bureau, Putnam, Marshall, Woodford, Livingston 
and La Salle. 

Polk — Citizens of De Witt asked the Fourteenth General Assembly, 
1844, to create a new county to be called Polk, and a bill for that pur- 
pose was read twice in the House and then tabled. (See Harrison.) 

Radiation — Petitions for a new county out of Hardin and Gallatin 
and others, for a division of Pope, with remonstrances against any 
such action, were presented to the House of the Twelfth General 
Assembly, and George T. Waters of Pope introduced a bill for "An 
Act to create the county of Radiation." After second reading it was 
indefinitely post^joned. on motion of John Oliver of Johnson. 

RiCHMAN — Petitions for the formation, out of Coles and Champaign, 
of a county to be called Richman led to the passage of the "Act to 
establish the county of Douglas, and for other purposes," approved 
February thirteenth, 1857. This effort failed. Douglas was created 
by an act passed in 1859. 

Reynolds — See Cass. 

Savanna — See Holmes, 

Somerset — J. M. Hood of Du Page introduced in the House of the 
Twenty-First General Assembly, 1859, a bill for "An Act to create the 
county of Somerset, and for other purposes." It was ordered engrossed 
for third reading and then dropped. There were petitions from Iro- 
quois and Vermilion asking that this bill be passed. 

Summit — John A. Logan of Jackson introduced in the Bouse of 
the Twentieth General Assembly, 1857, a bill for "An Act to establish 
the county of Summit, and for other purposes." It was read twice 
and sent to a committee that did not report upon it. 


The bill for "An Act to create the county of Summit, and for other 
purposes" was amended in the House on motion of John A. Davis of 
Stephenson by striking out Summit wherever it occurred and inserting 
Ford. It passed entitled, "'An Act to create the coimty of Ford, and 
for other purposes," and was approved February seventeenth, 1859. 
This is the last county created. 

Tioga. — George C. Bestor of Peoria introduced into the Senate of 
the Twenty- first General Assembly, 1859, a bill for "An Act to create 
the county of Tioga, and for other purposes therein named." Though 
ordered engrossed for third reading no final action was taken uj)on it 
by the Senate. 

Van Burex. — In the House of the Tenth General Assembly. 1836-37, 
Stephen A. Douglas of Morgan, chairman of the Committee on Peti- 
tions, reporting upon a petition for a division of Sangamon, reported a 

bill for "An Act for the organization of the county of " 

After second reading it went to a select committee composed of Abra- 
ham Lincoln and Robert L. Wilson of Sangamon, and William A. 
Richardson of Schuyler, who reported it with amendments, one of 
them making the name Marshall. On motion of David A. Xowlin of 
Monroe. Marshall was stricken out and Van Buren inserted as the 
name of the new county. After a reference to another select com- 
mittee consisting of Xinian W. Edwards, and Dan Stone, of Sanga- 
mon, and Douglas, the House passed the bill. The Senate postponed 
consideration of it indefinitely and took no further action upon it. 
The boundary line ran thus: beginning at the northwest corner of 
Sangamon ( then where the north line of township twenty north third 
principal meridian, touches the Illinois river), running thence east 
on the township line to the northeast corner of township twenty 
north, range five west (on the Logan-Mason line); thence south on 
the range line to the southeast corner of township eighteen north; 
thence diagonally across ranges five, six and seven, to the southwest 
corner of township seventeen north, range seven west; thence west on 
the township line to the Sangamon-Morgan line ( then and now the 
center of range eight west); thence north to the Sangamon river (at 
the northwest corner of the present Menard) thence along that river 
(the Cass-Mason line) to the Illinois and up that river to the place of 
beginning, Petersburg was named as the county seat. This county 
would include one-third of Mason, a small part of Sangamon and 
nearly all of the present Menard. 

There was introduced in the House of the Fourteenth General 
Assembly. 1811-15, a bill for "An Act for the formation of the county 
of Van Buren." It passed the House and was laid on the Senate 
table. The proposed countj^ would have taken territory from Ran- 
dolph and Jackson. (See Benton and Marshall.) 

Vaxdalia. - See Okaw. 

Vernox. — Petitions for a division of Tazewell led the Senate Com- 
mitte on Counties of the Twelfth General Assembly, 1810-11, by John 
]\Ioore, of McLean, to rejDort a bill for "An Act to create the county 
of Vernon." After second reading and another report by the com- 
mittee, upon a re-reference, further consideration was indefinitely 
postponed on motion of Richard N. CuUom of Tazewell. 


Virgil. — There was introduced into the House of the Eleventh 
General Assembly, 1888-39, a bill for "An Act to create the county of 
Virgil."' It was read twice and sent to a select committee composed 
of John Harris of Macoupin, Newton Cloud of Morgan, Ninian W. 
Edwards of Sangamon, John Logan of Jackson and William H. Hen- 
derson of Putnam. After a report by the committee with amend- 
ments, the bill, amendments and report were, on motion of William 
F. Elkin of Sangamon, indetinitely postponed. 

Watson. — This is the name originally proposed for Douglas. It is 
said that when the promoters of the bill creating that county were at 
the capital they were given to understand that the new county must 
be called Douglas, or the bill would fail. (Battey, History of Doug- 
las County.) 

Wauponsee. — While some citizens of Will and Iroquois were asking 
the Thirteenth General Assembly, 1842-43, to form a new county out 
of their territory, others remonstrated against the formation of a 
county to be called W^auponsee. 

Wilcox. — See Benton. 



(By Hon. Clark E. Carr.) 

"Four score and seven j/ears ago our fathers brought forth upon 
this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to 
the proposition that all men are created equal. 

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that 
Nation, or any Nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long 
endure. We are met on a great battletield of that war. We are met 
to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting place of those who here 
gave their lives that that Nation might live. It is altogether fitting 
and proper that we should do this. 

"But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we 
cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who 
struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or de- 
tract. The world will Jittle note nor long remember what we say 
here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the 
living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished^ work that they 
have thus far so nobly carried on. It is raiher for us to be here ded- 
icated to the great task remaining before us- that from these hon- 
ored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they 
gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve, 
that the dead shall not have died in vain— that the Nation shall, 
under God. have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of 
the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from 
the earth." 

The battle of Gettysburg was fon;7;ht on the first, second and third 
of July. 1808. 

The Confederate army under the command of General Robert E. 
Lee, elated with success, had entered Pennsylvania, menacing Har- 
risburg, Philadelphia. Baltimore and Washington. Even New York 
was threatened: for, had the advance of Lee not been checked, the 
great metropolis would have been at his mercy, and there can be lit- 
tle doubt but that the southern rebellion would have been siiccessful. 
Under these circumstances, with the invading hordes upon them, the 
consternation and terror of the loyal people of Pennsylvania can be 
better imagined than described. That this invasion of the north was 
not successful is due to the heroism and fortitude of the Union sol- 
diers, who, under the coumiand of General George G. Meade, met 
tlie invader in mortal combat, and, after three days of desperate fight- 
ing in which many thousands were killed and a vast number wounded, 
hurled him back across the border, never to return. 


It is not generally known that Illinois soldiers were the first to 
meet the onset of the enemy, and to fire the first shot in the great bat- 
tle. This is the fact, brought out clearly by Colonel \A'illiam Gamble, 
of the Eighth Illinois cavalry, in a letter to Hon. William L. Church 
and myself of date of March 10, 1864, the truth of which, so far as I 
know, has not been questioned. This regiment belonged to Buford's 
cavalry division, and fired the first shot in meeting and checking the 
advance of the Confederate General A. P. Hill. This shot precip- 
itated and brought on the three days' conflict which turned the tide 
of war. 

Scarcely had the reverberations of the guns of the battle died away, 
when the Hon. David Wills, a citizen of Gettysburg, wrote to the 
Honorable Andrew G. Curtin, the great war governor of Pennsyl- 
vania, suggesting that a plat of ground in the midst of the battlefield be 
at once purchased and set apart as a soldier's national cemetery, and 
that the remains of the dead be exhumed and placed in this cemetery. 
He suggested that the ground to be selected should be on what 
was known as "Cemetery Hill," so called because adjoining it, is the 
local cemetery of Gettysburg. As a reason W'hy the ground should 
be chosen, Mr. Wills said : "It is the place where our army had 
about forty pieces of artillery in action all Thursday and Friday, and, 
for their protection, had thrown up a large number of earthworks. It 
is the point where the desperate attack was made by the Louisiana 
brigades on Thursday evening, when taking possession of them, and 
were finally driven back by the infantry, assisted by the artillerymen, 
with their handsi^ikes and rammers. It was the key to the whole 
line of defenses, the spot of the triangular line of battle. It is the 
spot above all others, for the honorable burial of the dead who have 
fallen on these fields." 

Governor Curtin at once approved of the recommendation of Mr. 
Wills, and correspondence was opened with the governors of 
loyal states, whose troops had engaged in the battle, asking them to 
co-operate in the movement. The .^rounds proposed by Mr Wills, 
seventeen acres which embraced the highest point of Cemetery Hill, 
and overlooks the whole battlefield, were at once purchased. 

The governors of fifteen states immediately responded, foremost 
among whom was our great war governor, known and recognized 
everywhere as "the soldiers' friend," Richard Yates. 

The Legislature of Pennsylvania passed an act incorporating "The 
Soldiers' National Cemetery." naming one trustee for each state co- 
operating, who was suggested by its governor. I was named for 

When the first meeting was held, supposing that each state would 
have two on the board, the governor appointed Hon. Wm L. Church 
of Chicago, then clerk of the Circuit court and recorder of Cook 
county, and myself; and together we attended the first meeting, after 
which I alone represented Illinois on the board. When Governor 
Yates retired from the executive office. I was re-appointed by (xov- 
ernor Oglesby. The board was organized by the election of Mr. David 


Wills of Grettysburg, who had initiated the movement, president, and 
Mr. John R. Bartlett. secretary of state of Rhode Island, als© one of 
our commissioners, secretary. 

It must be remembered that when tbis board was established, the 
general government had not entered upon nor even considered the 
policy of establishing soldiers' national cemeteries. This came after- 
ward, and I think that the suggestion of such a policy came from the 
Soldiers' 2»Jational Cemetery at Gettysburg. Our board continued in 
charge there until the government system was inaugurated, when we 
turned the cemetery over to the general government, which, having a 
fund for that purpose has since cared for it. As is the case with the 
other National cemeteries, an officer of the army and a guard of men 
are always kept there in charge. 

The apjjropriations given us by the different states amounted in 
the aggregate to nearly an hundred and forty thousand dollars, Illi- 
nois contributing, notwithstanding the small number of our dead/ 
buried there (only six), .$11,774.84. Illinois had but three regiments 
in the battle, the 8th and 12th cavalry, and the 82nd infantry!^ 

The first action necessary after the movement to inaugurate the 
National cemetery had been determined upon, and the ground pur- 
chased, was to lay out a plot for graves, and to take up and remove the 
dead which were scattered over a radius of many miles. The dead 
had been hastily buried in the fields where they had fallen, and 
bodies were frequeiitly found with scarcely any covering. 

The cemetery was laid out in the form of a half circle the center of 
which was reserved for the imposing monument which has since been 
reared from which the half circles of the graves radiate, the inner 
half-circle, of course, being very small, and the half circles increasing 
in length and capacity as they extended. On this inner semi-circle, 
that nearest the monument, I was able to have placed the Illinois sec- 
tion, which, of course, is very small. On one side of our Illinois sec- 
tion is a large one, containing the graves of the unknown, and on the 
other that of the State of Virginia. It was upon the ground in the 
center reserved for the monument that the platform upon which the 
addresses were delivered was placed. This platform fronted away 
from the cemetery proper, giving room for the vast audience of people 
in front of and facing it, to be near to, but not upon, the graves. 

At the head of every grave was placed a headstone of granite, rising 
nine inches above the ground, upon which was sculptured the name, 
company and regiment of each soldier, so far as could be ascertained, 
while those who could not be identified, were marked "unknown." Of 
the known there were 2,585 and of the unknown 979, making in the 
aggregate 3,564. Large as this number is, it does not nearly represent 
the number of fatalities among the union soldiers. Many of the 
wounded died in the hospitals and elsewhere, and the remains of quite 
a large number had been removed from the field by relatives and 
friends and taken to their respective homes. 

It was ])roposed, as this work proceeded, that memorial dedicatory 
exercises be held to consecrate this sacred ground; which was finally 
determined upon. The day first fixed upon for these exercises was 
the 23rd of October. 


The Honorable Edward Everett of Massachusetts was then regarded 
as the greatest living American orator, and it was decided to invite 
him to deliver the oration, and this was done. But he replied that it 
was "wholly out of his power to make the necessary preparation by 
the 28rd of October." So desirous were we all to have Mr. Everett, 
that the dedication was postponed to Thursday, the 19th of November, 
1863, nearly a month, to suit Mr. Everett's convenience; when it 
actually took place. 

A formal invitation to be present was sent to the President of the 
United States and his cabinet, to Major General George G. Meade, 
who commanded our tooops in the battle of Gettysburg, and to the 
officers and soldiers who participated, and gained the memorable 
victory. Invitations were also sent to the venerable Lieutenant Gen- 
eral Winfield Scott and to Admiral Charles Stewart, the distinguished 
and time-honored representatives of the army and navy, the diplomatic 
corps representing foreign governments, to the members of both 
Houses of Congress and to other distinguished personages. 

All these invitations and all the arrangements for the dedicatory 
exercises, as was the case with everything relating to the cemetery, 
were considered and decided upon by our board of commissioners, and 
were, in so far as he was able, under the direction of the board, carried 
into effect by Mr. Wills, our president. As we were all representing 
and speaking for the governors of our respective States, by whom we 
were appointed, we made all the invitations in their names. 

The proposition to ask Mr. Lincoln to speak at the Gettysburg 
ceremonies was an after-thought. "The President of the United States" 
had; like the other distinguished personages, been invited to be pre- 
sent, but Mr. Lincoln was not, at that time, invited to speak. In fact, 
it did not seem to occur to any one, that he could speak upon such an 

Scarcely any member of the board, excepting the member repre- 
senting Illinois, had ever heard him speak at all, and no other member 
had ever heard him, or read from him, anything except political dis- 
cussion. When the suggestion was made that he be invited to speak, 
while all expressed high appreciation of his great abilities as a poli- 
tical speaker, as shown in his debates with Senator Douglas, and in 
his Cooper Institute address, the question was raised as to his ability 
to speak upon such a grave and solemn occasion as that of the 
memorial services. Besides, it was said that, with his important 
duties and responsibilities, he could not possibly have the leisure to 
prepare an address for such an occasion. In answer to this it was 
urged that he himself better than anyone else could determine as to 
these questions, and that, if he were invited to speak, he was sure to 
do what, under the circumstances, wouid be right and proper. 

It must be remembered that Mr. Lincoln had not then proved to 
the world his ability to speak upon such an occasion. He had not 
yet made a Gettysburg address, and he had not then made that other 
address which, for sublimity and pathos, ranks next to it. his second 


It was finally decided to ask President Lincoln to, "after the oration: 
(of Mr Everett) as chief executive of the nation, formally set apart 
these grounds to their sacred use by a few aiDi^rojiriate remarks." 
This was done in the name of the governors of the States, as was the 
case with others, bj^ Mr. Wills; but the invitation was not settled 
upon and sent to Mr. Lincoln until the 2nd of November, more than 
six weeks after Mr. Everett had been invited to speak, and but a little 
more than two weeks before the exercises were held. 

The President arrived at Gettysburg upon a special train about 
dusk on the evening before the exercies. Nov. ]8, accompanied by 
Secretary Seward and other distinguished personages, including those 
two Illinois boys who afterwards became distinguished. John (j. 
Nicolay. his private secretary, and his assistant private secretary, 
John Hay. He was driven at once to the residence of Mr. Wills, 
where he was entertained during his stay in the town. 

We all. headed by a brass band, marched to Mr. Wills' house, and 
serenaded Mr. Lincoln, who appeared upon the veranda, but said 
little more than to excuse himself from speaking: after which we ser- 
enaded Secretary Seward, who made quite an extended address, and 
afterwards we serenaded others, who also spoke. 

As to the time and manner of preparation of President Lincoln's 
address, I think that the best authority is that of Mr. Nicolay, who 
published an article on "Lincoln's Gettysburg address,'' which I find 
in a bound volume of the Century Magazine, running from November, 
1898, to April 1894. 

After saying that there is no decisive record of when Mr. Lincoln 
wrote the first sentences of his proposed address, Mr. Nicolay speaks 
of Mr. Lincoln's "usual'' habit of "using great deliberation in arrang- 
ing his thoughts, and molding his phrases, mentally, waiting to reduce 
them to writing until they had taken satisfactory form." There was 
greater necessity of precaution in this case, because the invitation 
specified that the address should only be "a few appropriate remarks." 
After saying that "brevity in speech and writing was one of Lincoln's 
marked characteristics,"' that Mr. Everett would be quite certain to 
make a long address, and speaking of "the want of opportunity" for 
Mr. Lincoln "even to think leisurely," Mr. Nicolay concludes the re- 
mark by saying that "all this strongly confirms the correctness of the 
statement made by the Hon. James Speed, in an interview published 
in the "Louisville Commercial," in November, 1870. that the Presi- 
dent told him that the day before he left Washington he found time 
to write about half of the speech. 

Mr. Nicolay continues as follows: 

"It was after the breakfast hour on the morning ef the 19th, the 
day the address was delivered, that the writer. Mr. Lincoln's private 
secretary, went to the upper room in the home of Mr. Wills, which 
Mr. Lincoln occupied, to report for duty, and remained with the Presi- 
dent while he finished writing the Gettysburg address during the 
short leisure, he could utilize for this purpose before being called to 
take his place in the procession, which was announced on the program 
to move at 10:00 o'clock. 


''There is neither record evidence nor well founded tradition" Mr. 
Nicolay continued, "that Mr. Lincoln did any writing, or made any 
notes on the journey between Washington and Gettysburg. The 
train consisted of four passenger coaches, and, either composition or 
writing would have been extremely troublesome amid the movement, 
the noise, the conversation, the greetings, and the questionings which 
ordinary courtesy required him to undergo in these surroundings; but, 
still worse would have been the rockings and joltings of the train, 
rendering writing virtually impossible. Mr. Lincoln carried in his 
pocket the autograph manuscript of so much of his address as he had 
written at Washington the day before." 

Mr. Xicolay"s article contains a facisimile reproduction of the ad- 
dress then, as he declares, for the first time made public and printed 
in this article, one page of which is written in ink in the President's 
strong, clear hand, without blot or erasure, and the remainder written 
with a pencil, which latter were no doubt written at Gettysburg." 

There are three versions of authority for Lincoln's Gettysburg ad- 
dress, says Mr. Nicolay. 

First — The original autograph manuscript draft, written by Mr. 
Lincoln, j)artly at Washington and partly at Gettysburg. (This is 
the version to which reference is made above.) 

Second — The version made by the shorthand reporter on the stand 
at Gettysburg, when the President delivered it, which was telegraphed 
and was printed in the leading newspapers of the country on the fol- 
lowing morning. 

Third — The revised copy made by the President a few days after 
his return to Washington, upon a careful comparison of his original 
draft, and the printed newspaper version, with his own recollections 
of the exact form in which he delivered it. 

Mr. Nicolay says that "four days after Mr. Lincoln's return to 
Washington, Mr. Wills," president of our board of commissioners, 
wrote him '"on behalf of the states interested in the National ceme- 
tery here" requesting "the original manuscript of the dedicatory re- 
marks delivered by you here last Monday. We desire them to be 
placed with the correspondence and other papers connected with the 
project,"' and that, "to comply with this request," the President, after 
comparing the "Associated Press report as it appeared in the news- 
papers with his original draft," made a new autograph copy — a care- 
ful and deliberate revision — which has become the standard and au- 
thentic text." (It will be observed that four days after he spoke at 
Gettysburg, Mr. Wills designated the production as merely "dedica- 
tory remarks.") I have in my possession a book published by the 
secretary of our board of commissioners, under the direction and at 
the expense of the board, entitled "The Soldiers' National Cemetery 
at Gettysburg," which contains the address made from that copy. It 
does not differ from those generally published. 

New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington. Pittsburg, and 
all the towns and country round about were represented at the dedi- 
catory exercises. 


It was estimated that there were an hundred thousand people who 
attended. The crowds began to arrive two days before the exercises 
were held. I went over from Harrisburg on the day before and rode 
from there in a box freight car which was seated with rough boards 
for the occasion. I think that most of the passengers had similar 
accommodations, as the passenger coaches could not begin to carry 
the people who attended. The town, which then had a population of 
about 2,000, did not begin to be able to take care of the people, 
many of whom sat ujj all night. Fortunately for us, Mr. Wills had 
reserved quarters for the members of our board at the hotel. 

It was expected that there would be a great number in a procession 
to follow the presidential party to the grounds, in which we were dis- 
appointed, as most of the people chose to go out by themselves over 
the battlefield, and through the cemetery. 

Atabout 10:00 o'clock in the morning President Lincoln appeared at 
the door of Mr. AVills' house. Horses had been provided for him and 
his party, and some other distinguished personages, and for the mem- 
bers of the board of commissioners. The procession was delayed for 
some time by the people pressing forward to shake hands with the 
President after he was mounted upon his horse, which continued un- 
til stopped by the marshals. 

Following those already mentioned, came civil and military organi- 
zations on foot and finally the people at large. One of the most inter- 
esting features of the procession was a large company of veteran 
soldiers, who had been wounded in the battle. The procession was 
under the direction of Major General Couch, marshal of the day. 

President Lincoln, as we moved slowly forward, sat at first erect 
upon his horse, handling the reins of the bridle in the white gauntlet 
gloves he wore, in such a stately and dignified manner as to make him 
appear the commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United 
States, which he was. Before we reached the grounds he was bent 
forward, his arms swinging, his body limp and his whole frame sway- 
ing from side to side. He had become so absorbed in thought tha£ 
he took little heed of his surroundings and was riding just as he did 
over the circuit in Illinois, during the years of his early practice of 
law, with his saddle bags, which contained all of his possessions, 
dangling upon each side of his horse. Seats were reserved upon the 
platform for the President, the board of commissioners, and invited 
guests. ^ 

1 have no recollection of when Mr. Everett reached Gettysburg, or 
how he got out to the grounds, but I distinctly remember that we 
waited for him a half an hour before the exercises commenced, during 
which the bands of music played airs that were solemn and im- 
pressive. The exercises were opened by an invocation by Reverend 
Dr. Stockton, who was, I think, then chaplain of the United States 
Senate. Letters of regret were read from General George G. Meade, 
who commanded our troops in the great battle and was still in com- 
mand of the army at the front, from the venerable General Winfield 
Scott, and others: after which Mr. Everett was introduced and began 
his oration. 


Volumes have been written upon Mr. Everett's address, many of 
them in a vein of unfriendly criticism, especially contrasting his long 
and studied speech with the short and pungent sentences of Mr. 

Every just and fair person who intelligently reads that oration, 
must rise from its perusal with a feeling that few efforts of ancient or 
modern times, in splendors of metaphor, classical lore, eloquence of 
diction, lofty sentiments, and clear and logical reasoning, surpass it. 
He drew inspiration from the orators of Clreece, at the fountain of 
whose eloquence he had drunk, being able to read their productions 
in the language through whose matchless purity and elegance and 
strength they had been given to the world. He took us at the outset 
to the wonderful Ceramicus in a most beautiful suburb of Athens, 
"adorned by Cimon the son of Miltiades with walks, and fountains, and 
columns, whose groves were filled with altars, and shrines, and temples, 
whose gardens were kept forever green by the streams from the 
neighboring hills, whose pathways gleamed with the monuments of 
the illustrious dead, the work of the most consummate masters that 
ever gave life to marble," and told us of the votive offerings laid upon 
the coffins of the dead, flowers, weapons, precious ornaments, painted 
vases, wonders of art, which, after two thousand years, adorn the mu- 
seums of Europe; and of himself, "after an interval of twenty-three 
centuries, a youthful pilgrim from the world unknown to ancient 
Greece,'* visiting that "holy groimd." He told of how, when the 
funeral obsequies were held in this wonderful Ceramicus, "beneath the 
overarching plane trees, upon a lofty stage, erected for the purpose, 
it was ordained that a funeral oration should be pronounced by some 
citizen of Athens, in presence of the assembled multitude." 

After thus eloquently portraying the beauties of that wonderful ceme- 
tery, and recalling the exercises held over the dead heroes of the Pelo- 
ponesian war who met and triumphantly hurled back the enemy, Mr. 
Everett even more eloquently pronounced an eulogium upon the dead 
heroes of the Union Army who so heroically met and overcame the 
invader and now slept beneath and about us, whose glories we were 
assembled to commemorate. 

This led the orator to a narrative of the events of the campaign un- 
til the clash of arms came upon the field about us, in the center of 
which we were, and of the awful struggle and carnage of the three 
days of conflict. 

It has been said that, were every official report and every printed 
word in regard to the battle of Gettysburg, except Mr. Everett's ora- 
tion, destroyed, in its pages would be preserved to posterity such a 
lucid and concise account of the great battle as would make every 
important movement of every command perfectly clear. 

Mr. Everett had asked for and received from General Meade and 
other officers accounts of the battle; he had read all the official reports 
that were available, and had himself after he accepted the invitation 
to speak, come to Gettysburg and visited every portion of the field, 
remaining several days, and so perfectly and completely did he pic- 

—10 H 


ture the onset, the falling back, the desperate assault, and resistance 
of every corps and division, and almost every brigade of both armies, 
for every hour and almost every moment of those three days of des- 
IDerate lighting that as he spoke one could almost see the movements. 
The published oration which appears in the book to which I have 
already referred is illustrated by a map of the field. When Mr. 
Everett spoke, the field itself was before and about him, and his audi- 
ence, and he needed no other map. There is no better guide book to 
the battle of Gettysburg than Edward Everett's oration. 

It would be supposed that any orator, after giving such an account 
of the battle, which was necessarily very extended, in such a pres- 
ence, with the ablest and most brilliant men of the age about him, 
with the President of the United States sitting near, waiting to speak, 
it would be supposed, that he would then have drawn his oration to a 
close. Not so! Mr. Everett was the orator of the day, and lie went 
on for another hour, every hearer interested and absorbed in the sub- 
lime sentiments he enunciated, none more so than the President. 

He called to account the "hard hearted men whose cruel lust of 
power brought this desolating war upon the land." He showed who 
was resi^onsible for all this carnage and blood, and sorrow and despair. 
He showed that it all came from envy and ambition, for which there 
w^as, and could be, no justification. 

He pictured the dire consequences that would have followed had 
the enemy succeeded in that battle, which would have resulted in the 
overthrow of the nation and in blighting the last hojje of free govern- 

He referred to the attempt by those who instigated the war to jus- 
tify theaiselves by citing the rebellions of our fathers against George 
III, and of Cromwell against Charles I, and asked : "What would have 
been thought by an impartial history of the American rebellion 
against George III, if the colonies had been more than equally repre- 
sented in Parliament, and James Otis, and Patrick Henry, and Wash- 
ington, and Franklin, and the Adamses, and men of their stamp, had 
for two generations enjoyed the confidence of the sovereign, and had 
administered the government of the empire? What would have been 
thought of the rebellion against Charles I, had Cromwell and the men 
of his school been his advisors'?" And then he showed how these men 
had, when they precipitated the war, control of both houses of Con- 
gress, and that not one assault had been made upon them and not one 
right invaded. 

He showed, by citing the constitution, the supremacy given by its 
framers to the general government and how weak and silly was the 
contention that the general government was a mere "agency" of sov- 
ereign states, and how absurd was the claim of the confederates of 
justification for secession, when in control of both houses of Congress 
and everything in their own states, on the state rights theory, rights 
that had never been invaded nor denied. 

Knowing as we did his history, how he had always, to his own dis- 
advantage, blighting at times all hopes of political preferment, favored 
measures to conciliate the South, it was almost pathetic to hear Mr. 
Everett exelnim: "A sad foreboding of what would ensue if a war 


should break out between the North and South has haunted me 
through life, and led me, perhaps too long to tread in the path of 
hopeless compromise, in the fond endeavor to conciliate those who 
were predetermined not to be conciliated." 

It is not necessary to go further into detail of Mr. Everett's address, 
a glimpse of which it has been deemed proper to give, in order to 
place the situation clearly before us. Suffice it to say that very soon 
after he began to speak he rose to a lofty height of eloquence, which, 
constantly holding the undivided, and at times almost breathless, 
attention of his audience, he sustained for two hours. 

I can give no young man who seeks to perfect himself in literature 
better advice than he make a study of that oration. 

At the close of Mr. Everett's address a solemn dirge written by Mr. 
B. B. French, especially for the occasion, was sung by a hundred 
voices, after which President Lincoln was introduced to the great 

When the President thus appeared, it was the first opportunity the 
people had to really see him. There was the usual craning of necks, 
the usual exclamations of "down in front,'" the usual crowding to get 
places to see, and much confusion. He waited patiently for the audi- 
ence to become quiet, and there was absolute silence while he spoke. 
He began in those high, piercing tones, which the people of Illinois 
had so often heard, to which he held to the close. His was a voice 
which, when he made an effort, could reach a great multitude, and he 
always tried to make every one hear. He held in his left hand two 
or three pages of manuscript, toward which he glanced but once. 
He spoke with deliberation, but could not have continued more than 
three or four, some said, two minutes. 

A moment's reflection will convince any one that before the great 
multitude of people, nearly all of whom were standing, could have 
prepared themselves to intelligently listen, before they had, I may 
say, become poised, before their thoiights had become sufficiently 
centered upon the speaker to take up his line of thought and follow 
him, he had finished and returned to his seat. 

So short a time was Mr. Lincoln before them that the people could 
scarcely believe their eyes when he disappeared from their view. 
They were almost dazed. They could not possibly, in so short a 
time, mentally grasp the ideas that were conveyed, or even their sub- 
stance. Time and again expressions of disappointment were made to 
me. Many persons said to me that they would have supposed that 
on such a great occasion the President would have made a speech. 
Every one thought on the words of Mr. Wills four days later, to 
which reference has been made, that, instead of Mr. Lincoln's deliver- 
ing an address, he only made a very few "dedicatory remarks." 

We on the platform heard every word. And what did we hear? A 
dozen commonplace sentences, scarcely one of which contained any- 
thing new, anything that when stated was not self-evident. 

I am aware, because I noted it at the time, that in the Associated 
Press report which appeared in the morning papers, there were the 
punctuations of "applause," "long continued applause," etc., which 
was the invariable custom in those days. Except when he concluded 


I did not observe it, and, at the close the applause was not especially 
marked. The occasion was too solemn for any kind of boisterous 

In his '"Recollections of Abraham Lincoln," edited by his daugh- 
ter (a very interesting book). Ward Hill Lamon, Marshal of the Dis- 
trict of Columbia, whose position, beside being a most intimate friend, 
brought him into constant and close relation with the President, says: 

"On the platform from which Mr. Lincoln delivered his address, 
and only a moment after it was concluded, Mr. Seward turned to Mr. 
Everett and asked him what he thought of the President's speech. 
Mr. Everett replied, 'It is not what I expected from him. 1 am dis- 
appointed.' Then, in his turn, Mr. Everett asked. 'What do you 
think of it, Mr. Seward V The response was, 'He has made a failure, 
and I am sorry for it. His speech is not equal to him.' Mr. Seward 
then turned to me and asked, 'Mr. Marshal, what do you think of it?' 
I answered, 'I am sorry to say that it does not impress me as one of 
his great speeches.' " 

"In the face of these facts." continues Mr. Lamon, "it has been 
repeatedly published that this speech was received by the audience 
with loud demonstrations of approval; and that amid the tears, sobs, 
and cheers it produced in the excited throng, the orator of the day, 
Mr. Everett, turned to Mr. Lincoln, grasped his hand and exclaimed, 
'I congratulate you on your success!' Adding in a transport of 
heated enthusiasm, 'Ah, Mr. President, how gladly would I give my 
hundred -pages to be the author of your twenty lines.' " 

"As a matter of fact," Mr. Lamon goes on to say, "the silence dur- 
ing the delivery of the speech and the lack of hearty demonstrations 
of approval immediately after its close, was taken by Mr. Lincoln as 
certain proof that it was not well received. In that opinion we all 
shared. If any person then present, saw, or thought he saw, the 
marvelous beauties of that wonderful speech, as intelligent men in 
all lands now see them, his super-abundant caution closed his lips 
and stayed his pen." 

In concluding his comments upon Mr. Lincoln's address. Mr. Nico- 
lay in his Century article to which reference has been made, says: 
"They" the hearers, "were, therefore, totally unprepared for what 
they heard, and could not immediately realize that hi^ words, and not 
those of the carefully selected orator, were to carry the concentrated 
thought of the occasion like a trumpet peal to farthest posterity." 

My own recollection which is more clear as to occurrences in those 
troublous times, especially those upon that occasion, the responsi- 
bilities of which devolved in a great degree upon a board of which I 
was a member, coincides with that of Mr. Lamon and Mr. Nicolay. 
It is true as Mr. Nicolay says, the hearers were totally unprepared for 
what they heard, and could not immediately realize how able and far 
reaching was Mr. Lincoln's address. My recollection also confirms 
that of Mr. Lamon, that no one there present saw the marvelous 
beauties of that wonderful speech. I did not hear the expressions of 
Mr. Seward and Mr. Everett in regard to it, as my seat was with the 
members of our commission, but from the expressions of oi3inion I 
did hear, I have no doubt that they were made. 


I heard every word and every articulation of Mr. Lincoln, and had 
no realization that he did anything more than make "a few dedicatory 
remarks." His expressions were so plain and homely, without any 
attempt at rhetorical periods, and his statements were so axiomatic, 
and, I may say matter of fact, and so simple, that I had no idea that, 
as an address, it was anything more than ordinary. 

I was very much struck, many times as I had heard him, by the ap- 
pearance of Mr. Lincoln when he arose and stood before the audience. 
It seemed to me that I had never seen any other human being who was 
so stately, and, I may say, majestic and yet benignant. His features 
had a sad, mournful, almost haggard, and still hopeful expression. 
Everyone was impressed with his sincerity and earnestness. 

I asked Dr. W. E. Simonds, professor of English Literature in 
Knox College, to give me an idea of the character and derivation 
of the words in Mr. Lincoln's Gettysburg address. In the course of 
his reply, he says: 

"In Lincoln's Gettysburg address there appears to bt thirty-two 
words of Latin origin," which Professor Simonds names. "These," 
he continues, "with repetitions of the same word, or other forms of the 
same word, make forty-six Latin derivatives all told. There are 267 
words in the address, leaving the balance, 221, Anglo-Saxon. 

"That is 1-5 or 20 per cent are Latin words, while 4-5 or 80 per cent 
are Anglo-Saxon." 

Short as is Mr. Lincoln's Gettysburg address, it contains all the 
elements of an elaborate and finished oration; exordium, argument, 
climax, and peroration. While all of these divisions far more ex- 
tended in Mr. Everett's oration, they are not more marked than in 
Mr. Lincoln's. 

In his exordium, consisting of five simple sentences, each one of 
which recalls a fact apparent to every hearer, he lays foundations for 
the superstructure upon which he builds, broad and deep. 

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this 
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the 
proposition that all men are created equal. 

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that 
nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. 
We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We are met to dedi- 
cate a portion of it as the final resting place of those who here gave 
their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and 
proper that we should do this." 

After thus laying the foundation comes the argument: 

"But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, 
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who 
struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or de- 
tract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, 
but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, 
rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work that they have thus 
far so nobly carried on;'' and to make the argument stronger, to clinch 
it, we would say, he repeats, "It is rather for us to be here dedicated 
to the great work remaining before us — that from these honored dead 


we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last 
full measure of devotion"; and then follows the climax: "'That we 
here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain" — and 
then the peroration — ''that the nation shall, under God, have a new 
birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the 
people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 

I want to say in passing that there was one sentence that deeply 
affected me — the only one in which the President manifested emotion. 
With the close of that sentence his lips quivered, and there was a 
tremor in his voice which I can never forget. I recall it whenever I 
consider the address. The sentence was: "The M^orld will little note 
nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what 
they did here." 

The words "of the people, by the people and for the people,"^ were 
not original with Mr. Lincoln. There was considerable comment at 
the time upon his using them, which went so far that it was insinu- 
ated that he was guilty of wilful plagiarism — that he took them from 
Webster's reply to Hayne. The matter was thoroughly investigated 
by Lamon. Nicolay, and others, and it was found that the phrase had 
been so often used as to become common property. It appears 
substantially as Mr. Lincoln used it in Webster's reply to Hayne, 
1^80; in a work by James Douglas, in 1825. and in the Rhetorical 
Reader by James Porter in 1830. The phrase was used by Theodore 
Parker in an anti-slavery convention at Boston, May, 1850: and substan- 
tially the same phrase was used by Joel Parker in the Massachusetts 
constitutional convention in 1853. Long before Mr. Lincoln used the 
phrase it was used in other languages. The first appearance of this 
phrase, so far as it has been possible to ascertain, was in the preface 
to the Eld Wyclif Bible, translated before 1384, when that bright 
"morning star of the reformation" died, which declares that "This 
Bible is for the government of the people, by the people and for the 

On the next day after it was delivered, November 20th, the address 
appeared in full, as has been said, in every leading newspaper of the 
L^nited States. Even then, those who in a high degree appreciated it, 
were comparatively few. Some of us who heard it, formed, as we de- 
liberately read it, a very different idea of it from what we had when it 
was delivered. 

We had supposed and expected that the P'resident would, in what 
he said, simply dedicate that ground to the sacred purpose for which 
it had been set apart. As we read, it gradually dawned upon us that 
the chief executive of a great nation had solemnly dedicated those 
who heard him, and not merely those who heard him, but all his peo- 
ple to the cause for which the martyr heroes about him died, and 
that this was the underlying thought and object of his address. Be- 
sides this, we saw that the attention of the country had been drawn, 
in the most striking manner, to the foundation of the nation, and 
how, and when, and why, it was established, and to the sublime pur- 
pose of "our fathers in bringing it forth upon this continent." The 
country was made to see that the great Civil war, still going on. was 


waged for the purpose of testing whether, not only that nation, bnt 
•'whether any nation so conceived and so dedicated, could long en- 
dure," and that it was for us to be dedicated to the work remaining to 
be done. This central thought was in a few terse sentences so en- 
graved upon the hearts of all that it could not be effaced; and, after 
all this, the splendors, and glories, and worth to the jjeople at large, 
and the peril of that nation and of all free government, were held up 
and depicted before us by the closing sentence, that the •'goverrnnent 
of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from 
the earth.'" 

As was the case with others, Mr. Everett, when he read the address, 
began to realize (not so h\\\y as atterwards) something of its merits. 
On the following day, in a note to the president, mostly about other 
matters, he said: 

"Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thought ex- 
pressed by you with such eloquent simplicity and appropriateness at 
the consecration of the cemetery. 1 should be glad if I could flatter 
myself that I came so near the central idea of the occasion in two 
hours as you did in two minutes." 

But, even then, while our people began, in some degree, to appre- 
ciate the high character of the address, we did not realize how sublime 
it really was. Not until it had been read and commented upon on 
the other side of the Atlantic, did we place it in our own minds 
among the masterpieces. I recollect distinctly how I was impressed 
upon seeing a quotation from the "Edinburg Review" stating that no 
other address except that of Pericles, made in eulogy of the heroes of 
the Peleponesian war, could begin to compare with it. The London 
"Spectator," the "Saturday Review," and several other English peri- 
odicals spoke of it in the highest terms of commendation. These 
commendations, in some degree ojiened our eyes to its merits. 

In recalling these eulogies of the address, and the expressions of 
appreciation of its author which appeared in foreign prints, I am re- 
minded of the lines: 

"A man in whom his neighbors see 
One like themselves of common mould, 
Ma3', to the thoughtful stranger be, 
Amone the great and wise enrolled. 
In Vishnu, clowns a shepherd saw- 
Gods viewed the Lord of All, with awe." 

In human achievement that which is greatest in proportions is not 
always the most sublime. A traveler who had visited the mighty 
structures along the Nile, the pyramids, the temples, the palaces, the 
tombs, surpassing in grandeur any others that have so far as we know 
in all the ages, been reared, at last found himself in a little city of 
southern Europe, standing upon an eminence before a structure so 
limited in extent and amplitude as not to compare in these regards 
with the mighty edifices whose grandeur had so filled his mind with 
wonder and awakened in his bosom emotions that overwhelmed him. 
He was standing upon the Acropolis at Athens and contemplating the 
Parthenon. In his travels and study he had gained sufficient knowl- 
edge of architecture to be a connoisseur. As he made more careful 
examination and study of the wonderful temple, its splendors and 


sublimity gradually dawned upon him. He found that in every ele- 
ment of its construction, in form, in grace and beauty and strength, 
and character, and in the nobility and grandeur of all its appointments, 
it far surpassed everything he had hitherto seen, every other architec- 
tural achievement upon the face of the earth. In this conclusion he 
was and is confirmed by the general concensus of opinion of the 

Philosophers and sages, men of literary culture who have explored 
the labyrinths, stood upon the heights and basked in the glories 
of the sublime creations of Demosthenes, Pericles and Cicero, 
of Burke and Pitt and Brougham, of Webster, Sumner and Everett, 
and in the elaborate and tinished triumphs in oratory of all the ages, 
are moved with similar emotions to those of this traveler in contem- 
jjlating Lincoln's Gettysburg address. By universal consent it has 
become the Parthenon of oratorical creation. 

In the region round about Athens, marble, cement and clay and 
everything necessary to the construction of an edifice are as abundant 
and cheap as the sods upon the prairie. To those commonplace ma- 
terials the inspired architect gave form and beauty and strength and 
life. Out of a few, simple, plain, commonplace sentences familiar to 
all, President Lincoln constructed an oration that will be the wonder 
and admiration of the world for all time — the crowning triumph of 
literary achievement. 




(By Hon. Alexander J. Jones) 

It will no doubt be a surprise to those who have given this subject 
but a cursory examination, to learn that the project for a canal to con- 
nect the great lakes with the Rivers and the Gulf of Mexico to the 
south, had its origin more than 230 years ago. 

The Catholic fathers were the earliest missionaries to this western 
country, and the romantic and heroic wanderings of Joliet, LaSalle, 
and Marquette, from the south and from Canada, through the great 
lake regions, are a matter of common knowledge to every student of 
the history of Illinois. But few recall, or even were aware, that 
authentic records show that Father Joliet, in his verbal account to 
Father Dablon, previous to IHTI, dilated upon the possibilities of a 
canal from Lake Michigan to the south. As early as August 1, 1674, 
when the very ownership of the great west was still a matter of inter- 
national conjecture and uncertainty, Father Dablon, in a letter com- 
menting upon the explorations of Joliet, says "According to the re- 
searches and explorations of Joliet, we can easily go to Florida in 
boats and by a very good navigation, with slight improvements. 
There will be but one canal to make — and that by cutting only one 
half a leagufe of prairie from the lake of the Illinois into the St. Louis 
river. ' 

I will say that at that date, and by all writers and explorers. Lake 
Michigan was known as the Lake of Illinois, and the Illinois river as 
the St. Louis river. 

This letter of Father Dablon, commenting upon the explorations of 
Father Joliet, written 232 years ago, continues, "A bark could be built 
on Lake Erie, which is near Lake Ontario, and could pass easily from 
Lake Erie to Lake Huron and from there enter the Lake of the Illi- 
nois,"' or Lake Michigan as we now understand it. "'At the extremity 
of this Lake would be the cut or caiuil of which I have s])oken, for a 
passage to the St. Louis river which empties into the Mississippi. 
The bark having entered this river, could easily sail to the Gulf of 

Eight years later, or in 1(')82. LaSalle describes the condition 
of the Chicago and the Illinois river, and refers to it as the 
"portage of Checagou." Checagou as you understand, was originally 
a fort, deriving its name from an Indian chief and a tribe of this 


name. Continuing, LaSalle, at that remote date, when the waters 
of the Lake were doubtless slightly higher than at the present 
time, described this divide or "portage of Cliecagou" as follows: 
"This is an isthmus of land at 41 degrees, 50 minutes, north latitude, 
at the west of the -Illinois Lake, and it is reached by the channel 
formed by the junction of several rivulets or meadow ditches. It is 
navigable from the Lake for about two leagues, to the edge of the 
prairie. Here there is a little lake divided by a causeway made by 
the beavers." The report continues, to recite how this little lake 
empties alternately and simultaneously into Lake Michigan and the 
tributary of the Illinois river. Closing, he says. "The river of Che- 
cagou does the same thing in the spring when its channel is full. It 
empties a part of its waters into the Lake of Illinois and a part of 
them to the southward, by which vessels can enter the Checagou river 
and descend to the Illinois and to the sea." 

After this epoch there is a long silence as to the Illinois and Mich- 
igan Canal. For the next hundred years dreams of commercial 
possibilities vanished in the internal struggles with the Indians and 
international wars, all followed by the Revolutionary War. At the 
end of this period, however, on August 3rd, 1795, after the birth of 
the American Republic, a general treaty of peace revived this question 
in a conference with the Indians "to put an end to a destructive war 
and settle all controversies." The Indians owned the territory sur- 
rounding Lake Michigan, fourteen tracts of land, one of which, six 
miles square, was "at the mouth of the Chicago river" where a small 
fort then stood. 

In this treaty there was this clause which may be considered as the 
first official suggestion of a canal across the Chicago Divide. "And 
the said Indian tribes will allow to the people of the United States a 
free passage, by land and by water, as one and the other shall be 
found convenient, through their country, from the mouth of Chicago 
to the commencement of the portage between that river and the 
Illinois, and dowa the Illinois river to the Mississippi." » 

On January 14, 1819, the Honorable John C. Calhoun, then Secre- 
tary of War of the United States, recommended to Congress the 
propriety of constructing canals, with a view to seconding military 
operations in time of war. He especially recommended a canal from 
the Illinois river to Lake Michigan, and transmitted with his recom- 
mendation, a report made by Major Stephen H. Long, of the Govern- 
ment Service, in which it was stated that a canal connecting the 
waters of the Illinois river with Lake Michigan might be considered 
the first in importance, the construction of which would be attended 
with very little expense compared with the magnitude of the object. 

The first really practical step toward the construction of a canal be- 
tween Lake Michigan and the Illinois river was the execution of a 
treaty with the Indians by which a strip of land about twenty miles 
wide, extending through the Desplaines and Illinois valleys, from 
Chicago to Ottawa, was ceded to the United States Government. 
This treaty was negotiated at St. Louis, August 24, 1816, by Ninian 
Edwards, Governor of Illinois Territory, William Clark, Governor of 


Missouri, Territory and Colonel Auguste Chouteau, of St. Louis. By 
this treaty the Indians ceded all the land ''which lies south of a due 
west line from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the Missis- 
sippi river;'' and they moreover ceded to the United States all the land 
contained within the following bounds: "Beginning on the left bank of 
the Fox river of Illinois, ten miles above the mouth of the said Fox river; 
thence running so as to cross Sandy creek, ten miles above its mouth; 
thence in a direct line to a point ten miles north of the west end of 
the portage, between Chicago creek, which empties into Lake Michi- 
gan and the River Desplaines, a fork of the Illinois; thence in a 
direct line to a point on Lake Michigan ten miles northward of the 
mouth of the Chicago creek; thence along the lake to a point ten miles 
southward of the mouth of Chicago creek; thence in a direct line to a 
point on the Kankakee ten miles above its mouth; thence with the 
said Kankakee and the Illinois rivers to the mouth of Fox river, and 
thence to the beginning.'' 

For this land the Indians received "a considerable quantity of mer- 
chandise," and an agreement that they would receive annually for 
twelve years, goods to the value of $1000.00. The grant contained 
9.911,411 acres and included the present site of Chicago. Governor 
Edwards said afterwards in a communication to the State Legislature 
that he personally knew that the Indians were induced to believe that 
the opening of a canal through these lands would be very advanta- 
geous to them, and that, under authorized expectations that a canal 
would be constructed, they ceded the land for a trifle. On this fact 
the governor based an argument for the early ince]3tion of the work, 
saying: "Good faith, therefore, towards these Indians, as well as the 
concurring interests of the State and of the Union, seems to require 
that the execution of this truly national object should not be unneces- 
sarily delayed, and nothing is more reasonable than that the expense 
should be defrayed out of the proceeds of the very property which 
was so ceded for the express purpose of having it done." 

In the House of Representatives at Washington, on April 3, 1818, 
when the question of the admission of the Territory of Illinois to 
statehood was under discussion. Nathaniel Pope, delegate to Congress 
offered an amendment which carried the boundary further north. The 
object, he said, was to gain for the proposed state, a coast on Lake 
Michigan. This would afford additional security to the perpetuity of 
the Union, inasmuch as the state would thereby be connected with 
the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York through the 
lakes. The facility of opening a canal between Lake Michigan and 
the Illinois river was acknowledged by everyone who had visited the 
place. Giving to Illinois the port of Chicago, embraced in the pro- 
posed limits, would draw the attention of the state to the opening of 
the communication between the Illinois river and that place, and to 
the improvement of that harbor. The amendment was agreed to and 
Illinois gained both Chicago and the Illinois and Michigan Canal. 

Illinois became a state in 1818. Daniel P. Cook, a son-in-law of 
Governor Edwards, was its second Representative in Congress, serv- 
ing from 1819 to 1827. He devoted himself assiduously to the inter- 
ests of the proposed canal. Through his influence, the Illinois State 


Legislature of 1820-21. had a partial survey of the route made, suffi- 
cient to demonstrate the practicability of the undertaking. A report 
of this survey was laid before Congress by Mr. Cook on December 7, 

1821. with this resolution: ''That the committee on public lands be 
instructed to inquire whether any. and, if any, what provision is 
necessary to be made to enable the State of Illinois to open a canal 
through the public lands to connect the waters of Lake Michigan with 
the Illinois river." 

A few days later the matter was brought to the attention of the 
Senate by Jesse B. Thomas of Illinois, who presented, on December 
19, 1821, a resolution adopted by the Illinois State Legislature, pray- 
ing to be authorized to construct a canal connecting the waters of 
Lake Michigan with the Illinois river, and asking for the donation of 
a certain quantity of land for that purpose. This was referred to the 
committee on Roads and Canals. 

Resolutions and debates at last begun to bear fruit, although at 
first of doubtful quality. In the House on January 14. 1822, Chris- 
topher Rankin, of Missouri, for the committee on Public Lands, to 
whom the matter had been referred, finally reported a bill authorizing 
the State of Illinois, to open a canal through the public lands: and a 
similar bill was introduced in the Senate on January 21. 1822, by Mr. 
Thomas. Having passed both houses, it became a law on March 30, 

1822. The Act reserved ninety feet of land on each side of the canal 
from any sale to be made by the United States. "The use thereof 
forever," said the bill, ''shall be. and the same is hereby, vested in the 
said State for a canal, and for no other purpose whatever; on condi- 
tion, however, that, if the said State does not survey and direct by law 
said canal to be opened, and return a complete map thereof, to the 
Treasury Department, within three years from and after the passage 
of this Act; or, if the said canal be not completed suitable for naviga- 
tion, within twelve years thereafter; or. if said ground shall ever cease 
to be occupied by. and used for, a canal suitable for navigation, the 
reservation and grant hereby made shall be void and of none effect. '^ 

The passage of this bill was the final legislative action to which the 
State of Illinois owes the ultimate completion of the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal. Following this Federal Legislation, many different 
acts were passed, repealed and repassed by the State of Illinois, ap- 
pointing, from time to time, various commissions, investing them with 
the power and duty of construction. Much of the work was abortive 
and uncertain, and many years passed before substantial progress was 
really made in the construction of the canal. The subject was up in 
nearly every General Assembly of the State of Illinois for twenty 
years, but the great public interest in the enterprise never waned for 
a moment. Large tracts of land contained in the grant for canal pur- 
poses were sold in Chicago and along the right of way at many dif- 
ferent periods. For a time, between 1881 and 1835, there was a sen- 
timent of discouragement, and an effort was made in the General As- 
sembly of Illinois, to secure the construction of a railroad instead of a 
canal. This method was advocated by many of the leading men of 
the State, but met with practically no encouragement from the 


people. Congress, in 1827 and again in 1833, extended the time limit 
for commencing the canal, and its time for completion finally to 1852. 

Governor Duncan of Illinois, convened the General Assembly of 
the State in special session on December 7, 1835, for the purpose of 
hastening the construction of the canal, and escaping the threatened 
forfeiture of all grants made by the federal government for this work. 
In his message he stated, "The sale of the alternate sections in the 
canal reservation in June last furnished the clearest evidence that 
the land in that reservation and the town lots in Chicago, owned by 
the State, may be safely estimated at from one to three millions of 
dollars, and as the work of the canal progresses, that with judicious 
management a sum may be ultimately realized sufficient to cover the 
whole expense of the contemplated canal. 

On the opening of the next General Assembly, December 5. 1836, 
the Governor complimented the public on the fact that contracts 
had already been entered into for the construction of several sections 
of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. 

Numerous reports of engineers, as to plans, many differing in essen- 
tial respects, were made from time to time, but the actual work con- 
tinued intermittently during a long period. 

At about this time about $1,355,755.00 of Statelets were sold in the 
City of Chicago and adjacent thereto, for the benefit of the canal. At 
about the same time, the Board of Canal Commissioners made a 
report estimating that the total cost of the construction of the canal 
would be $7,621,422.57. By December, 1838, official reports showed 
the canal work to be progressing favorably, and the commission busy 
solving the difficult problems affecting the construction work on the 
well known Summit Level. From Marseilles to the western terminal 
of the canal, but particularly below Ottawa, a large portion of the 
earthwork had been finished. Numerous sections, however, were still 
in an incomplete condition. For several months during this year, 
from 2,000 to 3.000 men were continuously employed in construction 
work. The annual report of December 1837. shows that the real dif- 
ficulties of the canal's construction were encountered in an immense 
amount of rock excavation on what is known as the Summit Ridge. 

On December 8. 1842, when the sum of $4,800,000.00 had been ex- 
pended, on canal construction, with the work still far from finished, 
there was renewed agitation for the abandonment of the work; but 
Governor Thomas Ford stood like a stalwart at the bar and declined 
to permit this public work to be abandoned. The stirring message of 
the Governor on this occasion again revived the enthusiasm of the 
State and of both branches of the General Assembly, and the work 
was ordered once more to continue. Due i^rovision was made for 
meeting these expenditures by the issuing of bonds and the sale of 
canal and State lands ceded for this purpose. 

Finally, the month of April, 1848, saw the completion and the open- 
ing for navigation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. On the 24th 
of April that year, the Board of Commissioners, while in session in 
Chicago, received a report from the Chief Engineer, stating that navi- 
gation was open, and that the first boat, the General Fry, had passed 


over the Summit Level from Lockport to Chicago on the 10th of 
April, and that the first boat which had passed through the entire 
length of the canal from La Salle to Chicago, was the (reneral Thorn- 
ton, on the ^3rd of April, 1848. 

It was a matter of great congratulation during this year that sugar 
from New Orleans, brought by the General Thornton to Chicago, was 
received at Butfalo, by way of Mackinaw, on April i30th. some two 
weeks before a like cargo from New Orleans reached Buffalo by the 
Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and the Erie Canal. 

The canal was now completed to its first usefulness, but during the 
decades of its construction the tragedies of the century were being 
enacted. In 1882 the Indian wars spread to the west, and the bloody 
massacres of the Black Hawk War thrilled the nation. In the strug- 
gle that followed, this tribe was swept from the face of the earth — and 
yet it was the progenitors of Black Hawk who negotiated the first 
treaty with the whites, ceding the domain for the construction of the 
canal, in order that the red man might ply his canoe upon its surface 
and seek his heritage of game. When the first boat ascended and de- 
scended the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the red man had passed 
forever from the position of power or consideration in the State of 
Illinois; but history must record that his co operation was obtained 
and necessary in the early stages of the great waterway that is soon 
to connect the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. 

In 18H5, provisions were made for the further deepening of the 
canal across Summit Level, and this work was done during the follow- 
ing three years. 

In the latter days of the construction of the Illinois and Michigan 
Canal, the sewage problem of the city of Chicago was becoming one 
of the great public questions. Shortly after, arrangements were made 
by which the flow of the Chicago river, by a system of pumping was 
diverted into the canal at Bridgeport, and the sewage carried from 
the lake down the Illinois valley through the Illinois and Michigan 

As year after year passed, the menace to public health of the citi- 
zens of Chicago, by the flowage of many sewers into the lake, the 
source of water supply, became so great that public meetings were 
held to discuss the advisability of a specially constructed drainage 
canal to reverse the flow of the Chicago river, to intercept all its sew- 
ers, and to carry the output through the divide and down to the Illi- 
nois and Mississippi rivers. Commissions were appointed by the 
General Assembly to devise methods for the attainment of this object, 
and finally, in 1889, after numerous conferences and as the result of 
a waterway convention represented by citizens of nearly of all the Mis- 
sissippi valley states, a plan was proposed for the creation of a munici- 
pality to be known as the Sanitary District of Chicago. The law was 
so framed as to provide that this channel should be constructed for 
the dual object of a sewerage outlet and a deep waterway connecting 
the Great Lakes with the Illinois and Mississippi rivers and the Gulf 
of Mexico. Its limits were defined by the County Court of Cook 
County and it was adopted by the people of the proposed district at 
the November election in 1889. Since that date, its limits, by acts of 


the Legislature, have been so enlarged as to include the entire city of 
Chicago and all additional territory in the same natural drainage 
basin. It now includes 358 square miles, M'ith a population of 

The requirements of the law were that there should be a flow in 
this channel e(|uivalent to 20,000 cubic feet of water per minute for 
every 100,000 inhabitants of said district. Under the law, it was. at 
the opening, to have a minimum flow of not less than 3(X),(K)0 cubic 
feet of water per minute, and the law i:)rovides that through the rock 
sections the channel should have double this capacity, with a depth 
of not less than eighteen feet of water and a width of not less than 
160 feet. The object of this extensive improvement through the rocky 
strata was to provide initially a channel of sufficient depth, width, and 
other requirements for a deep waterway connecting the great lakes 
with the rivers of the south and the Gulf of Mexico. The Sanitary 
District has gone farther and provided a navigable depth of from 22 
to 24 feet. 

The expenditures of the sanitary and ship canal of Chicago, up to 
this date, amount in total, including the expenditures for water power 
development, to nearly $50,000,000. Of this sum, over $20,000,000 
have been expended to comply with the provision of the law in se- 
curing through the rock sections the width and depth necessary for 
the great commercial waterway. Had the consideration of a waterway 
been ignored, about $22,000,000 would have been saved to the tax- 
payers of the Sanitary District. But this great work has been 
launched, the taxes have been cheerfully paid for the dual object to 
be obtained, and the conditions are now ripe for the co-operation of 
the Federal Government in completing this work from Lockport to 
the south through the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. 

Incidental to this great work has been the development of a valu- 
able water power, the work of utilization occui^ying largely the 
past two years. The Channel has been extended to a point below 
Lockport and elaborate j)lans made for the ultimate development of 
the complete flow of the Sanitary District. It is estimated by Chief 
Engineer Isham Randolph and Electrical Engineer Edward B. 
EUicott that the ultimate flow of 750,000 cubic feet of water per min- 
ute, coming through the Main Channel after the completion of the 
Calumet and Evanston channels, will give an electrical force, net at 
Chicago, of 31.472 horse power. This is of great commercial value 
and will probably be used for the lighting of the municipalities of 
Chicago and the surrounding country, and the running of municipal 
machinery and factories in the vicinity, during the day. 

For a little over two years a commission of United States Engineers 
has been engaged under the direction of the Ignited States Govern- 
ment and by act of Congress, in making an exhaustive survey to de- 
termine the cost of a fourteen foot channel from the southern terminus 
of the Drainage Canal to St. Louis. This report has just been pre- 
sented to the War Department and flnds that for the sum of 
$31,(X)0,000 the entire Illinois river can be permanently improved and 
an additional channel constructed from Grafton to St. Louis, necessary 


to transport all vessels of a fourteen foot draught. This matter is 
now pending in Congress, a bill recently having been introduced by 
Kepresentative William Lorimer of Chicage and endorsed by all the 
deep waterway conventions of the west, providing for the appropria- 
tion by the Federal Government of $81,000,000 for this purpose. 


Adequate plans have for years been under discussion as to the im- 
provement for deep waterway purposes, of the navigation of the 
Mississipi^i river, in such manner as to secure during the entire year 
a constant flow of water sufficient to maintain, with certainty, a 14 
foot channel to the City of New Orleans. The plan most under dis- 
cussion has been to control the flood waters of the Mississippi annually, 
in the spring, by the construction of extensive storage basins in the 
Valley of the Mississippi, south of Cairo and west of the Mississippi 
in what is known as the St. Francis basin. 

At the meeting of the Western Society of Engineers, a little over 
five years ago, this matter was fully discussed. James A. Seddon, a 
well-known member of this society, has made extensive surveys and 
studies in relation to this project, and it has been favorably discussed 
for many years at the general meetings of the societies of engineers 
of the nation. 

The site for the reservoirs to control the necessary flow of water 
during the freshet seasons, and for use later during the dry season of 
the year in maintaining the depth of the Mississippi, would be largely 
the unreclaimed lands in the St. Francis basin. It is proposed to 
divide up this basin by a series of cross levees, so that flood water 
may be impounded by a series of moderate earth embankments, and 
the rupture of one of these banks would not entail any serious danger 
to life and property. This series of reservoirs is to be filled from the 
top of floods through controlling works near Cairo. It is proposed to 
discharge these reservoirs from the power end of the basin, near 
Helena, Arkansas, during the low water season, and it is considered 
that thereby not less than 20 feet of water if necessary could be pro- 
duced and maintained at all times between Helena and the Gulf of 
Mexico. Of course under the pending project for an initial channel 
of only 14 feet, this great depth of 20 feet, would not be immediately 
necessary, and the cost of the reservoirs could be materially reduced. 

The plan of Mr. Seddon provides that at the head of this system of 
reservoirs the outlet for drawing off the flood waters would be located. 
For this a line of movable dams on the west bank of the Mississippi, 
just above its junction with the Ohio, would be required. The base 
of these would be set at about the level of 80 feet on the Cairo gauge, 
or altogether above the sand movement in the bed of the river: and 
they should have a range of some 10 or 15 feet in their adjustable 
crests, fitting them both to fill the reservoirs from the flood periods of 
any year, or to draw off the extreme excesses of the occasional great 

Without the topography of this basin the capacity of such a reser- 
voir system can, of course, only be roughly estimated. But, covering 

as it does an area of some 4,000 square miles, or about two-thirds of 
the flooded lands on the west in this division, it is plain that every 
foot added to the height of the levees is an immense addition to this 

By this system ample provision is made likewise for emptying these 
reservoirs in the spring of the year and when impending overflow of 
the Mississippi river becomes apparent. 

Mr. Seddon says that in this connection it should be noted that 
while it takes a rise some four days to pass from Cairo to Helena by 
the river, the slack water system can take any difference in discharge 
over this interval instantly. In addition to the week or ten days in 
w^hich the promise of a great flood was in sight from Cairo, there would 
also be these four more days in which to run out the reservoirs at 
Helena. By being careful, then, not to take more water from the 
earlier periods than might be necessary to insure full reservoirs, in 
every case almost, if not quite, the full capacity of the system could 
certainly be counted on to draw off simply the excesses of the great 

These exhaustive plans, discussed by the Western Society of 
Engineers, were designed to give a reservoir capacity in the St. Francis 
basin for the maintenance of a maximum draught much greater than 
the fourteen foot channel now contemplated by the legislation pending 
in Congress. It is believed, however, by many that the 14 foot channel 
will provide the adequate depth for the great commerce of the lakes 
and the Mississippi valley, and it is particularly realized now that the 
coming construction of the Panama canal makes a deep waterway from 
the great lakes to the Mississippi of far greater commercial importance 
than ever in the past history of the country. 

Numerous conventions have been held within the past year and the 
sentiment seems unanimously crystallized in the Valley of the Miss- 
issippi and its tributaries in favor of this deep waterway. Illinois 
and Chicago, in the construction of the great Drainage Canal and the 
Illinois and Michigan Canal, have done their part, and the sentiment 
at Washington seems to be that Congress recognizes this fact and 
that early legislation for the consummation of this great work may be 

11 H S 



(By Jane Addams, Hull House, Chicago.) 

As I understand it, I was asked to speak of the rise and growth of 
the social settlement movement in the State of Illinois. It makes one 
feel very old. to be considered an historic document, as it were! We 
have been accustomed so long to think of the social settlements as one 
of the pioneer forces, at least in the matter of their organization and 
social advancement, that it comes to me with something of a shock to 
realize that we are sixteen years old, and have for better or worse, 
made our history in the State. 

Albert Shaw, who perhaps more than any other man in America has 
studied the historic growth and development of cities, said last year, 
at the St. Louis Exposition, that in a very real sense the European 
cities were as "new" as the American cities, that London and Paris, 
the cities on the Khine, even St. Petersburg and Moscow, were 
new in that they had little to do with the mediaeval cities which lay 
back of them, and that they were faced by problems which were the 
result of the present industrial organization of cities. These new 
cities begun with the industrial revolution at the end of the ISth 
century. People are coming in from the country in all directions 
and living in great masses because they are being brought together in 
response to the newer methods of business, and newer methods of 
manufacturing. There is the same social problem all over the world, 
to be found in these cities of industrial origin. The social life of 
these cities was made more difficult from the fact that no one was 
looking out for their social organization. The politicians who were 
responsible for the charters, and for the administration of the laws, 
were of course more or less alert for changes in governmental ma- 
chinery, but no one was doing the same thing for those institutions 
upon which the social life of the cities might, develop. We know, of 
course, that Moscow has grown more rapidly during the last twenty- 
five years than New York, that Berlin has grown more rajaidly 
than Chicago. We like to say that one reason affairs are so bad in 
American cities, as we have to admit they are. is because of their 
rapid growth, until we consider that other cities, all over the world, 
have grown quite as rapidly, and more rapidly, than American cities ; 
and what is needed is groups of people who shall make it their effort 
to find out wherein the cities lack, publish the facts and make clear 





the situation in the more crowded quarters, where the lack of social 
organization is most keenly felt, that the citizens as a whole may see 
to it that needed changes are brought about. 

Now, something of this sort, I take it, a settlement group under- 
takes to do. A group of people move into a quarter of the city which 
lacks many things, because the people are newly emigrated to this 
country, because they are bound down with the necessity of earning 
their daily bread during the long hours of work, and have very little 
leisure or intelligence to give to the larger social needs, because they 
do not intend to live long in that part of the city, and are trying to 
save money in order to pull out and move somewhere else, and so take 
little interest in it — for a dozen of reasons perhaps, certain 
quarters of the city fail to keep up with the rest, and they tend to 
pull back in the general progress. Now settlements move into such 
a quarter consciously, meaning to give to it their very best efforts in the 
way of investigation, and in the way of healing, and more than any- 
thing else i3erhaps hoping to uncover resources of civic power and 
ability in the neighborhood itself. 

When I speak of the first settlement in Illinois, I am obliged to 
speak of Hull House first because it was founded first, and, though it 
sounds somewhat conceited, I suppose chronology is very important 
with an historical association. 

Hull House was opened in the fall of 1889. My friend, Miss Starr 
and myself discovered this old house on the corner of Polk and Hal- 
sted streets, in the 19th ward of Chicago, just about a mile from the 
post office building. 

In every large city, right back of the business quarter, there is a 
tendency for people to gather who do casual work. The men who 
have intermittent work, in unloading cars, or on the docks, the men 
who do janitor service in the large downtown buildings, the men who 
carry packages, and the teamsters and deliverymen, all naturally wish 
to live near their business, simply because it is irregular, and there- 
fore get right back of the business quarter. So that every city, so far 
as I know, London, and the European cities, and the American cities, 
all have this c[uarter of poorer people adjacent to the business dis- 
tricts. In such a district property is held provisionally because peo- 
ple are sure business is coming in there, and so there is no need of mak- 
ing improvements, and as a result of this, paving, lighting, and sewer- 
age do not advance, because it is considered a mere matter of a few 
years until the business interests occupy it. The whole situation 
from the civic standpoint is low. Such conditions prevail in a general 
way in the eastern half of the 19th ward, and the three other river 
wards which lie back of the business quarter of Chicago. There were 
only two of us to begin with. Gradually other people came, and now 
the settlement numbers thirty-four residents, with perhaps 100 people 
who come once a week for evening clubs or classes. The average at- 
tendance in a winter week is 7,000 people, counting those who belong 
to something, in the way of clubs, classes or social organizations. We 
have a group of buildings which have developed year after year, so 


that we now have a little group of ten buildings, one containing the 
gymnasium and shops, another being the children's house, a third the 
womans club building, and so forth. 

I hardly know where we can attach ourselves to the history of the 
State, save perhaps in one or two investigations which may have aided 
legislation. After we had lived there a very little while we became 
much impressed with the evils of the sweatshop system. In 1889 there 
were no laws regulating the sweatshop industries, and practically no 
factory law at that time in the State of Illinois, although Illinois stood 
third among the states of the union in the point of its manufactured 
products. We still had a tiction that Illinois was solely an agricul- 
tural state. There was no child labor law, except one pertaining to 
children in mines, and another which had no method of enforcing a 
penalty, and no officers to administer it. We found children of all 
ages going to work whenever it suited the convenience of their 
parents, and many of them coming to grief from premature labor. We 
found many newly imported Italians and others working in sweat- 
shops for phenomenally low wages, with no regiilations as to the sani- 
tary conditions under which they were working. We took up the 
agitation naturally along this line of the most glaring evils. Mrs. 
Kelley. who at that time lived in the house, received a commission 
from the State Bureau of Labor to make an investigation into the 
sweatshops. It ended in a committee being appointed from the Illi- 
nois Legislature in the winter of 1891 and 1892, to go into the subject 
more thoroughly, and their report finally resulted in the first real fac- 
tory law of the State of Illinois, which went into operation July 1, 
1893, and Mrs. Kelley was appointed the first factory inspector. Mrs. 
Stevens was her deputy and there were twelve inspectors. We can, I 
think, claim some credit for Hull House, though of course many other 
forces joined the agitation, for the passage of this first law which at- 
tempted to regulate the sweating system. The law has since been 
simplified into a full grown factory law. which compares favorably 
with that of older states. 

We can also claim a little credit for bringing to light, from time to 
time, some of the facts connected with child labor. It seems so easy, 
when one does not know the children, to assume it is a good thing for 
a child to go to work early. In the country it is a good thing for the 
child perhaps, with a variety of employment and under healthy con- 
ditions. But in a city, with long hours and monotonous work, it is 
a very different matter. We have been able to trace the lives of chil- 
dren, year after year, and to follow out little histories which have 
proved very convincing, in the matter of child labor agitation. One 
year, in connection with the municipal lodging house in Chicago, 
we found many tramps who were worn out at the age of 17 or 18. be- 
cause they had gone to work too early. I remember one boy. dying 
of tuberculosis, who seemed to have worked very steadily from the 
time he was nine. He had worked in Pittsburg, I am happy to say, not 
in Illinois, until he was thirteen. He then contractecl typhoid fever and 
made a poor recovery, after which he '"laid otf steady work" and began 
to go around with shows, trying to get some of the pleasure denied 


him in young boyhood. He conld not endure this sort of life long, 
and he died with tuberculosis at the age of seventeen. That sort of 
historycan be duplicated over and over again if one follows the children 
who take the strength which should go into growth and put it into 
premature labor. I instance these things to show the service a settle- 
ment may perform in the way of gettizig accurate information in regard 
to its neighbors. 

John Morly says that social progress must always depend upon 
the initiative of groups of people who are touched with the unim- 
proved condition of things and who make it their business to appeal 
to public sentiment as a whole, concerning that unimproved condi- 
tion. When the public is aroused and understands the situation that 
it is a mere matter of time until conditions will improve. 

We have done some investigation for the Ignited States Labor Bu- 
reau, and for the United States Department of Agriculture. One such 
investigation was concerning the food of the Italians. We discovered 
Italians were eating foods not at all adapted to a cold climate, and 
were paying very high prices for imported foods; because no one had 
initiated them into the foods they could buy more cheaply, and which 
would suit their changed conditions better. I could name several 
other investigations, but this is but one side of settlement activity. 

I have said little of the philanthropic, the educational or of the more 
strictly social side of the settlement for perhaps in a State meeting 
these broader issues are more germane. 

Hull House was followed by a settlement established by the North- 
western University in 1891. Mr. Charles Zeublin, whom many of you 
know as a university extension lecturer, was a resident there, and 
hoped to provide a center from which the students of the North- 
western might test their moral enthusiasms and sociological theories. 
It has grown rapidly, and although it lived for ten years in rented 
buildings, it is now housed in a very charming building of its own. 
built in 1901. 

The Maxwell street settlement was established by a group of Jew- 
ish young men, largely graduates of Harvard, who had been interested 
in the settlements in the east. In 1903. the year in which there was 
a great influx of immigrants among the Russian Jews, they went into 
the midst of the Russian Jewish quarter. The Baron de Hirsch fund, 
part of which was spent in Chicago, seemed utterly inadequate to 
keep the immigrants from actual distress through their first months 
of experience in their adopted country, The settlement tried to as- 
sist them after that first period of adjustment, and to induct them in- 
to the civic and industrial side of American life. It has had a very 
vigorous life and is about to finish a new house. 

The Forward Movement is a settlement opened in 1903 in the ward 
next to Hull House. It grew out of the efforts of Dr. Gray and his 
brother. The former had a very large dispensary practice among the 
casual-labor men, who are now cared for largely in the municipal 
lodging house, bat at that time they had no free lodging place ex- 
cept the police stations. I well recall the impressive funeral service 
■on the death of Dr. Gray, which was attended by hundreds of these 


men, who are not quite tramps, but are so unskilled they are only 
drawn into the industrial system at the times of the year when there 
is plenty of work to do. and they are sure to encounter a precarious 
living for some weeks at least out of every year. His brother, who 
is a Methodist minister, has developed the nucleus of Dr. Gray's work 
into the settlement called The Forward Movement. Among other 
activities they conduct large fresh air work every summer at Saugatuck 
Park on the other side of Lake Michigan. They are very hospitable 
and all the settlements send people there. It has developed into 
something between a summer school and a fresh air camp. The 
crippled children from the public schools are sent there every year. 

The Chicago Commons was opened in 1894. I am sure many of 
you know of Dr. Graham Taylor, and of the fine work that is being 
carried on at Chicago Commons. He came to Chicago from the East, 
as a professor of sociology in the Chicago Theological Seminary. He 
insisted from the first that the young men under his charge must 
know the city, and become familiar with the poorer quarters, main- 
taining that it was more or less a disgrace to the protestant ministry 
that while many churches were established in the comfortable quarters, 
but little religious provision was made by the protestant churches for 
the iDoorest quarters of the city. He finally established a settlement 
where he could carry on more thoroughly his careful study of the in- 
dustrial quarters and their needs. The Commons has been no mean 
factor. I think you will all agree with me. in the civic life of Chicago. 
Dr. Taylor himself has been a very active member of the Municipal 
Voters' League. (3ne election at least they were able to turn in 
favor of a good alderman, as against a man with a reputation for cor- 
ruption; and they have had a definite effect not only upon the civic 
and political life of their neighborhood but of the city 

They have also for many years held "free floor discussions." As 
you know, in Chicago there are people of various social beliefs. To 
my mind nothing is better than to get a very radical socialist up 
against a very radical individualist or a very radical single taxer. 
The only way you can modify a man who is radical in his social opin- 
ions is to bring him in contact with some one who is very radical in 
another direction. The ordinary person who is not convinced of any- 
thing very much can never modify the radical, and real modification 
coQies only through clash of opinion. Dr. Taylor I think would agree 
that his free floor discussions, and at one time we had something of 
the same sort at Hull House, are very valuable factors in the develop- 
ment and modification of social thought. Workingmen are accustomed 
to a sharp give and take While their discussions are quite animated, 
they seldom have any" real animosity, although the listening public 
are often misled by the active discussions. 

I am giving these social settlements, as you will note, in their 
chronological order. The University of Chicago established a settle- 
ment the same year as The Commons, in 1894. in the southwest 
corner of the Stock Yards District, at what they call '"The back door 
of the stock yards.'' Their fortiines have been identified very largely 
with the large group of people who work in the stock yards, who are 

composed at different times of varying immigrants. The Irish and 
German are being pushed out by the Italians and they in turn by the 
Lithuanians at present, and numbers of people from the southeastern 
part of Europe, with a large sprinkling of Cireeks and Syrians. A 
group of people with Miss McDowell as head resident have lived there 
during ten years and have been closely identified with the fortunes of 
their neighbors. The Sociological Department of the University of 
Chicago has made some studies there. The Settlement has seen at 
least two groups of labor organizations rise and fall in the stock yards. 
They were able to give some very substantial service to the situation 
during the stock yards strike a year ago. A settlement does not take 
sides in a labor ditficulty. neither does it desert its friends when they 
are in the midst of a labor trouble; and I think Miss McDowell had 
the respect and the good will of both sides in the very bitter con- 
troversy in the stock yards, from the fact that she was able to stand 
somewhat as a third party during that long and trying contest. As 
you will note, I am speaking of these settlements in a most super- 
ficial way, as there is not time to talk of them in detail, and I must 
assume that you know that all of them have a certain round of educa- 
tional and social activities which I do not mention in each case. 

The Eli Bates House was opened in 1895. It was a settlement on 
Goose Island in the northern part of the city. It was started years 
ago as an industrial school, by Mr. Eli Bates, and was known as the 
Elm Street Industrial School, but was re-organized as a settlement in 
1895. They found, among other things, that the Irish boys of the 
neighborhood formed themselves into street gangs, through sheer lack 
of anything to interest them. By giving them industrial work and by 
making another side of life dramatic and interesting, they were per- 
forming a real civic service to that part of the city. They have lately 
received a gift of a beautiful boys' club building and the settlement 
is developing in many directions. When I touch on the boys' side of 
the work more than on another, it is not because the other activities 
are lacking. 

Fellowship House was started by All Souls" Church the same year, 
gathering around a visiting nurse work, although it is now doing a 
general settlement work. 

Neighborhood House was started by Mrs. Van Der Vaart in 1896. 
and has been from the start largely managed and financed by the im- 
mediate neighborhood. They are cooperating now in a very interest- 
ing way with the adjacent small parks. The south side park commis- 
sioners have opened twelve small parks which are e(juipped with park 
houses. These are supplied with baths, gymnasiums, lecture halls, 
and rooms for general social purposes. The settlements are most 
hai^py to turn their energies into cooperating with such an undertak- 
ing and to be identified with these larger j)ublic measures. No settle- 
ment wants to build up a big institution of its own. but is glad to 
turn over as much as possible to public bodies. At Hull House, for 
instance, we used to have public baths. When the Health Depart- 
ment opened a bath within a block of the house, we were only too 
happy to turn all our bathers over there. We used to have a reading 


room in the house, until the public library authorities became con- 
vinced it was beneticial to have one in that neighborhood, when they 
opened a permanent one within two blocks of the house. For ten 
years we have managed a playground in connection with Hull House. 

We have it still, but we hope next year the west park commission- 
ers will open a play-ground, so we may turn the children over to 
them, and they will be able to do much more for them. This is an 
illustration of what the settlements try to do. We initiate such things 
as seem needful, but we hold our activities in the hollow of our hands, 
ready to give them up at a proper opportunity. It is quite the reverse 
of the old story about the superintendent of the orphan asylum, who 
prayed the Lord to send him many orphans the next year so he could 
build a new wing to his asylum. We want to keep ourselves adapta- 
ble and ready to turn over to someone else what they can do better 
than we. In the same spirit all of the settlements are doing more or 
less work with the evening schools, and hope to make them more 
social in spirit. It is better that a public building, like a school, be- 
come a center of a neighborhood, than a quasi-private building like a 

Gad's Hill Center, near the McCormick works, was opened in 18U8. 
It is interesting because it scatters its activities through diiferent 
points in the vicinity, and in some instances is able to cooperate with 
social organizations established by the manufacturing interests there. 
Gad's Hill has a beautiful country place on the north shore which 
was partly responsible, at least, for developing the tuberculosis camp 
in connection with the Visiting Nurse's Association. They too hold 
their activities ready to give them up, as you see. 

Henry Booth House was established in 1898, and Association 
House of the Young Men's Christian Association in 1899. They have 
each had a tine new building recently erected. Armitage Avenue, a 
little settlement opened in 1900, although small, has accomplished 
some very interesting work. 

The newest settlement in Chicago is the Frederick Douglass Center, 
which is in the colored quarter. It is believed that a house will be 
useful where peoj)le interested in the social and ethical development 
of onr colored brethren may meet with the leaders of the colored race, 
and discuss matters which pertain to both races, instead of emphasiz- 
ing the things which divide one race from another, to unite upon those 
which are common to both. It is rational and careful and has the 
confidence of the colored people, as well as some of the most intelli- 
gent jDeople of our own race. It was opened in 1904. but Mrs. Wooley, 
who is living there, has always been interested in the problem of the 
colored people. They have, on their walls, a statement from Booker 
Washington : 

•'I will permit no man to degrade me by making me to hate him " 
which might be called the keynote of their effort. 

There are six other establishments in Chicago which call them- 
selves settlements, although some of them might better be classed as 
mis sions. I put in this classification, the Central Settlement, under the 
auspices of the Paulist Fathers, the Frances Willard Settlement, 


which has a large day nursery and kindergarten, the Frances Clark 
Settlement, established by the Christian Endeavor Societies, the 
Marcy Home and Olivet Honse, both of which grew out of missions 
started some years ago, although at present they have incorporated 
many settlement activities. 

There is a distinction I should like to make between a settlement 
and a mission, for we find that they are often confused. They are 
really two distinct things, and harm is done to both movements, from 
this mental confusion. The first settlement in London was started 
by Canon Barnett, who is a Canon in the Church of England, and at 
that time was Vicar of St. Jude's, and although he founded Toynbee 
Hall, he has always kept the settlement distinct from the church. 
He says a mission is a group of people who are committed to one 
point of view, a religious point of view it commonly is, although a mis- 
sion might be established for single tax, for temperance, or any other one 
thing upon which people are deeply convinced. They go into a neigh- 
borhood, and try to persuade the people who live there to believe as 
they believe, and to this end. in order to increase their acquaintance, 
they have classes, clubs, and many of the things a settlement has, but 
it is all secondary as it were, for they hope in the end that they may 
promote their propaganda . I am ready to say a mission is a much finer 
thing than the settlement. It has back of it the stirring history of the 
Christian church for 2,000 years, and some of the most wonderful 
names in religious history have been identified with missions. It is 
therefore a distinct thing with a history and purpose of its own. 

A settlement on the other hand is a group of people who go into 
an industrial neighborhood, not in order to convert the people living 
there to given religious or social beliefs but to find out, so nearly as 
they may, what the social and civic needs of that neighborhood are, to 
awaken in a neighborhood a sense of responsibility that they may 
demand and work for better civic, educational and industrial conditions. 
They do not try to disturb the people in their religious beliefs. We 
have coming to Hull-House people who belong to the Roman Catholic 
Church, the Greek Catholic Church. Jews both liberal and orthodox, 
and a sprinkling of protestants. We would not try to change their 
religious beliefs any more than we would try to make them all single 
tax advocates. Difference of belief may divide us but there are things 
we can unite on, such as the manifest needs of the community. We 
unite so far as we can. The things that make people alike are much 
stronger and finer than the things which make them different. This, 
attitude is quite unlike the mission attitute of propaganda, although the 
activities are much the same. The mission people and the settlement 
people are glad to have the distinction made. To reproach a settle- 
ment because it does not give religious instruction as a mission does, 
or to reijroach a mission for not being a settlement, is ecpially absurd. 
I am very glad to make this distinction when it comes in my way, 
because a certain confusion has taken place in the public mind, very 
unfair to both movements. The social settlements in Chicago number 


about twenty. There are, I think, no settlements in the State outside 
of Chicago, altho there are many centers which have very much the 
spirit and very much the effect in the community, of settlements. 

We have not as many settlements in Chicago, naturally, as they have 
in Netv York, where they are growing very rapidly. A settlement is 
of course in its essence a democratic movement. Whatever one may 
think when one tirst goes to live in a foreign neighborhood, of crossing 
a social gulf, drops away very quickly in the general comradeship 
which develops there, so that one looks back to the time when it 
seemed unnatural to live in one part of the city, rather than in another, 
as a thing very much of the past. At the present moment I do not 
know of any place more interesting than South Halsted street. There 
one can meet young men recently come from Russia, as I saw some a 
few months ago, who had broken their fingers and fore arms, in order 
that they may escape service in their army. These men started 
months ago. If a Russian Jew deserts when he is of military age 
his family is fined 300 rubles; but if he goes to the recruiting station 
and joins the army his family is freed and the sergeant is responsible. 
If he joins the army and escapes and then takes the precaution to 
break his arm or fingers, so that he cannot pull a trigger, his escape 
is doubly sure. These men are only now coming to Chicago, having 
come through Portugal and all sorts of ways to escape detection. 
They are now beginning to report of the first difficulties in Odessa 
and Kietf and other places in South Russia. It is very exciting, in- 
teresting and genuine, this thing. We have formed a little organiza- 
tion in Hull- House, to which various people are encouraged to bring 
in their letters from abroad, so that we may discern something of the 
actual condition of things in Russia, not as they are put in the new^s- 
papers by correspondents, but written in a friendly letter by actual 
friends of people here. I wish very much we had some of the ability 
this historical association has, to sift this evidence, for, in a sense, it 
is first-hand historical information. It is the event recorded as it 
happens, as it is being seen and felt — the sort of thing which may 
later be gathered into historical libraries, if indeed any of it survives. 
There is much work of that sort to do, for the scholar who can see 
life from the historical point of view, the linguist who can make some 
distinction between the various patois the Italians use, the anthro- 
pologist, who can trace something of life as it survives in quaint cus- 
toms. For instance, the south Italian women bake their bread round, 
because the south of Italy was settled by the Greeks who baked bread 
in that form; while the north Italians bake it with a hole in the 
middle. There are all sorts of interesting customs which only the 
scholar can trace. The point of view of the man who looks at life, 
not from the immediate, but from the historical standpoint, is what 
is constantly needed in a settlement. Sometimes we feel that we 
ought to have more help from associations such as these. The great 
foreign colonies coming in ought to be recognized more by the schol- 
ars who are able to understand something of their pasts and their in- 
herited capacities. 


The Greeks are always clamoring for this recognition. I recall a 
striking instance of a Greek who sold fruit near the Polk street rail- 
way station. For three years, in Greece, while he was saving money 
to come to America, he nsed to make drawings of ancient Athens, of 
which he was very fond. He was a graduate of the Institute of Tech- 
nology, and drew very well. He had collected a large book of draw- 
ings and photographs. He thought that when he came to America, 
where we had no ruins, that we would be interested to hear about 
them and would enjoy his description of the great beauty of the white 
columns of the Propyiea against the blue sky. He said he had sold 
fruit to Americans for years in Chicago, and that although he often had 
tried to lead the conversation to his beloved Acropolis, no one had 
ever se.emed interested. He came to the conclusion no one in Chi- 
cago had heard of ancient Greece, nor knew that it had a wonderful 
history. He talked to me about Greece because he happened to see 
a small picture of Athens at Hull House, and he thought that here at 
least was someone who had heard that such a place as Athens existed. 
That man was disappointed and Chicago was losing something he 
could have given to it. I did not like to tell him we had become so 
snobbish in America that it did not occur to a man that a shabby- 
looking foreigner selling apijles could have his mind and heart full of 
the deathless beauties of ancient Greece, although that was really the 
matter. I said that we' were always in a hurry in Chicago, and the 
people with whom he came in contact were probably going to trains, 
so that no one had time to talk about Greece; but I assured him that 
there were people who were really interested. One who has not come 
into social contact with these foreign citizens of ours can not appre- 
ciate how absorbing are the things they can tell, or the interest at- 
taching to some of the correspondence they receive. All these things 
are possibilities to people who have historical taste and education. 
You know they used to tell us, in our school days, that Europe w^as 
waked up by the crusades, because people were brought in contact 
with the eastern civilization. We have a chance today in America, the 
other way 'round. The crusaders are coming to us, and we have this 
old civilization all around us, in the large groups of foreign colonies 
at our very doors, and we could receive the mental awakening if we 
saw them from the larger point of view\ It is a great chance to bring 
us to an appreciation of the great resources of historical material 
which are available here, but it requires moral enterprise and a sj)irit 
of intellectual adventure, if you please. The settlements are perhaps 
pioneers in a movement which in time will become much more gen- 
eral and so large that the settlements will drop away as having been 
a mere formal expression of what all people will care to do later. 




(By Ezra M. Prince.) 

War gives rise on the part of the combatants to the display of the 
loftiest virtues and the fiercest passions of which man is capable and, 
among political parties, to unrestrained praise and the most violent 
denunciation. The war with Mexico was no exception to this rule. 

The war resulted from the annexation of Texas. The Democratic 
party was almost unanimously in favor of annexation ; it was mani- 
fest destiny; Texans were children of the Union; honor and humanity 
demanded annexation. Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Tyler's Secretary of State, 
who as sincerely believed in the rightfulness of slavery and its eco- 
nomical necessity to the south as Garrison did in its sinfulness and 
its economic wastefulness, frankly admitted that annexation was de- 
signed to extend slavery and to enable the south to maintain its pecu- 
liar institution against the rapid increase of the north in numbers, 
wealth and political power and growing anti-slavery feeling by enab- 
ling it to maintain a balance of power between the north and the 
south in the Senate and thus prevent political encroachments by the 
north. Douglas stigmatized as '"traitors at heart"' every citizen who, 
after war was declared, condemned the justice of our cause. 

On the other hand. Clay declared: ''Annexation and war are identi- 
cal." Colonel John J. Hardin, who fell at the head of the First Illi- 
nois at Buena Vista, the eloquent Whig representative in Congress from 
the Jacksonville district, denounced annexation as "an unwise, reckless, 
selfish, sectional and slavery-extending policy."" The Whig Review in 
April, 1817, denounced "this war as the great political and moral crime 
of the period." The abolitionists were especially violent in their de- 
nunciations. The Western Citizen, an anti-slavery newspaper pub- 
lished in Chicago, March 4. 1816. denounced Stephen A. Douglas as 
the "most servile tool that has crawled in the slime and scum of slav- 
ery at the foot of the slave power." 

Annexation was first brought up by way of a treaty, but its ratifica- 
tion was defeated by a vote of sixteen to thirty-five. Both of the 
senators from this State, Sidney Breeze and James Semple. were 
among the sixteen. This treaty fixed the western boundary of Texas 
at the Rio Grande. The treaty having failed, a joint resolution, 
which required only a majority vote in both houses, was introduced, 
providing that "Congress doth consent that the territory properly in- 
cluded within and rightfully belonging to the Republic of Texas may 


be erected into a state to be called the State of Texas," on certain 
conditions. This passed the House, January 25, 1845, by 120 to 97, 
and the Senate by a vote of 27 to 25. It was probably this radical 
and sudden change in the Senate that inspired Lowell's famous lines: 

"A marciful Providence fashioned us holler 

O' purpose that we our principles might swaller." 

June 18th, the Congress of Texas unanimously assented to the joint 
resolution and in December a joint resolution passed Congress for the 
admission of Texas to the L'nion. 

After its declaration of independence Texas claimed the Rio Grande 
as its western boundary, but she never occupied the territory west of 
the Nueces. A writer in the October, 1902, number of the Quarterly 
of the Texas State Historical Association, after a long and careful re- 
view of the authorities, says: "Neither Texas nor Louisiana extended 
to the Rio Grande as evidenced by undisputed dociimentary evidence 
of more than a century. While any portion of Texas was in dispute 
good diplomacy as well as international courtesy should have pre- 
vented the sending of any troops into the portion in question.'' 

When the joint resolution passed Congress in January, 1845, a 
small force of our army, under General Taylor, was encamjjed in 
western Louisiana. President Polk on May 28, 1845, ordered Taylor 
to cross the Sabine and take post in Texas so as to protect it from 
invasion by Mexico. Taylor proceeded to Corpus Christi, on the 
western bank of the Nueces. January 13, 184(), Taylor was ordered to 
advance to the Rio Grande. With a force of about 3,600 men he pro- 
ceeded to a point on its east bank opposite Matamoras where he 
erected a fort and trained his guns upon the Mexican town. What 
was certain to happen and what was undoubtedly desired by President 
Polk took place, a collision betwen a small force of our troops and some 
Mexicans, in which ten of our troops were killed and forty- five taken 
prisoners. When the news reached Washington, May 11th, the Presi- 
dent sent a special message to Congress, declaring that war existed 
by the act of Mexico and asking for men and money to carry it on. 
Congress by a vote of J 24 to 14 in the House and 40 to 2 in the 
Senate, i:)romptly appropriated .$10,000,000, and gave the President 
authority to call out 50.000 volunteers, of which three regiments were 
originally assigned to Illinois, but Edward D. Baker, then a member 
of Congress from the Springfield district, induced the Secretary of 
War to accept another regiment from this State. Of this regiment, 
companies A and D were from Sangamon county, B from McLean, C 
from Macon, E from DeWitt, F from Menard, G from Tazewell, H 
from Edgar. I from Logan and K from Fulton, all from the central 
portion of the State where the immigration from the north and south 
met and mingled, producing the typical American soldier. 

Of the enlistment of these companies I find no extended account, 
except that of Company B in the first volume of the Transactions of 
the McLean County Historical Society (page 21), which may well 
stand as substantially that of all the companies, as the conditions 
were similar in all the other counties. 


"General Asahel (Iridley, who had been in the Black Hawk war, 
was at that time in command of the McLean county militia. He 
issued a call for a meeting to be held at Bloomington, June li^th, to 
raise the McLean county company. On that day the people came 
from all parts of the county, in farm w^agons, on horseback and on 
foot, from far and near, to the meeting, which was held on a vacant 
lot on the southwest corner of Center and Market streets. Most of 
the adult male population of the county was there. General Gridley 
mounted a wagon and addressed the crowd in a very patriotic, vivid 
and llowery speech, in which he painted in glowing colors the glory 
the soldiers would achieve and the good times they woidd have in the 
halls of Montezuma. He urged the young men to enlist in the ser- 
vice of their country, attacked by the ruthless Mexican barbarian, 
closing with, 'Go and fight the battles of your country, as I have 
done. Glory awaits you. Our hearts are with you.' " 

After General Gridley, John Moore of Randolph's Grove, then 
Lieutenant-Governor of the State, spoke. He was a large, portly 
man, red faced and sandy haired. He looked like an old-time farmer, 
honest, plain, blunt, and direct both in action and speech, he said: 
"General Gridley has urged you to go to the war. I do not say go; I 
say come. I am going, and say to you all, come with me." Then he 
called upon the sons of his old neighbors to enlist in this great and 
glorious war. Soon a full company of 103 men enlisted for six months. 

The regiment rendezvoused at Camp Ford, Springfield, the com- 
panies gathering there as best they could; some marching, some 
hauled in farm wagons, and some on foot, accompanied by farm wag- 
ons to haul any that became footsore or otherwise disabled. 

Company B of McLean county had enlisted for six months. On 
arriving at Springfield they learned that the government only received 
those enlisting for nine months. Nearly a third of the company, 
having already got enough of soldiering, refused to enlist for nine 
months, and returned home. Their places were quickly taken by a 
squad of men from Macoupin county. Those marked on the Adju- 
tant General's report as enrolled June 18 were from McLean, and 
those of June 26 were from Macoupin. Company K, Captain Ross, 
did not join the regiment until it reached St. Louis. At Camp Ford 
the regiuient was inspected and examined by Dr. Merriman and mus- 
tered into the I'nited States service. Of these men, Colonel Baker, 
in a speech in Congress, December 28, 1846, said: "The regiment. 
820 young, hardy, gallant, ambitious, adventurous and bold: of these 
at least 500 were young men who came from homes of their own, 
acquired by their personal labor and economy, or from the domestic 
circles of their parents, who lived in the same independence; 700 of 
them could with ease have earned three times what the government 
promised to pay them." 

On the 27th the regiment took up its line of march for Alton, where 
it arrived July 1st. Rev. W. M. Givens, of Company H, tells the fol- 
lowing incident of this march: "One night we camped near a small 
village, which was strewn next morning with chicken feathers. Before 
breakfast numerous complaints were filed with the ofiicers for lost. 


strayed or stolen chickens. As the regiment was not out to hunt lost 
or strayed fowls, the Colonel started out to investigate. He found 
more or less chickens in every company. Of course he talked loud 
and threatening, but Captain Roberts of Company A asked hiui 
where he got his chicken for breakfast. His cook bought them, of 
course. 'Why then, Colonel, did your cook bury the feathers V' 'He 
didn't.' was the hot reply. 'Come here. Colonel,' said the Captain. 
Cxoing back of the tent he dug up enough to cover a dozen chickens. 
Colonel Baker called a meeting of the captains and they and the regi- 
mental officers paid the bill." "Our Captain." he says, "was a good, 
fatherly old Presbyterian, but had no military aptitude. He often 
put us to blush in repeating commands on regimental or battalion 
drill. For the command 'open file' he would say, 'don't scrouge, 
boys;' for oblique, 'slouch,' etc." 

At Alton they received their arms. There was quite a rivalry be- 
tween the First and Fourth as to which should receive the arms but 
by good management Colonel Baker succeeded in getting them for 
his regiment. On the Fourth of July, the regiment went by steamer 
to Jefferson Barracks where the organization of the regiment was com- 
pleted, with Baker as Colonel, John Moore as Lieutenant Colonel, and 
Thomas L. Harris of Petersburg as Major. Moore was a very popular, 
democratic politician from McLean, Lieutenant Governor of the State 
and afterwards State Treasurer. Harris was also a democratic poli- 
tician, a member of House of Representatives in the 31st, 84th and 
35tli Congresses. Here the regiment was thoroughly drilled; each fore- 
noon, the officers, including Colonel Baker, by a regular army officer; 
in the afternoon company, squad and regimental drills by the officers 
of the regiment. This made "Baker's regiment" noted for its disci- 
pline, drill and military bearing, the "star" volunteer regiment of the 

Here sixteen men deserted, one of them, Joseph Bozarth, from 
McLean. A comrade says of him: ''He was a careless, good natured 
fellow, fiill of fun and mischief but of no stability of character or 
industry." He got tired of the restraints even of a camp of volunteers. 
He filled up his haversack with provisions, went to the Colonel and 
told him he was going to leave. The Colonel asked him what for; 
Bozarth replied that he was tired of soldiering and was going home; 
and home he went. This is a good illustration of the big frolic and 
picnic the war was deemed by the volunteers, both officers and men. 
Lieutenant Duncan of his company said that they did not wish to 
detain any one who was willing to desert. 

July 22nd, after a parade through St. Louis and drill in front of the 
old Planters' House, where these stalwart sons of the prairies, re- 
splendent in their new uniforms and burnished arms, elicited great 
praise by the precision of their evolutions and drills, they embarked 
on the steamers Sultana and Eclipse for New Orleans where they 
rested for a week. So far it had been a gala day for the men of the 
Fourth. Taken from the isolation of their (piiet farm cabins, first 
they saw the capital of their own State; then, transferred to the tlien 
metroi)olis of the west, they got their first sight of the wealth and 


splendors of a great city. Then the enchantments of that ride down 
the Mississippi, the lofty blnffs. the long intervening stretches of low- 
lands covered with rank vegetation, ranging from big trees to the 
almost impenetrable cane brake, the lonely wood-cutter's cabin, the 
sparse landing places, and the still sparser towns and villages, the 
swift rushing waters of the great river bearing on its broad bosom the 
flotsam and jetsam of thousands of miles of its own and its tributaries. 
The meeting of the upbound steamers and then the Queen City of the 
South with long banks lined with cotton awaiting shipment in the big 
ships for Europe, the negro slaves and quaint French quarters, ail so 
strange and new, how mightily it must have stirred the dullest 

August 4th. the regiment with horses equipments etc., embarked on 
sailing vessels for the Rio Grande and the next day jDut to sea. A 
trip of only a few hours by steamer took ten days during which they 
encountered a violent storm that nearly wrecked them. One can 
easily imagine the effect upon the prairie landlubbers who for the 
first time saw salt water. On the loth, they lauded at Brazos. 

August 19th, they marched to Camp Belknap. September loth 
they embarked on steamers for Camp Patterson which they reached 
the next day. They then left for Matmamoras. which they reached 
the 26th. On October 9th they were ordered to re enforce General 
Taylor at the siege of Monterey. Three comj^anies under Lieutenant 
Moore proceeded by boat to Carmargo. Mexico, a little town of about 
1.500 inhabitants, on the San Juan, about six miles from the Rio 
Grande: the rest of the regiment under Colonel Baker marched over- 
land to Carmargo which they reached the 16th, but not in time to aid 
General Taylor. They remained at Carmargo until December 11th, 
when they were ordered to return to Matamoras. 

This stay of three and a half months on the Rio Grande and San 
Juan was the most miserable and fatal in their whole service. The 
inaction of camp is the most trying of a volunteer soldier's life. It 
was especially so to the Fourth: occupation, climate, food, scenery were 
changed. From the beautiful prairies of Illinois they were trans- 
ferred to the sandy, cactus-covered chaparal plains of the Rio Grande, 
infested with scorpions, centipedes and tarantulas, swarming with 
flies, mosquitoes, gnats and other noxious insects, from a temperate 
climate to one semi-tropical, with the thermometer 100 in the shade. 
Sanitary science was almost wholly unknown to their officers and in 
practice at least wholly unknown to men. At Camp Belknap they 
had no fresh provisions, only bacon and crackers. Sickness prevailed 
to an alarming extent. In the Third and Fourth regiments there 
were over 300 on the sick list, measles of a very fatal type being the 
prevailing disease. At Carmargo it seemed as if nature itself had 
prepared a death-trap for them. That spring the river had overflowed 
its banks, leaving a rich, death-dealing sediment, which had dried in 
the hot sun but was no less virulent. While the regiment was there 
the ground was parched, the dust stifling, the water very bad, produc- 
ing a great deal of sickness. Every hour was heard the muffled drum 
and volley of musketry over the grave of a dead soldier. Lieutenant 


Duncan of Company B said that the dead march was played so often 
on the Kio Grande that the very birds knew it. Colonel Baker in 
Congress. December 28th, 1848, said of the regiment: "Nearly 100 men 
slept on the banks of that doleful river, while 200 of them had re- 
turned mere skeletons to find in the bosoms of their fanulies and the 
embraces of their anxious families that repose and renovation which 
their shattered frames and dejected spirits so greatly needed.'" 

On the march to Victoria, the Fourth was in a brigade under the 
command of General Gideon J. Pillow in General Patterson's division. 
December 11th they left Matamoras and January 4th, 1847, reached 
Victoria. January loth they left Victoria for Tampico, which they 
reached on the 27th. Matamoras was a favorite place with all the 
volunteers; it was healthy with good taverns and restaurants. De- 
cember 11th there was a grand review of the Third and Fourth of 
Illinois before General Patterson, who in an address to them said 
they were his favorite troops; that they were going into active service 
and he was confident that he would not be mistaken in the estimation 
he had of their character. 

The march was infested with guerrillas who killed every soldier who 
lagged behind. This entailed great care and labor on the Fourth, 
which covered the rear. The only drawback seems to have been a 
lack of water which frequently called for long marches, the troops 
suffering greatly with the heat, dust and thirst, flanuary ()th General 
Taylor visited the brigade. He rode a dun mule, attended by a single 
aid, and when within the lines he dismounted, his aid leading the 
mule. The excitement was intense as the old hero walked through 
the lines. General Taylor's force amounted to 2,500 men, making 
with the army from the Rio Grande upwards of 6,000 men concen- 
trated at Victoria. 

General Pillow was one of President Polk's political generals. 
When the Fourth took up its line of march for Victoria it was 
brigaded with the Third Illinois and a Tennessee regiment under 
command of General Pillow, who made himself so obnoxious to the 
Fourth that it was transferred to General Quitman's brigade. 

The journal of the Third, by Captain W. W. Bishop of that regi- 
ment, published in 1847, says of General Pillow: "It is his misfortune 
to be ctirsed with unalloyed selfishness. The day before reaching 
San Fernando the Fourth Illinois marched (the guide having nnstaken 
the road ) forty miles without water. After making this distance, 
under a burning sun, a small well of water was reached. Its entire 
contents were drawn out and given by order of General Pillow to his 
staff, their horses and mules and the trains of his baggage wagons, 
during which operation the Fourth was patiently waiting, although 
fainting, for an opportunity to get a drop of water. When the Gen- 
eral and his staff left the well the regiment was ordered to continue 
their march, which they were compelled to obey as there was no water 
left to tempt their stay. We do not believe that General Pillow's 
selfishness allowed him to perceive the cold blooded atrocity of his 
conduct.'' Lieutenant Duncan of Comijany B, Fourth Illinois says 
that he commanded the rear guard on that march, that he brought in 

—12 H S 


every man. though many threw themselves down in utter exhaustion 
and had to be prodded with the bayonet to keep them up. To leave 
anyone behind was certain death at the hands of guerrillas who 
followed our command. 

George W. McConkey of Company H writes me: "As to the trouble 
with General Pillow, all that 1 can say about it is that he was not fit 
to command a corporal's guard. He was selfish, tyrannical, cared 
nothing about his men and was a coward. On the march from Mata- 
moras to Tampico, the water was scarce and General Patterson ordered 
Pillow to stay behind the other brigade, camp where the other brigade 
camped the night before. A few Mexican lancers hovered around his 
brigade one day: thinking he was going to be attacked he ordered us 
to overtake that brigade; it was very warm and we were marching 
about twenty miles a day and that was all the men could stand; to 
double it was unreasonable. Some of the regimental commanders went 
to him and assured him there was no danger of an attack and asked 
him to countermand the order. He ordered them all under arrest. 
Some of the regiments had but one field officer and captains had to 
take charge of the regiments. The Fourth Illinois was one of them 
Major Harris, the only field ofiicer then with the regiment, was 
arrested and Captain Pugh had to take the command. We marched 
over forty miles that day and a more worn out regiment you never 
saw, and when we got to camp the other brigade had used up all the 
water. General Patterson relieved him from the command and he 
kept away from us the balance of the march." Numerous other com- 
plaints that I have seen convinced me that General Pillow was wholly 
unfit to command men. Whether he was a coward, I express no 
opinion, merely suggesting that to me the distinction between "'utter 
selfishness*' and "'cowardice" is very slight. 

January 13th, orders were issued to hold the regiment in readiness 
to march to Tampico on the 15th and for General Taylor to re- 
turn to Monterey. The camp at Victoria was broken up. General 
Twigg's brigade leaving on the 14th, General Pillow's on the loth and 
General Quitman's on the 16th. On this march General Shields, hav- 
ing joined the command, was given a brigade constituted of the Third 
and Fourth Illinois and a New York regiment. He continued in 
command of this brigade until he was severely wounded at the battle 
of Cerro Gordo. He was a typical Irish soldier, brave even to rash- 
ness, never shirking the hardships or dangers of his position, and very 
popular with his men. This march was much like that to Victoria, 
the troops suifering greatly from want of water and from blistered 
feet. They were also much annoyed by thorns, with which every tree, 
bush and shrub seemed to be armed, and burrs of which the grass was 
full. None were on the sick list. All were hardy veterans. The 
brigade was accompanied by a train of 150 wagons, which excited the 
wonder of the Mexicans. The difficulties encountered in moving it 
through a country where wagons had never before passed were con- 
sidered by them insurmountable; every wagon, however, was brought 
through and no description of property abandoned. The regiment 
arrived in the vicinity of Tampico on the 24th of January. On the 
27th they moved near that i^lace. 


March 7th, the Fourth embarked on sailing vessels for Vera Cruz, 
ordinarily only a few hours sail, but light head-winds prevailing they 
made no progress. All were again deathly sea-sick, in the condition 
of the distinguished divine who said, that, when a violent storm arose 
on the ocean, he was afraid he was going to die, but soon was afraid 
he would not die. After four days and nights of misery a norther 
filled their sails and on the 12th they reached the harbor of Anton 
Lizardo, the rendezvous of the American army under General Scott, 
where they found forty vessels, mostly government transports. 

Vera Cruz was the seaport of the capital. Its former population of 
20,00() had been much reduced by the internal wars of the so-called 
republic. It was surrounded by a wall ten feet high and five feet 
thick, perforated for defense by small arms and flanked by strong 
forts; and on an island a half mile from main land was a strong for- 
tress, the castle of San Juan de Ulloa. 

On the 17th, three companies of the Fourth with Lieutenant- 
Colonel Moore at their head, landed near the city; and on the 20th 
the rest of the regiment followed. On every hand preparations for 
the siege were going on. There were mortars, cannons, shot and shell 
and all the paraphernalia of war. The investment of the city was soon 
completed with General Patterson's division. Pillow's, Shield's and 
Quitman's brigades in the center. The Mexicans met our troops with 
the following proclamation floated over our lines by means of kites. 
We are indebted to Thomas B. Briggs of Company B, now Captain of 
the United States Army on the retired list, for a copy of this docu- 

"Vera Cruz — To the Honest men of the enemy's camp — You are brought 
here to wage an unjust war and come deceived for the people you have to 
contend with is not that you are told it is in the United States. We are 
strong and desirous to measure our arms with yours. Come, do come near us 
and you will have a doubtless proof. You can't expect other results of your 
imprudent enterprise than to perish under the influence of the climate. 
Yellow fever has already began. One after one it will carry away all of 
you very soon without a comfort, having for a grave the ardent sand now 
under your feet. But we have our arms open to receive all of you as friends for 
we know that many honest people are amongst you. No matter the religious 
creed, we are all Christians. We are all brothers and we are all creatures of 
the same Heavenly Father. Come to us as friends and you will see and you 
will know by glad experience that the Mexicans are not at all the half savages, 
half barbarians you were told in the United States You will find frankness 
and true generosity and true happiness living with us. You will find plenty 
and productive work and a delicious climate; not farther than twenty leagues 
you may enjoy everlasting spring, constant, beautiful and abundant means of 
subsistence in very productive lands which we will give you as your property. 
You will also have complete liberty of conscience and liberty to adore the 
Creator of the world in the way you please. Do exchange your arms as an 
enemy for the embrace of a friend, (irant God that it may be so for your 

To this kind invitation the American sent his reply in the shape of 
shot and shell. The Fourth assisted in erecting the naval battery of 
four 68 pounder, and two 82 pounder guns, manned by sailors from 
the fleet that afterwards so efliciently hammered the city walls and 
the castle. This battery, constructed of sand bags behind a protect- 


ing sand ridge, 700 yards from the city walls, was entirely unsus- 
pected by the Mexicans until the morning of the 24th when our troops 
in the night cut away the intervening sand ridge. Immediately all 
the Mexican batteries, including the castle, opened upon the naval 
battery. The fire was so fierce that the three companies of the 
Fourth which had been at work on the battery during the night were 
unable to leave the protecting ditch they had dug behind it until un- 
der the cover of night they were relieved. While standing in this en- 
trenchment a shell fell right among them at the feet of Lieutenant 
Duncan of Company B; the fuse spluttered and finally went out. 
"Otherwise you would hardly have had your present correspondent,"' 
writes the Lieutenant. At noon of the 22nd. General Scott demanded 
the surrender of the city and castle, informing the commander that if 
the demand was not complied with in two hours the bombardment of 
Vera Cruz would commence. The demand was peremptorily refused 
and at 2:00 o'clock over the center of the city were seen three shells in 
the air, the first from our mortars : three rapid and terrific explosions 
were heard and the bombardment of Vera Cruz had commenced. 
From the 22nd to the 24th our bomb batteries never ceased nor re- 
laxed day or night, but the bombardment was hourly increasing in 
severity as new batteries were opened and clouds of black smoke arose 
from the burning city. On the morning of the 24th, the heavy naval 
battery on the hill was unmasked. The Mexicans, seeing it was a for- 
midable battery in dangerous proximity, opened upon it every gun 
in the city and castle that could be brought to bear on it. At 
11:00 o'clock, our great guns opened with round shot and shell with 
terrible effect; flags fell, walls were crushed and cannon upon the 
forts dismounted; the enemy replied with equal spirit. Night, which 
ended the din of the cannonade, stopped not the increasing fire of the 
mortars. On the 25th the fury of the cannonade was continued. At 
2:00 p. m. the forts were silenced, the enemy evidently overwhelmed 
by the weight of our metal. At 3:00 oclock a white flag came out of 
the city and wento General Scot's quarters. Immediately [all firing 
ceased. Negotiaons for a surrender continued until the forenoon of 
the 27th when the city, castle and all public stores were surrender- 
ed. The terms gave the officers and soldiers i^ermission to march 
out, stack their arms and leave upon parole of honor. 

The American loss during the seige was 14 killed; that of the Mexi- 
cans was estimated by them from 450 to 1,000. The Mexican army 
which surrendered amounted to 4,500. 

On the morning of the 9th the division of General Patterson, Pil- 
low's and Shield's brigades, 5,000 strong, took up their line of march 
for the city of Mexico over the magnificent National road, leading 
from Vera Cruz to the capital. They soon passed out of the low, 
malarial, fever-breeding sea coast into a beautiful, hilly and moun- 
tainous region. On the 12th while resting by the road side, the ther- 
mometer at 95. the deep boom of cannon was heard in front. 
Instantly the men, who were fainting a moment before, started to 
their feet, listening for a repetition of the sound. Rapid discharges 
followed: the brigade was formed, arms and cartridges were examined, 


and on the double quick they marched to Rio del Plane, a distance of 
ten miles, in two hours and a half. There they overtook the brigade of 
General Twiggs, which had retired four miles, having met the enemy 
in great force at Cerro Gordo. 

That afternoon orders were read directing the army to be ready at 
4 o'clock next morning, with thirty-six hours rations and a canteen of 
water, for a contemplated attack on the enemy. But while the prep- 
arations were being rapidly made the order was jaostponed twenty- 
four hours. On the liUh the same order was issued for an attack at 
2 o'clock the next morning. Since a more minute knowledge of the 
force and the strong position of the enemy had been gained, mistrust 
pervaded the whole army relative to the policy of giving battle before 
the arrival of General Scott. It was believed that a correct knowl- 
edge of the enemy's position had not been obtained by the officers 
commanding, all five of the reports submitted disagreeing in essential 
particulars. Under these circumstances an ominous foreboding 
oppressed the minds of all. The officers commanding at this time 
were Generals Twiggs, Pillow and Shields. The capacity of General 
Twiggs to execute an order was doubted by no one. Other opinions 
were entertained with regard to his skill and prudence as General in 
Chief. General Pillow was the senior of Shields, and in Pillow no 
kind of contidence was reposed. It was strongly suspected that the 
leaders in this contemplated attack were desirous of creating gun- 
powder popularity at the expense of their soldiers. Fortunately 
General Patterson, who was sick, reported himself for duty expressly 
to overrule this madcap scheme, The whole army felt a deep sense 
of gratitude toward him, feeling he had saved them from disgraceful 

On the afternoon of the 14th General Scott arrived to the infinite 
delight of the army; all uncertainty was now gone, success appeared 
on every countenance. 

Cerro Gordo, fifty-four miles from Vera Cruz, was a mountain pass 
on the National road which passes through the defile of Cerro Gordo 
4,260 feet above the sea level. The American army gathered at Rio 
del Plane. From this place the road ascends four miles through 
winding defiles until it reaches the gorge at Cerro Gordo, a conical 
mountain which raises its summit 1,000 feet over the adjacent ascents. 
On the right the road is alternately shut in by cliffs and chaparral 
and on the left by i^recipitous walls of rock. The enemy held a forti- 
fied position extending in a semi-circle of two miles on the slope of a 
mountain defile at the base of which lay the only road by which the 
Americans could advance and which was enfiladed by batteries. A 
tower near the summit of the hill defended by eight guns commanded 
the whole of their works and was in effect the key of the position. 
Careful reconnoissance was made by General Scott and others. Lieu- 
tenant Duncan relates one by General Shields in which he imrtici- 
pated : 

'•To discover the number and position of the guns commanding the road 
General Shields took twenty men incliiding Major Harris and myself. We 
went round to the rear of the Mexican line and while our escort remained in 


the thicket we noted the number of guns and their position massed in front. 
Shields here stepped out into the open for a better view. Harris and I, of 
course, going with him. Tlie Mexicans ©pened fire, Shields looking through 
his glass. Up came a company to attack us. The General having had his 
view said: "Well, gentlemen, have we seen enough'?' 'Yes. General," we 
promptly answered. As we stepped down the bank thej^ all fired and the 
leaves and twigs dropped freely on our hats. The Mexicans all fired too high 
which accounts for our miraculous escape.'' 

The sons of the men who had fought their way from the Atlantic 
to the Mississippi were too virile, active and adventurous soldiers to 
be idle in camp; they did some reconnoitering of their own. Twiggs' 
division had been re-inforced by General Shields' brigade which had 
the advance. General Shields tells the result of the volunteer explor- 
ations of the men of the Fourth Illinois under the command of Major 
Harris : 

"Previous to the brilliant American victory at Cerro Gordo, the engineers 
of both the attacking and defending armies had carefully surveyed the high- 
est of the eminences that bristle about the place, and had reported it inac- 
cessible. It overlooked the whole Mexican army: but the Mexicans were 
confident it could not be occupied, and the same belief prevailed in the Amer- 
ican camp. The night before the assault was a very dark one. I was in my 
tent, when toward midnight a number of soldiers of my command came to me 
and asked my permission to put a six-pound gun on the top of this cliff. 

"I was astonished. 'Don't you know,' I asked, 'that the engineers say it 
can't be climbed'? — to say nothing aboiit putting cannon up there.' They in- 
sisted, however, that they should like to try it. 'Try it, then, boys,' I said, 
'No harm will be done, even if you fail.' They went away and in two hours 
they were back again witli the amazing news that they actually had a six- 
pounder in position on the summit of that almost perpendicular cliff. 'And, 
if you'll consent, sir,' said one of them, 'w^e'll put a twelve-pounder there, too.' 

" 'Go ahead.' I replied, "I'll believe j'ou can do anything now," and long 
before daylight they reported that a twelve-pounder was up there beside the 
six-pounder, ready to open on the Mexicans in the morning. 

"I thought the news too good to be kept, so I w^ent to General Twiggs' tent 
and roused him up. He heard mj' story and looked as though he did not be- 
lieve a word of it. 

" 'Do you mean to tell me.' he exclaimed, 'that those fellows of yours have 
hauled a six- pounder and a twelve-pounder up to the top of that height'?' 

" 'Yes, sir: and what do you think of that'?' 

" 'I think there are two pieces of artillery lost to the United States: for 
there are not men enough in the army to get them down again.' 

"But those two pieces did excellent service against the astonished Mexicans 
that daj", and they were got down again afterward." 

The sketch of the Third says of the incident: 

"Our brigade, in conjiinction with a portion of General Twiggs' command, 
worked by details of 400 men, the whole night of the 17th drawing up heavy 
artillery to the top of the mountain, reaching same by 2 o'clock in the morn- 
ing of the 18th. Long cables were attached to heavy ordnance which the 
united efforts of 400 men forced up an ascent of half a mile where a man 
could scarcel^v climb. Over small trees and stony sides of the mountain rap- 
idly ascended the ponderous guns weighing over 7, .500 pounds. At early dawn 
our batteries were in place fronting the enemy in his fancied inaccessible 

Time and space will not admit of a description of the battle *of 
Cerro Gordo. I shall attempt only so much of it as concerns the 
action of the Fourth Illinois. General Twiggs' division had the ad- 
vance. To Shields, the Foiirth Illinois in advance on the extreme 
right, was assigned the task to set out over an almost impassable 


tract, reach the Jalapa road and turn the enemy's Hank. By column 
of companies the Foiirth led the way, followed by the Third. As 
Shields gained the road, a masked battery hid in the dense chaparral 
opened upon his command. He had barely time to give the command, 
"Charge,'" when he fell very seriously, but not mortally, wounded 
through the knigs. Colonel Foreman was left the ranking officer of 
the brigade; but Colonel Baker, who had been farther in the flanking 
movement, had discovered the location of the battery and Colonel 
Foreman yielded the command to him. Colonel Baker gave the com- 
mand, "By left flank, march!"' and pointed the line towards the enemy. 
Every man made his way through the chaparral, prickly pears and 
thorns in an incredible manner. Then there was a clean space of 
about 150 yards wide before the battery which stood on a slight ele- 
vation. When our line emerged into this open space, rending the air 
with shouts, the enemy precipitately left his guns; so great was his 
panic that cannon shotted aud primed were left, which we turned and 
flred on the retreating masses. 

The Fourth advanced rapidly to the Jalapa road in which stood the 
coach of Santa Anna, harnessed and ready to leave. A writer in the 
Mexican oflicial journal likens this flanking movement, by a road 
deemed impassable by all their experience in the war from 1810 to 
1820. to the passage of Bonaparte over the Alps. 

After the capture by Harney of the entrenched hill and Ave gun 
battery and the dispersion of their cavalry by Shields' brigade com- 
Ijanies B, G, and a part of H of the Fourth formed on a plateau just 
out of range of the National road now filled with the masses of the 
Mexican army retreating. 

Many are the claimants for the honor of capturing Santa Anna's 
cork leg. Private J. B. Smith of the third Illinois claims that he 
was the first man to reach the carriage and find the leg, which after 
a hurried handling he threw back into the carriage as it would be an 
encumbrance in the pursuit, and hurried after the enemy. The 
claimants from the Fourth were numerous and certain. E company 
says it was in the advance and captured the whole outfit. Gr company 
says possession is nine points of the law and that they captured it 
and kept it many years until they turned it over to the State Museum 
at Springfield. Lieutenant Wm. L. Duncan of Company B in com- 
mand of companies B and G at the battle of Cerro Gordo, perhaps 
the only surviving commissioned officer of the regiment, for many 
years secretary of the California Associated Veterans of the Mexican 
War, gives the following graphic account of the event and the j)ur- 
suit of the enemy: 

"At an angle of the road we saw a large carriage, which had been rendered 
unserviceable by the battery, which had killed one of the team, from which 
the Mexicans were cutting out the saddle mule on which they were mounting 
an officer. This we afterwards learned was (leneral Santa Anna whose capt- 
ure would hare ended the war. I said to Captain Jones of G Company, 'Let's 
go down and see what they are doing," but he replied, 'No, we have no 
orders: we may be needed here." After a few minutes delay, chaffing at the 
unaction. I gave the command 'Forward.' and companies H and II charged 
down the hill scattering the Mexicans. Private Edward Elliott of 1? Company 
was the first to reach the carriage and jump in. lie passed out first the cork 
leg which was passed around from hand to hand and was finally carried off 


by a member of G Company. At that time none of the Third or any other 
companies of the Fourth had come up. Elliott then handed o\it from Santa 
Annas lunch on the front seat a roast chicken of which 1 retained and de- 
voured a leg-. Then showing me quietly a handful of doubloons, Ed. said: 
'There is a sack full under the front seat. What shall I do with them?' 
Stragglers from other companies were coming up and I feared a scramble for 
the gold which might end in a fight among ourselves and bring odium on the 
voliinteers who had volunteered from a spirit of adventiare and patriotism 
and not from a desire of plunder, I said, 'Put them back, Ed., we are gentle- 
men, we did not come here to loot." He did .so and I kept quiet. Soon an aid 
of General Twiggs. I think a regular oflicer, rode up, and placing the gold in 
his charge for the government I reformed my command.'" 

With the two companies we pursued the enemy to near Encerro, 
Santa Anna's country seat, when General Twiggs, our division com- 
mander, rode up and halted us as we were far in advance of our sujj- 
ports and liable to be cut oif by the Mexicans, whose rear guard tilled 
the road in dense masses. He asked, "Who commands this regi- 
ment?" I replied, "I do. General," but looking around I saw in the 
ranks three officers of superior rank, although fighting as privates 
with muskets, so I corrected myself. "I do, General, but I see Cap- 
tain Hunt of H Company, who ranks me, as I am only a lieutenant." 
Twiggs, looking sharply at Hunt, said: "Are you a captain?" "Yes 

by ," replied Hunt, "and just as good a captain as you are 

General." The Mexican rear guard, some hundred strong, seeing us 
halt now faced around, filling the road with a solid mass of men. We 
could see an officer in advance urging the enemy to attack and wipe 
us out. Twiggs, seeing our danger, said: "Can't one of you Illinois 
bloodhounds run ahead and shoot that Greaser?'" Joe Jones, one of 
my boys, said, "I will go Lieutenant, if you say so." As Joe was 
only seventeen and the only son of a widow, I hesitated to give the 
order, but no one else volunteering and Twiggs repeating the com- 
mand, I said, "Go Jones, but be careful." Jones looked at the prim- 
ing of his gun — we were armed with flint-rock muskets — and waving 
an invitation to the Mexican, went forward. The Mexican, taking a 
gun from one of his men. came to meet him. At pistol shot both 
halted, aimed and fired with one report. For an instant both stood 
firm and then the Mexican, placing his hand on his breast, fell back 
dead, shot through the heart. This was a duel in the strictest sense 
of the word. I shall never forget it. The enemy turned and went off 
on the double quick. Three of us went forward and out of respect 
for his bravery carried the officer out of the road and placed him under 
a tree, where the rapidly advancing army would not trample on him." 

"While wailing for the rest of our command to come up we had a 
cock fight. Some of the boys found in a cave house two fine game 
cocks. Forming a ring. General Twiggs handled one and I the other. 
We started them fighting to the intense astonishment of the regular 
battery when they galloped up. In the midst of greatest danger 
soldiers welcome any diversion that calls their minds off their grim 

In the battle of Cerro Gordo, Kev. W. M. Givens of Company H 
relates the following incident. "The driver of one of the Mexican 
specie wagons was killed and the wagon overtaken by the Fourth, 


which had the advance in the pursuit. Sergeant D. (t. Burr of Com- 
pany H said he wanted to see a dead Mexican, so he went to the 
wagon, looked over the side and sure enough there lay the dead Mex- 
ican soldier; under his head lay a new blanket. Burr had lost his so 
he wanted to get the Mexican's, but as he reached out for it the ad- 
monitions of a good mother whispered, "Thou shalt not steal.'' The 
sergeant turned away, commending himself for his honesty. The 
next day it was rumored that a member of Company 1 had found 
$4,000 in gold in a blanket under the head of a dead Mexican. Burr 
started at once to ascertain the truth of the report. He soon found 
the man who acknowledged that he got the blanket and money. Burr 
asked him what he did with it and he replied that he had divided it 
up with his mess-mates. "Did you tell your captain?" "Yes." "Did 
he not require you to turn it over as contraband," asked Burr. "Con- 
traband, the devil, not a bit of it; he took a part of it himself." Burr 
said, after mature deliberation on the rules of war, he concluded that 
some cheap boy ought to kick him for his stupidity in not knowing 
that all things are lawful in war." 

James Depew of Company B said of the same incident that after 
the battle in which he had been slightly wounded while wandering 
over the battle field, he came across a large covered Mexican wagon. 
He climbed on the poll of the wagon, looked in, and found a dead 
Mexican soldier with his head on a knapsack. Depew jumped down 
and left the soldier "alone in his glory." The next day another soldier 
made the same discovery but more inquisitive than Depew examined 
the knapsack and found it full of money which he appropriated to 
his own use.* • 

I am aware that this will seem a very meager record to the veterans 
of our early regiments, in the war of the rebellion, who count their 
battles by the score; but the brief service of the Fourth was long, ar- 
duous and dangerous enough to show that the American soldier is the 
best in all the annals of time; best, because ^\hile submitting to 
reasonable discipline he never becomes a mere "fighting machine"; 
but is always and everywhere a thinking man, able to take advantage 
of the varying exigencies of battle, the soldier in the ranks fit to as- 
sume command if all his superior officers fall, the best because the 
form and spirit of our government, a democratic republic, at every 
step teaches its children self-reliance and self-control and the ambi- 
tion of leadership, teaches him to take the initiative as the Fourth 
did at Cerro Gordo, a quality absolutely essential in modern warfare; 
best, because none endures more cheerfully and j)atiently the enui of 
camp and the hardships of the march, or m ore dauntlessly faces death 
itself in the performance of his duties. 

The war with Mexico was also the school for the commanders of 
our armies in 1861-65; for Grant. Sherman, Thomas, Logan, as well 
as for the heroic men on the other side. The first man in McLean 
county to enlist in response to the fateful firing on Fort Sumpter was 
a veteran of the Mexican war. Captain Harvey of Company K. Eighth 
Illinois, who sealed his devotion to the Union with his life at Shiloh. 
Colonel Baker of the Fourth, had all the qualities of a great comman- 
der. The imagination, quickness of intellect and thorough mental 

*See note at the end (if the paper. 


training that made him the peerless orator, also enabled him to di- 
vine and forecast the action of his antagonists; this and the conrage 
of his race to act instantly with all his force, to do the right thing at 
the right time. He also had what is not often given to the imagina- 
tive, artistic temperament, the executive ability of the English race 
that has made them the great administrators of modern times. His 
men loved, admired and trusted him implicitly. Had not his career 
been untimely cut off at Balls Bluff he would have ranked high among 
the great commanders of the civil war. In every Company of the 
Fourth were men who were eagerly sought to command the raw volun- 
teers of 1861 and who gladly gave their services, and many their lives, 
that the Union might continue one and indivisible, the hope of man- 
kind the world over. The most distinguished of these was a lieuten- 
ant in the Decatur Company, the greatly beloved, the lion-hearted, 
Richard J. Oglesby. 

The State of Illinois did well when the Sixteenth General Assem- 
bly in 1849, directed that the "Governor of the State procure suitable 
swords, with proper devices and inscriptions to be presented in the 
name and in behalf of the people of this State to Major- General 
Shields ; to the eldest son of the lamented Col. John J. Hardin ; and to 
each of the field officers from this State engaged in the Mexican war. 
as a public testimonial of their admiration for the gallant conduct of 
these officers at the battle of Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, and else- 

One of these swords, the gift of a grateful people to a noble man, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Moore, of the Fourth, I have here for the inspec- 
tion of those who desire to see this beautiful specimen of the artisan 
and goldsmith. (Colonel Moore's sword was shown at the meeting, 
by Mr. Prince ) 

* Note— After the delivery «f the above address, Mr. Prince having ascertained that Mr. 
Elhot, spoken of by Lieutenant Duncan, was hvinpf at San Rafiel, Cal., sent him a copy of 
the address and received the following reply : 

"General Scott says: 'The field of operations covered many miles in extent 
broken by mountains and deep chasms. Genei-al Shields, a commander of 
talent and activity, is I fear if not dead mortally vyounded. Of the conduct 
of the volunteer force under the brave General Shields I cannot speak in too 
hig-h terms." General Patterson says: "Colonel Baker, Fourth Illinois regi- 
ment, having assumed the command, the enemies" lines were charged with 
spirit and success by the Third and Fourth Illinois and New York regiments 
of volunteers under their I'espective commanders ('olon^ls Foreman and Bur- 
nett and Major Harris. The route now became general, the brigade pressed 
forward in rapid pursuit leaving a sufficient force to secure the artillery, 
specie, baggage, provisions and camp equipage left in our hands." 

Colonel Baker says: "The brigade moved to reinforce General Twiggs' 
division operating on the right of the Cerro Gordo pass. It readied the posi- 
tion of that division about five o'clock on the evening of the IVtli, too late to 
share in the brilliant action of that day. During the greater portion of the 
night almost the entire brigade was occupied in dragging a battery of twenty- 
four pounder siege giin and two twenty-four pound Howitzers, which work 
they performed with great labor and zeal. At daj'light on the morning of the 
18th the brigade was under arms and moved at an early hour to attack the 
extreme left of the enemy's position. This was effected over verj- difficult 
ground through a thick chaparral and under a galling fire from the enemy's 
guns on the heights. 

"Upon approaching the main road the enemy was found upon and near it 
with a field battery of six guns supported by a large force of infantrj' and 


"While forming for the attack under a heavy fire from the enemy's guns, 
General Shields who had gallantly led the command fell severely if not mor- 
tally wounded. I then directed a company to deploy as skirmishers and 
ordered a charge upon the enemy's lines which was accomplished with spirit 
and success by those companies which from the nature of the ground were 
able to make the advance. They were promptly and gallantly supported by 
the remainder of the Fourth Illinois regiment under Major Harris. The Third 
regiment under Colonel Foreman, the New York under Colonel Burnett, be- 
ing ordered bj'^ me to move forward to the right and left and upon the enemy. 
The route became complete at that point and the enemy fled in great con- 
fusion leaving his guns, baggage and a large amount of specie, provisions and 
camp equipage in our hands. 

"I am under obligations to Colonels Foreman and Burnett and Major Harris 
for the coolness, promptness and gallantrj^ with which they carried into exe- 
cution the several dispositions of their commands.'" 



(By Caroline B. Mcllvaine.) 

It is not my hope to be able to offer to the Illinois State Historical 
Society any new ideas upon the subject of collecting local historical 
material; for this organization has achieved in the seven years since 
its founding, a success in that direction, and in coordinating the his- 
torical interests of the state, which would be absolutely unaccountable 
did we not know that it had already lived for many decades in the 
hearts of its founders. Speaking then in the capacity of a librarian, 
and wholly as a layman where historical matters are concerned, my 
observations may present to you some new aspect of familiar themes. 

The foundations for historical research in Illinois having been laid 
very broad and very deep by our first historical society, known as the 
Antiquarian and Historical Society of Illinois, the duty devolving 
upon its successors, and so upon librarians as custodians of the col- 
lections of such bodies, are neither few nor light, and if the histo- 
rians and librarians of the rising generation are to build intelligently 
upon the foundations of their elders they cannot review too often nor 
too thoughtfully, the objects of that pioneer society as set forth in its 
Proceedings from which the following are extracts. "On the evening 
of Saturday, December 8th, 1827, a number of gentlemen, chiefly 
members of the bench and bar of the Supreme Court then in session, 
met at the State House at Vandalia in pursuance of public notice, for 
the purpose of organizing a Historical Society for this State: Chief 
Justice Wilson was called to the chair, and James Hall appointed 
secretary. The following resolution was offered by Mr. Hall, and 

Resolved, that the gentlemen present do now form themselves into a 
Society, for the promotion of eleg-ant and useful learning-. [The Preamble to 
the Constitution adopted is so striking a moniament to the sagacity and far- 
sightedness of these first gentlemen of Illinois that it has ever since served as 
the standard of symmetry and completeness by which all subsequent histori- 
cal effort has been gauged, if indeed it does not indicate the highwater marli 
of aspiration in this direction. It is in part as follows.] --The undersigned cit- 
1 izens of Illinois, and others, sensible that there are now in existence, within 
this state, many interesting vestiges of its former population, that many im- 
portant facts respecting its settlement by the present race of inhabitants are 
preserved only in tradition: that little is correctly known, even by ourselves, 
in relation to those points, and that the past and present character of our 
country, its soil, climate and productions, remain almost unnoticed by the 


naturalist and historian: and believing that these important relics of the 
past, or monuments of the present time, ai'e daily diminishing in number and 
value, have determined to establish an institution which shall afford a safe 
depositcu-y for all such documents, facts, and materials, as we shall be able 
to procure, and which may be properly classed among the evidences of his- 

The duties of the librarian of that Society, who was one Robert 
Peebles by name, are defined in the constitution as follows: 

The librarian shall keep all documents and other articles handed to him by 
the Society for safe keeping: shall make proper records and catalogues of the 
same, under the direction of the corresponding committee, and perform such 
other duties as may be deemed necessary. 1 am unable to learn anything 
beyond the name of this first librarian, but doubtless he was custodian of 
many choice local items lacking in the collections of todaj' if the following 
resolutions were carried out: 

Resolved, that the committee of correspondence be instriicted to cause ob- 
servations to be taken of the heat, weight, and currents of the atmosphere — 
the change of seasons — the quantity of rain: and to note all such other phe- 
nomena as will tend to illustrate the climate of Illinois. 

Resolved, that the committee of correspondence be instructed to procure, if 
possible, by donation, if not, to ascertain on what terms, the Laws — the 
Joui-nals of Executive and Legislative bodies — and all other documents of the 
N. \V. Territory, prior to the organization of the Territory of Illinois — and of 
the Territory and State of Illinois. 

Resolved, that the committee of correspondence be instructed to procure, in 
like manner, Illinois newspapers from the earliest to the present period— and 
to cause a file to be preserved in future. 

I believe that it was in some of the writings of Mr. Beckwith that 
I came across the following extract from the Illinois Intelligencer of 
February 14, 1829: "We publish this week the proceedings of the 
Antiquarian Historical Society of this State, and we earnestly rec- 
ommend, this subject to the attention of our readers. The improve- 
ment of the country, and its advancement in literature, are of more 
importance to the people than the elevation of an ambitious aspirant, 
or the quarrels of demagogues." 

Apparently the '"ambitious aspirants and demagogues" were too 
numerous for the promoters of elegant and useful learning, for the 
society only lived a few years ; but long enough to leave the stamp of 
the great minds which composed its membership upon its records, 
where were enrolled among others the names of James Hall, Samuel 
D. Lockwood, Edward Coles, John Reynolds, John Mason Peck, 
Peter Cartwright, Sidney Breese, Henry Eddy, Auguste Chouteau, 
General William Clark and William H. Brown. Three of the pam- 
phlets published in Edwardsville in 1828, and at Vandaliain 1829 and 
1830, are in the library of the Chicago Historical Society. The writer 
would be glad to learn of other publications of this Society or of other 
cojjies of the above mentioned. 

It is now four score years since that first Illinois historical society 
librarian entered upon his duties of safeguarding and cataloguing the 
pioneer accumulations of that first historical society, yet notwith- 
standing much effort during the many intervening years to collect 
along the lines then marked out, the librarian of an Illinois historical 
collection of the twentieth century, in contemplating the volumes in 
his charge, finds the heritage of those years much lighter in some 
important departments than one would suppose. Indeed the history 


of Illinois is yet to be written. So far I believe no librarian in the 
state has the happiness to be custodian of an entirely complete set of 
the territorial laws, a consecutive file of an early Illinois newspaper, 
nor even of the full set of Illinois county histories. To the thrifty 
bookman these incomplete files are thorns in the flesh, not to be tol- 
erated until it has been proven that the lacking volumes are not 
sequestered in some cellar or attic, or buried alive under the accumu- 
lated dust of some lawyer's office. 

The thirty odd local historical societies which the industry. of the 
Illinois State Society has brought into corresponding communication 
with one another, have done much to bring to light forgotten records 
in the vicinity of their headquarters. Is it not true that there is 
much loss in efPectiveness, however, in county historical societies by 
reason of the fact that the meetings of a society whose membership 
extends over a large area, are necessarily held only at long intervals, 
and that in the meantime enterprises undertaken with enthusiasm lapse 
for want of opportunity for consultation and cooperation? If it were 
practicable to go on multiplying historical societies iintil every city, 
village and hamlet had its own organization, I venture to say that 
precious documents would no longer slumber in dusty offices and 
attics, for the historians who were on the spot would not rest until 
everything of this description was rescued and accessibly preserved. 
But if the multiplication of petty organizations would not mean in- 
creased strength is there any agency which can be relied upon to 
assist in sustaining interest in historical matters in the interim 
between the meetings of the societies ? To the mind of the librarian 
of an historical society there can be but one answer to this question, 
namely that the local j)ublic library in the smaller communities with 
its permanent building, and staff of assistants maintained at public 
expense, is that agency. 

In the opinion of the writer the public libraries might become a 
valuable asset in reckoning the historical strength of the State. But 
whether or not the societies wish to avail themselves of this means of 
extending their influencejit would seem to be their duty to point out to 
those entrusted with the management of town libraries the importance 
of devoting some part of the funds in their hands to collecting ma- 
terial relative to their own towns, for it is a fact that some towns have 
not even preserved copies of their own official publications. The 
mpre progressive however, even now, realize that the formation of a 
local collection enlists the cooperation of a larger part of the com- 
munity than any other subject could possibly do. But some trustee 
will take alarm and object that it is the mission of the historical 
societies to investigate and preserve the remains of Indian occupation, 
the relics of the explorers and missionaries and the vestiges of pioneer 
settlers. This is perfectly true, but as has been before remarked, 
there are not now and probably never will be enough historical 
societies in the State of Illinois to canvass this great field minutely. 
It is the mission of the historical societies to advise, to investigate, 
and to call general attention to the historic sites, etc., but it is the 
privilege of" the communities where these sites are found, and par- 
ticularly of the libraries located there, to foster local pride in the 


historic remains and to take the initiative measures to preserve them. 
Assuredly the duty of collecting and cataloguing the literature that 
bears upon the locality will not be shirked by any library that depends 
upon the public for its perpetuity. 

The following outline of desiderata might be suggested to libraries 
for forming local collections: 

First. All the printed matter obtainable, including documents and news- 
papers, bearing upon the archeology, topography, history, science, politics, 
art and social conditions of the locality, and exhibits of natural objects and 
photographs illustrating the same. 

Second. All works written bj- natives or residents of the locality. 

Third. Works bearing the imprint of local printers. 

An important branch of local interest which has not received as 
much attention in this country as it has in England, are clubs formed 
for the purpose of making photographic surveys of the districts sur- 
rounding their headquarters. If work of this kind is found advisable 
in England, how much more necessary is it here, where things are 
much more transient and fluctuating. It will be found practicable in 
some libraries to form photographic clubs as a department of the 
regular work, but it will be worth while- for any library to aid in 
fostering such societies by allowing them a room in the library in 
which to hold meetings, or even for the keeping of apparatus and for 
developing, for the sake of preserving the characteristics of the town 
where it is located. 

The principal local collections in Illinois outside of Chicago, of 
which I have been able to learn, are the following: 

The Illinois State Historical Library concerning whose strength it is only 
necessary to say that its catalogue published in 1900, contained thirtj' double 
column pages devoted to Illinois entries alone. 

The Public Library of Belleville has a local historj^ collection to which it 
devotes a separate alcove. This library also preserves all local newspapers. 

The Withers Public Library at Bloomington has a special collection of the 
third-class — namely, books by McLean County authors. 

The Evanston Public Library collects all works by local authors and books 
pertaining to the town, and cooperates with the Evanston Historical Societ3'^ 
in the collection of programs of entertainments, advertising matter and other 
ephemera pertaining to the locality. The Historical society holds its meet- 
ings in the Library building. 

The Oak Park Library works along similar lines. 

Galena Public Library has an autograph collection of books by local authors. 

It may be asked how effective cooperation between public libraries 
and historical societies can be brought about. In the first place the 
subject of special collections of local material is not an entirely new 
one to the librarians of .the State. It was freely discussed at the 
meeting of the Illinois Library Association at Rockford in April last, 
and suggestions were made looking to more aggressive work on local 
lines. At the St. Louis meeting of the American Library Associa- 
tion in 1904 preliminary steps were taken to form an association of 
persons particularly interested in the gathering of local history, as a 
separate chapter of the American Library Association. These things 
seem to indicate a spirit favorable to cooperation, and in my opinion 
what is needed to bring matters to a focus and to insure systematic 
and intelligent cooperation is for the historical societies to lay before 


the various library boards a statement of the need for, and the mutual 
benefit to be derived from working together in these matters and to 
offer such suggestions as to lines of investigation and methods, as 
their superior experience maj' dictate. And further if the historical 
associations of the State should send delegates to the meetings of the 
above mentioned organizations of librarians, the contingent of i^ersons 
interested in purely historical literature would then be sufficiently 
large to form a strong sub-organization which would devote its delib- 
erations to matters especially interesting to collectors of historical 

While the benefits accruing to the historical societies from coopera- 
tion with public libraries will be largely indirect in the way of sus- 
taining the interest and promoting the activity of members between 
meetings, a wide spread activity awakened in the reading public is 
sure to result in additions to the membership of historical societies 
and possibly in the discovery of data at present inaccessible. These 
results are, if I mistake not, among the main objects for which his- 
torical societies are maintained. 





A few quotations from statements made by an incorporator of this 
Society will serve to bring before yon its origin and special objects 
better than any words of mine could do; for oruthe 24th of April next 
the Chicago Historical Society will have been in existence for half a 

Mr. Isaac N. Arnold wrote in 1870 as follows: "The Chicago Hist- 
orical Society had its origin in the conviction, felt by a few leading 
citizens, that the unexampled growth and development of the North- 
Western States made an unusually strong demand upon the present 
generation for the adoption of measures that would insure a faithful 
record of their primitive condition, and of the marvelous transforma- 
tion they have undergone since their first settlement. The few inter- 
esting traces to be found of. the pre-historic race, or races, that once 
inhabited this continent were fast disappearing. The Indian tribes, 
our immediate predecessors in the occupancy of the country, were also 
passing away, and with them, the traces left by their ancestors, and 
all traditions of the more recent events in their own unwritten history. 
The imperfect records of the deeds performed, privations endured, 
and conquests made by the heroic men who were the i)ioneers of this 
present civilization were being lost. And even the yet more wonder- 
ful achievements of the men of today, whose subjection of vast areas 
of wild lands, immense forests of timber and inexhaustible mineral 
resources to the uses of civilized life, whose construction of public 
works and opening of continental highways, and whose building of 
villages and cities, with countless institutions of every kind, have been 
without parallel in the history of the world — these too would be lost 
to the generation to succeed us. unless an institution were founded, 
whose chief end it should be to collect, record, and diffuse historic 

In harmony with these ideas and plans, the Chicago Historical 
Society was organized on the 24th of April, 1856, by the adoption of 
a constitution, which defined its general object to be "to encourage 

18 H S 


historical ituiuiry and spread historical information, especially within 
the State of Illinois, and also within the entire territory of the North- 

The names of the incorporators were as follow: Messrs. William 
H. Brown. William B. Ogden, J. Young Scammon, Mason Brayman, 
Mark Skinner, Geo. Manierre, John H, Kinzie, J. V. Z. Blaney, E. J. 
Tinkham, J. D. Webster, W. A. Smallwood, Van H. Higgins, N S. 
Davis, Chas. H. Eay, Samuel Dexter Ward, Mahlon D. Ogden, Dr. 
Franklin Scammon. Ezra B. McCagg, Rev. Wm. Barry, and I. N. 
Arnold, and the first officers were: Wm. H. Brown. President; Wm. 
B. Ogden and J. Y. Scannnon, Vice-Presidents; S. D. Ward, Treas- 
urer; Wm. Barry, Recording Secretary and Librarian, and Charles 
H. Ray, Corresponding Secretary. 

The Charter was drawn by Rev. Mr. Barry, at whose suggestion the 
Society had been organized, and it became a law through the agency 
of Isaac N. Arnold, then a member of the Legislature from Chicago. 
Feb. 7, 1857. Organized but twenty years after the incorporation of 
Chicago as a town, the resident membership of the Society has in- 
cluded the names of almost every public spirited man, who has aided 
in developing the commercial, artistic and literary growth of the city, 
and many names enrolled in its honorary and corresponding member- 
ship link it with a more remote past and iDarticularly with the first 
historical society of the state.* Among other members of this period 
may be mentioned: Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Edward Coles, Stephen 
A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, John Reynolds, Lyman Trumbull. 
David J. Baker, Hiram W. Beckwith, Orville H. Browning, Zebina 
Eastman, Ninian W. Edwards, George Flower, Jacob Fouke, Joseph 
Gillespie, James Hall. Robert Harmer, Gabriel A. Jones. I. A. Lap- 
ham, Peter A. Menard, John Mason Peck, Wm. H. Perrin, William 
Pickering and Hooper Warren. 

The officers who have successively served the Society areas follows: 

Presidents: William Hubbard Brown. Walter Loomis New- 
berry, Jonathan Young Scammon. Edwin Holmes Sheldon. Isaac 
Newton Arnold, Elihu Benjamin Washburne, Edward Gay Mason, 
John Nelson Jewett, and the present incumbent Franklin Harvey 

Secretaries and Librarians: William Barry, assisted by Sam- 
uel Stone, Thomas H. Armstrong. Lemuel G. Olmstead, J. W 
Hoyt, William Corkran. Belden F. Culver. Albert David Hager, as- 
sisted by Charles Harpel, John Moses, Charles Evans, James W. 
Fertig, present Secretary. Caroline M. Mcllvaine, present Librarian. 

In 1868. only twelve years after the adoption of the Constitution. 
Mr. Arnold in an address before the Society, reported the total num- 
ber of volumes, pamphlets and manuscripts collected as 100,205 — a 
fact which speaks well for the energy of the early members who though 
few were enthusiastic. These collections housed at this time in the 
Society's own Iniilding, erected at a cost of $60,000 and thought to be 
fire-proof, consisted of complete files of colonial, territorial and state 

*For the task, laid down by the Illinois Antiquarian and Historical Society for want of 
funds, and re-attempted without success in 1837, was shouldered by the Chicago Historical 
Society in 18,")6. under the leadership of William H. Brown, who had been prominent in the 
organization of both of the earlier societies. 


laws, journals, etc., jDrobably the largest collection of slavery and Civil 
War material in the country, including the original Emancipation 
Proclamation, also early newspapers, and hundreds of personal nar- 
ratives by pioneers of the Northwest. All of these with the records 
of the Society, were reduced to ashes on October 9th. Ib71. 

In the face of this calamity and of the lesser one of 1874, the faith 
of these gentlemen remained unshaken, and triie to those sterling 
qualities which have characterized the men of Chicago and of Illinois 
from the earliest times, they stood together, and began again the work 
of the Society, at a time when men of less exalted ideals would have 
felt amply justified in turning their whole attention to the re-estab- 
lishment of their own enterprises, It is related that, almost before 
the ashes were cold John Wentworth began to re-assemble for the 
Society's collections the tiles of the Chicago Democrat which he had 
previously brought together with much labor and expense. This is 
only one instance a-mong hundreds, for loyal pioneer citizens of Chica- 
go and Illinois, who had not suffered by the fire, contributed from their 
private libraries whatever was of interest to the Society. In this way 
the histories, directories, and gazetteers of the early days in Illinois 
were sooner or later almost all restored to the library. The historical 
societies of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and of Massachu- 
setts made large contribiitions from their duplicate tiles, and the 
Secretary of State, and other public offices of Illinois sent large con- 
signments of documents. As a result of continued generosity and 
patriotic offort on the part of the members of the Society, and of 
sister organizations, the library now contains about 150,000 volumes, 
pamiDhlets and manuscripts. 

The Society is entirely dependent for its support upon the dues of 
its members and upon the income from certain bequests. Mr. Henry 
D. (lilpin, a public spirited citizen of Philadelphia, who died in 1800, 
made the Society a residuary legatee under his will, the proceeds of 
his bequest to be used for the erection and maintenance of a tire-proof 
library building. It might with propriety be said here, in explana- 
tion of the fact of so generous a bequest coming to a western institu- 
tion from a man whose life was entirely spent in the East, that Mr. 
Grilpin had large real estate holdings in Chicago, managed by the 
dean of real estate men of his day, Samuel H. Kerfoot. Mr. Gilpin 
wishing to make some return to the city where these protitable in- 
vestments had been made, at one time asked Mr. Kerfoot to advise 
him of the namxe of some institution worthy to become the recipient of 
such acknowledgement. Mr. Kerfoot named the Chicago Historical 
Society, of which he was a life member. (J)thers who have made be- 
quests to the Society have been John Crerar, Lucretia Pond. Geo. M. 
Pullman, Elizabeth Hammond Stickney, Jonathan Burr, Philo Car- 
penter, Mrs. J. Y. Scammon, Huntington W. Jackson, Henry J. 
Willing, T. Mauro Garrett, and Elias T. Watkins. 

The present home of the Society, absolutely tire-proof in its con- 
struction and appointments, now houses a collection of books and 
manuscripts larger by one half than that owned at the time of the 
great tire. With the object of collecting the materials for the history 
of this part of our country, the officers of the Society have through 


the years, watched the bookmarts of the world to buy for the library 
the source books, original editions, newspapers, and above all the 
manuscripts which should make this collection a storehouse for the 
future writers and teachers of history to draw upon, a storehouse 
where the materials for original research relative to the Middle West 
might be found. 

In the department of manuscripts the following may be mentioned: 

The James Madison Papers, 1778-1836, purchased for the Society 
by Mr. Marshall Field, consists of eight large volumes, containing 
some 1,100 letters and papers, written during the time that Madison 
was delegate to the Continental Congress, member of the Constitu- 
tional Convention, and of the first Congress, Secretary of State, and 
President of the United States. Three volumes contain the letters of 
John Armstrong, Joseph Jones, and Edmund Randolph to James 
Madison, and throw light upon all the important occurrences of those 

The James Wilkinson Papers, 1779-1823. are contained in four 
magnificient folio volumes, bound in full morocco, each manuscript 
mounted separately. In this collection, besides letters written by 
Wilkinson, are letters from Thomas Jefferson; Timothy Pickering; 
General Dearborn; W. C. C. Claiborne, Governor of Louisiana; Mar- 
quis of Casa Calvo, Spanish Commandant at New Orleans; Morales. 
Spanish commandant at Pensacola; Auguste Chouteau, of St. Louis: 
and copies of letters from Aaron Burr and others relating to Burr's 
movements and capture. 

The Ninian Edwards Papers, consisting of the letters and docu- 
ments, public and private (1800-32), of Illinois" territorial governor, 
are an especially interesting commentary upon the politics and 
manners of his day. particularly in the Northwest. A portion of 
these papers forms volume III. of the Society's Collections, for the 
publication of which the Society is indebted to Mr. Marshall Field. 

The Pierre Menard Papers comprise three quarto volumes, largely 
official documents of the first lieutenant governor of Illinois, who held 
almost every office in the power of the people of the state to confer. 

The collection of papers relating to the French regime in Illinois 
and in the Mississippi Valley, consists of original documents and 
letters in the handwriting of Joliet. Allouez. LaSalle, Tronty. Front- 
enac. and other governors of New France, copies of the parish regist- 
ers of the early French missions, etc. Among these documents is the 
letter of LaSalie. dated at Chicagou. September 1. 1683, in which he 
gives his parting directions to Tonty and the little band left at Fort 
St. Louis. Another document of even greater historic interest is the 
deed, or bill of sale, given by Francois de la Forest, the partner of 
Tonty. to Michael Acau, by which De la Forest's share of the land 
about Starved Rock, was conveyed to Acau. This is in all probabil- 
ity the first deed to real estate within the present state of Illinois. 

The papers of President James K. Polk consist of the diary kept 
during his administration. 1845-48, and original drafts of documents. 

In addition to the above collection the Society has some 14.000 
individual manuscrij)ts bound and indexed. These consist of docu- 


merits, letters and reminiscences of Illinois pioneers, among them a 
large number of the personal papers of Joseph Gillespie, (rabriel 
Jones, Zebina Eastman, Elias Kent Kane, and Jacob Fouke. 

During the past year there, were added to the Library two import- 
ant collections of manuscripts, one consisting of 2,0i\ documents re- 
lating to the French regime, including a feudal grant upon rents, by 
LaSalle to Jacques Bourdon, Sieur d'Autray, antedating the above 
mentioned deed by ten years; the others being a large mass of data 
relative to prehistoric times in Illinois accompanied by a collection 
of relics and specimens illustrative of this period. 

Among the printed sources which the library contains, the original 
editions of the laws of the Northwest, Indiana, and Illinois Territor- 
ies would probably be considered its most valuable asset. These are 
contained in seventeen small volumes and cover the period from 1787 
to 1818, a list of which is appended. The laws of 1812, the only vol- 
ume lacking to make this tile complete, were purchased for the So- 
ciety some twelve or fourteen years ago, and through some inad- 
vertence, never found their way to the shelves of the library. I men- 
tion the fact in the hope if found wandering at large they may be ap- 
prehended and returned to us. The collection of Illinois newspapers 
shoidd be mentioned next. Of these the library has over two hundred 
titles catalogued, bearing dates from 1820 to the present. Early 
maps, atlases, directories, gazetteers and guides for Illinois and adja- 
cent states have received special attention for many years. 

Great efforts have been made to obtain the original editions of the 
journals of the explorers of the Mississippi Valley, with the result 
that several shelves are filled with russet colored volumes bearing the 
names of Marquette. LaSalle, Tonty. Hennepin, Joutel, LaHontan, 
Perrot. Charlevoix, LaPotherie, Margry, and Shea. The collection 
in the department of later travels in the Central West is nearly com- 
plete and contains many volumes of great rarity. Several additions 
were made to this section last winter from the library of the late 
Hiram W. Beckwith, among them his beautiful copy of Carver's 
travels in the original tree-calf, it being the third edition containing 
the remarkable hand-colored plates. 

The series of Collections published by the Society consists of the 
following: Vol. I. The History of the English Settlement in Edwards 
County, by George Flower; Vol.11. A Sketch of Enoch Long, an 
Illinois Pioneer; Vol. III. The Edwards Papers; and Vol. IV. Early 
Chicago and Illinois, which last includes a selection of the Pierre 
Menard Papers and other manuscripts relating to the early French 
settlements. In addition to the above the Society has published some 
fifty addresses on historical subjects, presented at its meetings many 
of them being the result of special investigations in the picturesque 
field of the southern portion of our state. As there has always been 
a strong demand for these occasional addresses they have usually been 
re-printed in the Fergus Historical Series, under which name they 
are fre(|uently cited instead of by their projjer designation as Pro- 
ceedings of the Chicago Historical Society. Kecently one of these 
papers was referred to in all seriousness as a publication of the Fergus 
Historical Society. 


In addition to its library the society maintains a museum of relics 
gathered with the object of illustrating, as far as possible, all of the 
historic periods treated of in the literature of Illinois and the North- 
west, from prehistoric times to the present. The gallery of paintings 
contains portraits of men and women who have played important 
parts in the history of Illinois, among them, Louis XIV., Louis XV., 
Frontenac. Robert de la Salle. George Rogers Clark, Xinian Edwards. 
Shadrach Bond. Pierre Menard. John Edgar, George Flower, Edward 
Coles, Joseph Duncan. Gurdon S. Hubbard. John H. Kinzie, and 
mauy of later times. Classes from schools in and around Chicago, 
make frequent pilgrimages to the museum to study certain exhibits 
which the teachers have found of educational value in their work in 
Illinois history. 

1 wish to emphasize the fact that the Chicago Historical Society is 
a public institution, though founded and maintained by private funds, 
and that the public is welcome at all times to its library and museum. 
And further that the interests of the society are confined to no period 
and to no section of the state, but includes every factor which has 
contributed to make Illinois the great state it is today. The fact that 
a few Chicago i^eople in their great loyally to home institutions, 
fondly suppose that the library building at Dearborn and Ontario 
streets houses nothing but Chicago documents and newspapers, does 
not alter the fact that the Constitution of the Society admits of no 
such limitations. The increasing use of its collections by lawyers, 
authors, and journalists as well as by students from the colleges and 
■universities of Illinois and the surrounding states, indicates that there 
is a demand for a special historical library in Chicago, which in point 
of population represents two fifths of the entire number of people in 
the state, and which now demands a high degree of specialization in 
every department of its complex life. 

If the soil of Illinois were less rich in historic incident, if its people 
had not seen the rise and fall of so many foreign regimes, or had had 
fewer great men to honor, it might be questioned if the possession of 
two historical societies with the same avowed objects were not more 
of an embasrasrment than a matter for congratulation. But since the 
seven years of work along almost identical lines have been marked by 
vigorous growth in both societies, may not these sister organizations 
now be said to have passed the experimental stage, and to be assured 
of increasing fields of usefulness, one strengthened by the proximity 
of the other — not foreswearing sisterly rivalry, but like well reared 
children keeping those rivalries within the borders of their own home, 
and making common cause whenever and wherever the glory of Illi- 
nois requires it. • 




Governors and Judges. Printed. 

— 1787-1802 n p. n d. 

[1787]-17'J1 1792 

1792 July— December... 1794 

1795 1796 (Max\veir.s Code.) 


Laws passed : 

— 1798 1798 

General Assembly. 

— 1st Session, 1799... 1800 


Governors and Judges. 
Laws : 

— 1st Session, 1801 1802 

2nd do , 1802 I loni 

3rd do,1803C ^*"* 

General Assembly. 
Laws : 

— 1st Assembly— 

1st Session. 180.5 [180.i] folio. 

2nd do ,1806 [1806|folio. 

2nd Assembly — 

1st Session, 1807 1807 

2ud do .1808 1808 


Legislative Council and House of Representatives. 
Laws : 

— 4th Session, 1815-16 1816 

Legislative Council and House of Representatives. 
Laws : 

— 5th Session, 1816-17 1817 (2 editions) 

6th do ,1817-18 1818 

— Laws revised by Nathaniel Pope 1H5 2 vols. 


Contributions to State History. 



By Theodore Jessup.* 

It is the purpose of this paper to recall to our minds, with as much 
fullness of detail as its limitations impose, the fact that Illinois, so 
poor in places of historical interest nationally important, so deficient 
in natural scenery comparable with that of most of her sister states, 
has at least one spot which in both these particulars, ranks high. 

To give the proper background it will be necessary for those of us 
who have not recently read our Parkman. or the latest book of Illi- 
nois history, "Historic Illinois," to review some of the most important 
steps in the discovery of inland America. 

It is one of the curious things in the exploration of the New World, 
that the Mississij)pi Valley was for nearly two hundred years after 
North America was discovered, an unvisited and unknown region. 
While the Spaniard had invaded and plundered Mexico and South 
America, had penetrated into the remotest corners of the j)resent 
Southwestern United States, and had in the one disastrous journey 
of DeSoto, actually visited the southern part of the valley, yet the 
outlines of the northern continental mass were unknown after one 
hundred and fifty years of exploration and settlement on its eastern 
coast. Indeed it was not until c|uite three hundred years after 1492 that 
definite and exact outlines of North America were known. Perha^js, 
however, this slowness of exploration, this laggard spirit in penetrat- 
ing into the interior of the continent, is no more strange than the 
fact that it was left to the contemporaries of men still living to dis- 
cover the sources of the Nile. 

While the history of the English and Dutch Colonies in the New 
World is taught with reiteration and wearisome detail to every school 
boy, nothing like the same attention is given to the discovery and 
settlement by the French in the basin of the St. Lawrence and the 
Mississippi Valley, yet these were the regions of the greatest import- 
ance in North America, and their exploration and occiipation by 
civilized man was of vastly more value to the nation that was to be, 
than was that of the rocky, sterile.and forest covered Atlantic Coast 
which the English occupied for almost a century and a half without 
penetrating inland more than a hundred miles. 

It is necessary, then, to recall a few great names in the long list of 
French explorers. Cartier must be mentioned for he was the first 

*A paper read before the Chiciefo Literary Club, December 18, 1905, 


European to sail up the St. Lawrence as far as modern Montreal in 
1535. He, like so many of his kind then and later, was engaged in 
the old search of Columbus, a way through or around the continent 
to the Indies or China. Cartier was stopped by the rapids in the St. 
LawTence River, and these rapids couijled with the tierce enmity of 
the Iroquois Indians who occupied the region south of the river, de- 
flected others who followed in his footsteps. The result was that the 
Great Lakes were not discovered by the plan of tracing them through 
the St. Lawrence and then exploring them in the order of their 
arrangement; rather, they were discovered by an entirely different 

Although season after season French fishermen came to the banks 
of New Foundland to fish, much as described in Pierre Loti's classic 
of the "Iceland Fishermen," yet it was two generations, sixty eight 
years after Cartier's trip up the St. Lawrence, before another great 
Frenchman, Champlain. came up the river in 1608, as far as Cartier 
had come, and like him, was stopped by the rapids. 

For thirty-two years this leader was busied in visiting France, 
planting and administering colonies, and making explorations or 
sending others to explore. The way up the Ottawa River seemed to 
be the easiest, and thus it came about that in the year 1615 Cham- 
plain, preceded ten days before by a priest. Jac le Caron, passed up 
the Ottawa through Lake Nipissing and Georgian Bay, and was the 
first except Le Caron to see Lake Huron on its northern and eastern 
sides. On his return overland he also discovered Lake Ontario. 
Nineteen years later, Champlain sent out Jean Nicolet, who went by 
way of the Ottawa route, across the northern i3art of Lake Huron 
and the straights of Mackinac, into Green Bay. thus making Michi- 
gan the third of the Great Lakes to be known. The progress of exact 
exploration was slow, and twenty-five years rolled by before any white 
man reported more, and then in 1659 Radisson and Grosselliers 
coasted the south shore of Lake Superior and wintered at or near its 
western end. These and others reported the finding of copper on 
Lake Superior, and the French Governor at Montreal sent out an 
American born youth of 21 years, Louis Joliet. in 1668. to find out 
more concerning these copper mines, just as Champlain had sent 
Nicolet thirty-four years before. It was on this expedition that, in- 
stead of returning by the Ottawa, Joliet coasting down the west shore 
of Lake Huron, to its south end. became the discoverer of Lake Erie, 
although because he did not follow it to its eastern end. he failed to 
become the discoverer of Niagara. It was therefore fifty-four years 
after the first lake was seen, and one hundred and fifty years after 
Cartier, before the continuity and relation of the lakes to each other 
was known and a water way to the interior of the continent disclosed 
other than by the toilsome journey up the Ottawa with its wearisome 

By this time the French fur traders had penetrated far into the 
wilderness, (Hudson's Bay had long been known and visited by both 
English and French ), some lived with the Indians for years at a time, 
and just who was the first to paddle up any stream, or who first saw 
any particular lake, we cannot know, but may only give our praise to 


those men of intelligence and purpose who recorded what they saw* 
There was now a clear appreciation of the fact that the lakes had 
limits and that the way to the East was not through them, but rumors 
heard by and reports made to the traders and missionaries, of a 
"great water"" beyond, excited the hope of the French that there might 
be an ocean not far away, or a river running into the Western Sea. 
To settle this question. Count Frontenac in 1()72 chose to send out 
Loiiis Joliet, now a man of 28 years, to visit and ascertain what this 
"great water" was. Joliet left Montreal in the fall of 1H72 and win- 
tered with a priest friend of his, Father Marquette, at Mackinac, 
where the two completed their plans to make the journey which made 
both famous. Thus it was that there set out from Mackinac on 
May 1, l<i73. two birch bark canoes with five men as assistants and 
guides, the expedition which first discovered the upper Mississippi 
valley. It is true that probably Radisson and Giosseilliers. fifteen 
years earlier, may have seen the Mississippi and the Missouri, but they 
made no intelligible report of what they found. This trip of Joliet 
and Marquette was only four months in duration, but it stands out 
as the most famous in the annals of American inland exploration. 
They passed up the Fox River of Wisconsin from Green Bay to the 
Wisconsin portage and down that river to the Mississippi, down the 
Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas and returned to Green Bay 
by way of the Illinois River, the Chicago portage and Lake Michi- 
gan. For the first time was the mystery of the "Great. Water" dis- 
pelled. The heart of the continent was known, a discovery second 
only to that of the continent itself. 

It was on this journey of Joliet and Marquette in September of 
1673 that the rock indicated by the title of this paper was first seen 
by white men. Its first claim upon our attention is that here in the 
valley opi)osite it was found that semi-permanent village, the largest 
and most important one of the tribe of Indians from which the state 
took its name. It was called by Marquette, Kaskaskia, and the name 
was transferred with the removal of the tribe, to the well knowm town 
of the same name on the Mississi^jpi, which later became the first 
capital of the state. 

The name "Starved Rock" is the present popular title of a rocky 
formation on the south side of the Illinois River, about eight miles 
west of the city of Ottawa. The region is so different from that 
crossed by most prairie streams that it is geologically interesting. 
Here the waters of the Illinois traverse, for a distance of about fifteen 
miles, outcropping St. Peter's sandstone. At some time in the ice 
age, when the glacial cap covered northern North America, and a 
huge glacier occupied the bed of Lake Michigan, its M'aters, as it 
melted and receded northward, found their way in a mighty stream 
down the valley of the Des Plaines and the Kankakee into the Illi- 
nois, swept across this sandstone uplift and eroded a valley a mile 
wide, and from forty to a hundred and forty feet deep. The floor of 
this valley is 100 feet lower than Lake Michigan, and it is possible in 
that remote age that there may have been a western Niagara at the 
end of the rocky uplift a couple of miles away. It M-ould be easy now 


to build a dam across the valley at this point and secure a waterfall 
at least seventy-tive feet high. 

The result of this erosion has been to produce side walls for several 
miles above and below Starved Rock as sharply defined as palisades, 
sometimes abutting on the river, sometimes half a mile inland. The 
rock itself is only a surviving escarpment detached from the main 
bluff, some hundreds of yards distant, but no higher than it. Many 
are the estimates of the height of the rock as given by those who first 
saw it. One account gives about 500 feet, as late as Blanchard's his- 
torical map of the state in IHHH, it is put down as being 250 feet high, 
the circular distributed by the present owners gives a hundred and 
forty-seven feet, while Parkman and others state that it is a hundred 
and twenty-five feet, which is probably sufficiently exact. The rock is 
fortunate in its setting for it does not stand up sheer and alone as I 
first pictured it in my mind, overlooking a level prairie, but it is sep- 
arated on the east by a deep tree-filled ravine from another escarp- 
ment almost equally high. Back and south of it and stretching up 
and dowQ the valley as far as the eye can reach, is a palisaded, forest- 
covered bluff. Thanks to the ruggedness of this bank, it has not been 
defaced by country roads, railroads or trolley lines, and the neighbor- 
hood still retains much of the unspoiled natural growth of the trees, 
shrubs, wild flowers and ferns, as fresh and primitive as when first 
seen in 1678 by Marquette and Joliet. Not the least of the delights 
of those who thread their way up and down this wooded river shore, 
is the discovery each one can make for himself in the absence of signs 
and well made paths, of the beautiful and romantic little canyons and 
gorges leading back into the very rocky heart of the palisades. Here 
you find, in minature, all the wonder work of water and stone which 
is revealed on so much larger a scale in the Yosemite or canyon of 
the Yellowstone. They are greater but no fuller of charm than these 
hidden, rocky walled inlets decorated with ferns and lichens with 
some lone cedar or pine standing high above your head on an inacces- 
sible, rocky ledge. This broad valley, extending for ten miles between 
the mouth of the Fox River on the north side and the mouth of the 
Vermilion on the south side had for unknown centuries been the 
favorite home and camping place of the primitive races. Sheltered 
on the north by a forest clad blutf 100 feet high, its warm and sandy 
floor, threaded by a noble stream, serving as a canoe water way with 
its ramifying head waters leading in many directions, it formed the 
most attractive assembling place in this region for the Indian. 
Mound-builder remains are found along the bluffs, while the whole 
valley bears evidence of being a burial place for many generations of 
a later time. As late as 1818 Gurdon S. Hubbard found here the 
largest village of Potawattomies he had ever seen. Thus, then, the 
rock may be considered the most striking monument to the Red race 
in the State of Illinois. 

It was here that Marquette determined to establish a missionary 
station and the next year after his trip with Joliet he set out from 
Green Bay to redeem a promise he had made to the Illinois tribe to 
return to them. His perilous journey, his lonely winter spent in a 
wretched cabin on the site of the present Chicago, his struggling 


forward in spite of his fast failing health, make a pathetic story of 
loyalty to ideals which can never be too often told, and the few brief 
weeks spent by him on this spot in liuo have an historic distinction 
of the highest value. Under a commission received from Quebec, he 
•established almost beneath the shadow of the rock, the "Mission of 
the Immaculate Conception,"' a mission which under other priests 
continued for twenty-live years, and was then removed for reasons we 
shall hear of later, to Kaskaskia on the Mississippi. The distinction 
remains, however, that on this spot was established the first organized 
effort to spread the religion of Christendom in the Mississippi Valley. 
The rock may then be considered as the monument to the first Mis- 
sionary in the great valley. 

No one can approach the rock, however, without being most im- 
pressed by its relation to LaSaile. His name, I fear, has become a 
vague legendary name to most, for I doubt if many can tell wh;it 
Ren6 Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle, did achieve. He did not 
■discover much especially new, he was not the pathfinder, but he was 
something more than this. It was he who appreciated the discoveries 
that had been made in the interior of the continent and formulated 
plans which make him stand out as the empire builder of his age. 
He conceived the idea of a great New France, which should control 
the valley of the St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi 
Valley. "He planned colonies to be guarded by a chain of forts reach- 
ing from Montreal to the mouth of the Mississippi, and while the ex- 
ecution of his plans was scarcely more than begun when his death 
came by assassination, at the age of 43. LaSalle's policy became the 
policy of the French kings, and the first feeble beginnings which he 
made were developed later into a series of sixty forts and colonies 
reaching from Quebec down into modern New York and Pennsylvan- 
ia, and including all of the east side of the valley to the mouth of the 
river. He formed plans, urged them upon others, raised his own 
funds, led the way, and saw beyond his own immediate time the great 
future which was in store for the occupiers of this region. Most of 
•the discoveries heretofore made were the result of the journeys of fur 
"trading adventurers or priests. The former hoped to acquire wealth 
rapidly in order to retire to the St. Lawrence settlements or to 
France, the latter sought with missionary zeal to civilize and christi- 
anize the native races. Several of the most important explorations 
were made by hired leaders of expeditions sent out by the govern- 
ment, as illustrated by Nicolet and Joliet who were dispatched to 
settle some disputed question of lake, river or mine. 

But LaSalle in his brief career of twenty years did many first 
•things. Inadvertently he gave the name to the rapids above Mont- 
real, for his countrymen called him a dreamer in his ambition to find 
his way to China through the west, and so called his establishment 
near the rapids in derision La China, whence the name Lachine was 
transferred to them. It was he who in 1669 or 1670 first explored the 
"Ohio River. It was he on the same trip who noted the roar of Niag- 
ara, but did not stop to find out whence it came until eight years 
later when on another expedition, his party first saw them, the honor 
■of describing and sketching them falling to Father Hennepin whom 


LaSalle had sent along with a group of men to find a way around the 
falls. In KniS LaSalle was the first to build and sail a boat on the 
Great Lakes. The "Cxriffin's'' one short lived trip from opposite 
modern Buttalo to Green Bay was the first ever made on these waters, 
and as such should be retold by all who hold in loving remembrance 
the memory of first things. LaSalle was the first to journey from 
Lake Michigan to the mouth of the Mississippi and back again, and 
he sent out the party which explored the upper Mississippi and dis- 
covered St. Anthony's Falls. He was the first to claim for a Euro- 
pean power the right of ownership by discovery, which he did at the 
mouth of the river, in 1682 with impressive ceremony and grand 
words. He was the first to give the name of Louisiana to a region 
vaster than he dreamed. Three times did he visit France to urge 
upon Louis XV. and his Minister, Colbert, the granting of lands, 
the giving of the rights of ownership and governmental authority, 
and privilege of founding colonies. 

The rock was first seen by LaSalle and his party in his trip down 
the Illinois in 1679 and 1680, when they wintered at Fort Crevecoeur 
near modern Peoria. This spot is often referred to at the first perm- 
anent location from which the flag of a civilized nation was flung to 
the winds in the Mississippi Valley, and the name is set down as of 
marked importance on many maps of the period. It cannot be re- 
garded, however, much more seriously than any temporary camp forti- 
fied against Indian attacks by a log stockade. It was not planned in 
advance, and between January 8, 1680, when the spot was reached, 
and March 1st, when LaSalle left it in charge of Tonty, whose men 
soon mutinied and abandoned it and him. there was an interval of 
occupation of about ten or twelve weeks only. It was never occupied 
again. LaSalle recognized its temporary character and on his way 
up stream surveyed the rock at whose base the river flowed. We do 
not know just where LaSalle reared the cross at the mouth of the 
Mississippi, the site of Crevecoeur has never been identified, but we 
do know that the only spot pressed by the foot of LaSalle in the Mis- 
sissippi Valley, of which we are sure, is the summit of this sandstone 
clitf. which he mounted in the month of March. 1680, and planned to 
locate here his first fort and colony in the Mississippi Valley. It was 
in December of the year 1682 after the successful trip to the mouth 
of the Mississippi and return that the actual fortification of the rock 
was begun and named "Fort St. Louis du Rocher." It was a strate- 
gic spot guarding the easiest travelled waterway between the lakes 
and the valley, whether the portage was made by the St. Joseph- 
Kankakee or the Chicago-DesPlaines route. This, I take it is the 
chief reason among so many, that this spot should be held in lasting 
rememberance by all the inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley. Here 
was first established a real settlement by white men. LaSalle was 
authorized by the king to start a colony here; a regular garrison was 
provided, Henri de Tonty placed in command and so continued for 
twenty years. It was intermittently occupied for eighteen years after 
that, so that for a generation this was a place of refuge where there 
was safety, comfort and rest. Under the protecting influence of the 
soldiers the friendly Indians assembled, assured of defense against 


their dreaded foe, the Iroquois. At one time LaSalle estimated that 
there were 20,000 encamped in the valley and on the bluffs. From 
this spot new explorations and expeditions were planned. The 
priests, themselves, sometimes had their home on the rock within the 
sheltering walls of the fort. Towards this place of refuge was LaSalle 
making his way. in 1687. from the disastrous attempt to plant a col- 
ony at the mouth of the river, but which was stranded on the Texas 
coast, when he was assassinated by some dissatisfied men in his party. 
Here the survivors finally arrived and spent the winter before going 
on to Montreal. Henry de Tonty, in command, was LaSalle's most 
trusted lieutenant, an Italian by birth, whose father's name was given 
to a popular form of life insurance, rendered most valuable service, 
and is held in reverent memory as the soldier with the iron hand and 
loyal heart — the first governor in the Illinois country. 

That this was not a permanent settlement was due in part, perhaps, 
to LaSalle's untimely death, and to causes connected with the Illinois 
Indians, who were compelled by the incessant forays made upon them 
by warring tribes to the north and east to migrate to a place on the 
Mississippi where the mission and name of Kaskaskiawas taken, and 
also to the fact that the French began to use other portage ways be- 
tween the lakes and the great river. 

Before and after the French occupation, the rock was often a bat- 
tle ground between the warring Indians. Tonty has described a 
skirmish between the Iroquois and the Illinois in which he nearly 
lost his life in 1682. The same Iroquois beseiged the rock while 
Tonty and his garrison were in charge. The Fox tribe drove to the 
top a branch of the Illinois tribe in 1722 and there beseiged them. 
Two generations later occurred the tragedy which has given the rock 
its unfortunate name. That a remnant of the Illinois tribe were 
driven to the top and besieged until all but about a half dozen who es- 
caped in canoes were either starved or killed, was the tradition told 
to the first English settlers of the state. This story was, and is, be- 
lieved to have some basis of fact and is the last echo of the destruc- 
tion of the tribe who gave the name to the river and the state, which 
is a fitting crown to its memories of Indian warfare. 

Another very different sort of distinction belongs to this neighbor- 
hood. We have become so used to coal and take it so for granted 
like air and water, that unless shocked into a realizing sense by a 
coal strike, that it is the mainspring of our daily lives, we seldom 
think of how great a debt we owe to it. Coal was not known to the 
ancient world, hence the dense population and great cities were in 
warm climates. Coal has moved the dense population of the world 
500 to 1.000 miles north. It is only about six centuries since it was 
commonly used in England. None had been found or used in the 
New World until its discovery near the rock by some of LaSalle's first 

It may have been seen first at the mouth of the Fox River near 
which on Thevenot's map of 1681 we find marked "Charbon de terre," 
the first map mention of coal; it may have been first picked up on 

—II H S 


top of Biitfalo Rock a little farther down the stream, or it may have 
been noticed in the eroded banks of the Vermilion River where it was 
exposed. In any event, the record is clear that the first mention we 
have of the finding of coal in the New World was in the neighborhood 
of the rock and the first mention of its use is in the forge placed 
within the stockade of "Fort St. Louis du Rocher." Whoever kindled 
the ilame which started the little column of smoke from the forge 
erected on the rock two hundred and twenty-three years ago, little 
understood that he was the forerunner, the first to use a force of 
greater value to the nation to be, than all its precious metals and for- 
ests combined and that he had stumbled upon the discovery of the 
northern boundary of a coal field greater than any in all the known 
world besides and second only in importance to the discovery of the 
valley itself. 

After the age of the French had passed, after the Indians had gone 
west of the Mississippi and the white man begun to occupy the state 
we still find many notable happenings occurring in sight of the rock. 
When on July 4th, 1838, John Dean Caton sat on the seat and 
cracked the whip over the four horses which drew the first stage on 
the newly started stage line between Chicago and St. Louis and 
piloted it to Ottawa, one end of that stage line stopped just beyond 
the rock at Peru where the steamboats on the Illinois which ran to 
St. Louis had their wharves. This valley was a natural highway long 
before the white man came. He took it and made it a stage way to 
the deeper waters of the river, and in the succeeding twenty-five 
years the rock looked down upon the great stream of permanent set- 
tlers who came, some of them by the lake route and Chicago, some 
by the river routes up stream, where the boats stopped and started 
near its base. In the years when there was a daily boat during the 
summer months from Peru to St. Louis and Frink & Walker's Stage 
Line ran six to eight four- horse stages from there to Chicago, the 
rock witnessed the critical and formative period of the settlement of 
the state in which time its population increased by half a million. 

The first mention of an artificial waterway from the lakes to the 
Mississippi was made by Joliet in 1673. It must have been noticed 
by nearly every man who passed that way and when the first wonder- 
ful engineering triumph of that day, the Illinois-Michigan canal, was 
completed in 1848 after twelve years of failure and success, since the 
canal ended almost at its base, the rock looked down upon this new 
mingling of the lake and valley waters as it must have looked down 
upon it centuries before. The rock has seen the age of stage develop- 
ment and the age of canal development and was also destined to be 
near the first important step in the railway stage of development. 
When that peculiar and first of the land-grant railroads, the Illinois 
Central, was conceived, its engineer started the northern end of the 
line about one mile away from the rock. Roswell B. Mason went 
from Chicago by packet boat on the canal to start his surveying and 
construction parties in sight of the old rock, and since that time it 
has looked down upon the ceaseless stream of human travel by rail, 
as it has witnessed it by the red man's canoe, his overland trail. th6 


explorer's boats, the pioneer's stage roads and the canal, the prede- 
cessor of the railway. 

These old roads have stories of their own to tell and we might with 
interest take a whole evening on them alone. A digression here may 
not be inopportmie. The first one which was used between Chicago 
and Ottawa may be considered as beginning at the corner of Madison 
Street and Odgen Avenue with its memories of Chicago's first stock 
yards. From there to Lyons it was almost a directly straight line, in- 
deed, Odgen Avenue itself is but a continuation of this old stage 
entrance to the city. From Lyons, the road ran straight away across 
the counties of Du Page, Will and Kendall with scarcely a crook or a 
cu^rve, via Plainfield, Plattville and Lisbon. The cheerful directness 
of this way indicates clearly its origin before the day of the surveyor 
when the driver followed whatever direction he chose on a treeless 
prairie. But while this was a little the shorter route, another became 
quite as popular and as it is the more picturesque of the two we will 
linger a little along the way. The two roads diverge at Lyons, Jthe 
second running in a westerly direction paralleling the Chicago, Bur- 
lington and Quincy Railroad as far as Naperville. Seventeen miles 
out we reach Fullersburg, one of the accustomed eating places whose 
two old hotels, fast falling into decay, cherish memories of Lincoln — 
and old inhabitants tell of a speech from the front porch of one — 
doubtless the only building near Chicago still having such a tale to 
tell. From Fullersburg to Downer's Grove and from there to Naper- 
ville, the road goes over a rolling country giving distant views of ten 
or twenty miles over a wide range of billowy prairie, and at intervals 
winds along through well jjreserved woodlands. So far we have come 
over a route also used by the Galena line of stages, but at Naperville 
we turn squarely to the southwest and with the same freedom from 
right angles displayed by the other route, go almost directly to Otta- 
wa with only slight divergences from a straight line. We come in 
sight of the Fox river at Oswego crossing a half mile earlier a spring- 
fed brook which keeps alive the memory of Waubansia — conspicuous 
as the white man's friend in the Fort Dearborn massacre and the 
Black Hawk War. As we follow along the forest clad river bank for 
several miles we note two or three miles away across the prairie some 
rounded wooded elevations. To those who know, these are interest- 
ing as keeping alive memories of two other Indians of early Chicago. 
These were the two reservations of Waishkeshaw and Mohaway. 
Waishkeshaw was a Pottawatomie Indian woman who was given a 
thousand acres of forest here in 1829. She sold it in 1885 to Joseph 
Laframboise, one of the fourteen tax payers in Chicago in 1825. A 
tract of forest adjoining was given to the widow of the Indian, Wolf, 
whose name was applied to the angle of land formed by the junction 
of the north and south branches of the Chicago river. "Ma-hwa-wa" 
was the Algonquin word for, wolf, so it is the Mohaway Reserva- 
tion. Somewhere in this general neighborhood occurred the incident 
told so pleasantly in Mrs. Kinzie's Waubun, when in 1881 she and her 
husband, journeying to Chicago, lost, half famished and chilled, were 


rescued by a squaw and her husband and kept over night in their 

Almost in sight as we turn away from the woods about Yorkville 
some miles away at the right, occured a battle between whites and 
their Indian allies on one side and the Fox tribe of Indians on the 
other which is comparable, and like in kind, to the Pequod War or 
the Great Swamp Fight in New England's Indian warfare history. 
Here, one thousand Foxes, warriors, women and children were be- 
sieged, starved and slaughtered to the number of 300 by an army of 
1,4C)0 French and Indians. This occured in 1730 and has all been 
told with great detail in "Lost Meramech and Earliest Chicago'" pub- 
lished two years ago by Mr. J. F. Steward. 

A little farther along the road we pass the houses of families whose 
lives were saved through the Paul Revere ride of Shabbona's messen- 
gers at the outbreak of the Black Hawk War. Thus we might go on, 
talking as we go of the story of Indian warfare or pioneer trials and 
adventure which almost every strip of woodland, hill, valley and 
stream has to tell. 

The rock had its first conspicuous mention in the writings of Park- 
man, where it is given much attention in his two volumes on LaSalle; 
it is necessarily commented on by every writer on early Illinois history 
from Breese to Parrish. who has chosen its picture as a frontispiece 
to his recently published volume "Historic Illinois." About ten 
years ago, Mr. E. G. Osman rendered a distinct service by publishing 
an admiral pamphlet giving in brief form the essential facts of the 
interesting incidents connected with the rock. Mrs. Catherwood in 
"Tonty" has woven a story about the life which once centered there. 
In spite of this growing literature, however, Starved Rock, which 
should be as well known as Jamestown or Plymouth, is still unappre- 
ciated by the people of the state and the nation. 

Other states are setting aside forested areas, making parks around 
old forts and battlefields, caring for historic buildings, through the 
initiative of patriotic and beauty loving citizens or societies, such as 
the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, the American 
Civic Association, the American Outdoor Art and Park Association 
and the several patriotic societies of both men and women. To such 
efforts do we owe New York's forest reservations in the Adirondacks 
and Catskills. the state park at Niagara Falls, and the Palisade Park 
on the Hudson opposite New York; Massachusett's reservations of 
Wachusetts. Grey lock and Mount Tom: Connecticut's preservation 
of the old camp grounds where the Northern Army of the Revolu- 
tion spent the winter of 1778-79: Pennsylvania's hundred thousand 
dollar expenditure on the site of Valley Forge: California's reservation 
of scenic marvels of cliff's, streams and forests: Minnesota's forest 
reserves near Mankato and interstate park, in conjunction with Wis- 
consin, of the Delles of the St. Croix. This is but a short enumera- 
tion of the movement in many cities and states to preserve from des- 
truction for future generations places which would otherwise be lost 
sight of or their beauty marred or destroyed. 


Is it too much to hope that a state which has a spot so beautiful 
and around which cluster so many memories of the race which gave 
it its name, of the j)athetically noble Marquette; of "one of the great- 
est men of his age" as the almost equally great Tonty called his chief, 
LaSalle, around which cluster so many memories of the first mission, 
of the first garrison and of the first colony, may some day, and soon, 
enshrine in a forest reservation of ten thousand acres, this rock so 
that it may become a place of pilgrimage in centuries yet to come for 
the childrens' children who shall crowd its fertile and responsive soil? 
A great city which is considering the preservation of the beauty spots 
near it might well reach out to this delightful place one hundred miles 
away, with which it is connected still by the old stage roads and the 
waterways, and help save this too from the vandal. 



IN 1880.1 

(By Dr. William Conkey.) 

At the earnest solicitation of my friend, Judge Cunningham, one of 
the promoters of this society, I consented to present a paper setting 
forth a few incidents of the trip (as I now remember them) of the im- 
migration of my father and his family from Massachusetts to Illinois 
in the year 1830. Some few years previous to that time a brother of 
my mother's from the adjoining town to our residence, against the 
wishes and entreaties of his friends, relatives and neighbors, started 
west to see if he could find a country presenting better facilities for 
a permanent home than he had among the hills and rocks of the East. 
He had a distant relative of his wife living in Vigo county, Indiana, 
and to that point they drifted; and after examining the country 
around there went west to the prairies of Illinois which presented 
such an inviting appearance to him that he at once decided to stop 
there and make it his future home, being near Paris, the county seat 
of Edgar county. The glowing descriptions he gave his old associates 
of the country he had found induced my father to join him in Illinois. 
My oldest brother having preceded the rest of the family a year or 
so before, and having purchased a forty-acre tract of land adjoining 
his uncle's for the use of the family on which to make a new start in 
life. Some time about the first of May, 1830. we bade goodbye, to the 
old homestead in Charlemont, Franklin county, Mass., and the old 
friends and neighbors, which to them seemed more like a funeral 
than a temporary separation, and started with such household goods, 
clothing, etc., as loaded two wagons and teams, hired for the purpose 
of conveying them to Troy,N. Y., a distance of about fifty miles, at 
which place we were joined by a brother and sister of my mother's 
with a span of horses and a light wagon which accompanied our fam- 
ily the entire trip. Remaining in Troy two or three days, we got 
passage on a canal boat for the entire family (save the uncle who 
drove his team to Butfalo), the family then being my father, mother, 
aunt, a sister aged 13 and myself, five in all. After a slow and tedious 
trip we joined my uncle and team again at Buffalo, a distance of about 
250 miles from Troy. 

This paper was read by the author at a meeting of the Champaign Historical Society. 


The trip while on the canal was a slow and tedious one. Not hav- 
ing any record of the time and after an absence of nearly seventy 
years, I will not attempt to say how long it took us. It was on this 
part of our journey that I first heard boys scientitically swear; it 
seemed that at every change of horses and drivers the new driver en- 
deavored to show us that he could do more hard swearing than any 
of our former ones, and I think if such a thing were possible our last 
one was entitled to the plum. 

On our arrival at Buffalo we had to wait two or three days before 
we were able to get passage to Perrysburg, situated on the lake at the 
mouth of the Maumee river, at or near where Toledo is now situated. 
Having succeeded in getting passage on a popular schooner com- 
manded by Captain Wilkinson, an old lake captain, we loaded our 
goods, horses and wagon on board, and with a few other men going 
west and with two additional ladies, took possession of the cabin, locat- 
ed in the "hole" of the craft and quite a cosy, neat apartment. 

When supper was announced a majority of the passengers asked to 
be excused from participating, the rolling of the boat having relieved 
them from all feeling of hunger, besides occu]Dying their time in 
attending to the duties required to keep their stomachs from getting 
in their mouths; but fortunately I had not yet taken the disease and 
was able to do justice to the good things we had for supper, awaiting 
my time until later. 

Sometime after midnight a heavy storm came up; the waters be- 
came very angry and occasionally a wave would wash over our boat 
so that the most of those who did not want any supper forgot their 
sickness and fully expected to go where sickness never comes. Before 
morning, and to clap the climax, a very strong gale of wind broke the 
mainmast of our craft and all below at the crash expected to find 
themselves at the bottom of the lake, but about this time the fury of 
the storm began to abate and with the smaller mast the sailors kept 
the boat in an upright position until daybreak when at about 10 or 
11 o'clock they landed at Dunkirk and rigged another mainmast so 
that by dark they were in condition to proceed, but waited until the 
latter part of the night before they left. 

Before starting from Buffalo they had erected a good strong fence 
or pen around our horses which were on top of the boat and fortun- 
ately when the mast broke it fell in such a direction as not to strike 
them. Well, when morning came and breakfast was ready, and the 
tenderfooted found they were alive, the most of them partook of such 
diet as they thought their stomachs would stand. Now in all serious- 
ness this was no pleasant trip, so far, and in after years the recol- 
lection of that night brought up memories in the minds of most of 
those present that were far from pleasant. 

The next night after leaving Dunkirk the lake again became very 
rough, accompanied by high winds that drove our boat and stranded 
it in shallow water near Long Point, which extends into the lake 
from the Canada side, and not to exceed one-fourth of a mile from the 
main land; and on getting up in the morning we found ourselves fast 
on the sand and all that could be done was to remain there until we 


could attract the attention of some passing boat for our relief by com. 
ing to our assistance and lightening our boat so it would again float- 
As soon as it became light enough our caj)tain had his flag of distress 
run up to the highest point of our mainmast, but, having by the wind 
been driven so far north and out of the usual track, we remained in 
our then present position for five days and nights before our distress 
signal was seen, when a passing schooner discovered it, came to our 
relief, and after taking on enough of our cargo to allow our boat to 
again float, we got into deeper water and reloading our freight again, 
proceeded on our voyage. 

Having been delayed there so long our provisions were getting 
short, but got a supply from our rescuer to relieve us until we landed 
at Cleveland without any suffering except food for our horses, which 
while stranded, had eaten all we had provided for them, and the Can- 
ada shore having no show of vegetation, we unj)acked several crates 
of Queens ware on board and fed them the dirty, musty straw which 
they ate with avidity and which kept them alive until we reached 
Cleveland. Before getting to the pier we sailed along close to the 
land for quite a distance where stock was grazing on the green grass, 
which our starved horses aboard discovered, and they became per- 
fectly frantic and so cross that the sailors passing them on deck 
dared not go near them. When we got to where we could take them 
off and to where they could get something to eat they soon got all 

Here we also took our wagon off the boat and my uncle drove them 
to Perrysburg, getting there a few days after the boat arrived, and 
where we waited until he joined us. Here we saw many Indians, and 
in fact hardly a day passed until we got to Logansport, Ind., that we 
did not encounter more or less of them. 

While awaiting the arrival of uncle with the team, at Perrysburg, 
we contracted to be conveyed by keel boat up the Maumee River to 
Ft. Wayne, Ind., a distance of about ninety miles on a straight line, 
but how far by that tortuous course of the river I don't know; it 
seemed a long way. Our crew was composec^ of a captain who steered 
the boat, and six men, three of which worked on each side of the 
boat and propelled the craft by long poles, the lower end of each pole 
covered with a sheath of iron drawn to a point, and by walking from 
stern to bow dragging the poles thus equipped, and then facing the 
stern of the boat, placing the lower end on the bottom of the river 
and the upper end against their shoulders, pushing the boat the 
length of it and getting up a speed to carry it along until they walked 
again to the bow and repeated their trip to stern as before stated, 
walking on a wide board with slats nailed across the top to prevent 
their slipping, and when the boat is loaded is but a few inches above 
the water. 

At Perrysburg we again put our wagon on board the boat and 
either uncle or father rode one of the horses and led the other: there 
was no wagon road the most of the way, only a trail traveled by the 
mail carrier on horseback and marked by cutting three notches in 
each side of a tree occasionally as a guide. After arriving at Fort 


Wayne (an old town from the appearance of the buildings, and i 
think a population not exceeding two or three hundred) we were com- 
pelled to remain there until our men folks went across a low flat tim- 
bered country some twelve or fifteen miles to the Wabash River to 
see what the chance was, if any, to get transportation down said 
stream to a point about seven miles above Terre Haute. 

They were gone three or four days and on their return reported 
that the only chance to get down said stream that they could find or 
hear about was to purchase a pirogue and float down. They accord- 
ingly found one made of a large poplar tree, about fifty feet in length, 
holding its size pretty well its entire length, the inside measure at 
the large end nearly three feet and the small end about twenty-eight 
inches. This they purchased, the party agreeing to have it at a cer- 
tain place where it could be reached by wagon from Ft. Wayne, and 

We then engaged a couple of wagons and teams to haul us to the 
river in a day, but owing to the condition of the roads and no wagons 
having passed over them since the fall before, trees had been blown 
down and across the track, some of which were where we could not 
get around, and consequently had to spend so much time in removing 
them that dark overtook us some four miles from the river. We con- 
sequently halted and after building a big fire interested the female 
portion of our party in preparing supper. We then changed the pos- 
ition of the load in one wagon so as to get a sleeping place for my 
mother and her sister, while my sister and I stowed ourselves awav: 
and there we all spent the first night of our lives in a wagon, while the 
older males of the party put in the time until morning keeping up the 
fire and spinning yarns, after having satisfied some six or eight Indi- 
ans who visited them (having been attracted by the fire) that we had 
no whiskey. 

The next morning after getting breakfast we struck out and found 
our boat, in which we proceeded to place our freight, having plenty 
of room for sleei^ing quarters. Here again we loaded on our boat our 
wagon, and, as on part of our voyage previously spoken of, one of the 
older ories travelled with the horses, saluting our craft occasionally 
through the day. and if convenient, staying with us at night. The 
weather was warm and comfortable and by this time (it being June) 
we leisurely floated along for several days without anything unusual 
occurring. Almost any one of us could steer our craft until one 
night when altogether and all asleep the moon having gone down and 
hardly a ripple on the water, our craft tipped to one side and before 
we could get it righted up was at least one- third full of Avater; and 
attracted by a noise on shore like the cracking of brush we were fully 
satisfied that someone had stepped upon the edge of our craft, as we 
always thought, for the purpose of purloining something, and having 
tipped our boat and at the same time awakened its occupants, left in 
a hurry; and on the next morning we found footsteps to and also 
going in the direction of the cracking heard the night before. After 
righting up our boat we went to work and dipped all the water out 


we could get, and where our clothes were wet replaced them by dry 
ones but we did no more sleeping that night. 

The next day was bright and warm and again we started on our 
journey, and as luck would have it, my uncle, who was with the 
horses, found another pirogue nearly as large as the first one, only 
about thirty-five feet long, which he bought, and when we got along 
he hailed us in good time to land, when they lashed the two boats 
together and made a very safe and commodious craft. The only thing 
missed from our boat was my mother's willow work basket in which 
she had her knitting and other work, which we found the next morn- 
ing in a drift about a mile below where it was tipped out the night 

The balance of our trip was free from any other mishaps worthy of 
note, drifting with the current by day and tying up at night, making 
stops only at towns occasionally to replenish our larder, until we 
arrived at Durkee's Ferry, seven miles above Terre Haute, where we 
found my oldest brother, who had come to meet us, and a representa- 
tive of the distant relative of my uncle and wife, spoken of in the fore 
part of this paper, tendering us the hospitality of their home until we 
could get moved to our destination, which invitation was thankfully 
received, and on the same day had our goods conveyed there and 
remained until everything was unpacked and such as had got wet 
from the tipping over of our craft, thoroughly dried. 

After a day or two my father and uncle with our own conveyance 
drove to the place of our destination, about fifteen miles west, where 
father procured a couple of yoke of oxen and a wagon and returned 
to where he had left us. After reloadiDg a portion of our goods he 
returned to where he had procured a log cabinn in the neighborhood, 
and in which we remained until he built a house on the land here- 
tofore spoken of. My father permitted me to accompany him with 
the first load. The first nine miles of the road was through timber 
when we struck the Grand Prairie as it was then called. The grass 
waving in the beautiful sunlight of June and all the wild flowers in- 
dignous to the prairies bowing their heads to the breeze, presented a 
sight that I thought the most beautiful I had ever beheld, the re- 
membrance of which, notwithstanding seventy years have passed 
and gone since then, is still as vivid to my mind, it seems, as the day 
when I first viewed the beauties of the grand old prairies of Illinois. 

This brings us to the end of our trip, a distance of 820 miles in 
straight lines as follows: from Charlemont to Troy, fifty; thence to 
Buffalo, 250; thence to Perrysburg, 240; thence to Ft. Wayne, ninety; 
thence to Durkee's Ferry. 180; thence to destination, fifteen; said 
computations being from points named derived from the scale' of 
miles marked on the map of each state traveled. Taking into account 
the tortuous course of the streams navigated, and land traveled, the 
distance was at least 1.000 miles. 



The animus of this paper is— 

First, to refute the time-worn tradition— repeated by as eminent an authority as Judge 
Breese— that the French soldiers, before surrendering Fort Chartres, in 1765, threw all its can- 
non, small arms and ammunition into the wells: and. 

Second, to set out in clearer light the true location and descripti of the real Fort Gage, 
in Kaskaskia. J. F. S. 


(By J. F. Snyder.) 

After the British abandoned Fort Chartres. in 1772, destruction of 
the splendid fortress, begun by the aggressive currents of the Miss- 
issippi, progressed rapidly. Hastened on by the ravages of surround- 
ing settlers, the process of ruin was far more speedy and complete 
than it could have been by the agency of natural forces alone. The 
surging waters of the mighty river that rose in the majesty of their 
power and for a brief time swept over the prairies of the bottom, 
had no sooner receded to their normal limits than the Fort was plun- 
dered of everything conveniently portable that the escaping British 
had failed to remove. And then commenced the carting away of its 
great exterior walls and interior buildings, constructed of finely cut 
stone, by people for miles around who resorted to it as a free quarry 
yielding a vast supply of ready building material; for in those days 
taking timber, or anything else, from land belonging to the public, or 
to the government, was not considered an infraction of either moral 
or civil law. And that code of ethics has not been entirely outgrown 
in the present age. 

From its evacuation by the English garrison, in 1772, to 1849, when 
the United States government offered the Fort Chartres reservation 
for private entry — a period of seventy-seven years — it was wholly un- 
occupied, and, spoliation of its architectural grandeur completed, the 
dismal ruins of the Fort, buried in as dense a vine, choked forest as 
were the remains of Uxmal and Palenque at that era, were well cal- 
culated to excite the imagination of the ignorant and superstitious 
with a variety of weird fancies. Itshistory forgotten, or never known, 
few of the bravest inhabitants of its vicinity could be induced for any 
consideration to approach that once impregnable seat of power after 
darkness had set in. For the strange lights said to be seen there in 
the night, and the hideous laughter and unearthly yells resounding 
through the dark woods, left no doubt that the place was haunted by 
as uncouth an array of hobgoblins as Tam O'Shanter saw in old Kirk 


In daylight, however, cupidity overcame ghostly fears. The secret 
leaked out by certain sages, who gained the information, they said, 
from the remnant of Indians who were the last to leave that region, 
that the French officers of the Fort, just before their final desperate 
engagement with the English, in which they were all either killed or 
fatally woinided, seeing their defeat and extermination inevitable, had 
buried within the walls a vast amount of silver plate and gold and 
silver coin. For years that mythical treasure was eagerly sought by 
the credulous, who stealthily did extensive digging in all parts of the 
area formerly enclosed by the walls. 

Another secret that has survived to the present day whispered in 
confidence to a later generation, was to the effect that just before the 
precipitate flight of the French soldiers from the Fort when suddenly 
over- whelmed by the British hosts, to cheat the victors of the spoils, 
they threw into the wells all the armament, munitions and ordnance 
stores of the Fort that they could not take away with them. Only 
two years ago an enterprising correspondent writing from the town of 
Red Bud in Randolph county to a St. Louis Sunday newspaper con- 
cerning Fort Chartres. after detailing the stratagem employed by Col- 
onel George Rogers Clark to capture the Fort, by marching his few 
men, in full view of it, around and around a point of the bluff, chang- 
ing each time their clothing and flags, in order to give the besieged 
French the impressiom of a much larger force than he actually had — 
the trick that Colonel Clark really did play in his capture of Fort 
Sackville, at Vincennes in February, 1779, — reiterated the old tradi- 
tion that before their surrender the despairing garrison threw all the 
cannon and arms of the Fort into the wells, that they would not fall 
into the hands of their captors. He further gravely stated that a stock 
company was then being organized in Red Bud to recover from the 
old wells at Fort Chartres "sixteen bronze cannon, a thousand muskets 
and other small arms, together with a large quantity of cannon balls 
and grape shot known to be there." 

That old story of the Fort Chartres guns thrown into the wells has 
often been repeated, and accepted without question as true by people 
profoundly ignorant of Illinois history. But that it was believed by 
a scholar so well and deeply versed in the early history of our State 
as was Judge Sidney Breese is truly surprising. He had prepared 
with laborious study and care an address to be delivered at Kaskaskia 
on the Fourth of July, 1878, at the celebration of the centennial an- 
niversary of the capture of that town by Col. (leorge Rogers Clark, 
but when on his way there died very suddenly at Pinckneyville, on 
the Twenty-seventh of June, seven days before the contemplated cele- 
bration. His executors having expanded that address into a volume 
in 1884, published it, entitled, "Early History of Illinois, by Sidney 
Breese." Telling of his visit to Fort Chartres, on page 224 of that 
volume, the distinguished author says: "As I stood, more than a 
quarter of a century ago, upon the ruins of its ponderous masonry, 
and looked upon its mouldering heaps; the tall cotton wood growing 
upon the smooth parade; the chiseled stones fallen from their ancient 


placeg; the cannon from their carriages and deposited in the wells; 
the cellar vaults once redolent of the wine cask, then filled with briars, 
reptiles and the accumnlated rubbish of years, and etc."" 

Major Amos Stoddard, who took possession of Louisiana for the 
United States after the treaty for its cession by France, in March, 
1804, visited Fort Chartres in the summer of that year, and describ- 
ing it in his "Historical Sketches of Louisiana,'" published in 1812, 
mentions having seen there "two deep wells very little injured by 
time."' His qualifying adjective "deejD'" was doubtless only relative, 
for no well in that locality could have been very deep, perhaps not 
exceeding twenty-five feet. The elevation of the alluvial soil upon 
which Fort Chartres was built was scarcely thirty feet above the 
ordinary low water stage of the Mississippi river near by, and between 
the fort and the blutfs, little more than a mile distant, was a lake, or 
large slough; consequently, the excavating of deep wells there, with 
appliances then at hand, was not practicable, because of liability of 
that porous, loamy earth to cave in and bury the well-diggers, and 
also because of the rapid influx of water by percolation from the ad- 
jacent river and slough. Had the French garrison done so foolish an 
act as to deposit in their wells any number of cannon, small arms and 
other munitions, those deposits would assumedly soon have been dis- 
covered and taken out by the English soldiers, who succeeded them 
and remained there for almost seven years, constantly drawing their 
supply of water from those two wells. 

As is well known, Fort Chartres was for many years the depot for 
arms, munitions, and army supplies of all kinds, as well as the seat of 
military and civil government for all that part of the French possessions 
in North America between Canada and Louisiana. At the time the 
treaty of peace between France and England was patched up and 
signed at Aix-la-Chapelle. in 1748, the original Fort Chartres was al- 
most deserted, and apparently forgotten by the French court. Its 
wooden stockade and enclosed buildings were dilapidated and rotting 
down : its arms and military stores dissipated, and its garrison of less 
than one full company of unpaid, demoralized soldiers bidding defi- 
ance to all restraint and discipline. Then the besotted French king 
was awakened to the value of his possessions on the Mississippi and 
set about to effect their preservation. In 1750 he appointed Chevalier 
Makarty, a major of engineers, commandant of the Illinois, and sent 
him there with several companies of well drilled grenadiers, a large 
retinue of skilled workmen, a vast quantity of munitions and military 
stores, and amj^le funds to build a new fort of solid stone masonry 
half a league above the old structure. The administration of Major 
Makarty, from 17r)0 to 1761 marks the golden age of Fort Chartres 
and period of its greatest activity and military importance-. Its gar- 
rison perhaps never at any one time numbered a thousand men, and 
its fixed ordnance exceeded but little a dozen guns, small and large. 
Its great value lay in its power to maintain order in the wilder- 
ness, and its protection of weak colonies by deterring Indian hostili- 
ties, and also its availability for the collection and distribution of 
soldiers, munitions and commissary supplies. 


The permanent armament it maintained, the quantity and variety 
of stores it received, and to whom and how the same were issued, can- 
not be known until the ancient records of the Department of the 
Marine at Paris are searched and made public. Now, only an ap- 
j)roximation of their extent can be gained by the dim light of con- 
temporaneous history. 

Peace between France and England was of brief duration. The 
seven years war commenced in 1754, practically resulting in the over- 
throw of French dominion in America by the English victory on the 
plains of Abraham, September Di, 1759, and terminating by cession 
of all the American possessions of France east of the MississiiDpi to 
England by treaty in 1763. 

Remote itself from the theatre of hostilities in the East, heavy 
requisitions were made upon Fort Chartres from the seat of war 
throughout that wretched struggle for not only soldiers, but arms, 
ammunition and provisions, to which it responded to the point of 
almost complete exhaustion, retaining only what barely sufficed for 
maintaining the post and insuring tranquility and protection of its 
surrounding country. In May, 1754, Captain Neyon de Yilliers left 
Fort Chartres with a hundred picked men, by boat for FortduQuesue 
where he joined an expedition that marched into Pennsylvania and 
attacked George Washington and his loyal Virginia militia in Fort 
Necessity, which he (Washington) surrendered to the French on the 
fourth of July. Following Braddock's defeat in 1755, the Comman- 
dant at Fort du Quesne, whose communication with Canada was 
interrupted by the British, wrote to Major Makarty "We are in sad 
need of provisions. I send to you for flour and pork." Again Cap- 
tain de Villiers with his company as escort of a flat boat loaded with 
18,000 pounds of provisions, went down the' Mississippi and up the 
Ohio to Fort du Quesne. Scarcely resting from the fatigue of his 
voyage de Villiers marched with his men across the Alleghanies and 
burned Fort Granville, an English post. 

From Fort Chartres garrisons were maintained at Cahokia and the 
fort on the hill east of Kaskaskia, and its troops performed police 
duty among the Indians as far east as Vincennes. About the first of 
May, 1757, the Commandant of Fort Chartres sent one of his captains, 
Charles Phillipe Aubry, with one hundred and fifty soldiers, one hun- 
dred Indian allies and three cannon to meet an English force reported 
to be advancing down the Tennessee river to attack the Illinois. 
Aubry marched from Kaskaskia to the mouth of Massac creek, and 
there crossing the Ohio penetrated the wilds of Tennessee for a hun- 
dred leagues, failing to hear anything of the rumored enemy. He 
then returned to the Ohio, and on its north bank, a mile west of the 
creek where he had first crossed the river, founded a fort that he 
named Fort Ascension.* Leaving his men there he returned to Fort 
Chartres to report what he had done; and the next year, 1758, was 
ordered by Major Makarty to proceed with four hundred men and a 
quantity of arms and supjalies, to reinforce Fort du Quesne and 
arrived there on the thirteenth of September. The next morning he 
sallied out with his men and defeated Major James Grant and his 

* Illinois Historical Collections, Springfield, 1903. Vol. 1, p. 168. 


regiment of Sixty-second Highlanders, taking the wounded major 
prisoner and wounding and killing three hundred of his highlanders. 
The next year, 1759, again by orders of Mcijor Makarty, Aubry with 
three hundred soldiers and 200,000 ( ?) pounds of flour.* left Fort 
Chartres with a fleet of flat boats and canoes, going down the Missis- 
sippi, lip the Ohio and up the Wabash to the Miamis portage, thence 
down the Maumee to Lake Erie, gathering on his way a force of six 
hundred Indians, to assist in raising the siege of Fort Niagara. In 
that heroic effort he failed, and, wounded, was captured by Sir 
William Johnson. 

On receiving information of that disastrous campaign Major 
Makarty, writing to the Governor General, said: "At Fort Niagara I 
lost the flower of my army. My garrison is now weaker than ever." 
In fact, he lost nearly the whole of it there. However, in the year 
before, 1758, the French had met a far more serious calamity in the fall 
and abandonment of Fort du Quesne. Forced to retire, on the twenty- 
fifth of November, before an advancing column of 7,000 British (Vir- 
ginia and Pennsylvania loyalists) commanded by General Forbes, the 
French blew up the fortifications, threw their cannon in the river and 
burned the buildings and everything movable that they could not 
take away. Then dispersing, the larger number went up the Alle- 
ghany river to Fort Machault on the line of travel to Canada, a part 
of them made their way to Fort Niagara and the remainder floated 
down the Ohio river stopping at Aubry's Fort Ascension, which they 
immediately began to enlarge and strengthen, and changed its name 
to Fort Massiac" in honor of M. de Massiac, the French Minister of 
Marine and Colonies at that time.f That post, since known as Fort 
Massac, was the last fort built by the French in America, It at once 
became a charge upon Fort Chartres, sending its requisitions to Major 
Makarty for arms, ammunition, provisions and all other needed supplies. 
As late as April 12, 1760, Makarty, referring to the menancing opera- 
tions of the British at Pittsburg, said: "I have caused Fort Massiac 
to be terraced, fraized and fortified, piece upon piece, with a strong 
ditch." He sent it more cannon until, at the surrender in 1763, it had 
eight guns mounted. In 1759 he sent to Fort Massac a lot of Chaounon 
(Shawnee) Indians, well stocked with provisions for the season, he 
said, that there "they will be more useful and less dangerous" than at 
Fort Chartres. 

. Restoration of peace between France and England by treaty signed 
on the tenth of February, 1763, found Fort Chartres commanded by 
Captain Neyon de Villiers and garrisoned by one company of fusileers. 
In 1761 the veteran Commandant Makarty had seen, with pride, the 
completion of the splendid stone fortress — the faithful execution of 
the great work he was sent to the Illinois to accomplish. But wearied 
by the ten years of incessant labors of construction and administra- 
tive cares of the Fort, and deeply dejected and humiliated by the 
increasing reverses of the French forces, which he saw must inevit- 
ably soon result in loss of all the possessions of France in America, 
by his own request he was recalled, and returned to France. 

*Ibid, p. 165. " 

} Illinois Historical Collections , Vol. 1, p. 165. 


Captain de Villiers did not remain long at his cheerless post. On 
the different fields of battle in the Seven Years' war, through which 
he had taken an active part, his six brothers were slain. Heart-broken 
and mortified by the craven king's cession of all French jjossessions 
east of the Mississippi, and unwilling to await arrival of the trium- 
phant enemy, he left the Fort, with his men carrying their arms and 
colors, and descended the great river to New Orleans. For two years 
the practically deserted Fort was guarded by Pontiac, who kept the 
British at bay. frustrating their several attempts to gain possession of 
it. Then the old former Commandant. Louis St. Auge de Belle Rive, 
came to the Fort from Vincennes with forty soldiers, and assumed 
command until he could formally surrender it to the victors, which he 
did on the tenth of October, 17()5; but not until he had convinced 
Pontiac of the utter futility of prolonging the hopeless struggle, and 
that great Chief had sullenly retired across the Mississippi to St. 

No history, or published account, of Fort Chartres I have yet seen 
states the number and kind of its stationery artillery armament. 
Captain Philip Pitman, of the Royal Engineers, in his tour of inspec- 
tion of the captured French- ports, visited Fort Chartres in ITHo. and 
S;ent to his government a full description of it, but said not a word 
about its cannon. The "Minutes of the surrender of Fort Chartres, 
by St. Ange de Belle Rive, to Captain Sir Thomas Stirling appointed 
to receive it by M de Gage, Governor of New York and Commander 
of his Britanic Majesty's troops in North America," describe in detail 
the surrendered Fort, even to the iron hinges on its doors, but make 
no mention whatever of its armament. The explanation of that omis- 
sion in the articles of capitulation is that the Fort had been drained 
of its supplies before the contest collapsed; its munitions and stores 
were long since exhausted, and it contained nothing but its few can- 
non and the arms and personal- effects of St. Ange and his forty men, 
which St. Ange claimed, "by the rules of civilized warfare," he was 
entitled to retain.- 

The English officer r^^adily conceded to the French commander and 
his men the privilege of marching out with their arms and personal 
property, but insisted that, by the treaty of cession, the artillery of 
all the forts, being stationery fixtures, or parts of said fortifications, 
must be surrendered also. St. Ange submitted, under protest, pend- 
ing decision of the question by the Governor of Louisiana, to whom 
they agreed to refer it. That functionary sustained the claim of St. 
Ange. but consented to leave the guns of the Fort temporarily in pos- 
session of the English garrison, with a proviso for their restoration 
(to the French) if his view was approved by the Treaty Commission- 
ers of the two powers. No record of the decision of that disputed 
claim by a higher tribunal can be found, and succeeding events 
render the further discussion of the matter exceedingly improbable. 

After sifting all the meagre data now attainable, it seems reason- 
ably certain that the entire armament remaining at Fort Chartres at 
the time of its surrender did not exceed six heavy guns (carrying nine 
or twelve-pound balls), two, perhaps three, four-pounders, and ten or 
twelve swivel guns (of one and two ir;ch calibre), all made of iron. 


And here it may be remarked, in parenthesis, that Captain J. H. 
Burnham, whose business interests require his frequent visits to 
Prairie du Kocher, informed the writer that certain residents of that 
locality claim they have in their possession cannon balls, grape shot 
and fragments of bomb-shells found in, or near, the site of the old 
Fort. That balls and grape shot should occasionally have been lost 
there; or by target practice become buried in the soil, is not surprising; 
but explanation of the presence of bursted shells there is not so clear. 
Fort Chartres vras never besieged or attacked, and, as far as known, 
never contained a mortar for throwing shells, the then only method 
employed for tiring that class of projectiles, the rifled cannon not yet 
having been invented. And though the learned and charming his- 
torian of Fort Chartres, Mr. E. G. Mason, has said, "For, as it (the 
old powder magazine) is to-day, it has seen them all as they went to 
and fro before it, or examined its store of shot and shell, etc.," much 
more evidence than that now accessible must be produced to establish 
the fact that explosive shells ever formed part of the old Fort's 
armament, or were in military use there at that early day. The British 
occupied Fort Chartres from the tenth of October, 1765 until forced 
to leave it, about the first of June, 1772, by an extraordinary overflow 
of the Mississippi that inundated some portions of the American 
bottom to the depth of seven feet. Changing their quarters to Kas- 
kaskia they there took possession of the old stone building the Jesuits 
erected and occupied until their expulsion and the conliscationof their 
property, in 176H. Being public property, transferred to England 
with all that part of French Louisiana, Captain Hugh Lord, at that 
time "Commandant of the Illinois," by order of his commander-in- 
chief. General Thomas Gage, enclosed it with high pickets, flanked 
by two block houses, and styled the structure "Fort Gage" as a com- 
pliment to the commanding General of British forces in America. 
The old fort on the hill east of Kaskaskia. erroneously called by some 
Fort Gage, was then a ruin, having been destroyed by the citizens of 
Kaskaskia in 1766. 

When Captain Lord and his men hastily left Fort Chartres, in the 
summer of 1772. as the angry waters of the great river were advancing 
upon them, they left there the six large guns, and removed to their 
new "fort" only the four pounders and swivels. Six years later, July 
4, 1778, Colonel George Rogers Clark suddenly came into Kaskaskia 
by night, with his 117 "Long Knives," and captured that fort then 
commanded for the English by the renegade Frenchman. Phillip 
Francois de Rastel, Chevalier de Rocheblave. On the fifth of the 
next February, 1779, Colonel Clark left Kaskaskia with 170 men to 
attack the British at Vincennes. In aid of his overland expedition 
he despatched a large armed boat with forty-six men, by way of the 
Mississippi, Ohio and Wabash river, to meet him at a designated 
point a few miles below Vincennes. The two four pounders and 
several swivels mounted on that boat were "borrowed" by him from 
Fort Gage, and bore the stami^ of the royal escutcheon of France. In 
his letter to Hon. George Mason, Colonel Clark said; 

—15 H S 


"I had a Large Boat prepared and Rigged, mounting two four pounders 
(and) four large Swivels Manned with a fine Comp commanded by Lieut. 
Rogers. She set out in the evening of the 4th of Jan'y. with orders to force 
her way if possible within ten Leagues of St. Vincents and lay until further 
orders. This Vessel when compleat was mxich admired by the inhabitants 
as no such thing had been seen in the Country before.'"* 

Colonel Clark having successfully executed his famous strategem 
before Fort Sackville, and received its surrender, with that of '"St. 
Vincents." returned to Kaskaskia with his improvised gunboat and at 
once replaced in Fort Gage its artillery which he had borrowed. This 
is learned from a letter written a few weeks later,, June 27, 1779, by 
Major Arent Schuyler De Peyster, British commander at Michili- 
makinac, to Colonel Frederick Haldimand, the English (iovernor 
Greneral of Canada, in which he says — to show the weak and defense- 
less condition of the territory recently conquered by Colonel Clark, 
"The Kaskaskia is in no way fortified. The fort being still a sorry 
picked (picketed) enclosure around the Jesuite College, with two 
plank houses at opposite angles and mount two four-pounders, each 
on the ground floor, and a few swivels mounted in pigeon houses. ''t 

Here ends all positive knowledge of this part of Fort Chartres' 

After taking possession of Fort Gage, in the night of July 4, 1778, 
Colonel Clark placed it in command of Colonel John Montgomery§ 
with a small garrison, who held it as a military post until the summer 
of 1780, when, by order of Thomas Jefferson, then Governor of Vir- 
ginia, and upon the advice and recommendation of Colonel Clark, a 
fort was built, named Fort Jefferson, at the Iron Banks, on the 
eastern side of the Mississippi five miles below the mouth of the Ohio 
river. And to that fort were removed the garrison of Fort Gage, in- 
cluding the Fort Chartres four-pounders and swivels. The next year, 
1781, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians, on whose land Fort Jeffer- 
son was built without their permission, led by a Scotchman named 
Colbert, attacked it in large force, the fort's garrison then numbering 
but thirty men, half of whom were sick with fever and ague, and all 
on the verge of starvation. "When the Indians had advanced in very 
close order. Captain George Owens, who commanded one of the block 
houses, had the swivels loaded with rifle and musket balls and tired 
them in the crowd. The consequent carnage was excessive and dis 
persed the enemy.''** 

There is no documentary evidence to prove the identity of those 
swivels that did such fine execution; yet there is very little doubt that 
they were of the number brought by Captain Lord from Fort Chartres 
and "mounted in Pigeon houses" at Fort Gage. They are heard of 
no more after that engagement. The old Jesuit building converted 
into Fort Gage by the English in 1772. was probably never again 
tenanted after its abandonment by Colonel Clark's men in 1780, and 
gradually fell into ruin. Edmund Flagg, who visited Kaskaskia in 

*Clark's Campaign in the Illinois. Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati, 1869, p. 64. 

MUinots Historical Collections, Springfield, Ills.. 1903. Vol.1, p. 463. 

S' He is described as a jovial Irishman whom Clark fell in with at the Falls of the Ohio, on 
his way down the river, and who readily joined the perilous adventure from pure love of 
fiKhting." John Todd's Record Book, bv E. G. Mason, Fergus Co., Chicago, 1881, p. 64. 

*''ii\it\Qr's history of Kentucky, Louisville, Kv., 1834, p. 119. 


1886, said: ''A little more than half a century after (the town's) 
origin ***** a monastery and Jesuit College was in suc- 
cessful operation, the ruins of the edifice remaining extant even at 
the present day."* 

In a pai^er read before the Chicago Historical Society on December 
12. ]879,t Mr. E. G. Mason said to Kaskaskia visitors of that period: 
"The site of the house of the French Conmiandant. which was after- 
wards the first State house of Illinois, will be pointed out to you, and 
the place where stood the nunnery, and such land-marks as the 
corner-stone of the property of the Jesuits, confiscated by the French 
Crown, etc," unawares himself that in viewing that corner-stone of 
the confiscated Jesuit property, he was looking upon the last remain- 
ing vestige of Fort (rage, the seat of English power in the Illinois. 

It matters little now that n® monument was placed to mark that 
corner-stone; for, with other historic land- marks in old Kaskaskia, it 
has doubtless been swept away forever by the resistless waters of the 

The six large guns left at Fort Chartres by the British in 1722 were 
fixed on their carriages, and only required teams attached to them to 
be easily removed over the level prairie road to Kaskaskia, sixteen 
miles distant. Yet, during the six years the English were supreme 
at their Fort Gage in the old town, those guns remained undisturbed 
loyally guarding the deserted fortress. 

The victory of Colonel Clark at Kaskaskia in 1778 was followed 
later in that year by an Act of the Virginia legislature organizing the 
Northwestern Territory into "a county of that state designated the 
"County of Illinois." of which Colonel John Todd was appointed civil 
commandant. The termination of the Revolutionary war, in 1783, re 
suiting in establishing independence of the colonies; Virginia, the 
next year, 1784, transferred her county of Illinois to the new-born 
ReiDublic. Then began to pour into the American bottom, and on its 
adjoining hills and prairies, the sturdy soldiers of Colonel Clark's 
army, with their families and kinsmen from the Southern states, in 
quest of new homes in the fertile and beautiful country they had 
wrested from the English. 

Then to, the tran(|uil solitude of old Fort Chartres was rudely 
broken. It was public property and a great heap of finely cut and 
dressed stone ready at the settler's hands for "underpinning" barns 
and cabins and building chimneys and out-houses. The majestic 
guns were handled out in the open area of the fort and unceremoni- 
ously thrown from their carriages into the dirt, and the carriages con- 
verted into ox carts or wagons for hauling away the walls and 

John Reynolds, then a rugged lad of twelve years of age, arrived at 
Kaskaskia in the year 1800. having driven one of his father's two teams 
all the way from Knoxville, Tenn. Two or three years later he visited 
the ruins of Fort Chartres, and. in 1855, published this account of 
what he saw there: "When I first saw Fort Chartres, more than 
fifty years ago, it presented the most singular and striking contrast 

*The Far West, by Edmund Flagg. Harper & Bros., 18.38. Vol. II. p. 1.56. 
\ Kaskaskia and its Parish Records, by E. G. Mason, Chicago, 1881. p. 22. 


between a savage wilderness, filled with wild beasts and reptiles, and 
the remains of one of the largest and strongest fortifications on the 
continent. Large trees were growing in the houses which once con- 
tained the elegant and accomplished French officers and soldiers. 
Cannon, snakes and bats were sleeping together in peace in and around 
this port."* (Almost a fulfillment of the sublime millennium pro- 
phecy of the lion and the lamb lying together in peace.) 

H. M. Brackenridge, judge of the U. S. District Court of Louisiana 
saw Fort Chartres in 1831, of which he says, in his valuable book of 
western travels, published in 1817, "Fort de Chartres is a noble ruin, 
and is visited by strangers as a great curiosity. I was one of a party 
of ladies and gentlemen who ascended to it in a barge from St. Gen- 
evieve, nine miles below. The outward wail, barracks and magazine 
are still standing. There are a number of cannon lying half buried 
with their trunions broken off. In visiting the various parts, we 
started a flock of wild turkeys which had concealed themselves in this 
hiding place." No other writer mentions such mutilation of the can- 
non, and their subsequent use plainly indicates that Judge Bracken- 
ridge must have been mistaken upon that point. 

In the summer of the same year, 1811, another party from St. Gen- 
evieve visited the stately ruins, as narrated by General Firmin A. 
Rosier, as follows: 

"Fort Chartres in June, 1811. f 

During this month and year, a party from St. Genevieve, consisting of Gov- 
ernor Henry Dodge and family. Judge Otto Shrader and lady. Captain Melane 
and wife. Dr. Lewis F. Lynn, with several young men, visited Fort Chartres, 
Illinois, for the purpose of securing a piece of ordnance from this old fort, 
with which to celebrate the approaching Fourth of July of 1811. The party, 
early one morning, embarked on a keel boat manned by several negro men. 
Poles and sweeps (long oars) were used to propel the boat. Owing to the 
velocity and force of the current, the boat's progress was necessarily slow and 
laborious, but the fort was finally reached, and on disembarking all the party 
partook of a sumptuous lunch. 

The cannon was soon selected from the crumbling debris of the Fort, biit 
the task of transporting it to the boat was no light one, owing to the want 
of levers and hoisting appliances. It was of iron, nine feet in length and 
very heavy; but perseverance and hard work finally accomplished its transfer 
to the keel boat, after which the party cast loose in the evening, and floated 
back to St. Genevieve, without accident or adventure. The sky was cloud- 
less, the full moon shown brightly over the turbid waters of the Mississippi, 
and the whole party were full of life and spirit over their prize, and the an- 
ticipated part it was to play on the great National day. 

The boat was met loy the people of St. (ienevieve, who were delighted at 
securing the cannon, assisting to unload, mount and prepare it for the coming 
event, which was in due time celebrated with great pomp and zeal the old 
cannon adding the thunders of its throat to the eloquence of its orators and 
applause of the spectators. 

Subsequently, in the year 1840, another Foiu-th of July was celebrated, and 
the old Fort Chartres cannon again called upon to lend its aid in the glorious 
cause. It was fired several times, until at last it bursted, and injui-ed several 
persons, among whom was the late Judge Jesse B. Robbins. His injuries 
were very serious, and gave him much trouble the remainder of his life." 

♦Reynolds' Life and Times. First edition. Belleville. Ills.. 1855, p. 44. 

\Hision of the Earlv Settlements of the A/ississippi Valley . By Firmin A. Rosier, St. Louis, 
1890. pp. 322-323. 


The General makes no mention in this account of having seen any 
of the cannon at the old Fort with their trnnions broken oflF, and 
the one taken to St. Genevieve must have been particularly sound in 
all respects to have done active service in twenty-nine of the anniver- 
saries of the Fourth of July as they were then celebrated. 

On June 19, 1812. the United States Congress declared war against 
Great Britain. The remotely interior portions of Illinois Territory 
placed it beyond the probable range of impending hostilities with 
England; but it was exposed to incvirsionsof several tribes of savages 
in the interest and pay of the English, and easily instigated by them 
to plunder and murder the western settlers. 

Vigorous measures were immediately taken by Ninian Edwards, 
the Territorial Governor, for protection of the endangered frontier 
settlements. He put in the field several companies of mounted mili- 
tia, or "Rangers," to patrol the Indian infested border, and proceeded 
to construct a fortified camp a mile and a half northwest of the pres- 
ent city of Edwardsville, in Madison county, then beyond the north- 
ern limits of Illinois settlements, which, in time, became knows as 
"Fort" Russell, in honor of Colonel Wm. Russell, of Kentucky, com- 
mander of the western army of defense. 

Governor Edwards then resided in Elvirade — so named by him as a 
compliment to his wife, Elvira — an extensive farm in the American 
Bottom four miles south of Prairie du Rocher, and five miles south- 
east of Fort Chartres. He was a very able man of brilliant and ver- 
satile mental power, undoubted courage, and with education and ac- 
complishments far in advance of his times and surroundings. Reared 
in the school of Colonial courtly refinement, he presented all the 
manners and usages of the old-time gentleman even to the wearing of 
old lace, and ruffled shirt fronts and wristbands. Assuming command 
of the Territorial forces he established his headquarters at Camp Rus- 
sell which he converted into a mimic fortress adorned with all the 
pomp and panoply of grim-visaged war. Early in the year before 
the stockade of Camp Russell was completed, the Governor took his 
own ox teams and negro drivers — his own slaves — from Elvirade over 
to the ruins of old Fort Chartres, and there personally superintended 
the raising of the half-buried five old cannon, and loading them on 
the wagons, which were then hauled to Camp Russell, a distance of 
seventy-five miles, and there mounted in a defensive position, much 
to the amusement of the Whitesides, Jake Short, Jim Moore, Sam 
Judy and other bushrangers, who had not yet learned to fight Indians 
with artillery. 

John Reynolds — in 1812 a volunteer in Sam Judy's company of 
Rangers — says: *'Tn the forepart of the year 1812 several compa- 
nies were organized and ranged over the country as far as Vincennes; 
and in the commencement of the year Governor Edwards established 
Fort Russell, n few miles northwest of the present town of Edwards- 
ville. He made this frontier post his headquarters, and fortified it in 
such manner as to secure the military stores and munitions of war. 
The fort was not only the appui of military operations, but was also 
the resort of the talent and fashion of the country. 

*Li/e and Times. First edition, t8')5, pp. 129-130. 


The Governor opened his court here, and presided with the char- 
acter that genius and talents always bestow on the person possessing 
them. The cannon of Louis XIV. of France were taken from Old 
Fort Chartres, and with them and other military decorations, Fort 
Russell blazed out with considerable pioneer splendor." 

Again he says: *"Our army (in September, 1812) reached Camp 
Russell in safety, after some weeks' march, where we were received 
with the honor of a salutation, booming from the Fort Chartres' can- 
non, and the roar of small arms." 

Further inquiry concerning the subsequent history of those old 
French guns led to correspondence some years ago, with Mr. Volney 
P. Richmond, an aged pioneer who had passed almost all of his life 
on a farm in Liberty Prairie, in Madison county, within a few miles of 
the spot where Fort Russell formerly stood, and who died there on the 
14th of January, 1901, at the age of 84 years. He stated that when 
a small boy he often heard his parents and their neighbors relate 
that in January, 1815, one of the Fort Russell cannon was bursted 
when being repeatedly fired in celebration of General Jackson's vic- 
tory at New Orleans, with the eflPect of severely wounding several 
persons near by. He had never heard what disposition was made of 
the other guns. 

There, then, at Fort Russell, we take final leave of the last rem- 
nant of Fort Chartres' armament; for beyond that post not a trace 
can be found of those historic old guns. No mention of them occurs 
in any record or report made by Governor Edwards; or by any mil- 
itary officer serving in Illinois during the war of 1812-'14. A letter, 
of inquiry concerning them addressed to the War Department elici- 
ted the following address: 

"War Department, 
■^.-, ^^ f — ^ Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 


First — Your letter of the 4th instant, to the Honorable Secretary of War, 
asking for information relative to the large iron guns taken from the ruins 
of old Fort Chartres and mounted at Fort Russell by Ninian Edwards, Gov- 
ernor of Illinois Tei-ritory, in 1812, has been received. 

Second — In reply I am instructed by the Chief of Ordnance to inform you that 
the records of this office furnish no information on the subject, and that upon a 
cursory examination of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812 noth- 
ing could be found therein. It is suggested that, in all probability, the in- 
formation desired by you might be obtained by addressing the Librarian of 
the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. 


A. H. Russell, 
Lieut. Col., Ordnance Dept., U. S. A." 

Acting upon Colonel Russell's advice the same inquiry, with his 
letter enclosed, was sent to the Librarian of the Congressional Lib- 
rary; and after several weeks this response was received: 

* Life and Ti:nes, p. 142. 


'•LiBRAKY OF Congress, 
Dear Sir: 

Your letter of February 30th, enclosing- a letter from A. H. Russell, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel, Ordnance Department, has had the attention of the Chief 

He now advises that a persistent and exhaustive search in documents, 
local histories, personal narratives of the war of 1812. American State papers, 
etc., fails to reveal anything about the large iron guns from Fort Chartres. 

Very truly yours, 

Allen R. Boyd, 





(By Ella C. Newbauer.) 

The Swiss are well represented in the foreign population of our 
country. In the year 1902 the United States Consul at Zurich, Switz- 
erland, said: '"Emigration from this country in recent years has 
apparently been on the increase, owing to the favorable reports which 
reach this country of prosperity, good crops, high wages and the de- 
mand for laborers of all kinds in the United States." The statistics 
of 1902 show that the greater number of Swiss emigrants come to the 
United States. Out of 4,707 who emigrated from Switzerland in that 
year 4.227 sailed for our country. 

According to the Twelfth Census, Illinois has 9.033 Swiss inhabit- 
ants. The city of Chicago alone has 3,251. The city of Highland in 
Helvetia township, of Madison county, has a population consisting 
almost entirely of the Swiss element, for the place was originally 
settled by the Swiss. Many of the farmers in the vicinity of High- 
land, in Saline. Marine and St. Jacob townships belong to this foreign 
element. When these are included, the Swiss population of High- 
land may be estimated to be about 3.00(1 There are. however, almost 
3.000 more Swiss inhabitants of Illinois of whom no definite informa- 
tion has been obtained. Many of these are. no doubt, to be found on 
farms throughout the State, for the Swiss are a great agricultural 

It would be interesting, indeed, to be able to trace the origin of the 
Swiss population of Chicago and to learn something as to its function 
and importance to the city today. It has, however, proved impossible 
to gain this much-desired information. 

Some of the earliest settlers in St. Clair county were Swiss In the 
year 1815 three emigrants. Bernard Steiner. Rudolph Wildi and Jacob 
Hardy, settled in the soiithern part of the county on what is now 
called "Dutch Hill." These three men were natives of the Canton, 
called Schwytz. Mr. Steiner had quite an interesting life history. 
While he was engaged in his trade in Neuchatel, Schwytz. he fell in 
love with the daughter of a very wealthy family. The parents con- 
sented to a marriage only on condition that he would accompany the 
family to America. Steiner willingly joined them in their journey 
but before they had fairly started he found himself sadly duped 
While the party was detained at Antwerp for some length of time, 


Pioneer Settler of Highland, Illinois. 


Steiner gave his money over to his father-in-law. Without Steiner's 
knowledge, the family embarked to sea leaving him alone and penni- 
less. Undaunted by this experience in his career, Steiner took ad- 
vantage of the credit system and came to Philadelphia. For a time 
he was a peddler, then he became an importer and still later made 
preparations for the establishment of a clock and watch factory, but 
this project was ended by death. 

The natives of Switzerland were the first European colonists that 
came in great numbers to Madison county, of Illinois, and this county 
has perhaps a larger Swiss population than any county in the State. 

About 1831. when all of Europe was in a general state of unrest, 
and discontent seemed to prevail among the masses there, a number 
of people living in the city of Bursee, Canton Lucerne, Switzerland, 
resolved to emigrate to America. Dr. Caspar Kopfli acted as leader 
to this band of emigrants and was accompanied to America by his 
family and by Joseph Suppiger, who became very prominent in the 
American colony. The trip from Switzerland to Paris was made in 
sixteen days. Seven weeks were required to sail from Paris to New 
York and one entire month to cross the country from New York to 
their destination in Illinois. 

The people of New England at this time regarded Illinois as an 
•emigrant cemetery, as an unhealthy wilderness. Up to this time no 
one had ventured to settle on the prairies; but to these Swiss wander- 
ers the great plains of Illinois were the realization of a long sought 
land of promise. They felt especially 'attracted to Looking Glass 
Prairie and settled there, purchasing 1,000 acres of land at $2.70 an 
acre during the first year. Though surrounded by difficulties, they 
looked forward to a bright future and wrote letters to friends and rel- 
atives in the native land which encouraged further emigration. 

In 1833 seventeen emigrants, most of whom belonged to the Supper 
family, arrived, and in 1835 about fifty more people came. Most of 
these new-comers settled in Townships 4-5, where they soon establish- 
ed a very friendly intercourse with the pioneers who had already 
made their homes there. The township settled by the Swiss was 
named Helvetia, the Latin name for Switzerland. 

October 15, 1836, the town of Highland was founded in this town- 
ship, the townsite being selected by James Semple, then speaker of 
the House of Representatives, Joseph Suppiger and Solomon Kopfli. 
In honor of Mr. Semple, a Scotchman, the town was named after the 
Highlands of Scotland instead of being given the more appropriate 
name of "New Switzerland." 

Highland was at that time a place which seemed very much iso- 
lated. No streets had been laid out and the town was not even con- 
nected with St. Louis, only thirty-two miles away, for the St. Louis 
road had not yet been constructed. All household furniture and 
many other necessities had to be brought from St. Louis in carts 
drawn by oxen Streams had to be forded for there were no bridges, 
and as there were no roads, the carts had to travel overland, which 
was thickly covered with tree stumps, making the way rough and 


These early settlers, through much hard labor, built rude log cabins 
in which they made their homes. All cooking and baking had to be 
done over the open fire in the large fireplace. The women and girls 
busied themselves with spinning »vheel and loom, providing them- 
selves and the men with homemade clothes. The hide of the deer 
was tanned and was then sometimes made into clothes for the men. 
The men were on horseback most of the time, carrying their rifles 
and powder horn and were usually accompanied by dogs. 

As a result of the panic of 1837, this Swiss community was left 
without any circulating mediiim in the form of money. All buying 
and selling became a matter of exchange. Notwithstanding these 
discouraging conditions, a certain amount of activity was developed. 
A steam mill was erected in 1837 and a saw mill was attached to it 
1840-1850. In 1839 a store was opened and once a week mail was de- 
livered from Troy, twelve miles away. 1833 Mr. Eggen, a very in- 
fluential man in the village, started the first brick-yard in connection 
with a pottery. He also started the first distillery and the first bakery. 

The accounts which were published of this growing and prosperous 
settlement were overdrawn and this fact becoming known in Europe, 
proved injurious to the colony. For a time emigration was checked. 

About 1840, however, some more families arrived from Switzerland. 
August 22, of this year, sixty-eight people from the Canton of Grau- 
bundten came to Highland. Some of these Swiss settled in the 
vicinity of this town. Some went to St. Jacobs, six miles west of 
Highland, while others went north into Saline township. In 1834 
Dr. A. F. Beck, a native of Canton Berne, Switzerland, arrived and 
settled permanently in the Marine settlement, north of Highland. 
Sylvan Utiger. another Swiss, located a few miles north of Marine in 
a German settlement in what is now called the Handsbarger neigh- 

In 1843, the most important event, up to that time, took place. A 
stage route was established between Vandaiia, the old State capital, 
and St. Louis and it proved a great day to Highland when the first 
stage coach, drawn by four horses, came into the town. 

October 6, 1848, an omnibus brought from St. Louis a dozen im- 
migrants who had come from French Switzerland. Among these 
were A. E. Bandelier, Constant Rilliet, in latter years the successor 
of Bandelier in the Swiss consulate and associate county justice in 
1861, Francis Vulliet, a minister of the Free Evangelical church of 
the Canton of Vaud, who had come to America in hope of finding that 
freedom of religion which had been denied him in his native country. 

Mr. A. E. Bandelier published a very interesting account of the 
beginning and development of this colony at Highland. Mr. Vulliet 
and Mr. Rilliet together issued a guide to immigrants and sent copies 
of it to their friends in the homeland. Through the influence of this 
guide, others in French Switzerland became enthusiastic to migrate. 
Between the years 1848 and 1850 families bearing the names of 
Estoppey, Majonnier. Junod, Bran. Decrevelle and Thalman from the 
Cantons of Neuchatel and Vaud, came to America. They belonged 
to a religious sect called the Plymouth Brethern, which sufPered perse- 
cution in the native land. In order that they might worship God in lib- 



erty according to the dictates of their own consciences, these people 
came to our country. They established themselves on farms near 
Sugar Creek, east of Highland and there fared prosperously. At the 
present time but few of their descendants remain, for death and mi- 
gration have reduced their numbers. This settlement was called the 
Sugar Creek settlement. Several years later a number of immigrants 
from France joined these French Swiss and the increased colony was 
then named Sebastopol, 1859. 

The Swiss people have some of the characteristics of the north as 
well as the south German. Their mountain life, svirrounded by many 
dangers, has made them cautious and vigilant. The Swiss have some- 
times been called the Yankees of Europe, because of their calculating 
shrewdness and active energy, and also because of their familiarity 
with self-government. They are, as a people, also greatly interested 
in education. This fact was shown in naming the streets of High- 
land, a great many of which were given names of Swiss and of Amer- 
ican educational leaders like: Pestalozzi, Zschokke, Jefferson and 

Joseph Suppiger, a man who always bore at heart the interests of 
others, succeeded in raising funds to build a little school house in 
1840. Before this time, a lady teacher had been employed to give 
private instruction at the homes of the children. The quaint school 
building was also used as a house of worship whenever a stray minis- 
ter happened to appear in the neighborhood. The gospel was preached 
to these early settlers regardless of the faith in creeds. In 1844 
Father Maragno, who was the first Catholic priest to come to High- 
land united with the Protestants and helped to erect a church which 
was used by all Christians. 

Just ten years after coming to this country, Dr. Kopfli returned to 
Switzerland with his family in 1841. He found his native Canton 
the scene of war, and because he no longer felt safe in his own birth- 
place, he returned to the United States after a lapse of seven and a 
half years. Both of his sons, Joseph and Solomon, had returned after 
a stay of only two and a half years in Switzerland. Solomon Kopfli 
became very prominent in Highland. He was forever planning some- 
thing for the advancement and the progress of the community. He 
never tired of striving for the improvement of roads and later on for 
railroad connections. His efforts won him influence and favor among 
the American settlers. Mr. Kopfli became interested in politics with- 
out making claims upon any public office for himself. In 1862 he 
became a member of the convention which was to form a new Consti- 
tution for Illinois. His untiring activity in this assembly afPected 
his health, and though he took several trips back to his native land, 
he never completely regained good health and strength. 

Heinrich Zschokke, pastor at Aaran, Switzerland, writes of Kopfli: 
"Sein letzter Aufenthalt in Zurich gait dann noch den Vorbereitungen 
zu einem Lieblingsplan namlich der Stiftung einer I^niversitat in 
Highland. Er konnte jedoch denselben nicht mehr ausfuhren, eben 
so wenig das Vorhaben. eine Geschichte der von seiner Familie 
gegrundeten Schweizer-Kolonie im Drucke herauszugeben wozu er 


schon bedentende Vorarbeiten gemaeht hatte. An beiden hinderten 
ihn den Tod." Mr. Kopfli took so great an interest in education, that 
he himself went among the children and instructed them and also 
made financial sacrifices for any equipment which was necessary to 
his work. Zschokke called him a second Pestalozzi. 

October 13, 1858, the first printing press appeared in the settlement. 
The first newspaper printed was called "Der Erzahler." This changed 
ownership several times until it became the "Highland Bote" of which 
the "Union" became a rival, 1863. In 1869 the "Bote" was removed 
to Edwardsville ; but the "Union" is still printed weekly in the city of 

Highland was not incorporated as a village until April, 1865. Mr. 
Jacob Eggen became president and Jas. Speckars, Henry Wein- 
heimer, Xavier Suppiger and Frank Appel, trustees. About 1867 the 
Vandalia railroad passing through the town was constructed. This 
new intercourse with the world at large meant much in promoting the 
development of Highland. 

In 1885 the Helvetia Milk Condensing Company was established. 
The product of this industry is today known all over the world. Great 
quantities of the condensed milk are exported to foreign countries. 
The enterprise has had a wonderful development since its beginning. 
Only about a year ago a very large new plant was constructed at High- 
land. Besides this; the company now owns two branch factories, one 
at Greenville. Illinois and one at Delta, Ohio, and is planning to es- 
tablish another somewhere in Pennsylvania. The manufacture of the 
condensed milk makes dairy farming very profitable to farmers in the 
vicinity of Highland. Through it emploj'ment is also given to a large 
number of boys, girls and men of the town. 

The Highland Embroidery Works, established in 1883, also employ 
a great many people. All the machinery used in this industry comes 
from Switzerland. A large output of embroidered goods is each year 
sent to the eastern cities. New York, Boston. Philadelphia and Buf- 
falo, while a considerable quantity of goods is also sold to the leading 
department stores of St. Louis. 

Besides the two important industries already mentioned. Highland 
has a flour mill, a grain elevator, a large brewery, a distillery and a 
soda water works. Within the city there are three large general stores, 
several grocery stores and bakeries, drug stores, furniture and hard- 
ware stores. 

Now Highland has a beautiful modern school building and main- 
tains a good high school, besides the public schools; there is a Cath- 
olic parochial school. The city has four well attended churches, a 
German Evangelical, a German Methodist, a Congregational and a 
Catholic. The St. Joseph's hospital is a well conducted Catholic in- 
stitution, located in the suburbs of the town. Two English and two 
German papers are now published weekly in the flourishing little city. 

During its seventy-five years of development and progress, the city 
of Highland has retained its Swiss population and with it many Swiss 
characteristics. In most of the Swiss homes, the children are taught 
the mother tongue before they are taught to speak English. On the 
play grounds at school the younger children usually converse with one 


another in the Swiss dialect. Business men, in their daily affairs, 
cling to their language when they discuss business or politics. The 
people of the town are also very loyal to Swiss costumes and still 
retain their Schweizer-Turnverein Mannerchor Harmonie and Schutz- 
enverein. (Turner's Association, Mens' Singing Society and Sharp- 
shooters" Association.) 

A Li.sT OF THE Books Consulted on the Sub.ject of Swlss Settlement.s of 


H. F. Bandelier— "Geschichte des Townships Helvetia." Published in 

Jacob Eg-gen — "Aufzeichnungen aus Highlands (irundungszeit zum Funfzig- 
jahrigen Jubilaum 1887.'" Published at Highland, 1888. 

Salomon Kopfli und Jacob Eggen — -Die Schweizer-Kolonie Highland in 
Illinois.'" Published in Deutsch Amerikanische Geschichtsblatter. April 
190.5 and July 190.5. 

Kroner, Gustav — "Das Deutsche Element in den Vereinigten Staaten von 
Nordamerika. " 

W. R. Brink & Co. — Publishers of "History of Madison County, Illinois.' 
Published at Edwardsville, 111. 

Charles Weis— Publisher of "A Brief History of the City of Highland." 
Published at the office of the Highland Journal. Highland. 1893. 

Statistics were taken from "Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900." 
Volume I, Part I, Population. 

For information concerning the French Swiss, who formed the 
Sugar Creek settlement, I am indebted to Mr. L. Meliera, an old 
French settler, still living near Sebastopol. Most of the pamphlets 
on Highland history I obtained from Mr. J. S. Horner, who for many 
years published the Highland Union. 



Lllinois College 

Enacted by the Trustees 

E. R. Roe, Book and Fancy Job Printers, Morgan Journal Office. 

18 5 0. 












(Contributed by President Charles H. Rammelkamp.) 

Chap'5;jer I. 


Section 1. The government of the eolieg-e shall be vested in a 
faculty, to consist of the President, professors and such other 
regular instructors as may be at any time employed. 

Sec. 2. It shall be the duty of the faculty to instruct the students 
according to the course of study prescribed by the Trustees; to 
regulate their morals and deportment: to recommend to the Trus- 
tees such alterations in the laws and course of study as they may 
deem expedient, and in all other suitable ways to promote the 
interests and secure the ends of the institution. 

Sec. 3. In them is vested the power to make all regulations nec- 
essary to secure these ends, to interpret and execute the laws, 
and to exercise judgment in the case of all who shall violate the 
same. Each instructor shall also have authority at all times to 
enter the rooms of the students, to cite any of them to appear 
before him. and to require them to testify on any matter pertain- 
ing to the public interests. 

Sec. 4. They shall, except in extraordinary cases, meet once a 
week, and at such other times as the President may direct, to con- 
sider and decide on all matters pertaining to the interests of the 
College, which may require their attention. They shall also keep 
a record of their proceedings, which shall be laid before the 
Trustees whenever required. 

In whom ves- 

Gen eral du- 
ties of the 

Their powers. 

Meeti ng s ot 

the faculty. 

* The Illinois State Historical Library owns a copy of the ' 'Laws of Illinois College' pub- 
lished in 1837. 

16 H S 


Duties and 
powers of 
and profes- 

Residence and 
em p 1 o y - 



Kinds of pen- 


Sec. 5. The President shall superintend the general interests of 
the Institution, preside in all meetings of the faculty, and in all 
cases have a right to vote. No vote can be passed without the 
consent of a majority of the permanent instructors, nor with- 
out the consent of the President, except by a majority of two- 

The professors shall teach the students in their respective de- 
partments, and in all appropriate ways co-operate with the Presi 
dent in promoting the interests and reputation of the College In 
the sickness, absence or death of the President, the senior profes- 
sor shall take his place- and discharge his duties. 

Sec. 6. All the members of the faculty shall, during Term time, 
reside near the College, that they may be easily accessible to the 
students, and may be able to superintend the internal concerns of 
the Institution; nor shall they, without the consent of the Trus- 
tees, engage in any business or occupation which will interfere 
with a stated and punctual discharge of their official duties. 

Sec. 7. As it is designed that the government of this Institution 
shall be mild and paternal, and ever seek the reformation of the 
offender: its penalties shall be chiefly moral, addressed to the 
conscience, and the principles of honor and shame. Nevertheless. 
in all offenses tending to cause pecuniary loss to the Institution, 
fines may be employed, and also in such cases of delinquency as 
may seem to involve little criminality in individual cases, but 
threaten by frequent repetition to pi-oduce a general evil. 

Sec. 8. Punishmentsof a moral kind shall be-admonition. private, 
or before the facvxlty, or the class, or the students at large — sus- 
pension, limited or indefinite — dismission and expulsion. In all 
cases of admonition, or of restoration after suspension, written 
or verbal confessions and promises may be required: or the offender 
may be put on trial with the assurance that for the next offence 
the punishment will be more severe. 


Sec. 9. In all cases where no penalty is specified, the Faculty I Discretionary 
may attach a penalty in view of the circumstances of the case.] power in the 
And in all cases, they shall be authorized in view of circumstances ^'^^ ^' 
of aggravation or extenuation, to increase or diminish the severity 
of any specified penalty. 

Sec. 10. Ignorance of the Laws of this Institution shall in no case 
be deemed a sufficient excuse for their violation. 

Sec. 11. Stvidents i-e.siding at the Institution during the Vacation 
shall, in all matters afl'ecting the general interests of the Institu- 
tion, be under the control of the Facult3': and all, whether 
present or absent, shall be subject to the laws of morality and 
good order, and responsible for their violation as well as in Term 

.Sec. 12. If any student shall feel himself aggrieved by any decis- 
ion of the Faculty, he may within thirty days apply to the Pi-esident 
by a petition in writing for a new trial; and on such petition, the 
President shall, within a convenient time, order a new trial to be 
had; and provided on such new trial, the former decision shall be 
confirmed, such student, still apprehending himself aggrieved, or 
in case he shall be a minor, his parent or guardian may bring a 
petition to the Trustees for relief, which petition he shall lodge 
with the President within thirty days after the new trial, and the 
President shall lay the said petition before the Trustees at their 
next meeting. 

Sec. 13. The Faculty shall keep a memorandum from time to time 
of all important facts relating to the pi'ogress and deportment of 
each student, and commiinicate the same at least semi-annually 
to his parent or guardian. 

FgDorance n o 

ties in vaca- 

Mode of relief 
incase of dis- 
satisfac t i o n 
with any de- 

Chaptek II. 





Record of 
names, &c. 


Section 1. No student shall be admitted into the College until 
he has completed his fourteenth year. 

Sec. 2. Candidates for admission to the Freshman class shall be 
Examined in the Latin and Greek Grammars, Virgil, Cicero's 
Select Orations. Sallust, Greek Header (or an equivalent), Arith- 
metic, Geography and English Grammar. 

Candidates for an advanced standing, in addition to the pre- 
paratory studies, shall be examined in the studies to which the 
class which they propose to enter has attended. 

Sec. 3. Every candidate for admission into the College shall pro- 
duce satisfactory evidence of a good moral character, and if from 
an other college, he shall produce a certificate from the proper 
jauthority, that he is in good standing and has been subject to no 
college censure: except on a hearing of the case, the Prudential 
jcommittee shall see fit to admit him without such testimonials. 

Sec. 4. The President shall keep a record of the names and ages 
of all the students admitted to the Institution, and the names of 
their parents or guardians, their residence and places of prepara- 
tory study, the dates and circumstances of their leaving the In- 
stitution, and such other particulars as he may think worthy of 
notice, as it regards their character, conduct, and relations to the 

ni Sec. 5. All payments shall be made in advance: and in case a 
istudent is dismissed from College before the close of the term, no 
portion of his term bill shall be remitted or refunded except by 

Refunded t o order of the Prudential Committee and for reasons to them satis- 
only by'orden^^^^^^y" ^^^ ^^ ^^^ student is under any College censure at the 
o* the Pru- time of his dismission nothing shall in any case be remitted or 
dential Com- 
m itte for 
s u fH c i e n t 

Students dis- refunded. A student entering at any other time than the begin- 
missed under ing of a ciuarter. shall pay for the whole ciuarter on which he 
censure. priter* 

Payment for""^^®^^- 
whole quar- 
ters. I 


Sec. 6. Every student, on joining the Institution, shall be reciuired I Promise, 
to obtain and to read a copy of the laws, and also to subscribe 
his name to a declaration that he has read and will obey them. 

Sec. 7. No student shall be entitled to the privileges of the Insti-'Certificates of 
tution till he shall exhibit the certificates of the President and 
Ti'easurer that he has complied with the foregoing regulations. 

Chapter III. 


Sectiox 1. Graduates desirous of residing for purposes of study 
at this College shall be admitted after applying for leave to the 
President, and engaging to comply with all the regulations of 
the Institution, respecting good order and morals, to treat all the 
officers and arrangements of the College with respect, to encour- 
age diligence, order and obedience among the undergraduates, 
and to refrain from visiting their rooms in study hours. 

Sec. 2. They may attend, free of charge, any of the recitations, 
lectures, or other exercises of the College. 

Sec. 3. If at any time the residence of any graduate shall be 
injurious to the College, he shall, on notice from the Faculty, 

Chapteii IV. 


Section 1. The literary exercises of this Institution shall be 
recitations, lectures, disputes, compositions, declamation, trans- 
lation, and such others as the nature of the subject imder exami- 
nation may require. 

the Presi- 
dent and 

Conditions of 


required to 

Of what kinds. 


Selection of 

Attendance on 

Record of ab- 

Reviews and 
ex am i n a - 

Public exhibi- 

Nothing to be 
without ap 


Sec. 2. The judgment of the Faculty shall always be decisive, 
both as it regards what studies, and how many, each student 
may pursue, although a due regard shall be had to the wishes of 
the individual, or of his parents or guardian. 

Sec. 3. The students are required to attend the recitations, lec- 
tures, or other exercises of their respective instructors, regularly 
and punctuallj', and shall be required to account for every absence, 
or any other negligence. 

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of each instructor to keep, or cause to 
be kept, by a monitor, a record of all absences or irregularities in 
the attendance of the students on their respective exercises, and 
to call them to account for the same. 

Sec. 5. At the close of each half term there shall be a review of 
such parts of the studies of the term as the Faculty shall judge 
expedient, and an examination on them all; which examination 
shall be strict and impartial, and open to all who may choose to 

Sec. 6. An exhibition of original pieces mny be allowed at the 
close of the first half of the term. At the close of the term the 
lannual commencement shall be holden. The preparation and 
criticism of pieces for public exhibition shall be under the care of 
the professor of rhetoric. 

Sec. 7. If ?inj student, on either of these occasions, shall exhibit 
anything in public which has not been examined and approved 
by the professor of rhetoric, he may be deprived of his degree, or 
otherwise punished according to circumstances. 



Section 1. The object of the religious exercises of this institu- 
tion shall be. not to promote the peculiar interests of an j- sect, but 
to produce a sense of the presence of God and of constant account- 
ability to him, and to exhibit these fundamental truths of Chris- 


tianity, which are adapted to purify the heart, enlarg-e and regu- 
late the intellect, and secure a conscientious and faithful dis- 
charge of the duties of life. 

Sec. 2. Prayers shall be attended in the College Chapel every 
morning and evening with the reading of the Scriptures, at which 
all the students are required to be present. 

Sec. 3. Every student shall be required to attend some one of the 
churches in the town of .Jacksonville every Sabbath morning, and 
a lecture at the College Chapel every Sabbath evening taking the 
place of the regular evening prayers. 

Sec. 4. Every student shall be required to repoi-t to the instruc- 
tor of his class on Monday, what church he attended the previous 
Sabbath morning, and the same shall be entered each week in a 
register kept by the Faculty, and absences from public worship 
shall be treated in the same manner as absences from any other 
exercises of College. 

Chapter VI. 


Skction 1. The time of morning prayers shall vary from 7 to 8 
o'clock, according to the season of the year, as the Faculty may 

Sec. 2. Study hours shall begin in the forenoon one hour after 
ringing of the bell for morning prayers, and continue till 12 
o'clock; in the afternoon at 2 o'clock, and continue till one hour 
before evening prayers; and in the evening two hours after the 
ringing of the bell for evening prayers, and continue till 9 o'clock. 

Sec. 3. The Annual commencement shall be holden on the second 
Thursday in July. 

Morning an d 

Public wor- 

Report of at- 
tendance at 



Study hours. 

C o m m e n ce- 



Assignment of 

Treatment o f 

Rights and 
mutual du 
ties of the 


Sec. 4 There shall be one vacation, twelve weeks in each year 
of from the second Thursday in July to the first Thursday in 

Chapter VII. 


Section 1. The rooms shall each year be assig-ned to the stu- 
dents by the Faculty; and no student shall chang-e his room with- 
out leave. The rooms are designed for two occupants, but if any 
student desires to room alone, he can have the privilege of doing 
so by paying double rent, and when any room shall have been so 
rented to a single occupant, no other student shall be permitted 
to occupy it with him without paying to the College Treasury the 
sum usually charged for room rent. 

Sec. 2. Every student is required to observe neatness and cleanli- 
ness in his room, and refrain from all that may in any way deface 
or injure it. 

No changes, alterations, or additions, shall be made in any room 
without leave from the Faculty, nor except at the student's ex- 
pense. Nor shall any papers, plates, or pictures be pasted or 
nailed up in any room without leave. 

Sec. 'i. The occupants of any room shall have the exclusive con- 
trol of it, subject to the Faculty, and may exclude, especially in 
study hours, all such visitors as may interrupt their studies. Nor 
shall one occupant of a room be allowed to disregard the vt^ishes 
of the other, by the unseasonable introduction of company, or by 
interrupting his studies in any way. 

Sec. 4. Each student shall be held responsible for every disturb- 
ance or violation of law taking place in his room, unless he can 
show that such disturbance or violation occurred without his 


knowledge or negligence. He shall also be responsible for any 
damage done in it while occupied by him, imless he can show 
that it was not done by himself, or through his neglect. 

Sec. 5. If any student shall refuse to open his door when required 
by one of the Faculty, the officer may break open the door, and 
the student shall be charged with all the expenses of repairing 
the injury thus done, and otherwise punished, if circumstances 
shall seem to require it. 

8ec. 6. The occupants of each room, before they leave the College 
at the close of a term, are required to deliver the key of their 
room to the President or such other person as may be designated, 
with a label attached to it, inscribed with the number of the 
room. Whoever neglects to complj' with this law, shall be re- 
sponsible for all the loss or damage which may result from such 
neglect. All furniture and other property left in the rooms dur- 
ing vacations, must be at the risk of the owners. 

Sec. 7. If any student shall wish to reside in his room diiring the 
vacation, he shall obtain leave from the officer by whom the room 
was assigned to him. 

Chapter VII. (VIII). 


Section 1. As the object of this Institution is to promote the 
intellectual and moral improvement of all connected with it, each 
individual is reqi^ired, in all his conduct, to regard this end, and 
from a regard alike to his own interests, and to the common good, 
zealously to co-operate with the Faculty in maintaining the rules 
of good order and morality. 

wSec. 2. As a regard to the authority of the law, is at the founda- 
tion of all good order in every community, every student is re- 



Residence i n 
room during 

General prin- 

Respect for 


iquired. not only to avoid all open violation of the laws, but all 
that would tend to impair their influence or diminish their 
authoritj-, and to do all in his power to give them a salutary 
influence over every member of the Institution. 
Uuties of the| Sec. 3. As the Facility are entrusted with the duty of sustaining 
? acuity. jand administering the laws, and maintaining and promoting the 
welfare of the Institution, the students are required not only to 
treat them with that politeness which is required by the rules of 
refined society, but also with that respect and deference which is 
due to them as executors of the laws, and the constituted guar- 
dians of the Institution. 

Duties to each Sec. 4. In their intercourse with each other, the students are re- 
other- quired to observe those principles of benevolence, honor and in- 
tegrity which are essential to the welfare of every well regulated 
community, and which are alike founded on the Word of God, and 
on the reason and conscience of man. 

Formation of Sec. 5. As the formation of correct habits is decidedly the most 
habits. .important part of an education, the students are required to avoid 

jail which tends to produce irregularity in the discharge of their 
duties — to relax their energies, and divide and weaken their 
minds, and to cultivate habits of industry, regularity, energy and 
perseverance, in the pursuit of their studies, and in the discharge 
of all their duties. 

Chapter IX. 

Previous e x- 
c u s e r e- 


Section 1. No student shall absent himself from morning or 
evening prayers, or the public exercises of the Sabbath, or his 
regular recitations, or other appointed exercises, without previous 
permission from some one of the Faculty. 


Sec. 2. When from some unforseen cause, it is impossible to 
obtain such permission, the stiident shall make report of his case 
within twenty-four hours after his delinquency, to that member 
of the faculty whose province it is to receive his excuse. 

Sec. 3. No student shall leave any class with which he has once 
connected himself without permission from the instructor of that 
class. Nor shall any student leave the Institution without per- 

Sec. 4. Anj' student wilfully absenting himself and without 
excvise from the prescribed examinations of his class, may be dis- 
missed from the Institution: nor. shall any excuse be received 
subsequently but in writing. 

Sec. 5. Any student who shall appear to be incorrigibly indolent 
or negligent, in his attendance on the exercises of the Institution, 
or whose presence, from ill health or any other cause, shall be 
considered useless to himself or injurious to others, shall be 
removed from the Institution by his friends, or be dismissed. 

Sec. (5. If any student shall be absent from college exercises four 
times without excuse in any half term, he shall be privately 
admonished; if eight times, he shall receive a second admonition, 
and his parent or guardian shall be informed; and if twelve 
times, he shall be dismissed. 

Chapter X. 


Time of giv- 
ing excuse. 

Leaving a 
class or the 

Wilful lab- 
sence from 

indole nee 
and n eg 1 i- 

Absence from 
college ex - 

Section 1. There shall not be permitted at any hour, on the 
College premises, any noise which will interrupt study, or any 
assemblages or sports tending to produce such noise. 

Sec. 2. No music, vocal or instrumental, shall be permitted dur-,Mu^sic, 
ing study hours, or after 10 o'clock at night. 




Intoxicat i n g 
liquors pro- 

Disuse of to- 

Gunp o w d er 
and ti r e - 
arms p r o- 

Improper ab- 
sence from 


Cutting Build- 
ings, etc. 

Injuring trees, 
crops, etc. 

Playing ball 
or throwing 

Sec. 3. No student shall bring', keep or use upon the College 
premises, any intoxicating' liquors or other exhilarating sub- 
stances. Nor shall any tobacco be used in anj^ public rooms or 
entries, and its entire disuse in every form is earnestly recom- 
mended to every student. 

Sec. 4. No gunpowder or other explosive material, nor any fire- 
arms, shall be kept or used on the College premises, or brought 
upon them. 

Sec. .5. No student shall be allowed to be absent from his room, 
except to attend some College exercises, during study hours or 
after 10 o'clock at night. 

Sec. 6. No convivial meetings shall be allowed at the room of any 

Chapter XI. 


vSection 1. No student shall cut or scratch, write upon, or in 
any way deface or injure the College Buildings or furniture, under 
penalty of a fine of not less than one dollar, or such other pen- 
alty as the Faculty may judge necessary. 

Sec. 2. No student shall cut or otherwise injure anj' tree on the 
College lands — or without permission pluck any garden, orchard or 
fruit, or injure any crops, throw down any fences, or in any way 
trespass upon College or private property. Whoever shall violate 
this law shall be liable to a bill of damages of at least two-fold 
the amount of the loss, and to a fine or other penalties according 
to circumstances. 

Sec. 3. No student shall play at hand or foot ball in or near any 
of the College Buildings, or throw anything by which the College 
Buildings may be in danger of damage, iinder penalty of a fine 
not exceeding one dollar, or to such other penalty as the Faculty 
may think necessary. 


Sec. 4. No student shall carry fire to his room in such a mannerjCarrying fire 
as to endanger the Colleg-e building-s; and in all cases of exposure, S"g ^^^^ °^ 
fire shall be carried only in close vessels. Nor shall students ever 
leave their rooms until they have so disposed of their fire as to 
obviate all danger from it during their absence. The violation 
of this law shall expose the offender to a heavy fine. 

Sec. ^. No student shall throw from his windows, or in any other 
way, into the College yard, or about the buildings, an^^ rubbish 
or nuisance of any kind, or anything which may tend to disfigure 
the yard: but shall preserve not only his own room, but every part 
of the College premises as neat and cleanly as possible. 

Chapter XII. 


Section 1. No student, while connected with this College, shall 
drink ardent spirits, wine or any other intoxicating beverage; 
and in joining this College, every student shall be understood as 
adopting a pledge of total abstinence from the same, except for 
sacramental or medicinal purposes. Any violation of this law will 
subject the offender to admonition, suspension or dismission, ac- 
cording to the aggravation of the offense. 

Sec. 2. If any student shall be guilty of using profane language, 
he shall be admonished: and if he still pei-sist, he may be dis- 

Throwing into 
the yard filth 

Intoxicat i n g 


Sec. 3. If any student shall be guilty of assaulting a fellow- Assault! n g a 

student, or of using personal violence towards him, he shall be 
required to make suitable reparation to the injured party, and be 
admonished privately or publicly, or punished in such other 
waJ^ as the aggravation of the offense may demand. 




Deadly weap- 

Sabbath break- 



Breaking into 
rooms, or 
entering by 
false keys. 

Riotous or up- 
roarious con- 

•Suspended or 

expelled stu- 


the premises. 

Sec. 4. If any stvident having received per.sonal violence or insult 
from a fellow-student, shall attempt to redress his own grievances 
by violent retaliation, he .shall be liable to the penalties specified 
in the preceding section. 

■ Sec. 5. No student shall carry deadly weapons upon his person, 
on penaltj- of admonition, dismission or expulsion, according to 
the aggravation of the offence. 

Sec. 6. If any student shall violate the vSabbath, he shall be ad- 
monished, or otherwise punished as the nature and demerit of the 
offence shall recxuire. 

Sec. 7. If any student shall be guilty of impiire conversation, or 
lewd conduct, or of introducing corrupt books, paintings or 
plates, he shall be admonished, suspended or expelled, according 
to the aggravation of the offense. 

Sec. 8. If any student shall gamble or play at cards, or any game 
of chance, or shall have at his room or on College premises, any 
cards for playing, he shall be admonished or dismissed, according 
to the aggravation of the offence. 

Sec. 9. If any student shall break open any door, or enter any 
room but his own by a false key, or one which does not belong to 
the door, or by any window, he shall be liable to expulsion. 

Sec. 10. If any sttident shall be guilty of making any uproarious 
noises, or of any other riotovis or indecent conduct tending to dis- 
turb the peace of the neighborhood, either on College premises or 
elsewhere, he shall be liable to any of the penalities specified in 
this code, or he shall be proceeded against before the proper civil 
authorities, at the discretion of the Faculty. 

Sec. 11. Any student when suspended, dismissed or expelled, shall 
leave the College premises at whatever time the Faculty may 
direct. In case of a refusal, the Faculty shall, if necessary, call 


in the aid of the civil authority that the ott'euder may be forth- 
with removed, and increase the severity of the punishment, where 
it admits of being- increased. 

Sec. 12. Whereas it is not the design of these laws to include 
every possible case of offence, but only to include the most com- 
mon and injurious, in all cases not here specified, the rules of 
common law, common decency, and common sense, shall be the 
standard, both of conduct and of judgment. 



Section 1. The Trustees shall appoint a Librarian, who shall 
act in accordance with the directions of the Faculty, in all cases 
not provided for by the laws of the trustees. ' 

Sec. 2. The Librarian shall open the library for letting out and 
returning books, on two several days of each week, during Terra- 
time. There shall be but one key to the library room, and that 
shall only go out of the Librarian's possession at his own discre- 
tion, and on his own responsibility. 

Sec. 3. All students may have access to the Library by complying 
with the existing laws on the subject. 

Sec. 4. No books shall be retained by any one. unless a member 
of the Faculty, longer than two weeks, on penalty of five cents 
each for Library day beyond. 

Sec. 5. No student shall draw more than two volumes at a time, 
which shall be returned before taking more. 

Sec. 6. If any person shall take a book from the Library, which 
has not been charged, or presented to the Librarian to be charged 

Rules of com- 
mon law in 

By whom Li- 
brari an ap- 
under direc- 
tion of the 


Ope n i n g 

But one key. 

Who may 
have access. 

Books, how 
long to be 

Number of 
books drawn 
at a time. 

Books taken 
out without 
being charg- 





Books all re- 
turned: semi- 
annual in- 

Books not to 
be lent. 

Injuries to 

Reviews and 
e X a m i na- 

E xa mination 
at the close 
of the Jun- 
ior year. 

on the book kept by the Librarian for that purpose, he shall be 
liable to a fine of five dollars. 

Sec. 7. During the week of each semi-annual examination all 
books shall be returned, and the Library inspected by a com- 
mittee appointed by the Trustees. 

Sec. 8. No student shall lend any book belong-ing to the Library: 
and if any book shall be lost, defaced or torn, the person taking- 
it otit shall pay a fine proportionate to the injury, or replace it, 
as the Faculty shall direct. If the volume lost or materially 
injured belongs to a set, he may be required to replace the set, 
and take the injured or broken set as his own. 

Sec. 9. No student who has been fined shall be allowed to draw^ 
books until the fine is paid. 

Chapter XIV. 


Sp:ction 1. At the close of each half Term there shall be a 
review of such parts of the studies of the term as the Faculty 
shall judge expedient, and an examination of them all: which 
examination shall be strict and impartial, and open to all who 
may choose to attend. 

Sec. 2. At the end of the Junior year there shall bean examina- 
tion of the Class on all the studies of the first three years of the 
course, and any student failing to pass the examination satisfac- 
torily shall be required to review the studies on which he has 
failed, and be subjected to another examination upon them pre- 
vious to being recoiumended to the Trustees as a candidate for a 

Sec. 3. On the day of the Annual Commencement the President 
shall confer on those members of the Senior Class, who shall have 

On whom and 
when d e- , 
£r r e es shall /^ 
be conferred been recommended by the faculty and approved by a vote of the 



t— ( 








Trustees, the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and present to them a 
Diploma, aiithenticated by the seal of the College, as a testi- 
monial of the same. 

Sec. 4. Bachelors'of three years .standing, and of good moral 
character, on giving suitable evidence of appropriate progress in 
literary Etnd scientific attainments, may be, on application to the 
Trustees, admitted to the degree of Master. 

Sec. 5. The candidates for the first or second degree shall each 
pay to the President the sum of five dollars for the same. 

Chapter XV. 


All laws hitherto enacted which are inconsistent with this Code, 
are hereby repealed — all others not hitherto repealed are still in 

Requisites for 
the Master 

Fee to the 
President for 

—17 H S 



(By May Allinson, University of Illinois.) 

The conquest of the British forts in the Illinois country by George 
Rogers Clark brought this region u.nder the control of Virginia but 
brought with it a great responsibility and a difficult charge — that of 
maintaining order and some form of government over a French popu- 

In December, 1778, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an 
act establishing the County of Illinois which included the region be- 
tween the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. In accordance with this act, 
the Governor of Virginia commissioned John Todd as Countv Lieu- 
tenant or Commander-in-chief of the county of Illinois with power 
and instructions to establish a government in this region. 

In May, 1779, a court of nine judges was elected and established 
at Kaskaskia under the guidance of Clark and Todd.^ These judges 
or juges a paix were Frenchmen of old and prominent French families 
in the Illinois country and had jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. 
Francois Carbonneaiix. royal notary and clerk of the court under the 
British regime since 1776,^ was retained after taking the oath of 
office and fidelity to the Commonwealth of Virginia.^ Richard Wins- 
ton was made Grand Sheriff of the district of Kaskaskia and also held 
the office of Deputy Commandant of the County of Illinois.* In 
spite of these provisions for peace and order, jealousies and suspici- 
ons arose between the two races and among the officers themselves, 
which resulted in continual quarreling and disturbance. By the fall 
of 1779, Todd's relations with his people as well as his brother officers 
had become so strained that he despaired of accomplishing his pur- 
pose and left the Illinois country in October or November. 

After Todd's departure. Winston assumed control of affairs in Kas- 
kaskia as Commandant'' and later as Lieutenant of the County, but 
with no better success than his predecessor. Winston, himself, wrote 
in March, 1780, that "everything is in confusion at Illinois."'' The 
court was unable to assert and maintain its authoritv and on some 

1 Draper Collection, 49 J 43. Clark's Letter, May 12, 1779. 

2 Kaskaskia Docs., Deposition before Notary, Oct. 27, 1776. 

3 Ibid, Court Records. 1779. 

4 Ibtd, Order of the Court, May 13, 1780. 

5 Draper Collection, 50 J 9, Montgomery's Letter to Clark, Feb. 1, 1780. 

6 Draper Coll.. 50 J 1 7, Todd's Letter to Clark, March 10, 1780. 


occasions was openly defied by the inhabitants of Kaskaskia.^ The 
peace of Kaskaskia was disturbed as well by the quarrels and disaf- 
t'ections of the civil and military officials. Colonel Montgomery, M^ho 
was in command of the troops of Illinois, and Winston accused each 
other of misappropriating the peltries of the state. Winston was tin- 
ally arrested by Montgomery and forced to replace the missing pelt- 
ries. Montgomery left his post without orders to take a trip down 
the Mississippi and was said to have appropriated to his own use, 
several boatloads of the provisions of the state.^ Dodge, agent for 
the Indian Department, was one of the most hated men in Kaskaskia 
because of his many illegal acts. 

The antagonism of the French inhabitants towards the Virginians 
was increased by Colonel de la Balme, a French officer who appeared 
in the Illinois country in the summer of 1780, and was received by 
"the inhabitants as the Hebrews would recieve the Messiah."^ He 
encouraged the inhabitants to get rid of the hated Virginia troops 
by refusing to furnish them any more provisions.* 

Richard McCarthy, Commandant at Cahokia, admitted that "many 
things had been done which should not" and declared that "the 
hatred of us has been raised to such a pitch that they will suffer no 
troops here * * * * in short, as things are now, the people are alien- 
ated and changed from us." ^ "We are become the hated Beasts of 
a whole people by Pressing horses, Boats, &c., Killing Cattle, &c., for 
which no valuable consideration is given, many not a certificate which 
is hear looked on as next to nothing."^ 

The confusion was increased in 1780 by the immigration of Ameri- 
cans into Illinois from Virginia and other eastern states. Some of 
the soldiers of the Virginia troops remained in this region after the 
expiration of their terms of service. People came from the east to 
settle and others merely te see the country. They came from a great 
distance with the expectation of being assisted by the government 
and by the time they reached Illinois they were greatly impoverished. 
The failure of the state to provide the necessary men and provisions 
"involved both the troops and settlers in much distress and greatly 
damped the spirits of industry" which at first characterized the new- 

In the summer of 1781, Todd and Clark decided that it was im- 
practicable to maintain so many posts in Illinois with so few men and 
such scarcity of provisions and determined to draw them all to one 
post at the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.^ In April, 
Captain Rogers and his comi^any left Kaskaskia ^ and in June, Col- 
onel Montgomery and his troops evacuated Fort Jefferson.^*' Illi- 

1 Mason's "John Todd Papers" in Chicago Hist. Soc. Coll., iv, 340. 

2 Kaskaskia Docs.,. Girault's Letters. 

3 Draper Coll., 50 J 69, Winston's Letter, Oct. 14, 1780. 

4 Ibid, .50 J 66, Extract from McCarthy's Journal, Oct. 14, 1780. 

5 Draper Coll., 50 J 66, Extract from McCarthy's Journal, Oct. 14, 1780. 

6 Mason's "John Todd Papers," in Chicago Hist. Soc. Coll., IV, .337. 

7 Il'id, 332. 

8 Ibid, 324. 

9 Draper Coll., Shannon's Letter to Clark, May 21, 1781. 

10 Mason's • 'John Todd Papers, " in Chicago Hist. Soc. Coll., IV, 356. 


nois was now rid of the Virginia troops, but if we may believe Cerre, 
president of the court of Kaskaskia in 1779, "after the troops were 
withdrawn the power of the magistrates was annihiliated and every- 
thing fell into anarchy and canfusion." ^ 

The burden of maintaining law and order now fell on the court of 
Kaskaskia which in 1781 represented some of the oldest French fami- 
lies in the Illinois country. ^ Jacques La Source, president of the 
court, came of an old French family which is mentioned in the Kas- 
kaskia records in the third decade of the eighteenth century. An- 
toine and Vital Bauvais^ were sons of Jean Baptiste St. Geme Bau- 
vais, Sr., a French Canadian who settled in Illinois in the first quar- 
ter of the century. Nicholas La Chanse, Antoine Duchaufort de 
Louviere, Jean Baptiste Barbau, and Nicholas Janis had been mem- 
bers of the court since 1779; Jean Baptiste Charleville and Michel 
Godin, the two remaining members, were also prominent in the affairs 
of Kaskaskia. 

In spite of the prestige of its members, the court of 1781 was no 
more able to maintain peace and order than before. The civil and 
military authorities had seldom worked peacebly together, but the 
presence of troops in the country had tended to exert an influence for 
order over those more inclined towards lawlessness. American front- 
iersmen were increasing in Illinois in 1780 and 1781 and [the removal 
of the troops left the court without means of enforcing the law. 
Some of these Americans refused to submit to the decrees of the 
French magistrates. Some of the discharged soldiers continued to 
live off the inhabitants as formerly. The resentment and suspicion 
which the French inhabitants felt towards the Americans was in- 
creased by the lawlessness of these frontiersmen. 

The trial of six Americans which occurred in August, 1781, illus- 
trates some of the difficulties which the French court encountered and 
also the character of some of these American newcomers. The rec- 
ords of this trial, which lasted from the twenty-seventh to the thirti- 
eth of August, cover thirty-nine foolscap pages and are divided into 
two separate sections — ^the prosecution consisting of twelve pages and 
the defense, twenty-seven pages. The trial with all its details was 
recorded by Carbonneaux as clerk of the court, and the evidence and 
decrees of the court were signed by Barbau as judge. Parts of these 
records * are translated to show the manner in which the case was 
conducted and the form in which the record was kept. 

On the twenty-third of August a petition signed by eleven 
Frenchmen was presented to the court by Nicholas La Chanse. cap- 
tain of the militia. The petition stated the grievances of the inhab- 
itants against six Americans — John Duff, David Hicks, Henry Smith, 
Elisha Fornelson, Shadrach Bond, and Benjamin Brown, who were 
accused of killing the cattle and other animals of the people of Kas- 
kaskia. At the requisition of La Chanse, the six accused were arrest- 
ed and placed in the custody of the militia. 

1 Douglas. ' 'Jean Gabriel Cerre, " in ///. State Hist. Lib. Pub., No. 8, 1903. 

2 Kaskaskia Docs., Court Records. 

3 Bauvaie is the correct spelling according to his own signature. 

4 This document is among the Kaskaskia records discovered by Mr. Ct W. Alvord, for the 
Illinois State Historical Library. 


On the 25th of August 

* 'there appeared the Sieurs Nicholas La Chanse, Jean Baptiste Bauvais, 
Pierre Picard, Antoine Morin, Louise Brazau, Francois Charleville, Vital 
Bauvais. Jean Baptiste, Francois (Hard, Rene Soumande, Henrj^ Richard. 
The above named took oath that the contents of the petition which they 
signed is sincere and true, of which some signed and sonae made their mark." 

>^-r^c/£5^t?^ ^^"^^ 

-J'vv cvt- i/*''-'*-^ 

The petition was received by the court and writs served u]pon the 
witnesses to 

"appear this day [August 37th] before the court at one o'clock in the after- 
noon to give evidence which shall be received by the court * * * 

"Inquiry made by the Court of the District of Kaskaskia at the requisition 
of M. Nicholas La Chanse and some of the inhabitants of this place, petition 
ing and complaining against the said David Hicks, accused, and his accom 
plices. with which inquest we have proceeded as has also the states attorney 

•On the twenty-seventh of August. 1781. at about one o'clock in the 
afternoon there appeared Patrick M'Clasque, about forty years of age and 
living in this place of Kaskaskia at the home of Mr. Janis, in the parish of 
the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. After he had taken the oath on the 
Holy Evangelists of Almighty God to speak the truth, he told the court that 
he was not a relative, servant or domestic of the parties. He produced the writ 
of summons given to him to give evidence at the request of M. La Chanse 
* * * on the points mentioned in the complaints, which were read by the 
clerk of the court and explained by M. Thomas Price, Interpreter. 

He declared that he was in the house where lived David Hicks and his ac- 
complices and saw the meat of a French ox as well as the hide * * * He 
declared, moreover, that having forgotten his powder horn on the edge of 
the water, he was passing through the orchard of Henry Smith when he met 
one of the daughters of the said Smith. She asked him "What news?" He 
replied that the four who had been arrested that morning were in irons and 
perhaps her father Said the girl, "My father is innocent; it was Duff who 
carried the French meat into the house, saying that he had bought the same 
from a Frenchman." 

He was asked if he had any thing more to say concerning this affair. He 
replied that he had nothing more to say: that he had told all he knew. 

Reading was made to him of his deposition and he said that it contained 
the truth; that he presisted in it under the oath which he had taken. He 

* Photographic reproductions are shown of the signatures to some of the more important 
of these papers. 


said that he did not wish any pay and signed with us. the interpreter and 
clerk undersigned. He said, moreover, that Duff had said, "May the Devil 
take me if I want for fresh meat." 

Michel Antaya. the next witness, said that he was twenty-five years old. a 
laborer in Kaskaskia. and a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He said 
that he had seen a boat which had been used to carry meat which was still 
bloody. He had also found in the house where lived four of those arrested, 
some tallow of a French ox and a kettle of meat stew. Outside near the 
chimney, was a piece of the hide of a cow. He perceived by the face of the 
woman and of Hicks that thej* were discovered and that the man was so 
troubled that he sought means to speak to M. St. Geme Bauvais.i 

Paul Des Ruisseaux. a ■Jaboreur" forty j-ears of age and a Roman Catholic, 
was a man of some prominence in Kaskaskia. He is spoken of elsewhere as 
a merchant in Kaskaskia and married one of the two davighters of M. Jean 
Baptiste Bauvais, Sr. He testified that he also had seen the evidences of a 
cow recently killed. In the house of the four accused he had noticed a bench 
on which meat had been cut up and there was grease and blood on the stakes 
which surrounded the house. 

P. Des Ruisseaux 

JJ^Louis de LiJse next appeared and after taking the oath and pro- 
ducing his summons, was asked 

"his name, age. dwelling-place, religion and profession. 

He answered that his name was Louis de Lilse. that he was twenty-three 
years old and lived with his mother in this place. He was of the apostolic 
and Roman Catholic religion, and was a laborer by profession. 

He was asked if he had any knowledge of the five accused who were in the 
custody of the militia and of the causes stated in the petition which had just 
been read to him. and if he would give an accurate account to us. 

He answered that he had been in the field with the M. Louis Brazeau and 
had found there the remains of a cow which had just been killed * * * He 

1 A representative record of the testimony of two of the witnesses and one of the accused 
s given in full (with a few ommissions). The rest is necessarily summarized and condensed 
^o save space and avoid repetition. 


with the said M. Louis Brazeau had carried the said meat liome. Tlie follow- 
ing- day they went to the fort of the Indians and the next day to the house of 
M. Bentley, but found nothing- there. The next day, they went to the house 
of Madame de Gagne where they found a piece of the hide of a cow's foot 
buried at the end of the house * * * In the house they found a little tal- 
low on the door and also a kettle in which there had been some French meat 
in the morning-. They seized those who were in the house and took them to 
the house of M. Winston. The said witness stated that he was put on guard 
at the door of the house. M . Toutouse seized what was in the house and 
while searching found some meat of a French animal salted in a barrel, and 
in another some brandy." 

He was asked if he had anything more to say. 

He replied that he had not. 

Reading was made to him of his deposition. He said that it contained the 
truth, that he presisted in it and that he wished no pay. He declared that he 
did not know how to sign his name and made his mark and we have signed 
with our clerk. 

Louis X de Lilse 

Antaine Caillot La Chanse, the next witness, said that he was a carpenter 
about seventeen years old and a Roman Catholic. He lived with his father 
in Kaskaskia. He had visited the De Gagne (Hicks) house and had seen the 
things previously described by T)e Lilse. but had no knowledge of the boat 
mentioned by Antaya. 

Antoinne Lachanse 

Nicholas Canada said that he was a Roman Catholic and a blacksmith in 
Kaskaskia. living in the house of Madame Charles Robin. He testified that 
he had erone with a party of men to search the housse of Henry Smith on the 
other side of the river. ^Yhen they arrived, they said that they had come to 
search the house and went up to the garret. They found there the head of an 
animal and two pieces of the meat of an ox or a cow. When he asked the 
master of the house where he had obtained that meat, he was unable to under- 
stand his reply, and so told him to come and make his explanations to Mr. 
Winston. When they had crossed the river, Smith asked why they had not 
taken Duff, also, as he was in the house. The witness said that the searching 
party returned to get him, but when they arrived he was gone. 


Nicolas x Canada 


John Sinclair said that he was a laborer about seventeen years of age and 
of the "religion pretendue reforme": that he lived in the house of Winston and 
his step-father. He testified that he had joined the party which went to 
search the Smith farm. When they entered Smith's house, they told him 
their purpose and Smith told them to go ahead and search the house. Sin- 
clair said that he overheard Diiff say to his master in a low voice. "'Take care. 
There is a piece * * * which they might happen to see." Their voices 
were then slightly raised and he heard Smith say, "Is it necessary to pay for 
the meat?" Mr. Brazau asked Smith where he had obtained the meat. Smith 
said that he would make his explanations to Mr. Winston, but Duff said, "Go 
ahead and tell them." 

John Sinclair 

Charles Chauvin Charleville, a Roman Catholic and a merchant about 
twenty-nine years of age, had visited the Hicks house and verified the testi- 
mony of the other witnesses who had been there. 

Ch Charleville 

Antoine Janis, Jr., who was also summoned to appear, was de- 
tained at home because of illness. 

The record of the prosecution closes as follows: 


"The year seventeen hundred eighty-one and the twenty-eighth day of Au- 
gust in the presence of the justices of the peace and the magistrates of the 
District of Kaskaskia in the County of Illinois at six o'clock in the morning.' 

Preparations were then made for hearing the defense on the twenty- 
eighth of August. 

"Wishing- to question the said Jean Duff on the points arising from the 
charges and inquiry made against him at the request of the M. Nicholas La- 
Chanse, captain of the militia, of other inhabitants, and of the states attor- 
ney, and having recognized that the accused are strangers and do not under- 
stand the French language, we have appointed Mr. Thomas Price interpre- 
ter, named for that office yesterday, and M. Patrike MClaskue, whom we have 
just named interpreter for the English language. According to the oath of 
office which he has now taken, the questions which shall be asked shall be 
explained by him to the accused and the responses shall be explained to us 
by M. Thomas Price and Patrike M'Claskue." 

John Dutf, who had been taken from the custody of the militia by 
the sheriff, was then brought before the court. The interpreter, 
Thomas Price, instructed Duff in English to raise his hand and 
repeat these words, "I promise to God to speak the truth." This 
done he was asked of what place he was a native, his name, age, oc- 
cupation, and dwelling-place. 

"This question, Mr. Thomas Price explained to the accused, who .said, as 
the Sieur Thomas Price explained to us, that the accused was called John 
Duff, aged twenty-one years, a native of South Carolina, and living for some 
time in the house of Henry Smith of this village. 

The accused was asked what was his motive in coming to this place. 

He answered through the M. Thomas Price that he had come in the first 
place to Natchez with his step-father and from there here to see the country. 

When asked if he had come to settle, he replied that he had not. 

He was asked if he had any knowledge of any animals which had been 
killed in this place between the nineteenth and twenty-ninth of this month. 

He replied through the interpreter that he had no knowledge of any except 
one which he himself had killed on the twenty-first of the present month. 
This was a small ox. . 

He was asked if he was obliged to kill this ox. 

He answered that it was from a whim and that he carried it to his house. 

He was asked if he had killed any others, hogs or other animals belonging 
to the inhabitants since he had been in this place. 

He answered bj^ the interpreter that he had not killed any others since he 
had left the troops. 

He was asked if he did not know that it was forbidden by the law to do 
injury to the property of the inhabitants who are in the public care. 

He answered that he knew that it was forbidden everywhere. 

He was asked if he had been induced by someone to do this mischief and at 
the same time this manifest robbery. 

He answered that he had done it of his own accord. 

He was asked if he knew of any one else who was guilty of a similar dis- 
turbance and had killed the animals of the inhabitants; he was exhorted to 
tell the truth under the oath which he had taken. 

He declared that he had no knowledge of any. 

He was asked if his host into whose house he had carried the meat of the 
ox which he had killed was not an accomplice with him. 

He replied by the interpreter that his host was asleep when he carried tlie 
meat into his house and that he told him he had bought it of a Frenchman. 

He was asked if he had not said the day he was arrested that he was onlj* 
a little rogue but that there were some * * * here who were greater ras- 
cals than he; * * * that he knew them well but that he would not name 


He replied hx the intrepreter that he had not said that he knew them but 

that hfe suspected them as some others. 


He was asked by the interpreter if he had not told the girls where he lived 
that as long as he was with them he would not want for fresh meat. 

He replied ^ * * that so long as he had the powder he knew he could 
get the meat; that he was a good huntsman. 

He was asked if he had any knowledge of two young bulls which had been 
killed across from his house about two weeks ago. 

He replied by the interpreter that he had not. 

He was asked if he had given to anyone ahy part of the ox which he killed. 

He replied bj' the interpreter that he had not. 


He was asked if he recognized a piece of writing, written and signed by 
his hand, which was said to have been found in the court the day he was ar- 
rested, and which was presented to him by Mr. Thomas Price, interpreter. 

He replied that he had written it; that it contained in the English langu- 
age the following: "To Mr. Winston — This is for my humble submission to 
you. I hope in paying for the said transgression that this may satisf j' the 
court and so in giving up myself, I am ready to surrender myself to the court. 
From Jean DufP. August 24. 1781."' 

He was asked if he had anything more to say in his justification. 

He replied by the interpreter that he had no desire to save himself except 
by paying for the wrong which he had done; that he believed in being free 
from debt. Moreover, he owed some small debts in the village that he would 
have liked to have paid before his departure, being of an honest family. He 
had nothing more to say except that as for the crime he had committed, he prayed 
the court to take into consideration that he was a mere boy. during his stay 
in this place. This was all he had to say. » 

He was asked if he had not intended to fire on the guard who had arrested 

He replied * * * that when he was first siezed, he thought it was some 
Indians, who sought to capture him, but when he saw who it was he immedi- 
ately surrendered and fired his gun in the air. 

Reading was made to him of his examination. He said that these responses 
contained the truth and that he persisted in it. He signed with us and the 
two interpreters and the accused was returned to the care of the militia. 

Done this day and year as above. 



David Hicks, who was next brought before the court, said that he was 
twenty-five years old, a native of Virginia, and had lived in Kaskaskia about 
two years. He had come out as a soldier in Colonel Montgomery's troops and 
after his discharge had remained in this country. He denied having any 
knowledge of the animals which had been killed in this neighborhood. 

He was asked how it could be that he knew nothing of them when a cow 
had been killed and taken into his house at night. 


He replied that he had not seen the cow killed but that he had seen the 
meat in his house, and admitted that he believed it was the meat of a French 
cow. He said that Elisha Fornelson had carried it there, but that he had not 
seen any of it eaten nor had he eaten any of it himself. 

He was asked whj^ he had not warned Mr. Winston when he perceived that 
the meat had been killed and carried into his house in the nig-ht. He said that 
he was arrested early in the morning' and had not had time. He was asked 
if the people who lived in his house were accustomed to commit such deeds; 
that the inhabitants had for a long time complained of the destruction of 
their animals. He declared that it was the first time, so far as he was aware, 
that they had carried any meat into his house. He was questioned concern- 
ing the evidences of his guilt described by the former witnesses: the hide 
buried at the end of the house, the barrel of salted meat, etc. , but he declai-ed 
he had no positive knowledge as to who had done these things. He was 
asked if it was not likely that he had a complete knowledge of what had 
happened in his own house when he was present; it would appear that he had 
violated his oath. 

He replied that he was mortified that the court had a bad opinion of him, 
but that he could not tell what he had not seen. 

A letter was then prodnced which he had writtan to Winston imploring 
his advice and assistance in making his defense, as this was "the first offense 
of which I have been accused.'" He went on to say iti this letter that he did 
not wish to acquit himself by accusing the others, but he would try to the best 
of his ability to tell the whole truth. He begged that it might be taken into 
consideration that we are all likely to make some errors, and are too much in^ 
ciined to fall by the too frequent bad examples, but he hoped that his former 
conduct would make amends for what had passed and, at least, show his dis- 
approval of such things. 

When the letter had been read to the court. Hicks was asked if it did not 
appear by his own letter that he had not told all he kne^v. He, how 
ever, presisted under oath that his testimon3' was true and that he knew 
nothing more than he had told. He was therefore dismissed and returned to 
the custody of the militia. 

D. Hicks. 

Henry Smith, in response to the usual questions, said that he was aboixt 
forty-five years old, a native of Virginia and a laborer. He had come out 
here to settle and had lived in Kaskaskia almost a year. He, now, had his 
house and family in this place. 

"He was asked if he knew that some Virginians and other vagabonds, in- 
cluding one who lived in his house, had killed some animals of the French 
inhabitants." Smith said that he had seen none of the animals of the com- 
munitj' killed but he knew that one which had the appearance of French 
meat had been carried into his house. When further questioned, he said that 
John Duff' had brought the meat into the house but had said that he bought 
it of a Frenchman. He was asked why he had not informed Mr. Winston or 
some of the other magistrates, knowing that it was the meat of an animal 
which had been killed secretly. Smith, however, insisted that he did not 
know that Duff' had killed it. nor did he know when it was carried into the 
house. He had not noticed that there was meat in the house until ten o'clock 
in the morning, and when he had asked who had brought it there. Duff said 
he had bought it. He was asked how Duff could have carried a young ox 
into his house and he, the master of the house, know nothing about it. but 
Smith declared that he had discovered the meat only three hours before the 
guard entered the house. He persisted that he knew nothing of this or any 
other animals which had been killed in this neighborhood. "He was asked 
where he was going when the Indians met him on the water with his boat 
laden with meat going towards his house, according to the report of the said 
Indians, and where he had taken the said meat." Smith declared that he had 
not been in a boat below the fort of Kaskaskia for more than five months. 
When asked if he had anything more to say in his justification, he replied 
that he had nothing to say except that he was mortified to find himself sus- 
pected of such a thing for he and his family wished to live honestly under 
the laws of the country. 

Henry Smith 


Elisha Fornelson, the fourch prisoner, stated that he was about twenty- 
three years old. a native of Virginia and a hunter. He '"had come out to see 
the country" and had lived in Kaskaskia since spring. He was asked if he 
had any knowledge of the animals which had been killed in the community 
by some vagabond Virginians and others; if so. he should disclose the facts at 
once. He declared that he had no knowledge of any except the one which 
had been carried into the Hicks hoiise and that Hicks himself had carried it 
there. He. at first, denied that he had taken any part in the affair, but ad- 
mitted that he had eaten ""his part [of the meat] for supper." He had no 
knowledge of any of it being given away, nor did he know who had .salted 
the barrel of French meat which had been found in the garret of the house 
where he had been ai-rested. He finally, however, confessed that he had 
not only helped Hicks carry it into the house but had killed the cow himself; 
that he and Hicks had done it of their own will and with no aid from anyone. 
He was asked ho^v many he had killed since he had been in this country and 
since he made a business of 'marodeur.'" He said that he had killed only 
this one but he had heard of others being killed. He was asked whom he ■ 
had heard say this. He said he had heard Nicholas Smith, who had lost 
one of his animals in this way, speak of it; had heard it said that it was the 
negroes for there was a dance there that day. He was asked what passport 
he had brought in coming to see the country but he said that he had none. 
He had nothing further to say in his justification but begged that the court 
would have pity on him. 

Elisha fornelson 

Shadrach Bond, when brought before the court, said that he was about 
thirty years old, a native of Virginia, "de la religion pretendue reformee,"' 
and a laborer. He had come out here with Colonel Clarke and since his dis- 
charge had worked for the inhabitants. He had lived in the house of Hicks 
for nearly four months. He testified that he had gone to bed on the night of 
the twenty-second and had slept a short time when he was awakened. On 
looking about him, he saw Hicks cari-ying some meat into the house followed 
two or thi-ee minutes later by Fornelson. The men cooked some of the meat 
for supper and salted the rest in a small barrel. He was asked if he was 
boarding in that house or in what capacity he lived there. He replied that 
Hicks furnished the board but that he [the witness] worked and had no time 
to "finir" their company. ''He was asked if he knew that that meat had 
been killed at night and consequently stolen, why he had not informed the 
otficers. " He replied that it was late and that he was not master of the 
house: on the morning of the next day he was arrested. 

^ad-rcdtk ^o-ncJ 

Benjamin Byron, the last prisoner, said that he was twenty-eight years old, 
a native of New Castle and a Protestant. He was a tailor by profession and 
had lived in Kaskaskia at the Hicks house since spring. He. also, had seen 
Hicks and Fornelson carrj- the meat into the house, but declared that he had 
gone to bed early and was arrested early in the morning, so could give no 
further evidence. The magistrate asked for the passport which all newcom- 
ers were supposed to present to the court, but he had no papers except his dis- 
charge from service and his oath of fidelity made near Fort Pitt. 

Benjamin Byron 

The examination of the accused was completed on the twenty- 
eighth of August and the court ordered that the whole should be 
communicated to the states attorney [GiraultJ to make such conclu- 
sions as he should deem proper. 


After carefully examining and considering the evidence of the wit- 
nesses and the accused and the final conclusion of the states attorney, 
the court gave its sentence on the thirtieth of August. It 

"condemned and does condemn Jean Duff, David Hicks, and Elisha Fornel- 
son to be banished from the county of Illinois for life as vagabonds * * * 
and ail of their possessions confiscated to cover expenses. The said court 
warns them that they reappear in the future on pain of exemplary piinish- 
ment, having- been caught and convicted of killing the animals * * * 
of the inhabitants as appears by their examination. 

Condemned Henry Smith to pay one hundred twenty piastres for expenses 
for having allowed the said Jean Duff to carry into his house the meat of the 
animal which he had killed and which belonged to the inhabitants: and for 
not having informed the magistrates. This sum he must pay within a week 
* * * and as a security for this, his slaves shall be seized * * * 

As for the said Shadrack Bond and Benjamin Byron, the court condemned 
each of them to pay the sum of forty piastres for liaving contributed to and 
known of the disturbance made by the said David Hicks and Elisha Fornel- 
son and aiding in their concealment. They shall give securitj' to pay this 
sum within two weeks and their personal effects shall be seized provisionally. 

The court by special grace limited the banishment of the said Jean Duff, 
David Hicks, and Elisha Fornelson to three years' banishment, trusting that 
they w^ill bring on their return to this counti-y a certificate of "bonne vie et 
moeurs" from the magistrates of the place from which they come. 

Granted at nine o'clock, Thursday, August thirtieth, 1781. 

The records of this trial throw light not only on conditions in Kas- 
kaskia — the attitude of the two races, and some of the problems of 
the French court — but on the character of several men whose names 
have become more or less prominent. 

John Duff, one of the prisoners in 1781, was the leader of the party 
of hunters ^ which George Rogers Clark met at the mouth of the 
Tennessee River ''but eight days from Kaskaskia."^ These men 
gave Clark some valuable information as to the state of affairs in 
Kaskaskia and also offered their services, which were gladly accepted, 
in the expedition against the village. 

Henry Smith, also one of the accused in the trial of 1781, was 
made president of the compromise court of three Frenchmen and 
three Americans which was established in May, 1787, by the inhabit- 
ants of Kaskaskia. He was thus given precedence over Antoine 
Bauvais, who had been president of the court of Kaskaskia from Sep- 

• 1 Butler's Kentucky, 51 

2 Pirtle's Clark 's Cavipaig}! in the Illinois, 28 


tember, 1781 to October, 1782, and also Jean Baptiste Bauvais and 
Francois Corset, former members of the court. This experiment, 
however, was found impracticable because of racial jealousies, etc., 
and in July a court of six Frenchmen replaced the compromise court. 
Shadrack Bond was an uncle of the first governor of Illinois, who 
bore the same name and who first set in motion the machinery of 
government established under the constitution of 1818. 



(By PaulSelby.) 1 

While it is widely, if not universally, known that the impelling 
motive for the organization of the Republican party was the passage, 
in May, 1854, of the Kansas-Nebraska Act repealing the Missouri 
Compromise excluding slavery from territory north of 36 degrees 30 
minutes, it is still true that, even before this act was consummated, 
but in anticipation of its early accomplishment, a strong demand had 
grown up among conservative men in most of the Northern, and even 
in some of the Border States, for the organization of a new party 
based on opposition to the further extension of slavery into free terri- 
tory, or the admission into the I^nion of any more slave States. The 
movement was spontaneous — the result of circumstances — and was 
not limited to either of the existing parties, embracing both Whigs 
and Democrats, as well as the Free-Soilers as a body. Some of the 
advocates of a new party organization had already suggested the 
adoption of the name "Republican," and we have the authority of 
former Vice President Henry Wilson, in his "History of the Rise 
and Fall of the Slave Power," for the statement that, on the night 
following the final passage of the Kansas- Nebraska Act, a meeting of 
Senators and Representatives in Congress who had opposed that 
measure indorsed the proposition looking to such an organization. 

In Illinois this movement took the form of a call for a mass con- 
vention of the opponents of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 
to be held during the week of the State Fair in Springfield in Octo- 
ber, 1854. The formal issue of this call was preceded, however, by 
local conventions of a similar character in nearly all the counties in 
the northern, and in some of the central and southern portions of the 
State, some of the most notable of these — because the earliest as well 
as the most emphatic in their utterances on the question at issue — 
being those held in the counties of Stephenson, Livingston, LaSalle, 
Kane, McHenry, Winnebago and others in those sections of the 
State. In the absence of previous organizations, these were gener- 
ally what would be called "mass meetings" composed of self-appoint- 
ed delegates — or persons acting on their own volition — and while they 
difPered somewhat in the character of the resolutions adopted, they 

• 1 This paper was read by the author at a meeting of the Illinois Republican Editorial Asso" 
elation, at Decatur, Illinois, September 14,1904 


were universally agreed in their opposition to slaveiy extension and 
in their advocacy of a new party organization, some of them even 
adopting the name Republican. These were followed by conventions 
of a more formal character for the nomination of candidates for 
Congress in the three northern districts of the State — that for the 
First District being held at Rockford on August ll>th and piitting in 
nomination Elihu B. Washburne; the convention for the second 
(then the Chicago) District, held at Aurora, September 20th, naming as 
its candidate, James H. Woodworth. while in the convention held at 
Bloomington for the third District, Jesse O. Norton received the 
nomination after a bitter struggle lasting one whole day and far into 
the following night. ^ In the Alton and Belleville District Lyman 
Trumbull was nominated and elected as an avowed Anti-Nebraska 
Democrat; but before taking his seat, was elected to the United 
States Senate by the Legislature of 1855. In the other .Congressional 
Districts of the State, the nominations were made on the old party 
lines, the regular Democratic candidates being successful. The reso- 
lutions adopted by the Second District Convention at Aurora, already 
alluded to. cut a unique tigure in the Lincoln- Douglas debates four 
years later, to which reference will be made later on. 

During the campaign of this year the Stale was visited by such 
distinguished anti- slavery champions as Cassius M. Clay, of Ken- 
tucky, Salmon P. Chase and Joshua R. Giddings, of Ohio, while Ich- 
abod Codding, a noted anti-slavery lecturer, made an extensive can- 
vass, speaking in many counties. A noteworthy incident in connec- 
tion with Cassius M. Clay's visit to Springfield, where he had an ap- 
pointment to speak on the 10th of July, was the fact that he was re- 
fused, by the Democratic officials in charge, "the privilege of speaking 

1. At the risk of anticipating some points to be discussed more in detail farther on, but 
because of its connection with the ConRressional convention at Bloomington just alluded to, 
I here quote some extracts from Capt. J. H. Burnham's "History of Bloomington and Normal" 
published in 1879. These will be found to sustain the claim made in this paper, that the move- 
ment for the organization of a new party, based on opposition to the further extension of 
slavery, had been actively inaugurated in this State, as it had been in several other Northern 
States, in 1854, promptly after the enactment by Congress of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Mr. 
Burnham savs: . • ■ • 

"Out citv has always claimed that the great Republican party of the nation had its birth m 
Major's Hall in 1856. At the risk of being attacked for our audacity, we will undertake to de- 
clare this a spurious claim. In the fall of 1854. the opposition to the Nebraska bill all over the 
country fought its battles under different names, generally as the Free-Soilers, Anti-Nebraska 
Democrats, the Whig or American party, though in Massachusetts the Free-Soilers and Anti- 
Nebraska Democrats had declared themselves to be Republicans." 

Then, after referring to the progress that had been made in solidifying the opponents of 
the Nebraska Act into a party organization, as shown by the election of N. P. Banks as Speaker 
of the Congressional House of Representatives in the winter of 18?5-56, as well as the actual 
steps taken to organize a partv under the name Republican in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania 
and other Northern States, Mr. Burnham takes note of a meeting of the voters of McLean 
County held on the 9th of September, 1854, at which delegates were appointed to the State 
Convention to be held at Springfield in October following. While adopting the generally 
accepted statement appearing in State histories as to the strength of the Springfield Con- 
vention and the sentiments of those composing it, Mr. Burnham does it iuetice by recognizing 
it, if not "the first Republican State Convention," at least "historically tlie earliest on record.' 

While it is gen-rally acknowledged that Michigan took the lead in formally adopting the 
name Republican at a State Convention held at Jackson in that State, on July 6, 1854, it isstill 
true that the same sentiments were being zealously advocated in other .States, especially 
Wisconsin, Massachusetts and other New England States. 

Coming down two years later. Captain Burnham gives a concise history of the State Con- 
vention appointed by a conference of Republican editors at Decatur on F'ebruary "22, 18.56, and 
held at Bloomington on May 29th following, of which, after describing the part taken in it by 
Abraham Lincoln, and its far-reaching results to the State and the Nation, he truly says: 
"This convention thoroughly organized the Republican party of Illinois." While this em- 
braces much matter of interest, it relates to a later period than that intended to be treated in 
this article, of which, however, it was the final consummation. 


in the rotunda of the old State House, and addressed his audience 
within the grounds now occupied by the new State Capitol — proving 
the occasion on which these grounds were dedicated to free speech, 
and first occupied by the Republican party to whose custody, under a 
sort of preemption right, they have been entrusted by the people of 
Illinois almost continuously for nearly half a century. 

I find a copy of the call for the proposed convention to be held 
during the State Fair at Springfield in 1854, to which allusion has 
already been made, printed in the ^'Free West,"' of Chicago, of the 
date of September 7, 1854, which read as follows: 


'■A Convention of all the citizens of the State of Illinois opposed to the re- 
peal of the Missouri Compromise and to further extension and consolidation 
of the slave power, and in favor of the overthrow of the existing- State and 
National Administrations which are pledged to the support of slaverj^ will be 
held on the 5th daj' of October, A. D. 1854. at 2 o'clock, at Springfield, for the 
organization of a partj- vs^hich shall put the Government upon a Republican 
tack, and to secure to "non-slaveholders throughout the Union their just and 
constitutional weight and influence in the councils of the Nation. 

"Papers throughout the State please copy." 

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the "Free West'' was a 
weekly paper of pronounced anti-slavery views, printed in Chicago 
and then edited by Zebina Eastman, afterwards American Consul at 
Bristol, England, by appointment of President Lincoln. The sarae 
paper, in an editorial paragraph a few days later, referred to this 
meeting as "the Republican State Convention." The call, as pub- 
lished in the "Free West," is substantially correct, except that the 
date finally chosen for the meeting of the convention was October 4 
— the second day of the Fair — although its principal business was 
transacted on the 5th. 

In the absence of any tile of a newspaper which then supiDorted 
the movement, it is impossible to obtain access to a contemporaneous 
report of the convention. That which comes nearest meeting this 
demand I find in the columns of the "Chicago Daily Democrat'' (a 
paper opposed to the movement in 1854, but which, two years later, 
was in hearty accord with it), printed in its issue of November 2, 
1860. four days before the first election of Abraham Lincoln to the Pres- 
idency. This article, which bears internal evidence of having been 
written by some one who was present and took part in the Spring- 
field Convention, appears under the title, "History of the Early Or- 
ganization of the Republican Party," and is alluded to in an editorial 
paragraph in another part of the same issue, as relating "the circum- 
stances attending the birth of the Republican party."' Its essential 
portions are quoted as follows: 

(From the Chicago Daily Democrat, November 2, 1860.) 


"The first Republican State Convention in Illinois was called to meet at 
Springfield on the 4th day of October, 1854. The State Fair was in session at 
that time in Springfield, and it was thought to be a good time to make the 
first move for a State Republican organization. The call for the convention 
stated that it would be held at the State House. When the delegates arrived 


in Spring-field they found that so timid were the people there, that they had 
not obtained the use of the State House for the Convention, nor had any local 
notice been g-iven of its assembling-. However, at the time and place desig-- 
nated. the delegates came tog-ether." [Among those present, as stated by the 
Democrat, were Owen Lovejoj% Ichabod Codding, A. G. Throop, John F. 
Farnsworth, Tuthill King and a few others.] "After consultation it was de- 
cided to adjourn until the next day. and to get out some hand-bills announc- 
ing the fact. So afraid were the newspapers of Springfield of committing 
themselves to this 'abolition movement.' that they would not notice the fact, 
and would not print any hand-bills for us. The writer of these lines was 
obliged to set iip the hand-bills and print it himself in a job office. The next 
day the Convention again met. The attendance was larger and an organiza- 
tion was effected. Tuthill King called the Convention to order — A. G. Throop 
was elected Chairman and C. C. Flint. Secretary. The following Committee 
was appointed to draft resolutions and suggest the name of a candidate for 
State Treasurer: N. C. Geer, of Lake County: Joseph T. Morse, of Woodford; 
Erastus Wright, of Sangamon: Dr. II. K. Jones, of Morgan; Bronson Murray, 
of LaSalle; S. M. Coe, of Whiteside; T. B. Hurlbut. of Madison; William But- 
ler, of Lee: Jesse Penrose, of Whiteside: Dr. Henry Wing, of Madison. 

"During the absence of this Committee, the Convention was addressed by 
Mr. Codding, Mr. Lovejoy and others. The following extract from one of the 
speeches will show the spirit of the Convention: 

" 'This Convention is not large — owing to the unfavorable circumstances 
already mentioned and the persevering efforts of our opponents to prevent us 
from obtaining a place of meeting; but it is the little stone cut out of the 
mountain without hands, and it will fill the whole earth. Let us trust in 
God and God's truth. He is for us; who can be against us? His truth is what 
we are contending for, and victory will crown our efforts.' 

"Mr. Brown, of Alton, also addressed the Convention. He attacked the 
Whig party of the State, who were ready for a compromise, and said: 'I can 
consent to no compromise with anything so abhorrent as slavery. I am for 
no compromise with slavery in any shape.' 

The Convention at this point took a recess for the purpose of hearing the 
Hon. Abraham Lincoln make a speech in reply to Judge Douglas. This speech 
was one of the noblest efforts of Mr. Lincoln's life, and advocated the truest 
and boldest anti-slavery doctrine. 

"Upon reassembling, the Convention adopted the report of the Committee, 
one of the resolutions of which we copy as a specimen of the whole: 

" 'Resolved, that, as Freedom is National and Slavery Sectional and Local, 
the absence of all law upon the subject of Slavery presumes the existence of 
a state of Freedom alone.' 

"Hon. Owen Lovejoy nominated John E. McClun, of McLean county as the 
candidate for State Treasurer. Ichabod Codding seconded the nomination, 
and it was made unanimous. 

"The following State Central Committee was then appointed and the Con- 
vention adjourned: 

" David .1. Baker, of Madison: Major N. D. Coy, of Knox: N. C. Geer, of 
Lake; A. (t. Throop, of Cook: Judge E. S. Leland, of LaSalle: M. L. Dunlap, 
of Cook, Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Sangamon; H. M. Sheets, of Stephenson; 
Z. Eastman, of Cook; John F. Farnswcjrth, of Kane; J. B. Fairbanks, of Mor- 
gan: Ichabod Codding, of Chicago. 

" Such was the birth of the Republican party of Illinois. Such were the 
men who set the ball in motion which is now rolling forward with irresistible 
force. Almost without exception they are men who loved liberty for itself 
and not for office They were the founders, and they have been the pioneers 
and fighting men of the party. They have fought its battles, won its victor- 
ies, and have brought it to the threshold of a great triumph. And, now, 
when they demand that principle shall not be sacrificed to a mistaken exped- 
iency — when they insist that the doctrines that gave life and strength to the 
Republican party in its infancy shall be maintained inviolate — they are de- 
nounced, and abused and stigmatized by the hangers-on of the organization, 
as insane radicals, and as men wanting to hurt the party." 

—18 H S 


This statemeat is substantially correct, except that a tempor- 
ary organization was effected on the evening of the J:th and a Com- 
mittee on Resolutions appointed, M'ho met in the office of Erastus 
Wright, the same evening, and reported their platform the next morn- 
ing. This platform will be found immediately following this paper, 
and is here published as a part of the history of that period, and for 
the purpose of proving the actual position of those taking part in the 
convention. (See AjDpendix B, pp. 282-28:^.) 

As was the custom of the Democratic press and speakers of the 
time, the leaders in this movement were assailed with the most vitu- 
perative epithets of which the English language was capable, the 
most common title given to the new party being "Abolitionists," 
"Black Republicans,"' and '"Negro worshipers." though others of a 
much viler character were often used. Of the two papers then pub- 
lished in Springfield, neither gave an accurate report of the Conven- 
tion, the "State Journal," which still adhered to the Whig party dis- 
posing of the subject, in a paragraph of two or three lines, while the 
"State Register," the Democratic organ, eleven days later, printed a 
series of resolutions of a radical character, — among other things de 
manding the repeal o£ the Fugitive Slave Law and the abolition of 
slavery in the District of Columbia— as the platform adopted on the 
6th of October. These resolutions (to which reference has already 
been made). Senator Douglas quoted in his first debate with Lincoln 
at Ottawa, as having been adoi^ted by "the first mass State Convention 
ever held in Illinois b}^ the Black Republican party," and charged 
Lincoln with not only being in full sympathy with its platform, but 
with having assisted to make it— in other words, that he was pledged 
to a policy of absolute abolitionism. At the next debate, held at Free- 
port, a week later, the true history of the resolutions quoted at Ottawa 
was brought out, showing that they had not been adopted at Spring- 
field, and Douglas was placed in the humiliating predicament of being 
compelled to acknowledge that he had been misled by his own organ. 
The fact was. that the platform actuall.y adopted at Springfield 
contained no sentiment more radical than that of opposition to 
the further extension of slavery, and made no declaration in favor of 
repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law. or of interference with the institution 
where it already existed under the Constitution. While affirming 
that slavery could exist only by virtue of positive law. the Springfield 
resolutions not only expressed the most friendly and fraternal feeling 
toward the })eople of the South, a^id conceded to them "all the rights 
on our soil included in the sacred compact of the Constitution," but 
also declared — 

"That we recognize no antag-onism of national interests between us and the 
citizens of the Southern States, nor do we entertain any feeling's of hostility 
toward them; but we reeogfnize them as kindred and bi-ethi-en of the same 
national family, having- a common origin and, we hope, a common and g-lorious 

Could recognition of rights under the constitution and disavowal 
of sectional hostility have gone further? 

In saying that "some serious errors have crept into what ]3uri)orts 
to be the history of this period," I do not refer to those of a mere 
partisan character. While the authors of our State histories, in some 


instances at least, have, no doubt, unintentionally on their own part 
been led into these errors by partisan misstatements, the fact that 
they have professed to deal in "true history" makes their errors all 
the more serious and deserving of correction. I know of no more 
conspicuous example of this sort than is to be found ina volume under 
the pretentious title of "The True Abraham Lincoln," in which the 
author — Mr. William Eleroy Curtis — in discussing events connected 
with Mr. Lincoln's political career during the year 1854 (page 147), 

"He'' (Lincoln) "was still further embarrassed by the unauthorized and 
impertinent act of a small group of Abolitionists who met in Spring-field be- 
fore the session of the Legislature, passed resolutions indorsing Lincoln as 
their candidate for the Senate and, without consulting him, appointed him a 
member of their State Central Committee. There were only twenty-six in the 
assembly — earnest, eager men, and radical in their views — and, although 
Lincoln's policy of recognizing the constitutional authority for slavery was 
well known to them, they admired his abilitj^ and the able tight he was 
making against the extension of the system in the Tei-ritories. lie was not 
aware that his name appeared in the list of the abolitionist committee until 
several weeks after the convention had adjourned. In fact, very little notice 
was taken of its meeting, and its action was discovered by the Democrats be- 
fore it was known to the Whigs. Lincoln immediately wi-ote a letter declin- 
ing to serve, and sajang that he was perplexed to understand why his name 
was used, because he supposed that his position on the slavery question was 
not at all satisfactory to their party."' i 

While the word "Abolitionist" no longer carries with it the oppro- 
brium once attached to it in the estimation of a large class of the 
American i^eople, its meaning — whether of obloquy or honor — is to be 
judged by the s^jirit and intent of the person using it. In the light 
of this principle it seems to have been Mr. Curtis's object to reflect 
upon the political sentiments of the members of the convention of 
1854. as well as upon their methods. The real (question is, was the 
convention, as a whole, composed of .a "small group of Abolitionists," 
and were they guilty of an "unauthorized cind impertinent act," justi- 
fying the rebuke which our author assumes to administer? Asio the 
first, it is but just to judge of the convention by its utterance in the 
platform adopted — which, as shown by the quotations already pre- 
sented, was of the most conservative character — but of this Mr. Curtis 
takes no account and probably knew nothing. As a matter of fact, 
and from personal knowledge, T feel justified in saying that a large 
proportion of the members — I believe a majority — were as conservative 
in reference to their policy for checking the spread of slavery as was 
Mr. Lincoln himself. 

1. The conjecture elsewhere expressed a.s to the partisan oriprin of the estimate accepted 
bv Mr. Curtis in reference to the number of those present and participatinp: in the dehberatinns 
oif the convention is supported, if not actually confirmed, by an editorial paraprapb ijrinted in 
the Illinois State Register of October (3th— the day after the adjournment of the convention. 
Under the title, "The Black Republican Fizzle," that paper says: "The convention of the 
universal fusion party was holden at the State House yesterday, in pursuance of lone and 
widely spread notice. Twenty-six men and one boy constituted the 'Black Republican' con- 
cern." This appeared just tive days before the publication by the same paper of the fraudulent 
series of resolutions referred to, and taking the two together, with the attemijted witticism in 
making mention of "a boy" as one of those assisting to make up the assemblage, indicates 
clearly enough the purpose to belittle ttie convention without regard to facts, as well as to 
misrepresent its position. The imly wonder is that such statements should be accepted by 
those professing to deal with actual facts as true history. 


Other writers, following the same lead as Mr. Curtis, have spoken 
of the convention in depreciatory terms, evidently with a view to be- 
littling its action. With but one exception, however, they have 
spoken without personal knowledge, taking their cue from the preju- 
diced misstatements of a partisan press, the result of which was to 
lead Douglas into the blunder of charging upon Lincoln and the con- 
vention responsibility for a set of radical resolutions which never 
passed that body. Davidson & Stuve and Moses, in their respective 
histories, err as to the date of the convention, naming October 8d 
instead of the 4th, as the day of meeting. For the reason already 
mentioned, of the prejudiced sources from which they draw their in- 
formation, they agree as to the general composition of the convention, 
the one speaking of it as "'a small anti-Nebraska, or fusion, mass 
convention, which assumed the name Republican.'" while the other 
describes it. as "managed" by '"extremists . . . — known not only as 
opposed to slavery but as Abolitionists." It has remained for Mr. 
Curtis, however, to go several degrees further and. while adopting 
one of the most opprobrious political epithets of the time, to charge 
the convention with the commission of an "unauthorized and imper- 
tinent act" in indorsing Mr. Lincoln as their candidate for the L'nited 
States Senate, and "without consulting him." appointing him '"a 
member of their State Central Committee." It only needs that this 
self-appointed guardian of the fame of the "'True Abraham Lincoln*' 
should have added to his outburst a few such epithets as "Black Re- 
publican,"" "Negro-Worshiper" or "Miscegenationist," to make it 
read like a belated echo from one of the most vituperative harangues 
of some champion of slavery fifty years ago. 

The only writer who absolutely agrees with Mr. Curtis, and from 
whom the latter, no doubt, has drawn a large share of his inspiration, 
is the late William H. Herndon, who, in his Life of Lincoln, while 
avowing himself an "Abolitionist" and "thoroughly inoculated"" "with 
the virus" of that doctrine, and while claiming to have "been in con- 
ference all the day"' with the men composing the convention, whom 
he describes as "Abolitionists,"" also claims to have acted as the 
special guardian of Mr. Lincoln and, by inducing him to leave town 
"under pretense of having business in Tazewell County,'" to 
have protected him from being contaminated by contact with the 
convention. In this Herndon simply seems to have made the com- 
mon mistake of judging others by himself — and that, too, as will be 
shown later on, without reason or justification. However honest his 
motives and devoted his friendship to Lincoln, it has been shown that 
he fell into a number of grave errors in regard to the life of Lincoln, 
which gave that noble patriot's most intimate friends much annoy- 
ance: and, if he could err in reference to a man whom he was accus- 
tomed to meet daily on the plane of a business partner, how much 
more would he be likely to err in assuming to represent the opinions 
of others, most of whom he met — if at all — only on this occasion. 

Herndon furnishes no estimate of the numbers in attendance on 
the convention, though he does speak of himself and "many others"' 
as having "helped to swell the throng"" — which scarcely agrees with 


Curtis' estimate, taken from historians already quoted. Undoubtedly 
the fact that the debate in progress between Douglas and his sup- 
porters, on one side, and Lincoln and Trumbull, on the other, monop- 
olized a large share of the public interest, tended to lessen the attend- 
ance, yet there is reason to believe that the estimate of "only twi'nty- 
six," may have been based upon the attendance on the first day's 
meeting, and not on that of the second day. The late fJudge Mark 
Bangs of Chicago, who was a delegate from Marshall county, and 
Bronson Murray, a delegate from LaSalle county and a member of 
the Committee on Resolutions, have expressed to me the opinion that 
the figures given grossly underestimated the number in attendance 
on the day when the principal business of the convention was trans- 

It is true that Mr. Lincoln, on being formally notified by Codding, 
as Secretary of the proposed State Central Committee, of his appoint- 
ment as one of its members, declined to serve, and. while declaring 
himself "perplexed some to understand why my (his) name was placed 
on that committe," added: 

"I was not consulted on the subject, nor was I apprised of the appointment 
until I discovered it two or three weeks afterward. I suppose my opposition 
to the principle of slavery is as strong as that of any member of the Repub- 
lican party; but I have also supposed that the extent to which 1 feel author- 
ized to carry that opposition, practically, was not at all satisfactory to that 
party. The leading men who organized that party were present on the fourth 
of October at the discussion between Douglas and myself at Springfield, and 
had full opportunity to not misunderstand my position. Do I misunderstand 

It is here worthy of note that Mr. Lincoln here recognized the 
Republican party as already in existence. If he was ignorant of his 
appointment on their State Central Committee — and we have his 
statement that he was — Mr. Herndon, who claims to have known 
everything that w^as going on in the convention, had failed to dis- 
charge his duty by informing him of the fact. It is true that many 
of the members of the convention — probably a majority— had been 
present at the discussion between Douglas and Lincoln. They under- 
stood Lincoln's position; and that they approved it was shown by 
their action on the second day. This was made all the more con- 
spicuous by an incident occurring on the floor of the convention, of 
which I have a vivid recollection. When it came to the appointment 
of a State Central Committee, some one raised the question whether 
Lincoln was in harmony with the views of the convention, and I re- 
member it was Owen Lovejoy who responded with an earnest indorse- 
ment of Lincoln's position on the slavery question — showing that the 
real attitude of the future emancipator of a race was understood, how- 
ever much he may then have misunderstood the actual sentiments of 
the convention. 

It is clear that Lincoln had not. at the time he responded to Cod- 
ding's letter, read the resolutions actually adopted on the 5th of Octo- 
ber. If he had, he would scarcely have said of the members of the 
convention, "Do I misunderstand them?'' — that is, the position of 
the members of that convention. If he had read anything purport- 
ing to represent the views of the convention, it was the fraudulent 


platform printed in a local Springfield paper, with which Douglas 
confronted him at Ottawa four years later; and it follows very natur- 
ally that he did "misunderstand" the real position of the convention. 
Two years later the Republican Convention at Bloomington, called 
with Lincoln's approval by the Editorial Convention at Decatur of 
February 22, 185B, adopted a platform giving utterance to the same 
principles as those enunciated at Springfield in 1854, and then the 
" True Abraham Lincoln" and the members of the Springfield Con- 
vention were in hearty accord, and neither had changed their attitude 
on the main issues in the smallest particular. 

In his letter to Codding, Lincoln makes no reference to the '"in- 
sult" (?) of his nomination to the United States Senate by the "Abo- 
lition" convention of 1854, nor did Douglas mention it during the de- 
bates of 1858, as he certainly would have done if such a thing had 
occurred. As I have no recollection of such action by the convention, 
and nothing of the sort appears in the resolutions adopted, I am in- 
clined to believe Mr. Curtis's accusation on this subject one of his 
characteristic blunders — resulting, probably, from a misty recollection 
of the action to this effect by the convention of 1858, which called 
forth Lincoln's memorable " house-divided- against-itself speech" of 
June 16th of that year. 

If the appointment of Lincoln as a member of that " Abolitionist 
Committee," as Curtis falsely, though ignorantly, perhaps, chooses to 
stigmatize it, was an "impertinent act," it is curious that we should 
find him, two years later, in conference with the Editorial Convention 
at Decatur approving a similar "impertinent act" in naming the com- 
mittee which called the Republican State Convention held at Bloom- 
ington on the May following. Of eleven committeemen api3ointed at 
Decatur only two or three could have been consulted on the subject; 
yet we find the majority of them meekly " pocketing the insult " and 
joining in the call for the Bloomington Convention — the exceptions 
being W. B. Ogden of Chicago, who declined on account of business 
requiring his absence from the State; R. J. Oglesby, who left the 
State for a tour through Europe and the Holy Land, and Gustavus 
Koerner (then Lieutenant-Governor under the administration of 
Governor Matteson). who doubted whether the time was ripe for a 
new organization. Koerner was later found in co-operation with the 
new party, accepting office from President Lincoln, but finally drifted 
back into the ranks of the Democracy. 

During the first year after the passage of the Nebraska Act Lincoln 
was engaged in a vigorous effort to induce the Whig party, as a body, 
to align itself in opi^osition to that measure. At that time Lovejoy 
was the bogy being held up to deter him from entering into any 
combination with those who had been stigmatized — rightfully or 
wrongfully — with the title of "Abolitionists." That his hope of an 
alignment by the Whig party had been dashed in pieces a few months 
later, is evident from the following extract from a letter to his friend, 
Joshua F. Speed, in August, 1855: "You inquire where I now stand. 
That is a disputed point. I think I am a Whig; but others say there 
are no Whigs, and that I am an Abolitionist. ... I now do no 



more than oppose the extension of slavery."* It is evident from this 
that he had not only begun to realize that his scheme was a failure, 
but was considering the policy of a union with members of both the 
old parties who might agree with him on this issue — a position which 
was identical -with that of the convention of October, 1854, and fore- 
shadowed what took place at Bloomington in May, 185(), when he and 
Owen Lovejoy thrilled the same audience by their eloquence from the 
same platform, in sujjport of the same principles and the same ticket, 
which was triumphantly elected in November. 

During Lincoln's discharge of his perplexing duties in the Presi- 
dential chair, he had no more loyal and faithful supporter of his 
jjolicy than was Owen Lovejoy. It was the consciousness of this 
fact, which, after the anti-slavery champion's untimely death in 1854, 
called forth from the soon-to-be martyred President, this tribute to 
his memory: 

"Throughout my heavy and perplexing responsibilities here, to the day of 
his death, it would scarcely wrong any other to say. he was my most gener- 
ous friend. Let him have the marble monument along with the well assured 
and most endearing one in the hearts of those who love liberty unselfishly 
for all men." 

That I am not alone in my estimate of the errors which Mr. Curtis 
has allowed to creej) into his story of the so-called "True Abraham 
Lincoln," I think I have already shown by quotations from, and ref- 
erences to, the statements of others who took part in the first attempt 
to organize the Republican party at Springfield in October, 1854. I 
am in a position to present more direct testimony from one of these 
— Mr. Bronson Murray, widely known throughout the State as Secre- 
tary of the State Agricultural Society for many years, as well as one 
of the influential factors in the movement which resulted in the found- 
ing of a system of industrial colleges in all the States, including the 
University of Illinois. Mr. Murray, who was a delegate to the con- 
vention from LaSalle county, and a member of the Committee on 
Resolutions, according to mv latest information, was still living at an 
advanced age in New York City, which has been his home for the 
j)ast thirty years. In a letter addressed to me a few months ago, in 
commenting upon the extract I have quoted from Mr. Curtis' . . . 
book, Mr. Murray says: 

"One may pass over the arrogance of an author who undertakes so to 
characterize the solemn deliberations and conclusions of 'earnest, eager men,' 
as he admits they were, and who were discharging their duty to the nation 
pursuant to a call for the men of all parties in the State of Illinois who were 
opposed to the 'Nebraska Kill' liable to extend slavery into those free Terri- 
tories. But the falsification of history in stating that the convention was 
limited, in any sense, to a 'small group of Abolitionists,' is inexcusable in a 
work professedly truthful. 

"I do not now remember, nor have I a copy of the resolutions passed at 
that convention; but I am very certain that that v^hich. at that day would 
have been characterized as -Abolitionism." could not have received my signature 
or support. The Abolition party and its followers, of that day. were a dis- 
tinct and well-known body of men who, without regard to consequences, 
advocated the interference with and abolition of slavery in all the States and 
Territories. This was a distinct and well-known fact of that time. That, in 
the heat of party strife, men should attempt to blacken the reputationof 
their opponents by fastening upon them opprobrious epithets, is a practice 


confined to no special era . ' . . . But true history knows that the Con- 
vention of October 4th and Sth (1854) was called, composed and limited in its 
membership by no such lines as Mr. William Eleroy Curtis attempts to assign 
to it. It is. perhaps, very true that its numbers on the first day may not have 
exceeded ^Ir. Curtiss enumeration, but on the second day, when the resolutions 
were passed, the convention was a fair representation of the State."' 

No word of mine is needed to give additional emphasis to the de- 
served rebuke of an author who, without personal or accurate know- 
ledge of the events which he attempts to describe, assumes to belittle 
the work and cast reproach upon patriotic men now passed away. At 
this late day, after the name of Lincoln had been immor,talized through 
all the ages by his preservation of the Union and the destruction of 
slavery, it is a jDoor tribute to his memory to picture him as resenting 
the act of a body of men who, while honoring him with their con- 
fidence, simply anticipated him in recognition of the necessity for 
that party organization in which he joined with patriotic zeal and en- 
thusiasm two years later, and which finally resulted in his elevation 
to the Presidency. Judged by his invincible logic, his sense of 
justice, his political sagacity and that unswerving integrity which 
characterized his acts in both public and private life, I risk nothing 
in saying that, were the "True Abraham Lincoln" alive today, no one 
would resent more indignantly than he, the assumption that the 
vindication of his honor and the perpetuation of his fame call for the 
censure and detraction of those who were his firmest supporters 
during the darkest hours in the Nation's history. 

It has not been the i3urpose of this paper to argue that the organ- 
ization of the Republican party in Illinois was consummated b}' the 
convention held in Springfield in October, 1854, or to depreciate or 
underestimate the work accomplished in the same direction at a later 
period. This work began with the movement to restrict the further 
extension of slavery, following and made necessary by the repeal of 
the Missouri Compromise in the adoption of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, 
and its accomplishment was due to a process of gradual development of 
which the steps inaugurated in 1854 formed a conspicuous part, and 
the events of the next two years, leading up to the Bloomington Con- 
vention of 1856, marked the consummation. They were joarts of a 
whole, as was the development of Abraham Lincoln's emancipation 
policy, foreshadowed unconsciously, but with impregnable logic, in 
his speech of June 16, 1858, when he uttered the declaration: "This 
government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I 
do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house 
to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all 
one thing or all the other."' This prediction brought upon Lincoln 
the charge of disunionism, just as the proposition to organize a new 
party on the basis of opposition to the extension of slavery brought 
upon the men of 1854 the charge of "abolitionism;" yet Lincoln lived 
not only to see his marvelous prophecy fulfilled within seven short 
years, but to become the chief factor in its accomplishment. 

The part which, by your invitation. I have endeavored to perform 
here today, as one of the few surviving members of the convention of 


1854, I have felt to be due no less to the memory of the Tnie Abra- 
ham Lincoln than to that of the men ^Yho, unselfishly and uninflu- 
enced by mere aspirations to office, took the first steps to organize 
the Republican party in Illinois. 


Some of Mr. Curtis's CoNSPinors Errors as They Appear in His "True 

Abraham Lincoln." 

By waj' of illustration of Mr. Curtis's capacity for perpetrating surprising 
blunders when he undertakes to deal with matters of history with special 
accuracy, it is pertinent here to call attention to a number of examples of a 
character different from that already under discussion. Passing over nximerous 
specimens of loose and faulty literary construction, which result in ambiguity 
of meaning or absolute violation of the rules of syntax, one of the most note- 
worthy of these examples appears on page 7."), where, in relating an incident 
connected with Lincoln's career as a lawyer, and in connection with which 
Mr. Curtis has occasion to mention Judge David Davis, our author speaks of 
that early Whig and ardent personal and political friend of Lincoln, as "an 
intimate friend and fellow-Democrat" of Senator Douglas — the first half of 
the statement being as far from the truth as the last. On page 100, referring 
to the entrance of Douglas into Illinois politics, after his admission to the bar 
at twenty-one j'ears of age, the "Little Giant" is spoken of as having come 
"to Springfield with no acquaintances and only thirty- seven cents in his 
pocket, to contest for the otfice of State's attorney with John J. Hardin," 
while a few pages farther on (page 134), in commenting upon Lincoln's first 
term in the Legislature, it is said that, '■'in this and future sessions of the 
Legislature, he (Lincoln) sat beside Stephen A. Douglas. . . . Edward D. 
Baker, . . . Oliver (Orville) H. Browning, . . . John A. McClernand, . . . 
John Logan, the father of the late General John A. Logan. Robert M. 
(Richard N.) Cullom." etc. The fact in regard to the first incident is, that 
Douglas came first to Jacksonville with the reputed "thirty-seven cents in his 
pocket," in 1833, then went to Winchester where he taught school and studied 
law, and, two years later made his successful campaign — not "at Springfield"' 
but at Vandalia — for the State's attorneyship for Morgan county, and no 
doubt before his arrival in Springfield on the occasion referred to, had spent 
that historic "thirtj'-seven cents" many times over. As to the piece of legis- 
lative history. Lincoln did not sit "beside Stephen A. Douglas." nor any of 
the other gentlemen named during his first term in the General Assembly, 
though all were members of the House at the next session, except Browning, 
who was in the Senate. 

Again, on page 190, Montgomery Blair, Lincoln's first Postmaster-General, 
is confounded with his father (Francis P. Blair. Sr.). in commenting on the 
self-imposed mission of the latter to Richmond to confer with Jefferson Davis 
in reference to opening negotiations for peace. Other blunders include the 
mention of Montgomery Blair as having been appointed Solicitor of the Court 
of Claims by President Buchanan (page 187). whereas the appointment was 
made in 1855 by Franklin Pierce: the substitution of the name Seward for 
Chase, as shown by the context, on page 207; the fixing of the date of Lincoln's 
first "public avowal of his views on the subject of slavery in his protest 
against a series of pro-.slavery i-esolutions adopted by the Illinois Legislature, 
as belonging to the year 1838. and incidentally mentioning "the tragic death 
of Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy" as having occurred "a few months after"' — both of 
these evetits having occurred in 1837. The naming (page 393). on the alleged 
authority of Secretary of the Navy Welles, of September 22, 1862. as the date 
on which Lincoln submitted his preliminary Emancipation I'roclamation to 
his Cabinet — whereas the real date, as shown by Welles' article in theGala.xy 


Mag'azine of December 1872, was September 20th, the proclamation receiving 
Lincoln's signature on the 22nd — illustrates the author's capacity for perpe- 
trating blunders when he attempts to be exact. 

There are niimerovis other errors scarcely worth mentioning in this con- 
nection, but probably none more liidicrous in the whole batch than the at- 
tempt of the author, after quoting Lincoln's description of himself as "only a 
mast-fed lawyer,'" to enlighten his readers by defining "Mast'' as "a kind of 
food composed of acorns, grass and similar natui-al substances, which was 
commonly given to cattle and hogs in Indiana and other frontier States, when 
he was a boy" — a definition which would have naade Noah Webster gasp with 
astonishment that his dictionary should have been in the hands of the Amer- 
ican nation for generations with so little effect upon one of its most preten- 
tious and self-sufficient authors. Lincoln, in his greenest days, would scarcely 
have made the mistake of thus mixing "grass and similar natural substances" 
with "the fruit of the oak, beech and other forest trees," under the general 
definition of "mast," nor would he have thought it necessary to "give" them 
"to cattle and hogs." when the animals for which nature intended them, were 
able to help themselves. 

In the face of blunders such as these in connection with well known facts 
of history, is it to be wondered at that we should be confronted with even 
more vital errors concerning matters about which the writer knew nothing 
personally, and in reference to which he has merely adopted the mistakes of 
others who, without personal knowledge of the events which they attempted 
to describe, allowed themselves to be misled by the prejudiced and malevolent 
misstatements of a partisan press in a time of intense political agitation and 
sectional antagonism? 


REruBi-iCAN Platform of 1854. 

The following is the platform adopted at a meeting of opponents of the 
Nebraska bill held at Springfield, 111., October 4th and 5th. 1854: 

WiiEKEAs, The present Congress by a majority of the members elected to 
the house, has deliberatelj^ and wantomly re-opened the controversy respect- 
ing the extension of slavpry under our national jurisdiction, which a majority 
of the people has understood to be closed forever by the successive compro- 
mises of 1820 and 1850; and 

WiiEitKAs, This Congress, aided and impelled by the Federal Executive, has 
by the act currently known as the Nebraska bill, designedly subverted so 
much of the compact, commonly termed the Missouri Compromise, as excluded 
slavery from that vast region of our continent stretching from the Mississippi 
to the Rocky Mountains, and from the parellel of 36 degrees 150 minutes to 
the northern boundary of our I'nion, the State of Missouri alone excepted: 

Rexolved, That the State of Illinois affirms and maintains the right and the 
duty of the General Government to prohibit and preclude the extension, estab- 
lishment or perpetuation of human slavery in any and every territory of the 
United States, and in any territory, possession and country over which this 
country now has. or may hereafter acquire, exclusive jurisdiction. 

Refiolved. That the doctrine affirmed by the Nebraska bill, and gilded over 
by its advocates with the specious phrases of non-intervention and popular 
sovereignty, is reallj' and clearly a complete surrender of all the ground hith- 
erto asserted and maintained by the Federal Government, with respect to 
the lioaitation of slavery, is a plain confession of the right of the slave holder 
to transfer his human chattels to any part of the public domain, and there 
hold them as slaves as long as inclination or interest may dictate; that this is 
an attempt totally to reverse the doctrine, hitherto uniformly held by states- 
men and jurists, that slavery is the creature of local and state law, and to 
make it a national institution. 


Resolved, That, as freedom is national and slavery sectional and local, the 
absence of all law upon the subject of slavery presumes the existence of a 
state of freedom alone, w^hile slavery existed only by virtue of positive law. 

Resolved, That slavery can exist in a territory only bj^ usurpation and in 
violation of law, and we believe that Congress has the right and should pro- 
hibit its extension into such territory, so long as it remains under the guar- 
dianship of the General Government 

Resolved. That we willingly concede to neighboring States all the legal 
rights an our soil included in the sacred compact of the Constitution, but we 
regard the trial bj' jury and the writ of habeas corpus as safeguards of per- 
sonal liberty so necessary that no interests of any citizen of our own State 
ever are, or can be. permitted to suspend them: and, therefore no citizen of 
other States can fairly ask us to consent to their abrogation. 

Resolved. That we recognize no antagonism of national interest between us 
and the citizens of the Southern States, nor do we entertain any feeling of 
hostility toward them, but we recognize them as kindred and brethren of the 
same national family, having a common origin, and we hope a common and 
glorioiis destinj'. 

Remlved. That, in that fraternal spirit, we call upon them to aid us in re- 
storing the action of government to its primitive usage, under which we have 
so long enjoyed prosperity and peace, as the only guarantee of future har- 
mony, and a certain, if not the only, means of perpetuation of the Union. 

Resolved, That the river and harbor improvements, when necessary to the 
safety and convenience of commerce wnth foreign nations, or among the sev- 
eral States, are objects of national concern, and it is the duty of congress, in 
the execution of its constitutional power, to provide for the same. 

Resolved. That we heartily approve the coiirse of the freemen of Connecti- 
cut, Vermont, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, New York, Wisconsin. Michigan and 
Maine, postponing or disregarding their minor differences of opinion or pref- 
erences, and acting together cordially and trustingly in the same cause of 
freedom, of free labor and free soil, and we commend their spirit to the free- 
men of this and other States, exhorting each to renoimce his party whenever 
and wherever that party proves unfaithful to human freedom. 



( By Lucia A. Stevens.) 

Lincoln's j)ublic life, up to the time of his election to the Presi- 
dency, may be roughly divided into four periods: First, the years of 
purely local influence, which resulted in his election to Congress in 
1846; second, the term of congressional service and the succeeding 
years of preparation leading to the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858; 
third, the Lincoln-Douglas debates; and, fourth, the final epoch of 
activity and agitation which culminated in Lincoln's triumph in 1860. 

For the first jjeriod practically- nothing can be said concerning the 
"growth of public opinion in the east in regard to Lincoln," since, 
through those early years, Lincoln's reputation, although steadily 
increasing, was confined to his own State. He first became known to 
the east during the second period of his political life, the time of his 
service in Washington. We have many and varied opinions as to 
the extent and importance of his influence there. Arnold, in his 
"Life of Lincoln," states that "Lincoln took a more prominent part 
in debates than is usual for new members;" and the number of 
"remarks," "speeches," and so forth, recorded in his "complete 
works" would seem to justify the assertion. 

The list is as follows: 

December 22, 1847, "Resolution." 
January 5, 1848, "'Remarks " 
January 12, 1848, "Speech." 
January 19, 1848, "Report.'' 
March 9, 1848, "Report." 
March 9, 1848, "Report." 
March 29, 1848, "Remarks." 
May 11, 1848, "Remarks.'" 
June 20, 1848. "Speech."' 
June 28, 1848, "Remarks." 
July 27, 1848, "Speech "' 

January 16, 1849, "Bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia." 
February 13, 1849, "Remarks in the United States House of Representa- 

Several of Lincoln's letters also throw valuable light upon his 

speech-making in Congress. A week after the House met he sent the 

following letter to his partner :i 

(December 13, 1847— TiCtter to William H. Herndon.) 

Wasuingtox, December 13, 1847. 
As you are all so anxious for me to distinguish myself, I have concluded to 
do so before long. Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

I Nicolay & Hay. Lincoln's ' 'Complete Works," vol. I, p. 96. 


In this half-jesting statement Lincoln evidently referred to the 
"Spot Resolutions" which he introduced soon afterwards. The two 
letters given below refer, respectively, to his first speech which, as he 
says, was on a postoffice question, and to a second more important 
one, which was based upon the "Spot Resolutions."' 

"As to speech-making, by way of getting the hang of the House, I made a 
little speech two or three days ago on the postoffice question of no general 
interest. I find speaking here and elsewhere about the same thing. I was 
about as badly scared, and no worse, as J am when I speak in court. I ex- 
pect to make one within a week or two, in which I hope to succeed well 
enough to wish you to see it." 

January 8, 1848 — Letter to William H. Herndon.l 

In a letter to Herndon, .dated February 1, 1848, he says:- 

"Before it reaches you. j'ou will have seen and read my pamphlet speech, 
and perhaps been scared anew by it, After you get over your scare, read it 
over again, sentence by sentence, and tell me honestly what you think of it. 
I"condensed all I could for fear of being cut off by the hovir rule, and when I 
got through I had spoken but forty-five minutes. 

Yours forever, 

A. Lincoln." 

The oblivion which overtook Lincoln's excellent speech, together 
with many other excellent speeches on the Mexican question, is as- 
cribed by Nicolay and Hay to the (luadulupe Treaty which closed the 
debate, and blotted out all thought of the "causes and processes' ^ 
which led to the momentuous result." The most popular of Lincoln's 
speeches delivered in Congress, was probably the one on "Military 
Coat Tails." to which Ben. Perley Poore, a newspaper correspondent 
in Washington at the time, refers thus: 

"Mr. Lincoln received hearty congratulations at the close, many Demo- 
crats joining the Whigs in their complimentary comments. The speech was 
pronounced by older members of the House almost equal to the celebrated 
defense of General Harrison by Tom Corwin, in reply to, an attack made on 
him by a Mr. Crary of Ohio. The two speeches are equally characterized by 
vigoi-ous argument, mirth-provoking irony and original wit. One democrat, 
however, . . . didn't enthuse at all. The fact that Mr. Lincoln strode vip 
and down the aisle while delivering his speech, gave rise to the following joke: 

•Sawyer,' asked an eastern representative, 'how did you like the lanky Illi- 
noisian's speech? Very able, wasn't it?' 

'Weir, replied Sawyer, 'the speech was pretty good, but I hope he won't 
charge mileage on his travels while delivering it.' " 

Lincoln's most important and significant congressional work how- 
ever, was doubtless his "Bill for the Prohibition of Slavery in the 
District of Columbia." In regard to this bill Joshua Giddings, one 
of the leading abolitionists in Congress, says in his diary: 

This evening (January 11) our whole mess remained in the dining room 
after tea, and conversed upon the subject of Mr. Lincoln's bill to abolish 
slavery. It was appi-oved by all. I believe it as good a bill as we could get 
at this time, and am willing to pay for slaves in order to save them from the 
Southern market, as 1 suppose every man in the district would sell his slaves, 
if he saw that slavery was to be abolished. 

1 Nicolay & Hay, Lincoln's ' 'Complete Works." Vol. J, p. 99-100. 

2 Nicolay & Hay, Lincoln's "Complete Works." Vol. I, p. IIO-IU. 

3 ' 'Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln," p. 22L 

i Quoted in Nict lay ct Hay ''Abraham Lincoln— A History,'" V. I, p. 266, 


The bill was defeated, but in regard to the interest aroused on the 
question of prohibition of slavery in the District, Lincoln in his 
Peoria speech, 18o4, made the following modest statement: "I per- 
sonally know that this has not been left undone because it was un- 
thought of. It was frequently spoken of by members of Congress and 
by citizens of Washington six years ago; and I heard no one express 
a doubt that a system of gradual emancipation, with compensation to 
owners, would meet the approbation of a large majority of the white 
people of the district. "•• While, as we have seen, this bill was ap- 
proved by the Abolitionists in Congress, it later, because of its 
necessary clause enforcing the return of fugitive slaves, called down 
upon its author a stinging attack from Wendell Phillips. 

Side by side with the records of Lincoln's work as a legislator, we 
must put the testimony of many men who were in Washington during 
this period of his career. Robert C. Winthrop of Boston, Speaker of 
the House at that time, said, when writing, thirty-four years after: 
'•I recall vividly the impressions I then formed, both of his ability 
and amiability. We were old Whigs together, and agreed entirely 
upon all "luestions of public interest. I could not always concur in 
the policy of the party which made him President, but I never lost 
my personal regard for him. For shrewdness and sagacity and keen, 
practical sense he had no superior iii our day and generation. '"-• 

We also have from Mr. Winthrop's •'Memoir'' this further account 
of his relations with Mr. Lincoln: "For convenience he (Winthrop) 
kept lists of his guests, and the recurrence in them of names like 
Clay, Webster and Calhoun was a matter of course; but there is a 
single entry of a name destined in process of time to outshadoM' all 
the rest, that of the 'lone star of Illinois,' as he was sometimes called, 
he being then the only Whig in the delegation from that State. Mr. 
Winthrop was not one of those, if any there were, who discovered in 
Abraham Lincoln at that period the promise of exceptional fame; 
but he liked him personally, finding him shrewd and kindly, with an 
air of reserved force. "^ 

Perhaps the most interesting testimony regarding Lincoln at this 
time is furnished by Ben Perley Poore, some of whose reminiscences 
have already been quoted. A number of boon companions were accus- 
tomed to meet in the jJostofBce and indulge in story-telling contests 
while waiting for the mail to be distributed. ''After modestly stand- 
ing at the door for several days," as Mr. Poore tells us, "Mr. Lincoln 
was 'reminded' of a story, and by New Year's he was recognized as 
the champion story-teller of the capital." Mr. Poore goes on to say: 
"It was refreshing to us correspondents, compelled as we were to 
listen to so much that was prosy and tedious, to hear this bright spec- 
imen of western genius tell his inimitable stories." Accordingly, as 
Mr. Poore testifies, "The election of Abraham Lincoln as President 
was very acceptable to the older Washington correspondents. Tliey 
remembered him well in the 80th Congress, when he was the only 
Whig in the Illinois delegation, then but seven in number." 

1. Nicolav & Hay, Lincoltis Complete Works," V. I, p. 190. 

2. " Tke Lincoln Klemorial Album.'" Kj.t. 

'i. " Memoir of Robert C. H'inflirop," p. 81. 


The account which Mr. Poore gives of the friendship between Mr. 
Lincoln and Daniel Webster is also interesting and suggestive of the 
'"westerner's" standing among prominent eastern men of the day:' 

"Daniel Webster, who was then in the Senate, nsed occMsionally to 
have Mr. Lincoln at one of his pleasant Saturday breakfasts, where 
the western Congressman's humorons illustrations of the events of 
the day, sparkling with spontaneous and unpremeditated wit, would 
give great delight to the 'sated men of Boston' assembled around the 
festive board. Atone time Mr. Lincoln had transacted some legal 
business for Mr. Webster connected with an embryo city laid out 
where Rock river empties into the Mississippi. * * * Mr. Lincoln 
had charged Mr. Webster for his legal services $10, which the great 
expoiTnder of the Constitiition regarded as too small a fee, and he 
would frecjuently declare that he was still Mr. Lincoln's debtor. 

"With these pleasant recollections of Mr. Lincoln, it was not stiange 
that the older correspondents at Washington were glad to learn that 
he had been elected President. * * * They remembered their gen- 
ial, story-telling friend, and felt confident that he would be some- 
what communicative about public att'airs, which Buchanan was not."' 

Strangely enough, in the light of future events, we also have the 
words of Alexander H. Stephens, as to Lincoln's standing among his 
law-making associates:- "Mr. Lincoln was careful as to his manners, 
awkward in his speech, but was possessed of a very strong, clear and 
vigorous mind. He alwaj^s attracted the riveted attention of the 
House when he spoke; his manner of speech as well as thought was 

James (.1. Blaine, however, evidently believed that Lincoln was 
little known during his stay in Washington. In regard to the men- 
tion of Lincoln fpr the Vice-Presidency in 1856, Blaine says in his 
"Thirty Years of Congress," "William L. Dayton of New Jersey, who 
had served with distincton in the Senate, was selected for the Vice- 
Presidency. His principal competitor in the only ballot which was 
taken was Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. This was the first time that 
Mr. Lincoln was conspicuously named outside of his own State. He 
had been a member of the Thirtieth Congress, 1847-49; but being a 
modest man he had so little forced himself into notice that when his 
name was proposed for Vice-President, inquiries as to who he was 
were heard from all parts of the convention." 

Lastly, Mr. Lincoln himself, in a letter to his friend Joshua F. 
Speed, written February 20, 1849. gives his own modest opinion of 
his infiuence in Congress: "I am flattered to learn that Mr. Critten- 
den has any recollection of me which is not unfavorable; and for the 
manifestation of your kindness toward me I sincerely thank you. 
Still there is nothing about me to authorize me to think of a firsts 
class office, and a second-class one would not compensate my being 
sneered at by others who want it for themselves. I believe that, so 
far as the Whigs in Congress are concerned, I could have the General 
Land Office almost by common consent; but then Sweet and Don 

1 " Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln," pp. 222-2.3. 

2 Lincoln Memorial Album, 241 . 


Morrison, and Browning and Cyrus Edwards all want it, and what is 
worse, while I think I could easily take it myself. 1 fear I shall have 
trouble to get it for any other man in Illinois. The reason is that 
Mr. McGaughey, an Indiana ex-member of Congress, is here after it, 
and being personally known, he will be hard to beat by anyone who 
is not.^i 

Mr. Lincoln finally decided to go after the position himself, but 
did so in a too dilatory and modest manner and the prize fell to Mr. 
Butterfield of Chicago. The Taylor administration later, by way of 
compensati(m, offered Lincoln the governorship of the new territory 
of Oregon, but this he refused. 

After the close of his Congressional term, Mr. Lincoln made a 
speech-making tour of the New England States. Thurlow Weed, 
speaking of an occasion some time later, says in his autobiography: 
" I had supposed, until we now met, that I had never seen Mr. 
Lincoln, having forgotten that, in the fall of 1848, when he took the 
stump in New England he called upon me at Albany, and that we 
then went to see Mr. Fillmore, who was then the Whig candidate for 
Vice-President." - 

The "New York Tribune.'" September 14, 1848, mentions Mr. 
Lincoln as addressing a great Whig meeting in Boston, September 
12. The " Boston Atlas "" refers to speeches made by him at Dorches- 
ter, September 16; at Chelsea, September 17; and by Lincoln and 
Seward at Boston, September 22. on which occasion, the report says: 
" Mr. Lincoln of Illinois, nest came forward, and was received with 
great applause. He spoke about an hour and made a powerful and 
convincing speech, which was cheered to the echo.'' ^ 

" The most brilliant of Mr. Lincoln's speeches in this campaign — 
according to Robert C. Winthrop Jr.'s recent memoir of the Hon. 
David Sears — was delivered at Worcester, September 13, 1S48, when, 
after taking for his text Mr. Webster's remark that the nomination of 
Martin Van Buren for the Presidency by a professed anti-slavery 
party could fitly be regarded only as a trick or a joke, Mr. Lincoln pro- 
ceeded to declare that of the three parties then asking the confidence 
of the coTsntry, the new one had less of principle than any other, add- 
ing, admid shouts of laughter, that the recently constructed elastic 
Free-Soil platform reminded him of nothing so much as the pair of 
trousers offered for sale by a Yankee peddler, which were ' large 
enough for any man and small enough for any boy.' "* * 

After his New England trip Mr. Lincoln returned home, there to 
build up a reputation, which was to pass the bounds of his own State, 
even before the famous "Debates." The facts and references here 
presented seem to show that Lincoln was more widely and popularly 
known in the East than is commonly supposed; and that during his 
Congressional life he at least laid a sure and broad foundation for his 
subsequent success. 

1 Nicolay & Hay, Lincoln's Complete IVorks, 1. 133. 

2 Autobiography. I. 603. 

3 Nicolay and Hay, Abraluim Lincoln— A History, \, 281. 

4 Quoted in Nicolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln— A History, I, p. 


The years intervening before the third period of Lincoln's public 
life, the time of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, were years of prepara- 
tion which fitted him for the crisis in which ho was to play such a 
leading part. After souie preliminary joint meetings, Lincoln and 
Douglas came together in 1858 in the great debate series. Lincoln, 
who had been called from his temporary retirement from political life 
by the re-opening of the slavery agitation, threw himself earnestly 
into the contest. It is safe to assert that, at that time, the East gen- 
erally was not alive to the importance of the discussion. However, 
varioiis contemporaries of Lincoln have recorded their impressions of 
him during this time, and he himself in some of his letters has fur- 
nished us clues as to how his candidacy for the United States Senat- 
orship was regarded among eastern men. The following letters, one 
from Lincoln to Wilson, and the other from Greeley to Medill, show 
plainly the attitude of the great eastern editor: 

"Springfield, June 1. 18.58.1 
Charles L. Wilson, Esq — . 

My dear Sir: — Yours of yesterday, with the enclosed newspaper slip is re- 
ceived. I have never said or thought more, as to the inclination of some of 
our Eastern Republican friends to favor Douglas — than I expressed in your 
hearing on the evening of the 21st of April, at the State library in this place. 
I have believed — I do believe now — that Greeley, for instance, would be rather 
pleased to see Douglas re-elected over me or any other Republican: and yet I 
do not believe it is so becaiise of any secret arrangement with Douglas: it is 
because he thinks Douglas's superior position, reputation, experience, ability 
if 3-ou please, would more than compensate for his lack of a pure Republican 
position, and therefoi-e his re-election do the general cause of our Republican- 
ism more good than would the election of any of our better undistingiiished 
pure Republicans. I do not know how you estimate Greeley, but I consider 
him incapable of corriiption or falsehood. He denies that he directly is tak- 
ing part in favor of Douglas, and I believe him. Still his feeling constantly 
manifests itself in his paper, which, being so extensively read in Illinois, is, 
and will continue to be a drag upon us. I have also thought that Governor 
Seward, too. feels about as Greeley does, biit not being a newspaper editor, 
his feeling in this respect is not much manifested. I have no idea that he is, 
by conversation or hj letter, urging Illinois Republicans to vote for Douglas." 

2 In Greeley's letter of July 24 to Joseph Medill, he says: 

"My Friend: You have taken your own course, — don't try to throw the blame 
on others. You have repelled Douglas, who might have been conciliated and 
attached to our own side, whatever he maj' now find it necessarj' to say or do, 
and instead of helping us in other States, you have thrown a load upon 
us that may probably break us down. You knew what was the almost unan- 
imous desire of the Republicans of other States: and you spurned and insult- 
ed them. Now go ahead and fight it through. You are in for it, and it does 
no good to make up wry faces. What I have said in the Tribune' since the 
fight was resolved on. has been in good faith, intended to help you through. 
If Lincoln would fight up to the work also, you might get through — if he 
apologizes, and retreats, he is lost, and all others go down with him. His 
first Springfield speech (at the convention) was in the right key; his Chicago 
speech was bad: and I fear the new Springfield speech is worse. If he dare 
not stand on broad Republican ground, he cannot stand at all. That, how- 
ever, is his he is no wise responsible for what I say. I shall stand 
on the broad, anti-slavery ground which I have occupied for years. I cannot 
change it to help your fight: and I should only damage you if I did. You have 

1 Nicolay & Hay, Lincoln's Comiilete Works, \. 238. 

2 Nicolay & Hay, Abraham Lincoln, a History. Vol. 2, pp. 140-141. 

—19 H S . 


got your Elephant — j-ou would have him — now shoulder himi He is not so very 
heavy, after all. As I seem to displease you equallj' when I tij' to keep you 
out of trouble, and when, having rushed in in spite of me. I try to help yo\i 
in the struggle you have unwisely provoked, I must keep neutral so far as 
may be hereafter." 

In liis "American Conflicts," however, Greeley, looking back upon 
the situation, speaks some what more favorably: "They held a sort of 
State Convention, therefore, and presented Abraham Lincoln as a 
Republican competitor for Mr. Douglas's seat; and he opened the 
canvass at once, in a terse, forcible and thoroughly 'radical' speech, 
wherein he enunciated the then startling, if not absolutely novel, doc- 
trine that the Union cannot permanently endure half Slave and half 
Free. * * * This almost prophetic statement, from one born in 
Kentucky, and who had been known, prior to the appearance of thi^ 
Dred Scott decision, as a rather conservative Whig, was put forth 
more than four months before Governor Seward, as if under a like 
premonition of coming events, said : * * * " 

On July 27, 1858, another editor, Ray of Chicago, wrote to 
Lincoln concerning the wide influence of his speeches, as follows: 

1 "You are like Byron, who woke up one morning and found himself famous. 
People wish to know about you. You have sprung at once from the position 
of a capital fellow and a leading lawyer in Illinois, to a national reputation." 

In the same connection, also, David Davis, shortly after the elec- 
tion, sent these words to Lincoln: "You have made a noble canvass, 
which, if unavailing in the State, has earned you a national reputa- 
tion and made you friends everywhere." 

On the return of Douglas to Washington, after the senatorial con- 
test, he said to Henry Wilson, in reply to the question as to what he 
thought of Mr. Lincoln: "He is an able and honest man, one of the 
noblest men of the nation. I have been in Congress sixteen years, 
and there is not a man in the Senate I would not rather encounter in 

Despite the many favorable opinions concerning Lincoln, there was 
also much ignorance and prejudice. Edwin M. Stanton had held 
the Westerner in disdain since their joint connection with a law case 
which was tried in the Ignited States Circuit Court in Cincinnati in 
1857. Ben Perley Poore refers to Mr. Stanton as indulging in "ti- 
rades against Mr. Lincoln, saying on one occasion he 'had met him at 
the bar, and found him a low, cunning clown.' "^ 

In August, 1858, Theodore Parker wrote: "I look with great in- 
terest on the contest in your state, and read the speeches, the noble 
speeches, of Mr. Lincoln with enthusiasm." His sentiments, how- 
ever, had evidently changed a few days later, when he wrote again as 
follows: "In the Ottawa meeting, to judge from the Tribune report, 
I thought Douglas had the best of it. He questioned Mr. Lincoln on 
the great matters of slavery, and put the most radical questions * * * 
before the people. Mr. Lincoln did not meet the issue. He made a 
technical evasion. * * * Daniel Webster stood on higher anti-slavery 

1 Nicolay & Hay, Abraham Lincoln, a History. II, pp. 176-177. 

2 Wilson, Rise and Fall ot the Slave Power, II. 577. 

3 Reiniiiiscences of Abraham Lincoln, p. 223. 


ground than Abraham Lincohi now. Greeley's conduct I think is 
base. * *' * He has no talent for a leader. It' the Republicans sac- 
rifice their principle for success, then they will not be lifted up, but 
blown up. I trust Lincoln will conquer. It is admirable education 
for the masses — this fight!" 

The administration party was opposed to both sides of the contro- 
versy. As Rhodes says, its organ "thought the debates a 'novel anci 
vicious procedure,' the campaign disgraced by "indecencies and dis- 
reputable viturperation.' There was little choice between Lincoln 
and Douglas. Douglas was a renegade, Lincoln 'a shallow empiric, 
an ignorant pretender or a political knave,' ami the two 'a pair of de- 
praved, blustering, mischievous, low-down demagogues'." 

But little original material could be found regarding the attitude of 
Eastern newspapers toward Lincoln just previous to, and during the 
period of the debates, Rhodes makes the following statement i^- ''The 
only notice I found in Eastern newspapers of Lincoln's efforts was in 
a letter from Springfield to the NeAv York Times of October llith, 
where the mention was briefly 'Lincoln made a most unanswerable 
speech against the repeal of the Missouri Compromise'." 

An examination of the Liberator of the year 1858, revealed several 
severe criticisms of Douglas for his utterances on slavery during the 
"Debates," but no estimates of Lincoln, either favorable or iinfavor- 
able. The literary men of the East, however, have furnished addi- 
tional information concerning Lincoln's standing there during this 
period. In Arnold's "Life of Lincoln" is quoted a letter which Long- 
fellow wrote in reply to a sketch of Lincoln's Debates, sent to him a 
short time before his death. The letter which is dated at Cambridge, 
February 22, 1881, is as follows: 

I have read it (the sketch) with interest and pleasure, particularly that part 
of it which relates to Mr. Lincoln. I well remember the impression made 
upon me by his speeches in this famous political canvass of 18.58, as reported 
in the papers at the time, and am glad to find it renewed and confirmed by 
your vivid sketches. '- 

Strangely enough, the "Life of Henry W. Longfellow," by Samuel 
Longfellow, contains only brief and slightly critical mention of Lin- 
coln. A curious story is told by Edward Everett Hale.-^ 

"One .of Lowell's fellow professors told me this curious story, which 
will illustrate the narrowness of New England observation at that 
time. There appeared at Cambridge in the year 1859 a young gentle- 
man named Robert Todd Lincoln, who has been already ((noted, and 
is quite well known in this country and in England. This young 
man wished to enter Harvard College, and his father, one Abraham 
Lincoln, who has since been known in the larger world, had fortified 
him with a letter of introduction to Dr. Walker, the president of the 
college. This letter of introduction was given by one Stephen A. 
Douglas, who was a person also then quite well known in political 
life, and he presented the young man to Dr. Walker as being the son 
of his friend Abraham Lincoln, 'with whom I have lately been can- 
vassing the State of Illinois.' When this letter, now so curious in 

1. Rhodes' History of the United States , II 70; note 342,313. 

2. Arnold, Life of Lincoln , 142. 

3. E. Hale, James Russell Lo-well and His Friends, 201. 


history, was read, Lowell said to my friend who tells me the story. 'I 
suppose I am the only man in this room who has ever heard of this 
Abraham Lincoln, biit he is the person with whom Douglas has been 
traveling up and down in Illinois, canvassing the State in their new 
western fashion, as representatives of the two parties, each of them 
being the candidate for the vacant seat in the Senate.' What is 
more, my friend says it is probably true that at the moment when this 
letter was presented by young Robert Lincoln, none of the faculty at 
Harvard College, excepting Lowell, had ever heard of Abraham Lin- 
coln. This story is a good one. as showing how far it was in those 
days possible for a circle of intelligent men to know little or nothing 
of what was happening in the world beyond the sound of their college 

Note — This anecdote arrested attention when it was first published, and I 
received more than one note explaining to me that it could not be true. All 
the same it is true. And I took care to verify the dates of the several steps 
of the story. 

Another account, which emphasizes the importance of the debates^ 
showing how they influenced public opinion in the East, and finally 
led to Lincoln's nomination, is given by Jesse W. Fell: 

"In the fall of 1858, during the discussion between Senator Douglas 
and Mr. Lincoln, I had occasion to visit the middle and eastern 
states; and as the whole country was then agitated by the slavery 
question and that discussion cut a prominent figure in the agitation, 
I was frequently applied to for information in reference to Mr. Lin- 
coln. I felt my State pride flattered by these inquiries, and still more 
to find the New York Tribune, and other papers, publishing copious 
extracts from these discussions, taken from the Chicago j^ress. I did 
what little I could to satisfy so laudable a curiosity, not thinking, at 
first, that anything further would come of this discussion in reference 
to Mr. Lincoln, than his election to the Senate. At leugth, from the 
frequency of these inquiries and public notices of the Illinois contest 
an impression began to form that by judicious efforts he could be 
made the Republican candidate for the presidency in 1860. Very 
soon after my return home and after the senatorial contest had closed, 
one evening, as I passed on the south side of the public square of 
this city, I espied the tall form of Mr. Lincoln emerging from the 
court house door, Judge Davis' court then being in session. I stopped 
until he came across the street, when, after the usual salutations, I 
asked him to go with me into my brother's (K. N. Fell) law office, 
then kept over what is now the Home bank. There we sat down and 
in the calm twilight of the evening, had substantially the following 
conversation : 

Fell — 'Lincoln, I have been east as far as Boston and up into New 
Hampshire, traveling in all the New England states, save Maine, in 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, 
and everywhere I hear you talked about. Very frequently I have 
been asked: 'Who is this man Lincoln of your State now canvassing 
in opposition to Senator Douglas?' Being, as you know, an ardent 
Republican and your friend I usually told them we had in Illinois two 
giants instead of one; that Douglas was the little one, as they all 


knew, but that you were the big one, which they didn't all know. But 
seriously, Lincoln, Judge Douglas being so widely known you are get- 
ting a national reputation through him as the result of the late dis- 
cussion; your speeches, in whole or in part, on both sides, have been 
pretty extensively published in the east; you are there regarded by 
discriminating minds as quite a match for him in debate, and the 
truth is, I have a decided impression that if your popular history and 
efforts on the slavery question can be sufficiently brought before the 
people, you can be made a formidable if not a successful candidate 
for the presidency/ 

Lincoln — Oh, Fell, what's the use of talking of me for the presi- 
dency, whilst we have such men as Seward, Chase and others, who 
are so much better known to the people, and whose names are so inti- 
mately associated with the principles of the Republican party. 
Everybody knows them; nobody, scarcely, outside of Illinois, knows 
me. Besides, is it not, as a matter of justice, due to such men, who 
have carried this movement forward to its present status, in spite of 
fearful opposition, personal abuse, and hard names ? 1 really think so. 

Fell — There is much truth in what you say. The men you allude 
to, occupying more prominent positions, have undoubtedly rendered 
a larger service in the Republican cause than you have; biit the truth 
is, they have rendered too much service to be available candidates. 
Placing it on the ground of personal servic(!S, or merits, if you please, 
I concede at once the superiority of their claims. Personal services 
and merits, however, when incompatible with the public good, must 
be laid aside. Seward and Chase have both made long records on the 
slavery question, and have said some very radical things which, 
however just and true in themselves, and however much these men 
may challenge our admiration for their courage and devotion to 
unpopular truths, would seriously damage them in the contest, if 
nominated. * * * Your discussion with Judge Douglas has dem- 
onstrated your ability and your devotion to freedom; you have no 
embarrassing record; you have sprung from the humble walks of life, 
sharing in its toils and triads; and if we can only get these facts suf- 
ficiently before the people, depend upon it, there is some chance for 
you. And now, Mr. Lincoln, I come to the business part of this 
interview. My native state, Pennsylvania, will have a large number 
of votes to cast for somebody on the question we have been discuss- 
ing. Pennsylvania don't like, over much. New York and her politi- 
cians. She has a candidate, Cameron, of her own, but he will not be 
acceptable to a larger part of her own people, much less abroad, and 
will be dro^jped. Through an eminent jurist and essayist of my 
native county in Pennsylvania, favorably known throughout the 
state, I want to get up a well considered, well written newspaper arti- 
cle telling the people who you are and what you have done, that it 
may be circulated, not only in that state, but elsewhere, and thus 
help in manufacturing sentiment in your favor. 

Lincoln — Fell, I admit the force of much that you say, and admit 
that I am ambitious, and would like to be President. I am not insen- 
sible to the compliment you pay me, and the interest you manifest in 


the matter: but there is no such good luck in store for me as the 
presidency of these United States: besides there is nothing in my 
early history that would interest you or anybody else; and, as Judge 
Davis says. "It won't pay." Good night. 

And thus ended, for the time being, my pet scheme of helping to 
make Lincoln President. I notified him, however, as his giant form, 
wrapped in a dilapidated shawl, disappeared in the darkness, that this 
was not the last of it; that the facts must come," 

Such is the original material gathered concerning the standing of 
Lincoln in the East during the period of the Lincoln-Douglas de- 
bates, and up to the time of the Cooper Institute address. From so 
many conflicting opinions it is difficult to sift the truth. It will be 
noticed, however, that it is those statements written with the back- 
ward glance, that speak most favorably of Lincoln's influence and 
popularity. This would lead us to infer that some of the chroniclers 
were not as true and accurate prophets as they would have us believe, 
and that Lincoln, while of interest to politicians as a piece on the 
board whose exact value was not known, was not recognized and ap- 
preciated to any marked degree by the great mass of eastern peoj^le. 

The last period treated in the discussion of the "Growth of Public 
Opinion in the East in Regard to Lincoln" extends from the time of 
the debates to the election in 1860. It is not felt that this last, broad- 
est field has been covered as thoroughly as the preceding ones, but the 
main lines of the development of public sentiment toward the "Great 
Westerner" will be shown. To record all of the notices of Lincoln 
during this period w^hen. for the first time, he was brought fully 
before the public gaze, would require a small volume.. As in the de- 
velopment of the previous epochs, the material has been drawn from 
statements of Lincoln himself, from opinions of contemporary states- 
men and writers, and from newspapers of the time. 

In 1859 Lincoln wrote to Schuyler Colfax — afterwards Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Ignited States — giving general advice on the political sit- 
uation, and Colfax replied: ^''How this mass of mind shall be con- 
solidated into a victorious phalanx in 18.60 is the great problem, I 
think, of our eventful times. And he who could accomplisJi it is 
worthier of fame than Napoleon or Victor Emmanuel. * * * In 
this work, to achieve success, and to achieve it without sacrifice of 
essential j)rinciple. you can do far more than one like myself, so much 
younger. Your counsel carries great weight with it: for, to be plain, 
there is no political letter that falls from your pen which is not copied 
throughout the Union." 

Another incident soon occurred which was to establish Lincoln's 
leadership still more widely and thoroughly. In January, 1860, he 
received the following invitation: '"The Young Men's Central Re- 
publican Union of this city [New York] very earnestly desire that you 
should deliver what I may term apolitical lecture during the ensuing 
month. The pecidiarities of the case are these: a series of lectures 
has been determined upon. The first was delivered by Mr. Blair of 

1 Nicolay & Hay, Abraham Lincoln— A History, II. 180-82. 


St. Louis, a short time ago; the second will be in a few days by Mr. 
Cassins M. Clay, and the third we would prefer to have from you 
rather than any other person." ^ 

Lincoln was pleased to accept this flattering invitation, and pre- 
pared his speech, since known as " The Cooper Union Address," most 
carefully. The following accounts of the speech and its reception are 
taken from "The New York Times/' - 

''The announcement that Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, would deliver 
an address in Cooper Institute last evening-, drew thither a large and enthu- 
siastic assemblage. Soon after the appointed hour for commencing the pro- 
ceedings, David Dudley Field, Esq., arose and nominated as chairman of the 
meeting Mr. William Cullen Bryant. The nomination was received with pro- 
longed applause, and was unanimously approved. Mr. Bryant, after the ap- 
plause had subsided, said: • It is a grateful office that I perform in introduc- 
ing to you at this time an eminent citizen of the West, whom you know — 
whom you have known hitherto— only by fame, and who has consented to 
address a New York assemblage this evening. * * * These children of the West, 
my friends, form a living bulwark against the advance of slavery, and from 
them is recruited the vanguard of the armies of liberty. One of them will 
appear before j^ou this evening in person — a gallant soldier of the political 
campaign of 1856— who then rendered good service to the Republican cause, 
and who has been since the great champion of that cause in the struggle 
which took place two years later for the supremacy of the Republicans in 
the Legislature of Illinois: who took the field against Senator Douglas, and 
would have won in the conflict but for the unjust provisions of the law of the 
State, which allowed a minority of the people to elect a majority of the 
Legislature. I have only, my friends, to pronounce the name of Abraham 
Lincoln, of Illinois — I have only to pronounce his name to secure your pro- 
fotind attention.' 

" Mr. Lincoln advanced to the desk, and smiling graciously upon his audi- 
ence, complacently awaited the termination of the cheering and then pro- 
ceeded with his address as follows: * * * * * . * * * 
When Mr. Lincoln had concluded his address, during the delivery of which he 
was frequently applauded, three rousing cheers were given for the orator and 
the sentiments to which he had given utterance." 

Farther notice of Lincoln's effort is given in an editorial of the 
same issue of the Times: 

"There was a verj' large meeting of Republicans at Cooper Institute last 
evening to listen tothat noted political exhorter and prairie orator, Abe 
Lincoln of Illinois. * * * * The speaker, as soon as he appeared upon the plat- 
form, was vehemently cheered, and during the delivery of his address 
frequently' applaiided ****." 

Greeley, who in his senatorial contest had been opposed to Lincoln, 
also commented most favorably upon this speech, in the Tribune as 
follows : 

"Since the days of Clay and Webster, no man has spoken to a larger as- 
semblage of the intellect and mental culture of our city." 

Again he says: 

"Mr. Lincoln is one of nature's orators, \ising his rare powers solely to 
elucidate and convince, though their inevitable effect is to delight and elec- 
trify as well. We present herewith a very full and accurate report of this 

1 Nicolay & Hay. Abraham Lincoln— A History, II. 216. 

2 The New York Times, February 23, 1860. 


speech, yet the tones, the gestures, the kindling- eye, and the mirth-provoking- 
look defy the reporter's skill. The vast assemblage frequently rang with 
cheers and shouts of applause, which were prolonged and intensified at the 
close. No man ever before made such an impression on his first appeal to a 
New York audience." 

Greeley also gave even more enthusiastic praise, when writing 
some years later of the occassion: '"I do not hesitate to pronounce it 
the very best political address to which I ever listened — and I have 
heard some of Webster's grandest.'"^- 

From New York. Lincoln went to New England, where he lectured 
in many cities. The Manchester Mirror paid the following high 
tribute to him: "He did not abuse the South, the Administration "or 
the Democrats. He isfarjfrom prepossessing in personal appearance. 
a,nd his voice is disagreeable, yet he wins your attention and good 
will from the start. His sense of the ludicrous is very keen, and an 
•exhibition of that is the clincher of all his arguments — not the ludi- 
crous acts of persons, but ludicrous ideas. Hence, he is never 
offensive and steals away willingly into his train of belief, persons 
who were oi^posed to him. For the first half hour his opponents 
would agree with every word he uttered, and from that point he be- 
gan to lead them off, little by little, until it seemed as if he had got 
them all into his fold.-- 

It was during this Eastern trip that Salmon P. Chase received 
these words from his lieutenant, Briggs: '"Mr. Lincoln of Illinois 
told me that [he] had a very warm side towards you. for of all the 
prominent Republicans you were the only one who gave him aid and 
comfort. I urged him by all means to attend the convention. I was 
pleased with him, I paid him all the attention I could, went with him 
to hear Mr. Beecher and Dr. Chapin. Mr. Barney went with him to 
the "House of Industry'" at the Five Points, and then took him home 
to tea. He was very much pleased with Mr. Barney."' That Lincoln, 
through a fortunate combination of circumstances was himself soon 
to receive the Republican nomination for the Presidency, was doubt- 
less far from the thoughts of Chase and his lieutenant, as it was from 
the minds of most men of that time. 

From the following letter written by Joseph Medill to Frederick 
Bancroft, February 18, 1896,3 we have a revelation of Seward's feel- 
ing toward Lincoln at this time: "I believe that Lincoln — a Ken- 
tuckian by birth, could carry all of them [the doubtful states] in 
addition to the states which cast their electoral votes for Fremont, 
and that would suffice to elect him. Feeling in this way about it, I 
wrote to the Chicago Tribune, in the latter part of February, 1860. as 
strong an editorial letter as I was capable of, showing that Lincoln 
could be elected that year and that Seward could not. 

''The article irritated Seward when he read it, and he took occasion 
to see me immediately thereafter and 'blew me up' tremendously for 
having disappointed him — 'gone back on him' — and preferring that 

1. Century Magazine, July. 1891. 

2. Chas. Godfrey Leland, Abraham Lincoln and the Abolition of Slaver}' in the United States. 
p. 80. 

3. Bancroft, VVilham H. Sewatd, I, .530. 


Editor of the Chicago Tribune. 


'prairie statesman/ as he called Lincoln. He gave me to understand 
that he was the chief teacher of the principles of the Republican 
party before Lijicoln was known other than as a country lawyer of 

The New York Times supported Mr. Seward, and yet realized what 
the difficulties of the situation' might demand, as is shown by the 
following significant editorial items appearing at intervals up through 
the time of the convention: 

"March 16, 1860— Mr. Seward is the natural candidate of the Re- 
publican party, and if that party feels strong enough in convention 
to elect him, he will, beyond all question, be its nominee. April 21, 
1860 — If Mr. Douglas should be the Democratic nominee it would 
not be so safe for the Republicans to trust to their unaided strength, 
and Mr. Seward would doubtless be set aside for some more available 
man. May 15, 1860 — Illinois alone works hard for Lincoln. May 
19, 1860 — The work of the convention is ended. The youngster, who, 
with ragged trousers, used barefoot to drive his father's oxen and 
spend his days in splitting rails, has risen to high eminence, and 
• Abram Lincoln, of Illinois, is declared its candidate for President 
by the National Republican party. Great inquiry has been made 
this afternoon into the history of Mr. Lincoln. The only evidence 
that he has a history as yet discovered, is that he had a stump canvass 
with Mr. Douglas, in which he was beaten. He is not very strong at 
the West, but is unassailable in his private character." 

From several sources may be gathered the effect which the ne^s 
of the nomination produced in the East. The report in the New York 
Times is as follows: 

"Washington. Fi-iday, May 18. 
'•The reception of the news of Lincoln's nomination at Chicago threw the 
House of Representatives into such excitement as to suspend business for 
some minutes. Everjbody was delighted. Even Mr. Seward's warmest ad- 
mirers pronounced the nomination most able and judicious. Judge Doviglas 
and his friends think it the heaviest blow the Democracy has yet received, 
and say that by tomorrow night there will not be a tar barrel or a pound of 
powder in Illinois."" i- 

Another account of the receipt of the news in Congress is given by 
Mr. Adams.-- "The report was received with general incredulity, 
until by repeated announcements from different quarters it appeared 
that he had carried the day by a union of all the anti-Seward elements. 
The effect upon me was to depress, for. though no partisan of Gov- 
ernor Seward, I did feel as if he was the man to whom the party 
owed the nomination. But I could not fail to perceive in the faces 
of many of our friends the signs of a very opposite conviction. In 
truth, the western section and the middle states are exceedingly timid, 
and desire as far as possible to escape so direct an issue on the slave 
question as the nomination of Mr. Seward would have made. Mr. 
Lincoln is by no means of so decided a type, and yet he is in many 
respects a fair representative. I believe him honest and tolerably 
capable, but he has no experience and no business habits." 

1. JVtTi' York Times, May 19, 1860. 

2. Adams, Charles Francis Adams, 114. 


This opinion of Mr. Adams is similar to that given by Charles 
Carlton Coffin: "There was but one name on the lips of the Republi- 
cans of Illinois — that of Abraham Lincoln. * * * Outside of Illi- 
nois he was the 'rail-splitter" — a plain, ungainly man, a homespun 
candidate, once member of Congress, but unacquainted with public 
affairs as the ruler of a nation.'' 

The New York "Times," May 19, 1860, published a most interest- 
ing list of extracts from various other eastern newspapers, showing 
the general attitude toward Lincoln's nomination. The comment of 
the New York "Tribune'' is extremely fair and favorable to Lincoln: 
"While Mr. Lincoln's position as a Republican renders him satisfac- 
tory to the most zealous member of the party, the moderation of his 
character, and the conservative tendencies of his mind, long approved 
and well known of all men in public life, commend him to every sec- 
tion of the opposition. There is no good reason why Americans and 
Whigs, and in short all who are inspired rather by patriotism than by 
party feeling, should not rally to his support. Re^jublicans and con- 
servatives, those who dread the extension of slavery, and those who 
dread the progress of administrative and legislative corruption, may 
be assured that in him both these evils will find a stern and immov- 
able antagonist and an impassable barrier. At the same time, as a 
man of the people, raised by his own genius and integrity from the 
humblest to the highest position, having made for himself an hon- 
ored name as a lawyer, an advocate, a popular orator, a statesman, 
amd a man, the industrious and intelligent masses of the country may 
well hail his nomination with a swelling tide of enthusiasm of which 
the wild and prolonged outbursts at Chicago yesterday are the fitting 
prelude and beginning." 

The Buffalo "Commercial Advertiser" is somewhat more conserva- 
tive, although favorable also in its comment: "Mr. Lincoln has not 
that long experience in public service which we could have wished, 
but he has something better in the strong, sagacious mind, cool and 
unshaking nerve, and intelligent familiarity with public measures, 
which lie at the bottom of all true statesmen.'' 

The New Haven "Palladium" presents an extremely eulogistic 
notice as follows: "'Honest Abe Lincoln.' as everybody calls him 
where he is best known, is just the man that this sorely swindled and 
disgraced nation needs for President. He is a man of stainless 
purity, his whole life is as spotless as the driven snow. He is no 
corruptionist, no trickster, no time server, but an honest, brave, 
straightforward, able man, who will restore the government to the 
purity of practice and principle which characterize the administra- 
tion of the Revolutionary patriots. For this reason chiefly the heart 
of the nation, as if impelled by an overruling power, has been draw- 
ing silently but irresistibly towards him." The Concord "Statesman" 
expresses very neatly the reason for Seward's rejection: "* * * it 
is not that they loved Cjesar less, but Rome more.'' 

The "National Intelligencer" expresses one of the strongest notes 
of dissatisfaction: "Though fully identified with the principles of 
that party, and justly entitled by his private worth and proved ability 


to wear with dignity and honor * * * ft may be able to confer, 
Mr. Lincoln, so far as we are aware, has not until recently occuj)ied a 
prominent place in the list of distinguished citizens from which it 
was supposed the Republicans would make a selection in nominating 
a candidate for the Presidency." 

There are many other (juotations from Republican papers which 
cannot be given here, but the principal thought of them all seems to be 
that, Lincoln, while he might be an available candidate, was also a 
worthy one, to whose supi^ort wisdom, patriotism and loyalty called 
all the party factions. Seward himself set a noble exami^le, when, 
even in the first bitterness of disappointment, he wrote the following 
words for the ''Daily Republican:" "No truer or firmer defender of 
the Republican faith could have been found * * * than the dis- 
tinguished * * * citizen on whom the honors of the nomination 
have fallen."^ 

With the opinions of these Republican papers it is interesting to 
compare the triumphant note of the Democratic Albany "Atlas and 
Argus:" "The defeat of Seward and the nomination of Lincoln emas- 
culate the Republican party." 

The most bitter attacks at the North were from the Abolitionists, 
headed by Wendell Phillips, whose organ was the "Liberator." The 
biography of William Lloyd Garrison throws some interesting light 
upon the subject: "The triumph of the Republican party was now a 
foregone conclusion, and all eyes were turned in scrutiny upon Lin- 
coln. To the country at large he was an obscure, not to say an un- 
known man. His visit to New England in the fall of 1848. when, 
during the Congressional recess, he took the stump for Zachary 
Taylor, had made no impression. 'Who is this huckster in politics? 
asked Wendell Phillips at the New England convention on May 80. 
'Who is this county court advocate? Who is this who does not know 
whether he has got any opinions [about slavery]?' " - 

It fell to Mr. Phillips, unhappily, to give the cue to the Abolition- 
ists concerning Mr. Lincoln. Such examinations as he bestowed on 
the Illinois lawyer's brief Congressional career caused him to misin- 
terpret and unjustly characterize a measure of Lincoln's intended to 
affect abolition in the District of Columbia, but accompanied by what 
seemed a necessar}^ provision for the surrender of fugitive slaves — 
else had the District become a refuge for them from the adjoining 
states of Maryland and Virginia, and from the whole seaboard. Sing- 
ling out this provision, Mr. Phillips published in the "Liberator" of 
June 22, 18(iO, a stinging article, headed "Abraham Lincoln, the 
Slave-Hound of Illinois.'" Mr. Garrison very reluctantly admitted 
both the caption and the text (of the justice of which he had no means 
of forming an opinion) and only in consideration of the article being 
signed. Mr. Lincoln did not lack defenders, and in the end Mr. 
Phillips produced a transcript of the bill. 

Lincoln's debates with Douglas in 1858 were next overhauled by 
the Abolitionists, with a not unfair emphasizing of expressions which 

1 Lothrop, William H. Seward, 201. 

2 William Lloyd Garrison, The Story of His Life— Told by His Children. IH, 303. 


showed how far the Whig Republican then was from acknowledging 
the brotherhood of man. or from objecting to the Dred Scott decision 
because of its disfranchising the free blacks. His anticii^ation of 
Seward's "irrepressible conflict" was quickly pointed out in mitiga- 
tion — proof of his statesmanship if not of his humanity. 

The principal features of Mr. Phillips" ••Slave-Hound'' article are 
as follows: "Abraham Lincoln, the Slave-Hound of Illinois. We 
gibbet a Northern hound today, side by side with the infamous Mason 
of Virginia.""'"- After quoting Section 5 of Lincoln's bill providing for 
the return of fugitive slaves from the District of Columbia, Mr. 
Phillips goes on to say: "No wonder Mr. Lincoln is unwilling to 
make any opposition to the Fugitive Slave Bill! No wonder the 
Chicago convention omitted that point in their resolutions! Their 
standard-bearer has a worse bill to answer for than even Mr. Mason." 

In his lectures, Mr. Phillips expressed himself with equal bitter- 
ness as in the following remarks delivered November 7, 1860, at Bos- 
ton.2- "It is a noble idea — equality before the law. * * * Mark it 
and let us question Mr. Lincoln about it, Do you believe, Mr. Abra- 
ham Lincoln, that the negro is your political and social equal, or 
ought to be? Not a bit of it. Do you believe he should sit on juries? 
Never. Do you think he should vote? Certainly not. Should he be 
considered a citizen? I tell you frankly, no. Do you think that, 
when the Declaration of Independence says, 'all men are created 
equal,' it intends the political equality of blacks and whites? No sir. 

"If this 'idea that fills all generous minds' be equality, surely Mr. 
Lincoln's mind is as yet empty, * * * and, secondly, notwithstanding 
the emptiness of Mr. Lincoln's mind, I think we shall yet succeed in 
making this a decent land to live in. May I tell you why? Place 
yourselves at the door of the Chicago convention. Do you see Mr. 
Lincoln? He believes a negro may walk where he wishes, eat what 
he earns, read what he can, and associate with any other who is 
exactly of the same shade of black he is. That is all he can grant."" 

The Liberator, later feeling called upon to explain even its half- 
hearted support of Lincoln, made the following elaborate justification 
of its position :'^- 

"From the administration of Mr. Lincoln, as distinguished from 
his election, we are warranted in entertaining no confident hopes. 
His election as the act of the people, so intended, will be a demon- 
stration in favor of liberty; his administration, as the action of an in- 
dividual so constrained by the oath of office and surrounding circum- 
stances, must be a continual support of slavery. Let not, therefore. 
any satisfaction here expressed be. understood as based on expectations 
of what will be done by the incoming National Administration." 

In opposition to the Abolistionist attitude, most of the prominent 
Eastern men of letters gave Lincoln their hearty support, as is shown 
by the passage quoted by Rhodes and by personal testimony:^- 

•' * * * The torch-bearers of literature were on the side of Lincoln. 
'I vote with the Republican party,' wrote Holmes to Motley, 'I can- 

1. T/ieLidera/jr, June -12. Um. 

2. Speeches, Lectures and Letters. 302. 

3. The Liberator. November 9, 1860. 

4. History of the Lhtited States, II, 485. 


not hesitate between them and the Democrats." Whittier offered the 
resolutions at a Kepublican meeting at Amesbury; William Cullen 
Bryant was at the head of the Lincoln electoral ticket of New York, 
and George William Curtis spoke frequently from the stump." 

^Lowell m his "Prose Works" also, spoke his conviction as follows: 
■•We are persuaded that the election of Mr. Lincoln will do more 
than anything else to appease the excitement of the country. He has 
proved both his ability and his integrity; he has had experience 
enough in public affairs to make him a statesman, and not enough to 
make him a politician. That he has not had more will be no objec- 
tion to him in the eyes of those who have seen the administration of 
the experienced public functionary whose term of ofhce is just draw- 
ing to a close." 

Although, in the course of his public life Lincoln was of ten ignored, 
and misunderstood, and though his true worth was jDrobably apparent 
to but few before his death, yet his brilliant and noble qualities 
steadily won their way to recognition in the East as well as in the 
West, as is shown by the following just and appreciative editorial in 
the New York Times: - "There can be no sort of difhculty in ascer- 
taining Mr. Lincoln's opinions concerning slavery and its relations to 
our Federal Government — or in inferring from them what the general 
tone and character of his administration will be. Though he has 
taken small part in public life hitherto, he has had occasion very fre- 
quently to declare his sentiments on this subject, and that too, in a 
form at once definite and calculated to inspire confidence in his en- 
tire sincerity. Indeed, it is impossible for any one to listen to Mr. 
Lincoln, or to read what he has said or written, without the firmest 
faith in his sincerity and candor. His speeches carry with them the 
most conclusive evidence of his honesty and good faith. During all 
that long debate with Judge Douglas he never, in a single instance 
stoops to mis-construction, or to undignified retort, or swerves one 
hair's breadth from the most un-impeachable fairness and courtesy. 
He exj)resses the sophistries of his opponent with great acuteness and 
force, and bears down upon his positions with resistless logic. But 
he never deals in invective, he never dodges or evades any point made 
against him, and the whole tone and temper of his speeches is rather 
that of a judge, solicitous only for the truth, than of a partisan seeking 
a political victory. We know no public man of the day who evinces 
the great qualities of fair-mindedness, of mental as well as moral in- 
tegrity, and of a sincere and profound conviction of the justice of his 
opinions, in a higher degree than Mr. Lincoln." 

In brief, then, the facts and opinions here quoted concerning "The 
Growth of Public Opinion in the East in Regard to Lincoln," show 
on the one hand a man, slowly and conscientiously pursuing the 
course which to him seemed right to follow: and on the other hand, 
ignorance, indifference, doubt, misunderstanding and malice gradu- 
ally yielding their tardy recognition to a greatness which, seeking not 
its own, could not long be hidden or denied. 

1 Lowell. Prose Works. V, 43. 

2 New York Times, November 8, 1860. 



(Dr. J. F. Snyder.) 

[Note— Though but forty-five years have elapsed since the death of Judge Your.g. so 
evanescent is human fame that, apart from the records of his pubHc acts, an extensive corres- 
pondence for a long time failed to discover anything of his personality, or domestic life, or 
even the locality of his place of residence. By suggestion of Col. Wm. R. Morrison I wrote to 
Hon. J. C. Alien tif Olney. Ill, who answered that he had no personal knowledge of Judge 
Young, but remembered when in Congress, in l853-.>5, a daughter of the Judgewasa fretiuent 
caller upon Mrs. Richardson, wife of Hon. Wm. A. Richardson then representative of the 
(juincy district in Congress. Inferring from this that (Juincv was probably the former home 
of Judge "ioung. I wrote for information to Hon. Wm. Collins of that city, who kindly had 
m>- letter inserted in tiie Quincy Daily Herald where it was noticed by Hon. Wm. A. Rich- 
ardson. Jr., to \\ hom 1 am indebted for the results of his elaliorate search of all accessible facts 
in the histor\- of Judge Yoiing. This led to my comriumication with Mrs. Matthews, of 
Talbotton, Georgia, widow of Major Robert A. Matthev\s,(v\ hose tirst wife was a daughter of 
Judge Young, ) and to her I am under great obligations for much important material liearing 
upon this investigation. With these valuable and much appreciated aids I am enabled to pre- 
sent the following biographical sketch. J. F. S] 

Richard Montgomery Young was born in the southern part of 
Fayette county, since then organized as Jessamine county, on a farm 
near East Hickman creek about ten miles southeast of Lexington, 
Kentucky, on February 20, 1798. His parents, Scotch -English de- 
scent, were early settlers in that part of Kentucky, having migrated 
there from Virginia, their native state. His early boyhood was passed 
on the farm and in the country schools of that neighborhood until 
when about twelve or thirteen years of age, he was sent to a select 
school or academy in Jessamine county, known as Forest Hill, and 
conducted by Prof. Samuel Wilson. He there acquired some knowl- 
edge of the higher branches at that time taught in the colleges of 
Kentucky, including Latin, algebra, geometry and the natural sciences. 
He was there associated with the sons of the first families of Ken- 
tucky and some of the adjoining states, as the school was patronized 
chiefly by the wealthy slave-holding class. 

In 1814, then sixteen years of age, he completed his studies at 
Forest Hill and commenced the study of law with Col. James Clark, 
a leading lawyer of Nicholasville, the county seat of Jessamine county. 
After two years of diligent application the Jessamine county court, 
at its November, 181() term, gave him a certificate of moral character 
and permission to be examined in his legal studies. In accordance 
therewith he was duly examined by Judge Wm, T. Barry of Lexing- 
ton, and Judge Benjamin Johnson of Georgetown, then Justices of 


United States Senator from Illinois, 1837—1843. 


the Greneral Court of Kentucky and of the circuits in which they re- 
sided. Passing a highly creditable examination he received a license 
dated November 22, 1816, to practice law in his native state, and 
forthwith opened an office for business under the auspices of his pre- 
ceptor in Nicholas ville. About the same time he joined the state 
militia, and was elected cornet, or ensign, of a troop of light horse 

It required but a short time to convince him that competition in 
his profession in that old and wealthy community was too strong and 
active to permit his speedy promotion, and he was too impatient and 
impulsive to wait and bide his time. The territory of Illinois, then 
agitating the question of admission into the Union, offered a tempt- 
ing held to aspiring Kentuckians, many of whom, already there — in- 
cluding the Terjitoral Governor and delegate to Congress — had gained 
high distinction. The young lawyer could not resist the opportunities 
presented there for early rewards of energy, industry and genius, and 
in the spring of the next year, 1817, left the blue grass paradise of 
Kentucky for the post oak hills of Southern Illinois. He located at 
Jonesboro in the western part of Johnson county, assured that that 
town would soon become the seat of justice of a proposed new county 
to be nained Union; which was so organized on the Second of Janu- 
ary of the following year, 1818, and he was then enrolled as a member 
of its bar. At that time he was a tall, handsome stripling, straight as 
a ramrod, with j)iercing hazel eyes and brown hair slightly inclined 
to curl. Social and friendly in disposition, with the polished manners 
of a Chestertield, he was an interesting talker, a good speaker and full 
of life and energy. His fine figure and soldier-like bearing attracted 
the attention of Gen. James M. Duncan (formerly from Bourbon 
county, Kentucky) commander of the Second Brigade, Western 
Division of the Illinois militia, who appointed him his Aid-de-Camp 
with the rank of Captain, and he was so commissioned by Gov. Shad- 
rach Bond on June 20, 1820. 

From Mr. Young's first appearance as a citizen of Jonesboro the 
pioneer backwoodsmen of that region recognized his sprightly intel- 
lect, and his manly deportment won their esteem and confidence. As 
a lawyer he was successful. His practice was not long confined to 
the meagre litigation of Union county, but speedily extended to the 
courts of the several counties between Shawneetown to the east and 
Kaskaskia on the north, and to Missouri Territory beyond the Missis- 
sippi. He was a close and interested observer of the transition of 
Illinois in 1818, from a territorial form of government to that of a 
state, and actively participated in its embryo politics as a supporter 
of John McLean for Congress and Thomas (bx for the State Senate.* 
He was fascinated by public life as he then saw it, and it insi^ired 
him with aspirations in that line that influenced and shaped his sub- 
sequent career. 

As time passed, Mr. Young's friends observed with pleasant sur- 
prise — as an evidence of increasing prosperity — the frecpient calls for 
his presence at the courts over in Missouri Territory. They discov- 

* For a sketch of Colonel Thomas Cox see Annals of Iowa. Third series, Vol. VII, No. 4, 
January, 1906. 


erred later, however, that courting of another kind was the chief 
trans-Mississippi attraction for the young lawyer. In his earlier pro- 
fessional visits over there he had met, and fallen in love with, Miss 
Matilda James, second daughter of Judge William James, of St. 
Genevieve coimty, a beautiful girl, tall and graceful, and — for those 
days — highly educated and accomplished. She fully reciprocated his 
attachment, and accepted his proposal of marriage, but her parents 
positively refused their consent because of incompatibility of religious 
faith. They were devout Catholics, and were opposed to the marriage 
of their daughter to a heretic. Young, however, was not the sort of a 
man to permit such nonsense as that to wreck his visions of happi- 
ness, or frustrate any course he had determined to pursue; and the 
brave girl, wholly devoted to him, was willing to defy parental objec- 
tions and authority of the church to share his fortunes. By precon- 
serted agreement she eluded the family espionage and joined him at 
the tavern in St. Genevieve, and there, in the presence of a few 
friends, they were married, on June 25, 1820, by Rev. Justinian 
Williams, a Methodist preacher, and immediately left for their future 
home in Jonesboro. 

The high merit and ability of Mr. Young, and his rising prominence 
in public esteem in a few years reconciled Judge James and his wife 
to the union of their daughter with him though an unbeliever, and 
they became very proud of their unsh rived son-in-law. To quiet their 
qualms of conscience, and ensure perfect domestic harmony, a special 
dispensation was obtained from Right Rev. Bishop Rosatti, and in 
the month of August, 1827, Mr. and Mrs. Young were again married, 
by the Bishop himself in the old church at Kaskaskia, with the pre- 
scribed Catholic ceremony. 

In the year 1820 Mr. Young's star was decidedly in the ascendent, 
and honors crowded upon him in quick succession. On the twentieth 
of June in that year he was commissioned a military captain; on the 
twenty-fifth he was married, and thirteen days later, at the general 
State election, on August 7, he was elected to represent Union county 
in the lower house of the Legislature by a much larger majority than 
was given any other candidate on the ticket. 

The second General Assembly — to which Mr. Young was elected— 
was the first held at Vandalia, the new capital, and convened there on 
December 4, 1820. Vandalia, surveyed and platted but a few months 
before, was a dismal, muddy, collection of a dozen rude houses around 
a two-story frame building hastily erected for a State House, on a 
heavily timbered blutf of the Kaskaskia river. It was situated on the 
north side of that stream in a forest of trees and stumps through 
which a few roads had been cut in lieu of streets. Elias K. Kane was 
Secretary of State, and had a short time before the Legislature met, 
caused the State records to be brought there, from Kaskaskia, by 
Sidney Breese, his chief (and only) clerk, in a two-horse wagon. 
Pierre Menarc\, the Lieutenant-Governor, presided over the Senate of 
fourteen members, and the House, comprising twenty-nine members, 
was organized by choosing for Speaker, John McLean, who had been 


defeated in his second race with Daniel P. Cook for re-election to 
Congress, and was elected to the Legislature by the people of Galla- 
tin county, and Thomas Reynolds, who was some years later Governor 
of Missouri, was elected clerk. 

The message of Governor Bond to the Legislature was brief and 
sensible. Among other recommendations, he advised the law makers 
to establish "a seminary of learning," and to locate it with the 
Supreme Court, at the State Capital (where in after years our State 
University should have been placed), "because,'* he argued, "by an 
occasional visit at the Houses of the General Assembly, and the 
courts of justice, the student will tind the best specimens of oratory 
the State can produce, imbibe the principles of legal science and 
political knowledge, and by an intercourse Mnth good society his hab- 
its of life would be chastened, and his manners improved." In the 
standing committees assignments Mr. Young was placed in the com- 
mittee on Judiciary. 

The most important legislation of the Second General Assembly 
was the chartering of a State bank, with branch banks at Shawnee- 
town, Edwardsville and Brownsville, founded wholly on the State's 
credit without a dollar of cash capital. The banks thus created were 
authorized to issue notes of various denominations bearing two per 
cent interest, redeemable by the State in ten years, and were empow- 
ered to loan those notes to the people on personal security to the 
amount of $300,000.00, and to a greater amount on real estate mort- 
ages. The originators and supporters of that "wild cat" scheme 
believed it would fill a long-felt want by relieving existing restrictions 
on business arising from the great scarcity of money, and would be 
received by the people generally with unbounded approval. But to 
their surprise it met very decided opposition by a strong minority in 
the House, led by Speaker McLean, the ablest debater and orator in 
that body. The rules of the House, however, precluded the Speaker 
from participation in discussions or debates on the floor excepting 
when in committee of the whole, and fearing the influence of 
McLean's overpowering eloquence the majority would not permit the 
bill to be referred to a committee of the whole House. Not willing to 
be silenced by such pusillanimous tactics McLean resigned the 
Speakership, and taking the floor, with his usual matchless force and 
power, denounced the bank project as unconstitutional, wrong in 
principle, and a pernicious folly, and predicted its speedy failure if 

Richard M. Young, then but twenty-two years of age. as leader of the 
majority in defense of the bill, met McLean's objections, if not with 
equal oratory, with arguments more convincing to the friends of the 
measure. It was a contest of intellectual gladiators who had few 
equals in the State, and victory was won by Young. The bill passed 
both Houses, but was returned by the Board of Revision on the 
ground that it was unconstitutional and inexpedient. Both Houses 

-20 H S 


immediately overrode that veto by again passing the bill with the 
constitutional two-thirds majority; and then the House, in a spirit of 
conciliation, re-elected McLean Speaker. Considerable time of the 
session was wasted in a foolish wrangle between the House and 
Senate; certain stay laws that time proved to be wholly ineffective, if 
not detrimental, were enacted, with other legislation of minor value, 
and the Assembly adjourned on February 15, 1821. 

The State bank and its branches were immediately put in opera- 
tion, and their utter failure within four years, with loss to the State 
of $800,000.00, verified McLean's i^rediction, and convinced Mr. Young 
that he had made a grave mistake in favoring such an absurd system. 
Governor Ford, commenting on this bank legislation twenty-seven 
years later, said: '"The most distinguished advocate for the creation 
of this bank, amongst the members of the House of Representatives, 
was Judge Richard M. Young, who has since been so prominent in 
Illinois, and who is one of the very many examples in our history of 
the forgiving disposition of the people, to such of their public serv- 
ants as have been so unfortunate as to be in favor of bad measures, 
or opposed to good ones."* Governor Ford was perhaps not entirely 
correct in attributing the '"forgiving disposition" to the people in- 
stead of to the Legislature. There is every reason to believe that Mr. 
Young's constituents did not approve of. or forgive him for, his aid 
in establishing that State bank. That he voluntarily declined polit- 
ical promotion and sought retirement after his brilliant triumph over 
ex-Congressman McLean is scarcely credible of one possessing his 
vaulting ambition. But, certain it is, he was not endorsed or vindi- 
cated by re-election to the Legislature, and was never afterward 
elected to a public position by popular vote, excepting that of Presi- 
dential elector in 1828. However, in August, 1821, he was elected by 
the militia of Union county colonel of the Tenth regiment of Illinois 
militia, and was commissioned as such by Governor Bond on the 
tenth of the following September, when but twenty-three years old. 

Colonel Young's military duties were limited to occasional dress 
parades and the annual "corn-stalk" musters of his regiment, as 
required by law — a burlesque military drill atfording the enrolled 
militia a day each year of patriotic ebulition and convivial amuse- 
ment. Laying aside, for a while, further political aspirations, he 
applied himself studiously to his books and profession to such profit 
that in two or three years his reputation as a learned and able jurist 
was heralded throughout the State and beyond its borders. As 
widesjjread also was his personal acquaintance with the leading men 
of the day. particularly those of the legal fraternity and prominent 
politicians. He was well informed on all questions of public policy 
before the people, and seldom hesitated to express his opinions con- 
cerning them in unmistakable terms. Born and reared in the South, 
Colonel Young was educated to regard the institution of slavery — 
which was sanctioned and upheld by the national constitution and 
State laws — as right in principle and practice, and steadfastly adhered 
to that view through life. Upon that issue he ojjposed the election 

*Ford's Historj' of Illinois, p. 46. 


of Edward Coles for Governor in 1822, and voted for Judge Thomas 
C. Browne, one of his pro-slavery opponents. He favored the conven- 
tion scheme of 1823 for establishing slavery in Illinois, and voted for 
its adoption in August, 1824. 

The atrocious attempt by the third General Assembly to fasten 
slavery upon Illinois was followed for eighteen months by a canvass 
of the utmost bitterness and malignity. It sundered old friendships 
and family ties, divided neighbors and kinsmen, and arrayed them 
against each other. Personal collisions and personal violence were 
of common occurrence, and the struggle increased in wild excitement 
and violence until the State seemed on the verge of civil war. But 
from that protracted and vigorous discussion of the question came a 
reaction — or, more properly, an awakening — of public opinion that 
resulted in defeat of the proposed convention by a large majority, and 
of the election, on August 2, 1824, of the fourth Legislature, which 
was more decidedly anti-slavery in complexion than that of 1822 was 
in favor of slavery. Supreme in its control of legislation it should, 
consistently and logically, have rewarded, with public positions at its 
disposal, the faithful leaders of the Free Soil party in the fierce con- 
flict just past for rescuing Illinois from the impending curse of 
shivery. Instead of so doing, however, it surprisingly and inexpli- 
cably displayed that "forgiving disposition" mentioned by Governor 
Ford, by electing to the United States Senate John McLean and 
Elias Kent Kane, two of the ablest and most active supporters of the 
slavery convention in the State. And in its reorganization of the 
judiciary it elected (for life) William Wilson Chief Justice and Sam- 
uel D. Lockwoocl, Thomas C. Browtie and Theophilus W. Smith 
As40ciate Justices of the Supreme Court, the two last named con- 
spicaou? leaders of the slaverv party. It also chose for Judges of the 
fiv3 Circuit Courts created John W. Sawyer, Samuel McRoberts, 
Ri -hard M. Young. James Hall and James O. Wattles, all of whom 
ha I voted for the convention to perpetuate slavery in the State. 

Thus, on December 30, 1821, Richard M. Young, at the age of 
twenty-six was elevated to the bench and commissioned a Circuit 
Court Judge by Governor Coles on January 19. 1825. On receiving 
his commission he changed his residence from Jonesboro to Kaskas- 
kia. the most central point of the third judicial circuit, over which 
he was to preside. He thereupon entered upon the discharge of his 
new duties with enthusiasm, apparently quite elated by the unex- 
pe-^t^d honor conferred upon him. On Saturday. April 30, 1825, the 
steamboat Natchez, from St. Louis, rounded to and tied up at the 
K iskaskia landing, amid the roar of cannon and strains of martial 
music and shouts of an assembled multitude of j)eople, having aboard 
the distinguished guest of the nation, the Marquis de Lafayette, who 
came to visit Illinois in response to an invitation extended to him by 
the Legislature. Judge Young was one of the officials specially 
appointed to welcome the illustrious visitor, and. with Governor Coles 
and others, escorted him to Colonel Sweet's old tavern, and then to 
the grand reception at the home of General John Edgar, and after- 
ward to the brilliant ball at the Morrison mansion, where, of all the 


youth and beauty gathered there, no couple shone more resplendent 
than Judge and Mrs. Young. General Lafayette was escorted by 
Governor Coles and a few other State dignitaries to Vandalia; i then 
to Shawneetown, and from there by chartered steamboat to Nashville, 
Tenn. Returning to Shawneetown he took his departure to the east, 
accompanied by Governor Coles. 

The law creating the new circuit courts provided that the judges 
should each receive an annual salary of §600; the Supreme Court 
judges were paid $800 per annum. 

Any prosperous lawyer would have hesitated to relinquish his pay- 
ing practice for such a beggarly salary and those of that class who 
did so accepted the judgeships merely as stepping stones to something 
better. Consequently the judges, with very few exceptions, were 
active politicians, constantly scheming and electioneering for promo- 
tion to higher or more lucrative positions. Judge Young was not one 
of those few exceptions. He conducted his courts with dignity and 
conscientious rectitude, but neglected no opportunity to keep himself 
in the limelight of popular favor. An illustration of this is seen in a 
letter he wrote to Governor Edwards from Kaskaskia on July 8, 1825, 
urging Edwards to be a candidate for governor the next year to suc- 
ceed Governor Coles. "There seems at this time," he said, "to be an 
almost unanimous acclamation in your favor against the pretentions 
of any other person that might offer against you in all the Southern 
counties, and such is the state of feeling towards you that your most 
inveterate enemies below (who are very few) are compelled to admit 
that in the counties of Union, Alexander, Johnson and Pope you would 
get five votes to one against any candidate that could be brought 
against you."' - At the time Judge Young wrote this he was not one 
of Governor Edwards' political followers, but belonged to the Bond- 
Thomas-McLean faction that opposed him. He was. no doubt, sin- 
cere in the belief expressed that Edwards could, and would, be easily 
elected in 1826. and thought it prudent to '"cast an anchor to the 
windward" in time. 

Edwards was elected governor, though in the four counties named 
by Judge Young he received but 421 votes to 401 for Thomas Sloo. 
the opposing candidate. Of the 12,579 votes polled in the State at 
that election. H.013 were given to Edwards and 5,973 to Sloo; a ma- 
jority of 70 for Edwards.-^ 

Judge Young gained nothing by "bending the pregnant hinges of 
the knee" to Governor Edwards, as the result of the election showed 
that he knew nothing of the public sentiment in his district, or mis- 
represented it if he did, apparently with the transparent object of 
currying favor. After his election Governor Edwards, who was one 
of the directors c.r-officio of the old State bank at Edwardsville — the 
branch banks having failed and suspended some time before — found 

1 The visit of General Lafayette to V'aiidalia is stated upon the authority of Governor 
Reynolds in his Life and Times, first edition, p. 258. 

2 Kdwards' Papers, p. 237-238. 

3 Ibid, p. 


time to maintain a vigilant supervision of the bank's affairs, as is seen 
in the following letter he wrote to Richard J. Hamilton, the cashier, 
dated, "Belleville, Oct. 11, 1828 :i 

Dear Sir: Your letter of the 2(5th ult.. is just received, in which, after 
representing' how, and on what security the loan to Jvidg-e Young- was made, 
you state that by order of the Board of Directors, on the same day, he was 
appointed attorney for the bank: that he was to retain the money of the bank 
to the amount of his loan whenever he collected that much as its attorney; 
but that shortly afterwards he informed you that he wished to withdraw his 
paper, and not to consider the loan as an accommodation to him, from which 
the most natural inference would seem to be that he had no loan at all, which 
is directly contrary to the statement in your letter of the fifteenth of October 
last, in which after reciting the order for his loan, you say: -'On this order 
the money was afterwards paid out of the bank, and shortly afterwards again 
repaid to the bank by Young." As this apparent discrepancy, though doubt- 
less susceptible of explanation by you, leaves me altogether in the dark as 
to the actual state of this case, and as it is as aecessary and proper that I 
should understand it correctly, as that of any other director, 1 have to re- 
quest you to furnish me with a copy of all charges and credits on your books 
against and for Judg^e Young, with their respective dates: such information 
as you may possess as to any collections -made hy him for the bank: when re- 
spectively made: whether the quarter section of land mortgaged by him was 
patented at the time: whether it was valued, and if so, by whom. 

Unfortunately, the cashier's answer to this demand for information 
is lost, but the tone and purport of the letterplainly imply that Judge 
Young had the confidence of the "bank ring'' that defied executive 
control, and that he was himself, not au especial favorite of the 

The legislature of 1824-25 recjuired the supreme court justices to 
prepare a revision of the Statutes of the State and report the same to 
the next session of 1826-27, which was done and the result of their 
labors was then adopted. Governor Ford said, "the laws then' pre- 
sented by them have been standard laws in every revision since." The 
work was mainly done by Justices Lockwood and Smith, with some 
aid by two or three of the circuit judges. "Judge McRoberts pre- 
pared the act regarding frauds and perjuries; Judge Sawyer, the act 
concerning insolvent debtors; Judge Young the act concerning wills 
and testaments, etc." ^ 

The expenses for entertaining General Lafayette, paid by the State 
amounted to $6,473. That amount, together with the expenses of the 
adjourned session, the cost of taking the late State census, and the 
salaries of the five new circuit court judges, not only drained the 
treasury, but caused a deficit of |40.0()(). A State debt of that mag- 
nitude alarmed the people. With but insignificant sources of revenue, 
and only depreciated paper currency in circulation, there seemed to 
them no ])ossibility for averting either grinding taxation or bank- 
ruptcy. Then was raised from all (quarters a demand for retrench- 
ment of public expenses. "A great outcry was raised against extrav- 
agance of the judiciary system, the prodigal waste of public money 
to pension unnecessary life officers upon the people; and a talented 
young lawyer of stinging eloipience in the southern part of the State, a 
man possessing many qualities which admirably fitted him for a dema- 

1 Edwards Papers, p. 375-376. 

2 Ford's History of Illinois, p. 60. 


gogue of the highest order (A. P. Field ?) — mounted the hobby and 
rode it in a storm of passion through several counties in the south." ^ 
Principally upon that issue the legislature of 182(5-21 was elected, and 
one of its first acts, on January 12, 1827, was to repeal the ciicuit 
court system, thereby turning the five new circuit judges out of ofiice, 
and requiring the four supreme court justices to hold the circuit courts 
as before, thus effecting an annual saving for the State of |."i,000 ! 

Judge Young wasted no time in repining for his lost office, but im- 
mediately resumed the practice of law at Kaskaskia in partnership 
with Hon. Elias K. Kane, at that time United States Senator. About 
that time, 1827, an Illinois State Historical Society was organized at 
Vandalia with Judge James Hall as its president. Among its active 
members was Judge Young, with Sidney Breese, JohnM. Peck, Chief 
Justice Wilson, Governor Coles, Governor Reynolds, and other dis- 
tinguished jurists, scholars and statesmen of literary tastes, interested 
in preserving the State's History. For a few years the Society con- 
tinued its valuable labors, but was finally abandoned owing to the 
political and financial vicissitudes of its members, and for waiit of 
aid and encouragement from the State, and its empty treasury. 

The election of John Quincy Adams to the Presidency by the lower 
house of Congress, in 1825. had the efi^ect of marvelously increasing 
the popularity of General Jackson, and of sharply defining political 
party lines. The nomination of Jackson for President 1828 by the 
Republican Democrats — as his party was styled — in opposition to 
Adams, the candidate for re-election, of the Federalists, or Whigs, was 
productive of boisterous excitement in Illinois. An interesting relic 
of the partv spirit and organization of those days, now preserved in 
the State Historical Library, is the proceedings— in the handwriting 
of Charles Slade — of a "Jackson convention" held at Kaskaskia, on 
Monday. Jane 9, 1828, for selecting a candidate for Presidential 
Elector for that district. John S. Hacker was called to the chair 
and Charles Slade and James Jones elected Secretaries. On roll call 
of counties the following delegates answered: 

From the county of St. Clair. Danl. Stookey and John Middlecoff ; from the 
county of Monroe, Dr. Wm. S. Goforth and Isaac W. Starr: from the county 
of Clinton, Charles Slade and Caton Usher: from the county of Randolph. R. 
M. Young- and Saml. Crawford: from the county of Jackson. Geo. Butcher and 
8aml, Atherton: from the county of Johnson, James Jones and Jos. Kuyken- 
dali; from the county of Union, Alex. P. Field and John S. Hacker. 

A committee of seven was provided, on motion of A. P. Field, to 
draft resolutions "expressive of the sense of the convention," and the 
chair appointed Field, Middlecoff, Goforth, Usher, Young, Butcher 
and Kuykendall, said committee. The first resolution of their report 
declared "a total want of confidence in the political integrity and 
principles of John Qaincy Adams," but that we "have unshaken con- 
fidence in the integrity, firmness, patriotism and ability of General 
Andrew Jackson, etc." The fourth resolution 

Resolved, That having- entire confidence in the character and unshaken 
political entegrity and Republican principles of our fellow citizen, Richard 
M. Young-; Esq., of Randolph county, we hereby nominate him as a suitable 

1 Ford's History of Illinois, p. 57. 


candidate to be supported as one of the electors on the Jackson Electoral 
ticket of this State in conjunction with Colonel John Pluston of Crawford 
county, and Colonel John Taylor of Sangamon county, of whose nomination 
by the friends of General Jackson we most cordially approve, and the un- 
divided support of every friend of Republican CJovernment and the preserva- 
tion of Free principles in this State, ought to be given to their election." 

Mr. Field then arose and in an appropriate and eloquent address 
assigned the reasons of the committee for preferring the claims of 
General Jackson over those of John Quincy Adams for the next 
Presidency, and concluded by recommending adoption of the resolu- 
tions as reported by the committee, which was done by a unanimous 
vote of the convention. And yet, that same Colonel A. P. Field, upon 
his appointment by Governor Edwards to the office of Secretary of 
State, on December 81st of that year, 1828, joined the Whig party, 
and was thenceforth an inveterate enemy of the Jackson Democracy. 
It is needless to add that Judge Young and the entire Jackson ticket 
carried Illinois at the November election by an overwhelming 

Defeat of the convention scheme in 1824, and the assurance there- 
by given that Illinois was irrevocably a free State, greatly augmented 
the stream of emigration that for some years had been pouring into 
it. The "Military Tract'" between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers 
seemed to offer special inducements to the newcomers to locate there, 
and was rapidly dotted over with pioneer settlements. In order to 
extend the protection, and restraints, of civil law over that influx of 
population it was necessary to organize the territory west and north 
of the Illinois river into coimties, though some of them, still occupic d 
by Indians, would contain less than 400 white people. Pike county 
had been organized in 1821, and Fulton in 1823. The Fifth General 
Assembly then created, in 1825. the counties of Adams. Schuyler, 
Peoria. Hancock, Henrv, Knox, Mercer and Warren. McDonough 
was added in 182B. and Jo Daviess in 1827. That multiplication of 
counties over-taxed the four Supreme Court Justices whose duty it 
was to hold circuit courts in all the counties of the State. The Sixth 
Legislature, that convened at Vandalia on December 1, 1828. came to 
their relief by passing an Act on January 8, 1829, forming a fifth judi- 
cial district comprising all the territory, west and north of the Illinois 
river within the State's limits. The Legislature then elected Richard 
M. Young jiidge of that circuit with a salary of $700 a year to be 
paid in quarterly installments; and fifteen days later, January 23rd, 
he received his commission from Governor Edwards, who probably 
experienced no sorrow in thus committing him to exile. 

For the next six years Judge Young was the only circuit judge — 
elected and commissioned as such — in Illinois. With his usual en- 
ergy and enthusiasm he immediately commenced the work of his new 
office with William Thomas, of Morgan county, as State's Attorney, 
who was commissioned on the same day as himself. Mr. Thomas was 
succeeded as State's Attorney of that fifth district by Thomas Ford, 
on March 15. 1830. who was again appointed on February 15. 1831. 
Ford was succeeded by Wm. A. Richardson, on February Di. 18)^5, 
who served until February 25, 1839, when he was followed by Wm. 


Elliott. Jr. In the autum of 1829 Judge Young left Kaskaskia and 
located in Galena, then at the zenith of its lead mining industry, and 
the most populous and busiest town in the State. Judge Samuel D 
Lockwood, of the Supreme Court, who resided at Jacksonville, had 
held court at Galena, Quinc}', Peoria and Lewiston, but gladly relin- 
quished that part of of his circuit to the newly elected judge. 

A search of the records at Galena ^ failed to reveal any evidence 
that Judge Young at any time purchased real estate there; from 
which fact it may be inferred that he regarded his residence in Galena 
as only temporary. That he purchased certain personal property 
there, however, is shown by the following significant bill of sale re- 
corded July 24, 1880. on page 108 of Record ""A" of Deeds: 

^'Wharton R. Barton 


K. M. Young. 

Know all men bj' these presents that I, Wharton R. Barton, for and in 
consideration of the sum of seventy-five dollars to me in hand paid, the receipt 
whereof is hereby acknowledged, have this day bargained, sold and delivered, 
and by these presents do bargain, sell and deliver unto Richard M. Young of 
the town of Galena. County of Jo Daviess, and State of Illinois, a negro girl 
of a black color, named Mary, five years of age the 14th of March last, and 
the daughter of a registered negro woman now in the care of John V. Miller 
ia the said town of Galena: to have and to hold the said negro girl Mary unto 
the said Richard M. Young, his heirs and assigns, together with the benefit 
of her services, until she shall arrive at the age of eighteen years, at which 
time by the constitution and laws of Illinois she is entitled to her freedom. 
Witness my hand and seal at Galena this 17th day of May. 1830. 

Signed, Wharton R. Barton [Seal.] 
Witness, John Foley. 

Acknowledged before James Xagle. Justice of the Peace. 
Recorded July 24, 1830. 

' James W. Stephenson, 


After Judge Young was elected judge of the new fifth district, in 
1829. he was strongly urged by his numerous friends to enter the race 
for Governor with John Reynolds and Wm. Kinney, and was much 
tempted to do so. For some time he seriously considered the matter, 
and finally, concluding that a bird in the hand was worth more than 
two in the bush, declined becoming a candidate.^ 

In 1881 the Seventh General Assembly organized and added to 
Judge Young's circuit the counties of Cook. Rock Island and La Salle, 
completing the area of his jurisdiction from Galena to Lake Michigan, 
thence down the Illinois river to its confluence with the Mississippi. 

Desiring a quieter place of residence for his family than Galena then 
on the extreme frontier, and little more than a large mining camp in- 
fested with speculators, gamblers, and every variety of social outcasts 
who respected neither moral or civil law. Judge Young moved to 
Quincy in the spring of 1881. On the thirteenth of June following 
he entered the north half of the N. W. qr. of Sec. 4. 2S. 8W: eighty 
acres, to which he added, by entry, on Dec. 26. 1882, the N. "W. (|r. of 

1 By Hon. William Spensley, the well-known Galena attorney, to whom I am indebted 
for matiy personal courtesies and valuable information. 

2 Edwards Papers, p. 426. 


the N. E. qr. of the same section, forty acres, in Adams, county. On 
that 120 acre farm he built a substantial two-story frame dwelling, a 
barn and other necessary out-houses, and moved there, from the 
village, as soon as the buildings were completed. Mr. Wm. A. Rich- 
ardson writing of that farm house, in the Quincy Herald, Dec. 19. 1905, 
said it was situated ''on the east side of the country lane between 
Broadway road and State street road sometimes called Forty-eighth 
street, then some three and a half miles due east of the village of 
Quincy. This old white house, with its green blinds, was a home of 
genuine hospitality the politicians and men of affairs going out to see 
Judge Young, and the society people going out to see Mrs Young. 
Mrs. Young was particularly found of young people, and generally had 
some young lady stay with her when the Judge was aw^ay "riding the 
circuit.' Doubtless, these brought other maidens and their beaus, 
and other swains, and the old farm house was full of life and innocent 

During the greater part of each year, for the eight years Judge 
Young presided over that circuit, he traveled to hold his courts in the- 
scattered settlements generally on horseback and often alone, follow- 
ing dim Indian and buffalo trails, through trackless prairies and 
pathless woods and across unbridged streams, not imfrequently camp- 
ing by the wayside when night overtook him. 

Ballance,^ writing of him said: "In May, 1833, he made his appear- 
ance in the Village of Peoria, and announced that he was on his way 
to Chicago to hold court. He had traveled about 130 miles from 
Quincy, where he lived, and had to travel, as the trail then run, not 
less than 170 miles further, to hold the tirst court on his circuit. 
Just think of a horseback ride of at least 300 miles to hold a three 
days' court!" 

Judge Young was not deterred from his circuit riding by the turmoil 
and dangers of the Black Hawk War in 1832, but rode fearlessly with- 
out escort from one county seat to another and held his courts while 
the volunteers were chasing the Indians out of the State. On the 
twentieth of May of that year occured the heartrending murder of 
fifteen settlers by a party of Black Hawk's Indians at the house of 
Wm. Davis on Indian creek, twelve miles north of Ottawa, in LaSalle 
county; and the only two then there whose lives were spared, Rachael 
and Silvia Hall, were carried away by the savages. Two of the 
Indians implicated in that massacre and abduction, To-qua-mee and 
Co-mee, were afterwards apprehended and indicted by the grand jury 
of LaSalle county (instead of being summarily lynched) and after 
long delay were tried before Judge Young and a jury at Ottawa. 
Thomas Ford was the prosecuting attorney and the Indians were de- 
fended by Hamilton and Bigelow. For want of certain identification 
the culprits were acquitted, and afterwards boasted of their guilt. 

About a year after Judge Young's location at Quincy, he established 
and conducted a Democratic newspaper there, entitled the "Illinois 
Bounty Land Register," edited by himself and published by 0. M. 
Woods. It was the first newspaper published north of the Illinois 

1 History of Peoria, by C. Ballance, Peoria. 1870, p. 63. 


river, with the exception of the two papers at Galena established 
there a short time before. Nothing is now known of the paper's sub- 
sequent history. 

Though almost constantly engaged on his extensive circuit. Judge 
Young managed to attend all terms of the Supreme Court at Vandaha, 
and also to visit the State Capital at every session of the Legislature. 
He was personally known to all the officials and politicians in the 
State, and was himself one of the most popular and highly esteemed 
of the State's public men. When the lower house of the Eighth 
General Assembly preferred charges, in 1888, against Justice The- 
ophilus W. Smith of the Supreme Court, and placed him on trial for 
impeachment before the Senate as a jury, he selected as attorneys to 
defend him, Sidney Breese, Richard M. Young and Thomas Ford. 
The managers on the part of the House, who prosecuted him, were 
Benjamin Mills, John T. Stuart. James Semple, Murray McConnel 
and John Dougherty, an array of talented, learned men on both 
sides — not surpassed in the legal profession of the State. The trial 
lasted from January 9th to February 7th. resulting in a negative 
acquittal. The speech of Judge Young on that occassion. January 
29th, was one of the best efforts of his life. It was listened to with 
intense interest by the entire Legislature, and all others who could 
crowd into the room, and added new laurels to his already high repu- 
tation for forensic ability. 

The Nineth General Assembly began its first session at Vandalia 
December 1, 1831. One of its first duties was the election of a 
United States Senator to succeed Hon. John M. Robinson, who was a 
candidate for election to succeed himself. General Robinson had 
served in the Senate very acceptably since he was elected in 1880. to 
fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of John McLean; but 
objection was raised to his re-election, by some, on the score of his 
personal habits and by others because of his Southern location. White 
county, claiming that as all the Senators had been chosen from the 
Southern counties since the admission of the State into the Union, 
simple justice would demand the next Senator be taken from one of 
the Northern counties. When, therefore, the two houses met in joint 
session for the election on the thirteenth of December. Judge Young 
was presented as a candidate by one of his friends, and. considering 
all things, developed surprising strength. However, General Robin- 
son was elected, receiving 47 votes to 30 for Judge Young, and 4 for 
Wm. B. Archer. 

Having disposed of the Senatorial election the Legislature took up 
the serious consideration of other important matters before them. 
The population of the State was increasing rapidly, and litigation in 
the courts correspondingly increasing to such an extent that the four 
Supreme Court justices were no longer able to hold all the courts in 
their respective circuits and satisfactorily discharge the functions of 
a Supreme Court. Ballance says: "In those days there were but few 
roads and bridges in the northern half of the State. No road of any 
kind had then (1833) been opened from Peoria to Chicago. In fact, 
the most essential reciuisites of a good judge for this circuit were to 
own a good horse and be a good rider. These two requisites Judge 


Young possessed in a high degree. He was a fine looking, comj lai- 
sant Kentiickian, who possessed a fine, high-blooded Kentucky horse, 
and knew well how to ride him.'"' Yet. notwithstanding those valua- 
ble requisites, the legal business of Judge Young's immense district 
was growing beyond his capacity to properly manage it. The Legis- 
latrrre. convinced that something must be done to relieve the over- 
worked judiciary, accordingly passed, on January 7, 1835, an act 
providing for the election of five additional Circuit Judges, and 
exempting the Supreme Court justices from further Circuit C( nrt 
duty. By that act Judge Young was retained judge of the fifth dis- 
trict, as before; and on the seventeenth of January another act was 
passed curtailing that district to Pike. Adams, Hancock. McDonorgh, 
Knox, Warren, Fulton and Schuyler counties, which territory inchxled 
the counties of Calhoun, Brown and Henderson, subsequently organ- 

That change affording Judge Young some leisure for social and 
domestic enjoyment, he concluded to leave his farm and move into 
the village of Quincy. Whereupon he sold, on June 25, 1885, to John 
Cleveland, for the sum of $2,500, his farm of 150 acres, reserving pos- 
session until the first of the next March. On the twenty-sixth of the 
following September he purchased of Thomas Carlin and wife, for 
$500, lot" six in block ten "of the original town of Quincy. fronting on 
Hampshire street 99 feet and running back at right angles 198 feet." 
On December 8 he sold to Samuel Jackson, for $300, twenty-five feet 
ofP the west side of that lot, and on the remaining seventy-three feet 
he built a fine brick mansion two stories high, with a hall running 
through the middle."' Mr. John Wheeler, a nonagenarian, remembers 
hearing Judge Young say that he had moved to town to please his 
wife, but that he himself would prefer to live in the country. Mr. 
Wheeler says Mi-s. Young was regarded by people of those early 
times as a fashionable society woman, and that her home was a center 
of social gayety. He says further that they were "a very good look- 
ing couple, the Judge tall and straight, and his wife above medium 
height and beairtiful.*"- 

"Judge Young, in 1885. bought the land where the Tremont House, 
the barber shop and cigar store now stand on Hampshire street, and 
built him a home thereon. Many of our citizens remember the old 
Young mansion, and some of the older ones remember grand parties 
given there by Judge and Mrs. Young. Some remember one of their 
daughters, and some remember two."-^ 

As before stated. Judge Young sold to Samuel Jackson, on Decem- 
ber 8. 1885. twenty-five feet otf the west side of lot six — where the 
cigar store now stands— for $800. After having built his mansion he, 
and wife Matilda, executed a mortgage deed of the property to Edg- 
combe H. Blatchford. on February 26, 1848 to secure a debt of 
$8,397.71, On August 17, 1849, the Judge and wife sold to Hiram 
Rogers another part of lot six — where the barber shop is — f®r $1.(X)0. 
March 18, 1852, the judge and wife executed, at Washington city, a 

1 * •Hntorv of ^'eoria." bv C. Rallance. 1870, p. 63. 

2 From Mr VVilliani A Richardson's notes. 

3 Uuincy "Daily Herald," October 19, 1903. 


power of attorney to Harrison Dills, of Quincy, "to sell remaining 
right and title, interest and claim of, in and to, lots six and seven, in 
block ten, as designated on the original plat of the city of Quincy."' 
Mr. Dills sold the premises, on April 8, 1852, to Mrs. Rebecca Carlin 
for $8,5(X), and she conveyed the same to John Schell, who lived 
there several years, and sold it to Mr. Gather. That gentleman tore 
the old "Young mansion" away in 1856 or 1857 and built on its site 
the hotel which was first called the Gather House, and afterwards, in 
other hands, the St. Gharles, and afterwards again, and still in other 
hands, the Tremont. 

The second session of the ninth legislature was commenced at Van- 
dalia on December 7, 1885. On the twenty-ninth of that month a 
special message from Goveanor Duncan to the two houses conveyed 
the sad intelligence of the death of Senator Elias K. Kane, and ad- 
vised that an election to fill his vacancy be held "during the present 
session." By agreement the two houses met in joint session on the 
afternoon of that day and proceeded with the election. The principal 
candidates were James Semple, Speaker of the House, and (jreneral 
W. L. D. Ewing. The friends of Judge Young and of Lieutenant 
Governor Alexander M. Jenkins among the members placed them in 
nomination also. The first ballot stood, 25 votes for Semple, 19 for 
Young, 18 for Ewing and 15 for Jenkins. Eleven ballots were taken 
when Ewing was elected, "by the aid of Lincoln and the anti-Jackson 
men,"' receiving 40 votes to 37 for Semple. Judge Young's name 
was withdrawn after the eighth ballot. Senator Ewing served until 
March 4, 1836, sixty-three days. It is hardly probable that Judge 
Young would have sought to be a candidate for a brief term of sixty- 
three days in the United States Senate, or made any effort to secure 
it. That he was placed in nomination for the place and voted for 
through eight balllots while he was busily engaged on his wilderness 
circuit was no doubt due to the partiality of his friends in the legis- 
lature, and must be regarded as evidence of his popularity, and the 
appreciation of his worth and talents. However, at the next Senat- 
orial election for a full term successor to General Ewing, in which 
Young and Ewing were again candidates, the tables were turned, the 
Judge retrieving his defeat by a decided victory over the General. 

Judge Young had been twice presented by his friends to the legis- 
lature as a candidate for the Senate, whether with his consent or 
connivance, or not, is now immaterial; but when the legislature again 
met at Vandalia, on December 5, 1836, he was there and annoiuiced 
himself again a candidate for the Senate to succeed General Ewing. 
That [tenth] general assembly "was one of the most remarkable 
bodies of law-makers which ever assembled in the legislative halls of 
Illinois, or of any other State. "2- "No legislature of our State before, 
and very few since, have comprised such an array of brainy, talented 
men; or as many who subsequently gained such eminence in the 
annals of the State and nation. In the Senate were Orville H. Brown- 
ing, Gyrus Edwards, Wm. J. Gatewood, John S. Hacker, Robert K. 

1 Moses' History of Illinois, vol. I. p. 405. 

2 Moses' History of Illinois, vol. I. p. 406-407. 


McLaughlin. Henry I. Mills. Wm. Thomas, John D. Whiteside and 
John D" Wood. And in the House were Edward D. Baker, John 
Hogan, Milton Carpenter, Newton Cloud, Richard N.Cullom (father 
of Senator Shelby M. Cullom), John Dement, John Dougherty,. 
Stephen A. Douglas. Jesse K. Dubois, Ninian W. Edwards, Abraham 
Lincoln, Wm. L. D. Ewing, Augustus C. French, John J. Hardin, 
Usher F. Linder, Dr. John Logan (father of General John A. Logan), 
John A. McClernand, James Semple, John Moore, Wm. A. Richard- 
son, James H. Ralston, and Robert Smith. In this list are found 
one President of the United States, six who have occupied seats in 
the United States Senate, eight Congressmen, three Governors, three 
Lieutenant Governors, two attorney Generals, five State Treasurers, 
two State Auditors, one State Superintendent of Schools and several 

The two houses met in joint session on the fourteenth of December 
and proceeded at once with the Senatorial election. Neither of the 
candidates voted for received a majority of all the votes cast on either 
the first or second ballot. On the third ballot 62 legislators voted for 
Richard M. Young. 24 for Samuel McRoberts, 17 for Archibald 
Williams, 12 for Wm. L. D. Ewing, 7 for Judge Thomas C. Browne, 
and 1 for Chief Justice Wm. Wilson. Elected United States Senator 
for the term of six years by that famous assembly, by a majority of 
7 votes over the combined vote of all his distinguished opponents, 
was an honor of which Judge Young might well be proud. Yet, it 
was that same assembly — that body of collective wisdom — that, later 
in the session, enacted the wild Internal Improvement folly which 
brought the State so nearly to the verge of ruin and bankruptcy. 

On January 2, 1(S37, Senator Young resigned his judgeship pre- 
paratory to entering upon the diities of the higher position to which 
he was elevated, commencing on the fourth of the following March. 
Proceeding to Washington in November he took his seat in the 
Twenty-fifth Congress, as the junior Illinois Senator, with his colle- 
gue, Hon. John M. Robinson. Illinois was then represented in the 
lower house of Congress by Adam W. Snyder, Zadok Casey and Wm. 
L. May. Martin Van Buren was President and Richard M. Johnson 
Vice-President. During Judge Young's term in the Senate the de- 
liberations and legislation of Congress were uneventful. Our country 
was prosperous and at peace with all the world — excepting the Semi- 
nole Indians of Florida. The main issues dividing the political par- 
ties were, the financial policy, internal improvements by the general 
government, and, incidentally, some phases of the slavery (question. 
The Whigs favored a U. S. bank, and national roads made by the 
government. The Democrats were opposed to both, and contended 
for hard money and the sub -treasury system. Much time was con- 
sumed in both houses of Congress in efforts to establish a fixed plan 
for disposition of the public lauds, and adjustment of pre-emption 
laws. Then later, after recognition of the independence of Texas by 
the United States, and the proposed annexation of that lone star re- 
public to the Union as a slave state, and the introduction of a bill 

1 Adam W. Snyder, and His Period in Illinois History, 1906, p, 214, 


providing for a national bankrupt law. were productive of long acri- 
monious debates and much ill-feeling. 

Senator Young was not remarkable as a parliamentarian or orator, 
but was admittedly a dignified, able and clear-headed statesman. His 
speech in the Senate on January 8, 18;^9. in reply to Senator Critten- 
den, of Kentucky, onthe bill to graduate and reduce the price of i^ublic 
lands; and that on February 1, 1841, on the prospective pre-emption 
bill and Senator Calhoun's jDroposition to dispose of public lands in 
the new" states, were efforts of surprising strength. Among his best 
political productions w^asa circular letter he addressed to the people of 
Illinois, from Washington, on June 30, 1842, defining in masterly 
style the leading principles of the Democratic party. That address 
was published in all the Democratic papers of the State coinci- 
dent with the selection of Judge Ford as the candidate of that party 
for Governor, and contributed largely to the decided success of the 
D'-mocratic ticket at that election. A noted episode of Judge 
Young's Senatorial term was his mission to England, in 1839, to ne- 
gotiate a loan for the State of Illinois. 

The Eleventh General Assembly" authorized the State to borrow, 
upon its credit, an additional sum of $4,000,000 for the completion of 
the Illinois and Michigan Canal. It also elected Thomas Mather, 
Charles Oakley and M. M. Rawlings, Fund Commissioners, to nego- 
tiate all loans, and sell all bonds for said loans. John Reynolds was 
elected to Congress in August. 1838, at the same time Thomas 
Carlin was elected Governor, but would not take his seat in 
the House until sixteen months later. December 2, 1839. He had 
long desired to visit Europe, and now saw his opportunity to do so at 
public expense. Reynolds and Carlin were old friends; both were of 
Irish descent, and early pioneers of Illinois; they had served together 
a"^ rangers in the war of 1812, and were together in the Black 
Hiwk war. Governor Reynolds visited Vandalia to see his friend 
C irlin inaugurated in the executive chair, and remained, almost as 
lo ig as the Legislature did. As the State's credit was nearly ex- 
hausted here, he had no difficulty in persuading (to vern or Carlin that 
it would be better to send a special commissioner of national reputa- 
tion to negotiate the new $4,000,000 loan in foreign money markets. 
Though three Fund commissioners were provided for that purpose by 
the legislature, Reynolds easily wheedled the Governor into making 
him that special commissioner. Then after securing his free junket, 
aware of his incapacity for such a responsible task he begged Carlin- 
to appoint another special commissioner to accompany him. To this 
the Governor acceded, and chose his friend and neighbor in Quincy, 
Senator Young, for the second commissioner. 

It is doubtful if two other men so conspicuous in public life at that 
time as Governor Reynolds and Senator Young, could have been 
found, so little qualified — so destitute of financial tact and skill, for 
such a difficult and important mission as they. When Governor 
Carlin was made aware of that fact by friends in whom he confided, 
he sent two of the Fund commissioners along. Colonel Oakley and 
General Rawlings, to manage the business. Governor Reynolds and 
wife left at once for' New York. There the Governor met Oakley and 


Rawlings, and the three sold to Thos. Dunlap, a broker, 1.000 State 
bonds of $1,000 each, and to one Delatield 300 bonds of the same de- 
nomination, on such conditions as to result in ultimate loss to the State 
of over $150,000. They then proceeded to London where they were 
joined by Senator Young and wife. There the four commissioners 
sold and deposited with John Wright & Co., a tirm of English sharp- 
ers, another million dollars of Illinois bonds, with no regard to secu- 
ity, or specific provisions of the law from which they derived their 
authority. The brilliant financiering of the four commissioners re- 
sulted in clear loss to the State of over half a million of dollars. 
While Oakley and Rawlings remained in London arranging details of 
their negotiations, one of the special commissioners with his wife 
rambled around to see the sights in England, then crossed the chan- 
nel to the continent and visited Paris, Brussels, and other points of 

The reports of Reynolds and Young were received by the called 
session of the eleventh assembly, convened on December 9. 1889, and 
referred, in the House, to a special committee, which, after careful 
consideration of all official acts of the junketers, submitted, on Janu- 
ary 29, 1840, majority and minority reports. The majority report — 
adopted by a large majority of the House— "highly disapproved" of 
all the transactions of the commissioners; declared they "transcended 
the powers vested in them by the State;'' also declared their "nego- 
tiation with John Wright c^^ Co., of London, to be and is. void." and 
demanded return of the State bonds the junketers deposited with that 
firm for sale In the preceeding pages of this sketch Cxovernor Ford 
is quoted when citing Judge Richard M. Young, as "one of the many 
examples in our history of the forgiving disposition of the people*' to 
their erring public servants. But the people of Illinois never forgave 
Reynolds and Young for their bungling failure as special fiscal agents 
of the State. From that ill-judged junket of the two statesmen dated 
the decline of their popularity. Occurring before the introduction of 
telegraphs, railroads and modern daily newspapers that now thoroughly 
ventilate such jobs. Governor Reynolds was reelected to Congress in 
the following August, and then permanently retired from further par- 
ticipation in national affairs. 

Before the close of Judge Young's senatorial term the Democratic 
party had adopted the convention and caucus system for selection of 
candidates for office. When the time arrived for the thirteenth gen- 
eral assembly to choose a successor to Senator Young, the Democrat- 
ic members met in caucus on December 9, 1842. Four candidates 
were presented for nomination. Young, Breese, Douglas and McClern- 
and. "After a stormy session lasting from 7:00 o'clock p. m. to 1:00 
o'clock a. m.. on the nineteenth ballot Breese was successful by the 
narrow margin of one majority, he receiving 56 votes, Douglas 52, and 

1 Only Governor Reynolds and wife went over to the continent. Senator > oung remain- 
ed in London until he concluded the negotiations with Wright & Co., aliout the la.'-t days of 
Octolier, (18:^9). when he and his wife took passage for New York on the English .^hip 
British Queen commanded by Captain Roberts, who later was lost with all on board when 
crossing the Atlantic on the new ship Presiilent, in 1841. 

2 Moses' History of Illinois, vol. I. p. 453. 


After several ballots, with but little prospect for securing the 
nomination, Jndge Young was induced to withdraw from the contest 
by promise of a place on the supreme bench. Governor Ford, upon 
his election, had resigned his judgeship; so also had Judge Theophilus 
W. Smith because of failing health, and Judge Breese also resigned 
immediatel}^ after his elevation to the Senate. Three associate justices 
of the Supreme court were then to be chosen by the legislature to 
supply vacancies. The two houses together proceeded with that elec- 
tion on January 14. 1848. General James Semple was elected to 
succeed Breese. Hon. John M. Robinson in place of Ford, and Rich- 
ard M. Young to succeed Judge Smith, receiving 122 votes; 12 ballots 
were cast blank, and 8 scattering. He received his commission on the 
twenty-tifth of February, and at the expiration of his Senatorial term, 
on March 3, returned to Illinois to reenter the judiciary. Resuming 
the ermine he was assigned to the seventh judicial district which in- 
cluded Chicago. 

Judge Young acquitted himself on the supreme bench with much 
credit. A critical comparison of his written opinious with those of 
the other distinguished Supreme court justices with whom he was 
associated while a member of that august tribunal proves him to have 
been a superior lawyer and judge. In 1843 he delivered four decisions 
of the court and one dissenting opinion; ^ in 1844 he wrote six deci- 
sions, one separate, and one dissenting opinions, ^ and in 1845 he de- 
livered ten decisions, two separate, and two dissenting opinions. ^ 
Well and concisely written, they are all clear and accurate judicial 
statements supported by ample references and sound reasoning. His 
separate opinion, of twenty pages, in the celebrated case of Jarrott vs. 
Jarrott. delivered at the December 1845, term,* is remarkable for 
profound, far-reaching knowledge of the law, and of history involved 
in the questions before the court. The action, of assumpsit, was 
brought by Pete Jarrott, a French negro slave, against Mrs Julia 
Jarrott of Cahokia, who owned him, for services rendered. It was 
tried at the October 1843, term of the St. Clair county circuit court 
before Judge James Shields, and a jury that rendered a verdict for de- 
fendent, and was taken up to the supreme court on appeal by Lyman 
Trumbull and ^Vm. H. Underwood, plaintiff's attorneys. There the 
decision of the lower court was reversed. The court's opinion was 
delivered by Justice Walter B. Scates, with which Judge Young 
coincided, justices Thomas. Treat and Shields dissenting. The case 
attracted wide spread attention and unusual public interest, as the 
decision of the Supreme court gave Pete Jarrott his freedom, and 
practically removed from the statutes the last vestige of authority for 
slavery in Illinois. 

At the same term of the court, in thecaseof Rhinehart vs. Schuyler 
et ah, ^ brought from Adams county on appeal, Justice Young de- 
livered the opinion of the court, covering 36 pages, in which his able 

1 4th Scammon Reports. 

2 1st Gilman Reports. 

3 2d Gilman Reports. 

4 2d Gilman, p. 12 f/ seg . 

5 2d Gilman, p.i^Sefseg. 


review of the case tried in the lower court before Justice Thomas, in 
October, 1843, his familiarity with the law governing the points in 
controversy, and precedents cited, and the strong, clear arguments 
sustaining his conclusions, are not surpassed by any opinion emanating 
from that court. 

In the month of July, 1845, he was chosen by Governor Ford an 
arbitrator on the part of the State, under an act of the Legislature, to 
settle a matter of difficulty between the State and the State Bank of 
Illinois; Judge Stephen T. Logan having been selected by the Bank, 
and succeeded in adjusting the matter in a manner entirely satis- 
factory to the Governor. 

No opinion by Judge Young appears in the Reports for 1846, and 
by the records of the court it is seen that he was absent from several 
of its sessions that year. The truth is, he had become tired of judicial 
work. On failing to be reelected to the U. S. Senate he accepted the 
Supreme court Judgeship because nothing better was then accessible, 
and found its laborious obscurity in too marked contrast with the daz- 
zling eminence of the Senate. He craved a public station of political 
prominence and conspicuous authority. When the term of Governor 
Ford was about to expire the Democrats held a convention, at Spring- 
field, on February LO, 1846, to nominate a candidate of the party to 
succeed him. The aspirants before that convention for the nomina- 
tion were two of the Supreme court Justices, R. M. Young and Walter 
B. Scates. Lyman Trumbull. John Calhoun. Augustus C. French and 
Alfred W. Cavarly. Upon the first ballot Trumbull led with 56 votes, 
to 45 for French, 44 for Calhoun, 35 for Young, 35 for Scates and 20 
for Cavarly. On the third ballot "the choice — in accordance with a 
line of precedents, which seemed almost to indicate a settled policy — 
fell upon him who had achieved least prominence as a party leader, 
and whose record as a public man had been least conspicuous," ^ 
Augustus C. French. 

When a member of the Senate a mutual friendship existed between 
Judge Young and Hon. James K. Polk, then Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, who was elected president in 1844. Having failed 
to secure the Democratic nomination for Governor, the Judge visited 
Washington later in 1846, when Congress was in session, presumably, 
to ascertain what might turn up there to his advantage. Hostilities 
with Mexico having commenced, he. no doubt, could — with the pres- 
tige of his earily military experience as Ensign, Aide and Colonel of 
militia, and his fine soldierly figure and martial bearing — have ob- 
tained from the president a commanding position in the volunteer 
contingent of Illinois. But his aspirations were evidently not in that 
direction. In 1845 President Polk appointed James Shields, of Illi- 
nois, Commissioner of the General Land office, which he resigned in 
1846 to accept a Brigadier General's commission in the Mexican war. 
The supplying of that vacancy was perhaps the only civil position, 
allotted to Illinois, the president then had at his disposal. It was 

1 Moses' History of Illinois, Vol. 1. p. JiOS 

—21 H S 


offered to Judge Young, and by acceijting it he committed the gravest 
mistake of his life. He was appointed Commissioner of the General 
Land office, to succeed General Shields, on January H. 1847, and re- 
signed his seat as One of the associate justices of the Illinois Supreme 
Court on the twenty- fifth of the same month, and immediately set out 
for Washington to enter upon the duties of his new office. Two days 
later, the twenty-seventh his vacancy on the suiDreme bench was sup- 
plied by election of Jesse B. Thomas, Jr. 

Judge Young was a citizen of Quincy until late in 1849 when he 
moved his family to Washington, and never retiirned to reside in Illi- 
nois. The General Land office was at that time an integrant part of 
the Treasury department and one of the largest, and most arduous 
bureaus to manage in the government. The Judge seemed to have a 
natural predilection for that kind of work, and took its administration 
in hand with zeal and earnestness, giving to every detail of the busi- 
ness, and to the sixty clerks employed, his constant personal super- 
vision. His annual report, submitted at the beginning of the year 
1849, was evidence of the ability and thoroughness of his manage- 
ment of the government's land interests. It was a lengthy and elab- 
orate document, characterized by unusual clearness in arrangement of 
details, remarkable for the sound sense and modesty of its author and 
valuable for its tabular statements of all public lands sold and in 
market of land and coast surveys, population, representation in Con- 
gress and other highly useful information, illustrated with numerous 
maps and diagrams. That report attracted much attention through- 
out the country, and received the flattering commendation of news- 
papers and public men of both parties. 

In 1848 the Democratic party lost control of the government by the 
election of a Whig, General Zachary Taylor, to the presidency. In 
free and enlightened America no statutory mandate has greater force 
than that unwritten law of political parties, "to the victors belong the 
spoils." A change of administration necessarily implies a change of 
office holders, excepting now, the Civil Service class. In obedience 
to that law a sense of honor compels higher officials of the defeated 
party to present their resignations to the victors. But. Judge Young 
was so infatuated with the "pomp and panox^ly"' of official position he 
not only did not resign, but — although a lifelong radical democrat — 
he made a strong effort to be retained as Commissioner of the Gen- 
eral Land offices bj' a Whig i^resident. He had some Whig support, 
as against Mr. Lincoln who was a candidate for the position, and who 
was generally endorsed by the Whig members of Congress. Y'oung 
would have been re-appointed but for the fact that during the cam- 
paign he wrote a very severe article against General Taylor and sent 
it to all the newspapers in Illinois, and on the copy he sent to Quincy 
he stated at the bottom of the article in large letters, "I wrote this, 
R. M. Y." Browning got hold of the article and sent it to Lincoln, 
who showed it to General Taylor, that settled the pretentions of the 
Judge in that direction. Through the influence of Daniel Webster 
the land office was given to Justin Butterfield of Chicago. (Mss. of 
John Wentworth.)"i 

1 Foot note on pagre .Sll, \'ol. 1. Moses' History of Illinois. ' 


The mania for ofBce-holding is one of the most deplorable and piti- 
able forms of mental degeneracy. There are in ^^^ashington city at 
all times a number of political wrecks and derelicts — gray-haired, 
broken-down men, who once held high and responsible positions 
there, then dropped by the everchanging caprice of party favoritism, 
remained there in enchanted helplessness, reveling in memories of 
their former grandeur, or vainly hoping that another turn of the 
wheel of fortune may again restore them to public notice. Judge 
Young was unfortunately a victim of that mania. Otherwise he 
would have pursued the course of his successor in the Senate, Judge 
Sidney Breese. Stepping doA'n from the Senate upon the Supreme 
Court bench of his State, he should have made a virtue of necessity, 
and remained there— a highly honorable station for which he was, by 
natural endowment and acquirements, eminently well fitted. Had he 
done so, in all probability he could have retained it— as Breese did — 
the balance of his life. Fascinated, however, by the illusory glitter 
and charm of life at the national capital, he descended from the bench 
a long step lower to the superintendency of a department bureau. 
Deposed from that transitory haven, he further descended to the 
clerkship of the thirty-first Congress, to which he was elected by the 
House of Representatives in December, 1841). Adjournment of the 
session in 1851 terminated his long and highly creditable official 
career. With no longer a salary to rely upon for subsistence, and 
having accumulated no productive property, he reached the bottom 
where necessity forced him to resume the struggle as he had com- 
menced it in Johnson county, Illinois, thirty-four years before, by the 
practice of law. Combining with his profession a general claim 
ag.ncy, by diligence, aided by the prestige of his distinguished ante- 
cedents, he was fairly successful. 

On February 26, 1842, he had been admitted to practice as an attor- 
nt-\ and counsellor at law in the United States Supreme Court, having 
bpi n presented to that high tribunal and recommended by Hon. Rob- 
ert J. Walker, of Mississippi, Secretary of the Treasury. 

In stature Judge Young was six feet two inches in height, erect 
and well proportioned, weighing usually about 170 pounds. His 
forehead, high and broad, was surmounted by dark brown hair, and 
his large hazel-colored eyes were over-arched by heavy, dark eye- 
brows. With fiorid complexion, his features were prominent, regular 
and prepossessing, indicative of great good nature, absence of malice, 
matured judgment and perfect self-confidence. Indisposition he was 
social, affable, and one of the kindest and most genial of men. With- 
out the gift of flowery oratory, he was a strong, forcible speaker, and 
as a conversationalist could not be surpassed, having an exceedingly 
entertaining style of exj^ression and a limitless store of anecdotes and 
apt illustrations always at his command. Though very friendly and 
easily approached by all, he could not tolerate undue familiarity, 
adhering all his life to the stately politeness and courtly manners of 
the old Virginia type of gentleman. It is related that in the early 
days of Quincy Orville H. Browning, then a budding young lawyer, 
had as a member of his household a younger brother, full of fun and 


boyish mischief, who answered to the name of '"Milt." On one occa- 
sion Milt knocked on the cabin door, and when Mrs. Browning opened 
it to welcome a supposed visitor. Milt, with his right hand over his 
heart, bowed low, in imitation of Judge Young, and then ran away. 
A few days later Mrs. Browning again heard a knock at the door, and 
thinking she recognized Milt's rap. not to be fooled again by him, 
cried out, "you go around to the back door: there is where you 
belong.*' Then, it occurring to her that she might be mistaken, 
opened the door, and to her surprise and confusion found the caller 
(in ([uest of Mr. Browning) to be Judge Young, who was very indig- 
nant at her reception, and with considerable hesitation accepted the 
profuse apologies and explanation she offered. -«. 

As a politician Judge Young was aggressive, fearless and honora- 
ble; always ready to contend for the policies and principles he believed 
to be right; never arrogant or personally abusive, and invariably 
extended to his opponents the respect and liberality he exacted for 
his views. As a judge' he was dignified, self-possessed, patient and 
very courteous to the members of the bar, as also to the jurors, wit- 
nesses and litigants. Always punctual in attendance to public busi- 
ness, he never lost sight of the fact that he was the people's servant, 
and never slighted or neglected the trust they reposed in him. His 
judgments, emenating from much legal learning, good sense and 
sound reasoning, bore well the test of time and the closes^t scrutiny. 
His courts were always models of decorum aud order. Very seldom 
he found it necessary to inflict penalties for contempt or misdemean- 
ors in court. When he did the fine was usually remitted when the 
offender admitted his error and promised not to be guilty of it again. 
When compelled to enforce punishments he inquired into the stand- 
ing and pecuniary circumstances of the culprit in order that the sen- 
tence he imi^osed might not be unjust or too oppressive. 

In regard to personal habits the judge was temperate and moral, 
never indulging in the vices too common among his contemporaries 
and political associates. Of domestic tastes he was much attached to 
his home and his family, and enjoyed entertaining his friends, his 
house being famed for its frequent gay and festive social gatherings. 
For general literature, arts and poetry he had special fondness, and 
was very partial to music — boasting of some musical talent himself — 
occasionally producing some tine strains from an old fiddle he highly 
prized, which he bought in 181H when a law student in Kentucky. 
■ His views of the abstract principle of slavery can be inferred from 
the fact that all his early associations and impressions were formed 
amidst and influenced by the institution of slavery and that he was 
himself a slave holder so long as slavery was tolerated in Illinois. 
He never outgrew the strong, mutual attachment that existed in his 
boyhood days between the members of his father's household and 
their slaves, as is evidenced by the entry in his family record of the 
death of two faithful negro servants of his father's, known as "Uncle 
Ned" and "Aunt Dinah," both of whom were emancipated long before 
the Civil War. They both came to Illinois, but in 1850 Uncle Ned 
returned to the old homestead in Kentucky and died there. Judge 
Young never joined any church, and left no statement of his religious 



belief. He was, however, a member of the Masonic order, having 
been initiated on Ajjril 20, 1829. into "Union Lodge No. 8,*' of that 
ancient fraternity. , 

From memoranda of his cases and clients, found among his papers, 
it is inferred the judge received liberal patronage from 1851 to 1859. 
and must have done a thriving business; for during that period he 
had employment, which probably was no doubt satisfactory in respect 
to remuneration. While so engaged, however, he was rapidly passing 
out of public notice. In the ever recurring mutations of public 
affairs in Illinois new men were crowding to the front, while Judge 
Young — for thirty years a conspicious factor in its political life — no 
longer in view, was then simply a historic figure. The passing of his 
prominence and importance was galling to one of his sensitive nature 
and self-esteem. He knew the fate of politicians when their course 
is run, and well knew his inability to perform the miracle necessary 
to restore his lost prestige and power. Brooding over his blighted 
ambition and lost opportunities, his business troubles and unpromis- 
ing future preyed upon his mind and nervous system until finally 
his health failed and his bright mental i acuities became clouded. In 
the fall of 1858, when perplexed and overtaxed by a case involving 
peculiarly intricate legal questions, his reason tottered and he was 
forced to retire from further activity. With the best medical skill at 
hand and the constant kind attention of his family — particularly the 
faithful care of his son-in-law, Robert A. Matthews, the year 1849 
passed without perceptible improvement in his condition. By advice 
of his physician, he was taken on April 17, 1860 to the Government 
Hospital for the Insane, in Washington, for treatment. He had 
passed so completely out of public thought and public observation 
that nothing was known in Illinois, and nothing was recorded at 
Washington, of the closing days of his life. The published histories 
of our State contain but brief and unsatisfactory biographical sketches 
of Judge Young and his public career, vaguely mentioning his death 
occurring "in an insane asylum in 1853." ^ Newspaper writers have 
stated that "he was confined in the dungeon of a Washington insane 
asylum, a raving maniac, part of the time restrained by chains and 
manacles." Balance says: "But for some time before his death he 
was confined in an asylum for maniacs. Of his last days I will not 
speak, because of them I know nothing, only as I have been informed by 
a brother of his, since he has passed away. If his story is true. Judge 
Young, who was once one of the most popular men in Illinois, passed 
many a day and night in a dungeon, under the torturing hands of fiends 
in human shape, in the great capital of the nation ; and yet for along time 
so secretly that a brother, living in that city, had no suspicion of it."' - 

Ascertaining that Dr. W. A. White is the present superintendent 
of the Grovernment Hospital for the Insane at Washington, a letter 
of inquiry regarding the truth of above statements, addressed to him 
last winter, by the writer, was courteously answered by him as follows: 

"Deak Sir — I beg' to infoi-m you, in response to your letter of the 12th inst., 
that the records of the hospital show that Hon. Richard M. Young was under 

1 Moses' History of Illinois, vol. I, footnote on page 511. 

2 History of Peoria by C. Balance, pp. 64,65. 


medical treatment for a mental affection from April 17. 1860. to October 15, 
1860. Having recovered he was discharged from treatment upon the date 
last mentioned. The records are silent as to the existence of violent mental 
distvirbance: and it can be taken for granted that the rumor that he was 
'confined in chains in a dungeon" was without foundation in fact — the hos- 
pital being without either of those accessories. I have no knowledge of 
Judge Young's career subsequent to his discharge from the hospital. Your 
letter states that it was understood that he '-died in the Government Hospital 
for the Insane at Washington in 18.53." As mentioned above he wa.s discharged 
— cured — in 1860; and as a matter of fact, no patients were received into the 
hospital prior to 18.55. 

"Very respectfully, etc.. 

•Wm. a. White, Superintendent." 

Rest and medical treatment at the hospital for six months restored 
the quietude of Judge Young's mind and nervous system, but he 
never regained his former spirits and animation. He was, in fact, a 
mental and physical wreck. At his home he remained secluded dur- 
ing the winter of 1860-61, a semi-invalid incapable of much exertion 
either of mind or body. The stirring events of 1861 excited his in- 
terest, at times arousing his patriotic devotion to the land of his birth 
and the cause for which it was contending. But the fires of youth 
were burned out, and only the smouldering embers remained to be 
momentarily and feebly rekindled. With advance of summer and 
advent of autumn his vitality continued to fail: he grew weaker until 
finally he died from exhaustion on November 28. 1861, at the age of 
63 years, 9 months and 8 days. He was buried in the Congressional 
cemetery at Washington. 

Judge Young's thoughts were never centered for any length of 
time on money making. Not a financier, and content with the salary 
he drew, or ordinary pay received for his legal services, he expend- 
ed it all for the comfort and well-being of his family, and entertain- 
ment of his friends, neglecting many favorable opportunities for ac- 
cumulating riches. Balance, who knew him well, says: "He lived 
and died poor; but had he lived until now (1870), and held on to cert- 
ain property which has been sold by his wife since his death, he 
would be rich. One piece of property which he obtained in Omaha as 
a fee, is said to be worth many thousand dollars." ^ 

By his last will and testament Judge Young devised "all of his 
property, real, personal and mixed, wheresoever situated." to his wife, 
Matilda. They had but two children, both daughters: one named 
Matilda James, and the other Berenice Adelaide, whose date of birth 
and place where born cannot now be ascertained. Matilda James 
Young was married to Robert A. Matthews at Washington, D. C, on 
June 29, 1852, and died without issue at Talbotton, in Talbott 
county, Georgia, on September 24, 1872. 

Berenice Adelaide Young was married to John A. Crawford, at 
Washington. D. C, in 1857, and died at Richmond, Virginia, on Jan- 
uary 19, 1862, leaving but one child that also died within two months 
thereafter. Mrs. Matilda, widow of Judge Young, departed this life 
at Washington, D.C., on January 31, 1871, and was buried by the 

1 History of Peoria, by C. Ballance, 1870, p. 6.5. 


side of her deceased husband, in the Congressional Cemetery there. 
She left a will bequeathing all her property to her son-in-law, Robert 
A. Matthews, who during the Civil war was a major in the Confederate 
service. The name of Robert A. Matthews appears on the roll of at- 
torneys practicing in the Supreme Court of Illinois in 1845. 






Some Eminent Illinoisans 









(By Paul Selby.) 

The passing away, within the last few months, of the late George 
Schneider of Chicago, marked the termination of the career of a man 
who for more than half a century had occupied a conspicuous posi- 
tion in the history of Illinois, first as a journalist, then as a public 
official by appointment of President Lincoln, and finally as a finan- 
cier of the metropolis of the Northwest. 

. Born in Pirmasens, Rhenish-Bavaria, December 18, 1828, the son 
of Ludwig Schneider, a gentleman of the middle rank and a public 
official of his native country, Mr. Schneider recieved his education in 
a Latin school in his native place and, at the age of twenty-one. en- 
gaged in journalism, writing at various times for different Geiman 
newspapers. With a strong predilection for free government, pro- 
moted by a liberal education and his connection with the discussion 
of public questions as a journalist, in common with such men as Carl 
Schurz, General Franz Siegel. Colonel Frederick Hecker, and many 
others who later became prominent citizens of the I'nited States, the 
year 1848 found him in strong sympathy with the demand for a con- 
stitutional government then stirring the people in many of the Ger- 
man provinces, as well as in France and Austria. At the age of 
twenty-five he threw himself with patriotic zeal into this movement, 
being trusted with an official position in the ranks of the revolution- 
ists. Although this was before the days of the consolidation of the Ger- 
man Empire, the aid given to the Bavarian autocracy by Prussia, re- 
sulted in the speedy crushing out of the reform movement. With- 
drawing first into Baden and later taking refuge in France, in com- 
mon with many of his compatriots, Mr. Schneider soon found it nec- 
essary to insure his personal safety by coming to the United States. 

Arriving in New York in July, 1849, he soon found his way to 
Cleveland, Ohio, where he spent a short time in search of employment 
without success. Then proceeding to St. Louis, Mo,, in company 
with a brother who was also an exile from his native land, he estab- 
lished a paper called the "Neue Zeit" (New Time), which was devoted 
to the free discussion of questions of interest to the large German 
population of that city, including the question of slavery, to which a 
large majority of them were strongly opposed. During the followi;ag 
year the office of this paper was destroyed by fire, and for the next 


few months Mr. Schneider occupied a position as a professor of 
foreign languages and literature in a college in the vicinity of St. 
Louis. During the next year he relinquished this position and com- 
ing to Chicago on the 28th of August, 1851, entered upon his duties 
as editor of the ''Illinois Staats-Zeitung,'" which had been established 
some four years previous; with which he remained over ten years, in 
1852 becoming the proprietor of a half interest in the paper. 

It was during his connection with the '-Staats-Zeitung" that the 
contest over the slavery question was precipitated by the repeal of 
the Missouri Compromise as a consequence of the adoption of the 
Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, and under Mr. Schneider's manage- 
ment the paper took strong ground on this issue — in fact, with the