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Author and Editor 


Gratuitously Published 
By Special Staff of Writers 

Issued in Five Volumes 




Copyright, 1933 
The Lewis Publishing Company 


Since my retirement from public office in 1917 it has been 
frequently suggested to me that a book containing a record of 
my personal reminiscences and contacts while in public life 
would be interesting to many people. I had given the suggestion 
favorable consideration and was about to respond to the sug- 
gestion by recording my personal experience and contacts in a 
book which I vaguely determined to entitle The Last Half Cen- 
tury in Chicago, At this juncture, in the spring of 1929, the 
Lewis Publishing Company suggested that I undertake for it the 
writing of a history of Illinois. This furnished me the opportun- 
ity of undertaking a work of wider scope and extent. As I had 
been chief executive of the great State of Illinois as well as chief 
executive of the great City of Chicago, I had made personal con- 
tacts with men and measures throughout the state as well as in 
the City of Chicago ; it did not seem inappropriate for me to take 
upon myself the writing of a history in which I could incorporate 
my personal experiences and contacts in both of these exalted 
offices. Under contract with this publishing firm I undertook 
the work which has occupied my time for nearly eighteen 
months, and which I now submit to the people of Illinois for 
their kindly (I hope) consideration. I am much indebted in the 
preparation for and the writing of this work to the Newberry 
Library for the many courtesies extended to me by its competent 
officials. I am also indebted to the Secretary of State of Illinois 
and his predecessor, Governor Emmerson for the blue books of 
Illinois and other books placed at my disposal by them. Hon- 
orable Fred J. Kern, of Belleville, a great bibliophile and stu- 
dent of Illinois history, has also earned my gratitude by both 
books and suggestions. I am above all indebted to my friend, 
William L. Sullivan, Esq., for the valuable assistance he has 
given me in compiling these volumes. He was my trusted 
stenographer when I was mayor of Chicago and my official secre- 
tary when' governor, and his wonderfully acute memory and his 



indefatigable industry have been of vital assistance to me in 
my historical labors. 

I have devoted myself in composing this work principally 
to the political history of the state rather than its industrial, 
agricultural and mechanical development, which latter features 
are so well known as to dispense with recapitulation by figures. 
I have been more familiar with the political life of the state 
than with its industrial or educational life, and other writers 
have treated the industrial, educational and agricultural life 
of the state with much more thoroughness than I could. 

When I have stated facts and events I have tried to be ac- 
curate and truthful. When I have expressed opinions they are 
my own. The publishers have placed no restrictions of any 
character upon my writings. I am indebted to them for their 
courteous and honorable dealings with me during the writing 
of this history and for the prompt and cordial approval of my 

Edward F. Dunne. 



El Dorado — A Wondrous Location for a New Common- 
wealth 1 

The One Hundred Percent American In His Happy 
Hunting Ground and His Passing 10 


The French Discoverers and Settlers 21 


Marquette and Joliet Discover the Mississippi 26 


The French Missionaries 36 

Character and Customs of the French Habitants in 
the Country of the Illinois 47 


La Salle, the Daring and Unfortunate 55 

Final Results of the Struggle Between the British 
and French for the Mississippi Valley 85 

Illinois Under the British Flag 96 


Part Played By Illinois In the Revolutionary War 107 


George Rogers Clark Captures Kaskaskia and Vin- 
cennes 116 

Illinois County, Virginia, Under the Rule of the Old 
Dominion 134 

Anarchy In Illinois 143 


Struggle In Congress Over Western Land Titles 152 




The U. S. Ordinance of 1787 Creating the Northwest 
Territory 160 

The Law's Delay and Struggle for Land 166 

Illinois Under Northwest Territorial Government 173 

Slavery and Indentured Servants — Territory of Illi- 
nois Created 188 


Illinois Territory First Class 197 


Tecumseh and Tippecanoe 203 


The Decline and Ultimate Disposition of the Fur 
Trade 209 

Illinois In the War of 1812 212 


Illinois a Territory of the Second Class — and Soon 
Becomes a State 227 


A Picture of the Infant State In 1818 242 


The Fight For Slavery 259 


The Rapid Development of the New State 283 


Politics In Illinois During the First Decade 290 


National Politics Enters Illinois 303 


The Administration of John Reynolds As Governor 316 


Black Hawk and the Last Stand of the Indians 320 


Administration of Joseph Duncan As Governor 344 



Springfield Becomes the State Capital and Lincoln 
and Douglas Appear In Public Life 354 

The Illinois and Michigan Canal 362 

Thomas Carlin, Governor 375 


Politics On the Bench 380 


Governor Thomas Ford___ 386 


The State Adopts a New Constitution In 1848 408 


Administration of Governor French 412 


Illinois Becomes Prominent In the Politics of the 
Nation 415 

The Constitution and Laws of the U. S. On Slavery 
When Douglas Became Senator In 1847 421 

Douglas, the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas- 
Nebraska Law 431 

Douglas Breaks With the Democratic Party and Presi- 
dent, and Opposes the Lecompton Constitution In 

Kansas 446 


Governor Matteson's Administration 454 

Administration of Governor Bissell 456 

The Birth of the Republican Party In Illinois 459 

Douglas Opens His Campaign for Reelection To the 
Senate 465 

The Lincoln-Douglas Joint Debate 481 


Abbott, Katherine L., Ill, 403 

Abels, Henry, V, 107 

Abingdon Public Library, V, 247 

Abolitionists, I, 440 

Academy of Our Lady, Peoria, III, 73 

Acker, John, III, 142 

Acorn, Henry O., IV, 132 

Adair, J. Leroy, V, 141 

Adamkiewicz, Stanley, III, 445 

Adams, Alfred, V, 188 

Adams, Francis, II, 203 

Adams, Glenn R., V, 412 

Adams, Minnie F., V, 189 

Addams, Jane, II, 293, 501; III, 8 

Adkins, John, V, 219 

Adkins, Walter, V, 220 

Administration Building, Century of 
Progress, II, 551 

Aeby, Richard, V, 379 

Agriculture, in French regime, I, 49 

Akin, Guy W., V, 401 

Alba, Chester N., V, 366 

Albright, Charles H., IV, 458 

Aldis, Arthur T., Ill, 47 

Aldstadt, David A., Ill, 173 

Alexander, Alonzo M., V, 360 

Alexander, John W., Ill, 159 

Alexander, Samuel, I, 366 

Algonquin race of Indians, I, 12 

Allegretti, Francis B., IV, 494 

Allen, Frank G., V, 78 

Allen, Frank O., V, 346 

Allen, James C, II, 47, 83 

Allen, Lawrence T., V, 393 

Allen, William J., II, 83; V, 485 

Allen & Dalbey, IV, 462 

Allen law, II, 221 

Allerton, Robert, V, 481 

Allerton, Samuel W., V, 481 

Allerton Public Library, Monticello, V, 

Allison, Robert H., IV, 247 

Allouez, Father, I, 24, 37 

Allstorm, Oliver, V, 380 

Allstrand, H. P., IV, 196 

"Alma Mater," University of Illinois, 
II, 465 

Alpeter, John J., I, 373 

Alschuler, Samuel, II, 192, 312, 461; 
IV, 9 

Altgeld, John P., elected governor, II, 
136, 137; career of, 138; and an- 
archists, 141 ; after anarchists pardon, 
144; protest against Federal troops 
in Illinois, 148, 156; silver question, 
160, 192; administration, and ninety- 
nine year franchises, 213; V, 25 

Altgeld and Yerkes' bills, II, 146 
Alto Pass Community High School, V, 

Alton, I, 253, 351; railway center, 357, 

405; II, 56 
Alton Schools, IV, 306 
Alton State Hospital, II, 351, 359 
Alvarez, Russell J., IV, 257 
Amell, J. Bruce, III, 453 
American Legion, Emery Whistler Post 

No. 607, V, 257 
American Bottom, I, 3, 49 
American Bottom and Old French Vil- 
lages, map, I, 86 
American Fur Company, I, 211 
American Protective League, II, 400 
Americans, native, in 1830, I, 251 
Anarchist case, II, 97; and Governor 

Altgeld, 140 
Anarchist, trial of, II, 520 
Andersen, Arthur E., IV, 170 
Anderson, Albert C, IV, 70 
Anderson, Benjamin F. (Charleston), 

IV, 70 
Anderson, Benjamin F. (Golconda), V, 

Anderson, Cyrus H., Ill, 211 
Anderson, Gustaf A., V, 398 
Anderson, Herbert S., IV, 71 
Anderson, Joe E., IV, 406 
Anderson, John O., IV, 266 
Anderson, Joseph M., V, 321 
Anderson, Norman K., V, 334 
Anderson, Sumner S., V, 5 
Andrew, John E., V, 79 
Angsten, Peter J., IV, 208 
Anna-Jonesboro Community High School 

III, 451 
Anna State Hospital for Insane, II, 

360; V, 206 
Anthony, Elliott, II, 83; V, 462 
Anti-Monopolist party, II, 90, 130, 136 
Apt, Christian S., IV, 159 
Arbogast, Kenneth G., Ill, 421 
Arch, Henry C, V, 229 
Archer, William R., II, 83 
Armour, J. Ogden, II, 391 
Armour, Philip D., II, 73; III, 19 
Armour family, II, 549 
Armstrong, James W., IV, 460 
Arnold, Bion J., Ill, 43 
Arnold, Isaac N., II, 51; V, 9 
Arnold, James, V, 455 
Arnold, Jennie, V, 456 
Arnold, J. Ross, III, 196 
Arnston, Otto A., Ill, 433 
Aronson, J. Henry, V, 62 



Arp, A. Henry, IV, 377 

Arp, Louis C, IV, 377 

Arthur, Delia, V, 432 

Arthur, Hildreth, V, 432 

Arthur, John J., 14, 118 

Arthur, Joseph, V, 432 

Articles of Confederation, I, 152 

Arzinger, Katharine L., IV, 398 

Ash, Harry A., IV, 162 

Astor, John Jacob, I, 209 

Atkinson, Henry, I, 328, 342 

Augusta Public Library, V, 38 

Austin, Edwin C, IV, 270 

Australian ballot law, II, 109 

Automobile tax, II, 331 

Avery, Sewell L., Ill, 10 

Axley, James, I, 254 

Aye, Vintcen, IV, 72 

Ayer, Edward E., V, 40 

Ayer Public Library, Delavan, III, 194 

Ayers, Frank D., Ill, 490 

Babb, John H., IV, 492 

Babcock, F. D. E., V, 356 

Baber, Fred, V, 92 

Baccus, Clyde F., Ill, 86 

Bacon, Asa S., Ill, 493 

Badgley, John A., IV, 182 

Bagnall, Loyal B., Ill, 440 

Bailee, Harry L., IV, 256 

Bailey, Albert E., IV, 191 

Bailey, Richard H., V, 182 

Baird, Waldo B., IV, 314 

Baker, David J., Ill, 25 

Baker, Edward D., I, 405; V, 27 

Baker, Harold G., V, 152 

Baker, Jehu, I, 459; III, 492 

Baker, L. E., IV, 97 

Baker, Monroe S., IV, 384 

Baker, Ralph N., Jr., IV, 100 

Baldridge, Balcolm C, V, 292 

Baldridge, Roy T., V, 282 

Baldwin, Eugene F., Ill, 70 

Balliet, Josiah R., V, 105 

Balsinger, William E., Ill, 503 

Baltz, Harold, V, 167 

Baltz, William N., IV, 242 

Bank of Illinois, I, 314 

Banking currency, I, 286 

Banks, in 1818, I, 255; State, 284; 
growth of State, 291; early, 307, 346; 
in 1842, 386; private, abolished, II, 402 

Baptist church, I, 255 

Barbau, Jean Baptiste, lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, I, 148 

Barber, Harry H., V, 402 

Bareis, Edward F., IV, 244 

Bargh, George H., V, 281 

Bargren, August E., Ill, 108 

Barnes, Carey E., IV, 185 

Barnes, Clifford W., V, 42 

Barnes, John S., Ill, 108 

Barnes, Roy R., V, 302 

Barnett, Calvin O., IV, 348 

Barr, George A., II, 426 

Barr, Oliver M., V, 180 

Barr, Richard J., II, 373 

Barrett, John E., V, 335 

Bartelmay, Robert A., Ill, 368 

Bartelme, Mary M., V, 44 

Bartholf, Herbert B., V, 125 

Bartlett, Paul, II, 521 

Barton, James M., Ill, 67 

Basinski, Stanislaus E., IV, 345 

Bass, Mrs. George, II, 432 

Bassett, Jane W., IV, 215 

Bastian, Frederick K., V, 61 

Batavia Herald, IV, 405 

Batavia Fublic Library, III, 444 

Bateman, Newton, II, 78; V, 477 

Bathrick, Donald U., Ill, 485 

Bauer, John T., Ill, 208 

Baum, Martin J., V, 115 

Baum, Nettie R., V, 115 

Baxter, George E., IV, 268 

Beall, Charles W., Ill, 287 

Beall, E. H., IV, 305 

Beardstown Public Library, V, 200 

Beasley, Louis, V, 421 

Beatty, Henry G., V, 358 

Beatty, Hobert R., V, 358 

Beatty, H. G. & Company, V, 359 

Beatty, Samuel F., V, 316 

Beauchamp, Virgil G., Ill, 168 

Beauty spots in Illinois, II, 212, 425, 

Becker, Albert V., Ill, 320 
Becker, Arthur C, III, 381 
Becker, A. G., Ill, 170 
Becker, Benjamin V., IV, 203 
Becker, James H., Ill, 170 
Becker, Oscar L., V, 164 
Beckers, John H., V, 350 
Beckett, Catherine M., IV, 138 
Beckett, John B., IV, 137 
Beckman, William F., IV, 393 
Beckman, William H., IV, 85 
Beckwith, Hiram W., IV, 488 
Bedel, Anselm L., V, 365 
Bedel, John A., V, 364 
Bederman, Edwin B., Ill, 55 
Beecher, Leon F., Ill, 195 
Beedy, M. Elizabeth, III, 301 
Beedy, Verner E., Ill, 300 
Beggs, Charles E., V, 149 
Beggs, Nelle, V, 149 
Beilschmidt, Henry W., Ill, 168 
Bell, Benjamin S., Ill, 206 
Bell, George, II, 389 
Bellefontaine, I, 146, 212 
Belleville, I, 8, 250; Old Mansion House, 

II, 186 
Belleville Public Library, IV, 240 
Belleville Township High School, V, 269 
Belt, Rufus F., IV, 360 
Bendix, Vincent, V, 41 
Benedict, George M., II, 183 
Benedict, Joseph, IV, 158 
Beneze, Henry P., IV, 234 
Benjamin, Reuben M., II, 83, 87 



Benner, William J., IV, 301 

Bennett, Henry S., Ill, 209 

Bennett, John C, I, 378 

Benninger, Fred, IV, 165 

Benson, Arnold P., IV, 405 

Benson, Charles, V, 488 

Benson, Emil J., V, 389 

Bentley, Arthur A., IV, 108 

Bentley, Richard, IV, 171 

Berbling, Peyton, V, 195 

Best, Charles L., V, 127 

Best, J. Donald, IV, 448 

Bestold, Fred, III, 444 

Bevan, Arthur D., Ill, 11 

Beveridge, John L., as governor, II, 90, 
91; V, 25 

Beynon, William J., IV, 142 

Bicek, Frank H., V, 77 

Biggs, William, I, 187 

Bill of Rights, in 1787, I, 162 

Billings, Frank, III, 14 

Bird, Lewis E., V, 129 

Birkbeck, Morris, I, 250, 264, 274, 282; 
V, 4 

Birks, Abraham C, IV, 131 

Bishopp, Olive B., V, 474 

Bishopp, William F., V, 473 

Bissell, William H., I, 405; first Re- 
publican governor, 456, 457; V, 28 

Bjorseth, Conrad M., V, 467 

Black, John C, II, 104 

Black, W. P., II, 104 

Black Hawk, Chief, I, 321 

Black Hawk Trail, near Dixon, II, 428 

Black Hawk War, I, 307, 310, 320; first 
stepping stone for eminent careers, 

Black Partridge, Chief, I, 219 

Blackman, Lee R., Ill, 206 

Blackstone, Timothy B., V, 27 

Blackwell, David, I, 274 

Blair, Chauncey B., V, 15 

Blair, Francis G., IV, 13 

Blair, Henry A., V, 51 

Blakemore, Fannie, III, 326 

Bland, Eugene, IV, 67 

Blaney, James V., V, 36 

Blatchford, Carter, III, 222 

Blatt, Maurice L., IV, 273 

Bliss, Charles W., Ill, 279 

Blodgett, Pliny R., V, 490 

Bloompott, Dietrick J., Ill, 190 

Bloomquist, Ernest C, III, 285 

Bloxam, Arthur M., IV, 96 

Board of Education, Chicago, II, 293, 
304, 472 

Board of Health, II, 95 

Board of Pharmacy, II, 95 

Boddy, John, III, 158 

Boeschenstein, Charles, V, 420 

Boggs, Berthold L., V, 278 

Bohmker, John C, IV, 404 

Bohn, John C, III, 418 

Bohrer, Florence F., Ill, 457 

Boisbriant, Lieutenant, IV, 45 

Boldenweck, William, I, 373 

Bolin, Paul L., Ill, 184 

Bond, Shadrach, I, 185, 187, 190, 229, 
232, 241, 243, 262, 273, 294; adminis- 
tration, 301; IV, 25 

Bond County, I, 233 

Bonfield, "Black Jack," II, 101 

Bonfield, Paul H., Ill, 175 

Bonk, Harry A., Ill, 180 

Bonk, John, IV, 484 

Booth, Alfred, V, 124 

Bootleggers, II, 526 

Borders, Grover C, IV, 249 

Borders, William F., V, 159 

Bourland, Robert C, III, 360 

Boutell, Francis L., IV, 75 

Bovik, Leslie E., Ill, 442 

Bowden, George K., IV, 467 

Bowen, Esco N., V, 319 

Bowen, Mrs. F. P., IV, 380 

Bowerman, H. E., Ill, 400 

Bowler, James B., IV, 494 

Bowley, William, III, 103 

Bowton, Anne, V, 248 

Bowton, William W., Ill, 368 

Boyer, Lewis L., IV, 358 

Boyes, Walter F., Ill, 370 

Boyle, George M., Ill, 428 

Boyles, John L., IV, 425 

Braddock's defeat, I, 90 

Bradford Public Library, III, 450 

Bradley Polytechnic Institute, III, 64 

Bradt, Samuel E., Ill, 398 

Bragg, Lena, V, 368 

Bragg, Thomas, V, 140 

Brainard, Daniel, V, 36 

Brake, Buell, IV, 71 

Brandenburger, Edward C, IV, 146 

Brandon, Rodney H., II, 426; IV, 25 

Bratton, Luther B., V, 395 

Braun, Joseph H., Ill, 439 

Breakstone, Benjamin H., Ill, 340 

Breed, Donald L., Ill, 92 

Breen, James W., V, 159 

Breese, Sidney, I, 342, 385, 414, 440, 
459, 471; III, 29 

Bremer, Jesse C, III, 329 

Brennan, George E., II, 420, 427, 464, 
490, 491, 510 

Brennan, John, II, 506 

Brentano, Theodore, III, 47 

Brian, Floid B., IV, 419 

Brick-making, I, 252 

Brickey, Emily J., Ill, 310 

Brickey, Franklin M., Ill, 309 

Bridgeport High School, IV, 298 

Bridges, Harry T., Ill, 351 

Briggs, Clare A., II, 191 

Brinkerhoff, George M., V, 102 

Brinkerhoff, John H., V, 102 

Briszko, Anthony, III, 425 

British expedition, of 1686, I, 83 

British law, I, 143 

Britt, Hugh F., V, 214 

Britton, Ernest R., IV, 336 

Britton, J. Hays, III, 216 

Brockman, George, IV, 359 



Brooks, Edwin B., V, 228 

Brooks, Hiram A., V, 128 

Brooks, Oscar E., Ill, 497 

Brown, Carl, III, 186 

Brown, Erastus, I, 366 

Brown, George W., IV, 474 

Brown, Grover C., Ill, 300 

Brown, Harold, IV, 314 

Brown, Harry E., IV, 255 

Brown, John J., Ill, 365 

Brown, Louis W., V, 222 

Brown, Martha D., IV, 256 

Brown, Phillip M., Ill, 382 

Brown, Scott, III, 441 

Brown, Thomas C., I, 232, 266, 294 

Brown, William D., V, 350 

Brown, William H., I, 275 

Brown's Business College, IV, 229 

Browne, Ada S., IV, 355 

Browne, H. Kingsbury, V, 160 

Browne, Thomas C, V, 11 

Browning, Earl W., Ill, 67 

Browning, Orville H., I, 342; II, 12, 83; 

V, 27 
Browning, Robert M., Ill, 131 
Brownsville, Old, Last house in, I, 384 
Brubaker, Benjamin F., Ill, 393 
Brundage, Edward J., II, 404, 479; IV, 

Bruning, Ralph H., IV, 84 
Brust, Edmund G., V, 486 
Bryan, Annie C, V, 134 
Bryan, Silas L., II, 83 
Bryan, Thomas B., II, 520 
Bryan, William J., career of, II, 156; 

committed to free silver, 162, 165; 

cross of gold speech, 166, 511 
Bryant family, V, 419 
Buchanan, Mary R., Ill, 263 
Buchanan, Nettie J., Ill, 263 
Buchanan, Robert O., Ill, 263 
Buckingham, George T., V, 307 
Buckles, Derias, IV, 141 
Buckley, Homer J., Ill, 133 
Buckley, Jeremiah J., V, 313 
Budd, Britton I., V, 477 
Budd, Harry R., Ill, 375 
Budget, State, II, 339 
Buechler, Joseph N., V, 156 
Buehler,Ernest, IV, 383 
Buffington, Eugene J., V, 37 
Buford, Napoleon B., II, 39 
Bugele, Guy G., V, 193 
Building laws, enforcement of, II, 292 
Building stone, I, 9 
Bukowski, Peter I., IV, 363 
Bulpitt, B. Earl, IV, 106 
Bunch, Lawrence D., V, 176 
Bunker, Elizabeth J., Ill, 307 
Bunker, Francis M., Ill, 306 
Bunn, Jacob, Jr., V, 41 
Bunn, Mildred J., V, 41 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, II, 95, 334 
Burgess, Hampton S., IV, 306 
Burgess, Kenneth F., IV, 490 
Burgess, Lucian A., IV, 148 

Burke, Edmund, III, 240 

Burke, John, V, 134 

Burke, Robert E., II, 517 

Burnham, Daniel H., II, 520; III, 34 

Burnham plan, II, 522 

Burns, Robert F., V, 484 

Burris, John R., Ill, 466 

Burry, William, IV, 213 

Burst, Edward M., Ill, 53 

Burtle, Edward A., V, 399 

Burton, Charles S., Ill, 401 

Burton, Frank W., IV, 451 

Busse, Fred A., II, 298, 306, 478 

Butler, Edward B., II, 520 

Butler, Rush C, V, 184 

Butterfield, Justin, I, 389 

Byrne, John M., V, 279 

Cable cars, II, 203 

Cable, Ransom R., IV, 478 

Cadwell, George, I, 192 

Cahokia, missions at, I, 40, 108, 113; 

capture of, 124; defeat of British in 

1780, 137, 149; self government, 150, 

181, 182 
Cahokia Courthouse, I, 210 
Cahokia tribe, I, 18 
Cahokias, I, 12 
Cain, Noble, V, 461 
Cairo Bank at Kaskaskia, I, 306 
Cairo- Vandalia Highway near Cobden, 

II, 412 
Caldwell, Ben F., II, 312 
Caldwell, Clifford D., IV, 192 
Calhoun, Emery E., V, 277 
Calhoun, William J., V, 15 
Califf, J. Paul, III, 244 
Callahan, George B., Ill, 424 
Callahan, Martin L., Ill, 140 
Cameron, John M., Ill, 329 
Camp, Harold M., Ill, 437 
Camp, Lester M., IV, 357 
Camp Butler, II, 56 

Camp Douglas, II, 54; conspiracy, 56 
Camp Grant, Rockford, II, 391 
Camp Logan, II, 389 
Campbell, Bruce A., V, 376 
Campbell, Charles O., IV, 174 
Campbell, Herbert J., V, 100 
Campbell, J. A., Ill, 279 
Canaday, Stephen D., II, 374 
Canal, sanitary, I, 372 
Canal commissioners, I, 366 
Canal Scrip Bill, I, 416 
Canals, I, 357 
Cannon, H. Floyd, IV, 420 
Cannon, John H., IV, 447 
Cannon, Joseph G., II, 181 
Cantrall, Carlyle A., Ill, 131 
CanWell, Robert E., Jr., Ill, 244 
Canty, Thomas A., IV, 402 
Caplan, Oscar S., IV, 371 
Caplinger, Benjamin F., Ill, 217 
Capraro, Alexander V., V, 89 
Caraker, Oscar, IV, 305 
Carey, Peter B., IV, 379 



Carey, Raymond A., V, 460 

Carlin, John H., Ill, 152 

Carlin, Thomas, Governor, I, 342, 375, 
376; V, 16 

Carlin, William L., V, 93 

Carlin, William P., II, 39 

Carlisle, Jonas W., V, 225 

Carlisle, Vera, V, 228 

Carlson, Oscar E., II, 426 

Carlstrom, Oscar E., V, 484 

Carmody, Edward J., Ill, 500 

Carpenter, Benjamin, III, 36 

Carpenter, George B., Ill, 36 

Carpenter, John A., Ill, 36 

Carpenter, Richard V., IV, 287 

Carpentier, Charles F., V, 109 

Carr, Robert F., V, 293 

Carr, Wilton A., Ill, 261 

Carriel, Henry F., IV, 490 

Carrier, Lee W., IV, 52 

Carrington, John W., V, 171 

Carrington, Orville F., Ill, 432 

Carrington, William E., V, 333 

Carroll, John E., Ill, 356 

Carroll, William M., V, 123 

Carson, Oliver E., IV, 310 

Carter, Carl W., Ill, 176 

Carter, Charles D., IV, 187 

Carter, Charles E., Ill, 363 

Carter, Garrett P., Ill, 176 

Carter, Orrin N., I, 372; II, 426 

Carter, Ralph R., Ill, 363 

Cartwright, Peter, I, 192, 254, 342; V, 

Cary, Norman J., V, 361 

Case, Charles C, III, 165 

Casey, Charles P., IV, 211 

Casey, Zadoc, I, 318, 343, 411; IV, 44 

Cassels, Edwin H., Ill, 278 

Cassidy, Holland M., V, 61 

Casteel, Lowry M., IV, 361 

Castetter, Luther L., V, 344 

Castle, Charles S., Ill, 253 

Castle, John B., Ill, 51 

Castle, Mollie L., Ill, 51 

Castruccio, Giuseppe, III, 413 

Catholic church, I, 255 

Caton, John D., V, 27 

Caughlan, C. W., V, 71 

Caulfield, Bernard, II, 474 

Caylor, August C, V, 147 

Celeron expedition, I, 88 

Cement, I, 9 

Census, first State, I, 263 

Centennial Memorial Building, Spring- 
field, II, 394 

Century of Progress Exposition, II, 512 

Cepak, A. William, V, 482 

Cermak, Anton J., II, 516, 525; V, 11 

Cerny, Joseph G., IV, 460 

Cerre, Gabriel, I, 145 

Cervenka, John A., V, 336 

Chamberlain, Henry T., V, 412 

Chamberlin, Henry B., Ill, 272 

Champaign, first schoolhouse, I, 426 

Champaign County, I, 311 

Champlain, (Gov. of New France), I, 

Champion, Julia E., Ill, 180 
Champion, Merle C, V, 386 
Chancellor, Justus, V, 49 
Chapel, University of Chicago, II, 523 
Chapman, William D., V, 331 
Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, II, 

Charitable institutions, humanization of, 

II, 349 
Chase, Harry W., Ill, 16 
Chase, Philander, III, 501 
Chatfield, Edwin K., IV, 353 
Chesnut, Mrs. Garnet D., IV, 87 
Chester, penitentiary, II, 356 
Chester State Hospital, IV, 373 
Chicago, incorporated, I, 310, 339; in 
1831, 363; in 1836, 367; Sanitary Dis- 
trict canal, 372, 454; Lake Front, II, 
72; Constitution of 1870, 87; storm 
center of labor discontent, 99; Yerkes 
deals, 146; police force, 172; consoli- 
dation of offices, 173; reforms during 
Deneen administration, 179; Mayor 
Dunne's administration, 188; in 1863, 
199; Humphrey bills, 219; municipal 
ownership issue, 224; election of 1904, 
246; mayoralty campaign of 1905, 
256; election of 1905, 266; gas and 
electric light rates, 290; police and 
fire departments, 291; home rule for, 
322; park consolidation, 348; German 
population in 1916, 386; central mar- 
ket, 392; during World War, 395; 
Constitution of 1922, 430; under 
Mayor Dever, 463; the Wonder City, 
469; in 1830, 470; in 1833, 470; mul- 
tiform governments, 472; political 
parties, 473; mayors, 474; Columbian 
Exposition, 476; Thompson regime, 
483; crime wave of 1928, 485; expert 
fees, 489; development of light and 
power companies, 493; its non-official 
leaders, 498; influence of Press, 518; 
its good and ill repute, 519; fire of 
1871, 519; architecture, 520; parks and 
boulevards, 524; spiritual and moral 
history, 526; public debt, 528; re- 
view of transportation problem, 532; 
manufacturing city, 550 
Chicago Bar Association, III, 270 
Chicago Board of Trade, II, 392 
Chicago Federation of Labor, II, 429 
Chicago fire, of 1871, II, 75, 519 
Chicago Heights Star, V, 381 
Chicago Law Institute, V, 444 
Chicago newspapers, attitude of, II, 298 
Chicago plan, II, 521 
Chicago Plan Commission, II, 522 
Chicago portage, I, 32 
Chicago River, mission at, I, 39; II, 525 
Chicago State Hospital, II, 360 
Chicago street railway companies, 
record of, II, 195 



Chicago Teachers' Federation, II, 499 

Chicago Temple, II, 507 

Chicago Times, II, 50 

Chicago traction companies, II, 419 

Chicago Transit Acts, II, 530 

Chicago Tribune, II, 304, 404; suit 

against Thompson, 486 
Chicago Union Traction Company, II, 

Child labor, II, 136 
Childers, Raymond F., V, 221 
Chippewa Indians, I, 11 
Chones, Isaac B., IV, 194 
Chones, William, IV, 194 
Christy, William H., I, 459 
Chritton, George A., Ill, 322 
Church, in politics, I, 318 
Church, Friend L., IV, 209 
Church, Thomas, V, 11 
Church, William T., IV, 200 
Churches, pioneer, I, 253 
Churchill, George, I, 274 
Cirese, Helen M., IV, 364 
Civil service laws, II, 179, 293; state, 361 
Civil War, secession of South, II, 22; 

arbitrary arrests, 50; draft act, 53 
Clark, David W., IV, 344 
Clark, Fannie M., Ill, 372 
Clark, George Rogers, expedition of 1778, 

I, 115, 116, 117; after conquest, 134; 

campaign of 1780, 137, 142, 143; expe- 
dition of 1787, I, 148, 238 
Clark, John S., Ill, 496 
Clark, Lincoln R., Ill, 318 
Clark, Roy, III, 345 
Clark, William, I, 222 
Clarke, Philip R., V, 468 
Clarke, Robert, V, 436 
Clarke, William F., Ill, 397 
Clarkson, E. Belle, IV, 332 
Clarkson, H. S., IV, 332 
Clausen, Morton, III, 107 
Clavin, Alva M., Ill, 129 
Clay, Henry, I, 291, 434 
Clay products, I, 8 
Clayton, Bert A., IV, 332 
Clayton, E. P., IV, 289 
Clayton, J. Paul, V, 15 
Cleaveland, Harry H., V, 279 
Clear, James W., Ill, 469 
Cleland, McKenzie, II, 432 
Clemensen, Peter C., V, 441 
Clendenin, George M., V, 264 
Clendenin, Henry W., V, 262 
Cleveland, Chester E., II, 432 
Climate, I, 5 

Clinch, Duncan L., V, 337 
Clinch, Richard F., V, 337 
Clinnin, John B., II, 402 
Coal, beds, I, 5; early mining, 8, 251; 

production, II, 136; mines, legislation, 

Coale, John W., IV, 106 
Coburn, John J., V, 201 
Cochran, Oscar F., V, 139 

Cochran, William G., V, 139 

Cochrane, David K., V, 76 

Code, Julia F., Ill, 450 

Coffey, Daniel D., Ill, 308 

Cohen, Archie H., Ill, 81 

Cohen, Barney, IV, 175 

Cohlmeyer, Ada A., V, 459 

Cohlmeyer, Augustus H., V, 459 

Coinage of silver, free, II, 111 

Cole, Hermon H., V, 173 

Cole, Philip E., Ill, 482 

Coleman, John, V, 308 

Coles, Edward, I, 262; and slavery, 266, 
267, 273, 282; administration, 301; V, 9 

Collins, Dennis J., IV, 129 

Collinsville, II, 400 

Collinsville Memorial Library, IV, 246 

Collinsville Township High School, IV, 

Colony for Epileptics, II, 351 

Columbian Exposition, II, 474, 519, 520 

Combs, Cornelia E., IV, 309 

Combs, Thornton, IV, 309 

Comiskey, Charles A., Ill, 501 

Comiskey, J. Louis, III, 502 

Commerce, in 1818, I, 246 

Commonwealth Edison Company, II, 497 

Compensation Law for Accidental In- 
juries, II, 332 

Compromise of 1850, I, 431, 439 

Compton, Edward F., Ill, 331 

Compton, Levi, IV, 38 

Compulsory education act, II, 140 

Conard, Solon E., IV, 58 

Condon, James G., Ill, 35 

Conerton, Edward P., IV, 315 

Conklin, Grace A., V, 440 

Conklin, Jay B., V, 439 

Conklin, Winfred E., IV, 240 

Conkling, James C, V, 134 

Connelly, Bernard D., V, 384 

Connery, John T., II, 306 

Connett, Ada P., IV, 264 

Connett, James E., IV, 263 

Connolly, Philip M., IV, 96 

Connor, Charles M., V, 347 

Connor, Victor O., V, 228 

Constitution of 1818, I, 239; framers of, 
241; facsimile of, 261; defects and lim- 
itations, 408 

Constitution of 1848, I, 408; II, 65, 80 

Constitution of 1870, II, 80; framers of, 
83, 424 

Constitutional convention of 1869, I, 368; 
of 1862, II, 82; of 1920, 426 

Constitutional convention of 1862, II, 82; 
of 1869, I, 368; of 1920, II, 468 

Convention system, I, 311 

Cook, Burton C, II, 29; V, 25 

Cook, Daniel Pope, I, 231, 274, 280, 294, 
297, 304; IV, 49 

Cook, Francis M., V, 345 

Cook, Ralph, IV, 250 

Cook, Rex H., V, 270 

Cook, Samantha, V, 345 



Cook County, I, 311; tax muddle, II, 415; 

in Constitution of 1922, 427; in 1830, 

470; disfranchised in Legislature, 546; 

apportionment, 555 
Cook County Courthouse, Second, II, 24 
Cooke, George A., Ill, 148 
Cooke, John D., IV, 351 
Cooley, George H., IV, 378 
Cooley, Lyman E., I, 373; II, 458 
Coolidge, Walter F., V, 181 
Coolley, Elmer B., IV, 439 
Copley, Ira C, IV, 337 
Copp, Herbert G., V, 199 
Copp, Louisa, V, 200 
"Copperheads," II, 51 
Corcoran, Francis V., V, 437 
Corporation acts in 1865, II, 65 
Corporations, II, 88 
Correll, Charles D., Ill, 103 
Correll, Violet J., Ill, 104 
Corrupt practices act, II, 348 
Costabile, Michael, IV, 415 
Cottingham, Mark L., V, 151 
Couch, Gilbert S., V, 298 
Coughlin, John, II, 506 
Counties, in 1818, I, 233, 249; II, 88 
County Hospital, Chicago, II, 472 
County officials, under Constitution of 

1848, II, 82 
Coureurs de bois, I, 36, 46, 48 
Courier Herald Company, IV, 253 
Courter, Edward H., Ill, 371 
Courter, Lucy K., Ill, 371 
Courts, and laws of Northwest Territory, 

I, 173; territorial, 181; justice, system 

abolished, II, 179 
Coventry, Sarah, IV, 225 
Covey, Frank R., Ill, 307 
Cowdin, Frederick P., V, 117 
Cowdrey, Elmer E., V, 491 
Cozby, Harry G., IV, 349 
Craig, Alfred M., II, 83, 130 
Crain, Berdie F., V, 273 
Crane, Richard T., V, 5 
Crapo, Charles H., IV, 491 
Cratz, Bert A., Ill, 159 
Crawford, Charles C, V, 414 
Crawford, Harry A., Ill, 426 
Crawford, Sadie M., IV, 222 
Crawford County, I, 233 
Creamer, Ben M., Ill, 273 
Cregier, DeWitte C, II, 474 
Creole, French, I, 246 
Crerar, John, V, 31 
Cress, Jeannette, V, 241 
Crews, Halbert O., Ill, 229 
Crimes, I, 244 

Criminal code, in 1827, I, 300 
Criminal statistics, II, 526 
Croghan, George, I, 102 
Cromley, Roy D., Ill, 471 
Cronson, Berthold A., V, 76 
Crowder, J. R. Stanley, IV, 67 
Crowe, Robert E., II, 484, 485; III, 237 
Crowley, Joseph B., V, 16 
Cruzat, Roscoe M., IV, 298 

Cudahy, Edward A., V, 42 

Cudahy, Edward A., Jr., V, 43 

Cudahy family, II, 549 

Culhane, Andrew B., Ill, 93 

Culhane, Thomas H., Ill, 104 

Cullin, Faith P., Ill, 205 

Cullom, Shelby M., II, 92; as governor, 

93, 94, 133, 366; IV, 39 
Cultra, A. J., IV, 383 
Cultra, Harry B., IV, 382 
Culver, Rollin P., IV, 179 
Cummings, Walter J., Ill, 324 
Cummings, William C, II, 183 
Cummins, George F., Ill, 348 
Cummins, Oscar O., V, 266 
Currency reform, in 1876, II, 132 
Curry, Elizabeth, IV, 233 
Curtis, Chester E., IV, 164 
Curtis, Edward C, II, 409; III, 296 
Curtis, Harry K., IV, 266 
Curtis, Hugh E., IV, 395 
Curtis, Vernon, II, 409 
Curtis, Wilbur R., IV, 306 
Cussen, Joseph F., Ill, 485 
Cuthbertson, Andrew S., Ill, 299 
Cutler, Henry E., V, 187 
Cutler, Manassa, I, 157 
Cutting, Charles S., II, 426; III, 20 
Czarnecki, Anthony, II, 57 

Dadant, C. P., V, 240 

Dady, Ralph J., Ill, 458 

Dahlberg, Gotthard A., Ill, 209 

Dahn, Herman, IV, 351 

Dailey, Oscar S., Ill, 335 

Dalbey, Everett L., IV, 462 

Dale, Alonzo S., IV, 357 

Daley, Edward A., Jr., IV, 247 

Daley, Edward A., Sr., IV, 246 

Dallas City Enterprise, III, 353 

Dalrymple, Roy M., V, 233 

Dames, Gerald S., Ill, 390 

Darche, Harrison A., V, 374 

Darrow, Clarence S., II, 143, 192, 266, 

278, 292, 427, 432, 464, 476, 504; III, 

Dauberman, Clarence L., IV, 392 
Dauberman, George T., IV, 398 
Dauberman, John W., IV, 416 
Davenport, Oliver F., Ill, 249 
David, Lawrence, IV, 281 
Davidson, Charles E., Ill, 332 
Davidson, Henry B., V, 121 
Davis, Abel, II, 426, 517 
Davis, Anna L., Ill, 327 
Davis, Charles G., IV, 321 
Davis, Cyrus M., IV, 290 
Davis, David, I, 411; II, 12, 124; IV, 42 
Davis, Emil C, V, 424 
Davis, Jefferson, I, 342 
Davis, Levi, IV, 47 
Davis, Nathan S., Ill, 302 
Davis, Nathan S. Ill, III, 303 
Davis, Philip R., V, 65 
Davis, Ralph E., IV, 169 
Davis, R. E., Ill, 467 



Davis, Thomas B., IV, 3 

Davison, Charles, V, 289 

Dawes, Charles G., II, 402, 511; III, 11 

Dawes, Henry M., V, 187 

Dawes, Rufus C, II, 426; III, 19 

Dawes, William R., II, 513; III, 21 

Dawson, John, I, 357 

Day, Leslie D., IV, 311 

Day, Owen L., Ill, 360 

Day, Stephen A., V, 435 

Day, Walter A., IV, 311 

Dean, John, V, 75 

Debs, Eugene, II, 148; injunction against, 

Debts, repudiation of, I, 387 

Declaration of Independence, I, 108 

Deere, John, V, 31 

Defrees, Donald, III, 277 

Defrees, Joseph H., Ill, 276 

De La Salle, Sieur, I, 26 

De La Salle institute, IV, 281 

De Laval, Bishop, I, 23 

Dell 'Era, Joseph L., V, 369 

De Luca, Alphonse, V, 447 

Dement, John, I, 411; II, 83; III, 505 

DeMoro, Alfred P., V, 426 

Democratic convention of 1856, I, 463 

Democratic convention, of 1896, II, 160 

Democratic National Convention of 1876, 
II, 133; of 3896, 161 

Democratic party (see also Politics), I, 
311; and aliens, 383; in 1859, 516; con- 
ventions of 1860, II, 14; in Civil war, 
48; in 1864, 63; 1872-92, 113; in 1868, 
120; farmers' movement, 129; in Chi- 
cago, 477 

Democratic platform of 1905, II, 256 

Democrats, Anti-Nebraska, I, 459 

Deneen, Charles S., I, 374; elected Gov- 
ernor, II, 176, 177, 191, 308, 422, 478, 
479, 485; V, 456 

Denkmann, Anna C, IV, 6 

Denkmann, Frederick C, IV, 6 

Denkmann, Frederick C. A., IV, 5 

Dennison, Franklin A., II, 402 

Dent, Louis L., Ill, 61 

Denton, Helen G., Ill, 346 

Denton, R. D., Ill, 117 

Department of Agriculture, II, 402 

Department of Factory Inspection, II, 

Department of Finance, II, 402 

Department of Labor, II, 402 

Department of Mines, II, 402 

Department of Public Health, II, 402 

Department of Public Welfare, II, 402 

Department of Public Works and Build- 
ings, II, 402 

Department of Registration and Educa- 
tion, II, 402 

Department of Trade and Commerce, II, 

DePaul University, IV, 228 

De Rosa, Rocco, V, 241 

Derr, Charles E., Ill, 426 

Desplaines River, I, 2 

de Tissandier, Leon, III, 80 

Deuell, Howard L., Ill, 241 

Dever, William E., mayor, II, 463, 490, 

Dever Traction Ordinance of 1925, II, 

DeVera, Isidoro L. P., IV, 78 

De Villard, Jean P., V, 390 

de Villiers, Neyon, I, 101 

Devine, Edward P., V, 99 

Devine, Miles J., V, 65 

Dewey, George F., Ill, 293 

DeYoung, Frederick R., II, 426 

Dickinson, William F., IV, 280 

Dickson, Frank S., II, 362, 389, 396; III, 

Diel, Homer F., Ill, 291 

Dienst, R. Carl, IV, 487 

Dieterich, William H., Ill, 4 

Diffenderfer, Ralph E., V, 388 

Dignan, John F., Ill, 116 

Dignan, Mary, III, 117 

Dillman, Howard B., V, 286 

Dillon, Owen O., V, 180 

Dimick, Fred G., Ill, 226 

Dixon, I, 329 

Dixon, Arthur, II, 520; III, 25 

Dixon, George W., Ill, 26 

Dixon, Louis M., V, 108 

Dixon, Robert, I, 219 

Dixon, Winfield S., V, 324 

Doak, John W., IV, 54 

Doak, Nelle M., IV, 54 

Dobbs, Thomas W., Ill, 185 

Doberstein, Stanislaus M., Ill, 473 

Docks and terminal facilities, II, 179 

Dodd, Walter F., Ill, 53 

Dodge, John, tyrant of Kaskaskia, I, 146 

Dolder, Fred D., IV, 111 

Dolder, Helena U., IV, 111 

Doman, Louis A., V, 453 

Dombrowski, Edward F., IV, 427 

Donavan, Robert J., IV, 90 

Dondanville, Martin S., Ill, 210 

Donley, Walter W., Jr., Ill, 249 

Donovan, John H., V, 51 

Donovan, Raymond, III, 443 

Donovan, Thomas P., IV, 476 

Doty, Elmer, V, 359 

Dougherty, Thomas S., IV, 76 

Douglas, Stephen A., early career, I. 
354, 359, 385, 415, 420; as senator, 
421, 431; spokesman of the West, 
434; political career of, 435; framer 
of Territorial bills, 438; Kansas - 
Nebraska bill, 440; breaks with 
Democratic party, 446; on Lecompton 
Constitution,. 450; campaign of 1858, 
465; Bloomington speech, 476; early 
life, 489, 494; birthplace of, 500; 
elected senator in 1859, 515; in 1858, 
II, 5; and custom of candidates not 
making campaign speeches, 19; against 
secession, 29; death of, 33 

Dowdall, Ray L., IV, 265 


xvi 1 

Downing, Earl E., Ill, 225 

Doyle, Michael, III, 456 

Doyle, William A., IV, 210 

Draft, in Civil War, II, 53 

Drainage Canal, II, 552 

Drake, Tracy C, III, 21 

Drallmeier, W. H., IV, 253 

Dred Scott decision, I, 470 

Drexler, Mrs. Louis, IV, 262 

Drzewiecki, John, IV, 449 

DuBois, Jesse K., II, 12, 78 

Duer, William, I, 158 

Duffy, Hugh J., V, 421 

Dugan, Richard D., V, 179 

Dugger, Jesse W., V, 120 

Dumoulin, Jean, I, 186 

Duncan, Joseph, I, 294, 299, 342; gov- 
ernor, 344, 348; IV, 481 

Duncan, Robert C, V, 423 

Dunham, Robert J., IV, 495 

Dunn, Charles, I, 366 

Dunn, Frank K., IV, 328 

Dunne, Edmund M., Ill, 284 

Dunne, Edward F., candidate for mayor, 
I, 265; elected mayor, II, 188; Tulley's 
letter, 247; reply to, 255; elected 
mayor, 266; plans for traction settle- 
ment, 268; misrepresentation of, 274; 
Werno letter, 278; candidate for sec- 
ond term as mayor, 280; veto of trac- 
tion settlement ordinances, 281; de- 
feated in 1907, 295; candidate for 
governor, 308; and family, at time 
of inauguration as governor, 310; 
and Woodrow Wilson, on campaign 
tour, 313; candidate for second term 
as governor, 368; relations with 
legislature, 371, 432; views on traction 
settlement, 539; V, 492 

Dunne, Peter Finley, II, 130 

Dupo Community High School, IV, 242 

Duquesne, Governor, I, 89 

Durso, Michael R., V, 351 

Dutton, George E., IV, 15 

Dutton, Harry A. R., IV, 56 

Dutton, Jane W., IV, 16 

Dvorak, Frank, III, 431 

Dyer, Arthur E., V, 457 

Dyroff, Louis J., Ill, 283 

Eagleton, Leander O., Ill, 73 

Earlville Community High School, III, 

East Peoria Community High School, V, 

East Peoria Public Schools, III, 184 
East St. Louis High School, IV, 245 
East St. Louis Public Library, IV, 249 
Easter, Irving H., Ill, 292 
Eastern Illinois State Normal School, II, 

Eastman, Sam G., Ill, 102 
Easton, Edward, IV, 473 
Easton Community High School, IV, 96 
Eaton, Clyde D., IV, 87 
Eberly, Wade L., IV, 264 

Echols, Mrs. Webster, IV, 246 

Eckert, Robert P., Ill, 115 

Eckert, Walter H., IV, 435 

Eckhardt, B. A., I, 373 

Eddy, Henry, I, 275, 342 

Eden, John R., II, 70; V, 24 

Edgar, John, I, 148, 176, 185, 198; IV, 7 

Edgar, Louis L., V, 420 

Edler, George, III, 105 

Edmondson, Edward E., V, 309 

Education, I, 237; in frontier State, 252, 

318; compulsory, II, 109, 358 
Edwards, Arthur, III, 500 
Edwards, Claire C, V, 413 
Edwards, Cyrus, IV, 491 
Edwards, Ninian, Territorial governor, 

I, 197, 223, 232, 257, 265; political ca- 
reer, 292, 299; administration, 302, 
357; IV, 43 

Edwards, Richard, III, 487 

Edwards County, I, 233 

Edwardsville, I, 255 

Edwardsville Bank, I, 296 

Edwardsville Free Public Library, IV, 

Edwardsville Schools, IV, 221 
Eekhoff, Andrew J., V, 287 
Efficiency and Economy Commission, II, 

Eggleston, Edgar A., V, 81 
Egolf, John F., IV, 457 
Ehrler, John, III, 136 
Eighteenth amendment, II, 504, 526 
"Eight-hour" day, II, 99, 104, 136 
Eilers, Gabriel, IV, 411 
Eisenbacher, George, IV, 275 
Eisenmayer, Herman A., V, 44 
Ekman, Carl J., V, 417 
Eldred, Charles D., Ill, 373 
Election, of 1804, I, 186; of 1818, 295; of 

1824, 297; of 1826, 299; of 1830, 305; 

of 1834, 344; of 1840, 355; of 1854, 

462; of 1856, 463; of 1860, II, 21; of 

1862, 35, 47; of 1864, 64; of 1872, 78; 

of 1876, 93; of 1888, 106; of 1890, 111; 

of 1867, 119; of 1872, 126; of 1873, 

130; of 1890, 138; of 1892, 139; of 

1930, 175; mayoralty in 1905, 266; 

of 1907, 288; primary, in 1912, 314; 

of 1912, 316; of 1916, 368, 380; of 

1920, 404; of 1928, 530 
Election laws, reform in, II, 109 
Elections, popular, I, 410; primary, II, 

178; cost of, 556 
Elective franchise, II, 84 
Electric light and power, development, 

II, 493 

Electric light rates, II, 291 
Elevation, above sea level, I, 3 
Elgin Academy, III, 412 
Elgin-Courier-News Publishing Company, 

V, 376 
Elimination of corrupt lobby, II, 340 
Elkin, W. F., I, 357 
Elkins, Homer J., IV, 317 
Ellis & Ellis, V, 203 



Ellis, Ira W., V, 202 

Ellis, John W., V, 57 

Elwood, Erwin P., V, 74 

Emancipation Proclamation, II, 35 

Emerson, Frank N., Ill, 81 

Emerson, Ralph, V, 8 

Emery Whisler Post No. 607, American 
Legion, V, 257 

Emigh, Dwight K., V, 404 

Emmerson, Louis L., II, 485; as gov- 
ernor, 530, 531, 547; III, 18 

Emmit, John, I, 268 

Employees' compensation act, II, 332 

Employers' liability, II, 136 

Enabling act, I, 237 

England, Lewis A., IV, 88 

English colonist, character of, I, 85 

English, immigrants, I, 250 

Engstrand, Juanita, III, 76 

Epstein, Benjamin P., V, 103 

Erdmann, Arthur G., V, 492 

Erickson, Erick T., V, 297 

Ericsson, John E., IV, 89 

Essington, Arthur V., Ill, 78 

Essington, Thurlow G., IV, 21 

Etherton, Lewis E., V, 196 

Ettelson, Samuel, II, 484, 491, 496, 510 

Etter, Samuel M., II, 90, 131 

Evans, Emmet A., V, 405 

Evans, Evan, V, 337 

Evans, Frank N., V, 106 

Evans, Michael P., V, 404 

Evans, Woodford W., Ill, 389 

Everett, Samuel J. T., V, 86 

Everhart, Arthur M., IV, 461 

Eversull, Frank L., IV, 245 

Ewers, Joseph D., Ill, 410 

Ewing, Clinton L., IV, 158 

Ewing, T. N., II, 378 

Ewing, William L. D., lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, I, 315, 342; governor, 345; III, 

Executive Mansion, Springfield, I, 460 

Factory inspection, II, 136, 140 

Fager, Emma C, IV, 90 

Faherty, Michael J., II, 486 

Fairbank, Nathaniel K., V, 14 

Fairhall, Joseph, Jr., IV, 464 

Falder, Everett L., Ill, 120 

Faletti, Anthony L., Ill, 437 

Faletti, Michael J., Ill, 137 

Faltz, Charles, IV, 329 

Fanyo, Archie H., IV, 430 

Fardy, James F., IV, 487 

Farmer, Allen R., Ill, 181 

Farmer, William M., Ill, 413 

Farmers, and tariff, II, 106 

Farmers' Alliance, II, 111, 136 

Farmers' movement, II, 130, 134 

Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, II, 

Farming, by French, I, 49, 251 
Farnsworth, John F., V, 12 
Farnsworth, Ward, V, 64 
Farrar, Eugene H., Ill, 281 

Farrell, Clayton S., Ill, 372 

Farris, George K., Ill, 414 

Farwell, Charles B., II, 111 

Farwell, John V., V, 19 

Farwell, John V., Jr., II, 522 

Farwell family, II, 550 

Faulkin, Fredreka, III, 222 

Faulkner, Charles J., Jr., IV, 9 

Faulkner, George E., IV, 384 

Fay, Herbert W., V, 475 

Federal Building, Chicago, II, 488 

Federal power, broadening of, I, 284 

Fedou, R. Eaton, V, 376 

Feehan, Patrick A., IV, 492 

Fekete, Thomas L., V, 177 

Fell, Jesse W., II, 11 

Felt, Anna E., Ill, 130 

Fenwick, Herbert F., Ill, 389 

Fergus, John B., II, 546 

Ferguson, Charles W., Ill, 77 

Ferguson, Fred D., Ill, 235 

Ferrara, Vincent E., IV, 198 

Ferris, Henry L., V, 371 

Festin, Carl, IV, 150 

Ficklin, Joseph C, IV, 119 

Ficklin, Orlando B., Ill, 496 

Fidelity Life Association, IV, 108 

Field, A. P., I, 380 

Field, Eugene, V, 24 

Field, Marshall, II, 68, 498, 520; V, 18 

Field family, II, 549 

Fifer, Joseph W., as Governor, II, 106, 

107, 426; III, 456 
Fine Arts Building, World's Columbian 

Exposition, II, 190 
Finn, Walter L., V, 300 
Finney, May B., Ill, 70 
Fiore, Joseph M., V, 63 
Fire department, Chicago, II, 291 
Fire of 1871, II, 519 
First, Warren R., Ill, 333 
First log courthouse, Quincy, I, 350 
First schoolhouse in Champaign, I, 426 
Fischer, Oscar H., V, 175 
Fiscus, Albert T., IV, 466 
Fish, J. F., Ill, 166 
Fisher, A. M., IV, 433 
Fisher, George, I, 187, 227; IV, 40 
Fisher, Harry M., Ill, 499 
Fisher, Walter L., II, 278 
Fish and Game Department, II, 339 
Fishing industry, II, 340 
Fishwick, Harry, IV, 177 
Fitch, William E., Ill, 185 
FitzGerald, Bert L., IV, 452 
Fitzgerald, Edwin W., Ill, 246 
Fitzpatrick, John, II, 505 
Fitzsimmons, Frank T., II, 432 
FitzSimmons, Michael J., V, 236 
Flanagan, John J., V, 356 
Fleming, Joseph B., V, 55 
Fletcher, Job, I, 357 
Fletcher, Robert V., V, 17 
Flick, Pius P., IV, 192 
Flint, Oliver, V, 403 
Flint, Theodore, V, 378 



Floods, in 1913, II, 363 
Flora, Ray W., V, 340 
Flower, George, I, 250 
Fluorspar, I, 9 
•Flynn, Michael J., V, 320 
Fogg, Raymond W., IV, 455 
Foley, John D., IV, 431 
Foley, Julia, V, 86 
Foley, Maurice V., V, 315 
Foley, William M., Ill, 269 
Folsom, Richard S., V, 50 
Foltz, Ira W., IV, 224 
Food administration, United States, II, 

Food conservation, World War, II, 393 
Foot and mouth disease, II, 364 
Foote, Peter, II, 543 
Ford, Charles F., IV, 221 
Ford, Frank L., IV, 219 
Ford, Thomas. I, 342, 385; as governor, 

386, 388 
Fordyce, Alexander W., IV, 423 
Foreman, Ferris, I, 405 
Foreman, Milton J., II, 402, 517; III, 23 
Forest preserves, II, 525 
Forestry in Illinois, II, 445, 457 
Forests, I, 3, 9 
Forman, Leslie H., Ill, 259 
Forquer, George, I, 232, 275; III, 30 
Fort, Greenbury L., Ill, 491 
Fort Armstrong, I, 248, 328, 340 
Fort de Chartres, I, 41, 94; occupied by 

British, 99; powder magazine of, 101, 

Fort Clark, I, 147, 222, 248 
Fort Creve-Couer, I, 65; destroyed, 66, 75 
Fort Dearborn, I, 213; replica of, 215; 

massacre, 216, 248, 339; II, 470 
Fort Duquesne, I, 90 
Fort Edwards, I, 222, 248 
Fort LaMotte, I, 212 
Fort Massac, I, 123, 212 
Fort Russell, I, 212, 220 
Fort Sackville, capture of, I, 130 
Fort St. Louis, I, 75; siege of, 78; after 

La Salle's death, 82 
Fort Sheridan, II, 75, 391 
Fort, in War of 1812, I, 212 
Foss, George E., II, 180, 401; IV, 254 
Foss, Josephus F., Ill, 428 
Foster, John Q., Ill, 107 
Foster, Roy B., Ill, 169 
Foutch, William W., Ill, 441 
Fowler, Henry, III, 402 
Fraga, Sam, IV, 212 
Franchise extension ordinances, defeated, 

II, 277 
Franchises, street railway, II, 199 
Franciscan Fathers, III, 284 
Frank, Jacob, II, 363; IV, 373 
Frankel, Harry A., Ill, 85 
Franklin County, I, 233 
Frazier, Donald P., IV, 470 
Freeh, William, V, 176 
Frederickson, Frederick O., V, 465 
Free employment offices, II, 333 

Free silver movement, II, 154 

Free speech, right of, II, 400 

Freedom of press, II, 193 

Freeland, John E., IV, 421 

Freeman, Thomas O., IV, 59 

Freeport Public Library, IV, 289 

Freeport Public Schools, III, 95 

Freeto, George L., IV, 144 

Fremont, John C, II, 44, 61 

French, Augustus C, administration of, 

I, 412,413; V, 23 
French, Daniel C, II, 521 
French and Indian War, I, 90 
French colonist, character of, I, 85 
French discoveries, I, 21 
French habitants in Illinois, I, 47: after 

1765, 103, 245, 253 
French land claims, I, 199 
French law, I, 143 
French missionaries, I, 36 
Frick, Grant M., IV, 325 
Friedman, Herbert J., II, 432 
Friel, Thomas F., Ill, 457 
Friend, Hugo, II, 486 
Frontenac, Count de, I, 43 
Frontier line, in 1812, I, 214 
Frye, Fred S., Ill, 220 
Fucik, E. James, III, 218 
Fucik, Frank, III, 218 
Fuel Administration, World War, II, 395 
Fugitive slave law, I, 439 
Fullenwider, H. Ernest, IV, 173 
Fullenwider, W. Truman, IV, 145 
Fuller, Melville W., II, 115; V, 23 
Fuller, Miles A., II, 83 
Fullerton, Leslie F., V, 57 
Fullerton, Ray A., IV, 59 
Fulton, William J., IV, 221 
Funk, Clarence S., II, 183 
Funk, Frank H., II, 316, 329 
Funk, Isaac, V, 20 
Funk, Joseph M., V, 142 
Fuqua, Okel S., IV, 433 
Fur-bearing animals, I, 3 
Fur trade, I, 87, 181; decline of, 209, 

Fur traders, I, 42 
Fur trading privileges, I, 45 
Furch, Frank, IV, 489 
Furrer, Earl V., IV, 92 
Fyffe, Colvin C. H., II, 432 
Fyke, Edgar E., II, 426 

Gabbrants, John, III, 222 

Gabriel, James Z., IV, 209 

Gaffner, Charles P., Ill, 461 

Gage, Albert E., V, 135 

Gage, Lyman J., II, 520; V, 32 

Gahagan, Henry J., V, 428 

Gahlman, F., Ill, 239 

Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, III, 

Gaines, Duane, IV, 341 
Galena, I, 253, 311; site of Old Palisade 

Fort, 371; Grant's home before the 

War, II, 36 



Galena levee, 1844, I, 396 

Galena Public Library, III, 130 

Galesburg Public Library, IV, 403 

Galesburg Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation, IV, 152 

Galvin, Lester J., IV, 408 

Gamble, George W., Ill, 198 

Game and Fish Conservation Depart- 
ment, II, 340 

Gano, Henry A., V, 101 

Gard, Jed, V, 362 

Gardner, Roy F., IV, 94 

Garland, James M., Ill, 255 

Garrett, John E., IV, 352 

Garrison, Don, V, 103 

Garrity, J. A., Ill, 355 

Garvey, Harold T., V, 242 

Garwood, Frank S., IV, 444 

Gary, Elbert H., I, 272; V, 4 

Gary, Joseph E., in anarchist trial, II, 
102, 513; V, 4 

Gas and electricity rates, II, 179 

Gas companies, consolidation of, II, 191 

Gas rates, II, 290 

Gash, Abram D., II, 331; IV, 29 

Gasoline tax, II, 414 

Gaston, Percy D., Ill, 139 

Gault, Robert H., V, 474 

Gauschon, William, II, 426 

Gauss, Louis J., Ill, 69 

Gaw, George D., V, 21 

Gaylord, Aymer F., V, 187 

Geier, George C, V, 372 

Gemmill, William N., Ill, 24 

Geneseo Township Public Library, IV, 

Geography, I, 1 

Geology, I, 4 

German, Thomas P., V, 321 

Germans, colonists, I, 250; and Kansas- 
Nebraska bill, 444; in Civil War, II, 
40; population, in 1910, 386 

Gettys, Arthur L., IV, 257 

Getz, Jacob H., Ill, 193 

Gibault, Father, I, 124, 125; memorial of, 

Giberson, Oria O., IV, 271 

Gilbert, Allan T., Ill, 314 

Gilbert, Fred, III, 155 

Gilbert, Miles S., Ill, 305 

Gilbreath, Frank A., Ill, 378 

Gill, Ralph W., IV, 99 

Gillan, Walter H., Ill, 201 

Gillespie, George B., V, 249 

Gillespie, Joseph, III, 32 

Gillham, Daniel B., Ill, 482 

Gillham, John F., IV, 215 

Gillis, Hudson B., Ill, 286 

Gilman, Harold B., IV, 141 

Gilmore, P., I, 373 

Glacial age, I, 6 

Glackin, Anna F., Ill, 32 

Glackin, Edward J., Ill, 31 

Gladhill, Mary E., V, 201 

Gleason, William, V, 85 

Glenn, Lawrence A., V, 201 

Glenn, Otis F., Ill, 5 

Glessner, John J., IV, 46 

Goff, Edwin C, IV, 359 

Gold, George, III, 500 

Gold standard, II, 155 

Goldenstein, Tonyes J., V, 252 

Golding, William L., Ill, 164 

Good, John L., V, 267 

Goodell, William S., V, 469 

Goodknecht, Albert, V, 411 

Goodman, George A., V, 77 

Goodspeed, Charles T. B., Ill, 143 

Goodwin, Clarence N., Ill, 62 

Gordon, Harold H., V, 218 

Gordon, James W., Ill, 83 

Gore, David, II, 90 

Gore, Ed B., V, 209 

Gorham, Sidney S., Ill, 61 

Governor, office of, I, 240; time of elec- 
tion, 414 

Graham, Andrew J., II, 506 

Graham, Paul J., IV, 192 

Graham, Ray, IV, 105 

Graham, Richey V., V, 236 

Graham, William H., V, 385 

Grammar, John, I, 268 

Grand Chain Schools, III, 345 

Granger movement, II, 111, 126; organ- 
ization of, 127, 136 

Granite City High School, V, 181 

Granite City Public Library, IV, 228 

Grant, Elizabeth R., V, 98 

Grant, U. S., in 1861, II, 34; home before 
the War, Galena, 36, 38, 41, 42, 45; 
Lieutenant-General, 61, 67; martial 
law at Chicago, 75, 119, 135 

Graves, Mrs. L. D., Ill, 429 

Graves, William C, III, 491 

Gravier, Father, I, 39 

Gray, Frank S., Ill, 348 

Gray, Howard E., Ill, 450 

Gray, Maud, V, 341 

Great Lakes Naval Training Station, II, 

Great Lakes, navies on, I, 225 

Green, Dwight H., V, 383 

Green, Dwight P., V, 261 

Green, Henry L, II, 426 

Green, William H., IV, 451 

Green Valley Community High School, 
III, 185 

Greenback party, II, 90, 131, 136 

Greenbacks, II, 154 

Greene, William B., V, 375 

Greenview High School, IV, 92 

Greenville College, Bond County, V, 248 

Greenville treaty, I, 199 

Greenwood, Charles H., IV, 350 

Gregg, Howard, III, 199 

Gregory, Clifford V., Ill, 49 

Gregory. Stephen S., II, 476; IV, 401 

Gregory, Tappan, IV, 401 

Gresham, Walter Q., IV, 49 

Grieve, Ivan J., V, 170 

Griffin, Emmett P., Ill, 265 

Griffith, Cora B., Ill, 127 



Griffith. William M., Ill, 127 
Grimm, William, III, 200 
Grinnell, Julius S., II, 517 
Grochowski, Leon, IV, 189 
Grossberg, Jacob G., IV, 65 
Grosscup, Peter S., II, 226 
Grossmann, Edgar C., V, 158 
Groves, John L., IV, 414 
Groves, William H., Ill, 466 
Gruey, Constant I., V, 367 
Gruey Memorial Library, V, 368 
Grundy, Harry B., IV, 316 
Gualano, Alberto N., Ill, 237 
Guerin, John, II, 293 
Guilliams, John R., V, 197 
Guinn, Francis M., IV, 294 
Gulick, Bernard M., IV, 112 
Gulick, Frank 0., IV, 111 
Gullett, Wesley C., V, 85 
Gullion, C. H., IV, 238 
Gumbart, L. F., Ill, 122 
Gund, Joseph A., Ill, 96 
Gunning, Thomas P., IV, 459 
Gunter, George T., II, 378 
Gustin, Robert V., Ill, 391 
Gutknecht, John, IV, 16 

Haag, Albert R., Ill, 66 

Haag, George A., Ill, 66 

Haag Brothers Co., Ill, 66 

Haagenson, Helmer T., IV, 77 

Haas, Joseph, II, 478 

Hackman, Edward G., IV, 287 

Hackman, Elizabeth, IV, 287 

Hagan, Henry M„ IV, 333 

Hagebush, Oscar J., V, 206 

Hager, George C, IV, 262 

Hahn, John F., V, 457 

Hale, Raleigh, IV, 181 

Haley, Margaret, II, 499 

Hall, Albert L., V, 402 

Hall, Alonzo J., Ill, 353 

Hall, Charles E„ V, 257 

Hall, Edred B., V, 224 

Hall, Hal O., Jr., IV, 92 

Hall, James W., IV, 198 

Hall, Thomas W., V, 298 

Hall, Wendell W., Ill, 484 

Hall of Science, Century of Progress 

Exposition, II, 553 
Hallett, Hiram D., V, 447 
Hallgren, Carl A., V, 357 
Hallstrom, John H., V, 111 
Hamann, Fred, V, 148 
Hamblin, Henry W., IV, 334 
Hamill, Charles H., II, 426 
Hamilton, John M., lieutenant-governor, 

II, 95, 96; III, 490 
Hamilton, John R., IV, 65 
Hamilton, Richard J., V, 491 
Hamilton, William S., V, 32 
Hamilton Public Library, V, 241 
Hammer, A. Howard, III, 171 
Hammer, George T., V, 461 
Hamrick, Daniel F., V, 341 
Hancock, John L., IV, 11 

Hancock, Joseph L., IV, 12 

Hancock County, I, 400 

Handlin, John H., Ill, 256 

Handy, Moses P., Ill, 488 

Hanecy, Elbridge, II, 191 

Haney, Eugene T., Ill, 294 

Hanks, John I., Ill, 254 

Hanks, Martha G., IV, 122 

Hanks, Samuel J., IV, 122 

Hanlon, Samuel F., V, 449 

Hanna, Reuben S., Ill, 251 

Hannah, Harry I., Ill, 392 

Hansen, Nicholas, I, 269 

Hanson, Harry C, III, 402 

Hanson, Martin W., IV, 79 

Hardesty, Paul L., V, 256 

Hardin, John, V, 24 

Harding, George F., II, 486, 492 

Harding, John P., IV, 16 

Hardinger, Ralph W., Ill, 219 

Hardisty, Guy, III, 126 

Harlan, John M., II, 221, 256, 298, 502 

Harlan report, II, 221 

Harmel, Estella L., IV, 243 

Harmon, Charles F., Ill, 264 

Harms, Frank R., Ill, 106 

Harnit, Abbie D., V, 407 

Harnit, Samuel L., V, 407 

Harper, Alfred J., Ill, 380 

Harper, Francis A., V, 451 

Harper, William R., IV, 48 

Harrington, Cornelius J., IV, 69 

Harris, Clifford M., V, 170 

Harris, Evan, III, 471 

Harris, Thomas L., I, 461 

Harrison, Carter H., elder, II, 101, 203; 
message of 1883, 204, 474; assassina- 
tion of, 476 

Harrison, Carter H., younger, II, 179, 
221, 280, 480, 543, 545; III, 48 

Harrison, Edith O., Ill, 48 

Harrison, Guy R., IV, 113 

Harrison, John Q., V, 137 

Harrison, William Henry, I, 184 

Harsin, John J., I, 405 

Hart, Cora O., Ill, 447 

Hart, Dwight, V, 452 

Hart, Eugene E., Ill, 447 

Hart, Lester L., V, 143 

Hart, Ezra, V, 272 

Hart, Green B., V, 272 

Hart, Thomas B., Ill, 462 

Hartley, Arthur J., Ill, 72 

Hartman, Stanley, III, 449 

Hartman, William, V, 174 

Hartsell, William W., IV, 300 

Harvey, Beauchamp A., Ill, 349 

Harvey, George C, III, 350 

Harvey, John P., IV, 468 

Harwood, Clarence H., IV, 63 

Hastings, J. Barnard, IV, 307 

Hastings, Samuel M., IV, 56 

Hatcher, Carrie E. B., Ill, 183 

Hatcher, Charles C, III, 182 

Hattan, Albert H., Ill, 415 

Haughton, Edward J., Ill, 213 



Havana, II, 552 
Havill, Rene, III, 345 
Hawkins, John J., Ill, 470 
Hawkins, William B., Ill, 464 
Hawthorn, Paul D., IV, 91 
Hay, John, I, 187; IV, 48 
Hay, Logan, III, 256 
Hay, Marion L., Ill, 341 
Hay, Milton, II, 83 
Hayes, Lambert K., V, 433 
Hayes, S. Snowden, II, 83 
Haymarket riot, II, 97, 101, 140, 519 
Hayner Library, IV, 214 
Hays, Frank, IV, 114 
Hays, George R., V, 164 
Head, Franklin H., Ill, 487 
Headley, Stephen L, IV, 55 
Headrick, Samuel P., V, 126 
Heald, Captain, I, 216 
Heald, Jesse M., Ill, 468 
Healey, Frank F., V, 314 
Healy, John J., II, 304, 478 
Heard, Oscar E., IV, 13 
Hearst, William R,, II, 191 
Heath, Lawrence S., V, 294 
Heath, Monroe, II, 474 
Heckel, Irven J., IV, 140 
Heckel, Roy A., Ill, 416 
Heckman, George A., V, 395 
Hefferan, William H., V, 300 
Hegeler, Edward C., V, 450 
Hegeler, Julius W., V, 450 
Heilig, George N., IV, 321 
Heintz, Edward L., IV, 229 
Heinz, Nicholas G., Ill, 395 
Heirich, Bruneau E., Ill, 145 
Heiser, Daniel C., IV, 288 
Heiser, Elton R., IV, 288 
Hemenway, William F., IV, 184 
Hemmer, Nicholas, V, 161 
Hendee, Lew A., IV, 428 
Henderson, Euell B., IV, 298 
Henderson, James P., V, 311 
Henderson, Thomas J., Ill, 487 
Hendricks, Raymond B., V, 169 
Henkel, Leo P., IV, 57 
Hennepin, Louis, I, 65 
Henry, Patrick, first governor of Illi- 
nois, I, 134 
Henry, William S., V, 220 
Hensley, William S., V, 137 
Hereford, Arthur L„ IV, 98 
Herman, John E., V, 213 
Herndon, Archer G., I, 357 
Herndon, William H., II, 12; V, 23 
Herr, Vincent A., Ill, 260 
Herrick, G. Wirt, III, 383 
Herrick, Lott R., V, 363 
Herron, Simon A., Ill, 125 
Herten, Arthur D., IV, 143 
Hertz, Benjamin F., Ill, 355 
Hertz, Henry, II, 478 
Hertz, John D., V, 43 
Hetherington, B. William, IV, 8 
Hetler, Harry, IV, 469 
Hetman, Wencel F., IV, 493 

Hextell, Martin N., IV, 408 
Heydecker, Coral T., IV, 409 
Heywood, Oliver C, V, 63 
Hicks, Girth N., V, 389 
Hieronymus, Robert E., Ill, 13 
Higdon, W. D., V, 365 
Highland High School, IV, 222 
Highways (see Roads), II, 316 
Higinbotham, Harlow N., II, 520; IV, 

Hildrup, Jesse S., II, 83 
Hileman, Philetus E., IV, 311 
Hill, Louis D., V, 304 
Hilliev, Albert W., V, 113 
Hillmer, Henry A., Ill, 115 
Hillsboro Public Library, III, 330 
Hinchliff, Ralph, V, 9 
Hinchliff, William E., V, 6 
Hines, Edward, II, 183 
Hinkle, Charles M., Ill, 121 
Hinton, Ralph T., V, 374 
Hinze, William J., IV, 381 
Hirsch, Emil G., II, 517 
Hirschi, Christian G., Ill, 377 
Hitchcock, Charles, II, 83 
Hitchings, Robert C, V, 338 
Hoadley, Clara, IV, 163 
Hobart, Karl E., V, 330 
Hoechster, Harold J., IV, 325 
Hoeltmann, Louis T., Ill, 269 
Hoffman, Francis, I, 444 
Hoffmeier, Fred L., V, 212 
Hoffstadt, John P., IV, 445 
Hogendobler, Ernest C, V, 215 
Hogland, Frank G., IV, 175 
Holabird, William, II, 520 
Holabird and Roche, II, 521 
Holahan, Jerome T., IV, 154 
Holden, Charles R., II, 192; IV, 272 
Hole, Berton W., V, 122 
Holladay, William T., IV, 470 
Hollinger, Albert L., IV, 223 
Holly, William H., II, 432 
Holmes, Charles M., Ill, 483 
Holmes, Grover E., Ill, 421 
Holmes, Maurice F., Ill, 222 
Holmes, Nellie F., V, 71 
Holmes, Zealy M., V, 71 
Holten, Julius A., V, 166 
Holy Family Parish, IV, 489 
Holz, Charles, III, 369 
Home Insurance Building, II, 520 
Home rule for Chicago, II, 322 
Honey, Victor H., V, 183 
Hood, James J., Ill, 240 
Hooper, Frank L., V, 422 
Hoover, Walter K., IV, 73 
Hopkins, Albert J., II, 180, 480, 482 
Hopkins, John P., II, 159, 478 
Horner, Henry, III, 3 
"Horse and Dummy Act," II, 202 
Horwitz, Sandor, III, 272 
Hostettler, Tony C, V, 230 
Hotz, Joseph, IV, 216 
Hough, Charles F., V, 327 
House of Correction, Chicago, II, 472 



Houser, Edwin J., Ill, 252 
Houston, Mrs. D. E., V, 81 
Hovey, Charles E., II, 39; III, 498 
Howard, Benjamin, I, 222 
Howell, Albert S., IV, 459 
Howell, Fred W., IV, 209 
Howk, Lewis, III, 140 
Hoyne, Thomas, II, 471; IV, 39 
Hruby, Allan J., IV, 400 
Hubbard, Adolphus F., IV, 48 
Hubbard, Gordon, I, 343 
Hubbard, Warren, IV, 179 
Hubeny, Maximilian J., V, 313 
Huber, Albert, III, 213 
Huff, Thomas D., V, 13 
Huggett, William W., IV, 35 
Hughart, Samuel A., IV, 64 
Hughes, Caroline B., IV, 288 
Hughes, Pingree C, V, 440 
Hughes, Ruth P., IV, 289 
Hughitt, Marvin, V, 27 
Hulett, E. Lee, IV, 81 
Hulick, Charles H., Ill, 157 
Hull, Morton D., II, 426 
Hull, William, I, 214 
Hull, William E., Ill, 28 
Hullinger, Will, IV, 163 
Hulse, Minard E., V, 481 
Humphrey bills, II, 219 
Hunter, David, Jr., Ill, 448 
Hunziker, Otto F., Ill, 242 
Hurd, Harry B., Ill, 241 
Hurlburt, Stephen A., Ill, 507 
Hurley, Edward N., Ill, 32 
Hurst, William C, IV, 167 
Hurt, Emil B., Ill, 438 
Huschle, Rudolph H., IV, 361 
Huskinson, George, V, 354 
Huskinson, William, V, 352 
Hussey, Jerry E., V, 451 
Hutchings, John A., Ill, 228 
Hutchins, Robert M., Ill, 17 
Hutchins, Harry, III, 411 
Hutchinson, Luzetta, III, 397 
Hutton, John W., V, 228 
Huxley, Henry M., Ill, 234 
Hyland, James, IV, 422 
Hylton, Walker L., V, 143 
Hynes, William J., I, 385 

Ickes, Harold L., II, 432, 508, 543; V, 35 

Ida Public Library, IV, 288 

Igoe, Michael L., II, 347, 460; IV, 22 

lies, Elijah, V, 33 

Illinois, French habitants, I, 47; in strug- 
gle between the British and French, 
85; results of French and Indian War, 
92; ceded to England, 94; under 
the British flag, 96; in Revolu- 
tionary War, 107; Quebec Act, 109 
code of laws, 111; first governor, 134 
Spanish expedition of 1781, 139 
Treaty of 1783, 140; anarchy after 
1763, 143; Virginia sovereignty and 
law, 150; struggle over land titles, 
166; under Northwest Territorial gov- 

ernment, 173; in 1790, 176; territorial 
judges, 181; in 1798, 182; in 1800, 
186; rise of slavery issue, 188; terri- 
tory created, 194; boundaries, 197; 
laws of Territory, 198; Territory of 
second class, 202, 227; in war of 
1812, 212; northern boundary, 
233; in 1812, map, 234; consti- 
tution of 1818, 239; in 1818, 242; in 
1818, map, 247; racial origins, 250; 
fight for slavery, 259; a free State, 
277; slavery in, 278; development after 
1818, 283; State politics in first dec- 
ade, 290; and National politics, 303; 
economic conditions in 1830, 307; Dun- 
can administration, 344; capital at 
Springfield, 354; internal improve- 
ments in 1837, 357; Carlin adminis- 
tration, 375; Supreme Court and poli- 
tics, 380; Ford administration, 386; 
in War with Mexico, 402; Constitu- 
tion of 1848, 408; under Governor 
French, 412; in politics of the Nation, 
415; slavery issue in 1847, 421; 1853- 
57, 454; Bissell administration, 456; 
organization of Republican party, 459; 
Lincoln's nomination for president, II, 
5; military record, 38; in Civil War, 
27; women in Civil War, 40; cam- 
paign of 1864, 58; Oglesby adminis- 
tration, 65; Palmer's administration, 
70; Constitution of 1870, 80; map 
showing organization and population 
of counties, 86; Cullom administra- 
tion, 93; Oglesby's third administra- 
tion, 97; Fifer's administration, 106; 
Third parties, 113; an industrial state, 
136; strikes of 1894, 148; in Free Sil- 
ver movement, 154; Tanner adminis- 
tration, 170; in administration of Gov. 
Yates the younger, 173; Governor 
Deneen's administration, 176; political 
conditions in 1912, 308; legislation, 
1913-17, 318; roads in 1913, 331; mo- 
bilization for Mexican border, 363; 
Lowden administration, 380; in the 
World War, 380; financial contribu- 
tions to World War, 401; departmental 
reorganization, 402; Small administra- 
tion, 404; Constitution of 1922, 424; 
development of public utilities, 493; 
Emmerson's administration, 530; de- 
mand for reapportionment, 546; prog- 
ress and prospects, 549 

Illinois and Michigan Canal, I, 318, 360; 
history of, 362; in Constitution of 
1870, 370, 386; II, 83, 455, 470 

Illinois and Wabash Land Company, I, 

Illinois bar, eminent members, II, 81 

Illinois Bottom, I, 47 

Illinois Central Railroad, land grant, I, 
414; II, 87 

Illinois College, II, 537 

Illinois Commerce Commission, II, 419; 



Illinois Country, without law, I, 103; in 
closing- years of Revolution, 138; land 
titles in, 152 

Illinois County, Virginia, created, I, 127, 
134, 150 

Illinois Free Employment offices, II, 334 

Illinois Historical Library, IV, 94 

Illinois Indians, I, 17; work of mission- 
aries, 41; in French regime, 52 

Illinois missions, I, 37 

Illinois monuments, II, 49 

Illinois National Guard, II, 362, 389 

Illinois Naval Battalion, World War, II, 

Illinois Odd Fellows Orphans Home, V, 

Illinois River, I, 1; Marquette and Joliet 
on, 32; view from Prospect Heights, 
Peoria, II, 198; in waterway scheme, 

Illinois State Farmers Association, II, 

Illinois State Journal, IV, 337 

Illinois State Normal University, II, 360 

Illinois State School for the Blind, II, 

Illinois State Labor Association, II, 108 

Illinois State Register, V, 262 

Illinois State Soldiers' and Sailors' 
Home, II, 360 

Illinois tribe, Iroquois massacres, I, 69 

Illinois Valley expeditions, War of 1812, 
I, 221 

Illinois waterway, I, 374; II, 455, 554 

Illinois Waterway Commission, II, 461 

Immigration, I, 250 

Impeachment, I, 240 

Income tax, II, 111, 442 

Independent Order Odd Fellows Orphans 
Home, V, 84 

Indian allies, at Starved Rock, I, 77 

Indian lands, cession of, I, 159 

Indian mounds, I, 18 

Indian titles, I, 171 

Indian treaties, after War of 1812, I, 201 

Indian villages, I, 325 

Indian warfare, in War of Revolution, I, 

Indiana Territory created, I, 185 

Indians of Illinois (see also tribal 
names), I, 10; at home and at war, 
15; religious ceremonies, 16; evils of 
liquor trade, 45 ; organized by La Salle, 
71; under British regime, 96; title to 
land, 166; rights to land, 179; land 
cessions, 198; proposed buffer state, 
224, 248; last stand, 320 

Industrial welfare laws, II, 336 

Ingersoll, Robert G., II, 141; V, 18 

Initiative and referendum, II, 342 

Insane, care of, II, 179 

Insull, Samuel, II, 391, 421, 493, 509, 
545; IV, 478 

Insull corporations, II, 494 

Internal improvement craze, I, 375 

International Association of Lions Clubs, 

V, 387 
Intoxicating liquor (see liquor), I, 254 
Irish settlers, I, 250; in Civil War, II, 

Iroquois invasion, I, 69 
Iroquois tribe, I, 12, 14 
Irwin, Harry C, III, 460 
Isaacs, Alfred A., V, 291 
Isaacs, Thomas R., IV, 83 
Isley, Albert E., V, 301 
Isley, William E., V, 302 

Jack, Charles E., V, 49 

Jackpot government, II, 309 

"Jack Pot Legislature," II, 187 

Jackson, Andrew, character of, I, 304 

Jackson, Charles A., V, 192 

Jackson, James R., Sr., V. 255 

Jackson, Lewis L., V, 205 

Jackson, William A., IV, 368 

Jackson County, I, 233 

Jacksonian Democracy, I, 305 

Jacksonville State Hospital, II, 360 

Jacobs, Robert H., Ill, 323 

Jacobsen, Lars P., IV, 274 

Jacobson, Don L., Ill, 487 

James, William R., Ill, 453 

Janda, Joseph J., IV, 277 

Jarecki, Edmund K., II, 517; III, 25 

Jarman, Lewis A., II, 426 

Jarroh, Nicholas, I, 186 

Jarvin, John H., V, 261 

Jasper, Frank A., V, 149 

Jay Treaty, I, 180 

Jayne, Gershon, I, 366 

Jeffers, James E., Ill, 249 

Jefferson, Thomas, I, 156 

Jenkins, Alexander M., IV, 483 

Jenning, G. A., Ill, 365 

Jennings, Everett, V, 245 

Jennings, George T., V, 434 

Jennings, Grattan G., IV, 338 

Jennings, John W., Jr., V. 274 

Jenny, W. L. B., II, 520 

Jensen, Anker C, III, 396 

Jesuit missionaries, I, 22 

Jesuit priests, in Illinois country, I, 39 

Jesuits, and New France, I, 44 

Jeter, Charles E., V, 398 

Jimison, William H., V, 360 

Jirka, Harold W., IV, 335 

Joannides, Minas, IV, 271 

Job, Joseph A., IV, 411 

Johns, Charles E., V, 258 

Johns, Robert E., V, 165 

Johnson, Abraham, III, 172 

Johnson, Bert R., V, 211 

Johnson, George W., IV, 14 

Johnson, Gustaf J., IV, 471 

Johnson, Jean T., V, 211 

Johnson, L. Ross, III, 194 

Johnson, Robert W., V, 104 

Johnson, Roy H., V, 84 

Johnson, T. Arthur, V, 115 

Johnson, William A., V, 401 



Johnson, William R., IV, 17 

Johnston, Albert Sidney, I, 342 

Johnston, Joseph E., I, 342 

Johnston, Thomas R., V, 370 

Joliet, Louis, I, 16, 26, 27, 28 

Joliet penitentiary, II, 356 

Jonas, Edgar A., II, 432 

Jones, Alfred H., V, 290 

Jones, George H., Ill, 58 

Jones, Harry P., V, 111 

Jones, James B., V, 212 

Jones, John Rice, I, 148, 191, 193; IV, 33 

Jones, J. Edward, V, 257 

Jones, Melvin, V, 387 

Jones, Michael, I, 232 

Jones, Norman L., II, 404 

Jones, Obadiah, I, 197 

Jones, Paul F., IV, 417 

Jones, Vernie A., V, 235 

Jones, Walter C, II, 312 

Jones, William C, IV, 376 

Jones, W. W., II, 108 

Joppa Community High School, III, 400 

Jordan, Myron, II, 432 

Jorgensen, Frederick A., IV, 438 

Judd, Norman B., II, 12; V, 20 

Judge, Thomas F., I, 372 

Judges, selection of, after 1848, I, 410 

Judiciary, in Chicago and Cook County, 

I, 87; Municipal courts, II, 179 
Juengel, Oscar H., V, 179 
Justice courts, system abolished, II, 179 

Kabella, Edward C, III, 499 

Kaburick, Edward C, V, 259 

Kalb, Charles E., V, 118 

Kankakee Daily Republican, IV, 418 

Kane, Elias Kent, I, 232, 272, 282, 294; 

V, 5 
Kankakee Republican-News, IV, 418 
Kankakee River, I, 2 
Kankakee State Hospital, II, 360 
Kansas-Nebraska Law, I, 431 
Karnak Community High School, IV, 

Karch, Charles A., IV, 318 
Karns, John M., IV, 293 
Karzas, Andrew, V, 467 
Kaskaskia, I, 104, 108, 113; captured by 

General Clark, 123, 143; without court 

of law, 146; lawlessness in, 149; 181, 

182; land offices, 229, 253 
Kaskaskia Indians, I, 12, 18, 198 
Kaskaskia Mission, I, 39 
Kasper, Frank J., V, 470 
Kauffman, Harlan B., IV, 435 
Kavanagh, Marcus A., Ill, 27 
Kavanagh, Maurice F., V, 466 
Kay, Wendell P., IV, 437 
Keating, Henry E., Ill, 482 
Keehn, Roy D, III, 87 
Keeler, Fred C, III, 94 
Keeler, Leonarde, V, 479 
Kehoe, Francis B., IV, 233 
Keiser, Frank M., V, 265 
Kelker, Rudolph F., Jr., V, 275 

Keller, Nicholas M., Ill, 481 

Kelley, Florence, II, 140 

Kelley, Robert M., Ill, 401 

Kelley, William C, IV, 150 

Kellogg Grove Monument, Black Hawk 

War, I, 337 
Kelly, Edward A., IV, 22 
Kelly, Edward J., II, 458, 461; III, 295 
Kelly, Thomas, I, 373 
Kemp, George W., V, 62 
Kendall, A. Fred, V, 373 
Kenna, Hinky Dink, II, 506 
Kennedy, Archie G., IV, 53 
Kennedy, George L., Ill, 143 
Kennedy, Millard B., Ill, 156 
Kent, Laurence E., IV, 157 
Kenworthy, Samuel R., Ill, 214 
Kentucky settlements, in Revolutionary 

War, I, 119 
Keokuk, Chief, I, 323 
Kern, Fred. J., (Foreword), I, 305; II, 

349, 432, 454; III, 38 
Kern, Jacob J., II, 477, 478 
Kerner, Otto, IV, 286 
Kewanee Boiler Company, IV, 236 
Kewanee Public Library, IV, 233 
Kickapoo Indians, I, 11, 246 
Kilpatrick, Harry M., V, 53 
Kilpatrick, S. Elizabeth, V, 54 
Kilpatrick, Thomas L., I, 412 
Kimbark, John R., Ill, 399 
Kinahan, Simon P., V, 125 
Kincaid, John T., IV, 68 
King, Erman A., Ill, 335 
King, John E., IV, 304 
King, John H. (Allendale), III, 372 
King, John H. (Edinburg), III, 459 
King, Roy L., Ill, 176 
Kinley, David, III, 40 
Kinney, William, I, 232, 273, 295, 311, 

Kinsella, William J., V, 47 
Kinzie, John, I, 217 
Kiolbassa, Peter, II, 517 
Kirby, James J., IV, 268 
Kirkland, Weymouth, III, 318 
Klein, William P., V, 162 
Klenha, Joseph Z., V, 56 
Klimes, Frank E., Ill, 312 
Kline, Edward C, IV, 164 
Kline, Eugene P., V, 162 
Klonowski, Louis J., Ill, 140 
Knapp, Kemper K., V, 205 
Knaus, Vincent L., Ill, 454 
Knight, William D., IV, 343 
Knights of Labor, II, 111 
Knights of the Golden Circle, II, 54 
Know Nothing party, I, 462 
Know Nothing riots, I, 483 
Koch, Louis, IV, 216 
Koeper, John J., IV, 258 
Koepke, Charles A., IV, 147 
Koerner, Gustavus, I, 444; II, 12, 29, 59, 

78* V 19 
Kohlbeck, Valentine, IV, 441 
Kohlsaat, Christian C, III, 419 



Kohlsaat, Edward C, III, 420 
Kohlsaat, Herman H., II, 182; V, 432 
Rokenes, Peter G., IV, 195 
Koonce, Ivan E., V, 371 
Rosier, Albert H., IV, 472 
Rough, Benjamin J., V, 73 
Rrahl, William F., IV, 475 
Rral, Joseph S., IV, 207 
Rramer, Dale D., Ill, 427 
Rramer, Verle V., Ill, 352 
Rraus, Adolf, II, 192 
Rrause, Harry R., Ill, 233 
Rrebs, Wilbur E., V, 167 
Rreiling, Christian H., IV, 107 
Rreitner, Eugene W., IV, 363 
Rrempp, John, Jr., Ill, 231 
Rreshel, Julius J., IV, 223 
Rreuscher, Philip H., Ill, 492 
Rroehler, Clarence B., V, 347 
Rruse, Robert I., V, 473 
Ruechler, Frederick W., V, 234 

Labor, convict, II, 173 

Labor agitation, II, 106 

Labor organizations, II, 99 

Labor party, II, 108 

Labor troubles, II, 97; in 1894, 148 

LaBuy, Joseph S., V, 227 

Lackey, Edward J., IV, 313 

Lackey, George W., IV, 291 

La Clede, Pierre, I, 104 

Laflin, Matthew, IV, 43 

Lake, Lewis F., Ill, 311 

Lake Chicago, I, 6 

Lake Michigan, I, 1; Illinois River 

waterway, 35 
Lake Peoria, I, 11 
Lakes to Gulf waterways, I, 370; II, 180, 

414, 455 
Lalumier, Edward L., V, 488 
Lamborn, Josiah, IV, 50 
Lamkin, James A., Ill, 343 
Lamont, Robert P., Ill, 18 
Land cessions by Indians, I, 203 
Land office, I, 199; Raskaskia, Shawnee- 

town, 229, 249 
Land sales, I, 198, 249 
Land speculators, I, 171 
Land survey plans, I, 158; 170 
Land titles, I, 166, 178 
Lands, surveys and titles, I, 248; saline, 

300; squatter and preemption rights, 

Landis, Renesaw M., Ill, 504 
Landis, Reed G., IV, 56 
Landise, Thomas H., Ill, 141 
Landmesser, Frank H., V, 243 
Lane, Josiah B., IV, 63 
Langner, Henry, III, 320 
Lansden, Halac, IV, 147 
Lantry, Thomas B., Ill, 82 
LaPorte, Charles W., Ill, 75 
Larkin, Daniel H., Ill, 228 
Larson, John A., Ill, 486 
Larson, Jonas W., Ill, 187 

La Salle, Sieur de, I, 26; career of, 55, 
56; grant of authority over New 
France 58, 59; on Illinois River, 62, 64; 
on Lower Mississippi, 71, 76; death of, 
79; monument to, 81 

LaSalle, II, 552 (City) 

LaSalle County, I, 311; first Catholic 
Church in, 432 

Lasker, Albert D., Ill, 35 

Lathrop, Bryan, IV, 43 

Lathrop, Julia C, V, 40 

Latimer, Marion M., V, 265 

Latter, Cameron, V, 453 

Lauder, John E., IV, 458 

Laughlin, Edward E., Ill, 114 

Lauher, Paul B., V, 10 

Law, Daniel, V, 320 

Law, after Clark's conquest, I, 150 

Law department, Chicago, II, 292 

Lawler, Joseph B., Ill, 334 

Lawler, Michael R., II, 39 

Lawrence, Charles B., II, 128 

Lawrence, Randal L., Ill, 337 

Laws, first code in Northwest Territory, 
I, 173; private, II, 82 

Lawson, Victor F., I, 373; V, 28 

Lecompton constitution, I, 449 

Lee, Charles C, IV, 259 

Lee, Fred A., Ill, 113 

Lee, Otis H., Ill, 135 

Lee, Robert H., Ill, 259 

Legge, Alexander, V, 33 

Legislative corruption, II, 65, 72 

Legislative Reference Bureau, II, 338 

Legislature, of 1812, I, 227; in 1836, 
355; of 1865, II, 65; and corrupt lob- 
byist, 341; special session, 1928, 420; 
session of 1930, 547 

Lehr, William V., V, 141 

Leighty, Mack, IV, 301 

Leiser, William H., IV, 78 

Leitch, Olive A., Ill, 230 

Leiter, Levi Z., IV, 44 

Lelivelt, Joseph J., Ill, 238 

Lenington, Norman G., Ill, 238 

Leonard, Charles L., Ill, 93 

Leonard, James G., IV, 127 

Lesch, Roy, IV, 375 

Lesemann, Ralph F., V, 153 

Lewe, John C, III, 334 

Lewis, Aquilla C, III, 434 

Lewis, A. Austin, IV, 328 

Lewis, Byron R., Ill, 474 

Lewis, C. M., Ill, 474 

Lewis, Hugo S., Ill, 473 

Lewis, James Hamilton, II, 266, 278, 
292; elected senator, 366, 395, 464, 503; 
III, 3 

Lewis Institute, V, 328 

L'Hote, Eugene, III, 357 

"Liberal Republican" party, II, 78 

Liberal-Republican revolt, II, 122 

Liberty bonds, II, 391 

Libonati, Elliodor M., Ill, 64 

Libonati, Roland V., Ill, 63 



Licht, Fred W., Ill, 324 

Lieb, Charles, I, 468 

Ligman, Thadeus S., Ill, 438 

Lill, Arlington E., IV, 360 

Lincoln, Abraham, I, 342; early careers, 
354, 357; facsimile of bill in handwrit- 
ing of, 403; 420; as a Whig, 437; let- 
ter, 462; senatorial candidate, 466; 
criticism of U. S. Supreme Court, 470; 
Tremont Hotel speech, 472; on Su- 
preme Court conspiracy, 478; bio- 
graphies of, 481; "lost speech," 484; 
aspirations for the Presidency, 502; re- 
sults of joint debates, 518; frontis- 
piece nominated and elected president, 
II, 5; speeches in East, 9; Cooper In- 
stitute speech, 11; facsimile of letter to 
Yates, 31; emancipation of slaves, 45; 
war policy criticised, 47; reelected in 
1864, 58 

Lincoln, Nancy Hanks, grave of, I, 503 

Lincoln-Douglas, campaign of 1858, I, 
468; joint debates, 479, 481; at Otta- 
wa, 493; at Freeport, 499; at Gales- 
burg, 514 

Lincoln Evening Courier, IV, 253 

Lincoln High School, East St. Louis, V, 

Lincoln Home at Springfield, II, 10 

Lincoln Park, Chicago, II, 524 

Lincoln Park Board, Chicago, II, 472 

Lincoln State School, II, 361 

Lincoln telegram, "You are Nominated," 
II, 20 

Lincoln Tomb, Springfield, II, 121 

Linder, Usher F., V, 25 

Lindheimer, Benjamin F., V, 488 

Lindley, Fleetwood H., V, 307 

Lindley, Cicero J., II, 426 

Lindner, F. George, III, 175 

Lindsay, Edward E., IV, 345 

Lindsey, Albert, III, 118 

Lingle, Willis E., V, 204 ■ 

Link, Joseph J., Ill, 262 

Linscott, Charles H., Ill, 85 

Lions International, V, 387 

Lippert, Fred, V, 173 

Lippincott, Thomas, I, 274 

Lipshulch, George U., V, 439 

Lipsky, Harry A., IV, 411 

Liquor, intoxicating, in early Illinois, I, 

Liquor law, of 1855, I, 454 

Litchfield Carnegie Public Library, III, 

Litsinger, Edward R., II, 490 

Little, George E., V, 280 

Little, Richard H., V, 333 

"Little Bull Law," I, 319 

Lloyd, F. E. J., V, 29 

Locke, George D., IV, 488 

Lockie, George D., V, 112 

Lockport Township Public Library, IV, 

Lockwood, Samuel D., I, 274, 411; V, 14 

Loeffler, William, II, 295 

Lofgren, Emil, IV, 372 

Logan, Frank G., IV, 10 

Logan, Dr. John, II, 39 

Logan, John A., I, 342; II, 38; Civil War 
record, 39; 52; home in Benton, Frank- 
lin County, 55; 119; V, 29 

Logan, John J., V, 90 

Logan, Stephen T., I, 411; II, 29; III, 

Lohmann, Martin B., Ill, 172 

Londrigan, Joseph A., IV, 193 

Lonergan, Joseph M., Ill, 119 

Long, John W., V, 292 

"Long Knives," I, 135 

Longcor, Willard H., IV, 429 

Lorenzen, Anton F., IV, 211 

Lorimer, William, elected senator, II, 
181; investigation, 182, 478, 479; III, 

Louisiana Purchase, I, 193 

Love, Guy N., V, 364 

Love, Mason, V, 265 

Lovejoy, Elijah P., assassination of, I, 
351; IV, 30 

Lovejoy, Owen, I, 409; IV, 30 

Lovejoy School, St. Clair County, V, 246 

Lovett, Robert M., II, 397 

Lowden, Frank O., II, 375; administra- 
tion of, 380, 381; candidate for presi- 
dent, 398; III, 27 

Lowe, Leo H., IV, 160 

Lowe, Walter H., Ill, 310 

Loy, Ealem S., Ill, 197 

Loyda, Fred J., IV, 166 

Loyola University, Michael Cudahy Sci- 
ence Hall, II, 248; V, 486 

Lucas, Peter P., V, 449 

Lucey, Patrick J., Ill, 223 

Lucia, M., IV, 355 

Lueder, Arthur C, V, 480 

Luedke, Bert P., V, 130 

Luker, George H., Ill, 326 

Lunde, Theodore, II, 396 

Luster, Max, IV, 82 

Lustfield, Joseph, V, 58 

Lutz, Cora C, III, 245 

Lutz, John, III, 245 

Lyerla, Lois, III, 330 

Lyford, Will H., Ill, 137 

Lyman, J. Frank, III, 13 

Lyman, William H., Ill, 13 

Lyman ordinance, II, 223 

Lynch, John A., Ill, 340 

Lynch, John I., IV, 346 

Lynch, William J., IV, 76 

Lyon, John B., Ill, 317 

Lyon, Vernon, III, 183 

Lyons, James H., IV, 391 

Lytton, George, III, 313 

Lytton, Henry C, IV, 18 

MacChesney, Nathan W., IV, 19 
Macomb Public Library, III, 121 
MacDonald, Robert B., V, 72 
Mackey, Albert N., Ill, 95 
Mackey, Ralph A., Ill, 90 



Mackinaw Township High School, III, 

MacLeish, Andrew, V, 43 
MacMonnies, Frederick, II, 521 
MacVeagh, Franklin, II, 520; III, 16 
Madden, Claude P., V, 406 
Madding, Jasper D., IV, 284 
Madison Public Library, IV, 222 
Madlener, Albert F., V, 320 
Magill, Hugh S., II, 421; IV, 205 
Maguire, Albert E., Ill, 120 
Maguire, Thomas A., V, 97 
Maher, Edward, V, 445 
"Maine law," I, 454, 483 
Major, James E., V, 397 
Malcor, Gustave C, III, 416 
Malloy, Charles F., V, 316 
Malloy, John "Mique," IV, 403 
Maloney, David B., V, 76 
Malson, Edward J., V, 452 
Mamer, Christopher, II, 478 
Mandel family, II, 549 
Mangam, Edward M., IV, 378 
Mangum, Ray J., IV, 341 
Manierre, George, II, 475; V, 28 
Mann, Louis L., Ill, 16 
Mann, Oliver D., Ill, 422 
Manny, Walter I., II, 338 
Manufacturing, I, 252; II, 108, 550 
Markham, Charles H., V, 425 
Markman, Samuel K., Ill, 334 
Marquard Henry F., Ill, 232 
Marquette, Father James, I, 24, 26, 27, 

28; at Chicago, 32, 33; death of, 34, 

36; and Indian Chief, 38 
Marshall, John R., V, 485 
Marshall, Robert B., Ill, 154 
Marshall, Robert F., V, 485 
Marshall, Samuel S., IV, 493 
Marshall, William H., IV, 446 
Marstiller, Francis M., Ill, 465 
Marston, Leslie R., V, 249 
Martin, Alice, III, 150 
Martin, Charles H., IV, 304 
Martin, Mellen C, V, 237 
Martin, Ralph H., IV, 174 
Marysvale, excitement over discovery of 

copper ore, I, 437 
Mascoutah Community High School, IV, 

Mason, Edward G., Ill, 499 
Mason, Orris W., Ill, 155 
Mason, Parker N., Ill, 156 
Mason, William E., II, 180, 395, 396 
Mason City Community High School, IV, 

Mason City Library, IV, 86 
Masonic Temple, II, 521 
Massacre, at Fort Dearborn, I, 216 
Massman, Frederick H., V, 442 
Matheny, W. R., V, 60 
Mather, Archie J., IV, 232 
Mather, Thomas, I, 274 
Matter, Michael, IV, 222 
Matteson, Joel A., as governor, I, 454, 

455; III, 502 

Mattheessen, Rudolph J., Ill, 178 

Matthews, Stewart B., V, 59 

Maxon, Jesse G., Ill, 91 

Maxwell, Thomas R., V, 132 

May, Sheffie R., IV, 129 

Mayer, Levy, II, 426 

Mayer, Oscar F., Ill, 330 

Mayhew, John A., V, 350 

Mayoralty campaign of 1903, II, 225 

Mayoralty campaign of 1907, Chicago, 

II, 306 
McAdams, Mary C, III, 431 
McAllister, William K., II, 513 
McAndrews, James, V, 437 
McCahey, James B., V, 243 
McCauley, William R., IV, 296 
McClain, Burnie, III, 147 
McCarty, Chevalier, I, 92, 100 
McClernand, John A., I, 342, 380, 459; 

II, 39; V, 21 
McCloskey, Robert E., IV, 294 
McClure, Donald C, IV, 220 
McConachie, John, V, 198 
McConihe Family, III, 163 
McConnell, Murray, I, 342 
McConnell, Samuel P., II, 143, 147 
McCord, Thomas C, IV, 241 
McCormick, Andrew, I, 357 
McCormick, Cyrus H., I, 448; V, 36 
McCormick, James I., IV, 274 
McCormick, John V., V, 64 
McCormick, Medill, II, 395, 401 
McCormick, Robert P., Ill, 288 
McCormick, Ruth Hanna, II, 175, 504 
McCormick, R. R., V, 424 
McCormick Family, II, 549 
McCormick Reaper Company, II, 100 
McCorvie, Archie E., IV, 146 
McCoy, John H., Ill, 448 
McCrary, William M., Ill, 465 
McCreery, W. Harold, IV, 109 
McCulloch, Catharine W., V, 34 
McDermaid, William H., Ill, 111 
McDowell, Mary E., IV, 23 
McElvain, Robert J., Ill, 387 
McEwen, Harry W., V, 185 
McGah, William J., V, 99 
McGarry, John A., V, 215 
McGaughey, John E., IV, 296 
McGinnis, Edwin, V, 354 
McGinnis, John P., Jr., IV, 312 
McGlynn, Dan, IV, 279 
McGlynn, Daniel F., IV, 280 
McGlynn, Joseph B., IV, 279 
McGlynn, Patterson S., IV, 178 
McGlynn, Robert E., IV, 280 
McGlynn & McGlynn, IV, 279 
McGrath, Arthur R., Ill, 321 
McGrath, James W., V, 417 
McGregor, James, V, 284 
McHose, Helen, III, 196 
McHose, James D., Ill, 195 
Mcintosh, Loy N., V, 480 
McKeague, Robert I., Ill, 167 
McKee, Grace, V, 110 
McKendree, William, V, 491 



McKendree College, I, 382 

McKenna, James J., IV, 415 

McKenzie, Edgar A., V, 197 

McKinley, William, II, 317, 371 

McKinley, William B., II, 420 

McKinnon, Earl, III, 136 

McKnight, Clark W., IV, 260 

McLean, John, I, 232, 241, 273, 294; IV, 

McMahon, John J., V, 104 

McNemer, George H., Ill, 442 

McNulty, Thomas J., IV, 66 

McRoberts, Samuel, V, 15 

McShane, James C, V, 375 

McWilliams, Seymour, III, 283 

Meccia, John B., V, 77 

Mecherle, George J., IV, 436 

Medical practice, laws regulation, II, 95 

Medill, Joseph, I, 492; II, 12, 78, 83, 122; 
V, 36 

Mehan, Thomas N., Ill, 199 

Meier, David E., Ill, 336 

Melahn, Frank, V, 387 

Melton, Lloyd H., V, 318 

Memorial Stadium, University of Illi- 
nois, II, 418 

Menard, Pierre, I, 186, 187, 190, 227, 
232, 241; IV, 22 

Mendota Reporter, IV, 78 

Merrier, Father, I, 40 

Mercy Hospital, Chicago, V, 188 

Merit system, II, 362 

Merkle, John L., IV, 356 

Merkle Broom Company, IV, 356 

Merriam, Charles E., II, 432, 506, 543 

Merriam, Henry M., V, 144 

Merriman, Arthur K., IV, 71 

Merritt, Wesley, III, 503 

Messer, Adelbert B., IV, 324 

Metcalf, Howard L., V, 97 

Methodist church, in 1824, I, 254 

Metropolis Community High School, III, 

Meurin, Father, I, 36 

Mexican War, I, 402 

Mexican War soldier, I, 441 

Meyer, Carrie B., Ill, 172 

Meyer, George L., Ill, 328 

Meyer, Henry A., Ill, 327 

Meyer, John G., Ill, 91 

Meyer, John W. H., Ill, 171 

Meyer, Walter W. L., V, 466 

Meyercord, George R., IV, 101 

Meyers, Joseph L., V, 383 

Miami tribe, I, 11 

Michael, Oscar J., IV, 394 

Michael, William H., V, 276 

Michalopoulos, Demetrios G., Ill, 235 

Michigameas, I, 12, 18 

Michigan Boulevard, II, 500 

Mikes, James, IV, 370 

Milar, Karl A., IV, 423 

Miley, George M., V, 269 

Milford Township High School, V, 349 

Miller, Amos C, IV, 97 

Miller, Andrew D., Ill, 177 

Miller, Benjamin H., IV, 429 

Miller, Carl S., V, 217 

Miller, Charles A., IV, 137 

Miller, Clarence E., IV, 312 

Miller, Frank T., Ill, 67 

Miller, George W., Ill, 178 

Miller, Henry L., IV, 432 

Miller, Herbert L., V, 384 

Miller, Hobart G., Ill, 248 

Miller, James A., V, 448 

Miller, John H., IV, 124 

Miller, John S., Ill, 461 

Miller, Theodore W., IV, 421 

Miller, Thomas W., IV, 275 

Miller, Victor C, IV, 69 

Millhouse, John G., Ill, 248 

Mills, Edgar W., IV, 414 

Mills, Louis S., Ill, 71 

Mills, Luther L., V, 30 

Mills, Wiley W., II, 293, 543 

Milnes, William D., IV, 121 

Mine Examining Board Law, II, 336 

Minier Community High School, V, 230 

Mining disaster, Braidwood, II, 95 

Mink, William J., V, 260 

Minor, F. Grant, III, 88 

Minority representation, II, 85 

Minton, James I., Ill, 386 

Mississippi, discovery of, I, 26 

Mississippi Valley in 1801, map, I, 189 

Missouri Compromise, I, 431 

Mitchell, James E., V, 306 

Mitchell, John M., Ill, 339 

Mitchell, William H., V, 12 

Moberg, Vern H., Ill, 125 

Modern Woodmen of America, III, 361 

Moinguenas, I, 12 

Mollman, Arthur J., V, 153 

Monbreun, Sieur de, I, 147 

Money, in 1818, I, 257 

Moneypenny, David T., IV, 277 

Monroe, James O., IV, 289 

Monroe County, I, 233 

Montgomery, Ettie M., V, 110 

Montgomery, Harry C, V, 79 

Montgomery, William M., V, 110 

Monticello Bulletin, III, 427; V, 366 

Moody, Dwight L., V, 186 

Moody, Lloyd C, IV, 93 

Moody, Walter D., II, 522 

Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, V, 

Moore, Asa B., V, 129 
Moore, Byron R., V, 75 
Moore, Daniel B., V, 157 
Moore, Ella A. D., V, 193 
Moore, Enoch, IV, 9 
Moore, George H., Ill, 128 
Moore, Hiram C, III, 390 
Moore, James B., I, 266 
Moore, Jesse C, III, 192 
Moore, Michael F., IV, 236 
Moore, Pearl L., IV, 358 
Moore, Risdon, I, 268 
Moore, Theodore C, V, 256 
Mooseheart, III, 429 



Moran, Frank T., Ill, 300 

Moran, Thomas A., II, 513 

Morford, Marcus L., IV, 340 

Morgan, Ambert D., Ill, 395 

Morgan, Howe V., V, 195 

Morgan, James D., II, 38 

Morische, Frank, V, 316 

Mormon Church, in Illinois, I, 401 

Mormon Temple, Nauvoo, I, 391 

Mormon War, I, 377, 390 

Mormons, exodus, I, 401 

Moroney, Edward J., V, 427 

Morris, David J., V, 399 

Morris, Edward H., II, 426 

Morris, Freeman P., Ill, 376 

Morris, Lyell H., Ill, 469 

Morris (City), I, 2 

Morris Daily Herald, V, 408 

Morris Public Library, The, III, 397 

Morrison, James L. D., V, 484 

Morrison, Joseph P., V, 382 

Morrison, Robert, I, 190 

Morrison, William, IV, 46 

Morrison, W. P., II, 39 

Morton, Joy, V, 3 

Morton, Sterling, IV, 12 

Morton Public Library, IV, 262 

Morton Township High School, III, 193 

Moseley, Douglas, V, 351 

Moseley, Louise J., V, 352 

Moss, Harry C, V, 276 

Mossberger, Charles H., IV, 303 

Motsinger, Ernest L., IV, 340 

Moulton, Benjamin W., IV, 347 

Mound City Community High Schools, 
IV, 336 

Mount Vernon, Old Supreme Court 
Building, I, 422 

Mounted rangers, in War of 1812, I, 222 

Mounts, William L., Ill, 505 

Mowat, Robert A., V, 328 

Mud Lake, I, 362 

Mudd, Ray F., IV, 492 

Mueller law, II, 173, 225, 241; vote on 
adoption, 246; certificates, 277 

Mulac, Louis E., IV, 194 

Mullen, Timothy F., Ill, 497 

Mulligan, James A., II, 40; III, 503 

Mummart, Cletus B., IV, 347 

Mundelein, George W., Ill, 17 

Municipal courts, II, 179 

Municipal harbors, II, 179 

Municipal ownership, of street railways, 
II, 173, 224; of public utilities, 227; 
Dunne's views, 227; plans for secur- 
ing, 268; hostility of city council, 273; 
vote on, 277, 463, 518, 545 

Municipal Railway Board, I, 466 

Munn, Loyal L,, IV, 424 

Murdock, John, I, 190 

Murphy, Daniel F., Ill, 221 

Murphy, John B., V, 30 

Murphysboro, following tornado of 1925, 
II, 359 

Murphysboro Township Union High 
School, V, 279 

Musselman, James T., IV, 237 
Meyer, Samuel I., Ill, 325 
Myers, Leonard F., Ill, 271 
Myers, Walter O., Ill, 86 
Myers, William H., V 312 

Nabholz, Otto C, IV, 371 

Naghten, James I., V, 330 

Nash, Patrick A., Ill, 501 

Nash, William H., Ill, 129 

National Security League, II, 401 

Naumer, Oliver V., Ill, 315 

Nauvoo, I, 377 

Nauvoo Charter, I, 392 

Neary, Michael J., V, 430 

Neddermann, John E., Ill, 189 

Needham, Lewis H., V, 209 

Neely, Robert E., Ill, 479 

Nelson, Edward A., Ill, 452 

Nelson Frithiof, III, 144 

Nelson, Oscar, IV, 312 

Nelson, Oscar F., II, 335, 505; III, 233 

Nelson, Oscar W., IV, 183 

Nelson, Permil, IV, 164 

Nelson, Victor W., Ill, 483 

Nelson, William L., IV, 320 

Nesbit, Calvin, V, 155 

Nesbitt, George W., IV, 190 

Nestor, Agnes, II, 505 

Nettelhorst, Louis, IV, 251 

New Design, I, 212 

New France, Illinois in, I, 43 

Newberry, Walter L., V, 37 

Newberry Library, IV, 362 

Newcomer, Rosa A., Ill, 423 

Newlin, E. E., V, 231 

Newlin, Thomas J., V, 231 

Newspapers, in Civil War, II, 50 

Newton Community High School, V, 

Nicholas, Albert, V, 279 

Nicolay, John G., V, 458 

Ninety-nine year act, II, 200, 226; Su- 
preme Court decision, 277 

Ninety-nine year grant, II, 482 

Nisbet, George W., Ill, 164 

Nisley, George W., V, 91 

Nixon, William P., V, 45 

Noble, Charles F., IV, 327 

Nockles, Ed, II, 505 

Noonan, Edward J., IV, 217 

Noonan, Herbert C, IV, 490 

Nordmeyer, Martin W., Ill, 373 

Normal School, first building, Normal, 
II, 129 

Norrix, Loy, III, 450 

Northern Illinois Normal School, II, 360 

Northup, John E., V, 25 

Northwest Territory, I, 154; plans for 
organization, 156; map, 163; boun- 
daries after War of 1812, 224 

Northwestern University, Buildings on 
McKinlock Campus, II, 299; IV, 386 

Norton, Jesse O., IV, 495 

Nortrup, Emil, III, 286 

Notre Dame Church, Chicago, IV, 452 



Nott, Fred A., V, 409 
Novak, Charles W., IV, 266 
Novak, Frank J., V, 427 
Novotny, Frank, IV, 481 
Nyden, John A., V, 483 

Oakes, Lannes P., Ill, 400 

O'Brien, Frank J., V, 58 

O'Brien, John J., IV, 74 

O'Brien, L. Frederick, IV, 153 

O'Brien, Martin J., II, 426, 427 

O'Brien, Quin, II, 266, 517 

Obrock, Clarence C, III, 423 

O'Bryan, Edward M., V, 336 

Ochsner, Emil A., Ill, 105 

Ochsner, Ernest E., Ill, 89 

O'Connell, William L., II, 293, 316, 328, 

432, 501; V, 180 
O'Connor, Charles A., Ill, 414 
O'Connor, Jeffrey, III, 508 
O'Connor, Thomas, III, 278 
Octigan, Thomes P., Ill, 271 
Odell, Valentine, V, 343 
O'Donnell, John S., V, 110 
O'Donnell, Patrick H., Ill, 101 
Oekel, Alvin S., V, 322 
Oekel, Fred, V, 322 
Officers training camps, World War, II, 

Ogden, William B., V, 13 
Ogden Gas Bill ordinance, II, 478 
Oglesby, John G., II, 69 
Oglesby, Richard J., II, 34, 38; elected 

governor, 65, 66 ; three times governor, 

69; third administration, 97, 201, 545; 

IV, 31. 
O'Hair, Frank T., Ill, 147 
O'Hair, Karl R., IV, 139 
O'Hara, Daniel, II, 78 
Ohio Company, I, 88 
Ohio Company of Associates, I, 157 
Ohio Land Company, I, 110 
Ohio Valley, English in, I, 88 
Ohlweiler, Oscar, IV, 180 
Ohnemus, C. T., V, 147 
Olander, Victor, II, 391, 432, 505 
Old Brownsville, I, 384 
Old Kelly Tavern, St. Joseph, I, 516 
Old New Salem, Where Lincoln clerked, 

I, 356 
Old State House, Springfield, II, 6 
Olejniczak, John J., Ill, 406 
Olsen, Thomas F., V, 181 
Olson, Harry, II, 478, 483 
O'Meara, Thomas J., IV, 61 
O'Melveny, Samuel, I, 250 
O'Neill, Schaefer, IV, 306 
Orators, great, I, 385 
Ordinance of 1784, I, 170 
Ordinance of 1787, I, 157; provisions of, 

160; on slavery, 188 
O'Reilly, Charles A., IV, 223 
O'Reilly, Patrick J., IV, 232 
Orr, Pence B., V, 416 
Orvis, Elmer V., Ill, 476 

Osborne, Georgia L., IV, 94 
O'Shaughnessy, Francis, II, 266 
Ostermeier, John H. F., IV, 139 
Otis, Frank J., Ill, 203 
Otis, Joseph E., Ill, 451 
O'Toole, William R., Ill, 323 
Ottawa, I, 367; II, 552 
Ottawa Indians, I, 11 
Otten, Harry, IV, 97 
Outten, George C, IV, 135 
Ovitz, John W., IV, 183 
Ozark Mountains, I, 3 

Pace, Vincent P., Ill, 238 

Pacifists, II, 395 

Packard, George, V, 68 

Padden, Frank M., V, 394 

Page, Joseph M., IV, 200 

Palmer, Ernest, IV, 257 

Palmer, John M., I, 411 459; II, 12, 38; 

elected as governor, 70; 71; protests 

martial law in Chicago, 75; record of, 

79; in 1888 campaign, 108; elected 

senator, 112; III, 27 
Palmer, Potter, II, 68; V, 453 
Palmer, Roy A., IV, 135 
Palmer, William C, IV, 203 
Palmer family, II, 550 
Panic of 1819, I, 285 
Panic of 1837, I, 351 
Panic of 1873, II, 92 
Panic of 1893, II, 159 
Pantelis, Athanasius A., IV, 264 
Park, Harriet, II, 396 
Park systems, in Dunne administration, 

II, 349 
Parker, Harry S., V, 294 
Parker, Joseph, I, 148 
Parkinson, Etta C, IV, 284 
Parkinson, Francis B., IV, 282 
Parkinson, Laura V., IV 282 
Parkinson, Robert, IV, 283 
Parkman, L. Macy, IV, 188 
Parks, Lawson A., V, 35 
Parks, Samuel C, II, 83 
Parlier, John W., IV, 118 
Parlin Public Library, V, 80 
Parrish, Bruce D., Ill, 301 
Parrish, John R., V, 273 
Patterson, George J., V, 91 
Patterson Joseph Medill, II, 266, 292; 

as Commissioner of Public Works, 

300, 502 
Patton, Robert H., V, 95 
Paul, Daniel F., Ill, 216 
Paxton, J. Hays, IV, 77 
Payne, James, III, 472 
Peabody, F. Stuyvesant, V, 32 
Peabody family, II, 550 
Peak, George J., IV, 429 
Pearson, Irving F., Ill, 82 
Pearson, Richard, V, 222 
Pearsons Daniel K., Ill, 481 
Peck, Ferd W., I, 520 
Peck, John Mason, I, 253, 255, 274; V, 6 
Peek, Burton F., V, 429 



Peel, Charles E., V, 400 

Peers, George W., V, 119 

Pefferle, Leslie G., Ill, 246 

Peffers, John M., IV, 404 

Pegram, Natalie H., IV, 62 

Pekin, II, 552 

Pekin Public Library, III, 76 

Pelletier, Alphonse, IV, 453 

Peltz, Ralph C, III, 385 

Penal reforms, II, 352 

Penewitt, Alexander H., V, 113 

Penitentiary, first, Alton, I, 207; estab- 
lishment of, 300, 318; II, 61; at Ches- 
ter, 95; convict labor, 173; 353; re- 
forms, 356 

Pennock, Irving D., IV, 153 

Peona, John, V, 393 

"People's Council," II, 396 

Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company, 
II, 191 

People's party, II, 161 

People's Protective League, address of, 
II, 432 

Peoria, I, 32, 39; LaSalle at, 63; fur 
trading center, 211; in 1812, 221; 249, 
311; II, 552 

Peoria Journal-Transcript, III, 68 

Peoria Public Library, III, 66 

Peoria Star, The, III, 70 

Peoria Star Company, III, 70 

Peoria State Hospital, II, 360 

Peorias, I, 11, 12 

Perkins, Charles M., Ill, 374 

Perkins, Harry M., Ill, 110 

Perkins, Joseph B., V, 120 

Perrey, Jean Francois, I, 186, 190 

Perrin, J. Nick, IV, 248 

Perrin, Laura J., V, 390 

Perrin, Levi, V, 390 

Perrow, Arthur, V, 66 

Perry, Joseph S., Ill, 488 

Peschel, Joseph F., V, 477 

Peters, Anna M., Ill, 472 

Peterson, Charles S., IV, 286 

Peterson, G. Leander, V, 296 

Peterson, John W., Ill, 384 

Peterson, Roy G., IV, 238 

Peterson, Waino M., V, 415 

Petrie, Claude L., III, 477 

Petrie, Marion J., Ill, 478 

Petroleum deposits, I, 8 

Pfeiffenberger, Mather, IV, 308 

Pfeiler, Raymond P., IV, 166 

Phelps, Harvey J., Ill, 181 

Phillips, David L., II, 78; V, 114 

Phillips, Jesse J., Ill, 485 

Phillips, Joseph, I, 266, 273; V, 13 

Phoenix, Henry L., Ill, 229 

Piasa Rock, I, 31 

Piggott, James, I, 176 
Pindell, Henry M., Ill, 68 
Pine, Harry E., Ill, 296 
Pinkerton, Harry B., Ill, 77 
"Pinkertons," II, 108 
Pintozzi, Carmen J., V, 207 
Pioneer Quincy home, II, 103 

Pittsfield Public Library, V, 69 

Pittsford, Edith M., Ill, 194 

Plamondon, Charles A., II, 382 

Pleasant View Luther College, IV, 77 

Plemon, Thomas H., II, V, 216 

Plumb, Glenn E., II, 292 

Plunkett, William J., Ill, 498 

Police and fire departments, Chicago, 
II, 291 

Polish National Catholic Church, IV, 

Political parties, first, I, 294 ; in Chi- 
cago, II, 473 

Politics, during the first decade, I, 290; 
National issues, 303 ; beginning of con- 
vention system, 311; Whig Party, 311; 
Democratic party, 311; and public im- 
provements, 359; in Sanitary Canal, 
373; on the Bench, 380; in 1850, 415; 
beginning of Republican party, 459; 
convention of 1862, II, 35; corruption 
in Grant administration, 77; in 1874, 
90; in 1876, 93; campaign of 1888, 
108; third parties, 113; free silver, 
158; conditions in 1912, 308; in Chi- 
cago, 528 

Poll tax, I, 230 

Pond, William L., Ill, 298 

Pontiac, I, 98 

Pontiac Reformatory, II, 353 

Pontiac's war, I, 97 

Pontius, Miller H., V, 52 

Poorman, Andrew J., IV, 309 

Pope, Nathaniel, I, 197; and statehood, 
233; and Northern boundary, 238; 
293, 294; IV, 14 

Popular government in 1818, I, 283 

Population, in 1805, I, 187; in 1810, 195; 
in 1810, 230; in 1820, 230; 236; in 
1820, 250; in 1840, 289; in 1850, 408; 
in 1930, II, 547; 549 

Porikos, George S., Ill, 52 

Porter, Chauncey H., IV, 62 

Porter, Harry H., V, 260 

Porter, May, V, 355 

Post, Frank M., IV, 442 

Post, Louis F., II, 266 

Poston, Emmett V., V, 110 

Posvick, Frank, V, 51 

Pottawatomies, I, 11, 248; treaty of 
1816, 365 

Potter, H. Melville, IV, 486 

Pourre, Eugenio, I, 139 

Poust, Cassius, IV, 186 

Powers, Elmer W., IV, 412 

Praeger, Robert P., II, 400 

Prairie du Rocher, I, 108, 181 

Prairie Farmer, II, 127; III, 49 

Prairies, I, 3 

Prante, Gilbert L., V, 288 

Pratt, Thurlow H., Ill, 158 

Preemption, I, 32 i 

Preemption law, of 1813, I, 229 

Preihs, Carl H., IV, 114 

Prendergast, Richard, I, 372; II, 477 

Prentice, Henry W., IV, 172 



Prentiss, Benjamin M., Ill, 480 
Presbyterian church, I, 255 
Presbyterian Hospital, Chicago, III, 494 
Press, freedom of, II, 193 
Preston, S. P., IV, 434 
Price, Sharon H., Ill, 347 
Primary, preferential, II, 314 
Primary election law, direct, II, 178 
Prime, George H., V, 234 
Primitive grain mill, I, 174 
Primm, Howard B., IV, 210 
Prindable, Dennis A., V, 160 
Prindiville, Edward A., V, 487 
Prison administration, II, 352 
Process Verbal, at mouth of Mississippi, 

I, 72 
Proclamation Line of 1763, I, 111 
Progressive party, II, 316 (see also 

Prophetstown, I, 329 
Propper, William F., IV, 115 
Protective tariff, I, 287 
Protective tariff policy, I, 291 
Public Library Board. Chicago, II, 472 
Public officials, salaries of, I, 411 
Public ownership act, II, 330 
Public policy act, II, 224 
Public utility act, II, 318 
Public Utility Commission, II, 495 
Public utility corporations, regulation 

of, II, 87 
Public Utility Law, II, 129 
Public works department, II, 293 
Puente, Julius L, IV, 457 
Pugh, Jonathan H., I, 275 
Pullman, George M., II, 159; IV, 31 
Pullman Company, strike of 1894, II, 

Purcell, Theodore V., V, 317 
Purl, Ruthford K., IV, 242 
Pusey, William A., V, 470 
Puterbaugh, Sabin D., V, 17 
Putnam County, I, 311 

Quan, James E., II, 328 

Quebec Act, I, 109, 113 

Querrey, Eri, IV, 116 

Quincy, pioneer home, II, 103 

Quincy House, II, 98 

Quincy No. 1, Rough and Ready, I, 232 

Quinlan, George A., Ill, 332 

Quinn, Frank J., Ill, 69 

Quinn, James R., V, 375 

Racketeers, II, 485 

Rail fence, I, 436 

Railroad Act of 1871, II, 128 

Railroad and Warehouse Commission, 
II, 128 

Railroad corporations, II, 72 

Railroad law of 1873, JI, 129 

Railroads, I, 357; original system 
planned, 358; building in '50s, 454; 
in Constitution of 1870, II, 85; legis- 
lation of 1871, 95; and farmers, 126; 

control of rates, 127; abolition of 
passes, 128; safety legislation, 337; 
and waterways, 455 

Railway strike, 1871, II, 99 

Radeke, August C, III, 358 

Ralston, Harris P., Ill, 56 

Rambo, Manuel G., Ill, 126 

Rammelkamp, Charles H., Ill, 14 

Randolph, Isham, II, 517 

Randolph, James M., I, 459 

Randolph County, I, 182 

Rantoul, II, 391 

Rathbun, Charles F., V, 340 

Raum, John, I, 342 

Rawlins, John A., IV, 47 

Ray, Edward J., Ill, 265 

Ray, Joseph G., Ill, 362 

Raymond, Charles W., Ill, 425 

Read, Francis A, III, 100 

Reapportionment, of senatorial and con- 
gressional districts, II, 348; demand 
for, 546 

Red Cross, II, 391 

Red Light district, II, 292 

Redell, John M., Ill, 446 

Redman, Benjamin H., IV, 61 

Redpath, Robert W., V, 174 

Reed, Clark S., V, 88 

Reeda, William, III, 455 

Reedy, William H., I, 7 

Rees, Thomas, I, 390; V, 262 

Reese, Leal W., IV, 110 

Reeve, Austin B., Ill, 160 

Reeve, Sarah L. B., Ill, 160 

Reeve Family, III, 160 

Reeves, Walter, IV, 40 

Reformatories, changes in management 
of, II, 353 

Reichert, Edwin F., Ill, 152 

Reilly, Thomas P., V, 172 

Reisner, Farrish A., V, 271 

Religion, in frontier state, I, 252 

Religious fanaticism, I, 399; II, 483 

Rennick, Frederick W., V, 227 

Rennick, Percival G., Ill, 64 

Rentner, Otto C, IV, 207 

Republican League, National Progress- 
ive, II, 308 

Republican National Convention, of 
1860, II, 12; of 1912, 315; in 1920, 398 

Republican party, (See also Politics), I, 
456; birth of, 459; in 1871, II, 77; 
1872-92, 113; in 1868, 119; Liberal, 
in 1872, 126; and farmers' alliance, 
129; and free silver, 159; in Chicago, 

Repudiation of debts, I, 387 

Resa, Alexander J., IV, 125 

Reuling, Clarence W., Ill, 74 

Reum, Reinhold F., Ill, 113 

Revell, A. H., II, 520 

Revenue reform, II, 346 

Revenues, in 1850, I, 414 

Revolutionary War, conquest of North- 
west, I, 108 



Reynolds, George M., V, 146 

Reynolds, John, I, 8; quoted, 52, 176, 221, 
273, 295; elected governor, 305; ad- 
ministration of, 316, 317, 342; IV, 35 

Reynolds, Myron B., IV, 368 

Reynolds, Robert, I, 190 

Reynolds, Thomas, I, 273, 295 

Rhymer, Lloyd S., IV, 342 

Rhymer, Wesley J., V, 210 

Rice, Edward Y., II, 83 

Rice, Lawrence A., IV, 76 

Richards, James R., V, 169 

Richardson, Tyrrell A., V, 460 

Richardson, William A., I, 456; II, 48; 
V, 35 

Richberg, Donald, II, 543 

Richert, John C, V, 233 

Rickelman, Harry J., IV, 333 

Riddle, Henry C, V, 117 

Riegel, Ralph C, V, 268 

Riffey, James H., IV, 448 

Rigdon, Sidney, I, 399 

Riley, Jesse, IV, 117 

Ripley, Edward P., V, 24 

Risinger, C. Frederick, V. 304 

Risley, Harry R., Ill, 338 

Risley, Theodore G., IV, 330 

Ritter, Emil W., IV, 218 

River Forest, I, 7 

Rivers, I, 1 

Road building, progress, to October, 
1921, II, 388; $60,000,000 bond issue 
authorized, 402; progress of, 410; 
$100,000,000 bond issue, 411 

Road camps, II, 356 

Road improvement, in Dunne admini- 
stration, II, 330 

Roads, I, 237, in 1912, II, 316; convict 
labor, 356 

Robbins, Chauncey W., IV, 388 

Robbins, Henry S., IV, 226 

Roberts, Charlotte W., Ill, 338 

Roberts, Dewey M., IV, 220 

Roberts, Edward, I, 366 

Roberts, Harry C, IV, 332 

Roberts, Harry E., IV, 133 

Roberts, Philip F., Ill, 337 

Roberts, Robert M., Ill, 141 

Roberts, Robert P., Ill, 379 

Roberts, Thomas E., Ill, 263 

Roberts, Warren R., Ill, 507 

Roberts, William J., V. 419 

Robertson, Alexander P., IV, 267 

Robertson, John D., V, 33 

Robertson, Thomas S., V, 34 

Robins, Raymond, II, 293, 368, 502 

Robinson, Edward H., Ill, 454 

Robinson, Emma F., Ill, 404 

Robinson, George W., Ill, 404 

Robinson, Harrison, V, 361 

Robinson, James C., Ill, 35 

Robinson, John M., V, 35 

Robinson, Luther F., Ill, 409 

Robinson Carnegie Public Library, V, 

Roche, John A., II, 474 

Roche, John P., V, 68 

Roche, Patrick F., IV, 495 

Rock, David L, V, 409 

Rock Island, battle at, I, 222, 248; II, 56 

Rock Island County, I, 311 

Rock Island Public Library, IV, 268 

Rock River, I, 320 

Rock Springs Seminary, I, 287 

Rockford, Camp Grant, II, 391 

Rogers, Egbert I., V, 169 

Rogers, Frank D., V, 430 

Rogers, George T., V, 391 

Rogers, John, I, 138 

Rogers, John G., II, 474 

Romberg, Edwin, III, 139 

Rominger, William E., IV, 322 

Roodhouse Public Library, V, 256 

Rooney, George A., V, 95 

Root, Charles B., Ill, 224 

Rork, Curtis W., V, 413 

Roselle, Ernest N., Ill, 430 

Rosenfield, Walter A., Ill, 221 

Rosenheim, David, II, 266, 543 

Rosenwald, Julius, II, 514; III, 12 

Rosenwald, Lessing J., Ill, 13 

Ross, Lewis W., II, 83 

Ross, Walter, V, 195 

Ross Family, Cass County, V, 195 

Rosson, James K., IV, 329 

Rostenkowski, Joseph P., IV, 253 

Rotermann, Bernard, Jr., IV, 252 

Roth, Jesse H., V, 346 

Rouland, Adolph E., V, 100 

Ruegg, William A., Ill, 244 

Rummel, Edward, II, 78 

Runion, Osborne A., V, 238 

Runyard, Eugene M., IV, 434 

Rushville, I, 311 

Russell, Paul S., V, 259 

Russell, William H., I, 373 

Ryan, Andrew J., Ill, 62 

Ryan, Frank, V, 478 

Ryan, Michael F., IV, 178 

Ryan, O'Neill, Jr., Ill, 478 

Ryden, Otto G., IV, 393 

Ryder, William, V, 138 

Sabath, A. J., II, 517 

Sackett, Loren B., V, 408 

Sadler, Lena K., Ill, 30 

Sadler, William S., Ill, 30 

Safety devises, II, 136 

St. Angela's Academy, Morris, IV, 354 

St. Anthony's Church, Rockford, V, 356 

St. Augustine Parish and High School, 
V, 468 

St. Charles School for Boys, II, 361 

St. Clair, Arthur, first governor of 
Northwest Territory, I, 159; 161; ad- 
ministration of, 176; defeat, 179; on 
slavery, 190 

St. Clair County, I, 176, 181 

St. Gaudens, Augustus, II, 521 

St. Ignatius College, Chicago, III, 354; 
IV, 490 

St. John, Elzer, IV, 274 



St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Peoria, III, 

St. Lawrence waterway, II, 554 
St. Mary of the Angels Parish, Chicago, 

III, 438 
St. Michael Parish and High School, 

Chicago, IV, 364 
St. Philip Neri Parish, V, 47 
St. Procopius College, IV, 441 
St. Vitus Parish, Chicago, III, 266 
St. Xavier's College for Women, IV, 278 
Salaries of public officials, I, 411 
Saloon licenses, increase of, II, 277; 291 
Salt-making, I, 252 
Salt mines, I, 198 
Salzenstein, Emanuel, III, 309 
Samios, Harry, IV, 332 
Sanborn, Joseph B., II, 402 
Sanders, Tom, V, 308 
Sangamon County, I, 250 
Sanitary District of Chicago, I, 372; II, 

462, 472 
San Jose High School, IV, 162 
Sappington, Clarence 0., V, 472 
Sargent, Fred W., Ill, 12 
Sauk and Fox Indians, I, 11, 198, 248 
Saukenuk, I, 327 
Sault Ste. Marie, I, 28 
Saunders, Eugene, III, 112 
Saunders, Neill M., V, 87 
Savage, Joseph P., IV, 399 
Savanna Public Library, IV, 380 
Sawbridge, Arthur U., Ill, 481 
Sawmills, I, 9, 251 
Sawyer, William I., IV, 467 
Scammon, J. Young, II, 481; V, 87 
Scanlon, William M., II, 426 
Scarborough, Henry F., V, 283 
Scates, Walter B., I, 385, 411; V, 30 
Schaefer, Edwin M., Ill, 386 
Schafer, L. A., IV, 297 
Scharton, John F., IV, 454 
Scheffler, Edward S., Ill, 502 
Schilling, Henry, III, 304 
Schlaeger, Edward, I, 444 
Schlaeger, Victor L., Ill, 480 
Schlueter, Charles, V, 469 
Schmidt, Anthony J., IV, 52 
Schmidt, Henry G., V, 268 
Schmidt, Herman, III, 463 
Schmidt, Oscar W., Ill, 166 
Schmidt, Otto L., Ill, 15 
Schmulbach, Sam C, III, 319 
Schneider, Frederick F., Ill, 418 
Schneider, George, I, 444 
Schneider, George A., IV, 276 
Schoeneweiss, William F., V, 163 
Schofield, John, II, 83 
Schofield, John M., IV, 50 
School lands, I, 199 
School law, Free, of 1855, I, 454 
Schools, in 1818, I, 244; pioneer, 252; 

free, 298; laws, 109; reading of the 

Bible, II, 88; laws, 139 
Schoonover, Herbert E., Ill, 29 
Schott, Albert H., V, 178 

Schott, Charles, IV, 226 

Schriver, Harry M., V, 252 

Schroeder, Werner W., V, 67 

Schroeppel, G. H. R., IV, 452 

Schuler, George T., V, 216 

Schupp, Robert W., V, 333 

Schuwerk, William M., V, 203 

Schwab, Charles H., II, 520 

Schwartz, Charles K., Ill, 481 

Schwartz, Charles P., Ill, 385 

Schwartz, William A., V, 325 

Schwarz, B. Leo, III, 220 

Schweitzer, Edmund O., IV, 485 

Scofield, Charles J. (Carthage), III, 21 

Scofield, Charles J. (Chicago), V, 472 

Scofield, Rose S., Ill, 23 

Scofield, Timothy J., V, 471 

Scollin, Walter J., Ill, 455 

Scolnik, Avern B., IV, 171 

Scott, Frank H., IV, 162 

Scott, Frederick D., IV, 295 

Scott, George C, V, 410 

Scott, Gerry D., V, 379 

Scott, Hale C, V, 89 

Scott, Hugh, IV, 390 

Scott, John M., IV, 32 

Scott, Melvin O., Ill, 260 

Scott, Winneld, I, 339, 342; III, 493 

Scott Field, II, 391 

Scranton, Harry R., Ill, 79 

Scranton, Hiram L., Ill, 163 

Scrimger, Schuyler C, III, 179 

Scroggin, Carter R., IV, 128 

Scroggin, Nancy, IV, 128 

Seaman, George G., IV, 102 

Searle, Charles J., IV, 24 

Searle, J. Clinton, IV, 456 

Seaton, Gordon E., Ill, 458 

Second Cook County Courthouse, II, 24 

Secretary of State, I, 241 

Seever, Charles W., Ill, 388 

Selby, Paul, I, 486; III, 40 

Semple, James, I, 342; V, 32 

Senatorial and congressional districts, 

reapportionment, II, 348 
Senatorial deadlock, of 1909, II, 180; of 

1913, 366 
Sentel, George A., IV, 33 
Sergei, Charles H., II, 432 
Sewell, John S., IV, 197 
Seymour, Henry M., V, 82 
Shabbona, Chief, I, 330 
Shadel, Helen S., V, 69 
Shafer, Benjamin F., Ill, 95 
Shaffer, William C, V, 124 
Shallberg, Gustavus A., IV, 187 
Shanahan, David E., II, 371, 375, 391, 

426; V, 458 
Shannon, Frederick F., Ill, 31 
Shantz, Joseph E., IV, 34 
Shaw, Benjamin F., V, 407 
Shaw, George B., V, 407 
Shaw, Walter A., II, 328, 458; III, 316 
Shawnees, I, 12 

tiawneetown, 1; 

marshal's residence, 378 



Shea, Francis J., IV, 453 

Shedd, John G., V, 30 

Sheehe, Norman L., Ill, 84 

Sheets, Robert W., IV, 143 

Sheets Company, The, IV, 143 

Sheldon, Salmon M., IV, 443 

Sheldon, Warren M., IV, 443 

Shelton, Roy, IV, 307 

Shepherd, Eber D., IV, 75 

Sheridan, Philip, II, 75 

Sherman, Lawrence Y., elected senator, 
II, 366, 368 

Sherman, LeRoy K., II, 458; IV, 227 

Sherman, Robert T., V, 72 

Sherman law, of 1890, II, 158 

Sherwood, Charles S., IV, 391 

Shields. Balford Q., IV, 57 

Shields; James, I, 406, 414, 423, 482; IV, 

Shipton, A. W., IV, 338 

Shirley, Eliza J., IV, 476 

Shirley, George B., IV, 476 

Shoop, Frederick W., Ill, 241 

Shope, Simeon F., II, 192 

Short, William T., Ill, 459 

Siebel, August F. W., IV, 196 

Siedenburg, Frederic, IV, 37 

Sihler, George A., V, 286 

Silver (See Free Silver), II, 154 

Silverman, Lazarus, III, 138 

Simonds, William E., IV, 402 

Simons, J. W., Ill, 479 

Simpson, James, III, 15 

Sims, Delbert E., Ill, 331 

Sims, Ira W., Ill, 253 

Singleton, James W., I, 459; III, 505 

Sinnett, Thomas P., Ill, 207 

Sisters of Mercy, Chicago, V, 188 

Skarda, Edward, V, 405 

Skinner, Charles P., Ill, 212 

Skinner, Charles S., Ill, 145 

Skinner, Mark, IV, 40 

Skinner, Onias C, II, 83 

Slade, Charles, I, 319; V, 487 

Sladek, Edward, III, 266 

Slane, Carl P., Ill, 69 

Slane, Merle, III, 69 

Slattery, Patrick J., IV, 250 

Slavery, and indentured servants, I, 188; 
convention of 1802, 190; in 1817, 232; 
240; issue, 259; convention struggle, 
272; question in 1850, 415; in Consti- 
tution and laws, 421; as Civil War is- 
sue, II, 43 

Slavery article in Ordinance of 1787, I, 

Sleezer, Gladys, III, 405 

Sloo, Thomas, I, 366 

Small, Len, II, 312; administration of, 
404, 405; III, 33 

Small, Leslie C, IV, 418 

Smietanka, A. M., Ill, 55 

Smietanka, Julius, II, 517 

Smith, Adna J., Ill, 462 

Smith, Alfred R., IV, 86 

Smith, Arthur M., II, 426; III, 134 

Smith, Ben L., Ill, 174 

Smith, Buren H., Ill, 341 

Smith, Cecil C, IV, 213 

Smith, Clayton F., Ill, 435 

Smith, Clement L., Ill, 336 

Smith, Elbert S., IV, 157 

Smith, Frank L., elected as U. S. Sena- 
tor, II, 420; 495, 510 

Smith, Fred A., Ill, 88 

Smith, George P., IV, 355 

Smith, George W., IV, 473 

Smith, Horace G., Ill, 31 

Smith, John T., V, 226 

Smith, Joseph, I, 390; martyrdom of, 395 

Smith, Orson, V, 31 

Smith, Sidney, II, 517 

Smith, Theophilus W., I, 273, 366; III, 25 

Smoke nuisance, II, 293 

Smull, Oscar, III, 432 

Smulski, John F., II, 508, 517 

Sneed, William J., II, 426 

Snethen, Edwin S., Ill, 417 

Snively, John R., IV, 334 

Snodgrass, J. F., IV, 244 

Snook, Albert M., Ill, 448 

Snyder, Adam W., I, 342, 387; V, 40 

Snyder, Ralph M., V, 251 

Snyder, William H., II, 83 

Social conditions, in 1818, I, 245 

Soderlin, Carl W., Ill, 325 

Soderstrom, Ruben G., V, 10 

Sohner, Ezra H., Ill, 214 

Soil, I, 1 

Sommer, William H., Ill, 275 

Sons of Liberty, II, 54 

Sonsteby, John J., II, 293; V, 191 

Souders, John C, V, 192 

Soule, Earle A., V, 489 

South Park Board, Chicago, II, 472 

Southern Illinois Penitentiary, V, 190 

Southern Illinois State Normal School, 
II, 359 

Soverhill, Wilber R., V, 223 

Sowers, Charles M., V, 237 

Spaeth, Alonzo M., Ill, 342 

Spalding, Albert G., V, 28 

Spalding Institute, IV, 223 

Spanish-American War, II, 170 

Sparr, H. A., Ill, 332 

Spaulding, John L., Ill, 284 

Spaulding, Willis J., II, 432 

Speakman, John W., IV, 416 

Speaks, Pearly E., V, 283 

Speer, John M., Ill, 135 

Spencer, Charles C, V, 243 

Spiller, Edward M., Ill, 436 

Spitler, George B., IV, 134 

Spitler, Ida B., IV, 134 

Sponsler, William A., IV, 136 

Sprague, Albert A., Ill, 5 

Spreckelmeyer, Arthur L., IV, 124 

Springer, William M., V, 21 

Springfield, becomes State capital, I, 354 

"Squatter" claims, I, 229 

"Squatter sovereignty," I, 447 

"Squatters," I, 323 



Stagg, Amos A., IV, 384 

Staley, Edward E., V, 116 

Stallings, Olive B., IV, 228 

Staples, Joseph W., Ill, 227 

Starkes, James L., V, 213 

Starved Rock, I, 13-62; fortified, 67, 75; 

lock and dam, II, 413 
State Administrative code, II, 338 
State bank, I, 302, 308, 410 
State bank law, I, 346 
State Board of Administration, II, 349 
State Board of Equalization, II, 346; 

abolished, 403 
State bonds, for system of public im- 
provements, I, 358 
State budget, II, 339 
State Bureau of Labor, II, 334 
State Capitol at Vandalia, I, 256 
State Capitol, Springfield, II, 74; remod- 
eling of 361 
State civil service law, II, 361 
State Colony for Epileptics, II, 359 
State Council of Defense, II, 391 
State debt, I, 360, 386; limitation of, 

410; debt, funded, 412 
State Factory Inspector, II, 335 
State Federation of Labor, II, 454 
State Highway Commission, II, 331 
State Highway Department, II, 332 
State House at Kaskaskia, I, 196 

State house, II, 67 
State Institutions, reforms, II, 349 
State militia, in 1861, II, 29 
State Public Utilities Act, first commis- 
sioners, II, 328 
State Public Utilities Commission, II, 322 
State Register, V, 262 
State Soldiers' Orphans' Home, II, 360 
State Tax Commission, Cook County re- 
assessment, 415 

State treasurer, responsibilities and du- 
ties of, II, 406 

Statehood, agitation for, I, 231 

Staunton Public Library, III, 332 

Staver, Elery H., Ill, 133 

Stead, William T., II, 317 

Steamboats, I, 230, 242, 284 

Steck, Mae C, III, 409 

Steck, Stephen A., Ill, 409 

Stedman, Seymour, II, 396, 397, 432 

Steele, Charles N. Ill, 473 

Steele, Roy F., V, 349 

Steidley, Arthur J., Sr., Ill, 282 

Stelzer, Erwin, V, 178 

Stephens, Cassie W., Ill, 444 

Stephenson, Benjamin, IV, 42 

Stepina, James F., II, 432 

Sterling, Fred E., IV, 26 

Sterling, Thomas, I, 103 

Steuernagel, Bella, IV, 240 

Stevens, Frank E., Ill, 367 

Stevens, Riley E., IV, 418 

Stevens Family, III, 161 

Stevenson, Adlai E., Vice President U. S., 
II, 151; III, 59 

Stevenson, Adlai E., Jr., Ill, 60 

Steward, Lewis, II, 133 

Stewart, George B., Ill, 132 

Stewart, L. J., Ill, 158 

Stewart, William W., Ill, 223 

Stickelmaier, Henry C, V, 443 

Stiehl, Clarence G., V, 158 

Stierwalt, Paris A., IV, 310 

Stillman, Isaiah, I, 329; defeat of, 330 

"Stillman's Run," I, 332 

Stock, Frederick A., V, 42 

Stockyards strike, 1880, II, 99 

Stoll, John O., V, 281 

Stolle, Erwin F., V, 62 

Stone, Claudius U., Ill, 227 

Stone, Dan, I, 357 

Stone, George L., Ill, 331 

Stone, Melville E., I, 372 

Stookey, Marshall C, IV, 126 

Storey, Wilbur F., V, 49 

Storm, Arthur B., V, 52 

Storm, Isaac S., IV, 149 

Storrs, Emery A., great orator, I, 385; 

V, 32 
Stotts, Arthur F., V, 325 
Stouffer, Karl J., Ill, 412 
Stout, Ray D., Ill, 117 
Strain, Ross H., Ill, 88 
Strange, Alexander T., V, 244 
Strawn, Silas H., II, 517; III, 19 
Streator Public Library, IV, 163 
Streator Township High School, IV, 161 
Street car companies, record of, II, 195 
Street car franchises, II, 195 
Street car strike, 1885, II, 99 
Street car system, under Yerkes, II, 211; 

defects of, 267 
Street railways, municipal ownership of, 

II, 173 
Streeter, A. J., II, 112 
Strever, Horatio M., Ill, 258 
Strike of teamsters, II, 268 
Stringer, Lawrence B., II, 176; III, 250 
Strotz, Harold C, III, 152 
Strotz, Sidney N., IV, 49 
Struble, Henry, III, 321 
Stuart, Alexander, I, 197 
Stuart, Graeme, II, 225 
Stuart, John T., I, 343, 377; III, 33 
Stubblefield, Frank A., IV, 372 
Studebaker, Oscar W., IV, 323 
Stump, Walter E., V, 260 
Sturgis, Isaac A., V, 208 
Sturtevant, Julian M., V, 50 
Sturtz, Charles E., IV, 444 
Suffrage, territorial qualifications, I, 230; 

right of aliens, 381; II, 82, 84; for 

women, 337 
Sullivan, Boetius H., Ill, 275 
Sullivan, Harold P., V, 386 
Sullivan, Henry D., Jr., IV, 455 
Sullivan, Louis H., V, 36 
Sullivan, Roger C, II, 159, 367, 477, 482, 

510; III, 274 
Sullivan, Thomas J., V, 232 
Sullivan, William L. (Foreword) 



Sullivan, William P., V, 121 

Summers, Pauline D., IV, 285 

Supreme Court, judges of, I, 241 ; in 1840, 

381; bill for reorganization of, 383; 

Lincoln's criticism of, 470; decision on 

Small case, II, 409, 435 
Supreme Court Building, II, 408 
Supreme Court Building, Old, Mount 

Vernon, I, 422 
Sutherland, T. M., IV, 320 
Suverkrup, Bernard, IV, 222 
Swan, Dot D., V, 69 
Swanson, Ann E., V., 38 
Swanson, David I., Ill, 157 
Swanson, H. G., V, 329 
Swanson, John A., II, 460, 485 
Swanson, Luella A., V, 38 
Swanson, Minnie M., V, 38 
Swanson, Swan G., V, 37 
Sweatshop law, II, 140 
Sweet, B. J., II, 56 
Sweitzer, Robert M., II, 483; IV, 29 
Swett, Leonard, IV, 38 
Swift, Hardy M., Ill, 463 
Swift, Louis F., V, 39 
Swift family, II, 549 
Swinney, John J., V, 342 
Swope, Willis G., IV, 229 
Symonds, Nathaniel G., V, 54 
Szymczak, M. S., V, 239 

Tacoma Building, II, 521 

Taft, Justin, V, 133 

Taft, Lorado, II, 521 

Taft, Richard H., V, 128 

Tamaroas, I, 12-18 

Tambling, Emma E. S., IV, 231 

Tamblmg, Myron E., IV, 231 

Tanner, John R., II, 160; Governor, 170, 

171; V, 48 
Taphorn, Henry, V, 295 
Tariff laws, I, 286; and labor, II, 108; 

protective, 126 
Tarrent, Michael A., Ill, 493 
Tax commission, II, 346, 403 
Tax revenues, I, 307 
Tax revolt, II, 485 
Taxable values, in 1850, I, 414 
Taxation, Territorial, I, 228; equitable, 

II, 88; inequality of, 414; and revenue, 

in proposed Constitution, 440; burdens, 

548; 556 
Taylor, Albert C, IV, 230 
Taylor, Albert J., V, 136 
Taylor, Benjamin F., V, 31 
Taylor, Clarence C, III, 136 
Taylor, Edward Henson, V, 433 
Taylor, Edward Hyde, V, 136 
Taylor, Ella H., IV, 447 
Taylor, Elmer A., Ill, 433 
Taylor, E. D., I, 459 
Taylor, Frank G., Ill, 153 
Taylor, Harry O., V, 208 
Taylor, Percy L., V, 108 
Taylor, Ralph, V, 303 

Taylor, Richard F., IV, 323 

Taylor, Warren E., Ill, 215 

Taylor, Will, V, 167 

Taylor, William L., IV, 338 

Taylor, Zachary, I, 222, 342; III, 34 

Taylorville Public Library, III, 205 

Tebeau, Lewis, III, 374 

Teachers' Federation, Chicago, II, 454 

Tecumseh, I, 201; and Tippecanoe, 203; 
204; death of, 207 

Teed, Frank B., IV, 207 

Telephone service rates, II, 291 

Telford, Elbridge W., V, 189 

Terdina, Frank, III, 344 

Terminal facilities, II, 179 

Terra cotta, I, 9 

Terrell, Thomas J., Ill, 402 

Terrell, William J., Ill, 236 

Territorial government, classes of I, 183 

Teter, Lucius, V, 42 

Thady, Emory, III, 151 

Thielen, Frank, V, 443 

Thirteenth amendment, II, 65 

Thirty-Third Division, World War, II, 

Thomas, Charles B., Ill, 257 

Thomas, Edward B., V, 410 

Thomas, Jesse B., I, 194, 197, 232, 273, 
294; IV, 34 

Thomas, John T., V, 106 

Thomason, Allison, IV, 252 

Thomason, Chester A., IV, 253 

Thompson, Charles W., IV, 316 

Thompson, Alice H., II, 432 

Thompson, Carl, II, 543 

Thompson, Floyd E., II, 530; III, 224 

Thompson, John R., II, 508; III, 41 

Thompson, J. M., II, 111 

Thompson, Owen P., II, 328 

Thompson, Theodore, IV, 73 

Thompson, William Hale, II, 395; candi- 
date for U. S. Senator, 401; 480; 
elected mayor, 483; 490, 496, 538, 545 

Thompson, William O., II, 192 

Thompson machine, II, 484 

Thompson Republicans, II 398 

Thomson, Norman B., V, 438 

Thomson, Thomas L., V, 175 

Thornton, Anthony, I, 411; IV, 482 

Thornton, Charles S., IV, 479 

Thornton, Earl L., IV, 269 

Thorp, Boyd, V, 275 

Throop, Addison J., Ill, 287 

Tice Road Law, II, 331, 410 

Tiernan, Robert W., V, 166 

Tierney, Joseph, IV, 468 

Tiffany, Lester, IV, 426 

Tilden, Edward, II, 183 

Tilley, Ronald U., III, 99 

Tippecanoe, battle of, I, 207 

Tipsword, Miles A., V, 131 

Titcomb, Kate, IV, 369 

Tivnen, Bryan R., Ill, 304 

Tobin, Patrick J., Ill, 188 

Todd, Harry M., Ill, 357 



Todd, John, lieutenant governor of Illi- 
nois County, I, 132; 139; resigns, 145 

Tohill, Noah M., IV, 292 

Tolman, Edgar B., II, 391, 505 

Toman, John, V, 324 

Tomkins, William J., V, 285 

Tonti, Henry de, I, 61; experiences of, 
67, 68; at Fort St. Louis, 81 

Topography, I, 2 

Township High School Building, typical, 
II, 399 

Traction history, II, 195; companies, un- 
der Allen law, 222; situation in 1905, 
257; settlement ordinances, vetoed, 
280; question in 1907, 294; settlement 
ordinances, approved, 295; fares in 
Chicago, 419; Dever administration, 
463; during Harrison regime, 482; 
question in 1928, 491; settlement of 
1930, 492; settlement of 1930, 530 

Traeger, John E., II, 266, 398, 426 

Trager, John W., Ill, 229 

Trainer, J. Milton, III, 489 

Trainer, William O., V, 471 

Trainor, Mary A. R., (Mrs. Charles J.,) 
IV, 72 

Transportation, pioneer, I, 188 

Traub, William F., IV, 82 

Travel and Transport Building, Century 
of Progress Exposition, II, 544 

Traylor, Melvin A., II, 517; III, 7 

Treat, Samuel H., I, 385; II, 54; V, 29 

Treaty of Greenville, I, 180 

Treaty of 1783, I, 140 

Trego, Solomon H., Ill, 122 

Tripp, Ernest, V, 246 

Trumbull, Lyman, I, 440, 459, 461; Sena- 
tor, 462; 467; II, 44, 78, 124; vote in 
President Johnson impeachment, 118; 
IV, 38 

Tucker, Irwin S., II, 396 

Tuley, Murray F., II, 191; proposes 
Judge Dunne for mayor, 247; 513 

Tuohy, William J., V, 41 

Turnbaugh, John D., Ill, 124 

Turner, Jonathan B., II, 145; V, 479 

Turner, Oliver S., V, 54 

Turner, Thomas, II, 29 

Turner, Judge, resigns, I, 182 

Tweed, Moses H., Ill, 128 

Tygett, Glenn J., IV, 51 

Tym, Charles F., Ill, 146 

Ubben, Louis, IV, 485 

Ubben, Sarah, IV, 485 

Ubben, Theodore H., IV, 484 

Ubben, Ubbo A., IV, 483 

Underwood, George W., V, 445 

Underwood, Scott, IV, 26 

Underwood, William H., II, 83 

Union County, I, 233 

Union Depot, Chicago, II, 525 

Union Traction Company receivership, 

II, 226 
United States Bank, I, 284, 291 

United States senators, direct election 
of, II, 365; cost of election, 556 

University Club of Chicago, V, 445 

University of Chicago, Chapel, II, 523 

University of Illinois, II, 67, 140, 358, 
360; "Alma Mater," 465 

Upham, Fred W., II, 391 

Uran, Benjamin F., IV, 369 

Urbana, hotel where Lincoln stopped, I, 
509; big elm where Lincoln made fa- 
mous speech, 513 

Urch, Leslie L., V, 448 

Utica, I, 32, 67 

Utley, George B., IV, 362 

Utz, John V., V, 154 

Valentine, Leslie K., V, 96 

Van Doren, Ray N., V, 55 

Van Hoe, Albert A., IV, 212 

Van Sellar, Frank C, IV, 51 

Vance, Stanley M., Ill, 98 

Vandalia, State Capitol at, I, 256, 301, 

Vanderhorst, Arie, V, 299 
Vaughan, Edward D., IV, 344 
Vaughn, John B., IV, 204 
Vawter, J. H., V, 289 
Veech, Everett R., Ill, 476 
Veech, Gaines R., IV, 405 
Veech, Otis, III, 408 
Venice High School, IV, 328 
Verbrugghen, Adrian, V, 462 
Versluis, Gaston, III, 295 
Vertrees, Herbert H., Ill, 149 
Vickers, Samuel L., IV, 52 
Vien, H. Grady, IV, 349 
Vigo, Francis, I, 128, 144, 145, 242 
Vincennes, Clark's expedition against, I, 

Violet, Charles A., Ill, 304 
Virgin, John W., V, 145 
Virginia, and Western Lands, I, 154 
Virnich, Peter J., Ill, 351 
Viterna, Jerry J., Ill, 357 
Vittum, Harriet E., II, 432 
Voegtle, Henry C, IV, 222 
Vogelpohl, George T., V., 174 
Vogelsang, Clifford J., IV, 98 
Vogt, H. E. ("Stony"), V, 296 
Volini, Italo F., IV, 263 
Volk, Leonard W., V, 455 
Volunteer enlistments, in World War, II, 

Vopicka, Charles J., II, 517; III, 445 
Voter, qualifications of, I, 227 
Voyageurs, I, 46 
Vrooman, Carl S., II, 432 
Vuc, John, IV, 412 

Wacker, Charles H., II, 391, 520, 522; 

IV, 27 
Wacker, Frederick G., IV, 29 
Wage loan corporations, II, 336 
Wagner, Arthur, IV, 356 
Walden, Charles, V, 315 



Waldrip, William D., IV, 161 

Wales, Henry W., V, 156 

Wales, Henry W., Sr., V, 155 

Walker, Charles L., Ill, 102 

Walker, Edwin K., Ill, 317 

Walker, Francis W., II, 477, 517 

Walker, Frank, III, 202 

Walker, Harry A., IV, 354 

Walker, Jesse, I, 254 

Walker, John H., II, 391 

Wallace, James W., Ill, 126 

Wallace, Ross S., IV, 318 

Wallace, W. H. L., II, 38 

Walley, Edwin C, III, 460 

Walsh, Edward J., Ill, 135 

Walter, John E., IV, 420 

Walter, William E., V, 168 

Walters, Arthur E., V, 119 

Wanless, Fred W., Ill, 443 

War of 1812, I, 201; Illinois Valley expe- 
ditions, 221 

Ward, Clifton T., Ill, 291 

Ward, Delos E., Ill, 57 

Ward, Frank N., IV, 319 

Ward, Mary E., Ill, 98 

Wardein, Vincent, IV, 214 

Warehouse Law, II, 335 

Warnock, William W., Ill, 123 

Warren, Franklin, III, 177 

Warren, Hooper, I, 274; III, 500 

Warterfield, J. Soule, IV, 41 

Washburne, Elihu B., IV, 50 

Washburn, William E., IV, 235 

Washington County, I, 233 

Water power, I, 252 

Water service, reorganized, II, 290 

Water transportation, I, 242 

Waters, Philip S., IV, 60 

Watertown State Hospital, II, 360 

Waterway, Lockport and Utica, II, 402 

Waterway bond issue, II, 180, 456 

Waterway construction, II, 413 

Waterway development, early, I, 362 

Waterways, I, 235 

Watseka Community High School, IV, 

Watson, Robert L., IV, 160 

Watson, Royal L., Ill, 382 

Watterson, Walter H., IV, 36 

Wayman, John E. W., II, 312 

Wayne, Anthony, campaign of 1795, I, 
179, 200 

Wear, James M., Ill, 123 

Weber, Anne L., V, 253 

Weber, Evelyn E., Ill, 424 

Webster, W. G., II, 180 

Wedig, J. Harrison, V, 254 

Weeks, Glenn W., V. 93 

Wegener, Edward H., V, 184 

Weil, Joseph A., Ill, 239 

Weiller, Jean J. Rene, V, 452 

Weiss, John W., IV, 151 

Welch, Gilford N., V, 280 

Welch, Ninian H., IV, 208 

Welch, Thomas J., IV, 234 

Weldon, Lawrence, II, 78; V, 466 

Wells, E. Roy, V, 431 

Wells, Franklin N., V, 73 

Wells, Henry W., II, 83 

Wells, William, I, 218 

Welsch, Robert T., V, 396 

Welsh, Vernon M., V, 474 

Wendt Brothers, V, 339 

Wendt, Chris C, III, 406 

Wendt, Earl E., V, 339 

Wendt, Robert H., V, 339 

Wengierski, A. S., IV, 272 

Wenter, Frank, I, 372, 373 

Wentworth, Edward N., V, 45 

Wentworth, John, I, 438, 440, 459, 462, 

477; II, 78, 125; V, 12 
Werckle, Augustus C, V, 133 
Wermuth, William C, IV, 109 
"Werno letter," II, 278 
Wernsing, Harry J., Ill, 359 
Wert, Martha L., IV, 123 
Wert, Jacob, IV, 123 
Wessel, Perry H., IV, 176 
West, Arthur D., Ill, 207 
West, Emanuel J., I, 366 
West, John G., V, 485 
West, Roy O., II, 510 
West, W. J., IV, 442 
West Park Board, Chicago, II, 472 
Westerman, Emil H., Ill, 191 
Western Illinois State Normal School, 

II, 360 
Western Intelligencer, I, 231 
Westervelt, O. Palmer, IV, 235 
Weston, Hugh S., Ill, 71 
Whalen, Homer, V, 83 
Wheelan, Charles W., Ill, 268 
Wheelan Funeral Home, Inc., Ill, 268 
Wheeland, Cyrus E., IV, 138 
Wheeland, Olive B., IV, 139 
Wheeler, Charles C, IV, 144 
Wheeler, Charles N., IV, 477 
Wheeler, Frederick K., V, 218 
Whig party (see also Politics), I, 311; 

and Mormons, 377; in 1852, 440 
Whipple, Walter B., Ill, 237 
Whipple, Warner F., V, 94 
White, Horace, II, 78, 122; V, 492 
White, James A., V, 190 
White, John C, IV, 104 
White, Mark H., Ill, 405 
White, Milburn J., V, 224 
White County, I, 233 
Whiteside, Samuel, I, 329, 342 
Whiteman, John Y., Ill, 127 
Whiting, Edward S., IV, 237 
Whiting, Fred T., Ill, 324 
Whiting, Morse C, V, 198 
Whitley, Homer, IV, 218 
Whitmore, George E., IV, 87 
Whitney, Fred B., Ill, 407 
Wick, Paul R., Ill, 52 
"Wiggins' Loan," I, 319 
Wigmore, John H., V, 39 
Wigwam, The, II, 13, 15 
Wild game, I, 4 



Wiles, Russell, V, 322 

Wilcox, Harry L., Ill, 281 

Wilkey, Adam H., Ill, 97 

Will, Conrad, IV, 33 

Willard, Frances E., II, 110; IV, 36 

Willey, Frank, Jr., V, 446 

Williams, Charles A., II, 432 

Williams, Dixon C, III, 289 

Williams, Gaar, V, 442 

Williams, King, V, 382 

Williams, Luella A., IV, 92 

Williams, Ralph C, IV, 434 

Williams, Thomas P., V, 378 

Williams, Walter W., V, 150 

Williams, William E., V, 381 

Williamson, Kenney E., Ill, 74 

Williamson, William S., IV, 199 

Williamson County, vendetta war, II, 90 

Willis, Omer M., Ill, 333 

Willock, Ray A., IV, 100 

Wilmot proviso, I, 439 

Wilson, Frank B., V, 463 

Wilson, Glenn, IV, 290 

Wilson, Harrison, I, 342 

Wilson, James P., V, 463 

Wilson, Jay P., V, 464 

Wilson, J. Emmett, V, 144 

Wilson, Louis A., IV, 189 

Wilson, Rayburn H., Ill, 435 

Wilson, Robert J., Ill, 344 

Wilson, Robert L,, I, 357 

Wilson, Robert T., Ill, 231 

Wilson, William, IV, 212 

Wilson, William W., V, 305 

Wiltse, Charles, III, 305 

Wiman, Charles D., Ill, 364 

Windsor, Byron L., Ill, 204 

Wineland, Ben F., V, 287 

Winnebago Indians, I, 11, 14, 248 

Winnemac, Chief, I, 217 

Winstanley, Thomas, I, 250 

Winston, Fred E., Ill, 285 

Winston, Richard, successor to Gov. 

Todd, I, 136, 146 
Winters, Claude, V, 226 
Wirz, Adolph G., Ill, 403 
Wise, Lewis W., V, 369 
Witte, Albert, V, 303 
Witte, Edward W., Ill, 169 
Witte, Henry F., Ill, 168 
Witte, William H., Jr., Ill, 154 
Woelfle, James E., V. 204 
Woiciechowski, Martin, V, 183 
Wolf, George D., V, 332 
Wolf, Harry H., IV, 394 
Wolff, Oscar, II, 426 
Wolschlag, Stephen, III, 226 
Woman's Suffrage Act, II, 337 
Women, eight hour day, II, 140 
Women's Societies, in Civil War, II, 40 
Womick, William H., V, 206 

Wood, John, I, 342; Lieutenant-gover- 
nor, 458, 491; II, 29; V, 19 

Wood, John H., V, 222 

Woodmansee, Robert E., Ill, 247 

Woodruff, Edward N., Ill, 62 

Woodruff, J. Lyon, IV, 249 

Woodruff, Sam, IV, 361 

Woods, Edward G., IV, 463 

Woods, Elisha, V, 207 

Woods, William F., IV, 465 

Woodward, Cornelius C, IV, 353 

Woodworth, James H., I, 461 

Woolley, Dale A., Ill, 468 

World War, II, 380, 385; Illinois enlist- 
ments, 390; price fixing, 392; lynch 
law, 400 

World's Columbian Exposition, II, 474 

Worrell, Charles C, V, 482 

Worrell, Francis E., V, 206 

Wright, Burton, IV, 299 

Wright, Clark C, IV, 389 

Wright, Hulda C, IV, 300 

Wright, Jeannette S., Ill, 396 

Wright, Rodney A., IV, 181 

Wright, Warren, III, 79 

Wrigley Building, Chicago, II, 515 

Wyatt, Raleigh E., V, 247 

Wylie, Arthur J., V, 148 

Wynant, Wilbur, III, 452 

Wyoming Public Library, III, 429 

Wys, Godfrey, V, 81 

Wys, Mary M., V, 82 

Yardley, Oscar R., IV, 79 

Yates, Richard, Sr., I, 461; II, 12; war 
governor, 27; 28 

Yates, Richard, the Second, administra- 
tion of, II, 173, 174, 312, 329; III, 37 

Yerkes, Charles T., II, 146; arrives in 
Chicago, 210; 514, 520 

Yerkes, monopoly bills, II, 170 

Yetter, Jacob J., Ill, 427 

York, Frederick W., Jr., IV, 239 

Young, Brigham, I, 399 

Young, Richard M., I, 273; IV, 9 

Young, Wayne E., V, 281 

Younker, R. Earl, IV, 449 

Yount, Lozier D., IV, 298 

Yunker, Stanley O., Ill, 236 

) : 

Zane, John M., IV, 155 
Zeigler, W. K., IV, 443 
Zellers, Frank W., IV, 414 
Zeuch, Lucius H., Ill, 391 
Zibble, Walter H., IV, 407 
Zimmer, Michael, IV, 45 
Zimmerman, Edward A., Ill, 347 
Zink, Samuel H., V, 392 
Zintak, Frank V., IV, 275 
Zweig, Fred, III, 297 

History of Illinois 




If in the latter part of the seventeenth century, a committee 
of the Caucasian race were searching- the world for a location 
within which to lay the foundations of a young commonwealth 
of white men, no place on earth could have been found more 
suitable for that foundation than that territory of land now 
known as the State of Illinois. 

Take a map of the United States and lay it before you. 
Note, that almost in the center of the Mississippi Valley (now 
concededly the richest valley in the world), the waters of three 
mighty rivers, the Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio, meet at the 
City of Cairo, the extreme southern tip of the State of Illinois. 
Down these three mighty rivers there had been washed for cen- 
turies the silt and alluvial soil of that great fertile valley. 

For almost 700 miles of the total 1,160 miles boundaries of 
the state, these mighty rivers had been dashing their waters and 
depositing their drifting silt and soil against lands of Illinois 
bordering on these rivers, making the bottom lands along the 
rivers as fertile as those in the far-famed Valley of the Nile. 

At the northeast corner of the state and bordering the state 
for fifty-one miles, was and is the great inland fresh-water sea, 
Lake Michigan. That lake, strange to say, is shaped like a 
great index finger, the top of the finger resting, where now is 
located the fourth greatest city in the world. The march of 
years have proved it was a finger of destiny. 

Across the breast of that state, there flowed then, as now, 
diagonally from the northeast to southwest, like a cordon of the 
Legion of Honor, the great Illinois River. 


Then as now, in its upper course, near what is now the City 
of Morris, the Illinois River is forked, the upper tine of which 
(the Desplaines River) lies to the north a few miles west of 
Chicago. The other tine of this fork (the Kankakee) trends 
to the north and east toward the St. Joe River in the State of 

Then as now, the sources of the Desplaines River and the 
Kankakee were but a few miles from Lake Michigan. Then 
as now, a slight elevation of ground or ridge located within a 
few miles of Lake Michigan constituted the dividing line between 
the St. Lawrence Basin and the Mississippi Valley, whose waters 
empty in the Gulf of Mexico. 

In and north of the Village of Ridgeland, in Oak Park, about 
seven miles west of Chicago, that ridge or elevation is only about 
twenty feet above the water level of Lake Michigan, and there 
are houses in that village where rain drops falling on the west 
eave of the roofs ultimately reach the Gulf of Mexico through 
the Des Plaines, Illinois, and Mississippi, while the rain drops 
falling on the east eaves of the roofs ultimately reach the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence through the Great Lakes. The importance of 
this slight elevation dividing the basins of the Gulf of Mexico 
and the Gulf of St. Lawrence will be developed and dwelt upon 
in later chapters of this history. 

Then as now, the slope of the surface of the soil of the 
present State of Illinois was from a height of about 800 feet 
above sea-level in the northern portion of the state and around 
Chicago, to about 300 feet above sea-level at Cairo. The grade 
of descent from about 800 feet to about 300 feet being gradual 
most of the way. The Illinois River then, as now, was navigable 
for light draft vessels from its mouth to what is now Utica. 
At that place there exists a strata of rocks between Utica and 
what is now Lockport. This rocky formation renders the Illinois 
unnavigable for about sixty miles. The fall in the river between 
Lockport and Utica is about 132 feet. Not only was the north- 
eastern, central and central western portions of this territory 
copiously watered and fertilized by the broad Illinois River, but 
the western portion was equally blessed with the waters of the 
Fox and Rock rivers. The southeastern portion was well cared 


for in like manner by the Wabash, Little Wabash, Saline, Embar- 
rass and their tributaries. The extreme south of the state was 
equally fortunate in having its soil copiously watered by the 
converging of the mighty streams, the Mississippi and Ohio, 
and by the Kaskaskia, Vermilion, Big Muddy, Saline, Little 
Wabash and their tributaries. 

The whole of this splendid rich territory consisted of rich 
rolling prairie land, such as we know and so highly valued 
today, except the portions of the same close to the rivers, which 
were covered, then as now, with forests and undergrowth valu- 
able for fuel and housebuilding and furniture, and also excepting 
the rocky ridge crossing the Illinois River between Lockport 
and Utica and also excepting a spur of the Ozark Mountains, 
lowering these mountains of Missouri into hills of considerable 
size in the present State of Illinois. The rocky untillable portion 
of the surface of the soil constituted but an inconsiderable part 
of the whole territory. 

The Illinois plain is, in fact, the bottom of a huge basin 
composed of the states of Indiana, whose elevation is 700 feet 
above sea-level, Michigan, 900 feet above sea-level, Wisconsin 
1,050 feet above sea-level, Iowa 1,100 feet above, and Missouri 
800 feet above. The mean level of Illinois is about 600 feet 
above sea-level. 

The richest and most productive soil first discovered was 
located along the American Bottom or low lands along the 
banks of the Mississippi between the mouth of the Kaskaskia 
River and what is now St. Louis. 

Beaver and other valuable fur and meat producing wild 
animals were abundant all over the territory, and edible fish 
were plentiful in all the rivers of the state. For man in a 
state of nature, ignorant of the arts and weapons of civilized 
man, this territory at that time was an Elysium. 

All he needed was to chip an arrow head or a spear head 
from a stone, cut a hickory tree for a bow, string it with 
untanned hide, fashion his arrow from a twig, his spear from 
a bough, attach his chipped stone heads, and kill his game from 
among the wild animals that roved in great numbers all around 


It was such a huuting ground as the untutored savage pic- 
tured to himself in his dreams of his future heaven. 

Deer, elk, bears, wolves, foxes, opossums, racoons, squirrels 
and rabbits were plentiful not only then, but for years after 
the white man had dispossessed the Indians. Wild turkeys and 
prairie chickens and quail were very plentiful. 

Prodigious flocks of wild geese, herons and swans haunted 
the headwaters of the Illinois and the small lakes. The lakes 
and rivers were alive with edible fish, such as black bass, pickerel, 
muskalonge, lake trout, white fish, cat fish and red horse. 

High bearded grass covered most of the open prairies, 
through which grew most luxuriantly wild flowers such as sun 
flowers, daffodils, prairie dock, ox eye, iron-weed, asters, milk 
weed, orange lilies, and wild roses. Blue phlox and blue bells 
were to be found in moist ground. Wild garlic was also abun- 
dant. Wild strawberries and blackberries and wild grapes were 
also very plentiful, and fields often glowed with the glory of 
golden rod. 

The spiritual beauties of natural scenery were thus added 
to the material riches of wild animals, wild birds, and swift 
swimming fishes, to attract a proposed settler, and those material 
and spiritual attractions could not be long resisted by the white 

The gradual slope of the surface of the soil from 800 feet 
above sea level in the northern part of the state to about 300 feet 
in the south of the state, is accounted for by Alvord in his 
splendid Volume I. of the Centennial History of Illinois, from 
which I quote pp. 17 et seq. 

During this period of the formation of the known rock 
layers of Illinois, was created the state's wealth in minerals, 
the most important of which deserves mention, if for no 
other reason than to bring forcibly to the mind the long 
reaches of time hurriedly passed in review. During one 
or more of the geologic periods, Illinois changed repeatedly 
from a coastal swamp to a shallow sea, depending on the 
unwarping and sinking of the plane. The flora of this 
swamp land was luxuriant, its forms unlike those of today ; 
there flourished huge fern trees fifty feet high, softwood 
evergreens, tall and slender, and among these were smaller 


rank-growing plants. The dominant color of these forests 
was green, unbroken by bright flowers. Such forests grew 
to maturity, died and were changed by chemical and other 
forces into peat and then into coal. It is estimated that 
the territory of the state during this coal making period 
passed through this sequence of processes, turning forests 
into coal, at least six different times. 

After the coal beds had been formed, the territory 
of the state experienced one of those continually recurring 
internal disturbances, that on this occasion raised the whole 
surface and warped the edges, the southern portion in 
particular being radically changed. Here rocks were cracked 
and pushed or pressed upward, forming the Ozark dome 
that stretches through southern Missouri. Since then, the 
surface of the state has never been inundated by the sea, 
but for an indefinitely long period, the rock layers were 
subjected to the persistent forces of erosion. The winds, 
the frost, and the rain crumbled their surfaces, cutting 
down the warped edges and carving the Ozark hills into 
their present shape. The rivers wore their way through 
the stony beds ; and out of the debris of erosion was formed 
a new soil, wherein trees and plants took root. 

The resulting territory, warped by pressure from 
beneath and eroded by wind and water, resembled the 
bowl of a shallow spoon, or rather of a series of spoons 
placed one on the other, each representing a stratified 
layer of rock that during some previous eon had been 
deposited in the form of particles and transformed into 

Since the erosion was greater at the edges, the lower 
layers extended beyond those above. Over all, there lay 
strewn a soil of decayed stone, similar in kind to that of 
present-day New England. On the whole, the landscape 
was not so very strange, though the surface was more 
broken by hills than it is today; the Mississippi rolled 
placidly, probably more placidly than it does now, along 
its course, and its branches, such as the Illinois, occupied 
approximately the same positions in the water system of 
the great valley that they do at the present time. The 
northern part of the state was, however, almost unrecog- 
nizable. There were no Great Lakes. 

The climate throughout the early geologic periods was 
generally mild, even warmer than it is today, for palms 
grew here, and evidences of an early coral reef have been 
found near Chicago. The trees, shrubs and plants presented 


an unfamiliar scene, wherein unrecognizable species pre- 
dominated. The earliest forms have long since become 
extinct, but as the modern era approached, the flora 
assumed a more present-day aspect 

The surface of the Illinois country was destined to 
undergo one more radical change before it should be the 
scene of human activities. All forms of life were for a 
long period of time to be driven from its surface. From 
causes not satisfactorily explained, there took place a change 
of temperature. The mild, almost tropical climate of the 
previous ages gave way to one of an extreme cold. From 
Labrador as a center, there slowly traveled, moving a few 
feet a day, great ice sheets, so thick that mountains delayed, 
but did not stop their progress. Four or five of these massive 
visitants in succession reached the territory of the state; 
one that covered its entire area, except the extreme south 
and northwest, has been named in its honor, "Illinoians." 

In their passage, the glaciers deposited over almost 
all the surface a layer of drift or boulder clay from five 
to five hundred feet thick, composed of soil, gravel and 
boulders. In many places where the edge of the glaciers 
remained practically stationary due to an equilibrium 
between movement and melting, they formed those low, 
rolling hills or moraines so conspicuous in the northern 
part of the state 

By the advent of the glaciers, valleys that had been 
conspicuous landmarks during the older geologic time, were 
blotted out, smaller rivers were forced to change their 
beds and courses, and even the "Father of Waters" was 
obliged in places to yield to the power of these northern 

The topography of the northern part of Illinois under- 
went the most important changes. As the glaciers receded, 
their progress merged the bodies of water that in time 
developed into the Great Lakes. First there appeared the 
parent of Lake Michigan, called by geologists Lake Chicago. 
It was a large sheet, pouring its water through an outlet 
into the Illinois River. Only in the post glacial period 
was this outlet closed; the level of the lake was lowered 
by drainage on the east, and the shores of the present lake 
were built up by the slow process of the depositing of 

These visitants from the north left to the state a price- 
less gift, a most fertile soil. In most places, the glacial 
drift has been covered by a layer of loess, varying from 


two feet to one hundred, blown by the wind or carried by 
water since the recession of the glaciers, and over this, 
in turn, decaying vegetable matter has laid a surface cover- 
ing of black earth. Beneath these and over the pre-glacial 
rocks lie the deposit of the glaciers, the boulder clay a 
respository of plant food unsurpassed in the world. In 
the southern part of the state, the Illinoian glacier alone 
has been responsible for this subsoil, but in the northern 
counties there may be distinguished layer upon layer of 
drift deposited by a succession of ice fields. 

Continuing further, Alvord states that, 

The climax of the Illinoian glacier, which covered most 
of the state, occurred somewhere between 70,000 and 540,- 
000 years ago. 

Alvord backs up these statements by referring to Flagg, 
The Far West in Thwaite's Early Western Travels; Leverett, 
The Illinois Glacial Lobe; Hopkins and Pettitt, The Fertility 
in Illinois Soils; Chamberlain and Salisbury, Geology. 

Little as I know of geology, I can only say that I have found, 
and the reader can find, in the many boulders composed of 
material altogether different from the surrounding soil, that 
we still find on the surface of Illinois lands, some evidence that 
these great glacial periods may have existed and probably did 
exist in the State of Illinois. I know of personal knowledge 
that a friend of mine 1 collected enough of these boulders in the 
vicinity of River Forest, a short distance west of Chicago, to 
build him a beautiful home in that suburb of Chicago. How 
these boulders, some of them of immense size, could have been so 
generously distributed over the surface of Illinois lands, unless 
it was by glaciers, I cannot understand. 

If such glacial inundation did occur, as described by Alvord, 
it would have undoubtedly have done what he claims it has 
done — enormously enriched the soil of Illinois. 

So much for the surface soil of this wondrous land, and of 
the flora and fauna that were found above it and upon it. These 
were but a part of the abundance of wealth with which a 
bountiful Creator richly endowed it. 

i William H. Reedy, Esq., of River Forest, Illinois. 


The sub-soil of this land now demands some attention. In 
searching for copper and silver mines along the banks of the 
Illinois River, the Italian-French explorer, Tonti, ran into a 
vein of rich bituminous coal, near Peoria. When a boy in 
Peoria, I saw a vein of such coal outcropping on the side of a 
hill south of that city. 

At the present time, we know that rich bituminous coal de- 
posits underlie in the neighborhood of two-thirds of the surface 
soil of the State of Illinois in seams of from ten to twelve in 
number at varying depths from the surface, ranging from a 
few feet to several hundred feet. These seams are not of uni- 
form thickness, but vary in some places from a few inches to 
other places where these veins are eight or nine feet in width. 

The French settlers seem not to have availed themselves of 
these coal mine discoveries, but early in the nineteenth century, 
the English or American settlers began to open them and work 
them commercially with rich results. The Mount Carmel Coal 
Company was chartered by the Legislature in 1835. This mine 
was located on the Big Muddy in the southern part of the state. 
Shortly thereafter, Governor John Reynolds developed a mine 
near Belleville, building a railroad from the mine at Belleville 
to the Mississippi just below East St. Louis of about seven or 
eight miles in length, the roadbed of which is still in use. 

The development of coal has grown from these small begin- 
nings to a point where the production of coal in the state an- 
nually is approximately one hundred million tons. 

It was found early in the twentieth century that there were 
also valuable petroleum deposits in the southeastern part of 
the state. In 1917, the State of Illinois produced eighteen mil- 
lion barrels, valued at $2 a barrel. 

Clay products of much value are also found under the soil 
of this state, the most important being found in Union County, 
called kaolin, which is formed from the decomposition of 

Fire clay in the state has also been found in plentiful quan- 
tities, likewise clay suitable for drain tile and for sewer pipe. 
Clay for pottery has also been found in extensive quantities. 
In many portions of the state, the common clay, from which 


building brick is manufactured, can be found in almost inex- 
haustible quantities. Terra cotta is also manufactured from 
deposits found in the soil in the northern part of the state. 

Large quantities of building stone are found in the Illinois 
soil. The lime stones, however, are not of a very high quality 
for building purposes, but still great quantities are utilized for 
road making, for concrete work, and for energizing the acid 
condition of the soil. Cement is manufactured from a kind of 
shale and limestone found in the state. Millions of barrels of 
cement are manufactured every year in the State of Illinois. In 
the matter of road-building, the State of Illinois has an un- 
limited amount of materials suitable for cement road work. 

About three-fourths of all of the fluorspar produced in the 
United States comes from the State of Illinois. 

At the time of the French discoveries, nearly one-fourth of 
the surface of the state was covered with forests, particularly 
the southern part of the state, and along the water ways of the 
state. The pioneer farmers of the state, however, were almost 
criminally reckless in their treatment of these timbered areas. 
A survey of the forests of the state made about 1880 disclosed 
the fact that only 15 per cent of the state was at that time cov- 
ered with timber. These pioneers established sawmills near 
all these woodlands, and cut up and sawed for firewood fine 
oaks, hickories, maples, walnuts, ash, and other less important 
woods. Other settlers in the lowlands made a practice of cutting 
deep rings around the trunks of large trees with axes, and allow- 
ing them to die. This was done generally for the purpose of 
clearing the woodland and enabling it to be cultivated for corn. 

It goes without saying that these large resources, heretofore 
referred to on the surface and under the surface, vegetable, 
animal and mineral, were of enormous value, and made this 
country when it was first discovered by the French pioneers, 
one of the most attractive, if not the most attractive strip of 
land in the whole Mississippi Valley. The rivers were alive 
with fish, and the land was covered with wild game of all 



Upon the rich rolling prairies and along the mighty rivers 
described in the last chapter, there dwelt and ranged and hunted 
in perfect happiness and contentment in 1673 and for centuries 
before that, the real one-hundred-per-cent American, the North 
American Indian. 

His occupancy of this land flowing with wild "milk and 
honey" for centuries, has never been questioned. How these 
red-skinned descendants of Adam and Eve reached these happy 
hunting grounds, we may never know. They never made a 
written record of their origin, or their antecedents or progen- 
itors in history, song or story. 

Whether the Almighty created, unknown to the writers of 
Biblical history and profane history, a red skinned Adam and 
Eve in the Western Continent, or whether the ancestors of these 
vigorous men and women were the descendants of the Biblical 
Adam and Eve, we may never know. We do not know now after 
three centuries of investigation and theorizing. Brave and 
crafty in physical conflict, they never seem to have been en- 
dowed with mental strength or shrewdness. 

They have never shown in North America any capacity for 
coordination or concert of action. So far as I have read, they 
had not intelligence enough to create an alphabet as the basis 
of a written language. This is true not only of the tribes who 
occupied the Territory of Illinois, but is also true of all North 
American Indians. When hunting was rich and productive, 
when they had food sufficient to satisfy their animal appetites 
from game and fish, and clothing enough from the skins of wild 
animals, to keep warm, they were contented and had no desire 
for the luxuries created by civilization. 



Their women at times tilled the soil, in a scratchily hap- 
hazard manner, to coax from it a little more of the wild grain 
and fruit that grew wildly around them. 

They formed among themselves families and clans of kin- 
dred blood that sometimes grew into tribes, but nationhood, as 
known to the white, brown and yellow races, was beyond their 
conception and accomplishment. The so-called "Confederation 
of Five Nations" was never more than a more or less temporary 
confederation of the five tribes. The combinations effected by 
Pontiac and Tecumseh were temporary and ineffective. They 
were a brave but primitive people, utterly unable to deal intel- 
ligently or capably with men of the white race. 

In 1673 when the first white men set foot on the soil of 
Illinois, several tribes were in occupancy of different portions 
of the future state. 

In the center and southwest portion of the state was located 
the "Illinois," of which the Peorias and the Kickapoos were 
branches or first cousins. I lived in Peoria in my boyhood and 
know that it gets its name from the tribe or sub-tribe that dwelt 
on the banks of the Illinois at Lake Peoria. I know further 
that the Kickapoo Creek near Peoria, in which I often bathed 
when a boy, gets its name from the Indian tribe or sub-tribe 
that dwelt along its banks in 1673. 

The Miami tribe occupied at the same time the eastern por- 
tion of Illinois and the western part of Indiana along the 
Wabash River. 

The Pottawatomies occupied the northeastern portion of the 
state along Lake Michigan from Southern Wisconsin to North- 
ern Indiana. 

The Sauk and Fox, Winnebago, Ottawa and Chippewa were 
also frequently found fighting and marauding in the northern 
part of the state. Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois 
seemed to be their favorite hunting grounds. There was not, 
however, any close and lasting confederation or concert of action 
between these different tribes, and often they or some of them 
were found in conflict with each other. The Winnebago and 
the Illinois carried on a bitter war for a time, the former having 
entrapped and killed five hundred of the foe. The Illinois re- 


taliated and almost totally destroyed the Winnebago, reducing 
150 of the survivors to slavery. 

All these tribes were descendants of the super-tribe or race 
known as the Algonquin. This super-tribe, the Algonquin, prob- 
ably had its origin in the North Atlantic region. Its subsidiary 
tribes located themselves all the way from Canada, from Hud- 
son Bay to Alberta on the west, into the United States, from 
Maine to North Carolina, from the Upper Great Lakes through 
the states of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. 

The most formidable foe of this Algonquin super-tribe were 
the Iroquois tribe, located around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie 
in the Mohawk Valley. 

The most southerly of these sub-tribes of the Algonquin race 
were the Shawnees, who were located in Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee. The Shawnees were probably the vanguard of the Al- 
gonquin tribe in the incursions of that tribe into Illinois and 
the states south of the Great Lakes. 

Belonging to the Algonquin tribe were also the Sauks, Foxes, 
Winnebagoes, Pottawatomi, Kickapoos, Mascoutans, Miami, and 
the Illinois. At the time of the discovery of the state by the 
French explorers, the Illinois were first in importance and power, 
although at the time they were visited by Marquette and Joliet, 
they had probably passed the zenith of their strength. They 
formed at first one great tribe. As their numbers increased, 
subdivisions or sub-tribes were given more particular names. 
To the great Illinois tribe belonged the Kaskaskias, Peorias, 
Cahokias, Tamaroas, Moinguenas and Michigameas. These dif- 
ferent bands of the Illinois tribe for some time continued to act 
in coordination against their common enemies, that alliance 
based on kinship rather than any formal treaty. The Illinois 
tribe occupied most of Illinois and the southern parts of Wis- 
consin and Iowa. The main body of the Illinois tribe for some 
years were located in the Valley of the Illinois River, and along 
its banks had been their principal villages prior to the seven- 
teenth century. 

The Miami tribe was located in Western Indiana and East- 
ern Illinois, and was of near kin to the Illinois. Rumors reached 
the early French settlers in 1657, or thereabout, that they had 

Starved Rock 


sixty villages in Central Illinois, and a population of 20,000 
human beings, though this is no doubt an exaggeration. 

The Illinois tribes were not, even before the advent of the 
Pale Face, permitted to enjoy without disturbance the large, 
rich hunting grounds occupied by them. A belligerent tribe lo- 
cated to the west in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, 
known as the Sioux, were always more or less in conflict with 
the Illinois. The Winnebagoes, a branch of the Sioux tribe, were 
guilty of a great act of treachery in murdering many warriors 
of the Illinois tribe who had been sent to them with peaceable 
intentions. While the Illinois tribe was engaged in dancing, the 
Winnebago cut the bow strings of their bows, flung themselves 
upon the Illinois men and massacred them, not sparing a man, 
in retaliation for which the Illinois attacked the Winnebago, 
surrounding them and putting most of them to death. 

Nor were the Illinois tribe free from assaults from the east. 
Five great Iroquois tribes, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondages, 
Cayugas and Senecas were at all times hostile to the Algonquin 
race. These five tribes, sometimes called the Five Nations, en- 
tered into a confederation among themselves, attacked the Miami 
tribe, drove them westward and northward into the region of 
modern Wisconsin, and in 1655 a band of these Five Nations 
attacked the villages of the Illinois and killed many women and 
children. This war, commenced in 1655, lasted until 1667, and 
during the war the Illinois tribe was so weakened that they 
were obliged to abandon their ancient locations along the Illinois 
River and seek safety west of the Mississippi. Surrounded as 
they were by the profusion of nature, the abundance of game 
and fish in the rivers, the Illinois Indians were rather disposed 
to indolence. They relied for sustenance almost exclusively 
upon hunting and fishing. What little maize, or corn, was raised 
by them was the result of the labor of their squaws, who culti- 
vated crudely and unscientifically some little corn, beans and 
other vegetables. In summertime, after their little crops were 
planted, and in winter after they had stored the proceeds of 
their planting and hunting, the whole group would move to a 
wilder part of the country and set up a hunting camp. 


Their weapons were very crude, a bow and arrow, clubs and 
knives made of flint or bone, or sometimes of the shank of a 

In their permanent villages, they built substantial oblong 
cabins, sufficient to house from six to twelve families each, the 
framework being made by saplings bent together and latched at 
the top, which were then covered with layers of mats or woven 
rushes. These cabins had a door at each end, and an open 
place in the roof for the escape of smoke. The earth floor was 
sometimes covered with mats. As many as fifty or sixty human 
beings often occupied these cabins. 

The men of the tribe owned as their exclusive property their 
hunting implements and weapons of warfare. The women 
claimed as their own the household equipment and any imple- 
ments that they had used in tilling the soil. There was no such 
thing as individual ownership of land. Land occupied by them 
in and around their villages was regarded as the property of 
the tribe. They believed that the tribe owned the land, and 
that the tribe only could part with title to the same. The In- 
dian tribe was, in fact, but a large family made up of relatives 
tracing descent from a common ancestor. Marriage was not 
permitted within their own clan. Matters relating to the fam- 
ily were settled in family councils. Matters relating to the clan 
were settled by a council of all the families within the group, 
and tribal matters were decided in a council attended by the 
heads of the different clans, Declarations of war, strange to 
say, however, were not always made upon conference between 
the friendly tribes. A single warrior having some grievance 
against a warrior of another tribe could declare war himself 
and gather around him such allies as were willing to join in 
the fight. Extensive campaigns were an exception in Indian 
warfare. An early Jesuit writer states, 

Ordinarily their party consists of only twenty, thirty, 
or forty men; sometimes these parties are of only six or 
seven persons, and these are most to be feared. As their 
entire skill lies in surprising their enemy, the small num- 
ber facilitates the pains that they take to conceal them- 
selves in order that they may more securely strike the 


blow which they are planning Their method is to 

follow on the trail of their enemy and to kill some one of 
them while he is asleep, — or rather to lie in ambush in the 
vicinity of the villages and to split the head of the first one 
who comes forth, and taking off his scalp, to display it as a 
trophy among their countrymen. 

The first Indians met by Joliet and Pere Marquette were 
rather of a peace-loving character, as testified to by these French 
explorers. The French missionaries believed that their success 
in converting the Indians to Christianity rose out of the fact that 
the Indians believed in a Great Manitou or Great Spirit. Father 
Allouez in 1665 wrote, 

I have learned that the Illinouck, the Outagami, 
(Foxes) and other savages toward the south, hold that 
there is a great and excellent genius, master of all the rest, 
who made heaven and earth, and who dwells, they say, in 
the east towards the country of the French. 

Most important of their religious ceremonies was the Calu- 
met dance, performed sometimes to strengthen peace or to unite 
themselves for some great war, at other times for public rejoic- 
ing or to honor a visitor. The Calumet was a ceremonial tobacco 
pipe of polished red stone, fitted into a stem or stick about two 
feet long, and bored through the middle. 

"Less honor," says Marquette, "is paid to the crowns 
and scepters of kings, than the savages bestow on this. 
It seems to be the God of peace or war, the arbiter of life 
and of death. It has but to be carried upon one's person 
and displayed, to enable one to walk safely through the 
midst of enemies, who in the hottest of the fight lay down 
their arms when it is shown. There is a calumet for peace, 
and one for war, which are distinguished solely by the 
color of the feathers with which they are adorned. Red is 
the sign of war. They also use it to put an end to disputes, 
to strengthen their alliances, and to speak to strangers. 
They have a great regard for it, because they look upon 
it as the calumet of the sun, and in fact, they offer it to 
the latter to smoke when they wish to obtain calm or rain 
or fine weather." 


The Illinois, like other Algonquin tribes, believed in an after- 
world. They were very poorly advanced in art, not as far ad- 
vanced as their predecessors, the southern tribes. Most of their 
bowls were made of wood, which accounts for the very few 
which have survived in museums. They made cups and spoons 
and scrapers also out of fresh water shells. According to the 
Jesuit Fathers, the women always dressed modestly, but the 
men went entirely nude, save for a breech cloth. In summing 
up their mode of life, Alvord, in his excellent history, declares, 

Hard as their life seems to have been, viewed by mod- 
ern eyes, the Illinois fared better than many of their race, 
and were by no means wholly without leisure and means 
of recreation. Between the strenuous demands of hunting 
and fighting, the men relaxed completely and spent their 
time in a great variety of games of skill, such as ball, or 
guessing games or games of chance played with instru- 
ments comparable to dice. Even with their more contin- 
uous labor, the women found opportunity to gossip among 
themselves and to play games. Like most Indians, the 
Illinois were inveterate gamblers, and men and women alike 
would often stake everything they owned on a throw of the 
dice. Many of the games had a religious significance and 
were played only in connection with some formal ceremony. 
Socially, they were talkative, good natured, and fond of a 
joke, although their extreme dignity of bearing on public 
occasions often gave observers the impression that they 
were morose and silent by nature. The ease and persist- 
ency with which the French came to intermarry with them, 
certainly suggests that both in disposition and mode of life, 
there was no wide gulf between the two races, at least as 
they encountered each other in seventeenth century Illi- 

On the whole, the Illinois tribe of Indians were a brave but 
simple people. They lacked shrewdness in dealing as individ- 
uals or as tribes. They were over-reached on every occasion 
that they attempted to bargain with the white man, whether 
that white man was French, British or American. As a result 
of their guileless nature and lack of organizing intelligence, the 
great Illinois tribe, which, it was said, at one time counted 
twenty thousand souls along the Illinois River, is today prac- 


tically extinct, and in the state named after them not a single 
living Illinois Indian now survives. 

What was the ultimate history, so far as known, of the sev- 
eral tribes comprising the super-tribe of Indians known as the 
Illinois ? They were located, at or about the time of the advent 
of Joliet and Pere Marquette, on the Illinois River at or near 
what is now known as Starved Rock, by the Indians called 
Kaskaskia and afterwards called the Mission of the Immaculate 
Conception. About the year 1700, the branch of the Kaskaskia 
Indians migrated down the Illinois River and down the Missis- 
sippi to the mouth of the Kaskaskia River. They remained at 
the latter place for a century or more, and were then placed 
upon a reservation on the Big Muddy, from which they were 
removed to the Indian Territory on or before 1860. 

The Cahokia tribe was located in Illinois almost opposite 
the present City of St. Louis. Their principal village became 
the county seat of the first county organized in Illinois. They 
rapidly decreased in numbers, however, and the remnant eventu- 
ally amalgamated with the Kaskaskia. 

The Michigameas, who gave their name to Lake Michigan, 
were located on the borders of that lake. From thence they 
were driven south by the Iroquois. This tribe was afterward 
annihilated by their enemies from the north. 

The Tamaroas, when first found, lived on the upper Illinois, 
and afterward moved to St. Clair County, where they were 
closely associated with the Cahokias. About 1680, while at war 
with the Iroquois, seven hundred of them were killed or carried 
into captivity. They were finally exterminated by the Shawnees. 

When Marquette and Joliet passed up the Illinois River in 
1673, the Peorias were located near the present site of the City 
of Peoria. They were afterward driven to the south and joined 
the Kaskaskias, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. 

In connection with these Indians found in the latter part 
of the seventeenth century on the banks of the Illinois, the 
Missouri and other rivers in and around the State of Illinois, 
it may be well to discuss briefly the origin and existence of 
certain peculiar Indian mounds found in the State of Illinois. 
It was contended by some theorists for a time that these mounds 


were evidence that the Indians found by the French discoverers 
were not the first race of Indians that dwelt where these mounds 
were erected; that a race of very different character and of 
great genius and ability occupied the prairies of Illinois and 
constructed, in their day, these strange artificial earth mounds. 
Some excavations have been made in these mounds, but it is 
not believed that in any of these excavations any satisfactory 
proof has been found that these mounds were created by a dif- 
ferent race than the tribes discovered and dealt with in 1673. 
Indeed, mounds in the course of construction have been seen 
by European explorers and in some of them they have found 
products of European manufacture, which would seem to dis- 
pose of effectually the theory that these mounds were created 
by a superior, or more intelligent race. 

There are quite a number of these mounds in the lower 
valley of the Illinois River and along the lowlands of the Missis- 
sippi. Some are in pyramidal shape, square or circular. Some 
of them are very small, while the Cahokia mound rises to a 
height of 100 feet and covers an area of probably seventeen 

So far, the building of these mounds has not been conclu- 
sively shown to have been the work of any prehistoric race of 
Indians. The implements found in them are generally hoes and 
implements shaped out of flint or other hard stone, and some 
pottery, the latter being similar to the pottery unearthed from 
mounds among the Natchez tribes of Indians. 

Whoever built these mounds certainly did not leave within 
these tumuli any evidence that the builders were of superior 
intelligence or marked intellectual ability. The mounds were 
probably used as the Egyptians used their pyramids, for the 
deposit of the bodies of the important dead. 

A great change came over the Indians as the result of the 
advent of the white trader, not only in his, the Indian's, habits, 
but also, to a degree in his character. Before the coming of 
the white trader, he had been by training and his experiences 
with the wild animals and wild men, self-reliant in his struggle 
for a livelihood. The wild animals of the woods and prairies 
furnished him both food and raiment. The fish in the lakes 


and rivers were abundant as were the beasts in the forest. The 
flesh of these were supplemented at times with wild maize, wild 
berries, and wild vegetables, and grains scantily wrung from 
the soil by the labor of their squaws. 

To secure his food and clothing, the primitive, untutored 
Indian relied upon his flint-headed arrows and spears and his 
rude traps and seines, but mainly he relied upon his own courage 
and cunning to wring from nature a continuance of life. With 
the coming of the white trader, this self-reliance ceased. 

The trader had far-reaching, accurate firing guns and ex- 
plosive ammunition, steel knives and other steel weapons for 
hunting and for warfare. With such implements and weapons 
in his possession, the Indian knew he could hunt, trap and fish 
with much less risk and labor and with much greater profit. 
When he saw and once used these modern weapons, the Indian 
lost his spirit of self-reliance and independence. In procuring 
these implements, he became the serf of the trader. For a little 
rum and a rifle, the poor Indian was ready to sell his soul. The 
white traders, hundreds of miles away from governmental su- 
pervision, were the only persons who could supply these weapons, 
powder, bullets, pots, pans, blankets and other necessities of life 
to the Indians. Traders, under such circumstances became rob- 
bers without violence. 


No white man disturbed the Indian tribes in Illinois or con- 
tested their right to use that territory for their hunting grounds 
until the latter part of the seventeenth century. Disputes as 
to the rights of occupancy of these hunting grounds did arise 
between the different tribes, as we have seen, but these disputes 
were settled Indian fashion with the tomahawk and scalping 

Rum and written treaties had not as yet been introduced 
into negotiations by the pale face. 

The Spaniard Hernando de Soto had sailed up the Mississippi, 
but never reached the Illinois country. 

For over one hundred years after De Soto's discovery of 
the Mississippi, neither the French nor English made any per- 
manent settlements in America. 

The French settlements were in Canada and Acadia, now 
called Nova Scotia. The English settlements were mainly in 
Massachusetts and Virginia. All these settlements were on the 
Atlantic sea coast. For a long time the advance inward from 
the English settlements was retarded by the Appalachian moun- 
tains and the formidable barrier made by the Iroquois confed- 
eracy of Indians. 

It is quite certain that no Englishman put foot upon the 
territory of Illinois before the eighteenth century, because of 
the dangers and difficulties of travel westward from the English 

The French pioneers in Canada were much better situated 
for travel inward from the Atlantic than the English. The St. 
Lawrence River, the Great Lakes and their tributary and con- 
necting rivers furnished easy water transportation with few 
portages to the Mississippi. The English settlements, however, 



were all along the seashore and east of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains, over which, at that time, there were no trails that were 
not extremely hazardous. The occupation of the Mississippi 
Valley by the French started a century earlier, and was much 
more rapid than the westward trek of the English over the 
mountains. Three great incentives moved the French hunters, 
explorers and missionaries. The northern regions of the west 
about the Great Lakes abounded in valuable fur-bearing ani- 
mals, beaver, minks, lynxes, muskrats, foxes and other animals 
of that character. The acquisition of these furs from the In- 
dians at low prices and the selling of them in Europe at high 
prices, was a great incentive to the French traders and hunters. 
This was the lure of wealth. Missionary zeal was another great 
incentive. Never was the cause of Christianity served with 
greater zeal and devotion and fearlessness than by Marquette 
and the other disciples of Ignatius Loyola in the Mississippi 
Valley. They endured untold hardships in their work among 
the Indians, not only without complaint, but with enjoyment, and 
seemed ever ready to suffer cruel torture and even death rather 
than to abandon the work that they had devoted themselves to. 
The third motive actuating these Frenchmen was love of coun- 
try, and the desire to spread throughout the western hemisphere 
the glory and material advancement of the French kingdom. 
At that period Louis XIV, the grand monarch, was on the throne 
of the French, and the fame of France among Christian nations 
was at its peak. Every Frenchman detailed by that great mon- 
arch to represent him on the western continent was aflame 
with the desire of spreading the fame of France throughout 
North America. The first westward movement was inaugurated 
by Champlain, the governor of New France, who was intensely 
interested in the exploration of the western country. He, him- 
self, went as far as Lake Huron, and he placed young French- 
men in the Indian villages to learn their languages. At the 
inception of their efforts of exploration in the west, he was for 
some time obstructed by the hostilities of the Iroquois Confed- 
eracy, who were at all times inimical to the French, because of 
the belief of these Indians that the French were allied with 


their enemies, the Algonquin tribe. These hostilities between 
the French and Iroquois Confederacy continued down to 1667. 

Although the French pioneers had discovered Newfoundland 
and the St. Lawrence River and made settlements and estab- 
lished fisheries in their neighborhood as early as 1504, no seri- 
ous attempt was made by the French discoverers permanently to 
locate under the flag of the French king any territory in Illinois, 
or immediately surrounding it, until the latter part of the seven- 
teenth century. 

Champlain was made governor of New France, being the 
title by which the French possessions in America were then 
known, and held this position until he died in 1635. During 
the seven years that he acted as governor, he was consistently 
furthering the interests of his monarch and the Catholic re- 
ligion. Reports coming to him of a great river in the West and 
of regions rich with fur-bearing animals, he sent to the West 
as explorers and for the purpose of laying claim to the country 
several young Frenchmen and among them a young friend, 
named Jean Nicollett, who had lived with the Indians, and be- 
came acquainted with their language and acted as an interpreter. 
Nicollett discovered Lake Michigan in 1634, and visited the 
Indians at Green Bay. Two Jesuit missionaries visited the 
River St. Mary on the south side of Lake Superior about 1634, 
and the following year as many as fifteen Jesuit priests were in 
the region of the Great Lakes. Their movements were watched 
and bitterly opposed by the Iroquois Indians, who refused to 
allow them to make use of the St. Lawrence or Lake Ontario 
and Lake Erie. In 1655, however, a sort of peace was agreed 
upon between the French and the Iroquois, and after this the 
French pushed their explorations both west and southwest. 

In 1659 the first Bishop of New France, Francis Xavier De 
Laval, landed at Montreal from France, bringing more clergy- 
men with him devoted to the propagation of the Catholic faith. 
Most of these early clergymen were of the Franciscan order, 
but ultimately were supplanted by the Jesuits, who were the 
main supports of the Church in the new world. 

In 1664, the Valley of the Hudson became British property 
by transfer from the Dutch, and this ended any influence for 


peace that the French had with the Iroquois. The Algonquin 
of the West were always at war with the Iroquois, and they then 
sought to ally themselves with the French, a power which 
seemed to be growing rapidly in the new world. 

In 1660, three hundred Algonquin in sixty canoes, loaded 
with furs, accompanied the French traders on their return to 
Quebec from the West, and this deputation of Algonquins made 
clear to the French authorities the necessity of an alliance be- 
tween the French and the Indians of the West. 

In 1669, Father Allouez, S. J., after spending two years on 
the south shore of Lake Superior, returned to Quebec and urged 
upon the governor the necessity of establishing permanent mis- 
sions and trading stations in the West. 

About this time, Father James Marquette, S. J., recently 
arrived from France, visited Quebec and was detailed, with 
Father Dablau to found a mission at Sault Ste. Marie. During 
his travels, Father Marquette heard wonderful stories of the 
Mississippi River, and in 1669 he began to study the Illinois 
language. Up to that time, the French government itself had 
done but little to establish missions, forts or trading stations in 
the West. As the Algonquin tribes and the French became more 
friendly and as commercial intercourse between them in the 
way of purchase and sale of furs developed, it finally became 
interesting to the French government, and Colbert, minister of 
finance of France, became much interested in extending the 
power of France westward in America. Under his inspiration, 
Simon Francois Daumont Sieur de St. Lusson was authorized 
to hold a congress of the Indian tribes at St. Mary's at the out- 
let of Lake Superior in the summer of 1671. The government 
of France sent into the region about St. Mary, Nicholas Pierrot, 
to invite the Indian tribes to assemble at St. Mary's for the 
proposed congress, and fourteen tribes responded to the invita- 
tion. On June 4, 1671, St. Lusson, with Father Allouez, and 
surrounded by a retinue of French officers, opened the congress 
and brought it out to the assembled Indian delegates that it was 
the purpose of the great king of France to take the tribes in the 
western part of New France under his care. The assembled 
Indians were much impressed with the display of power and 


authority, and reached the conclusion that the French govern- 
ment and its soldiers were the only power to protect them from 
the persecutions and calamities that they had hitherto suffered 
from the Iroquois. At the conclusion of the ceremony, a great 
cedar cross was erected on the banks of the great Lake Superior, 
and by the side of the cross, another cedar column was erected, 
which bore the lilies of France. From this time on, the French 
government began to display some interest in the settlement 
of the far West. 

About this time, Father James Marquette, heretofore men- 
tioned, had gathered about him the remnants of an Indian tribe 
and founded a mission near what is now known as the Strait 
of Mackinac. His mission was called St. Ignace, in honor of 
St. Ignatius, the Jesuit. There he preached the Gospel to the 
Hurons and members of other tribes, and while there, he heard 
of the great river in the West. I quote his own language : 

When the Illinois come to the point (St. Esprit), they 
pass a great river which is almost a league in width. It 
flows from north to south, and to so great a distance that 
the Illinois, who know nothing of the use of the canoe, have 
never as yet heard of its mouth. 

He then ventured the hope that means would be found to 
"visit the nations who dwell along its shores in order to open 
the way to the many of our fathers who were awaiting so great 
an opportunity." 


The first serious attempt made by the French monarchy to 
colonize its discoveries in New France was made by Jean Bap- 
tiste Colbert, the greatest of French ministers under Louis XIV, 
the grand monarch of France. His first venture was pater- 
nalistic and monopolistic. He had created a great corporation, 
the West India Company, to which was given wide monopolistic 
power of trading and development in and over all the over-sea 
territory of France in America. Although governmentally aided 
and fostered, wars and financial catastrophes, caused its col- 
lapse and in 1672 it had ceased to function. 

Canada then became a royal province. For some eight or 
ten years prior to this date, a real beginning of exploration 
of the West occurred. A complete civil government had been 
established in New France. Jean Talon was then the intendant, 
one of the ablest if not the greatest of France's civil officials 
ever stationed in New France. Talon and Colbert, the great 
French minister, had identical views with reference to the estab- 
lishment of a great French empire in America. Soon after his 
appearance in Canada, Talon organized expeditions to discover 
the territory which might become a Greater France. In 1669, 
he had sent an expedition to Lake Superior under the leader- 
ship of Louis Joliet, who made a successful mission to Lake 
Superior and returned by the route of Lake Erie. He was 
probably the first white discoverer of that lake. During the fol- 
lowing year, at the instigation of Talon, Robert Cavalier Sieur 
de La Salle made another exploration south of the Lakes. An- 
other expedition was undertaken by Simon Francois Daumont 
Sieur de St. Luson to the same lakes region. Luson had been 
delegated by the French government to bring about an immense 
meeting with the Indian tribes and to carry out the significant 






ceremony at Sault Ste. Marie. This place was selected because 
of its convenient location, uniting the territory around Lake 
Superior and Lake Winnebago with the territory around Lake 
Michigan and the Mississippi Valley. In June, 1671, repre- 
sentatives of fourteen Indian tribes met at Sault Ste. Marie as 
hereinbefore stated, and witnessed a ceremony of great pomp, 
both religious and nationalistic. Father Calude Ailouez in a 
stately address pointed out to the Indians the power of the 
great French king, and declared that all of the country sur- 
rounding Sault Ste. Marie was then in the possession of the 
Great Monarch Louis XIV, and that all nations must forbear 
from trespassing upon its confines. At the conclusion of the 
ceremony, they erected a great cross, and a pillar to which the 
arms of France were attached, with great solemnity. 

The incentive to this solemn ceremony and the further de- 
velopment of the territory around the Great Lakes and to the 
West was the desire to explore and discover if the Indian's ac- 
counts relating to a great western river which flowed to the 
sea, were authentic. Talon had made up his mind to find this 
river and to discover its outlet to salt water. He aimed to 
select for this mission a competent and experienced man, and 
finally selected Louis Joliet, who was not only an experienced 
explorer, but a capable and successful leader of men. He showed 
great sagacity in his selection. Joliet was born in Quebec on 
or about 1645, and was educated in a Jesuit school in the village 
in which he was born. He remained in the school until he was 
educated in the higher branches, including surveying and map- 
making. He was by birth a natural musician, and often played 
the organ of the Cathedral of Quebec. He intended to become 
a priest, but finally concluded to abandon that calling and to 
follow the life of a fur trader and explorer. In his youth he 
was friendly with the Jesuits, and that friendship continued 
throughout his whole life. The Jesuits on their part were al- 
ways friendly with him, and regarded him as their representa- 
tive in his trips of discovery. Before he was selected to under- 
take the discovery of the Mississippi, he had twice visited Sault 
Ste. Marie, and had earned not only the confidence of his civilian 


superiors, but that of the Jesuits and Indians with whom he 
came in contact. 

It was the policy of the French authorities then and before 
that time, to attach to any mission of discovery which they or- 
ganized a French missionary, preferably a Jesuit, because of 
the fact that these missionaries had been successful in obtaining 
the confidence of the Indians and had secured their friendship 
wherever they met. Accordingly, Talon and the leaders of the 
Jesuit order conferred with reference to the selection of a Jesuit 
missionary to accompany Joliet in his quest for the wonderful 
river of the West. Both finally agreed upon the selection of 
Jacques Marquette of the Jesuit order. In 1673, Father Mar- 
quette was about thirty-six years of age. His birthplace was 
Laon, France. He entered the Jesuit order in 1654 and arrived 
in Canada in 1666. He succeeded Father Allouez in the mission 
of Chequamegon Bay, and about 1671 he built the mission of 
St. Ignace at Mackinac. At the time of his selection as the com- 
panion of Joliet, he was quietly and unostentatiously performing 
his sacred duties in a little chapel that he had built at St. Ignace, 
surrounded by a few poor savages and a few French fur traders. 

In his dreams for several years, this quiet, patient, saintly 
man had been dreaming of just such a mission, excited thereto 
by the tales that he had heard from the Indians, of the wonder- 
ful river of the West. His ambition in life was to gather into 
the fold of the true believers in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the 
simple, untutored red-skinned inhabitants of the western prai- 
ries, who had never heard of the Son of God and His gospels 
of love. 

Talon had arranged for this mission of discovery by Joliet 
and Pere Marquette, but it did not fall to his lot to give the 
final commission into their hands. Comte de Frontenac came 
to Canada as Governor in 1672. He adopted the program pre- 
pared by Talon, made no change in the personnel of the leaders 
of this mission of discovery, and finally authorized Joliet and 
Marquette to start upon their undertaking. 

In the winter of 1672-73, at Mackinac on the Point St. Ig- 
nace, which is in its immediate neighborhood, Louis Joliet and 
Pere Marquette made their preparations for their mission. It 


is astounding how simple these arrangements were. Although 
they contemplated a journey by land and water which would 
cover hundreds of miles in the wilderness, and might cover a 
thousand miles in their wanderings, the only provision made for 
this extraordinary exploration was a small stock of Indian corn 
and smoked meat. They had ascertained from the Indians the 
general direction of their route, and had traced out, upon such 
information, tentative maps, of where they intended to go. With 
their guns and this small stock of food, they started on May 17, 
1673 with five men and two canoes for this long voyage of mys- 
terious end. 

Keeping to the west shore of Lake Michigan from Mackinac 
to Green Bay, they entered the Bay and paddled their canoes 
down the same until they reached the Fox River. Up to this 
point, they were familiar with the route. Beyond that point, 
the route was a mystery. The Indians on the banks of the Fox 
River attempted to dissuade them from further adventure. They 
pictured to Joliet and Pere Marquette a country beyond, filled 
with Indians of a merciless disposition, and described the river 
as dangerous of ascent or descent. None the less, the discoverers 
remained steadfast to their original aim, and shortly thereafter 
crossed the portage between the upper Fox River and the Wis- 
consin River, guided by Miami Indians. 

On June 17th, just one month after leaving Mackinac, they 
entered the Mississippi River. En route from Lake Michigan 
to the Wisconsin River, they had come across a great cross 
erected evidently by white men at or near the portage between 
the Fox River and the Wisconsin River, but thereafter neither 
down the Wisconsin nor down the Mississippi did they discover 
any evidence that a white man had ever traveled upon the water 
of these rivers, until they reached the mouth of the Arkansas 

Marquette is quoted as saying, 

I put the expedition under the protection of the Blessed 
Virgin Immaculate, promising her that if she did us the 
grace to discover the great river, I would give it the name 
of 'Conception/ and I also would give that name to the 
first mission among these new nations, as I have actually 


done among the Illinois. (Smith's History of Illinois, 
p. 73.) 

A few days after embarking upon the Mississippi River 
after leaving the Wisconsin River, they discovered footprints 
in the vicinity of what is now the City of Keokuk, Iowa. Fol- 
lowing these footprints, Marquette and Joliet, leaving their 
canoes, went into the prairie and soon came in contact with a 
village of Indians. These Indians, carrying tobacco pipes, came 
out to welcome them. Marquette, who spoke several Indian 
dialects, addressed them and they told him that they were Illi- 
nois, and presented the pipe of peace. These Illinois Indians 
gave them a feast of which both Marquette and Joliet partook, 
save and except a dish which consisted of dog meat. At the 
invitation of these Illinois Indians, they remained overnight, 
and on the following day were accompanied to their boats by 
a crowd of Indians, who wished them good luck. 

After leaving these Indians, Marquette and Joliet continued 
on their journey down the Mississippi, passing the mysterious 
Piasa Rock and the mouth of the Ohio. They kept on their 
journey to about the latitude of the Arkansas River. At this 
point, they met some Indians, who had guns and axes, hoes and 
other modern implements. Although Father Marquette spoke 
six Indian dialects, he did not understand what any of them 
said, until an old man who spoke a little of the Illinois language 
was found, and through him, Marquette was able to understand 
a little of what he said. These Indians were located in the neigh- 
borhood of the mouth of the Arkansas River. All these different 
Indians had so far treated them kindly. At this point, Mar- 
quette and Joliet had a conference, and determined that the 
Mississippi River did not empty into the Pacific nor into the 
Atlantic, but that it flowed southward to the Gulf of Mexico. 
They also reached the conclusion that there would be danger 
of meeting warlike Indians further south, and made up their 
minds to return northward along the Mississippi River. 

The journey homeward commenced on the 17th of July, two 
months, exactly, from the date that they had departed from 
St. Ignace. They found the northward journey much more 


difficult, and when near the mouth of the Illinois River, were 
informed that the distance to Lake Michigan was much shorter 
by the Illinois River than by the Wisconsin and Fox rivers. 
Relying upon this information, they started northeasterly from 
the Mississippi through the Illinois River. At a point along 
this river where the city of Peoria is now located, they went 
ashore and found a village of Illinois Indians. They were kindly 
received, and spent several days with these Indians, during 
which Father Marquette preached to the Indians in the town. 
After leaving Peoria, they came to a village of Kaskaskia Indi- 
ans, located at what is now known as Utica. In this village 
there were seventy-four cabins, and as the Indians frequently 
housed six families in each cabin, and as the Indian family 
usually averaged five, there must have been quite an Indian 
population at this point. These Indians also received Father 
Marquette and his party in a friendly, generous way. They 
listened to his preaching and became interested in his story 
of the Gospel. They exacted from him his promise to return 
and preach to them at greater length, and furnished an escort 
of a chief and several young men to accompany Father Marquette 
and his party when they were leaving, which guard accompanied 
them to the Chicago portage. 

From Chicago, they made their way in a leisurely manner 
to the mission of Green Bay, arriving there in September, 1673. 
Father Marquette and Joliet spent the winter of 1673-74 and 
the summer of 1674 at the mission of St. Francis Xavier at 
the head of Green Bay. Late in the summer of 1674, Joliet 
left the mission of St. Francis, and in August reported to the 
governor of New France at Quebec, verbally. He traveled by 
water, and unfortunately when near Quebec, his boat was upset 
and he lost his maps, notes and specimens taken on the voyage 
of discovery. Only the maps left in the West remained. These 
were afterward identified. After reporting to the governor 
of New France, Joliet sailed to France, where he was received 
with great honor and afterward sent on a mission to Central 

Father Marquette, in the fall of 1674, remembering his 
promise to the Kaskaskia Indians to return and preach to them 


again about the Savior of Mankind, started on his journey to 
Kaskaskia, and on October 27, 1674 with two French laymen 
he left the mission of St. Francis Xavier and journeyed south- 
ward towards the Kaskaskia Village. On November 21, 1674, 
Father Marquette was taken sick, it being a return of an old 
malady, dysentery. Notwithstanding his sickness, he reached 
Chicago on December 4, 1674. There his companions built 
some rude cabins and attempted to make him comfortable. 
That winter in Chicago was a long, severe, cold winter and 
he suffered extremely from exposure and improper food and 
lack of nursing care, although his attendants did everything 
that was possible in their rude way for his comfort. Many 
Indians called upon him, and some few Frenchmen paid him 
comforting visits. He then heard that the Indians at Kaskaskia 
were on the point of starvation on account of the severe winter. 
A French physician visited him about this time and brought 
food and otherwise administered to him. 

On February 9th, 1675 Father Marquette wrote that he 
was feeling better and expected to complete his journey to 
the Kaskaskia Indians when the weather improved. On March 
30th, the ice began to break and on or about this day Marquette 
and a little band of companions started for the Kaskaskia 
village. Their route was up the southern branch of the Chicago 
River, across the portage sometimes known as Mud Lake to 
the Des Plaines River. On March 30th they crossed the portage, 
and reached the village on April 8, 1675. The Indians at Kas- 
kaskia were as overjoyed upon his return as if an angel from 
heaven had visited them. The chiefs and elders of the tribe 
surrounded him in a circle, and in the inner and outer circle 
there were at least fifteen hundred men, women and children. 
He preached with intense religious feeling, and seemed to be 
extremely happy. On the 11th of April, he established a mission 
there, and gave it the name of the Immaculate Conception of 
the Blessed Virgin. 

After remaining a few days at Kaskaskia, he started back 
with the expectation of reaching St. Ignace. A large number 
of chiefs and couriers of the Kaskaskia tribe accompanied him to 
the Chicago Portage and to Lake Michigan, carrying his baggage 


and rendering him every possible assistance. It was the intention 
of Father Marquette on leaving Chicago, en route to St. Ignace, 
to travel by canoe along the southerly shore of Lake Michigan 
and along its easterly side. He started upon this trip upon 
Lake Michigan accompanied only by two Frenchmen, Pierre 
and Jacques. His strength failing him, he begged these two 
young men to carry him ashore, that he might die quietly on 
land and escape the great storm then gathering on the lake. 
The exact spot where this occurred is disputed, but the best 
evidence is that it was near the City of Ludington on an inlet 
from Lake Michigan known as Pere Marquette Lake. Following 
Father Marquette's instructions, the two young Frenchmen 
buried him at this spot, and after erecting a cross over his 
grave, they continued their journey to St. Ignace, and there 
gave the sad news of the death of its beloved founder. 

Joliet christened the great river that he and Father Mar- 
quette had discovered "Buade," this being the family name 
of the Count de Frontenac, and later on re-christened it the 
"Colbert" after the great French minister. On the other hand, 
Father Marquette in his devotion to the Virgin Mother of God, 
named it in commemoration of the Immaculate Conception; but 
nonetheless, the name by which the Indians christened this 
great stream, "The Mississippi" is still the name by which it 
is now known, and will be known in the centuries yet to come. 
One translation of the Indian name, "Mississippi" is The Great 
Water. Another writer claims that the name is derived from 
"Mechah" (Big) and "Seebee" (River) in the Ojibwa language. 

Joliet, the seasoned traveler in the wilderness, the trained 
explorer of lakes and rivers, was more than delighted when 
he crossed the portage from the Des Plaines River to the southern 
branch of the Chicago River, to discover the ease of navigation 
from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi. He saw in this ease 
of transfer from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi the realiza- 
tion of his dream of a great prosperous colony. 

"A bark," said he, "could be sailed from Lake Erie 
through the lakes to Lake Michigan, where a canal through 
half a league of prairie would admit the vessel to the water 
system of the great valley." (Alvord, P. 65). 


This vision of Joliet has been since his day the vision of 
every great statesman in Illinois down to the present day, but 
to Joliet belongs the unquestioned honor of first proposing it 
and originating the project of a waterway connecting Lake 
Michigan and the Illinois River. It was my ambition and 
hope, when I was governor, to be able to open the gates that 
would pour navigable waters from Lake Michigan into the 
Illinois River. But, sad to relate, that ambition was not 
achieved, and as I write, the Illinois waterway is still unopened 
for commerce. 


The hardy and adventurous coureurs de bois of Canada were 
undoubtedly the first white men to plant their feet on the 
western territory now comprising the states of Ohio, Indiana, 
Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. They were the 
first to learn that this territory was rich in fur bearing wild 
animals and that their skins could be purchased cheaply from 
the Indian hunters and sold at great profit. They were illiterate 
men who left no record of their wanderings or discoveries. They 
undoubtedly preceded the Jesuits around Lake Superior and 
were found at Green Bay by the first missionary that visited 
that body of water. Father Marquette found them on the upper 
Illinois River in 1674. 

But the zealous French missionaries were not long behind 
them. In 1669, Father Claude Jean Allouez visited Green Bay, 
and on Lake Ontario, the Sulpician missionaries from Montreal 
established a mission and sent two of their number up the 
Detroit River to explore Lake Erie. From that time down to 
the day when the French flag was lowered over Fort Chartres 
and Kaskaskia, these zealous, devoted men were always found 
on the outskirts of civilization, preaching to the Red Men and 
French Traders the doctrines of Jesus Christ, visiting and 
consoling the sick, giving spiritual consolation to the dying, 
enduring untold hardships, sickness and even death with a 
courage that was never surpassed in the field of battle. 

Alvord in his history The Illinois Country, 1673-1818 in 
writing of these devoted men declares, Page 102 : 

From the first one, Father Marquette, to the last, 
Father Meurin, these learned men of religion, with little 
thought of worldly wealth or desire of self-advancement, 



gave the best of their lives to the conversion of the Illinois 

As we have heretofore seen, the gentle souled Pere Marquette 
was the first of these holy men who came in contact with the 
Indians of Illinois. He so impressed them, as he addressed 
them in their Indian dialect, that, on his departure from them, 
after a short stay in 1673, they escorted him to Chicago and 
secured from him a promise to return to them for future instruc- 
tion. That promise Marquette redeemed at the cost of his life. 
His delicate physical frame gave way on the return from that 
trip and he died a martyr to his zeal for conversions to 

Father Claude Jean Allouez, S. J., was his immediate suc- 
cessor in the Illinois mission. Prior to his arrival in Illinois, 
Father Allouez had been at a mission on the shore of Lake 
Superior and there met some Illinois Indians who visited that 
mission. Soon after associating himself with the Illinois, he 
wrote an account of them which was the first written document 
on that subject. For twenty-four years he was actively engaged 
in founding and maintaining missions among the Indians of the 

After Marquette's death, Father Allouez appeared as his 
successor at the Illinois mission. On the approach of La Salle, 
however, he deemed it prudent to retire from that mission, 
there being a feeling of hostility towards the Jesuits on the 
part of La Salle and his followers. In 1684, however, he was 
again acting as Marquette's successor at the Illinois missions, 
and was not disturbed in any wise by Tonti, who was La Salle's 
lieutenant. His death took place in 1689. Kellogg, in his Early 
Narrative of the Northwest, page 96, as quoted by Alvord, 
page 103, states: 

In 1689 this devoted servant of the Cross (Allouez) 
died at the Miami village on the St. Joseph River. A second 
St. Francis Xavier, Allouez is said during his twenty-four 
years of service to have instructed 120,000 Western savages 
and baptized at least 10,000. 

Marquette and Indian Chief 


Following Allouez came Father Jacques Gravier. He acted 
as missionary priest to the Illinois until 1705, when Tonti and 
Le Forest left Fort St. Louis at Starved Rock to go to Peoria. 
Father Gravier followed them and built a new church near the 
new fort. He is reported to have converted the chief of the 
Peoria tribe, and thereafter his influence among the Peoria and 
Kaskaskia Indians was greatly increased. Later on, Father 
Pinet came to the Illinois tribe from Mackinac, where he had 
been serving as a missionary for two years. Father Pinet 
founded the mission of the Guardian Angel near the mouth of 
the Chicago River among the Wea tribe, a branch of the Miamis. 
His conduct in so doing gave affront to Governor Frontenac, 
who ordered the mission closed in 1697. Against the governor's 
conduct, Father Gravier protested in a strong letter written to 
the Bishop of Quebec. The Bishop took the matter up with 
the authorities in Quebec and succeeded in re-establishing the 
mission, but for some reason or other the mission was again 
closed or abandoned in 1700. 

A little church had been erected by the Jesuits in the Village 
of the Kaskaskia early in the century, but in 1753 this building 
which had been rather hastily and rudely constructed, was 
replaced by a church which is said to have been 104 feet long 
and 40 feet wide. This new church was erected by the efforts 
of three successive priests attached to the Kaskaskia mission, 
Father Tartarin, Father Watrin and Father Aubert. They 
succeeded in erecting this new church out of contributions made 
by the parishioners and their own fees and offerings. A com- 
plete list of the Jesuit priests who served in the Illinois country 
contains the names of the following clergymen: 

Marquette, Father Jacques (James), 1673-1675. 

Allouez, Father Claude Jean, 1674-1688. 

Gravier, Father Jacques, 1688-1695, 1698-1706. 

Rale, Father Sebastian, 1691-1693. 

Binneteau, Father Julien, 1696-1699. 

Pinet, Father Pierre Francois, 1696-1697, 1700-1704. 

Marest, Father Pierre Gabriel, 1698-1714. 

Alexandre, Brother, 1699. 

Limoges, Father Joseph de, 1699-1700. 

Gillet, Brother, 1702. 


Guibert, Brother Jean Francois, 1702-1712. 
Le Boullenger, Father Jean Antoine (Jean Baptiste), 1703- 

Mermet, Father Jean, 1704-1716. 

Ville, Father Jean Marie de, 1707-1720. 

Guymonneau, Father Jean Charles (Gabriel), 1716-1736. 

Beaubois, Father Nicholas Ignace de, 1720-1724. 

Kereben, Father Joseph Francois de, 1725-1728. 

Dumas, Father Jean, 1727-1740. 

Outreleau, Father Etienne d', 1727-1728. 

Tartarin, Father Rene, 1727-1730. 

Senat, Father Antoine, 1734-1756. 

Meurin, Father Sebastian Louis, 1742-1763, 1763-1777. 

Magendie, Brother Charles, 1747-1756. 

Watrin, Father Philibert, 1747-1764. 

Fourre, Father Joseph Julien, 1749-1756. 

Guyenne, Father Alexis (Alexandre) Xavier de, 1732-1756. 

Vivier, Father Louis, 1739-1753. 

Pernelle, Brother Julien, 1755-1764. 

La Mornnie, Father Jean Baptiste de, 1760 (or 1761-) 1764. 

Salleneuve, Father Jean Baptiste (Francois) de, 1761-1764. 

Duvernai, Father Julien, 1763-1764. 

With reference to the conduct of these priests, Alvord states 
in his history, page 198, 

In all accounts that have been preserved, the praise 
of the Jesuits and the performance of their duties to their 
parishioners is almost universal, only an occasional voice 
being raised against their strictness. Besides the regularly 
recurring functions of their calling, the Fathers gave daily 
instructions, for the most part religious, to the French 
settlers, thus becoming the first school teachers of the 
Illinois country. 

There were other missionaries, however, than the Jesuits. 
At Cahokia, the Seminary of Foreign Missions stationed one of 
their clergymen, by name Father Dominique Marie Varlet, who 
administered to the French inhabitants and the Indians around 
Cahokia from 1712 to 1718. He was succeeded in the same 
place by three other members of the same order, Father Thau- 
man de La Source, Father Calvarin, and Father Mercier. Father 
Mercier had quite a long career at Cahokia, where he died 
March 30, 1753. It is said that he passed forty-five years in 
missionary work, and was always respected by the Indians with 


whom he came in contact. The Seminary priests also sent out 
a missionary to the Missouri Indians, and served the church 
of St. Anne, at Fort de Chartres, which provoked a short but 
well tempered dispute between the Seminary priests and the 

These missionary priests were supposed to have received 
salaries from the Provincial Government. The Company of the 
West Indies paid 600 livres a year to each of the Jesuits, and 
200 livres extra for five years to cover the expenses of installing 
a new mission. A livre was worth about twenty cents. The 
government continued paying these salaries until the parishes 
grew in prosperity, and then their payment ceased. The sal- 
aries of these missionary clergymen were often unpaid. The 
religious bodies, however, sometimes received grants of land 
from the government. The Jesuits received a large grant in 
Kaskaskia as early as 1716, and the Seminary of Foreign Mis- 
sions received a cession of four leagues square at or near the 
village of Cahokia. The Jesuit missionaries were quite san- 
guine about the result of their work as missionaries among the 
Illinois Indians, who were a friendly and gentle race and listened 
gratefully to the teachings of the priests. By 1712 it was as- 
serted by the missionaries and other persons who were cognizant 
of the facts ; that all of the Illinois Indians had accepted Chris- 
tianity. This was sometimes disputed by others, but it is un- 
questioned that they attended mass and vespers regularly and 
seemed to enjoy the religious services. They joined in the 
hymns with the French, the Illinois Indians singing a couplet 
of a psalm or hymn in their own language, and the French 
following it in the Latin services of the church. It is said that 
they were so fond of instruction and confession that they wearied 
the Fathers with their insistence. Their habits were altered 
in many ways as the result of the instruction that they received 
from those priests. Most of the Indian medicine men were 
driven out of the tribe by the Kaskaskias and Cahokias. They 
abandoned torture in warfare. Under the instruction of the 
priests, they learned the use of the plow, and the women learned 
to make cloth from the hair of the buffalo. The Indian women 
dressed modestly. They had dressing gowns which reached to 


the neck, upon which they sewed a cap or a hat. Underneath the 
gown, they wore a petticoat and a bodice. They covered their 
bosoms with deer skin. The men, however, wore only girdles, 
the rest of their body being wholly bare. 

The association of the Jesuits and the daring, hardy fur 
traders doing business on an individualistic basis, free from 
monopolistic control, at the start was mutually advantageous. 

The missionary priests had secured the good will of the In- 
dian tribes both by their gentle humanizing conduct and by their 
preaching of the pure unselfish doctrines of the Christian 
Church. To their missions wherever established the Indians 
flocked in great numbers. Around these missions surmounted 
by the cross, the Indians erected their tepees and cabins. Nat- 
urally, these were the places where the coureurs-de-bois and 
the fur traders would most easily come in contact with the 
Indian hunters returning with their skins from the hunting 
grounds. The traders, naturally, would help the missionaries 
in the erection of their chapels, and homes, and in the acquisi- 
tion of food, clothing and the other necessities and comforts of 
life in the wilderness. Naturally, the missionaries, in return, 
would help these traders as interpreters and otherwise. Cheat- 
ing and over-reaching of the Indians by the traders, however, 
frequently occurred; as in most of the dealings between white 
men of all nationalities and the Indian. Because of these oc- 
currences, to the credit of the Jesuit missionaries, be it said, 
they, the missionaries, "worked persistently for an order from 
the court prohibiting fur traders from going to the West." 
(Alvord, Vol. I, Centennial History of Illinois, p. 70.) "They, 
the Jesuits, protested ever more strenuously against the sale of 
liquor to the Indians." (Idem.) 

These fur traders, while allowed to wander at will, could 
and did frequently close an unfair trade with the simple-minded 
Indian not under the eye of a French official or missionary 
priest, but in the secrecy usual in dishonest transactions. 

The missionaries in the remote western settlements were 
of the opinion that the traders should be prevented from enter- 
ing the territory, and that for the purpose of trade, the Indians 


would transport their furs to the white settlements, where op- 
portunity would be given to supervise all transactions. 

The leaders of the Jesuit order had a more ambitious pro- 
gram. It was the establishment in the heart of the Mississippi 
Valley of a great Christian state in which the red man, con- 
verted to Christianity, would retain his hunting grounds under 
the tutelage of the Jesuits, free from the cupidity and avarice 
of the dishonest trader. Neither the views of the resident mis- 
sionaries nor the aspirations of the Jesuit leaders were ever 

At this juncture, Frontenac appears upon the scene; the 
man who was to establish the future policy of the dealings of 
the Frenchman with the Aborigine ; but who was also to initiate 
and press to the front with vigor the magnificent program of 
welding together the Province of Canada with the Province of 
Louisiana, — both held by the French, by building French forts 
and establishing French garrisons and settlements across the 
present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana and laying the foundations 
of a New France in America which in time would be greater, 
richer, and more powerful than the mother country. 

Louis Baude, Comte de Frontenac, was appointed governor 
of New France about 1674 after Joliet and Pere Marquette had 
discovered the Mississippi. The white skinned population of 
New France at that time was less than seven thousand. With 
consummate enterprise and daring, Frontenac embarked upon 
the gigantic scheme of occupying the whole Mississippi Valley 
north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi River and below 
the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi, with French forts and 
settlements. He seemed to be the first of the governors of New 
France who had the breadth of vision to foresee that the nation 
that was in actual formidable possession of this rich territory 
with sufficient strength to establish continuous contact of forts 
and settlements could unite New France and Louisiana and lay 
the foundation for a great white skinned nation in the Missis- 
sippi Valley. 

His ambition in this direction was actuated not only by 
patriotic love for France and her aggrandizement, but by a 


selfish motive. He saw in the rich fur trade of that territory 
financial riches for himself and his intimates. If he or his 
friends could procure from the French sovereign a monopoly of 
this trade, his fortune was made, while his country was being 

Before the arrival of Frontenac in New France, the Jesuits 
had been granted special rights in the conduct of missions among 
the Indians around the Great Lakes and the only missions then 
in existence were those established by the Jesuits. These mis- 
sions around which the Indians gathered became magnets for 
the assemblage of the fur traders, and particularly for those 
traders that were or could become on friendly terms with the 

Friendship between these traders and the missionaries in 
these outskirts of civilization sprang up naturally. It was for 
the mutual advantage of both. Behind these traders and the 
missionaries in these outposts on the frontier of the new world, 
were many of the leading merchants of New France. These 
leading merchants were doubtless the brokers and financial sup- 
porters of the traders in the outposts and missions. These 
great merchants and financiers were as desirous of monopolizing 
the trading privileges as were Frontenac and his friends. 

When Frontenac disclosed his gigantic scheme of uniting 
New France with Louisiana by a string of forts and missions 
from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi and down the Missis- 
sippi to the Gulf of Mexico, with monopoly rights of fur trading 
in Frontenac and his friends, bitter opposition developed be- 
tween the established traders on the one side and Frontenac 
and his friends on the other side. The Jesuits, naturally, sided 
with their friends and intimates, the traders, as against the 
ambitions of the proposed new monopoly. 

Both the traders and the priests hoped and wished to broaden 
their operations around the lakes and to extend the rights and 
privileges which they had been enjoying in the North to the 
rich country north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, 
which extended to the Mississippi over what is now Ohio, Indi- 
ana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and down the Missis- 
sippi to New Orleans. 


With that end in view, Joliet (probably aided by the Jesuits) 
petitioned the French authorities for the right to found a colony 
of twenty in the Illinois country as the first step in that direc- 
tion. Governor Frontenac saw in the scheme a plan to deprive 
his friends of a coveted monopoly, and reported that "it was 
necessary to multiply the inhabitants of Canada before thinking 
of other lands," and the petition of Joliet was rejected. 

The main object of the priests, as shown by their zeal for 
religion and the endurance of all kinds of privations, was the 
spread of the Gospel of Christ; but the plain object of the 
merchants was the exclusive enjoyment of the profits of the fur 
trade and both objects ran upon parallel lines, so that the sup- 
port of either helped to obtain the aims of both. 

When the missionaries pointed to the demoralizing effects 
of French brandy, the governor's party, seeking the monopoly 
of trade, answered that French brandy was no more demoraliz- 
ing than English rum, obtainable at Albany from the British 
traders. That intoxicating liquor was conducive toward the 
quick and often scandalously unfair consummation of trade be- 
tween the white man and the red man, whether the white man 
spoke English, French, Dutch or Spanish, seems to have been 
an undeniable fact. It facilitated trade and robbed the red 
man. Alvord in his history cites a case where an Indian sold 
three thousand dollars worth of skins to a white man for a cask 
of brandy worth forty dollars. (P. 72, Alvord.) 

The French authorities exercising supervision over the In- 
dians and white colonists, sought to correct these evils. In 
1673, white men were prohibited from going into the woods for 
over twenty-four hours without a special permit. Shortly after- 
ward, all permits to trade were prohibited by the governor. 
The result of these prohibitions was the driving of the French 
traders and coureurs de bois from Montreal and Fort Frontenac 
to Albany for all purchases and sales. It made outlaws out of 
these Frenchmen, and made them expedite barters with the 
Indians with British rum instead of French brandy. 

Abolition of all rights of barter having failed, the French 
authorities then tried a limitation of all trading permits to 
twenty-five royal conges or trading permits. These conges were 


issued only to members of noble families or persons to whom the 
government was desirous of granting special consideration. 
This plan, however, failed, as did all the other plans devised 
for the purpose of putting a stop to unconscionable trading. 
The voyageurs and coureurs de bois or runners in the woods 
who were engaged in fur trading with the Indians, were a hardy, 
happy-go-lucky, rule-defying lot. 

In the early spring and early fall of each year, they were 
wont to leave Montreal in large fleets of canoes with their guns, 
scanty subsistence and trading goods, including French brandy 
for the Great Lakes. With three men in a canoe, they relied 
upon their guns and Ashing tackle almost solely for food. They 
endured all kinds of risks and hardships while paddling their 
canoes in the lakes and rivers and carrying them over the port- 
ages in the wilderness. At the Great Lakes they separated, each 
following the trail with which they were familiar, until they 
reached the Indian settlements. There in the solitude of the 
woods, far from the eye and arm of the government, they did 
their trading with the simple Indian upon such terms as they 
believed would be a recompense for risks and dangers and ardu- 
ous labor they had endured. Rules and regulations of a mighty 
monarch of France were to them, under the circumstances sur- 
rounding them, only so many jokes. 



The country of the Illinois as frequently mentioned in this 
narrative, and in all the French documents between 1673 when 
Marquette and Joliet discovered the Mississippi and 1763 when 
by the Treaty of Paris the British obtained sovereignty of the 
French possessions in the North American continent, was by 
no means co-terminous with the present State of Illinois. The 
term Illinois Country, as used by the French officials, extended 
from Western New York, north of the Ohio River to Eastern 
Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, although the Spanish govern- 
ment claimed title to all that portion of the same west of the 
Mississippi River. The French coureurs de bois and traders 
in their travels cared not for the claims of far distant kings 
in the hunt for furs. These happy-go-lucky traders were found 
wherever there was trade in the territory we have set out 

In all this wide expanse of territory, there were no English 
colonists who tilled the soil, no Spanish except around St. Louis, 
and but few French colonists who had established permanent 
homes and relied upon agriculture for a living. The French 
habitants, except along the Illinois Bottom for about seventy 
miles between Kaskaskia and East St. Louis, were either 
coureurs de bois, traders, or French soldiers, and naval and 
military officers stationed in and around the forts or posts at 
Frontenac, Mackinac, Green Bay, Fort Miami, Peoria, Vin- 
cennes and Chicago and Detroit. French tillers of the soil were 
few and far between, except in the Illinois Bottom, whose great 
fertility attracted many of them and made them permanent 
colonists. Outside of the French settlers gathered around De- 



Le Coureur de Bois 


troit and Fort Frontenac, there were probably not over three 
thousand Frenchmen who were actual colonists in all this ex- 
tensive territory, and about two thousand of these were located 
in the Illinois Bottom. Many writers have discussed the habits 
and characteristics of the French settlers in the Illinois Bot- 
tom, and if we gather from them a knowledge of these men and 
their families in that locality, we can get a fair idea of the habits 
of the French Colonial settlers, sparsely scattered over this 
extensive territory. 

In the American Bottom, the French inhabitants consisted 
of two classes. One well born, of fairly comfortable circum- 
stances who in Great Britain would be called the gentry. These 
were comparatively few and comprised the officers of the gar- 
rison and the rich merchants and land-holders. The others, 
a more numerous class, called habitants, were small holders of 
land, small merchants, small traders, coureurs de bois, servants 
and laborers. 

The holders of small tracts of land took title and cultivated 
their small holdings in a manner peculiar to the French in their 
native land. The American farmer, as we all know, as a rule 
takes title to and cultivates a farm in square lots of ten, forty, 
one hundred and sixty, or six hundred and forty acres. The 
French settler in the American Bottom used a large unfenced 
common open to all for grazing purposes, and for tillage took 
title to, and plowed long strips of sometimes a mile in length 
but very narrow in width. No fence or barrier separated these 
separate holdings from each other, but a common fence or bar- 
rier enclosed the ends of these long strips of land and the 
owner of each strip was required to maintain that portion of 
the end fence which was opposite his own strip of land. They 
did not live, or build their houses on these strips of land which 
they cultivated, but in a village close by their plantings, where 
they could live in more intimate contact with each other. 

It had one advantage over the modern farming methods. 
There was not such isolation of farming families as made the 
American farmer's life, before the coming of the auto, radio and 
telephone, almost unendurable. They were a pleasure loving, 
good natured lot, fond of frolics, dancing and card playing, as are 


most illiterate and many well educated people. As a rule, they 
seemed more concerned about having a happy, rather than a 
luxurious life. They drank as a rule with moderation, but on 
occasions went too far, as most frontiersmen of other national- 
ities were wont to do. So far as the records show, they were 
singularly free from felonious crimes, and settled most of their 
disputes by referring them to the civil or military authorities, 
and in many cases by submitting them to their clergymen. 

Concubinage with squaws, and marriage to squaws, were 
quite common. The latter was urged by the priests in substitu- 
tion of concubinage, although these marriages were frowned 
on by the civil authorities ; because of the belief that such mar- 
riages degraded the white man to the level of the savage and 
produced a progeny that had the vices of both races. At times, 
these marriages were absolutely interdicted by the civil au- 

On Sundays and holidays, after attending church, they in- 
dulged themselves in games and other recreations, after the 
manner of most European countries. 

Mardi Gras and New Year's day were celebrated with en- 
thusiasm. Good natured charivaris and pancake flappings were 
frequent, and dancing was at all times considered the height of 

Their social intercourse with the Indians was on the whole 
much more friendly than the association of the English settler 
with the red man. The English settler made no disguise of the 
fact that he wanted the land upon which the Indian hunted, and 
frequently appropriated to himself that land by force; without 
attempting to acquire the tribal rights of the Indian to the same. 
The French settler was more concerned in acquiring the furs 
of the hunter, which he was willing to buy, and when he did 
acquire the land itself, it was obtained in some peaceful method 
rather than by force of arms. 

Under the French system, theoretically, the French inhab- 
itant had no voice in the laws or ordinances, by which he was 
governed. There was no law governing him, except such laws 
and rules as were proclaimed by the King of France and by the 
governor of New France under royal authority. The New 


England township government was unknown. The French sub- 
jects in New France were never consulted about the laws and 
rules proclaimed. These laws and rules were handed to them 
ready made, and had to be obeyed. None the less, these little 
villages like Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and New Chartres did of 
their own volition establish certain customs that by unanimous 
agreement were treated, obeyed and binding upon their in- 

Assemblies of the people were held after mass in front of 
the church. Syndics or quasi-mayors were there elected. When 
matters relating to the church arose, the priest presided. When 
civil or commercial matters were under consideration, the syndic 
took charge. 

Auctions were held there. The times of plowing or harvest- 
ing were settled. Repairs on churches, roads or public build- 
ings were determined there. Records were kept by the judge 
or a clerk, or notary, of all transactions at said assemblies, and 
the syndic of the village was required to see that all orders 
made at such meetings were duly carried out. 

Military duty was compulsory upon all male inhabitants of 
these French villages, for the purpose of protecting them from 
Indian aggression or other disorder. The captain of the com- 
pany, in each village, was selected by the French mayor or com- 
mandant to organize the company and control it thereafter. 

The captain of the militia in each village was a citizen of 
much importance. He represented the major commandant and 
represented the royal government in all work performed by the 
villagers for the government, or on the roads. He represented 
the judge, and carried out and put into execution his judgments. 
He was to all intents and purposes a man clothed with the au- 
thority and performing the function of an English justice of 
the peace. At times disputes arose between the villagers and 
the Indians, which the captain of the militia took charge of 
and assuaged or settled in some manner. When the white men 
first settled among these Indians, there were no disputes as to 
titles to the land. Both the Indians and the white men were 
interested in hunting and in the fur trade, rather than in the 
soil, but as the settlers began to show a disposition to possess 




themselves of land, then trouble arose between them and the 

The close association of these inhabitants and the Indians 
was probably disadvantageous to both. Intoxicating liquor and 
disease spread rapidly among the Indians, and these Illinois 
Indians that were formerly able to hold their own even against 
the ferocious Iroquois tribes, became degenerate, and their 
tribes were reduced in number to between three to three thou- 
sand five hundred men, women and children, the males of which 
seemed to have degenerated from fearless warriors into lazy 
and indolent idlers. 

They rapidly became converts and responded to the teach- 
ings of the missionaries. They attended church with great 
regularity and participated in all the ceremonies of the Catholic 
religion. John Reynolds, who was elected governor in 1830, 
lived among the French habitants for many years and had prob- 
ably the best opportunity of any English writer to become ac- 
quainted with their character and customs and in his history 
of Illinois entitled My Own Times, 1 he describes them in the fol- 
lowing language: 

The immigrants of the French villages being from 
different sections of the continent, made some difference 
in the population. Kaskaskia and Prairie du Rocher were 
mostly colonized from Mobile and New Orleans, and Caho- 
kia from Canada. The language possessed a shade of dif- 
ference, as well as their habits. In the first-named village, 
the inhabitants partook of the Sunny South, more than 
those who settled in Cakohia from Canada. A shade more 
of relaxation, gaiety, hilarity, and dancing, prevailed in 
Kaskaskia and Prairie du Rocher than in Cahokia. It may 
be, the immigrants from France to the north and south of 
the continent of North America, may have been from 
different provinces of the mother-country, which made the 
difference above mentioned in the early French pioneers 
of Illinois. 

The masses of the French were an innocent and happy 
people. They were devoutly attached to the Roman Cath- 

i Reynolds (My Own Times), first and second sections, p. 37, and 
second section, p. 38 and last three sections, p. 39. 


olic Church, and had lived for many generations in strict 
obedience to the Christian principles taught by that church. 
They were removed from the corruption of large cities, and 
enjoyed an isolated position in the interior of North 
America. In a century before 1800, they were enabled to 
solve the problem: that neither wealth, nor splendid pos- 
sessions, nor an extraordinary degree of ambition, nor 
energy, ever made a people happy. These people resided 
more than a thousand miles from any other colony, and 
were strangers to wealth or poverty; but the Christian 
virtues governed their hearts, and they were happy. One 
virtue among others was held in high estimation, and re- 
ligiously observed. Chastity with the Creoles was a sine 
quo non, and a spurious offspring was almost unknown 
among them. It is the immutable decree to man from the 
Throne itself, that in proportion to the introduction of sin 
and guilt into the heart, in the same proportion happiness 
abandons the person. 

"The French generally, and the early Creoles particu- 
larly, were passionately fond of dancing. The gay and 
merry disposition of the French, adopted the mode of so- 
cial amusement. To enjoy the dancing-salon was almost 
a passion among the French, and for the enjoyment of 
which they made many efforts. No people ever conducted 
the ballroom with more propriety than they did. Decorum 
and punctilious manners were enforced by public opinion. 
No liquor, cigars, or loud blustering remarks were tolerated 
in their dancing assemblies. All classes, ages, and degrees 
assembled together, and made one large family in these 
ballrooms. The aged would at times dance; but they per- 
formed a higher duty. The discreet and aged females 
kept an eye sharp and searching over the giddy youth. 
Frequently the priest attended the early part of the evening 
in the balls, and saw that the innocent and proper observ- 
ance of just principles be the order of the party. 

"The habits of labor and energy with the French were 
moderate. Their energy or ambition never urged them to 
more than an humble and competent support. To hoard 
up wealth was not found written in their hearts, and very 
few practiced it. They were a temperate, moral people. 
They very seldom indulged in drinking liquor. They were 
at times rather intemperate in smoking and dancing; but 
seldom indulged in either to excess at the same time or 


"All classes observed a strict morality against hunting 
or fishing on the Sabbath ; but they played cards for amuse- 
ment often on the Sabbath. This they considered one of 
the innocent pastimes that was not prohibited to a Chris- 

"They had no taste for either horse-racing or foot- 
racing, wrestling, jumping, or the like; and did not often 
indulge in these sports. Shooting fowls on the wing, and 
breaking wild horses afforded the French considerable 


The most picturesque and romantic figure among the French 
explorers was Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle. Brave, in- 
domitably persevering, brilliant in conception and vigorous in 
execution, he attained more for France, and less for himself 
than any of the men connected with the settlement of New 
France and the Illinois Country, excepting Frontenac who vi- 
sioned what La Salle nearly succeeded in accomplishing, — the 
creation of a great empire under the standard of the lilies of 
France, extending from Quebec to New Orleans. 

He was a member of an aristocratic family located near 
Rouen, France, was born in that city November 22, 1643, and 
received an excellent education in a Jesuit school in which he 
remained until he was twenty-three years of age. He probably 
originally intended to become a member of that order, but 
changed his mind at the age just mentioned. When he left the 
Jesuits in 1666, he had a brother, Abbe Jean Cavalier, living in 
Montreal and left France to meet his brother in the new world. 
On arriving in Montreal, he started into the business of trading 
in furs, and acquired a small estate called Lachine. 

By reason of his excellent family connections and his own 
dignified bearing and superior education, he secured the confi- 
dence and respect of Jean Talon, the French intendant, who 
was at that time setting on foot exploring expeditions into the 
western country. 

Before receiving any official recognition from Talon, he had 
started exploring on his own account. His brother was a Sul- 
pician priest, and through him La Salle had come in contact 
with two other members of the Sulpician order, the Abbes Gal- 
lince and Casson who were about to go to the southerly shore 
of Lake Ontario with the design of establishing religious mis- 



sions. La Salle accompanied them, but for some reason they 
separated and La Salle returned without making any progress 
or gaining any prestige. 

Talon the next year after his return gave him official recog- 
nition and commissioned him to explore, over the same territory. 
As no records seem to have been preserved, it was probably 
abortive of results. These trips of La Salle, however, were 
utilized by Talon and his friends, when properly exaggerated, 

Kobert Cavalier Sieur de LaSalle 

to give prestige to La Salle when he became an applicant for 
royal authority to explore and colonize the West. 

At this stage of the history, it becomes manifest both by his 
association with the Sulpicians, and his intimacy with, and rec- 
ognition by, Talon that La Salle had severed his affiliations with 
his former teachers, the Jesuits, and allied himself with the 
intendant Talon and the governor, Frontenac, who were then 
seeking a monopoly of the fur trade and exclusive control of 
the location of the religious missions. The struggle was on 
between the Jesuits who were then in control of the missions 
and the Frontenac-Talon-La Salle interests who desired to sup- 
plant them. 


Under then existing conditions, the individual fur trader 
could make his own living and his own profit. Under the newly- 
proposed monopoly, backed by the governor and intendant, he, 
the trader, must work for the monopoly, on monopoly's terms. 

The success of Marquette and Joliet in discovering the Mis- 
sissippi, and the success of the Jesuit missionaries in estab- 
lishing relations of confidence and friendship with the Indians 
at their numerous missions were a matter of chagrin to the 
Frontenac-Talon party, who were backing La Salle. To counter- 
balance these successes, the friends of La Salle resorted to 
every possible expedient to exaggerate the exploits of La Salle 
at Court in France. La Salle's excursions among the Indians 
did enable him to learn the Iroquois language, and acquire a 
thorough knowledge of their habits of life and inured him to the 
labors and fatigues and dangers of a life of exploration. He 
had a fine physical presence, a vigorous constitution, and great 
charm of manner which could and did captivate even a royal 

On or about 1673, the then governor of New France, Fron- 
tenac, had constructed, at his own expense a hastily constructed 
wooden fort at a point where Lake Ontario poured its waters 
into the St. Lawrence River, a site now occupied by the modern 
City of Kingston. This fort had been constructed without the 
authority of the French court. Frontenac realized the strategic 
strength of the place, and knew it to be a point from which he 
could control the western fur trade, and from which he could 
rule over all, and keep in control the Iroquois confederacy to 
the south. This confederacy had been the connecting link be- 
tween the western Indians and the British traders at Albany. 
The government in France had raised objections to these pre- 
mature acts of Frontenac. 

By this time La Salle, who had become thoroughly conversant 
with the Iroquois language and who had, in his intercourse with 
the Iroquois gained their confidence and respect, was sent by 
Frontenac to France to lay the case of the governor before 
Colbert, the minister of Louis XIV. Alvord in his history 
quotes the letter from Frontenac to Colbert as follows : 


I cannot but recommend to you Msr. Sieur de La Salle, 
who is about to go to France and who is a man of intelli- 
gence and ability, the most competent of anyone I know 
here to accomplish every enterprise and discovery which 
may be entrusted to him, as he has the most perfect knowl- 
edge of the state of the country, as you will see if you are 
disposed to give him a few moments audience. 

Notwithstanding the objection of the Jesuit party, La Salle 
was well received at court. He petitioned that court for a 
patent of nobility and for the seigniory of Fort Frontenac, prom- 
ising to build a fort of stone and develop a village around it at 
considerable expense; to repay Count Frontenac for the cost 
of the fort, and to make grants of land to the settlers who came 
there to live, to attract the Indians to his place and grant them 
lands and instruct them in trades and labor, and to build a church 
and maintain priests to administer the same. With his patent 
of nobility and this grant, he returned promptly to New France, 
where he built the fort, made grants to the Indians, and reared 
great flocks and herds, and resumed his relations with the 
Iroquois tribe. 

While La Salle was at Frontenac engaged in this work, the 
explorer Joliet on his return from the Mississippi River dropped 
in at Fort Frontenac, visited La Salle and doubtless made a full 
report of his discovery. The Iroquois warriors made the same 
reports with relation to the existence of the Mississippi. Upon 
hearing said reports, La Salle decided to make a journey into 
the Illinois country and place the flag of France over the terri- 
tory between the Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. He designed 
a scheme of building a chain of forts reaching from St. Louis 
to the mouth of the Mississippi. In pursuance of this design, 
in 1678 he again went to France, having behind him Courselles, 
the then governor, and Talon. He had no trouble in securing an 
audience with Colbert at the French court, and on the 12th of 
May, 1678, procured Letters Patent, which I quote from Smith's 
History of Illinois, Vol. I, page 83, as follows : 

Letters Patent 

"Granted by the King of France to the Sieur de La Salle 
on the 12th of May, 1678." 



"Louis, by the grace of God, King of France and of 
Navarre. To our dear and well-beloved Robert Cavalier, 
Sieur de La Salle, greeting. 

"We have received with favor the very humble petition, 
which has been presented to us in your name, to permit 
you to endeavor to discover the Western part of our coun- 
try of New France ; and we have consented to this proposal 
the more willingly, because there is nothing we have more 
at heart than the discovery of this country, through which 
it is probable that a passage may be found to Mexico ; and 
because your diligence in clearing the lands which we 
granted to you by decree of our council of the 13th of May, 
1675, and, by Letters Patent of the same date, to form 
habitations upon the said lands, and to put Fort Frontenac 
in good state of defense, the seigniory and Government 
whereof we likewise granted to you, affords us every rea- 
son to hope that you will succeed to our satisfaction, and 
to the advantage of our subjects of said country. 

"For these reasons, and others thereunto moving us, 
we have permitted, and do hereby permit you, by these 
presents, signed by our hand, to endeavor to discover the 
Western part of our country of New France, and for the 
execution of this enterprise, to construct forts wherever 
you shall deem it necessary; which it is our will you shall 
hold on the same terms and conditions as Fort Frontenac, 
agreeably and conformably to our said Letters Patent of 
the 13th of May, 1675, which we have confirmed, as far as 
is needful, and hereby confirm by these presents. And it 
is our pleasure that they be executed according to their 
form and tenor. 

"To accomplish this, and everything above mentioned, 
we give you full powers; on condition, however, that you 
shall finish this enterprise within five years, in default of 
which these presents shall be void and of none effect; that 
you carry on no trade whatever with the savages called 
Outauoacs, and others who bring their beaver skins and 
other peltries to Montreal ; and that the whole shall be done 
at your expense, and that of your company, to which we 
have granted the privilege of trade in buffalo-skins. And 
we call on Sieur de Frontenac, our governor and lieutenant 
general, and on the Sieur de Chesneau, intendant of justice, 
police and finance, and on the officers who compose the su- 
preme council in the said country, to affix their signatures 


to these presents; for such is our pleasure. Given at St. 
Germain en Laye, this 12th day of May, 1678, and of our 
reign the thirty-fifth. 

"(Signed) Louis." 
And lower down, by the king. 
And sealed with the great seal of yellow wax, Colbert. 

Having secured this patent, which gave him tremendous 
prestige and absolute authority in the western portion of New 
France covering the Illinois district, La Salle undertook to raise 
finances for the purpose of carrying out this great enterprise. 
By strenuous exertion, he succeeded in raising from his friends 
and relatives the sum of 500,000 livres, or about $100,000. In 
this enterprise he was assisted by Colbert, whose friendship he 
secured, and Colbert's son, Marquis Seignley, and the Prince 
de Conte, prominent in military circles in France. Among oth- 
ers that he met in France at this time was Henry de Tonti, an 
Italian officer who was an intimate of the Prince de Conte. 
He induced de Tonti to join him in his enterprise, and with his 
assistance they gathered in France, carpenters, shipwrights, 
sailors, blacksmiths and common laborers, and purchased ma- 
terial for the construction of ships. With Tonti and his party, 
La Salle sailed from Rochelle July 15, 1678, and reached Quebec 
the September following. After paying his respects to Gov- 
ernor Frontenac, La Salle and his expedition a few days there- 
after sailed from Quebec to Fort Frontenac. Within a few days 
afterwards, they proceeded to Niagara Falls, hoping to secure 
a suitable location for the building of a boat to sail on the upper 
lakes. They finally selected Tonawanda Creek near Niagara 
Falls, and built a ship of sixty-two tons burden, which he chris- 
tened The Griffon. During the construction of the ship, La Salle 
had sent some of his adherents to Mackinac with money and 
goods manufactured in Europe, with orders to purchase furs 
from the Indians and have them ready when the ship should 
reach Mackinac. The vessel arrived at Mackinac on the 27th 
of August, having taken on board Tonti as they passed Detroit. 
When they arrived at this point, La Salle discovered that some 
of his men who had been sent forward to purchase furs, had been 
dissuaded from the work which they had been commissioned to 


do. Tonti was immediately sent by La Salle to hunt these men 
up and secure their return, and La Salle himself with the Griffon 
went on to Green Bay, arriving there on the 10th of September. 
Here he disposed of large quantities of his trading goods in 
exchange for furs, at a large profit. The ship, with its cargo 
of furs, was sent back to Niagara, while La Salle himself and 
fourteen of the company proceeded southward in small boats 
to the St. Joe River, which they reached on November 1, 1679. 
Here it was agreed between Tonti and La Salle that Tonti should 
report to La Salle concerning the deserters. Twenty days there- 
after Tonti appeared with some, but with not all of these de- 
serters. Tonti failed to secure the return of all of these men, 
but joined La Salle and ascended the St. Joe River to the Kan- 
kakee portage. Before leaving St. Joe and the ascent of that 
river, La Salle caused a storehouse to be built at St. Joe, in the 
expectation that the Griffon, after it discharged its load at Ni- 
agara, would return with goods and supplies from Niagara. 
The fort that he constructed at St. Joe he called Fort Miami. 

With a company of thirty-eight in eight canoes, he left Fort 
Miami on the 3rd of December, rowing up the St. Joe River to 
the portage between the St. Joe River and the Kankakee, which 
was located somewhere in the neighborhood of South Bend, 
Indiana. The portage was five miles wide, and the ground 
around it very swampy. They soon, however, came to a current 
flowing westerly, and soon thereafter reached the Illinois River. 
Going down the Illinois, they found game very abundant, and 
passed the site of the present city of Ottawa and Buffalo Rock 
on the right. On the left bank of the river they passed the now 
famous Starved Rock. Opposite Starved Rock was an Indian 
village occupied by the Kaskaskias, near the present site of Utica. 
This was where Marquette had preached to the Indians on his 
return from the Mississippi and where Marquette reported that 
the number of Indian cabins was seventy-four. In 1677 Father 
Allouez visited this same place after Marquette had established 
a mission there, and he reports that there were then four hun- 
dred and fifty lodges. When La Salle and his company reached 
this point on the Illinois River, they were practically out of food 
and game was scarce. They found a cache of corn in a sort of 


cellar left there by the Indians who were away on a winter hunt. 
Driven by necessity, La Salle was compelled to appropriate some 
of this corn, as there was no one from whom he could purchase. 
He knew that according to the Indian custom, it was a great 
crime to take these supplies without the consent of the owner, 
but he determined in the interests of the lives of his company, 
to take the chance of taking it in the absence of the Indians 
and pay for it thereafter. 

A few days afterwards in sailing down the Illinois, they 
reached a place where now is located the City of Peoria, where 
they discovered the smoke of numerous camp fires arising from 
the Indian camps which were on both sides of the river. Their 
appearance caused great consternation at first, but one of the 
Indian chiefs having produced a peace pipe, a conference was 
arranged and confidence was soon restored. Fathers Membre 
and Hennepin were in La Salle's party and went among the 
people and explained fully the cause of their coming. At the 
request of La Salle, the Indians called a conference, and La 
Salle, after making them presents of tobacco and hatchets, ex- 
plained that he was compelled to take their corn at the Kas- 
kaskia village, and was willing to restore it all, or pay for it 
as the Indians desired. The Indians answered that he was wel- 
come to what he had, and they offered him more in addition. 
Friendly relations were soon established between the Indians 
and La Salle's party. He told them that if he was to remain 
with them, he must be permitted to build a fort; that he could 
not join them in an attack upon the Iroquois, since they, the 
Iroquois, were subject to the king of France. He assured them, 
however, that if the Iroquois attacked them, the Illinois Indians 
then at Peoria, he would defend them and render them every 
possible assistance. He spoke to them further of his desire 
of exploring the Mississippi and ascertaining into what body of 
water the Mississippi emptied. During his stay at Peoria, six 
of his band deserted, and it is said that an effort was made to 
poison him by giving him poisoned food. 

In the middle of January, 1680, when the ice in the Illinois 
River loosened, La Salle selected near Peoria and about two 
miles below the Indian village, a place for the erection of a fort. 




De La Salle on the Illinois River 


It was a hill two hundred yards from the bank of the river, 
with a ravine on each side and low marshy ground in front. On 
the other side they dug a trench, surrounding the fort with 
water. Around this they built a palisade, which they believed 
would be secure against any Indian attack either from the 
Illinois or the Iroquois. The name he gave it was the Fort of 
Creve-Couer, or Broken-Heart, which name was probably sug- 
gested to him by his recent misfortunes. 

La Salle at this point had been expecting a return of the 
Griffon from Niagara with supplies and necessities. He ex- 
pected that she would bring him implements with which to 
construct a ship to sail on the Illinois and lower Mississippi to 
the Gulf of Mexico. Such materials he had left at Fort Fron- 
tenac. It was then four months since he had dispatched the 
Griffon from Green Bay to Niagara. He felt certain that the 
ship was lost, which it was, in fact, whether by accident or 
treachery, we do not know. The fact that he had named the 
fort Creve-Couer indicates the desperate condition of his mind. 
Here he was in the West, with some of his followers already 
deserters, a thousand miles from Quebec, surrounded by Indian 
tribes upon whose friendship he could not rely, and having 
with him only Tonti and a few more loyal white men; but he 
was possessed of an indomitable spirit and in the depth of his 
misfortunes at Creve-Couer, he began to construct a boat of 
considerable size for the trip on the Mississippi and to the Gulf 
of Mexico. It was forty-two feet long and twelve feet wide, 
built of lumber which was sawed from the trees which grew 
around. He lacked, however, cordage and sails and certain 
pieces of iron necessary for the completion of the boat, and he 
finally determined to go back to Fort Frontenac to secure these 
necessary supplies. Before leaving, however, he arranged to 
send a delegation up the Mississippi River, and selected Father 
Louis Hennepin and two Frenchmen, Michael Acco and An- 
toine Anguel to accompany him. He furnished the party with 
a few articles of European manufacture with which they could 
trade with the Indians. Father Hennepin and his companions 
left Fort Creve-Couer on the 29th of February, 1680, and 
reached the mouth of the Illinois River on the 8th of March, 


and then proceeded up the Mississippi to the Falls of St. An- 
thony, now located between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Here 
Father Hennepin erected a cross and the arms of France. A 
few days later, on the 10th of April, they were captured by 
some Sioux Indians, who robbed the Frenchmen and kept them 
prisoners during the summer. Daniel Gray Solon due L'hut, a 
French trader, rescued them in the fall. Father Hennepin in 
due day returned and gave a long account of his experiences 
on the trip. 

After dispatching Father Hennepin up the Mississippi, La 
Salle on the very next day, March 1st, 1680, started from Fort 
Creve-Couer to New France, with six of his best French fol- 
lowers in two birchbark canoes which were loaded with blankets, 
clothing, gunpowder, lead, skins, and moccasins. A Mohegan 
hunter accompanied them as their guide. He left Tonti in 
charge of Fort Creve-Coeur, giving him full instructions as to 
the course to pursue. 

The Illinois River at this time was full of ice, and La Salle 
and his companions suffered fearfully from cold weather. They 
were compelled to pull their boats on sledges for miles and 
miles. On the 10th of March, they reached the Kaskaskia vil- 
lage where they had taken the corn a few months before. They 
were visited here by one of the chiefs of the Illinois Indians, 
named Chassogoac (Chicago), who became very friendly with 
La Salle and furnished him a canoe full of corn. He eventually, 
after suffering many hardships, reached Fort Frontenac for the 
purpose of securing supplies and settling his financial affairs 
which were then in great distress. The sinking of the Griffon 
had caused La Salle the loss of forty thousand livres, and his 
finances were in a desperate condition. 

On the point of returning to the Illinois country from Fort 
Frontenac, additional bad news reached him from the Illinois 
country. On July 22nd, two messengers from Fort Creve-Couer 
reached Fort Frontenac, and informed La Salle that while Tonti 
with a small party of his followers were inspecting Starved 
Rock as a possible location for a fort, that all the other men 
left by Tonti at Fort Creve-Couer had plundered and destroyed 
the fort and deserted, and that they had also robbed the fort 


at St. Joe and that at Niagara. "Unmerciful disaster followed 
fast and followed faster." Another man would have sunk be- 
neath these loads of misfortune. Not so with La Salle. Pos- 
sessed of an indomitable spirit, he took steps at once to emerge 
from these monstrous troubles. 

Quickly collecting his equipment, on August 1, 1680, La Salle 
started westward to rescue Tonti, and the few faithful adher- 
ents who still remained loyal to him. His party consisted of 
twenty-five men and his lieutenant, Le Forest, most of them 
being artisans. On November 4th he had reached the mouth 
of the St. Joe River, pushed over the portage from the St. Joe 
to the Kaskaskia with only six Frenchmen and an Indian. When 
he reached the old Kaskaskia near the site of modern Utica, he 
was shocked to find that the village had been destroyed and the 
fields laid waste, and he found the corpses of men lying about 
that had been murdered by the Iroquois Indians. No trace was 
found here of Tonti. 

Leaving three men behind him to warn the rest of his party 
to follow, he and a few men paddled their canoes down the 
Illinois River, seeing in many places indications of the flight 
of the Illinois before their implacable foes, the Iroquois. He 
continued down the Illinois until he reached the Mississippi, 
with no trace of Tonti. He then returned, canoeing northward 
to the Des Plaines River, ascended the Des Plaines a short dis- 
tance and found evidence of the passage of white men. He 
finally reached Fort Miami on the St. Joe River, where they 
found the rest of his party under LeForest. 

Here is what happened to Tonti. Both at Mackinac in Au- 
gust, 1678, and at Fort Miami (St. Joseph) afterward, many 
of La Salle's followers had shown an insubordinate disposition, 
and some of them had deserted. This feeling of dissatisfaction 
still rankled in the minds of those who had been left with Tonti 
at Creve-Couer when La Salle left them to get supplies at Ni- 
agara and Fort Frontenac. 

Shortly after La Salle left Creve-Coeur for Frontenac, he 
dispatched a letter to Tonti from Fort Miami by the hands of 
two Frenchmen, La Chapelle and Leblanc, instructing Tonti to 
fortify Starved Rock near the Kaskaskia village. Following 


instructions, the ever faithful Tonti took four men from the 
Creve-Coeur garrison of fifteen men and canoed up the Illinois 
River to Starved Rock and started upon the fortification of 
the rock. Within a few days after he left Creve-Coeur, all ex- 
cept two of the Frenchmen remaining in Creve-Coeur revolted, 
looted the fort and started back to Canada. The only two men 
who remained faithful, at Creve-Coeur promptly left that fort, 
and reported to Tonti at Starved Rock what had taken place at 


It appears that the two messengers sent by La Salle from 
Miami to Creve-Coeur with a letter of instructions to Tonti, 
told the men in the garrison that the Griffon had been lost and 
that La Salle was bankrupt. The garrison had not been paid 
for some time and this discouraging news was the cause of the 
desertion of the men and the looting of the fort in Tonti's ab- 
sence at Starved Rock. 

However, Tonti's misery and misfortunes were just begin- 
ning. He promptly dispatched two of the six men then with 
him from Starved Rock to La Salle, informing him of the col- 
lapse of affairs at Creve-Coeur, ana turned to face a greater 


disaster. As we have heretofore seen in this narrative, the 
Algonquin and Iroquois tribes were deadly enemies. They had 
been sanguinary foes since before the advent of the white man, 
by reason of each of these tribes trespassing upon the hunting 
grounds claimed by the other. The arrival of the white man 
had simply intensified their enmities. The white men began 
buying their pelts and sold them guns, ammunition, blankets, 
iron, implements, rum and brandy. The Iroquois claimed that 
all the territory south of the Great Lakes rightfully belonged 
to them and that the Algonquins of the North (to which the 
Illinois Indians belonged) were trespassers on their demesne. 
La Salle, owing to the fact that the Jesuits in New France as 
well as the mother country were opposed to monopolization of 
the trading by the Frontenac-Talon-La Salle syndicate, believed 
that the Jesuits were instigating the Iroquois to attack the west- 
ern tribes in the Illinois country. The fact was that it was 
ordinary commercialism that caused the incursions of the Iro- 
quois Indians into the Illinois territory. They were business 
rivals in the killing of fur-bearing animals and the sale of their 
skins. A careful reading of history covering the relations be- 
tween the western Indians and the Jesuits, particularly the 
Indians at Kaskaskia, shows that the Jesuits were on such inti- 
mate friendly terms with the Illinois Indians as to make it in- 
credible that the Jesuits would compass the Indians' destruction. 

The Iroquois believed that the French government, through 
Frontenac and La Salle, had entered into a combination with the 
Algonquin Indians dwelling in the Illinois country, to deprive 
them of their rightfully owned hunting grounds south of the 
Great Lakes and the profits resulting therefrom, and because 
of this they attacked the Illinois Indians at Kaskaskia while 
Tonti was at Kaskaskia living with that tribe. 

Five hundred Iroquois, assisted by some renegade Miami, 
were reported to the Kaskaskias to be within a few miles of the 
Kaskaskia village. Scouts sent out by the Kaskaskias reported 
that a Frenchman was with the Iroquois. A suspicion devel- 
oped among the Kaskaskias that the Frenchman was, in fact, 
La Salle himself, and that Tonti and his French companions in 
the village were traitors and in league with the Iroquois. Only 


by the exercise of the utmost tact and diplomacy was Tonti able 
to convince them to the contrary. The women and children 
were hastily removed from the village down the river before 
the battle began, but the Iroquois at the outset of the conflict 
sacked and destroyed the Kaskaskia village. 

The Kaskaskias succeeded for a time in keeping the Iro- 
quois on the other side of the river, but the Iroquois attacks 
continued. The Kaskaskia warriors soon began to lose heart 
and scattered, and the Iroquois overtook women and children 
and slaughtered seven hundred of them near the mouth of 
the Illinois. The surviving Kaskaskia warriors abandoned their 
old home on the Illinois some time afterwards and located near 
the mouth of the Kaskaskia River in Southwestern Illinois. 

Tonti, Father Membre and a few other Frenchmen managed 
in the face of almost insuperable obstacles to escape and took 
shelter with the Pottawatomi tribe near the shore of Lake 

When La Salle returned from Frontenac in the fall of 1680, 
this was the desperate state of affairs that he found in the 
Illinois country. Any other man would have abandoned the en- 
terprise in despair. Harrassed by his creditors in Canada, de- 
serted by most of his followers, surrounded by savage Indian 
enemies, his loyal chief of staff, Tonti, either dead or in cap- 
tivity, opposed at every turn by the Jesuits both in France and 
at the missions, with his fortunes at the lowest ebb, his situation 
at this stage seemed hopeless. Here, however, is where his 
full stature as a great man became manifest, and enabled him 
to leave a name imperishable in American history. Up to this 
time, La Salle had been endeavoring to keep on good terms with 
the Iroquois tribes. He had spent considerable time among 
them and had learned their language. His aim had been to 
develop the remunerative fur trade, not only with the Algon- 
quins north of the Great Lakes and in the Illinois valley, but 
also with the Iroquois. He now found this to be impossible, 
owing to the enmity of the Iroquois toward the Illinois tribes 
which they believed were trespassers upon their (the Iroquois') 
hunting grounds. 


The massacre of the Kaskaskias by the Iroquois along the 
Illinois River determined his future course. Undaunted by re- 
cent disasters, he began to organize a confederacy of the western 
Algonquin tribes to oppose and overcome the Iroquois. Before 
the following spring, he had accomplished his purpose. With 
wonderful activity and the keenest diplomacy, he and his agents 
succeeded in confederating the Illinois, Miami, Shawnee, Abucki 
and Mohegan tribes into one group where the sole aim was to 
overcome and if possible destroy the Iroquois. 

Emboldened by this success, La Salle conceived and promptly 
embarked upon a greater project than the immediate acquisi- 
tion of a monopoly of the fur trade. The commercial aims 
could be delayed until the greater project was achieved, and 
would inevitably follow the success of the greater achievement. 

Joliet and the gentle Marquette had, it is true, discovered 
and traveled up the great Mississippi and had reported their 
success. In La Salle's view, that discovery was half-baked and 
unfinished. They had never found the mouth of that great 
water course. No one knew whether it emptied into the At- 
lantic or Pacific. Above all, Joliet and La Salle had personal 
not national missions. Joliet was developing the fur trade. Mar- 
quette was attempting to Christianize the savage. Neither 
was speading the power and glory of La Belle France. He, La 
Salle, would complete the unfinished work, trace this river to its 
mouth, and in the most solemn and impressive manner dedi- 
cate this great stream and the rich country through which it 
flowed to the honor and glory of France and emblazon her rich 
acquisition of territory to the whole world. 

After being apprised by Tonti's message from Kaskaskia of 
the disaster at Creve-Coeur and Kaskaskia, La Salle, undaunted, 
hurried back to Fort Frontenac and nothwithstanding the fact 
that his bills for rebuilding that fort were still unpaid, with 
the assistance of Governor Frontenac and by pledging part of 
his monopoly rights, he succeeded in getting together and fit- 
ting out a rather impressive expedition for the realization of 
his glorious dream of exploring the Mississippi to its mouth 
and solemnly dedicating the great western country along its 
banks from the Great Lakes to the ocean as a colony of the 


French monarchy. Getting together twenty-three Frenchmen 
and eighteen warriors of the Abuaki and Mohegan tribes with 
ten squaws and some children, he made his way from Mackinac 
to Fort Miami. The ever faithful Tonti, having given the Pot- 
tawatomi the slip, joined him at Mackinac and went with him 
to Fort Miami. From there in canoes they paddled the way 
to Chicago in the depth of winter. From Chicago, probably 
because of the Chicago and Des Plaines rivers being frozen 
over, they journeyed overland to the Illinois River. Having 
reached the Illinois River, they again took to their canoes and 
floated down that river to the Mississippi. 

Among the Frenchmen gathered by La Salle at Fort Fronte- 
nac for this expedition was one selected for a specific purpose. 
Jacques De La Metairie was a notary holding a commission 
from the French government. He was selected by La Salle to 
record the events that occurred and the acts that were done on 
this expedition and certify as a public official the correctness 
thereof. De La Metairie performed this duty punctiliously. 

La Salle and his companions made the journey down the 
Mississippi from the Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico safely and 
on April 9th, 1682, La Salle, at or near one of the mouths of 
the great river collected his companions around him on a high 
bank and erected a column. To this he solemnly attached the 
Royal Arms of France made from a copper kettle and this in- 
scription, Loyis Le Grand Roy de France et de Navarre le Neu~ 
Heme le que April 1682, and with much solemnity declared that 
he took possession of the river and all the land that it drained in 
the name of the King of France. Nor was the religious cere- 
mony lacking. A large cross was attached to one of the trees 
and at the foot of the tree was buried a leaden plate on which 
was inscribed in Latin a short account of the discovery of the 
river to its mouth by La Salle and his company as the first 
white men to do so. 

After these preliminaries, De La Metairie, the notary, pro- 
duced a document called the Process Verbal, signed by himself, 
La Salle, Tonti, Father Zenobe, the surgeon Jean Michael, and 
nine others, which written document translated from the French 
reads as follows : 



"Of the taking possession of Louisiana, at the Mouth of the Missis- 
sippi, by the Sieur De La Salle, on the 9th of April, 1682. 

"Jacques De La Metairie, Notary of Fort Frontenac, in New France, 
commissioned to exercise the said function of notary during the voyage 
to Louisiana, in North America, by M. de la Salle, Governor of Fort 
Frontenac for the King, and commandant of the said discovery by the 
commission of his Majesty given at St. Germain, on the 12th day of 
May, 1678. 

"To all those to whom these presents shall come, greetings: Know, 
that having been requested by the said Sieur de la Salle, to deliver to 
him an act, signed by us and by the witnesses therein named, of posses- 
sion by him taken of the country of Louisiana, near the three mouths of 
the River Colbert, in the Gulf of Mexico, on the 9th of April, 1682. 

"In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible and victorious 
Prince, Louis, the Great, by the Grace of God, king of France and of 
Navarre Fourteenth of that name, and of his heirs, and the successor of 
his crown, we, the aforesaid notary, have delivered the said act to the 
said Sieur de la Salle, the tenor whereof follows: 

"We came to the Village of Maheouala, lately destroyed, and contain- 
ing dead bodies and marks of blood. Two leagues below this place we 
camped. We continued our voyage till the 6th, when we discovered three 
channels by which the River Colbert discharges itself into the sea. We 
landed on the bank of the most western channel, about three leagues from 
its mouth. On the 7th, M. de la Salle went to reconnoitre the shores of 
the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonti likewise examined the middle chan- 
nel. They found these two outlets beautiful, large and deep. On the 8th, 
we re-ascended the river, a little above its confluence with the sea, to find 
a dry place, beyond the reach of inundations. The elevation of the north 
Pole was here about 27 degrees. Here we prepared a column and a cross, 
and to the said column were affixed the arms of France, with this inscrip- 

" 'Louis Le Grand Roi De France Et De Navarre, Regne : Le Neu- 
vieme, April 1682.' 

"The whole party, under arms, chanted the Te Deum, the Exaudiat, 
the Domine salvum fac Regem; and then after a salute of firearms and 
cries of Vive Le Roi, the column was erected by M. de la Salle, who standing 
near it said, with a loud voice, in French: 'In the name of the most high, 
mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace 
of God, King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, this 
ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty two, I, in virtue 
of the commission of his Majesty which I hold in my hand, and which 
may be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken and do now take, in 
the name of his Majesty and of his successors to the crown, possession of 
this country of Louisiana, the seas, harbours, ports, bays, adjacent straits; 


and all the nations, people, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, min- 
erals, fisheries, streams and rivers comprised in the extent of the said 
Louisiana, from the mouth of the great river St. Louis on the eastern 
side, otherwise called Ohio, Alighin, Sipore, or Chickachas, and this with 
the consent of the Cahouanons, Chickachas and ot?ier people dwelling 
therein, with whom we have made alliance; as also along the River Col- 
bert, or Mississippi, and rivers which discharge themselves therein, from 
its source beyond the country of the Kious or Nadauessious, and this with 
their consent, and with the consent of the Motantees, Illinois, Mesigameas, 
Natches, Koroas, which are the most considerable nations dwelling there- 
in, with whom also we have made alliance, either by ourselves or by others 
in our behalf; as far as its mouth at the sea, or Gulf of Mexico, about 
the 27th degree of elevation of the North Pole, and also to the mouth of 
the River of Palms; upon the assurance which we have received from 
all these nations, that we are the first Europeans who have descended 
or ascended the said River Colbert; hereby protesting against all those 
who may in future undertake to invade any or all of these countries, 
peoples or lands, above described, to the prejudice of the right of his 
Majesty, acquired by the consent of the nations herein named. Of which, 
and of all that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those who hear me, 
and demand an act of the Notary, as required by law.' 

"To which the whole assembly responded with shouts of Vive le Roi, 
and with salutes of firearms. Moreover, the said Sieur de la Salle caused 
to be buried at the foot of the tree, to which the cross was attached a 
leaden plate, on one side of which were engraved the arms of France, and 
latin inscription: 

"After which the Sieur de la Salle said, that his Majesty, as eldest 
son of the Church, would annex no country to his crown, without making 
it his chief care to establish the Christian religion therein, and that its 
symbol must now be planted; which was accordingly done at once by 
erecting a cross, before which the Vexilla and the Domine salvum fac 
Regem were sung. Whereupon the ceremony was concluded with cries 
of Vive le Roi. 

"Of all and every of the above, the said Sieur de la Salle having 
required of us an instrument, we have delivered to him the same, signed 
by us, and the undersigned witnesses, this ninth day of April, one thousand 
six hundred and eighty-two. 

"La Metairie, 


"De La Salle "Jacques Cauchois 

"P. Zenobe, Recollect Missionary "Pierre You 

"Henry De Tonti "Gilles Meucret 

"Francois de Boisrondet "Jean Michel, Surgeon 

"Tonti "Jean Dulignon 

"Jean Bourdon "Nocolas de la Salle." 
"Sieur d'Autry 


After these solemn preliminaries, La Salle and his party- 
prepared to return along the Mississippi to the North. La Salle, 
accompanied by a few of the party, went ahead to be followed 
by the remainder of the party. On reaching Fort Prudhomme 
in the Chickasaw country, now in the State of Mississippi, he 
was seized with a high fever, which compelled him to remain 
for forty days at that fort. A surgeon was sent for, who was 
in the second section of his companies and he hastened to apply 
such remedies as he thought wise. La Salle was so seriously 
ill, however, that it was determined that Tonti, with the greater 
part of the company, should proceed to Mackinac, leaving La 
Salle to be nursed to health at Fort Prudhomme. 

Tonti arrived at Mackinac in July 1682, after overcoming 
many obstacles on the journey. Father Zenobe and Membre 
remained with La Salle and succeeded in bringing back some 
little strength and health. With Father Membre, La Salle, after 
a delay of forty days, left Fort Prudhomme and arrived at Fort 
Creve-Coeur. Leaving some of his men to hold that place, he 
arrived at Fort Miami some time in August, and shortly there- 
after reached Mackinac. La Salle was more than anxious to 
report in person to the King of France what he had succeeded 
in doing, but owing to his weak state of health, he was unable 
to do so. He, however, sent Father Membre to France, who 
gave to the French authorities a full report of La Salle's 

At this point in his career, La Salle seemed to be on the 
verge of success. His colony in Illinois was established. The 
Indian tribes had been confederated together by him, and he 
had secured for the French government a southern port of entry, 
perennially free from ice; which the government could fortify 
and surround with colonists. He probably visioned himself at 
this time, as the colonial governor of a mighty empire stretching 
from what is now New Orleans to the Great Lakes. He next 
proceeded promptly, to fortify the place, that he and Tonti had 
selected for a fort at Starved Rock, which rises perpendicularly 
from the waters of the Illinois River 125 feet. This fort he 
called Fort St. Louis, and La Salle at once began to give grants 
of land around this fort to several Frenchmen who had been 

Traditional Landing Place of La Salle 


living there for years. These grants caused some dissatisfaction, 
for the grantees happened to be young Frenchmen who had 
married Indian squaws and were taking life easy. After the 
fort was completed on the top of Starved Rock, the Indian allies 
that he had gotten together, began to gather. They included 
the Illinois, the Wea tribe, the Piankashaw, Shawnee, Abnacki, 
and Miami tribes to the number of 3,880 warriors, according 
to data obtained from La Salle himself. As there were nearly 
4,000 warriors, the Indian population probably amounted to 
nearly 20,000. Notwithstanding the fact that he was a failure 
in bringing about and preserving loyalty and obedience among 
his white followers, he had remarkable success with the Indians. 
Alvord in his excellent history declares that, "Few white men 
have equaled his (La Salle's) success in the leadership of the 
Aborigines of the American wilderness. ,, 

To hasten the transportation of supplies from Canada to 
Fort St. Louis, La Salle next sent two of his men to the Chicago 
portage to build a smaller post. However, while La Salle was 
engaged in these great undertakings, his enemies were not idle. 
They succeeded by their manoeuvering in France in having 
Governor Frontenac, La Salle's great and loyal friend, recalled. 
His successor, Governor de La Barre, proved himself early 
unfriendly to La Salle and his projects. He was opposed to 
La Salle's monopoly. Calling upon de La Barre, La Salle pre- 
sented his case forcefully to him; pointed out that his losses 
amounted to 40,000 livres, but that he was now on the road 
to success and would be able to pay his creditors. He reported 
his great achievement in collecting the Indian tribes around 
Fort St. Louis, and requested that his traders whom he was 
then sending to Quebec for supplies should be fairly treated 
and protected. Governor de La Barre, however, was surrounded 
by merchant rivals of La Salle, who were anxious to supplant 
him. The governor, influenced by these men, stated to La Salle 
that his efforts were involving the Winnebago Indians in a 
warfare with the Iroquois ; that the Iroquois would destroy them. 
The governor made these representations to the French govern- 
ment at Versailles, and succeeded in turning the French author- 
ities against him. The governor probably had some basis for 


these fears ; for the Iroquois tribes, notwithstanding their success 
against the Kaskaskia in 1680 were still bitterly hostile to the 
Illinois tribes. They were still determined to crush these West- 
ern tribes, and in that determination they were ably abetted 
and seconded by the English and Dutch traders at Albany, and 
by Col. Thomas Dongan, the British governor of New York. 
Governor de La Barre, in the effort to avoid war between the 
Iroquois and the Illinois Indians, arranged for a deputation of 
Iroquois Indians to meet him at Montreal. Forty-three of them 
attended and informed the governor that the Illinois Indians 
must be exterminated; and made complaint to the governor 
about La Salle's operations, referring, no doubt, to his confed- 
eration of the Western tribes, De La Barre, weakly, promised 
these Iroquois Indians to punish La Salle. 

Finding that he could not obtain supplies from Canada, 
La Salle was now threatened with ruin, and started for Quebec. 
On the way he met Chevalier De Baugy, who had been deputized 
by the governor to assume command of the Illinois Indians and 
to summon La Salle to Quebec. La Salle promptly notified 
Tonti, then in command at Fort St. Louis, to surrender the 
fort to De Baugy. On taking possession of the fort, De Baugy 
found himself facing trouble. A flotilla of canoes, licensed by 
de La Barre to trade, was attacked and plundered by the Iroquois, 
and De Baugy and Tonti in Fort St. Louis were besieged by 
the same band of Indians from March 21st to March 27, 1684. 
The fort, however, made a successful resistance. 

Finding that he was without friendship or support in the 
governor's council at Quebec, La Salle made up his mind to 
return to France and present his case to the French court. 
Upon his arrival there, he found that the report of his wonderful 
discoveries and other acts had preceded him, and that he was 
a famous man. That fame secured for him the honor of a 
personal interview with the Grand Monarch, upon whom he 
made a most favorable impression. At that time, France was 
at war with Spain, and La Salle was able to convince both the 
monarch and his ministers that a fort built at the mouth of the 
Mississippi would make it possible to capture the Spanish pos- 


sessions on the Gulf of Mexico; and would promote French 
trade in all that region and up and down the Mississippi. The 
French government promptly ordered Governor de La Barre 
to re-instate La Salle in all his possessions in New France. 

When departing for France, Tonti was left in charge of 
Fort St. Louis with twenty Frenchmen to whom La Salle had 
granted lands. La Salle while in France succeeded in persuading 
the French ministry to establish a fort at the mouth of the 
Mississippi, and four vessels were loaded for the expedition. 
One hundred soldiers were aboard, and a number of mechanics, 
laborers, volunteers, and some gentlemen of distinction. Among 
them were several married women, as also some young unmarried 
women that had an eye upon matrimony. Three priests accom- 
panied the expedition, and three recollects. One of the vessels 
carried thirty-six guns, another six guns. Altogether there 
were 400 men aboard these vessels. A naval commander, Beau- 
jeu, accompanied La Salle upon this expedition. Unfortunately, 
he and La Salle quarreled when these vessels were but a short 
distance out of port; and that quarrel continued all the way 
across the Atlantic. La Salle was taken sick with the old fever, 
and while he was sick, the naval commander had things his own 
way. They reached the Gulf of Mexico safely, but were unable, 
for some reason, to find the mouth of the Mississippi, which they 
passed by without recognizing it. They arrived at Matagorda 
Bay, considerably west of the Mississippi, in the spring of 1685. 
One ship was captured by the Spanish, and another wrecked 
in the Bay. They landed, however, in Matagorda Bay, and 
began to make a settlement. Fatal sickness, however, fell upon 
the party, and before fall, thirty were dead. The Indians sur- 
rounding them were exceedingly hostile. La Salle led many 
exploring expeditions from Matagorda Bay, but having failed 
to find the Mississippi River, he made up his mind to travel 
overland to Canada. Taking sixteen men with him, he left the 
remainder to keep the fort at Matagorda Bay, in the spring 
of 1687. Shortly afterward, finding some difficulty in traveling, 
insubordination arose among the men, and La Salle was assas- 
sinated. The conspirators returned to the fort, over-awed the 
garrison, and had things their own way. Some twenty of these 


people survived, some finding their way to France, and others 
to the Illinois country. 

Such was the ignominious end of a great man, the tragic 
close of a romantic career. In the grandeur of his conceptions, 
in the indomitable energy he displayed in attempting their 
accomplishment, and in the heartbreaking obstacles he found 
in his path, his career is without a parallel in French colonial 
history. Even his failure was of enormous benefit to his country 
and his King, for the time being, for it pointed out a way for 
France to acquire an empire in the New World. If France 
had supported his enterprising plans in his lifetime, or carried 
them out after his death with men, money and colonists worthy 
of the prize that La Salle was dangling before French statesmen 
at the end of the seventeenth century; there was a possibility 
that the tricolor of France might have been waving over the 
Mississippi Valley in the twentieth century. The very hugeness 
of the enterprise doomed it to failure, without adequate govern- 
mental backing. This support La Salle never had. He did 
have the steady, loyal and continuous aid of Frontenac, and 
Talon in Canada, but they were the puppets of a vacillating 
government in France, desperately impoverished by European 
wars, which was free-handed with paper privileges and titles 
of nobility, but with no disposition or power to back these paper 
titles with men and cannon. 

Like most great men, La Salle had his minor weaknesses 
that to some degree contributed to his want of success. By 
his lofty dignified presence and culture, he favorably impressed 
both great and obscure men, with whom he but infrequently 
came in contact. He so impressed the greatest monarch of 
his time and his great ministers and also the simple untutored 
red men in the wilderness. His success in confederating these 
tribes around Starved Rock was marvelous. But with the humble 
Frenchmen immediately under his orders, whom he met day 
after day, he had no such success. Over and over again we 
read of their insubordination and desertion at critical times. 
Tonti, Le Forest and his own relatives were the only persons 
with whom he was in daily contact who remained loyal to him 
in his undertakings, and these were probably participants in 


the expected profits that were to be secured in the monopoly 
granted them by the King. A high temper and quick and 
emphatic manner of speech probably prevented his followers 
from acquiring the love and loyalty that the faithful Tonti 
always had for his chief. 

La Salle has left an enduring impress upon the history of 
Illinois and the Northwest. He has given his name to the Wall 
Street of the West, to one of the richest counties in the state, 
and to a beautiful city on the Illinois. Even the children of our 
high schools can tell the inquirer who La Salle was and what 
his accomplishments were. An artistic bronze monument in 
Lincoln Park near one of our busiest thoroughfares, recalls to 
us the glorious record of this man of mark in the seventeenth 

It will be remembered that when leaving for France, La Salle 
left Tonti in charge of Fort St. Louis. While under De Baugy's 
control, differences arose between the Illinois tribes and the 
Miami. Tonti, by the exercise of utmost skill and tact, suc- 
ceeded in settling these troubles at a cost, however, to himself 
of a thousand dollars. In the fall of 1665 disturbing rumors 
reached Tonti at Fort St. Louis relating to the fate of the expe- 
dition from France to the mouth of the Mississippi. He went 
immediately to Mackinac, hoping to obtain reliable information. 
He learned at Mackinac that La Salle had sailed from France, 
but he had no news of the outcome. He did, however, hear 
that Governor de La Barre had been recalled and was to be 
succeeded as governor by the Marquis de Nonville. He then 
sent some Indians to the mouth of the Mississippi to ascertain 
news of La Salle, but they returned in February 1686 with no 
definite word about him. He then decided to go to the Gulf 
of Mexico himself in search of his chief. He reached the mouth 
of the Mississippi, but found no trace of La Salle, but did find 
the column holding the Coat of Arms of France and another 
column upon which a cross was placed, being the monuments 
erected by La Salle when he first discovered the mouth of the 
Mississippi. Returning from the Gulf of Mexico to Fort St. 
Louis, he found arrangements being made for a joint attack 
by the French and Indians upon the Iroquois. De Nonville, 


the new governor, agreed to furnish two to three thousand 
soldiers, and called upon Tonti to join him with the warriors 
around the fort. Tonti was able to enlist some four to five 
hundred Indians, and other French volunteers, and Indians 
came from Green Bay and Mackinac. These forces met on 
Lake Ontario on July 10, 1687, their number amounting to 
3,000 men. With this force, Tonti attacked the Senecas, drove 
them from their homes and laid the surrounding territory waste. 

Upon returning from this battle to Fort St. Louis about the 
middle of September, Tonti met five men there who were sur- 
vivors of the French expedition to the mouth of the Mississippi. 
These men were Abbe Jean Cavelier, La Salle's brother, Father 
Douay, his nephew, a Recollect, Tessier, a seaman and Henri J. 
Joutel, historian. These were all that were left of the band 
who escaped assassination at the hands of the conspirators who 
had killed La Salle. They agreed among themselves that they 
would not report the death of La Salle at Fort St. Louis, feeling 
that the knowledge of his death might impair the property 
rights of his estate. These five men spent the winter of 1687- 
1688 with Tonti at Fort St. Louis, but kept secret the death of 
La Salle. Cavelier was fearful lest the death of La Salle should 
be known. Father Allouez was anxious to go to France. Late 
in the fall of that year, Tonti finally learned of the death of 
La Salle. He immediately started for Matagorda Bay in the 
effort to rescue the remnant of La Salle's party. In an Indian 
village somewhere in Louisiana, the native Indians told him 
the true story of the death of La Salle at the hands of the 
conspirators. They also told him that the conspirators them- 
selves were killed by the Indians. Tonti then returned from 
near the mouth of the river to Fort St. Louis. 

The governor of Canada made unfavorable reports to 
the king as to Tonti's claims to Fort St. Louis, but the 
king in 1690 granted Fort St. Louis to Tonti and Le Forest, 
formerly the lieutenant of La Salle. These two men carried 
on a fur trade for several years, which at times was remuner- 
ative. Le Forest carried on his operations at a place which is 
now Chicago, while Tonti carried on his at the fort. Governor 
de La Barre, shortly after his arrival in New France foolishly 


notified the British government at New York that he thought 
it necessary to lead a punitive expedition against the Five 
Nations. Governor Dongan, immediately upon receipt of this 
information, strengthened his friendship with the Iroquois 
Indians by informing them of the governor's intentions, and 
promised the Iroquois Indians that he would assist them if they 
were attacked. The French governor's expedition resulted in 
a fiasco. He had assembled but few troops, and many of these 
fell ill. He concluded a rather disgraceful treaty with the 
Iroquois, which resulted in his being summoned home. He was 
succeeded by the Marquis de Nonville, a much abler and more 
forceful and vigorous man. De La Barre's blunders were the 
main cause of the hostility of the Iroquois tribes toward both 
the French and their Indian allies in the Illinois country. 

Governor Dongan, the British governor of New York, was 
much interested in furthering the Western fur trade through 
the Iroquois Indians, and he caused to be sent eleven canoes 
under the command of one Rooseboona into the lake regions 
to trade. This was supposedly French territory. The expedition 
was successful, both politically and financially. The French 
government became very indignant, and sent troops to arrest 
the British, but failed to find them. In the fall of 1686, however, 
a much larger British expedition, consisting of 58 white men, 
was organized by the Albany merchants and backed by Governor 
Dongan. Again the French government sent troops to make 
arrests, who were successful this time. Because of these incur- 
sions, De Nonville in 1687 got ready to attack the Iroquois. 
De Nonville led an army of 2,000 men to Fort Frontenac. 
He learned that his three western lieutenants had gathered a 
large army of coureurs de bois and Indians some of whom were 
commanded by Tonti, and were coming to his aid. The first 
success of the campaign was won by the Western troops, they 
being the troops who captured the British traders sent out 
from Albany. The whole army then advanced against the Sen- 
ecas, where a battle was fought and won by the French. This 
battle, however, seemed not to have utterly crushed the Iroquois 
Indians, for shortly thereafter they massacred a number of 
the French colonists in Lachine. Other incursions into Canada 


were made frequently by the Iroquois Indians, and finally De 
Nonville ordered Fort Frontenac to be destroyed and abandoned, 
and de Nonville was recalled to France. He was replaced by 
the Comte de Frontenac, then in his seventieth year. 

The situation of the French at this time was certainly crit- 
ical. Many of the Indian tribes around the Great Lakes upon 
the abandonment of the French forts by the French government 
transferred their allegiance from the French to the Iroquois. 



By the middle of the eighteenth century, it became apparent 
that war between the French and English for the possession 
of the Mississippi Valley would be inevitable. Although the 
French settlements in Nova Scotia and Canada ante-dated the 
English settlements at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, the first 
did not grow or develop with the rapidity that characterized 
the English colonies. One reason for this probably was the 
climate. Settlers in Massachusetts and Virginia found the soil 
and climate more congenial to agriculture than were those of 
the North. Moreover, the English settlers brought wives and 
children, with the plain determination of remaining if the soil 
was fertile. 

The French colonist was more concerned with fishing and 
hunting and trafficking in furs. The English colonist when he 
found soil that suited him, began to dig, and plan and erect a 
home. The Frenchman ranged the woods and fields for game, 
paying little regard to the soil over which he ranged. As the 
English settler soon found good soil, his numbers increased 
rapidly, but the territory he occupied and farmed, widened 
slowly. As the French hunter soon found abundant game and 
more abundant the further he explored, his numbers increased 
slowly, but the territory he covered in his search for game 
spread rapidly. Thus the French colonists became the greater 
explorers and discoverers, while the English became the better 
and more successful tillers of the soil. Pursuing the policy of 
exploration and discovery, the Frenchmen aided by the navigable 
lakes and rivers that extended from Quebec to what is now 
Duluth and Lake Superior and Chicago on Lake Michigan, and 


Map of American Bottom and Old French Villages 


by the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico to St. Paul 
and Minneapolis, explored the whole Mississippi Valley, and 
erected forts or trading stations at Frontenac, Detroit, Green 
Bay, Peoria, Chicago, Kaskaskia, Mackinac, Miami, Vincennes, 
Prarie du Chien and other points on and near the Great Lakes 
and on the Mississippi near the Arkansas River. They had also 
built a formidable fort on the Ohio at what is now Pittsburg. 

Thus in the first half of the eighteenth century, the French 
through the daring of their traders, and the holy zeal of their 
missionaries, for the conversion of the Indians to Christianity, 
were in possession of a string of forts and small settlements 
all the way from Quebec over the territory of the Illinois and 
down the Mississippi to New Orleans. The British colonists 
along the sea-board from Maine to Georgia, infected with land 
hunger rather than fur fever, slowly but steadily pressed their 
holdings from the sea westward to the mountains. They had 
few streams to help them. They had to travel overland. It 
took them many years to reach the Alleghanies that were almost 
impassable. They had learned, however, of the fertility of the 
great valley beyond the mountains and were quick to see that 
investments in this western territory would rapidly increase 
enormously in value. Toward the middle of the century, land 
hunger and a craze for speculation impelled the English colonists 
in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the Carolinas and 
Maryland to cross the mountains and stake out claims north 
and south of the Ohio River. They cared not whether this was 
French or English territory, and waited for no wars or treaties 
to decide sovereignty. 

The fur traders of New York had been for years attempting 
to reach the Great Lakes through the Mohawk Valley in the 
prosecution of their fur trade. The settlers in the Carolinas 
in the South were also circling around the southern end of the 
Appalachians, in the effort to drive the French from the southern 
valley. Both the French and the English settlers, however, had 
covetous eyes upon the Upper Ohio Valley. The western end 
of this valley was occupied by the French with some forts and 
settlements, but the eastern portion near Pittsburg was wholly 
unoccupied by either the French or the British. The French 


claimed it all by virtue of previous discovery and partial occu- 
pancy, and when the British settlers or colonists from across 
the Alleghanies began to appear in the Ohio Valley, the French 
government drove them out and gave them notice that they 
were trespassers. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia 
had charters under which they claimed title to the land from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific and some of the colonies or the col- 
onists had claims as a result of treaties with the Iroquois, but 
none of them had made any actual effort to take possession until 
about 1750. The first incomers into the Ohio Valley were from 
the colonists of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. The 
colonists east of the Alleghanies, the English, Scotch, Irish and 
Germans, had gradually forced their settlements westward to 
the foot-hills of the Alleghanies. These lands had grown valu- 
able, and the lands beyond and to the west of the mountains 
began to look attractive to them. Speculation was widespread, 
particularly in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. In 1744, 
representatives from these three colonies met the chieftain of 
the Iroquois tribes and obtained from them a cession of the 
land extending from the banks of the Virginia to the Ohio 
River. Afterward, the Ohio Company was organized, which 
had among its members men of means and political strength 
in England and America. That company ultimately received 
a large grant of the Ohio Valley, upon terms requiring the 
company to built a fort and establish a settlement. Other com- 
panies followed their example. In 1750, the Ohio Company 
sent a surveyor to survey their grant. This man made a favor- 
able report and among other things stated that he found the 
Indians well affected toward the English. These English adven- 
turers established a trading post at Logstown on the Ohio, and 
another at the Miami Town of Pickawillany. 

Alarmed by these movements of the English colonists, the 
French governor, Galissoniere, dispatched a force of French 
troops under the command of Chevalier Louis Celeron de Blain- 
ville to take possession of the Ohio Valley and to drive the British 
traders both from Logstown and Pickawillany. Celeron was 
successful in his mission. He spent the summer and fall in the 
Mississippi Valley, notified the British to leave, and buried metal 


plates on which were inscribed notices that the territory was 
French and that all trespassers would be removed. Celeron also 
found upon his mission that the Indians were friendly disposed 
towards the English and bitterly disposed towards the French. 
The situation was getting critical for the French, and Governor 
Galissoniere promptly notified the home government that there 
would be danger to the French colonies if the British should 
succeed in breaking into the Ohio Valley and cutting their com- 
munications which had been established between the French 
in Canada and the French in New Orleans. To this message, 
however, the governor did not receive a heartening answer 
from the French ministry. He was instructed from France 
to defend the rights of the French king in the contested region, 
if necessary by occupying it, but to keep the expenses down 
as much as possible and avoid giving the British just reason 
for complaint. Instead of following promptly the wise counsel 
of the governor, the French ministry seemed at this time to 
hesitate and falter. Later on, however, on May 15, 1752, he was 
instructed by the French ministry as follows: 

1. To make every possible effort to drive the English away 
from our lands in that region, and to prevent their coming there 
to trade by seizing their goods and destroying their posts. 

2. To make our subjects understand at the same time that 
we have nothing against them and that they are at liberty 
to trade with them in the latter country, but we will not allow 
them to receive them on our lands. 

At this juncture, unfortunately for the French, the able 
Galissoniere was removed from his position as governor. He 
was succeeded by La Jonqueire, who was both inefficient and 
dishonest, and afterwards by Vaudreuil, a weak man who was 
transferred from Louisiana to Canada. Associated with these 
men was Francois Bigot, who was willing to sell any power or 
privilege or dignity under his control. Probably nothing con- 
tributed so much at this time to the misfortunes which the 
French government faced, as the removal of the honest and 
efficient La Galissoniere and supplanting him with such weak 
men as the men we have mentioned. Later on, a more efficient 
and capable governor was appointed, Duquesne. This man, 


who was both vigorous and efficient, promptly after his appoint- 
ment succeeded in expelling the British traders from Pickawil- 
lany and making prisoners of the British traders captured at 
that point. He then built Fort Presque Isle on Lake Erie, and 
two other forts for the purpose of protecting the water route 
to the Allegheney region from Lake Erie. When news of 
Duquesne's activities in the Ohio country reached the British 
colonies, it caused some excitement. Governor Dinwiddie of 
Virginia and the Ohio Company insisted upon prompt action 
to neutralize the French activities. Dinwiddie in 1752 appealed 
to the British government for aid. He hoped to establish forts 
on the Ohio River, an,d sent Col. William Trent with a company 
of men to select a ground suitable for the location of a fort 
near the juncture of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers. 
They actually commenced to build a fort, but the French troops 
appeared upon the schene, captured the unfinished fort and 
replaced it by a French fort that they named Fort Duquesne. 
Col. George Washington, afterward President of the United 
States, was commissioned by the governor of Virginia to explore 
the territory. British regulars finally appeared upon the scene 
with General Braddock at their head, and together they marched 
against Fort Duquesne then held by the French at the head 
of the Ohio. Braddock crossed the mountains in June, his 
force aggregating about 2,000 men, Colonel Washington being 
his aide de camp. He was ambushed by 250 Frenchmen with 
a large party of Indians, and after making an attempt to defend 
himself, was totally routed. Braddock himself was killed in 
this battle, and more than half of his troops were either killed 
or wounded. Other expeditions planned by the British ministry 
and the colonists had but little success, excepting the one against 
Acadia, now Nova Scotia. That French colony was easily 
reduced, and 7,000 of its inhabitants were placed upon ship- 
board and transported to English colonies, where they were 
treated as paupers. All of these skirmishes took place, however, 
while the French and British were nominally at peace, but war 
now become inevitable. 

In December, 1752, Governor Dinwiddie, colonial governor 
of Virginia, had appealed to the British government for assist- 


ance to enable him to establish forts on the Ohio River to protect 
the Virginia colonists who were settling on that river from 
French assaults. During the following year Dinwiddie had 
sent Col. William Trent with a body of men to build a fort 
at the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela Rivers. While 
it was in course of construction, it was captured by the French, 
much strengthened in its character, and renamed Fort Duquesne, 
and kept well garrisoned and commissioned by the French so 
as to dominate and control that portion of the Ohio Valley which 
both the French and British were desirous of holding. 

Even before war was formally declared, while Col. George 
Washington was building a fort called by him Fort Necessity, 
near Fort Duquesne, he and his party were attacked by the 
French and compelled to surrender the fort and retreat. Even 
before war was formally declared, General Braddock, command- 
ing a formidable body of British and colonial troops, with George 
Washington as his aide, while attempting to capture Fort 
Duquesne, was surprised by a force of French and Indians and 
completely routed with tremendous loss of life and equipment. 

English and colonial land speculators kept constantly at work 
along the territory claimed by the French, north of the Ohio, 
between what is now Illinois and what is now the State of 
New York, endeavoring to procure by hook or crook titles from 
the Indian tribes and win them away from their friendly rela- 
tions with the French. To expel these intruders, the governor 
of Canada in 1749, as hereinbefore stated, sent Chevalier Louis 
Celeron with a body of Canadian soldiers to nail the arms of 
France to trees at what is now Pittsburgh, at the mouth of the 
Muskingum River, at the great Kanawha and other streams. In 
the previous year the Ohio Company, in which many men of 
means in England and Virginia, including George Washington 
and his two brothers, had obtained from the Crown a grant of 
land of 500,000 acres in what is now West Virginia, was organ- 
ized. Other land companies had also been formed which laid 
claim to 3,000,000 acres of land claimed by the French under the 
assertion of discovery and occupancy. Soon after Celeron's 
expedition the French erected and garrisoned a fort at Presque 


Isle, now the City of Erie, Fort Loboeuf, twenty miles south of 
Presque Isle, and at Fort Venango, near the head waters of 
the Alleghany River, and planned another fort at French Creek, 
on the Alleghany River. 

After Washington's surrender at Fort Necessity, not a Brit- 
ish flag waved west of the Alleghanies. In 1754, or thereabout, 
war was formally declared between Great Britain and France. 
In Europe it was known as the "Seven Years' War ;" in America 
it was called the "French and Indian War." As between Great 
Britain and France, it was the most important and decisive 
war ever waged on the Western Continent. A full account 
of this important conflict would and should occupy a great many 
pages in any history of America, cover many glorious episodes 
and encounters and a few disgraceful happenings such as the 
abduction, deportation and practical extermination of the Aca- 
dian people by the British and the massacre of the British pris- 
oners by the Indian allies of the French under Montcalm. That 
history belongs, however, to the history of the United States 
rather than to the history of Illinois. In the limited space at 
my disposal I have not room for a full review of that great and 
momentous war. It can be found in any popular history of the 
United States. 

None of the conflicts of that great struggle took place on 
what is now the soil of Illinois. The Chevalier McCarty, French 
commandant at Kaskaskia, did despatch small bodies of French 
troops from Kaskaskia and did despatch supplies and provisions 
to Fort Duquesne to help the French garrison in that fort 
when it was beleaguered by the British. We have adverted to 
this elsewhere herein; but this was the only connection that 
Illinois or its residents had with the war. I will content myself 
with stating that during the first two years of the war the 
British were worsted by the French at Fort Duquesne and Fort 
Niagara, but succeeded in capturing Crown Point from the 
French. Montcalm, the French commander, captured a British 
fort at Oswago and 1,600 prisoners and 100 pieces of artillery. 
In 1757 the British were less successful. General Loudon, the 
British commander, attempted to reduce the French fort at 
Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island, with 10,000 to 12,000 men 


and sixteen vessels, but abandoned the effort without show of 
fight. Montcalm captured from the British Fort William Henry 
and several hundred prisoners, some of whom were massacred 
by the Indian allies of the French, in spite of the orders and 
commands of Montcalm. Incapacity of leadership and general- 
ship was now charged by the British people against both the 
cabinet ministers and their generals in the field. Their cabinet 
was ousted and William Pitt, the Great Commoner, was called 
by the king to take the helm of the ship of state. An alliance 
with the king of Prussia against France and Austria now kept 
France busy in Europe and Pitt devoted his attention to the 
conflict in America. He was the first Englishman to fully 
appreciate the great value of the prize at stake in Canada 
and the Mississippi Valley. He backed Frederick the Great, 
the Prussian king, in Europe principally with money and supplies 
and assistance on the high seas. Frederick began to win victory 
after victory in Europe, and kept the French so engrossed that 
they could not or did not give proper support to their gallant 
and capable generals in America. Pitt now changed commanders 
in America, and, recognizing that one of the richest empires 
in the world lay in the Mississippi Valley and could be won 
by an adequate supply of money, men and arms, devoted his 
whole energy to achieving success in America. Men, money 
and arms were soon forthcoming. Early in 1758 he sent a 
fleet of forty vessels and 11,000 troops to capture Louisburg 
under Admiral Boscawen. Two able generals, Jeffrey Amherst 
and James Wolfe, commanded the troops. Early in June the 
siege of the fort was commenced. Before the end of July the 
most impregnable fortress in America surrendered to the Brit- 
ish, with 5,700 prisoners, 240 cannon and a large quantity of 
ammunition and stores. 

The British were not so successful in their effort to capture 
Fort Ticonderoga. It was defended by Montcalm and 4,000 
Frenchmen, and attacked by 6,300 British regulars and 9,000 
provincial troops under Abercrombie and Lord Howe. The 
latter was killed in a preliminary skirmish. Abercrombie proved 
to be most incapable of leadership, directed his operations from 
a safe distance, left 2,000 of his troops dead or dying on the 


battlefield, and retreated southward from the fort with his 
shattered army. From this time on, however, victory smiled 
upon the British arms. They soon captured Oswego, Fort Fron- 
tenac and Fort Duquesne. The last was abandoned by its fam- 
ishing garrison without a struggle. 

In 1758 the British were still more successful. Fort Niagara 
fell early in the year, soon to be followed by the French forts 
between Niagara and Pittsburgh. Ticonderoga was now the 
only fort in what is now the United States still flying the French 
flag. An army of 10,000 men flying the British flag soon 
approached the fortress, only to find that it had been abandoned. 
In 1759 fell Quebec. Both Montcalm, the French commander, 
and Wolfe, the British commander, lost their lives in the des- 
perate fighting on the "Plains of Abraham/' near the city. 
This was the total collapse of French dominance on the American 
continent. It but remained to draw up the treaty under the 
terms of which the British flag would displace the French colors 
wherever they had hitherto appeared on the North American 
continent. In February, 1763, the famous and fateful Treaty 
of Paris was signed, under the terms of which all Canada, Nova 
Scotia, Cape Breton, the Ohio Valley and that part of Louisiana 
east of the Mississippi and north of the River Iberville and 
Lake Ponchartrain were ceded by France to Great Britain. In 
exchange for the cession of Florida by Spain to Great Britain, 
the latter nation restored to Spain Cuba and the Philippines, 
which had been captured by the British during the war. 

To compensate Spain for the loss of Florida, the French 
ceded to her ally, Spain, what was left of Louisiana, which 
was all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi and all of it south 
of the River Iberville and east of the Mississippi, including 
the Town of New Orleans. Thus ended for France her design 
to colonize and hold under French dominion what is now the 
Dominion of Canada and the Mississippi Valley, now teeming 
with 50,000,000 inhabitants and containing untold agricultural, 
mineral and manufacturing wealth. On October 10, 1765, over 
two and one-half years after the Treaty of Paris was signed, 
a British governor had finally arrived at Fort Chartres, the 
last fort in America flying the French flag. The French gar- 


rison lowered the colors of France and the cross of St. George 
was raised with due formality. The little French garrison 
marched to St. Louis and the last vestige of French power and 
authority disappeared from the North American continent. 

Within a score of years however, France had her revenge. 
In the darkest hour of the American Revolution, Franklin, the 
American ambassador, applied to the French king for succor 
and assistance. France placed at his disposal a powerful French 
fleet and an army of trained soldiers and sailors who joined 
Washington and the Revolutionary army and helped them most 
materially to corner and subjugate Cornwallis and the British 
army at Yorktown, compelled them to surrender and thus end 
the Revolutionary war by a treaty which gave to the thirteen 
Revolutionary colonies every foot of soil which the French were 
compelled by the Treaty of Paris to cede to the British Crown. 



The treaty of peace between Great Britain and France under 
which France ceded to the former practically all her possessions 
on the North American continent was signed February 10, 1763. 
Within three months thereafter the Indian tribes belonging to 
the Algonquin race were in open revolt, under the leadership 
of Chief Pontiac, against British rule. 

Resentment toward the British government and the English 
speaking colonists had been developing among the Indians for 
several years. This resentment was caused by the trickery, 
dishonesty and, at times, by the high handed proceedings of 
English speaking officials, traders and prospectors. 

They not only resorted to trickery, fraud, and misrepre- 
sentation to deprive the Indian of his property, but when these 
failed, they seized their lands and pelts by main force. 

The French trader was by no means an angel, and frequently 
over reached the Indian and defrauded him when French officials 
and the missionaries were absent ; but the French trader almost 
invariably traded with the Indian, by actually or pretendedly, 
recognizing that the red man had property rights in his furs 
and hunting grounds. 

Moreover, in nine cases out of ten the French trader was 
after the Indian's furs and not his land while the English- 
speaking trader wanted his land rather than his pelts. 

Again the French trader placed himself more nearly on the 
same plane of humanity as the Indian. He fraternized with 
the Indian, took part in his games and frolics, and at times 
took an Indian wife and raised a family of half breeds. The 
English-speaking official or trader in comparison was cold, sel- 
fish, insolent and dishonest. 



The Algonquin tribes had watched with misgivings and dread 
the slow but steady advance westward along the south shore 
of Lake Ontario and the Ohio River of the English-speaking 
settler and speculator. They noted that he always seized and 
held possession of any land he stepped upon, without bargaining 
with the Indian or asking his consent. These abuses as well 
as the flagrant use of intoxicating liquor in dealing with the 
Indians, were notorious. Sir William Johnson, the Indian Com- 
missioner, appointed by the British government had pointed 
out these evils in his reports to his superiors, but no attempt 
had been made to put an end to them. Thus Indian resentment 
and hatred combined to fester and ferment through all of the 
Algonquin tribes. 

Dissatisfaction developed into revolt, and the revolt found 
for its leader and mouthpiece — Pontiac. While the antipathy 
against the British was wide-spread, it required concentration 
and coordination. Both were given to it by the remarkably 
able Indian who now took control of the revolt. During 1761 
and 1762 he had been visiting and sending his messengers, to 
all members of the Algonquin race and to the Senecas of the 
Iroquois tribe, and had finally succeeded in getting them into 
a grand confederacy of revolt. 

Pontiac for years had been the absolute chief and master 
of the Ottawa tribe and Pottawatomies, and was actuated in 
this movement both by Indian patriotism and personal ambition. 
He had noted for years the fruitless resistance offered by the 
separate and disunited tribes to the aggressions of the white 
man. He saw the white man gather his soldiers into compact 
armies, well armed and equipped, and saw these compact bodies 
overwhelm single Indian tribes and scatter them like leaves 
before the wind. 

Among the first of his race he concluded that the Indians 
were doomed, unless united, and preached the gospel of unity 
throughout the whole Indian population. He dreamed of and 
sought to create a great Indian nation that would present a 
united front to British invaders and secure to the Indian the 
retention of part if not all of his hunting grounds, and per- 
petuity as a nation, in the land of his ancestors. 

Pontiac, Ottawa Chief and Leader of Pontiac Conspiracy 

of 1763 


Taking into consideration the known weaknesses of the Indian 
character as shown in the past — jealousies and rivalries between 
local tribes — Pontiac was wonderfully successful. With con- 
summate skill he arranged for the almost simultaneous attack 
by the Indians upon all the forts and ports held by the British 
in what had been New France. 

These attacks commenced in May 1763 and within the next 
sixty days, the Indians had gained possession of St. Joe, Miami, 
Mackinac, Sandusky, Ouiatenon and the small forts and ports. 
All forts west of Detroit fell into the hands of the Indians. 
The British retained only Detroit, Niagara and Fort Pitt, strong, 
well garrisoned forts. 

But the confederation even though it had able leadership 
lacked the reserve forces of ammunition and deadly weapons 
which civilization and the British soldiers always had in reserve. 
During the war between the French and English in 1761 and 
1762 Pontiac had doubtless been able to buy from the French 
traders and French authorities, such ammunition as he desired, 
but when peace was signed in February of 1763 this resource 
was withdrawn. In vain did Pontiac appeal to Commandant 
de Villiers at Kaskaskia for assistance. That French officer 
refused to compromise his government, by assisting the Indian 
revolt however much he might have been disposed to do so. . 

Two formidable, well-equipped British expeditions were 
organized in 1764 and sent into the heart of the disaffected 
district. The first reached and reconditioned the British gar- 
rison at Detroit. The second marched from Fort Pitt into Ohio, 
engaged the Indians under Pontiac and thoroughly defeated 
them. The Indians lacked ammunition. Bows and arrows as 
against muskets and cannon had long become obsolete. 

Pontiac's defeat practically ended the war although it was 
months before the Indians made final admission of defeat. 
Because of the fact that the Indian submission was not com- 
plete or whole-hearted, it became important for the British 
authorities to take possession of Fort Chartres near Kaskaskia. 
When the treaty of Paris between the French and English was 
signed that fort was occupied by a French garrison under a 
French commandant and it remained under the French flag 


for about two years thereafter. The still existing Indian dis- 
affection made it difficult for the British to send from Detroit or 
Fort Pitt a garrison and take formal possession from the French 
commandant. That officer's position was anything but an agree- 
able one. The French flag floated above him and he was sur- 
rounded by French inhabitants, half-breeds and Indians, all 
of whom feared and hated the British. Across the Mississippi, 
at St. Louis under the Spanish flag was La Clede and other 
prosperous French merchants who were successfully developing 
a fur trade on both sides of the river and selling their wares 
to the French settlers at Kaskaskia, Cahokia and other settle- 
ments. Pontiac and his followers were soliciting his aid and 
the French traders were secretly helping the Indians. 

De Villiers, the commandant, nevertheless remained stead- 
fastly loyal to the terms of the treaty, but finally with the consent 
of the government of Louisiana resigned his command in June 15, 
1764 leaving only forty men in Fort Chartres under command 
of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive who had been called from post 
Vincennes to take command at Fort Chartres. The British 
made several attempts to reach and take possession of Fort 
Chartres which was at that time one of the most formidable, 
well-constructed forts west of Detroit and Pittsburgh. 

This fort was constructed under the supervision of a very 
able and efficient French officer with a double-barrelled Irish 
name, Chevalier de McCarty McTigue. He was a descendant 
of one of the "Irish Wild Geese" who fled from Ireland to France 
after the siege and capture of Limerick and had risen to the 
rank of major of engineers in the French army. 

With skillful French engineers between 1753 and 1760 he 
had erected this fort across the river from, and near, Kaskaskia 
in such a substantial manner as to resist attack both from 
Indians and from European soldiers. It was capable of housing 
400 soldiers. An English officer afterwards declared that "It 
is generally allowed that this is the most commodious and well 
built fort in North America." 

From this fort between 1753 and 1758 McCarty (Makarty) 
dispatched several expeditions with men and supplies to Fort 
Duquesne, most of which were successful. One of these expe- 



ditions sent out by Major McCarty from Fort Chartres was 
commanded by Capt. Neyon de Villiers, a gallant officer serving 
under Major McCarty (Makarty) . He was one of three brothers 
all of whom were in the French service in the New World. 
One of them, Coulon de Villiers, was in command at Fort 
Duquesne. He sent a detachment of French soldiers from Fort 
Duquesne under command of his brother, Capt. Jumonville de 
Villiers to meet Washington at Little Meadow where he was 
killed. Coulon sent word of the death of his brother Jumonville 

Powder Magazine of Old Fort Chartres 

to his brother Neyon at Fort Chartres and at the request of 
both living brothers Chevalier de McCarty despatched Captain 
Neyon with his company from Fort Chartres to Fort Duquesne. 
Upon arrival of Neyon and his company at the latter fort both 
brothers and their commands attacked Colonel Washington at 
Fort Necessity and compelled its surrender on July 5, 1754. 
Thus both brothers avenged the death of their deceased brother 
by capturing in battle the soldier who was responsible for that 
death; and the man who afterwards became the first President 
of the United States. 

This same Neyon de Villiers afterwards commanded an escort 
of provisions sent by Chevalier de McCarty to Fort Duquesne, 
succeeded Major McCarty in command of Fort Chartres, crossed 


the Alleghanies with his company and captured Fort Granville 
on the Juaniata. Captain Aubrey, another French officer, was 
sent from Fort Chartres with 400 men to the assistance of 
Fort Duquesne. 

He and his men met the British commander Major Grant 
and his highlanders and signally defeated them and surprised 
an English camp some forty miles from Fort Duquesne, captured 
a lot of horses and rode them back into the French fort. In 
May 1760 the able French Irishman, McCarty, was called by 
the French governor at New Orleans to assist him at that place. 
He died in New Orleans in 1764. 

Nine different attempts were made by the British to reach 
and take formal possession of Fort Chartres after the treaty 
of Paris signed in 1763 before they were successful. Seven 
of them were made by commissioners or embassies unaccom- 
panied by armed forces. Three of these embassies reached 
Kaskaskia but were threatened by the Indians and though 
protected by the French Commandant and even by Pontiac 
accomplished nothing. By this time Chief Pontiac as the result 
of the British successes in the field and the refusal of the French 
Commandant at Fort Chartres and also the refusal of the French 
government at New Orleans to give him aid had reached the 
conclusion that the Indian struggle was hopeless and that his 
followers must accept inevitable defeat. As he counseled sub- 
mission, the time was ripe for negotiating for peace. Another 
Irishman now appeared upon the scene, this time on the British 

George Croghan had been a successful trader. At this 
juncture, 1765, Croghan was the British deputy agent under 
Sir William Johnson. He was a genial, popular fellow and 
described as a "born diplomat. ,, He was charged by his superiors 
with the duty of meeting Pontiac and the Indian chiefs and 
arranging terms of peace. 

On May 15, 1765, with several white companies and some 
Shawnee Indians he left Fort Pitt after sending messengers to 
several of the Indian tribes to meet him at the mouth of the 
Scioto River. The Indian tribes to whom the messages were 
addressed complied and delivered into their hands several dis- 


affected French traders whom Croghan compelled to take the 
oath of allegiance to King George or leave the country. 

His company was attacked by the Mascoutens and Kickapoos 
at the mouth of the Wabash and two of his white companions 
and several Shawnee were killed. 

The Indians afterwards explained that the attack was a 
mistake but nevertheless they plundered his stock of supplies 
and carried Croghan and his party to Vincennes. At this place 
delegates of all the tribes surrounding that post waited upon 
Croghan, asked for peace and offered to take him to the Illinois 
country to meet Chief Pontiac. He accepted their offer and a 
few days later started west to meet Pontiac under their escort. 
Pontiac agreeably surprised him by meeting him half way. 
With Pontiac he returned to the Fort Ouiatenon where a large 
council of the Indians was assembled. There in the presence 
of his allied chiefs the great heart-broken and humiliated chief 
declared that he and his allies were willing to make a lasting 
peace. Croghan therefore reported his success to Fort Pitt, 
abandoned his journey to Fort Chartres, and hastened to Detroit 
where he arranged for another conference at which a general 
peace was consummated with all of the western tribes, thus 
ending the Pontiac war. 

Upon receiving word of Croghan's great successes at 
Ouiatenon and Detroit, Capt. Thomas Sterling left Fort Pitt 
with 100 men of the Black Watch on August 24, 1765 and arrived 
at Fort Chartres on October 9. Next day St. Ange the French 
commanding officer and his garrison were released from duty. 
The French flag was lowered and the Cross of St. George was 
raised for the first time over Fort Chartres. This was the 
surrender of the last French fort in the West. 

Upon surrender of the fort the French inhabitants of the 
American Bottom found themselves in a strange predicament. 
The French government having surrendered its sovereignty in 
February 1763, there was no French law in existence for them. 
The British government had enacted law for Canada promptly 
after the French surrender but had failed to proclaim any kind 
of civil or criminal law to govern the Illinois Country. 


They were in number less than 3,000 of whom 900 were 
negroes, and in a state of nature, without any law or ordinances 
of any character. Upon it becoming known to these French 
inhabitants in 1763 and 1764 that New France had been ceded 
to Great Britain, a general exodus of the most responsible of 
these people took place, most of them crossing the Mississippi 
to what is now St. Louis. Pierre La Clede had landed in Kas- 
kaskia about that time with a large stock of trading goods from 
New Orleans. He represented some rich merchants in the latter 
city who intended opening up for them a large fur trading 
establishment in Kaskaskia. After storing his goods in the 
French fort, consulting with Neyon de Villiers, the commandant, 
and looking the ground over, he concluded that it would be 
unprofitable if not disastrous to attempt to do business under 
the British flag. He therefore transferred his goods over the 
Mississippi to St. Louis and built up a large and profitable 
business from that point under the Spanish flag. Many others 
followed his example. 

While the French flag continued to wave over Fort Chartres 
many of the inhabitants hesitated as to their course awaiting 

When Captain Sterling raised the British flag on October 
10, 1765, he followed the ceremonial of flag raising by publishing 
the following proclamation. 

Whereas, by the peace concluded at Paris, the 10th 
of February, 1763, the country of the Illinois has been 
ceded to his Britannic Majesty, and the taking possession 
of the said country of the Illinois, by the troops of his 
Majesty, though delayed, has been determined upon; we 
have found it good to make known to the inhabitants — 

That his majesty grants to the inhabitants of the 
Illinois, the liberty of the Catholic religion, as it has already 
been granted to his subjects in Canada. He has conse- 
quently given the most precise and effective orders, to 
the end that his new Roman Catholic subjects of the Illinois 
may exercise the worship of their religion, according to 
the rites of the Romish church, in the same manner as in 


That his majesty, moreover, agrees that the French 
inhabitants or others, who have been subjects of the most 
Christian King (the King of France), may retire in full 
safety and freedom wherever they please, even to New 
Orleans, or any other part of Louisiana ; although it should 
happen that the Spaniards take possession of it in the 
name of his Catholic majesty (the King of Spain), and 
they may sell their estates, provided it be to subjects of 
his majesty, and transport their effects as well as their 
persons, without restraint upon their emigration, under any 
pretense whatever, except in consequence of debts, or of 
criminal processes. 

That those who choose to retain their lands and become 
subjects of his majesty shall enjoy the same rights and 
privileges, the same security of their persons and effects, 
and the liberty of trade, as the old subjects of the King. 

That they are commanded by these presents, to take 
the oath of fidelity and obedience to his majesty, in presence 
of Sieur Stirling, captain of the Highland regiment, the 
bearer hereof, and furnished with our full powers for this 

That they act in concert with his majesty's officers, 
so that his troops may take peaceable possession of all the 
forts, and order kept in the country. By this means alone 
they will spare his majesty the necessity of recurring to 
force of arms, and will find themselves saved from the 
scourge of a bloody war, and all the evils which the march 
of an enemy into their country would draw after it. 

We direct that these presents be read, published, and 
posted up in the usual places. 

Done and given at headquarters. New York — signed 
with our hand — sealed with our seal at arms, and counter- 
signed by our secretary, this 30th day of December, 1764. 

Thomas Gage. 

After the publication of this proclamation St. Ange de Belle- 
rive the French commandant with twenty-one faithful, sad faced 
French soldiers marched out of Kaskaskia to a new village across 
the Mississippi from Cahokia, now known by the name of St. 
Louis. About one-third of the French population left Illinois 
within a short time thereafter for St. Louis, St. Marys, Cape 
Girardeau or New Orleans. 


Captain Neyon de Villiers, the last surviving of seven 
brothers who had given their lives for France, had left for 
New Orleans about a year before the English took possession. 
Incidentally after the signing of the treaty of Paris in 1763 
the British government was confronted with the problem of 
how to manage and control its newly acquired property in the 
Northwest or Mississippi Valley east of the great river. The 
French had lost out in the game of war. The Indian tribes 
were in possession of most of the western forts and trading 
posts and besieging the three forts still garrisoned by British 
troops; Virginia, Massachusetts and the English colonies were 
claiming territorial rights to the western lands under their 
original charters; and the colonists and speculators from New 
York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other colonies were crossing 
the Alleghanies and reckless of the sovereign rights of nations 
were claiming squatter rights, rights obtained from Indian 
tribes and rights obtained from Colonial governors to the lands 
north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi. 




It does not seem to be generally understood that Illinois 
played quite an important part in bringing" about the War of 
the Revolution, but also a very important part in framing the 
terms of the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the 
American colonies. By this I do not mean that the soldiers 
of Illinois participated in the winning battles of the Revolution 
or that the statesmen or diplomats of Illinois participated in 
the conferences which framed the terms of the peace treaty. 
I mean that the Illinois Country, by reason of its location, by 
reason of its past association with New France or Canada and 
Louisiana, by reason of the fact that its white inhabitants were 
of French blood, by reason of the fact that these inhabitants 
were bitterly opposed to British rule and on friendly terms with 
the Indians who were also bitter enemies of the English, and 
above all by reason of its laws and government or rather lack 
of law and government, immediately before the outbreak of the 
revolution, made it one of the causes of the Revolution and 
made it one of the most material elements to be considered in 
drawing up the terms of the treaty of peace. 

Ask the ordinary American citizen today what brought about 
the American revolt against British rule, and he will answer, 
"Taxation without representation.'' The answer is correct, if 
it be stated as the main cause. But it is incorrect if it be claimed 
as the sole cause. If it was the sole cause, the triumphant col- 
onists in framing the treaty of peace would have been concerned 
only about themselves and their territory. The colonies held 
no legal title to any land north of the Ohio and west of Penn- 

France had held possession of, and according to international 
policy had title to, all this territory by right of discovery and 



occupancy for over 100 years, until by the treaty of Paris in 
1763, she ceded the same to Great Britain. The Declaration 
of Independence itself recognizes that the country north of the 
Ohio was a British province and makes no claim that it belonged 
to the colonies, but complains that the British king was "abolish- 
ing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, 
establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging 
its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit 
instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these 
colonies. " (Declaration of Independence, 1776.) The war at 
its inception was a war for independence of the thirteen colonies, 
and not a war of conquest. A remarkable occurrence which took 
place in the French settlements in Illinois, two years after the 
declaration of independence, changed the whole nature of the 
war. It was an episode during the War of the Revolution par- 
ticipated in by 153 men without firing a shot or shedding a drop 
of blood, which at the time attracted little attention; but which 
was pregnant with more tremendous results than most of the 
great battles of history. Let us go back and examine the situ- 
ation in Southern Illinois as it existed in the spring of 1778. 

There were living at that time in the villages of Kaskaskia, 
Cahokia, Prairie du Rocher, and a few smaller settlements, 
between 2,000 and 3,000 men, women and children of French 
parentage and language, of whom a considerable number were 
the half breed children of a French father and an Indian mother. 
French law which they understood and obeyed, had been abol- 
ished with French sovereignty in 1763. British officers with 
British garrisons in Fort Chartres and Fort Gage, without any 
civil law being enacted or proclaimed, had for ten or twelve 
years over-awed and abused them. They were without a remedy 
for any injury done them. They had petitioned for the estab- 
lishment of some sort of civil government and had sent delegates 
to General Gage to secure same, without avail. The British 
government had, after the treaty of Paris, when it took pos- 
session of the French territory, created three provinces, one 
called Quebec, covering Canada, and two others, covering East 
and West Florida; and had formulated and proclaimed certain 
laws and ordinances for those provinces. The French villages 


of Southern Illinois were so obscure, or deemed of so little 
importance, that the lawmaking body of Great Britain failed 
to enact or promulgate any kind of law, civil or criminal, to 
govern these law-forgotten subjects of the British crown. This 
was the situation down to 1774 or 1775 when the law makers 
of Great Britain formulated and proclaimed, with other acts 
relating to the American colonies, the so-called Quebec Act. 
This act extended for the first time the laws governing the 
Province of Quebec to the Illinois country and made that country 
a part of the Province of Quebec. 

The act governing Canada and the Illinois country, provided 
among other things, that the governor should have a council 
of not less than seventeen, nor more than twenty-three persons. 
The governor and the council were the law-making power so 
far as law-making was permitted. All laws or ordinances 
passed by the governor and council had to be submitted to and 
approved of by the king. This law making body was not per- 
mitted to levy any taxes or make any law concerning religion. 
The British government in the organic law establishing the 
Province of Quebec had guaranteed the "enjoyment of the 
Religion of the Church of Rome, subject to the King's Suprem- 
acy^ and enacted that the British criminal law should be the 
supreme law of the province. 

The inhabitants who professed the Catholic religion, — as 
nearly all of them did, — were not required to take the oath of 
religious supremacy, but were required to swear allegiance to 
the British king. Now the passage of some sort of British 
law, or ordinance to govern, guide and protect these French 
speaking subjects in the Illinois country, had been under con- 
sideration by the British authorities in London for some years 
prior to that time. 

Whether the Royal territory north of the Ohio acquired 
by the British crown from the French by the Treaty of Paris 
in 1763 should; by reason of Indian hostilities displayed in the 
Pontiac war, and the bitterness still rankling in Indian breasts, 
be reserved in whole, or in part for Indian hunting grounds, 
or be thrown open to settlers, or whether a mediary policy should 
be adopted, reserving part for settlement and part for Indian 


occupation; with a no-mans-land between to keep the settlers 
and savages apart, had never been definitely determined by the 
law-making Moguls in London. 

Many influential persons both in England and the colonies, 
including the Earl of Dunmore, the last of the British governors 
of Virginia, favored the throwing open of these rich lands to 
settlers and speculators. Lord Dunmore had the temerity to 
issue warrants granting lands north of the Ohio to certain 
grantees without any authority from Great Britain so to do. 
He was notoriously using his office unlawfully for self 

As early as 1748, Thomas Lee, a member of the King's 
Council in Virginia and a Mr. Hamburg, a rich and powerful 
merchant in London, organized the Ohio Land Company, com- 
posed of fourteen to sixteen persons including Governor Din- 
widdie and Lawrence and Augustus Washington, brothers of 
George Washington, and secured from the king a grant of half 
a million acres along the Ohio, and the exclusive right of trading 
with the Indians in the Ohio district. This company established 
trading stations on the Alleghany, north of what is now Pitts- 
burgh and Logstown on the Ohio, eighteen miles south of 

In 1750, Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania received a letter 
from Louis Celeron, agent of the Canadian governor dated from 
"a camp on the river Ohio at an old Shawnee village" in which 
he expressed his surprise, at finding English traders from Penn- 
sylvania in a country to which England had never made any 
claim, and requesting Governor Hamilton to advise his people 
to refrain from trespassing on the territory of France. 

About this time, the Canadian governor wrote letters to the 
governors of New York and Pennsylvania, warning them that 
English traders in the Ohio district would be arrested and held 
as trespassers. Later on, after the English had taken possession 
of the Ohio Valley from the French, the British king, George III., 
himself took notice of the unlawful settlements in the valley 
in a letter he wrote to John Penn, Lieutenant Governer of Penn- 
sylvania, dated October 24, 1765, which reads as follows: 


Whereas it hath been represented unto us that several 
persons from Pennsylvania and the back settlements of 
Virginia have migrated westward of the Alleghany moun- 
tains, and these have seated themselves on lands contiguous 
to the River Ohio, in express disobedience to our Royal 
Proclamation of October, 1763, it is therefore our will and 
pleasure, and you are hereby strictly enjoined and required 
to use your best endeavors to suppress such unwarrantable 
proceedings, and to put a stop to these and other like 
encroachments for the future, by causing all persons belong- 
ing to the province under your government who have thus 
irregularly seated themselves on lands to the westward of 
the Alleghanies immediately to evacuate those settlements, 
and that you do enforce as far as you are able, a more 
strict obedience to our commands signified in Our Said 
Royal Proclamation, and provide against any future viola- 
tion thereof. 

While many influential men and interests favored the throw- 
ing open of these lands to settlers, other influential advisers of 
the King favored appeasing and pacifying the Indians, by re- 
serving part or all of the territory north of the Ohio and east 
of the Mississippi as hunting grounds for the Indians, subject 
to their tribal customs and regulations and the King's 
sovereignty. As the result of these conflicting counsels, the law- 
making powers of Great Britain arrived at no conclusion; and 
proclaimed no law for this territory until 1774 or 1775, when 
they passed the Quebec Act. This act gave the French settlers 
in Southern Illinois the first code of laws that they had since 
1763. This law was passed solely for the purpose of creating 
some sort of a code of government and civil and criminal law 
that would apply to these French residents of Illinois who were 
living in a state of anarchy. 

It neither expressly declared for Indian reservations, nor 
for colonial settlement, leaving the matter open for future con- 
sideration. But by passing any kind of a law for the territory, 
it again affirmed the sovereignty of the Crown over the district. 
But, unfortunately for the British crown, this rather anaemic 
law was promulgated with, and about the same time that, four 
other very tyrannical and unjust laws directly applicable to 


the thirteen colonies and Massachusetts in particular were pro- 

These four laws were popularly called : 

1st. The Boston Port Bill. 
2nd. The Regulating Act. 

3rd. The Transportation Act. 

4th. The Quartering Act. 

A short statement of the effect of these laws will enable us 
to understand why the American colonists were filled with rage 
and indignation, and why the Quebec Act coming at the same 
time was believed to be inspired by hatred of, and tyranny 
towards, the colonists. 

The Boston Port Bill closed the port of Boston to all com- 
merce and removed the seat of government to Salem until that 
city indemnified the owners for £15,000 worth of tea, thrown 
overboard in Boston harbor, and indemnified the government 
custom officials for damages done by mobs in 1773 and 1774. 
It further made Marblehead the port of entry, in place of Boston. 

The Regulating Act annulled the liberal charter then held 
by Massachusetts and practically abolished self-government. It 
provided that the executive council should be appointed by the 
Crown instead of by the Assembly, empowered the governor 
to appoint and remove all judges and administrative officers; 
made the judges* salaries payable by the Crown instead of the 
Legislature, prohibited all town meetings except those approved 
by the governor and vested the selection of juries in sheriffs in- 
stead of the people. 

The Transportation Act provided for the removal to Eng- 
land for trial of any case against a royal official (including 
soldiers) charged with crime, which would have enabled any 
British official to commit any crime, no matter how murderous, 
and laugh at prosecution. 

The Quartering Act made it obligatory upon Massachusetts 
to furnish at all times quarters for British troops. 

Upon the promulgation of these four acts, and the Quebec 
Act, Boston was aflame and the fire soon spread to all the 
thirteen colonies. 


Because it accompanied these other tyrannical acts, the peo- 
ple argued it was but another act of like nature. It gave an 
oligarchical, undemocratic law to a neighboring province and 
it recognized and legalized the exercise of the Catholic religion. 
Now, in and around Boston there were many descendants and 
friends of the original Puritans who landed at Plymouth. Their 
hardy ancestors regarded Catholics with hatred and contempt 
and prohibited them from entering Massachusetts. The habits, 
feelings and fanaticism of the sires, had descended to many 
of their sons and grandsons. The official recognition in the 
Quebec Act of the Roman Catholic religion was a shock to these 
inherited antipathies. The tyrant George III, using this as a 
precedent, they argued, might soon force toleration of Roman 
Catholics upon them and their children. This interpretation 
of the Quebec Act was soon spread abroad through the colony 
and other colonies. The Quebec Act, though passed to affect 
only persons outside of the thirteen colonies, was to be used as a 
precedent for royal acts of tyranny against the American col- 
onies. It might be used as a precedent for the toleration by law 
of Catholics in colonies where they were not wanted. 

In the Declaration of Independence, hereinbefore quoted, the 
passage of the Quebec Act (not by name, but by inference) is 
mentioned as one of the tyrannical acts of the British King 
justifying revolt and the Declaration of Independence. 

In other words, the promulgation of this act, which directly 
affected only the French habitants in the French villages in 
Southern Illinois and in the Illinois country in connection with 
four other grossly tyrannical laws at an inopportune time, 
caused it to be construed, — and it was so construed, — as a 
ground for revolution. 

Let us now see what effect, if any, the people in the Illinois 
country had upon the terms of peace. 

These French villages in southern Illinois were about half- 
way on the route then traveled in going from Quebec to New 
Orleans. Fort Chartres, near Kaskaskia, was about the middle 
link in a chain of forts between these two cities, all in posses- 
sion of British troops. Kaskaskia and Cahokia were the largest 
and busiest settlements between Detroit and New Orleans. They 


were occupied almost exclusively by Frenchmen, their wives and 
children. English speaking visitors were few and far between. 
Traders from Philadelphia and the East occasionally dropped 
in, but not to take permanent residence. They were sojourners 
merely for business purposes. Whatever nation or power held 
possession with military force of these villages and their pro- 
tecting forts, Fort Chartres or Fort Gage, could prevent the 
passage of both military and trading expeditions between Can- 
ada and Louisiana. 

Both troops and traders in that age used the waterways for 
purposes of travel. With the exception of a portage at Niagara 
and another at Chicago, there was a continuous waterway for the 
canoes and barges then in use, from Quebec to the Gulf of 
Mexico. There were no roadways or other thoroughfares 
through the trackless woods and prairies. The era of paved 
roads, autos, railroads and flying machines had not yet arrived. 
All traffic had to and did take to the waterways. 

Because of the existence of this splendid course of water- 
ways covering approximately three thousand miles from Quebec 
to New Orleans, the French had been able to discover, and dot 
with little trading posts and forts all this Mississippi Valley for 
over one hundred years before the English trod foot upon the 
same. The colonists along the Atlantic had no waterway flow- 
ing westward. Instead of favoring waterways, they found their 
way towards the West blocked by formidable mountains. The 
possession of these waterways made it easy for the French to 
anticipate both the British government and the colonist in tak- 
ing possession of the Mississippi Valley. Whichever party to 
the struggle between Great Britain and the thirteen colonies 
took possession of Kaskaskia and Cahokia and their protecting 
forts, Fort Chartres and Fort Gage, and held them impregnably 
against all attack until the end of the war, would be able, by 
using the waterways northward and southward from Kaskaskia, 
to attack and reduce hostile forces stationed anywhere along 
these three thousand miles of waterways. Moreover, the party in 
possession of these forts and villages at the end of the war 
would be in a position to dictate the terms of permanent occu- 


pation and sovereignty of all the Mississippi Valley east of the 
great river. 

The first man to recognize the importance of the possession 
of these French villages and forts in Southern Illinois and to 
conceive a plan for securing their possession for the thirteen 
colonies was a man then almost unknown to fame, but whose 
daring accomplishment on July 4th, 1778 has made his name 
imperishable in American history. 

We will devote a separate chapter (the next) to a recital 
of the dreams, trials, labors and glorious achievements of this 
remarkably able and daring man, George Rogers Clark. 




Some short time before the outbreak of the Revolutionary 
war, many of the colonial settlers, particularly from Pennsyl- 
vania and Virginia, had been scaling the Alleghany Mountains, 
built up a village in what is now Pittsburgh, and pushed down 
the Ohio River into Kentucky. For a time they paused at the 
Great Kanawha, the limit to settlement set by orders from Lon- 
don. But soon the barrier was overstepped, and by 1773 Ameri- 
can settlements were springing up in Western Kentucky and 
the ground platted for the future City of Louisville. These 
settlements were largely prompted by land speculators claiming 
under illegal grants from Lord Dunmore and Indian tribes. 

Across the Ohio River from these Kentucky settlements was 
the territory which by the Quebec Act was declared to be part 
of the Quebec Province. The colonies could make no valid claim 
to this territory, and but very few American colonists had set- 
tled therein. 

Without any disturbance from white settlers or speculators, 
the Indian tribes roamed and hunted throughout these lands at 
will, trading with French habitants at Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Peo- 
ria, Mackinac and Detroit rather than with English speaking 
traders at Pittsburgh. The flourishing Village of Detroit, how- 
ever, was occupied by a formidable British garrison under the 
command of Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton. From this 
point, early in the Revolutionary war, a plan was seriously con- 
sidered to attack with British troops and Indian allies, the 
Americans at Pittsburgh, and if successful there, to join forces 
with Lord Dunmore and his forces at Alexandria. This scheme 
failed of accomplishment for lack of British troops in the West. 
The Indians north of the Ohio, however, were greatly incensed 


General George Rogers Clark 


at the conduct of the American settlers in Kentucky south of 
the Ohio. They saw these settlers in defiance of royal decrees 
and the treaties made by the Indians with the British authori- 
ties, appropriating the lands claimed by them, without leave 
or license. 

Lieutenant Governor Hamilton knew of these feelings of 
resentment among the Indians. He nursed these bitter feelings, 
loaded the Indian chiefs with presents, and incited them to 
resent their wrongs by ambuscades and night attacks upon the 
American settlements south of the Ohio, in the manner usual 
to Indian warfare. He is charged, and probably truthfully, 
with offering rewards to the Indians for the scalps of white 
men brought to him in Detroit. His memory is perpetuated in 
history under the name of "Hamilton, the hair-buyer." 

Housed into action by the wrongs that they had been suffer- 
ing at the hands of these American settlers in Kentucky, and 
undoubtedly furnished with guns, ammunition, knives and other 
implements of warfare by Hamilton, the Indians opened hostili- 
ties south of the Ohio. The murder of a friendly Shawnee 
chief named Cornstalk by some Kentucky settlers at Fort Ran- 
dolph, was the immediate incentive to these attacks. The Shaw- 
nee tribe, which up to that time was neutral, upon the murder 
of their chief, led the assaults upon the white settlers, spreading 
terror and bloodshed throughout Kentucky. 

George Rogers Clark now appears upon the scene. At this 
juncture, June, 1776, he was at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, in at- 
tendance at a meeting of settlers called to organize the people 
both for protection from exploitation by land adventurers and 
assaults from the Indians. He was then about twenty-six years 
of age, and was possessed of great courage and a commanding 
presence. It is claimed that he bore a remarkable likeness to 
George Washington and was very proud of the resemblance. 
His portrait as painted by Jonett, a photograph of which is 
published in Alvord's History of Illinois, page 324, bears out the 
claim of resemblance between Washington and Clark. He had 
been engaged in vigorous pioneering for some years prior to this 
time, and had considerable experience as a surveyor. He had 
explored the country as far west as the Great Kanawha in 1772, 


served in the war against the Shawnees, and in the Dunmore 
war against the Iroquois. 

At this Harrodsburg meeting, he was appointed one of the 
two commissioners to present to the Virginia Legislature a peti- 
tion from the Kentucky settlers for protection from the Indian 
attacks. When he reached the Virginia State capitol, the Legis- 
lature had adjourned. In no way discouraged, Clark found out 
that the governor, Patrick Henry, was sick at home in Han- 
over, and Clark sought out and secured an interview with him. 
Governor Henry from his sick bed referred the matter to his 
council, which ordered that five hundred pounds of powder be 
sent by the State of Virginia to Fort Pitt and thence down the 
Ohio to places convenient for the settlers in Kentucky. 

When the Legislature re-convened, Clark and his colleague 
attended same and were favorably treated by that body. The 
Legislature, at their request, passed a law declaring Kentucky 
to be a county of Virginia, and making provision for the govern- 
ment of the County of Kentucky. 

When Clark returned to Kentucky in the spring of 1776, he 
was thoroughly convinced that the Indian assaults upon the 
Kentucky settlers were instigated by the British commanders 
in Detroit, Vincennes, Kaskaskia and other forts in the Quebec 
Province. He had information to that effect from a man named 
Bentley, living in Kaskaskia. To gain further reliable infor- 
mation, he sent two men he trusted implicitly to Kaskaskia. 

They promptly on their return reported to Clark, in the fall 
of 1776, in substance as follows : 

First. That the commanding officers of the British forts 
in the Northwest were largely responsible for the Indian attacks 
upon the people in Kentucky. 

Second. That the French inhabitants of all the French vil- 
lages were, on the whole, quite friendly and sympathetic with 
the American cause. 

Third. That in most of the French villages along the Wa- 
bash and the Mississippi rivers, there were well organized and 
well trained militiamen. 

After hearing these reports confirming the information he 
had obtained from Bentley, Clark left Kentucky to call upon 


the governor of Virginia. His design was to procure a com- 
mission as an officer of the Virginia army and to organize an 
army of several hundred men to invade the Illinois country 
for the purpose of overcoming the British garrisons in Kas- 
kaskia, Cahokia, Vincennes, and probably other English forts 
in that territory. 

He laid his plans before Governor Patrick Henry, who at 
first was undecided. The governor finally authorized him, after 
many secret conferences with his council, to raise and equip 
seven companies of soldiers of fifty men in each company. The 
conferences and the authorization were secret and were not 
submitted to the Legislature for its approval, lest it should 
become public. The governor and his council further agreed to 
provide six thousand pounds British money for the financing 
of the enterprise, and promised that the Legislature would after- 
wards be asked to grant each soldier who volunteered and took 
part in the campaign three hundred acres of land in the new 
territory, and that the soldiers should receive even greater 
compensation. In pursuance of this plan, the governor handed 
to Clark two letters of authorization. One of these letters de- 
clared that the purpose of the campaign was to provide for the 
defense of the Kentucky people against Indian outrages. The 
other letter, which was to be kept secret, showed the real pur- 
pose of the campaign. The public letter, as contained in Smith's 
very able and industrious history, is as follows: 

Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark: You are to 
proceed, without loss of time, to enlist seven companies of 
men, officered in the usual manner, to act as a militia under 
your orders. They are to proceed to Kentucky, and there 
to obey such orders and directions as you shall give them, 
for three months after their arrival at that place; but to 
receive pay, etc., in case they remain on duty a longer 

You are empowered to raise these men in any county 
in the commonwealth; and the county lieutenants, respec- 
tively, are requested to give you all possible assistance in 
that business. 

Given under my hand at Williamsburg, January 2nd, 

P. Henry. 


Private Instructions. 

Virginia in Council, Williamsburg, January 2d, 1778. 
Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark : You are to pro- 
ceed with all convenient speed to raise seven companies of 
soldiers, to consist of fifty men each, officered in the usual 
manner, and armed most properly for the enterprise; and 
with this force attack the British fort at Kaskaskia. 

It is conjectured there are many pieces of cannon and 
stores of considerable amount, at that place, the taking and 
preservation of which would be a valuable acquisition to 
the state. If you are so fortunate, therefore, as to succeed 
in your expedition, you will take every possible measure 
to secure the artillery and stores, and whatever may ad- 
vantage the state. 

For the transportation of the troops, provisions, etc., 
down the Ohio, you are to apply to the commanding officer 
at Fort Pitt for boats; and during the whole transaction 
you are to take especial care to keep the true destination of 
your force secret, — its success depends upon this. Orders 
are therefore given to secure the two men from Kaskaskia. 
Similar conduct will be proper in similar cases. 

It is earnestly desired that you show humanity to such 
British subjects and other persons as fall in your hands. 
If the white inhabitants of that post and the neighborhood 
will give undoubted evidence of their attachment to this 
state (for it is certain they live within its limits), by 
taking the test prescribed by law, and by every other way 
and means in their power, let them be treated as fellow cit- 
izens, and their person and property duly secured. Assist- 
ance and protection against all enemies whatever, shall be 
afforded them, and the Commonwealth of Virginia is 
pledged to accomplish it. But if these people will not ac- 
cede to these reasonable demands, they must feel the mis- 
eries of war, under the direction of that humanity that has 
hitherto distinguished Americans, and which it is expected 
you will ever consider the rule of your conduct, and from 
which you are in no instance to depart. 

The corps you are to command are to receive the pay 
and allowance of militia and to act under the laws and 
regulations of this state now in force, as militia. The in- 
habitants of this post will be informed by you, that in case 
they acceded to the offers of becoming citizens of this 
commonwealth, a proper garrison will be maintained among 
them, and every attention bestowed to render their com- 


merce beneficial, the fairest prospects being opened to the 
dominions of France and Spain. 

It is in contemplation to establish a post near the 
mouth of the Ohio. Cannon will be wanted to fortify it. 
Part of those at Kaskaskia will be easily brought thither, 
or otherwise secured, as circumstances will make necessary. 

You are to apply to General Hand for powder and lead 
necessary for this expedition. If he can't supply it, the 
person who has that brought from Orleans can. Lead was 
sent to Hampshire, by my orders, and that may be delivered 
to you. 

Wishing you succeed, 

I am, Sir, 

Your humble servant, 

P. Henry. 

Upon receipt of these two letters of authorization, Clark 
proceeded to recruit his troops. Two officers that he appointed 
were instructed to bring their recruits to Fort Pitt. Others 
were directed to meet him on the Ohio River in Kentucky. Going 
to Fort Pitt, he gathered together the men there assembled, and 
obtained boats, provisions, ammunition and fire-arms. Finding 
some opposition to his enterprise at that fort, he did not at- 
tempt there to do more than secure the supplies which were 
ordered to be given him by Governor Henry. He sent word 
to all the recruits to meet him at Corn Island, opposite the 
present City of Louisville. When the troops were gathered at 
that place, a conference was held betwen himself and his officers, 
and it was agreed that the settlements in Kentucky should not 
be left unprotected and some of the troops were ordered to 
return to these settlements to protect them. Finally, 153 men 
were assembled, ready for the descent on the Ohio to Illinois. 

Clark then explained to these men the final purpose of the 
expedition. He appointed four captains, Bowman, Helm, Har- 
rod and Montgomery, to take command of each of the four com- 
panies. They left Corn Island on the 24th of June, 1778, and 
were shortly afterward overtaken by a message from the com- 
mander at Fort Pitt, who brought most agreeable news, to-wit, 
that France had entered into a treaty of alliance with the 
United States and had agreed to send money, men and ships 


to assist the colonists. At first Clark was undecided as to 
whether he should attack the fort at Vincennes or Kaskaskia. 

Vincennes was a larger fort and had more troops, which made 
it more difficult of capture. In addition, if he were defeated, 
he would have a hard time to retreat in safety. He finally 
reached the conclusion that the Illinois settlements were more 
scattered and could be overcome one at a time more easily, and 
that in case of failure he would be able to retreat across the 
Mississippi into Spanish territory in St. Louis. 

At the mouth of the Tennessee River, Clark met a hunter 
named John Duff, who reported to him that he had been re- 
cently in Kaskaskia, and that there were no British soldiers at 
either Kaskaskia or Vincennes. He further reported that a 
Frenchman, Chevalier de Rocheblanc, was the commander at 
Kaskaskia; that he had no troops excepting the militia. Duff 
and his companions offered to accompany Clark and act as 
guides. With these guides, Clark moved down the Ohio to Fort 
Massac. Here he hid his boats and on June 29, 1778, began the 
journey overland from that point one hundred and twenty miles 
to Kaskaskia. His men carried four days' rations. On the morn- 
ing of the 4th of July, they arrived at a point within twelve 
miles of Kaskaskia. They were utterly without provisions, and 
dared not kill game, lest they should be discovered. On the 
4th of July at night they arrived within a few miles of Kas- 
kaskia. There they learned that the residents a few days be- 
fore were under arms but had disbanded; that the Indians had 
left Kaskaskia and that all was quiet in the village. That night 
Clark secured boats and transported his little army across the 
Kaskaskia River to the west side of that river. Disembarking 
on the west side of the river, he marched his little army to the 
edge of the town, where he divided it into two parts. With 
one, he marched to the south side of the town, where the com- 
mander, Rocheblanc, was quartered. He was in a building 
surrounded by a stockade, but it was in bad need of repairs 
and the Kentuckians had no trouble in entering. After entering 
the stockade, they seized Rocheblanc and the rest of the army 
went into the streets and directed the townspeople to remain 
within their homes. The next morning the people were dis- 


armed. Father Gibault, the Catholic priest in charge of the 
villages at Kaskaskia and Vincennes, was left in Kaskaskia, and 
with a few of the most prominent citizens of the town he called 
upon Clark to ask if they might have religious services in the 
church. Clark consented, and at the close of the services, Father 
Gibault again called upon Clark and asked that the prisoners 
might be treated leniently and allowed to retain their personal 
belongings. To him Clark explained that the King of France 
had entered into a treaty of alliance with the American colonies, 
and that it would be entirely just and proper for the French 
colonists in the Illinois country to ally themselves with the allies 
of the French king. He further explained that in order to prove 
that he was speaking the truth, that he would release all the 
French prisoners, whereupon there was great demonstration of 
joy and happiness among those who feared the worst. The 
church bell was rung, and thanks were given to God for the 
happy deliverance. 

Clark then issued a proclamation which was to be read in 
the village. Father Gibault was very instrumental in persuad- 
ing the French inhabitants to become friendly to the American 
cause. The commander, Rocheblanc, however, was made pris- 
oner and sent to Williamsburg, Virginia, as a prisoner of war. 

After administering the oath of allegiance to the inhab- 
itants of Kaskaskia, Clark took steps to capture Cahokia. Many 
French inhabitants of Kaskaskia volunteered to assist him, and 
he ordered that the guns and ammunition should be returned 
to the friendly French citizens. A company of French volun- 
teers was organized, which was accepted by him as a part of 
the force sent to capture Cahokia. On their arrival at Cahokia, 
they found little trouble in persuading the French inhabitants 
to become friendly to the American cause. The post surrendered 
without a struggle, and the oath of allegiance to Virginia was 
administered to all its citizens. 

At the time that Clark took possession of Kaskaskia, the 
wealthiest citizen was a Frenchman named Cere, who was sus- 
pected of having assisted the English officers in instigating 
the Indian attacks upon the Kentucky settlements. Cere was 
at that time temporarily in St. Louis. However, he voluntarily 

Father Gibault 

French priest at Kaskaskia and Vincennes at time of George Rogers Clark's 


From a crayon owned by Col. R. T. Durret, of Louisville 


crossed the river and had an interview with Colonel Clark, the 
result of which was that Clark became convinced of his inno- 
cence. Cere voluntarily became an American citizen, and took 
the oath of allegiance and pledged loyalty to the American 

After he had taken possession of Cahokia, Clark sent for 
Father Gibault, and talked with him about the projected capture 
of Vincennes. Father Gibault had recently been in Vincennes, 
and knew the situation at that point. He explained to Clark 
that Governor Abbott of Canada had left Vincennes, and that 
there were no British troops there, and that only the local mi- 
litia were in charge of the fort and its supplies. He, Father 
Gibault, promised to go to Vincennes, and advise the citizens 
to transfer their allegiance from the British government to 
Virginia, whereupon Clark sent Father Gibault, accompanied 
with two reliable friends of Clark, to Vincennes to ascertain 
what could be done in the way of its capture. This was easily 
accomplished. Father Gibault advised the French residents of 
Vincennes to become American citizens, and to transfer their 
allegiance from the British government to Virginia. Under his 
persuasion, they all gathered in the village and the oath of al- 
legiance to Virginia was administered to all the citizens. There- 
upon the British flag was hauled down, and the flag of Virginia 
hoisted in its place. The Indians were advised that the French 
king had come back to life, and that he was advising his Indian 
friends to be friendly to the Americans. 

Up to this point, Colonel Clark had wonderful success, 
largely through the friendship of the French habitants, but 
now his troubles began. The volunteers recruited by him had 
only enlisted for three months, and many of them sought to 
return to their homes. Finally, he succeeded in getting a hun- 
dred of the Kentuckians to re-enlist, and the rest were mustered 
out. He then opened the enlistment to French citizens, many 
of whom accepted the invitation, and these new recruits were 
drilled and trained as American soldiers. Colonel Clark ap- 
pointed over each French company French officers. He sta- 
tioned Captain Bowman at Cahokia and Captain Williams at 
Kaskaskia. Shortly thereafter, he arranged for conferences 


with Indians, and held counsel with them at Cahokia, where 
the chiefs of many tribes appeared, smoked the pipe of peace, 
and made treaties favorable to the Americans. 

Shortly after his successes at Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vin- 
cennes, Clark reported the same to Governor Henry and the 
Legislature, and the Legislature of that colony in October, 1778, 
passed a law creating the County of Illinois in the State of 
Virginia in the following language : 

All of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia 
who are already settled or who shall hereafter settle on 
the western side of the Ohio, shall be included in a distinct 
county which shall be called Illinois County; and the Gov- 
ernor of this Commonwealth, with the advice of counsel, 
may appoint a county-lieutenant or commander in chief, 
during pleasure, who shall appoint and commission as many 
deputy commandants, militia officers, and commissioners 
as he shall think proper in the different districts, during 
pleasure; all of whom, before they enter into office, shall 
take the oath of fidelity to this commonwealth and the 
oath of office, according to the form of their own religion. 

And all civil officers to which the inhabitants have been 
accustomed necessary for the preservation of the peace, 
and the administration of justice, shall be chosen by a ma- 
jority of the citizens in their respective districts to be 
convened for that purpose by the county-lieutenant or com- 
mandant, or his deputy, and shall be commissioned by the 
said county-lieutenant or commander-in-chief. 

At the same time, the House of Delegates expressed their 
thanks to Clark and his companions for their wonderful success, 
as follows : 

In The House of Delegates 

Monday the 23d, Nov., 1778. 

Whereas authentic information has been received that 
Lieut.-Col. George Rogers Clark, with a body of Virginia 
militia, has reduced the British posts in the Western parts 
of this commonwealth on the Mississippi and its branches, 
whereby great advantage may accrue to the common cause 
of America, as well as to this commonwealth in particular : 

Resolved That the thanks of this House are justly due 
to the said Colonel Clark and the brave officers and men 


under his command, for their extraordinary resolution and 
perseverance in so hazardous an enterprise, and for their 
important services to their country. 

E. C. Randolph, 

C. H. D. 

But now Clark's troubles began to gather. Henry Ham- 
ilton, governor of Detroit, upon learning that Clark had invaded 
Illinois and was in possession of Fort Vincennes, raised a force 
consisting of thirty regular troops, of fifty Canadians, and 500 
Indians and started for headquarters on the Wabash. As he 
neared the village of Vincennes, Captain Helm, who was in 
charge of the fort, it is said, with only one assistant, a 
soldier named Henry, decided upon a grotesque and daring 
expedient to obtain terms of surrender. When Hamilton came 
within hearing distance, Helm cried out, "Halt!" Hamilton 
then demanded the surrender of the fort, to which Helm re- 
plied, "No man shall enter until I know the terms." Governor 
Hamilton then replied that the force in the fort should be 
permitted to march out with the honors of war. These terms 
were accepted by Helm, and he and Private Henry marched 
out of the fort, Helm carrying the flag and Henry beating a 
drum. However this may be, the fort in fact, was surrendered 
to Governor Hamilton. 

After the surrender of the fort to Lieutenant Governor Ham- 
ilton, Captain Helm, who had surrendered, was unable to com- 
municate from Vincennes with Colonel Clark at Kaskaskia, and 
Clark for a long time was in ignorance of the capture. On 
January 29, 1779, Col. Francis Vigo, an Italian friend of Clark's, 
returned to Kaskaskia from Vincennes, and reported to him the 
surrender of the fort to the British and the weakness of the 
British garrison therein. He at once started to organize an 
expedition for the recapture of the fort, and ordered Captain 
Bowman to assist him in organizing the expedition. He first 
ordered a galley built, which was to be sent down the Missis- 
sippi and up the Ohio and the Wabash to await near Vincennes 
the coming of other troops which would travel overland. Upon 
this galley two four-pound guns were mounted, and four large 
swivels, and provisions and ammunition were placed aboard the 


boat, which was under charge of Captain John Rogers, who 
had forty-six men under his command. He left Kaskaskia on 
the 4th of February, 1779. Captain Rogers then organized 
two militia companies, one from Cahokia and the other from 
Kaskaskia. The company from Cahokia was commanded by 
Captain McCarthy, and the one from Kaskaskia by Captain 
Charleville. In addition to these two companies of militia, he 
had three companies of Americans commanded by Captains 
Bowman, Williams and Worthington. In all, they mustered 
170 men. After preparing for provisions and stores, the ex- 
pedition was ready, and started on the 5th of February from 
Kaskaskia after receiving absolution from Father Gibault. 

The expedition experienced but little trouble until they 
reached Zenia in Clay County, as they killed plenty of game 
and had plenty of firewood. The rains were falling, however, 
and the streams filled their banks. When they reached the 
Little Wabash, they found the land between the Little Wabash 
and the Big Muddy three miles east covered with water. Here 
they built a boat for the purpose of carrying them over the 
deeper parts. Pack horses were compelled to swim the river. 
The men were compelled frequently to trudge across the ice 
and water, where the water was from three to five feet deep. 
They were compelled to carry guns with powder on top of 
their heads to keep them dry. On the 18th, they reached the 
Wabash, and spent three days building rafts and digging ca- 
noes, and had nothing to eat for two days. It must be remem- 
bered that this expedition was in the depth of winter in Feb- 
ruary, and the hardships that the men were compelled to under- 
go were frightful. When almost famished for want of food, 
they spied a canoe in which were some Indian squaws and 
forced it to land, and by the greatest of good luck, they found 
in the canoe a fourth of a buffalo, some corn, tallow, kettles, etc. 
Broth was made immediately, and served to the soldiers, some 
of whom were so famished as to be unable to walk. 

On reaching the immediate neighborhood of Vincennes, 
Clark issued the following proclamation, which he had distrib- 
uted among the inhabitants: 


To the Inhabitants of Post Vincennes: 

Gentlemen : Being now within two miles of your village, 
with my army, determined to take your fort this night, 
and not being willing to surprise you, I take this method 
to request such of you as are true citizens and willing to 
enjoy the liberty I bring you, to remain still in your houses ; 
and those, if any there be, that are friends to the king, 
will instantly repair to the fort and join the hair-buyer 
general, and fight like men. And if such as do not go to 
the fort shall be discovered afterwards, they may depend 
on severe punishment. On the contrary, those who are 
true friends to liberty may depend on being well treated; 
and I once more request them to keep out of the streets. 
For every one I find in arms on my arrival, I shall treat 
him as an enemy. 

(Signed) G. K. Clark. 

In the afternoon of the 23rd of February, 1779, Clark began 
to march toward the village. He maneouvered his men behind 
the cover of certain hills so as to make it appear to the village 
and to those in the fort that his numbers were two or three times 
as large as they really were. On reaching the village, he 
promptly opened fire on the fort, which fire was vigorously 
answered from the fort. Clark's forces were but scantily pro- 
vided with ammunition, which was almost exhausted when the 
residents of the town sent word that he could have their ammu- 
nition. After receiving this welcome addition to his equipment, 
he resumed the attack upon the fort. On the morning of the 
24th, he demanded its surrender, on the following terms; 
addressed to Colonel Hamilton: 

Sir: In order to save yourself from the impending 
storm that now threatens you, I order you immediately 
to surrender yourself, with all your garrison, stores, etc., 
etc. For if I am obliged to storm, you may depend on such 
treatment as is justly due to a murderer. Beware of 
destroying stores of any kind, or any papers or letters that 
are in your possession, or hurting one house in town — for, 
by Heavens ! if you do, there shall be no mercy shown you. 

(Signed) G. R. Clark. 


To this haughty demand, Colonel Hamilton replied : 

Lieutenant Governor Hamilton begs leave to acquaint 
Colonel Clark, that he and his garrison are not disposed 
to be awed into any action unworthy of British subjects. 

After this exchange of compliments, the fighting was resumed 
on both sides. Later in the day, however, Lieutenant Governor 
Hamilton proposed a truce of three days, which Colonel Clark 
refused. Later on, however, at a conference between Hamilton 
and Clark, they agreed upon terms of surrender as follows : 

1. Lieutenant Governor Hamilton engages to deliver up to 
Colonel Clark, Fort Sackville, as it is at present, with all the 
stores, etc. 

2. The garrison are to deliver themselves as prisoners of 
war ; and march out with their arms and accoutrements, etc. 

3. The garrison to be delivered up at 10 o'clock tomorrow. 

4. Three days time to be allowed the garrison to settle their 
accounts with the inhabitants and traders of this place. 

5. The officers of the garrison to be allowed their necessary 
baggage, etc. 

Signed at Post St. Vincent, 24th February, 1779. 
Agreed for the following reasons: The remoteness from 
succor; the state and quantity of provisions, etc.; unanimity of 
officers and men in its expediency ; the honorable terms allowed ; 
and lastly, the confidence in a generous enemy. 

Henry Hamilton, 

Lt. Gov. and Superintendent. 

Three days thereafter, the boat Willing which had been sent 
from Kaskaskia with supplies and men, arrived. Governor 
Hamilton and Major Hay were sent to Williamsburg as prisoners 
of war. The soldiers were detained for a time and then paroled. 

Shortly after the surrender of Fort Sackville, Clark learned 
that several canoes loaded with provisions and supplies intended 
for the fort were on the way to Vincennes. He detailed a com- 
pany of men under Captain Helm, and found the vessels con- 
taining these provisions near the mouth of the Vermilion River. 
All the boats were captured by Captain Helm, who returned to 


Vincennes with a large store of provisions to be used for the 

We have seen that the territory north and west of the Ohio 
was by the act of the Legislature of Virginia created a county 
of Virginia. 

The act provided that the governor of Virginia should appoint 
county lieutenants, and that these officers shall appoint a com- 
mission of deputy commandants, police officers, and other needed 
assistants. It also provided that civil officers were to be elected 
by the voters in their respective districts. In pursuance of this 
law, Governor Henry of Virginia, after due and careful delib- 
eration, selected John Todd, a judge of the Kentucky court at 
Harrodsburg, as the lieutenant governor of the county. Todd 
was a native of Pennsylvania, educated in Virginia, and had 
moved into Kentucky in 1775. He was a member of the first 
House of Delegates of Kentucky, and also a representative in 
the Virginia Legislature. He was one of the men who accom- 
panied Clark in the campaign for the capture of Kaskaskia, 
and it is said that he was the first man to enter the building 
where Rocheblanc was sleeping, and the man that arrested him 
on the 4th of July, 1778. Upon his appointment, Governor 
Henry wrote out himself the instructions to the county-lieuten- 
ant, which are in words as follows: 

The grand objects which are disclosed to the view of 
your countrymen will prove beneficial, or otherwise, accord- 
ing to the value and abilities of those who are called to 
direct the affairs of that remote country. The present crisis 
rendered favorable by the good disposition of the French 
and Indians, may be improved to great purposes, but, if, 
unhappily, it should be lost, a return of the same attach- 
ments to us may never happen. Considering, therefore, that 
early prejudices are so hard to wear out, you will take care 
to cultivate and conciliate the affections of the French and 

Lieutenant Governor Todd was further instructed by the 
governor to consult and advise with the most intelligent and 
upright persons who might fall in his way. He was directed 
also to cooperate with the military authorities; to take charge 
of the militia, which should be placed under the control of the 


military only at the command of the civil authority. He was 
ordered also to punish every attempt to violate the property 
of the Indians, particularly their land, and cultivate friendly 
relations with the Spanish commandant at St. Louis. 

Todd appeared in Kaskaskia in May, 1779, and accepted 
the office and trust imposed in him. The French inhabitants 
and the officers and Indians gathered in front of the village on 
the 12th of that month. Clark made a speech to those assembled, 
praising the faithfulness of the people of Kaskaskia and the 
neighboring villages, and asking their participation in civil 
affairs in the republican form of government now to be estab- 
lished in Illinois, and then introduced the county lieutenant, 
John Todd. Mr. Todd then gave a short address, and the 
assembled citizens voted for the election of judges, nine of 
whom were selected from Kaskaskia. The military commissions 
for the District of Kaskaskia were made out May 14, 1779. The 
names of all the officers indicate that except Richard Winston, 
the commandant, all were Frenchmen. 

On June 15, 1779, Colonel Todd issued a proclamation, for- 
bidding the further settling of the flat lands adjacent to the 
Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois and Wabash rivers, and declaring 
that in order to establish titles to lands claimed from grants 
previously made by the governments in control of the region, 
it would be necessary for any inhabitants who claimed lands, 
to present for record the source of their present titles. 

His career as a public officer, however, was very short. The 
finances of the newly established county were at the lowest ebb. 
Food was scarce, and what there was, was high priced. On 
August 9th, he wrote a letter to the commandants at Ste. Gene- 
vieve and St. Louis, offering help in case they were attacked 
by the British, and on the 13th of August the same year he 
condemned a vacant lot and proclaimed it to be the property of 
the commonwealth. He was a delegate to the Virginia Legis- 
lature in 1780, and married while in Williamsburg, Virginia, 
and returned with his wife in 1781 to Lexington, Kentucky, so 
that the chances are that Governor Todd must have left the 
Illinois country and his official duties some time the latter part 
of 1779 or in 1780. 



Back of the desk of the governor of Illinois, in his inner 
office in the state capitol at Springfield, there hangs an oil paint- 
ing of a distinguished looking man with a white "choker," 
in a scarlet cloak with black velvet trimmings. When at Spring- 
field I was often asked by my visitors, of whom that painting 
was a portrait, and as often answered: "The first Governor 
of Illinois." My answer to most of these inquiries seemed 
unsatisfactory. Very few could tell the name of the first gov- 
ernor of Illinois. Sic transit gloria mundi! But occasionally 
a well-informed person would ask: "Ninian Edwards or Shad- 
rach Bond?" When I told them it was a portrait of Patrick 
Henry, the first governor of Illinois, they would argue that he 
was governor of Virginia and not of Illinois. The Legislatures 
and public officials of this state have recognized the right of 
Patrick Henry to the title of first governor of Illinois by placing 
his portrait first among all the portraits of the governors of 
Illinois in the chief executive's office in the statehouse. That 
he was the first de facto American governor of Illinois will be 
conclusively shown by what follows. 

Upon taking possession of Kaskaskia, Cahokia and the other 
French settlements of Illinois and of the British fort at Vin- 
cennes as heretofore narrated, George Rogers Clark promptly 
notified Governor Henry of Virginia of his signal successes. 
The news was received by Governor Henry with rapturous 
delight, as he quickly recognized that the capture of these places 
from the British, laid the foundation for claiming all of this 
rich country in the final terms of the peace treaty when the 
time came for drafting same. The governor communicated the 



good news to the Legislature, which quickly enacted the law 
creating the Illinois country, a county of Virginia. Clark's 
program, secretly backed by Governor Henry and his council, 
was to gain possession of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Vincennes and 
as many more of the British forts and trading posts as possible 
and hold possession of the same for the benefit of Virginia 
until the end of the Revolutionary war. The first part of the 
program as to these three posts had been carried out with bril- 
liant success. The second and equally essential part of the pro- 
gram — the retaining possession of the same — had now to be 
faced by Clark, and he found this to be a more difficult matter. 
As we have seen, the British Colonel Hamilton soon recaptured 
Vincennes, and it was only by the exercise of extraordinary 
daring, and the endurance of extreme suffering and almost 
starvation on the part of Clark and his hardy followers; that 
he forced the surrender of Hamilton and his British garrison, 
in Fort Sackville, near Vincennes. 

Clark now found himself without supplies and without money. 
The support he expected from Virginia failed to arrive. The 
continental money he had brought with him was negotiable 
only at the rate of 12 cents on the dollar, and this depreciated 
money was soon exhausted. Drafts drawn by Clark on the 
agent of Virginia at New Orleans were dishonored. The friendly 
feeling and harmony which prevailed between the French inhab- 
itants and the "Long Knives," as Clark's soldiers were called, 
immediately after the capture of Kaskaskia and Cahokia by 
Clark, and at the time of the expedition against Vincennes and 
at the inauguration of Governor Todd, soon began to disappear. 
This was largely the result of violent and unjust actions of the 
"Long Knives." These latter were rough, wild, bellicose pioneers 
recruited from the outposts of civilization in Virginia and Ken- 
tucky, hard-fighting and hard-drinking men, ready to settle all 
disputes either with their fists or any other handy weapons, and 
of many different nationalities. They were mostly of English, 
Irish, German, Dutch and Scotch-Irish origin. Few were Cath- 
olics in religion, while all of the French settlers professed that 
faith. The latter lived on good terms with the Indians, while the 
"Long Knives" and Indians were always at daggers-points. 


The French were, as a rule, respectful of law and obedient 
toward their judges and other civil officers. The "Long Knives" 
usually settled their disputes with both white men and Indians 
without resort to the courts and in defiance of laws and 

The justices elected under the Todd civil administration in 
a memorial to Governor Todd, May 24, 1779, complained that 
the soldiers at Fort Clark killed their domestic animals, seized 
supplies from them without payment, sold liquor to the Indians 
and traded with the slaves. Clark shouldered these complaints 
over to Governor Todd and the civil authorities. He was getting 
no money or supplies from Virginia, and even when he was 
attempting to organize an expedition for the capture of Detroit, 
he was compelled to allow his unruly and hungry soldiers to 
get their food in their own violent way. These soldiers and 
other reckless settlers, in defiance of British law and the Vir- 
ginia law which forbade all settlement north of the Ohio River, 
entered lands after the "custom of the tomahawk claims," and 
this outraged both the Indians and the French. Governor Todd 
attempted to regulate these matters by proclamation, with but 
little success. Affairs at this stage were rapidly developing 
towards, and finally culminated into complete anarchy. Governor 
Todd, evidently at his wits end and despairing of being able 
to enforce respect for law, soon left the Illinois country after 
appointing, with doubtful authority, Richard Winston, deputy 
county lieutenant, to represent and enforce Virginia law. 

Under Winston, matters continued to grow worse. He was 
generally believed by all who knew him to be dishonest. Instead 
of attempting to allay the bitterness between the French inhab- 
itants and the Virginians, all his official acts tended to intensify 
it. He antagonized most, if not all, of the French leaders and 
many of those friendly to the American cause. 

At this juncture, Clark found himself and his troops in a 
desperate condition. He had been attempting to gather forces 
in such number as would justify him in making an attack upon 
the British fort at Detroit, but was unable to secure money, 
supplies or troops from Virginia to augment his hungry and 
ill-equipped forces at Kaskaskia. Virginia could give no aid 


because she herself was seriously threatened in the East by 
British troops. The southern colonies along the sea-coast were 
being successfully invaded by British armies who were threat- 
ening to invade the Old Dominion. Word reached Clark that 
Pittsburgh and the surrounding country were about to fall into 
British hands as the result of treachery and intrigue. He could 
secure no aid from that quarter. Finding himself unable in 
this situation to assume an offensive, he abandoned his hopes 
of attacking Detroit and took steps to prepare himself for 
defense in anticipation of a British attack from that city. He 
had not long to wait. While he was preparing to concentrate 
his troops at Fort Jefferson, in Kentucky, a few miles south of 
Cairo, withdrawing his troops from Vincennes and leaving but 
small detachments at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, news reached 
him that a formidable force of British soldiers and Indians 
was marching towards the Illinois country. 

Spain having joined France in war upon Great Britain, 
orders were given the British generals to attack the Spanish 
settlements along the Mississippi, both from the south and the 
north, in order to cut off any assistance that these settlements 
might give the colonies during the war. The British attack 
from the south failed, owing to the skill and energy displayed 
by the Spanish commander, Governor Bernado de Galvez of 
New Orleans, who anticipated the British attack in that quarter 
and successfully assailed all the British forts in the Gulf of 
Mexico. The British attack from the north got under way in 
February, 1780. It was surrounded with great secrecy, but 
the Indians at Cahokia in some way got wind of the impending 
danger and sent word to Clark, who was then at Fort Jefferson. 
The Spanish commander at St. Louis and Captain Montgomery 
at Kaskaskia both confirmed the Cahokia message and called 
for assistance. Clark hastened to Cahokia and arrived just 
in time to assist Montgomery in the defense of that village, 
defeating the British there and also saving Kaskaskia. The 
Spanish in St. Louis were equally successful. Clark owed his 
success on this occasion as on previous occasions to the assist- 
ance given him by the French inhabitants. The British forces 
were compelled to retreat northward and were followed by Mont- 


gomery and his troops. The British succeeded in eluding Mont- 
gomery, but he was successful with the assistance of the Spanish 
and the French Militia in making reprisals from the Indians 
allied with the British at Prairie du Chien and around Rock 
River. This was the second if not the third occasion when 
the French in Illinois enabled Clark with their assistance to 
extricate himself and his troops from desperate situations. The 
repulse of the British at Cahokia and St. Louis resulted, however, 
in saving the Illinois country from British occupation and retain- 
ing it by the Americans at a time when Clark was practically 
at the end of his resources. It was a close call with mighty 
consequences involved. 

In the years 1779 and 1780 the cause of Virginia and the 
colonies in the Illinois country, notwithstanding the brilliant 
leadership of Clark, seemed in desperate shape. Its heartbeat 
was at its lowest ebb. Because of the lack of food and clothing 
the "Long Knives" were looting the French at Kaskaskia. In 
despair, these unfortunates, to escape robbery and violence, 
were fleeing across the river to St. Louis. The Indians were 
constantly threatening the settlers in Kentucky as well as in 
Illinois. During these two years Clark was contemplating the 
withdrawal of the Virginia troops from Kaskaskia, Cahokia 
and Vincennes for concentration at Fort Jefferson. This had 
been interrupted by the British invasion from Detroit. This 
danger having passed, in 1781 Clark carried out most of his 
plan. The troops had already been taken from Vincennes, and 
all the Virginians were taken from Kaskaskia and Cahokia 
except a small body to act as an outpost at Kaskaskia under 
Capt. John Rogers. Thus Rogers, as military commander and 
Winston, as deputy lieutenant-governor of Illinois, continued 
to represent Virginia in Illinois, while Clark himself represented 
the Dominion at Fort Jefferson. 

For four years Clark and his Virginians (recruited in 
Virginia itself and in Kentucky) had managed to retain a 
desperate hold upon the Illinois country. Even as late as Novem- 
ber, 1782, Clark was compelled to wage war against the Indian 
allies of the British to retain his hold in the country. In that 
month the Indians north of the Ohio, in formidable numbers, 


raided the Kentucky settlements, and in the effort to expel them, 
John Todd, the former lieutenant-governor of Illinois County, 
appointed by Patrick Henry, was killed. General Clark mustered 
his troops and quickly avenged his death by invading and laying 
waste the Indian villages along the Miami River and slaying 
many of these savages in battle. But the agony was soon to be 
ended. While the Virginians under Clark and the British at 
Detroit were exhausted and incapable of effective offensive war- 
fare against each other, preliminary peace treaties were signed 
by the combatants at Paris, November 30, 1782, while the 
British were in control of Detroit and Canada, the Americans 
in control of Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes, and the Span- 
iards in control of the right bank of the Mississippi River and 
New Orleans. Before the signing of this treaty, however, an 
episode took place which should not be overlooked in any history 
of Illinois. 

A short way back in this narrative we noted an unsuccessful 
attack of a British and Indian expedition from Detroit upon 
the Spanish settlement at St. Louis. Shortly thereafter the 
Spanish commander at St. Louis organized an expedition to 
attack the British post at St. Joseph. Its commander was Don 
Eugenio Pourre, and it consisted of sixty-five white soldiers 
and sixty-five Indians. About half of the white men were 
Frenchmen recruited at Cahokia. The party left St. Louis 
early in January, 1781, and traveled across the prairies of 
Illinois the 400 miles between St. Louis and St. Joseph in the 
depth of winter, each of the men carrying his own provisions 
and weapons. They gathered some additional Indian recruits 
en route, and succeeded without much trouble in surprising and 
capturing the fort at St. Joseph. The Spanish commander 
ordered the lowering of the British flag, ran up the Spanish 
flag, took possession of the country in the name of the Spanish 
king, distributed the supplies in the fort among his friendly 
Indians, wrapped up the British flag and brought it back in 
triumph to St. Louis. 

What was the real object and motive of this Spanish march 
across the State of Illinois? Writers differ in their findings 
of the motive. Some say, simply revenge for the attack on St. 


Louis. One writer, and a very painstaking one, argues that 
the real cause was an order from the Spanish court. He points 
out that Spain as well as England, was at that time an ambitious 
colonizing nation; that in June, 1779, Spain allied herself with 
France in war upon Great Britain; had taken steps to regain 
East and West Florida, lost by her in a former war. He further 
points out the capture of British forts in the Gulf of Mexico, 
including Pensacola and Mobile, and the cooperation of Spanish 
and Americans at St. Louis and Cahokia in repulsing the British ; 
and argues from these facts that the order emanated from 
Madrid. There seems to be some force in the argument. 

With the signing of the preliminary treaty of peace, hos- 
tilities in America ceased. Negotiations between the diplomats 
and statesmen of the colonies, Great Britain, France and Spain 
then commenced in the effort to fix the terms of the final treaty 
of peace, which was finally signed September 3, 1783. What 
actually took place in the par parlours and secret conferences 
of the representatives can only be surmised and guessed at, on 
the basis of information secretly given and not of record. Presi- 
dent Wilson's ideal of above-board covenants openly arrived 
at was not then in operation among diplomats, as it is not now, 
and may never be. Negotiations between diplomats and treaty- 
makers before consummation of compacts have always been 
under cover, and many think always will be. What took place 
in these secret conferences can only be intelligently surmised 
from the terms of the final treaty. That instrument, after months 
of diplomatic wrangling and controversy, handed over all of 
the territory east of the Mississippi, with the exception of 
New Orleans, to the American Colonies. Why? There are 
many reasons which we can see nearly 150 years after the event 
that forced this disposition of that great territory, and these 
reasons existed then and must have influenced the very able 
men who discussed the situation at the time and formulated 
the terms of the final treaty. France could not with decency 
claim, with a hope to acquire, this territory by the treaty. She 
had discovered and held possession of the same for a century 
and had failed to colonize it. By the terms of her treaty of 
alliance with the colonies she bound herself not to claim this 


territory. While she held it there was a constant drain upon 
the Royal treasury. The fur traders made money and the Royal 
appointees of France in all probability participated secretly, 
in the profits of the fur trade; but the Royal treasury always 
showed a deficit rather than a profit from New France. More- 
over, France was exhausted by reason of almost constant 
European wars and the rumblings of the approaching "Reign 
of Terror" were heard in the streets of Paris. She was not in 
a position to regarrison and rebuild forts and trading posts 
between 3,000 and 5,000 miles away, surrounded as they would 
be by treacherous savages and menaced by the onward sweep 
of civilization and settlement from the American colonies. 
France at this time could not have accepted the Illinois country 
as a gift. She probably would have preferred to have this great 
territory handed over to Spain by the terms of the treaty, rather 
than have it regained by Great Britain or secured by the thirteen 
colonies. But Spain was in no better position to accept this 
great trust, at that time, than was France. She had made some 
settlements and built some forts at St. Augustine and Pensacola, 
in Florida, and at Mobile, St. Louis and New Orleans, and had 
been successful in the War of the Revolution in driving the 
British army away from the same. But these settlements were 
not thriving nor was their population increasing. They were 
mere trading posts. A few adventurous French and Spanish 
traders had ventured up along the Mississippi and established 
locations at Natchez, Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis, but these 
men were interested in the fur trade and not in the land and 
were inconsiderable in numbers. They could not have maintained 
themselves without assistance from Spain either as against 
unfriendly Indians, or the surge of the advancing waves of 
colonists crossing the Alleghanies from the seaboard. Spain, 
since the destruction of the great Armada by Nelson, had become 
a decaying power. She was a successful colonist in South 
America, but a flat failure in the northern continent. Great 
Britain was in no better position than France or Spain. With 
the assistance of the two latter countries, the American colonists 
had beaten her to her knees in America. Burgoyne had sur- 
rendered at Saratoga and Cornwallis at Yorktown. France 


had secured her revenge for the loss of this land to Great Britain 
in the treaty of Paris in 1763, but that revenge would not be 
complete unless this great, rich territory was taken from Great 
Britain and handed over to her ally, the Confederation of Amer- 
ican Colonies. These colonies were in active possession of the 
territory south of the Ohio, and as a result of the daring achieve- 
ments of George Rogers Clark were in possession of most of 
all the forts and settlements in the Northwest, excepting Detroit. 

Moreover, the American commissioners negotiating for peace 
terms, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Jay, were 
not only men of sagacity and intelligence, but had come fresh 
from that part of the world adjacent to the territory in question, 
where the approaching value of this land was better understood 
and appreciated than it was or could be by the commissioners 
of the European nations. They knew that the inevitable march 
of civilization westward would in a few years force the colonists 
to absorb this territory by peaceful or forceful means, and that 
then was the time, when all three of these nations were not in 
a position to hold and defend it, to insist upon its immediate 
surrender to the colonies. The logic of events was with the 
Americans, and the able American commissioners, by argument, 
persuasion and politely-phrased demands, succeeded in writing 
into the final treaty terms that handed over to the American 
colonies all the territory east of the Mississippi, excepting New 
Orleans and the Floridas which were returned to Spain upon 
the insistence of the French commissioners. 

The dash of George Rogers Clark into the British Northwest 
and the capture of Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes, was a 
material factor in adding to the American commonwealth in 
1783 the great Mississippi Valley, now teeming with millions 
of prosperous American citizens, and of almost incomputable 
wealth, but which at that time contained only a few thousand 
souls who were suffering from both want of the necessities of 
life and of civilized government. 


At the time of the surrender of French sovereignty to the 
British in 1763, the French villages of Southern Illinois were 
at the height of their prosperity. When it became known to 
the French inhabitants that the territory had been ceded to the 
British, a decline of prosperity, industry and population set in. 
Pittman, who visited this part of the country in 1766, wrote 
that there were over 2,000 white people in these Illinois settle- 
ments, and this number kept rapidly falling. Shortly after the 
British officers took control there were as many negroes as white 
persons, but both were heavily outnumbered by the Indians. 
In the absence of the priests who had for a time fled with the 
more influential and financially responsible French leaders to 
St. Louis, church attendance was neglected, and concubinage 
without church sanction quite prevalent. Morality and society 
had sunk to a low level. The situation was worse in Kaskaskia 
than any other village. During the incumbency of the British 
officials, French law, as we have heretofore shown, was abrogated 
and British law had not been proclaimed until the Quebec Act 
was promulgated in 1774. The arbitrary will of the British 
commander, enforced at the point of a bayonet, was the sole 
substitute for law and ordinances, and these arbitrary exercises 
of power were invariably offensive to the French inhabitants 
and deprived them of the rights and privileges they had enjoyed 
under French rule. 

With the advent of George Rogers Clark and the appointment 
of John Todd as lieutenant-governor of the County of Illinois 
by Virginia, hope succeeded despair. Among the French villages 
the Virginians were acclaimed as the apostles of Liberty and 
Democracy. The French hailed them as deliverers, organized 
companies of militia, took the oath of allegiance to Virginia, 


Francis Vigo 


welcomed Governor Todd with enthusiasm and held elections 
for their judges and officials as prescribed by the laws and 
ordinances of Virginia. Further than that, they volunteered 
to help him to take possession of Cahokia and Vincennes and 
followed him in the depth of winter across the swamps and ice- 
coated rivers of Illinois, helping him recapture Vincennes from 
the British troops under Hamilton. Many of them, who had 
fled from British misrule to St. Louis, including Gabriel Cerre, 
the richest and ablest of the French settlers, came back to 
Kaskaskia and advanced money and sold on credit to Clark 
to enable him to feed and clothe his troops. Colonel Vigo, the 
Italian, at this juncture advanced over $10,000 to Colonel Clark 
for the same purpose. 

Under the terms of the proclamation of Governor Todd, 
framed by Patrick Henry, they were promised liberty, religious 
equality, citizenship and full participation in a democracy 
wherein the people elected their rulers and lawmakers. Great 
was their joy, but that joy was short-lived. Governor Todd 
arrived in Kaskaskia in May, 1779. He left Illinois and aban- 
doned his charge and office within a few months after his inaugu- 
ration, either in 1779 or 1780. Almost conclusive evidence points 
to the year 1779. Smith, in his very valuable history, quotes 
a letter from Todd to Governor Patrick Henry, dated August 
18, 1779, as follows : 

I expected to have been prepared to present to your 
excellency some amendments upon the form of government 
of Illinois, but the present will be attended with no great 
inconvenience till the spring session, when I beg your per- 
mission to attend and get a discharge from an office with 
an unwholesome air, a distance from my connections, a 
language not familiar to me, arid an impossibility of pro- 
curing many of the conveniences of life suitable. 

Again, on December 23, 1779, he wrote Thomas Jefferson 
from the falls of the Ohio, stating his intention of resigning. 
He was probably at that point, en route to the capital of Vir- 
ginia for the purpose of presenting his resignation in person 
to Jefferson, who was then governor of Virginia. He was a 


delegate to the Virginia Legislature in 1880, took to himself 
a wife in the capital city, and is found with his wife in Lexington, 
Kentucky, early in 1781. Before leaving Illinois, as we have 
heretofore noted, he appointed Richard Winston his deputy and 
sheriff of the county. This appointment was a most unfortunate 
one, but what was worse, he, Winston, was left without means 
to maintain his official position or enforce law and order. He 
lacked tact and was frequently antagonizing not only the French 
but the native Americans. Clark's troops were ill-clad, ill-fed 
and without pay, and lived by pillaging and despoiling the 
already impoverished French habitants. 

While this situation existed and while the French were 
highly incensed by their mistreatment, new complications for 
Winston arose with the appearance of one John Dodge. A 
colony of English-speaking Americans had settled in a village 
near Kaskaskia called Bellefontaine. The inhabitants of this 
village had by petition secured from the French-speaking judges 
of the court established by Governor Todd, the right to elect 
a Justice of the Peace. Not satisfied with this, the Bellefontaine 
villagers held the French-speaking court and all the French 
villages in contempt. They regarded the French as aliens and 
their inferiors. Dodge made himself the leader and mouthpiece 
of these malcontents in an effort to abolish the court established 
under Virginia law by the Virginian, Lieutenant-Governor Todd. 
The court thus attacked had, of course, to defend its rights. 
It rallied to its support the great majority of French inhabitants 
and nominally the support of Winston. Dodge, with consummate 
audacity, sued out a writ from the court charging Winston, the 
deputy lieutenant-governor and the highest representative of 
the State of Virginia, with the utterance of "treasonable expres- 
sions." The court, evidently in remembrance of some of Win- 
ston's past official acts and omissions, refused him bail, kept 
him in jail for sixteen days and then acquitted him. Winston, 
after his acquittal, nursed his resentment towards the court 
that had allowed his imprisonment, and waited until his authority 
as deputy lieutenant-governor had been re-established, and then, 
in November, 1782, issued an official order abolishing the court, 
thus leaving the distracted citizens of Kaskaskia without any 


tribunal for the redress of grievances. That remained their 
condition until the arrival of Governor St. Clair in 1790. Early 
in 1783 Winston left Illinois for Virginia to collect loans that 
he had made to Virginia in the effort to establish his authority. 
He had impoverished himself in so doing, failed to collect in 
Virginia, and died soon after in great poverty. Before leaving 
Illinois he had attempted to transfer what little shred of author- 
ity he had to another man, by appointing or attempting to 
appoint a Frenchman named Jaques Timothy Boucher Sieur 
de Monbreun as his successor. Monbreun was a man of good 
standing, well born, and had the respect of his fellowmen, but 
his lack of legal authority and the fact that there was no court 
to decide disputed questions, and the further fact that he was 
without means or soldiers to enforce his findings, led him to 
temporize with all parties and satisfy none. He addressed a 
memorial to Virginia explaining his predicament, which reads 
as follows: 

Without troops to oppose the hostile designs of the 
savages, without any coercive means to keep under sub- 
jection a country where a number of restless spirits were 
exciting commotions and troubles, the greater circumspec- 
tion and management became necessary, and the Command- 
ant was induced to temporize with all parties in order to 
preserve tranquility, peace and harmony in the Country. 

Taking advantage of Monbreun's predicament, Dodge rallied 
the English-speaking inhabitants and had the colossal impudence 
to seize the old French fort in Kaskaskia and two cannon from 
Fort Clark; fortified the old French fort, and set at defiance 
all law and authority. By main force he ruled the village as 
a tyrant. Anarchy was enthroned and Dodge was its mouthpiece. 
The harrowed and insulted French sought to communicate their 
woes to Congress and appointed a messenger to carry their 
complaint, but this messenger, they claimed, was killed en route 
by Dodge's order. His tyrannical acts over the cowed and 
helpless French continued without cessation until 1786. During 
that year, George Rogers Clark, who had been absent from Illi- 
nois for some time, but who had acquainted himself with the 


wretched condition of the French under Dodge's tyrannical treat- 
ment, advised the French inhabitants to reconstitute and reestab- 
lish the French court created by Governor Todd. Joseph Parker, 
a land speculator whose interests were antagonistic to Dodge and 
the other land speculators headed by the latter, assisted the 
harassed Frenchmen in getting a memorial from them pre- 
sented to Congress when it was considering other appeals for 
stable government. 

Emboldened by the advice of Clark and the support of 
Parker, the French finally started to display a spirit of rebellion 
against Dodge and his crowd. They forced the resignation of 
de Monbreun who was friendly to Dodge, and had a citizen of 
St. Phillipe appointed civil and criminal judge, and Jean Bap- 
tiste Barbau designated as deputy lieutenant-governor in place 
of Monbreun. This occurred August 14, 1786, and in 1787 
Parker returned from Virginia with a message of hope from 
the Virginia Legislature. In the fall of the same year General 
Clark, who still retained the respect and friendship of the French 
inhabitants, marched a force of Kentucky militiamen into the 
Illinois country to attack the marauding Indians. He began to 
purchase provisions to enable him to garrison Vincennes. His 
agent for that purpose, John Rice Jones, was well received at 
Kaskaskia, and payment for the purchases he made there were 
guaranteed by John Edgar, a prominent and wealthy American 
merchant, who was on friendly terms with both Clark and the 
French inhabitants. Now Clark in these military moves was act- 
ing without any legal authority from Congress or Virginia. His 
only justification was that of the Roman leader under like cir- 
cumstances, Salus populi suprema lex est. The only safety for the 
Kentuckians was war upon the Indians. Dodge, however, know- 
ing that Clark was acting illegally, attempted to prevent Clark's 
agent from collecting his provisions in Kaskaskia. It was a 
case of outlaw against outlaw, and the outlaw with the largest 
and heaviest club won. Dodge for a time stopped the delivery 
of the supplies. Jones returned to Vincennes and brought back 
with him to Kaskaskia a small force of Kentucky militiamen, 
who took possession of the fort at Kaskaskia and collected the 
supplies wanted by Clark. 


This ended Dodge's reign of terror. He soon collected all 
of his property available for transportation and retired to St. 
Louis. Still there was no form of legal government for the 
unfortunate Kaskaskians. The chief anarchist had fled, but 
anarchy remained. Congress failed in the way of establishing 
American law and judication for the newly acquired territory 
north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, largely because of 
the conflict of claims of Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut 
and Virginia as to ownership of the land. These claims will 
be discussed hereafter, but the final settlement thereof was not 
effected until all of the claimants had transferred their claims to 
the United States at the end of 1784, and the final ordinance 
placing the territory under the law of the United States was not 
passed until July, 1787. 

This terrible condition of lawlessness in and around Kas- 
kaskia naturally ruined the future prospects of that village. 
It had been the largest and most prosperous village west of 
Detroit under French rule, had deteriorated under British rule, 
but sank to its lowest level under anarchy. When George Rogers 
Clark occupied it in 1778 it had about 500 white inhabitants. 
In 1790, when Governor St. Clair took office under the ordi- 
nance of 1787, there were only forty-four heads of families in 
the place. The population had decreased nearly eighty per cent. 
All the influential people of substance had gone, and all those 
that remained in all probability had not the means to enable 
them to travel. A different picture, however, is presented when 
we look at Cahokia. There the population was almost exclu- 
sively French. They were at all times submissive to law from 
whence-so-ever it came, and respectful to officials no matter 
whence they derived their authority. Animosities did not arise 
between the English-speaking Americans and French in Cahokia 
as they did in Kaskaskia. The Virginia troops under Clark left 
Cahokia in 1780. It is said that at that time there were only four 
English-speaking men in Cahokia and three of them had married 
French wives and spoke French fluently. A Frenchman was 
the commander of the militia from 1778 to 1790. Their justices 
were elected annually by the people pursuant to the regulations 
established by Lieutenant-Governor Todd. When the ordinance 


of 1787 was passed they ceased holding these elections, await- 
ing the coming of the United States officials, but allowed the 
incumbents of these positions to hold over until that time ar- 
rived. Cahokia furnishes us, a remarkable and unique example 
in modern history of civilized white men, subject to no law that 
was binding upon them, submitting themselves to and obeying 
the orders of a committee of their own selection with the full 
knowledge that the orders of that committee could not be legally 
enforced and were in law null and void. French law ceased to 
bind them after the treaty of Paris in 1763; British law was 
never proclaimed over them, and British military officials van- 
ished when George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia July 4, 
1778. Although they cheerfully submitted to them, the laws 
of Virginia were not binding upon them. Mere physical occu- 
pation of territory in time of war and before treaties of peace 
are signed under international comity, does not transfer sover- 
eignty. Until the treaty of peace between Great Britain and 
the American Confederation of Colonies was signed, the former 
still retained sovereignty of this territory under international 
polity. Moreover, the dubious title of Virginia ended January 5, 
1782. The law of Virginia attempting to create the County 
of Illinois was passed December 9, 1778, and was renewed in 
May, 1780. The renewal act contained a provision that the law 
should continue for one year and until the end of the next Legis- 
lature, which ended January 5, 1782. Even Virginia itself 
ceased to make any claim of sovereignty over the territory on 
that date. 

Upon this state of the record we have the right to conclude 
that the Illinois district had no law or ordinance binding legally 
its inhabitants from February 10, 1763, when the treaty of 
peace was signed between France and Great Britain at Paris, 
until 1775, when the Quebec Act was proclaimed; that this 
latter act ceased to be physically enforceable July 4, 1778, when 
George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia and Cahokia; that 
from July 4, 1778, to December 9, 1778, when the Legislature 
of Virginia asserted title, the only law was the law of the 
bayonet and of physical occupation ; that from December 9, 1778, 
to January 5, 1782, Virginia held only a dubious title acquired 


by capture in time of war, not cognizable by the unwritten polity 
sometimes called the law of nations; and that thereafter there 
was no law or ordinance enforceable upon its residents until 
Governor St. Clair and the territorial officials created by the 
ordinance of 1789 appeared in Illinois and proclaimed territorial 
laws and regulations for the territory. 

Yet during all this time the peaceful French in Cahokia 
maintained to their lasting credit, peace and order, supported a 
citizen militia, defended themselves against anarchy and Indians, 
and gracefully and gladly submitted themselves to the laws of 
the United States and to the rule of United States officials when 
they presented themselves in 1790. 

With the flags of three different nations floating from time to 
time above them, but without valid laws binding them, for twenty- 
seven years they maintained peace and order while anarchy was 
rampant in a neighboring village, grew in numbers and pros- 
perity and handed over a happy, prosperous and peaceful com- 
munity to the Government of the United States in 1790. We 
have had in the history of our country frequent instances of the 
organization of vigilantes among our pioneer settlers provoked 
by robberies and murders which but too often were followed 
by lynch law, but in the case of Cahokia we read of no such 
provocations or avenging crimes. There seemed to have been 
no hot blood in the Cahokia settlement, but a cold-blooded de- 
termination to live peacefully and honestly without the enforced 
action of written law. 




All of the Illinois country was covered and included in the 
grants by the British Crown made in 1609 while the French 
were in actual occupation of that territory. As the war for inde- 
pendence began to make successful progress towards independ- 
ence, the states that had claims to western lands derived from 
the British Crown and Parliament began to renew their claims 
in Congress. They expected by so doing to be able to sell these 
lands and reimburse themselves for the cost of the Revolutionary 
war. The Articles of Confederation between the different col- 
onies were presented to Congress in the summer of 1776, and 
were finally endorsed by Congress in the fall of 1777. There- 
upon they were sent to the different states for ratification. The 
articles of confederation provided that they must be ratified 
by all the colonies, before they could go into effect. In the 
spring of 1781, all of the states had ratified excepting Maryland. 
Maryland refused to ratify until some arrangement was made 
between the different states as to the western lands. The rep- 
resentatives of Maryland pointed out that the states without 
claims for western lands were at a distinct disadvantage in the 
way of paying their volunteer soldiers. They argued that all of 
the soldiers of each and all of the colonies were fighting equally 
for independence; that they were equally risking their lives 
and their limbs and their futures, and that all of these soldiers 
should be equally rewarded. Some of the states recognized the 
justice of this claim put forward by Maryland, but others, being 
those that had claim to western territory, were selfish and re- 
fused to acknowledge the force of this contention. 



Finally all of the colonies, excepting Maryland, ratified the 
Articles of Confederation, but Maryland still stoutly contended 
that she would not do so until these western lands were ceded 
to the Federal Government for the benefit of all. The latter 
state, Maryland, on December 15, 1778, went of record by pass- 
ing a resolution in her Legislature, refusing to enter the con- 
federation unless "an article or articles be added thereto, giving 
full power to the United States in Congress assembled to ascer- 
tain and fix the western limits of the states claiming to extend 
to the Mississippi or South Sea, and expressly reserving or 
securing to the United States a right in common, in and to, 
all the lands lying to the westward of the boundaries as afore- 
said, not granted to, surveyed for or purchased by individuals 
at the commencement of the present war in such manner that 
the lands be sold out, or otherwise disposed of, for the common 
benefit of all the states." 

There were a number of prominent and influential men in 
Maryland. Within a year afterwards, on December 14, 1779, 
the Legislature of the State of Virginia passed a resolution 
pointing out that in the previous May the Legislature of that 
state had forbidden settlements north of the River Ohio, and 
in the same resolution the State of Virginia protested against 
the consideration by the Continental Congress of the claims of 
land companies acquired in violation of this restriction. The 
Legislature of Virginia also pointed out that the claims of the 
Vandalia and Indiana land companies were contrary to Vir- 
ginia's rights under the confederation, and that in the Illinois 
and Wabash land company there were "several men of great 
influence in some of the neighboring states." When the matter 
was brought up in Congress, that body found itself somewhat 
distressed by the stubborn attitude of the two leaders in the 
fight, the State of Virginia and the State of Maryland. On 
September 6, 1780, Congress determined "that it appears more 
advisable to press upon those states which can remove the em- 
barrassment respecting the western country, a liberal surrender 
of a portion of their territorial claims, since they cannot be 
preserved entirely without endangering the stability of the 
general confederacy." 


New York readily gave up its claim. Virginia soon recog- 
nized the strength of the opposition that was developing against 
her effort to maintain her claim and received in rather a kindly 
manner the intimation for the necessity of a settlement thrown 
out by Congress. On January 2, 1781, the Virginia Legislature 
adopted a resolution providing for the cession of its claims to 
Congress, with eight conditions added to the terms of the ces- 
sion, which eight conditions are about as follows : 

1. That the territory should be formed into states, each 
containing from 100 to 150 miles square. 

2. That Virginia should be reimbursed for the expenses it 
had incurred within the territory. 

3. That the French and Canadian settlers should be pro- 
tected in their persons and property. 

4. That the promises of land conveyances made to George 
Rogers Clark and his men should be fulfilled, and that in case 
the land southeast of the Ohio reserved for the Virginia troops 
should be insufficient, that enough land should be reserved on 
the northwest side of the river to take care of these claims. 

5. That the old Northwest Territory thus ceded to the 
United States should be considered a common fund for the 

6. That the territory remaining in Virginia should be guar- 

7. That all purchases made by private persons from the 
Indians should be declared void. 

With these concessions made by Virginia, Maryland felt 
herself no longer to be justified in continuing the fight, lest 
it should be construed that she was fighting for the land com- 
panies and private interests. On February 2, 1781, the Legis- 
lature of Maryland authorized its delegates to sign the articles. 
This action of Virginia and Maryland ratified the confederation 
of the states, but before the ceding of all of Virginia's rights to 
the United States took place, there was still a struggle over the 
reservations made by Virginia in the resolution passed by that 
state on January 2, 1781. The fight over these reservations in 
Congress was quite vigorous. The matter of the acceptance of 
Virginia's cession coupled with the reservations was referred 


to the committee considering the cessions from Virginia, New 
York and Connecticut. That committee declared on June 24, 
1781, that it was inexpedient for Congress to accept any of the 
state's cessions as they stood and containing the reservations as 
stated. The committee recommended that Congress determine 
the western limits beyond which it could not extend its guaranty 
to the particular states, and recommended that when these had 
been determined, that a committee be appointed to prepare a 
plan for dividing and disposing of the territory in such a way 
as to discharge the obligations of the United States. This 
report of the committee on October 2, 1781, was referred to a 
new committee composed of delegates from states with definite 
western boundaries. That committee called upon Virginia to 
defend the position of the commonwealth. The Virginia dele- 
gates refused so to do, declaring that Congress had no juris- 
diction in an issue between a commonwealth and private citi- 
zens. The committee then recommended that the cession of New 
York be accepted and that of Virginia rejected. That commit- 
tee also reported on the claims of the different land companies 
that had filed petitions in Congress, and denied the claims of the 
Illinois and Wabash Land Company because of the fact that its 
purchases had been made contrary to law. No action appears 
to have been taken on this report, but on October 29, 1782, Con- 
gress voted on the motion of Maryland to accept the cession 
made by New York. The proposed cession of Virginia soon 
thereafter was referred again to a committee composed of dif- 
ferent members than the former committee. This committee 
on June 20, 1783, made a report favoring acceptance of the pro- 
posed Virginia cession, providing that certain conditions there- 
in were modified. In particular it recommended that the clause 
annulling the Indian purchases should not be insisted upon be- 
cause it was covered by some of the other conditions. The report 
was finally approved by Congress. The desired modifications 
were made by the Legislature of Virginia in 1783, and the 
cession of Virginia was completed on March 1, 1784. After the 
approval of the Virginia cession, Massachusetts waived its claim. 
In 1786, the cession of Connecticut reserving the territory 
afterward known as the Western Reserve was completed, and 


by this act of Connecticut the whole Northwest Territory was 
cleared of state claims, excepting the small reservation made 
by Connecticut. Soon thereafter the Congress of the United 
States appointed a committee for the purpose of preparing ordi- 
nances for the government of this territory. Thomas Jefferson 
was the chairman of this committee. He drew up an ordinance 
providing for the division of the territory into sixteen states. 
The plan, when submitted to Congress, was referred back to 
the same committee for re-consideration. That committee re- 
vised its plan and proposed the immediate formation of seven 
states in the territory bounded by parallels of latitude and me- 
ridian lines, but leaving the extreme Northwest undivided. 
Under this plan, the government was to be organized by the 
settlers themselves under the authority of Congress, and the 
Territorial Government might adopt with alterations such laws 
of other states as suited its purpose. It was provided that when 
the population reached 20,000 the territory could establish a 
permanent government upon republican principles, and that 
when the population equaled that of the smallest of the original 
states, it might apply to Congress for admission into the Union. 

This act was passed April 23, 1784. It never went into 
effect, however. The Indians were still in possession of the land 
and there were practically no settlers in the territory to organize 
the government except the French settlers in Illinois, who were 
neither vigorous enough, nor numerous enough, to bring about 
its organization. 

About this time, Thomas Jefferson was sent to Paris, where 
he remained several years, and his plan of organization was 
not pushed forward for enforcement. James Monroe took his 
place in Congress, and he made a visit to the Northwest Terri- 
tory and became convinced that the limitation of the states to 
an area of 150 miles square, which was provided in the cession 
of Virginia, was impractical. Monroe recommended that Vir- 
ginia revise her act of cession so as to provide that not more 
than five nor less than three states should be formed out of the 
territory of the old Northwest. Monroe's views prevailed, and 
they resulted in a succession of reports and resolutions in the 
Legislature of Virginia and in Congress between May 10, 1786, 


and April 26, 1787, when a new ordinance was formulated and 
put up for passage. This act was the famous Ordinance of 
April 26, 1787, providing for the creation of the Northwest 

From the foregoing statement we can learn why the North- 
west Territory was unprovided with laws or ordinances from 
the time of the signing of the treaty of peace in 1783 until the 
year 1787. 

Let us now discuss the conflicting claims between private 
interests and public interests which occasioned most of this 

The soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary war were not 
given cash when they were paid off at the close of the war. 
There was no cash with which to pay them. They received in- 
stead of cash, paper money or "certificates of indebtedness." 
These certificates of indebtedness were not legal tender, nor 
could they be exchanged for cash except at a frightful discount. 
As soon as the Ordinance of 1787 was adopted, the people began 
to hear of the rich lands in the new Northwest Territory and 
they saw a way to utilize these certificates of indebtedness of 
the Continental Congress, and there was soon a demand for 
these certificates, which could be utilized for the payment of the 
small prices fixed upon the land when offered for sale by the 
Federal Government. Many of the officers of the Revolutionary 
army after their discharge became interested in acquiring these 
certificates. Among these was Gen. Benjamin Tupper and Gen. 
Samuel Holden Parsons. These officers associated themselves 
with the other influential men and the Ohio Company of Asso- 
ciates was formed, on March 3, 1786, in Boston. This company 
acquired a very large amount of these soldiers' certificates, and 
the directors of the company sent General Parsons to Congress 
to propose the purchase of lands west of the Ohio for that com- 
pany. The Rev. Manassa Cutler, a Congregational minister, also 
became interested in the company. Doctor Cutler was a clergy- 
man of considerable note, a scientist, and a man of great influ- 
ence. Both General Parsons and Doctor Cutler visited Washing- 
ton and called upon members of Congress for the purpose of 
negotiating a purchase of a tract of land on the Ohio River for 


the Ohio Company of Associates. The company at that time 
had on hand one million dollars worth of these certificates. 

Prior to that time, another group of men had formed the 
Indiana Land Company and the Vandalia Land Company, both 
of which companies were composed of many men of political 
strength and acumen. Another company, known as the Illinois 
and Wabash Land Company was organized for the purpose of 
acquiring lands in what are now Indiana and Illinois. All of 
these companies now united in the effort to secure land in the 
Northwest Territory. Thomas Jefferson in Congress and a 
group of powerful leaders were opposed to the policy of granting 
large concessions to incorporated companies, and held to the 
belief that the land should be thrown open to actual settlers. They 
had an ordinance passed, providing for the surveying of the lands 
in rectangular sections, providing for townships, sections and 
quarter sections of land, and they vigorously opposed the whole- 
sale granting of enormous tracts to speculating companies, and 
attempted in Congress to preserve these lands from sale except 
as to actual settlers who would settle thereon and pay a nom- 
inal price therefor. The leading spirits on behalf of the cor- 
porations were Gen. Rufus Putnam, Gen. Samuel Parsons, Win- 
throp Sargent and the Rev. Manassa Cutler representing the 
Ohio Company; Col. William Duer representing the Sciota Com- 
pany, John Cleve Symmes representing New Jersey interests. 
In addition to these men representing these companies, two 
men named Royal Flint and Joseph Parker on October 18, 1787, 
filed a petition for a large tract of land between the Great and 
Little Miami rivers. Another petition asking for leave to buy 
land came from the New Jersey Land Company organized by 
George Morgan, who asked for two million acres situated on the 
Miami south of the Flint and Parker tracts. 

All of these different interests finally gathered their influ- 
ences together behind Col. William Duer, a very shrewd and 
capable business man who had made considerable money through 
contracts for furnishing the Revolutionary army during the war, 
and by speculation in government securities. He was intimately 
connected with most of the financial powers of the United States 
and with many of those in Europe. Doctor Cutler had offered to 


buy a large tract of land to be immediately occupied by men 
from the northern states, which had brought to the support of 
these companies influential men from the North who had hith- 
erto been lukewarm. 

After the passage of the ordinance on July 13, 1787, the 
sale of lands was next taken up for consideration. The first 
terms of sale submitted to the Ohio company were not acceptable 
to that company. Doctor Cutler, who represented the company, 
was thereupon called upon by some of the leading speculators to 
whom he had letters of introduction. The leader of this band 
of speculators was Duer. Duer suggested the formation of an- 
other and a larger company that would purchase through Cutler 
and his associates 5,000,000 acres of land over and above the 
million and a half sought by the Ohio Company. Colonel Duer 
is stated by Alvord in his history to have been at that time secre- 
tary of the Confederacy Board of Treasury, and had authority 
to make sales of land. Doctor Cutler and Colonel Duer quickly 
came to an agreement, one of the terms of which was that Gen. 
Arthur St. Clair should be made the first governor of the North- 
west Territory. Colonel Duer now organized the Sciota Com- 
pany and began the struggle to secure land from the Government. 

On October 23, 1787, a resolution was passed, authorizing 
the Board of the Treasury to enter into contracts "in behalf of 
the United States with any person or persons for any quantity 
of land in the Northwest Territory, the Indian rights whereon 
having been extinguished, not less than one million of acres in 
one body, upon the same terms as respected price, payment and 
surveying, with those directed in the contract with Mr. Cutler 
and W. Sargent." Jefferson's effort to reserve all the land in 
the Northwest Territory was in part defeated. These great 
speculating companies had sufficient influence to secure a mod- 
ification of the ordinance so as to permit purchases by them in 
large quantities. Nonetheless, great tracts of fertile lands were 
opened up to actual settlers who were already at the time of the 
passage of the ordinance crossing the Alleghanies with the hon- 
est desire of establishing homesteads in the great Northwest. 



The following in substance are the provisions of this famous 
ordinance : 

1. The territory northwest of the Ohio River shall for the 
purposes of government be considered one district, but may be 
divided into two if found expedient. 

2. The estates of persons dying intestate shall descend to 
the children of said person in equal parts. If there are no chil- 
dren, then to nearest of kin. 

3. Estates may be bequeathed by wills in writing, and real 
estate may be transferred by deeds, signed, sealed, and delivered. 

4. The laws for the descent of property in Kaskaskia, St. 
Vincennes and other French villages shall remain unchanged 
by this ordinance. 

5. For purposes of government Congress shall from time 
to time appoint a governor who shall serve three years and 
shall reside in the said territory. There shall be a secretary 
who shall serve four years ; he also must reside in the said terri- 
tory. The duties of the secretary shall be such as devolve upon 
similar officials in like situations. The Congress shall appoint 
a court consisting of three judges who shall live in the territory. 
Their appointments shall run during good behavior. 

6. The governor and judges shall adopt and publish such 
laws of the original states, criminal and civil, as may be neces- 
sary and suited to the needs of the district. These laws must 
be reported to Congress from time to time. 

7. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the militia, 
appoint and commission all officers in the militia. 

8. The governor for the time being shall appoint civil of- 
ficers for the counties, townships, etc. 


(From portrait by Charles Willson Peak) 

Arthur St. Clair 

First Governor of Northwest Territory 


9. After territorial Legislatures are organized, these shall 
make laws for appointments to civil offices in the counties, etc. 

10. The laws adopted shall be in force in all parts of the 
district. The governor shall lay out and organize counties for 
the more convenient execution of law and the preservation of 

11. When the population has reached 5,000 free male in- 
habitants twenty-one years of age, there shall be organized a 
Territorial Legislature made up of representatives elected from 
the several counties or other units. The appointment being one 
representative for every 500 free male inhabitants. There were 
property and residence qualifications for both electors and rep- 
resentatives. Vacancies in the representation should be filled 
by election. 

12. There should be a legislative council made up of five 
members holding office for five years. These five councilors 
were to be selected by Congress from a list of ten nominated by 
the Legislature. 

13. The legislative functions of government shall be exer- 
cised by the governor, the council and the representatives. Bills 
passing both houses of the Legislature, and being signed by the 
governor, become laws. The governor had the power to con- 
vene, prorogue and dissolve the Legislature. 

14. The two houses of the Legislature in joint session shall 
elect a delegate to Congress who shall have all rights of members 
except voting. 

15. "For the purpose of extending the fundamental princi- 
ples of civil and religious liberty which form the basis of these 
republics; and to fix and establish those principles as the basis 
of all laws, constitutions and governments which forever here- 
after shall be formed in the said territory; to provide, also for 
the establishment of states and permanent governments therein ; 
and for their admission to a share in the federal councils on an 
equal footing with the original states, Be it ordained, etc." 

Following the foregoing provisions there were six articles 
which constitute a sort of fundamental Bill of Rights such as 
are found in the constitutions of most of the states today. The 
ordinance of 1787 declared that the articles which are given 

Northwest Territory 


below were "articles of compact between the original states 
and the people and states in the said territory, and forever re- 
main unalterable unless by common consent." 
Bill of Rights. 

Art. 1. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and 
orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode 
of worship or religious sentiments, in the said territory. 

Art. 2. The inhabitants shall always be entitled to the bene- 
fits of the writ of habeas corpus, and of trial by jury. 

They shall be entitled to proportionate representation in the 
Legislature, and of judicial proceedings. 

All persons shall be entitled to bail except in capital cases. 
All fines shall be moderate, and cruel and unusual punishments 
shall never be inflicted. 

No man shall be deprived of his liberty or property, but by 
the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land. 

No law shall ever be made which shall interfere with con- 
tracts previously entered into, if bona fide and without fraud. 

Art. 3. Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary 
to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and 
the means of education shall forever be encouraged. 

Good faith towards the Indians shall be observed, and their 
property rights and liberty shall not be invaded unless in just 
wars authorized by Congress. 

Art. 4. The said territory, and the states which may be 
formed therein, shall forever remain a part of this confederacy 
of the United States of America. 

The inhabitants and settlers in said territory shall be subject 
to pay a part of the Federal debt, contracted or to be contracted. 

The legislatures of these districts, or new states, shall never 
interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by the United 
States in Congress assembled, nor with any regulations Congress 
may find necessary for securing the title in such soil, to the bona 
fide purchasers. 

Art. 5. There shall be formed in the said territory not less 
than three, nor more than five states, with boundaries as follows : 
The state farthest west shall be bound by the Mississippi, the 
Ohio, and the Wabash and the meridian of Vincennes, and on 


the north by Canada. The middle state by the meridian of 
Vincennes, the Wabash, the Ohio and the meridian of the mouth 
of the Great Miami River, and on the north by Canada. The 
eastern state shall be bounded by the meridian on the mouth of 
the Great Miami, the Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and on the north 
by Canada. 

But Congress may run an east and west line through the 
southerly bend of Lake Michigan and form two states out of 
the territory north of this line. 

When any one of these states shall have 60,000 free inhab- 
itants it may be admitted as a state into the Union, on equal 
footing with the old thirteen states. 

Art. 6. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall 
exist in the said territory except as a punishment for crime, 
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. 

Slaves or involuntary servants escaping into said territory 
shall be delivered up to the ones to whom such labor, or service, 
is due. 


The treaty of Paris established the United States of America 
as a nation September 3, 1783. It was nearly four years there- 
after before the Congress of the United States passed the ordi- 
nance of July, 1787, which finally went into effect and gave law 
to the Illinois country. What were the causes that delayed 
giving relief and lawful government to the people of the North- 
west who were clamoring for the same ? There were two causes 
which we will discuss at length: First — Conflict between New 
York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Virginia and the United 
States, and the conflict of these four states with each other and 
the other states of the United States as to the ownership of the 
territory; and second — a bitter contest between public and pri- 
vate interests as to the terms of the fundamental law for the new 
territory as it affected private ownership of the land. 

We will now discuss the first cause of the delay or the con- 
flict of the several states with each other and the United States, 
as to the ownership of the land in the Northwest country ac- 
quired from Great Britain by the treaty of Paris in 1783. 

The real and best title to this territory was in the Indian 
tribes that for over a century after its discovery by white men 
had occupied it and claimed it as their hunting-grounds. These 
tribes had in all probability been in ownership and occupation 
of same for centuries before any European had set foot upon 
the territory. The white man, however, whether he was French, 
English, Spanish or American ; whether he was a coureur de hois, 
a British trader or a Kentucky backwoodsman, a diplomat or a 
statesman, knew that the half-naked, illiterate Indians, with 
their tomahawks and bows and arrows, were helpless to main- 
tain their titles either by diplomacy or by warfare. They knew 
that in nearly every instance where, in the eastern colonies, the 



white man wanted possession of the Indian lands, he secured 
them, either by over-reaching" or swindling the Indians in so- 
called treaties, which were signed by the chiefs soaked in the 
white man's rum and loaded with the white man's worthless 
baubles ; or by open violence and the crack of rifles. They knew 
that all Caucasian nations without exception had, in their deal- 
ings with black, brown, yellow or red uncivilized men throughout 
all past history, treated the titles of savage men to the lands they 
occupied as a temporary obstacle to be removed by blandishment 
or bloodshed. 

The diplomats of Great Britain, France and the United 
States, when they signed the Treaty of Peace in 1783, all acted 
on this understanding and conveyed the land occupied and right- 
fully-owned by the Algonquin tribes of Indians, which after- 
wards became the Northwest Territory to the United States of 
America, thus leaving the latter nation in a position in which 
it could dispose of the Indian titles in the usual white man's 
way. Let us then only discuss the title of the American nation 
and of its several states to the land in question. 

The title to all this land by discovery and occupation was 
in France until she ceded her title to Great Britain by the 
treaty of 1763. Under British law, which was also the law of 
the British colonies, the title of all lands within the nation was 
held by the Crown under the feudal system. All grants made 
by the Crown reserved the fee simple title in the Crown, quali- 
fied by the grants or concessions made to grantees by charter of 
other royal instrument of conveyance. Often a nominal quit 
rent was specified, but more often material returns of income 
or service were required annually from the grantees. The title 
in fee of the Crown to these lands .was never passed to any 
chartered colony or any proprietor until it was conveyed abso- 
lutely by the Treaty of Peace in 1763. To what nation or state 
did the title pass by that treaty? There can be but little doubt 
that the title of the British Crown passed to the United States 
of America. The American commissioners appointed to settle 
the terms of that treaty represented no single state separately, 
but all of the thirteen states jointly. Great Britain would not 
have recognized or dealt with them if they had not represented 


them jointly. So far as Great Britain was concerned, the United 
States of America sprang into national life and became a sover- 
eign nation for the first time when that treaty was signed. In 
the eyes of Great Britain, before the signature of the treaty 
they were only thirteen revolting colonies in America and not a 
sovereign nation. 

When the Congress of the United States took up for consid- 
eration the question of establishing a government for the newly 
acquired territory, it had the lawful right to it as a part of the 
national domain and the right to legislate for its government, and 
some of the states advocated this policy. But opposition 
promptly arose as to the expediency of so doing, chiefly from 
Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. It was 
vigorously claimed by the delegates from these states that they 
had rights antedating the title of the United States and valid 
under international comity. They pointed out that a resolution 
of the Continental Congress, introduced by Richard Henry Lee, 
and passed by that body in 1776, read as follows : 

"Resolved, that these united colonies are and of right ought 
to be free and independent states ;" that the same words appear 
in the Declaration of Independence, of July 4, 1776, and that 
these words are followed in that memorable document by the 
following: ". . . . and that as free and independent states they 
have full power to levy war, etc." These pregnant words in 
this nation-erecting instrument, they argued, made each of the 
separate states a sovereign state, and that each of these sover- 
eign states became, by this Declaration of Independence and the 
terms of the treaty of 1783, the owners of the land which each 
colony claimed prior to the Declaration of Independence. All 
the four states mentioned united in this contention, but differed 
among themselves as to priority of their several respective 

This requires us to consider the joint contention of the four 
states and determine whether this contention had legal weight, 
and then take up the question of priority rights as between the 
four claimant states. Let us then consider the claims of each 
and ascertain whether they were well founded, and if so, which 
had priority rights. 


The claim of New York can be quickly disposed of. That 
state did not claim under any charter or grant from the Crown. 
It was based solely upon alleged treaty rights obtained from 
the Iroquois tribe of Indians, or the so-called Five Nations. 
These tribes were not in occupancy of this territory during the 
120 years that it was claimed by France and Great Britain. 
During the whole of that period it had been occupied by differ- 
ent branches of the Algonquin race of Indians with whom the 
Iroquois were often in deadly conflict. Occasionally the Iro- 
quois made a foray into Algonquin territory as the Algonquins 
made forays into Iroquois territory. But permanent Iroquois 
occupancy of land was always confined within the limits of New 
York State. The claim of New York was a mere shadow and 
seems to have been recognized as such by its own delegates, for 
their state was the first to surrender its claims and to convey 
its interests to the nation. 

The claim of Massachusetts was based upon a charter ob- 
tained in 1628 or 1629 which comprised "a strip of territory 
between the Merrimac and Charles rivers with three miles on the 
farther side of each and extended westward to the Pacific 
Ocean." This strip could have extended over the north portion 
of the State of Illinois. 

Connecticut claimed under a charter granted by Charles II, 
in 1662, in which the colony was given all the land south of the 
south line of Massachusetts reaching to the latitude of New York 
and "westward to the South Sea." This would have crossed 
the north portion of the present State of Illinois immediately 
south of and adjoining the Massachusetts claim. 

Virginia claimed under a charter of James I, dated 1607 and 
amended in 1609, which granted land by two lines, one run- 
ning west commencing 200 miles south of Old Point Comfort, 
and one running northwest from a point 200 miles north of 
Old Point Comfort. These claims had been made and discussed 
even before the treaty of peace was signed in 1783. All these 
claims, however, were, as we have seen, finally compromised 
and settled by conveyance from all of the claimant states to the 
United States. 


Some curious reader of history may inquire why it was that 
the United States ordinance of April 23, 1784, creating the 
Northwest Territory, did not go into effect. The ordinance un- 
questionably was passed legally by Congress and became a part 
of the law of the land; yet it was never proclaimed, nor were 
any officers appointed by the President or Congress to put it 
into execution. There are several reasons that will naturally 
occur to an inquiring mind if it examines the ordinance itself 
and the circumstances existing immediately before and after 
its passage. 

Thomas Jefferson, who framed the ordinance of 1784, left 
America for France and remained abroad for several years 
thereafter. He was compelled to leave his legislative child to 
the care of Madison and others who lacked the keen interest of 
paternity. In his desire to throw open the western lands to 
actual settlers who would buy in small quantities and improve 
the land with home and tillage, Jefferson had inserted in the 
ordinance a provision for the immediate foundation of at least 
seven small states, rectangular in shape. The survey ordinance 
of May 20, 1785, then provided that each state should be subdi- 
vided by survey into rectangular townships six miles square, 
each township to contain thirty-six sections of land. The ordi- 
nance of 1784 further provided that the government for these 
states was to be organized by the settlers themselves under au- 
thority of Congress, and that the territorial government, pending 
the birth of the states, could adopt with or without alteration 
such laws of the other states as suited its purpose. 

In 1784 and 1785 the Indians were still in undisturbed pos- 
session of these lands, excepting a few French settlements at 
Detroit, Peoria, St. Joe, Vincennes, Mackinac and in Southern 
Illinois, not numbering in all over 2,500 souls. These latter 
were neither numerous enough nor sufficiently acquainted with 
the English language, or self-assertive enough, to take a single 
step towards the foundation of a territorial government. Ex- 
cept the French, the few white men in the Northwest Territory 
at that time were insignificant in number. 

Another reason why there was no attempt to create a govern- 
ment under the 1784 ordinance was that the United States Gov- 


ernment had made no provision for giving title of the land to 
settlers. The Indian titles had not been procured and no price 
had been fixed, or the terms of purchase provided for, by law 
or ordinance. Moreover, there was no great inrush of actual 
settlers yet in evidence north of the Ohio. The land speculator 
had not yet gotten in his deadly work upon the unpaid dis- 
charged soldiers of the Revolution, who had received with their 
discharge papers not cash but "certificates of indebtedness of the 
United States." The discharged veteran could not exchange 
these certificates for cash, food or clothing, except at a heavy 
discount. The land speculators soon saw their opportunity, but 
it took a couple of years after peace was signed in 1783 to 
organize, advertise and merchandise these certificates at a heavy 
discount. When this work was done, the "Ohio Company of As- 
sociates" became active and appeared before Congress March 
3, 1786, having been organized at Boston for the purpose of 
dealing in land. That company succeeded in buying 1,500,000 
acres, and then came the Scioto Company asking 5,000,000 
acres, and other companies asking other millions of acres, all 
under the terms of sale given to the Ohio Company. 

The resolution of Congress under which the large sales of 
land in bulk were made was passed October 23, 1787, and au- 
thorized the United States Board of Treasury to enter into con- 
tracts "in behalf of the United States with any person or per- 
sons for any quantity of land in the western territory, the In- 
dian rights wherein have been extinguished, not less than one 
million acres in one body, upon the same terms, as it respects 
price, payment and surveying, with these directed in the con- 
tract with M. Cutler and W. Sargent." The M. Cutler and W. 
Sargent therein mentioned were undoubtedly the Rev. Manassa 
Cutler and Winthrop Sargent, who were the leading spirits and 
lobbyists of the Ohio Company of Associates, and who are men- 
tioned in a former chapter. 

A consideration of the above matters will explain why it 
was no territorial government was proclaimed or officered under 
the territorial ordinance of 1784 and 1785. The sales made 
under the ordinance of 1787, at or about this time, however, 
whether made in bulk or to actual settlers, did not affect the 


lands of the present State of Illinois. That ordinance did pro- 
tect or attempt to protect the rights of the French settlers in 
Illinois, but these simple people had in many cases bartered 
away their rights for inadequate and often trifling considera- 
tion to the ever-present crafty land speculator. The Indian 
titles to land in Illinois were not extinguished until some years 
afterwards, and the Illinois lands were not thrown open to 
settlers for purchase until the Indian titles were by hook or 
crook acquired. 



On October 5, 1787, Gen. Arthur St. Clair was selected as 
governor of the Northwest Territory and Winthrop Sargent was 
appointed secretary. Soon thereafter, James M. Varnum, Sam- 
uel H. Parsons and John C. Symmes were appointed judges. 
They were all prominent citizens and most of them were in- 
terested in the large land grants heretofore mentioned. These 
gentlemen, by virtue of the provisions of the 1787 ordinance, 
became the law-making body of the territory and enacted a set 
of laws, an abstract of which is, according to Dillon in his His- 
toric Notes: 

1. The first law was one providing for the establishment 
of a militia system in the territory of the United States. 

2. A law providing for Courts of Quarter Sessions, County 
Courts of Common Pleas, and a law providing for the office of 
sheriff, and for the appointment of sheriffs. 

3. Another law providing for the establishment of court of 

4. A law providing for the sitting of the general court in 
the territory to hear general cases beyond the adjudication of 
the courts of the counties. This court was to be held by the 
three judges or by any two of them. They were to be held 
four times a year in such counties as. suits the pleasure of the 
judges. This general court shall have civil and criminal juris- 
diction. The law provided for adjournment of sessions and for 
continuance of processes. 

5. A law was enacted providing for oaths of office for the 
several officials in the several counties. 

6. A law respecting crimes and the punishments thereof. 
Treason, murder, and arson, if death results, are punishable by 



Primitive Grain Mill 


death. Burglary and robbery, by whipping, fines and imprison- 
ment. Minor offenses were punishable by fines, whippings, dis- 
franchisement, or the pillory. Offenders who could not pay their 
fines were sold by the sheriff for limited terms according to the 

Children or servants who were disobedient to the commands 
of their parents or masters might be sent to a house of correc- 
tion by the courts. 

Drunken persons were to be fined for the first offense five 
dimes, for the second offense ten dimes and for the third they 
could be sent to the stocks. 

"Whereas, idle, vain and obscene conversation, profane curs- 
ing and swearing, and more especially the irreverently mention, 
ing, calling upon, or invoking the Sacred and Supreme Being, by 
any of the divine characters in which he hath graciously conde- 
scended to reveal his infinitely beneficent purposes to mankind, 
are repugnant to every moral sentiment, subversive of every 
civil obligation, inconsistent with the ornaments of polished life, 
and abhorrent to the principles of the most benevolent religion. 
It is expected, therefore, if crimes of this kind should exist, 
they will not find encouragement, countenance, or approbation 
in this territory. It is strictly enjoined upon all officers and 
ministers of justice, upon parents and others, heads of fam- 
ilies, and upon others of every description, that they abstain 
from practices so vile and irrational; and that by example and 
precept, to the utmost of their power they present the necessity 
of adopting and publishing laws, with penalties upon their head. 
And it is hereby declared that the Government will consider as 
unworthy its confidence all those who may obstinately violate 
these in junctions." 

This quotation has been made at length to enable the reader 
to obtain some insight into the notions that the people of that 
time held relative to profanity. In an additional paragraph the 
governor and judges lay down the rule governing labor and acts 
of charity upon the Lord's day or the first day of the week. 

7. A law regulating marriages. Marriage contracts cannot 
be consummated unless the intention of the parties to the con- 
tract is published at least fifteen days before the marriage. The 


means of publicity was announcement in the place of worship 
three different Sundays or holy days, or by publishing through 
a written statement acknowledged before a justice of the peace, 

8. This was a supplementary law pertaining to Act 1 rela- 
tive to the organization of the militia. 

9. A law providing for the exercise of authority by the 

10. A limitation of the time of commencing civil and crim- 
inal actions. 

Governor St. Clair did not make his appearance in Illinois 
until some time in March, 1790, when he visited Kaskaskia. 
The white population then, in what is now the State of Illinois, 
did not exceed 2,500. John Reynolds, afterwards governor, 
who landed in Illinois in 1800, and who had an excellent oppor- 
tunity of estimating the population at that time and before, 
states that were there were only 2,000 white people in the state 
in 1790, of whom 1,200 were French. He also states that in 
1800 those who spoke English were between 800 and 1,000. It 
is certain that the French population did not increase between 
1790 and 1800. The discomforts and annoyances which they had 
been suffering under American rule since Clark's invasion had 
been reducing rather than increasing their numbers. The people 
were poor and ignorant of American laws and customs. Their 
holdings had never been surveyed or platted, but had been occu- 
pied and utilized under unquestioned claims of ownership for 
many years. 

The governor promptly proceeded to lay off a county, and 
with becoming modesty called it St. Clair. The Illinois and 
Mississippi rivers were its western borders and the Ohio River 
its southern boundary. The northeasterly boundary was a line 
drawn from the Illinois River at the mouth of Mackinac Creek 
to Fort Massac on the Ohio River. The governor then appointed 
some twenty-eight county officials, twenty of whom were French. 
The most important and capable of the new appointees were 
John Edgar and James Piggott. The former of these was ap- 
pointed to three offices, captain of militia, judge of Common 


Pleas and judge of Quarter Sessions. The latter was appointed 
captain of militia and justice of the peace. 

After appointing these officials, the governor issued a proc- 
lamation requiring all persons claiming title to land to come to 
his office and present their titles. Pursuant to this order, many 
claimants proved up their titles, but as the governor also re- 
quired them to have their lands surveyed, many of the poor 
claimants were in such destitution that they were unable to 
pay for surveys. The governor reported to Congress that many 
surveys were made and recorded but that a part of the surveys 
were not returned because the people objected to paying the 
surveyor and that it was too true that they "are ill able to pay." 
He further reported that the people in the settlements in Illi- 
nois on the Wabash were in great distress and had been since 
they came under the rule of General Clark. The people in Kas- 
kaskia and other towns had furnished supplies to Clark's troops 
and had given Clark everything they could spare, and had been 
paid in Virginia certificates that were without value, and when 
these certificates were presented to Virginia they were rejected. 

In this plight and in fear of losing their properties held for 
many years, the people appealed to Father Gibault, who prepared 
a heart-moving memorial and gave it to the governor. It reads 
as follows : 

St Clair County, June 9th, 1790. 
To His Excellency Arthur St. Clair, 
Governor and Commander-in-chief, 

Of the Territory of the United States 
Northwest of the Kiver Ohio. 

The memorial humbly showeth. that by an act of Con- 
gress of June 20, 1788, it was declared that the lands here- 
tofore possessed by the said inhabitants should be surveyed 
at their expense; and that this cause appears to them 
neither necessary nor adapted to quiet the minds of the 
people. It does not appear necessary, because from the 
establishment of the colony to this day, they have enjoyed 
their property and possessions without disputes or lawsuits 
on the subject of their limits; that the surveys of them 
were made at the time the concessions were obtained from 
their ancient Kings, Lords and Commandants; and each 


of them knew what belonged to him without attempting an 
encroachment on his neighbor, or fearing that his neigh- 
bor would encroach on him. It does not appear adapted 
to pacify them, because, instead of assuring them the peace- 
able possessions of their ancient inheritance, as they have 
enjoyed it till now, that clause obliges them to bear expenses 
which, in their present situation, they are absolutely in- 
capable of paying, and for the failure of which they must 
be deprived of their lands. 

Your Excellency is an eye witness of the poverty to 
which the inhabitants are reduced, and of the total want 
of provision to subsist on. Not knowing where to find a 
morsel of bread to nourish their families, by what means 
can they support the expense of a survey which has not 
been sought for on their parts, and for which, it is con- 
ceived by them, there is no necessity ? Loaded with misery, 
and groaning under the weight of misfortunes accumulated 
since the Virginia troops entered their country, the un- 
happy inhabitants throw themselves under the protection 
of your Excellency, and take the liberty to solicit you to 
lay their deplorable situation before the Congress; and, as 
it may be interesting for the United States to know exactly 
the extent and limits of their ancient possessions in order 
to ascertain the lands which are yet at the disposal of Con- 
gress, it appears to them, in their humble opinion, that the 
expense of the survey ought more properly to be borne by 
Congress, for whom alone it is useful, than by them who 
do not feel the necessity of it. Besides, this is no object 
for the United States, but it is great, too great, for a few 
unhappy beings who, your Excellency sees yourself, are 
scarcely able to support their pitiful existence. 

Signed, Fr. P. Gibault, 
and Eighty-seven Others. 

Before leaving Kaskaskia Governor St. Clair deputized Win- 
throp Sargent to complete the task of making records of titles 
to lands on the Mississippi and Wabash rivers. Up to this time 
(1790) so far as immigration was concerned, the situation in 
Illinois was one of complete stagnation. Lack of laws under 
which settlers could obtain title to land was one cause, but the 
greater cause was the hostility and depredations of the Indians. 
These red men had the audacity to insist that the white men of 
America should observe and carry out the terms of a solemn 


treaty that the white men had made with them under British 
rule. They pointed to the treaty of Fort Stanwix, signed in 
1768, wherein the white men of Great Britain obligated their 
country to respect the title of the Indians to all the land in the 
Northwest which lay west of a line drawn from about where 
the City of Lorain, Ohio, is located on the south shore of Lake 
Erie, south to the mouth of the Great Kanawha River. With 
both good logic and argument they contended that when the 
United States of America acquired the British title in 1783, it 
did so subject to the treaty rights of the Indians secured to them 
by the treaty of Fort Stanwix. The contention would have been 
good in any impartial-minded court. As usual in any contro- 
versy between a Caucasian and a black, brown, yellow or red 
man, the argument fell on deaf ears. War was the result. Bands 
of Indians from the Muskingum to the Mississippi seized their 
guns and went on the war-path. 

President Washington ordered Governor St. Clair to gather 
an army and attack the Indians. In the fall of 1791 the American 
army under St. Clair was surprised as Braddock was surprised. 
On the banks of the Wabash the Indians sprung their surprise 
and administered the most humiliating and crushing defeats 
suffered by white men from Indians in history. The command 
of the American army was then given to "Mad Anthony" Wayne, 
of Revolutionary fame. The Indians had been sympathized with 
and encouraged, if not actually instigated, by the British officers 
at Detroit. Anthony's first act after his appointment to the 
command was a politic and peaceful one. He negotiated a peace 
with the Pottawatomie tribe in Northern Illinois, and this de- 
prived the fighting tribes in Indiana and Ohio of the assistance 
and support they had been receiving from the tribes in the West. 
He then began vigorously training the freshly-recruited troops 
placed in his charge, and after they had been thoroughly disci- 
plined he attacked the Indians at Fallen Timbers, where they 
were encamped in the shadow of a British fort, and routed 
them most thoroughly. The Indians were expecting British 
support, but to their consternation and surprise this was not 
forthcoming. The British commander of the fort even refused 
them refuge when they were beaten, and they were compelled to 


scatter in all directions. This battle broke the Indian power 
for the time being and enabled General Wayne to conclude the 
treaty of Greenville on most favorable terms, August 4, 1795. 

This treaty opened up for settlement the eastern and south- 
ern parts of Ohio and provided that the United States might 
hold reservations in Indian territory for forts, also establishing 
a new Indian boundary line. Among the locations for forts were 
three in the present State of Illinois, one at Chicago, one at 
Peoria and one at the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi 
rivers. Fifteen years of peace followed the signing of the treaty 
of Greenville. That treaty established the policy of the United 
States to be followed thereafter in dealing with Indian claims; 
the policy of recognizing Indian titles and of acquiring same by 
treaty. Pursuing that policy while the strength of the Indian 
for resistance was constantly and rapidly diminishing, the 
United States was enabled by successive treaties to divest the 
Indians of all their titles in the Northwest Territory and then 
offer the lands so acquired to settlers. That the consideration 
paid to the Indians often was inconsiderable may be true, but 
such is the lot of those who are vanquished in battle. Vae victis. 

The officials of the United States at that time always con- 
tended that the antagonism of the Indians to the Americans was 
constantly fomented and encouraged by the British officials in 
Canada. They did, undoubtedly, furnish the Indians with pow- 
der, guns and other weapons, and encouraged them to exchange 
their pelts for British merchandise. They openly sympathized 
with the Indians, but probably were careful not to involve Great 
Britain by overt acts of actual warfare. The British govern- 
ment still maintained garrisons at Mackinac, Detroit and Buf- 
falo. The treaty of 1783 left several issues undisposed of, which 
the diplomats agreed could be settled in a future commercial 
treaty between Great Britain and the United States. The re- 
tention of British garrisons at the points above and the exist- 
ence of trading posts in their vicinity where the Indians could 
procure arms and ammunition was a source of much concern 
to the Americans, and caused President Washington to send 
John Jay to London to bring about a treaty that would compel 
the British to remove their forts from American soil. Jay was 


successful and such a treaty was signed November 19, 1794, 
and ratified by the Senate in 1795. Pursuant to the terms 
thereof the British surrendered their forts and trading posts 
on American soil to the United States. 

The fur trade, then in the hands of the British traders, 
was a very lucrative one, and when the British abandoned 
American soil they transferred their trade to Maiden, at the 
mouth of the Detroit River, and to St. Joseph's Island, in the 
channel connecting Lake Superior with Lake Huron. There 
they continued their trading with much success for years 

These Indian troubles to the east of what is now Illinois 
seriously retarded settlements in Ohio and, in connection with 
the unjust and unfortunate treatment which the French settle- 
ments in Illinois had received for years from both British and 
American officials, absolutely stagnated all increase of popula- 
tion in the latter territory. A few Americans visited Kaskaskia, 
but almost without exception they were land speculators and 
not bona fide settlers. The delayed appearance of Governor 
St. Clair and his establishment of American courts did but little 
to improve the situation. He had divided the newly-created 
St. Clair County into three districts, Cahokia, Kaskaskia and 
Prairie du Rocher. In Cahokia the judges performed their 
functions in a satisfactory manner, as they had always done 
in the past, under all administrations; but in Kaskaskia and 
Prairie du Rocher it was otherwise. After the brief and belated 
visit of Governor St. Clair to Kaskaskia in 1790, he created 
St. Clair County and appointed county officials, and then shook 
the dust of Southern Illinois from his shoes and appointed and 
sent Territorial Judge Turner to Illinois to administer justice 
and straighten out its tangled affairs. 

Governor St. Clair and the territorial judges who were the 
law-making body of the new territory, in enacting and proclaim- 
ing laws for the territory, had exceeded their powers in so doing. 
They had framed and attempted to enact laws of their own 
inspiration instead of adopting laws already in force in some 
of the American states. The three judges assumed additional 
functions and made the court one of both original and appellate 


jurisdiction from whose decisions there was no appeal. Nearly- 
all of its sessions were held at Marietta or Cincinnati, Ohio. 
No sessions had been held in Illinois from 1790 to 1794. The 
Federal Government had rebuked the governor and judges for 
blunders in law-making and the governor ordered the holding 
of a court in Illinois. Acting under the governor's order, Judge 
Turner reached Kaskaskia in October, 1794, and at once pro- 
ceeded to act in an insolent and tyrannical manner. The records 
of the county courts had been kept in Cahokia in the custody 
of the prothonotary and clerk, William St. Clair, a relative 
of Governor St. Clair. Judge Turner ordered them removed 
to Kaskaskia and when the clerk protested the Judge took 
forcible possession of them, whereupon St. Clair resigned. The 
judge, by other violent and tactless proceedings, so enraged 
the people of Kaskaskia and Cahokia that they prepared a 
petition to Congress asking redress of their grievances. Rather 
than face the issue thus raised, Judge Turner resigned or fled 
the county to escape indictment or congressional investigation. 

When Governor St. Clair heard of the conduct of Judge 
Turner he sternly rebuked him, restored Clerk St. Clair to his 
former position, and started for Kaskaskia with Territorial 
Judge John C. Symmes. On arrival at his destination he found 
that a bitter rivalry had been developed between Cahokia and 
Kaskaskia which could not be assuaged. In order to remove 
the bitterness or the dispute as to whether Cahokia or Kaskaskia 
was the county seat, the governor created the new county of 
Randolph, covering the south part of the present state, in which 
Kaskaskia would be the principal town and county seat, but 
leaving Cahokia in St. Clair County as its county* seat. The 
governor's proclamation was issued October 5, 1795. 

Let us now turn to the year 1798, when it was first ascer- 
tained that the Northwest country had a population of something 
over 5,000 white male inhabitants. This was fifteen years after 
the territory had been ceded by Great Britain to the United 
States, eleven years after it had been legally created a territory 
by Congress and eleven years after a territorial government 
had been installed. It took all these years to attract 2,500 white 
men to settle in one of the most fertile valleys of the world. 


I say 2,500 and not 5,000, because there were 2,500 white men 
in Illinois in and about the year 1750, and according to the 
United States Census of 1800 there were about the same number 
In the same territory. During the gfteen years which had elapsed 
from the time it became American territory, white men had 
been trickling into the region at the rate of only 166 men per 
year. In these modern days when we read of thousands of 
eager men massed in crowds awaiting the signal gun which 
opens Government reservations to settlement, we cannot be 
blamed for wondering at the hesitation and deliberation dis- 
played by the inhabitants of the Eastern states in the latter 
part of the eighteenth century. The 2,500 men that, during 
these fifteen years did settle in the Northwest territory, did 
not settle in Illinois. The Ohio Company, the Scioto Company 
and the other colonizing companies had lands in Ohio and Indi- 
ana, but none in Illinois. The few white settlers that did come 
here did not add to its population. They merely replaced French 
settlers who had become dissatisfied and left for St. Louis or 
Canada. Illinois was static from 1763 until 1795. 

In 1795 it was found that in the Northwest territory there 
were between 5,000 and 6,000 white male inhabitants. The 
ordinance of 1787, it will be recalled, made provision for two 
classes of territorial government. In the initial or primary 
territorial government, all executive, legislative and judicial 
powers were exercised by Federal appointees. The secondary 
form arose when the territory had a "population of 5,000 free 
male inhabitants over twenty-one years of age." It provided 
that a Legislature should then be elected, one representative for 
each 500 free male inhabitants, that the Legislature so elected 
should select ten names for members of the territorial council 
from which Congress should elect five members of the council, 
and that the governor, the council and the representatives should 
become the law-making power of the territory with power to 
make all civil appointments to office. 

It having been duly ascertained that the territory had the 
necessary population of 5,000, Governor St. Clair called the 
election of representatives to meet in Cincinnati. The procla- 
mation called for the election of twenty-two (some writers say 

William Henry Harrison 

First Governor of Indiana Territory (including Illinois) 


twenty-three) representatives. There must have been a sudden 
and very large influx of inhabitants between the time when it 
was ascertained that there was a population of about 5,000 and 
the issuance of the proclamation, or the discovery of the neces- 
sary legal population was belated, or, further, that the governor 
may have been guided by his conviction that before the election 
the population would have increased to 11,000. The call for 
the election of twenty-two representatives was based upon an 
estimate of 11,000 inhabitants, because the ordinance provided 
for one representative for each 500 inhabitants. If there was 
a sudden increase in population it was in Ohio and not in 

In the Legislature elected pursuant to the call of the governor 
in 1799, Illinois had only two representatives, Shadrach Bond 
from St. Clair County and John Edgar from Randolph County. 
The residents of the western part of the territory and particu- 
larly those in Illinois, were by no means satisfied with their lot 
under the secondary form of territorial government. The Legis- 
lature met at a remote distance from them, the judges held but 
few and infrequent sessions of court in their vicinity, and the 
expenses of the new government were largely increased. Their 
representation in the Legislature, two for 2,500 inhabitants, 
seemed clearly unfair. They saw, too, that the eastern portion of 
the territory, which was constantly increasing in population, 
would soon become a territory of the first class and eventually a 
state. This would revert them into a territory of the first class. 
To escape from the remoteness of government and the increased 
expense of maintaining same, in 1800 they petitioned Congress 
to separate them from the eastern population. 

The committee in Congress to which this petition was referred 
found that "in the western counties there has been but one 
court having cognizance of crimes in five years/' and that the 
immunity given to criminals by the want of such courts was 
attracting criminals and deterring settlers from locating. Con- 
gress acted promptly. On May 7, 1800, a law created the 
Indiana Territory, bounded on the east by a line starting on 
the Ohio opposite the Kentucky River and running north to 
the Canadian border. William Henry Harrison was appointed 


governor and appeared at the capital of the new territory Jan- 
uary 10, 1801. The newly-created Indiana Territory comprised 
all of Illinois and most of the present State of Indiana and con- 
tained a population of less than 6,000. All of Illinois except 
the land on and surrounding the French villages owned and 
occupied by the French, was an Indian reservation recognized 
by American law. In Illinois at that time the white population 
was about 2,500, of which 1,500 were French. Most of the 
latter were wretchedly poor and ignorant and exerted but little 
influence. There were, however, a few very able and financially 
responsible leaders of that nationality, Pierre Menard, who held 
many responsible offices in both territory and state and was 
finally elected lieutenant-governor of Illinois; and Nicholas Jar- 
roh, Jean Dumoulin and Jean Francois Perrey, all of whom 
played an important part in the history of the state. 

In 1801 most of the people of Illinois wanted to change 
the form of their territorial government from the first to the 
second class, but were opposed by Governor Harrison and his 
appointees. They, the people, believed that the change would 
enable them to have a voice in the making of their laws and 
the selection of their officials. The change would also enable 
them to send a delegate to Congress who could express their 
views in that important body. One of the living issues of that 
day was the modification of the sixth article in the ordinance 
of 1787, which prohibited slavery in the territory. The governor, 
who first opposed the change, finally consented to issue a call 
for an election upon the question as to whether there should be 
a change from first class to the second class. On August 4, 1804, 
this call was issued, the governor directing that the election 
should be held September 11, 1804 or on the thirty-eighth day 
thereafter. In view of the limited means of conveying infor- 
mation, and of travel existing at that time, the time given was 
inadequate and unfair. Partly because of the brevity of the 
notice and partly because of ignorance and indifference on the 
part of the voters, only 360 voters cast their ballots, 260 of 
which were for the change and 100 against it. Wayne County, 
which then comprised what is now all of Southern Michigan, 
did not hear of the call for election and did not cast a single 


vote. On December 5, 1804, the governor proclaimed that the 
territory had "passed into the second or representative grade 
of government." 

At the election for representatives held in January, 1805, 
Shadrach Bond and William Biggs were chosen by St. Clair 
County and George Fisher by Randolph County. When the 
elected representatives chose ten names for submission to the 
President for members of the territorial council, he selected 
John Hay from St. Clair County and Pierre Menard from 
Randolph County. 

At this time the population of Illinois proper was probably 
between 6,000 and 7,000. According to the Federal Census of 
1800 there were 5,641 people in the territory, divided as follows : 
Indiana proper, 2517; Illinois proper, 2458; Michigan proper 
551, and Wisconsin proper, 115. 



Early in the history of the Indiana Territory arose a question 
which mightily absorbed the attention of the settlers and pioneers 
then living in the territory, and which continued to excite and 
keenly interest them and their descendants and subsequently 
arriving settlers for many years thereafter. Article six of the 
Bill of Rights contained in the ordinance of 1787 provided : 

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist 
in the said territory except as a punishment for crime 
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. 

At the time of the passage of the ordinance there were 
slaves in Illinois. Under French rule early in the eighteenth 
century slaves had been imported and held in bondage during 
all the French, British and American administrations. Slavery 
had been and was recognized and tolerated by the Federal 
Constitution of the United States. The French habitants were 
accustomed to it and acquiesced in it. The American settlers, 
almost without exception, had come from Kentucky, Tennessee 
or other slave-holding states, and some of these American set- 
tlers had brought slaves into the territory from Southern states. 
Public sentiment in Southern Illinois and Indiana was largely 
favorable towards the retention of the system. The central 
and northern part of the territory then had no white population. 
Pioneer transportation was almost wholly by water, because 
it was less arduous, less dangerous and cheaper than overland 
travel through trackless forests and prairies. Waterway facili- 
ties were at hand for the Kentuckians, Tennesseeans and Virgi- 
nians, but not for the northern colonists, while the Great Lakes 


Mississippi Valley in 1801 


were in British or French control. Thus the early settlers were 
from the South, where they had acquired pro-slavery convictions. 
Such being the condition of public sentiment both among the 
American and French settlers, they were speedily confronted 
with the problem of what to do with reference to Article Six. 
When Governor St. Clair arrived in Kaskaskia in 1790 he was 
called upon to decide the question as to whether the slaves then 
owned in the territory became freemen by virtue of the article 
mentioned, or remained in slavery. In a public statement, after 
giving careful consideration to the matter, he declared that the 
ordinance did not free the slaves then in the territory, but that 
it prohibited the bringing of other slaves into the territory. This 
quieted the fears of the slave-owners for a time but did not 
wholly satisfy the largely preponderant pro-slavery views of 
the people. 

A petition from Kaskaskia was presented to Congress, Janu- 
ary 12, 1796, asking that body to repeal Article Six, but the 
prayer of the petition was denied. Some old Revolutionary 
soldiers in 1799 presented a petition to the territorial Legis- 
lature, asking leave to bring their slaves with them, and per- 
mission to live with their slaves on the military tract north 
of the Ohio, reserved by Virginia. This was also denied because 
the Legislature believed that it would conflict with the ordinance. 
Another petition from Kaskaskia was presented to Congress 
January 23, 1801, asking permission to introduce slavery into 
Indiana Territory, containing a clause for gradual emancipation. 
No disposition of this petition was ever made. Notwithstanding 
all their failures to secure modification or repeal of Article Six, 
another effort was made in 1802. 

While Governor Harrison was on a visit to Kaskaskia in the 
fall of that year, he was petitioned to call a convention for the 
purpose of devising the best way to secure the admission of 
slavery by law into the territory. This petition was granted 
and the governor called the convention November 22, 1802, the 
delegates elected from Illinois being Jean Francois Perrey, Shad- 
rach Bond and John Murdock from St. Clair County and Pierre 
Menard, Robert Morrison and Robert Reynolds from Randolph 
County. The convention, which was presided over by Governor 

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First practicing lawyer in Illinois. 

























Harrison, with John Rice Jones acting as secretary, prepared 
a memorial to Congress reciting that many prospective settlers 
were compelled to cross the Mississippi to Spanish territory 
for final settlement because they feared to bring their slaves 
into Illinois. The memorial concluded by asking Congress to 
suspend the operation of Article Six for ten years within the 
territory. This memorial met the same fate as all the previous 
petitions, for the reason as stated in the committee's report 
"that the labor of slaves is not necessary to promote the growth 
and settlement of colonies in that region." But defeat and 
disappointment seemed powerless to kill pro-slavery sentiment 
in Southern Illinois. 

The governor and the territorial judges were the law-making 
power. In their legislative capacity they met in their second 
session in the fall of 1803 and enacted a law that all persons 
coming into the territory "under contract to serve another in 
any trade or occupation shall be compelled to perform such 
contract specifically during the term thereof." This law would 
make contractual slavery lawful. All the owner of a law-made 
slave had to do to secure him from loss of his slave property 
was to order said slave to sign a contract for service for any 
number of years. What slave in fear of the lash would fail 
to obey? 

The Louisiana Purchase from France was made in April, 
1803. In the Louisiana tract, which included what is now Mis- 
souri and Iowa, across the river from Illinois, slavery was per- 
missible. The two Illinois counties petitioned to be made part 
of that tract for three reasons. First, they wanted the right 
to establish slavery. Second, they wanted immigration from 
the South, which they believed would be fostered by slavery. 
Third, they desired to get from under the arbitrary rule of 
Governor Harrison and his appointees, who had become most 
unpopular. This move failed of accomplishment, whereupon 
agitation was commenced for a change in the form of territorial 
government, which movement was successful as related in a 
previous chapter. 

The struggle between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery par- 
tisans still continued and was carried on with much persistency 


and bitterness. A bill was introduced into the Territorial Legis- 
lature in 1805, asking Congress to admit slavery into the terri- 
tory, but it failed of passage in the lower House. Bitter oppo- 
sition had developed in Illinois against Governor Harrison and 
his friends and appointees. Having failed to escape his dom- 
ination by being transferred into the Louisiana district, the 
people of Illinois now commenced an agitation for separation 
from Indiana and the creation of a new and separate territory 
to be called the Territory of Illinois. A petition was forwarded 
to Congress in 1806 to this effect, but the committee appointed 
by Congress reported adversely. Other petitions of like import 
were presented to the governor, and counter petitions protesting 
against the division of the territory were also presented to 
Congress. A special session of the Territorial Legislature was 
held in 1806, at which the question of slavery or no slavery 
in the territory was the principal subject of discussion. Peti- 
tions and arguments (probably from both sides) were prepared 
and forwarded to Congress, none of which produced any con- 
gressional action at that time. On August 17, 1807, the Terri- 
torial Legislature met for the second session. Jesse B. Thomas, 
a member of this body from Dearborn County, was also a candi- 
date for the position of delegate to Congress. For a time he 
was non-committal on the subject of separation of the territory 
and the creation of a new territory. Upon obtaining a pledge 
from the separationists that they would support his candidacy 
for congressional delegate upon certain conditions, he secretly 
pledged himself to work and vote for separation in Congress, 
and was elected. He promptly repaired to Washington, presented 
his credentials, and was appointed chairman of the committee 
in Congress which was to consider the petition relating to the 
separation. The committee met promptly, considered all the 
petitions and arguments and reported favorably to separation. 
Thomas voted and argued very effectively and it was largely 
through his efforts that the law of separation was passed and 
subsequently signed by the President, February 3, 1809. It 
was estimated at the time by the committee that there were 
17,000 people east of the Wabash in Indiana and 11,000 west 
of that river in Illinois. The law provided that all of Indiana 


Territory lying west of the Wabash River and a line running 
due north from Vincennes to the Canadian border line, should 
be incorporated into a separate territory to be known as the 
Territory of Illinois. 

By the passage of this law the Illinois Territory became a 
territorial government of the primary class. The Federal Census 
of the following year (1810) showed that it then had a popu- 
lation of 12,282 inhabitants. 

s $ 












At last the people of Illinois, harrassed since 1763, when 
the French monarchy ceded its rights over them to Great Britain, 
by misgovernment, weak government and no government, saw 
the prospect of home government in which the executive judicial 
and legislative officials would be compelled to exercise their 
functions in their midst. No more were they to be compelled 
to travel to Cincinnati or Vincennes to make their complaints 
or assert their rights. On February 3, 1809, Congress passed 
an act establishing the Territory of Illinois. By the terms of 
the act it comprised all of Indiana Territory lying "west of 
the Wabash River and a direct line drawn from said Wabash 
River at Post Vincennes due north to the territorial line between 
the United States and Canada." 

On April 28, 1809, Nathaniel Pope, who was appointed sec- 
retary of Illinois Territory by President Madison, arrived at 
Kaskaskia and issued the proclamation establishing the terri- 
torial government. He was followed to Kaskaskia June 11, 1809 
by Ninian Edwards, who had been appointed territorial governor. 
At the time of his appointment Governor Edwards was chief 
justice of the Court of Appeals and was a friend of Henry Clay 
and Senator John Pope of Kentucky. Nathaniel Pope was a 
younger brother to the latter and both officials probably owed 
their appointment to the influence of Senator Pope and other 
prominent men in Kentucky. The territorial judges appointed 
were Jesse B. Thomas, who had worked so successfully for 
the establishment of the separate Territory of Illinois ; Alexander 
Stuart and Obadiah Jones. Among the emoluments of office at 
that time were grants of land from the Federal Government, 
and Governor Edwards received 1,000 acres, which he located 
near Prairie du Rocher. Judge Thomas received 500 acres 



which he located near the same village. Governor Edwards 
brought with him from Kentucky to Illinois his slaves and herds 
of cattle, and was also appointed to the position of superin- 
tendent of the salt mines near Equality. 

The governor and the judges now became the law-making 
power and the former the appointive power of the territory. 
The laws of the Indiana Territory of which it had heretofore 
been a part, were reenacted and adopted as the laws of the 
Illinois Territory. In making appointments the governor found 
himself immediately importuned, by the men who had favored 
and brought about the separation of Illinois from the Indiana 
Territory, for all the offices. John Edgar was the leader of 
this party. The anti-separationists were equally insistent. Gov- 
ernor Edwards solved the situation when he allowed the militia- 
men to select their own officers, demanded popular elections 
for county officers and made his appointments pursuant thereto. 

Up to the year of 1809 the lands of Illinois had not been 
opened up for sale and settlement. During his term as territorial 
governor of the Territory of Indiana, Governor Harrison had 
been appointed superintendent of Indian affairs. He understood 
the eagerness of the westerners for the opening up of these 
lands for purchase and labored diligently to secure the titles 
of the Indians, which was an essential prerequisite. He con- 
summated treaties of any and all kinds with isolated and 
detached bodies of Indians, without waiting for action of tribes 
or confederation of tribes. He was not concerned about the 
justice of the treaty or the representative character of the 
Indians who signed. In 1803 he made a treaty with the Kas- 
kaskias under which the signers surrendered their claims to 
land in Southern Illinois. In 1804 a few chiefs of the Sauks 
and Foxes were wheedled into surrendering their titles to lands 
lying west of the Illinois and Fox rivers, and in 1805 he secured 
lands on the Wabash from the Piankashaws. Another treaty 
was secured by him from other Indians at Fort Wayne in 1809. 
These treaties secured for the United States from the Indians 
what the lawyers might designate as color of title, even if the 
color of some of them was either black or yellow. President 
Jefferson was much concerned about the character of some of 


these treaties and is said to have rebuked Harrison for his 
extreme aggressiveness. 

As a result of these treaties, or some of them, a law was 
passed by Congress in 1804, providing that land in the Indiana 
Territory (then comprising Illinois) could be sold in quarter 
sections and reserving the sixteenth section in every township 
for school purposes. Under this law land offices were opened 
up at Detroit, Vincennes and Kaskaskia, the registrars and 
receivers were made land commissioners within their respective 
districts, and provision was also made in this law for settling 
the claims of those claiming under French and English grants. 
In Kaskaskia great difficulties arose in settling some of the 
French claims. Many of the original claimants to bounties or 
settlements had died, moved to St. Louis, or, in despair, had 
sold their claims for trifles. Cases were found where claims 
of 400 acres had been sold for $30, and a 100-acre claim for 
$14. Alvord states in his history that in Cahokia there had 
been granted 400 head rights, which by November, 1798, had 
passed into the hands of eighty-nine persons, only twelve of 
whom were French. 

When it was known that the Federal Government had 
appointed these commissioners to unravel the tangled web of 
these titles, speculation ran wild and often developed into dis- 
honesty. Dead men were revived and fictitious deeds discovered. 
Nearly the whole community became infected, and men who 
at other times would have scorned to resort to duplicity or 
mendacity became tainted. They seemed to consider that Uncle 
Sam was the only sufferer and that robbing Uncle Sam of his 
land was no crime. However, many of our wealthy citizens 
of this later day seem to be of the same opinion when they 
smuggle jewels and costly raiment through the custom house. 
In perusing the early history of this state, one is amazed to 
read how many officials in the early days had land hunger which 
has at times thrown doubt on the impartiality of their official 
acts and conduct. 

The treaty that General Wayne made with the Indians at 
Greenville, in August, 1795, was with eleven different and dis- 
tinct tribes of the Northwest. By its terms the Indians parted 



■ . 




Anthony Wayne 

Fighting general who conquered the Indians of the Northwest in 1795. 


with their title to the eastern and southern portion of Ohio, but 
it established, as we have before said, a new Indian boundary 
line recognizing the rights of the Indians to retain as their 
hunting-grounds all of the territory west of that line, excepting 
certain small reservations in Indiana and Illinois upon which 
it was agreed that the United States might build and garrison 
forts to preserve the peace. This treaty quieted the hostility 
of the Indians for about fifteen years and little or no complaint 
was heard from them that the treaty was invalid. 

War between the United States and Great Britain ended 
with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, October 18, 1814. By 
that treaty the Indian tribes were placed in the condition that 
they occupied in 1811 before the declaration of war. They were 
now abandoned by their powerful allies, the British, and left 
where they must fight it out with the young and powerful 
American nation or sign such treaties as the Americans 
demanded. To fight it out would have been suicidal. Their 
great leader, Tecumseh, had fallen in battle. Their source of 
supplies, for guns and ammunition, Canada, was taken from 
them by the treaty. Their fighting spirit was broken by their 
calamities. Early in 1815 the President appointed Governor 
William Clark, Governor Ninian Edwards and Augusta Chouteau 
commissioners to negotiate treaties with the principal tribes 
that had been allied with the British in the War of 1812. These 
commissioners arranged for a conference with the chiefs of 
some of the warring tribes and with them settled upon a basis 
for future treaties. The Indians at this time were in much 
the same position as were the Germans in 1919 at Versailles. 
They were compelled to consider and finally accept conditions 
such as are often presented to the vanquished by the victors. 
It was another case of Vae victis — Woe to the vanquished ! 

In 1816 a treaty was signed by Indians representing the 
Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottawatomies, and other treaties of 
like character by the Peorias and Illinois. By these treaties 
the Indians quitclaimed their rights to 1,418,400 acres of land, 
most of which was in Illinois. In 1818 two other treaties were 
signed by the terms of which 17,886,280 acres of land were 
ceded by the Indians to the United States. 


Within one month before the declaration of war by the 
United States against the British the Territory of Illinois had, 
by the vote of its qualified electors, become a territory of the 
second class. The act of Congress declaring it to be a territory 
of the second class was passed May 21, 1812. 


Governor Harrison began negotiating treaties with small 
groups of Indians about 1803 and between that year and 1809 
had six different treaties signed by different chiefs and groups 
of Indians against which there was a great outcry among the 
Indians who claimed that they were signed without authority 
and were illegal and invalid. Wayne's treaty and Harrison's 
six treaties purported to convey a total of 40,000,000 acres of 
land for a consideration of about three cents per acre. The 
last of Harrison's six treaties was signed at Fort Wayne in 
September, 1809, and purported to convey 3,000,000 acres of 
the richest land in Indiana, east of the Wabash River and 
containing some of the land claimed by Tecumseh's tribe as 
their hunting-ground. The treaty was entered into by Indians 
claiming to represent the Pottawatomies, Miamis, Kickapoos, 
Weas and Eel River tribes. The Shawnees, to which tribe 
Tecumseh belonged, did not become a party to this treaty and 
when the news of its execution reached the great chief's ears 
and was noised abroad among the Indian tribes of the North- 
west, there was an outburst of rage and indignation among them. 
The consideration given the Indians who signed the treaty was 
$9,700 cash and about $3,000 in ammunition, or less than one- 
half a cent an acre. 

Tecumseh, the chief, and his brother, The Prophet, were 
the two leading spirits of the Shawnee tribe. Both were men 
of strong character and great native ability. The Prophet had 
been preaching a new gospel among the Indians of the Shawnee 
and neighboring tribes and had aroused among them a religious 
frenzy against the contaminations of the white men. He preached 
monogamy, abandonment of "fire water" and the clothes of 
white men, and the cultivation of the land. His brother, the 




chief, gave their emotions thus aroused a more practical bent. 
He pointed out to them the wrongs and injustices being per- 
petrated upon them by the white men, and his, the white man's, 
trickery, deceit and dishonesty. He exposed the character of 
the Harrison treaties and argued that the hunting-grounds 
belonged in common to all the Northwestern tribes of Indians 
and not to any single Indian or group of Indians or to any 
single tribe of Indians. He pointed out to them that a few 
unauthorized Indians or a few weak chiefs bribed with a few 
dollars, or a few baubles, or a supply of rum, had no moral 
or legal right to barter away the hunting-grounds that the 
Great Spirit had given their ancestors centuries before. He 
argued that millions of acres had been practically stolen from 
them and that unless these treaties were annulled and such 
treaties prevented in the future, that they, the Indians, were 
facing starvation and inevitable early extinction. To prevent 
such a calamity he advised a confederation of all the Indian 
tribes of the Northwest; that this confederation arm and act 
in concert; that it demand a recision of all these treaties, and 
in case of failure to obtain their recision that they wage war 
in unison in defense of their property and lives against the 
common enemy — the people of the United States. 

Tecumseh had a wide acquaintance among the different tribes. 
He had also a widespread reputation as a brave warrior chief 
and sage counsellor. He had the foresight to recognize (as 
Pontiac did before him) that the different tribes were helpless 
unless united, and that his race was doomed unless the different 
tribes were confederated and presented a united front in their 
demand for fair treatment. He urged upon his fellow-Indians 
that the hunting-grounds were the property of all the Northwest 
tribes in common and not in severalty, and that no treaty was 
valid unless signed by all the tribes. He was tireless in his 
efforts to form this confederacy and his fiery eloquence and 
vigorous action were fast bringing about the accomplishment 
of his aims. He established as the headquarters of his propa- 
ganda a village on Tippecanoe Creek, a tributary of the Wabash 
River, and there gathered many of his most earnest converts. 
He had been carrying on this movement for some time before 


the treaty of Fort Wayne was signed. When the news of the 
event reached him he redoubled his efforts on both sides of the 
Ohio River. 

Meanwhile, his white protagonist, Governor Harrison, was 
not idle. He had little sympathy with the red men and was 
reckless of their rights as recognized by the treaties of Fort 
Stanwix and Greenville. He believed that the Indian right to 
retain the rich, fertile land for hunting purposes without utilizing 
the soil for home building and tillage must and should give 
way before the onward march of home-seekers and soil-tillers 
who were advancing from the East. He knew that every paper 
he could secure from the Indians purporting to cede their rights 
to the United States which he dignified with the name of treaty 
would be welcomed and ratified by the oncoming horde of settlers 
and land speculators as well as by the white men living in the 
territory as squatters or adventurers. He knew that every 
such treaty procured by him by hook or crook was increasing 
his popularity among the white men who had or soon would 
have votes. In defiance of Tecumseh's assertion that the land 
belonged to all the tribes and that all the tribes must sign any 
valid treaty, he secured the Fort Wayne treaty and prepared 
for war which he knew would be inevitable. 

Without any formal declaration of war on either side, in 
1810 the Indians began harrassing the white settlers. The 
British authorities in Canada, who were manifestly in sympathy 
with the Indians and antagonistic to the Americans, furnished 
the Indians freely with guns and ammunition and urged them 
to commit all kinds of depredations against the American set- 
tlers. The hostility of the British was rapidly developing into 
the war which broke out between the British and Americans in 
1812. Many murders and atrocities against the whites occurred 
in 1810 and 1811. In October, 1811, while Governor Harrison 
was erecting a small fort in Indiana near the present site of 
Terre Haute, one of the guards was killed by Indians, and this 
and other recent atrocities by the red men enraged him and he 
prepared for war. 

Gathering together 250 United States Regulars, an army 
of 800 white men mostly recruited in Indiana and Kentucky, 


and 500 friendly Indians, Governor Harrison marched them 
against the Indian headquarters at Tippecanoe. When near 
their encampment Harrison sent forward a messenger asking 
for a conference with their chief. Tecumseh, accompanied by 
twelve of his ablest and most trusty lieutenants, was then absent 
in Kentucky engaged in his propaganda for confederation. Some 

Battle of The Thames — Death of Tecumseh 

(From Brackenridge's History of the Late War.) 

other chief or representative of the Indians met Governor Har- 
rison and arranged for a further conference on the following 
day. On that following day, November 7, 1811, the Indians, 
at 4 o'clock in the morning, attacked the Americans, who were 
resting on their arms, and a bloody battle ensued. The American 
losses were equal if not greater than those of the Indians, but 
the Americans remained in possession of the battlefield, destroyed 
the crops, burned the town and scattered the surviving Indians, 
thus obliterating the headquarters of Tecumseh's confederation. 
Upon returning from Kentucky and viewing with dismay 
the ruins of his capital and headquarters, Tecumseh crossed 
the border into Canada, where he joined the British forces in 
the War of 1812 and died gallantly in battling the pale faces 


who he believed were despoiling his fellow-countrymen and 
exterminating his race. He has an enviable place in history 
as the gallant, wise and farseeing leader of a race doomed to 
destruction in spite of sagacity in council and bravery in battle. 
The battle of Tippecanoe was but the forerunner of greater 
and officially declared warfare between the British and the 
United States. Notwithstanding the treaty of peace of 1783 
and the subsequent treaty between Great Britain and America 
under which British troops and trading posts were removed 
from American soil, ill feeling between the citizens and subjects 
of both countries in the Northwest had not been allayed. Some 
of the old wounds of the War of the Revolution had not healed. 
The most potent cause of hostility and ill feeling was the struggle 
for the control of the very valuable fur trade which had been 
developed between the Indians and the whites. Notwithstanding 
the removal of the British garrisons to British soil in Canada, 
the English traders still managed to control most of that rich 
traffic on the upper Mississippi and around the Great Lakes. 
Their principal trading posts were at Mackinac and Prairie 
du Chien. At the latter place in 1811 there were 100 Canadian 
families, living on land that they had purchased and owned, 
and there carried on trade with about 6,000 Indians who visited 
the place every year. At Mackinac also a large traffic was 
carried on by the British and Canadians with the Indians. 
Although the Americans maintained a small garrison at Mack- 
inac and a United States Indian agent at Prairie du Chien, they 
seem to have made but little headway in securing trade. 




In this history we at frequent occasions referred to the 
importance and value of the fur trade in the Northwest territory. 
It was the emolument and profits that could be derived from 
the purchase of furs from the Indians that lured the French 
voyagers and the coureurs de bois from Canada all along the 
Great Lakes and up and down the Mississippi and other rivers 
of the West. It was the real commercial incentive to the dis- 
coveries of these early French pioneers. The struggle of the 
French monarchy to retain this land was principally based upon 
the value of this fur trade to the French merchants in Canada. 
It inspired Joliet, La Salle and Tonti, Frontenac and Talon, 
and when the British overcame the French they regarded it 
as the paramount method of rewarding the British officials and 
enabling the British government to maintain its hold upon 
the territory. When the Americans took possession of the 
territory from the British, they regarded the fur trade of 
considerable importance, and for some years attempted to con- 
duct competition with the British authorities for the retention 
of the same. The American Government, after taking possession 
of the territory, passed certain laws which prevented traders 
with the Indians from doing business in the way of purchasing 
furs without a license from the American Government. At 
that time most of the important posts of trading with the Indians 
were still in the hands of the Canadian merchants of French 
extraction. When the American Government passed laws pro- 
hibiting foreigners from trading with the Indians, the French 
traders entered into a compact with John Jacob Astor, who 
was then engaged in the fur business in New York, principally 


tcsy ^•qpyg 


with the Iroquois tribes, under which they joined their trading 
facilities by giving control thereof to the Astor interests. 

The United States Government itself commenced in 1816 
to establish fur trading posts in Mackinac, Chicago and Prairie 
du Chien, and also one at Green Bay. Later on, a trading house 
was established at Fort Edwards. The United States Govern- 
ment stationed troops in the neighborhood of these posts, in 
order to establish their standing and prestige, but these efforts 
of the Government proved fruitless in competition with the 
British traders. Private traders seemed to be more successful 
than even the Government. The South West Company which 
was trading in furs was controlled by John Jacob Astor, and 
this company for a time was conducting a successful business. 
Finally the French traders sold out all their interest in the 
South West Company to Astor, and he organized a new company, 
called the American Fur Company. This company retained 
almost all of the French and English traders, boatmen, inter- 
preters, etc., who had been working for the former companies, 
but the officers of the company and all those holding responsible 
positions were Americans. Gradually the British interests faded 
before it. 

In the Illinois territory, there were two main trading posts, 
one at Prairie du Chien in the territory occupied by the Sauks, 
the Foxes and the Winnebagoes, running up the Rock River 
and down the Mississippi. The other post was in the Illinois 
Valley at Peoria. 

For a time a successful trade was carried on by the American 
Fur Company until about the year 1810 when the United States 
Government began making surveys of land. When these sur- 
veys were perfected and when the land offices were opened at 
Kaskaskia and Shawneetown for the sale of lands in 1818 or 
thereabout, the fur trade gave way before the onward rush 
of coming settlers, and thereafter we hear but little of the fur 
trade in the territory of the State of Illinois. 


As we have heretofore noted, bitter feelings had arisen 
between the white settlers and the Indians after the Fort Wayne 
treaty of September, 1809. As a result of Tecumseh's appeals 
to the Indians to confederate, and of certain atrocities committed 
by the Indians in 1810 and 1811, the white settlers of Illinois 
became greatly alarmed and began erecting block-house forts 
in or near all the settlements. There were at this time only 
about 12,000 to 14,000 white people in the state and they were 
outnumbered by the Indians probably over ten to one. These 
forts were rudely constructed of logs, built up eight to ten 
feet high, with a low second story projecting over the lower 
story. They had strong oaken doors with inside bars that 
would withstand much violence, and had loop-holes through 
which the inmates could fire their guns. Sometimes four log 
houses were built on a square and these were connected by 
strong palisades. Inside this large enclosure many persons and 
their belongings could be grouped in case of an Indian raid. 
The underbrush and trees would be cut down for some distance 
from the buildings so that the Indians could not creep up on 
them unawares. Such forts were constructed at this time at 
or near most of the small settlements. More formidable places 
of defense, however, were at Chicago, Fort Massac, Fort Russell 
near Edwardsville and Fort LaMotte and Fort Vincennes on 
the Wabash. There were also forts of some kind at New Design, 
Bellefontaine and several other small places. 

The Indians became very restive and belligerent and in small 
parties began stealing the property of the whites and shooting 
at, and even killing, white men and women. In these depredations 
they were incited and encouraged by the British and Canadians, 




who furnished the Indians with guns and ammunition freely. 
For a time the British assistance was given secretly and was dis- 
guised, but as the ill feeling between Great Britain and the 
United States developed, hardly any attempt was made at 
secrecy. This was one of the causes of the War of 1812. The 
President in his message to Congress gave as the causes of 

Fort Dearborn Marker 

war the impressment of American seamen; the patrolling of 
our sea coast with armed vessels, interfering with our commerce, 
and encouraging the Indians to attack our settlers in the West 
and furnishing the savages with guns and supplies. While 
this cause of war occupies the last place in the President's 
message it proved to be the paramount one at the treaty of peace 
afterwards, as we will see when we come to discuss the terms 
of that treaty. 


Responsive to the President's message to Congress in June, 
1812, the United States declared war against Great Britain. 
Although this was the first recognition and declaration of war, 
as a matter of fact, war had been carried on openly by the 
Indians and secretly by the British garrisons in Canada for at 
least a year before that time. Governor Edwards, without 
Federal authority, had been encouraging the building of defens- 
ive forts and blockhouses and the organization of State Militia. 
Indeed voluntary military companies had been gotten together 
by the frontier settlers even before the governor gave direct 
authorization. The frontier line of settlements then extended 
from the mouth of the Illinois River through Alton and Fort 
Russell, Salem and Wayne County, thence northeast to the Indi- 
ana state line near Terre Haute. The United States, although 
full of warlike spirit at the time war was declared, was by no 
means well prepared for aggressive action against the great 
naval and military power of Great Britain, "the Mistress of the 
Seas," and the formidable forces of Indian allies which Great 
Britain summoned to her aid on the western prairies. Almost 
without exception all these tribes, embittered as they were by the 
St. Clair treaties and the dispossession of their hunting-grounds 
by the Americans, rallied to the call of the British authorities 
in Canada. 

At the outbreak of the war the Regular Army of the United 
States consisted of ten regiments aggregating 5,000 men, a large 
portion of whom were stationed in small bodies in the different 
forts of the United States. In Detroit Gen. William Hull was 
in command of about 1,000 men, most of whom must have been 
untrained militia judging from their inefficiency as later dis- 
closed. General Hull was a Revolutionary soldier and was 
then acting as territorial governor of Michigan. He was ordered 
by his superior officers to cross the river at Detroit and capture 
Fort Maiden, then cross the Canadian peninsula and meet other 
invading American forces at Niagara, after which the combined 
forces could overrun and reduce Canada. The plan was excel- 
lent, but its execution was a lamentable fizzle. While Hull was 
attempting to reduce Fort Maiden, the British General Brock, 
commanding 1,000 British troops, crossed the river into Amer- 

Replica of Fort Dearborn 

Constructed for the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition. 

The photograph shows, left to right, the officers' barracks, a corner of the 
blockhouse, the powder magazine, soldiers' barracks. 


ican territory and demanded the surrender of the American 
fort at Detroit, the Town of Detroit, and all of the Territory 
of Michigan. General Hull acceded to this arrogant demand 
and without a struggle surrendered the fort, town and territory, 
August 16, 1812. The American fort at Mackinac had also 
surrendered July 17 previous. Hull attempted to excuse his 
shameful conduct afterwards by saying that his supply of pro- 
visions was limited, that Mackinac had surrendered, that there 
was no hope of relief from Niagara and that the soldiers and 
inhabitants of the Town of Detroit would be massacred by the 
Indians if he did not surrender. The surrender of Detroit and 
Mackinac placed the entire Territory of Michigan under British 
control and exposed Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to attacks from 
the triumphant British and Indians. 

At this time the forces of United States Regulars stationed 
in Illinois and near Illinois Territory were as follows: Fort 
Massac on the Ohio, thirty-six men ; Fort Madison on the Missis- 
sippi, forty-four men; Vincennes, 117, and Fort Dearborn, fifty- 
three. These 250 men were confined in their duties to defending 
these forts and the territory immediately surrounding them 
and were not available for general open-country warfare. The 
pioneers of the territories of Illinois and Indiana were therefore 
left in the position of being compelled to defend their lives and 
property without Federal aid and their Territorial officers were 
compelled to devise such measures as they possibly could to 
give them any kind of protection. 

Governor Edwards energetically encouraged the formation 
of military companies in the settlements and the erection of 
block-house forts for defense. While he and his fellow-citizens 
were thus engaged, the whole western country was shocked by 
a bloody catastrophe, the massacre at Fort Dearborn, now Chi- 
cago, and the shameful surrender of Detroit, both on the same 
day, August 15, 1812. The craven-spirited General Hull had 
learned in the latter part of July that Fort Mackinac had sur- 
rendered to the British; and, fearing that the small garrison 
of fifty-three men at Fort Dearborn would be next assailed and 
could not successfully defend the fort, sent by a friendly Indian 
an order to Captain Heald, then in command of Fort Dearborn, 


to evacuate the fort and retire to Fort Wayne. Historical 
writers differ as to whether this order was for immediate evacu- 
ation or whether it left some discretion in Captain Heald as 
to when the evacuation should take place. Be that is it may 
have been, Captain Heald regarded the order as being unwise 
and procrastinated and delayed its execution for several days. 
The order was delivered to him August 7 or 8 and the evacuation 
did not take place until August 15. It is said that Captain 
Heald called into consultation his subordinate officers and John 
Kinzie, the Government Indian agent who was on friendly terms 
with the Indians in the neighborhood, and that they advised 
Heald not to evacuate the fort. It is said further that Winnemac 
(Winnemeg), the Pottawatomie chief who had brought the 
order of evacuation from General Hull, ascertained that the 
Indians surrounding the fort, Winnebagoes and Pottawatomies, 
were hostile and belligerent. He advised Heald that if he 
intended to evacuate he should do so at once, but pointed out 
to the captain that with the provisions and supplies that he 
had in the fort, he could hold out against a six-month siege. 
In the meantime the Indians had heard from Tecumseh that 
Fort Mackinac had surrendered and that Hull had retreated 
from Canada, and had orders from the chief to hold themselves 
in readiness for immediate warfare. Heald still temporized and 
held a conference with some of the Indian chiefs and some 
prominent white men to devise a plan for the safe removal of 
the garrison and the white men, women and children in and 
around the fort to Fort Wayne. At this conference he told the 
Indians present of his intention to evacuate and in order to 
win their assistance and good will promised to leave the large 
stock of Government supplies in the fort and the Government 
warehouse for distribution among the Indians. The Indians 
present promised him that they would furnish him an ample 
escort of friendly Indians to ensure his safe departure. Among 
the stores were large quantities of liquor, ammunition, food and 
clothing, a fact that was well known to the Indians. Heald 
acted as he did contrary to the wishes of Kinzie and his own 
subordinate officers and soon realized he had made a fatal mis- 
take. Overnight he changed his mind and carried out a part of 


his promise to the Indians and broke his promise as to the other 
part. He ordered all the whiskey and powder poured into the 
river and all the guns broken up and destroyed. When the 
Indians found the next day that among the goods delivered to 
them for distribution were neither guns, ammunition nor liquor, 
their indignation knew no bounds. This breach of faith fanned 
the smouldering embers of their enmity into a withering flame. 

The cowardice of Hull and the indecisive and shilly-shallying 
conduct of Heald in a nerve-trying crisis, together with the 
hatred and ferocity of the Indian tribes, brought about the 
shocking calamity. It might have been obviated if Heald had 
acted firmly and promptly in obeying the order of his superior 

On the 14th of August, Captain William Wells arrived at 
Fort Dearborn with thirty friendly Miami Indians to assist 
Captain Heald in exacuating the fort. He had come in great 
haste from Fort Wayne, having heard that Captain Heald and 
his company were in great distress. Their arrival was regarded 
as a godsend, and preparations were made on the 14th of August 
for a departure the following morning. In the meantime, the 
Indians had become furious over their failure to receive from 
Captain Heald the guns and ammunition in the fort. On August 
15th at about nine o'clock in the morning, the evacuation com- 
menced. Captain Wells with his band of Miami Indians were 
in the vanguard. After them came twelve militiamen, and then 
the regulars, immediately preceding the wagons which carried 
camp equipage, women, children, and the sick. Behind them 
marched other Miami Indians, escorting Mrs. Heald, the cap- 
tain's wife, and Mrs. Helm. When they arrived at what is now 
known as Fourteenth Street in the City of Chicago near the 
Illinois Central tracks, Captain Wells noticed that the savages 
to his right were making violent demonstrations and preparing 
to attack. Captain Heald then marched his men to some sand 
hills, where he came in sight of the hostile Indians, who attacked 
them vigorously. The regulars under Captain Heald returned 
the fire and caused the savages to retreat temporarily, but they 
gradually surrounded the Fort Dearborn troops and within a 


very short time they had possession of the horses and wagons 
attached to the American army. 

The Miami Indians were thrown into dismay and fled. For 
a time the regular troops under Captain Heald made a vigorous 
defense, but before long were compelled to surrender. After 
the surrender, the Indians attacked the women, the children 
and the sick. When the awful massacre was over, it was found 
that twenty-six of the regulars, twelve of the militia, two women 
and twelve children were dead, also Ensign George Ronan, Dr. 
Isaac V. Van Voorhis, and Captain William Wells died on the 
battlefield. Lieutenant Helm, twenty-five regulars and eleven 
women and children were taken prisoners. Many of these pris- 
oners afterward died of wounds or were killed. Mr. and Mrs. 
Kinzie escaped or were allowed to return to their home, Kinzie 
and his wife having been on most friendly terms with the 

On the following day, the Indians set fire to the fort, and 
then disappeared. Let it be said, however, to the credit of 
Black Partridge, an Indian chief, that he did everything he 
could to prevent the carnage. Learning of the hostility of the 
other Indians, he came to the fort before the American soldiers 
left it, saw Captain Heald, and delivered into his hands a medal 
that he had received from the Americans, saying that he was 
unworthy longer to bear it, as his fellow-tribesmen had made 
up their minds to massacre the whites. He stated, "I cannot 
restrain them, and I will not wear a token of peace while I 
am compelled to act as an enemy." It was this same Black 
Partridge who, during the massacre, saved the life of Mrs. 
Helm and prevented her massacre. 

The year 1812 was a most disastrous one for America and 
the Northwest Territory. The surrender of Detroit and Mack- 
inac and the destruction of Fort Dearborn encouraged British 
soldiers to believe that they could again re-possess this country 
and re-establish the British flag over the Northwest Territory. 
The British officers had in their employ a man named Robert 
Dixon, who was evidently popular among all the Indian tribes. 
He was a very adroit and able man, and was able to muster and 
bring to the support of the British authorities the strongest 


and most warlike of the Indian tribes of the Northwest. In 
1813, he was found at Prairie du Chien, which was then regarded 
as the most strategic military position on the Mississippi. This 
place was made the most important post for trading with the 
Indians by the British authorities. During 1812-13, Dixon 
operated from this point among the Indians and succeeded in 
getting many of the Indian tribes to travel east to assist the 
British commanders around Detroit. If the British authorities 
after the fall of Detroit, Mackinac and Fort Dearborn had fol- 
lowed up these signal successes with attacks upon the American 
forts in Indiana and Illinois, it would have produced disastrous 
consequences for the American nation and American settlers. 
The British officers, however, needed the assistance of these 
Indians around Detroit, and because of their military necessities, 
the Americans escaped what the Americans believed at the time 
to be imminent disaster in the West. In Illinois and Indiana, 
the American authorities believed that any day the British 
forces with overwhelming Indian allies would be upon them. 
Many of the settlers gathered in their own forts and around 
the other forts occupied by American troops, and began to cry 
loudly to the Federal authorities for assistance. During the 
first year of the war, these Federal authorities had given them 
no protection. Governor Edwards, the territorial governor, 
had no Federal commission as military commander, and no 
money had been appropriated for the raising of the militia. 
Notwithstanding this awkward situation, Governor Edwards 
proceeded to collect and organize several companies of mounted 
militia, at his own expense. These mounted men patrolled the 
border from the Mississippi River to the Wabash. He caused 
to be erected a fort near what is now Edwardsville, which he 
called Fort Russell. A short time afterward, a company of 
regulars was attached to Camp Russell by the Federal Govern- 
ment, this being the only step taken by the Federal Government 
to protect the settlers in the Illinois territory in the years prior 
to 1813. In that year, the Federal Government authorized the 
recruiting of six companies of rangers for the protection of 
the settlers. 


In 1812, Governor Edwards organized two expeditions for the 
invasion of the Illinois River Valley. The information was that 
at Peoria there was a large gathering of Pottawatomi, Miami 
and Kickapoo Indians, and that these Indians were organizing 
for assaults upon the frontier settlements to the south. The 
first of these expeditions, composed of recruits raised in Illinois, 
were accompanied by the governor himself, and in the ranks 
there marched one John Reynolds, afterward a governor of 
Illinois. On this expedition he was a buck private, and he 
wrote a very interesting account of the Illinois expedition. On 
the march from Fort Russell to Peoria, they encountered no 
belligerent Indians until they arrived at within four or five 
miles of an Indian village on Peoria Lake. Here they killed an 
Indian whose arms were raised and who was asking to surrender, 
and captured his squaw. Upon the arrival at the village itself, 
they found the huts deserted, and the untrained militia plundered 
and burned the village. This was the only achievement of the 

The second expedition organized by Governor Edwards trav- 
eled by water to Peoria. Upon arrival at that point, they found 
it deserted by practically all of its inhabitants, including the 
United States Government agent, Forsyth, whereupon Captain 
Craig began appropriating all of the property left by the desert- 
ers. Upon Forsyth's coming into camp, however, he returned 
some of it. For several days thereafter Captain Craig and For- 
syth were on friendly terms, but one day Captain Craig's boats 
were fired upon by some unknown person, whereupon Craig pro- 
nounced the people of Peoria guilty of the offense committed by 
the unknown party. He thereupon plundered and burned most of 
the town and carried away forty of its inhabitants as prisoners. 
Later on these prisoners were released by Governor Edwards. 
To his credit be it said that he compensated them for their 
losses out of Indian funds in his possession. Captain Craig's 
conduct was bitterly condemned by many of his associates and 
contemporaries. For a further and more interesting account 
of these expeditions, I would respectfully refer the reader to 
Reynold's account thereof in his "My Own Times." 


By reason of their misfortunes during the year 1812, the 
Federal authorities finally became aroused to the necessity of 
better organization and larger forces. On May 1, 1813, the 
states of Kentucky and Ohio, and the territories of Indiana, 
Wisconsin and Michigan were placed in one district under the 
command of Major General Harrison, and a sub-district thereof 
including Illinois and Missouri was created, with headquarters 
at St. Louis under the command of Brig. Gen. Benjamin Howard. 
The Federal authorities also effected an organization of ten 
companies of mounted rangers, and placed four of them in 
Indiana, and three each in Illinois and Missouri. These rangers 
were all mounted men and proved very effective. They moved 
rapidly and inspired the Indians with terror. General Howard 
began to act with great vigor. With a force of rangers recruited 
from Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and Illinois, he pushed the 
American frontier further northward and soon arrived at Peoria, 
where he built a new fort, which he called Fort Clark and which 
was thereafter garrisoned by regular troops until the end of 
the war. 

In June 1813, Gen. William Clark with 200 men succeeded 
in capturing Prairie du Chien, in the absence from that place 
of Dixon and the Indian tribes, which he had taken to Canada. 
Clark left a small force there after its capture, but this garrison 
was compelled to surrender to a large force of British and 
Indians from Mackinac soon thereafter. Following its capture 
by the British, two expeditions were sent up from St. Louis 
to regain Prairie du Chien. Hearing of these expeditions, the 
British authorities heavily reinforced the Sauk and Fox Indians 
at Rock Island, and their combined forces prevented the first 
expedition from going up the Mississippi beyond that point. 
The second expedition set out with the same destination in 
August 1814. It was commanded by Major Zachary Taylor, 
afterward President of the United States. The British and 
Indians met Taylor and his troops and inflicted heavy losses 
upon them. Taylor was compelled to retreat with his troops 
to Fort Edwards, a fort which was built near Warsaw, Illinois, 
and which was held by the Americans until the end of the war. 
The most northerly limits of the aggressive warfare on the part 

Ninian Edwards 

Territorial Governor, and Governor of State, 1826-30. 


of the Americans was a line drawn from Peoria to Warsaw. 
North of that, the Indians and British were triumphant. 

Early in the year 1814, both of the warring nations began 
to tire of the conflict. The British had been successful on the 
eastern seacoast and in the Northwest, but had not been at all 
effective in the central or southern portions of the United States. 
Proposals of peace were made and accepted and peace commis- 
sioners were detailed to meet at Ghent for direct negotiations. 
During these negotiations, a peculiar situation developed. The 
main cause of the war, to-wit the impressment of American 
seamen by British vessels, seemed to have been forgotten. The 
British commissioners stressed as the important issue to be 
determined in the negotiations the question as to what should 
become of the Northwest Territory. The result of the conflict 
between the Americans and the British in that territory had 
been disastrous to the Americans, and had left the British in 
control of the Great Lakes in about the situation that existed 
at the close of the Revolutionary war. The British commissioners 
in their negotiations declared that an error had been made in 
settling the boundary in 1783 and that that error should be 
now corrected; that the whole region of the Great Lakes with 
its valuable fur trade must now be annexed to Canada and 
placed under the British flag. They made this claim not in so 
many words, believing that such a demand would be promptly 
rejected by the American commissioners, but they pointed out 
to the American commissioners that the Indians had been their 
allies and that they were independent nations and should be 
included in the treaty and made parties to the same. They argued 
that an independent nation of the Indians, with well defined 
boundaries, should be created, wherein neither Great Britain 
nor the United States would have any control or power to pur- 
chase the lard. They pointed back to the Treaty of Greenville, 
contracted in ^795, which created the eastern border of an Indian 
reservation running south from what is now Lorain, Ohio. 
This line would have thrown most of Ohio, and all of Indiana, 
Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin and the territory west of 
the Mississippi into a proposed buffer Indian state or a per- 
petual hunting ground for the Indian tribes. The British com- 


missioners also intimated that they should be permitted to estab- 
lish and maintain military and naval posts on the Great Lakes. 
To these demands thus formulated, the answer of the American 
commissioners was emphatic. If these conditions were pressed, 
they would break off negotiations. The American commissioners 
pointed out that the United States had followed the British 
precedent in refusing to accord rights to the Indian tribes. 
The American commission was composed of very able men, 
among whom was John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay and Albert 
Gallatin. Intellectually and diplomatically they were more than 
a match for the British commissioners. The controversy was 
strenuous, but in the end the British commissioners gave way 
and recognized the rights of the Americans to the disputed 
territory by accepting a statement from the United States that 
it would restore the rights and privileges held in the year 1811, 
the year before the declaration of war. The commissioners of 
the respective nations reached no agreement in relation to arma- 
ments on the Lakes, and the treaty was decided December 24, 

In the year 1817, the United States Government proposed 
to Great Britain that both navies on the Great Lakes be reduced 
to proportions which would render them useless in war. This 
proposal was accepted by Great Britain, and since that time two 
great nations have been enabled to live side by side with an 
unguarded frontier of over 3,000 miles, without friction or blood- 
shed. It is believed that this proposal was inspired by Benjamin 
Franklin, a great lover of humanity, and accepted by Lord Shel- 
burne, an English diplomat who was also a great lover of peace. 

The Indian tribes were not made parties to these treaties, 
and after the treaty was signed by Great Britain, they were 
placed in a position of being compelled thereafter to treat with 
a great and growing power whose citizens had suffered most 
from their depredations and whose citizens in the natural march 
of events would be insisting upon their government that the 
great fertile lands of the Northwest should be utilized for agri- 
culture instead of for hunting grounds. The rights which they 
had in 1811 the United States agreed to recognize, but that 
these rights then possessed must afterward be yielded by them 


before the onward march of civilization was plain to them as it 
was to the white men whose nation had signed the treaty. The 
Indian tribes knew that the great power upon which they re- 
lied, the British government, had failed them in this emergency ; 
that they never could hope for further assistance from that 
great power; that thereafter they must treat with a young and 
powerful nation whose constantly increasing population would 
compel that government to acquire these hunting grounds by 
force, if not by treaty. The Indians recognized the inevitable. 
They became dispirited and down-hearted. Their great leader, 
Tecumseh, had given up his life in a lost cause. The tribes 
were ready to trade with the United States upon any terms that 
might be insisted upon by that great nation. 



The Ordinance of 1787 provided that one of the qualifica- 
tions of a voter should be that he own "a freehold of fifty acres 
of land in the district. ,, This qualification, probably more than 
any other cause, explains the smallness of the vote cast on the 
question of a change to a territory of the second class. Only 
300 votes were counted, the great majority of which favored 
the change. On May 21, 1812, Congress, pursuant to this vote, 
declared the Illinois Territory raised to the second class. On 
September 14 of the same year, Governor Edwards, in the midst 
of his military activity, issued a proclamation creating the new 
counties of Madison, Johnson and Gallatin, and another procla- 
mation about the same time calling an election October 8, 1812, 
for selecting members of a Legislature and a delegate to Con- 

The newly-elected Legislature (being the first to meet in 
Illinois) met at Kaskaskia November 25. Pierre Menard was 
chosen as president of the council and Dr. George Fisher was 
selected as speaker of the lower house. Governor Reynolds in 
his history says that all twelve members of the Legislature 
"boarded at the same house and slept in the same room." Much 
of the time of the Legislature was taken up with laws creating 
territorial courts and helping the governor organize and pro- 
vision a militia to serve against the Indians. There was no 
penitentiary in the Territory and practically no jails where 
prisoners could be securely imprisoned. Hence the criminal 
laws passed by the Legislature had few provisions for confine- 
ment in prisons, but many other provisions for punishment that 
were barbarous and cruel and would not now be tolerated in 



civilized states. Whipping on the bare back, with lashes from 
ten to 500; confinement in stocks and pillories, and branding 
with hot irons were some of the penalties set out in the criminal 
code of that day. Arson, rape and murder were punished by 
hanging. If a fine was not promptly paid the guilty man was 
auctioned off to a purchaser of his labor who could compel him 
to work out his fine at hard toil. 

The maiden efforts of the first Territorial Legislature to 
raise funds by taxation, for the support of the government, 
furnish an amusing contrast to the methods of the legislation 
of our day when hundreds of millions of dollars are readily 
appropriated at each biennial session for the support of the 
state government. The first Legislature in Illinois (territorial) 
levied a tax on real estate of $1 on each 100 acres of land on 
the bottoms along the rivers, and seventy-five cents on each 
100 acres on the uplands for the support of the territorial gov- 
ernment. The expenses of the counties were paid for, out of 
personal taxes, which were collected from the following sources : 
Each owner of $200 worth of personal property had to pay $1 
poll tax and certain occupations and callings were licensed. 
Smith in his history gives Struve as reporting that as a result 
of the Legislature's efforts to raise funds to support the gov- 
ernment of the territory, $4,875.45 was collected in three years. 
At the present rate of wages this would not more than have 
paid the salary of a single janitor in the State House for a period 
of three years. How the governor, judges of the Supreme Court, 
members of the Legislature and other officials managed to get 
their meager salaries is a mystery that the ordinary man cannot 
explain. Shadrach Bond, Jr., afterwards governor of Illinois, 
was elected this year by the people as their delegate to Con- 
gress. Up to this time (1812) there had been but little immi- 
gration into Illinois. Fear of Indian atrocities was one cause, 
but the greater and more far-reaching one was the inability of 
settlers to gain legal title to the land upon which they located. 
We have heretofore pointed out the difficulties which the old 
French settlers encountered when they tried under American 
law to have their titles ratified. 


In 1781 and later on, some of the soldiers who served under 
George Rogers Clark took possession of certain lands as "squat- 
ters'' and without any legal title made improvements upon them. 
These men, as well as the French occupants of lands, had been 
petitioning Congress for validation of the occupation and titles. 
In 1791 Congress enacted a law providing that all Americans that 
had occupied lands before 1783 should have their titles con- 
firmed as to 400 acres each. Congress also provided a law con- 
firming the French titles under certain conditions. Up to the 
year 1800 no other titles to land in Illinois could be obtained 
in tracts of less than 4,000 acres. 

In 1804 the United States had opened up land offices in Kas- 
kaskia and Shawneetown for the purpose of settling titles, and 
quite a considerable number of settlers, upon learning of the 
location of these offices, concluded that from them they could 
procure title to land if they settled in Illinois, Up to 1812, 
however, no land had been placed on the market for sale to 
settlers who had come into the state between 1783 and 1813, and 
these new settlers had merely "squatter" claims. In the hope 
of obtaining good title by settlement, many of these "squatters" 
had made valuable improvements, built houses and barns, dug 
wells, cleared lands and enclosed them with fences. All of 
these improvements would be lost to them unless preemption 
laws were passed giving them relief. William Henry Harrison, 
when a delegate to Congress from the Northwest Territory, had 
recognized the necessity of enacting some law which would give 
the poor settlers an opportunity to preempt and buy small 
tracts of land at a moderate price. H$ succeeded in securing 
a law which enabled a settler to preempt and purchase a half- 
section of land at $2 per acre. 

Shadrach Bond, upon his election as delegate to Congress 
for Illinois Territory in 1812, exerted himself vigorously in se- 
curing a preemption law that would enable a poor settler to 
secure a quarter-section of land, and thus attract settlers to 
the territory. He was a "dirt farmer" himself and an earnest, 
honest, capable man who was afterwards elected the first gov- 
ernor of Illinois on its admission to statehood. In Congress, 
Bond vigorously and intelligently worked for the passage of a 


pre-emption law and according to Governor Reynolds in his 
History of Illinois (p. 273) : "By his exertions .... the first 
act of Congress was passed in 1813, to grant the citizens the 
right of preemption to secure their improvements." Under 
the provisions of this law the settler might select a quarter- 
section of land, and if he made improvements on the same he 
had the first right to buy at government sale. If the settler 
did not exercise his option to buy, he still had a lien on the 
property for the value of his improvements if bought by another. 

The passage of this law, the ending of the war with Great 
Britain, and the subsequent treaties of peace with the Indians 
in 1815 under which they conveyed their titles to the United 
States, opened wide the doors in Illinois for rapid settlement 
and growth for the first time in its chequered history. From 
now on the condition of Illinois ceased to be static and became 
dynamic. Its population in 1810 was 12,282; in 1820 it was 
55,162. Up to 1815 the increase of its population had been 
stayed by Indian guerrilla warfare, the war with Great Britain, 
difficulty of travel over mountains, through trackless forests 
and over bridgeless rivers, and the failure of the law to secure 
to settlers good title to the land upon which they located. 

By the end of 1814 all wars had ceased, the British had re- 
tired to Canada, the Indians had ceded their Illinois lands to 
the United States, the steamboat had arrived, railroads were 
being planned and the United States was selling its lands to 
settlers at the very low price of $1.25 an acre. The dammed-up 
waters of immigration and civilization had sapped and under- 
mined the walls of war, isolation and law that had surrounded 
Illinois, and the waves began to overflow the fertile prairies 
of all the section. Riding on these waves came not only men and 
women from the Southland, as heretofore, but from all over 
America and from foreign lands. In May, 1812, Congress had 
passed a law repealing the burdensome and unfair enactment 
which compelled a citizen to own fifty acres of land before he 
could vote; at a time, too, when it was almost impossible to get 
title to any land. The new law threw open the voting right to 
all "free white males of twenty-one years of age" who had paid 
a territorial poll tax. This law gave the newcomers into Illinois 


from the North and East the same right to be heard at the 
polls as the old settlers on all points of public interest. The 
common people from the territory from this time on began to 
be heard from at all elections. 

Among these new arrivals was Daniel Pope Cook, whom 
Commodore Vanderbilt would probably characterize as "one of 
those damned literary fellers/' He first appeared in Kaskaskia 
in 1814 as a law student under the tutelage of Judge Nathaniel 
Pope, and was admitted to the bar in 1815 at the age of twenty- 
two years. Before meeting Judge Pope he was poor, friendless 
and in delicate health, but gifted with a brilliant mind and a 
facile pen. He early displayed his natural bent toward news- 
paperdom, took editorial charge of the Kaskaskia Herald and 
changed its name to the Western Intelligencer, and in 1816 edi- 
torials and articles signed "Aristides" appeared in the paper 
advocating the admission of Illinois to statehood. They were so 
vigorous and incisive that they attracted widespread attention 
to a topic which up to that time had not been seriously consid- 
ered by the public. While he was so doing he was appointed by 
the President (probably through the recommendation of Con- 
gressional Delegate Nathaniel Pope) as messenger to carry con- 
fidential instructions to John Quincy Adams, then minister to 
the Court of St. James, London. Upon his return to Kaskaskia 
in 1817 he renewed in the Intelligencer his virile agitation for 
statehood, his most potent arguments in favor thereof being 
that under a State Constitution the following changes in gov- 
ernment could be secured: First — The power of absolute veto, 
then existing in the territorial governor and strongly resented 
by the people, could be modified and restricted; second — that 
the law-making power of the state relating to internal affairs 
would be supreme ; and third — that the judiciary of the state in 
all matters relating to the police power would be controlled and 
regulated by) judges elected by the people. The territorial 
judges appointed in Washington had been very remiss and in- 
attentive to their judicial duties, and serious crimes had gone 
unpunished because of their indifference and neglect. 

At this time public sentiment had been controlled and guided 
by a very few, able and forceful men, some of whom were 


affiliated with, and some opposed to Governor Edwards and his 
policies. Those who favored him were Nathaniel Pope, terri- 
torial delegate to Congress; Daniel Pope Cook, Thomas C. 
Browne, George Forquer and Pierre Menard, while among those 
of the opposition were Shadrach Bond, Jesse B. Thomas, Michael 
Jones, John McLean, Elias Kent Kane and William Kinney. 
So vigorous and convincing were the arguments that young 
Cook fulminated from time to time in his paper that finally all 
of these prominent men and the general public fell in with his 
crusade and clamored for statehood. Nathaniel Pope, the friend 
and patron of young Cook, as territorial delegate to Congress 
pressed with great ability in that body the now popular demand. 
One formidable obstacle in the way of statehood was the pro- 
vision in the United States ordinance which required a popu- 
lation of 60,000 as a pre-requisite for admission. It was found, 
however, that when Ohio was admitted into the Union of states 
her population was only 45,028, notwithstanding the 60,000 re- 
quirement of the ordinance. Mr. Cook forcefully pointed to 
the admission of Ohio, contrary to the strict letter of the ordi- 
nance and argued that the admission of Illinois with less than 
the prescribed number of inhabitants "would not be inconsistent 
with the general interests of the confederacy. ,, Another argu- 
ment in favor of the creation of a new State of Illinois, which 
prevailed at the time and which probably was presented to 
Congress was the following : The Ordinance of 1787 prohibited 
slavery in the territory. Nonetheless slavery actually existed 
therein and was tolerated and permitted by the territorial offi- 
cials, some of whom owned slaves themselves. Slavery existed 
in the territory under both French and British rule, and the 
treaty of 1783 with Great Britain guaranteed to the inhabitants 
all their possessions under American rule. The conflict between 
the Ordinance of 1787 and the British-American treaty had 
never been adjudicated in the courts. Consequently many slave- 
holders refused to settle in Illinois lest their slaves might thereby 
become free; and many anti-slavery immigrants also refused to 
locate here lest they be compelled to witness slavery in all its 
horrors. This anomalous condition of affairs prevented immi- 
gration into the territory. 


At the same time a bill was pending in Congress for the 
admission of Missouri to statehood and it was generally be- 
lieved that it would be admitted as a slave state. The fear that 
the Missourians would anticipate the men of Illinois in securing 
admission of their state into the Union caused prompt action. 
The anti-slavery element feared that if Missouri was admitted 
as a slave state, that it would be used as a precedent for slavery 
in Illinois. On the other hand, the pro-slavery element feared 
the admission of Missouri to statehood before Illinois because, 
as they believed, it would attract immigration from the South 
and prevent settlers from coming into Illinois. It developed 
that both discordant elements, from different motives and 
activated by different fears, were united in favoring the admis- 
sion of Illinois to statehood before the pro-slavery crowd in 
Missouri could secure statehood from Congress. 

In anticipation of the approaching statehood, the Legislature, 
January 2, 1812, created the three new counties of Washington, 
Franklin and Union. Between 1812 and 1817 seven other coun- 
ties had been created and named respectively Edwards, White, 
Monroe, Pope, Jackson, Bond and Crawford, thus making in 
all fifteen counties in the projected state. Nathaniel Pope, the 
territorial delegate, January 23, 1812, introduced in Congress the 
bill for the admission of the territory as a state into the Union. 
He was clever enough to have it referred to a committee of 
five, of which he was chairman. Two of the other members 
were from the northern states and the other two from the South. 
With at least one of the two latter he was on terms of personal 
friendship. As the bill was originally drawn it fixed the north- 
ern boundary of the proposed state at a line drawn east and 
west from a point drawn ten miles north of the most southerly 
part of Lake Michigan in an attempt to approach compliance 
with a provision of the Ordinance of 1787. Article V provided 
that there should be formed in the Northwest Territory, not less 
than three nor more than five states, with certain boundaries 
for the three states, which might be formed "south of an east 
and west line passing through the southerly bend of Lake Mich- 
igan." Delegate Pope amended the bill while it was pending 
before the committee so as to provide that the north line of 

Map of Illinois in 1812 

Showing counties and location of Indian tribes. 


the proposed State of Illinois should be at north latitude 42° and 
30' North. This latitude would place the north limit of the 
state where it now is and forty-one miles further north than 
the north boundary provided for in the original draft of the 
bill. Both of the southern members of the committee, Claiborne, 
of Tennessee and Johnson of Kentucky, were favorable to the 
proposed amendment because Illinois would be a neighboring 
state and they wanted it to be friendly and powerful. The 
northern members, Spencer of New York and Whitman of Mas- 
sachusetts, were soon persuaded by Pope that it would be to 
the commercial and political advantage of the eastern states to 
give Illinois facilities for commerce with the East. He pointed 
out to them that the change would enable Illinois to establish 
a lake port either at what is now Chicago or at what is now 
South Chicago, or at both points, and that this would develop 
a large water commerce with New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and 
Indiana, all of which states had lake frontage and locations 
suitable for the building of lake ports and harbors ; and that the 
building of the Erie Canal from Buffalo through New York 
State to the Hudson River was then in contemplation, which 
would give continuous water communication between Illinois and 
New York City. He further contended that the joining of 
Illinois to these northern states by water routes would insure 
the perpetuity of the Union. If Illinois had the opportunity to 
develop extension of commercial relations with the eastern states 
over the Great Lakes as well as having opportunities of devel- 
oping commerce with the southern states via the Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi rivers, these commercial connections with both the 
north and eastern states as well as with the southern states, 
would inevitably make the future State of Illinois a bond of 
union between these different sections of the country, and that 
the future state could always be relied upon to oppose any move 
that in the future might be made to dis-sever the Union of the 
States. He further argued with his fellow-members of the com- 
mittee and to Congress, when it met in committee of the whole, 
that every man who had passed over the narrow portage that 
separated the Chicago River and the Desplaines River near 
Chicago from Marquette and Joliet down to that day, had rec- 


ognized and declared that the construction of a canal between 
Chicago and the Illinois River, thus opening up a waterway 
between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, was inevitable. 
He showed that every man in public life who had given even the 
most cursory examination of the project, had favored the build- 
ing of such a canal. He then contended that its building was 
feasible only by having its termini both in the same state ; that 
the building and operation of a canal with one terminus in Illi- 
nois and the other in another state would be absurd and im- 
practical. As a final, clinching argument he suggested to the 
members of Congress elected from the northern and eastern 
states that if Illinois was denied the opportunity to establish 
waterway commerce with the North and East, that all of her 
future commerce would be down the Ohio and Mississippi, and 
that her commercial relations would naturally develop into 
friendship for the South and southern projects. These adroit 
and able arguments quickly proved convincing. The commit- 
tee unanimously approved the amendment, as did both House 
and Senate shortly after the report of the committee. 

The lack of the necessary population was still an obstacle 
to the passage of the bill. The petition of the Territorial Legis- 
lature claimed a population of 40,000, without presenting any 
census or proof thereof. As a matter of fact the territory had 
no such population when the petition was drafted. The mem- 
bers of the Territorial Legislature, when in response to public 
demand they drafted the petition, were indulging in the patriotic 
guess-work, which we so often note in our own day. Have we 
not, all of us, when on a visit to another city asked one of its 
residents what was its population? Have we not invariably 
been given a figure much larger than the last census and fre- 
quently much larger than the next census taken thereafter? 
The Territorial Legislature in this manner made a generous 
and patriotic guess and fixed the figure at 40,000. 

The bill as originally drafted required the United States 
marshal to take a census and stated that the convention should 
not take action until he had reported a population of 40,000. 
The able and adroit delegate from Illinois Territory, Nathaniel 
Pope, secured an amendment allowing the Territorial Legislature 


to take the census. The census taken in the spring of 1818 
showed a population of 34,610. The Legislature had, however, 
provided for a supplemental census of those who might come to 
Illinois after the first census was taken, and when this supple- 
mental action was accomplished, the Legislature considered 
same and reported a population later in the year of 40,258. 

Even before this finding by the Legislature, the governor 
and the people of the territory proceeded on the assumption 
that the Enabling Act would be passed, and called for elections 
of delegates to a convention that would accept the provisions 
of the Enabling Act, and if advisable adopt a constitution for 
the newly created state. Too much credit cannot be given to 
the sagacity and ability shown by Nathaniel Pope in advocating 
and bringing about the congressional Enabling Act signed by 
the President of the United States, permitting the Illinois Ter- 
ritory to become a state. All of the amendments drafted and 
advocated by Pope were of great importance. One of these 
amendments provided for turning over to the state three-fifths 
of the fund of 5 per cent, which the original draft of the En- 
abling Bill provided should be used for improving roads, for 
educational purposes. As originally drafted, 5 per cent of the 
proceeds of the sale of public lands were required to be utilized 
for the building of roads. Pope's amendment required three- 
fifths of this fund to be applied for educational purposes. 

As heretofore stated, the bill provided that a census should 
be taken by the United States marshal, which might have de- 
layed the going into operation of the Enabling Bill for some 
years. Pope's amendment permitted the Territorial Legislature 
to take the census and supplemental censuses. 

The most material and important amendment, however, was 
the amendment moving the northern line of the state forty-one 
miles north. Pope's foresight and sagacity enabled him to see 
the value of this amendment, but he surely could not have seen 
at that time (1818) the tremendous consequences that resulted 
from this amendment. Of course, he knew by the exercise of 
his foresight that it would be a wise thing for the State of 
Illinois to have a frontage on Lake Michigan which would en- 
able it to establish one or more ports for commerce with other 


states. He also clearly understood that it would be necessary 
to have both termini of the future canal connecting the Great 
Lakes with the Illinois River and Mississippi River within the 
limits of one state, but he never could have foreseen that the 
effect of this amendment would be in the year 1930 to place 
the State of Illinois in the third, if not the second position of 
power and importance in population, industry and commerce 
among all the states of the United States. 

If the reader will draw a line from a point ten miles north 
of the lowest bend of Lake Michigan westerly from a point in 
the lowest bend of Lake Michigan due westerly to the Mississippi 
River, he will find that north of that line lie the counties of Jo 
Daviess, Stevenson, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Lake, Carroll, 
Ogle, DeKalb and Kane as they now exist on the map of Illinois, 
and most of Whiteside, Lee and Cook counties, and also part of 
Kendall and Will counties as at present constituted. In that 
territory there lies today considerably over fifty per cent of the 
population of Illinois, and includes within its limits the cities 
of Rockford, Galena, Freeport, Belvidere, Woodstock, Waukegan, 
Dixon, Oregon, Sycamore, Aurora, Wheaton, Evanston, Oak 
Park, South Chicago, Elgin, and above all, most of the great 
metropolitan City of Chicago. If this amendment had not been 
offered by Pope, approved by the committee and adopted by 
Congress and approved by the President, Illinois, instead of 
being today the third state in political, commercial, agricultural 
and manufacturing power in the United States, with an oppor- 
tunity of soon becoming the second great state in the United 
States, would have been a state with a population of about three 
and one-half million, which would make it rank as about the 
ninth state in importance in the United States. 

Somewhere I have read that the single fist of a human being 
prevented a break in a great levee and prevented a deluge. We 
have seen heretofore in this history how George Rogers Clark 
with 153 volunteer militiamen, without firing a gun or shedding 
a drop of blood, practically decided the ownership of the great 
Mississippi Valley. In the same way, the forethought and sagac- 
ity and intelligence displayed by Nathaniel Pope in 1818, re- 
sulted in placing the present State of Illinois in the proud posi- 


tion which it now occupies among the states of the United States, 
which it never would have occupied were it not for the sagacity 
and forethought shown by him. 

Following the election which took place pursuant to the call 
heretofore mentioned, a convention met at Kaskaskia on August 
3, 1818. By this time the additional census returns, with the 
patriotic assistance of Illinois census takers, was brought up 
to 40,258, and the convention without much hesitation or critical 
investigation accepted the count and proceeded to draw up a 
constitution for the new state. Within twenty-one days that 
convention adopted the constitution of 1818. Considering the 
time consumed by the convention and the inaptitude and lack of 
experience which most of the members of the convention had in 
the drafting of a constitution, it was a pretty fair attempt at 
framing an instrument suitable to the times. 

Article 1 provided for the separation of the powers of the 
state into three distinct parts, executive, legislative and judicial. 

Article 2 created as a legislative authority a General Assem- 
bly consisting of two houses, a Senate and a House of Repre- 

Article 3 placed the executive power in the hands of the 

Article 4 vested the judicial power in a Supreme Court and 
such inferior courts as the Legislature shall from time to time 

Article 5 created a militia for the state and provided for its 
proper organization. 

Article 6 declared, "There shall be neither slavery nor in- 
voluntary servitude in this state, otherwise than for the punish- 
ment of crime whereof the party shall have been convicted," etc. 
In Section 3 of Article 6, however, there was a provision which 
validated contracts of service made under territorial laws and 
provided that children born of indentured parents shall be free, 
males at twenty-one and females at eighteen years of age. 

Article 7 provided for the amending of the constitution. 

Article 8 contained in twenty-two sections the Bill of Rights. 

The constitution enabled every white male inhabitant twenty- 
one years of age, resident in the state for six months preceding 


the election, to vote at such election. It also authorized the 
Legislature to have control of the appointment of all judges. 
The constitution also provided that every sixteenth section of 
each township of Federal lands was to be given over for the 
use of schools, and that one entire township in the state should 
be set aside for a seminary; that all of the United States lands 
should be exempt from taxation for six years after the sale 
thereof, and that military bounty lands were to be exempt from 
taxation for three years if held by the patentees or their heirs. 

The section of the constitution relative to slavery and pro- 
hibiting it in the state, as amended and finally passed, was a 
compromise between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery members 
of the convention. In effect, it practically admitted that the 
former indentured laws of the territory practically amounted 
to slavery, but provided that the children of indentured per- 
sons were to become free. Under that provision, no indentures 
made outside of the state could be enforced within the state, 
but the constitution failed to bind the state not to make a re- 
vision of the constitution which would admit slavery. Notwith- 
standing that the constitution failed to have any provision in 
strict accordance with the Ordinance of 1787 relative to slavery, 
it was accepted and approved by Congress, and the President 
signed the same on December 3, 1818, and the State of Illinois 
came into existence as one of the states of the Union. 

The constitution of 1818 differs from the constitution adopted 
in 1870 in several important particulars. Under the consti- 
tution of 1818, a governor or judges might be impeached by 
the Legislature if the lower house by a majority of those pres- 
ent voted for the impeachment and if two-thirds of those present 
in the Senate voted for conviction. Under the present consti- 
tution, it requires a majority for conviction of all those elected, 
and a two-thirds vote of the Senate to secure conviction. 

Under the constitution of 1818, the governor was ineligible 
for reelection within eight years. Under the present consti- 
tution he is eligible for reelection ad infinitum. 

Under the constitution of 1818, the governor and the Su- 
preme judges were required to revise all proposed laws before 
their adoption, and if they disapproved of same, the laws could 


not go into effect until they were again voted for by the Legis- 
lature and received the majority in both houses. Under the 
constitution of 1870, there is no such provision. 

Under the provisions of 1818, the governor appointed the 
secretary of state. Under the constitution of 1870, the secre- 
tary of state is elected. In my humble opinion, the framers of 
the constitution of 1818 in this particular acted more wisely 
than did the framers of the constitution of 1870. 

Under the constitution of 1818, judges of the Supreme Court 
and other courts were elected by the joint act of both houses 
of the Legislature and held their offices during good behavior. 
Under the constitution of 1870, they are elected by the people 
and hold their offices for definite fixed terms. 

Before closing our consideration of the constitution, it might 
be well to ascertain who were the framers of this important 
document. In all there were thirty-three delegates elected to 
this convention. The counties of St. Clair, Madison and Gal- 
latin elected three and the others two delegates each, making 
in all thirty-three. The leading and most important members 
of the convention were : Judge Jesse B. Thomas, Elias K. Kane, 
Joseph Kitchell, George Fisher, Conrad Will, James Lemen, Jr., 
Samuel O'Melveny, Benjamin Stevenson, Michael Jones, John 
Messinger, and Enoch Moore. There were six lawyers or judges 
in the convention : Jesse B. Thomas, Elias K. Kane, James Hall, 
Adolphus F. Hubbard, Joseph Kitchell. Five public officials: 
Benjamin Stephenson, Michael Jones, Willis Hargrave, William 
McHenry, Enoch Moore. Three doctors: Caldwell Cairns, 
George Fisher, Conrad Will. Four manufacturers: Jesse B. 
Thomas, Conrad Will, Thomas Kirkpatrick, Leonard White. 
One minister: James Lemen, Jr. One merchant: Abraham 
Prickett. The rest were all farmers, etc. 

Elections for public offices were held at the same time as 
the election for the delegates to the constitutional convention, 
at which election Shadrach Bond was elected governor, Pierre 
Menard lieutenant governor, and John McLean a representative 
in Congress of the State of Illinois. With these gentlemen as its 
first public officials and with the constitution of 1818 adopted, 
the State of Illinois started upon its career as one of the states 
of the United States of America. 


To enable the student of Illinois history even faintly to 
understand the course of events, the difficulties of its early 
inhabitants, the struggles of its pioneers, the rapid changes in 
its policies and government and its marvelous and swift develop- 
ment in population, power and political importance among the 
states, it is necessary that we picture to the student, insofar as 
we are able, the actual condition of the young state in 1818. 

At that time, socially, politically and commercially, it was 
a weak infant. The first settlers, as we have heretofore seen, 
were the French coureurs de bois and traders in furs. The men 
of financial substance who were behind the fur trade and sus- 
taining it financially dwelt in Canada or New York. Their 
representatives in Illinois were merely salaried men, or men 
working on commission, very few of whom had acquired a 
competence. With the exception of Colonel Vigo, a Spaniard; 
Pierre Menard, Cerra and a few others, shrewd and intelligent 
and intellectually-gifted Frenchmen, the inhabitants of Illinois 
before the advent of George Rogers Clark were poor but honest 
men who exerted little influence in the framing of laws and 
developing the agricultural richness of the state. The native 
American or English-speaking settlers that followed the French 
came almost exclusively from Kentucky, Tennessee and the 
southern states. Illinois was easily accessible to the incomers 
from the South who came up the Mississippi and down the Ohio 
and its tributaries. Water transportation was the easier and 
less laborious method of travel of that day. 

The Alleghany and Appalachian mountains presented to the 
man of the eastern and northern states almost insurmountable 
obstacles to travel. Railroads were non-existent and automo- 
biles undreamed of. Steamboats were just beginning to appear 


First Governor of Illinois 

(Courtesy Illinois State Historical Library.) 


upon the western rivers. Shipping on the Great Lakes was 
still in the hands of the fur traders, and so insignificant in 
amount even up to the year 1830 as to be practically unmen- 
tioned in the contemporary history of that day. With the ex- 
ception of a few merchants from Philadelphia and a few agents 
for eastern houses who were merely sojourners, the English- 
speaking settlers were all from the South. A few of these were 
men of education and ability, almost all of whom were Federal 
officials or men with political ambitions who aspired to become 
officials in the new territory. Some of them brought slaves and 
other personal property into the territory, but men of financial 
substance in the new state in 1818 were few and far between. 
Of the 35,000 people within the state upon its admission to 
statehood, there were probably not over thirty-five who could 
draw a check for $10,000 that would be honored by any bank 
in the United States. The great mass of the people in Illinois 
in 1818 were poor, vigorous, self-reliant, courageous men, 
women and children, who had braved the wilderness in the 
hope of sustaining life with the rifle, the hoe, and the axe, until 
they could wring from the soil and the forest a pre-empted or 
"squatter" farm for themselves and their children. 

They dressed in homespun or deerskins and were nourished 
mainly on the meat of wild birds and wild animals and the fish 
in the streams. They supplemented this food with a little corn, 
roasted or roughly ground into meal, and vegetables grown 
around their log cabins. Capital was exceedingly scarce in Illi- 
nois in that day and indebtedness was almost universal. Lux- 
uries were almost unknown and the necessities of life hardly 
earned. There were no reformatories or penitentiaries and prac- 
tically no jails; consequently no imprisonment for crime. Mur- 
ders and arsons occasioning loss of life were punishable with 
hanging. All other crimes were punishable with the lash, pillory 
or the stocks. Brutal crimes less than the taking of life were 
punished with as high as 500 stripes on the bare back, or brand- 
ing with a hot iron. There were no public schools, and the few 
private schools were illy equipped and the teachers as a rule 
capable of imparting to their scholars but the simplest funda- 
mentals of education. As to society, polish and refinement were 


unknown except in the homes of public officials and a few well- 
to-do merchants. As a rule the French habitants were poor, vir- 
tuous and happy. 

These settlements in Illinois being so weak, and so far 
removed from any civilized community, and amidst sav- 
age nations of Indians, that the inhabitants were forced to 
rely on each other for self preservation. This made them 
kind and friendly to each other. 

These virtues were cherished and cultivated for ages, 
and transmitted through many generations; so that kind- 
ness and generosity became a fixed character with the 
Creole French. 

They were ambitious for neither knowledge nor wealth, 
and therefore possessed not much of either. That sleep- 
less, ferocious ambition to acquire wealth and power which 
seizes on so many people at this day, never was known 
amongst the early settlers of Illinois. The French of these 
twenty-two years had exactly, almost to a mathematical 
certainty, a competency of "worldly gear." There is a 
happy medium between the extremes of poverty and wealth, 
if mankind could settle on it, that would render them the 
most happy. These people had, at that day, in my opinion, 
found the "philosophers' stone" of wealth and happiness. 
They lived in that fortunate medium, which forced itself 
on them than they on it. 1 

The people being governed by the precepts of the gos- 
pel enforced by the power and influence of the church 
formed a pious and religious community, which was the 
basis of the happiness of the Illinois people in the primitive 

This was the golden age of Illinois, and at no subse- 
quent period will the people enjoy the same happiness. 
Wealth and greatness do not necessarily make a community 
happy. Christian virtues must govern the heart before a 
people can be prosperous or happy. 2 

In the ball room much order and decorum are observed. 
Two aged discreet persons are chosen, who are called Pro- 
vosts ; one to select the ladies for the dance, and the other 
for the gentlemen, so that each one dances in proper turn. 
It is in this manner that these innocent and merry people 
spend much of their nights in the winter. The old people 

1 Reynolds, Pioneer History of Illinois, page 37. 

2 Reynolds, Pioneer History of Illinois, page 38. 


regulate all ; the time to retire and the time to meet again. 
By this regulation, much of the excesses of dancing parties 
are avoided. The young people are not so capable to judge 
in these matters as the old. 

The French, in the early settlement of the country, 
turned their attention to the Indian trade, and to hunting, 
in a great measure, for their support. Game was then 
plenty. Buffalo and other wild animals were found in the 
prairies between Kaskaskia and Vincennes, that served to 
supply the inhabitants with food. The Indians called the 
Kaskaskia "Raccoon River," for the number of those ani- 
mals living on it. A great many of the inhabitants were 
expert voyagers and hunters. These hunters and voyagers 
were a hardy and energetic race of men. No hardships of 
perils terrified them ; and this laborious and difficult service 
was performed with pleasure, and freqeuntly with songs. 
Often, these innocent and kind hearted men performed this 
labor with scanty allowance of food, and at times without 
anything, for day together, to eat. 

These people solved the problem: that an honest and 
virtuous people need no government. Nothing like a reg- 
ular court of law ever existed in the country prior to the 
English occupation of Illinois, in the year 1763. 3 

This course of life of the Creole French, has secured 
them from any infractions almost entirely of the penal laws 
of the country. Very few, or none of the Creoles were ever 
indicted for the crimes the law books style malum in se. 
Not one, to my knowledge, was ever in the penitentiary for 
a crime. I believe, the records of the courts in Illinois do 
not exhibit an indictment against a Creole Frenchman, for 
any crime higher than keeping his grocery open on a pro- 
hibited day of the week. 4 

Commercial business was largely confined to barter and ex- 
change of commodities. The population of the state at that 
time was confined to the southern twenty-four counties lying 
along the banks of the Ohio, Wabash and Mississippi rivers. 
The northern and central three-quarters of the state were prac- 
tically uninhabited by white men. The Kickapoo Indians still 
maintained their wigwams in the middle of the state and still 
used that territory as their hunting-grounds. The northwestern 

3 From page 53, Reynolds' Pioneer History of Illinois. 

4 From page 101, Reynolds' Pioneer History of Illinois. 

Illinois in 1818 at the Time of Admission to Statehood 


portion of the state was still occupied by the Sauk and Foxes 
under military supervision by American soldiers, at Fort Arm- 
strong, near what is now Rock Island on the Mississippi River. 
To the east of these two tribes lay the villages of the Winne- 
bagoes and Pottawatomies. At Fort Edwards on the Missis- 
sippi, near the mouth of the Illinois, at Fort Clark, the present 
site of Peoria, and at Fort Dearborn, in what is now Chicago, 
the Federal Government maintained garrisons of United States 
Regulars. Outside of these troops and a few white hangers-on, 
there were practically no white men in Northern or Central 
Illinois except the French traders and the agents of the Ameri- 
can Fur Company who were still trading with the Indians. 

Fear of the Indians who were still resentful over the loss 
of their lands, and the delay of the United States Government 
in passing laws and establishing regulations under which set- 
tlers could secure title to these lands, delayed the settlement of 
the northern and central portions of the state for a few years 
after the admission of the state into the Union. 

Before patent titles could be given to settlers or purchasers, 
it was necessary to survey the land so as to give a definite 
description of same in the patents. The method of surveying 
adopted by the Government was as follows: The face of the 
county was surveyed due east and west, and due north and south, 
into rectangular townships of six miles square. In each town- 
ship there were set off thirty-six sections, each containing 640 
acres of land and each section could be divided into four quarter- 
sections of 160 acres each. On the assumption that these Gov- 
ernment lands should be a means of paying the national debt, 
they were first disposed of in large tracts of millions of acres 
to large investment interests and corporations who claimed that 
they were about to colonize same. In 1815, however, the Gov- 
ernment began to place lands on sale in small lots at auction 
at $2 per acre, payable in four annual installments. Many 
purchasers on these terms defaulted on making their annual 
payments, having bought only for speculation without intending 
to settle on the lands or improve the same. The Government 
therefore, in 1820, abandoned the program of selling on credit 
and placed the unsold land on the market for $1.25 per acre 


cash. The immediate but temporary effect of this change was 
to slow up purchases. The Government, before offering the 
lands at $1.25 cash, had parted with a large amount of land to 
the French occupants, on military warrants and to speculators, 
who had paid only 50 cents per acre cash. These latter lands 
were on the market for sale in competition with the unsold 
Government lands and could be purchased on better terms than 
those fixed by the Government. 

This situation for a time retarded Government sales. In 
1822 they had sunk to about 27,000 acres. In 1826 they in- 
creased to about 80,000. In 1827 they fell to 50,000. Sales 
of 100,000 acres per annum were not made by the Government 
until 1829. The sales made in the land offices at Kaskaskia, 
Vandalia and Shawneetown where lands in Southern Illinois 
were offered for sale, were very small. These three land offices 
combined were only able to sell in 1821 14,000 acres; in 1822, 
about 6,000 acres; in 1823 about 2,600; in 1824, about 4,000; in 
1825, about 3,000; in 1826, about 5,500; in 1827, about 7,400, 
and in 1828 about 11,500 acres. Many old settlers in Southern 
Illinois had only "squatter" rights to the lands they occupied 
and public opinion against those who attempted to buy over 
their heads was overwhelming, and made itself manifest in 
Congress, where legislation was finally passed compelling all 
purchasers at public sales to fully recompense the "squatter" 
for all his labor and improvements before they could obtain good 

Between 1820 and 1831 inclusive, thirty-eight new counties 
were created in the State of Illinois, most of which were laid 
out on both sides of the Illinois River and its tributaries, and 
adjoining or near to said river, and as far north as the present 
City of Peoria, which plainly indicates that most of the land 
purchases and settlements made in the '20s of the nineteenth 
century were in Central Illinois. In the third and fourth decades 
of the same century most of the new counties were created 
in the northern and eastern portions of the state, indicating 
just as plainly that the settlements made in those decades were 
in those sections. It was in the early '20s of the nineteenth 
century, soon after the land began to be offered to settlers at 


$1.25 per acre, that the real expansion in population began in 
Illinois. In 1820 the population of the state was about 55,000, 
and land purchases were at low ebb in Southern Illinois. In the 
early '20s, however, purchases from the Government were in- 
creasing in Central Illinois. By 1830 the population had in- 
creased to 157,000 and by 1840 it leaped up to 476,000 in Central 
and Northern Illinois. 

George W. Smith, in his valuable history of Illinois, de- 
clares that "in the summer of 1825 immigration revived con- 
siderably. A great tide set in towards the center of the state. 
Through Vandalia alone 250 wagons were counted in three weeks' 
time, all going northward. Destined for Sangamon County 
alone, eighty wagons and 400 people were counted in two weeks' 
time. Sangamon County was at that time without doubt the 
most populous county in the state." What was the racial origin 
or nationality? 

Up to 1818 we have seen most of the immigrants into Illinois 
were from the South, but of different racial stocks. Governor 
Reynolds says that the first colony of foreign immigrants from 
the South were Irish. They arrived from Kentucky under the 
leadership of Samuel O'Melveny in 1805. They settled on the 
Ohio River in Illinois, about fifteen miles from Golconda, in 
Pope County, and sent O'Melveny as a delegate to the Constitu- 
tional Convention from Pope County in 1818. They grew rap- 
idly in numbers, he says, and in 1830 there were seventy-five 
families in the settlement. Another group of Irish settlers lo- 
cated at Plum Creek, in Randolph County, near Kaskaskia, be- 
fore 1810. A much larger settlement of English, immigrants 
was made in Edwards County under the leadership of Morris 
Birkbeck and George Flower, two intelligent and earnest Eng- 
lishmen. In all, there were probably 300 families in this settle- 
ment. Another group of English colonists settled in Monroe 
County in 1817 under the leadership of Thomas Winstanley, 
locating and building a Catholic Church at Prairie du Long 
Creek. Quite a number of German colonists located in St. Clair 
County between St. Louis and Belleville about 1815 and they 
were followed by others who settled in the southeast portion of 
the county near the Kaskaskia River and on Clear Creek near 


Jonesborough. The prominent leaders of these German colonists 
were Germain and Markee. Ferdinand Emert, a German leader, 
brought a colony of Germans from Hanover to the neighborhood 
of Vandalia about the time that the capital was moved to that 
place from Kaskaskia. According to Historian George W. 
Smith, native Americans in 1830 outnumbered all foreign-born 
settlers in Illinois about seven to one. The German-born were 
the most numerous. The other foreign-born settlers ranked 
according to their numbers as follows: English, Irish, Scotch, 
French, Swiss, Welsh and Spanish. 

The overwhelming majority of the 35,000 people in the state 
when it was admitted to the Union came from the southern 
states and were impregnated with southern ideas and habits. 
They were either laborers, mechanics or small farmers in the 
states from which they emigrated, or landless men with little 
or no capital. Upon their arrival in Illinois they resorted to 
hunting up locations for "squatter" rights, building rude cabins, 
clearing the lumber lands, and fighting off hunger with their 
rifles and fishing tackle. Tillage and hog and cattle raising 
soon followed. Until 1830 farming and cattle raising were prac- 
tically the sole occupations of the men of Illinois. 

The enormous mining and manufacturing industries which 
for many decades past have made Illinois one of the richest 
and most productive states in America were then not only non- 
existent but undreamed of. While outcroppings of coal had 
been discovered before 1830, its use as a fuel was unappre- 
ciated and unknown. A few sawmills were in. existence and 
lumbering was practiced, but only for local and home consump- 
tion. There was no demand for lumber outside of the local 
settlements, and commerce in either coal or lumber was non- 
existent. The lumber from their rude sawmills was used for 
building purposes, and for making wagons, farming implements 
and furniture for local use. These sawmills were mostly operated 
by horse-power until the use of steam-power commenced about 
1830, when steam sawmills were erected and utilized. 

There were no railroads nor even decent wagon roads at 
this time, and even if there had been a demand from outside of 
the state for Illinois lumber or coal, that demand could not have 


been answered by Illinois. Coal had been used in small quanti- 
ties about 1825 by settlers on the prairies where they had no 
timber, but its use was exceedingly rare because of the difficulty 
of transportation. In 1835 the Legislature gave a charter to 
the Mount Carbon Coal Company, but it could not have been a 
prosperous concern for its property was offered for sale in 1836. 

The only other manufacturing industries carried on in the 
new state were brick-making, milling and salt-making, and 
these were only sufficient to supply local demands. Where water 
fall of sufficient force existed, water-power wheels were used 
both for sawing lumber and grinding grain, but only for the 
purpose of supplying local demands, and not for general com- 
mercial purposes. In 1817 Judge Jesse B. Thomas established 
a carding machine at Cahokia, but it is undoubtedly the fact 
that manufacturing in Illinois when it became a state was of 
the most rudimentary and insignificant character. 

In speaking of the American people of that day, Governor 
Reynolds says : "Our name, blood and lineage are American and 
not Anglo-Saxon. It is true that most of the Americans are 
descendants of Europeans, but the preponderance of blood is 
not of the Anglo-Saxon race. There are more of the descendants 
of the Irish and Germans in the United States than of English. 
In fact the American race at present is so compounded and im- 
proved that we are a stock of our own." (P. 122, Reynolds' 

Education and Religion. 

Up to the date of its admission to statehood, little had been 
done for education in the frontier state. There were no public 
schools then nor for many years afterward. The little education 
that was imparted was by private teachers for pay. This is 
not to be wondered at. The prime necessity of the frontiers- 
man was the preservation of his life and the lives of his depend- 
ents. To preserve life he needed shelter, food and clothing. To 
secure these he was compelled to give his whole time and energy. 
He had to build his cabin and shelter for his live stock, to 
watch the Indians, to track the wild game, and to make his 
traps and fish nets in order by hook or crook to keep hunger 


from his door. He had no time for education or for following 
the outward forms of religion. He built no schools or churches, 
nor had he the means to pay others for so doing. 

The French habitants in Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Prairie du 
Rocher and other French settlements still had and maintained 
the churches that they had erected during the French regime 
and divine service was well attended in these up to and long 
after Illinois became a state. Private instruction, both religious 
and lay, was doubtless given in these churches and in their 
Sunday schools in French by the French missionaries, some of 
whom remained during the American administration. A French 
clergyman named Des Moulin is mentioned by historian Pease 
in the second volume of the Centennial History of Illinois as 
conducting a French and Latin school at Kaskaskia. A New 
England schoolma'am operated a private school at Lalu. These 
private schools were generally of the grade of grammar schools. 
Girl schools were also in evidence where needle-work, painting 
and other specialties were taught. It was not until 1825, or 
seven years after Illinois became a state, that the Legislature 
took action in reference to the establishment of free public 
schools. At this stage of public affairs, 1825, the hardy pio- 
neers of the state had been somewhat relieved from the onerous 
burdens of their early struggles to maintain their lives and 
protect their growing properties and could give some attention 
to the neglected education of their young, and from this time 
forward the desire of the people for both primary and advanced 
education in both public and private schools became widespread 
and emphatic. But schools and churches were still woefully 
lacking for the common people till about 1830. 

At Galena, in 1829, Kent's school claimed that it taught 
Latin and Greek. At Alton an endowed school offered free edu- 
cation to all children residing within the corporation. In 1827 
the Rev. John Mason Peck opened a theological seminary pri- 
marily for the education of ministers, but offering instruction 
to all in literature and the sciences. A desire for the spread of 
both religion and education soon became apparent. 

The first waves of pioneer settlers in the state naturally 
by outward action showed but little evidence of the inner feel- 


ings of these hardy men towards religious ceremonies. The 
clergymen and Sunday school teachers of their old homes had 
not accompanied them into the wilderness. Except among 
the French habitants there were no preachers, teachers or houses 
of worship in the new land. Instead of hunting for churches 
which were non-existent for non-Catholics, they acquired the 
habit of hunting for game, which was abundant. This non- 
attendance at religious meetings was not proof that they were 
all irreligious. As soon as clergymen of their own respective 
religious cults began to arrive and as soon as these reverend 
men secured churches or even temporary houses of worship, 
thousands of them felt and responded to the call to return to 
the teachings of their youth and filled the churches with zealous 
believers in the Christian faith. Most of these men from the 
Southland had been raised in the faith of the Methodist, Bap- 
tist or Presbyterian churches, and the ministers of these 
churches soon began campaigns for the revival of religious order 
among the pioneers around them in Illinois. Among the Meth- 
odist clergy, Peter Cartwright, Jesse Walker and James Axley 
were the most earnest, eloquent and successful. In 1824 the 
Methodist Church in Illinois had a presiding elder, nine circuits 
and eleven preachers, and a membership of 3,705 whites and 
twenty-seven colored. 

The sale and consumption of hard liquor in all frontier set- 
tlements were almost universal and Illinois was no exception 
to the general rule. No gathering of men for social, political 
or commercial purposes was regarded as a success unless whis- 
key, rum or brandy was furnished in liberal quantities to round 
out and enliven the proceedings. Governmental officials charged 
with the duties of securing treaties with the Indians had no 
hesitation about smoothing out the negotiations with a liberal 
supply of fire-water. Home- and barn-raisings, quilting par- 
ties, horse-racing and political gatherings were enlivened in 
the same manner. The Methodist ministers were among the 
first to decry and inveigh against this almost universal custom. 
If they did not succeed in eradicating the habit, they at least 
limited its universality. Many Baptist clergymen and exhorters 
appeared in Southern Illinois during the first decade of the 


state's history. That denomination claimed in 1825 to have 
within the limits of the state fifty-eight preachers and exhorters. 
The Christian cults known as the Emancipating Brethren and 
the Christian Body had each thirteen preachers. The ablest and 
most prominent of the Baptist preachers was John Mason Peck. 
In 1817 he represented the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions 
at St. Louis. In 1822 the Massachusetts Missionary Society 
appointed him a missionary and he crossed the river from Mis- 
souri into Illinois. His indefatigable zeal enabled him to estab- 
lish and maintain Bible societies, Sunday schools and missionary 
branches and bring many into the Baptist fold. His success, 
however, created some jealousy among the pioneer preachers 
of his own faith who were not so gifted or so well educated as 
himself, but this in no way weakened his zeal or retarded his 
success. After the Methodists and Baptists, the Presbyterians 
were next in importance in numbers in the '20s. In 1825 the 
Presbyterian preachers numbered sixteen. There were also a 
few Universalists in the state, and the Dunkards, Covenanters 
and Independents had each one preacher among them. Very 
few Catholics had come in from the South excepting the few 
Irish families who arrived with O'Melveny. They erected a 
Catholic Church in their settlement and secured the occasional 
services of a Catholic priest. The French steadfastly main- 
tained Catholic services in all their settlements and as the north- 
ern and central portions of their state began to be populated 
from the East and from abroad, they began materially to in- 
crease in numbers and commenced to erect churches and secure 
the services of Catholic priests. Governor Reynolds, in his 
history, locates three English-speaking Catholic (churches in 
Illinois before the year 1830. 

Banks and Currency, 

When Illinois became a state there were only two banks in 
existence within its territory, one the Bank of Illinois located 
at Shawneetown, and one the Bank of Edwardsville located in 
the city of that name. The officers of the former bank were all 
substantial residents of Shawneetown and conducted its busi- 
ness in an efficient manner and sustained its credit while doing 

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business. This bank, however, ceased doing business a short 
time after the state was admitted into the Union. The other 
bank, at Edwardsville, although sponsored by Governor Ninian 
Edwards, was backed by men of doubtful financial responsibility. 
Most of its $300,000 stock was held by Kentuckians and only 
one-tenth of its stock was paid into its treasury. In 1821 it 
failed disastrously while largely in debt to the United Staes for 
deposits made to the credit of the Federal treasury. 

The currency in use in the fledgling state for all commercial 
transactions was of a most grotesque and ridiculous character. 
The notes of the Edwardsville Bank were regarded with well- 
founded suspicion, and the notes of the Bank of Illinois were 
limited in number and hard to And. All kinds of bank notes 
from all kinds of banks were peddled about, at all kinds of dis- 
counts. Some were issued by solvent banks, some by specie- 
paying banks, some by banks that had already failed, some by 
banks that were about to fail, some were counterfeits and some 
were purported to be issued by banks that never existed. In 
this situation the doors were thrown open for swindling and 

In payment for the lands sold to settlers, the United States 
would accept the notes only of solvent eastern banks or of the 
United States Bank, so that all the bank notes of value were 
drained into the United States Treasury. Nearly all the grain, 
Mississippi to New Orleans and sold in a glutted market where 
there was no facility for exchanging credits with the eastern 
stock, and other products of the farms, were shipped down the 
states. Clothes, shoes and house furnishings, all of which were 
manufactured in the East, and all of which were needed by the 
people in Illinois, could not be purchased because of the want 
of a reliable currency and the almost universal indebtedness of 
the Illinois settlers. 

Such was the gloomy condition of financial affairs when the 
young State of Illinois started on a financial career which has 
recently landed her as the second richest state in the United 
States. In June, 1929, the State of Illinois paid to the Federal 
Government the second largest income tax paid by the states 
of the Union. 


In the last few pages we have attempted to envisage social, 
commercial, manufacturing and financial conditions of the young 
state and its inhabitants at its birth. If strict truth be told, we 
cannot boast that it was a lusty, vigorous infant. Its popula- 
tion was in fact less than that required by the Federal ordi- 
nances relating to the Northwest Territory. Its constitution was 
rather restrictive of popular power and somewhat hazy and 
cryptic with relation to human servitude. The great body of 
the people, while brave, energetic and earnestly striving for the 
opportunity to acquire land and build up homes, were as a rule 
wretchedly poor and unused to the methods of self-government. 
Education, except among a few who had acquired advanced 
education in other states and countries, was often of the most 
rudimentary character. Religion was at low ebb except among 
the old French habitants. 

And yet no young state was ever born in the United States 
at a time and under circumstances so propitious for the rapid 
growth and extraordinary development into a great common- 
wealth, as we will be able to demonstrate in the next chapter. 
Its location in the United States, with its waterway connections 
both toward the North and East, as well as to the South and 
West, made it the heart of the nation and the nerve-center of 
the United States of America, soon to become the richest and 
most powerful republic in the whole world. 


To the student of history in the twentieth century, it seems 
incredible that at any time in the history of Illinois a consid- 
erable number of its citizens were in favor of establishing slav- 
ery of human beings as a part of the policy and law of the 
state ; and yet such is the historical fact. 

It must be remembered that human slavery had been installed 
within the borders of what is now Illinois by the early French 
colonizers in the eighteenth century and that it had never been 
legally abolished either under French, British or American ad- 
ministrations. Indeed, under American territorial administra- 
tion, slaves had been brought into Illinois by some of the most 
prominent officials of the territory and state, and remained as 
slaves in the territory until and after the admission of the state 
into the Union. It also must be remembered that the great 
majority of the residents of the state in 1818 had come from 
the slave-holding states south of the Ohio River. They had 
been accustomed to and were satisfied with the conditions of the 
"institution," as it was called in the southern states. It gave 
them no shock to find slaves in Illinois. There was no concerted 
move to abolish slavery in Illinois before its admission as a 
state. It was favored and encouraged by many and quietly 
tolerated by others. It had not, during territorial days, become 
a vital question or a subject for controversy. 

When its people applied for admission as a state they were 
confronted with the United States Ordinance of 1787, creating 
the Northwest Territory, which read as follows : 

The following articles shall be considered as articles of 
compact between the original states and the people and 
states in said territory and forever remain unalterable. 



Article 6: There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary 
servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in punish- 
ment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly 

The pro-slavery members of the constitutional convention 
evidently were in control of the same and were as anxious for 
creation of the state as those who were opposed to slavery. 
All members favored statehood. Unless some declaration against 
slavery were incorporated into the constitution, they knew the 
proposed constitution would be rejected by Congress and state- 
hood refused. In this extremity the pro-slavery people skil- 
fully and adroitly drafted a provision against slavery which 
satisfied the anti-slavery element in the convention and by its 
weasel words finally secured the approval of Congress, while its 
anti-slavery members were asleep or mystified by its language. 

These were the words which were so cleverly inserted con- 
cerning slavery in the first Constitution of Illinois: "Neither 
slavery nor involuntary servitude shall hereafter be introduced 
into this state otherwise than for the punishment of crimes/' 
etc. Slavery had already been introduced into the state. Slaves 
and indentured servants, who were in almost as abject a con- 
dition of service as slaves, were numerous in Illinois at the 
time this constitution was adopted and noting the word "here- 
after" in the constitution there was a rush to have indentured 
articles approved before the constitution went into effect. 

In considering the peculiar phraseology of the constitutional 
provisions of Illinois in 1818, let us compare it with the consti- 
tutional provisions of the states of Ohio and Indiana, both of 
which states were carved out of the same Northwest Territory 
as was Illinois. All of these three states when admitted to 
statehood were subject to the terms and conditions of the Ordi- 
nance of 1787 which created the Northwest Territory. When 
the State of Ohio adopted its constitution for admission to the 
Union it prohibited slavery, but it did not pledge the state or its 
people not to amend the constitution in the future, and its rep- 
resentative in Congress, Mr. Harrison, claimed afterwards that 
the state had a right to amend its constitution on the subject 

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(From Illinois Blue Book.) 


of slavery at any time it saw fit to do so. The State of Indiana, 
when it was admitted to the Union, adopted a constitutional 
provision against slavery and bound its people for all time not 
to amend its constitution so as to legalize or permit slavery 
within its borders. The State of Illinois, it will be noted in the 
provisions of its constitution, neither abolishes slavery at once 
nor contains any pledge not to amend its constitution on that 
subject at any time thereafter. Its failure to adopt the pro- 
visions of either of the Ohio or Indiana constitutions on the 
subject of slavery is specially significant in view of the fact 
that both of these constitutions had been adopted by these states 
before that of Illinois, and the members of the Illinois Consti- 
tutional Convention must have had the constitutions of these 
other states before them when they framed the Constitution of 
Illinois. The inference is conclusive that the Constitution of 
Illinois was drafted by pro-slavery penmen in the convention 
deliberately, so as to preserve the rights of existing slave-holders 
and those having indentured servants, and to permit the re- 
opening of the issue of slavery after the admission of the state 
into the Union by an amendment to the Constitution of 1818, or 
by a new constitution thereafter to be adopted. To have framed 
a constitution favoring slavery, or one making no declaration 
on the subject, would have invited a denial by Congress of the 
application for statehood. Therefore, some declaration against 
slavery was necessary, and a cleverly-worded declaration against 
slavery, but reserving a method of reopening the question, was 
devised and carried in the convention, and secured both state- 
hood and the opportunity of further discussion and amendment. 
That opportunity soon arose and was promptly seized by the pro- 
slavery element in the state. 

Governor Shadrach Bond was elected in 1818; his term of 
office expired in 1822. As under the constitution he was in- 
eligible for reelection at that time. Edward Coles announced 
his candidacy for governor in October, 1821. He was a cultured, 
college-bred gentleman, the son of a colonel in the Revolutionary 
war. His family was on terms of intimacy with Jefferson, Pat- 
rick Henry, James Madison and other prominent men in Vir- 
ginia. He became by heritage the owner of a considerable estate 

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and a score or more of slaves. He acted as private secretary to 
President Madison from 1809 until 1815. In 1814 he addressed 
a letter to ex-President Jefferson, asking the latter to exercise 
his power as a statesman to bring about the emancipation of 
the slaves of the United States, which evoked from that great 
man the following response : "The hour of emancipation is ad- 
vancing in the march of time. It will come. This enterprise 
(emancipation) shall have all my prayers, and these are the 
only weapons of an old man." Mr. Coles was appointed by 
President Madison special ambassador to Russia and had trav- 
eled extensively in Europe, visiting Russia, France and Great 
Britain. He spent some time in France, where he met General 
LaFayette and other distinguished Frenchmen. While travel- 
ing through England he met Morris Birkbeck, a very intelligent 
and successful tenant farmer in Wiltshire, near Oxford, and 
told him of the very rich and undeveloped agricultural land in 
Illinois. His description of the Illinois country so interested 
Birkbeck that the latter soon afterward came to Illinois to inves- 
tigate conditions. Birkbeck was so favorably impressed with 
what he saw here that he speedily returned to England and 
quickly organized a colony of English farmers and farm hands, 
brought them to Illinois, and established a large and flourishing 
colony of Englishmen at or near Albion, in Edwards County. 

After his return from Europe, Coles again visited Illinois 
in 1818 and was present in Kaskaskia when the first consti- 
tutional convention was in session. He had then been offered 
by President Madison the position of registrar of the land 
office at Edwardsville. This position had a good salary attached 
and moreover was a most advantageous one, in that it offered 
a splendid opportunity for developing a wide acquaintance with 
the general public. Coles was politically ambitious and clearly 
saw the gates of future advancement opening before him. He 
promptly selected Edwardsville as his future home, and, being 
a man of some means, secured a considerable amount of land 
there for his farm development. Returning to his Virginia 
estate in 1819, Coles arranged for its future care, packed such 
personal property as he needed in Illinois in wagons, and with 
horses, wagons and about twenty slaves that he owned traveled 


overland and by water to Illinois. At Brownsville, Pennsylvania, 
he secured two large flatboats and floated down to Pittsburgh 
and thence down the Ohio. While on the Ohio one day he ordered 
the boats pulled to shore, and after surrounding himself with 
his slaves he announced their main mission. He then told 
them he was going to locate in Illinois and described to them 
its rich fields and their future opportunities if they would locate 
with him. He promised them each emancipation from slavery, 
and 160 acres of land and help for farming, and they, of course, 
joyfully accepted their freedom and every one of them agreed 
to accompany him to Edwardsville. Before landing in Illinois 
Coles gave each of his slaves a written certificate of freedom 
and all settled around his home near Edwardsville. Upon his 
arrival there Coles commenced his work as land registrar and 
rapidly made a wide acquaintance, and by his agreeable man- 
ners made friends of these acquaintances. In October, 1821, 
or about two years afterwards, he announced his candidacy 
for governor and was elected to that office in 1822. 

To move into a state a stranger and become its governor at 
the very next election, and all within three years after appear- 
ance in the state was an exhibition of what a politician of this 
day would call "fast work/' which has not often been equalled. 
I myself however unwittingly approximated 00168' record of 
expedition in securing election to prominent office in 1905. For 
several years before that year I had been living in River Forest 
outside of Chicago's corporate limits in Cook County and sitting 
as judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. My family was 
growing rapidly, my eleventh and twelfth children (twins) 
being born in 1901. Our home in River Forest became too small 
to accommodate our family and we sold that home in River 
Forest in 1902. We found a residence in Chicago more suitable 
to our family needs. Within three years thereafter I was 
elected mayor of Chicago. When I made the move in 1902 I 
had not the slightest idea of becoming a candidate for mayor 
of Chicago. Only a citizen of Chicago was eligible for the posi- 
tion. So far as we can learn there was not a single man in Illi- 
nois of political prominence who backed his candidacy. Governor 
Ninian Edwards, who was probably the most active politician 


and most indefatigable political writer of his day, does not in 
any of his published letters mention Coles' name. Coles' com- 
petitors in the race were three: Chief Justice Phillips of the 
Supreme Bench, Associate Justice Thomas C. Brown of Shaw- 
neetown and Gen. James B. Moore. Of the four candidates, 
Coles and Moore were opposed to slavery, while Phillips and 
Brown were known to be in favor thereof. The result of the 
election must have been a surprise and keen disappointment 
to the pro-slavery element, for, while it demonstrated that the 
pro-slavery party had the most votes, the anti-slavery party 
had more political sagacity and success. The vote according to 
different accounts was as follows: Coles, 2810 or 2854; Phillips, 
2760 or 2687; Brown, 2543 or 2443; Moore, 522 or 622. If 
we add the votes cast for Phillips and Brown together we find 
that the pro-slavery candidates had 5303 votes, while the anti- 
slavery candidates, Coles and Moore, received only 3,332 votes 
in the aggregate. In other words, the pro-slavery element 
divided their votes almost equally between the two pro-slavery 
candidates, while the anti-slavery element cast the immense 
preponderance of their votes for Coles. A plurality of fifty 
or 167 votes had elected an anti-slavery governor in what was 
then a pro-slavery state! What a narrow escape had Illinois 
from starting out on a career of advocacy of slavery in 1822! 

Immediately after his inauguration as governor, Coles forced 
the slavery issue to the front. In his inaugural address he dis- 
cussed four subjects of prime public importance, — finances, agri- 
culture, canal and slavery. The last of these subjects, however, 
turned out to be the first in public interest. Governor Coles 
recommended the emancipation of the slaves then in Illinois. 
Now the question of slavery in Illinois was not a new one. It 
had been discussed under British, French and American terri- 
torial administrations in the past. There were many in the 
community that favored the gradual extinction of slavery in 
the future, but no one before Governor Coles had ever openly 
advocated the instant abolition thereof and the immediate manu- 
mission of slaves. This part of the governor's message acted 
as a bomb-shell thrown into the Legislature with a lighted 

Edward Coles, Governor 1822-26 


The governor's message was delivered before the joint assem- 
bly of the Senate and House of Representatives and therefore 
a joint committee of the Senate and House was appointed to 
take action thereon. This committee was composed of eight 
men, five from the Senate and three from the House. The 
five senators were Beard, Boon, Kinney, Ladd and White and 
the three representatives were Moore, Emmit and Will. The 
report made by the senators was unanimous and read as follows : 
"Your committee are clearly of the opinion that the people of 
Illinois have now the same right to alter their constitution as 
the people of Virginia, or any other of the original states, and 
may make any disposition of negro slaves they choose without 
breach of faith, or violation of compact, ordinance or act of 
Congress. " This was the position taken by Harrison, the repre- 
sentative of Ohio in Congress long before, and it was the 
contention of all the pro-slavery people in Illinois. It was 
generally understood at this time, both in the Legislature and 
by the people that if a constitutional convention were called 
to amend the constitution, that the pro-slavery sentiment was 
so strong that it would force an amendment through that would 
establish slavery in Illinois. This was the belief of the senate 
committee, for after passing the resolution heretofore reported, 
it adopted the following resolution : "Resolved, that the General 
Assembly of the State of Illinois (two-thirds thereof concurring 
therein) do recommend to the electors, at the next election 
for members to the General Assembly, to vote for or against 
a convention, agreeable to the Seventh Article of the Consti- 

Risdon Moore and John Emmit of the House reported 
adversely to the majority report and recommended the abolition 
of slavery, but Moore was the only one of the eight who finally 
voted against the convention. The pro-slavery people were in 
a strong majority in both House and Senate, but a call for a 
constitutional convention under the provisions of the funda- 
mental law of the state required a two-thirds vote in both houses 
of the Legislature. The pro-slavery members of the Senate 
were two-thirds in number when all were present, but John 
Grammar, one of their number, was absent, and they could not 


call for a vote until he returned. On February 7, 1823, Grammar 
returned and a vote on the convention resolution was taken in 
the Senate, February 10. The resolution passed, twelve to six, 
and the Senate resolution was transmitted to the House. A 
test vote had been taken on the same subject in the House a 
few days before, resulting in a vote of twenty-two for the 
convention and fourteen against. Two of the adverse votes 
were cast by McFatridge and Rattan. McFatridge voted against 
it from conviction; Rattan voted adversely so that he could 
move afterward for a no-consideration. Subsequently, however, 
McFatridge had been converted to vote for the convention by 
promises made to him that the Legislature would pass a bill 
changing the county seat in his county. When the Senate 
resolution was voted upon in the House, February 11, all thirty- 
six members of the House were present and voted, but on the 
tally the vote was found to be twenty-three affirmed and thirteen 
negative. Lacking one vote of a two-thirds majority, the reso- 
lution was lost, and it was discovered that Nicholas Hansen, 
the representative from Pike County, who had before that time 
voted for the convention, had changed his mind, and on February 
11 had voted against it. 

Great was the excitement thereat! Hansen was denounced 
as a traitor and a pledge-breaker and his life made boisterous 
and unpleasant. That night a vociferous meeting was held 
in the State House and various emphatic and uncomplimentary 
remarks and views expressed about Hansen. After the meeting 
tumultuous crowds with tin pans and horns visited the lodgings 
of the anti-convention members and Hansen was hung in effigy. 
Plans were made immediately for his political punishment. When 
he first appeared in the Legislature his election had been con- 
tested by John Shaw, his opponent in the election. The dispute 
in the election arose out of the fact that in one precinct Shaw 
had received eighty-three votes at a polling place set up by 
the electors, while Hansen had received only twelve votes in a 
polling place presided over by the regular judges of election. 
The returns for Shaw had been rejected by the judges, but 
Shaw had filed a notice of contest before the Legislature. At 
Hansen's request Shaw let the matter lie over for a few days 


and did not refile the notice until the legal time had expired. 
The house committee had seated Hansen, it is said, because it 
was believed he would vote against Edwards and for Thomas 
as United States Senator. The committee, however, threw out 
Shaw's contest because it was filed too late, although the delay- 
was caused at Hansen's request. The equity of the action is 
doubtful. Hansen's betrayal of the conventionists, however, 
changed the sentiments theretofore existing in his favor, and 
the House proceeded in a high-handed manner to set aside 
their formal disposal of the election contest. 

On February 12 (Lincoln's birthday, afterward in Illinois 
to be made a legal holiday and now observed as a day sacred 
to human freedom) the House by a vote of twenty-one to 
thirteen ordered a reconsideration of its action in the Shaw- 
Hansen contest, considered certain documents and affidavits, 
held a debate on the same, and finally, by a vote of twenty-one 
to fourteen, the name of Shaw was substituted for the name 
of Hansen as a sitting, legally-elected member of that body. 
After the vote was declared Shaw took Hansen's seat as a 
member of the House. Representative Turney then moved to 
reconsider an appeal from the decision of the chair on a motion 
for a reconsideration of the convention resolution. The decision 
was reversed, the reconsideration was ordered, and the resolution 
for the convention was then passed in the House by a vote of 
twenty-four for and twelve against. 

Further punishment for Hansen seemed necessary. On motion 
of Representative Field, Hansen's name as one of the canal 
commissioners was stricken from the list. The battle for and 
against the convention was now on before the people and lasted 
for eighteen months. It was prosecuted with great bitterness 
and intensity on each side. On February 15 the pro-conven- 
tionists met and appointed a committee to prepare an address 
to the people, giving reasons why the convention should be 
held and the constitution amended, but wholly ignoring the 
slavery question. A few days later the anti-conventionists met 
and adopted an address charging that the main object of the 
conventionists was to establish and retain slavery in Illinois. 


This was probably the truth, but it was never openly admitted 
by the conventionists. 

Before the passage of the convention resolution in the Legis- 
lature the sentiment in favor of slavery was largely prepon- 
derant in Illinois. This assertion we can establish in several 
ways. First, it was apparent from the anemic phraseology of 
the article on slavery in the Constitution of 1818. The con- 
vention that framed that article would have flatly favored slavery 
if it had not feared that Congress would undoubtedly reject a 
constitution of that character, flying in the face of the Ordinance 
of 1787. That convention knew that some declaration against 
slavery would have to be inserted in the constitution or Illinois 
would not be admitted into the Union. The milk-and-water 
article against slavery was therefore adopted to secure statehood 
and it accomplished the purpose. Secondly, the election for 
governor in 1822 showed that five-eighths of the voters cast their 
ballots for pro-slavery candidates instead of the candidates who 
were opposed to slavery. Thirdly, the composition of the Legis- 
lature of 1822 showed that nearly, if not quite, two-thirds of 
both houses were in favor of slavery. 

While the pro-slavery sentiment of the people of the state 
was largely preponderant when the resolution for the convention 
was passed, that sentiment began to lose ground soon afterwards. 
The high-handed, arbitrary and unfair methods pursued by the 
House in evicting Hansen and securing thereby a two-thirds 
vote for the convention, disgusted many fair-minded citizens 
who had been tolerant of slavery. An unbiased reading of the 
events of that day as commented upon by different writers of 
history leads one to believe that the real object sought by the 
proponents of the convention was the amendment of the consti- 
tution of the state so as to legalize slavery. The conventionists 
never openly admitted this and their lack of candor in this 
regard must have prejudiced many fair-minded men. A masked 
movement in political life is feared as much as a masked man 
is dreaded in private life. The anti-conventionists, on the other 
hand, kept pulling the masks off of their opponents and continued 
to denounce the horrors of human slavery. Many good men and 
women in Illinois had grown up from infancy in the slave states 


and had their consciences and sense of justice so benumbed by- 
constant association with slavery, that they became tolerant 
of it. And yet, when the anti-conventionists opened fire upon 
slavery and kept pounding against the atrocity and inhumanity 
of the thing, many of these benumbed people from the South 
began to find that they had consciences that were troubling 
them and began to regard slavery as a crime against both 
God and man. 

Early in the campaign, the anti-conventionists and anti- 
slavery people, through fifteen of the eighteen men who in the 
Legislature voted against the convention, issued an impassioned 
appeal to the voters of the state, from which we quote : "Consider 
the spectacle that would be presented to the civilized world, 
of the people of Illinois, innocent of this great national sin, and 
in the full enjoyment of all the blessings of free government, 
sitting down in solemn convention to deliberate and determine 
whether they should introduce among them a portion of their 
fellow-beings, to be cut off from these blessings, to be loaded 
with chains of bondage and unable to leave any other legacy to 
their posterity than the inheritance of their own bondage. The 
wise and the good of all nations would blush at our political 

Such appeals had their effect even among those who all their 
lives had been surrounded by slaves. It is proper and interesting 
to look back and consider the names and standing of the prom- 
inent men of that day and ascertain how they stood in the 
great crisis of the state's history and the national history. Those 
favoring the convention were : 

(1) Elias Kent Kane, one of the ablest men of that day, 
who was a graduate of Yale and a successful lawyer. He had 
been a member of the first Constitutional Convention, Secretary 
of State under Governor Bond, United States Senator, and was 
a member of an excellent family. He had also been a United 
States Territorial Judge before the admission of the state to 
the Union. During the campaign for the convention he managed 
and controlled the Republican Advocate, which paper strongly 
supported the conventionists. 


(2) Thomas Reynolds was a lawyer of considerable stand- 
ing and was for a time chief justice of the Supreme Court of 
Illinois and afterwards became governor of Missouri. He also 
supported the conventionists and assisted Kane in managing 
the Republican Advocate. 

(3) Theophilus W. Smith had also been a member of the 
Supreme Bench, was very prominent in politics and aggressively 
supported the call for the convention. 

(4) Shadrach Bond, the first governor of the State of 

(5) Joseph Phillips, then Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court, who had been prior to that time Secretary of the Illinois 
Territory when Illinois became a state. He was a pro-slavery 
candidate for governor against Coles and received the second 
highest vote for that office, and also was an ardent advocate 
of the convention. Supporting these five prominent leaders in 
politics were grouped, 

(6) Richard M. Young, who had been a member of the 
Second Assembly, a Judge and a Senator of the United States; 

(7) John McLean, a fine orator, a Member of the Assembly, 
who had been a Member of Congress from Illinois and in 1824 
was elected United States Senator to succeed Ninian Edwards; 

(8) Jesse B. Thomas, who had been a Territorial Judge, 
president of the Constitutional Convention and one of the first 
United States Senators from Illinois; 

(9) John Reynolds, who had been on the Supreme Bench 
of Illinois, a Member of the State Legislature and a Member 
of Congress, and who was afterwards elected the fourth Governor 
of Illinois ; and 

(10) William Kinney, a Baptist preacher and politician, 
an excellent public speaker and a member of the Legislature; 
all actively and ardently supported the movement for the 

The leaders of the opposition who worked and talked and 
wrote against the holding of the convention were all ardent 
anti-slavery men, and will now be enumerated: 

(1) Edward Coles, then Governor, whose public career 
has been heretofore summarized. 


(2) Morris Birkbeck, a very intelligent, well-educated Eng- 
lish settler, who had established a large English colony at or 
near Albion. Though not a public speaker he was a fluent 
and able controversial writer. He was a vigorous assailant 
of slavery and in the Illinois Gazette he published very able and 
convincing arguments against slavery and the holding of the 

(3) Daniel P. Cook, the son-in-law of Ninian Edwards, 
who started the movement for the admission of Illinois to 
statehood and was mainly instrumental in securing its success. 
He was a brilliant writer and campaigner and an ardent enemy 
of slavery, and part owner of the Illinois Intelligencer, in which 
paper he fulminated most of his vigorous arguments against 
slavery and the convention. He held many prominent positions, 
including membership in Congress. 

(4) David Blackwell, a lawyer, a member of the Legis- 
lature, and, in 1823, secretary of state. He bought the Intelli- 
gencer during the campaign while it was advocating a conven- 
tion, and made it an anti-convention paper. 

(5) Samuel D. Lockwood, attorney-general in 1821 and a 
loyal supporter of Governor Coles and his policies. He was 
afterwards placed upon the Supreme bench of Illinois. 

(6) John M. Peck, a Baptist clergyman along missionary 
lines, who in 1820 had settled at Rock Springs, near Belleville. 
He organized an anti-convention society in St. Clair County 
early in the campaign, and other societies in other counties 
were organized on its inspiration. He was a very able organizer 
and gave great strength to the anti-convention movement. In 
1826 he founded the Rock Springs Seminary. 

(7) Thomas Lippincott, a minister of the Gospel, who 
also ably supported the anti-colivention movement. 

(8) Thomas Mather, a prominent merchant. 

(9) Hooper Warren, a journalist and newspaper owner, 
who was a bitter opponent of slavery in any and every form. 
In his paper, the Spectator, at Vandalia, he vigorously assailed 
slavery and the conventionists. 

(10) George Churchill, a journalist-farmer and a warm 
friend of Hooper Warren, and a constant contributor to Warren's 


paper, the Spectator. He was a member of the Legislature 
and highly esteemed by the men of his day. 

(11) Jonathan H. Pugh, who was also a member of the 
Legislature, from Bond County, and took an active part in 
opposing the calling of the convention. 

(12) George Forquer, a half-brother of Governor Ford, 
was another prominent man who opposed the holding of the 
convention. At different times he held the positions of secretary 
of state, attorney-general, representative in the Legislature and 
registrar of the land office at Springfield. 

(13) William H. Brown was part-owner of the Intelligencer 
during the unseating of Nicholas Hansen. He wrote a critical 
editorial and gave a detailed account of that transaction in the 
first issue of the paper published after the event. Whereupon 
the Legislature, to punish Brown, gave the contract for public 
printing to his partners, William Berry and Robert Blackwell. 
This compelled Brown to surrender his partnership to Blackwell 
and Berry, and Robert Blackwell made it a pro-convention paper 
for a year until Governor Coles and his anti-convention friends 
purchased the paper and placed David Blackwell, brother of 
Robert, in charge as editor. The paper under the last manage- 
ment became an open and earnest opponent of slavery. The 
public printing at this time was often substantially the sole 
source of a paper's revenue. Many newspapers then, as they 
do now, allowed their advertisers to control their policies and 
editorial columns. 

The foregoing names were the names of the men most prom- 
inent in Illinois at the time of the struggle for and against the 
holding of the Constitutional Convention. So far as holding 
official positions in public life is to be considered, the weight 
of authority was with the pro-conventionists. The anti-conven- 
tionists, however, had the governor and all of his friends with 
them. Moreover, they had the better end of the argument and 
the more righteous cause, and in the end righteousness and 
liberty won and injustice and slavery went down to defeat. 

Henry Eddy, editor of the Illinois Gazette, is claimed by 
some writers to have been opposed to the convention. Others 
claim he was not. While his paper threw its columns open to 


both sides, the better opinion seems to be that he quietly if not 
violently, favored the convention. The Kaskaskia Republican- 
Advocate and the Illinois Republican at Edwardsville supported 
the convention. The Illinois Intelligencer, as we have seen, 
wobbled and finally opposed the convention. The Edwardsville 
Spectator also wobbled, but finally, by promises of financial 
aid, was won over by the anti-con ventionists. The motives 
that guided most of the newspaper owners of the day were 
not of the most ideal character. They either favored slavery 
or were induced to oppose it by financial rewards. 

After a campaign of exceeding violence, lasting about eigh- 
teen months, the people went to the polls and the pro-slavery 
element found itself routed. The vote for the convention was 
4,972; that opposed to the convention was 6,640. Most of the 
southern counties voted majorities in favor of the convention 
by large percentages, as follows: Gallatin 82 per cent, Pope 

69 per cent, Alexander 60 per cent, Jackson 66 per cent, Jefferson 

70 per cent, Hamilton 67 per cent and Franklin 60 per cent. 
In the south the conventionists lost only one county, Union. 
In the north central counties they were badly beaten by large 
percentages. Pike County gave the anti-conventionists 90 per 
cent, Fulton 92, Morgan 91, Sangamon 83, Clark 79 and Edgar 
99. In the eleven counties south of St. Clair, Washington, 
Marion, Wayne and White, 3,788 votes were cast, 62 per cent 
of which were for the convention and slavery. In the nineteen 
counties north of that line, 7,814 votes were cast, of which only 
33 per cent were for the convention and slavery. 

The full significance of this election and its importance 
to the state and nation cannot be appreciated by the student of 
history unless he widens his vision beyond the borders of Illinois 
and casts his inquiring eyes over the whole of the United States. 
At the time of the formation of the Republic of the United 
States, it was composed, as we all know, of the thirteen original 
states of the Union. In six of these states human slavery existed 
as an institution, recognized by law. The laws of these states 
made black human beings within their borders chattels that 
could be bought and sold as cattle or sheep. These states were 
Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland 


and Delaware. The other seven states, New Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey 
and Pennsylvania, were free states. From the date of the 
adoption of the Constitution by the original thirteen states and 
the creation of the American Republic, slavery was a vital 
question upon the admission of any new state into the Union 
of States. Up to the beginning of the nineteenth century only 
three new states had been admitted into the Union. Vermont, 
Kentucky and Tennessee were admitted into the Union in the 
eighteenth century. The last of these three states to be admitted 
was Tennessee, in 1796. At the opening of the nineteenth 
century the United States of America consisted of sixteen states, 
eight of which were slave states and eight free states. In the 
nineteenth century states were admitted to the Union in the 
following order: 

Ohio, in 1802, a free state; 

Louisiana, in 1812, a slave state; 

Indiana, in 1816, a free state; 

Mississippi, in 1817, a slave state; 

Illinois, in 1818, a free state; 

Alabama, in 1819, a slave state; 

Maine, in 1820, a free state; 

Missouri, in 1821, a slave state. 

At the time this heated campaign was being carried on in 
Illinois for a constitutional convention in the years 1823 and 
1824, there were twelve free states (inclusive of Illinois) and 
twelve slave states. If Illinois had amended its constitution in 
the proposed convention called to meet in 1824 and declared for 
slavery, there would then have been in the Union thirteen slave 
and only eleven free states. In other words, if Illinois amended 
its constitution so as to favor slavery, it would have changed 
its position from among twelve free states to a position among 
thirteen slave states. As each state was entitled to two senators 
in the United States Senate, the thirteen slave states would 
have had twenty-six votes as against twenty-two senators from 
the eleven free states and no law thereafter could have been 
passed by Congress limiting or restricting slavery in the United 
States. If any new territory, north or south, applied for admis- 


sion to the Union and presented a constitution to Congress pro- 
hibiting slavery within its boundaries, the twenty-six senators 
in the Senate could prevent its admission. If the conventionists 
had succeeded at this election in calling the convention, they 
undoubtedly would have been powerful enough to have amended 
the constitution so as to provide for slavery in Illinois and the 
effect upon the future of the United States would have been 
tremendous. The thirteen slave-holding states would have been 
all-powerful for a decade at least in permitting slave-holding 
territories to be admitted to the Union and in denying state- 
hood to free soil territories. Even if they were unable in the 
lower house of Congress to pass laws extending slavery, they 
could, by their decisive majority in the Senate, have prevented 
the passage of any laws limiting or restricting slavery. 

The call for the constitutional convention in 1824 in Illinois 
brought on a great crisis in American history that affected both 
the nation and the state. If Illinois had become a slave state 
in 1824, the whole future history of the United States possibly 
and probably would have been materially changed. And yet 
the national aspect of the fight in Illinois does not seem to have 
been stressed in the campaign. The first edition of Governor 
Reynolds' history, published by N. A. Randall, at Belleville in 
1852 (now exceedingly rare and valuable), makes no mention of 
the national aspect of the campaign. In his history, "My Own 
Times," published by the Chicago Historical Society in 1879, he 
devotes two short chapters to slavery in Illinois. He was in the 
midst of the struggle and his comments upon the same, years 
afterwards, are worthy of consideration. Governor Reynolds 
writes : 

It is well known that the first introduction of slavery 
into Illinois was by Philip Francis Renault, in the year 
1720. On his passage from Europe to America he procured 
from San Domingo five hundred slaves to work the mines 
in Illinois, and these negroes are the ancestors of the 
French slaves in this state. The descendants of those slaves, 
who reside in Illinois, are now free, and are located mostly 
in and around Prairie du Rocher, in Randolph County. 

When Virginia conquered the country, and the same 
was annexed to that State, the right of property to their 


slaves was guaranteed to the inhabitants, as well as their 
other property. 

In the act of cession of the country from Virginia to 
the General Government, the right of property, slaves 
among the rest, was secured to the inhabitants of Illinois. 

The act of Congress known as the "Ordinance," which 
was passed in the year 1787, and by which the North- 
western Territory was organized as a government, pro- 
hibited, positively, the introduction of slavery into the Ter- 
ritory, and Illinois, at that time, formed a part of the 

This Ordinance was construed to operate prospectively, 
and not to operate on the French slaves in the Territory at 
the time. 

This act of Congress was the great sheet-anchor that 
secured the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois from 
slavery. I never had any doubt but slavery would now 
exist in Illinois if it had not been prevented by this famous 

Soon after the organization of the Indiana Territory, 
of which Illinois formed a part, laws were enacted by the 
Territorial legislature permitting slaves to be introduced as 
"Indentured Servants;" and under this law many were 
admitted into the Territory. 

The owner might go with his slaves before the clerk of 
the court of common pleas, and make an agreement with 
his negroes to serve the master a certain number of years, 
and then become free. The children were to serve their 
masters — the males until they were thirty-five years old, 
and the females to thirty-two years. This agreement was 
to be done within thirty days after the slave entered the 
Territory, and if the slaves would not consent tothe agree- 
ment, they might be removed out of the Territory within 
sixty days. This agreement was made a record binding on 
the parties. 

Although this proceeding was intended by the legis- 
lature to introduce a species of slavery, yet I knew many 
slaves and their families who were manumitted by the 
operation, and are now free. This act of the legislature 
operated as a kind of gradual emancipation of slavery in 
the Territory. 

Both constitutions of the State expressly prohibited 
the introduction of slavery, the first had no intention to 
manumit the French slaves, but the supreme court of the 
State, in 1845, decided that slavery, French or any other, 

For Whom Cook County Was Named 


could not exist in the State. This decision liberated all the 
French slaves in the country. 

Public opinion, being strong in this State against 
slavery, reached the bench, as well as it does every other 
department of the government, and what was right twenty 
years before was wrong in 1845, in relation to slavery. 

In 1810, one hundred and sixty-eight slaves are said to 
have been in the Territory. In 1820, they increased to nine 
hundred and seventeen; and in 1830, they decreased to 
seven hundred and forty-six. 

The Missouri question, so called at that day, 1823, more 
of a political character than the public lands, agitated little 
Illinois to the very center. The State had then not many 
more than fifty thousand inhabitants, but the subject of 
slavery was discussed in the court yards, sometimes in the 
pulpits, and at all gatherings of the people, as well as in the 
presses, and on the stump throughout the State. In the 
elections of this year, this question was the prominent ele- 
ment. At that day, there was no question of Democracy 
or Whiggery. John McLean, the member then in Congress, 
voted on the Missouri side of the question, which beat him 
at the election. Daniel P. Cook took the other side, and 
was elected. 

The discussion of this subject was bitter and acrimo- 
nious. This subject has always engendered bitter feelings 
among the people, and has a tendency to array one section 
of the Union against the other. The people in Illinois, in 
1820, were ready almost to commit violence on one another, 
and in fact the whole Union was so agitated that, like an 
earthquake, no one knew when it would subside, and all 
friends of the integrity of the Union were alarmed and 
shuddered at the fearful consequences of the agitation, and 
the sectional feelings produced on the occasion. The public 
agitation of the subject of slavery, and particularly in the 
halls of Congress, should be avoided as much as possible. 

Governor Reynolds' statement that the "whole Union was so 
agitated" is the only reference to national interest in the elec- 
tion that I can find in his writings. Governor Ford in his his- 
tory published in 1854 in no place indicates that there was 
national interest in the election at the time it was held. Smith 
in his history, however, does state that "the press of the South 
as well as the papers of St. Louis, which had a considerable 
circulation in Illinois at that time, ably supported the conven- 


tion." He also states that Henry Biddle, Roberts Vaux and other 
rich Quakers in Philadelphia aided the anti-conventionists, prin- 
cipally with literature. Still, I do not find that the effect of the 
election upon the nation at large was stressed at the time of the 
contest by the speakers and writers engaged therein. 

Before leaving this very interesting subject it is proper to 
make comment upon the unfortunate and undeserved result of 
this election upon the future prospects of the two most able 
and devoted friends of human freedom. Governor Coles and 
Morris Birkbeck did more than any other two men in the state 
to prevent it becoming tainted with the curse of slavery. Gov- 
ernor Coles' nominations to office were all rejected by the pro- 
slavery Senate and his recommendations to the Legislature were 
ignored. As a candidate for the United States Senate he was 
defeated, the Legislature electing Elias Kent Kane over him. 
Soon after he was sued by the State to recover $200 for each 
slave that he brought into the state and freed without giving 
bond of $200 for the good behavior of each freed slave. The 
State actually recovered judgment against him for $2,000, which 
hung over his head for some years. To add to his misfortunes 
all of the buildings and improvements on his farm near Edwards- 
ville were destroyed by an incendiary fire. 

Birkbeck was nominated by Governor Coles as secretary of 
state, but the nomination was rejected by the Senate. His farm- 
ing investments brought but poor returns ; he lost many friends ; 
was charged with being an infidel; was hanged in effigy and 
forced to flee for his life and drowned while crossing a river. 
The misfortunes suffered by these two able, upright and cou- 
rageous men offer but another instance of the proverbial "in- 
gratitude of republics." Well might Governor Coles have cried, 
in the words of Cardinal Wolsey : 

"Had I but served my God with half the zeal 
I served my State, He would not in mine age 
Have left me naked to my enemies." 



When Illinois became a state in the United States of America, 
December 3, 1818, it did so under exceptionally fortunate cir- 
cumstances for early growth and development of a democratic 
form of government. Up to that date its inhabitants had little, 
if any, experience in self-government. Such government as had 
been imposed upon them during most of the time from the 
French occupation in 1673 to 1763, when France surrendered to 
Great Britain ; from 1763 under British domination until George 
Rogers Clark's forceful invasion in 1778, and then down to Gov- 
ernor St. Clair's appearance with United States credentials in 
1790, was wholly autocratic or oligarchical. They were never 
consulted as to its form or conditions, and never had an oppor- 
tunity to voice their desires at the ballot box. Even under 
United States Territorial rule from 1790 down to 1818, as part 
of the Northwest Territory, the Indiana Territory or the Illinois 
Territory, their participation in the making of laws or selecting 
their own officials even when they were in territories of the 
second class, was so limited by the qualifications thrown around 
those who were entitled to vote, that self rule was a shadow or 
a sham. They were so accustomed to oligarchical rule and so 
timid in asserting state sovereignty when they framed the Con- 
stitution of 1818, that in that instrument they provided that 
the people could elect only the governor, lieutenant-governor, 
sheriff, coroner and members of the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives. Under that instrument all other officials, including 
judges, were to be selected by the governor or the Legislature, 
or both. A jump from absolute oligarchy to full democracy 
seemed to the men of that day too hazardous a risk. The time 
for development, however, political, industrial and commercial, 
was propitious. 



The War of 1812 had settled forever all fear of British 
aggression from Canada and had paralyzed the fighting spirit 
of the Indians. The Government of the United States had 
secured title to the Indian lands and was just beginning to 
throw these lands upon the market. Steamboats were appear- 
ing on the Ohio and Mississippi, displacing the keelboats and 
flatboats hitherto used for navigation. The Erie Canal was 
being dug between Albany and Buffalo, and financiers were 
planning to construct another canal from the Delaware River 
to the Ohio. Above all, the confederated states of the United 
States had sensed their existence and power as a nation, both 
internally and externally, in dealing with each other and with 
foreign nations. 

The Congress of the United States, in enacting laws, was 
broadening the Federal power. The Supreme Court of the 
United States was construing each stretch of Congress for 
power as within its right; and the United States Government 
was enacting laws which would develop its commerce on the 
high seas, and into foreign lands, and limiting the importation 
of foreign products into and through American ports. 

Let us note a few of these matters, so that we can see their 
importance in the development of the United States and the 
newly-created State of Illinois. In 1816, on the recommendation 
of President Madison, Congress chartered the second United 
States Bank with a capital of $35,000,000, one-fifth of which 
was contributed by the United States, the United States Govern- 
ment electing one-fifth of its directors. At this time there were 
about 300 state banks in existence, but very few of which were 
on a specie payment basis. The law creating the United States 
Bank required that after the creation of this bank, it would 
become a depository of United States funds, and that any state 
bank that did not operate on a specie paying basis could not 
become a United States depository. This law was attacked by 
the State of Maryland as unconstitutional, but the Supreme 
Court of the United States declared through Chief Justice Mar- 
shall that "a national bank is an appropriate means to carry 
out some of the implied power conferred on the National Gov- 
ernment by the Constitution. If the end is within the scope of 


the Constitution, all means which are adapted to that end, and 
which are consistent with the spirit of the organic law, are con- 

The epochal decision was rendered in 1819, during which 
year a widespread financial panic swept over the country, caus- 
ing the failure of many state banks and mercantile establish- 
ments. The causes of this panic were several. During the 
second administration of President Jefferson, 1804 to 1808, the 
Napoleonic war between France and Great Britain was con- 
ducted on the high seas with a total disregard of the rights of 
neutral nations. American ships, which before the outbreak of 
that war were carrying on a large and lucrative business, were 
halted on the ocean by armored cruisers of both belligerents, 
but mostly by the British, their cargoes seized, and their seamen 
arrested, and impressed into the British service. These acts 
practically destroyed American commerce and would have justi- 
fied a declaration of war by the United States against either or 
both of the belligerent nations. Jefferson, however, was averse 
to war, and both he and his Secretary of State, Madison (after- 
wards President), were lovers of peace. Instead of resorting 
to war in a wholly unprepared condition for same, either from 
a military or financial standpoint, Jefferson resorted to retalia- 
tory legislation in Congress. At his request Congress enacted 
a law ordering all British vessels out of American harbors ; and 
another law, called the Embargo Act, compelling American 
vessels to refrain from carrying on foreign commerce; and still 
another non-intercourse act, prohibiting all commerce with 
Great Britain. These laws, enacted for the purpose of crippling 
the English, however, turned out to be more effective in destroy- 
ing American commerce and paralyzing the shipping trade of 
the United States. The continued confiscation of American 
property and ships, and the impressment of American seamen 
into the British service, however, so inflamed the American 
people that finally in 1812, under President Madison, war was 
declared by Congress against Great Britain. The destruction 
of American shipping during the Napoleonic war, and the finan- 
cial burdens imposed upon the young nation by the expense of 
the war, was one of the causes of the panic of 1819. The war 


had cost the nation by 1814 over $100,000,000 and over 30,000 
human lives and the destruction of the nation's trade and com- 

Another cause of the financial panic of 1819 was the almost 
total absence of reliable banking currency and bills of exchange. 
The charter of the first United States Bank had expired in 1811. 
It had furnished an excellent currency, which was now with- 
drawn. Its place was taken in 1811 by state bank currency, 
which proved disastrous. These state banks sprung into exist- 
ence like mushrooms between 1811 and 1816. Some authorities 
number them at 300; others between 250 and 300. Very few 
of them where on a specie paying basis, and many of them could 
be negotiated only at enormous discounts. How a war could be 
carried on successfully with such a currency system in vogue was 
a mystery. 

By 1816 the Jeffersonian Republican party, then in power, 
which had opposed the creation of the first United States Bank, 
reversed its policy and declared in favor of the creation of the 
second United States Bank. President Madison surmounted the 
prejudices of a lifetime, it is said, and cheerfully signed the bill. 
Henry Clay disregarded his former views of hostility towards 
a national bank, and actively advocated and voted for the bill. 
While the law creating the bank was enacted in 1816, the attack 
upon its constitutionality by the State of Maryland delayed the 
going into effect of its wholesome provisions until Chief Justice 
Marshall declared it constitutional in 1819. The law creating 
this bank compelled the state banks to become specie payment 
banks or cease to become government depositories. This drove 
the weak banks into liquidation, and created widespread distress 
among the manufacturing interests, but in a few short years it 
established a state currency, and restored public confidence and 
encouraged trade and industry. 

Another class of laws enacted by Congress about this time 
which gave enormous impetus to the development of the nation 
and its manufacturing interests were the protective tariff laws. 
Great Britain had been furnishing the young republic, from the 
day of its birth to the days of Madison, with all the manufac- 
tured products in use among its people. The Embargo and 



Non-Intercourse policies of Jefferson and the decrees and orders 
of the British Council had worked a change in the economic life 
of the American people. When they were unable to procure 
manufactured articles they needed from abroad, they began in 
a crude but energetic way to manufacture substitutes therefor 
in American shops and homes. These substitutes may not have 
been as elegant and polished as the foreign articles, but they 
were useful and in demand. When peace was declared in 1814, 

Rock Springs Seminary 

Built by the Rev. John Peck in 1826. 

the foreign-made articles again appeared in the American mar- 
ket, and as they were more finished in appearance and more 
cheaply manufactured, they threatened the growth of American 
manufactures. The infant industries of the Americans were 
being impaired by foreign competition. This situation gave 
birth to the American doctrine of a "protective tariff." 

Prior to the Napoleonic war, the American people had been 
content to ship abroad, and particularly to England, their raw 
products, lumber, cotton, tobacco, fish, hides, wool, pig-iron and 
cereals, and to purchase all manufactured articles, such as tools, 
machinery, furniture, leather, woolens, cotton goods, clothing, 


iron and steel goods, jewelry, silks, coffees, teas, carpets and 
other manufactured necessities and luxuries from England and 
France. When trade in these articles was cut off by the Na- 
poleonic wars, the British orders in Council and the American 
Embargo and Non-Intercourse laws, the need of such manufac- 
tured articles brought about the creation of the incipient manu- 
facturers of America, and when these young industries were 
threatened with extinction by foreign competition, Congress 
acted promptly. In 1816 it passed a protective tariff law and 
this law and other tariff laws of like character, subsequently 
passed, saved the "infant industries" of the nation and started 
the manufacturing industries of the United States on a career 
which enables them today to sell their products in all the seven 
seas of the world in competition with all the great manufactur- 
ing countries on earth. Some of these "infant industries" in 
modern times have grown so enormously that laws passed for 
their further nourishment are and will be regarded as extor- 
tionate rather than protective legislation. 

From a consideration of the foregoing pregnant occurrences 
which took place within a few years of the admission of Illinois 
to the Union, it can be easily seen why the time was propitious 
for an early and tremendous development of the nation and the 
infant state. Let us summarize these occurrences chronologically : 
In 1814 a treaty of peace had been signed with Great Britain 
which ended a costly war forced upon the United States, when 
it was poor and unprepared for war, by the arrogant and inde- 
fensible conduct of Great Britain upon the high seas. Under 
the terms of that treaty the British evacuated Detroit and other 
posts in the United States held by them, and left the United 
States free to deal with their Indian allies who were not made 
parties to the treaty. This abandonment of their Indian allies 
by Great Britain placed the Indian tribes at the mercy of the 
Americans. In 1816 Congress commenced its policy of develop- 
ing American manufactures, and weakening the sale of British 
goods in America, by enacting protective tariff laws. In 1816 
Congress established the United States Bank which would secure 
to the people reliable currency and bills of exchange and restore 
public confidence in the Government and in all commercial trans- 


actions. In 1818 Illinois was admitted to statehood. In 1819 
the Supreme Court sustained the constitutionality of the United 
States Bank law, thus confirming in the people the possession 
and use of a currency system which was both reliable and im- 
pregnable. The last of these occurrences took place at a time 
when, owing to an absurd if not grotesque system of state banks 
established under unscientific and inadequate state laws, had 
created a financial panic throughout the nation. 

Within a few short years after the passage of the foregoing 
Federal laws, the nation had recovered from its financial dis- 
tress, and the young State of Illinois began its march to great- 
ness, but not until it, too, had suffered from the vagaries of 
inefficient and unskilful banking laws. 

As manufacturing began to develop in the North and East, 
which occurred after the passage of protective tariff laws, the 
demand for farm products in the West began to increase, and in 
the '20s and '30s of the eighteenth century, immigrants began 
to pour into Illinois. In 1830 the population had increased to 
157,000, and in 1840 it was 476,000. 


When Illinois became a state, James Monroe was President 
of the United States. Monroe was the successor of James 
Madison, under whom he had served as Secretary of State, 
just as Madison was the successor of and had been the Secretary 
of State under Jefferson. Both had been trained in and were 
devoted to the principles of Jeffersonian Democracy, which 
had enunciated and upheld the following principles : 

Equal and exact justice to all, peace and friendship with all 
nations, alliances with none, the preservation of the rights of 
the national government, free elections, free speech, free press, 
reliance upon a disciplined militia, public economy, encourage- 
ment to agriculture and commerce, trial by jury, the habeas 
corpus and the exercise of persuasion before resorting to force. 

Jefferson, Madison and Monroe all were members of the 
party then called Republican. The Federalist party, that was 
in the ascendancy under President John Adams, had been routed 
and was in a hopeless condition of decline and public disfavor. 
John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State under Monroe, had 
abandoned the Federalist party of his father and joined the 
Republicans, temporarily, at least. 

The commerce and shipping of the Republic had been shot 
to pieces by the Orders in Council of Great Britain, the Napole- 
onic wars, and the Embargo acts of the American Congress 
prior to and during the War of 1812 with Great Britain. During 
the war, from 1812 until 1814, the country was compelled to 
incur great indebtedness and its commerce was destroyed. When 
the treaty of peace was signed in 1814, its business was pros- 
trated, and in 1819 a financial panic swept the country largely 
as a result of its destroyed business, its blunders in banking 



and its lack of a reliable medium of exchange, sometimes called 

The charter of the United States Bank, created by Hamilton, 
had expired in 1811. Its petition for a new charter had been 
denied by a majority of one in the Senate and one in the House. 
When its charter expired a mushroom growth of state banks 
sprang into existence. In 1816 there were 246 of these state 
banks. The deluge of bank notes put into circulation as the 
result was disastrous. These notes could not be redeemed in 
specie, and there were no legal remedies for the refusal to 
redeem. Under the stress of the embargo and non-intercourse 
policies pursued by Congress, and the constant refusal to redeem 
in specie, these bank notes rapidly depreciated in value. During 
the war most of the banks suspended specie payments, causing 
great financial losses and general economic distress. 

At this junction the Republicans, who in the past had opposed 
granting an extension of the charter of the United States Bank, 
recognized the dangerous condition of the finances and the 
trade of the country, and changed their policy with reference 
to the establishment of a United States Bank, whose paper 
would pass current as redeemable in specie. In 1816 the United 
States Bank was chartered by a Congress composed of members, 
a great majority of whom were identified with the Republican 
party. Henry Clay, who was largely instrumental in defeating 
the recharter of the former United States Bank in 1811, left 
the speaker's chair to advocate the passage of the law creating 
the new bank in 1816, and President Madison signed the bill 
cheerfully and promptly. It took some time, however, after the 
creation of this Federal bank before specie payment was 
resumed. The new bank was patterned along the same lines 
as the old one, but the capital was $35,000,000, while that of 
the old bank was only $10,000,000. The Government held one- 
fifth of the stock and appointed five out of the twenty-five 

Another new departure in politics occurred at this time in 
the powerful Republican party which afterwards became known 
as the protective tariff policy. Before the War of 1812 most 
manufactured articles in common use among the people were 


imported from abroad, mostly from England. The war shut 
off these importations and the Americans began in a feeble 
and inexpert way to manufacture all the necessities and some 
of the luxuries of modern life. After the treaty of peace was 
signed in 1814, the country was soon flooded with British manu- 
factured goods which could be made and sold much more cheaply 
in the low-wage factories of England. They were underselling 
and ruining American manufacturers. There were then in 
truth and in fact many real "infant industries" that were 
suffering from the competition, and the Republican party of 
Jefferson, Madison and Monroe recognized the necessity of pro- 
tecting these young industries by compelling foreign importers 
to pay an import duty sufficiently high to enable the home indus- 
tries to prosper and develop. The adoption of this policy and 
the creation of a stable currency soon brought to the whole 
country an era of prosperity. The Federal party disappeared. 
Political animosities died out for a time and a situation developed 
which was called at that date "The Era of Good Feeling." This 
was the political situation from a national standpoint at the 
time of the admission of Illinois into the Union and it continued 
until the election of John Quincy Adams to the Presidency in 
1825. There was no political difference on public questions in 
Illinois up to that time except upon slavery. All other contests 
were contests of personality. It was simply a succession of 
struggles between men, as to whom should hold office until 
Adams was chosen as President by Congress over Andrew 

In this struggle of personalities for office in Illinois before 
1825, one man was so pre-eminent, and for a time so dominant 
and successful, as to give his name to one of these conflicting 
forces. Ninian Edwards, before he moved to Illinois, was a 
prominent and influential citizen of Kentucky, a member of the 
Supreme Court of that state, and a cultured, well-educated gentle- 
man. Through the influence of Henry Clay and other powerful 
friends, he had been appointed Territorial Governor of Illinois 
and had occupied that position for nine consecutive years. Upon 
admission of Illinois into the Union he was promptly elected 
to the United States Senate and remained in that exalted body 

Nathaniel Pope 

Territorial Delegate to Congress in 1818. 


for six years. Afterwards, in December, 1826, he was inaugu- 
rated governor of the State of Illinois. By reason of his high 
character, his influential connections, his culture and his long 
continuance in public office, he easily secured the leadership of 
the office-seeking coterie which was called the "Edwards party." 
Those who opposed him and his coterie of friends had no such 
a pre-eminent leader as Edwards, although they did have among 
their members some very able men. The opponents of the 
name to their combination and consequently were known as 
the "Anti-Edwards party." Attached to the Edwardsites were 
the following men: Nathaniel Pope, former territorial delegate 
from Illinois to Congress, who had succeeded in moving the 
northern line of Illinois fifty-one miles northward and securing 
the admission of Illinois to statehood. He had, however, been 
made a Federal Judge, which prevented his open and active 
participation in politics. He was a cousin of Edwards and 
helped him in all his struggles. Another ardent supporter of 
Edwards was Judge Pope's nephew, Daniel Pope Cook, a very 
able and popular young man who married Governor Edwards' 
daughter. Judge Thomas C. Brown, chosen for the Supreme 
bench of Illinois, was also one of the Edwards party. Attached 
to the Edwards' interests also were Benjamin Stephenson, Wil- 
liam Kinney, Richard M. Johnson and James Johnson, all of 
whom were interested financially with Governor Edwards in 
the Edwardsville Bank and real estate ventures. Among the 
prominent and influential men who formed the "anti-Edwards" 
party may be mentioned the following: Elias Kent Kane was 
the leading spirit in the first Constitutional Convention and 
more actively participated in the writing of that instrument 
than any other one man. He was elected to the United States 
Senate from Illinois and served two terms in that body. John 
McLean, who was defeated by Cook for Congress, but was 
elected United States senator to succeed Governor Edwards. 
Jesse B. Thomas, the leader of the anti-Edwards party. He 
had been successively Territorial Judge, president of the Con- 
stitutional Convention and United States Senator from 1818 
until 1829. Shadrach Bond, the first state governor of Illinois, 
was also a member of the anti-Edwards party. Joseph Duncan, 


originally not identified with either party, was taken up by 
the anti-Edwards party and nominated by it for Congress against 
Congressman David Pope Cook, theretofore unbeatable, and 
succeeded in winning over that formidable antagonist. He was 
afterwards elected governor of Illinois. John Reynolds was also 
one of the anti-Edwards party. He had as a private served 
in the War of 1812, and was elected judge of the Supreme Court 
from 1818 to 1824. Towards the end of Governor Edwards' 
term, however, Reynolds entered into an alliance with Governor 
Edwards, and was himself elected governor of the state in 1830. 
Governor Reynolds wrote an interesting history of the Territory 
of Illinois up to its admission into the Union, which was pub- 
lished in 1852, and another historical work entitled "My Own 
Times," published (or republished) in 1879. He must be dis- 
tinguished from Thomas Reynolds, his uncle, who was also a 
distinguished citizen and official in early Illinois history. He, 
Thomas, was a member of the Supreme Court at the same time 
that his nephew, John Reynolds, was a member of that body. 
Rev. William Kinney, a Baptist preacher, was originally one 
of the anti-Edwards party, and was elected lieutenant-governor 
over the Rev. S. M. Thompson, who was Edwards' running 
mate in 1826. 

At the first election for governor, in 1818, both factions 
were agreed in supporting Shadrach Bond; but in the election 
for senators, Edwards, while successful, was compelled to sit 
in the Senate with his rival, Judge Jesse B. Thomas. The rivalry 
and antagonism between these two able men widened and deep- 
ened during their joint senatorial careers. Thomas succeeded 
in procuring from William H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, the appointment of himself to the lucrative position of 
United States examiner of western land offices. Cook, the 
member of Congress from Illinois, and son-in-law of Edwards, 
attacked Crawford vigorously and persistently for so doing, 
charging improper conduct against both Crawford and Thomas, 
but both were exonerated in the congressional committee report. 
At this time both Crawford and John C. Calhoun were candidates 
for the Presidency and Calhoun's friends in Congress doubtless 
supported Cook in his charges against Crawford and Thomas, 


hoping thus to discredit Crawford and weaken his prospects 
for a Presidential nomination. Edwards himself became badly 
involved in the controversy. He attacked Crawford's policy 
in reference to the western banks in the Senate, using certain 
material which Cook had dug up in the House, in his demand 
for the production of official documents in Crawford's office 
which he believed would discredit Crawford. The latter retorted 
by showing Edwards' connection with the Edwardsville Bank, 
which had failed owing the United States Treasury some 
$50,000. Both Edwards and his friends were stockholders in 
this bank. Edwards rejoined that he, Edwards, had in a letter 
warned the United States Treasury of the weak financial condi- 
tion of the bank before it failed. This Crawford denied and 
the controversy simmered down to a question of personal veracity 
between Edwards and Crawford without sufficient corroboration 
on Edwards' part, and Crawford secured a vindication from 
Congress. The publication of letters attacking Crawford, signed 
A. B., was traced to Edwards and his failure to maintain the 
charges made therein brought discredit upon the writer and 
discouragement to him and his friends at a time when they 
were endeavoring to prevent Thomas' reelection to the Senate. 
About the same time Edwards became badly embarrassed finan- 
cially and weakened in health. During the senatorial session 
of 1822-1823 he rarely appeared in his seat in the Senate and 
finally sought from the President the appointment for himself 
as minister to Mexico. Cook's energy and influence secured 
this appointment, but when he failed to substantiate the charges 
made by him against Crawford under the nom de plume of 
"A. B." he was compelled to resign this appointment. Prior to so 
doing, he had resigned his senatorship in order to accept the 
Presidential appointment and he was thus returned for a time to 
private life. His son-in-law, Cook, however, was still successful 
in upholding the Edwards flag and in retaining his place in 
Congress. He had defeated McLean in 1817 and 1822, Kane 
in 1820 and Bond in 1824 when they sought election to Congress. 
He had developed a tremendous personal popularity which car- 
ried him again and again to success. His intimacy with Edwards 
and his identification with him and his policies had not as yet 


weakened his hold on the people. A time was now approaching 
when that popularity was to be put to the test with disastrous 

During the presidential election of 1824, Cook had pledged 
himself to cast his vote in Congress, if the choice for President 
came before that body, for the candidate whom a majority of 
popular vote indicated to be the popular choice. There were 
four candidates for the Presidency in the field, Jackson, Adams, 
Clay and Crawford. In the state at large, Jackson received 
1,272 votes ; Adams, 1,542 ; Clay, 1,047, and Crawford, 219. In 
this computation, however, there were excluded 629 votes cast 
for Turney as presidential elector. Turney had pledged himself 
to vote for either Jackson or Clay. If the votes for Turney 
were added to those given either to Jackson or to Clay, Jackson 
would be credited with 1,901 or Clay would have been credited 
with 1,676. In either event Jackson or Clay would have received 
more votes than Adams. If given to Jackson he would have 
had an enormous majority over Adams. 

This was the situation when the election of the President 
was thrown into the House of Representatives, by reason of 
the fact that none of the four candidates had received a majority 
of the electoral vote. That electoral vote had been cast as 
follows: Jackson had received ninety-nine votes, Adams eighty- 
four, Crawford forty-one and Clay thirty-seven. Jackson had 
received a plurality of the popular vote. Under the Constitution 
there was no election and the same Constitution required that 
the House of Representatives should select the President from 
among the three candidates that had received the largest number 
of electoral votes. This eliminated Henry Clay, then Speaker 
of the House. Crawford's chances of selection were shattered 
by a stroke of paralysis, leaving only Jackson and Adams as 
real contenders. In this junction, the situation in which Cook, 
the Illinois Congressman, was placed was powerful as well as 
critical. As the vote for the Presidency in the House was taken 
by states and the successful candidate must secure a majority 
of the states, a single congressman of the state which had only 
one congressman, or a majority of the congressmen in a state, 
could determine the vote of that state for the Presidency. Cook 

Providing for the' establishment -of Free Schools* 

To enjoy our rights and liberties, we must understand them: their security and protectioa ought to be 
% foe first object of a free people; and ft is a welle#al4ijd»ed,&^ 

3 in the enjoyment of civil and political freedom, which w,as not both * irtuous and enlightened : and believ* 

4 lag that the advancement of literature always has been, and ever will be,- the means of developing more; 

5 fully the rights of manj that the mind of every citbsea in a republic is the common property of society, 
u ami constitutes the basis of its strength and happinessr it is therefore considered the peculiar duty of a 

7 free government like ours, to encourage and extend the improvement and cultivation of the intellectual 
$ energies of -the whole; Therefore, 

Sac. 1. Be it malted foj the People of ike SMe of JUlm>\$ represented in the General Jls$embhj, That 
S there shall be established a common school or schools In each of the counties of this state, which shall 
»: he of en and free to every class of white citizens between the ages of five aad eighteen years, 

Szc, 2. Bi U further enacted, That the county commissioners' courts shall, from time to time, form 
t school districts la their respective counties, whenever a petition may be presented for that purpose, by 

5 a majority of the qualified voters resident within such contemplated district: Prottded, That ail Safeb 
4 districts, when laid off, shall, respectively, contain not less tbaaiblr'ry families. 

Sec. 3, Be U further mscttd, That the legal voters in each district to be established as aforesaid, 
&'. may have a meeting at any time thereafter, by giving ten days previous notice of the time and place of 

8 holding the same; at which meeting they may proceed by ballot to elect three trustees, one clerk, one 
4 treasurer, one assessor, and.oae collector, who shall respectively take an oath of office faithfully to <lis* 

6 charge their respective duties, 

Sec. 4. Bi U farther enacted. That it shall be the duty of the trustees to superintend the schools 
•3 within their respective districts, to examine and employ teachers, to lease all land belonging to the dhv* 

3 twet, to call meetings of the voters whenever they shall deem it expedient, or at any time when reqses*- 

4 ted so to do by.ftre legal voters, by giving to each one at least five days notice of the time and place of 

5 holding the same, appointing one or more persons living within tha district -to serve the necessary 
8 notice, fa make an annual report to the county commissioners* court of the proper county of the nam* 

' 7 ber of children living within the bounds of such district, between the ages of five and eighteen years, 

8 and what number of them are actually sent to school, with a certificate of the time a school is actually 
kept up iii the district, with the probable expense of the same. ♦ 

•Sec, a. Be it further enacted, That each and cv&ry school district, when established and organised as 
3 aforesaid) sisal! be, and they are'hweby, constituted a body politic and corporate, so far as to commence 

9 and maintain actions on aey agreement made with any person or persons for the aoa-perfomaace 

Facsimile of First Page of Original Bill Creating Free 
Schools in Illinois, 1825 

From Illinois Blue Book. 


was in that position and could determine the vote for Illinois. 
He cast it for Adams and not for the candidate who had received 
the plurality of both the electoral and popular vote, Andrew 

In 1826, when he came up for reelection he was compelled 
to face the charge that he had violated his own pledge to the 
people in 1824, and the charge that he had defied the popular 
demand not only in his own state, but in the nation. He was 
further handicapped by the fact that his father-in-law, Edwards, 
who had been defeated for reelection as United States Senator, 
was running for governor of the state at the same time that he, 
the son-in-law, was running for Congress. The resentment of 
the people caused by his vote in Congress against the popular 
hero, Jackson, and his connection with the Edwards family 
oligarchy, proved too much to overcome. Joseph Duncan, a 
modest newcomer into public life as state senator from 1824 
to 1826, sensed the state of popular feeling correctly, and 
although by no means as able a campaigner as Cook, offered 
himself as candidate for Congress against Cook and beat him 
decisively. It was the first occasion since the admission of 
Illinois to statehood that Cook failed to receive popular approval 
at the polls, although he had sought public office every two years 
from 1818. His defeat was the beginning of the end of the 
Edwards dynasty. 

Strange to say, at the same election at which the popular 
Cook went down to defeat, his father-in-law, Edwards, was 
elected governor, although he had been beaten for United States 
senator by John McLean only two years before. From 1809 
down to 1824 he had been continuously in public office as Terri- 
torial Governor and United States Senator, and in 1825 was 
for the first time in sixteen years without public office. He 
had also suffered serious financial reverses by reason of his 
connection with an insolvent bank and rather questionable land 
speculation. His success by a narrow majority over Sloo, his 
principal opponent, was probably due to the weakness of that 
opponent, who was not widely known nor possessed of a forceful 
personality. Sympathy with the reduced fortunes of the former 
governor and senator and remembrance of some of the many 


good things he did in public life may also have contributed 
to his election. Although his popularity with the masses was 
perceptibly fading, by this election Edwards had received a 
qualified vindication, and at his inauguration as governor, in 
December, 1826, he appeared before the Legislature with all 
the pomp and glory of early days, costumed in knee-breeches, 
silk stockings, ruffles and powdered hair. He had, however, an 
unsympathetic Legislature that paid little attention to most of 
his recommendations. 

One of the good laws that was passed during Edwards' incum- 
bency was that which made provision for the establishment of 
a penitentiary. Up to that time no penitentiary for the punish- 
ment of crime and no decent jails had been built in Illinois. 
Because of the non-existence of such places practically no pris- 
oners were sentenced to imprisonment. They were either sen- 
tenced to whipping, branding, leased out to the highest bidder 
for enforced labor, or hung. The criminal code of the state 
tolerated all these atrocious penalties and was a disgrace to the 
state. John Reynolds, who had been on the Supreme bench 
and who was afterward to be elected governor, was the impelling 
personality who secured the passage of the penitentiary law. 
Having encountered on the bench the enormity of the criminal 
code, he earnestly pressed home upon his fellow-legislators, that 
the criminal code must be amended, and that before such an 
amendment could be secured, there must be created a place where 
imprisonment could be enforced and thus supplant legal bru- 
tality. The finances of the state at the time, however, were in 
such a frightfully depressed condition that money could not be 
found to build the proposed penitentiary. Reynolds got around 
this situation by getting the Legislature to pass a petition to 
Congress to donate to the state the Saline lands reserved by 
the United States for the manufacture of salt. The timber on 
this land used for salt manufacture, had all been consumed and 
the land had been practically worthless for salt manufacture 
for some time. The petition was adopted by the Legislature 
and granted by Congress. The state thus secured about 80,000 
acres of land which it sold for farming and other purposes and 
used part of the proceeds in building a penitentiary which was 


completed and further enlarged and developed by Reynolds 
when he became governor. 

The election of Governor Edwards by a reduced majority, 
was the last success of the so-called Edwards party. Its popu- 
larity had waned and its power greatly weakened by the defeat 
of Cook. It went into a rapid decline during Edwards' admin- 
istration and exerted no influence in the state thereafter. Jack- 
sonian Democracy had appeared upon the scene and local squab- 
bles for office gave way to national questions in political life. 

A brief reference to the important occurrences and accom- 
plishments of the three gubernatorial administrations of Gov- 
ernors Bond, Coles and Edwards, the three first state governors 
of Illinois, is appropriate before we leave this ten-year era. 

After Nathaniel Pope, the territorial delegate, had succeeded 
in amending the petition of the Illinois Territory for admission 
to statehood so as to move the northern boundary of the state 
fifty-one miles north of the most southerly point of Lake Michi- 
gan; and securing the adoption of the amended petition by 
Congress, the new state adopted a constitution and elected offi- 
cials. Congress then approved the constitution so adopted and 
formally admitted the State of Illinois into the Union. Shadrach 
Bond, elected without opposition, was inaugurated governor, 
October 6, 1818. About two years afterward the seat of govern- 
ment was moved from Kaskaskia to Vandalia, this being the 
outstanding event of the Bond administration. Edward Coles 
was elected his successor and was inaugurated in 1822, The 
fierce struggle for a new convention to amend the constitution 
so as to make Illinois a slave state, which has heretofore been 
commented upon, was the outstanding occurrence in the Coles' 
administration. The governor bitterly and successfully opposed 
the holding of this convention, and with the assistance of able 
friends of human liberty heretofore mentioned, saved the young 
state from obloquy and the disgrace of tolerating human slavery 
within its borders. General Lafayette visited Illinois during the 
Coles administration, and was received with all possible honor 
and acclaim. The new State House at Vandalia was destroyed 
by fire December 9, 1823, during Coles' administration, and was 
rebuilt by the citizens of Vandalia at a cost of $15,000. This, 


however, proved an "Indian gift," as the citizens sought after- 
wards and obtained reimbursement for the money subscribed 
for the rebuilding. The first general school law was also passed 
in 1825, during Coles' incumbency, at the instigation of Senator 
Duncan, afterwards elected governor. 

Ninian Edwards, formerly Territorial Governor and United 
States Senator, succeeded Coles in 1826. During the Edwards 
administration the Legislature, over the veto of the governor 
and his Supreme Court advisory board, passed the grotesque 
and dangerous law creating a State Bank with power to loan 
money to insolvent debtors, elsewhere noted in these volumes. 
The folly of this law, was demonstrated very soon, the bank 
was closed, and its liabilities settled by the issue of state bonds 
during the very next administration, that of Governor Reynolds. 



Up to the year 1828, as we have seen, all elections in Illinois 
were simply struggles of individuals to obtain office. From 1818, 
when Illinois became a state, until the election of John Quincy 
Adams to the presidency by Congress in 1824, there was prac- 
tically but one national party in politics, the Republican party 
founded by Thomas Jefferson and perpetuated by him and his 
successors, James Madison and James Monroe, from 1801 to 
1825. In 1809 the Federalist party had been starved to death 
from want of political nourishment, or, in other words, from 
lack of votes at the polls. An "era of good feeling" had set in 
and for twenty-four years the Republican party had practically 
no opposition. In 1824 five different candidates sought the presi- 
dency, all of them ostensibly members of the Republican party. 
They were Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Wil- 
liam H. Crawford and John Quincy Adams. Crawford was Sec- 
retary of the Treasury and Adams Secretary of State in Presi- 
dent Monroe's cabinet. Both of them must have claimed to have 
been members of the Republican party or they would not have 
been chosen for such responsible positions in the cabinet of the 
Republican President. None of the five candidates received a 
majority in the electoral college, although Jackson had a large 
plurality in the electoral college and a plurality in the popular 

As we have heretofore seen, the election of the presidency 
was thrown into the House of Representatives, where Adams 
was elected President. The election of Adams caused a split in 
the Republican party which widened and deepened until the 
next presidential election. One element of the party called itself 
the National Republican party and nominated Adams for the 
presidency, while the other element nominated Andrew Jackson 
as the candidate of the Democratic party. Thus came into being 



in American politics, both in the nation and state, the name and 
party since known as the National Democratic party. 

It will be remembered that at the election for the presidency 
in the House of Representatives in 1824, Daniel Pope Cook, the 
Illinois representative in that body, cast the vote of Illinois for 
Adams and not for Jackson. In so doing, although he may have 
acted with the best of motives and according to the dictates of 
his own conscience and sense of patriotic duty, he committed a 
political blunder which was the main cause of his defeat in 1826 
and his elimination from public life until his death, which 
occurred about 1830. In the minds of the common people in 
Illinois and elsewhere, in 1825 and thereafter, Jackson had be- 
come an idolized hero. Although he was known to be hot- 
tempered and headstrong, his patriotism and devotion to the 
well-being of the common people, his courage and sagacity as 
a soldier and his glorious record on the battle-fields of the nation 
had endeared him to the average run of humanity above all other 
Americans of his day. His domestic life was clean, his integrity 
universally conceded, his patriotism unquestioned, his energy 
boundless and his intentions honorable and upright. As devoid 
of early education as was Lincoln, he lacked the latter's thirst 
for same. He was a doer of great deeds rather than a thinker 
of great thoughts. Both on the battle-field and in the White 
House he acted with dynamic force that carried all before it. 
His vigorous, although at times hasty and explosive acts, en- 
deared him to a people who were then, both in Illinois and 
throughout the nation, becoming more and more democratized. 
Up to the advent of Jackson the nation's executives and the 
executives of Illinois had been taken from what was at that time 
regarded as the cultured, well-born classes, and the elective fran- 
chise in Illinois had been limited to property owners, as well as 
in many other states. These restrictions on the right of voting 
had recently been giving way before the popular demand for 
manhood suffrage, and the poor and uneducated were beginning 
to understand their power in participating in the machinery of 
government. They were democratizing the nation in thought 
and action. In Jackson, comparatively poor and uneducated, 
who talked, lived and fought in democratic fashion, they recog- 


nized one of themselves, extraordinarily forceful, able and suc- 
cessful. He thus became a popular idol and by reason of his 
incorruptible integrity and exalted patriotism so remained until 
his death and throughout history. 

The casting of the vote of Illinois by Cook for Adams and 
against Jackson, the popular idol, together with his close affilia- 
tion both socially and politically with the "Edwards dynasty," 
brought to a close Cook's splendid career in the history of Illi- 
nois. His greatest reward (not then probably appreciated in its 
full importance) was to have his name given to what is today 
the most populous and powerful county in the Northwest, and 
possibly in the Western Hemisphere. 

From this time (1828) on for nearly thirty years, the test 
applied to all candidates for state offices in Illinois was loyalty 
to Jackson during his lifetime and to Jacksonian Democracy 
after his death. John Reynolds, both of whose parents were 
Irish-born rebels against British rule, was elected governor as 
a conservative Jacksonian Democrat and inaugurated in 1830. 
He had been a member of the Supreme Court from 1818 to 1824, 
and was an early pioneer, having emigrated from Tennessee to 
Illinois with his father's family in 1800 when a boy of twelve 
years of age. He was a ranger in the private ranks in the War 
of 1812 and when governor, 1830-1834, took the field as com- 
mander of the Illinois troops in the Black Hawk war. He wrote 
and published in 1852 a Pioneer History of Illinois to the Year 
of 1818, which is not only intensely interesting, informative, and 
at places amusing, but which because of the fact that he was 
intimately acquainted with and an active participant in the 
pioneer habits and social and political gatherings of the territory 
under American rule, furnishes the student of Illinois history 
with the most reliable picture of the pioneer life of the territory 
before it became a state. Copies of this old history are rare 
and valuable. I am one of the fortunate owners of one of these 
rare histories, as a result of the generosity of that splendid 
book-lover and very able journalist who still vigorously edits 
the Belleville News-Democrat, Hon. Fred J. Kern, former con- 
gressman from the Twenty-second Illinois Congressional Dis- 
trict and president of the State Board of Administration from 

The Cairo Bank at Kaskaskia 


1913 to 1917. In 1879, under the auspices of the Chicago His- 
torical Society, the Fergus Printing Company published a mod- 
ern edition of Reynolds' History of Illinois, My Own Times, 
which is a much larger and more comprehensive work than the 
pioneer history published in 1852. Because of the destruction in 
the Chicago fire of 1871 of most of Governor Reynolds' original 
My Own Times, I have not been able to get a copy of the original 

The Black Hawk war took place during Governor Reynolds' 
term of office and as we shall later see in the account of 
that war, he, Reynolds, acted with great intelligence, prompti- 
tude and vigor in raising the volunteer troops in Illinois and 
placing them at the disposal of the Federal commanders. He 
accompanied the troops in person and did everything in his 
power to uphold the dignity of the state and nation. Whatever 
criticism there be over the origin and prosecution of that war, 
it must be, if honest, directed at the Federal authorities. Gov- 
ernor Reynolds, as we have heretofore noted, was the father 
of the legislation providing for a state penitentiary and had 
the satisfaction of being able, while governor, to see the fruits 
of that legislation demonstrated by the actual building of the 
first state penitentiary at Alton. 

As illustrating from what small beginnings the great State 
of Illinois has developed, I quote from Reynolds' My Own Times, 
as follows : "The revenue imposed from taxes between November 
1, 1811 and the eighth of the same month, 1814, was $4875.47. 
Of this sum $2516.89 was paid into the Treasury and $2378.47 
remained in the hands of the delinquent sheriffs to be paid over. 
(Reynolds My Own Times, p. 105.) The appalling condition 
of poverty among the people, the absence of a circulating medium 
of exchange, and the grotesque, aye opera bouffe condition of 
its banking laws between 1819 and 1831 are vividly illustrated 
by another quotation from the same work, as follows: 

A bank was chartered by the first General Assembly 
in 1819, but it never went into existence. The country 
was flooded with bank paper all over the Union after the 
close of the war, but worthless paper of the Western States 
went down, and left the country almost without any cur- 


rency towards the years of 1819, 1820, and 1821. The 
pressure reached Illinois in its aggravated forms, and prop- 
erty was down to nothing. Cows and calves sold for four 
or five dollars, and wheat at thirty-five and forty cents 
per bushel; corn was, in many places, down to ten cents. 
The people, and the members of the General Assembly who 
were elected in 1820, were enthusiastic for some relief, 
but what kind of amelioration of "hard times" was not 
considered or known. 

The people had contracted large debts when the money 
was plenty, and now, when it was so scarce, it was almost 
impossible to pay these demands. These considerations 
urged the people and the General Assembly to seek some 
relief from this impending evil. 

In the early part of the winter of 1821, the legislature 
conceived the idea of creating a State Bank, formed wholly 
for the time present, ON THE CREDIT OF THE STATE. 
This bank was to have a capital of a half a million dollars, 
and to issue in the beginning only three hundred thousand 
dollars. The State, by its directors, was to manage the 
mother bank and the branches, and the whole to remain 
under the control of the General Assembly. Money was 
to be loaned to no individual on personal security in sums 
above one hundred dollars, and to be secured in real estate 
at two-thirds the value. The notes were to draw an interest 
of six per cent per annum, and the bank to exist for ten 

The worst feature yet to be told, was that if a creditor 
did not take this paper for his debt at par the debt would 
be replevied for three years. The paper was made receiv- 
able for all taxes, State debts, and many others, which 
the State had the power to control. As it has already been 
stated, the council of revision had to pass on all bills and 
approve or reject them. The bill was presented to the 
council, and three of the five members vetoed it, and 
returned it to the House of Representatives with their 
objections. Governor Bond, Judge Philips, and myself, 
disapproved of the measure, and Judge Wilson and Brown 
consented to it. The General Assembly became excited 
and passed the law by a constitutional majority, over the 
objections of the council. This charter became the law 
of the land, and the bank went into operation. The veto- 
message of the council raised the objections to both its 
constitutional errors and its policy. The paper of this 
bank was floating through the atmosphere of Illinois for 


ten years, as a poisoning and pestilential vapor that with- 
ered and blighted the country for that length of time. The 
paper never was at par and sunk, at times, down to twenty- 
five cents per dollar. 

At almost every session of the General Assembly, during 
the existence of the bank, either the bank or the bank 
debtors prayed relief, which was a prolific source of 

The members of the legislature paid themselves, at times, 
nine dollars per day, and the other officers of the State 
were also paid in proportion to the depreciation of the 

The "stay-laws" and "stop laws," as they were called, 
operated a great injury to the people, not only for the 
non-payment of all debts, but they encouraged a kind of 
disregard for honesty and morality, which in all commu- 
nities is essential to preserve. I always opposed all laws 
that interposed any impediment between debtor and cred- 
itor. This is a relation — debtor and creditor — existing 
between free men, made by themselves, that the laws should 
hold sacred and inviolable. The law in all well-regulated 
communities should extend its efficient arm to the collection 
of debts. I am opposed to imprisonment for debt, but it 
is dishonest legislation to permit one individual to retain 
the substance of another by law. 

The old State Bank lingered out its miserable existence, 
never observing its promises, or meeting the expectations 
of its friends, and was wound up in 1831. I had been an 
observer of its incapacity for the ten years of its existence, 
and had suffered by its muddy water so much, that I was 
determined to do all in my power to wind it up and rid 
the country of its pollutions. In my first message to the 
General Assembly, dated December 3d, 1820, I presented 
the subject as follows: 

"The subject of the State Bank, as connected with our 
revenue, will, necessarily, occupy much of your time. The 
true policy, in my opinion, is to close the business of the 
bank as soon as a proper regard to the interests of the 
State will permit. This, too, ought to be done with as little 
oppression to the bank debtors as possible. 

"Within a short time all the paper of the bank will 
become payable. And although the bank policy has been 
most ruinous to the State and many of its citizens, and 
only benefited a few speculators, yet the State is in honor 
and duty bound for its payment at the appointed time. The 


credit and character of the State are involved in the prompt 
payment of this claim ; and I do most sincerely recommend 
you to sustain that character, which no doubt you will 
take pleasure in doing, by providing adequate means. The 
warrants of the State ought not to be allowed to fall below 

In pursuance of the above recommendation a law was 
passed, and a loan of one hundred thousand dollars was 
made to enable the State to meet the claims against the 
State Bank. The loan was effected and the bank wound 
up. A good currency was introduced and much benefit 
by the operation, yet in many sections of the State the 
loan was unpopular, and it was said the State was sold 
to Wiggins who made the loan to the State. Many of my 
friends were prostrated a while for doing their duty in this 
case, but at last the measure became popular. 

These were the words of the man who, as one of the judges 
of the Supreme Court, was on the advisory committee which 
advised the governor (Bond) to veto the banking law and who 
afterwards, when governor, succeeded in having the grotesque 
bank wound up, its debts paid off and its life extinguished. 
This wierd law was passed by ill-informed pioneer legislators, 
ignorant of banking requirements and financial science, avowedly 
and openly for the express purpose of loaning the state's credit 
to insolvent debtors, in the vain hope that in some vague way 
in the distant future, these insolvent debtors would become 
solvent and remember to pay their debts to the state. It was 
a financial joke but an historical one that must be recorded 
in telling the history of Illinois. The result was inevitable. 
The insolvents secured the state's bank notes in exchange for 
their own, failed to pay their notes, and the state was compelled 
to issue its bonds to pay its bank notes. 

During the administration of Governor Reynolds occurred 
the last war with the Indians in Illinois, known as the Black 
Hawk war, which has been treated at some length elsewhere 
in this work. It entailed the loss of about 200 American lives, 
an almost complete extermination of the Sac tribe of Indians 
at a cost to the state and nation of $2,000,000. During Reynolds' 
administration the population of the central and northern por- 
tion of the state increased immensely. Chicago was incorporated 


as a town in 1833. In 1830 the County of Putnam had 700 
inhabitants. Rushville was incorporated in 1831 with 180 inhab- 
itants. In 1831 there were 10,000 people in the counties of 
Pike, Calhoun, Adams, Schuyler and Fulton, all north and west 
of the Illinois River in the military tract. Peoria was laid 
out in 1826 shortly before Reynolds became governor. As evi- 
dencing the rapid growth of the population, we find that the 
counties of Rock Island, LaSalle, Cook and Champaign were 
all created in 1831 and 1833, during Reynolds' incumbency. 
Prior to Reynolds' election in 1830, the population of Illinois 
north of Peoria, excepting at the lead mines around Galena, 
did not average two white human beings to the square mile. 

Reynolds was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat. His oppo- 
nent, William Kinney, a storekeeper, Baptist minister and sea- 
soned politician, was of the same political party. The latter 
was an ardent professor of that political faith, while Reynolds, 
less ardent, was just as steadfast in his loyalty to Jackson. 
No conventions were held up to that time to make nominations. 
Both candidates announced their own candidacies, declaring 
their loyalty to Jackson. The candidates, however, had different 
temperaments and dispositions and conducted their campaigns 
along different lines. Reynolds was the better educated, and 
more suave and tactful in his public utterances. While pro- 
claiming his loyalty to Jackson and Democracy, he was not 
abusive of his political enemies, the Whigs. Instead of excoriat- 
ing, he exhorted them to enter the Democratic fold. Kinney, 
a much abler stump speaker, indulged in invective against 
Adams, Clay and the whole Whig party. The result was that 
the Jacksonian Democrats split their votes between the two 
Jacksonian Democrats, while the Whigs who went to the polls 
voted for Reynolds as the lesser of two evils, and Reynolds 
was elected by a substantial majority. 

This election and the succeeding election of Duncan over 
Kinney for governor in 1834 gave birth to the convention system 
of selecting candidates in the Democratic party in Illinois. 
Duncan claimed while he was a candidate that he was a Jack- 
sonian Democrat, although his loyalty to "Old Hickory" was 
doubted by many. Kinney, his opponent, made the same pro- 


fession. The result was the same as when Reynolds was a 
candidate. Duncan divided the Democratic vote with Kinney 
and received nearly all of the Whig vote and was elected. To 
prevent such situations in the future, the Democrats in the 
nation, about 1835, adopted the convention system of electing 
candidates for public office. They declared in set resolutions 
that politics in the Republic was based upon differences of 
principle as to government and that the triumph of principles, 
rather than the triumph of leaders or a leader, was the aim to 
be sought in politics. They declared that "without a frequent 
interchange of political sentiment, expressed by the people, and 
repeated by their delegates, properly authorized, the democracy 
cannot insure that success in their elections which the purity 
and integrity of their principles entitle them to claim. " 

The Democrats had discovered that victory for their prin- 
ciples and candidates could not be secured unless they consoli- 
dated and centered the vote of their party upon one man pledged 
to support their principles and eliminating the candidacy of 
other rivals within the party, because these rivals would divide 
the vote of the party and allow a minority in the opposing party, 
consolidated on one candidate, to win over their majority. It 
was decided that in each election district delegates should be 
elected to the county, state or national conventions of the party, 
where a declaration of principles should be adopted and a single 
candidate for each office should be selected, pledged to support 
that declaration of principle, and receive the undivided support 
at the election of all members of that party. 

This system adopted by the Democratic party about 1835 
had much to commend it. By assembling its leaders and f ramers 
of public principles in one place for conferences, consultation, 
discussion and debate, it enables a party, after mature delibera- 
tion, to promulgate a full-considered declaration of the policies 
to be pursued by that party if placed in power, and enables the 
party as one man to support the candidate who pledges himself 
to carry out those policies when elected. The wisdom of the 
plan has been demonstrated from the fact that from that time 
down to the present, the same has been adhered to by the 
Democratic party and that within a short time afterwards it 


was adopted by its great rival, the present Republican party. 
The Whigs in Illinois did not adopt the convention system till 
some time afterwards. It was derided, criticized and condemned 
by them until they began to ascertain its effectiveness. Since 
its adoption by both of the great political parties it has often 
been criticized, as being in operation, capable of fraudulent 
manipulation. That fraudulent acts in the election of delegates 
and in the calling of conventions and recording their results 
sometimes occur cannot be questioned, but I know of no business 
calling, occupation or trade, and no meeting of men or women, 
where fraud may not and does not at some time enter. Fraud 
vitiates all things. Frauds occur under the direct primary 
systems as they occur in conventions. Under either system care 
must be taken to eliminate fraud. 

Those voters in Illinois who had favored Adams or Clay 
for the Presidency in preference to Andrew Jackson in 1828 
and were therefore opposed to Jacksonian Democracy, were 
dubbed as Whigs, which name they accepted without demur. 
These Whigs for many years were in a hopeless minority. They 
were timid about placing men in nomination for public offices 
as Whigs. Few or none of the Whigs would announce their 
voluntary candidacies as Whigs because they felt that such an 
announcement would kill their chances of election. Between 
1828 and 1848 no candidate avowedly opposed to Jackson or 
Jacksonian Democracy could be, or was, elected to state or 
national office in Illinois. The Whig voters in Illinois, except 
on one occasion, either remained at home on election day, or 
voted for that Jacksonian candidate that was the least offensive 
to them of the candidates seeking election. On the one excep- 
tional occasion, when Harrison was the National Republican- 
Whig candidate for the presidency, they rallied in force at the 
polls and cast a large but unsuccessful vote for Harrison in 
Illinois. Harrison was beaten in this state, but won throughout 
the nation. 

In the gubernatorial election when Reynolds was successful 
in 1830, and again when Duncan was elected, both of these 
men received numbers of Whig votes because the Whigs regarded 
these men as the least offensive Jacksonian Democrats at these 


two elections. The Democrats early recognized that the candi- 
dacies of two or more men by individual announcements, pro- 
fessing 1 themselves to be Democrats, would soon split the party 
wide open and allow the Whigs, though in a minority, to win 
at the polls, and they soon adopted the convention system to 
avoid this disaster. The system, however, was not found at 
the start to be simple or easy of adoption. It was often found 
to be cumbersome and inconvenient to follow the evolution of 
a national convention up from the precinct election through 
all the civil voting units, to the choice of national delegates 
to national conventions. The advisability, aye political necessity 
of the consolidation of the vote of the party behind one set 
of principles and one candidate, was to the Democratic mind 
paramount over the inconveniences of the system. The Demo- 
crats believed that the aims and wishes of the common people 
under the convention system would be registered and systemat- 
ically carried on and up from the simple gatherings of the 
people in election or school districts, through the congressional 
or judicial conventions to the national conventions. They con- 
tended, too, that the system was democratic and prevented 
wealth from determining the choice of candidates in caucuses 
as had frequently happened in the past. 

The Whigs, however, did not take kindly to the system. They 
claimed that it prevented worthy and financially responsible 
men from offering themselves as candidates for election. The 
Whigs, however, had the reputation of having within their 
ranks most if not all of the wealthy men and bankers in the 
state; and, although in a minority, the Whigs had bought and 
owned most of the stock in, and had organized, the State Bank 
and the Bank of Illinois, in 1834, which institutions had become 
quite unpopular. The majority of the Whigs were by no means 
idealists, but were successful accumulators of wealth. The 
Whigs reluctantly adopted the convention system in 1839, some 
years after the Democrats. Prior to their so doing they had 
bitterly criticized the system. It was forced upon them by its 
apparent success in the Democratic party and not by any evo- 
lution within the party. 


On November 17, 1834, Governor Reynolds resigned as gov- 
ernor of Illinois, to become a member of Congress, and was 
succeeded by Lieutenant-Governor William L. D. Ewing, who 
held the office for fifteen days, or until Governor Duncan was 
inaugurated. Ewing's term as governor was the shortest in the 
history of Illinois. Reynolds was, under the Constitution of 
1818, ineligible for reelection and had been during his term 
as governor elected to Congress. This accounts for his resig- 
nation as governor. 




John Reynolds, a pioneer who had entered Illinois from 
Tennessee as a boy in 1800, the son of an Irish rebel against 
British rule, was elected governor of Illinois in 1830. He had 
been a ranger in the private ranks in the War of 1812, was 
practicing law, and had served a term with his uncle, Thomas 
Reynolds, on the Supreme bench of the state. At the time 
he announced his candidacy for governor, he was a popular 
member of the Lower House of the State Legislature and a 
lawyer of good standing in active practice. In politics he was 
a Jacksonian Democrat, but not in favor with the ultra or 
radical element of his party. The Jacksonian Democrats of 
that year, 1830, were divided into two camps — the ultras, who 
advised persecution of their political enemies, the Whigs, because 
of their political opinions, and the conservative Jacksonian Dem- 
ocrats, who decried political proscription of the Whigs. Rey- 
nolds announced his candidacy as a Jacksonian Democrat but 
as opposed to proscribing any man because of his political 

His rival candidate, W. C. Kinney, was a Baptist minister, 
a successful store-keeper, and at the time of his candidacy 
was lieutenant-governor of Illinois. He was in politics also 
a Jacksonian Democrat, but of the ultra type. It was alleged 
in the heated campaign between him and Reynolds that Kinney 
had declared that the Whigs "should be whipped out of office 
like dogs out of a meathouse." Kinney claimed in the campaign 
that he had the ear of President Jackson and could dictate the 
Federal appointments in the state. Both candidates ardently 
claimed to be Jacksonian Democrats. No man could be elected 


Governor 1830-34 


at that time who did not make such a profession of political 

The candidate for lieutenant governor on the Kinney ticket 
was Zadoc Casey, who was also a minister of the Gospel, and 
Reynolds and his adherents made much of the fact in the cam- 
paign and decried the injection of "the church into politics." 
This was particularly effective against Kinney by reason of the 
fact that both candidates were openly following the custom of 
that time and treating their followers to liberal libations of 
whiskey. As Reynolds describes in his My Own Times: "It 
was the universal custom of the times to treat with liquor. We 
both did it, but he was condemned more for it than myself by 
the religious community, he being a preacher of the Gospel." 
(My Own Times, p. 188.) Naturally, there would be much 
more criticism of a minister of the Gospel buying whiskey for 
electioneering purposes than of a layman doing the same. The 
result of the election was that Reynolds received a large ma- 
jority of the Jacksonian Democratic votes and nearly all of the 
Whigs, and was elected by a large majority. 

In his inaugural message, Reynolds advocated free popular 
education, general internal public improvements, the comple- 
tion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and the improvement 
of the Chicago harbor. He cleverly and adroitly dodged the 
question of increasing the state taxation by the issuance of 
state bonds for the making of these improvements; and en- 
deavored in nearly every instance to throw the burden upon the 
Federal Government. He did, however, recommend the com- 
pletion of the first state penitentiary at Alton at the direct cost 
of the state. Under his administration a law was passed refund- 
ing the old State Bank paper which had the effect of putting the 
state paper back at par value. 

The Black Hawk war broke out in 1831 during Governor 
Reynolds' administration and lasted for eighteen months. The 
governor actively and energetically participated therein, as we 
have shown in another chapter. In his My Own Times he de- 
votes sixty-five pages to that interesting topic which are well 
worth reading by any history-loving student. In that work 
he treats his political rivals with much courtesy and apparently 


very fairly. It is a very interesting volume and I recommend 
its perusal. 

In the summer of 1834 Charles Slade, the member of Con- 
gress from Reynolds' congressional district, died, leaving a 
vacancy to which Reynolds was elected. This position he held 
for three years thereafter. Under the Constitution of 1818 he 
was ineligible to succeed himself as governor and this is prob- 
ably the reason he sought election to Congress. To the credit 
of Governor Reynolds and the Legislature who served under 
him must be placed the law which upheld the financial honor 
of the state in 1830. During the first session of this Legislature 
it became its duty to make provision for the redemption of the 
notes of the old State Bank which fell due during the next sum- 
mer. Former Legislatures had feared to risk the popularity 
of its members by the redemption of these notes by taxation 
or otherwise. Something must now be done. At the insistence 
of Governor Reynolds the Legislature authorized the making 
of the "Wiggins' Loan" of $100,000. The money was obtained 
by borrowing this sum, and with the money so obtained the 
notes of the bank were redeemed and the honor of the state was 
saved. This wise and manly act, however, recoiled upon the 
legislators and but few of the men who voted for this loan found 
favor in the sight of their constituents for many years there- 
after. They became as unpopular as the legislators who shortly 
afterwards voted for the "Little Bull Law." This "Little Bull 
Law" was a wise law intended for the improvement of the breed 
of cattle and prohibited small bulls of no pedigree from running 
at large. Popular opinion was in favor of placing bulls and 
human beings on the same level with reference to their wander- 
ings. The public denounced the law as discriminatory and pro- 
scriptive and vented its dissatisfaction upon all who voted for 
it. Votes for the "Wiggins' Loan" and the "Little Bull Law" 
retired many legislators to private life. 



We now come to an episode in the history of state and nation 
which it is unpleasant to discuss, but as it was unquestionably 
an important occurrence in the history of Illinois it must be 
considered and frankly treated by anyone presuming to record 
the facts of history. 

Up to the year 1831 the last remnant of the confederated 
Sac and Fox tribes, with the consent and approval of the Fed- 
eral Government, had occupied two villages near what is now 
Rock Island. The village possessed by the Sac tribe was on the 
north side of the Rock River, near that city. The Fox village 
was three miles away on the Mississippi. These villages for a 
century had been the principal seats and burial grounds of these 
tribes. In the year 1804 five of the chiefs or head men of these 
tribes had gone to St. Louis to secure the release of one of 
their tribe charged with the murder of a white man. It is 
very questionable as to whether these five Indians had instruc- 
tions from their tribes in any other matter. While in St. Louis 
they were inveigled by William Henry Harrison (who was no- 
torious for securing by unscrupulous methods unfair treaties 
from the Indians) into signing a paper by the terms of which 
their tribes conveyed to the United States 50,000,000 acres of 
land in consideration of an annuity of $1,000. In describing 
this transaction, Pease in his volume of the Centennial History 
of Illinois uses the following language: "In this transaction 
he (Harrison) treated with five chiefs, away from home, on a 
mission which was, at least primarily, for a different purpose; 
while these head men were befuddled by firewater he concluded 
a treaty which, in return for an annuity of $1,000, stripped the 
Sac and Foxes of 50,000,000 acres of land." P. 150, Pease. 




Courtesy H. W. Fay, Springfield. 

Black Hawk 


The territory purported to be conveyed by this document 
covered all the land in Illinois north of the Illinois River and 
east of the Mississippi in addition to large tracts in Wisconsin 
and Indiana. Whiskey seems to have been an essential and ma- 
terial concomitant of most of the Harrison treaties. President 
Jefferson had occasion to strongly disapprove of Harrison's 
methods in securing treaties, and in May, 1805, ordered Har- 
rison to make explanations in order to "counteract the effect of 
his own questionable methods." (Idem.) Thomas Forsythe, 
agent for these two tribes, and knowing them better than any 
other white man, in discussing this treaty in 1832, wrote : "The 
Sac and Fox nations were never consulted nor had any hand in 
the treaty, nor knew anything about it. It was made and signed 
by two Sac chiefs, one Fox chief and one warrior." (Idem.) 
By the terms of this alleged treaty, however, these two tribes 
were allowed to live and hunt upon this land so long as it was the 
property of the Federal Government. 

Up to the year 1823 these tribes lived in peaceful and un- 
molested possession of these villages, heretofore mentioned, and 
the lands surrounding the same. The land around these villages 
was very fertile, and every year the Indians planted it with corn 
and other crops which never failed. Vegetables grew rapidly 
and on the island near them strawberries, blackberries, plums, 
apples and nuts grew in great profusion. The Government had 
not parted with its title to these lands by patents to settlers. 
About the year 1823 white men going to and from the lead mines 
at Galena began to notice the fine crops produced upon their lands 
by the Indian squaws. Acting on the principle that a red man 
had no right to till or enjoy any land that a white man wanted, 
these covetous white men "squatted" on these lands and drove 
the Indian squaws and children off and into the villages. Nat- 
urally, the Indians who had occupied and tilled these lands for 
a century resented such treatment. The conduct of the white 
"squatters" was in violation of the law and the terms of the 
alleged treaty of 1804. Of all the immense domain claimed to 
have been conveyed to the Government by that document, these 
few and narrow fields around their village were the only por- 
tions that were actually tilled and made productive by the In- 


dians, and it would have been not only decent and just, but good 
policy, for the United States Government to have reserved this 
land and allowed the Indians to cultivate it as their forefathers 
had done for years past. 

The "squatter," however, was not a man to consider justice 
or decency as against an Indian, no matter how peaceful that 
Indian might be. The "squatters" became insolent and violent. 
The Indians became resentful and violent. Pontiac's war, the 
War of 1812 and wars between these tribes and other Indians 
had weakened the Sac and Fox not only in number of warriors 
but in morale. They resisted the aggressiveness of the white 
"squatters" for a time without shedding blood. Since the treaty 
of 1816 these tribes had killed no white man and their forbear- 
ance under the violent encroachments of the "squatters" was 
amazing. Each and every year the "squatters" came closer 
and fenced in the fields that the Indians had tilled. Keokuk, 
the most important of the Sac chiefs, wise, able and eloquent, 
recognizing the futility of warfare against the whites, gave up 
the struggle in despair, and advised his fellow-Indians to aban- 
don the homes and graves of their ancestors, and to cross the 
Mississippi and establish new homes in Missouri. Under the 
circumstances which confronted him and his people, this was 
the weak, but wise, thing to do. The officials of the Federal 
Government, instead of acting with justice and humanity, stood 
idly by and, to the humiliation of the American sense of honor 
and fair play, allowed these "squatters" to dispossess the In- 
dians of their homes, their crops and the final resting-places of 
their dead. They did this not only by inaction, but by affirma- 
tive acts. 

The "squatters," for over seven years, were allowed by Fed- 
eral officials to encroach further and further into the lands 
occupied and tilled by the Indians, and finally the registrars at 
the United States Land Office allowed these "squatters" to file 
preemption claims and accorded to them preemption rights 
over certain quarter-sections of land, which included most of 
one of their villages, their graves and the corn lands, which 
for over a century had been occupied by the Sac and Foxes 
and their ancestors. The American sense of justice and fair 


play had in the breasts of the persons charged with public duties 
at that time (1830 and 1831) been benumbed or debauched by 
the land-gluttony prevalent, and sad to say it was tolerated or 
overlooked by those in high authority in the nation, and after- 
wards enforced by bloody and shameful warfare. 

Even the claim of right of preemption was illegal. Preemp- 
tion presumes that the land preempted is peacefully occupied by 
the preemptor. This land, for which preemption rights were ac- 
corded to the "squatters," was land in open and notorious occupa- 
tion by the Indians and had been so for years. The whole affair 
was not only scandalously unjust but illegal in every respect. 
Keokuk had been, as we have said, weak but wise, in advising his 
people to succumb to brute force and retire from their ancestral 
homes. There was another Indian chief on the scene, who was 
neither weak nor wise. Although over sixty years of age he had 
still retained the vigor and valour of Pontiac and Tecumseh, — 
aye, and of Leonidas and Horatio. He regarded the advice of 
Keokuk as weak and cowardly. Many of the warriors resented 
the attitude of Keokuk and this faction found a ready and reso- 
lute leader in Black Hawk, who was a co-leader and rival chief of 
Keokuk. He was probably jealous of the prominence of the 
latter, but he promptly advised his warrior friends to resist 
the encroachments of the "squatters" and thus advanced his 
own power and lessened the authority of his rival. The strug- 
gle between these two chiefs continued for two crop seasons. 
Keokuk finally succeeded in inducing the greater number of the 
two confederated tribes to cross the Mississippi, surrender their 
homes and graveyards and locate in Missouri. 

Black Hawk and his followers tenaciously remained in their 
village. For some time he advised against bloodshed and vio- 
lence, being concerned only with peaceable but determined acts 
of occupation and possession. When the preemption claims 
of the "squatters" were brought forward and the claim made 
that they had legal title and the right to dispossess the Indians, 
he began to examine into the treaties and other legal questions 
and discovered the terms of these documents. He ascertained 
the circumstances under which Governor Harrison had wheedled 
certain Indian chiefs into signing the treaty of 1804 while in- 


toxicated, and the fact that this treaty was confirmed by other 
treaties in 1816, 1822 and 1825; which subsequent treaties, 
however, made no specific reference to the substance of the 
treaty of 1804. He discovered, too, that certain monies and 
goods which had been given to the Sac and Fox tribes annually 
by agents of the United States Government, which he and the 
other Indians believed were gifts, were in fact paid over to the 
Indians under the annuity provision of $1,000 to be paid an- 
nually under the terms of the treaty of 1804. Upon making 
these discoveries he promptly advised his Indian followers to 
refuse thereafter to accept any such monies or provisions and 
sought advice from his friends, the English officers at Maiden, 
Canada, and from other Indian chiefs in other tribes. He told 
the men the result of his investigation into the treaties and 
the circumstances surrounding their signatures, and they ad- 
vised him that if his statements to them were true the United 
States could not, and would not, remove him and his tribes from 
their village at Saukenuk, near Rock Island. 

It is claimed, too, that General Cass was also consulted by 
Black Hawk and that the general gave him the same advice. 
The village (or villages) called Saukenuk, it must be borne in 
mind, was not the ordinary Indian village which could be moved 
from time to time without much inconvenience. It, or they, 
(for they were practically one community) was as near an 
approach to a modern permanent small city as we can find in 
Indian history. There were 700 lodges constructed in the man- 
ner of the "long houses" of the Mohawks which would accommo- 
date and give shelter to from 6,000 to 7,000 Indians. Some of 
them were 100 feet long and from twenty to thirty feet wide, 
with their roofs and walls made weatherproof with thatch. 
Many hundreds of acres around the village were cultivated and 
tilled and had been for many years. 

Acting upon the results of his investigation and the advice 
he had been given by both white men and Indian chiefs, Black 
Hawk now turned upon the "squatters" and preemptors, and 
told them defiantly that the land had never been legally ceded, 
and ordered them peremptorily to leave the country. It was 
inconceivable to him that the Great Father of the United States 


would tolerate the forcible seizure of this small tract of land 
upon which his people had lived for a century at least, and 
where they had buried their dead, after his agents had cheated 
them out of 50,000,000 acres with bribes and whiskey. When 
Black Hawk defiantly ordered the settlers off of these lands and 
threatened them with violence in case of refusal to leave, eight 
of these settlers sent a memorial of their grievances to Governor 
Reynolds in which they set out that the Sac Indians "had threat- 
ened to kill them; that they acted in a most outrageous man- 
ner; threw down their fences, turned horses into their corn- 
fields, stole their potatoes, saying the land was theirs and that 
they had not sold it, ... . leveled deadly weapons at the cit- 
izens" and that these terrible Indians had entered "a home, 
rolled out a barrel of whiskey, and destroyed it." A few days 
afterward, April 30, 1831, thirty-seven settlers complained to 
the governor that the Indians were acting in "an outrageous 
and menacing manner." Receiving no reply thereto, a personal 
delegation called upon the governor in the following month. 
From letters, memorials, delegations and rumors, Governor 
Reynolds reached the conclusion that an Indian war was immi- 
nent, and issued a call for volunteer soldiers. 

While I have written some strong words in criticism of the 
Federal officers who acted or refused to act in the crisis that 
led up to the so-called Black Hawk war, let it be understood 
that I have no word of censure of the state officials of Illinois, 
who, when hostilities broke out between the settlers and the 
Indians, called for volunteers to suppress the hostilities and 
restore peace. War is war; or, as Sherman is reputed to have 
said: "War is hell!" It was the duty of the governor of Illi- 
nois and the public officials of the state when war or organized 
violence broke out within the confines of the state, such as riots, 
rebellion or guerrilla warfare, to call to the colors the men of 
the state to suppress disorder, prevent pillage and prevent blood- 
shed. Calling for volunteer troops, in taking the field in person, 
and placing himself and his troops at the disposition of the 
Federal Government to enforce Federal law and Federal au- 
thority when flouted, was the duty of each state official. 


In June, 1831, 600 volunteers had responded to the gov- 
ernor's call for troops, and along with ten companies of United 
States Regulars, these 600 men under command of Gen. E. P. 
Gaines soon appeared before the Indian village at Saukenuk. 
Dismayed at the show of overwhelming force, the Indians 
watched the evolutions of the soldiers in front of their village 
June 25, and during the following night the entire tribe vacated 
their village and crossed the river into Iowa. The next day the 
troops entered an empty village, and set fire to and destroyed 
most of the lodges. It turned out that the purchaser of the land 
under most, if not all, of the Indian village was Colonel Daven- 
port, the United States Indian agent. This scandalous and dis- 
loyal act infuriated Black Hawk and his followers to such a de- 
gree that they contemplated killing him. Black Hawk, in his 
autobiography, as quoted by Smith, says : 

We concluded that if we were removed by force, the 
trader, agent and others must be the cause, and that if they 
were found guilty of having driven us from our village 
they should be killed. The trader stood foremost on this 
list. He (Colonel Davenport) had purchased the land on 
which my lodge stood, and that of our graveyard also. We 
therefore proposed to kill him and the agent, the interpre- 
ter, the great chief at St. Louis, the war chiefs at Forts 
Armstrong, Rock Island and Keokuk, these being the prin- 
cipal persons to blame for endeavoring to remove us. 

On June 30, 1831, Governor Reynolds and General Gaines 
concluded a treaty with Black Hawk and his tribe under the 
terms of which the Indians agreed to confirm the treaty of 
1804 and bound themselves not to cross to the eastern side of 
the Mississippi except by permission of the United States Gov- 
ernment. This treaty was undoubtedly executed by the Indians 
while they were in extremes and facing starvation, but this time 
they knew and understood its terms. Up to this time they had 
used no weapons or taken any lives in defense of their homes and 
graves. The American authorities had acted ruthlessly and 
by the display of overwhelming force had compelled the Indians 
to sign a treaty which forever deprived them of visiting their 
old home or crossing the great river. This last engagement 


they afterwards broke deliberately and openly and thus violated 
the terms of the treaty. 

Why were they so rash and foolish as to defy a great, power- 
ful nation and within the territory of one of its states that had 
a population of over 160,000 when the fighting- men of their 
tribe did not exceed 500 warriors? Pease in his volume of the 
Centennial History gives the two reasons: Starvation and the 
desire to avenge the murder of eight of their tribe by the Me- 
nominee Indians. Pease uses the following language in dis- 
cussing this matter : 

The Indians, however, had left their growing crops in 
Illinois, and it was too late to plant anew in Iowa. By 
autumn they were out of provisions. One night a little 
company of their young men crossed the river to steal roast- 
ing ears from the crops they had left on their old lands. 
The whites fired upon them and complained loudly of the 
double offense of thieving and of violating the treaty. Much 
more startling was the daring of an expedition of Foxes, 
who went up the Mississippi to avenge upon the Menomi- 
nee warriors the murder of eight Fox chiefs the previous 
year. They fell upon a party of twenty-eight drunken 
braves encamped on an island opposite the fort at Prairie 
du Chien, and scalped and mutilated the whole band. This 
to the Indian code was only just reprisal; Black Hawk re- 
luctantly refused to deliver up any of his band for trial, 
especially since so much demand had been made of the Me- 
nominee the year before. 

During the episode famine conditions continued. At 
the invitation of the Prophet, Black Hawk determined to 
cross the Mississippi the following spring and raise a crop 
with his friends, the Winnebago. He had a childlike con- 
viction that so long as he showed no warlike inclinations 
and was not entering his old village, the Government would 
not molest him. 

In April, 1832, with 400 warriors and their women and 
children and personal belongings, Black Hawk crossed the Mis- 
sissippi River in full view of Fort Armstrong and started up 
the Rock River in the direction of his friends, the Winnebago 
Indians. Gen. Henry Atkinson, then stationed at Fort Arm- 
strong, sent an express agent after the Indians, ordering them 


to return to Iowa. Black Hawk answered that he was on a 
peaceful mission to plant corn and secure food, and refused to 
return. When threatened with force he persisted in his refusal. 
It was for Black Hawk and his tribe a fateful blunder caused 
by the hungry bellies of his tribe and himself. As soon as it 
was noised abroad that Black Hawk and his tribe were back 
in Illinois and foraging along the Rock River, the whole state 
was ablaze with excitement. Notwithstanding Black Hawk's 
protestations to General Atkinson that he was on a peaceful 
mission to procure food for his starving people, the public was 
convinced that the Indians were again on the war-path. Atroci- 
ties on both sides had always been the characteristics of former 
Indian wars, and the 160,000 white people of Illinois almost 
unanimously determined that Indian warfares must come to an 
end and that this was the opportunity of making this Indian 
war the last one. 

Governor Reynolds recalled the terms of the treaty that 
Black Hawk and his fellows had signed only the June preced- 
ing and was indignant that its terms should be so flagrantly 
violated. He issued an impassioned and vigorous call for troops 
and within thirty days 1,600 volunteers assembled at Beards- 
town. They elected their own officers, and while there was 
much fighting spirit, the discipline was rather loose. Divided 
into four regiments, a spy battalion and two odd battalions, 
they marched to Fort Armstrong early in May, and General 
Atkinson of the United States Army at that point, took com- 
mand. General Atkinson then placed Gen. Samuel Whiteside 
in command of the recruits, and he was ordered to take them 
fifty miles up the Rock River to Prophetstown, there to remain 
until they could be joined by ten companies of United States 
Infantry from Fort Armstrong, with provisions. When these 
recruits reached Prophetstown they burnt the vacant village, by 
way of diversion, and then marched on to Dixon, leaving their 
baggage and provisions behind them in order to make better 
time. Here they found two other independent battalions of 
mounted volunteers commanded by Maj. Isaiah Stillman, full 
of fight and thirsting for Indian blood. 


To appease their sanguinary desires, Whiteside detailed Still- 
man and his men to go further up the Rock River and try to 
find the whereabouts of Black Hawk and his warriors. Still- 
man and his men started off with great enthusiasm upon this 
mission. On May 14 they encamped in a small grove entirely 
surrounded by an open prairie, impossible for ambuscade. Black 
Hawk and his band of Indians, with their women and children, 
were only a few miles away. The chief had been for a week 
in conference with the Winnebagoes and the Prophet, and found 
he could not secure any aid or assistance from them, from other 
Indians or from his former English friends. Even the hospital- 
ity of the Winnebagoes was lukewarm. He began to fear that 
his own people would soon discover that he could get no assist- 
ance. They were on the verge of starvation and he heard the 
ominous news that the whites were gathering in huge armed 
force around him. In this dilemma, he pushed on to Sycamore 
Creek to have council with the Pottawatomies. Upon the advice 
of Shabbona, their chief, this tribe refused him relief, even re- 
fusing him corn for his starving people. After this last ex- 
perience with the Pottawatomies Black Hawk gave up all hope 
of aid and made up his mind to surrender. Stillman's troops, 
he learned, were but eight miles away, 340 in number. Here 
was a chance with some little dignity to raise the white flag and 
save his band from death by starvation. He sent three young 
warriors under a flag of truce to Stillman's camp to arrange 
the surrender. Some of Stillman's men saw the three Indians 
approaching at a distance of a mile away. Without awaiting 
any order these men jumped on their horses and, surrounding 
the three peaceful Indians, yelled and swore like madmen. While 
the Indians were explaining to them their peaceful mission, the 
soldiers in camp saw five other Indians, nearly a mile further 
away, whom Black Hawk had sent to watch the treatment ac- 
corded his three peace messengers. Twenty other soldiers from 
the camp dashed out to meet the Indians and these twenty were 
soon followed by other soldiers. The five Indians, seeing that 
they would soon be surrounded by a large number of soldiers, 
turned and attempted to flee. The whites fired and killed two of 
them, and when the soldiers having the three peace messengers 


in charge heard the shots which killed the two fleeing Indians, 
one of them deliberately shot and killed in cold blood one of the 
three Indians who were under the flag of truce. The other two 
peace-seeking Indians then took to their heels and during the 
excitement in the camp managed to escape. It would seem that 
there was little or no discipline in the camp, and each soldier 
acted upon his own impulse, which eventually brought disgrace 
and tragedy both to officers and men. 

The escaping Indians returned to Black Hawk and reported 
to him the infamous treatment accorded to the three Indians 
who were his emissaries under the flag of truce and the death 
of their comrades. They were followed by wild and disor- 
ganized bodies of the Stillman battalions thirsting for more 
Indian gore. Black Hawk, when informed of the outrageous 
treatment, was first amazed and then infuriated. He had only 
forty warriors accessible. When he saw the mounted American 
soldiers approaching, he formed his forty warriors behind some 
chaparral and ordered his men to sell their lives as dearly as 
possible in avenging the deaths of their peace-seeking comrades. 
The foremost line of Stillman's soldiers was hardly upon them 
when Black Hawk's warriors rushed bravely into their first 
rank with wild yells and war-whoops, firing their guns with 
deadly effect. The blood-thirsty ardor of the Stillmanites was 
soon chilled, and in the belief that the whole Indian tribe was 
after them, they turned tail and raced madly for their own camp 
yelling, "Injuns! Injuns!" So rapid and inglorious was their 
retreat that the great body of them outdistanced the Indians and 
escaped injury. But a few who were injured fell behind and 
eleven were killed. 

The affrighted Stillmanites did not stop when they reached 
their own encampment, but raced on madly to Dixon. During 
that night and the following day they kept streaming into Dixon 
with Munchausen tales of being pursued by from 1,500 to 2,000 
Indians under the fiendish and diabolical control of Black Hawk, 
and of the terrific slaughter that resulted. Captain Adams and 
a handful of men, however, made a brave stand and fought 
until killed. The total loss to the American troops was eleven 
men killed, but their camp was captured by Black Hawk's men, 


who found and confiscated a badly-needed lot of provisions, as 
well as a goodly supply of blankets, saddle-bags and other camp 
equipment. The fight was promptly and facetiously christened 
"Stillman's Run" by Stillman's contemporaries and this name 
still sticks to it in history. 

The effect of this skirmish, for it was nothing else, was 
prodigious. Although between four and five regiments of vol- 
unteers were already in the field, together with ten companies 
of United States Regulars, while Black Hawk at no time since 
he crossed the Mississippi had 500 warriors, Governor Reynolds 
immediately issued a call for 2,000 men. This was found to be 
necessary, as many of the soldiers already in service, disheart- 
ened by Stillman's escapade, were begging for discharge. The 
officers began to find out that it was impossible to carry on an 
effective campaign with unwilling and disheartened militiamen. 
About the end of May they consented to their being mustered out 
of service. Three hundred rangers, however, reenlisted imme- 
diately. Their victory over Stillman had an altogether different 
effect upon the Indians. They filled their half -starved stomachs 
with the provisions they had found in Stillman's camp and ap- 
propriated the camp equipment to their warlike needs. Black 
Hawk sent out scouting parties to watch the movements of the 
soldiers and then removed the women and children to the 
swampy but secure retreats around the head of the Rock River 
in Wisconsin. He then, with his unencumbered warriors and 
Indian recruits that joined him from the Winnebago and Potta- 
watomie tribes, left Wisconsin and began to harass Northern 
Illinois with guerrilla warfare. Irregular border warfare was 
now carried on by the Indians and whites in which about 200 
white men lost their lives, the Indians suffering about the same 
number of deaths. 

Governor Reynolds' call for additional troops was answered 
promptly. Within three weeks after Stillman's defeat, 3,200 
mounted volunteers took the field under command of General 
Atkinson. Together with the United States Regulars the full 
number of men in the field numbered 4,000. The Indians num- 
bered about 400 and were without a commissariat. After con- 
suming the provisions found in Stillman's camp, they were 


compelled to live on the bark of trees, roots and horse-flesh. 
The swamps into which they were compelled to retire for tem- 
porary safety furnished them neither game nor fish. When 
Atkinson with his superior forces drove them into the head- 
waters of the Rock River, near Lake Koshkonong, where the 
women and children had been left for safety, Black Hawk was 
compelled to flee still further to the north and west, where he 
hoped to cross the Mississippi with his starving band into Iowa. 
When Atkinson's army, after wading this trackless marsh 
country with water often up to their hips, reached Lake Kash- 
konong, they found a deserted camp and not an Indian in sight. 
The soldiers had beeen short-rationed and compelled to sleep 
on their arms every night lest they be ambushed. Pursuing a 
will-of-the-wisp enemy that they feared, and hated, but never 
could see, they became discouraged and dissatisfied. Governor 
Reynolds, who had accompanied the army thus far, became dis- 
gusted with this type of military life and he and his entire staff 
returned home. Towards the end of July Atkinson found his 
forces reduced to one-half of their original number and fell back 
from his pursuit of the fleeing Indians to Fort Koshkonong. He 
then awaited the return of the troops under Generals Henry, 
Alexander and Dodge, who had been detached to Fort Winne- 
bago to secure supplies. While Atkinson with the main army 
was awaiting the arrival of these troops, Henry, Alexander and 
Dodge discovered that Black Hawk and his famishing tribe were 
only thirty-five miles away. After a conference they all agreed 
that they ought to disobey the order requiring them to return 
to Fort Koshkonong, and attack the Indians directly and without 
the orders of their superior, General Atkinson. Alexander, upon 
consulting his inferior officers and men, found that they would 
refuse to obey. Henry found much of the same insubordination 
among his officers and men, but he promptly and decisively 
quelled the mutiny, and with General Dodge commenced a three- 
day forced march against Black Hawk through the swamps. 
They soon found the fresh trail of the fleeing Indians leading 
towards the Four Lakes and the Wisconsin River. Here at 
last they had found the elusive enemy. They at once piled their 
tents, blankets and baggage where they stood, and thus unen- 


cumbered hastened their pace until they were within two or 
three miles of the Indians' rear guard. Cooking implements 
abandoned by the Indians and finally old and exhausted Indians 
lying helpless on the ground proved to them that the Indians 
were almost within gun-shot. 

By July 21 the Indians had reached the bluffs near the Wis- 
consin River, but could go no further by reason of their extreme 
exhaustion. To protect their crossing of the river in the night- 
time, Black Hawk selected a picked body of fifty braves to make 
a last stand. When the American soldiers finally came in sight 
of the Indians they dismounted. Leaving the horses behind 
them they charged the Indian line, yelling like madmen. The 
Indians after one wild counter-charge, lay on the ground and 
fired their guns again and again from this position. The fight 
lasted about half an hour, with losses about even. But Black 
Hawk had achieved his aim. Darkness came on and Henry 
feared to push his men into marshy ground in the dark. During 
the night Black Hawk managed to transport his famished war- 
riors and their wives and children across the Wisconsin. 

In this engagement the Indians had sixty-eight killed and 
many were wounded. The American forces had but one killed 
and eight wounded. This proves the immense superiority of 
the American forces both in the number of fighting men and 
in armament and ammunition. Black Hawk afterwards de- 
clared that he would not have fought this fight if it had not been 
that he desired time to get his women and children across the 
river. Having rescued his women and children, Black Hawk 
made up his mind that "the game was up," and that the only way 
that he could save the remnant of his starving tribe was by 
unconditional surrender. On the following day, before dawn, he 
detailed a loud-voiced warrior to announce to the Americans 
that his tribe was starving, that his warriors were unable to 
fight longer and to ask the Americans to peacefully plan it, so 
that he and his warriors could cross the Mississippi and cause 
no more trouble. The Indian detailed for that purpose came 
within sight and hearing of the American camp and made the 
announcement in his Indian tongue. Unfortunately, however, 
the interpreters had left the American camp the night before 


and no one in camp knew what the Indian brave was saying. 
That he was offering on behalf of Black Hawk to surrender 
was not known until after the fight or massacre at Bad Axe. 
What followed here, after the fight at Wisconsin Heights, must 
bring a flush of shame to the cheeks of every American who 
reads it. 

A large party of Black Hawk's tribe that he succeeded in 
transporting across the Wisconsin at the cost of the lives of 
sixty-eight warriors, consisting of old men, women and children, 
had secured from the Winnebagoes some canoes and rafts and 
started to float down the Wisconsin to the Mississippi. As non- 
combatants they mistakenly believed that they would be safe 
from attack. All civilized people refrain from so doing. At 
Blue Mounds, on the Wisconsin River, these harmless, defense- 
less refugees were attacked by United States Regulars from 
Prairie du Chien, thirty-two women and children were captured, 
and the rest of the party were killed or drowned in the attack, 
or scattered to die in the woods of wounds or starvation. Some 
of those that escaped into the woods were massacred while in a 
dying condition by Menominee Indians officered by white men. 
I regret that I have not the names of these white officers so 
that I could hand them down to historic infamy. 

The remainder of the starving tribe of Sac who had crossed 
the Wisconsin River were not able to procure other canoes or 
rafts and started overland through the woods and swamps to 
the Mississippi. Twenty-five of the warriors wounded in the 
Wisconsin Heights fight died on the way. Some traveled on 
foot, some on horseback but all moving slowly in their impov- 
erished condition, at length what was left of them reached the 
great river. Some of the old men and children perished on the 
way. On the afternoon of the day they reached the Mississippi, 
the steamboat Warrior, loaded with soldiers, approached the 
helpless Indians on the western shore of the river, under the 
command of John Throckmorton. Black Hawk, fearing that 
more of his band would be massacred, ordered his braves not 
to shoot. He then raised a white flag and called out in the 
Winnebago tongue to send a canoe so that he could go aboard 
the steamer and surrender himself. The message was delivered 


and translated to Throckmorton, but he pretended to believe it 
was a decoy and called to the Indians to send a boat aboard. 
The Indians had no boat or canoe anywhere accessible and told 
him so. Notwithstanding, the redoubtable captain opened fire 
with a cannon on the unfortunate Indians, killing twenty-three 
and wounding many more. Lest this statement be regarded as 
incredible I quote Throckmorton's own language made in his 
report of the occurrence. 

The captain, under date of August 3, 1832, writes : 

After about fifteen minutes delay, giving them time to 
remove a few of their women and children, we let slip a 
six-pounder, loaded with canister, followed by a severe fire 
of musketry; and if you ever saw straight blankets, you 

would have seen them there We fought them for 

about an hour or more until our wood began to fail 

This little fight cost them twenty-three killed, and of course 
a great many wounded. We never lost a man. 

At the time of this murderous attack of Throckmorton upon 
Black Hawk and his immediate body-guard, the main body of 
the retreating tribe had not yet reached the banks of the river, 
after Black Hawk had offered to surrender. He (Black 
Hawk) and the small body of warriors with him were at the 
time engaged in the effort to transport some of their women 
and children across the river into Iowa. The remainder of the 
tribe, sore-footed, famished and weary, were approaching the 

The troops under Henry, after the fight at Wisconsin 
Heights, were short of provisions and were unable to follow up 
their success in pursuit of the fleeing Indians, and fell back to 
Blue Mounds. In the meantime General Atkinson had assem- 
bled the United States Regulars and about 2,000 volunteers at 
Blue Mounds. He marched these troops and those of General 
Henry to Helena, on the Wisconsin River. Crossing the Wis- 
consin at this point, he soon found the trail of the retreating 
Indians and ascertained that they were eating birds and the 
bark of trees and the flesh of their ponies that had died on the 
march. Atkinson, probably because he was jealous of Henry's 
success in finding and vanquishing Black Hawk in his absence, 

Kellogg Grove Monument, Black Hawk War 


placed Henry and his troops in the rear of the pursuing army, 
and in charge of the baggage, and pressed the rest of his troops 
forward upon the Indian trail with great vigor. 

When Atkinson and his army were almost upon them, the 
Indians resorted to a ruse. Twenty or thirty of them marched 
back upon the trail and boldly attacked the pursuing troops 
with instructions to retreat promptly after the first atack 
towards the Mississippi, but towards a point on the river three 
miles away from the point where the main body would strike 
the bank of the river. If the Atkinson troops followed them, 
that would enable the rest of the band to reach and cross the 
river. The ruse was partially successful. The troops in the 
vanguard did follow the retreating Indians, but when the troops 
in the rear under Henry came up, they discovered that the 
main trail of the fleeing Indians led in a somewhat different 
direction. Henry, in command of the rear-guard numbering 
300 men, ordered his men to follow the main trail and shortly 
thereafter fell upon the main body. In this body there were 
probably 300 warriors, but they were exhausted, half famished 
and illy supplied, and were burdened with women and children. 
They fought desperately but without avail. Atkinson, hearing 
the noise of conflict in his rear, ordered his troops to the scene 
of battle. About the same time the steamboat Warrior again 
appeared upon the scene and began to rake the islands to which 
some of the Indians had fled, with canister. 

The massacre (for such it was) of Bad Axe lasted for nearly 
three hours and resulted in the killing of 150 Indians and the 
drowning of the same number in their efforts to cross the river. 
Governor Reynolds, in commenting upon this affair in his work 
My Own Times, writes as follows: "Many of the Indians at- 
tempted to swim the river and were shot in the water. Al- 
though the warriors fought with courage and valor of despera- 
tion, yet the conflict resembled more a carnage than a regular 
battle. It is supposed that 150 Indians were killed in this en- 
gagement and many drowned in attempting to swim the river. 
Fifty, mostly squaws and children, were taken prisoners. Some 
squaws were killed by mistake in battle. They were mixed 
with the warriors and some dressed like males. ,, (Reynolds' 


My Own Times, p. 265.) The American loss was only seven- 
teen killed and twelve wounded. Reynolds writes that Black 
Hawk commanded and was with the twenty Indians who threw 
Atkinson off the main trail. (P. 264.) 

As a result of the massacre at Bad Axe, the Black Hawk 
Sac were almost completely exterminated. Probably 1,000, in- 
cluding women and children, crossed from Iowa into Illinois a 
few months before under Black Hawk's leadership. Before or 
during the fight at Bad Axe, only 300 had recrossed the river 
back into Iowa. These were attacked by Sioux Indians by direc- 
tion of General Atkinson and half of them were slain. It is 
reputed that August 2, 1832, only 150 of the tribe could be 
found alive, and most of these must have been women and 

On the night following the attack from the steamboat War- 
rior upon Black Hawk and his body-guard, the old chieftain fled 
into the woods just east of the scene of the slaughter, hoping 
to find refuge with the Winnebagoes. General Street, the Indian 
agent, detailed two Winnebago Indians to follow him, take him 
prisoner and return with him to Street, at Prairie du Chien. 
They were successful in their quest and delivered him to Gen- 
eral Street, August 27, 1832. He was taken from Prairie du 
Chien to St. Louis and kept in Jefferson Barracks during the 
winter of 1832-33. He was afterwards taken to Washington, 
D. C., at the request of President Jackson. After an interview 
with the President he was confined for a short time in Fortress 
Monroe and then released and allowed to spend the last few 
years of his life with the little remnant of his tribe which had 
survived war, famine and massacre. He died October 3, 1838. 

While the so-called Black Hawk war was in progress, Presi- 
dent Jackson had ordered Gen. Winfield Scott to assemble a 
body of United States Regulars and proceed to the scene of the 
trouble. Scott left Fort Monroe June 20 and reached Chicago 
July 10. En route his troops were attacked by an acute type of 
Asiatic cholera from which 300 died before he reached Chicago. 
On arrival there, Fort Dearborn was turned into a hospital and 
the garrison bivouacked on the open prairie. Ninety more of 
his troops died at Fort Dearborn, the epidemic persisting until 


July 29. On that day General Scott left Chicago and arrived 
at Prairie du Chien August 8 after the massacre of Bad Axe. 
He had been authorized by the President, in association with 
Governor Reynolds, to secure if possible a treaty with the Sac 
and Fox tribes that would insure permanent peace. 

Upon arrival at Prairie du Chien, Scott assumed command 
of all the forces, both regulars and militia ; placed the few regu- 
lars who had survived the ravages of the deadly cholera while 
traveling from Detroit to Prairie du Chien under command 
of Colonel Eustis, and ordered them to proceed to Fort Arm- 
strong on Rock Island. After mustering out the volunteers, 
Scott repaired to Fort Armstrong and ordered all the Sac and 
Fox prisoners to meet him at the fort for conference and dis- 
cussion about a treaty. At this juncture the cholera again 
broke out amoung the troops in Fort Armstrong, resulting in 
fifty more deaths and 300 attacks. This compelled him to dis- 
miss the Indian prisoners with orders to await notice of further 
assembly. On September 21, 1832, the ravages of the cholera 
having finally ceased, the Indians were again assembled and 
a treaty placed before them for signature. It was of course 
signed. A refusal would have invited extinction or life im- 
prisonment for the captives. Keokuk and eight others of the 
Sac represented the Sac tribe and the Fox were represented 
by twenty-four of that tribe. General Scott and Governor Reyn- 
olds represented the United States Government. It should be 
noted, however, that in this treaty, forced as it was upon a 
defeated and decimated band of Indians by an overwhelmingly 
powerful and victorious nation, that more consideration was 
shown to the conquered than was shown to them by the Har- 
rison treaty when they were unconquered in 1804. At the sign- 
ing of the Harrison treaty, four or five whiskey-soaked war- 
riors were wheedled into parting with 50,000,000 acres of rich 
land for an annuity of $1,000. A stricken governmental con- 
science in the breasts of General Scott and Governor Reynolds, 
or a deep sympathy with the Indians in their misery, or a desire 
on the part of Scott and Reynolds to undo some of the injustices 
of the past, induced the American commissioners to allow the 
Sac and Fox to retain a reservation of 400 square miles to be 


set aside for them by the President, and secured to the tribes 
an annual annuity of $20,000 a year for thirty years. The treaty 
further provided that the Indians should receive forty kegs of 
tobacco and forty barrels of salt annually for thirty years, to 
pay $40,000 of their debts and a large amount of provisions to 
relieve their urgent poverty. There is quite a contrast betiveen 
these provisions in favor of the Indians, and that provision in 
the Harrison treaty of 180 % which gave them $1,000 a year for 
50,000,000 acres of land. 

A gigantic statue of Black Hawk and not of General Atkin- 
son, nor any other American warrior, now overlooks with steady 
but sorrowful gaze the beautiful Valley of the Rock River, the 
lost home of his people. It was erected by patriotic Americans 
whose love of country did not forbid them to sympathize with 
the sufferings of rashly brave men who died in what they be- 
lieved was a righteous defense of their homes and the graves 
of their ancestors. Black Hawk was a brave, high-souled, in- 
telligent man who was resentful of injuries done him and his 
people, but he lacked both tact and judgment. After he and 
his tribe had signed the treaty of June 30, 1831, under the terms 
of which they retired across the Mississippi to Iowa and bound 
themselves to remain there, they acted in a most foolhardy 
manner in breaking the treaty and recrossing into Illinois in 
the following year. It is probably true that his people were 
starving in Iowa. But when Black Hawk and 500 warriors 
and 1,500 women and children recrossed the river from Iowa 
into Illinois in April, 1832, their former cornfields had been in 
possession of the "squatters" and preemptors during the Winter 
of 1831-32 and no food could have been found on these fields. 
Black Hawk knew that the crossing of the river and violation 
of the treaty would compel him and his 500 warriors to face 
the armed forces of a nation of 15,000,000 of white men and 
that such a conflict would be suicidal. He lacked the tact and 
discretion of Keokuk. Instead of surrendering himself and his 
starving people to the United States authorities in Iowa, or at 
Fort Armstrong, and throwing upon them the responsibility of 
starvation and famine, he provoked an inevitable conflict which 
could have but one end. But it must be remembered in excuse 


of Black Hawk that in 1832 there was no telegraph or railroad 
by which he could have reached the ear of the President at 
Washington or Governor Reynolds in the State Capitol. His 
former treatment by the United States agents at Fort Arm- 
strong was such that he may have had no confidence in the 
humanity or sense of justice in that quarter. Whatever may 
have been his lack of tact or good judgment, it was not so 
nearly worthy of criticism as the scandalously unfair treatment 
that the United States authorities accorded to him and his tribe 
in and before the year 1831. 

The Black Hawk war gave an opportunity to a large num- 
ber of young men to make their first appearance in the public 
life of the nation. It was the first stepping-stone towards future 
greatness for an extraordinary number of brilliant young men 
who afterwards loomed large in the history of the United States. 
Some of them were privates in the ranks of the volunteers and 
some of them young lieutenants in the Regular Army fresh from 
West Point. Among them were two who were afterward elected 
Presidents of the United States, Zachary Taylor and Abraham 
Lincoln ; one who was afterwards elected president of the South- 
ern Confederacy during the Civil war, Jefferson Davis ; one who 
was then governor of Illinois, John Reynolds; five who after- 
wards became governors of the same state, Thomas Ford, 
Thomas Carlin, William L. D. Ewing, Joseph Duncan and John 
Wood ; four who afterwards became United States senators from 
Illinois, Sidney Breese, 0. H. Browning, James Semple and 
William L. D. Ewing; and several who became successful and 
distinguished generals in the United States Army, among them 
John A. Logan, John A. McClernand and Winfield S. Scott. Two 
Confederate generals in the Civil war, Albert Sidney Johnston 
and Joseph E. Johnston, were also among the young men who 
participated in the Black Hawk war. Among others who vol- 
unteered in this war and afterwards rose to distinction were 
Peter Cartwright, a great camp-meeting preacher ; Gen. Samuel 
Whiteside; Henry Atkinson; John Raum, father of Green B. 
Raum and John M. Raum, United States generals in the Civil 
war; Henry Eddy, of Shawneetown; Harrison Wilson; Murray 
McConnell, and Adam W. Snyder, whose death after his nom- 


ination alone prevented his election as governor of Illinois; 
Gordon Hubbard; Zadoc Casey and John T. Stuart, law part- 
ner of Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln volunteered as a 
private and was afterwards elected captain of his company in 
the Black Hawk war. 


In December, 1834, Joseph Duncan was inducted into office 
as governor of Illinois. He had for a number of years been 
a member of Congress from Illinois and was the first man in 
Illinois to succeed in beating Daniel Pope Cook at the polls. 
During his incumbency in the office of congressman he was 
always aligned with Jeffersonian Democracy, although during 
the last two years of same he had shown some independence in 
casting his votes in Congress, occasionally voting contrary to 
Jackson's measures. 

Nonetheless, he claimed to be a Jacksonian Democrat, ex- 
plaining that where he had voted contrary to the Jackson pro- 
gram, Jackson and not he, Duncan, had changed his position. 
He was opposed by W. C. Kinney, the perennially unsuccessful 
candidate for governor. During the campaign Duncan remained 
in his seat at Washington and thus escaped the heckling and 
questioning that he might have encountered if he were per- 
sonally on the stump in Illinois. Kinney was no more successful 
against Duncan than he was against John Reynolds four years 
before. Duncan was elected with the help of Whig votes, and 
in his inaugural message he disclosed his Whig proclivities and 
advocated measures that Jacksonian Democrats regarded as 
political heresies. He favored the establishment of state banks 
in which the state would be financially interested. Only four 
years before, the people had seen the collapse of a state bank, 
leaving a state debt of $100,000, and the Legislature was not 
ready to renew the experiment. Enough members, however, 
were found to speak in favor of the governor's scheme to open 
the subject for discussion, and work was energetically com- 
menced to convince the opponents and doubters. 


Governor 1834 

(Courtesy Illinois State Historical Library.) 


Ford, in his History of Illinois, gives a very vivid account 
of the log-rolling and reprehensible methods pursued to obtain 
votes for the establishment of the banks. (Pp. 170 to 175, in- 
clusive.) The final result of these efforts was the enactment 
of a law creating a banking corporation with a capital of $1,500,- 
000, with the privilege of increasing the capital to $2,500,000. 
The state received $100,000 worth of the stock for its own in- 
vestment. The same Legislature at about the same time revived 
the old charter of the Shawneetown bank, which had ceased to 
do business twelve years before. Governor Ford, in his history 
of Illinois (pp. 171 and 172) states that the bill creating the 
state bank passed the lower house by a majority of one vote 
and that one of the votes was obtained by promising the caster 
of the vote an appointment as state's attorney. The head office 
of the state bank created by this act was located at Springfield 
and branches were established at Alton, Chicago, Galena, Jack- 
sonville and Vandalia. The charter, in the effort to make the 
state bank one to be controlled by residents of Illinois, gave 
a preference in subscribing for stock to residents of Illinois 
and required with the subscription for each share of stock a 
deposit of five dollars. Immediately coteries of scheming cap- 
italists, according to Ford, were organized to secure a majority 
of stockholders and obtain control of this bank. Among these 
capitalists were Theophilus W. Smith, then one of the judges 
of the Supreme Court; John Tilson, Jr., Thomas Mather, God- 
frey Gilman & Company of Alton, and Samuel Wiggins. Some 
of these men had obtained large sums of money from New 
York and Connecticut for use as subscriptions in the state bank. 
As preference under the charter was given to residents of Illi- 
nois and to small subscribers, these capitalists, or some of them, 
secured the names of residents of Illinois, subscribed in their 
names for the stock and obtained powers of attorney from all 
such subscribers authorizing the payment for the same and 
assignments of all their right as subscribers to these capitalists. 
By using these instruments and other devious methods, five 
men, with the connivance of the commission appointed to or- 
ganize the bank, succeeded in having thirty-nine shares more 
than one-half of the total subscriptions assigned to them. These 


five were Tilson, Mather, Wiggins and the members of God- 
frey Gilman & Company. The state bank so organized went into 
operation in 1835 under the presidency of Mather and a board 
of directors controlled by the syndicate of five. Godfrey Gilman 
& Company were prominent merchants at Alton, heavily inter- 
ested in the lead mines of Galena, who controlled enough of the 
stock to elect a majority of the board of nine directors. The 
stock was over-subscribed and for a time was quoted at 113 on 
the dollar. The Whigs were in complete control, although a 
few Democrats were appointed officials for appearance sake. 
At and before the creation of the bank there was great rivalry 
between Alton and St. Louis. Godfrey Gilman & Company were 
heavy backers of Alton and the most influential merchants of 
that city. The great ambition of that firm was to control at 
Alton the great commerce in lead, most of which had been going 
from Galena to St. Louis. Having control of the new state 
bank, this firm succeeded in negotiating a loan of $800,000, with 
which it attempted to corner the lead market. For a time the 
price of lead increased enormously, but within a few months 
the corner collapsed and the firm found itself insolvent and 
$1,000,000 was lost to the new state bank. Governor Reynolds 
declares : "The bank must have lost by all its Alton operators 
nearly $1,000,000, and was nearly insolvent before the second 
year of its existence, though the fact was unknown to the 
people." (P. 178.) This was the beginning of the end of this 
state bank, although its final collapse occurred later on. 

Governor Duncan was more responsible than any other man 
for this and another disastrous banking law. Although the crea- 
tion of a state bank was not an issue at the time of his election, 
he, without any authority from the electorate, raised the ques- 
tion, in his inaugural message and in 1835 advised the purchase 
by the state of $100,000 worth of the reserved stock. Under 
his administration again in 1837 the Legislature increased the 
capital stock of the bank by $2,000,000, the whole of which was 
to be subscribed for by the state. During his administration 
in 1835 the old Shawneetown Bank, which had been dead for 
years, was resuscitated with a capital of $300,000, and in 1837 
this capital was increased by $1,400,000, of which $1,000,000 


■^sisK Y' 1 ?-';:.. 

** wm- 

Governor 1834-38 

(Courtesy Illinois State Historical Library.) 


was to be subscribed for by the state. As a result of this rash 
and reckless legislation, partially inspired by Governor Duncan 
and wholly authorized by him, the State of Illinois became the 
owner of more than $3,000,000 worth of stock out of a total of 
$5,200,000 in two insolvent and ill-managed banks under the 
control of private capitalists who deliberately looted one of them 
in private speculation of a gambling character. These ill-advised 
and misconceived laws creating these banks, and the wild and 
visionary laws for general public improvements which were 
forced upon the Legislature during Governor Duncan's admin- 
istration by public hysteria, brought the State of Illinois to the 
verge of bankruptcy within six or eight years. It is best de- 
scribed and summarized by Governor Ford in his history, p. 278, 
where he describes the situation in 1842 as follows : 

To sum up, then, this was the condition of the state 
when I came into office as governor. The domestic treas- 
ury of the state was indebted for the ordinary expenses 
of government to the amount of about $313,000. Auditor's 
warrants on the treasury were selling at fifty per cent; 
discount, and there was no money in the treasury what- 
ever ; not even to pay postage on letters. The annual reve- 
nues applicable to the payment of ordinary expenses, 
amounted to about $130,000. The treasury was bank- 
rupt; the revenues were insufficient; the people were un- 
able and unwilling to pay high taxes; and the state had 
borrowed itself out of all credit. A debt of near fourteen 
millions of dollars had been contracted for the canal, rail- 
roads and other purposes. The currency of the state had 
been annihilated ; there was not over two or three hundred 
thousand dollars in good money in the pockets of the whole 
people, which occasioned a general inability to pay taxes. 
The whole people were indebted to the merchants; nearly 
all of whom were indebted to the banks, or to foreign mer- 
chants; and the banks owed everybody; and none were 
able to pay. 

Governor Duncan was not chargeable with the demand for 
general public improvements. That element was well nigh uni- 
versal. But the demand for state banks founded principally 
on state credit, but controlled by private capitalists, did not 
originate with the people. To add to the misfortunes of the 







I 1 I 

" M ft I 

I I I 


I— I 










banks and the state, the panic of 1837 now appeared. In May, 
the two banks suspended payments. Governor Duncan called 
a special session of the Legislature to legalize the suspension and 
prevent the forfeiture of the state bank's charter. Subsequent 
thereto, the Legislature proceeded to do so with certain limita- 
tions. It limited the amount of notes which the bank might 
issue to the amount of capital actually paid in, and prohibited 
dividends until the bank resumed payments. 

In the meantime the state bank had sought to be made a 
depository of the United States. The secretary of the treasury, 
a Democrat, finding it to be controlled by his political enemies, 
the Whigs, and that they were hostile to the party in power at 
Washington, refused to make it such a depository. The loans 
to Godfrey Gilman & Company, and other acts of mismanage- 
ment, were being whispered about and the Democrats in and 
out of office began to declaim about its management and even 
to demand the revocation of its charter. Governor Carlin, in 
1839, denounced the bank for suspending payments and asked 
the Legislature to appoint a committee of investigation. This 
committee was appointed and found a sorry state of affairs in 
the bank. It discovered that Wiggins, one of the directors, had 
borrowed from the bank on his stock, which was unpaid for; 
that the Chicago branch had through its cashier loaned large 
sums to pork speculators and was denying accommodations to 
others. It also discovered the scandalous loans made by the 
bank in Alton. Governor Carlin, in 1842, recommended the 
repeal of the bank charter. 

During Governor Duncan's term of office occurred the shame- 
ful and unjustifiable killing of Elijah P. Lovejoy in the streets 
of Alton by a mob that was seeking to destroy his property, a 
newspaper press then stored in a warehouse. Lovejoy was a 
high-minded Presbyterian minister, chivalrous and determined 
in character. He was ardently and pugnaciously a foe of human 
slavery in any form. He believed it was a crime against both 
God and man and had no hesitation in saying so and printing 
it in his religious paper. Driven from St. Louis where he had 
been publishing his paper, by the violence of pro-slavery senti- 
ment in the State of Missouri, he came to Illinois because it was 


a free-soil state and started to publish his anti-slavery paper at 
Alton. Because of the so-called "abolition" statements expressed 
in his paper, his press was seized and destroyed by mobs on 
three different occasions. Undaunted by these manifestations 
of violent disapproval, he, with the assistance of friends, se- 
cured a fourth press and had it safely stored in a warehouse at 
Alton. He and his friends armed themselves to prevent its 
destruction. A mob gathered in front of the warehouse in 
which the press was stored and in which Lovejoy and his friends 
were all well armed. The mob attempted to set fire to the ware- 
house. A shot from the warehouse killed a man in the street. 
The mob became furious and again attempted to set fire to the 
building. To prevent this, Lovejoy and two companions with 
arms came out of the warehouse and fired into the mob. While 
so doing, Lovejoy was shot and killed and his two companions 
were bady wounded by fire from the mob. 

This shocking affair created a sensation throughout the 
entire nation, and intensified the bitterness which had long ex- 
isted between the enemies of slavery and the defenders of the 
same. That Lovejoy had the legal right to denounce slavery 
and defend his property cannot be questioned. Aye, he had the 
legal right to advocate "abolition," unpopular though it was 
at that time and at that place. So unpopular was Lovejoy at 
Alton that as Smith declares in his history: "As the hearse" 
(containing the body of Lovejoy) "passed through the streets 
it was met by the hisses and scoffs of the men who were loafing 
about the streets. There was no inquest and no funeral." (P. 
184, Vol. II.) Yet unpopular as was the name of Lovejoy at 
Alton in 1837, it became one idolized throughout the state and 
nation within a few short years thereafter. Lovejoy, dead, ac- 
complished much more for the cause of human freedom than 
Lovejoy living. The "blood of the martyr is the seed" for his 
cause. The echo of the shot that killed him rang 'round the 
world. Love joy's death and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle 
Tom's Cabin were the first skirmish-line shots in the great Civil 
war of 1861. 

Much of the enmity towards and unpopularity of Lovejoy 
locally around Alton arose not from his opposition to slavery, 


for there were many of that view in the community. Much of 
it developed because he failed to keep his pledges as to the 
public, his insistence upon abolishing slavery by confiscatory 
methods, and unjust and vituperative attacks upon all who did 
not agree with him. He unjustly and untruthfully assailed 
Christian men and women who did not belong to his own sect 
of Christians, and by both tongue and pen in matters outside of 
the controversy about slavery displayed a bitterness and fanati- 
cism unworthy of a Christian minister of the Gospel. How- 
ever, while his loss of local popularity may be traced to these 
sources, his loss of life was caused by one cause alone, his heroic 
defense of the right of free speech and a free press. In his 
brave assertion of the right to champion the cause of human 
liberty, he gave up his life as cheerfully and as gallantly as did 
Robert Emmett or John Brown. 



In the year 1837, Andrew Jackson then being President of 
the United States and Joseph Duncan governor of Illinois, the 
City of Springfield was selected by the Legislature as the per- 
manent capital of the State of Illinois; and two young men 
appeared on the political horizon as members of the Legislature 
of 1836-37 whose names were to become famous, not only 
through the state and nation, but throughout the civilized world 
— Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. The former was 
to be hailed afterwards as the "Great Emancipator" of over 
3,000,000 human beings, then held in the bondage of slavery, 
the savior of a nation threatened with annihilation by the most 
formidable rebellion in history, and the greatest martyr to 
human liberty on the rolls of time. The latter was to leave a 
name not so imperishable in achievement as that of Lincoln, 
but still a glorious one, that of having devoted his life to a 
strenuous, continuous and nobly patriotic struggle, to prevent 
the dismemberment of his native land and standing nobly behind 
his political rival when rebellion raised its grizzly head, and 
seconding every effort made by his political antagonist to con- 
quer treason and save his country. 

Laying aside for the present the consideration of their great 
futures, let us endeavor to visualize the two men, their charac- 
ters and surroundings as they appeared in 1836 when they 
were both young members of the same Legislature — the one a 
Whig, the other a Democrat. Both were ambitious young law- 
yers of limited practice. A five-dollar retainer would have se- 
cured the service of either of them in any honest, decent litiga- 
tion. They were alike in many particulars. Both were born 



outside of Illinois, one in Kentucky, the other in Vermont. They 
were both poor, both ambitious, both good debaters. Both had 
already given evidence that they were to become leaders of 
their respective political parties. Both quickly arrived at those 
positions of leadership. Physically and temperamentally they 
differed. Lincoln was tall, angular, very homely, with a sad and 
melancholy face when in repose, self-conscious and awkward, 
particularly when in the presence of women. In conversation 
or debate he was far-seeing, argumentative, logical and quite 
frequently humorous. His early life was shockingly poverty- 
stricken and was sustained for years only by the coarsest man- 
ual labor. He had little or no schooling, and what education he 
acquired was self-taught and self-obtained by gluttonous reading. 
Douglas in stature was short and thick-set. He was bright- 
faced and rather good-looking. His manner was jovial, im- 
pulsive and optimistic. He was a ready talker and very elo- 
quent. His first appearance in Illinois was at Jacksonville in 
1833, from which place he walked to Winchester to take a job 
as clerk. He then taught a private school for forty dollars a 
month, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1834. Lin- 
coln and Douglas met each other in the practice of the law and 
were friendly to each other. When they met as fellow-members 
of the same Legislature in 1836, there were two widely an- 
tagonistic parties in national politics, the Whigs and the Demo- 
crats. The Whigs were led by Abraham Lincoln, John T. Stuart, 
Ninian Edwards, John J. Harding, Jesse DuBois and 0. H. 
Browning. The Democratic leaders were Stephen A. Douglas, 
W. L. D. Ewing, James Shields, Ebenezer Peck, John C. Cal- 
houn and William Thomas. By 1840 Lincoln was easily recog- 
nized as head chief of the one and Douglas the high priest of 
the other. 

In 1839 the presidential election of the following year was 
approaching. The administration of President Van Buren was 
being assailed by the Whigs and was being defended by the 
Democrats. A friendly debate was arranged that year by the 
Whigs and Democrats, in which both Douglas and Lincoln en- 
gaged, in the first of the many debates which were held between 
these two great men. This was the first vigorous contest which 

Where Lincoln Clerked — Old New Salem 


the Democratic party had to face since the election of Jefferson. 
It lost in the nation, but the Democrats carried Illinois for Van 

Before the year 1837 the state was wildly agitated on the 
subject of making public improvements, such as railroads and 
canals by appropriations, or the issuance of state bonds. San- 
gamon County at that time, by virtue of an apportionment law 
passed in 1835, had nine representatives in the Legislature, two 
in the Senate and seven in the House. These representatives, 
all of them Whigs, were instructed by their constituents in 
Sangamon County to "vote for a general system of local improve- 
ments" and "to bring to Springfield the capital of the state." 
The persistency, sagacity and loyalty which they displayed 
towards their constituents, and the remarkable success which 
crowned their efforts, entitle them to have their names recorded 
at length in any history of Illinois. The names of these gentle- 
men were as follows: Senators Job Fletcher and Archer G. 
Herndon and Representatives Abraham Lincoln, W. F. Elkin, 
Ninian Edwards, Robert L. Wilson, John Dawson, Andrew 
McCormick and Dan Stone. They were nearly all tall men, 
the average being six feet. Because of their height they were 
dubbed by their legislative comrades "The Long Nine," which 
name has stuck to them historically. 

The location of the state capital at Vandalia was understood 
to be terminated in 1840. Alton had been favored for the state 
capital by public referendum a short time before, but its citizens 
had been carried away during the craze for the building of 
railroads with state money from that aim, and had a glorious 
vision of their city being made the terminal for several railroads 
from the East which would make Alton a greater city than St. 
Louis. The "Long Nine" adroitly assured the Altonites that 
their dreams of a future railway center should come true. They 
promised to vote for Alton as a railroad center if Alton would 
vote for Springfield as state capital. Inasmuch as they had been 
instructed to vote for "a general system of local improvements" 
and "bring the capital to Springfield," the "Long Nine" felt 
in duty bound to be as generous with their promises of support 
of favors to other localities in the state upon the same terms 


that they made with Alton. Chicago, Ottawa, LaSalle, Joliet 
and Peoria wanted support for the canal connecting them with 
Lake Michigan, then under construction. Cairo and Galena 
wanted a railroad connecting these two cities. Mount Carmel 
wanted a railroad connecting it with Alton. Peoria wanted a 
railroad to Warsaw, Belleville wanted one connecting it with 
Mount Carmel and Bloomington wanted another. The counties 
lying along the Wabash, Illinois and Rock rivers wanted 
improved navigation on all these streams. Even those counties 
that had no rivers or places for railroads wanted cash for wagon 
roads. The "Long Nine" talked to all of them. They were 
instructed to vote for "a system of general improvements." 
These demands for canals, railroads and wagon roads, evidenced 
a general system of demands for such improvements. The 
"Long Nine" decided to be as genial and accommodating with 
the other citizens of the state as they were with the Altonites. 
They would vote for appropriations, or the issue of state bonds 
to carry out the wishes of these different communities of the 
state, if the representatives of these communities would do 
the decent thing and make the charming and hospitable City 
of Springfield the permanent capital of the state. The able 
and adroit "Long Nine" found it easy to make such admirable 
bargains with the representatives in the Legislature of these 
cities and localities of the state along the line of voting for "a 
general system of local improvements" and "making Springfield 
the capital." The "Long Nine" and the representatives of all 
these localities and interests found little trouble in getting 
together, the result of which fraternal feeling was the passage 
of two important, far-reaching laws. 

The first of these laws was one which in substance provided 
for the issuance of state bonds for the making of "a general 
system of public improvements" as follows: 

For Construction of railroad from Galena to 

Cairo to cost $ 3,500,000 

For Northern Cross Railroad through Spring- 
field 1,800,000 

For Alton & Mount Carmel Railway 1,600,000 


For Peoria & Warsaw Railway 700,000 

For Branch of Central Road to Terre Haute 650,000 

For Bloomington & Mackinac Railway 350,000 

For Belleville & Mount Carmel Railway 150,000 

For Improvement of Navigation Wabash, Illi- 
nois and Rock Rivers 300,000 

For Improvement of Little Wabash and Kas- 

kaskia Rivers — 100,000 

For Counties Having No Rivers and No Pro- 
posed Railways for Their Wagon Roads 

and Bridges 200,000 


The other law was the law to make Springfield the state 

The members of the "Long Nine" were all Whigs, but it 
must not be concluded from their success that this extraor- 
dinarily generous disposal of the state's money or credit was 
due to the Whigs alone. As a matter of fact, the votes for 
the general improvement act came from Democrats as well as 
Whigs. The demand for public improvements had swept the 
state like a contagious epidemic. Canals were being built in 
the eastern states. Railroads were projected and some actually 
constructed in the old states. A great convention had been 
called by the people to meet at Vandalia a few days before 
the commencement of the session of the Legislature. It had 
passed, enthusiastically, resolutions demanding that the Legis- 
lature enact laws which would bring about the digging of canals, 
and the building of railroads, and other improvements through- 
out the state. The great majority of the people believed that 
the state could, and should, be gridironed with railroads and 
canals, and that the state and all its inhabitants would be 
enriched thereby. The resolutions passed by the public improve- 
ment convention were placed in the hands of a man friendly 
to their cause, young Stephen A. Douglas, a Democratic leader, 
who presented their plans to the Legislature. A lobbying com- 
mittee was appointed by the convention to argue with the mem- 


bers of the Legislature and keep track of their votes. Under 
such pressure, with the great majority of the people known 
to favor the project, the passage of some form of legislation 
providing for such improvement was inevitable. The only ques- 
tion left for determination was as whether the improvements 
contemplated should be made by private persons or corporations, 
or by the state; whether by private capital or by the credit 
of the state. The bill as drawn by the convention and as pre- 
sented by Douglas called for the expenditure of $7,450,000 in 
making the improvements, the money to be borrowed by the 
issuance of state bonds to be sold at par. Some few members 
were opposed to the measure as adopted, but they were unor- 
ganized, and when they occasioned a delay in the passage of 
the bill it resulted in an increase in the amount involved. 

The governor and his advisory council vetoed the bill, but 
the Legislature promptly passed the bill over the veto. Only 
the year before, the Legislature had granted charters to private 
companies authorizing the building of railroads in the state, 
but as nothing had been done under these charters, the Legis- 
lature must have concluded that if they relied upon private 
capital for building the improvements, the delay would be vexa- 
tious and unsatisfactory. The law making appropriations for 
general public improvements turned out, however, to be only 
"a noble experiment" which was soon found to be both unwork- 
able and expensive. Within five years the grandiose improve- 
ments contemplated by the act had to be abandoned when the 
state had become possibly indebted to the amount of $15,657,950 
and had little or nothing to show for it except the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal, which alone of all the proposed improvements 
turned out to be feasible, practical and an asset to the state. 

It is a matter of interest to remember in this connection 
that both Lincoln and Douglas at the beginning of their political 
careers, impelled by popular demand and with the best of 
motives, were mainly instrumental in having a law passed that 
they believed was a "noble experiment" but which afterwards 
proved to be disastrous to public interests. When Governor 
Duncan was installed in December, 1834, the state was indebted 
only to the amount of $217,276. As the result of the general 


system of public improvements law passed over his veto the 
state was actually indebted in December, 1838, when he retired 
and Governor Carlin was inaugurated, in the sum of $6,688,784, 
itemized as follows: 

Bonds Exchange for Bank Stock __ $2,665,000 

Bonds for Internal Improvements 2,204,000 

Bonds for Illinois and Michigan Canal 1,000,000 

Borrowed from School & Seminary Fund 719,784 

Wiggins Loan 100,000 

Grand Total $6,688,784 

Needless to say the "Long Nine" was successful in securing 
a winning majority vote for Springfield as the state capital. 
Springfield won handsomely and today still remains the capital 
of the State of Illinois. 


The Illinois and Michigan Canal has played so continuous 
and so important a part in the history of the state as to become 
entitled to a separate and distinct chapter in any history of 

The first white men that we have any authentic history of 
that floated on the Illinois, Desplaines and Chicago rivers were 
Pere Marquette and Louis Joliet. Paddling up the Illinois from 
the Mississippi in 1673 they entered the Desplaines, and, fol- 
lowing the course of that river, came to what in modern times 
was called Mud Lake, a slough which in springtime floods gave 
water connection between the Desplaines and the south branch 
of the Chicago River. The Indians had used it as a portage 
between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River from time 
immemorial. It was the shortest and most natural water-course 
to take, as they were headed for the missionary camp and 
French trading post on Green Bay, whence they had started 
out on their voyage of discovery, and they had with them Indian 
guides from Kaskaskia on the Illinois River to guide them over 
waters navigable for canoes and portages between streams. 

The value and importance of every portage which is the 
shortest cut between two navigable waters was known to every 
trained French explorer and particularly to so highly experienced 
an explorer as Joliet. That he and Marquette crossed the 
portage at Mud Lake between the Desplaines River and the 
south branch of the Chicago River cannot be doubted. Mar- 
quette's own written statement on the matter is exceedingly 
brief, but inferentially it amply sustains the contention that 
he and Joliet passed then what is now Chicago on their return 
from the Mississippi. 



Chicago in 1831 — Showing Fort Dearborn 


"We found there (on the Illinois River) an Illinois town 
called Kaskaskia, composed of seventy-four cabins ; they received 
us well, and compelled me to promise to return and instruct 
them. One of the chiefs of this tribe with his young men, 
escorted us to the Illinois lake (either Mud Lake or Lake 
Michigan) whence at last we returned in the close of September 
to the bay of the Fetid (Green Bay) whence we had set out 
in the beginning of June." (From Thwaites' Jesuit Relations, 
Vol. 59.) If by the "Illinois Lake" he meant Mud Lake, he 
must have crossed Mud Lake to get to Lake Michigan, as they 
were traveling in canoes and this was the only portage from 
the Desplaines to the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. 

That Joliet and Marquette reported to Governor Frontenac 
the existence of the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin 
rivers in Wisconsin and between the Desplaines and Chicago 
rivers at Chicago, and its adaptability for a canal cannot be 
doubted. All of Joliet's notes and maps were lost by the upset- 
ting of his canoe, but he afterwards drew a map from memory 
and his letter to Frontenac declares : "I have the happiness today 
to present you with this map which gives the position of the 
lakes which one had to cross to reach Canada or North America, 
which extends over 1,200 leagues from East to West." That 
on this map he failed to make the course of his voyage of dis- 
covery including the rivers and portages is incredible. Indeed 
he is quoted by some writers as having declared in 1674 that 
"it would only be necessary to make a canal by cutting through 
a half a league of prairie." 

From the very earliest times the importance of this portage 
or slight elevation of land about six miles west of the courthouse 
in Chicago, which divides the basin of the St. Lawrence from 
the Mississippi basin, has been recognized and noted. Its slight 
elevation and the ease with which a canal could be dug connecting 
Lake Michigan and the Mississippi have been commented upon 
by every writer and statesman anyway familiar with the North- 
west. The existence of that portage or slight elevation of 
ground so near to Lake Michigan caused the Congress of the 
United States, at the instigation of Nathaniel Pope, to move 
the northern boundary of Illinois fifty-one miles further north 


than originally designed in order to place the building of a 
great canal between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River within 
the boundary of one state, the State of Illinois. Joliet was 
impressed with its value, as was the great LaSalle. All travelers 
and missionaries were quick to see the need in the future of a 
canal connecting Lake Michigan with the headwaters of the 

In 1811, before Illinois became a state, a bill was introduced 
in Congress asking for the construction of such a canal. In 
1812 its value as a means for national defense was pointed out. 
In 1814 President Madison, in a message to Congress, called 
attention to the subject, and a committee was appointed to 
investigate and it reported that it was "a great work of the 
age" both for military and commercial purposes. In 1816 Gov- 
ernor Edwards, William Clark and Auguste Chouteau, on behalf 
of the United States, secured a treaty from the Pottawatomies, 
Chippewas and Ottawas, under the terms of which these tribes 
ceded to the United States a tract of land including Chicago 
and a strip of land connecting Lake Michigan with the Illinois 
River, upon the understanding with the Indians that the strip 
would be utilized for the building of a canal which would be 
of great value to the Indians as well as the whites. In 1817 
Major Long reported to Congress that "a canal uniting the 
waters of the Illinois River with those of Lake Michigan may 
be considered the first of importance of any in this quarter 
of the country, and the construction would be attended with 
very little expense compared with the magnitude of the object." 

In 1819 Calhoun, Secretary of War, directed the attention 
of Congress to the proposed canal and its importance for military 
purposes. The first governor of Illinois, Shadrach Bond, in his 
first message to the first Legislature, recommended the building 
of such a canal, and nearly every governor of the state has 
favored and recommended the building of some character of a 
canal connecting the same bodies of water or the greater devel- 
opment of the same. In 1822 Congress made a grant of land 
to the state for the purpose of building such a canal, the grant 
being ninety feet in width on each side of the proposed canal. 
In 1822-23 the Legislature passed a law providing for the ap- 


pointment of commissioners to make estimates and report in 
reference to the building of the canal. 

Five men, Emanuel J. West, Thomas Sloo, Erastus Brown, 
Samuel Alexander and Theophilus W. Smith, were appointed 
commissioners, and hired two engineers, Justin Post and Rene 
Paul, who made preliminary surveys, and reported that the canal 
would not cost to exceed $700,000. In 1824 the Legislature 
chartered a corporation called the "Illinois and Michigan Canal 
Association" which was empowered to dig the canal. The capital 
stock of the corporation was $1,000,000. The charter provided 
that "all cessions, grants and transfers made or that may here- 
after be made, by the Government of the United States for the 
purpose of promoting the completion of the canal, shall and 
vest in said corporation/' 

Congressman Daniel Pope Cook was quick to see that with 
such a selfish and unconscionable charter in existence, Congress 
would be exceedingly wary about making any other grants or 
giving any more assistance in the way of bringing about the 
completion of the canal. For the public good, Congress would 
be liberal, but for private gain it would be exceedingly slow to 
act favorably. He demanded the revocation of the charter in 
1825. His demand was acceeded to and the charter was annulled. 
In 1827 Cook, ably assisted by the United States Senators from 
Illinois, Elias Kent Kane and Jesse B. Thomas, secured from 
Congress a grant of land to the State of Illinois "for the purpose 
of aiding her in opening a canal to connect the waters of the 
Illinois River with those of Lake Michigan." The grant covered 
224,322 acres in a strip ten miles wide between Ottawa and 
Chicago, each alternate section being granted to the state. This 
land was authorized to be sold and the proceeds used for the 
construction of the canal. 

In 1826 another board of canal commissioners was appointed, 
composed of three members, Dr. Gershon Jayne, Edward Roberts 
and Charles Dunn. They ordered a different survey, by a new 
engineer, James M. Bucklin, who reported that the cost of 
construction would be much greater than the former estimate. 
In 1829 another act was passed giving the commission more 
ample powers in supervising the sales of land along the proposed 


waterway. Under the powers given the commission under this 
later act, the commission laid out the towns of Ottawa and 
Chicago, at each end of the proposed canal. Bucklin's estimate 
of the cost of the canal was $4,043,386. Somewhat later, at the 
request of persons interested, he reported the cost of building 
a railroad between Chicago and Ottawa to be $1,052,488. This 
question of building a railroad instead of a canal between the 
two towns was being seriously considered and a movement 
started for that purpose. Congress was petitioned to permit 
the state to substitute the railway for the canal and an act 
authorizing the same was passed by Congress March 2, 1833. 
Both schemes had their supporters and the matter halted until 
1835 when the governor was authorized to borrow $5,000,000, 
by mortgaging the canal lands. Attempts to float this loan 
were unsuccessful. Money-loaners, evidently, had doubts as to 
the value of these lands. Ex-Governor Coles, who had been 
commissioned by the canal commissioners to negotiate such a 
loan reported that he could not obtain such a loan in Philadelphia 
because the full credit of the state was not pledged to pay the 
proposed loan. 

In January, 1836, the full credit of the state was pledged 
by the Legislature to pay the bonds given for the loan. Bonds 
were issued and accepted, and the loan was secured. The people 
along the line of the proposed canal were immensely pleased, 
particularly in Chicago, then rapidly growing in population 
and importance, and on July 4, 1836, formal commencement 
of construction was celebrated with much ceremony in that city, 
at which Dr. William B. Egan, a prominent citizen of Chicago, 
delivered an excellent congratulatory address. A new board of 
canal commissioners was created to work under the direction 
of the governor, which was required to make reports every three 
months, and work was actually commenced in digging the canal. 
A sale of canal lots and bonds was had June 30, 1836, both 
at Chicago and Ottawa, and lots were sold for large sums of 
money. It took twelve years to completely construct and fully 
equip the canal, work commencing in 1836 and being finished 
in 1848. The operation of the canal by state commissioners 
commenced in the latter year and proved both useful and profit- 


able. By 1870 the profits under state ownership and operation 
enabled the state to pay off the whole cost of $8,000,000, and 
retain ownership clear of all liens. 

The canal, however, was constructed at a time when all 
canals were operated by animal power, was built with that power 
in contemplation, and was so operated by the state. The depth 
and width of the canal and its locks and banks were made to 
accommodate animal power only. The use of electricity for 
transportation was then unknown and not even remotely con- 
ceived until the twentieth century. The use of steam power 
was in its infancy and not applied to canals. It was the belief 
that if such power were attempted that the agitation of the 
waters of the canal by paddlewheels on the side or rear of the 
boats would erode and destroy the banks of the stream. Steam- 
power on canals was unknown and unused at the time of the 
building of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. 

Before 1870, however, it had become known that the canal 
operated as it was by animal power could not continue to be 
operated at a profit in competition with the railroads. These 
latter were building and operating heavier and more powerful 
locomotives and longer trains of cars at much reduced operating 
costs. The laborer with the scythe cannot compete with the 
reaping and binding harvester propelled by the tractor, or the 
old-fashioned housewife's needle with the sewing-machines of 
modern times. What to do with the old-fashioned animal-ope- 
rated canal began to be discussed by politicians and people in 
1868, when it was known that the old canal had outlived its 
day and age and would soon become unremunerative. It had 
paid for itself and owed the state nothing. In fact it was the 
only one of the grandiose projects provided for in the "general 
system of internal public improvements" in the Legislature in 
1836 and 1837 which proved practical and which was carried 
out and utilized by the people. 

In 1867 the Legislature passed a resolution calling for a 
popular vote on the question of holding a constitutional con- 
vention. Pursuant to a small but favorable popular majority, 
delegates to the constitution were elected and assembled Decem- 
ber 13, 1869, and framed a new constitution which was approved 


by the people in 1870 and which is still the constitution of the 
state. In that convention arose the question as to what should 
be done with the old canal, which would soon become unremu- 
nerative. The members from the southern part of the state 
were in favor of selling the canal and placing the proceeds of 
the sale into the public treasury, while the delegates from Chi- 
cago and the northern part of the state strenuously opposed the 
same. The canal had first been suggested by the French explorers 
and missionaries, had been favored and fostered by the Federal 
government, and had been advocated by every governor from 
Bond to Duncan. No territorial or local jealously would have 
developed if the other general improvements legislation in 1836- 
37 had been carried out. The canal was the only one of the con- 
templated "general improvements" that was carried out, and 
it was successful. 

The canal as constructed extended nearly 100 miles from 
Lake Michigan into the interior of the state. It had developed 
prosperous towns and cities along its course. Over it for twenty 
years millions of dollars worth of wheat, oats, corn, butter and 
other farm products had been floated into Chicago and the 
manufactured articles made in that city were carried into Cen- 
tral and Southern Illinois. All the towns and cities along the 
canal and river were prosperous and growing in size and impor- 
tance. The delegates from the southern counties viewed the 
canal, as a good thing for Chicago and the waterway cities and 
towns, but as of no use or benefit to them. The credit of the 
whole state had been used to build the canal and it belonged 
to the whole people of the state and not to Chicago and environs, 
they argued. They demanded that the canal be sold and its 
proceeds be placed in the public treasury, so that the southern 
people of the state could share with the northern people the 
proceeds of the sale. The northern people retorted that the 
sale of the canal was inspired by the railroads, to cut off com- 
petition and enable them to raise freight rates. 

The issue thus framed in the constitutional convention was 
referred to the committee on canals and canal lands, which 
wisely found a compromise and reported a provision which was 


adopted by the convention. The provision is now a part of 
the constitution of 1870 and reads as follows : 

The Illinois and Michigan Canal .... shall never be 
sold or leased until the specific proposition for the sale or 
lease thereof shall first have been submitted to a vote of 
the people of the state at a general election and have been 
approved by a majority of all the votes polled at such 
election. The General Assembly shall never loan the credit 
of the state or make any appropriations from the treasury 
thereof, in aid of railroads or canals; provided, that any 
surplus earnings of any canal may be appropriated for its 
enlargement or extension. 

Soon after the adoption of the new constitution in 1870, 
the old fossilized canal built between 1836 and 1848 for operation 
by animal power and small canal boats of a size capable of being 
pulled by horses or mules was found to be antiquated and unre- 
munerative. It is as useless today for a commercial canal as 
the domestic spinning-wheel of a century ago. The only use 
to which it is now put, is to allow small launches and pleasure 
craft of light draft to ply between the Illinois River and the 
Sanitary District Canal and its locks are opened and shut for 
this purpose. Its right of way between Chicago and Joliet is 
valuable and it has been suggested that this right of way might 
be used for double-decked highways between these cities when 
it can be reconstructed for that purpose. 

A demand for an adequate, up-to-date, modern canal began 
to develop shortly after the old canal was found to be obsolete. 
Proper facilities for the carrying of commerce between the 
Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico have always been demanded 
by an intelligent public and will be reiterated until such facilities 
are furnished and in operation. 

During the '70s and '80s of the nineteenth century the canal 
was practically abandoned for commercial purposes, because 
of its obsolete character and was derisively dubbed "the tadpole 
ditch." Agitation developed during these decades for the build- 
ing of a canal of such size and equipment as would be adapted 
to, and capable of, caring for the commerce of the twentieth 
century and all future developments in the Mississippi Valley. 

Present Building on Site of Old Palisade Fort, Galena 

The foundation being part of the original construction. • 


The vision of Joliet, of Nathaniel Pope and of the many great 
statesmen of state and nation during the past, of an enormous 
water commerce between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of 
Mexico, across the State of Illinois, had not faded from the 
intelligent minds of the statesmen and people of Illinois. There 
was an incessant and growing demand among manufacturers 
and merchants for the building of such a canal to accommodate 
such a commerce. The disposal of the sewage of the great 
City of Chicago and its environs, whose population had enor- 
mously increased and was continuing to increase by leaps and 
bounds, was also demanding the attention of the public. 

As a result of this agitation, the Legislature in 1889 incor- 
porated the Sanitary District of Chicago, which was empowered 
to dig "one or more main channels, drain ditches and outlets 
for carrying off and disposing of the drainage, including the 
sewage of such district." The law was so adroitly worded as 
to evade that provision of the constitution of 1870 which declared 
that "the General Assembly shall never loan the credit of the 
state, or make appropriations from the treasury thereof, in aid 
of railroads or canals." The word "canal" did not appear in 
the law lest the law might be attacked as an indirect subterfuge 
for building a canal by legislative authority, even though the 
general credit of the state was not involved. While the main 
purpose of the law was to give Chicago and its surrounding 
towns and villages sanitation, it was generally understood by 
those "in the know" at the time that the "channels" so con- 
structed were to be of such great dimensions, that they or it 
could and would form a link in a great canal connecting the 
Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico. 

I was intimately acquainted at that time with Richard Pren- 
dergast, who had recently retired from the County Court Bench 
of Cook County, and also, although not so intimately, with 
Frank Wenter, afterwards president of the Drainage District; 
Melville E. Stone, treasurer of the District; E. H. Gary, county 
judge of DuPage County and afterwards president of the United 
States Steel Company; Orrin N. Carter, attorney for the Dis- 
trict, afterwards judge of the Supreme Court; and Thomas F. 
Judge, clerk of the Sanitary District, and learned from them 


and others that the "channel" would connect the south branch 
of the Chicago River and the Desplaines River, and would be 
a canal of enormous dimensions, sufficient to accommodate ves- 
sels of about fourteen foot draft. 

The election for the first board of trustees in or about 1889 
was a most interesting one. The machine managers of the 
Democratic and Republican parties had met and agreed upon 
a slate upon which appeared the names of eight candidates, 
(four Democrats and four Republicans). These eight names 
appeared on both Democratic and Republican tickets, thus assur- 
ing (as both machines figured) the election of these eight men. 
Nine trustees were to be elected. Beside the eight names that 
appeared on each ticket, each party placed in nomination one 
other name ; the Democrats naming a Democrat and the Repub- 
licans a Republican. It looked like what the politicians called 
a "cinch" for the eight. There was great public dissatisfaction 
therewith, and the papers denounced the plan as a bipartisan 
political trick to place the expenditure of an enormous amount 
of public money in a self-constituted political junta. Judge 
Prendergast was outspoken in his denunciation of the bipartisan 
scheme and called together a few men who felt as he did, among 
them Democrats, Republicans and independents. They called 
upon Melville E. Stone and Victor F. Lawson, of the Chicago 
Daily News, which paper was denouncing the bipartisan deal. 
As a result, a Citizens ticket was placed in the field, headed by 
Prendergast and containing the names of John J. Alpeter, Wil- 
liam Boldenweck, L. E. Cooley, B. A. Eckhardt, P. Gilmore, 
Thomas Kelly, William H. Russell and Frank Wenter. Pren- 
dergast, who was a brilliant orator, took the stump and roasted 
the political machines until they became cinders, the News and 
other papers helped in turn the spit, and to the amazement of 
both machines their slated tickets were broken into fragments 
and the whole Citizens ticket was elected. 

The Sanitary District since its creation in 1889 has con- 
structed a huge canal, the main and power channel being over 
thirty-nine miles in length; and a river diversion channel of 
thirteen miles with a depth of twenty-two feet, and a width 
at the top varying from 198 to 225 feet and from 160 feet to 


202 feet at the bottom in the earth sections ; and with a width 
at the top of 162 feet to 160 feet at the bottom in the solid 
rock sections and a width of 200 feet in the river diversion. 
This enormous work, calling for over 44,000,000 cubic yards 
of excavation, had cost the citizens of the District about 
$95,000,000 up to the year 1924. 

The building of this great canal, so suitable for the navigation 
of vessels of even heavy draft, further intensified the demand 
of the people for the construction of a large commercial canal 
between Lockport -and Utica which would enable vessels of 
eight-foot draft to ply between Chicago and New Orleans. The 
inhibition of .the constitution against loaning the state's credit 
for the building of canals stood in the way of state aid. Chicago 
and its environs had already spent nearly $100,000,000 on its 
sanitary "channel," and by no possible pretence or subterfuge 
could it claim that a canal between Lockport and Utica would 
be a sanitary "channel." 

At length, however, the demand for a "Lakes to the Gulf" 
waterway grew so strong under the administration of Charles 
S. Deneen as governor, that the Legislature in 1907 provided 
for an amendment to the constitution authorizing the expendi- 
ture of not to exceed $20,000,000 for the construction of the 
waterway from Lockport to Utica. The amendment was approved 
by the people in 1908 and proclaimed by Governor Deneen during 
the same year. Further reference to the Illinois waterway 
will be made when I come to discuss the administrations of 
Governors Deneen, Dunne and Small. 


In the year 1838, Thomas Carlin, a Democrat, was elected 
governor of Illinois over Colonel Edwards, his Whig opponent. 
He was of Irish extraction, had been commander of a spy bat- 
talion in the War of 1812, and his occupation was that of a 
farmer. While not possessed of a college education he has been 
described as a man of "good common sense, high moral standard, 
great firmness of character and of unfailing courage." His 
administration inherited two heavy loads to carry, the nation- 
wide panic of 1837 and 1838 and the hysteria for "a general 
system of public improvements in Illinois," both of which came 
into being during the preceding administration of Governor 
Duncan. Carlin had been infected with the craze during Dun- 
can's administration, and had not recovered from its influence 
when he was inaugurated governor. Among others who were 
infected with the craze was nearly every prominent man in the 
Legislature, both Democrats and Whigs. Among those favoring 
the general improvement scheme were John Crain, John Dough- 
erty, John Dawson, Stephen A. Douglas, Ninian Edwards, Wil- 
liam F. Elkin, Augustus C. French, William H. Happy, John 
Hogan, Abraham Lincoln, N. F. Linder, John A. McClernand, 
John Moore, Joseph Naper, James H. Ralston, James Shields, 
Robert Smith, Dan Stone and James Semple, the Speaker. In 
the lower House sixty members favored the scheme and only 
about twenty-four opposed it. Nearly all of those favoring 
public improvements were afterwards elected to prominent and 
responsible offices by the people. 

In his inaugural message Governor Carlin urged the contin- 
uance of the work on public improvements in a restricted and 
modified way, but soon learned while in office the futility of its 


&~^^c<^t > 

Governor 1838-42 

(Courtesy Illinois State Historical Library.) 


further development. By the winter of 1839-40 he had reached 
the conclusion that the works projected were too pretentious 
and would prove too costly and that credit could not be obtained 
for their further prosecution. He called a special session of 
the Legislature to meet at Springfield (the new capital) Sep- 
tember 9, 1839, to take action on the cessation of work on the 
public improvements and the state indebtedness. In his message 
he stated that "the ruinous policy of simultaneously commencing 
all the works and constructing them in detached parcels was 
alike at variance with the principles of sound economy, destruc- 
tive to the interests of the state and to the system in all its 
parts." The last part of Carlin's administration was devoted 
to schemes for keeping up the payment of interest on the public 
debt and trimming the sails and jettisoning the public improve- 
ments cargo of the waterlogged ship of state. No doubt, Governor 
Carlin surrendered the ship to his successor, Governor Ford, 
with a sigh of relief in 1842 when the latter was inaugurated. 
He managed, however, to keep the interest paid on all indebted- 
ness of the state up to and including the year 1841. 

During Carlin's administration in 1839 and 1840 the peculiar 
and aggressive sect of religious fanatics known as the Mormons 
moved into Illinois from Missouri. In the latter state they had 
gotten into bitter controversies with their non-Mormon neigh- 
bors, as well as with the state authorities, and were compelled 
both by public sentiment and the action of the governor of 
Missouri, and the threat of criminal proceedings in the courts 
of that state, to move out of its territory and jurisdiction. They 
chose Illinois as their place of refuge and many thousands of 
them began the building up of a large city and the erection of 
an impressive temple at Nauvoo, in Hancock County. 

In Missouri the Mormons had been supporting the Democratic 
party at all elections. But when a Democratic governor of that 
Democratic state drove them out, they became embittered against 
the Democrats and when they moved into Illinois began to 
vote for and support the Whig party. Henry Clay and John 
T. Stuart, a member of the House of Representatives of the 
United States from Illinois, both of them Whigs, introduced 



in Congress and supported Mormon memorials protesting against 
their treatment in Missouri. 

According to Governor Ford's history, p. 262, "in August, 
1840, they voted unanimously for the Whig candidates for the 
Senate and Assembly. In the November following they voted 
for the Whig candidate for President, and in August, 1841, 
they voted for John T. Stuart, the Whig candidate for Congress 
in their district." This alarmed the Democrats, as the Mormons 
were rapidly increasing in members, and it seemed likely that 
they would soon hold the balance of voting power in the state. 
Both parties thereupon began to be solicitous over the Mormon 


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John Marshall's Residence in Shawneetown 

vote, and sought to curry favor with the Mormon leaders. 
At this juncture the Mormon leaders appeared before the Leg- 
islature of 1840-41, seeking certain charters for the rapidly- 
growing City of Nauvoo. Dr. John C. Bennett, their spokes- 
man and main lobbyist, presented the draft of the proposed 
charter to Mr. Little, the Whig senator from Hancock County 
and to Mr. Douglas, the Democratic secretary of state. Both 
of these gentlemen were anxious to do favors for the Mormons 
with the view of securing the Mormon vote, and helped Bennett 


in getting the matter before the Legislature. Little, the Whig, 
presented the Mormon bills in the Senate and had them referred 
to the judiciary committee headed by Snyder, a Democrat. The 
proposed charters were reported upon favorably and the bills 
passed in the Senate without a protesting vote. In the same 
way, shortly afterwards, the bills were passed in the House 
without objection. Both parties were equally participants in 
the passage of these laws, which were the basis of the Mormon 
Rebellion, which occurred under Governor Ford and which 
brought about the killing of the Mormon leaders and the expul- 
sion of the cult from Illinois. 


In the year 1838 Thomas Carlin, a Democrat, was as stated 
in the last chapter inaugurated governor. He found in the 
office of secretary of state, A. P. Field, who had been appointed 
by Governor Edwards when he was an "original Jackson man" 
and allowed to remain in office for ten years by two succeeding 
Democratic governors. Field in the meantime had changed 
his politics and for some time before 1838 had become an ardent 
and aggressive Whig. He was not in sympathy with the Demo- 
cratic state administration placed in power by popular vote 
and attempted to obstruct its measures when he possibly could 
do so. 

The office of secretary of state was an appointive one, the 
appointment being placed in the governor by the constitution. 
Governor Carlin, desiring a secretary in sympathy with his 
administration, appointed John A. McClernand secretary of 
state. Field was of a pugnacious disposition and succeeded in 
getting the Whig Senate to stand by him and refused to sur- 
render his office to McClernand. After the adjournment of 
the Legislature the governor again appointed McClernand to 
the office and the latter demanded possession of Field. Field 
again refused to surrender his office and McClernand appealed 
to the Supreme Court for relief. Field's contention before that 
court was that the constitution failed to fix the term of office 
of secretary of state, and that a person once appointed to the 
office held it without limit as to time unless removed for cause 
upon trial. The McClernand contention was that the office, 
being an appointive one and the appointment being vested in 
the governor, that the governor alone had the right to determine 
the length of tenure; that the power to appoint in the absence 



of a constitutional tenure carried the power to remove as a 
necessary corollary. 

The Supreme Court, as then constituted, was composed of 
three Whigs, Wilson, Brown and Lockwood, and one Democrat, 
Smith. Two of the Whigs on the bench, Wilson and Lockwood, 
decided against McClernand. Smith, the Democrat, decided in 
his favor. The other occupant of the bench, Brown, being related 
to McClernand, with decent propriety refrained from rendering 
any decision. The decisions of the two Whig judges, under the 
circumstances, became the decision of the Court binding upon 
the litigants. In effect the decision held that a constitution 
which in no place expressly fixed the tenure of any office for 
life or during good behavior inferentially by its failure to fix 
a definite tenure for an appointive office, made that office one 
for life or during good behavior, regardless of the wishes and 
intent of the appointive power. So strained a construction of 
the state constitution which would create offices for life shocked 
the conscience of the community and roused the Legislature to 
action. Another case decided by the same court about the same 
time still further aroused the public and elicited widespread 
criticism and doubts of the integrity of the court. 

A test case made up (according to Governor Ford) by two 
Whigs acting in collusion, was called for trial before a Whig 
judge sitting in the Circuit Court, in the Galena district. It 
involved the right of aliens to vote at elections in Illinois. The 
constitution of 1818, then in force on this subject, declared: 
"In all elections, all white male inhabitants above the age of 
twenty-one years having resided in the state six months pre- 
ceding the election shall enjoy the right of an elector." This 
provision of the constitution was adopted by the pioneer con- 
stitution builders with the express purpose of inducing immigra- 
tion into the sparsely settled state and giving the new arrivals 
into the state the right of participating promptly in the elec- 
tions and governmental policies of the state. This right given 
by the constitution to "inhabitants" for "six months" had been 
exercised by the newcomers without question or objection for 
over twenty years. When the state began to build the Illinois 
and Michigan Canal in 1837 there was a great influx of laborers 

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from Europe, and particularly from Ireland, to Chicago and 
along the canal to obtain employment. These laborers had 
fled from tyrannical, monarchical rule and were naturally imbued 
with a love of democracy. The name of the Democratic party 
as well as the principles it at the time proclaimed attracted 
them to the party. Overwhelming numbers of these laborers, 
many of whom soon became farmers along the canal, voted the 
Democratic ticket. The Galena collusive law suit was designed 
to disfranchise these foreign-born "six months inhabitants" of 
Illinois. The circuit judge at Galena promptly ruled that the 
word "inhabitant" in the constitution did not mean ''inhabitant" 
but "citizen," and the case was taken to the Supreme Court 
on appeal. The Supreme Court was constituted as it was in 
the McClernand case, three Whigs and one Democrat. The 
Democrats, largely as the result of the McClernand decision, 
were tremendously excited and alarmed. It was currently 
reported upon respectable authority that the decision was to 
be a three-to-one finding in favor of the Whig contention that 
the six months inhabitants must be six months citizens. Through 
a flaw in the record, Stephen A. Douglas and other Democratic 
lawyers obtained continuances until December, 1840. In the 
meantime, however, the Democrats in the Legislature, fully 
convinced of the political bias of the court, and that it would 
defy decency and fair construction of words in order to help 
the Whig party, introduced in the State House, December 10, 
1840, a bill for the reorganization of the judiciary. It passed 
the Senate after a long and bitter debate by a vote of twenty 
to seventeen, and was adopted by the House by a vote of forty- 
five to forty, February 1, 1841. On February 8 the council of 
revision (consisting of the governor and the judges of # the 
Supreme Court) returned the bill with rejection, signed only 
by members of the Supreme Court. The Whigs attempted a 
fillibuster in the Senate but it failed and the bill passed over 
the veto by a vote of twenty-three to sixteen in the Senate and 
forty-six to forty-three in the House. 

The law as passed, provided for the appointment of five 
additional judges of the Supreme Court and required the newly- 
appointed five and the four sitting judges to perform the duties 


of circuit judges in the nine circuits, and all as appellate judges 
in the Supreme Court. The five new judges appointed were 
all Democrats and thus the Democrats secured a majority on 
the Supreme bench. The sitting judges took alarm at the intro- 
duction of the bill December 10, 1840, and at the December 
term handed down a decision reversing the Galena Circuit Court, 
and Justice Smith's opinion squarely upheld the right of a six 

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The Last Remaining House in Old Brownsville 

The first county seat of Jackson County. Built about 1830. 

month's inhabitant to vote. The two Whig judges, Lockwood 
and Wilson, concurred in the reversal, but rather obscurely, 
on the ground that the clerk had no legal power to ask the 
voter if he were an alien. The decision, however, settled the 
right of resident aliens to vote until the adoption of the second 
constitution of 1848. 

The spectacle presented by these transactions in the Supreme 
Court and in the Legislature is not one on which the state can 
pride itself. That confidence in the fairness and integrity of 
the highest judicial tribunal of the state should be so shattered 
as it was in 1840, and that the highest legislative and executive 


bodies in the state should take such drastic action in reference 
to its judiciary is not a pleasant chapter to read in considering 
the history of any state. 

The five men placed upon the Supreme bench pursuant to 
the law reorganizing the courts were all Democrats. Their 
names were Sidney Breese; Thomas Ford, afterwards governor 
of Illinois ; Stephen A. Douglas, afterwards United States senator 
and Democratic candidate for the Presidency; S. H. Treat and 
Walter B. Scates. All were men of ability and of excellent 
character. I became well acquainted with the last of these, 
Scates. He was the senior member of the law firm of Scates, 
Hynes & Dunne, of which I was the junior member when I 
began practicing law at Chicago about the year 1880. He was 
a fine old gentleman of the highest integrity, an excellent lawyer, 
and was at that time carrying on a litigation for and advising 
with some members of the old and at one time powerful tribe 
of the Pottawatomie Indians. William J. Hynes, the other 
member of the firm, had been a member of Congress and was 
the ablest jury lawyer at the Chicago bar during the '80s and 
'90s of the nineteenth century. I have listened to many eloquent 
men in my day, and I doubt if I ever heard more eloquent 
speeches than those that fell from the lips of William J. Hynes. 
The four great orators of my time were Bourke Cochran, W. J. 
Bryan, Emory A. Storrs and William J. Hynes, all of whom 
have gone to their Great Reward. No orator now living, in my 
judgment, could equal any one of these great masters of words 
and emotions. Hynes, like Storrs, was as witty as he was 



He Completes the Illinois and Michigan Canal, Funds the 
State's Indebtedness, Salvages the Credit of the 
State, Prevents Repudiation and Becomes In- 
volved in the Mormon and Mexican War 

No governor of Illinois faced a more serious and critical 
condition of state affairs than did Governor Thomas Ford in 
1842 when he was inducted into office. According to Moses, 
in his History of Illinois, the state at that time was indebted 
as follows: 

To Banks for Stock $ 2,665,000 

For Internal Improvement Bonds 6,014,749 

For Canal Debts (Bonds) 4,504,160 

For State House at Springfield 121,000 

To School, College and Seminary Fund Bor- 
rowed by the State 808,084 

To Banks (Borrowed) 664,188 

To Interest Due January 1, 1843 880,769 

Total Debt Due January 1, 1843 $15,657,950 

Substantially the only valuable asset which the state could 
show as against this enormous liability was the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal, which in the end proved remunerative to the 
state. The other projected internal improvements were known at 
the time to be wild and visionary and conceded to be "upon the 
rocks." The banks in which the state held stock to the extent of 
$2,665,000 had suspended payment and were expected to be 
wound up in the courts for insolvency or bankruptcy. The credit 



of the state had, for the time being, been ruined by its wild ad- 
ventures into banking- and building enterprises, and no more 
money could be borrowed. This is the financial situation that 
Governor Ford was compelled to face. The cry of state repudia- 
tion of its debts was being heard both in the Legislature and 
among the people. 

Now Governor Ford before his election as governor was not 
prominently identified with the politics of the state. He was 
not regarded as one of the eminent leaders of his party. When 
selected by the Democratic party as its candidate for governor 
he was a member of the Supreme Court and was holding Circuit 
Court in the northern part of the state. He was regarded as an 
upright, honorable, painstaking and just judge. He had the 
esteem and respect of his fellow men in that position. His 
selection as candidate was accidental and resulted from the 
fact that the candidate for governor selected by the Democratic 
party in convention assembled in December, 1841, Adam W. 
Snyder, died during the campaign, in May, 1842. Compelled 
by the circumstances to act quickly, the Democrats, looking 
around for a new candidate, finally selected Ford, as a man of 
clean character and an upright judge, and placed him before 
the people as their candidate for the highest office in the state. 
According to Governor Ford, the nomination was tendered him 
without solicitation on his part. 

When the new governor faced the gloomy financial situation 
which he found after his inauguration, and sought its solution, 
the choice his party and the people had made proved a most 
admirable one. Although having had no great experience as 
a banker or comptroller, he had the moral sense and courage 
to recognize the folly and financial enormity of a great and 
growing sovereign state repudiating its debts. His message 
to the Legislature was a wise and able document. Its keynote 
was framed in the following sentence: "Let it be known in 
the first place that no oppressive or exterminating taxation 
is to be resorted to ; in the second, we must convince our cred- 
itors and the world that the disgrace of repudiation is not 
countenanced among us, that we are honest and mean to pay 
as soon as we are able." In the message he pointed out two 

Governor 1842-46 

(Courtesy Illinois State Historical Library.) 


reasons why the state in recent years had not increased appre- 
ciably in population. One reason was that the people of other 
states and nations feared to settle in Illinois lest they be saddled 
with exorbitant taxes to pay state debts. The other reason was 
that people outside of Illinois had acquired a contempt for the 
public men of Illinois, because of their lack of ability to conduct 
public affairs wisely and economically, and feared that as the 
result of reckless government the people would declare for 
repudiation of public debts. 

The first thing to demand Ford's attention was the completion 
of the unfinished Illinois and Michigan Canal. This Ford wisely 
determined must be completed, and, with the assistance of 
Justin Butterfield, a Chicago lawyer, he succeeded in devising 
a financial scheme under which the capitalists who held unpaid 
canal bonds, would advance sufficient money to complete same, 
provided the state would convey to them all the canal property 
in trust to secure the new loan and all the old canal debt; and 
would obligate the state to raise money by moderate taxation, 
to liquidate gradually, but surely, the state's whole indebtedness. 
In this way the money was raised to complete the canal and 
it was put in operation in 1848. 

Governor Ford next turned his attention to the banks in 
which the state held stock which was quoted as worth about 
50 cents on the dollar. He succeeded in arranging with these 
banks the surrender of the state bonds which these banks held 
in payment for the state's stock in exchange for the state stock 
in the banks, dollar for dollar, and thus reduced the state's debts 
over $3,000,000. He succeeded in getting the Legislature, which 
was originally in favor of cancelling their charters and throwing 
them into bankruptcy, to approve his scheme of surrendering 
the state's stock in the two banks in exchange for the state's 
bonds held by the banks. The bills providing for this exchange, 
framed by the governor, finally passed the House by a vote of 
107 to 4, and afterwards were passed by a decisive vote in 
the Senate. By these two bills a debt of $2,306,000 of the state 
was cancelled and the future credit of the state enormously 
strengthened in the money marts of the world. 


Governor Ford was next called upon officially to dispose 
of the bitter and bloody controversy that arose between the 
Mormons at Nauvoo and the Christian Gentiles that surrounded 
them in Hancock County and the western part of the state. 
Thomas Rees, the able editor of the Springfield Register, has 
recently published in the Journal of the Illinois Historical Soci- 
ety, a review of this interesting affair, which is so lucid and 
condensed that with his kind permission I will adopt and appro- 
priate it as part of this history. Rees writes as follows : 

Inception of the Mormon Movement. 

Now let us consider the beginning and the progress 
of the Mormon church as represented by these new arrivals 
in Nauvoo. 

Joseph Smith was born December 23, 1805, in Windsor, 
Vermont, the son of a farmer. He moved with his family 
when ten years of age to Palmyra, New York, and when 
fourteen years old they moved to Manchester. He claimed 
to have been converted at a revival. He determined, how- 
ever, to investigate the subject of religion more fully. 

He relates the following story: "I retired to a secret 
place in a grove where I became enwrapped in a heavenly 
vision and where I saw two glorious personages. They 
warned me against the churches and I received a promise 
that the true gospel should be revealed to me at a later 

When he was about eighteen years of age, he said, a 
messenger visited him in another vision and proclaiming 
himself as an angel of God informed him that he was 
chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring 
about a glorious dispensation. He further said he was told 
at that time of the location of a certain set of plates that 
were buried in the ground. There were a thousand of these 
plates and they seemed like gold and were of a thickness 
equal to thin tin, each plate being beautifully engraved. 
The plates were about 6x8 inches in size and the whole 
package was about six inches in thickness. 

Smith claimed that he showed these plates to ten men, 
all of whom declared they had seen them and testified 
positively as follows: "Joseph Smith showed the plates to 
us, that we did handle them with our hands, that we saw 
the engravings thereon, and that we had seen and 'hefted' 



them and that we knew of a surety that said Smith had 
got the plates." 

These plates were placed in the hands of one of these 
men, Oliver Cowdery, who translated them, and the teach- 
ings thereon as translated were used as the foundation 
of the Mormon doctrine. 

In 1830 the Mormon church was started in Fayette, 
New York. Then Sidney Rigdon, one of Smith's principal 
adherents, went over to Kirtland, Ohio, and after a great 

Mormon Temple, Nauvoo 

revival established the church there and then they began 
the building of a temple there. In connection with this 
religious movement Smith had organized a bank at Kirtland, 
but the bank failed and Smith and his brother became very 
unpopular. They were ridden on a rail through the town, 
tarred and feathered and ordered to leave the community. 
But they were not dismayed and removing the tar and 
feathers they presented their doctrines at the same place 
on Sunday, the day following. 

Smith then claimed to have received a new revelation 
to go to Independence, in Jackson County, Missouri, a 
short distance east of Kansas City and there to establish 


a new Zion. So they moved again, the church continued 
and the foundation for another temple was laid at 

The Mormons remained there until they were compelled 
to evacuate and seek some other location. This brought 
them up to the time of their removal to Quincy and their 
arrival in Nauvoo 

On their arrival in Nauvoo, in the winter of 1838 to '39, 
Joseph Smith not only continued to hold the position of head 
of the church, but after the city was organized he soon be- 
came, either by his own appointment or election, the mayor 
of Nauvoo. Immediately on their arrival in Illinois the 
Mormons began to take an interest in politics and they soon 
became a mighty political power. They elected their own 
representatives to the Legislature. 

From the liberal legislature of Illinois they demanded 
much and received a great deal. They secured from the 
legislature — through the efforts of their first representative, 
one Dr. John C. Bennett — three of the most remarkable 
charters ever granted by the State of Illinois to any 

The three charters which they secured in the legislative 
session of 1840-41 were: one for the incorporation of the 
city of Nauvoo, one for the founding of the University of 
Nauvoo, and the third for the organization of a military 
legion. The success in securing these charters was made 
easy by the fact that both political parties at that time 
were vieing with each other for the good will and support 
of the Mormons. 

The three charters were all contained in one act of the 
legislature and embraced among other provisions a city 
council, a board of trustees and a court martial. Each of 
these branches, supreme in their way, were invested with 
legislative, judicial and executive powers. The rights were 
to enact, establish, ordain any and enact all laws and ordi- 
nances not in conflict with the constitution of the United 
States or of the State of Illinois. There were no provisions, 
however, in the act guarding against infringement of or 
the ignoring of any or all the laws either of the State of 
Illinois or of the United States. 

The intention of the three charters seemed to be to 
establish at Nauvoo a government of the Mormons, by the 
Mormons and for the Mormons, independent of control 
either by the state or the United States. The third charter 
created a military legion, an army to uphold such acts or 


laws as the Mormons wished to enforce. It is said that 
this military legion at one time numbered six thousand 
men, and was entirely at the command of Joseph Smith 
as lieutenant-general and as leader and prophet of the 

In addition to this legion there was a sort of secret 
organization known as the Danites or the sons of Dan, 
whose work was done secretly and who could be depended 
upon at any time under the directions of the prophet to 
remove characters objectionable or obnoxious to the author- 
ities of the church. 

Joseph Smith being head of the church, mayor of Nau- 
voo, and general-in-chief of the Nauvoo legion, his authority 
was unquestioned. Not satified with being the head of 
everything in his kingdom he even aspired to become presi- 
dent of the United States. 

On the third of February, 1841, the city of Nauvoo 
was organized under its charter, with Dr. Bennett who 
had secured the charter, as its first mayor, but he was soon 
succeeded by Joseph Smith. The legion and the university 
were organized about the same time but the university 
never seemed to have made much progress. However, 
Joseph Smith's big asset and office was lieutenant-general 
of the legion. 

One of the first acts of the city council was to pass a 
vote of thanks to the state government for favors conferred, 
and to the citizens of Quincy for the kindness shown them 
when driven from Missouri and when they found refuge 
in Illinois. This appears to be the only thanks ever extended 
by the Mormons. 

The legion was furnished with state arms through Gen- 
eral Bennett, who had not only secured the charters alluded 
to but who had also been appointed quartermaster-general 
of Illinois one year before by Governor Carlin. 

On May 24, 1841, Joseph Smith sent out a notice that 
all Mormons in the state must locate in the county of 
Hancock, in which the city of Nauvoo was situated, and 
the one particular part of the county where he proposed 
to reign supreme and govern all the people thereof in the 
name of the Lord. 

About this time as usual, Joseph Smith and the Mormon 
church began to have all kinds of trouble, both internal and 
external. Smith was arrested on several requisitions sent 
over from Missouri for crimes said to have been committed 
while he was there. But with the wonderful charters he 


possessed and his control of the courts, each time he was 
promptly released by writs of habeas corpus or other means. 

The progress of the Mormon church continued, however, 
and on the 6th of April in the year 1841, the corner-stone 
of the third Mormon temple was laid at Nauvoo. History 
records that there were ten thousand people present at 
this ceremony and the temple which was to be erected at 
a cost of one million dollars — a good deal of money in those 
days — was intended to be and when completed was, with- 
out doubt, the finest structure of any kind in this western 

Notwithstanding the fact that Nauvoo, under Mormon 
rule, had become a hotbed of crime and the hiding place 
of criminals who sought and secured refuge there after 
committing crimes in or near that section, the city as a 
growing metropolis still seemed to be in a flourishing con- 
dition. Both political parties, the Whigs and the Democrats, 
were continually making overtures to the Mormons. Stephen 
A. Douglas of the democratic party was popular with them, 
while John T. Stuart, Lincoln's law instructor and after- 
wards his first law partner, ran for congress on the Whig 
ticket and secured almost the solid vote of the Mormons 
in Hancock County. 

The Mormons however were not the only people in 
Nauvoo. Naturally such a flourishing city in the new west 
attracted many people and of those who came there many 
were just about as bad if not worse than the Mormons. 

In addition to enmities existing between the Mormons 
and other religious sects, the Mormons also differed among 
themselves and a violent quarrel broke out between Joseph 
Smith and his principal military aid, General Bennett. 

The Fatal Tragedy, 

New churches with regular or nondescript doctrines 
were organized in Nauvoo and an anti-Mormon newspaper, 
called the Expositor, was started in the city, but only one 
edition thereof was ever issued. This paper was immedi- 
ately suppressed by Joseph Smith, and by his orders the 
press and material were immediately destroyed. This cre- 
ated a great furore 

The non-Mormons in Nauvoo met in convention and 
passed resolutions demanding the immediate expulsion from 
Illinois of Smith and his associates. Smith had not imagined 
that the breaking up of this little printing office and the 
suppression of this little newspaper would create so great 
an excitement. 


Things became so threatening that he ordered out his 
military legion to defend himself and save his church. In 
the meantime the governor, recognizing the seriousness of 
the situation, ordered out the militia of the several counties 
in the vicinity of Nauvoo and started a march on the city. 
He met the legion and engaged in battle at rather long 
range. There were a few casualties, perhaps, but not many 
fatalities. However, the cloud of war hung over the city. 

An armistice was arranged and a compromise effected. 
Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, agreed to surrender 
themselves under a warrant that was issued against them, 
and for their own safety and the good of the community 
they agreed to be incarcerated in the jail at Carthage, the 
county seat, twelve miles away. They were promised pro- 
tection by Thomas Ford, who was then governor of Illinois. 
In connection with this agreement the governor required 
Joseph Smith to turn back to the state the arms, consisting 
of guns and cannons, which had been placed in his custody 
for the use of his legion. 

Had the governor carried out his agreement and taken 
the proper precautions to guard the Smiths in the jail, the 
state of Illinois would have escaped a serious blot that has 
rested upon its escutcheon ever since. Instead of fulfilling 
the agreement, by inexcusable neglect he allowed a mob to 
march on the jail, make an assault thereon and shoot and 
kill Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, in cold blood. 
Joseph Smith at the time he was killed was only 41 years 
old, but in that short span had led a busy life. He was 
survived by three sons. 

Governor Ford, however, failed or was unable to keep his 
part of the agreement after the Smiths had surrendered them- 
selves into the custody of the state officials on the 23rd and 
24th day of June, 1845. The Mormons had prior to that date 
surrendered to the state authorities the three cannon and 220 
stands of arms, out of the 250 stands that they had been fur- 
nished by the state to equip their militia. On June 27, 1845, 
when Governor Ford was in Nauvoo with some of the militia, 
a mob composed of disbanded militiamen with blackened faces 
made arrangement with eight men belonging to the militia com- 
pany guarding the prisoners, called the Carthage Grays, to load 
their guns with blank cartridges and fire these blank cartridges 





when the militiamen with blackened faces appeared to kill the 
prisoners. Under this nefarious scheme the disbanding militia- 
men broke into the jail and assassinated both Joseph Smith and 
his brother in cold blood. It was the blackest and foulest crime 
ever committed in Illinois and has brought more disgrace unto 
the state and upon its officials than anything that has ever 
occurred in the history of the state. Governor Ford and his 
staff have been bitterly criticized for acts and omissions in 
connection with the disgraceful affair. A state that will give 
through its governor assurance of life and protection to a person 
who surrenders himself to the governor of such a state upon 
such an assurance and fails to keep its solemn pledge of safety 
must necessarily fall very low in public estimation. Governor 
Ford has left in his history his explanation of the matter which 
is by no means a satisfactory one. He lays the blame upon his 
treacherous and cowardly subordinates, but it shows lack of 
firmness, decision and energy on his part. In justice to him who 
did much good for the state in other matters, it is but just to 
give his version of the matter, which extenuates but does not 
wholly relieve him from all responsibility. 

Governor Ford in his History gives in substance this version 
of the unfortunate affair: On June 27, two or three days after 
the surrender of the Smith brothers, Governor Ford attended 
a council of war at Carthage to determine whether or not the 
State Militia, numbering some 1,700 men under arms, should 
march into the City of Nauvoo to search for counterfeit money 
and to strike terror into the Mormons. The governor had 
already agreed with his officers to take this course. He had 
intended to take the prisoners along with him and his troops 
into Nauvoo, but was dissuaded by his officers from so doing. 
At the conference with his officers on the morning of June 27, 
the governor had changed his mind with reference to march- 
ing his troops into Nauvoo. He had only 1,700 men and only 
two days' provisions and he was reliably informed that the 
Mormons in Nauvoo could muster 2,000 well-armed men in case 
of conflict. A majority of his officers at the conference on June 
27 advised him to adhere to the original plan and march the 
entire body of the state militia there assembled on to Nauvoo. 


The governor overruled them and as commander-in-chief or- 
dered all the troops but three companies disbanded on that day. 
He ordered two companies, one of them the Carthage Grays, 
to remain on duty and guard the jail at Carthage where the 
Smiths were confined, and the other company, commanded by 
Captain Dunn he retained with him to escort him to Nauvoo. 
He says: "Although I knew that the company (the Carthage 
Grays) were the enemies of the Smiths, yet I had confidence 
in their loyalty and integrity." (P. 343.) He also admits that 
this company had been mutinous a few days before and "had 
behaved badly towards the brigadier-general in command." 
(Idem., p. 343.) 

Leaving Brigadier Deming in charge of the two companies 
at Carthage guarding the prisoners, and Captain Smith in 
charge of the Carthage Grays, on June 27 Governor Ford, 
escorted by Captain Dunn's dragoons, and by Colonel Buck- 
master, quartermaster-general, left for Nauvoo. When only 
four miles from Carthage, "Colonel Buckmaster intimated to 
me a suspicion that an attack would be made upon the 
jail." (Idem., p. 345.) Uninfluenced by this communication 
the governor and his escort continued on the way to Nauvoo. A 
contingent of the Warsaw militia, on the way to their appointed 
rendezvous, received the governor's orders to disband. Disap- 
pointed and enraged thereby, about 200 of these soldiers black- 
ened their faces and started towards Carthage, where they en- 
camped. Here they learned that one of the companies left in 
Carthage to guard the prisoners had disbanded and returned 
to their homes. The other company, the Carthage Grays, was 
encamped on the public square of Carthage a few hundred 
yards away from the jail. Only eight soldiers were left in or 
about the jail to guard the prisoners. These eight were in a 
conspiracy with the black-faced militiamen to permit the killing 
of the prisoners by firing blank cartridges at the assailing mob. 
As the result of cowardice or connivance, Brigadier-General 
Dement was out of town, and Captain Smith of the Carthage 
Grays nowhere to be found. 

Governor Ford did much that entitles him to the gratitude 
of the state in sustaining her honor and integrity in a great 


financial crisis, in averting from her the disgrace of repudiation 
of her debts, and in dragging her out of the morass of weird 
and wild speculative adventure, and in nobly responding to 
the call of the nation in the Mexican war, but he lost much 
prestige by his handling of the Mormon outbreak. He was sur- 
rounded by traitors and incompetents and his personal presence 
on the scene failed to instill into them any sense of duty to him 
as their governor and leader, or of loyalty or respect for their 
state. The only rational explanation of the whole disgraceful 
affair is that the entire atmosphere of that part of the state 
at that time was charged with the malignancy of religious 
fanaticism and hatred, such as in other times and at other 
places have disgraced some of the most progressive nations of 
the world; such as recently brought humiliation and disgrace 
upon Great Britain in Palestine ; and such as at times humiliate 
the decent, fair-minded citizens of our own country when hooded 
and masked men attempt by violence to deprive American cit- 
izens of their lives and liberty or their constitutional and polit- 
ical rights in the United States of America. 

After the tragic death of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, 
bitter controversy arose in the Mormon Church as to the lead- 
ership of the cult. In the earliest days the church was under 
the presidency of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith and Sidney Rig- 
don who controlled the management of the church. Joseph 
Smith and Hyrum Smith being dead Rigdon proposed that the 
church abandon Nauvoo and remove to Pittsburg. He par- 
ticularly desired all the wealthy Mormons to move in that city 
and claimed that he had a revelation to that effect and that it 
must be obeyed. While he was making this contention apostles 
engaged in missionary journeys in the different states and coun- 
tries in the world began to return to Nauvoo and proposed that 
the apostles from this time on should control the church as they 
did after the death of Christ. 

Brigham Young, one of the shrewdest and ablest of the 
apostles, now put forth the claim that he was the Peter of the 
twelve apostles. His contention prevailed and missionaries were 
sent to the four corners of the world to tell of the death of the 
martyred Joseph. They carried out this purpose with such 


zeal that it was shortly contended that there were between a 
quarter and a half million people adhering to the Mormon faith. 

While the conflict between Rigdon and his friends on one 
side, and the twelve apostles upon the other side, was continued, 
there was constant signs of disintegration. After Rigdon was 
defeated by the apostles, the wife of Joseph made claims of 
primacy in behalf of her young son, Joseph Smith, and her 
claims were supported by William Smith, a younger brother 
of the deceased prophet. Brigham Young and his friends, how- 
ever, finally prevailed and William Smith was excluded from 
membership in the church. 

The question of removal from Illinois now arose among the 
apostles, some favoring Texas, others Oregon and others the 
borders of Mexico. The apostles now claimed that a revelation 
had been made to them under which they were not permitted 
to leave Nauvoo until the temple was completed. 

The Gentiles of Hancock County and the surrounding terri- 
tory, in the meantime, were becoming very impatient over the 
dilatory movements of the Mormons. New converts began to 
arrive in Nauvoo and the city had a population of from eighteen 
to twenty thousand inhabitants. The Mormons appealed to the 
governor to bring the murderers of the Smiths to trial. The 
Gentiles kept clamoring for the expulsion of the Mormons. An 
election took place in 1844 and the Mormons voted solidly for 
the Democratic candidates. This greatly annoyed the Whigs 
and the Whig leaders sent out an invitation to the militia cap- 
tains of Hancock County and adjoining counties requesting them 
to report in the neighborhood of Nauvoo to carry on a great 
"wolf hunt." The wolf hunters began assembling in Hancock 
County for the purpose of attacking the Mormon wolves and 
the situation became critical. Governor Ford ordered Brigadier- 
General Hardin, Colonel Baker, Merriman and Weatherford to 
raise 500 troops and hold themselves in readiness to proceed to 
Hancock County. The governor himself went into Hancock 
County and took command, whereupon many of the anti-Mor- 
mon wolf hunters, including the Carthage Grays, left Hancock 
County. Some of those charged with the murder of the Smiths 
returned to Hancock County and offered to stand trial. They 


were placed on trial but declared not guilty. The alleged trial 
was a mere farce. All persons friendly to the Mormons were 
excluded from the court and neighborhood. Several hundred 
armed men filled the courtyard and the courtroom. The judge 
and governor were both powerless to enforce the law. 

In the fall of 1845 the homes of many Mormons in Han- 
cock County were burned and the occupants forced from their 
homes. The governor saw that it was impossible to execute 
the law in Hancock County and knowing that the Mormons were 
contemplating moving to a new location, advised the Mormon 
leaders to act promptly and withdraw from the state. The gov- 
ernor left General Hardin in Nauvoo as his representative and 
he, General Hardin, finally reached an agreement with the Mor- 
mons, which provided that the state would cease prosecutions 
of the Mormons if the Mormons would leave the state on or 
before the spring of 1846. 

In February, 1846, between 2,000 or 3,000 crossed from 
Nauvoo to the Iowa side of the Mississippi on the ice and started 
westward. In the course of the following summer 16,000 had 
crossed the Mississippi into Iowa. All of the Mormons had 
departed except a thousand people who had come to Nauvoo 
but recently who were not able to dispose of their property. Not 
withholding this hegira an armed conflict between 250 Mormon 
soldiers and 800 well armed citizens took place during the year 
1846. The engagement, however, was by artillery at long 
range, which continued for a day or two. 

A compromise was finally reached under which the Mor- 
mons agreed to lay down their arms and leave the city for the 
Iowa side of the river. The temple was completed in the fall 
of 1846. There had been some sort of a revelation that the 
saints should not leave Nauvoo until the temple was completed. 
It fell to the lot of a few Mormons under this alleged revelation 
to hold at bay the belligerent Gentiles until the temple was 

Thus came to an end the stormy political, religious and re- 
bellious career of the Mormon Church in the State of Illinois. 
While its claim for inspiration from on High through Joseph 
Smith and its oft-asserted revelations from the Deity to Smith 


appeared to the ordinary, sane citizen not only improbable but 
dishonest and self-serving; it nonetheless attracted the atten- 
tion and secured the belief of many honest, hard-working men 
and women who obeyed its sacerdotal orders implicitly. Its 
management and discipline were of such a character, however, 
as always to incur the dislike and ultimately the hatred of all 
their Gentile neighbors. This was the case in Ohio, where they 
first located ; in Missouri, where they settled after leaving Ohio ; 
in Illinois during their stay in that state, and in Utah for a 
considerable time after they located in that then-distant terri- 

It was their aim in Illinois, as elsewhere, to establish within 
its civil boundaries and civil and criminal law an Imperium in 
imperio. Their ambition was to secure within the boundaries 
of their own property and city "a law unto themselves. ,, It was 
their aim to administer within their own territory all laws, 
civil, criminal and ecclesiastical, not only as between members 
of their church, but as between members of their church and 
Gentiles, and as between Gentiles and other Gentiles residing 
in a Mormon town or city; to elect their own judges, city offi- 
cials, police and even their own militia. This necessarily and 
inevitably brought on a contest with the laws of the state and 
conflict with the officials of the state, and eventually resulted 
in their expulsion from Illinois. Their experience in Ohio, Mis- 
souri and Illinois induced them after leaving the last-named 
state to abate most of their inordinate aims for civic sovereignty 
and to become content to live and labor subject to the civil and 
criminal laws of the state within which they wished to reside. 

On May 11, 1846, during Governor Ford's administration, 
the Congress of the United States, at the request of President 
Polk, declared war on Mexico. The English-speaking people of 
Texas in 1836, then a component part of the Republic of Mex- 
ico, had revolted from Mexican rule, and by heroic fighting 
against much more numerous armies of Mexicans in the battles 
at Gonzales, San Antonio and San Jacinto had succeeded in 
establishing the Republic of Texas. Shortly afterwards, the 
inhabitants of this new republic agitated for the annexation of 
Texas to the United States. The demand for annexation was 



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(From Illinois Blue Book.) 


overwhelming in Texas, but public opinion in the United States 
was, for a time, divided upon the expediency thereof. The 
Texans claimed the Rio Grande River as the southerly dividing 
line between their country and Mexico, while Mexico claimed all 
property south of the Nueces River. The Mexican government 
by proclamation stated that it would regard the annexation of 
Texas by the United States as an act of hostility. The Demo- 
crats, particularly those in the South, were almost unanimous 
for annexation. Polk, then candidate for the presidency in 1844, 
having been successful over Clay, the Whig idol, and Tyler, the 
Whig President whose term of office was about to expire, con- 
strued the election as a popular mandate for annexation and 
made haste to recommend to Congress that Texas be annexed 
by a joint resolution of Congress or through a treaty. Con- 
gress passed the joint resolution, but many senators expressed 
their preference for a treaty and it was believed that Polk, when 
inaugurated, would negotiate a treaty with Texas. President 
Tyler, however, decided that his administration should not be 
deprived of the honor of adding so great a territory to the 
domain of the United States and before his term expired he 
forwarded the joint resolution of Congress to the Congress of 
Texas, which was promptly approved by the Texans and July 4, 
1845 the Republic of Texas became a part of the United States. 
Shortly after the adoption of the joint resolution by the 
United States Congress, the Mexican minister demanded his 
passports, and not long thereafter the American minister left 
Mexico and war betwen the countries became inevitable. War 
having been declared, Congress authorized the President (Polk) 
to call for 50,000 volunteers and appropriated $10,000,000 for 
the prosecution of the war. The 50,000 troops were apportioned 
among the states, but were mostly drawn from the South and 
West. Illinois was authorized to mobilize three regiments, or 
3,000 men. Governor Ford issued his general order as com- 
mander-in-chief in Illinois, calling for 3,000 volunteers. Dur- 
ing the Mormon trouble the militia had become badly disor- 
ganized. The governor directed the sheriffs to convene the old 
militia organization in each county and add to the number those 
who responded the names of all volunteers in each county, an- 


nouncing at the same time that the first companies assembling 
eighty men to the company would be accepted and enrolled in 
the order of their reports until the state's quota was completed. 
Within ten days more than the state's quota reported to the 
governor and by June 15 forty companies over the Illinois quota 
were offered for enrollment. Alton was selected as the place of 
rendezvous and all of the companies reported there for duty 
and assignment. Three regiments were promptly organized, the 
first commanded by Col. John J. Hardin, the second by Col. 
William H. Bissell (afterwards governor of Illinois) and the 
third by Col. Ferris Foreman. Although only three regiments 
were called by the President from Illinois, a fourth was ready 
and waiting for enrollment. Largely by the insistence of Con- 
gressman Edward D. Baker, the fourth regiment was accepted 
and enrolled, and he, Baker, was commissioned as its colonel. 

The people of Illinois had become well acquainted with many 
of the generals and other commanding officers who led them 
during the war with Mexico, in the Black Hawk war. Among 
them were Gen. Zachary Taylor, Col. Jefferson Davis, Gen. 
W. S. Harney, General Twiggs, E. D. Baker, Albert Sidney 
Johnston and Joseph E. Johnston. All of them had seen service 
in the Black Hawk war, most of them as junior officers. The 
First and Second regiments of Illinois troops left Alton July 17, 
18 and 19 and reached San Antonio about August 23, where 
they remained until September 26, under command of General 
Wool. Later on they crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico and 
reached Saltillo, Mexico, where they were joined by General 
Taylor's army of 4,000 men. Near that point, at Buena Vista, 
February 22, 1847, was fought the celebrated battle of that 
name. The Americans engaged numbered about 5,000, while the 
Mexicans were three or four times their number. The Illinois 
troops, first and second regiments, distinguished themselves in 
that battle and contributed most materially to the great Ameri- 
can victory. The total loss on the American side was killed 
264, wounded 482. The Mexican loss was about 2,500. The 
first regiment lost, including Hardin, twenty-nine killed and 
sixteen wounded; the second regiment lost in killed sixty-two, 
and wounded sixty-nine. 


The Third and Fourth regiments of Illinois troops left in 
July, and via New Orleans reached Camargo, on the Rio Grande, 
in time to meet Gen. Winfield Scott and his army at that place. 
Here the commanding general made the Third and Fourth Illi- 
nois regiments and one New York regiment into a brigade and 
placed Gen. James Shields of Illinois in command. 

General Worth arrived at Cerro Gordo and joined the forces 
under General Twiggs and General Patterson. At this place 
they met General Santa Anna commanding 15,000 seasoned 
troops who had arrived from Buena Vista. General Scott deemed 
the position occupied by Santa Anna almost impregnable, and or- 
dered a cutting of a road in the rear of the Mexican position. 
This duty was assigned to the Illinois troops and the work was 
accomplished with great skill. It required the carrying of 
batteries across a deep chasm and the placing of these batteries 
on hills commanding the enemy's position. The duty was as- 
signed to Gen. James Shields' brigade composed of the Third Illi- 
nois, Col. Ferris Foreman commanding, Fourth Illinois, Col. E. 
D. Baker commanding, and a regiment from New York. Under 
the direction of General Shields the brigade lowered the cannon 
down on the rear side of the gorge by strong ropes and pulled 
them up on the farther side. During the night time the Illinois 
troops under Shields succeeded in placing the batteries in posi- 
tion to command the rear of Santa Anna's entrenchments. On 
the following day the battle was won and the Mexicans were 
in full retreat. In the midst of the battle General Shields was 
wounded with a grape-shot through his lungs. The wound was 
so severe that he was reported dead and his obituary was printed 
in several papers. Almost by a miracle he survived the serious 
wound, to become afterwards judge of the Supreme Court of 
Illinois and United States senator from three different states, 
Illinois, Missouri and Minnesota. 

The American loss in the battle of Cerro Gordo was 417, 64 
being killed and 353 wounded. General Twiggs in his report of 
the battle of Cerro Gordo declares: "The gallant troops of 
Illinois shared to no inconsiderable extent in the dangers, toils, 
and hardships as their large ratio of losses attest, and their 


heroic deeds have reflected imperishable honor and glory upon 
our state." 

The Fifth and Sixth regiments from Illinois were organized 
and sent to the front but were unfortunate in not being able 
to participate in any of the active battles of the campaign al- 
though always ready and eager so to do. 

In the Mexican war Illinois furnished 6,123 volunteers and 
suffered a loss of 80 killed, 12 died of wounds and 160 wounded. 



In the two decades between 1830 and 1850 the population 
of Illinois was growing by leaps and bounds. In 1820 it had 
within its borders only 55,162 souls. In 1830 it had 157,445, in 
1840 it had 476,183 and in 1850, 851,470. With commensurate 
rapidity it was developing its agriculture, commerce, industry 
and education. Frontier life, with its homespun clothes and 
home-made implements and vehicles, and its uneducated chil- 
dren, was being replaced by a more comfortably-clothed and 
better-equipped mode of life, where children were receiving at 
least a rudimentary education. Thousands of well-educated 
men and women were moving into the state and bringing with 
them some of the comforts and atmosphere of civilized life. 

The Constitution of 1818 was adopted hastily and hastily 
approved by Congress, and without prescience of future growth 
and requirements. It was not submitted to the people of the 
territory for their approval. By 1840 its defects and limita- 
tions began to be felt, and agitation started for a constitutional 
convention which would frame a new fundamental law more in 
accordance with the needs and requirements of the day. The 
first effort to secure such a convention in 1842 was a failure, 
the popular vote having failed to respond to the call. In 1846, 
however, the public voted decisively for a new constitution and 
elected 162 delegates to the same. By occupation these dele- 
gates were fairly representative of the people of the state at that 
time. Seventy-six of them were farmers, and strange to say 
there were only fifty-four of them lawyers. Most of the dele- 
gates were Democrats, but on the whole the constitution of 1848 
was so free from political bias that it was supported at the 
election called for adoption by the great body of the people, both 
Whig and Democratic. Only six small and uninfluential papers 


Owen Lovejoy 

Abolitionist leader and brother of the martyr, Elijah P. Lovejoy. 


in the state opposed the adoption of the proposed constitution 
and these papers were supported only by the judges in office 
and a few of their friends and appointees. The constitutional 
convention was in session for about three months and the con- 
stitution as framed was adopted by the people by an over- 
whelming majority. Tried by experience, there were several 
defects in the constitution of 1818 which inspired and brought 
about the holding of a constitutional convention. One of these 
defects was the method of the selection of the judges of the 
state. Under the Constitution of 1818 the judges were selected 
by the Legislature and not by the people. This method had, in 
the judgment of the people, injected politics and political bias 
into the decisions of the courts and in reprisal for same had 
injected politics into the selection of judges into the Legislature. 
The McClernand-Field case and the attempt of the Whig judges 
to disfranchise legal voters were still fresh in the minds of the 
people when they ordered a constitutional convention and their 
delegates in that convention made the judiciary of the state 
elective by popular vote so that in the future a judge evincing 
political bias on the bench could be punished by the people by 
driving him from the bench at the next election. The convention 
went further to insure control of all officials by the people at 
the ballot box. The new constitution made all state and county 
officials elective by popular vote. Having before them the calam- 
itous internal improvement and bank laws recently passed by 
the Legislature, which had bogged the state in a morass of 
enormous indebtedness, the constitutional convention prohib- 
ited the state from incurring any indebtedness exceeding "$50,- 
000 to meet casual deficits or failure in revenues." It pro- 
vided further that all appropriations must be made by the Legis- 
lature for the ordinary and contingent expenses — the aggre- 
gate amount of which shall not exceed the amount of revenue 
authorized by law to be raised during the period for which the 
appropriations were made. To prevent the revival or extension 
of the charter for the state bank or any other bank then in the 
state, the constitution contained a provision expressly prohib- 
iting same. To further clinch matters of that character the 
constitution declared "the credit of the state shall not in any 


manner be given to or in aid of any individuals, association or 
corporations. " 

To prevent the raising of the cry of "repudiation" in the 
future, the constitution provided for a two-mill tax, the proceeds 
of which were to be used exclusively for the payment of the 
state indebtedness. Appalled, evidently, by the enormous ex- 
travagance of legislation in the past, the convention in its 
strenuous urge for economy in the future went to a ridiculous 
extreme in fixing the salaries of public officials. It fixed sal- 
aries as follows: For the governor, $1,500 per annum; state 
auditor, $1,000; state treasurer, $800; judges of the Supreme 
Court, $1,200; and Circuit Court, $1,000. The number of the 
members of the Legislature was cut to 100, or twenty-five sen- 
ators and seventy-five representatives, who were to be paid $2 
per day while in session for forty-two days and $1 per day if 
the session lasted over forty-two days. How the State of Illinois 
under the Constitution of 1848 was able to secure able and honest 
public officials to accept office and perform intelligently and 
effectively their official duties is a mystery. 

The Constitution of 1848 was adopted by the people by a 
vote of 49,060 affirmative against 20,883 negative. 

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention numbered 
162, of whom ninety-two were Democrats and seventy were 
Whigs. The convention met at Springfield on. June 7, 1847. 
Its most prominent members were : John M. Palmer, lawyer and 
soldier, afterwards elected governor and United States senator 
from Illinois; Zadoc Casey, afterwards elected lieutenant-gov- 
ernor and member of Congress from Illinois; Walter B. Scates, 
judge of the Circuit Court and the Supreme Court of Illinois; 
David Davis, afterwards justice of the United States Supreme 
Court and United States senator from Illinois; John Dement, 
soldier in the Black Hawk war who served in three constitutional 
conventions in 1847, 1862 and 1870; Anthony Thornton, after- 
wards member of Congress and judge of the Supreme Court of 
Illinois; Samuel D. Lockwood, attorney-general of Illinois and 
member of the Supreme Court of the same state ; and Stephen T. 
Logan, eminent lawyer and partner of Abraham Lincoln. 



Augustus C. French was elected governor on the Democratic 
ticket in 1846 over his Whig competitor, Thomas L. Kilpatrick, 
by a vote of 67,453 to 58,700 and gave a wise and business-like 
administration to the state. He was a man of high character, 
who was left an orphan before he was twenty years old, with 
the responsibility of educating and caring for four younger 
brothers, which burden he cheerfully assumed and splendidly 
carried out. He was admitted to the bar and became a very 
successful lawyer, served with credit in the Illinois Legislature, 
and was appointed receiver of public monies by the Land Office 
at Palestine. He enjoyed the friendship of Douglas, which 
doubtless helped him to his nomination and election. Upon his 
induction into office he found the state heavily indebted as a 
result of the disastrous experiments with "general internal im- 
provements" made by the Legislature during former adminis- 
trations. This indebtedness amounted to many millions, and 
four years' interest thereon, amounting to about another million 

Under his administration the new Constitution of 1848 was 
adopted, and in this constitution there was a provision for the 
levying of a two-mill tax to be applied to the principal of this 
great debt. He wisely recommended to the Legislature the fund- 
ing of the debt, and as there was a widespread belief that there 
were many counterfeit bonds afloat, he recommended the calling 
in and verification of all the state's bonds, their cancellation, and 
the issuance of new bonds to replace those found to be valid. 
The old bonds had not been registered and the new bonds were 
registered and numbered. Both principal and accrued interest 
on the old valid bonds were funded into the new issue. In 1850 


Courtesy H. W. Fay, Springfield. 

Augustus C. French, Governor 1846-53 


Governor French stated that the total indebtedness was $16,627,- 
509, and that most of it had then been funded. 

The war with Mexico continued during Governor French's 
term. With much energy and zeal he responded to the Govern- 
ment's call for troops and forwarded the ardent volunteers to 
the battle front with commendable celerity. So efficient and 
satisfactory did Governor French's administration prove to be, 
that when the provision of the new Constitution of 1848 legis- 
lated him out of office, the people demanded his reelection. Prac- 
tically without opposition, he was nominated and reelected for 
a four-year term, commencing January, 1849, and ending Jan- 
uary, 1853. 

In 1849, under French's administration, Sidney Breese's 
term in the United States Senate expired, and a contest arose 
in the Legislature as to whom would succeed him. Breese was 
a candidate for reelection. His competitors were John A. Mc- 
Clernand and Gen. James Shields, the hero from Illinois des- 
perately wounded in the Mexican war. Shields was successful 
and elected by the Legislature, but a question arose as to his 
eligibility because of his being a native of Ireland. A special 
session of the Legislature was called and his ineligibility was 
removed by law, and he was then again elected to the United 
States Senate from Illinois. 

In 1850 the revenues of the state for the first time in many 
years exceeded the expenditures. This was the result of increase 
in revenue from the two-mill tax under the new constitution, the 
one and one-quarter-mill tax under the old constitution, legis- 
lation in Congress making all lands in the state conveyed to 
private owners amenable to state taxation, and the tremendous 
increase of the value of land during the preceding five years. 
The taxable value of property in the state in 1850 was over 
$100,000,000. Under French's administration in 1850, the con- 
gressional land grant to the Illinois Central Railroad was passed 
and the railroad was incorporated, though it was not built until 
six years afterwards. Governor French was the first governor 
of the State of Illinois to succeed himself in that office. 

Since the adoption of the Constitution of 1848 all governors 
of Illinois have been elected in November and inaugurated in 




In the history of Illinois we now come to the year 1850, a 
year pregnant with a political issue which at first affrighted 
the nation, but which was soon amicably disposed of, for a time 
at least, by a compromise suggested by a great patriot and 
revered leader of the Whig party, Henry Clay, heartily approved 
of by the greatest statesman of his day, Daniel Webster, and 
launched into law by the brilliant and patriotic leader of the 
Democratic party, Stephen A. Douglas. From that year of 
1850 and for ten years thereafter, Illinois furnished the stage 
upon which the politics of the nation were enacted, and fur- 
nished the two leading actors in the political drama of that 
decade. The history of Illinois for the next ten to fifteen years 
becomes the history of the United States. 

The question of the extension or restriction of slavery ap- 
peared in the United States in formidable and belligerent shape 
in the year 1850, when California applied for admission to 
statehood, and the people resident in the far Southwest applied 
for the organization of Utah and New Mexico into United. States 
territories. All of this wide domain had been acquired by 
treaty from Mexico but recently, and its residents demanded 
some sort of Federal law for their protection and government. 
California was rich, prosperous and ready for statehood, and 
part of California and New Mexico, and all of Utah, were north 
of the Missouri Compromise parallel. When their applications 
for membership came before Congress the representatives from 
the Northern states demanded that any law admitting California 
to statehood or organizing Utah and New Mexico into terri- 
torial government should provide that slavery should never be 




permitted within their boundaries. Congressmen from South- 
ern states forcibly protested, and thus, in 1850, the subject of 
slavery was raised to exorcise and torment the nation and to 
embitter the North and South against each other. 

As we have heretofore seen, when the confederacy of the 
thirteen colonies was formed to wage the War of the Revolu- 
tion, slavery existed in more or less degree in all of them. The 
slave trade was in full blast, under the approval of the British 
king and was carried on between Africa and the colonies by 
the vessels and mariners of New England, and was very profit- 
able. When the confederation of colonies developed into the 

A One Hundred Dollar Canal Scrip Bill 

nation of the United States of America and adopted a constitu- 
tion, six of the thirteen states had laws which recognized, en- 
couraged and legalized slavery, and the Constitution of the 
United States was so framed as to confirm these laws in these 
states and in any other state that would enact slavery, and so 
as to prevent the general Government from interfering with 
these slave laws. When the confederacy of the colonies was 
formed in 1778 and the constitution of the nation was adopted 
in 1787 slavery had existed very generally throughout the civ- 
ilized world and had flourished for two centuries in the New 
World. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the slave 
trade was carried on very extensively by British, French, Dutch, 
Danish and Portuguese ship-owners. The Encyclopedia Bri- 
tannica states that "about 1790, negro slaves were exported from 
Africa annually as follows: By British, 38,000; by the French 


20,000 ; by the Dutch 4,000 ; by the Danes, 2,000 ; by the Portu- 
guese 10,000; total 74,000. More than half the trade was in 
British hands." Most of these slaves went to the American col- 
onies and the West Indies. One-sixth of the population of the 
colonies at the outbreak of the Revolutionary war was com- 
posed of black slaves. In the eighteenth century "there grew 
up a direct traffic from Africa to the North American colonies 
in colonial vessels, chiefly owned in New England and New 
York. Newport and Bristol, Rhode Island, were the noted cen- 
ters of the trade." (Ency. America, Vol. XV, in chapter on 
United States slavery.) Eleventh Edition, 1911. 

In constructing a nation out of the confederated colonies, the 
Revolutionary fathers and founders of the nation were com- 
pelled to recognize that human slavery was in existence in most 
of the thirteen colonies to a smaller or greater degree, and that 
its perpetuation and preservation was demanded by at least six 
of the thirteen colonies as one of the essential elements of the 
nation's fundamental law. To the men and women of our day, 
living in the atmosphere of the twentieth century, when human 
slavery not only in the United States but in the whole civilized 
world has been destroyed, and when it is regarded by all sane 
men and women as shocking and a crime against both God and 
man, it seems at first glance that these nation-builders of 1787 
were lacking not only in the instincts of humanity and justice, 
but in constructive skill and far-seeing wisdom, in consenting 
to incorporate into the constitution of the nation, provision for 
the perpetuation of slavery, which would inevitably, sooner or 
later, sap its foundation and wreck the whole political structure. 
That a nation so built could not for long endure, we know. Traf- 
fic in human flesh and the ownership of human bodies could 
not long withstand the savage onslaught of outraged thinkers 
and humanitarians. 

But the men who in 1787, were gathering together the weak, 
war-worn and heavily indebted thirteen colonies, and attempt- 
ing to unite them in one great nation, and were confronted by 
facts and a situation which prevented them from building a po- 
litical structure of white marble. Nearly one-half of their build- 
ing stone was black, brown or yellow. The structure had to be 


built or the colonies would be homeless. So they took the mate- 
rials they had and placed the black and off-colored stones in the 
foundation, so that they would be out of sight. In phrasing the 
constitution they perpetuated and preserved the institution of 
slavery in the states, but soothed their qualms of conscience by 
avoiding the use of the specific words "Slave" or "Slavery" in the 
instrument. They placed the black and discolored stones in the 
basement, where they soon began to rot and disintegrate. Re- 
member, reader, when you attempt to criticise Washington, Jef- 
ferson, Adams, Monroe, Hamilton, Franklin, Hancock and the 
other great men of that day, who participated in, or were con- 
sulted in, framing the Constitution of the United States, that 
these men had been living all their lives in communities where 
human slavery had existed legally for over two centuries, and at 
a time when the most civilized and progressive nations in the 
world were trafficking in human beings ; that they had just suc- 
ceeded in extricating themselves from the tyranny of a king who 
had forced the Southern colonies to invest their savings in human 
beings ; and that no nation could be founded unless the property 
rights so acquired by the colonists would be recognized and pro- 
tected. The framers of the Constitution of 1787 were con- 
fronted with this situation. The thirteen colonies could not con- 
tinue to exist as thirteen separate nation entities. Most of 
them were too weak in both population and resources. It re- 
quired the united action of the thirteen, with the assistance of 
France, then the most powerful rival of Great Britain, to achieve 
their independence. Unless the thirteen could be united on some 
basis, two confederations or nations on the North American con- 
tinent were inevitable. The six colonies from Maryland to 
Georgia, inclusive, whose wealth mainly consisted of human 
beings in bondage, would form a confederation or nation which 
would secure property rights in their slaves and thus perpetuate 
slavery; and the other seven colonies, in some of which slavery 
existed in slight form, might or might not confederate or become 
a nation excluding slaves within their borders. 

The statesmen of 1787 were philosophers and nation-builders, 
and taking into consideration their surroundings and the stub- 
born facts confronting them, they acted with great wisdom 


and patriotism, and built up the foundations for the greatest 
and grandest republic yet seen in the world. Nonetheless the 
nation so builded had in its fundamental law the seed of rebel- 
lion or decay. With the march of modern progress and the 
advancement of civilization, no nation could long maintain peace 
within its borders while human beings within its laws had only 
the legal status of hogs and horses. The revolt of most of man- 
kind against human slavery had been slow in coming, but by 
1830, had come fast and furious throughout the civilized world. 
As early as 1462 the Papacy had denounced slavery as "a great 
crime" (magnus scelus) and in 1815 Pius VII demanded of the 
Congress of Vienna the suppression of the slave trade. In the 
same year Napoleon, during the 100 days return from Elba, 
abolished the slave trade by French vessels. The government 
of Buenos Aires abolished slavery for all born after January, 
1813, and the Republic of Colombia did the same thing in 1821. 
The French Government, under the Restoration, June 1, 1819, 
abolished slavery in the French colonies, the Swedish govern- 
ment stopped the slave trade in 1813, and the Dutch in 1814. 
In 1798 the Congress of the United States forbade the impor- 
tation of slaves into the United States after 1808. Denmark 
was the first European nation to abolish slavery. The royal 
decree was issued in 1792 to take effect in 1802. In 1833, Great 
Britain abolished slavery in its colonies and voted 20,000,000 
pounds as compensation to the owners of the slaves. Many of 
the Spanish-American republics upon achieving their independ- 
ence abolished slavery within their territories. In 1850 x when 
California applied for admission to the Union as a free state, 
and Utah and New Mexico applied for organization into terri- 
tories, most of the civilized nations of the world had either to- 
tally abolished slavery or taken steps for its early extinction. 
By this time the conscience of the civilized world, outside of the 
United States, Brazil and a few other obscure countries, had 
revolted against the further continuance or legal recognition of 
human slavery, and in the United States the cry of the Aboli- 
tionist was shrill, strident and far-reaching throughout the land. 
At this juncture the State of Illinois appears upon the stage 
of national politics and from thence on furnished to the nation, 


and to history, in the persons of her sons and statesmen two 
of American history's most brilliant and powerful characters 
from the year 1850 until the year 1865, Abraham Lincoln and 
Stephen A. Douglas. The extension or restriction of slavery in 
the United States was the issue and Lincoln and Douglas were 
the leading characters who would discuss and settle for the 
nation that great issue — Douglas in the Senate of the United 
States, and Lincoln and Douglas upon the hustings of the great 
State of Illinois. 





When last we had to refer to Stephen A. Douglas as one of 
the men engaged in making the history of Illinois, we found 
him and his great compeer, Abraham Lincoln, in the Legislature 
of the State of Illinois. Both of them were there engaged in re- 
sponse to an almost unanimous popular demand in passing laws 
providing for a general system of internal public improvements, 
which involved the state to the extent of many millions of dollars 
and which eventually proved disastrous to the Illinois Common- 
wealth. All this occurred under the administration of Governor 

Soon thereafter we find Douglas and Lincoln, when not at- 
tending to their duties as members of the Legislature, both of 
them engaged in a large and growing law practice. Douglas 
conducted the litigation in the Supreme Court between McCler- 
nand and Field relating to the right of the governor to appoint 
a secretary of state and a representative of Illinois in the lower 
house of Congress. He was an eloquent, forceful and per- 
suasive pleader in the courts. Soon thereafter we find him upon 
the Supreme bench of the state. In 1847 he was elected United 
States senator for six years. In 1853 he was again elected to 
the same honorable position. 

While holding the position of United States senator in 1849 
and 1850 a political question which not only concerned the people 
of the State of Illinois, but the people of the whole United 
States, arose for determination in the Congress of the United 
States. The war with Mexico had been concluded and in 1848 
a treaty of peace had been signed between the Republic of 


The Old Supreme Court Building in Mount Vernon 


Mexico and the United States of America under which enormous 
territory, formerly a component part of the Mexican Republic, 
including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Cali- 
fornia were transferred and surrendered to the United States 
of America by the Mexican Republic. 

Shortly after the signing of this treaty California applied 
for admission to the Union as a state and the territories of 
Mexico and Utah applied for organization into territories in 
1849. At this juncture the people of the Northern states were 
determined to prevent the spread of the hated institution of 
slavery to any of the Western territory. The people of the 
Southern states seemed desirous to insist upon the right of the 
people of the Western territories to determine their status, if 
admitted as states, on the question of slavery. Douglas was 
then a senator of the United States. He and his Democratic 
friend and admirer, Gen. James Shields, represented Illinois in 
the United States Senate. 

A bitter controversy arose on the question as to whether or 
not slavery should be excluded from or tolerated in these West- 
ern territories and Lincoln and Shields in the United States 
Senate and McClernand in the lower house, all Democrats, were 
called upon to act officially upon this momentous question. 

Before discussing in detail the specific political questions 
presented to Douglas and his colleagues and their action thereon 
it will be necessary and appropriate to go back in history and 
ascertain the status of slavery under the constitution and laws 
of the United States of America. 

At the outbreak of the Revolutionary war against Great 
Britain negro slavery existed in all of the thirteen colonies, 
there being comparatively few, however, of these unfortunates 
in the Northern states. The negroes were illy adapted to the 
rigors of the Northern climate and were intensely ignorant and 
inefficient as laborers on small farms such as were cultivated 
in the Northern states. In the South large plantations were 
conducted where the staple crops were cotton, tobacco and rice. 
In the North slave labor was less profitable and negroes were 
not generally used except for domestic occupations. In the man- 
ufacturing industries they were found to be unintelligent and 


inefficient. In the South, owing to the increase in large cotton 
and sugar plantations their labor was quite profitable and was 
regarded as an economic necessity. 

In the Declaration of Independence, preceding the Revolu- 
tionary war, certain enunciations were made with reference 
to the rights of man and the equality of man under the law. 
Men engaged in a life and death struggle for liberty, it was 
generally understood, ought not deny to their fellow human 
beings equality under the law because of the color of his skin. 
The slave trade had been in existence for a number of years 
prior to the Revolutionary war and over 300,000 black men and 
women had been imported into the colonies. Before the Dec- 
laration of Independence the black population constituted one- 
fifth of the whole. The Continental Congress in 1774 took the 
first step towards the extinction of slavery. It recommended 
the non-importation of slaves thereafter into the thirteen col- 
onies. Some years before the Revolution the colonies had mani- 
fested a desire to prohibit the importation of negro slaves, but 
they had been prevented from so doing by the greed of English 
merchants and had been prevented from stopping the slave 
trade by the avarice of the British sovereigns themselves, who 
were stockholders in the Royal African Company, then engaged 
in the slave trade in supplying negro slaves to the American 
colonies. To prevent legislation in the colonies against the slave 
trade a circular was addressed to the colonial governors, ap- 
pointed by the Crown, warning them against presuming to 
countenance legislation against the slave trade. 

When Thomas Jefferson drew up his first draft of the Dec- 
laration of Independence it contained this charge against the 
King of England : "He has prostituted his negative for suppress- 
ing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execra- 
ble commerce and has waged cruel war against human nature 
itself violating its most sacred rights in the person of a distant 
people who had never offended him." This original draft was 
afterwards stricken out at the request of some of the Southern 
members of the convention and for the additional reason, as 
Jefferson stated, that "our Northern brethren felt a little tender 
under these censures, for, though their people had very few 


slaves themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers 
of them to others." 

Shortly thereafter laws were passed by all the states, except 
Georgia and South Carolina, either prohibiting the further im- 
portation of negroes or discouraging the traffic by the imposition 
of a heavy duty. The Northern states went further and passed 
acts for the abolition or the gradual extinction of slavery. Mas- 
sachusetts became the first free state of the confederation. Ver- 
mont took like action and it was followed shortly thereafter by 
New Hampshire in 1783 and Connecticut and Rhode Island in 

At the time of the adoption of the Federal Constitution 
slavery had been either abolished or put in a process of extinc- 
tion in all of the Northern states excepting New York and New 
Hampshire. The Southern states, however, took no legislative 
action, although many of their eminent men expressed them- 
selves personally as antagonistic to slavery. Jefferson declared 
in 1774 that the "abolition of slavery is the great object of 
desire in the colonies," and again in 1787 he declared, "I tremble 
for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His 
justice cannot sleep forever." 

Washington in a letter to LaFayette in 1783 congratulated 
him on purchasing an estate in Cayenne with a view to emanci- 
pating the slaves on it, and said, "Would to God a like spirit 
might diffuse itself in the minds of the people of this country." 

Indeed, it is probable that even in the Southern states there 
would have been a gradual emancipation of the slaves but for 
the invention of the cotton gin. In 1793 this invention created 
an industrial revolution in the South and made negro slavery 
immensely profitable. Many in the South regarded slavery 
thereafter as an economic necessity. The capacity of the slave 
was by this invention increased one hundred fold. Within a 
few years the exportation of cotton mounted from a few thou- 
sand pounds to thirty-five million pounds. It made cotton the 
chief industry of the South. Thereafter there was a demand 
for more negro help and all thought of emancipation was for- 

:■■ : '■■■■..■ 

The First Schoolhouse in Champaign 


At the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United 
States, slavery existed pursuant to law in six Southern States 
and slavery had been abolished and rendered illegal in seven 
other states or colonies. Shortly thereafter Vermont was ad- 
mitted to the Union as a free soil state. Kentucky and Tennessee 
soon applied for admission to the Union and as these territories 
before their admission to the Union were a component part of 
Virginia and North Carolina and were ceded by these states to 
the United States upon the understanding that slavery should 
not be prohibited within their borders, these territories, to-wit: 
Kentucky and Tennessee were admitted to the Union as slave 
states. Upon their admission to the Union there were eight 
free states and eight slave states, each entitled to two senators 
in the Senate of the United States, and thereafter for many 
years, the Southern states were able to prevent the admission 
of any new territory into the Union as a state unless equality 
was maintained on the question of slavery. That is, the South- 
ern states had sufficient power, after they became equal in num- 
ber to the free states, to prevent the admission of any territory 
as a free state unless at the same time another territory was 
admitted as a slave state. 

About the admission of Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee 
to statehood, there was little or no conflict. However, before 
the adoption of the Federal Constitution, the United States had 
acquired a large domain of territory in the Northwest as a result 
of cessions from states which had laid claim thereto, and when 
Congress came to organize a government for this new territory, 
it was agreed that negro slavery should not be permitted therein, 
even the Southern members conceding that point. When Con- 
gress was organizing the Northwest Territory the constitutional 
convention sitting at Philadelphia was endeavoring to determine 
the question of what recognition should be given to the institu- 
tion of slavery in the organic law of the Republic. Southern and 
Northern members both agreed that the slaves should not be 
accorded any political rights but the Southern members insisted 
that the slave should nevertheless be counted in determining 
the distribution of representatives in Congress. A compromise 
was finally adopted which gave the Southern states a substan- 


tial advantage in the form of increased representation based on 

The constitutional convention made another concession to 
the slaveholders, in that it deprived Congress of the power to 
interfere with the slave trade before the year 1808. A third 
concession was given to the slaveholding states, in that it gave 
slavery the stamp of a property right by requiring that persons 
"held to labor or service" in any one state escaping from their 
masters in any state, should upon demand be delivered up to 
the person from whom they escaped. 

Under this concession, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 was 
passed, providing that any slaveholder might pursue his escap- 
ing slave into any state in the Union, and upon making proof 
of ownership, could reclaim and transport him to the state from 
which he fled. 

With these provisions in the constitution, the Republic of 
the United States in 1789 entered upon the beginning of its 
career as a nation. It had at that time a population of about 
four million of which seven hundred thousand belonged to the 
class described in the constitution as persons "held to service 
or to labor.'' There were, however, not over fifty thousand of 
this class in the Northern states. 

In 1790 Congress accepted from the State of North Carolina 
the cession of territory now embraced in Tennessee upon the 
express agreement that slavery should not be forbidden therein 
by Congress. In 1802 it accepted a cession embracing a large 
part of what is now Mississippi and Alabama from Georgia, 
under similar conditions. 

In 1803 Louisiana was acquired from France by treaty. The 
Territory of Louisiana almost doubled the area of the republic 
and in it under French and Spanish rule slavery had existed. 
When the United States organized a territorial government for 
the southern portion of Louisiana it legalized slavery therein 
and in 1812 admitted this territory to the Union as a state with 
a constitution allowing slavery. The upper part of Louisiana 
was organized shortly thereafter as the Territory of Missouri 
and Congress authorized legalized slavery therein, and when the 
Territory of Missouri applied for admission to the Union as a 


state in 1818, it had a constitution allowing slavery. This was 
permitted by Congress, however, only after an acrimonious and 
protracted debate. A compromise was agreed upon between 
the friends and foes of slavery upon the admission of Missouri 
as a state under which it was agreed that all of the territory of 
the Louisiana Purchase lying to the north of thirty-six degree 
thirty minutes, except Missouri, should be ever thereafter free 
soil territory. 

In 1848 after the Mexican war, a large amount of territory 
was acquired by the treaty of peace from Mexico. The South- 
erners by that time had reached the conclusion that unless 
slavery was extended to the territories and new slave states 
organized therefrom, the South would in time be left in the 
minority and at the mercy of the North, which was already 
showing a disposition to encroach upon the rights of slavehold- 
ers in the South. The people of the Northern states, on the 
other hand, had come to the conclusion that slavery was a na- 
tional evil and should be restricted and that the only effective 
way of restricting it was to prevent slavery in the territories, 
thereby insuring the erection of free states therein. Up to 1820 
it was generally conceded that the plenary power of Congress 
to make rules and regulations for the government of the terri- 
tories also included the power to define what should be consid- 
ered private property within any territory. After the admission 
of Missouri the Southerners contended that Congress had no 
power to determine what should constitute private property in 
the territories belonging to the United States and asserted that 
it was the duty of Congress to protect slavery therein and all 
slaves held as property. 

The Southerners argued that the territories were the com- 
mon possession of the people of all the states acquired by com- 
mon sacrifices and common burdens and if the people of the 
Southern states were denied the right to emigrate into these 
territories with their slave property, it could be said that they 
were deprived of equal participation with their brethren of the 
North in the territorial benefits. 

This is a fair statement of the controversy between the pro- 
slavery people of the South and the anti-slavery people of the 


North when Douglas and Shields in the Senate of the United 
States, representing the State of Illinois, were called upon to 
speak, vote and act upon the admission of the Territory of Cali- 
fornia to statehood, and the application of the territories of 
Utah and New Mexico for organization into territories of the 



When Stephen A. Douglas first took his seat in the Senate 
of the United States from the State of Illinois in 1847; and 
began his participation in the national affairs of the United 
States, he was confronted with a conflict of several years' dura- 
tion between the senators and representatives of the Southern 
states and those from the Northern states on the question of the 
extension of slavery into the territories of the nation. It devel- 
oped for the first time prominently when the Territory of Mis- 
souri was pressing its application for admission into the Union 
as a state in 1819. The Southerners demanded that it be ad- 
mitted as a state legally authorizing slavery within its borders. 
The Northerners were equally insistent that it must not be 
admitted unless it prohibited slavery. As a result Congress was 
unable to take action on admission of the territory to statehood 
until 1820, when the Territory of Maine applied for admission 
as a free-soil state. The Southerners opposed this as the North- 
erners opposed the admission of Missouri as a slave state, and 
this forced a compromise under which it was agreed that Maine 
would be admitted as a free-soil state and Missouri as a slave 
state, upon the expressed agreement in the acts of admission 
that in all the rest of the Louisiana territory acquired from 
France north of the north parallel thirty-six degree, thirty min- 
utes, on or about the south line of the State of Missouri, slavery 
never should be permitted. 

This solution, called the Missouri Compromise, had been 
respected and carried out by both parties until Kansas and 
Nebraska applied for admission in 1853. Bitterness had been 
developing between the pro-slavery states of the South and the 


O 06 


anti-slavery states of the North in reference to the annexation 
of the Republic of Texas in 1846. It was known that Texas, if 
annexed, would be a slave state, but the southern states were 
able to take advantage of the fever for territorial expansion and 
annex the tremendous territory of that young republic to the 
United States even though it involved the latter in a war with 
Mexico. There was very strong and bitter opposition in the 
North both to the annexation and to the war with Mexico. But 
the war fever which makes the people of nearly every race or 
nation at war declare "My country, right or wrong" prevailed 
and as the result of the war territory vast in extent and enor- 
mously rich, and adjoining the Southern states, became by treaty 
with Mexico a part of the territory of the United States. The 
acquisition of this immense territory, to the South, further ex- 
cited the anti-slavery people of the North and rekindled the 
embers of the fire that had been banked, but not extinguished, 
by the Missouri Compromise. 

After the conclusion of the peace with Mexico (or about 
1849) California applied for admission as a state, and Oregon, 
Utah and New Mexico for organization as territories. Because 
of the fact that Oregon was north of the thirty-six degree thirty- 
minute parallel of latitude, no trouble arose in Congress over 
its organization as a free-soil territory. The votes of the Illinois 
delegation in Congress were cast for its organization as a free- 
soil territory because that delegation believed that they were 
morally bound to do so by virtue of the Missouri Compromise. 
The partisans of the North and the South, in the meantime, had 
become more obstinate and belligerent in their attitude towards 
each other ; while they were considering the cases of California, 
Utah and New Mexico, all of whom were applying for admis- 
sion as states or organization as territories. The Northerners 
announced that not another inch of American soil would be 
contaminated by the touch of slavery. The Southerners, believ- 
ing that they were being pushed to the wall; and would lose 
their equality of representation in the Senate, and thus their 
power in the nation, announced defiantly, that if their claims 
were denied they would withdraw from the Union and defend 
their rights, if necessary, with the sword. The Illinois delega- 


tion and many others in Congress from the North, by reason of 
these threats, became convinced that the South was seriously 
considering dissolution of the Union. 

At this juncture Henry Clay, recently elected to the Senate, 
stood forth as peacemaker and savior of the Union. He had, 
however, been out of active political life, but in his retirement 
had retained the respect and admiration of the Whigs and con- 
servative people of the country, who were convinced of his 
patriotism, and ready to accept his advice on important matters 
relating to the well-being of the nation. Clay consulted and 
advised with the extremists on both sides of the controversy, 
as well as with the moderates in both parties. As a result he 
devised a compromise bill which, in one piece of legislation, 
provided simultaneously, first for the admission of California 
to statehood as a free-soil state; secondly, the creation of the 
territories of Utah and New Mexico, without any reference 
to slavery, so as to permit the people of these two territories 
to determine the character of their government '(called at the 
time "squatter sovereignty") ; third, the prohibition of the slave 
trade in the District of Columbia; fourth, the enactment of a 
more efficient fugitive slave law. Daniel Webster vigorously 
advocated the adoption of the measure suggested by Clay. Presi- 
dent Taylor was favorable, although inclined to defer acting 
upon the matter until the people in the territories took action. 
California had already acted and declared itself decisively to 
be in favor of being a free-soil state. 

Douglas and Gen. James Shields were then both sitting in 
the Senate of the United States from the State of Illinois. 
While the representatives in Congress from the South, on the 
one side, and those from the northern and eastern states on the 
other, were hurling invectives and threats against each other 
and threatening dissolution of the Union, Douglas declared: 
"There is a power in this nation greater than either the North 
or South — that will be able to speak the law of this nation 
and to execute the law as spoken. That power is the country 
known as the Great West, the Valley of the Mississippi, one 
and indivisible from the gulf to the Great Lakes, from the Alle- 
ghanies to the Rocky Mountains. There, sir, is the hope of 


this nation, the resting-place of the power that is not only to 
control, but to save the Union." No more prophetic words were 
ever spoken. Were it not for the leaders and men, statesmen, 
warriors and privates in the ranks that the Mississippi Valley 
sent to the White House, Congress and the battlefields of the 
great Civil war between 1861 and 1865, the nation might have 
been split in twain and deprived of what it now holds — the 
primacy among all the nations of the world. 

The compromise bill of Clay, supported though it was by 
the President, Webster and many other leaders both in the 
Whig and Democratic parties, did not become a law as originally 
framed. It consolidated too many problems in one instrument. 
The pro-slavery people refused to vote for its anti-slavery pro- 
visions and the anti-slavery people voted against its pro-slavery 
sections. As it was a mosaic, its different pieces were badly 
battered and the whole plate broken. When the Clay bill was 
beaten, Douglas commended the patriotic course of Clay and 
Webster and declared: "The Union will not be put in peril; 
California will be admitted, governments for the territories 
must be established, and thus controversy will end, and I trust 
forever." He made this statement with the utmost confidence 
immediately after the defeat of the Clay bill, because he believed 
that he had found a solution of the slavery question which 
would appeal to the sense of fair play, the good judgment and 
the patriotism of the whole country. Part of his prophetic 
statement proved to be well founded. California was admitted 
and governments for the territories were established, but the 
slavery controversy did not end. 

Let us consider, now, Douglas the man, his history, his 
surroundings and his career, when he made this important 
declaration. We find the name of Stephen A. Douglas rising 
above the political horizon under Governor Duncan's adminis- 
tration (1837 to 1841.) He was then in the Legislature of 
Illinois as a Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democrat, engaged 
with Abraham Lincoln in pushing forward the general system 
of internal public improvements demanded almost unanimously 
at that time by the people of Illinois. Both Douglas, aged twenty- 
three, and Lincoln, aged twenty-seven, were then young and 

The Old Rail Fence 


ambitious lawyers with a successful and growing practice. Doug- 
las was soon found conducting important cases in the Supreme 
Court of Illinois, among them the McClernand-Field case and 
the case involving the right of six-month residents to vote. 
In 1841 he was selected as one of the judges of the Supreme 
Court. In 1843 he was elected Congressman and in 1848 United 
States Senator from the State of Illinois. His eloquence, tact 
and able mentality had won for him a career of almost unparal- 
leled success in political life. When first elected to the United 
States Senate in 1847 he was a little over thirty years of age, 
and he held that exalted position until his death. During this 
period (1838 to 1847) his great political antagonist, Lincoln, 
was laboriously serving as a member of the lower House of 
the Illinois Legislature (1836 to 1842) and in the lower House 
of Congress (1846 to 1848.) The party of Jefferson and Jackson 
dominated the politics of Illinois from the time of its admission 
to the Union in 1818 until the election of Bissell as governor, 
a Republican but formerly a Democrat, in 1856. Even after 
that, in 1858, the doctrines of the Democratic party as promul- 
gated by Douglas prevailed in Illinois, and he was elected a 
third time to the Senate in 1858. The dominance of his party 
in Illinois without doubt contributed largely to the rapid advance- 
ment of Douglas to his station in the councils of his state and 
nation, as did the weakness of Lincoln's party (the Whig) 
contribute to the tardiness of Lincoln's advancement in his 
political career. Douglas' native ability and force of character, 
however, did more to make him early in his career a national 

In 1849-50 the bills for the admission of California to state- 
hood and the formation of territories for Utah and New Mexico 
were pending before Congress, and it was then that Stephen 
A. Douglas, now a commanding force in the Senate and a mag- 
netic leader in the Democratic party, made the optimistic and 
comforting statement that: "The Union will not be put in peril; 
California will be admitted; governments for the territories 
must be established, and thus the controversy will end, I trust 
forever." He believed he had found a solution of the whole 
exasperating and dangerous controversy. It was "popular sov- 


ereignty" both for the territories as well as for the states to 
be admitted thereafter. He was on the ground in Washington 
where he could and did interview all the leaders of divers dif- 
ferent parties and policies. After the defeat of the Clay compro- 
mise bill, he must have interviewed these different leaders, laid 
before them his "popular sovereignty" program, and convinced 
them of its logic and reasonableness. That he did so is shown 
by the action of Congress in 1850 and 1854. He argued to the 
men he approached along this line, the solution of the slavery 
question must come from "the laws of nature, of climate and 
production," recognized and ratified by the people of each terri- 
tory and state and not by Congress. True democracy, he claimed, 
was to allow each community to determine and regulate its own 
local affairs in its own way. It must have been as a result of 
these interviews in and around Congress in Washington, and 
these arguments and the responses he received thereto, that he 
made his confident announcement. 

Five separate and distinct bills framed by Douglas along 
the lines of the Clay bill were presented by him in the Senate 
and by Congressman McClernand, a Democratic congressman 
in the House. They were discussed seriatim and passed in both 
House and Senate. The Utah bill was taken up first and passed. 
Then came the New Mexico bill with the same result. The 
California admission bill was enacted and then came the fugitive 
slave bill and the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia 
measure, all of which were enacted into laws in 1850. "The 
Compromise of 1850" had been accomplished and Douglas and 
Clay were hailed as the "saviors of the Union." The Illinois 
representatives in Congress all voted for the California and 
District slavery bills. "Long" John Wentworth, the Democratic 
congressman from the Chicago district, and Congressman Baker 
opposed the Utah, New Mexico and fugitive slave bills, but the 
rest of the delegation supported them. Douglas and Shields 
in the Senate voted for all of the bills, except the fugitive slave 
bill. Both were absent when this bill came to a vote. The Whig 
vote was divided, some favoring Clay's compromise and others 
favoring no action. Douglas' statements as to the passage of 
the bills proved accurate. His prediction that "the Union will 


not be put in peril" was also true for the time being. That 
peril, however, was only postponed for eleven years. 

The passage of these laws in 1850, however, effectually 
disposed of the Wilmot proviso which had given rise to so many 
bitter controversies since the Mexican war. Congressman Wilmot, 
in 1848, had attached to the bill providing for an appropriation 
to the President of $2,000,000 to enable him to negotiate a peace 
with Mexico, which would provide for a cession to this country 
of a large amount of territory then owned by Mexico, a proviso 
that in the territory so acquired slavery should never be tol- 
erated. Even the Whig party that had contended for this prin- 
ciple seemed satisfied to abandon the claims of the Wilmot 
proviso when the "Compromise of 1850" was crystallized into 

After the passage of the laws covering California, Utah, 
New Mexico, the slave trade and fugitive slave laws, Douglas 
returned to Illinois and became in this state the acclaimed 
Democratic candidate for the Presidency. The Compromise 
of 1850 seemed to grow in favor for some time and Douglas 
grew in popular favor. Daniel Webster had opposed the annex- 
ation of Texas and the Mexican war, but lent his powerful 
aid to the adoption of the compromise. He declared that slave 
labor would not be successful in New Mexico and that the anti- 
slavery people need have no fears over the extension of slavery 
to that territory. The laws of nature, he maintained, had 
decreed against slavery. 

The Illinois Legislature, which in 1849 had favored the 
Wilmot proviso, repealed its resolution in 1851. The vote stood 
in the Senate twenty-two for repeal and two against. In the 
House the vote for repeal was forty-nine to eleven against. Party 
lines between the Whigs and Democrats were broken down and 
there seemed to be a "union of hearts" among the politicians 
in Illinois and the nation. The Democrats nominated Franklin 
Pierce for the Presidency in 1852 against Gen. Winfield Scott, 
the Whig candidate, and carried the election handsomely both 
in the State of Illinois and the nation. 

The fourth of the laws passed as part of the Compromise 
of 1850, the fugitive slave law, soon began to give trouble to 


the compromisers. It gave but little material aid to the slave- 
holders, as a very small fraction of the slave population had 
in the past been able to escape from bondage. On the other 
hand, the passage of this law gave great offense to the many- 
thousands of people who revolted against the idea of the nation 
using its machinery to enforce human slavery, particularly in 
the states which prohibited this infamy. Rumblings of dis- 
content began to be heard in the North, not only from Whigs 
and Abolitionists, but from men who had been voting the Demo- 
cratic ticket all their lives. "Long" John Wentworth, Democratic 
congressman and newspaper proprietor, and leader of that party 
in and around Chicago, was one of these. So was Lyman 
Trumbull and likewise Judge Sidney Breese. The Democrats 
of Illinois, however, presented Douglas' name to the National 
Democratic Convention of 1852 as their choice for the Presi- 
dency. For a few ballots he led the field, but was finally beaten 
by Pierce and took his defeat quite gracefully. After the Demo- 
cratic triumph in 1852, Whiggery became anaemic and a break 
in the solidity of the Democratic party began to develop. The 
fraternization of the leaders of the Whig and Democratic parties 
on the subject of slavery, resulting in the Compromise of 1850, 
was not relished by many of the rank and file of both parties. 
The fugitive slave law was the main cause of dissatisfaction 
in the North, both among Whigs and many Democrats, although 
both parties had through their leaders agreed upon the Com- 
promise of 1850. 

Into this atmosphere of party disorganization came the appli- 
cation of Kansas and Nebraska to be opened up for settlement 
and organization as territories, in 1853. Both of these territories 
were north of the thirty-six degree thirty-minute line. To permit 
by act of Congress slavery to exist in these territories would 
violate the Missouri Compromise law of 1820. To make them 
free-soil territories was impossible by reason of the stubborn 
attitude of the representatives of the southern states. Douglas 
was at this time chairman of the Senate committee on territories, 
was the acknowledged father of the Compromise of 1850, was 
the universally-accepted leader of his party in Illinois, and 
frequently mentioned throughout the nation as a possible can- 

Mexican War Soldier 

(Courtesy Chicago Historical Society.) 


didate for the Presidency. He was zealously advocating the 
building of a trans-continental railway from coast to coast 
and was desirous of having the lands to the west of Illinois, 
Missouri and Iowa thrown open to settlement and railroad 

When the bills for the organization of Kansas and Nebraska 
were referred to his committee he again brought forward his 
plan of popular sovereignty as a solution of the whole problem 
and had the bills so drafted as to permit the people in each 
territory to decide for themselves the character of their govern- 
ment on the subject of slavery. The Missouri Compromise of 
1820, he contended, had been repealed by the Compromise of 
1850 ; that the Utah and New Mexico laws had established prac- 
tically by universal consent the principle of popular sovereignty, 
and had established a precedent to be followed in the organization 
of territories. Above all, he claimed and honestly believed that 
"people's sovereignty" was the foundation of real democracy; 
that the Revolutionary war was fought in assertion of that 
principle; that that principle was conceded to the states in the 
Federal Constitution, and that that principle should be conceded 
to the people in each territory applying for admission to the 
Union, as any state so admitted must have rights equal to the 
original thirteen states of the Union. From the standpoint of 
logic, law and constitutionality his argument was effective. The 
bills were reported to the House and Senate in such form as 
to establish the right of the people in each and both of these 
territories to decide for themselves whether they should have 
slavery or no slavery within their borders. In other words 
the bills as framed and passed, recognized and established in 
1854 the doctrine of government tritely and forcefully expressed 
in popular vernacular as "squatter sovereignty." 

The Kansas-Nebraska Bill became law May 29, 1854. It 
proved to be not only a constitutional law of the United States 
framed under a compromise between the Whig and Democratic 
parties but a political bomb-shell which, when it fell among 
the people, exploded and killed the Whig party and seriously 
wounded the Democratic party. Hundreds of thousands, aye 
millions, of good men and women in both the old parties had 


come to the conclusion that commercial traffic in human flesh 
and blood was a crime against both God and man and that any 
law which permitted its extension in the United States was a 
lex infamis, and, more than that, a faex legis infamis. Not 
only was it an infamous law, but one dragged out of the lowest 
dregs of infamy. In a desire to avert secession and prevent 
the dismemberment of the Union, Douglas and the other leaders 
of the Democratic and Whig parties in Congress had failed to 
appreciate and appraise at its proper strength the aversion to 
slavery which had taken hold of the people of the northern and 
eastern states. Douglas, in one of his speeches, declared that 
the Kansas-Nebraska act would be "as popular at the North 
as at the South, when its principles and provisions shall have 
been fully developed and become well understood." (Congres- 
sional Globe 33, Congress 1st Session, Appendix 338.) That 
he was right from a constitutional and legal standpoint and 
that his motives were inspired by the highest patriotism cannot 
be doubted, but he and his followers, who framed and voted 
for the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, failed to place themselves on 
that high plane of morals and humanity which rises above all 
laws which set morality and humanity at defiance. 

Those who regarded slavery as a crime against both God 
and man, and there were many thousands of these in both 
parties, began to take steps towards the organization of a new 
party. The former great leaders of the Whigs were superan- 
nuated and retired, and the new leaders were spineless and tol- 
erant of slavery. The Democratic leaders, being intimidated by 
the slave-holders of the South, were giving way to the intolerable 
demands of their Democratic colleagues from the South. A new 
party was necessary to confront the "negro-hunters and enslavers 
of the South." 

In advocating the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 
Douglas made a brilliant speech in which he courageously and 
fairly answered all arguments that had been made by those 
who opposed it and declared that the principle of popular sov- 
ereignty enunciated in the bill was "the principle upon which 
the Colonies separated from the Crown of Great Britain; the 
principle upon which the battles of the Revolution were fought, 


and the principle upon which our republican system was 
founded." He returned to Illinois after the passage of the 
bill and with the same courage and ability defended the law 
even before hostile audiences, and at times succeded in converting 
a hostile crowd to his views. The Illinois State Register and 
Quincy Herald promptly endorsed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill and 
several other Democratic papers followed suit. The Chicago 
Democrat, "Long" John Wentworth's paper, however, on March 
11 declared that "the wall of compromises has been broken 
down . . . ." "the wind has been sown" and "it may be that 
the sowers shall reap the whirlwind." The Legislature of Illinois 
was strongly Democratic in both houses and passed resolutions 
endorsing the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, but with the loss of some 
Democratic votes, among them those of James M. Campbell, 
B. C. Cook, N. B. Judd, Uri Osgood and John M. Palmer. 

Many of the Germans of Illinois who had been voting the 
Democratic ticket broke out in open expressions of revolt, largely 
because the Clayton amendment to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill 
denied to foreigners all political rights in the new territories. 
George Schneider, editor of the Illinois Staats Zeitung; Edward 
Schlaeger, Francis Hoffman and Lieutenant-Governor Koerner 
were among the most prominent of these men. Douglas promptly 
and energetically traversed the state from city to city, explaining 
to the people his doctrine of popular sovereignty and his efforts 
to save the Union from the secession which was threatened by 
the southern states, and from this time forward the eyes of 
the whole nation were centered upon Douglas and the fight he 
was making, using the slogans of "People's Sovereignty" and 
"Save the Union." 

Up to this time Douglas had been acting in harmony with 
the Democratic President and the Democratic party. Now, 
however, arose a situation which compelled Douglas, as an 
honest, conscientious man, to take issue with President Pierce 
and the great majority of the Democratic party. He had, by 
the year 1856, convinced the people of his own state of the 
patriotism and wisdom of his course in relation to the Com- 
promise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska law, and was in a 
fair way to convince the great majority of the voters of the 


nation to the same effect, when, in 1857, the poeple of Kansas 
applied for admission to statehood in the Union after a pro- 
slavery Legislature had adopted therein a constitution which 
was popularly called the Lecompton Constitution. This name 
had been given to it by reason of the fact that it was framed 
in a town in Kansas so named. It had not been fairly submitted 
to the people of Kansas for adoption or rejection by referendum 
vote and its framers refused the demand of the free-soil voters 
for an honest referendum. Douglas refused to favor or vote 
for the admission of Kansas to statehood bound by such a con- 
stitution, and thus broke with the President and the great major- 
ity of the Democratic party. 





While Douglas was waging an apparently winning fight for 
"people's sovereignty" and against the cry for dissolution being 
made by the secessionists of the South and the rabid abolitionists 
of the North, in Illinois, and with strong hopes of success 
throughout the nation, in 1857 the people of Kansas applied for 
admission to the Union as a state and presented to Congress for 
consideration in connection with their application, a constitution 
adopted by a convention claiming to have been legally called and 
elected. This convention was almost composed of pro-slavery 
men. After the constitution was framed a strong fight in the 
convention was made for a provision requiring its submission to 
the people for a referendum vote thereon. This proposal was de- 
feated by one vote. (Beveridge Life of Lincoln, Vol. II, p. 528.) 
Another bitter struggle then occurred and the convention adopted 
a compromise measure by a majority of two votes. "By this 
compromise the single question of slavery or no-slavery was to 
be submitted to the people at an election to be held December 
21, 1857; but on no other part of proposed constitution were 
the people to vote. One clause thus kept from popular consid- 
eration provided that the property rights of the few slave- 
holders then in Kansas should not be taken away by any further 
legislation of the new state." (Idem, same page.) 

The constitutional convention which framed the document 
which preserved forever the rights of the slaveholders in the 
proposed state was elected under the following circumstances, 
As soon as the Kansas-Nebraska Law was passed in 1854, a 
horde of intending settlers which had camped on the western 



borders of Missouri and Iowa, rushed into the new territory- 
opened up for settlement by the Kansas-Nebraska Law, to locate 
homesteads and pre-emptions on the rich soil of this section 
of the country. Many of these were actuated solely by economical 
and not political motives. They yearned for the land with or 
without slavery. However, as soon as it was learned that the 
lands of Kansas and Nebraska were soon to be opened to settle- 
ment under "squatter sovereignty," the politicians of the nation, 
particularly those who felt intensely, pro or con, on the slavery 
question, became active in encouraging settlement in the new 
land by those who agreed with them on that question. Some 
abolitionists in the East organized a $5,000,000 society to aid 
and equip settlers from that section. They equipped and for- 
warded long caravans of these settlers and armed them with 
rifles and other deadly weapons, as well as furnishing them 
with provisions and farming implements. A goodly company 
of young Southerners was organized by a young slavery enthusi- 
ast named Buford, who marched them from the Southland into 
Kansas. The greatest number of those who came from Kansas, 
however, came from Missouri, and most of these were ardent 
pro-slavery men. It is claimed, and with much show of truth, 
that some 5,000 men from Missouri crossed into Kansas a short 
time before the holding of the constitutional convention and 
voted at that election, and that many of them, soon after the 
election, returned to Missouri. Because of this belief the free- 
soil people of Kansas repudiated and denounced the constitutional 
convention "and all its works and pomps." They refused to 
vote on the question of "slave or free" submitted to popular vote 
by this repudiated constitutional convention and allowed it to 
be confirmed by those who voted for confirmation. Only two 
weeks later, however, they elected a Legislature which was 
strongly anti-slavery and thus assumed control of the law-making 
power of the state. 

When these facts became known to Douglas, and the appli- 
cation for statehood with this constitution framed in this manner 
was presented to the Senate, he called on President Pierce and 
announced that his conscience and sense of duty to his country, 
and his own self-respect, would prevent him from voting for 

Cyrus McCormick 

Who perfected his first reaping machine in Virginia in 1831, and in 1847 
moved his manufacturing and sales offices to Chicago. 


and advocating the admission of Kansas to the Union, burdened 
with such a constitution framed under such circumstances of 
fraud and imposture. The President was then nearly sixty-eight 
years of age and had been aggravated and annoyed by the 
frequent and violent controversies over the slavery question. 
He wished to get rid of that troublesome question, and wanted 
it settled forever during his administration so that he could 
turn his attention to other domestic and foreign matters then 
awaiting solution. As the constitutional convention in Kansas 
had provided for the submission of that vexed question of free 
soil or slavery to popular vote, he deemed that was and should 
be the proper solution of the issue in Kansas. His cabinet agreed 
with him unanimously and he concluded that he would endorse 
the application of Kansas and the Lecompton Constitution and 
make it a party measure of his administration. The President 
and Douglas failed to agree upon this procedure and Douglas 
informed him he would oppose the President's program on the 
floor of the Senate. Just before the end of the interview the 
President rose from his seat and said : "Now, Douglas, I desire 
you to remember that no Democrat ever differed with an admin- 
istration of his own choice without being crushed. Beware of 
the fate of Talmadge and Rives," two men whom Jackson had 
broken for party insurgency. To which Douglas answered: 
"Mr. President, I wish you to understand that General Jackson 
is dead." (Beveridge, Vol. II, p. 538.) 

Shortly after this emphatic and belligerent interview with 
President Pierce, Douglas courageously imperiled his political 
life, when he arose in the Senate and assailed in eloquent and 
vigorous language the Lecompton Constitution. He was impelled 
thereto not only by the iniquity of the constitution itself; but 
also by the violence and corruption of its conception. In the 
bitterness of the conflict between the slavery and anti-slavery 
parties in Kansas, both parties had armed themselves with rifles 
and other deadly weapons. Formidable bodies of men so 
equipped met and exchanged shots with deadly effect. Defense- 
less men were often murdered in cold blood because of their 
political affiliations. As the result "Bleeding Kansas" became 
the shibboleth of the Free Soil party even though some of the 


blood-letting was done by the free-soilers themselves. Douglas 
became convinced by reliable reports made to him by Democratic 
friends located in the midst of this turmoil, among them notably 
John Calhoun, the Democratic president of the constitutional 
convention, that the Lecompton Constitution was secured by 
a combination of violence, fraud and political corruption, and 
that the real voice of the people had not been heard. He 
believed that people's sovereignty had been outraged by the 
events that led up to the formation of the constitution, and as 
an honest advocate of popular sovereignty he refused to condone 
the robbery. 

On December 9, 1857, the President's message to the Senate 
recommended the admittance of Kansas to the Union subject 
to the conditions of the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution. 
On the same day, taking his political life in his hands, Douglas 
arose in the Senate and began his fight for political honesty 
and decency and the preservation of real people's sovereignty. 
Before an audience as great and as distinguished as ever greeted 
Daniel Webster, he assailed the constitution both as to its form 
at birth and as to the method of its conception. Under the 
doctrine of popular sovereignty, which he again lauded and 
proclaimed, the people had the irrevocable right to vote by 
referendum upon each and every clause of the constitution. They 
were denied that right. They were given the empty right to 
vote for "the constitution with slavery or the constitution without 
slavery," while the constitution itself had a clause therein recog- 
nizing the rights of slaveholders to own slaves and prohibiting 
forever the enactment of legislation interfering with such rights. 
He argued that Congress had no right to force a slave state 
constitution or a free-soil constitution upon the people of Kansas. 
They alone had the right to determine the character of their 
constitution at an honestly-conducted election. He finished one 
of the most able and eloquent speeches of his life with these 
brave and dramatic words: "Neither the frowns of power nor 
the influence of patronage will change my action or drive me 
from my principles. I prefer private life, preserving my own 
self-respect and manhood, to abject and servile submission to 
executive will." (Beveridge's Lincoln, Vol. II, p. 543.) 


At the time that Douglas made this manly and memorable 
speech in the Senate of the United States he well knew what 
would be the inevitable consequence — political ostracism by the 
President of the United States and all of the other great leaders 
of the party with which Douglas had affiliated all of his life 
and which had elevated him to a position of almost unquestioned 
leadership. At the time he made this statement of his position 
to the Senate he knew that his name was on the tongues of 
thousands of the most influential leaders of his party as "the 
candidate" of the party for the Presidency, and that that party 
was then dominant in the land. He knew, too, the peril of 
party recreancy and insubordination. He had been, as we have 
seen, warned by the President in person of what would follow. 
He knew that but few of the Democratic Senators and Congress- 
men would dare to risk their patronage and political lives by 
following him into his war with the Democratic administration. 
The course he was pursuing he knew could only give comfort 
to the Abolitionists, Whigs, Know-Nothings and other enemies 
of the Democratic party. Nothing but the noblest sense of 
righteousness and public duty and self-respect could have 
impelled him to take this perilous political course. It was one 
of the finest exhibitions of moral courage in the history of the 
United States. Up to this time, while still in the prime of life, 
he had had unparalleled success in all his undertakings. His 
rare combination of tact and talent enabled him to win in law, 
love and statesmanship. His eloquence and mental agility made 
him a successful lawyer at a bound. After a few years of 
practice he was elected to the Supreme Court of Illinois, subse- 
quently elected to Congress, and then to the Senate of the United 
States when only thirty-three years of age. In 1857 he had 
just married his second wife, a young and beautiful woman 
who has often been described as "the reigning belle of Wash- 
ington/' In the South he was the unquestioned leader of his 
party and outside of the South he was the acclaimed orator and 
leader of the same party. 

In the midst of such unlimited success, in the hey-day of 
such prosperity, only the urge of a noble conscience and the 


possession of the highest moral courage enabled him to take 
this momentous step. 

Douglas' onslaught on the Lecompton Constitution resulted 
in killing the bill for the admission of Kansas as a slave state. 
It failed to pass both houses and for a time Kansas was left 
without statehood. The Senate and House being deadlocked, 
the matter was referred to a committee of conference between 
the two houses. Here a compromise was agreed upon and the 
bill was offered to the House by William H. English of Indiana. 
This bill, thereafter called the English Bill, provided that the 
Lecompton Constitution should be again submitted to the whole 
people of Kansas. If they ratified it the State of Kansas should 
be at once admitted to the Union. If they rejected it Kansas 
should not be admitted to statehood until her population entitled 
her to one representative in Congress. Fervent and insistent 
pleas were made to Douglas to accept and vote for the com- 
promise. The President favored it. The outstanding majority 
of the Democratic members of Congress wanted it. Even Doug- 
las' ardent friends at Springfield in and among the Illinois 
State Register office were anxious to have Douglas accept it. 
But Douglas answered "No! The English Bill is a trick and 
a fraud — sheer bribery in fact." Unless the people accepted 
the constitution, they were to be kept out of the Union until 
they became three times more numerous than they now were. 
In the State of Kansas, a population big enough to make it a 
slave state was big enough to make it a free state. (Beveridge's 
Lincoln, Vol. II., p. 561.) 

The defeat of the Kansas bill, however, left Douglas outside 
the breastworks of the Democratic administration and compelled 
him to fight against enormous odds the greatest battle of his 
political life. In 1858 the election of members of the Legislature 
of Illinois was approached. The hold-over members of the 
Senate and the senators and representatives elected in November, 
1858, would elect the United States senator who would succeed 
Douglas, whose term expired in 1859. After the Kansas bill 
was beaten in Congress, Douglas returned to Illinois to commence 
his campaign for reelection to the Senate. A few high-minded 
and courageous Democrats in both houses of Congress and 


throughout the nation had followed Douglas and approved his 
course. Many Democrats in the northern states became his 
ardent supporters and advocates. In the southern states he 
at once lost caste and found but few and feeble defenders. Not 
only did northern Democrats who were independent of political 
patronage support him, but many free-soilers and Whigs began 
to praise his patriotism and his devotion to a high sense of public 
duty. Several Republican senators, such as Seward and Sumner, 
spoke in praise of his conduct, as did Horace Greeley and the 
New York Tribune. In Illinois, however, Douglas now found 
he had "the fight of his life." Word came from the Democratic 
administration at Washington that Douglas must be beaten. 
Every federal office-holder in Illinois was ordered to line up 
his friends against Douglas and those who refused were 

With his usual courage and energy Douglas promptly com- 
menced his campaign for reelection to the Senate. 



Joel A. Matteson was elected governor of the state on the 
Democratic ticket in 1852 and served efficiently in that position 
for four years, from 1853 until 1857. During that four years 
took place a tremendous development in the population, com- 
merce, agriculture and manufacturing of the state. The popu- 
lation of Chicago nearly doubled during the four years, and 
its commerce increased four-fold. The population of the state 
was doubled and passed the million mark. Illinois became the 
fourth most populous state during this administration. It was 
also a period of intense railroad building. Railroad mileage 
during the quadrennial increased from about 400 miles to nearly 
3,000 miles. 

Before his election Matteson was a successful business man 
and contractor, and he was naturally favorable to railway and 
industrial expansion. The wealth of the state during his four 
years' incumbency nearly trebled, increasing from about $138,- 
000,000 in 1851 to $350,000,000 in 1856. Under his adminis- 
tration an attempt was made to pass a prohibitory liquor law, 
then called the "Maine law." The law was passed by the Legis- 
lature in 1855, and was submitted to the people for a referendum 
vote, but was decisively beaten by popular vote. 

The indebtedness of the state was reduced under Governor 
Matteson's administration from $17,398,985 to $12,843,144. Dur- 
ing his administration, in 1855 was enacted a Free School law, 
which contained most of the essential requirements of our pres- 
ent Public School law. This law was found to be exceedingly 
effective in reducing, if not abolishing entirely, illiteracy in 


Governor 1853-57 

(Courtesy Illinois State Historical Library.) 


William H. Bissell, elected governor in 1856 over Col. William 
A. Richardson, the Democratic nominee, leader of the Illinois 
Democrats in Congress, and the friend and ardent supporter 
of Stephen A. Douglas, has the honor of being the first Repub- 
lican governor ever elected in the State of Illinois. Before his 
nomination for governor he had been an ardent Jeffersonian 
Democrat and had represented his party as Congressman from 
the Alton district. Owing to the undisguised attempts of the 
southern Democrats between 1850 and 1854 to extend slavery 
into the territories of the North and the truculent threats of 
these same men to dismember the Union, Colonel Bissell severed 
his connection with the Democratic party and with Palmer, 
Trumbull and other former Democrats allied himself with the 
new-born Republican party. 

While Buchanan, the Democratic candidate for the Presi- 
dency, carried the State of Illinois in 1856, Bissell, for the first 
time in history, carried the state by a plurality of about 5,000 
and led his whole ticket. His courage in Congress when he baited 
Jefferson Davis and accepted a challenge from that gentleman 
which was only averted by the intervention of friends of both 
parties, made him exceedingly popular. His determined oppo- 
sition to the extension of slavery brought to his support (not- 
withstanding he was a Catholic) even the nativists and the 
Know-Nothings, as well as many thousands of his old Democratic 
friends and admirers who agreed with his views and admired 
his courage. When seated in the governor's chair he found 
himself confronted with a Democratic Legislature opposed to 
Republican policies. 

He was elected on a platform which pledged him against 
the extension of slavery and he determined to carry out that 




pledge. The Republican party had been charged during the 
campaign as being tainted with Know-Nothingism and he decided 
upon a liberal policy towards his naturalized fellow-citizens. 
The redistricting of the state according to the population as 
required by the Constitution had been ignored by the Legislature 

Governor 1857-61 

(Courtesy Illinois State Historical Library.) 

and he determined to remind it of its constitutional duty. On 
January 5, 1859, Governor Bissell sent a message to the Legis- 
lature, reviewing the state affairs and requesting a reapportion- 
ment of the legislative and congressional districts in accordance 
with the actual population of the state. 


The Democrats were still in a majority in the Legislature, 
and without conferring with the Republican members, the Demo- 
crats drafted and presented a reapportionment bill, which the 
Republicans pronounced a gerrymander which was unfair to 
them. The Republican minority fought it savagely on the floor 
of the House and Senate and resorted to every conceivable fili- 
bustering device to prevent the passage of the bill. The Demo- 
crats, however, succeeded in passing this reapportionment bill 
in both houses notwithstanding the bitterness with which it 
was fought. When the bill reached the governor he held it 
for several days, during which he prepared a savage veto mes- 
sage. After Governor Bissell vetoed the bill the Democrats 
attempted to pass the bill over his veto, but the Republicans 
induced enough of their members to absent themselves from 
the sessions of both houses of the Legislature, so as to prevent 
a quorum. The Republican members persisted in this rather 
revolutionary course and the Democrats were unable to pass 
the bill over the governor's veto and it failed to become a law. 
The abstention of the Republicans from the legislative sittings 
forced the adjournment of the session without action on many 
appropriation bills and several hundred other bills pending 
before the Legislature. 

Governor Bissell died in March, 1860, during his incumbency 
of the office of governor, and was succeeded in office by John 
Wood, the lieutenant-governor of the state. It was during 
Governor Bissell's term as governor of the state that the cele- 
brated debates between Lincoln and Douglas took place, which 
gained for Douglas his reelection to the Senate and for Lincoln 
a place in the political life of the nation which entitled him and 
eventually secured for him election to the highest position in 
the gift of the nation — the Presidency of the United States. 


The Kansas-Nebraska Act produced great disorganization 
in the Democratic ranks in the State of Illinois. Several of 
the Democratic papers openly repudiated the action of Senator 
Douglas and Congress in passing this law. The Rock River 
Democrat declared: "We forbear an expression of our deep 
indignation, and shall choke the utterance of our abhorrence 
of the men who have insanely given us as a Democratic party 
to the contempt of the world." 

John Wentworth's paper — The Chicago Democrat, wrote 
editorially "Throughout the North .... there is opposition to 
a great measure which has just been consummated, the respon- 
sibility of which the Democratic party of the nation will be 
compelled to bear." Wentworth and his paper, however, were 
not yet ready to abandon the Democratic party and afterwards 
declared that "we must beat the enemy handsomely; carry the 
State gloriously and thus continue the ascendancy of Democratic 
principles in our councils." 

The Anti-Nebraska Democrats pleaded against the adoption 
by the Democratic convention of the new test of democracy to 
wit: endorsement of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but Douglas and 
his followers were able to keep the Democratic county conven- 
tions in line and have them endorse the Kansas-Nebraska Act. 
The younger Democratic leaders, such as Lyman Trumbull, 
John M. Palmer, Col. E. D. Taylor, John A. McClernand and 
Jehu Baker took much offense at Douglas' conduct in securing 
the passage of the act. Sidney Breese vigorously took the same 
position. There was a division also in the Whig ranks. The 
Whig assemblymen, James W. Singleton, William H. Christy 
and James M. Randolph had voted for the Nebraska resolutions 





m -5 





and the Illinois Journal, the Whig organ, promptly read them 
out of the Whig party and classed them with abolitionists, and 
many of them left the Whig party to join the Douglas Democrats. 

As early as March 28th, 1854 a mass meeting was held at 
Rockford, which passed a resolution that 'The free states should 
blot out all former distinction by uniting themselves into one 
great Northern party." The Illinois Journal protested against 
the Whigs abandoning their party to join any new anti-slavery 
party. Later on conventions were held in LaSalle, Will, Putnam 
and other counties under the name of Republicans. A Republican 
state convention was called to meet in Springfield on the 4th 
and 5th of October, 1854, but the Whigs failed to attend the 
same. Some twenty-six anti-slavery men appeared in the con- 
vention but they were all so-called Abolitionists, and Abraham 
Lincoln failing to connect himself with that label ; adroitly 
remained away from the meeting, although he made a vigorous 
anti-Nebraska speech at Springfield about the time that the 
convention was held. Although this convention was attended 
by so few; a number of men all of whom were radicals on the 
anti-slavery question, the convention adopted a platform. Lin- 
coln, however, absented himself from the city in order not to 
be identified with that element. Later on he repudiated the use 
of his name by that gathering. The Democrats at the same time 
were at each others throats in different parts of the state. 

James H. Woodworth, a free soil Democrat, and former 
mayor of Chicago, was nominated for Congress on the anti- 
Kansas-Nebraska ticket and was elected. 

In the Alton district there was also trouble for the Democrats. 
Lyman Trumbull came out in bold defiance of Douglas and the 
Kansas-Nebraska Act was nominated for Congress and won 
out as against Philip B. Fouke, a Nebraska Democrat. 

In the Springfield district Democrats nominated Thomas L. 
Harris, a supporter of Douglas as against Richard Yates. Yates 
was supported by the anti-Nebraska forces, both Whigs and 
Democrats, and Harris won over Yates by a very narrow 

I have a letter in my possession given to me by Former 
Governor Richard Yates, the younger, written by Abraham 


Lincoln, giving advice in that campaign to Richard Yates, the 
father of the younger Governor Yates, as to how to manage 
the campaign, particularly with reference to the "Know nothing" 
element in the district, on the back of which Governor Yates 
endorsed the statement, that he had failed to follow Lincoln's 
advice and lost his election by only 200 votes. He alleged also 
in this endorsement that he was beaten because of a false affi- 
davit charging him with having been seen in a "Know nothing" 
lodge. Strange to say, the nativistic prejudice at that time was 
against the English and Germans living in Illinois. 

The election held in November, 1854 in the State of Illinois 
resulted in a Democratic defeat. Members of the Legislature 
then elected, showed a majority of anti-Nebraskites. The Con- 
gressional elections also went against them; as they only were 
able to elect four of the nine members of Congress. 

Another blow was given to the Democratic party in 1854 
when Shields' reelection to the Senate was at issue. Lyman 
Trumbull, an anti-Nebraska Democrat, was placed in nomination 
and was elected by the Legislature over Shields. The Know 
Nothing party made its appearance during this campaign and 
it is claimed that one of the reasons for Shields' defeat was that 
he professed the Roman Catholic religion. The influence of 
this element in Illinois politics, however, did not last very long. 
Religious fanaticism did not seem to flourish for any length of 
time on the prairies of Illinois. Shortly thereafter, William H. 
Bissell in 1856, though a Roman Catholic, was nominated for 
governor on the Republican ticket, and triumphantly elected to 
that office. 

In 1856, as another evidence of the weakening power of the 
Democratic party in the Northern part of the state, John Went- 
worth in his paper declared, "The North is all split to pieces 
upon matters of minor moment compared with the great ques- 
tion at issue. Now we think the North should unite as well as 
the South. If slavery can unite the South, certainly freedom 
should unite the North." 

In that portion of the state there was a perfection of local 
organizations under the name of "Republicans" during that 
year, and they were quite successful in some of their local elec- 


tions. In the summer of that year Douglas took the platform 
and appealed to his followers to rally for Democracy and to be- 
ware of Know Nothingism and Maine-lawism lurking behind the 
Republican party. 

In 1856 the Republicans had carried elections in the neigh- 
boring states of Michigan and Wisconsin and many Whigs, 
Democrats and Know Nothings expressed their willingness to 
unite under the name of the Republican party. Wentworth, 
William H. Bissell, Gustave Koerner, Lyman Trumbull and many 
other anti-Nebraska Democrats had not yet formally seceded 
from the party, but had made up their mind that if the Demo- 
cratic party in its convention, made a test of Democracy the 
support of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, they would quit their for- 
mer affiliations and join the new party. 

The Democratic convention met on the first of July, 1856, 
and rallying behind Douglas, adopted an aggressive Nebraska 
platform as a test of party loyalty and nominated for governor, 
Colonel Richardson, the Democratic congressman in the House, 
who had ably assisted Douglas in procuring the passage of the 
Kansas-Nebraska Act. This act of the Democratic convention 
drove John M. Palmer, William H. Bissell, Gustave Koerner, 
Lyman Trumbull and hundreds of other anti-Nebraska Demo- 
crats out of the party. 

From that time on, they enthusiastically supported the Re- 
publican party which was born in Illinois in the month of July, 
1856, after the adjournment of the Democratic convention, at 
which William H. Bissell, a former prominent Democrat but a 
bitter opponent of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was nominated 
for governor and triumphantly elected in the following Novem- 
ber over Richardson, the Douglas Democratic candidate. 

National conventions of both the Republican and Democratic 
parties were held that year. The Republican party met at Phila- 
delphia and nominated John C. Fremont for President and Wil- 
liam L. Dayton as the anti-slavery candidates. Prior to that 
time on June 2nd, the Democrats had placed in nomination for 
President, James Buchanan on a "squatter sovereignty" plat- 
form. This was the first year that a candidate labeled "Repub- 
lican" was placed in nomination at a national convention for 


election as President of the United States. At this election 
Trumbull, Koerner, Bissell, John Wentworth and John M. 
Palmer voted for and advocated the election of a Republican 
ticket, all of them having been former Democrats. They ap- 
peared on the stump in this election with Lincoln, Owen Love- 
joy and Richard Yates, former Whigs, all of them being now 
labeled "Republicans." 

Thus came into being in the year 1856 in the State of Illi- 
nois the Republican party, which ever since that time, with 
two quadrennial exceptions, has controlled and dominated poli- 
tics of the State of Illinois. 

The result of the presidential election in that year in the 
State of Illinois was still favorable to the Democratic party. 
Buchanan received the electoral vote of Illinois, but Colonel 
Richardson, the Democratic candidate for governor, went down 
before Bissell and his associates. Bissell developed remarkable 
strength. He was found to be popular to an extraordinary de- 
gree, both with his former Democratic associates and with the 
Whigs, who had helped him to a seat in Congress in 1852. 
Strange to say, he was also popular with the foreign voters and 
with the nativists in spite of the fact that he was of the Roman 
Catholic faith. 

Upon assuming office as governor, however, he found him- 
self confronted by a Democratic Legislature. He succeeded, 
however, by pointing out the injustice of the existing electoral 
districts to bring about a re-districting of the state in accord- 
ance with the population shown by the census of 1855. 




Early in the year 1858, Douglas returned to Illinois to open 
his campaign for reelection to the United States Senate. He 
found that the enmity and hostility of the Democratic adminis- 
tration had preceded him. The postmaster at Chicago, who had 
been appointed at the request of Douglas, had been removed 
and his place given to a man who was a bitter enemy of Doug- 
las, the removed postmaster having lost his position on charges 
of defalcation. The new postmaster, Cook, and the United States 
marshals in Illinois managed the war of the administration 
Democrats against Douglas, and all of the Federal office-holders 
in the state were massed in one solid league against him. Doug- 
las soon found that he had to fight not only the Republican and 
Free Soil parties, but all the Democratic office-holders in the 
state. Conferences between the Republican managers and the 
Democratic office-holding league were frequent and friendly. 
On June 9, 1858, the administration Democrats held their state 
convention at Springfield. Douglas was roundly denounced in 
its resolutions and his defeat demanded. He and his followers 
were called rebels and enemies of Democracy, and the President 
lauded as able and patriotic. This convention also placed in 
nomination for state offices men who were in opposition to those 
nominated in the Douglas Democratic convention. 

Never did a man in Illinois face a more formidable array of 
bitter enemies and conspirators against his success than did 
Stephen A. Douglas in that campaign. By his high-minded in- 
sistence upon fair play by his party in Kansas, and by his cour- 
ageous attack upon trickery which had been practiced by the 
pro-slavery element of his party in framing the weasel-worded 



Lecompton Constitution and refusing to submit it to popular 
referendum, he had brought upon himself and his candidacy 
the bitter hostility of the Democratic President and all his ap- 
pointees in Illinois. That his motives in so doing were actuated 
by the purest patriotism and disregard of selfish aims cannot 
be seriously questioned. He had nothing to gain and everything 
to lose politically by doing things that would enable Kansas to 
come into the Union as a free-soil state. Notwithstanding the 
words of praise that were given him by Greeley and Seward, 
Douglas had plenty of experience in the working of party poli- 
tics and knew from that practical experience that no party in 
politics would accept an insurrectionist from the opposite party 
and give him its leadership. It might reward him with verbal 
nosegays, or give him some subordinate job because of services 
rendered, but nothing more. His own party had already placed 
him in the highest position, short of the presidency, and at the 
time of his break there was no man in the Democratic party 
who was so likely as Douglas to be nominated and elected to 
succeed the Democratic incumbent of the position. His only mo- 
tive could have been, and was, to preserve his own self-respect 
and sense of justice and fair play and establish a record of 
honesty and consistency in public life. Above all he was actu- 
ated by the patriotic desire to avert the dissolution of the Union 
threatened by the fanatical slaveholders of the South and the 
frenzied abolitionists of the North. Those of the North could 
not bring it about, because they were in a small minority in that 
section; while the extremists of the South were backed by the 
almost unanimous views of that part of the United States. His 
motto midst this tumult of treasonable threats was: Fiat jus- 
ticia, ruat coelum. 

When Lincoln's partner, Herndon, went from Springfield to 
New York to remonstrate with Horace Greeley because of his 
praise of Douglas and the course he was pursuing in the Kansas 
case, the great Republican editor hotly answered : "Douglas 
is a brave man. Forget the past and sustain the righteous." 
Before leaving Washington for Illinois, Douglas was informed 
that Lincoln had been nominated for the Senate by the Repub- 
lican convention at Springfield, June 16, 1858. Speaking to 

•Lyman Trumbull 


his friend, John W. Forney, Douglas said: "I shall have my 
hands full. He is the strong man of his party — full of wit, 
facts, dates — and the best stump-speaker, with his droll ways 
and dry jokes, in the West. He is as honest as he is shrewd, 
and if I beat him my victory will be hardly won." He thus 
realized the seriousness of the contest even before he found on 
his return to Illinois the bitter opposition he was to encounter 
in his own party. He had scarcely arrived in the state when he 
discovered that James Ward, special United States agent of the 
post office department and superintendent of mails, postmasters 
and route agents in Illinois, had been removed by the President 
because he would not desert Douglas in his fight ; and Dr. Charles 
Lieb had been appointed in his place. Lieb promptly wired 
the secretary of state of Illinois that he had been appointed. 
Traveling on railroad passes, Lieb traversed the state, indus- 
triously threatening removals of Democratic office-holders and 
giving promises of appointments, and doing everything in his 
power to win votes away from Douglas. He also acted as a 
liaison officer between the so-called "regular" Democrats and 
the Republican leaders and brought about co-ordination between 
them to ruin Douglas. Commenting on this situation, the New 
York Times of July 13, 1858, declared: "Mr. Douglas has tre- 
mendous odds against him. If he shall succeed in detaching 
from the administration Democrats enough to elect him, it will 
be the most brilliant triumph of his life." His entry into Chi- 
cago was a great triumph. So large was the crowd assembled 
to meet him that he hardly could find room for his carriage to 
move towards the hotel where he made his first speech July 9, 

In this, the opening speech of this most remarkable cam- 
paign, he first thanked his audience for their endorsement of 
his course in relation to the Lecompton Constitution and the 
situation in Kansas as evidenced by their turning out in such 
tremendous numbers to greet him. He claimed that their pres- 
ence in such huge numbers evidenced their "devotion to the great 
principle of self-government to which my life for many years 
past, and in the whole future will be devoted." He declared 
that he had fought the Lecompton Constitution because it vio- 


lated that principle and with the assistance of others in Con- 
gress had forced the resubmission of that instrument to the 
people of Kansas to be voted on by them in the following August. 
In the Senate he had fought for the principle of popular self- 
government against opposition from the North and more re- 
cently against opposition from the South. He had fought the 
Lecompton Constitution because that document did not provide 
for the submission of the whole instrument to the popular vote 
of the people. "I deny," he declared, "the right of Congress to 
enforce upon a people a code of laws they are unwilling to 
receive." He then complimented Lincoln, who was present in 
the hotel and within hearing, saying that he had known him for 
about a quarter of a century and knew him to be a kind, amiable 
and intelligent gentleman, a good citizen and an honorable 
opponent, and that the issue between Lincoln and himself was 
not in personalities but in principles. He then attacked Lin- 
coln's assertion that "the nation could not endure half-slave 
and half-free." That assertnon, Douglas declared, meant uni- 
formity of local laws and domestic institutions of all the states. 
This would invite ceaseless conflict until slavery was estab-