Sidor som bilder

gress, on the 18th of April, 1818, passed a law to enable the people of the Illinois territory, to form a Constitution and State government. The preliminary steps* for that purpose having been taken, a convention met at Kaskaskia, and on the 26th of August, 1818, adopted our present State Constitution.

By the act of Congress, approved April 18th, 1818, entitled “ An act to enable the people of the Illinois Territory to frame a Constitution and State government, and for the admission of said State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, and for other purposes," the boundaries of said State were fixed as follows : “ Beginning at the mouth of the Wabash river; thence up the same, and with the line of Indiana to the northwest corner of said State ; thence east with the line of same State to the middle of Lake Michigan; thence north along the middle of said lake to north latitude 42° 30'; thence west to the middle of the Mississippi river; thence down along the middle of that river to its conflu. ence with the Ohio river; and thence up the latter river, along its northwestern shore to the place of beginning.” The above boundaries were recognized by the convention which met at Kaskaskia to frame the Constitution, and have since been regarded by the Legislature of Illinois as final and conclusive. (See note 3.)

Within the above boundaries, there are thirty-five millions nine hundred and forty-one thousand six hundred and two acres, or fifty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-eight square miles. The State of Illinois, it will therefore be seen, is larger than New York, Ohio, or Pennsylvania. It contains more arable land than all New England ; and more than England and Wales together. It is larger than Denmark and Portugal; and has more square miles than Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland, united.

The Constitution of Illinois, differs but little from the constitution of the other, and neighboring States.

The governor is elected for four years, and ineligible for the next suc. ceeding term. He must be thirty years of age, and have been a citi. zen of the United States for thirty years, and resident of the State for two years preceding his election. A lieutenant governor is elected for the same time, and must possess the same qualifications. The last clause in the Constitution, however, was afterward modified, and “any person thirty years of age, who was a citizen of the United States, and had re. sided within the limits of Illinois for two years preceding the election, was rendered eligible to the office of lieutenant-governor.”+ Senators


* One of the preliminary steps was the taking of the census. Although done by legal authority, its accuracy was questioned at the time, as it has frequently been since.

+ This modification was made (after the Constitution was completed and signed) to meet a particular case. The members of the convention had in view a French gentleman, of Kaskaskia, (Peter Menard,) as a candidate for the office of lieutenant-governor. As the Constitution originally stood, he was ineligible. It was, therefore, amended to make him eligible ; and Mr. Menard was elected to the office of lieutenant-governor, at the next election thereafter

are elected for four years, and representatives for two. The General Assembly meets once in two years, (on the first Monday in December,) unless convened specially by the governor. The judicial power is vested in the supreme court, consisting, at this time, of nine judges, which meet at the capital once a year, on the first Monday in December; and in nine circuit courts, held twice a year in each county, by the nine circuit judges. These circuit judges hold the supreme court. They are also members of the council of revision, (an unfortunate circumstance, as it is of no practical use, and tends to make all of them politicians.) They are appointed by the General Assembly, a circumstance equally unfortunate. There are, also, county commissioners' courts held in each county. Probate justice's courts, and courts held by justices of the peace; the three last, together with the sheriff and recorder of each county, are elected by the people. The governor receives, at the present time, a salary of two thousand dollars a year; and the judges of the supreme and circuit courts, fifteen hundred each. Provision is made for amending the Constitution, in express terms, and two attempts have been made for that purpose already, both of which proved abortive; and, perhaps, fortunately so, as the time has not yet come when the Constitutionof this State can be so amended as to enhance its value.

From 1818 till the breaking out of the Sac war; in 1832, little occured of much interest requiring our attention, other than what will be found under distinct heads hereafter. We will, therefore, pass over that period of fourteen years, and call the attention of our readers to the Sac warobserving, in the meantime, that the population of the State, during that period, increased with great rapidity ; being, in 1810, twelve thousand two hundred and eighty-two; in 1820, fifty-seven thousand ; and in 1830, one hundred and fifty-seven thousand. The increase of wealth was about in the same proportion.


A question has recently been mooted, whether the day of sale" means the time when the land is entered, paid for, and a certificate given, or when the patent is executed. When the land is paid for, and a certificate given, the United States, to all intents and purposes, are divested of their interest in the premises ; and the purchaser is vested with such interest. He becomes then a freeholder, to all intents and purposes; his title, thenceforward, passes by deed, and is subject to judgment and execution. 'Tis therefore absurd to pretend, that “the day of sale” means the day on which the patent is signed, or any other day than that on which the land was entered, paid for, and a certificate given, all of which are contemporaneous acts.

This provision is, or ought to have been, superfluous. No person having any regard whatever for principle, would have thought of adopting one rule for residents, and another for non-residents, in the assessment and collection of taxes. Inasmuch, however, as the better way to keep men honest is to remove all temptation to be otherwise; or, in other words, to deprive them of the ability to do harm, in case they are inclined to do so this provision is, perhaps, well enough.

NOTE III. . An effort having been made, in 1840, to annex ail that part of the State of Illinois, between “an east and west line drawn through the southerly bend, or extreme of Lake Michigan;" and its northern line drawn east and west, at latitude 42° 30' north ; the question in relation to its northern boundary demands a few moments attention.

On the 30th of March, 1840, James Duane Doty, the present governor of Wisconsin, addressed a letter to the people of Wisconsin, in which he says: “I hope no inducement which may be held out by political expediency, or respect for a government which has attempted to infringe the rights of a State (Wisconsin,) which had no voice in her counciis, will deter us from proceeding to frame a permanent government for the State, accord. ing to its constituted boundaries." In a prior letter, of the 19th of January, 1840, addressed to sundry individuals in northern Illinois, Governor Doty observes : “My doctrine has been and still is, that if Congress saw fit to establish more than three States in the territory northwest of the Ohio--the ordinance fixed definitely the northern boundary of the states bordering on the Ohio river, on “ a line drawn east and west through the southerly bend, or extreme of Lake Michigan."

It is therefore lawful for those (that is, those living north of the line last aforesaid,) to unite with the people who occupy the other portion of the fifth State, (now called Wisconsin Territory,) to frame a State government for themselves, according to the articles of cession contained in the ordinance of 1787. This right is paramount to any act of Congress."

“ The public debt (says Governor Doty,) of Illinois is enough alone to alarm the property-holders in every part of the State, especially the industrious farmers."

“ Justice, (continues Governor Doty,) however, I think requires that provision should be made in the constitution of the new State, for the completion of the canal from Chicago to the State line, and also the improvement of the navigation of the Rock river, and the repayment of a fair proportion of the expense incurred by Illinois upon these works. A proportion so equitable I cannot but believe would be accepted by Illinois, and the course pursued by Wisconsin approved by the world."

At the instance of Governor Doty, a few public meetings were held in northern Illinois, and delegates were appointed to meet in convention, etc, but when and where I have no recollection, and at present no means of ascertaining--the proposition was too absurd to meet with much countenance, and was speedily abandoned.

We have already remarked, that the Territory of Illinois included the present State of Illinois and the whole of Wisconsin Territory. Congress, therefore, had a perfect right to include the whole in the State of Illinois--or such part of it as they thought proper ; not, however, excluding therefrom any portion thereof south of the line drawn “ east and west through the southerly bend of Lake Michigan.” They had, also, by the ordinance of 1787, fall power and authority (if expedient,) to form one or two States in that part of said territory north of the aforesaid line. It does not, however, of course follow, that the whole of it was to be included in such States, nor was Congress required to do so. They did, in point of fact, establish the line at latitude 42° 30' north. Ilinois ratified and confirmed the line-the northern part of said territory was annexed, first to Michigan, and afterward erected into a separate territory.

The act of Congress, approved April 30, 1802, admitting Ohio into the Union--the act of Congress, of January 15, 1805, erecting the Territory of Michigan, recognized the “east and west lines drawn through the southerly bend, or extreme of Lake Michigan. The act of Congress, approved May 20, 1812, for surveying the northern line of Ohio, recognized the same. Of course the question between Ohio and Michigan, which agitated this community to a considerable extent a few years since, was entirely different from the one now presented. When Indiana was admitted into the Union, (April 19, 1816,) its northern line was established ten miles north of the first mentioned line, and parallel thereto. This has never been questioned, either by Indiana or Michigan. Nor is there any reason whatever for disputing the northern line of Illinois, or the authority of Congress to establish it at a point on Lake Michigan, in latitude 42° 38' north, and running from thence west to the Mississippi.


Causes of Indian hostilities in general-Philip's letter to the Governor of Massachusetts

-Black Hawk born on Rock river, in Illinois, 1767–Winnebagoes-Menonemies -Pottawatomies-Sacs and Foxes—Treaty of St. Louis, June 27, 1804Black Hawk's opinion of it-Fort Madison-Attempts to cut off its garrison—Whites settle on the lands ceded-Were in some instances the aggressors—Treaty of Prairie De Chien, August 19, 1825-American mediators, etc.—Unsuccessful attack on keelboats by Indians, July 30, 1827-Black Hawk suspected_General Atkinson marches into the Winnebago country, and arrests those suspected - Indians suspected tried, 1828-Black Hawk, among others, tried and acquitted— Treaty of Prairie Du Cbien, July 15, 1830—Black Hawk not a party to it-Difficulties between Black Hawk and Keokuk - Several depredations committed - Goremor Reynolds - General Gaines-Black Hawk crosses the Mississippi to its west bank-Recrosses the Mis sissippi in the spring of 1832, and ascends the Rock river-Governor Reynolds calls out one thousand militia-General Whitesides elected brigadier-general-Ascends Rock river to Dixon's—Major Stillman ascends Rock river in advance of the artayIs defeated, May 14th, 1832—Captain Adams-Major Hackleton-General White. sides's brigade visits the battle ground and buries the dead-Returns to Dixon'

s General Atkinson arrives Keokuk's address Indian Creek settlement attacked, and its inhabitants massacred-Miss Hall's narrative-General Whitesides's brigade marches to Pawpaw grove, and from thence to Fox river and to Ottaway-Are discharged -A part volunteer again-Black Hawk moves up the Rock river to its head waters, and is pursued-A Dunkard preacher massacred near Chicago-A party of spies attacked, and four killed-St. Vrain-Mr. Smith-Mr. Winters-Attack on Plumn Creek-Captain Stephenson-Captain, afterward General Dodge-General Semple

-General Atkinson fortifies his camp at Dixon's, and awaits the arrival of the Illinois militia-General Henry-General Posey-General Alexander–Militia arrive at Dixon's, and General Brady assumes command of the wbole-Congress direct six hundred mounted rangers to be enlisted—Major Demon-Rev. Zadock Casey, The whole army march up Rock river-Joined by one hundred Pottawatomies, under Wa-ban-see-Arrive at Koshkanong-General Atkinson assumes the commandGeneral Henry sent to Fort Winnebago, and General Posey to Fort Hamilton, for supplies General Henry pursues Black Hawk up the White Water, thence to the Wisconsin-Overtakes him on the 21st of July–Battle of Wisconsin-General Ew. ing-General Fry-Colonel Jones-Indians defeated-Reaches the Blue Mounds on the 22nd of July—General Atkinson arrives—The army crosses the WisconsinOvertakes Black Hawk on the Mississippi-Battle of the Bad Axe-Indians defeated, August 2, 1832—General Atkinson's official report of the battle-Captain Throemorton's account-Black Hawk escapes-Governor Cass's report of the campaign Black Hawk taken prisoner by the Winnebagoes, and brought to Prairie Du ChienGeneral Scott ordered to the scene of action Cholera at Chicago-Treaty of 1832 Black Hawk taken to Washington, and through the Eastern cities-Dies October 3, 1838–His character.

WHATEVER doubts may exist, in relation to the war of 1756 having been a native of America, there can be none in relation to the Black

Hawk war, of 1832. The latter is conceded, by all, to have been “a native of Illinois.” Its origin was here ; and its progress and termination were here and in the neighborhood. We should, therefore, do injustice to our subject, were we to pass over an event, so prominent in our history, with a few slight or casual remarks.

Those who have recently migrated hither, and those acquainted imperfectly with our annals, can scarcely believe, that twelve years have not yet elapsed, since the country in our vicinity was the theatre of an Indian massacre, and its whole population driven to seek protection from the guns of Fort Dearborn. Such, however, is the fact, strange as it may seem.

Most of the difficulties between the white and red man, for the last two hundred years, have grown out of a desire, manifested by the former, to possess the lands, or hunting-grounds of the latter. As early as 1667, we find a letter of Philip, of Pakanoket, without date, (known generally as King Philip,) directed to the Governor of Massachusetts, on this subject. This letter, on account of its singularity, we insert entire.


" King Philip, desire to let you understand that he could not come to the court, for Tom, his interpreter, has a pain in his back ; that he could not travel so far, and Philip's sister is very sick. Philip would entreat that favor of you, and any of the magistrates, if any English or Endians speak about any land, he pray you to give them no answer at all. This last summer he maid that promise with you, that he would not sell no land in seven years time; for that he would have no English trouble him before that time, he has not forgot that you promise him ; he will come as soon as possible, he can speak with you, and so I rest.

“ Your very loving friend,

* PHILIP P“ Dwelling at Hope Neck.”

It would seem from the tenor of the above letter, that Philip had been summoned to court at Plymouth, but being unwilling to trust the English, he excused himself because Tom had a “pain in his back," and his sis. ter " was very sick.” It would seem farther, that Philip had been im. portuned to sell land to the English, and that it was agreed on all hands, that no purchase or sale should be made for seven years.

In tracing the war of 1756 to its source, we find the intrusion upon, or rather the surveying of Indian lands, one of its prominent causes. The Pontiac war had its source in the same cause ; the war with the Miamies, which terminated in the defeat of “Little Turtle." And in our days, Tecumseh's hostility, and Black Hawk's, later still, all originated in controversies about land.

Black Hawk, the Indian chief who has recently occupied a consider. able space in the public mind, and cost, it is said, the United States more than two millions of dollars, was born, as it is supposed, about the year 1767, on Rock river, in Illinois.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »