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year in the county;" &c., has, in the new constitution, been so far altered, that at present an age of thirty years, a United States citizen. ship, a residence of five years in the State, and of one year within the electing county, are required to render a person eligible to the office of Senator. Thus altered, does the above law form the fourth Section of the third Article in the present constitution. .
Fourthly, the fifth Section of Article 2d, which, in the old constitution, was couched in the following language : “The number of representatives shall not be less than twenty-seven nor more than thirtysix, until the number of inhabitants within this State shall amount to 100,000; and the number of Senators shall never be less than one-third, nor more than one-half of the number of representatives ;" has thus been amended in the present constitution, the sixth Section of the third Article of which it forms, that the Senate is to consist of twenty-five, and the House of Representatives of seventy-five members, until the population of the State shall amount to one million. The population already exceeding this number, an additional amendment of the constitution will no doubt shortly become necessary.
Fifthly, the third Section of the third Article, which, in the old constitution, is thus expressed : “The Governor shall be at least thirty years of age, and have been a citizen of the United States thirty years, and resided for two years within the limits of this State;" has thus been amended in the present constitution, the fourth Section of the fourth Article of wbich it forms, that a candidate for the office of Governor must have attained his thirty-fifth year, and been ten years a resident of the State, and fourteen years a citizen of the United States.
Sixthly, the eighteenth Section of the second Article of the old constitution, fixing, by law, the yearly salary of the Governor at one thousand dollars, has been made the fifth Section of the fourth Article of the present constitution; granting the Governor an annual income of fifteen hundred dollars.
Lastly, the nineteenth Section of the third Article of the old constitution, which, determining by law the veto power on the part of the executive, has the following provisions in the old constitution : “The Governor for the time being, and the Judges of the Supreme Court, 'or a majority of them, together with the Governor, shall be and are
hereby constituted a Council, to revise all bills about to be passed into laws by the General Assembly; and for that purpose shall assemble themselves from time to time, when the General Assembly shall be convened; for which service, nevertheless, they shall not receive any salary or consideration, under any pretence whatever; and all bills, which have passed the Senate and House of Representatives, shall, before they become laws, be presented to the said Council, for their revisal and consideration; and if, upon such revisal and consideration, it should appear improper to the said Council, or a majority of them, that the bill should become a law of this State, they shall return the same, together with their objections thereto, in writing, to the Senate or House of Representatives in whichever the same shall have ori. ginated), who shall enter the objections set down by the Council at large in their minutes, and proceed to reconsider the said bill. But if, after such reconsideration, the Senate or House of Representatives shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same by a majority of the whole number of members elected, it shall, together with the said objections, be sent to the other branch of the General Assembly, where it shall also be reconsidered, and if approved by a majority of all the members elected, it shall become a law;" is thus shaped in the new constitution, the twenty-first section of the fourth Article of which it forms: “Every bill, which shall bave passed the Senate and House of Representatives, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor: if he approve, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it shall have originated; and the said House shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of the members elected shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by a majority of the members elected, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor; but in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, to be entered on the journal of each House respectively."
Both constitutions, the old and the new one, here require the Governor to return any bill presented to him within ten days (Sundays, and the days intervening between the adjournment and the re-assem
bling of the General Assembly, in case the latter should adjourn previous to the expiration of the ten days, not being counted), otherwise the bill so presented shall become a law. In the new constitution, it will be observed, the Judges of the Supreme Court are excluded from sharing with the Governor in the privilege of exercising the veto power.
These being the principal alterations in the old constitution of the State, we now turn again to her history."
Here, it is worthy of special remark, that when the new constitution I was formed, in 1847, a clause was introduced in it by which, if approved by the people, a special tax of two mills upon the dollar was levied, and was to be applied to extinguish the principal of the State debt. The people, in 1848, voted upon this provision separately, and adopted it by ten thousand majority. This, so far as we know, is the first instance, in which the people of a State deliberately taxed themselves, in order to pay an old and burthensome debt. It is a fine exhibition of the integrity of the citizens of Illinois, and has contributed much towards establishing the character and reputation she now enjoys in commercial circles, both in this country and in Europe.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal, which, for so long a time, re- . mained in an unfinished condition, and for which so many fruitless struggles were made, was at length completed and opened for navigation, in the spring of 1848. Connecting Lake Michigan, at Chicago, with La Salle, the head of navigation on the Illinois river, it forms an uninterrupted water communication between the Lakes and the Mississippi, being 100 miles long, navigable for boats of the largest class, and in every respect one of the finest canals in the Union.
Upon inquiring, whether, besides the canal, other works of improve ment had been proposed and carried out, we shall find, that since the State trusted to individual enterprise, what she herself, under the “internal improvement system,” had failed to accomplish, railroads were projected, the rapid progress and completion of so many of which, within the short space of four years, must excite our just surprise. While, previous to February, 1852, there were but 95 miles of railroad in operation throughout the whole State, within the following four years 2315 additional miles of railroad were completed and put
in operation, intersecting the State in every direction. The fact, that 2315 miles of railroad were completed in Illinois in four years, we leave as an achievement for future ages to emulate, and, if possible, excel.
The best part of the whole affair is, that they are all doing a fine business, and as they were so cheaply built over the beautiful prairies of the State, there is hardly room for doubt, but that they will pay handsome dividends to their enterprising stockholders; the Galena Road has paid as high as twenty-one per cent. in a single year. Of these various railroads, the one called “Illinois Central Railroad,” being one of the most magnificent works in this or any other country, deserves particular notice. Its main track extends from Dunleith, a new town on the Mississippi, opposite Dubuque, Iowa, directly through the heart of the State, to Cairo, at the mouth of the Ohio. At Centralia, 112 miles north of Cairo, the Chicago branch leaves the main line, pursuing a direct course, a little east of the centre of the State, to Chicago. The distance from Chicago to Centralia is 251, and from Cairo to Dubuque 453 miles, making the total length of the road 704 miles.
The road owes its rapid completion to the generous grant made, in 1850, by Congress, to the State of Illinois, of 2,595,000 acres of land to aid in its construction, and on the 10th of February, 1851, the Legislature gave a charter to the present company, granting it all the land given by Congress to the State, on condition, that the road should be completed by 1857, and that after it was finished, seven per cent. of its gross receipts should be paid into the treasury of the State. The lands belonging to the road are worth, and will sell for far more than the road has cost; part has already been sold; the quality of the residue, now in the market, justifies the assertion, that so good an opportunity for men in moderate circumstances to secure a farm and a competency, will not be likely to occur again for many years.
Of the advantages bestowed by this great work upon the State, we need not speak. It runs through a country as rich in agricultural and mineral resources as any other sublunary region : it connects the Upper Mississippi and the Great Lakes with the Mississippi at Cairo, below which that majestic river is navigable for large steamers at all seasons of the year; giving Chicago a perpetual communication with the Southern States. A single glance upon the map, and its relations to the prosperity of the entire State will at once be understood. The completion of the road will involve an expenditure of nearly twenty millions of dollars.
In 1850, the national census returned the population at 851,470, an increase of about 80 per cent. since 1840, which, though less than that in previous decades, owing to the fact that emigrants had then just begun to locate in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, a large portion of whom, it is known, went from Illinois, was yet a most rapid growth.
In 1851, the General Assembly, by an Act approved February 17, authorized a geological survey of the State, which is yet in progress, under the direction of J. G. Norwood, who, on the 5th of February, 1853, sent in a report, showing, how far he had succeeded in his labors, and establishing the fact, that large as the natural resources of the State of Illinois were already then estimated to be, they were yet very far underrated. Mr. Norwood is still engaged on bis work; no further account of the results of his investigations have been published as yet.
At the election in November of that year, the people ratified the General Banking Law, the professed object of which, at the time of its adoption, was to furnish a well-regulated and well-secured paper currency, thereby driving from among the people worthless foreign paper money, and equally worthless domestic issues.
Governor Augustus C. French, who, in conformity with a plan of his, the adoption of which he earnestly urged upon the Legislature, to ascertain the true extent and condition of the State debt, by re-funding the various bonds and scrips into one uniform transferable stock, reducing thereby the motley mass of forms, of which the debt consisted, into a clear and tangible shape - had, by an Act of the General Assembly, passed February 28, 1847, been authorized to cause to be feceived from the holders, and cancelled, all the various kinds of State indebtedness (canal alone excepted); and to substitute therefor an issue of certificates of stock, or stock-bonds of a character uniform and transferable; those issued on account of the principal debt, to be allowed to bear like interest with those originally surrendered up, and