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those issued for overdue interest, or interest in arrear, to be forbidden to draw interest for ten years, or until after A. D. 1857: delivered, on the 3d of January, 1853, when his term of office was about to expire, to the eighteenth Assembly, a message, wherein, after reviewing the general condition of the State, and pointing out for correction some defects in the working of the General Banking Law, he proceeds to state, that the portion of the public debt required by law to be re-funded or exchanged for other and uniform securities, had been principally exchanged; ,that the small amount yet outstanding would soon be brought forward, which being done, the whole subject of the State debt would appear upon record in a shape easily to be understood by all. In the same message, he estimates the entire State debt at $16,724,177.41; the principal debt, exclusive of interest, of the canal, the affairs of which were, and, we presume, still are, managed by three trustees, acting for the stockholders and the State, amounting to five millions, which would be fully met and liquidated from the proceeds of the sales of land granted by Congress (alternate sections, five miles from each side of the canal), amounting to 230,000 acres, 70,000 of which had already been sold, up to the spring of 1851. Governor Augustus C. French retired from bis office, which he had filled for six consecutive years, universally esteemed for the prudent discretion, integrity, and distinguished ability, with which he had administered the affairs of the State.
Joel A. Mattison was elected governor in his stead, and Gustavus Koerner, a German by birth, Lieutenant-Governor of the State, at the same time. Joel A. Mattison assumed the reins of govern. ment, delivering, on the 10th of January, 1853, his inaugural message to the Legislature, wherein he speaks thus: “Our public debt, that for a time seemed almost to be a burden sufficient to prevent immigration to our State, has increased in amount until it now (January, 1853) reaches the large sum, principal and interest, of $16,724,177.41; but while this amount has been increasing at the rate of six per cent. per annum, our State has increased at the rate of over ten per cent. for the past few years on her taxable property, continually developing our resources, and adding largely to our population. What seemed almost a burden twelve years ago, is now looked upon as requiring no great effort on the part of the people to fully pay without any increase of taxation.” He estimates its probable amount on January 1, 1857, at $10,275,262.41, and thinks it probable, that it would be entirely paid before 1865. These expectations of the Governor seem to be on the eve of being realized; for after pressing upon the Legislature the subject of improvement of the navigable rivers and lake harbors of the Western States by the Gene. ral Government, and wisely recommending the adoption of a system of education, whereby every child in the State might be furnished with an education, that would fit them for every station and condition of life, in a message placed before the Legislature on the 1st of January, 1855, he estimates the entire State debt, inclusive of interest up to that date, at $17,944,652.89, whereupon he proceeds to speak thus :
“Besides paying enough to pay the entire interest upon the State debt each year, for the past two years, there has been paid and applied upon the arrearage of interest, and the principal of the debt, the sum of $2,750,037.96, being the sum of $1,375,018.98 each year, over and above the accruing interest, making, in all, paid on principal and interest during the past two years, the sum of $3,951,037.96. During the next two years, I confidently expect, that the amount from all sources derived from the available assets of the State, and the revenue applicable to the liquidation of the State debt, will be increased at least twenty per cent., wbich will render the calculation certain, that the views entertained two years ago will be more than realized in ten years, and I might say still sooner, but prefer to give full time. The past two years have realized over $750,037.96 more than enough to meet the calculation, that the debt would be paid, all but $74,080.62, in eleven years. It will be perceived, that a large amount bas been paid at this time, more than enough to meet the calculation referred to, during the past two years; and that the principal and the interest of the debt is being absorbed and cancelled each year, while the revenue is rapidly increasing, and swelling the means of the State to pay.”
Before concluding, the fact appears still worthy of being noticed, that, from 1853 to the spring of 1855, an immense excitement prevailed throughout the State, concerning the temperance question : which resulted in the repudiation, by 15,000 majority, of the Probibitory Liquor Law, previously passed by the Legislature, on February 12th, 1855.
The advancement of the State of Illinois for the last few years, is best shown by the startling increase of her population, returned, by the census of 1855, at 1,300,251 souls; the rapid development of her agricultural and mineral resources — the State having, in one sin. gle year, produced 170,000,000 bushels of corn, wheat, and oats—an amount wbich no other State in the Union ever yielded in a year; her gigantic system of internal improvements, and the regard paid by her to thorough universal education, as well as the untiring energy, enterprise, and intelligence of her citizens, warrant the belief we fondly indulge, that ere three lustres shall have rolled by, the State of Illinois, in point of population, business facilities, wealth and intelligence, will proudly assume her well-deserved position as the Empire State of the West.
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE.
We, the people of the state of Illinois - grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberty, which he hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations - in order to form a more perfect government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the state of Illinois.
ARTICLE I. — Boundaries. Sec. 1. The boundaries and jurisdiction of the state shall be as follows, to wit: beginning at the mouth of the Wabash river; thence up the same, and with the line of Indiana, to the north-west corner of said state; thence east, with the line of the same state, to the middle of Lake Michigan; thence north, along the middle of said lake, to north latitude forty-two degrees and thirty minutes; thence west to the middle of the Mississippi river, and thence down, along the middle of that river, to its confluence with the Ohio river; and thence up the latter river, along its north-western shore, to the place of beginning: Provided, that this state shall exercise such jurisdiction upon the Ohio river as she is now entitled to, or such as may hereafter be agreed upon by this state and the state of Kentucky.
ARTICLE II.—Concerning the Distribution of the Powers of Government. Sec. 1. The powers of the government of the state of Illinois shall be di. vided into three distinct departments, and each of them be confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another. . 2. No person, or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except as hereinafter expressly directed or permitted, and all acts in contravention of this section shall be void.
ARTICLE III.—Of the Legislative Department. Sec. 1. The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives, both to be elected by the people.
2. The first election for senators and representatives shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight; and thereafter, elections for members of the general assembly shall be held once in two years, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in each and every county, at such places therein as may be provided by law.
3. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years; who shall not be a citizen of the United States, and three years an inhabitant of this state; who shall not have resided within the limits of the county or district in which he shall be chosen twelve months next preceding his election, if such county or district shall have been so long erected, but, if not, then within the limits of the county or counties, district or districts, out of which the same shall have been taken, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this state; and who, moreover, shall not have paid a state or county tax.
4. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years; who shall not be a citizen of the United States, five years an inhabitant of this state, and one year in the county or district in which he shall be chosen immediately preceding his election, if such county or district shall have been so long erected, but, if not, then within the limits of the county or counties, district or districts, out of which the same shall have been taken, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this state, and shall not, moreover, have paid a state or county tax.
5. The senators at their first session, herein provided for, shall be divided by lot, as near as can be, into two classes. The seats of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, and those of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year; so that one half thereof, as near as possible, may be biennially chosen for ever thereafter.
6. The senate shall consist of twenty-five members, and the house of representatives shall consist of seventy-five members, until the population of the state shall amount to one million of souls, when five members may be added to the house, and five additional members for every five hundred thousand inhabitants thereafter, until the whole number of representatives shall amount to one hundred; after which the number shall be neither increased nor diminished; to be apportioned among the several counties according to the number of white inhabitants. In all future apportionments, where more than one county shall be thrown into a representative district, all the representatives to which said counties may be entitled shall be elected by the entire district.
7. No person elected to the general assembly shall receive any civil appoint