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test for office with a man of the talents of Ninian Edwards, Adolphus Frederick Hubbard, if judged merely by his personal merits, had but little chance of coming off victor, although he himself claimed to be able to govern his fellow-citizens as well as anybody else; which, moreover, in his opinion, did not require a “very extraordinary smart man.” Of this same man, tradition has preserved, among other curious sayings, a speech on a bill granting a bounty on wolf-scalps, which we cannot withhold from the knowledge of our readers; we communicate the same just as it has been preserved. This speech, which Mr. Hubbard delivered before the Legislature, is as follows: “Mr. Speaker, I rise before the question is put on this bill, to say a word for my constituents. Mr. Speaker, I have never seen a wolf. I cannot say, that I am very well acquainted with the nature and habits of wolves. Mr. Speaker, I have said, that I had never seen a wolf. But now I remember, that once on a time, as Judge Brown and I were riding across the Bonpas prairie, we looked over the prairie about three miles, and Judge Brown said, “Hubbard, look, there goes a wolf. And I looked, and I looked, and I looked, and I said, "Judge, where ?' And he said, “There;' and I looked again, and this time, in the edge of a hazel thicket, about three miles across the prairie, I think I saw the wolf's tail. Mr. Speaker, if I did not see a wolf that time, I think I never saw one. But I have heard much, and read more, about this animal. I have studied his natural history. By-the-bye, history is divided into two parts; there is first the history of the fabulous, and secondly, of the non-fabulous, or unknown ages. 'Mr. Speaker, from all this sources of information, I learn that the wolf is a very noxious animal: that he goes prowling about, seeking something to devour; that he raises up in the dead and secret hours of the night, when all nature reposes in silent oblivion, and then commits the most terrible devastation upon the rising generation of hogs and sheep. Mr. Speaker, I have done, and return my thanks to the house for their kind attention to my remarks.” The primitive naïveté, and wonderful ingenuity, as displayed in this remarkably choice speech, show better than anything else could have done, the state of civilization then existing in Illinois, especially when we bear in mind, that the speech was delivered by no less a personage than the Lieutenant-Governor himself.
Governor Edwards commenced his term in 1826. Remaining still as hostile to the old bank as ever, in his messages, be charged the officers of the bank with corruption and fraud. The friends and employees of the bank immediately took the alarm, and were certainly not remiss in retorting an equally disgracing charge upon the Governor, by accusing him of base motives in having instituted an inquiry into the management of the bank. Their influence was so great, that the accusations of the Governor were at once dismissed as wholly devoid of proof of mismanagement on the part of the officers of the bank.
Judges Lockwood and Smith, who had been appointed by the Legislature to revise the laws, presented to them, during their session of 1826–1827, a newly-revised code of laws, which was adopted, and of which the principal laws have ever since remained in full force, although the code was revised several times subsequently.
The Indians, who had remained quiet since the termination of the war of 1812, became again troublesome in the summer of the year 1827. The Winnebagoes, Sacs and Foxes, and other Indian tribes, had been at war for more than a hundred years, and although the United States had tried to settle the feuds existing between them, these tribes nevertheless remained at bitter enmity with each other, being always ready to inflict, one upon the other, a maximum of injury. In the summer of 1827, a war-party of the Winnebagoes surprised a party of 24 Chippeways, and killed 8 of them. Four of the murderers were arrested, and delivered by the commander of the United States troops at St. Peter's, to the Chippeways, by whom they were immediately shot. This was the first irritation of the Winnebagoes. They were further grieved at seeing the whites taking possession of their country; for many of them had penetrated into it as far as the Wisconsin river, in search of lead mines. Red Bird, a chief of the Winnebagoes, in order to avenge the execution of the four men of his own people, attacked the Chippeways, but was defeated, and being determined to satisfy his thirst for revenge by some means, surprised and killed several white men. Upon receiving in- telligence of these Indian murders, the Illinoisians who were working the lead mines in the vicinity of Galena, assembled in Galena, formed a body of volunteers, and, reinforced by a company of regular United
States troops, marched into the country of the Winnebagoes. To save their nation from the miseries of war, Red Bird, and six others of the most influential men of his nation, voluntarily surrendered themselves prisoners of war; part of them were executed, part of them imprisoned, and destined, like Red Bird himself, ingloriously to pine away within the narrow confines of a jail, whereas formerly even the vast forests of their native country had proved too limited for their daring and adventurous disposition.
Resenting the defeat he had sustained at the hands of his enemies, when pressing an investigation of the affairs of the old State Bank, Gov. Ninian Edwards devised another scheme to embarrass and annoy them. Hitherto the United States had enjoyed undisturbed possession of various public lands within the State of Illinois. But now, for the first time, Gov. Edwards, in a message delivered to the Legislature, claimed the whole of the public lands of the United States lying within Illinois, as belonging to the latter ; making good his claim by arguing, that inasmuch as Illinois had been admitted into the Union as an independent and sovereign State, all the lands within her own limits must necessarily belong to her. The measure was far from -being unpopular, since the Legislature unanimously approved of it, although the people did not eventually enforce it. Gov. Edwards • was mistaken, however, in imagining, that his enemies would oppose the bill, for on seeing the bill favorably received by the Legislature, and part of the public, being fearful to sacrifice their own popularity, they prudently abstained from throwing any obstacle into the way of the bill, and haviug learned from experience, that Gov. Edwards was too subtle an enemy for them to grapple with, never afterwards resisted any one of his measures. Gov. Ninian Edwards died in 1833.
Of the public lands owned by the United States Government within Illinois, Congress had already granted 300,000 acres to the State, for the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, being prevailed upon to make this grant by Daniel P. Cook, the first Attorney General, and then Senator to Congress, to whose active and unceasing exertions in behalf of the measure, the credit of the donation must be mainly attributed. Although Daniel P. Cook had thus acquired some claim upon the gratitude of his fellow-citizens, which might have caused him to be re-elected Senator in the year 1826,
having rendered himself unpopular, on the other hand, by giving, in the year 1824, when John Quincy Adams, Gen. Jackson, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay, being candidates for the Presidency, and none of them receiving a majority, it became the business of the House of Representatives to elect one of them, the vote of Illinois to John Quincy Adams, instead of to Gen. Jackson, then the general favorite of the people, he was defeated, and Mr. Joseph Duncan elected in his stead.
At first Mr. Duncan manifested the greatest sympathy and attachment to Gen. Jackson, whose ardent admirer he was; but after Gen. Jackson had annulled the charter of the United States Bank, and denied the appropriation of money for the improvement of the Wa. bash river, Mr. Duncan began visibly to grow cold towards him, and, at last, became altogether estranged from him, ceasing to support his administration. Although Duncan was generally esteemed a man of honesty and upright principles, and could not be reproved for adhering to a particular opinion of his own in regard to a public matter, he was, nevertheless, severely blamed for his conduct by the friends and followers of Gen. Jackson, who were of opinion, that since they had put him in an office, by which he had grown rich, he should have remained faithful to the cause of Gen. Jackson, and that by abandoning the same, he had acted in a manner becoming only a man of a treacherous and ungrateful character.
Since the repeal of the law introduced by Mr. Duncan, then a Senator, for supporting the schools by a public tax, the Legislature sold the school lands, and applied the money arising from the sales to the payment of the school expenses. Still, the means provided by government for education and instruction, would have been very insufficient, had not Congress generously donated to the State one township of six miles square, and the thirty-sixth part of all the residue of the United States Government lands within the State, besides three per cent. of the net proceeds of the sales of the remainder. The Legislature ordered at first, that lands of the school section of each township should be leased out, on payment of a certain rent, but the lessees and newly-arrived immigrants, who had settled on these lands and were entitled to vote, wishing to establish themselves permanently, by their joint influence prevailed upon the Legislature, the majority of whom needed their votes for the coming election, to discontinue collecting the taxes, to sell the lands, to borrow the proceeds of the sale and the three per cent. school fund from the counties, and to use them for the public service; paying an annual interest, for the benefit of the schools, to the respective counties, on the moneys so borrowed. To meet the wants of the lessees, the lands were sold at low prices, in consequence of which the State incurred another debt, amounting to nearly half a million of dollars; and the schools lost part of their revenues, all which might have been easily avoided, if the State 'had adopted a system of taxation, in order to defray all the expenses of the public instruction and education.
Here it may not be improper to state the principal facts regarding the improvements, which, from the year 1820 to 1830, had been taking place in the manners and habits of the Illinoisians, their modes of thought, and the character of their institutions.
Until the year 1820, the early preachers of Illinois enjoyed undisputed sway over the minds of the people. In that year, several educated and well-instructed ministers arrived from the Eastern States, whence they had been sent as missionaries, by several religious societies. Relying, at first, mainly upon the support afforded to them, in case of need, by these societies, they founded Bible Societies and Sunday Schools, and started a number of religious prints or tracts in the State, patiently waiting until the people should gradually become accnstomed to the new state of things. Their arrival caused no little uneasiness to the old preachers. Knowing, that from the moment their new rivals should have ingratiated themseles into the favor of the people, their own services would no longer be needed, they affected to deride the nice and fashionable dress of their young colleagues, whom they believed destitute of all religion, and whom they represented, not without some good show of reason, to be utterly unfit to travel through the wilderness, sleep in the open air, suffer hunger and thirst, in short, to suffer the same privations which they themselves had suffered, while engaged in providing for the spiritual wants of the people. They openly and boldly accused the new ministers of being less concerned about the salvation of the souls of their flocks, than about the size of their purses, and of selling their bibles and tracts with a view of securing to themselves a handsome profit thereby. The