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name proposed to them, which has ever since inflicted some slight stigma upon the character of the people inhabiting the place.
As already mentioned, upon the conclusion of the war of 1812, emigrants began to arrive from the Eastern States, and settle in Illinois; they brought money with them, which soon superseded the skins of the deer and of the raccoon as a circulating medium, and brought about a radical change in the material condition of the people, by creating new desires, and especially a mad desire for speculating in lots and lands. At that time the United States sold land at two dollars per acre, eighty dollars on the quarter section, to be paid cash down on the purchase, and the residue payable in five years. Everybody was eager to buy at that price, confidently expecting to be able to sell the lands, with the houses and other improvements thereon, at a large profit, to the immigrants who were sure to arrive. This proceeding was proudly styled “developing the infant resources of a new country.” Several banks were incorporated, and speculation ran high, being favored by the circumstance, that money was then very abundant, and in consequence, every man's credit very good. Lots were purchased on credit, and towns laid out, all over the country; if money could not be had, notes were taken in place of, and considered as good as cash, until, two years afterwards, in the year 1820, the entire population had become indebted to a vast amount. The immigrants, whose arrival had been so anxiously looked for, did not come, the lots and houses could not be sold, and the price of the lands purchased of the United States remained unpaid. Bank notes, and paper of every kind and description, had long since driven the specie out of circulation, since it could be far more easily supplied to any amount wanted by notes, and nobody was willing to pay in cash, what he could pay for in paper. Commerce being then utterly insignificant, nothing was exported; and the people, being left to settle their debts among themselves, began to sue one another, though without any prospect of recovering their amounts, since, in consequence of the total absence of money, even the richest man would have found it im. possible to satisfy his creditors.
To put an end to these crying evils, a State Bank, with several branches, was created by the Legislature of 1821; which bank, being wholly supported by the credit of the State, was to issue one, two,
three, five, ten and twenty dollar notes, bearing two per cent. per annum, and payable by the State in ten years. It was the duty of the bank to advance, upon personal property, money to the amount of $100, and a larger amount upon real estate mortgages, to anybody, who should require such a loan. All taxes and public salaries could be paid in such bills, and if a creditor refused to take them, he had to wait three years longer before he could collect his debt. The people imagined, that simply because government had issued the notes, they would remain at par, and although this could evidently not be the case, were yet so infatuated with their project as actually to request the United States Government to receive them in payment for the public lands. Although there were not wanting men who, like John McLean, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, foresaw the danger and evils likely to arise from the creation of such a bank, by far the greater part of the people were in favor of it; the new bank was therefore started, and began to transact business in the summer of 1821. The new issues of bills by the bank, of course, only aggravated the evil, heretofore so grievously felt, of the absence of specie, so that the people were soon compelled to cut their bills in halves and quarters, in order to make small change in the trade. And further, most persons tried to borrow as much money from the bank as they could, considering whatever they got as clear gain, never pretending to pay it afterwards. And finally, the paper currency so rapidly depreciated, that three dollars in these bills were only considered worth one dollar in specie, so that the State not only did not increase its revenues, but lost full two-thirds of them, and expended three times the amount required to pay the expenses of the State Government.
In the year 1822, the term of office of the first governor, Shadrach Bond, expired. The question, which then agitated the whole Union, whether Missouri was to be admitted into the Union as a Slave State or not, had resulted in starting two parties in Illinois, one favorable, the other hostile to the introduction of slavery, each proposing a candidate of their own for governor. Although the slave party did everything in their power to secure the election of their candidate, and could boast of many of the most influential men in the State as belonging to their party, the people at large being decided, as they ever since have been, in favor of a Free State, Edward Coles, an antislavery man, was elected.
The Legislature, at their next session (1824-1825), ordered that the Supreme Court, consisting of four judges, should be held twice a year at the seat of government, and created five judges to hold all the Circuit Courts in the State, each of whom was maintained at a yearly salary of $600, while each of the Supreme Court Judges received $800 per annum. Considering this to be an extravagant outlay of the public money, the people were so clamorous for a reduction of it, that the Legislature of 1826–7 annulled and repealed the act passed by their predecessors, discharged the Circuit Judges, and ordered the Judges of the Supreme Court to hold the Circuit Courts instead of them.
The same Legislature of 1824-1825 appointed, by another law, the Judges of the Supreme Court to revise the laws, and to present the new revision to the Legislature at their next session.
Senator Duncan, afterwards governor, presented to the Legislature a bill for the support of schools by a public tax; and William S. Hamilton presented another bill, requiring a tax in proportion to property, to be used for the purpose of constructing and repairing the roads; both of which bills passed the Legislature and became laws. But although these laws conferred an incalculable benefit upon the public, by highly improving both the condition of the scbools and the roads, the very name of a tax was so odious to the people, that rather than pay a tax of even the smallest possible amount, they preferred working as they formerly did, five days during the year on the roads, and would allow their children to grow up without any instruction at all. Consequently both laws were abolished, and the former system restored, by the Legislature, at their session of 1826-1827.
In the year 1826 the office of Governor became again vacant. Ninian Edwards and Adolphus Frederick Hubbard, were the principal candidates for it. Ninian Edwards, a lawyer by profession, and Governor of Illinois Territory for the nine years previous to its admission into the Union as a sovereign State, had made himself many enemies by urging strict inquiries to be made into the corruption of the State Bank, so that, had it not been for his talents and noble personal appearance, he would most probably not have been elected.
In a conman."
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
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 em. ployees 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