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Historical encyclopedia of Illinois online

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lages, one of them being that of "Black Part-
ridge," who had befriended the whites at Fort
Dearborn. A few weeks later Capt. Thomas E.
Craig, at the head of a company of militia, made a
descent upon the ancient French village of Peoria,
on the pretext that the inhabitants had har-
bored hostile Indians and fired on his, boats. He
burned a part of the town and, taking the people
as prisoners down the river, put them ashore
below Alton, in the beginning of winter. Both
these affairs were severely censured.

There were expeditions against the Indians on
the Illinois and Upper Mississippi in 1813 and
1814. In the latter year, Illinois troops took part
with credit in two engagements at Rock Island —
the last of these being in co-operation with regu-
lars, under command of Maj. Zachary Taylor,
afterwards President, against a force of Indians
supported by the British. Fort Clark at Peoria

was erected in 1813, and Fort Edwards at War-
saw, opposite the mouth of the Des Moines, at
the close of the campaign of 1814. A council
with the Indians, conducted by Governors
Edwards of Illinois and Clarke of Missouri, and
Auguste Chouteau, a merchant of St. Louis, as
Government Commissioners, on the Mississippi
just below Alton, in July, 1815, concluded a
treaty of peace with the principal Northwestern
tribes, thus ending the war.

First Territorial Legislature.— By act of
Congress, adopted May 21, 1812, the Territory of
Illinois was raised to the second grade— i. e., em-
powered to elect a Territorial Legislature. In
Sei)tember, three additional counties— Madison,
Gallatin and Johnson— were organized, making
five in all, and, in October, an election for the
choice of five members of the Council and seven
Representatives was held, resulting as follows:
Councilmen— Pierre Menard of Randolph County ;
William Biggs of St. Clair; Sanmel Judy of
Madison; Thomas Ferguson of Johnson, and
Benjamin Talbot of Gallatin. Representatives-
George Fisher of Randolph ; Joshua Oglesby and
Jacob Short of St. Clair; William Jones of Madi
son; Philip Trammel and Alexander Wilson of
Gallatin, and John Grammar of Johnson. The
Legislature met at Kaskaskia, Nov. 2.5, the Coun-
cil organizing with Pierre Menard as President
and John Thomas, Secretary; and the House,
with George Fisher as Speaker and William C.
Greenup, Clerk. Shadrach Bond was elected the
first Delegate to Congress.

A second Legislature was elected in 1814, con-
vening at Kaskaskia, Nov. 14. Menard was con-
tinued President of the Council during the whole
Territorial period; while George Fisher was
Speaker of each House, except the Second. The
county of Edwards was organized in 1814, and
White in 181.'). Other counties organized under
the Territorial Government were Jackson, Mon-
roe, Crawford and Pope in 1816; Bond in 1817,
and Franklin, Union and Washington in 1818,
making fifteen in all. Of these all but the
three last-named were organized previous to the
passage by Congress of the enabling act author-
izing the Territory of Illinois to organize a State
government. In 1816 the Bank of Illinois was
established at Shawneetown, with branches at
Edwardsville and Kaskaskia.

Early Towns —Besides the French villages in
the American Bottom, there is said to have been
a French and Indian village on the west bank of
Peoria Lake, as early as 1711. This site appears
to have been abandoned about 1775 and a new-



village established on the present site of Peoria
soon after, which was maintained until 1812,
when it was broken up by Captain Craig. Other
early towns were Shawneetown, laid out in 1808 ;
Belleville, established as the county-seat of St.
Clair County, in 1814; Edwardsville, founded in
1815; Upper Alton, in 1816, and Alton, in 1818.
Carmi, Fairfield, Waterloo, Golconda, Lawrence-
ville, Mount Carmel and Vienna also belonged to
this period; while Jacksonville, Springfield and
Galena were settled a few years later. Chicago
is mentioned in "Beck's Gazetteer" of 1823, as "a
village of Pike County."

Admission as a State.— The preliminary steps
for the admission of Illinois as a State, were taken
in the passage of an Enabling A ct by Congress,
April 13, 1818. An important incident in this
connection was the amendment of the act, mak-
ing the parallel of 42' 30' from Lake Michigan to
the Mississippi River the northern boundary,
instead of a line extending from the southern
extremity of the Lake. This was obtained
tlirough the influence of Hon. Nathaniel Pope,
then Delegate from Illinois, and by it the State
secured a strip of country fifty-one miles in
width, from the Lake to the Mississippi, embrac-
ing what have since become fourteen of the most
populous counties of the State, including the citj-
of Chicago. The political, material and moral
results which liave followed this important act,
have been tlie subject of much interesting dis-
cussion and cannot be easily over-estimated.
(See Northern Boundary Question; also Pope,
Nathaniel. )

Another measure of great importance, which Blr.
Pope secured, was a modification of the provision
of the Enabling Act requiring the appropriation of
five per cent of the proceeds from the sale of pub-
lic lands within the State, to the construction of
roads and canals. The amendment which he
secured authorizes the application of two-fifths
of this fund to the making of roads leading to the
State, but requires "the residue to be appropri-
ated by tlie Legislature of the State for the
encouragement of learning, of which one-sixth
part shall be exclusively bestowed on a college or
university." This was the beginning of that
system of liberal encouragement of education by
the General Government, which has been at-
tended with such beneficent results in the younger
States, and has reflected so much honor upon the
Nation. (See Education; Railroads, and Illinois

Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 54 of 207)