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The Biographical review of Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, also biographies of the presidents of the United States online

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977. ^y



Biographical Review


ohnson, Massac, Pope ^t^ Hardin Counties


Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and
Representative Citizens







L:reatest of English historians, Macaulat, and one of the most brilliant writers of
present century, has siid: "The history of a country is best told in a record of the
lives of its puuple." In conformity with this idea the Poktrait asd Bioguaimiical
^ "■"' of this county has been prepared. Instead of going to must}- records, and
g therefrom dry statistical matter that can be appreciated by but few, our
•rps of writers have gone to the people, the men and women who have, by their
enterprise and industry, brought the county to rank second to none among those
comprising this great and noble State, and from their lips have the stor_v of their life
struggles. No more interesting or instructive matter could be presented to an intelli-
gent public. In this volume will be found a record of many whose lives are worthy the
imitation of coming generations. It tells how some, commencing life in poverty, by
industry and economy have accumulated wealth. It tells how others, with limited
p advantages for securing an education, have become learned men and women, with an
3T.; influence extending throughout the length and breadth of the land. It tells of men who
^- />\ '^ have risen from the lower walks of life to eminence as statesmen, and whose names have
V^ « \>^ become famous. It tells of those in every walk in life who have striven to succeed, and
■^ ^ records how that success has usually crowned their efforts. It tells also of man}', very

many, who, not seeking the applause of the world, have pui-sued ''the even tenor of their way." content
to have it said of them as Christ said of the woman performing a deed of mercy — "they have done what
they could." It tells how that many in the pride and strength of young manhood left the plow and the
anvil, the lawyer's office and the counting-room, left every trade and profession, and at their countrj-'s
call went forth valiantly "to do or die," and how through their efforts the Union was restored and peace
once more reigned in the land. In the life of eveiy man and of every woman is a lesson that should not
be lost upon those who follow after.

Coming generations will appreciate this volume and preserve it as a sacred trejisure, from the fact
that it contains so much that wt)uld never find its w.ay into public records, and which would otherwise be
inaccessible. Great care has been taken in the compilation of the work and every opportunity possible
given to those represented to insure correctness in wiiat has lieen written, and the publishei-s Hatter them-
selves that they give to their readers a work with few errors of consequence. In addition to the biograpb
ical sketches, portraits of a number of representative citizens are given.

The faces of some, and biographical sketches of many, will be missed in this volume. For this the
publishers are not to blame. Not liaving a proper conception of the work, some refused to give the
information necessary to compile a sketch, while others were indifferent. Occasionally some memlwr of
the family would oppose the enterprise, and on account of such opposition the support of the interested
one would lie withheld. In a few instances men could never be found, though repeated calls were made
at their residence or place of business.

.lunc, IXy.l. I! ,;m-|II. VI. I'l I-.I.ISIIIN.; Co.








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HE Father of our Country was
born in Westmorland Co., Va.,
' Feb. 22, 1732. His parents
were Augustine and Mary
(Ball) Washington. The family
to which he belonged has not
been satisfactorily traced in
England. His great-grand-
father, John Washington, em-
igrated to Virginia about 1657,
and became a prosperous
planter. He had two sons,
Lawrence and John. The
former married Mildred Warner
and had three children, John,
Augustine and Mildred. Augus-
tine, the father of George, first
married Jane liutler, who bore
him four children, two of whom,
Lawrence and Augustine, reached

f maturity. Of si.\ children by his
second marriage, George was the
eldest, the others beins: Betty,
i Samuel, John Augustine, Charles

and Mildred.
Augustine Washington, the father of George, died
in 1743, leaving a large landed property. To his
:ldest son, Lawrence, he bequeathed an estate on
the Patomac, afterwards known as Mount Vernon,
and to George he left the jiarental residence. George
received only such education as the neighborhood
schools afforded, save for a short time after he left
school, when he received private instruction in
mathematics. His si>ellin6 was rather defective.


Remarkable stories are told of his great iihysica-
strength and development at an early age. He wa.s
an acknowledged leader among his companions, and
was early noted for that nobleness of character, fair-
ness and veracity which characterized his whole life.

When George was 1 4 years old he had a desire to go to
sea, and a midshipman's warrant was secured for him,
but through the opposition of his mother the idea was
abandoned. Two years later he was appointed
surveyor to the immense estate of Lord Fairfax. In
this business he spent three years in a rough frontier
life, gaining experience which afterwards proved very
essential to him. In 1751, though only 19 years of
age, he was ajJiwinted adjutant with the rank of
major in the Virginia militia, then being trained for
active service against the French and Indians. Soon
after this he sailed to the West Indies with his brother
Lawrence, who went there to restore his health They
soon returned, and in the summer of 1752 Lawrence
died, leaving a large fortune to an infant daughter
who did not long survive him. On her demise tlie
estate of Mount Vernon was given to George.

Ujxin the arrival of Robert Dinwiddle, as Lieuten-
ant-Governor of Virginia, in 1752, the militia was
reorganized, and the province divided into four mili-
tary districts, of which the northern was assigned to
Washington as adjutant general. Shortly after this
a very perilous mission was assigned him and ac-
cepted, which others had refused. This was to pro-
ceed to the French ix)st near Lake Erie in North-
western Pennsylvania. The distance to be traversed
was between 500 and 600 miles. Winter was at hand,
and the journey was to be made without military
escort, through a territory occupied by Indians. The


trip was a perilous one, and several limes he came near
losing his lite, yet he returned in safety and furnished
a full and useful reixirt of his expedition. A regiment
of 300 men was raised in Virginia and put in com-
mand of Col. Josiiua Fry, and Major Washington was
commissioned lieutenant-colonel. Active war was
then begun against the French and Indians, in which
Washington took a most imjwrtant part. In the
memorable event of July 9, 1755, known as Brad-
dock's defeat, Washington was almost the only officer
of distinctior. who escaped from the calamities of the
day with life and honor. The other aids of liraddock
>vere disabled early in the action, and Washington
alone was left in that capacity on the field. In a letter
to his brother he says : "1 had four bullets through
my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet I escaped
unhurt, though death was levelin" my comi)anions
on every side." An Indian sharpshooter said he was
not born to be killed by a bullet, for he had taken
direct aim at him seventeen times, and failed to hit

.\fter having been five years in the military service,
and vainly sought promotion in the royal army, he
look advantage of the fall of Fort Duquesne and the
e-xpulsioh of the French from the valley of the Ohio,
to resign his conmiission. Soon after he entered the
Legislature, where, although not a leader, he look an
active and important part. January 17, 1759, he
married Mrs. Martha (Dandridge) Custis, the wealthy
widow of John Parke Custis.

When.the British Parliament had closed the port
^f Boston, the cry went up throughout the provinces
that "The cause of Boston is the cause of us all."
It was then, at the suggestion of Virginia, that a Con
grass of all the colonies was called to meet at Phila-
delphia.Sept. 5, 1774, to secure their common liberties,
peaceably if possible. To this Congress Col. Wash-
ington was sent as a delegate. On May 10, r775, the
Congress re-assembled, when the hostile intentions of
England were plainly apparent. The battles of Con-
cord and Lexington had been fought. Among the
first acts of this ("ongress was the election of a com-
mander-in-chief of the colonial forces. This high and
responsible office was conferred u\)on Washington,
who was still a memberof the Congress. He accepted
it on June 19, but upon the express condition that he
receive no salary. He would keep an exact account
of expenses and expect Congress 10 pay them and
nothing more. It is not the object of this sketch to
trace the military acts of Washington, to whom the
fortunes and liberties of the people of this country
were so long confided. The war was conducted by
him under ever\ possible disadvantage, and while his
forces often met with reverses, yet he overcame every
obstacle, and after seven years of heroic devotion
and matchless skill he gained liberty for the greatest
nation of earth. On Dec. 23, t7S3, Washington, in
a parting address of surpassing beauty, resigned his

conunission as commander-in-chief of the array to
to the Continental Congress sitting at Annapolis. He
retired immediately to Mount Vernon and resumed
his occupation as a farmer and planter, shunning all
connection with public life.

In February, 1 7S9, Washington was unanimously
elected President. In his presidential career he was
subject to the peculiar trials incidental to a tiew
government ; trials from lack of confidence on the part
of other governments ; trials from want of harmony
between the different sections of our own country;
trials from the imiwverished condition of the country,
owing to the war and want of credit; trials from the
beginnings of party strife. He was no partisan. His
clear judg.nent could discern the golden mean ; and
wliile perhaps tiiis alone kept our government from
sinking at the very outset, it left him exposed to
attacks from both sides, which were often bitter and
very annoying.

At the expiration of his first term he was unani-
mously re-elected. At the end of this term many
were anxious that he be re-elected, but he absolutely
refused a third nomination. On the fourth of March,
1797, at the ex[)iraton of his second term as Presi-
dent, he returned to his home, hoping to pass there
his few remaining yeais free from the annoyances of
public life. Later in the year, however, his repose
seemed likely to be interrupted by war with France.
At the prospect of such a war he was again urged to
take command of the armies. He chose his sub-
ordinate officers and left to them the charge of mat-
ters in the field, which he superintended from his
home. In accepting the command he made the
reservation that he was not to be in the field until
it was necessary. In the midst of these preparations
his life was suddenly cut off. December 12, he took
a severe cold from a ride in the rain, which, settling
in h's throat, produced inflammation, and terminated
fatally on the night of the fourteenth. On the eigh-
teenth his body was borne wi'h military honors to its
final resting place, and interred in the family vault at
Mount Vernon.

Of the character of Washington it is imix)ssible to
speak but in terms of the highest respect and ad-
miration. The more we see of the operations of
our government, and the more deeply we feel the
difficulty of uniting all opinions in a common interest,
the more highly we must estimate the force of his tal-
ent and character, which have ben able to challenge
the reverence of all parties, and principles, and na-
tions, and to win a fame as extended as the limits
of the globe, and which we cannot but lielieve will
be as lasting as the existence of man.

The jierson of Washington was unusally tan, erect
and well proportioned. His muscular strength was
great. His features were of a beautiful symmetPi'.
He commanded respect without any ai.pcnrance o<
haughtiness, and ever serious without lAeinc dull.



'■^/V ^7r//mid

se::ond president.

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_ ^ - ao m.r'»t-%p .

'(^ - "'"::i5^

OHN ADAMS, the second
. President and the first Vice-
President of the United States,
was born in Braintree ( now
Quincy ),Mass., and about ten
'^ miles from Boston, Oct. ig,
1 735. His great-grandfather, Henry
Adams, emigrated from England
I bout 1640, with a family of eight
sons, and settled at Braiatree. The
parents of John were John and
Susannah (Boylston) Adams. His
father was a farmer of limited
means, to which he added the bus-
iness of shoemaking. He gave his
eldest son, John, a classical educa-
tion at Harvard College. John
graduated in 1755, and at once took charge of the
school in Worcester, Mass. This he found but a
'scijool of ;iffliction," from which he endeavored to
gain relief by devoting himself, in addition, to the
study of law. For this purpose he placed himself
under the tuition of the only lawyer in the town. He
had thought seriously of the clerical profession
but seems to have been turned from this by what he
termed "the frightful engines of ecclesiastical coun-
jils, of diabolical malice, andCalvanistic good nature,''
of the operations of which he had been a witness in
his native town. He was well fitted for the legal
profession, possessing a clear, sonorous voice, being
ready and fluent of speech, and having quick percep-
tive jMwers. He gradually gained practice, and in
1764 married Aljigail Smith, a daughter of a minister,
ind a lady of superior intelligence. Shortly after his
narriage, (1765), the attempt of Parliamentary taxa-
'ion turned him from law to politics. He took initial
-teps toward lioldin^ a town meeting, and the resolu-

tions he offered on the subject became very populai
throughout the Provmce, and were adopted word for
word by over forty different towns. He moved to Bos-
ton in 176S, and became one of the most courageous
and prominent advocates of the popular cause, and
was chosen a member of the General Couit (the Leg-
lislature) in 1770.

Mr. Adams was chosen one of the first delegate.^
from Massachusetts to the first Continental Congress,
which met in 1774. Here he distinguished himselt
by his capacity for business and for debate, and ad-
vocated the movement for independence against ti- =
majority of the members. In May, 1776, he mcveci
and carried a resolution in Congress that the Coloniea
should assume the duties of self-government. He
was a prominent member of the committee of fivej
appointed June 11, to prepare a declaration of inde-
pendence. This article was drawn by Jefferson, but
on Adams devolved the task of battling it through
Congress in a three days debate.

On the day after the Declaration of Independence
was passed, while his soul was yet warm with th;
glow of e.xcited feeling, he wrote a letter to his wife
which, as we read it now, seems to have been dictated
by the spirit of prophecy. "Yesterday," he says, "the
greatest question was decided that ever was debated
in America; and greater, perhaps, never was or wil
be decided among men. A resolution was passed
without one dissenting colony, ' that these United
States are, and of right ought to be, free and inde-
pendent states.' The day is passed. The fourth of
July, 1776, will 1)6 a memorable epoch in the history
of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated
by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary
festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of
deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty
Ck)d. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, show%


games, spurts, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations
Ironi one end of the continent to the otlier, from tiiis
lime forward for ever. Vou will think nic transix)rted
with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of
the toil, and blood and treasure, that it will cost to
maintain this declaration, and supixjrt and defend
these States; yet, through all the gloom, 1 can see the
rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is
Worth more than all the means; and that iwsterity
will triumph, although you and I may rue, which I
hope we shall not."

In November, 1777, Mr. .Vdams was apjiointed a
dtiegate to France and to co-operate with Benijamin
Franklin and Arthur Lee, wiio were then in Paris, in
the endeavor to obtain assistance in arms and money
from the French Government. This was a severe trial
to his patriotism, as it separated him from his home,
compelled him to cross the ocean in winter, and ex-
ix)sed him to great peril of capture by the British cruis-
ers, who were seeking him. He left France June 17,
1779. In Se|)tember of the same year he was again
chosen to go to Paris, and there hold himself in readi-
ness to negotiate a treaty of peace and of commerce
with Great Britian, as soon as the Britisii Cabinet
might be found willing to listen to such proiX)sels. He
sailed for France in November, from there he went to
Holland, where he negotiated im[)orlanl loans and
formed important commercial treaties

Finally a treaty of peace with England was signed
Jan. 21, 1783. The re-action from the excitement,
toil and anxiety through which Mr. Adams jiad passed
threw him into a fever. After suffering from a con-
tinued fever and becoming feeble and emaciated he
was advised to goto England to drink the waters of
Bath. \Vhile in England, still drooping and desixsnd-
ing, he received dispatches from his own government
urging the necessity of his going to .Xrasterdam to
negotiate another loan. It was winter, his health was
delicate, yet he immediately set out, and through
storm, on sea, on horseback and foot, he made the tri[).

February 24, 1785: C'ongress apjxjinted Mr. Adams
envoy to the Court of St. James. Here he met face
to face the King of England, who had so long re-
garded him as a traitor. As England did not
condescend to apjioint a minister to the United
States, and as Mr. Adams felt that he was accom-
plishing but little, he sought permission to return to
nis own country, where he arrived in June, 1788.

When Washington was first chosen President, John
Adams, rendered illustiious liy his signal services at
home and abroad, was chosen Vice President, .\gain
at the second election of Washington as President,
Adams was chosen Vice President. In 1796, Wash-
ington retired from public life, and Mr. Adams was
elected President,! hough not without muchoj)]iosition.
S-.;rving in this office four years, he was succeeded by
Mr. Jefferson, his o|)]xinent in politics.

While Mr. Adams was Vice President the gre.T*

French Revolution shook the continent of Euroi>e,
and it was ujxjn this ix)int which he was at issue with
the m.ijority of his countrymen led by Mr. Jefferson.
Mr. Adams felt no symiiathy with the French people
in their struggle, for he had no confidence in their
power of self-government, and he utterly abhored the
classof atheist [)hilo!:o[>hers who he claimed caused it.
On the other hand Jefferson's sympathies were strongly
enlisted in behalf of the French jjeople. Hence or
iginaled llie alienation between these distinguished
men, and two [xjwerful i)arties were thus soon organ-
ized, .'\dams at the head of the one whose sympathies
were with England and Jefferson led the other in
sympathy with France.

The world has seldom seen a spectacle of more
moral beauty and grandeur, than was presented by the
old age of Mr. Adams. The violence of party feeling
had died away, and he had begun to receive that just
appreciation which, to most men, is not accorded till
after death. No one could look upon his venerable
form, and think of what he had done and suffered,
and how he had given up all the prime and stren;,th
of his life tu the public good, without the deepest
emotion of gratitude and respect. It was his [)eculiar
good fortune to witness the complete success of the
institution which he had been so active in creating and
supixjrting. In 1824, his cup of hajipiness was filled
to the brim, by seeing his son elevated to the highest
station in the gift of the jieople.

The fourth of July, 1826, which completed the hall
century since the signing of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence, arrived, and there were but three of the
signers of that immortal instrument left upon the
earth to hail its morning light. And, as it is
well known, on that day two of these finished theii
earthly pilgrimage, a coincidence so remarkable as
to seem miraculous. For a few days before Mr.
Adams had been rapidly failing, and on the morning
of the fourth he found himself loo weak to rise from
his bed. On being requested to name a toast for the
customary celebration of the day, he exclaimed " In-
DF.PENDENCE FOREVER." When the day was ushered
in, by the ringing of bells and the firing of cannons,
he was asked by one of his attendants if he knew
what day it was? He replied, "O yes; it is the glor-
ious fourth of July — (}od bless it — God bless you all."
In the course of the day he said, " It is a great and
glorious day." The last words he uttered were.
"Jefferson survives." But he had, at one o'clock, re-
signed his spiiit into the hands of his God.

The ])ersonal appearance and manners of Mr
Adams were not particularly preixissessing. His face,
as his ]iortrait manifests.was intellect iial and expres
sive, but his figure was low and ungraceful, and h^s
manners were frequently abruiit and uncourteoiis
He had neither the lofty dignity of Washington, ni>i
the engaging elegance and gracefulness which marked
the manners and address of Jefferson.


/ r /

J/l>^^J^' y.' Y//7



lorn April 2, 1743, at Shad-
^''well, Alhermarle county, Va.
His parents were I'eter and
Jane ( Randolph) Jefferson,
the tbnner a native of Wales,
and the latter born in Lon-
don. To them were born six
daughters and two sons, of
whom Thomas was the elder.
When 14 years of age his
father died. He received a
most liberal education, hav-
ing been kept diligently at school
from the time he was five years of
age. In 1760 he entered William
end Mary College. Williamsburg was then the seat
if the Colonial Court, and it was the obode of fashion splendor. Young Jefferson, who was then 17
years old, lived somewhat expensively, keeping fine
horses, and much caressed by gay society, yet he
was earnestly devoted lo his studies, and irreproacha-
able in his morals. It is strange, however, under
such infiuences,that he was not ruined. In the sec-
ond year of his college course, moved by some un-
explained inward impulse, he discarded his horses,
society, and even his favorite violin, to which he had
previously given much time. He often devoted fifteen
hours a day to hard study, allowing himself for ex-
ercise only a run in the evening twilight of a mile out
of the city and back again. He thus attained very
high intellectual culture, alike excellence in philoso-
phy and the languages. The most difficult Latin and
Greek authors he read with facility. A more finished
scholar has seldom gone forth from collei;e halls; ami

there was not to be found, perhaps, in all Virginia, a
more pureminded, upright, gentlemanly young man.

Immediately \x\x>n leaving college he began the
study of law. For the short time he continued in the
practice of his profession he rose rapidly and distin-
guished himself by his energy and accuteness as a
lawyer. But the times called for greater action.
The policy of England had awakened the spirit of
resistance of the American Colonies, and the enlarged
views which Jefferson had ever entertained, soon led
him into active [lolitical life. In 1769 he was choset

Online LibraryBiographical Publishing CompanyThe Biographical review of Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, also biographies of the presidents of the United States → online text (page 1 of 91)