pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws online

. (page 12 of 79)
Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 12 of 79)
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Recruits '

1861 Peoria

'61 , Springfield .





Cape Girardeau, Mo.,

Camp Butler

Camp Butler

Camp Butler.

Camp Butler





Board of Trade
Springfield. . . .



Henshaw's —




Capt. James S. Stokes

'* Thomas F. Vaughn

"■ Charles G. Cooley

" George W. Renwick...

" William Coggswell...

" Ed. C, Henshaw

" Lyman Bridges

" JohnH.Colvin

July 31, 1862.
Aug. 21, '62..
Aug. 29. '62 . .
Nov. 15, '62..
Sept 2:}, '61..
Oct. 15. '62. . .
Jan. 1, '62....
Oct. 10, '63. . .


Camp Butler...



Camp Douglas.







Infantry 185.941

Cavalrv 32.082

ArtilleVv 7,277


The code of chivalry so common among Southern gentlemen
and so frequently brought into use in settling personal differences
has also been called to settle the " affairs of honor " in our own
State, however, but few times, and those in the earlier days.
Several attempts at duels have occurred; before the disputants met
in mortal combat the differences were amicably and satisfactorily
settled; honor was maintained without the sacrifice of life. In
1810 a law was adopted to suppress the practice of dueling. This
law held the fatal result of dueling to be murder, and, as it was
intended, had the effect of making it odious and dishonorable.
Prior to the constitution of 18-18, parties would evade the law by


going beyond the jurisdiction of the State to engage in their con-
tests of honor. At that time they incorporated in the Constitution
an oath of office, which was so broad as to cover the whole world.
Any person who had ever fought a duel, ever sent or accepted a
challenge or acted the part of second was disfranchised from holding
office, even of minor importance. After this M^ent into effect, no
other duel or attempt at a duel has been engaged in within the
State of Illinois, save those fought by parties living outside of
the State, who came here to settle their personal differences.


The first duel fought within the boundaries of this great State
was between two young military officers, one of the French and
the other of the English army, in the year 1765. It was at the
time the British troops came to take possession of Fort Chartres,
and a woman was the cause of it. The affair occurred early
Sunday morning, near the old fort. They fought with swords, and
in the combat one sacrificed his life.


In 1809 the next duel occurred and was bloodless of itself, but out
of it grew a quarrel which resulted in the assassination of one of
the contestants. The principals were Shadrach Bond, the first
Governor, and Rice Jones, a bright young lawyer, who became quite
a politician and the leader of his party. A personal difference arose
between the two, which to settle, the parties met for mortal combat
on an island in the Mississippi. The weapons selected were hair-
trigger pistols. After taking their position Jones' weapon was
prematurely discharged. Bond's second, Dunlap, now claimed that
according to the code Bond had the right to the next fire. But
Bond would not take so great advantage of his opponent, and said
it was an accident and would not fire. Such noble conduct
touched the generous nature of Jones, and the difficulty was at
once amicably settled. Dunlap, however, bore a deadly hatred for
Jones, and one day while he was standing in the street in Ivaskaskia,
conversing with a lady, lie crept up behind him and shot him dead
in his tracks. Dunlap successfully escaped to Texas.


In 1812 the bloody code again brought two young men to the
field of honor. They were Thomas Rector, a son of Capt. Stephen


Rector who bore such a noble part in the war of 1812, ana Joshua
Barton. Tlicy liad espoused the quarrel of older brothers. The
affair occurred on Bloody Island, in the Mississippi, but in the
limits of Illinois. This place was frequented so often by Missou-
rians to settle personal difficulties, that it received the name of
Bloody Island. Barton fell in this conflict.


In 1819 occurred the first duel fought after the admission of the
State into the Union. This took place in St. Clair county between
Alphonso Stewart and William Bennett. It was intended to be a
sham duel, to turn ridicule against Bennett, the challenging party-
Stewart was in the secret but Bennett was left to believe it a
reality. Their guns were loaded with blank cartridges. Bennett,
suspecting a trick, put a ball into his gun without the knowledge
of his seconds. The word "fire" was given, and Stewart fell
mortally wounded. Bennett made his escape but was subsequently
captured, convicted of murder and suffered the penalty of the law
by hanging.


In 1840 a personal difference arose between two State Senators,
Judo-e Pearson and E. D. Baker. The latter, smarting under the
epithet of "lalsehoud," threatened to chastise Pearson in the public
streets, bv a " fist fight." Pearson declined making a "blackguard''
of himself but intimated a readiness to fight as gentlemen, accord-
ing to the code of honor. The affair, however, was carried no


The exciting debates in the Legislature in 1840-'41 were often
bitter in personal "slings," and threats of combats were not
infrequent. During these debates, in one of the speeclies by the
Hon. J. J. Hardin, Hon. A. R. Dodge thought he discovered a
personal insult, took exceptions, and an " affair" seemed imminent.
The controversy was referred to friends, however, and amicably


Hon. John A. McClernand, a member of the House, in a speech
delivered during the same session made charges against the Whig
Judges of the Supreme Court. This brought a note from Judge


T. W. Smith, by the hands of liis " friend " Dr. Merriman, to
McClernand. This was construed as a challenge, and promptly
accepted, naming the place of meeting to be Missouri; time, early;
the weapons, rifles; and distance, 40 paces. At this critical junc-
ture, the Attorney General had a warrant issued against the Judge,
whereupon he was arrested and placed under bonds to keep the
peace. Thus ended this attempt to vindicate injured honor.


During the hard times subsequent to the failure of the State and
other banks, in 1842, specie became scarce while State money was
plentiful, but worthless. The State officers thereupon demanded
specie payment for taxes. This was bitterly opposed, and so fiercely
contested that the collection of taxes was suspended.

During the period of the greatest indignation toward the State
ofiicials, under the nom de plume of " Rebecca," Abraham Lincoln
had an article published in the Sangamo Journal^ entitled " Lost
Township." In this article, written in the form of a dialogue, the
officers of the State were roughly handled, and especially Auditor
Shields. The name of the author was demaded from the editor by
Mr. Shields, who was very indignant over the manner in which he
was treated. The name of Abraham Lincoln was given as the
author. It is claimed by some of his biographers, however, that
the article was prepared by a lady, and that when the name of the
author was demanded, in a spirit of gallantry, Mr. Lincoln gave
his name. In company with Gen. Whiteside, Gen. Shields pur-
sued Lincoln to Tremont, Tazewell county, where he was in attend-
ance upon the court, and immediately sent him a note "requiring
a full, positive and absolute retraction of all offensive allusions "
made to him in relation to his "private character and standing as
a man, or an apology for the insult conveyed." Lincoln had been
forewarned, however, for William Butler and Dr. Merriman, of
Springfield, had become acquainted with Shields' intentions and by
riding all night arrived at Tremont ahead of Shields and informed
Lincoln what he might expect. Lincoln answered Shields' note,
refusing to offer any explanation, on the grounds that Shields' note
assumed the fact of his (Lincoln's) authorship of the article, and
not pointing out what the offensive part was, and accompanying the
same with threats as to consequences, Mr. Shields answered this,
disavowing all intention to menace ; inquired if he was the author,


asked a retraction of that portion relating to his private character.
Mr. Lincohi, still technical, returned this note with the verbal
statement " that there could be no further negotiations until the
first note was withdrawn." At this Shields named Gen. White-
side as his " friend," when Lincoln reported Dr. Merriman as his
"friend," These gentlemen secretly pledged themselves to agree
upon some amicable terms, and compel their principals to accept
them. The four went to Springfield, when Lincoln left for Jack-
sonville, leaving the following instructions to guide his friend. Dr.

" In case "Whiteside shall signify a wish to adjust this affair with-
out further difficulty, let him know that if the present papers be
withdrawn and a note from Mr. Shields, asking to know if I am the
author of the articles of which he complains, and asking that I shall
make him gentlemanly satisfaction, if I am the author, and this
without menace or dictation as to what that satisfaction shall be, a
pledge is made that the following answer shall be given:

I did write the "Lost Township " letter which appeared in the Journal of the
2d inst., but had no participation, in any form, in any other article alluding to
you. I wrote that wholly for political effect. I had no intention of injuring
your personal or private character or standing, as a man or gentleman ; and I did
not then think, and do not now think, that that article could produce or has pro-
duced that effect against you ; and, had I anticipated such an effect, would have
foreborne to write it. And I will add that your conduct toward me, so far as I
know, had always been gentlemanly, and that I had no personal pique against
you, and no cause for any.

" If this should be done, I leave it to you to manage what shall
and what shall not be published. If nothing like this is done, the
preliminaries of the fight are to be:

" 1st. Weapons. — Cavalry broad swords of the largest size, pre-
cisely equal in all respects, and such as are now used l)y the cavalry
company at Jacksonville.

" 2d. Position. — A plank ten feet long and from nine to twelve
inches broad, to be firmly fixed on edge, on the ground, as a line
between us which neither is to pass his foot over on forfeit of his
life. Next a line drawn on the ground on either side of said plank,
and parallel with it, each at the distance of the whole length of the
sword, and three feet additional from the plank; and the passing of
his own such line by either party during the fight, shall be deemed
a surrender of the contest.


"3d. Time. — On Thursday evening at 5 o'clock, if you can get
it so; l»ut in no case to be at a greater distance of time than Friday

evening at 5 o'clock.

"4:th. Place. — Within three miles of Alton, on the opposite
side of the river, the particular spot to be agreed on by you.

" Any preliminary details coming within the aboverules, you are
at liberty to make at your discretion, but you are in no case to
swerve from these rules, or pass beyond their limits."

The position of the contestants, as prescribed by Lincoln, seems
to have been such as both would have been free from coming in
contact with the sword of the other, and the first impression is that
it is nothing more than one of Lincoln's jokes. He possessed very
lono" arms, however, and could reach his adversary at the stipulated

I^ot being amicably arranged, all parties repaired to the field of
combat in Missouri. Gen. Hardin and .Dr. English, as mutual
friends of both Lincoln and Shields, arrived in the meantime, and
after much correspondence at their earnest solicitation the affair
was satisfactorily arranged, Lincoln making a statement similar to
the one above referred to.


William Butler, one of Lincoln's seconds, was dissatisfied with
the bloodless termination of the Lincoln-Shields affair, and wrote an
account of it for the Sangamo Journal. This article reflected dis-
creditably upon both the principals engaged in that controversy.
Shields replied by the hands of his friend Gen. Whiteside, in a
curt, menacing note, which was promptly accepted as a challenge
by Butler, and the inevitable Dr. Merriman named as his friend,
who submitted the following as preliminaries of the fight:

Time. — Sunrise on the following morning.

Place. — Col. Allen's farm (about one mile north of State House.)
Weapons. — Rifles.

Distance. — One hundred yards.

The parties to stand with their right sides toward each other —
the rifles to be held in both hands horizontally and cocked, arms
extended downwards. Neither party to move his person or his
rifle after being placed, before the word fire. The signal to be:
"Are you ready? Fire! one — two — three!" about a second of


time intervening between each word. JSTeitlier party to fire before
the word '' fire," nor after the word " three."

Gen. Wliiteside, in language cnrt and abrupt, addressed a note to
Dr. Merriman declining to accept the terms. Gen. Shields, how-
ever, addressed another note to Butler, explaining the feelings of
his second, and offering to go out to a lonely place on the prairie to
figlit, where there would be no danger of being interrupted; or, if
that did not suit, he M'ould meet him on his own conditions, when
and where he pleased. Butler claimed the affair was closed and
declined the proposition.


Now Gen. "Whiteside and Dr. Merriman, who several times had
acted in the capacity of friends or seconds, were to handle the
deadly weapons as principals. While second in the Shields-Butler
^^5(7(9, Whiteside declined the terms proposed by Butler, in curt
and abrupt language, stating that tlie place of combat could not be
dictated to him, for it was as much his right as Merriman's, who,
if he was a gentleman, would recognize and concede it. To this
Merriman replied by the hands of Capt. Lincoln. It will be
remembered that Merriman had acted in the same capacity for Lin-
coln. Whiteside then wrote to Merriman, asking to meet him at
St. Louis, when he would hear from him further. To this Merri-
man replied, denying his right to name place, but offered to meet
in Louisiana, Mo. This Whiteside would not agree to, but later
signified his desire to meet him there, but the aff'air being closed,
the doctor declined to re-open it,


These two gentlemen were members of the Constitutional Con-
vention of 1847, and both from Jo Davies county. A dispute arose
which ended in a challenge to meet on the field of honor. They
both repaired to St. Louis, but the authorities gaining knowledge
of their bloody intentions, had both parties arrested, which ended
this " aff'air."


The dress, habits, etc., of a people throw so much light upon their
conditions and limitations that in order better to show the circum-
stances surrounding the people of the State, we will give a short


exposition of the manner of life of our Illinois people at different
epochs. The Indians themselves are credited by Charlevoix with
being "very laborious," — raising poultry, spinning the wool of the
buffalo and manufacturing garments therefrom. These must have
been, however, more than usually favorable representatives of their


" The working and voyaging dress of the French masses," says
Keynolds, "was simple and primitive. The French were like the
lilies of the valley (the Old Ranger was not always exact in his
quotations), — they neither spun nor wove any of their clothing, but
purchased it from the merchants. The white blanket coat, known
as the capot, was the universal and eternal coat for the winter with
the masses. A cape was made of it that could be raised over the
head in cold weather.

" In the house, and in good weather, it hung behind, a cape to
the blanket coat. The reason that I know these coats so well is,
that I have worn many in my youth, and a working man never wore
a better garment. Dressed deer-skins and blue cloth were worn
commonly in the winter for pantaloons. The blue handkerchief
and the deer-skin moccasins covered the head and feet generally of
the French Creoles. In 1800, scarcely a man thought himself clothed
unless he had a belt tied around his blanket coat, and on one side
was hung the dressed skin of a pole-cat, filled with tobacco, pipe,
flint and steel. On the other side was fastened, under the belt, the
the butcher-knife. A Creole in this dress felt like Tarn O'Shanter
filled with usquebaugh; he could face the devil. Checked calico
shirts were then common, but in winter flannel was frequently
worn. In the summer the laboring men and the voyagers often
took their shirts off in hard work and hot weather, and turned out
the naked back to the air and sun."

" Among the Americans," he adds, "home-made wool hats were
the common wear. Fur hats were not common, and scarcely a boot
was seen. The covering of the feet in winter was chiefly moccasins
made of deer-skins, and shoe packs of tanned leather. Some wore
shoes, but not common in very early times. In the summer the
greater portion of the young people, male and female, and many of
the old, went barefoot. The substantial and universal outside wear
was the blue linsey hunting-shirt. This is an excellent garment,
and I have never felt so happy and healthy since I laid it off. It is














made of wide sleeves, open before, with ample size so as to envelop
the body almost twice around. Sometimes it had a large cape,
which answers well to save the shoulders from the rain. A belt is
mostly used to keep the garment close around the person, and,
nevertheless, there is nothing tight about it to hamper the body.
It is often fringed, and at times the fringe is composed of red, and
other gay colors. The belt, frequently, is sewed to the hunting-shirt.
The vest was mostly made of striped linsey. The colors were made
often with alum, copperas and madder, boiled with the bark of trees,
in such a manner and proportions as the old ladies prescribed. The
pantaloons of the masses were generally made of deer-skin and
linsey. Course blue cloth was sometimes made into pantaloons.

" Linsey, neat and fine, manufactured at home, composed generally
the outside garments of the females as well as the males. The
ladies had linsey colored and woven to suit their fancy. A bonnet,
composed of calico, or some gay goods, was worn on the head when
they were in the open air. Jewelry on the pioneer ladies was
uncommon; a gold ring was an ornament not often seen."

In 1820 a change of dress began to take place, and before 1830,
according to Ford, most of the pioneer costume had disappeared.
"The blue linsey hunting-shirt, with red or white fringe, had given
place to the cloth coat. [Jeans would be more like the fact.] The
raccoon cap, with the tail of the animal dangling down behind, had
been thrown aside for hats of wool or fur. Boots and shoes had
supplied the deer-skin moccasins; and the leather breeches, strapj^ed
tight around the ankle, had disappeared before unmentionables of a
more modern material. The female sex had made still greater pro.
gress in dress. The old sort of cotton or woolen frocks, spun, woven
and made with their own fair hands, and striped and cross- barred
with blue dye and turkey red, had given place to gowns of silk and
calico. The feet, before in a state of nudity, now charmed in shoes
of calf-skin or slippers of kid; and the head, formerly unbonneted,
but covered with a cotton handkerchief, now displayed the charms
of the female face under many forms of bonnets of straw, silk and
leghorn. The young ladies, instead of walking a mile or two to
church on Sunday, carrying their shoes and stockings in their hands
until within a hundred yards of the place of worship, as formerly,
now came forth arrayed complete in all the pride of dress, mounted
on fine horses and attended by their male admirers."


The last half century has doubtless witnessed changes quite as
great as those set forth by our Illinois historian. The chronicler
of to-day, looking back to the golden days of 1830 to 1840, and
comparing them with the present, must be struck with the tendency
of an almost monotonous uniformity in dress and manners that
comes from the easy inter-communication afforded by steamer, rail-
way, telegraph and newspaper. Home manufacturers have been
driven from the household by the lower-priced fabrics of distant
mills. The Kentucky jeans, and the copperas-colored clothing of
home manufacture, so familiar a few years ago, have given place to
the cassiraeres and cloths of noted factories. The ready-made-
clothing stores, like a touch of nature, made the whole world kin-
and may drape the charcoal man in a dress-coat and a stove-pipe
hat. The prints and silks of England and France give a variety of
choice, and an assortment of colors and shades such as the pioneer
women could hardly have dreamed of. Godey, and Demorest, and
Harper's Bazar are found in our modern farm-houses, and the latest
fashions of Paris are not uncommon.


In area the State has 55,410 square miles of territory. It is
about 150 miles wide and 400 miles long, stretching in latitude
from Maine to North Carolina. The climate varies from Portland
to Richmond. It favors every product of the continent, including
the tropics, with less than half a dozen exceptions. It produces
every great food of the world except bananas and rice. It is hardly
too much to say that it is the most productive spot known to civil-
ization. With the soil full of bread and the earth full of minerals;
with an upper surface of food and an under layer of fuel; with per-
fect natural drainage, and abundant springs, and streams, and navi-
gable rivers; half way between the forests of the North and the
fruits of the South; within a day's ride of the great deposits of
iron, coal, copper, lead and zinc; and containing and controlling
the great grain, cattle, pork and lumber markets of the world, it is
not strange that Illinois has the advantage of position.

There are no mountains in Illinois; in the southern as well as in
the northern part of the State there are a few hills; near the banks
pf the Illinois, Mississippi, and several other rivers, the ground is


elevated, forming the so-called bluffs, on which at the present day
may be found, uuetfaced by the hand of Time, the marks and traces
left by the water which was formerly much higher; whence it may
be safe to conclude that, where now the fertile prairies of Illinois
extend, and the rich soil of the country yields its golden harvests,
must have been a vast sheet of water, the mud deposited by which
formed the soil, thus accounting for the present great fertility of the

Illinois is a garden 400 miles long and 150 miles wide. Its soil
is chiefly a black, sandy loam, from 6 inches to 60 feet thick. About
the old French towns it has yielded corn for a century and a half
without rest or help. She leads all other States in the number
of acres actually under plow. Her mineral wealth is scarcely
second to her agricultural power. She has coal, iron, lead, zinc,
copper, many varieties of building stone, marble, fire clay, cuma
clay, common brick clay, sand of all kinds, gravel, mineral paint, —
in fact, everything needed for a high civilization.


If any State of the Union is adapted for agriculture, and the other
branches of rural economy relating thereto, such as the raising of
cattle and the culture of fruit trees, it is pre-eminently Illinois.
Her extremely fertile prairies recompense the farmer at less
trouble and expense than he would be obliged to incur elsewhere, in
order to obtain the same results. Her rich soil, adapted by nature

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 12 of 79)