man, woman, and child in the kingdom the help and service of nineteen
untiring servants. No wonder she has leisure and luxuries. No wonder
the home of the common artisan has in it more luxuries than could be
found in the palace of good old King Arthur. Think, if you can conceive
of it, of the vast army of servants that slumber in the soil of Illinois,
impatiently awaiting the call of Genius to come forth to minister to our
At the present rate of consumption England's coal supply will be
exhausted in 250 years. When this is gone she must transfer her dominion
either to the Indies, or to British America, which I would not resist ; or
to some other people, which I would regret as a loss to civilization.
COAL IS KING.
At the same rate of consumption (which far exceeds our own) the
deposit of coal in Illinois will last 120,000 years. And her kingdom shall
be an everlasting kingdom.
Let us turn now from this reserve power to the annual products of
28 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.
the State. We shall not be humiliated in this field. Here we strike the
secret of our national credit. Nature provides a market in the constant
appetite of the race. Men must eat, and if we can furnish the provisions
we can command the treasure. All that a man hath will he give for his
According to the last census Illinois produced 30,000,000 of bushels
of wheat. That is more wheat than was raised by any other State in the
Union. She raised last year 130,000,000 of bushels of corn twice as
much as any other State, and one-sixth of all the corn raised in the United
States. She harvested 2,747,000 tons of hay, nearly one-tenth of all the
hay in the Republic. It is not generally appreciated, but it is true, that
the hay crop of the country is worth more than the cotton crop. The
hay of Illinois equals the cotton of Louisiana. Go to Charleston, S. C.,
and see them peddling handfuls of hay or grass, almost as a curiosity,
as we regard Chinese gods or the cryolite of Greenland ; drink your
coffee and condensed milk; and walk back from the coast for many a
league through the sand and burs till you get up into the better atmos-
phere of the mountains, without seeing a waving meadow or a grazing
herd ; then you will begin to appreciate the meadows of the Prairie State,
where the grass often grows sixteen feet high.
The value of her farm implements is $211,000,000, and the value of
her live stock is only second to the great State of New York. Last year
she had 25,000,000 hogs, and packed 2,113,845, about one-half of all that
were packed in the United States. This is no insignificant item. Pork
is a growing demand of the old world. Since the laborers of Europe
have gotten a taste of our bacon, and we have learned how to pack it dry
in boxes, like dry goods, the world has become the market.
The hog is on the march into the future. His nose is ordained to
uncover the secrets of dominion, and his feet shall be guided by the star
Illinois marketed $57,000,000 worth of slaughtered animals more
than any other State, and a seventh of all the States.
Be patient with me, and pardon my pride, and I will give you a list
of some of the things in which Illinois excels all other States.
Depth and richness of soil ; per cent, of good ground ; acres of
improved land ; large farms some farms contain from 40,000 to 60,000
acres of cultivated land, 40,000 acres of corn on a single farm ; number of
farmers ; amount of wheat, corn, oats and honey produced ; value of ani-
mals for slaughter ; number of hogs ; amount of pork ; number of horses
three times as many as Kentucky, the horse State.
Illinois excels all other States in miles of railroads and in miles of
postal service, and in money orders sold per annum, and in the amount of
lumber sold in her markets.
HISTORY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. 29
Illinois is only second in many important matters. This sample list
comprises a few of the more important : Permanent school fund (good
for a young state) ; total income for educational purposes ; number of pub-
lishers of books, maps, papers, etc.; value of farm products and imple-
ments, and of live stock ; in tons of coal mined.
The shipping of Illinois is only second to New York. Out of one
port during the business hours of the season of navigation she sends forth
a vessel every ten minutes. This does not include canal boats, which go
one every five minutes. No wonder she is only second in number of
bankers and brokers or in physicians and surgeons.
She is third in colleges, teachers and schools ; cattle, lead, hay,
flax, sorghum and beeswax.
She is fourth in population, in children enrolled in public schools, in
law schools, in butter, potatoes and carriages.
She is fifth in value of real and personal property, in theological
seminaries and colleges exclusively for women, in milk sold, and in boots
and shoes manufactured, and in book-binding.
She is only seventh in the production of wood, while she is the
twelfth in area. Surely that is well done for the Prairie State. She now
has much more wood and growing timber than she had thirty years ago.
A few leading industries will justify emphasis. She manufactures
$205,000,000 worth of goods, which places her well up toward New York
and Pennsylvania. The number of her manufacturing establishments
increased from 1860 to 1870, 300 per cent.; capital employed increased 350
per cent., and the amount of product increased 400 per cent. She issued
5,500,000 copies of commercial and financial newspapers only second to
New York. She has 6,759 miles of railroad, thus leading all other States,
worth. $636, 458, 000, using 3,245 engines, and 67,712 cars, making a train
long enough to cover one-tenth of the entire roads of the State. Her
stations are only five miles apart. She carried last year 15,795,000 passen-
gers, an average of 36^ miles, or equal to taking hei entire population twice
across the State. More than two-thirds of her land is within five miles of
a railroad, and less than two per cent, is more than fifteen miles away.
The State has a large financial interest in the Illinois Central railroad.
The road was incorporated in 1850, and the State gave each alternate sec-
tion for six miles on each side, and doubled the price of the remaining
land, so keeping herself good. The road received 2,595,000 acres of land,
and pays to the State one-seventh of the gross receipts. The State
receives this year $350,000, and has received in all about $7,000,000. It
is practically the people's road, and it has a most able and gentlemanly
management. Add to this the annual receipts from the canal, $111,000,
and a large per cent, of the State tax is provided for.
30 HISTORY OF THE STATIC OK ILLINOIS.
THE RELIGION AND MORALS
of the State keep step with her productions and growth. She was born
of the missionary spirit. It was a minister who secured for her the ordi-
nance of 1787, by which she has been saved from slavery, ignorance, and
dishonesty. Rev. Mr. Wiley, pastor of a Scotch congregation in Randolph
County, petitioned the Constitutional Convention of 1818 to recognize
Jesus Christ as king, and the Scriptures as the only necessary guide and
book of law. The convention did not act in the case, and the old Cove-
nanters refused to accept citizenship. They never voted until 1824, when
the slavery question was submitted to the people; then they all voted
against it and cast the determining votes. Conscience has predominated
whenever a great moral question has been submitted to the people.
But little mob violence has ever been felt in the State. In 1817
regulators disposed of a band of horse-thieves that infested the territory.
The Mormon indignities finally awoke the same spirit. Alton was also
the scene of a pro-slavery mob, in which Lovejoy was added to the list of
martyrs. The moral sense of the people makes the law supreme, and gives
to the State unruffled peace.
With $22,300,000 in church property, and 4,298 church organizations,
the State has that divine police, the sleepless patrol of moral ideas, that
alone is able to secure perfect safety. Conscience takes the knife from
the assassin's hand and the bludgeon from the grasp of the highwayman.
We sleep in safety, not because we are behind bolts and bars these only
fence against the innocent ; not because a lone officer drowses on a distant
corner of a street ; not because a sheriff may call his posse from a remote
part of the county ; but because conscience guards the very portals of the
air and stirs in the deepest recesses of the public mind. This spirit issues
within the State 9,500,000 copies of religious papers annually, and receives
still more from without. Thus the crime of the State is only one-fourth
that of New York and one-half that of Pennsylvania.
Illinois never had but one duel between her own citizens. In Belle-
ville, in 1820, Alphonso Stewart and William Bennett arranged to vindi-
cate injured honor. The seconds agreed to make it a sham, and make
them shoot blanks. Stewart was in the secret. Bennett mistrusted some-
thing, and, unobserved, slipped a bullet into his gun and killed Stewart.
He then fled the State. After two years he was caught, tried, convicted,
and. in spite of friends and political aid, was hung. This fixed the code
of honor on a Christian basis, and terminated its use in Illinois.
The early preachers were ignorant men, who were accounted eloquent
according to the strength of their voices. But they set the style for all
public speakers. Lawyers and political speakers followed this rule. Gov.
HISTORY OP THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. 31
Ford says: "Nevertheless, these first preachers were of incalculable
benefit to the country. They inculcated justice and morality. To them
are we indebted for the first Christian character of the Protestant portion
of the people."
In education Illinois surpasses her material resources. The ordinance
of 1787 consecrated one thirty-sixth of her soil to common schools, and
the law of 1818, the first law that went upon her statutes, gave three per
cent, of all the rest to
EDUCATION INSTEAD OP HIGHWAYS.
The old compact secures this interest forever, and by its yoking
morality and intelligence it precludes the legal interference with the Bible
in the public schools. With such a start it is natural that we should have
11,050 schools, and that our illiteracy should be less than New York or
Pennsylvania, and only about one-half of Massachusetts. We are not to
blame for not having more than one-half as many idiots as the great
States. These public schools soon made colleges inevitable. The first
college, still flourishing, was started in Lebanon in 1828, by the M. E.
church, and named after Bishop McKendree. Illinois College, at Jackson-
ville, supported by the Presbyterians, followed in 1830. In 1832 the Bap-
tists built Shurtleff College, at Alton. Then the Presbyterians built Knox
College, at Galesburg, in 1838, and the Episcopalians built Jubilee College,
at Peoria, in 1847. After these early years colleges have rained down.
A settler could hardly encamp on the prairie but a college would spring
up by his wagon. The State now has one very well endowed and equipped
university, namely, the Northwestern University, at Evanston, with six
colleges, ninety instructors, over 1,000 students, and $ 1,500,000 endow-
Rev. J. M. Peck was the first educated Protestant minister in tne
State. He settled at Rock Spring, in St. Clair County, 1820, and left his
impress on the State. Before 1837 only party papers were published, but
Mr. Peck published a Gazetteer of Illinois. Soon after John Russell, of
Bluffdale, published essays and tales showing genius. Judge James Hall
published The Illinois Monthly Magazine with great ability, and an annual
called The Western Souvenir, which gave him an enviable fame all over the
United States. From these beginnings Illinois has gone on till she has
more volumes in public libaaries even than Massachusetts, and of the
44,500,000 volumes in all the public libraries of the United States, she
has one-thirteenth. In newspapers she stands fourth. Her increase is
marvelous. In 1850 she issued 5,000,000 copies ; in 1860, 27,590,000 ; in
1870, 113,140,000. In 1860 she had eighteen colleges and seminaries ; in
1870 she had eighty. That is a grand advance for the war decade.
This brings us to a record unsurpassed in the history of any age,
HISTORY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.
THE WAR RECORD OF ILLINOIS.
I hardly know where to begin, or how to advance, or what to say. I
can at best give you only a broken synopsis of her deeds, and you must
put them in the order of glory for yourself. Her sons have always been
foremost on fields of danger. In 1832-33, at the call of Gov. Reynolds,
her sons drove Blackhawk over the Mississippi.
When the Mexican war came, in May, 1846, 8,370 men offered them-
selves when only 3,720 could be accepted. The fields of Buena Vista and
Vera Cruz, and the storming of Cerro Gordo, will carry the glory of Illinois
soldiers along after the infamy of the cause they served has been forgotten.
But it was reserved till our day for her sons to find a field and cause and
foemen that could fitly illustrate their spirit and heroism. Illinois put
into her own regiments for the United States government 256,000 men,
and into the army through other States enough to swell the number to
290,000. This far exceeds all the soldiers of' the federal government in
all the war of the revolution. Her total years of service were over 600,000.
She enrolled men from eighteen to forty-five years of age when the law
of Congress in 1864 the test time only asked for those from twenty to
forty-five. Her enrollment was otherwise excessive. Her people wanted
to go, and did not take the pains to correct the enrollment. Thus the
basis of fixing the quota was too great, and then the quota itself, at least
in the trying time, was far above any other State.
Thus the demand on some counties, as Monroe, for example, took every
able-bodied man in the county, and then did not have enough to fill the
quota. Moreover, Illinois sent 20,844 men for ninety or one hundred days,
for whom no credit was asked. When Mr. Lincoln's attention was called
to the inequality of the quota compared with other States, he replied,
" The country needs the sacrifice. We must put the whip on the free
horse." In spite of all these disadvantages Illinois gave to the country
73,000 years of service above all calls. With one-thirteenth of the popu-
lation of the loyal States, she sent regularly one-tenth of all the soldiers,
and in the peril of the closing calls, when patriots were few and weary,
she then sent one-eighth of all that were called for by her loved and hon-
ored son in the white house. He,r mothers and daughters went into the
fields to raise the grain and keep the children together, while the fathers
and older sons went to the harvest fields of the world. I knew a father
and four sons who agreed that one of them must stay at home ; and they
pulled straws from a stack to see who might go. The father was left.
The next day he came into the camp, saying : " Mother says she can get
the crops in, and I am going, too." I know large Methodist churches
from which every male member went to the army. Do you want to know
HISTORY OF THE STATE OP ILLINOIS. 33
what these heroes from Illinois did in the field ? Ask any soldier with a
good record of his own, who is thus able to judge, and he will tell you
that the Illinois men went in to win. It is common history that the greater
victories were won in the West. When everything else looked dark Illi-
nois was gaining victories all down the river, and dividing the confederacy.
Sherman took with him on his great march forty-live regiments of Illinois
infantry, three companies of artillery, and one company of cavalry. He
could not avoid
GOING TO THE SEA.
If he had been killed, I doubt not the men would have gone right on.
Lincoln answered all rumors of Sherman's defeat with, " It is impossible ;
there is a mighty sight of fight in 100,000 Western men." Illinois soldiers
brought home 300 battle-flags. The first United States flag that floated
over Richmond was an Illinois flag. She sent messengers and nurses to
every field and hospital, to care for her sick and wounded sons. She said,
' These suffering ones are my sons, and I will care for them."
When individuals had given all, then cities and towns came forward
with their credit to the extent of many millions, to aid these men and
Illinois gave the country the great general of the war Ulysses S.
Grant since honored with two terms of the Presidency of the United
One other name from Illinois comes up in all minds, embalmed in all
hearts, that must have the supreme place in this story of our glory and
of our nation's honor ; that name is Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois.
The analysis of Mr. Lincoln's character is difficult on account of its
In this age Ave look with admiration at his uncompromising honesty.
And well we may, for this saved us. Thousands throughout the length
and breadth of our country who knew him only as " Honest Old Abe,"
voted for him on that account ; and wisely did they choose, for no other
man could have carried us through the fearful night of the war. When
his plans were too vast for our comprehension, and his faith in the cause
too sublime for our participation ; when it was all night about us, and all
dread before us, and all sad and desolate behind us : when not one ray
shone upon our cause ; when traitors were haughty and exultant at the
South, and fierce and blasphemous at the North ; when the loyal men here
seemed almost in the minority ; when the stoutest heart quailed, the bravest
cheek paled ; when generals were defeating each other for place, and
contractors were leeching out the very heart's blood of the prostrate
republic : when every thing else had failed us, we looked at this calm,
patient man standing like a rock in the storm, and said : " Mr. Lincoln
34 HISTORY OF THE STATE OP ILLINOIS.
is honest, and we can trust him still." Holding to this single point with
the energy of faith and despair we held together, and, under God, he
brought us through to victory.
His practical wisdom made him the wonder of all lands. With such
certainty did Mr. Lincoln follow causes to their ultimate effects, that his
foresight of contingencies seemed almost prophetic.
He is radiant with all the great virtues, and his memory shall shed a
glory upon this age that shall fill the eyes of men as they look into his-
tory. Other men have excelled him in some point, but, taken at all
points, all in all, he stands head and shoulders above every other man of
6,000 years. An administrator, he saved the nation in the perils of
unparalleled civil war. A statesman, he justified his measures by their
success. A philanthropist, he gave liberty to one race and salvation to
another. A moralist, he bowed from the summit of human power to the
foot of the Cross, and became a Christian. A mediator, he exercised mercy
under the most absolute abeyance to law. A leader, he was no partisan.
A commander, he was untainted with blood. A ruler in desperate times,
he was unsullied with crime. A man, he has left no word of passion, no
thought of malice, no trick of craft, no act of jealousy, no purpose of
selfish ambition. Thus perfected, without a model, and without a peer,
he was dropped into these troubled years to adorn and embellish all that
is good and all that is great in our humanity, and to present to all coming
time the representative of the divine idea of free government.
It is not too much to say that away down in the future, when the
republic has fallen from its niche in the wall of time ; when the great
war itself shall have faded out in the distance like a mist on the horizon ;
when the Anglo-Saxon language shall be spoken only by the tongue of
the stranger; then the generations looking this way shall see the great
president as the supreme figure in this vortex of history
It is impossible in our brief space to give more than a meager sketch
of such a city as Chicago, which is in itself the greatest marvel of the
Prairie State. This mysterious, majestic, mighty city, born first of water,
and next of fire; sown in weakness, and raised in power; planted among
the willows of the marsh, and crowned with the glory of the mountains ;
sleeping on the bosom of the prairie, and rocked on the bosom of the sea ;
the youngest city of the world, and still the eye of the prairie, as Damas-
cus, the oldest city of the world, is the eye of the desert. With a com-
merce far exceeding that of Corinth on her isthmus, in the highway to
the East ; with the defenses of a continent piled around her by the thou-
sand miles, making her far safer than Rome on the banks of the Tiber ;
HISTORY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. 35
with schools eclipsing Alexandria and Athens ; with liberties more con-
spicuous than those of the old republics ; with a heroism equal to the first
Carthage, and with a sanctity scarcely second to that of Jerusalem set
your thoughts on all this, lifted into the eyes of all men bythe miracle of
its growth, illuminated by the flame of its fall, and transfigured by the
divinity of its resurrection, and you will feel, as I do, the utter impossi-
bility of compassing this subject as it deserves. Some impression of her
importance is received from the shock her burning gave to the civilized
When the doubt of her calamity was removed, and the horrid fact
was accepted, there went a shudder over all cities, and a quiver over all
lands. There was scarcely a town in the civilized world that did not
shake on the brink of this opening chasm. The flames of our homes red-
dened all skies. The city was set upon a hill, and could not be hid. All
eyes were turned upon it. To have struggled and suffered amid the
scenes of its fall is as distinguishing as to have fought at Thermopylae, or
Salamis, or Hastings, or Waterloo, or Bunker Hill.
Its calamity amazed the world, because it was felt to be the common
property of mankind.
The early history of the city is full of interest, just as the early his-
tory of such a man as Washington or Lincoln becomes public property,
and is cherished by every patriot.
Starting with 560 acres in 1833, it embraced and occupied 23,000
acres in 1869, and, having now a population of more than 500,000, it com-
mands general attention.
The first settler Jean Baptiste Pointe au Sable, a mulatto from the
West Indies came and began trade with the Indians in 1796. John
Kinzie became his successor in 1804, in which year Fort Dearborn was
A mere trading-post was kept here from that time till about the time
of the Blackhawk war, in 1832. It was not the city. It was merely a
cock crowing at midnight. The morning was not yet. In 1833 the set-
tlement about the fort was incorporated as a town. The voters were
divided on the propriety of such corporation, twelve voting for it and one
against it. Four years later it was incorporated as a city, and embraced
560 acres. .
The produce handled in this city is an indication of its power. Grain
and flour were imported from the East till as late as 1837. The first
exportation by way of experiment was in 1839. Exports exceeded imports
first .in 1842. The Board of Trade was organized in 1848, but it was so
weak that it needed nursing till 1855. Grain was purchased by the
wagon-load in the street.
I remember sitting with my father on a load of wheat, in the long
36 HISTORY OP THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.
line of wagons along Lake street, while the buyers came and untied the
bags, and examined the grain, and made their bids. That manner of
business had to cease with the day of small things. Now our elevators
will hold 15,000,000 bushels of grain. The cash value of the produce
handled in a year is $215,000,000, and the produce weighs 7,000,000
tons or 700,000 car loads. This handles thirteen and a half ton each
minute, all the year round. One tenth of all the wheat in the United
States is handled in Chicago. Even as long ago as 1853 the receipts of
grain in Chicago exceeded those of the goodly city of St. Louis, and in
1854 the exports of grain from Chicago exceeded those of New York and
doubled those of St. Petersburg, Archangel, or Odessa, the largest grain
markets in Europe.
The manufacturing interests of the city are not contemptible. In
1873 manufactories employed 45,000 operatives ; in 1876, 60,000. The
manufactured product in 1875 was worth $177,000,000.