William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

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pay the national debt. Converted into
power, even with the wastage in our com-

mon engines, it would do more work than
could be done by the entire race, beginning
at Adam's wedding and working ten hours
a day through all the centuries till the pres-
ent time, and right on into the ftiture at
the same rate for the next 000,000 years.

Great Britain uses enough mechanical
power to-day to give to each man, woman,
and child in the kingdom, the help and ser-
vice 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, impatientlj' awaiting the call of
Genius to come forth to minister to our

At the present rate of consumption Eng-
land'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.


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 lyrodncAs of 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 com-
mand the treasure. All that a man hath
will he ifive for iiis life.



According to the last census Illinois pro-
duced 30,000.000 of bushels of wheat. That
is more wheat than was raised hy any
other State in tlie union. She raised in
1875, 130,000.000 of bushels of corn— twice
as much as any other State, and one- sixth
of all tlie corn raised in the United States.
She harvested 2,747,000 tons of hay, nearly
one-tenth of all the haj' in the republic.
It is not generally appreciated, but it is
true that the hay crop of the country is
wortli more than the cotton crop. Tlie liay
of Illinois equals the cotton of Louisiana.
Go to Charleston, S. C, and see them ped-
dling handfuls of hay or grass, almost as a
curiosity, as we regard Chinese gods or the
cryolite of Greenland; drink your coffee and
coiid'Cnsed 7nilk; and walk back from the
coast for many a league through the sand
and burs till you get up into the better at-
mosphere 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. In 1875 she had 25,000,000
hogs, and packed 2,113,8-45, 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 of empire.

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 wliich Illinois excels all other

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 farm-
ers; amount of wheat, corn, oats and honey
produced; value of animals for slaughter;
number of hogs; amount of pork; number
of horses — three times as many as Ken-
tucky, 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 mar-

Illinois is only second in many important
matters. This sample list comprises a few
of the moreimjiortant: Permanent school
fund (good for a young State); total in-
come for educational purposes; number of
publishers of books, maps, papers, etc.;
value of farm products and implements,
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 coUeixes, teachers and
schools; C'lttle, lead, hay, flax, sorghum and



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

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 establish-
ments increased from 1860 to 1870, 300
percent; capital employed increased 350
per cent, and tiie amount of product in-
creased 400 percent She issued 5,500,000
copies of commercial and financial news-
papers — 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 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 section for six miles on
each side, and doubled the price of the re-
maining 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. Add to this the annual
receipts from the canal, $111,000, and a
large per cent, of the State tax is provided


of tlie State keep step with her productions
and growth. She was born of the mission-
ary spirit. It was a minister who secured
for her the ordinance 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 covenanters refused to accept citizen-
ship. 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 finallv
awoke the same spirit. Alton was also the
scene of a pro-slavery mob, in which Love-
joy was added to the list of martyrs. The
moral sense of the people makes the law
sui)reme, and gives to the State unruffled

"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 tlie 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 becanse a sheriff may call his posse
from a remote part of the county; bnt
because conscience guards the very portals
of the air and stirs in the deepest re-
cesses of the public mind. This spirit
issues within the State 9,500,000 copies
of religious papers annually, and receives
still more from without. Thns 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 Belleville, in 1820,
Alphonso Stewart and William Bennett
arranged to vindicate injured honor. The
seconds agreed to make it a sham, and
make them shoot blanks. Stewart was in
the secret. Bennett mistrusted something,
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 stvle for all public speakers. Lawyers
and political speakers followed this rule.
Gov. 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 Protest-
ant portion of the people."

In education Illinois surpasses her ma-
terial 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


The old compact secures this interest
forever, and by its yoking morality and
intelligence it precludes the legal interfer-
ence 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 McKen-
dree. Illinois College, at Jacksonville,
supported by the Presbyterians, followed
in 1830. In 1832 the Baptists built Shurt-
leff" College, at Alton. Then the Presby-
terians built Knox College, at Galesburg,
in 1838, and the Episcopalians built Jubilee
College, at Peoria, in 1847. After these
earlv 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 endowment.

Kev. J. M. Peck was the first educated
Protestant minister in the State. He
settled at Rock Spring, in St. Clair County,


1820. and left his impress on the State.
Before 183" onh' party papers were piib-
lislied, but Mr. Peck published a Gazetteer
of Illinois. Soon after John Russell, of
Blutfdale, published essays and tales show-
iu<( genius. Judge James Hall published
The Illinois Monthly Magazine with great
ability, and an annual called The Western
Sourenir, 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 libraries
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.

This brings us to a record unsurpassed
in the history of any age.


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 ol
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 themselves 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 long after the
causes that led to that war have 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
otiier 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 1S(!4 —
the test time — only asked for those from
twenty to forty-five. Iler 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-bod-
ied man in the county, and then did not
have enough to fill the qnota. Moreover,
Illinois sent 20,844 men for ninety or one
hundred da^'s, for whom no credit was
asked. When Mr. Lincoln's attention was
called to the inequality of the quota com-
pared 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. AVith one thirteenth of the popula-
tion 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 honored son in the White House.
Her 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 soins, too." 1 know large Methodist
churches from which every male member
went to the army. Do you want to know
what these heroes from Illinois did in the
field ? Ask any soldier with a good record
of his own, who is 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 Illinois
was irainins victories all down the river,
and dividing the Confederacy. Sherman
took with him on his great march forty-
five regiments of Illinois infantry, three
companies of artillery, and one company of
cavalry. He could not avoid


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 mj' sons, and I will care for tiieni."

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 their families.

Illinois gave the country the great
general of the war — Ulysses S. Grant — •

since honored with two terms of the Presi-
dency of the United States.

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 difilcult on account of its symmetry.

In this age we look with admiration at
his uncompromising honesty. And well
we may, for this saved us. Thousands
throughout tlie length and breadth of our
country, who knew him only as " Honest
Old Abe," voted for him on that account;
and wisely did tiiey 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
tierce and blasphemous at the North; when
tiie loj'al 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 is honest, and we can trust him
still." Holding to this single point with
the energy of faith and despair we held
togetlier, 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, tliat his foresight of con -
tijigencies 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 history. 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 na-
tion 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 Irom the summit of
human power to the foot of the Cross, and
became a Christian. A mediator, he exer-
cised mercy under the most absolute abey-
ance 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 ])ur-
pose 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 representa-
tive of the divine idea ot free government.

It is not too much to say that away
down in the future, when the re])ul>lic 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 hori-
zon; when the Anglo Saxon language shall
be spoken only by the tongue of the stran-
ger; 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 mysteri-
ous, majestic, mighty city, born first of
water, and next of fire; sown in weakness,
and raised in power; planted among the
willows of the n:arsh, and crowned with
the glory of the mountains, sleeping on the
bosom of the prairie, and i-ocked on the
bosojn of the sea; the youngest city of the
world, and still the eye of the prairie, as
Damascus, the oldest city of the world, is
the eye of the desert. With a commerce
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 thousand miles, making her far safer
than Home on the banks of the Tiber; with
schools eclipsing Alexandria and Athens;
with liberties more conspicuous than those
of the old republics; witli a heroism ecpial
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 by the miracle of its growth,
illuminated by the flame of its fall, and
transfigured by the divinity of its resurrec-
tion, and you will feel, as I do, the utter
impossibility of compassing this subject as
it deserves. Some impression of her im-
portance is received from the shock her
burning gave to the civilized world.

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 reddened all skies.
The city was set upon a hill, and could not
be hid. All ejes were turned upon it. To
have struggled and suffered amid the scenes
of its fall is as distinguishing as to have
fought at Tliermopjlffi, or Salamis, or
Hastings, or Waterloo, or Bunker Hill.

Its calamity amazed the world, because
it was felt to be the common property of

The early history of the city is full of
interest, just as the early history of such a
mau as Washington or Lincoln becomes
public property, and is cherished by every

Starting with 560 acres in 1833, it em-
braced and occupied 23,000 acres in 1869,
and having now a population of more tlian
600,000, it commands 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 success-
or in ISO-t, m which year Fort Dearborn
was erected.

A mere trading-post was kept here from
that time till about the time of the Black-
hawk war, in 1832. It was not the city.
It was merely a cock crowing at midnight.
The morning was not yet. In 1833 the
settlement 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
e.x;periment was in 1839. Exports exceeded
imports first in 1812. The Board of Trade
was organized in 1818, but it was so weak
that it needed nursing till 1855. Grain
was purchased by the wagon-load in the

I remember sitting with my father on a
load of wheat, in the long 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. 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 1851 the
exports of grain from Chicago exceeded
those of N"ew 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 manufac-
tories employed 15,000 operatives; in 1876,
60,000. The manuftictured product in
1875 was worth $177,000,000.

No estimate of the size and power of
Chicago would be adequate that did not
put large emphasis on the railroads. Be-

Online LibraryWilliam Henry PerrinHistory of Jefferson County, Illinois → online text (page 10 of 76)