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vestigation of the rights of claimants to ancient grants, head, improvement and militia rights.

A vote, taken September 11, 1804, showed a majority of 138 freeholders of the territory in favor of the second grade of territorial government, and in obedience to the will of the people, Governor Harrison ordered an election for representatives to the territorial general assembly, for January 3, 1805, which was to meet at Vincennes, February 7th following, and nominate ten men for the legislative council

. The members elect from Illinois were Shadrach Bond and William Biggs, of St. Clair, and George Fisher, of Randolph. The names presented from Illinois for councilors, were Jean Francis Perrey and John Hay, of St. Clair, and Pierre Menard, of Randolph. President Jefferson waived his right of selection in favor of Governor Harrison, asking only that he reject "land jobbers, dishonest men, and those who, though honest, might suffer themselves to be warped by party prejudice.” Perrey and Menard were selected for Illinois. On the 7th of June following, the governor issued his proclamation convening the legislature for the 29th of July, 1805. This was the second time that the people of this country, through their representatives, exercised the law making power for their own local government.

In his message, delivered the following day, the governor recommended the passage of laws to prevent the sale of intoxicating liquors to the Indians, saying: “You have seen our towns crowded with drunken savages; our streets flowing with blood ; their arms and clothing bartered for the liquor that destroys them; and their miserable women and children enduring all the extremities of cold and hunger; whole villages have been swept away. A miserable remnant is all that remains to mark the situation of many warlike tribes." He recommended, also, a remodeling of the inferior courts, so as to insure a more efficient administration of justice; an improved militia system; more efficient punishment for horse stealing; and ways and means for raising a revenue, stating, that this latter would be their most difficult and delicate duty; that while few were the objects of taxation in a new country, it must still be a burthon, and the commencement of our financial operations must be expected to be attended by some trifling, though he trusted, temporary embarrassments. The legislature, by joint ballot, elected Benjamin Parke, of Indiana, territorial delegate to congress. The levying of taxes, as was anticipated, created cousidable dissatisfaction among some of the people. The poll tax was particularly obnoxious to the French residents. Their indignation found vent at a public meeting, held at Vincennes, Sunday, Au. gust 16, 1807, where it was “ resolved” that they would "withdraw their confidence and support forever from those men who advocated, or in any manner promoted, the second grade of government."*

The legislature re-enacted many of the general laws selected and adopted by the governors and judges of both the Northwestern and Indiana territorities, under the first grade of their respective gorernments. Provision was made for a collection and thorough revision of the laws, by a commission. Accordingly, a volume was, two years later, produced, bearing the following title: “ Laws of the Indiana Territory, comprising those acts formerly in force, and as revised by Messrs. John Rice Jones and John Johnson, and *Dillon's Indiana.

passed (after amendments) by the legislature; and the original acts passed at the first session of the second general assembly of the said territory-begun and held at the borough of Vincennes, on the 16th day of August, A. D. 1807.” Messrs. Stout and Smoot, "printers for the territory," were the publishers; the paper, on which it was printed, was brought on horseback from Georgetown, Kentucky.

This collection of old statutes relates principally “to the organization of superior and inferior courts of justice, the appointment and duties of territorial and county officers, prison and prison bounds, real estate, interest and money, marriages, divorces, licenses, ferries, grist-mills, elections, militia, roads and highways, estrays, trespassing, animals, inclosure and cultivation of common fields, relief of poor, taverns, improving the breed of horses, taxes and revenues, negroes and mulattoes under indentures as servants, fees of officers, sale of intoxicating liquors, relief of persons imprisoned for debt, killing wolves, prohibiting the sale of arins and ammunition to Indians and other persons, the standard of weights and measures, vagrants, authorizing aliens to purchase and hold real estate in the territory,"* etc. The penalties provided for crimes and misdemeanors, were, death for treason, murder, arson and horse-stealing; manslaughter, punishable as provided at common law; burglary and robbery, each by whipping, fine and, in some cases imprisonment not exceeding 40 years; riotous conduct, by fine and imprisonment; larceny, by fine or whipping, and in certain cases, binding out to labor not exceeding 7 years; forgery, by fine, disfranchisement and standing in the pillory; assault and battery, as a crime, by fine not exceeding $100; hog-stealing, by fine and whipping; gambling, profane swearing and Sabbath-breaking, each by fine; bigamy, by fine, whipping and disfranchisement. The disobedience of servants and children, a justice of the peace was entitled to punish by imprisonment in the jail until the culprit was “humbled," and if the offense was accompanied by assault, he might be whipped, not exceeding 10 stripes.

*Dillon's Indiana.

The laws, relating to indentured slaves, are treated under Governor Cole's administration.

CHAPTER XXI.

1809—ILLINOIS TERRITORY.

Opposition to Division-Jesse B. Thomas- Gov. Edwards--Nathaniel

PopeTerritorial Federal JudgesThe Governor avoids the meshes of the Separationists and anti-Separationists-Condition and Population of the Territory.

By act of congress, approved February 3, 1809, all that part of the Indiana Territory lying “west of the Wabash river, and a direct line drawn from the said Wabash river and Post Vincennes, due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada," should, after the first of March following, constitute a separate territory, and be called Illinois. This, it will be perceived, included the present State of Wisconsin. The population of the newly organized territory was estimated at about 9,000, leaving in Indiana about double that number.

There are many things which usually influence an American community in the desire to be independent. The main reasons advanced by Illinois in favor of a separation from Indiana were, the “wide extent of wilderness country” which intervened between the civilized settlements of the country on the Mississippi, about the only ones in Illinois, and the seat of government on the Wabash, rendering the ordinary protection of government to life and property almost nugatory; the inconvenience, expense and dangers of long journeys whose routes led through sections wholly inhabited by savages, which litigants in the superior courts of the territory were compelled to incur for themselves and witnesses; and the almost total obstruction to an efficient administration of the laws in counties so distant from the seat of government as those of Illinois. Notwithstanding the remoteness and isolation of the country from the centers of population in the United States at that early day, the tide of emigration pressed westward with a gradual but ever increasing flow. In 1805 Michigan was erected into a separate territory, and by this time Illinois contained a white population fully as great as that of the whole territory of Indiana when detached from Ohio five years before. The question of separation in Illinois grew apace from this time on; it was repeatedly pressed upon the attention of congress by legislative memorials in 1806, 1807 and 1808, until that body finally disposed of the subject as above stated. But while the people of Vincennes and neighboring villages east of the Wabash opposed the separation from interested motives, for a division would before many years elapsed take from them the seat of government and remove it to a more central locality, and would also increase the rates of 16

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taxation, what may appear difficult of solution was the fact that in Illinois there was anything but unanimity in favor of division and independence. A violent anti-separation party sprung up here, which, though greatly overborne by numbers, by its activity aroused a deep and angry feeling which ultimately resulted in bloodshed. By the machinations of the opposers to a division (one of the warmest friends and ablest advocates of the measure was assassinated at Kaskaskia in consequence. The question of separation turned upon the ability of the Illinois members of the Legislature, in session at Vincennes in October 1808, to elect a delegate to congress in place of Benjamin Parke, resigned, who should be favorable to the division. The Illinoisans found a suitable candidate in an Indiana member of the House, who was also Speaker, by the name of Jesse B. Thomas, who, for the sake of going to congress, was ready to violate the sentiments of his constituents upon this question. But the Illinois members, with a due appreciation of the promises of politicians, even at that early day, required of this gentleman, before they would vote for him, to support his pledges by his bond, conditioned that he would procure from congress a division, whereupon he was triumphantly elected by a bare majority with the aid of his own vote. He was hung in effigy at Vincennes by the anti-separationists; yet he discharged his pledges and his bond, by procuring the division from congress; and, as it was doubtless desirable to change his residence, he came home with a commission for a federal judgeship of the new territory in his pocket and removed to Illinois.

By the act of separation, the people of Illinois were also entitled to all and singular the rights, privileges and advantages granted and secured to the people under the ordinance of 1787, which was applied to the territory-fair words enough, but the ordinance conferred little political power. The previous duties were imposed upon the new officers, and the President was empowered to make appointments during the recess of congress; provision was made for the organization of the second grade of territorial government, whenever the governor should at any time be satisfied that a majority of the freeholders of the territory desired the same, notwithstanding there might be less than 5,000 inhabitants, fixing the number of representatives, in such case, at not less than seven nor more than nine, to be apportioned among the counties by the gorernor; the legislative council and delegates to congress were made elective by the people; the old officers were continued in the exer. cise of their duties in Indiana, but probibited in Illinois; provision was made for the final disposition of all suits from Illinois pending in the court at Vincennes, for the collection of taxes levied and due; and the seat of government was fixed at Kaskaskia, until otherwise ordered by the legislature.

*See address of citizens to Gov. Edwards, at Kaskaskia, June, 1809, +See Ford's Illinois, p. 30.

(NOTE -A curious state of affairs obtained with regard to Indiana after the separation of Illinois. On the 26th of October, 1808, the governor had dissolved the legislature : by act of congress, February 3, 1809, Illinois was detached, taking with it five members, which would have dissolved the legislature had it not already been dissolved; later in the same month, on the 27th, congress passed a law extending the right of suffrage and prescribing the number of representatives for the territory, and further, directed the legislature to apportion the representatives; but there was no legislature in existence to make the apportionment. Indiana was in political chaos--something was required of a body that she did not possess, and which it was impossible for ber to legally create. But Governor Harrison cut the gordean knot, and, legally or otherwise, apportioned the territory, issued writs of election for a new legislature, and in October

*

Ninian Edwards, at the time chief justice of the Court of Appeals in Kentucky, became governor of the newly organized territory of Illinois. John Boyle, of the same State, at first received the appointment of Governor, but declined the office and accepted that of associate justice of the same court whereof Edwards was Chief Justice. Edwards was desirous of filling the vacancy, and at the recommendation of Henry Clay, received the appointment from President Madison, his commission bearing date April 24, 1809.

In his letter to the president, Henry Clay spoke of Judge Edwards as follows: “The honorable appointments which this gentleman has held (first as a judge of our Superior Court, and then promoted to his present station), evince how highly he is estimated among us." And in a letter of the same date to the Hon. Robt. Smith, he said: "His political principles accord with those of the Republican party. His good understanding, weight of character and conciliatory manners, give him very fair pretentions to the office alluded to.

I have no doubt that the whole representation from the State, when consulted, would concur in ascribing to him every qualification for the office in question.”

Vinian Edwards was born in Montgomery county, Md., in 1775, and at the time of his appointment as governor was about 34 years old. He obtained his early education in company with and partly under the tuition of William Wirt, his senior by two years, and life long friend. After a collegiate course at Carlyle, Pa., he commenced the study of law, but before finishing it was sent to Kentucky to select lands for his brothers and sisters and open a farm. He located in Nelson county, and being furnished with ample means in a new country where the character of society was as yet unformed, and surrounded by companions whose pleasures aud pursuits were in sensual indulgences, he fell into indiscretions and excesses for two or three years.* But in the then standard of society, this did not prevent his election to the Kentucky Legislature. Subsequently he broke away from his dissolute companions and habits, removed to Russelville, and devoted himself to laborious study. He soon attained eminence in his profession. Before he was 32 years old he had filled in succession the offices of presiding judge of the general court, circuit judge, 4th judge of the court of appeals, and chief justice of the State, which last he held when his associate justice, Boyle, received the appointment of territorial governor for Illinois. The two, to suit their respective inclinations, exchanged offices, Edwards, through the patronage of Mr. Clay, becoming governor, and Boyle chief justice. Governor Edwards was a large, fine looking man, with a distinguished air and courtly manners, who wielded a ready pen and was fluent of speech.

The territorial judges appointed, besides Thomas, were Alexander Stuart and William Sprigg. The former was a Virginian, a man of fine education and polished manners, who,t however, re

following convened it for business. But that body, entertaining doubts whether it was really a legislature or not, prepared a statement to congress, petitioning that power to constitue it a legal body, and adjourned temporarily to await action upon the case. Such are some of the inconveniences of government where original sovereignty does Dot reside in the people, but is derived from a power superior to them-an apparent anomoly in the theory of American governinent.-See Dillon's Ind.) *Gov. Edward's Life, by his son.

+Judge Breesc, in the address of laying the corner stone of the new State House by Judge Caton, says: "And witball a good liver, of whom it is said he esteemed the turkey the most inconvenient of the poultry tribe, as it was too large for one and not large enough for two."

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