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clerk at $1,600 and $1,200 for an assistant (neither of which they employed), instead of $1,200, their constitutional salary; and to the circuit judges, in defiance of the words $1,000 " and no more,” were yearly given an additional $1,000 each, for revisions and suggestions of changes in the laws, a labor which they were not ex. pected to, and did not, perform ; besides which a docket fee of $1 for each suit brought was wrung out of litigants, also for their benefit. But the abuses which crept into the legislative department were still grosser and more alarming. The per diom coinpensation of members, which for the session of 1861, for instance, amounted to $8,800, was supplemented by postage $8,892, newspapers $1,1812, pencils $2,664, few of which items were actually received, but the money taken in place of them, on "commutation as it was called with State officers, and thus by indirection they got $8 per day each, instead of $2 "and no more.” The practice was subsequently increased by various subterfuges of rent for committee rooms never used nor paid for, &c., to sometimes amount to more than $20 a day for each member. Ten cents a mile was allowed to each as necessary traveling expenses to and from the seat of government. While it would be difficult to travel more than 200 miles from any point in the State to the capital, the journals show honorable members to have charged and received pay for 1,200 miles going and coming. Thus did our public servants debauch themselves, one department the other. But notwithstanding its abuses, the constitution of 1848 was, in many particulars, a great improvement upon that of 1818.

That the whigs had succeeded more than the democrats in stamping that instrument with their principles, soon had its influence. The whig press advocated its adoption constantly and urgently, while the democratic press, where it did not oppose, was lukewarm in its advocacy, yet candor compelled an acknowledgment that the elective principle as applied to every important office was a thoroughly democratic idea, which covered a multitude of bad provisions; that on the whole, the new was preferable to the old, and it justly regretted the “ abrogation of the provision permitting foreigners to a participation in the right of suffrage after a residence of 6 months, the same as the most unlettered native,” predicting that that would prove pernicious by diverting emigration from the State. No evil had resulted, and, it may be added, never will, from admitting foreigners to this privilege. It is a most foolish proscription. The provision limiting the power of the State to borrow money, and probibiting the credit and faith of the State in aid of any individual or corporation, was a most excellent one.

The people had ample time to consider its provisions, and they did not fail to see its great superiority orer the old organic law. For the points of party significance in it, which at best might prove but transitory, they could not afford to throw away the many safo and excellent limitations for their protection against the chances of a wild, reckless and extravagant legislature to involve them in ruin.

The black clause-prohibiting negro immigration-met with considerable opposition in the northern part of the State, particu. larly in Cook county, wbich voted two to one against it; but the greatest general opposition was to the 2 mill tax. The following is the vote upon the constitution and the separate articles :

For the constitution proper, 59,887; against it, 15,859.
For article XIV-negro clause, 49,066 ; against it, 20,884.
For article XV–2 mill tax, 41,017; against it, 30,586.

The vote for ratification or rejection was taken on the first Mon. day in March, 1848; and the new constitution went into operation on the first of April following. The election of governor was anticipated two years, and accordingly the first general election under it took place in November, 1848. The commencement of the regular legislative sessions was deferred from December to January, the first convening at that time in 1849.



Lires and Character of the Gubernatorial Candidates-Funding

of the State Debt-Refusal of the People to give the Legislature Control of the 2 Mill Tax-Township Organization-Homestead ExemptionThe Bloody Island Dike and a Speck of WarState Policy regarding Railroads.

The Democratic State Convention of 1846, to nominate candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, met at Springfield on the 10th of February. There was no lack of aspirants for either of these positions. In connection with the first we will name six in the order of their supposed strength, before the meeting of the convention : Lyman Trumbull, John Calhoun, (he of subsequent Lecompton Constitution notoriety), Augustus C. French, Walter B. Scates, Richard M. Young, and A. W. Cavarly, an array of very able and prominent names. The contest was supposed to lie between the first two mentioned, but the balloting gave a different exhibit. After sundry efforts by their friends, it was found that peither could be nominated, and as usual in such cases, both parties went over to the support of another. Trumbull received the highest number on the first ballot, it is true, but French, as the coming man, was already next, and on the 2d ballot advanced to the front. On the 4th ballot all the names except those of French, Calhoun and Trumbull being withdrawn, the friends of Calhoun, fearing the ultimate success of Trumbull, also withdrew his name. The friends of Trumbull saw in this move their inevitable defeat, and for the sake of harmony, they also withdrew the name of the latter. French was there. upon proclaimed the nominee of the convention for governor, amidst a great tumult of shouting and exultation. Owing to the many able and determined democratic aspirants, and the strong attachment of their respective friends, the whigs had indulged a hope that the convention would break up in disorder, but in this they were disappointed. Trumbull's effort in 1845 to defeat the canal had been revived against him and industriously circulated by Gov. Ford and others, as being still his position, which doubtless proved his discomfiture.

For lieutenant-governor, the names of J. B. Wells, Lewis Ross, William McMurtry, Newton Cloud, J. B. Hamilton' and W. W. Thompson, were presented for nomination. On the 4th ballot all the names except the first two mentioned, were withdrawn, when the voting resulted in the choice of Wells, who received 132 to Ross 95 ballots. The resolutions adopted strongly condemned the resuscitation of the old State banks, and declared against any more of any kind in this State.*

The whigs, who were in a hopeless minority, seemed averse for a time to holding a State convention. Their press discussed the idea of some suitable candidate running by general consent without nomination. Names to this end were proposed, of which we inay mention that of James Davis of Bond. It was also proposed that the Whig State Central Committee should make the ticket. Finally, on the 8th of June, a convention was held at Peoria, over which Major Richard Cullom, of Tazewell, presided, which nominated Thomas M. Kilpatrick, of Scott, for governor, and Gen. Nathaniel G. Wilcox, of Schuyler, for lieutenant-governor.f

Kilpatrick was born in Crawford county, Penn., in 1807. His early education consisted solely in instruction from his mother. He lost his father at the age of 15, became a mechanic, married in 1828, and removed to Illinois in 1834. In 1840 he beat Mur. ray McConnel for the State senate. In 1844 he was elected to the lower house of the legislature, where he was greatly instrumental in the passage of the school law of that period. He was a man of easy manners, pleasant address, strong, practical sense, and withal quite a forcible speaker on the stump. In this campaign,

a however, he deemed it doubtless a waste of time to canvass the State, and contented himself with issuing an address to the people, in which he opposed repudiation of the State debt and argued the ample resources of the State to pay, if properly developed. He looked forward to the completion of the canal as a means to arouse the despondent energies of the people. As Illinois was then the only State destitute of banking facilities, he favored banks based exclusively on specie; and a revision of the constitution (a convention call for that purpose was then pending before the people), saying: “At the commencement of the session, the capitol is crowded with aspirants from different parts of the State seeking different offices; each has his friends amoug the members; a system of electioneering intrigue and log-rolling commences, which enters into the discussion and passage of almost every bill, until these offices are disposed of; and it is not unfrequently the case that the success of the most important measures of State policy depend upon the election of some little fourth-rate lawyer to the office of district attorney. I attributed the bad legislation mainly to this influence."

In the campaign, the whigs exposed Gov. French's record and connection with the passage of the internal improvement system, and urged it against his election ; but in the meantime the war with Mexico broke out, regarding which the whig record was unfavorable. The war was the absorbing and dominating question of the period, sweeping every other political issue in its course. The election of August, 1846, resulted in the choice of the democratic candidate, A. C. French, over Kilpatrick, his principal competitor, by 58,700 votes for the former, to 36,775 votes for the latter. We say principal competitor, because Richard Eells (abolition) was running for the same office and received 5,152 votes. For lieutenant-governor, Joseph B. Wells, the democratic candidate, received 55,221 votes; Nathaniel G. Wilcox, whig, 29,641, and Abraham Smith, abolition, 5,179 votes.

*See Illinois State Register, Feb. 27, 1846. +Illinois State Journal. See Illinois State Journal,

By the constitution of '1848, a new election for State officers was ordered in November of that year, before Governor French's term was half out. He was re-elected for the term of 4 years. Gov. French thus is the only man who has ever held the office of governor in this State for 6 consecutive years. At the election of 1848 there was no organized opposition to him, though a number of other gentlemen were honored as the recipients of the votes of the people. Augustus C. French received 67,453 votes; Pierre Menard (son of the first lieutenant-governor), 5,639; Charles V. Dyer, 4,748; W. L. D. Morrison, 3,834; and James L. D. Morrison, 1,361. William McMurtry, of Knox, was elected lieutenant-governor (in place of Joseph B. Wells, the incumbent, who did not run again), receiving 65,304 votes. 0. H. Browning, Henry H. Snow, Pierre Menard and J. L. D. Morrison, were also honored by votes for this office, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000.

Gov. French was born in the town of Hill, New Hampshire, August 2, 1808. He was the descendant in the 4th generation of Nathaniel French, who emigrated from England in 1687, and settled in Saybury, Massachusetts. In early life young French lost his father, but continued to receive instruction from an exemplary and christian mother until he was 19 years old, when she also died, confiding to his care and trust four younger brothers and one sister. He discharged his trust with parental devotion. His education in early life was such mainly as a common school afforded; for a brief period he attended Dartmouth College, but from pecuniary causes and care of his brothers and sister, he did not graduate. He subsequently read law, was admitted to the bar in 1831, and shortly after removed to Illinois, settling first and practising his profession at Albion, Edwards county. The following year he removed to Paris, Edgar county. Here he attained emj. nence in his profession, and entered public life by representing that county in the legislature. A strong attachment sprang up between him and Stephen A. Douglas. In 1839, French became receiver of the United States land office at Palestine, Crawford county, at which place he resided when elevated to the gubernatorial chair. In 1844 he was a presidential elector, and as such voted for James K. Polk. After the expiration of bis term of office as governor, he occupied for some years the professor's chair of the law department of McKendree College, at Lebanon, and did not reappear in public life except as a member of the constitutional convention of 1862.

In stature, Gov. French was of medium height; squarely built, well proportioned, light complexed, with ruddy face and pleasant countenance. In manners he was plain, agreeable, and of easy ap. proach by the most humble; neither office nor position changed him in his bearing toward those he had met while in the more humble

Though by nature diffident, and at times appar. ently timid, yet when occasion demanded he was outspoken and firm in his views of public questions and convictions of duty. As a speaker, while he did not approach to the higher arts of oratory, lie was Chaste, earnest and persuasive. In business he was accurate and methodical, and as the executive of this State adminis

walks of life.

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