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as a political debater-whom Mr. Lincoln has said he would dread more in debate than any man in Illinois—the result was as before. It was during Yates' second term that the great question of the repeal of the Missouri compromise came before congress, against which he early arrayed himself, and took decided and advanced anti-slavery ground in a speech of rare oratory and remarkable power, which gained him natianal reputation. But we have seen that at this formative period of the republican party, the whigs of central Illinois, unwilling to join their fortunes with a sectional party, went with the democracy, and in 1854, Major Harris being again his opponent for congress, Yates was defeated on the Nebraska issue by only about 200 votes in the district which had given Pierce two years before 2,000 majority over Scott. Six years later he was elected gov. ernor by the party, for the aid in the formation of which he had suffered this defeat.
Richard Yates occupied the chair of State during the most critical period of our country's history. In the fate of the nation was involved the destiny of the States. The life-struggle of the former derived its sustenance from the loyalty of the latter. The position of governor of a great State was, therefore, important and respousible, as it was capable of being exerted for vast good or immense evil. Need it be said that in this trying period he discharged his duty with patriotic fidelity to the cause of the nation? Gov. Yates had many valuable attributes for his high station in this ordeal of the country. His loyalty was as undoubted as it proved itself true. He was the close personal friend of President Lincoln. His ardent devotion to the Union was founded upon a deep love for it. While he had been early identified with the formation of the republican party, he had not been connected with the old abolitionists, among whom were persons who preferrer the success of their hobby to the safety of the Union. But above all, he had a deep hold upon the affections of the people, won by his moving eloquence and genial manners. He inspired strong attachments among his partisan friends. Nature had fashioned him to be admired by the masses. Handsome, erect and symmetrical in person, with a winning address and a magnetic power, few men posssessed more of the elements of popularity. His oratory, into the spirit of which he entered with apparent forgetfulness of self, was scholarly and captivating, the hearer hardly knowing why he was transported. Though less logical than eloquent, he reasoned well, and always inspired deep and enduring partisan attachments. He was social and con vivial to an eminent degree, traits of character, which, however, were subjected to little of puritanic denial; but in the very excesses of his appetites he has carried with him the sympathies of the people, almost irrespective of party, on account of his many noble attributes of head and heart.
The very creditable military efforts of this State during the war of the rebellion, in putting her quotas, aggregating the enormous number of about 200,000* soldiers in the field, were ever promptly and ably seconded by his excellency: he was ambitious to deserve the title of the soldiers' friend. His proclamations calling for vol. unteers are impassionate appeals, urging the duties and requirements of patriotism upon the people; and his special message to the last democratic legislature of this State, pleading for material aid for the sick and wounded soldiers of Illinois regiments, breathe a deep fervor of noble sentiment and feeling rarely equalled in beauty or felicity of expression. Generally his messages on political or civil affairs were able and comprehensive; though on these subjects, particularly the former, his style is perhaps too florid and diffuse. There were no Staté civil events of an engrossing character during Gov. Yates' administration; two years of it, however, were replete with partisan quarrels of great bitterness, during the sitting of the constitutional convention of 1862, and the sessions of the last democratic legislature in 1863, which latter body he finally squelched by his act of prorogation. These the reader will find summed up further along. The operations of Illinois regiments in the field are also elsewhere recorded in detail.
*In 1850 Illinois had a population of 851,470, and according to the army register for 1851, her militia numbered 170,359, 4,168 of whom were commissioned officers: in 1860, she had a population of 1,711.951, which would have given her at the breaking out of the rebellion in 1861, a militia force of 350,000, and out of this number nearly 200,000 volunteers were furnished.
Lieut. Gov. Hoffman was born at Herford, Prussia, 1822. He was the son of a bookseller, and educated at the Frederich William Gymnasium of his native town. At the age of 18 he emi. grated to America, landing penniless in New York. Borrowing $8 he started west, and after a toilsome journey reached Chicago in 1840. Moneyless and unable to speak the English language, he taught a small German school at Dunkley's Grove, DuPage county, at $50 a year, with the privilege of "boarding around” among its patrons. Next, having studied theology, he was ordained a minister of the Lutheran church. In 1852 he removed to Chicago, studied law, was successful in the real estate business, became a free-banker in 1854, and as such, with the secession of 1861 and the downfall of our "stumptail” currency, failed. He had annually published, in German, a review of the commerce and finances of Chicago, and scattering thousands of copies in his native land, materially benefited her growth; and as commissioner of the foreign land department of the Central Rail. road Company, he was instrumental in inducing many thousands of German families to purchase lands and settle in Illinois.
He early took an active mterest in public affairs. In 1847 he was a member of the fainous River and Harbor convention at Chicago. In 1853 he was elected alderman for the 8th ward of that city. He was among the first of the prominent Germans of the northwest to advocate the anti-slavery cause by writing for the first German newspaper of Chicago, and translating from the German for the Democrat. In 1848 he supported Van Buren for the presi. dency; with the repeal of the Missouri compromise le aided in the organization of the republican party, and in 1856 canvassed the State for Fremont. Well educated, a clear mind, decision and energy, he acquitted himself with dignity and impartiality as the presiding officer of the Senate during a period replete with partisan strife, and the most perilous in our history.t
Comparative Growth of the State since 1850.—The national cen. sus of 1860 revealed for Illinois a population of 1,711,951, against tsee "Biographical Sketches of leading men of Chicago," by A. Shuman.
851,470 in 1850—an increase of over 100 per cent. in the preceding decade. This ranked her as the fourth State in the Union in point of population, and entitled her to 14 members in the lower house of congress.
The following table from the census reports show her increase in wealth during this period:
Classes of Property. Real and personal.
$156,000,000 $871.000.000 Value of farms..
96,000,000 432,000,00 Value of farming implements.
6,000,000 18,000,000 Value of orchard products.
446,049 1,145,936 Value of live stock..
24,000,000 73.434,000 Value of animals slaughtered....
4,972,000 15,000,000 Wheat raised, No. bushels....
9,414,000 24,159,000 Corn raised, No. bushels......
57,546,600 115,296,000 Barley, No. bushels..
110,000 1,175,000 Buckwheat, No. bushels............
345.000 Potatoes, No. bushels...
2,514,000 5,799,964 Hay, tons.
1,834,265 Butter, lbs..
1,200,000 28,337,000 Tobacco, lbs.
7,014,234 Total No of acres improved.....
500,000 13,251,000 This shows the aggregate wealth of 1850 to have multiplied five times in one decade; the value of farms 44 times. But while the census of 1860 gave us a total property value of $871,000,000 the assessed value for the same year was not quite $390,000,000. Illinois was the first corn and wheat producing State in the Union ; in value of her live stock she was second; in cattle, Texas and Ohio were ahead; in the number of horses, Ohio was also ahead, having 622,829 to Illinois 575,161; in the number of improved acres, New York alone led her by about 1,000,000 acres.
The permanent debt of the State in 1860 was $10,277.161.
ILLINOIS IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION.
Slavery—Sectional Antagonism-Secession—Inauguration of Lincoln
-Call for Volunteers-Proclamation of Gov. Yates-Uprising of the People.
In 1861 the Great Rebellion assumed a definite shape, and a civil
a war of the most astounding magnitude followed. The primary cause of the antagonism which existed between the Northern and Southern sections of the Union was the institution of slavery. Other agencies doubtless served proximately to intensify the hostility unfortunately engendered, but in every instance, if not directly connected with this great national evil, their remote origin could be traced to it.
The federal constitution recognized slavery, but its framers supposed that in the different States where it existed the benign in. Huences of free institutions and the palpable advantages of free labor, would extirpate it without the intervention of the general government. These happy anticipations at first seemed likely to be realized. Commencing with the more northern of the slave States the work of emancipation gradually extended sonth ward till it reached Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky, where its further progress was stayed. The growth of cotton in the Gulf States had in the meantime become a source of vast wealth, and the be. lief that slavery was essential to its cultivation greatly modified the repugnance with which it had hitherto been regarded. The remaining slave States, now actuated by pecuniary considerations, abandoned the idea of emancipation and accepted slavery as a permanent institution. The invention of the cotton-gin and other machinery gave a new impetus to the cultivation of cotton, and the fabrics manufactured from it, and those engaged in this great branch of industry soon resolved not only to protect slavery where it existed, but demanded new territory for its future expansion. In carving new States out of the vast unoccupied portion of the national domain, a bitter sectional contest arose as to whether the new members of the confederacy should belong to the empire of freedom or slavery. The opponents of slavery were desirous of restricting it to its original limits, but the cotton States threatened to withdraw from the Union if their demands were not granted, thus causing grave apprehensions for the safety of the republic unless the question could be amicably adjusted. Pend. ing the admission of Missouri into the Union a compromise was at length effected, making the southern boundary of that State the line of demarkation between free and slave territory. This was supposed at the time to be a final settlement of the dangerous question, for no one proposed to interfere with slavery within its original limits.
The recognition and protection thus offered inspired new confi. dence in the advocates of slavery, and so enhanced the value of its capital that they ultimately became the principal elements of southern wealth. With her capital thus invested the south necessarily became agricultural, and hence the agitation that arose in regard to the tariff, culminating in the attempt of South Carolina to nullify the laws of the U. S. for collecting duties. Notwithstanding repeated threats on the part of this refractory member of the Union to withdraw, the sturdy determination of Jackson secured the enforcement of law, but the cause which had produced the disturbance still existed, and soon disclosed itself in another form. By the treaty with Mexico vast accessions of territory were made to the national domain, and southern politi. cians insisted on the repeal of the Missouri compromise, declaring they had a right under the constitution to take their chattels to any part of the western territory and compete with the north in the formation of new States. The question was brought before the national legislature, and this compact, originally established for the benefit of slavery, for the same purpose was now annulled, thereby renewing sectional agitation and animosity. The fertile plains of Kansas, situated within the region which had been consecrated to freedom, were rapidly attracting population, and a fierce struggle immediately arose to decide whether the territory should be admitted into the Union as a free or slave State. As its character in this respect must now be determined by the vote of actual residents, emigrants in great numbers were hurried into it from the rival sections. After a protracted contest the champions of slavery, finding themselves in the minority, and knowing the result of the ballot would be against them, endeavored to gain ascendency by intrigue and violence.
The startling fact now became apparent, even to the southern mind, that while slavery enabled the few who owned and controlled it to amass princely fortunes, and live idle and profigate lives, it correspondingly impoverished the States in which it ex. isted. At the adoption of the federal constitution both sections started with perhaps equal natural advantages, but one having free and the other compulsory labor, an immense disparity now existed between them in all the elements of power and civilization. The North, with its vastly preponderating population, could now people and control the greater part of the unoccupied territory, and with the repeal of the Missouri compromise the South had given the legal right to it.
During the years of increasing excitement the general government remained uncommitted to either section, but the States in which the contest originally commenced daily became more hostile, and in some instances laws were enacted calculated to further inflame the public mind. A remarkable fact, however anomalous it may appear, was that the extreme northern and southern States, the most remote from the evils complained of and the least likely to be affected by the issue which entered into the controversy, manifested the greatest hostility. In many northern localities the