1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Illinois
ILLINOIS, a North Central state of the United States of America, situated between 37° and 42° 30′ N. lat. and 87° 35′ and 91° 40′ W. long. It is bounded N. by Wisconsin, E. by Lake Michigan and Indiana, S.E. and S. by the Ohio river, which separates it from Kentucky, and S.W. and W. by the Mississippi river, which separates it from Missouri and Iowa. The Enabling Act of Congress, which provided for the organization of Illinois Territory into a state, extended its jurisdiction to the middle of Lake Michigan and the Mississippi river; consequently the total area of the state is 58,329 sq. m., of which 2337 sq. m. are water surface, though the official figures of the United States Geological Survey, which does not take into account this extension of jurisdiction, are 56,665 sq. m.
Physiography.—Physiographically, the state (except the extreme southern point) lies wholly in the Prairie Plains region. The N.E. corner is by some placed in the “Great Lakes District.” The southern point touches the Coastal Plain Belt at its northward extension called the “Mississippi Embayment.” The surface of Illinois is an inclined plane, whose general slope is toward the S. and S.W. The average elevation above sea-level is about 600 ft.; the highest elevation is Charles Mound (1257 ft.), on the Illinois-Wisconsin boundary line, one of a chain of hills that crosses Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone and McHenry counties. An elevation from 6 to 10 m. wide crosses the southern part of the state from Grand Tower, in Jackson county, on the Mississippi to Shawneetown, in Gallatin county, on the Ohio, the highest point being 1047 ft. above the sea; from Grand Tower N. along the Mississippi to the mouth of the Illinois there is a slight elevation and there is another elevation of minor importance along the Wabash. Many of the river bluffs rise to an unusual height, Starved Rock, near Ottawa, in La Salle county, being 150 ft. above the bed of the Illinois river. Cave in Rock, on the Ohio, in Hardin county, was once the resort of river pirates. The country S. of the elevation (mentioned above) between Grand Tower and Shawneetown was originally covered with forests.
The drainage of Illinois is far better than its low elevation and comparatively level surface would suggest. There are more than 275 streams in the state, grouped in two river systems, one having the Mississippi, which receives three-fourths of the waters of Illinois, as outlet, the other being tributary to the Wabash or Ohio rivers. The most important river is the Illinois, which, formed by the junction of the Des Plaines and the Kankakee, in the N.E. part of Grundy county, crosses the N. central and W. portions of the state, draining 24,726 sq. m. At some points, notably at Lake Peoria, it broadens into vast expanses resembling lakes. The Kaskaskia, in the S., notable for its variations in volume, and the Rock, in the N., are the other important rivers emptying into the Mississippi; the Embarrass and Little Wabash, the Saline and Cache in the E., are the important tributaries of the Wabash and Ohio rivers. The Chicago river, a short stream 1 m. long, formed by the union of its N. and S. branches, naturally flowed into Lake Michigan, but by the construction of the Chicago Drainage Canal its waters were turned in 1900 so that they ultimately flow into the Mississippi.
The soil of Illinois is remarkable for its fertility. The surface soils are composed of drift deposits, varying from 10 to 200 ft. in depth; they are often overlaid with a black loam 10 to 15 in. deep, and in a large portion of the state there is a subsoil of yellow clay. The soil of the prairies is darker and coarser than that of the forests, but all differences disappear with cultivation. The soil of the river valleys is alluvial and especially fertile, the “American Bottom,” extending along the Mississippi from Alton to Chester, having been in cultivation for more than 150 years. Along the river bluffs there is a silicious deposit called loess, which is well suited to the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. In general the N. part of the state is especially suited to the cultivation of hay, the N. and central parts to Indian corn, the E. to oats, and the S.W. to wheat.
Climate.—The climate of Illinois is notable for its extremes of temperature. The warm winds which sweep up the Mississippi Valley from the Gulf of Mexico are responsible for the extremes of heat, and the Arctic winds of the north, which find no mountain range to break their strength, cause the extremes of cold. The mean annual temperature at Winnebago, near the N. border, is 47° F., and it increases to the southward at the rate of about 2° for every degree of latitude, being 52° F. at Springfield, and 58° F. in Cairo, at the S. extremity. The lowest temperature ever recorded in the state was −32° F., in February 1905, at Ashton in the N.W. and the highest was 115° F., in July 1901, at Centralia, in the S., making a maximum range of 147° F. The range of extremes is considerably greater in the N. than in the S.; for example, at Winnebago extremes have ranged from −26° F. to 110° F. or 136° F., but at Cairo they have ranged only from −16° F. to 106° F. or 122° F. The mean annual precipitation is about 39 in. in the S. counties, but this decreases to the northward, being about 36 in. in the central counties and 34 in. along the N. border. The mean annual snowfall increases from 12 in. at the S. extremity to approximately 40 in. in the N. counties. In the N. the precipitation is 44.8% greater in spring and summer than it is in autumn and winter, but in the S. only 26.17% greater. At Cairo the prevailing winds are southerly during all months except February, and as far north as Springfield they are southerly from April to January; but throughout the N. half of the state, except along the shore of Lake Michigan, where they vary from N.E. to S.W., the winds are mostly from the W. or N.W. from October to March and very variable for the remainder of the year. The dampness and miasma, to which so many of the early settlers’ fatal “chills and fever” were due, have practically disappeared before modern methods of sanitary drainage.
Fauna and Flora.—The fauna and flora, which are similar to those of the other North Central States of North America, impressed the early explorers with their richness and variety. “We have seen nothing like this for the fertility of the land, its prairies, woods, and wild cattle,” wrote Père Jacques Marquette of the Illinois region, and later explorers also bore witness to the richness of the country. Many of the original wild animals, such as the bison, bear, beaver, deer and lynx, have disappeared; wolves, foxes and mink are rare; but rabbits, squirrels and raccoons are still common. The fish are mainly the coarser species, such as carp, buffalo-fish and white perch; of better food fish, the principal varieties are bass (black, striped and rock), crappie, pike, “jack salmon” or wall-eyed pike, and sun fish. The yield of the fisheries in 1900 was valued at $388,876. The most important fisheries on the Illinois river and its tributaries were at Havana, Pekin and Peoria, which in 1907-1908 were represented by a total catch of about 10,000,000 ℔, out of a total for this river system of 17,570,000 ℔. The flora is varied. Great numbers of grasses and flowering plants which once beautified the prairie landscape are still found on uncultivated lands, and there are about 80 species of trees, of which the oak, hickory, maple and ash are the most common. The cypress is found only in the S. and the tamarack only in the N. The forest area, estimated at 10,200 sq. m. in 1900, is almost wholly in the southern counties, and nearly all the trees which the northern half of the state had before the coming of the whites were along the banks of streams. Among wild fruits are the cherry, plum, grape, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry.
Industry and Commerce.—The fertility of the soil, the mineral wealth and the transportation facilities have given Illinois a vast economic development. In 1900 more than seven-tenths of the inhabitants in gainful occupations were engaged in agriculture (25.6%), manufactures and mechanical pursuits (26.7%), and trade and transportation (22%).
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Historically and comparatively, agriculture is the most important industry. In 1900 about nine-tenths of the total land area was inclosed in farms; the value of farm property ($2,004,316,897) was greater than that of any other state; as regards the total value of farm products in 1899 Illinois was surpassed only by Iowa; in the value of crops Illinois led all the states, and the values of property and of products were respectively 35.6% and 87.1% greater than at the end of the preceding decade. During the last half of the 19th century the number of farms increased rapidly, and the average size declined from 158 acres in 1850 to 127.6 acres in 1870 and 124.2 acres in 1900. The prevailing form of tenure is that of owners, 60.7% of the farms being so operated in 1900; but during the decade 1890-1900 the number of farms cultivated by cash tenants increased 30.8%, and the number by share tenants 24.5%, while the increase of cultivation by owners was only 1%. In proportion of farm land improved (84.5%), Illinois was surpassed only by Iowa among the states. Cereals form the most important agricultural product (600,107,378 bushels in 1899—in value about three-fourths of the total agricultural products of the state). In the production of cereals Illinois surpassed the other states at the close of each decade during the last half of the 19th century except that ending in 1890, when Iowa was the leading state. Indian corn and oats are the most valuable crops. The rank of Illinois in the production of Indian corn was first in 1899 with about one-fifth of the total product of the United States, and first in 1907 with nearly one-tenth of the total crop of the country (9,521,000 bushels out of 99,931,000). In 1879, in 1899 and in 1905 (when it produced 132,779,762 bushels out of 953,216,197 from the entire country) it was first among the states producing oats, but it was surpassed by Iowa in 1889, 1906 and 1907; in 1907 the Illinois crop was 101,675,000 bushels. From 1850 until 1879 Illinois also led in the production of wheat; the competition of the more western states, however, caused a great decline in both acreage and production of that cereal, the state’s rank in the number of bushels produced declining to third in 1889 and to fourteenth in 1899, but the crop and yield per acre in 1902 was larger than any since 1894; in 1905 the state ranked ninth, in 1906 eighth and in 1907 fifth (the crop being 40,104,000 bushels) among the wheat-growing states of the country. The rank of the state in the growing of rye also declined from second in 1879 to eighth in 1899 and to ninth in 1907 (when the crop was 1,106,000 bushels), and the rank in the growing of barley from third in 1869 to sixteenth in 1899. In 1907 the barley crop was 600,000 bushels. Hay and forage are, after cereals, the most important crops; in 1907 2,664,000 acres produced 3,730,000 tons of hay valued at $41,030,000. Potatoes and broom corn are other valuable products. The potato crop in 1907 was 13,398,000 bushels, valued at $9,647,000, and the sugar beet, first introduced during the last decade of the 19th century, gave promise of becoming one of the most important crops. From 1889 to 1899 there was a distinct decline in the production of apples and peaches, but there was a great increase in that of cherries, plums and pears. The large urban population of the state makes the animal products very valuable, Illinois ranking third in 1900 in the number of dairy cows, and in the farm value of dairy products; indeed, all classes of live stock, except sheep, increased in number from 1850 to 1900, and at the end of the latter year Illinois was surpassed only by Iowa in the number of horses and swine; in 1909 there were more horses in Illinois than in Iowa. Important influences in the agricultural development of the state have been the formation of Farmers’ Institutes, organized in 1895, a Corn Breeders’ Association in 1898, and the introduction of fertilizers, the use of which in 1899 was nearly seven times the amount in 1889, and the study of soils, carried on by the State Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The growth of manufacturing in Illinois during the last half of the 19th century, due largely to the development of her exceptional transportation facilities, was the most rapid and remarkable in the industrial history of the United States. In 1850 the state ranked fifteenth, in 1860 eighth, in 1870 sixth, in 1880 fourth, in 1890 and again in 1900 third, in the value of its manufactures. The average increases of invested capital and products for each decade from 1850-1900 were, respectively, 189.26% and 152.9%; in 1900 the capital invested ($776,829,598, of which $732,829,771 was in establishments under the “factory system”), and the product ($1,259,730,168, of which $1,120,868,308 was from establishments under the “factory system”), showed unusually small percentages of increase over those for 1890 (54.7% and 38.6% respectively); and in 1905 the capital and product of establishments under the “factory system” were respectively $975,844,799 and $1,410,342,129, showing increases of 33.2% and 25.8% over the corresponding figures for 1900.
The most important industry was the wholesale slaughtering and packing of meats, which yielded 22.9% of the total manufactured product of the state in 1900, and 22.5% of the total in 1905. From 1870 to 1905 Illinois surpassed the other states in this industry, yielding in 1900 and in 1905 more than one-third of the total product of the United States. The increase in the value of the product in this industry in Illinois between 1900 and 1905 was over 10%. An interesting phase of the industry is the secondary enterprises that have developed from it, nearly all portions of the slaughtered animal being finally put to use. The blood is converted into clarifying material, the entrails are used for sausage coverings, the hoofs and small bones furnish the raw material for the manufacture of glue, the large bones are carved into knife handles, and the horns into combs, the fats are made to yield butterine, lard and soap, and the hides and hair are used in the manufacture of mattresses and felts.
The manufacture of iron and steel products, and of products depending upon iron and steel as raw material, is second in importance. The iron for these industries is secured from the Lake Superior region, the coal and limestone from mines within the state. Indeed, in the manufacture of iron and steel, Illinois was surpassed in 1900 only by Pennsylvania and Ohio, the 1900 product being valued at $60,303,144; but the value of foundry and machine shop products was even greater ($63,878,352). In 1905 the iron and steel product had increased in value since 1900 44.9%, to $87,352,761; the foundry and machine shop products 25.2%, to $79,961,482; and the wire product showed even greater increase, largely because of a difference of classification in the two censuses, the value in 1905 being $14,099,566, as against $2,879,188 in 1900, showing an increase of nearly 390%. The development of agriculture, by creating a demand for improved farm machinery, has stimulated the inventive genius; in many cases blacksmith shops have been transformed into machinery factories; also well-established companies of the eastern states have been induced to remove to Illinois by the low prices of iron and wood, due to cheap transportation rates on the Great Lakes. Consequently, in 1890, in 1900 and again in 1905, Illinois surpassed any one of the other states in the production of agricultural implements, the product in 1900 being valued at $42,033,796, or 41.5% of the total output of agricultural machinery in the United States; and in 1905 with a value of $38,412,452 it represented 34.3% of the product of the entire country. In the building of railway cars by manufacturing corporations, Illinois also led the states in 1900 and in 1905, the product being valued at $24,845,606 in 1900 and at $30,926,464 (an increase of nearly one-fourth) in 1905; and in construction by railway companies was second in 1900, with a product valued at $16,580,424, which had increased 53.7% in 1905, when the product was valued at $25,491,209. The greatest increase of products between 1890 and 1900 was in the manufacture of electrical apparatus (2400%), in which the increase in value of product was 37.2% between 1900 and 1905.
Another class of manufactures consists of those dependent upon agricultural products for raw material. Of these, the manufacture of distilled liquors was in 1900 and in 1905 the most important, Illinois leading the other states; the value of the 1900 product, which was nearly 12% less than that of 1890, was increased by 41.6%, to $54,101,805, in 1905. Peoria, the centre of the industry, is the largest producer of whisky and high-class wines of the cities in the United States. There were also, in 1900, 35 direct and other indirect products made from Indian corn by glucose plants, which consumed one-fifth of the Indian corn product of the state, and the value of these products was $18,122,814; in 1905 it was only $14,532,180. Of other manufactures dependent upon agriculture, flour and grist mill products declined between 1890 and 1900, but between 1900 and 1905 increased 39.6% to a value of $39,892,127. The manufacture of cheese, butter and condensed milk increased 60% between 1890 and 1900, but between 1900 and 1905 only 3.1%, the product in 1905 being valued at $13,276,533.
Other prosperous industries are the manufacture of lumber and timber products (the raw material being floated down the Mississippi river from the forests of other states), whose output increased from 1890 to 1900 nearly 50%, but declined slightly between 1900 and 1905; of furniture ($22,131,846 in 1905; $15,285,475 in 1900; showing an increase of 44.8%), and of musical instruments ($13,323,358 in 1905; $8,156,445 in 1900; an increase of 63.3% in the period), in both of which Illinois was second in 1900 and in 1905; book and job printing, in which the state ranked second in 1900 ($28,293,684 in 1905; $19,761,780 in 1900; an increase of 43.2%), newspaper and periodical printing ($28,644,981 in 1905; $19,404,955 in 1900; an increase of 47.6%), in which it ranked third in 1900; and the manufacture of clothing, boots and shoes. The value of the clothing manufactured in 1905 was $67,439,617 (men’s $55,202,999; women’s $12,236,618), an increase of 30.1% over 1900. The great manufacturing centre is Chicago, where more than seven-tenths of the manufactured products of the state were produced in 1900, and more than two-thirds in 1905.
In this development of manufactures, the mineral resources have been an important influence, nearly one-fourth (23.6%) of the manufactured product in 1900 depending upon minerals for raw material. Although the iron ore, for the iron and steel industry, is furnished by the mines of the Lake Superior region, bituminous coal and limestone are supplied by the Illinois deposits. The great central coal field of North America extends into Illinois from
Indiana as far N. as a line from the N. boundary of Grundy county to Rock Island, W. from Rock Island to Henderson county, then S.W. to the southern part of Jackson county, when it runs S. into Kentucky, thus including more than three-fourths (42,900 sq. m.) of the land surface of the state. In 1679 Hennepin reported deposits of coal near what is now Ottawa on the Illinois; there was some mining in 1810 on the Big Muddy river in Jackson county; and in 1833, 6000 tons were mined. In 1907 (according to state authorities) coal was produced in 52 counties, Williamson, Sangamon, St Clair, Macoupin and Madison giving the largest yield. In that year the tonnage was 51,317,146, and the value of the total product $54,687,882; in 1908 the value of the state’s product of coal was exceeded only by that of Pennsylvania (nearly six times as great). Nearly 30% of all coal mined in the state was mined by machinery in 1907. The output of petroleum in Illinois was long unimportant. The first serious attempts to find oil and gas in the state were in the ’fifties of the 19th century. In 1889 the yield of petroleum was 1460 barrels. In 1902 it was only 200 barrels, nearly all of which came from Litchfield, Montgomery county (where oil had been found in commercial quantities in 1886), and Washington, Tazewell county, in the west central part of the state; at this time it was used locally for lubricating purposes. There had been some drilling in Clark county in 1865, and in 1904 this field was again worked at Westfield. In 1905 the total output of the state was 181,084 barrels; in 1906 the amount increased to 4,397,050 barrels, valued at $3,274,818; and in 1907, according to state reports, the output was 24,281,973 barrels, being nearly as great as that of the Appalachian field. The petroleum-producing area of commercial importance is a strip of land about 80 m. long and 2 or 3 to 10 or 12 m. wide in the S.E. part of the state, centring about Crawford county. In April 1906 the first pipe lines for petroleum in Illinois were laid; before that time all shipments had been in tank cars. In connexion with petroleum, natural gas has been found, especially in Clark and Crawford counties; in 1906 the state’s product of natural gas was valued at $87,211. Limestone is found in about 30 counties, principally Cook, Will and Kankakee; the value of the product in 1906 was $2,942,331. Clay and clay products of the state were valued in 1906 at $12,765,453. Deposits of lead and zinc have been discovered and worked in Jo Daviess county, near Galena and Elizabeth, in the N.W. part of the state. A southern district, including parts of Hardin, Pope and Saline counties, has produced, incidentally to fluorspar, some lead, the maximum amount being 176,387 ℔ from the Fairview mine in 1866-1867. In 1905 the zinc from the entire state was valued at $5,499,508; the lead product in 1906 was valued at $65,208. Sandstone, quarried in 10 counties, was valued in 1905 at $29,115 and in 1906 at $19,125. Pope and Hardin counties were the only sources of fluorspar in the United States from 1842 until 1898, when fluorspar began to be mined in Kentucky; in 1906 the output was 28,268 tons, valued at $160,623, and in 1905 33,275 tons, valued at $220,206. The centre of the fluorspar district was Rosiclare in Hardin county. The cement deposits are also of value, natural cement being valued at $118,221 and Portland cement at $2,461,494 in 1906. Iron ore has been discovered. Glass sand is obtained from the Illinois river valley in La Salle county; in 1906 it was valued at $156,684, making the state in this product second only to Pennsylvania and West Virginia (in 1905 it was second only to Pennsylvania). The value of the total mineral product of the state in 1906 was estimated at $121,188,306.
Communications.—Transportation facilities have been an important factor in the economic development of Illinois. The first European settlers, who were French, came by way of the Great Lakes, and established intimate relations with New Orleans by the Mississippi river. The American settlers came by way of the Ohio river, and the immigrants from the New England and Eastern states found their way to Illinois over the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. The first transportation problem was to connect Lake Michigan and the Mississippi river; this was accomplished by building the Illinois & Michigan canal to La Salle, at the head of the navigation on the Illinois river, a work which was begun in 1836 and completed in 1848 under the auspices of the state. In 1890 the Sanitary District of Chicago undertook the construction of a canal from Chicago to Joliet, where the new canal joins the Illinois & Michigan canal; this canal is 24 ft. deep and 160 ft. wide. The Federal government completed in October 1907 the construction of a new canal, the Illinois & Mississippi, popularly known as the Hennepin, from Hennepin to Rock river (just above the mouth of Green river), 7 ft. deep, 52 ft. wide (at bottom), and 80 ft. wide at the water-line. This canal provides, with the Illinois & Michigan canal and the Illinois river, an improved waterway from Chicago to the Mississippi river, and greatly increases the commercial and industrial importance of the “twin cities” of Sterling and Rock Falls, where the Rock river is dammed by a dam nearly 1500 ft. long, making the main feeder for the canal. This feeder, formally opened in 1907, runs nearly due S. to a point on the canal N.W. of Sheffield and N.E. of Mineral; there are important locks on either side of this junction. At the general election in November 1908 the people of Illinois authorized the issue of bonds to the amount of $20,000,000 to provide for the canalizing of the Desplaines and Illinois rivers as far as the city of Utica, on the latter river, and connecting with the channel of the Chicago Sanitary District at Joliet. The situation of Illinois between the Great Lakes and the Appalachian Mountains has made it a natural gateway for railroads connecting the North Atlantic and the far Western states. The first railway constructed in the West was the Northern-Cross railroad from Meredosia on the Illinois river to Springfield, completed in 1842; during the last thirty years of the 19th century Illinois had a larger railway mileage than any of the American states, her mileage in January 1909 amounting to 12,215.63 m., second only to that of Texas. A Railway and Warehouse Commission has authority to fix freight and passenger rates for each road. It is the oldest commission with such power in the United States, and the litigation with railways which followed its establishment in 1871 fully demonstrated the public character of the railway business and was the precedent for the policy of state control elsewhere.
Population.—In 1870 and 1880 Illinois was fourth among the states of the United States in population; but in 1890, in 1900, and in 1910, its rank was third, the figures for the last three years named being respectively 3,826,351, 4,821,550, and 5,638,591. The increase from 1880 to 1890 was 24.3%; from 1890 to 1900, 26%. Of the population in 1900, 98.2% was white, 79.9% was native-born, and 51.2% was of foreign parentage (either one or both parents foreign-born). The principal foreign element was German, the Teutonic immigration being especially large in the decade ending in 1860; the immigrants from the United Kingdom were second in importance, those from the Scandinavian countries third, and those from southern Europe fourth. The urban population, on the basis of places having 4000 inhabitants or more, was 51% of the total; indeed the population of Cook county, in which the city of Chicago is situated, was two-fifths of the total population of the state; during the decade of the Civil War (1860-1870) the population of the state increased only 48.4%, and that of Cook county about 140%, while from 1870 to 1900 the increase of all counties, excluding Cook, was about 36%, the increase in Chicago was about 468%. Of the 930 incorporated cities, towns and villages, 614 had less than 1000 inhabitants, 27 more than 5000 and less than 10,000, 14 more than 10,000 and less than 20,000, 4 more than 20,000 and less than 25,000, and 7 more than 25,000. These seven were Chicago (1,698,575), the second city in population in the United States, Peoria (56,100), Quincy (36,252), Springfield (34,159), Rockford (31,051), East St Louis (29,655), and Joliet (29,353). In 1906 it was estimated that the total number of communicants of all denominations was 2,077,197, and that of this total 932,084 were Roman Catholics, 263,344 were Methodist (235,092 of the Northern Church, 7198 of the Southern Church, 9833 of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 5512 of the Methodist Protestant Church, and 3597 of the Free Methodist Church of North America), 202,566 were Lutherans (113,527 of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference, 36,366 of the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 14,768 of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and 14,005 of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and other states), 152,870 were Baptists (118,884 of the Northern Convention, 16,081 of the National (Colored) Baptist Convention, 7755 Free Baptists, 6671 General Baptists, and 5163 Primitive Baptists), 115,602 were Presbyterian (86,251 of the Northern Church, 17,208 of the Cumberland Church (now a part of the Northern Church), and 9555 of the United Presbyterian Church), 101,516 were Disciples of Christ, 50,973 were members of the German Evangelical Synod of North America, 54,875 were Congregationalists, and 36,364 were Protestant Episcopalians.
Government.—Illinois has been governed under four constitutions, a Territorial constitution of 1812, and three State constitutions of 1818, 1848 and 1870 (subsequently amended). Amendments may be made by a Constitutional Convention or a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to the legislature, ratification by the people being required in either instance. To call a Constitutional Convention it is necessary that a majority popular vote concur in the demand therefor of two-thirds of the members of each house of the General Assembly. The executive officials hold office for four years, with the exception of the treasurer, whose term of service is two years. The governor must be at least thirty years of age, and he must also have been a citizen of the United States and of Illinois for the five years preceding his election. His veto may be over-ridden by a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to the legislature. Members of the legislature, which meets biennially, are chosen by districts, three representatives and one senator from each of the 51 districts, 18 of which are in Cook county. The term of senators is four years, that of representatives two years; and in the election of representatives since 1870 there has been a provision for “minority” representation, under which by cumulative voting each voter may cast as many votes for one candidate as there are representatives to be chosen, or he may distribute his votes (giving three votes to one candidate, or 1½ votes each to two candidates, or one vote each to three candidates), the candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes being elected. A similar system of cumulative voting for aldermen may be provided for by ordinance of councils in cities organized under the general state law of 1872. Requisites for membership in the General Assembly are citizenship in the United States; residence in Illinois for five years, two of which must have been just preceding the candidate’s election; and an age of 25 years for senators, and of 21 years for representatives. Conviction for bribery, perjury or other infamous crime, or failure (in the case of a collector or holder of public moneys) to account for and pay over all moneys due from him are disqualifications; and before entering upon the duties of his office each member of the legislature must take a prescribed oath that he has neither given nor promised anything to influence voters at the election, and that he will not accept, directly or indirectly, “money or other valuable thing from any corporation, company or person” for his vote or influence upon proposed legislation. Special legislation is prohibited when general laws are applicable, and special and local legislation is forbidden in any of twenty-three enumerated cases, among which are divorce, changing of an individual’s name or the name of a place, and the grant to a corporation of the right to build railways or to exercise any exclusive franchise or privilege. The judiciary consists of a supreme court of 7 members elected for a term of 9 years; a circuit court of 54 judges, 3 for each of 18 judicial districts, elected for 6 years; and four appellate courts—one for Cook county (which has also a “branch appellate court,” both the court and the branch court being presided over by three circuit judges appointed by the Supreme Court) and three other districts, each with three judges appointed in the same way. In Cook county a criminal court, and the supreme court of Cook county (originally the supreme court of Chicago), supplement the work of the circuit court. There are also county courts, consisting of one judge who serves for four years; in some counties probate courts have been established, and in counties of more than 500,000 population juvenile courts for the trial and care of delinquent children are provided for.
The local government of Illinois includes both county and township systems. The earliest American settlers came from the Southern States and naturally introduced the county system; but the increase of population from the New England and Middle States led to a recognition of township organization in the constitution of 1848, and this form of government, at first prevalent only in the northern counties, is now found in most of the middle and southern counties. Cook county, although it has a township system, is governed, like those counties in which townships are not found, by a Board of Commissioners, elected by the townships and the city of Chicago. A general law of 1872 provides for the organization of municipalities, only cities and villages being recognized, though there are still some “towns” which have failed to reorganize under the new law. City charters are granted only to such municipalities as have a population of at least 1000.
Requirements for suffrage are age of 21 years or more, citizenship in the United States, and residence in the state for one year, in the county ninety days, and the election precinct thirty days preceding the exercise of suffrage. Women are permitted to vote for certain school officials and the trustees of the State University. Disfranchisement is brought about by conviction for bribery, felony or infamous crime, and an attempt to vote after such conviction is a felony.
The relation of the state to corporations and industrial problems has been a subject of important legislation. The constitution declares that the state’s rights of eminent domain shall never be so abridged as to prevent the legislature from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies and subjecting them to the public necessity in a way similar to the treatment of individuals. In 1903 the legislature authorized the municipal ownership of public service corporations, and in 1905 the city of Chicago took steps to acquire ownership of its street railways—a movement which seemed to have spent its force in 1907, when the municipal ownership candidates were defeated in the city’s elections—and in 1902 the right of that city to regulate the price of gas was recognized by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. Railways organized or doing business in the state are required by the constitution to have a public office where books for public inspection are kept, showing the amount of stock, its owners, and the amount of the road’s liabilities and assets. No railway company may now issue stock except for money, labour, or property actually received and applied to purposes for which the corporation was organized. In 1907 a law went into effect making two cents a mile a maximum railway fare. An anti-trust law of 1893 exempted from the definition of trust combinations those formed by producers of agricultural products and live stock, but the United States Supreme Court in 1902 declared the statute unconstitutional as class legislation. According to a revised mining law of 1899 (subsequently amended), all mines are required to be in charge of certified mine managers, mine examiners, and hoisting engineers, when the services of the engineers are necessary; and every mine must have an escapement shaft distinct from the hoisting shaft. The number of men permitted to work in any mine not having an escapement shaft cannot, in any circumstances, exceed ten during the time in which the escapement or connexion is being completed.
Economic conditions have also led to an increase of administrative boards. A State Civil Service Commission was created by an act of the General Assembly of 1905. A Bureau of Labor Statistics (1879), whose members are styled Commissioners of Labor, makes a study of economic and financial problems and publishes biennial reports; a Mining Board (1883) and an inspector of factories and workshops (since 1893) have for their duty the enforcement of labour legislation. There are also a State Food Commission (1899) and a Live Stock Commission (1885). A Board of Arbitration (1895) has authority to make and publish investigations of all facts relating to strikes and lock-outs, to issue subpoenas for the attendance and testifying of witnesses, and “to adjust strikes or lock-outs by mediation or conciliation, without a formal submission to arbitration.”
The employment of children under 14 years of age in factories or mines, and working employees under 16 years of age for more than 60 hours a week, are forbidden by statute. The state has an excellent “Juvenile Court Law,” which came into force on the 1st of July 1899 and has done much good, especially in Chicago. The law recognized that a child should not be treated like a mature malefactor, and provided that there should be no criminal procedure, that the child should not be imprisoned or prosecuted, that his interests should be protected by a probation officer, that he should be discharged unless found dependent, delinquent or truant, and in such case that he should be turned over to the care of an approved individual or charitable society. This law applies to counties having a minimum population of 500,000. The legal rate of interest is 5%, but this may be increased to 7% by written contract. A homestead owned and occupied by a householder having a family is exempt (to the amount of $1000) from liability for debts, except taxes upon, and purchase money for, the same. Personal property to the value of $300 also is exempt from liability for debt. Grounds for divorce are impotence of either party at time of marriage, previous marriage, adultery, wilful desertion for two years, habitual drunkenness, attempt on life, extreme and repeated cruelty, and conviction of felony or other infamous crime. The marriage of cousins of the first degree is declared incestuous and void. In June 1907 the Supreme Court of Illinois declared the sale of liquor not a common right and “sale without license a criminal offence,” thus forcing clubs to close their bars or take out licences.
The charitable institutions of the state are under the management of local trustees appointed by the governor. They are under the supervision of the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities (five non-salaried members appointed by the governor); in 1908 there were 18 institutions under its jurisdiction. Of these, seven were hospitals for the insane—six for specific parts of the state, viz. northern at Elgin, eastern at Kankakee, central at Jacksonville, southern at Anna, western at Watertown, and general at South Bartonville, and one at Chester for insane criminals. The others were the State Psychopathic Institute at Kankakee (established in 1907 as part of the insane service) for systematic study of mental and nervous diseases; one at Lincoln having charge of feeble-minded children; two institutions for the blind—a school at Jacksonville and an industrial home at Marshall Boulevard and 19th Street, Chicago; a home for soldiers and sailors (Quincy), one for soldiers’ orphans (Normal), and one for soldiers’ widows (Wilmington); a school for the deaf (Jacksonville), and an eye and ear infirmary (Chicago). The Board of Charities also had supervision of the State Training School for (delinquent) Girls (1893) at Geneva, and of the St Charles School for (delinquent) Boys (1901) at St Charles.
The trustees of each penal institution are appointed by the governor, and the commissioners of the two penitentiaries and the managers of the state reformatory compose a Board of Prison Industries. There were in 1908 two penitentiaries, one at Joliet and one at Chester, and, in addition to the two reformatory institutions for young offenders under the supervision of the Board of Charities, there is a State Reformatory for boys at Pontiac. The indeterminate sentence and parole systems are important features of the treatment of criminals. All but two of the counties have almshouses. In 1908, in some counties, the care of paupers was still let by contract to the lowest bidder or the superintendent was paid between $1.00 and $1.80—seldom more than $1.50—a week for each patient, and he paid a small (or no) rent on the county farm. Complete state control of the insane and the introduction of modern hospital and curative treatment in the state asylums (or hospitals) are gradually taking the place of county care for the insane and of antiquated custodial treatment in and political control of the state asylums—changes largely due to the action of Governor Deneen, who appointed in 1906 a Board of Charities pledged to reform. By a law of 1905 all employed in such institutions were put on a civil service basis. In 1907-1908, $1,500,000 was spent in rehabilitating old buildings and in buying new land and erecting buildings.
Education.—Public education in Illinois had its genesis in the land of the North-West Territory reserved for educational purposes by the Ordinance of 1787. The first state school law, which provided for state taxation for public schools, was enacted in 1825. The section providing for taxation, however, was repealed, but free schools supported by the sale of land reserved for education and by local taxation were established as early as 1834. In 1855 a second school law providing for a state school tax was enacted, and this is the foundation of the existing public school system; the constitution of 1870 also requires the legislature to provide a thorough and efficient system of public schools. In 1907-1908 the total school revenue, nine-tenths of which was derived from local taxation and the remainder chiefly from a state appropriation (for the year in question, $1,057,000) including the proceeds derived from permanent school funds secured by the gift and sale of public lands on the part of the United States Government, was $39,989,510.22. The attendance in some school of all children from 7 to 16 years of age is compulsory, and of the population of school age (1,500,066) 988,078 were enrolled in public schools. The average length of the school term in 1908 was 7.8 months, and the average monthly salary of teachers was $82.12 for men and $60.76 for women.
The state provides for higher education in the University of Illinois, situated in the cities of Champaign and Urbana. It was founded in 1867, through the United States land grant of 1862, as the Illinois Industrial University, and received its present name in 1885; since 1870 it has been co-educational. Associated with the University are the State Laboratory of Natural History, the State Water Survey, the State Geological Survey, the State Entomologist’s Office, and Agricultural and Engineering Experiment Stations. The University confers degrees in arts, science, engineering, agriculture, law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, music, and library science; besides the usual subjects, it has a course in ceramics. The University publishes Bulletins of the Agricultural and Engineering Experiment Stations; Reports of the State Water Survey, of the State Natural History Survey, of the State Geological Survey, and of the State Entomologist’s Office; University Studies; and The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. The schools of medicine, pharmacy and dentistry are in Chicago. The faculty in 1907 numbered 408, and the total enrolment of students in 1907-1908 was 4743 (of whom 991 were women), distributed (with 13 duplicates in the classification) as follows: Graduate School, 203; Undergraduate Colleges, 2812; Summer Session, 367; College of Law, 186; College of Medicine, 476; College of Dentistry, 76; School of Pharmacy, 259; Academy, 377. In 1908 the University had a library of 103,000 volumes. The trustees of the institution, who have legislative power only, are the governor, the President of the Board of Agriculture, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and nine others elected by the people. There were in 1907 more than forty other universities and colleges in the state, the most important being the University of Chicago, North-western University at Evanston, Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, Knox College, Galesburg, and Illinois College at Jacksonville. There were also six normal colleges, five of them public: the Southern Illinois State Normal College at Carbondale, the Eastern Illinois State Normal School at Charleston, the Western Illinois State Normal School at Macomb, the Chicago Normal School at Chicago, the Northern Illinois State Normal School at DeKalb, and the Illinois State Normal University at Normal.
Finance.—The total receipts for the biennial period ending the 30th of September 1908 were $19,588,842.06, and the disbursements were $21,278,805.27; and on the 1st of October 1908 there was a balance in the treasury of $3,859,263.44. The bonded debt on the same date was $17,500; these bonds ceased to bear interest in 1882, but although called in by the governor they have never been presented for payment. The system of revenue is based upon the general property tax; the local assessment of all real and personal property is required, with the aim of recording all kinds of property upon the assessment rolls. Boards of Revision and Boards of Supervision then equalize the assessments in the counties and townships, while a State Board of Equalization seeks to equalize the total valuation of the various counties. The tendency is for property valuations to decline, the estimated valuation from 1873 to 1893 decreasing 27% in Cook county and 39% in the other counties, while the assessments from 1888 to 1898 were in inverse ratio to the increase of wealth. There has also been great inequality in valuations, the increase of valuation in Cook county made in
compliance with the revenue law of 1898 being $200,000,000, while that for the rest of the state was only $4,000,000. Among other sources of revenue are an inheritance tax, which yields approximately $1,000,000 a year, and 7% of the annual gross earnings of the Illinois Central railway, given in return for the state aid in the construction of the road. The constitution prohibits the state from lending its credit or making appropriations in aid of any corporation, association or individual, and from constructing internal improvements, and the counties, townships, and other political units cannot incur indebtedness in excess of 5% of their assessed property valuation. The legislature may not contract a debt of more than $250,000 except to suppress treason, war or invasion, and no legislative appropriation may extend longer than the succeeding legislature. General banking laws must be submitted to the people for ratification.
History.—Illinois is the French form of Iliniwek, the name of a confederacy of Algonquian tribes. The first exploration by Europeans was that of the French. In 1659 Pierre Radisson and Medard Chouart des Groseilliers seem to have reached the upper Mississippi. It is certain that in 1673 part of the region known as the Illinois country was explored to some extent by two Frenchmen, Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit father. Marquette, under orders to begin a mission to the Indians, who were known to the French by their visits to the French settlements in the Lake Superior region, and Joliet, who acted under orders of Jean Talon, Intendant of Canada, ascended the Fox river, crossed the portage between it and the Wisconsin river, and followed that stream to the Mississippi, which they descended to a point below the mouth of the Arkansas. On their return journey they ascended the Illinois river as far as Lake Peoria; they then crossed the portage to Lake Michigan, and in 1675 Marquette founded a mission at the Indian town of Kaskaskia, near the present Utica, Ill. In 1679 the explorer La Salle, desiring to find the mouth of the Mississippi and to extend the domain of France in America, ascended the St Joseph river, crossed the portage separating it from the Kankakee, which he descended to the Illinois, and built in the neighbourhood of Lake Peoria a fort which he called Fort Crevecœur. The vicissitudes of the expedition, the necessity for him to return to Canada for tools to construct a large river-boat, and opposition in Canada to his plans, prevented him from reaching the mouth of the Illinois until the 6th of February 1682. After such preliminary explorations, the French made permanent settlements, which had their origin in the missions of the Jesuits and the bartering posts of the French traders. Chief of these were Kaskaskia, established near the mouth of the Kaskaskia river, about 1720; Cahokia, a little below the mouth of the Missouri river, founded at about the same time; and Fort Chartres, on the Mississippi between Cahokia and Kaskaskia, founded in 1720 to be a link in a chain of fortifications intended to extend from the St Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. A monument of the labours of the missionaries is a manuscript dictionary (c. 1720) of the language of the Illinois, with catechism and prayers, probably the work of Father Le Boulanger.
In 1712 the Illinois river was made the N. boundary of the French province of Louisiana, which was granted to Antoine Crozat (1655-1738), and in 1721 the seventh civil and military district of that province was named Illinois, which included more than one-half of the present state, the country between the Arkansas river and the line 43° N. lat., as well as the country between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi; but in 1723 the region around the Wabash river was formed into a separate district. The trade of the Illinois country was now diverted to the settlements in the lower Mississippi river, but the French, although they were successful in gaining the confidence and friendship of the Indians, failed to develop the resources of the country. By the treaty of Paris, 1763, France ceded to Great Britain her claims to the country between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, but on account of the resistance of Pontiac, a chief of the Ottawas who drew into conspiracy most of the tribes between the Ottawa river and the lower Mississippi, the English were not able to take possession of the country until 1765, when the French flag was finally lowered at Fort Chartres.
The policy of the British government was not favourable to the economic development of the newly-acquired country, since it was feared that its prosperity might react against the trade and industry of Great Britain. But in 1769 and the succeeding years of English control, this policy was relaxed, and immigration from the seaboard colonies, especially from Virginia, began. In 1771 the people of the Illinois country, through a meeting at Kaskaskia, demanded a form of self-government similar to that of Connecticut. The petition was rejected by General Thomas Gage; and Thomas Legge, earl of Dartmouth (1731-1801), Secretary of State for Plantations and President of the Board of Trade, drew up a plan of government for Illinois in which all officials were appointed by the crown. This, however, was never operative, for in 1774, by the famous Quebec Act, the Illinois country was annexed to the province of Quebec, and at the same time the jurisdiction of the French civil law was recognized. These facts explain the considerable sympathy in Illinois for the colonial cause in the War of Independence. Most of the inhabitants, however, were French, and these were Loyalists. Consequently, the British government withdrew their troops from the Illinois country. The English authorities instigated the Indians to make attacks upon the frontiers of the American colonies, and this led to one of the most important events in the history of the Illinois country, the capture of the British posts of Cahokia and Kaskaskia in 1778, and in the following year of Vincennes (Indiana), by George Rogers Clark (q.v.), who acted under orders of Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia. These conquests had much to do with the securing by the United States of the country W. of the Alleghanies and N. of the Ohio in the treaty of Paris, 1783.
The Virginia House of Delegates, in 1778, extended the civil jurisdiction of Virginia to the north-west, and appointed Captain John Todd (1750-1782), of Kentucky, governor of the entire territory north of the Ohio, organized as “The County of Illinois”; the judges of the courts at Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and Vincennes, who had been appointed under the British administration, were now chosen by election; but this government was confined to the old French settlements and was entirely inefficient. In 1787, Virginia and the other states having relinquished their claims to the country west of the Alleghanies, the North-West Territory was organized by Congress by the famous Ordinance of 1787. Two years later St Clair county was formed out of the S.W. part of the Illinois country, while the E. portion and the settlements around Vincennes (Indiana) were united into the county of Knox, and in 1795 the S. part of St Clair county was organized into Randolph county, with Kaskaskia as the seat of administration. In 1800 the Illinois country was included in the Territory of Indiana, and in 1809 the W. part of Indiana from Vincennes N. to Canada was organized as the Territory of Illinois; it included, besides the present territory of the state, all of Wisconsin except the N. part of the Green Bay peninsula, a considerable part of Michigan, and all of Minnesota E. of the Mississippi. In 1812, by permission of Congress, a representative assembly was chosen, a Territorial constitution was adopted, and the Territorial delegate in Congress was elected directly by the people.
In 1818 Illinois became a state of the American Union, the Enabling Act fixing the line 42° 30’ as the N. boundary, instead of that provided by the Ordinance of 1787, which passed through the S. bend of Lake Michigan. The reason given for this change was that if the Mississippi and Ohio rivers were the only outlets of Illinois trade, the interests of the state would become identified with those of the southern states; but if an outlet by Lake Michigan were provided, closer relations would be established with the northern and middle states, and so “additional security for the perpetuity of the Union” would be afforded.
Among the first problems of the new state were those relating to lands and Indians. Throughout the Territorial period there was conflict between French and English land claims. In 1804 Congress established land offices at Kaskaskia and Vincennes to examine existing claims and to eliminate conflict with future grants; in 1812 new offices were established at Shawneetown and Edwardsville for the sale of public lands; and in 1816 more than 500,000 acres were sold. In 1818, however, many citizens were in debt for their lands, and “squatters” invaded the rights of settlers. Congress therefore reduced the price of land from $2 to $1.25 per acre, and adopted the policy of pre-emption, preference being given to the claims of existing settlers. The Indians, however, resisted measures looking toward the extinguishment of their claims to the country. Their dissatisfaction with the treaties signed in 1795 and 1804 caused them to espouse the British cause in the War of 1812, and in 1812 they overpowered a body of soldiers and settlers who had abandoned Fort Dearborn (See Chicago). For a number of years after the end of the conflict, the Indians were comparatively peaceful; but in 1831 the delay of the Sauk and Foxes in withdrawing from the lands in northern Illinois, caused Governor John Reynolds (1788-1865) to call out the militia. The following year Black Hawk, a Sauk leader, opened an unsuccessful war in northern Illinois and Wisconsin (the Black Hawk War); and by 1833 all Indians in Illinois had been removed from the state.
The financial and industrial policy of the state was unfortunate. Money being scarce, the legislature in 1819 chartered a state bank which was authorized to do business on the credit of the state. In a few years the bank failed, and the state in 1831 borrowed money to redeem the depreciated notes issued by the bank. A second state bank was chartered in 1835; two years later it suspended payment, and in 1843 the legislature provided for its liquidation. The state also undertook to establish a system of internal improvements, granting a loan for the construction of the Illinois and Michigan canal in 1836, and in 1837 appropriating $10,000,000 for the building of railroads and other improvements. The experiment proved unsuccessful; the state’s credit declined and a heavy debt was incurred, and in 1840 the policy of aiding public improvements was abandoned. Through the efforts of Governor Thomas Ford (1800-1850) a movement to repudiate the state debt was defeated, and a plan was adopted by which the entire debt could be reduced without excessive taxation, and by 1880 practically the entire debt was extinguished.
A notable incident in the history of the state was the immigration of the Mormons from Missouri, about 1840. Their principal settlements were in Hancock county. They succeeded in securing favours from the legislature, and their city of Nauvoo had courts and a military organization that was independent of state control. Political intrigue, claims of independence from the state, as well as charges of polygamy and lawless conduct, aroused such intense opposition to the sect that in 1844 a civil war broke out in Hancock county which resulted in the murder of Joseph Smith and the removal of the Mormons from Illinois in 1846.
The slavery question, however, was the problem of lasting political importance. Slaves had been brought into the Illinois country by the French, and Governor Arthur St Clair (1734-1818) interpreted the article of the Ordinance of 1787, which forbade slavery in the North-West Territory, as a prohibition of the introduction of slaves into the Territory, not an interference with existing conditions. The idea also arose that while negroes could not become slaves, they could be held as indentured servants, and such servitude was recognized in the Indiana Code of 1803, the Illinois constitution of 1818, and Statutes of 1819; indeed there would probably have been a recognition of slavery in the constitution of 1818 had it not been feared that such recognition would have prevented the admission of the state to the Union. In 1823 the legislature referred to the people a resolution for a constitutional convention to amend the constitution. The aim, not expressed, was the legalization of slavery. Although a majority of the public men of the state, indeed probably a majority of the entire population, was either born in the Southern states or descended from Southern people, the resolution of the legislature was rejected, the leader of the opposition being Governor Edward Coles (1786-1868), a Virginia slave-holder, who had freed his slaves on coming to Illinois, and at least one half the votes against the proposed amendment of the constitution were cast by men of Southern birth. The opposition to slavery, however, was at first economic, not philanthropic. In 1837 there was only one abolition society in the state, but chiefly through the agitation of Elijah P. Lovejoy (see Alton), the abolition sentiment grew. In 1842 the moral issue had become political, and the Liberty Party was organized, which in 1848 united with the Free Soil Party; but as the Whig Party approved the policy of non-extension of slavery, these parties did not succeed so well united as under separate existence. In 1854, however, the Liberty and Free Soil parties, the Democrats opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and some Whigs united, secured a majority in the legislature, and elected Lyman Trumbull United States senator. Two years later these elements formally organized as the Republican Party, though that name had been used locally in 1854, and elected their candidates for state offices. This was the first time that the Democratic Party had been defeated, its organization having been in control since the admission of Illinois to the Union. An important influence in this political revolution was a change in the character of the population. Until 1848 the Southern element predominated in the population, but after that year the immigration from the Northern states was greater than that from the South, and the foreign element also increased. The opposition to slavery continued to be political and economic rather than philanthropic. The constitution of 1848, which abolished slavery, also forbade the immigration of slaves into the state. In 1858 occurred the famous contest for the office of United States senator between Stephen A. Douglas (Democrat) and Abraham Lincoln (Republican). Douglas was elected, but the vote showed that Illinois was becoming more Northern in sympathy, and two years later Lincoln, then candidate for the presidency, carried the state.
The policy of Illinois in the early period of secession was one of marked loyalty to the Union; even in the S. part of the state, where there was a strong feeling against national interference with slavery, the majority of the people had no sympathy with the pro-slavery men in their efforts to dissolve the Union. The legislature of 1861 provided for a war fund of $2,000,000; and Capt. James H. Stokes (1814-1890) of Chicago transferred a large amount of munitions of war from St Louis, where the secession sentiment was strong, to Alton. The state contributed 255,092 men to the Federal armies. From 1862-1864, however, there was considerable opposition to a continuance of the war. This was at first political; the legislature of 1862 was Democratic, and for political purposes that body adopted resolutions against further conflict, and recommended an armistice, and a national convention to conclude peace. The same year a convention, whose duty was to revise the constitution, met. It declared that the law which called it into being was no longer binding, and that it was supreme in all matters incident to amending the constitution. Among its acts was the assumption of the right of ratifying a proposed amendment to the constitution of the United States which prohibited Congress from interfering with the institution of slavery within a state, although the right of ratification belonged to the legislature. The convention also inserted clauses preventing negroes and mulattoes from immigrating into the state and from voting and holding office; and although the constitution as a whole was rejected by the people, these clauses were ratified. In 1863 more pronounced opposition to the policy of the National Government developed. A mass meeting, which met at Springfield in July, at the instance of the Democratic Party, adopted resolutions that condemned the suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, endorsed the doctrine of state sovereignty, demanded a national assembly to determine terms of peace, and asked President Lincoln to withdraw the proclamation that emancipated the slaves, and so to permit the people of Illinois to fight only for “Union, the Constitution and the enforcement of the laws.” The Knights of the Golden Circle, and other secret societies, whose aims were the promulgation of state sovereignty and the extension of aid to the Confederate states, began to flourish, and it is said that in 1864 there were 50,000 members of the Sons of Liberty in the state. Captain T. Henry Hines, of the Confederate army, was appointed by Jefferson Davis to co-operate with these societies. For a time his headquarters were in Chicago, and an elaborate attempt to liberate Confederate prisoners in Chicago (known as the Camp Douglas Conspiracy) was thwarted by a discovery of the plans. In the elections of 1864 the Republicans and Union Democrats united, and after an exciting campaign they were successful. The new legislature was the first among the legislatures of the states to ratify (on the 1st of February 1865) the Thirteenth Amendment.
From the close of the Civil War until the end of the 19th century the Republican Party was generally dominant, but the trend of political development was not without interest. In 1872 many prominent men of the state joined the Liberal Republican Party, among them Governor John M. Palmer, Senator Lyman Trumbull and Gustavus Koerner (1809-1896), one of the most prominent representatives of the German element in Illinois. The organization united locally, as in national politics, with the Democratic Party, with equally ineffective results. Economic depression gave the Granger Movement considerable popularity, and an outgrowth of the Granger organization was the Independent Reform Party, of 1874, which advocated retrenchment of expenses, the state regulation of railways and a tariff for revenue only. A Democratic Liberal Party was organized in the same year, one of its leaders being Governor Palmer; consequently no party had a majority in the legislature elected in 1874. In 1876 the Greenback Party, the successor in Illinois of the Independent Reform Party, secured a strong following; although its candidate for governor was endorsed by the Democrats, the Republicans regained control of the state administration.
The relations between capital and labour have resulted in serious conditions, the number of strikes from 1880-1901 having been 2640, and the number of lock-outs 95. In 1885 the governor found it necessary to use the state militia to suppress riots in Will and Cook counties occasioned by the strikes of quarrymen, and the following year the militia was again called out to suppress riots in St Clair and Cook counties caused by the widespread strike of railway employees. The most noted instance of military interference was in 1894, when President Grover Cleveland sent United States troops to Chicago to prevent strikers and rioters from interfering with the transmission of the United States mails.
Municipal problems have also reacted upon state politics. From 1897 to 1903 the efforts of the Street Railway Companies of Chicago to extend their franchise, and of the city of Chicago to secure municipal control of its street railway system, resulted in the statute of 1903, which provided for municipal ownership. But the proposed issue under this law of bonds with which Chicago was to purchase or construct railways would have increased the city’s bonded indebtedness beyond its constitutional limit, and was therefore declared unconstitutional in April 1907 by the supreme court of the state.
A law of 1901 provided for a system of initiative whereby any question of public policy might be submitted to popular vote upon the signature of a written petition therefor by one-tenth of the registered voters of the state; such a petition must be filed at least 60 days before the election day when it is to be voted upon, and not more than three questions by initiative may be voted on at the same election; to become operative a measure must receive a majority of all votes cast in the election. Under this act, in 1902, there was a favourable vote (451,319 to 76,975) for the adoption of measures requisite to securing the election of United States senators by popular and direct vote, and in 1903 the legislature of the state (which in 1891 had asked Congress to submit such an amendment) adopted a joint resolution asking Congress to call a convention to propose such an amendment to the Federal Constitution; in 1904 there was a majority of all the votes cast in the election for an amendment to the primary laws providing that voters may vote at state primaries under the Australian ballot. The direct primary law, however, which was passed immediately afterwards by the legislature, was declared unconstitutional by the supreme court of the state, as were a second law of the same sort passed soon afterwards and a third law of 1908, which provided for direct nominations of all officers and an “advisory” nomination of United States senators.
|American Governors of Illinois|
|Wm. L. D. Ewing (acting)||1834||”|
|Augustus C. French||1846-1853||”|
|Joel A. Matteson||1853-1857||”|
|William H. Bissell||1857-1860||Republican|
|John Wood (acting)||1860-1861||”|
|Richard J. Oglesby||1865-1869||”|
|John M. Palmer||1869-1873||”|
|Richard J. Oglesby||1873||”|
|John L. Beveridge (acting)||1873-1877||”|
|Shelby M. Cullom||1877-1883||”|
|John M. Hamilton (acting)||1883-1885||”|
|Richard J. Oglesby||1885-1889||”|
|Joseph W. Fifer||1889-1893||”|
|John P. Altgeld||1893-1897||Democrat|
|John R. Tanner||1897-1901||Republican|
|Charles S. Deneen||1905-||”|
Bibliography.—There is no complete bibliography of the varied and extensive literature relating to Illinois; but Richard Bowker’s State Publications, part ii. (New York, 1902), and the chapters of E. B. Greene’s The Government of Illinois (New York, 1904) contain useful lists of documents, monographs and books. Physiography is well described in The Illinois Glacial Lobe (U.S. Geological Survey, Monograph, xxxviii.) and The Water Resources of Illinois (U.S. Geological Survey, Annual Report, xviii.). The Illinois State Laboratory of Natural History, connected with the State University, has published S. A. Forbes and R. E. Richardson’s Fishes of Illinois (Urbana, 1909). Information concerning economic conditions may be derived from the volumes of the Twelfth Census of the United States, which treat of Agriculture, Manufactures and Mines and Quarries: a summary of agricultural conditions may be found in Census Bulletin No. 213. Constitutional and administrative problems are discussed in Elliott Anthony’s Constitutional History of Illinois; Greene’s The Government of Illinois, and H. P. Judson’s The Government of Illinois (New York, 1900). Among the reports of the state officials, those of the Railroad and Ware House Commission, of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and of the Commissioners of Charity are especially valuable. There is an historical study of the problem of taxation, entitled, “History of the Struggle in Illinois to realize Equality in Taxation,” by H. B. Hurd, in the Publications of the Michigan Political Science Association (1901). Local government is described by Albert Shaw, Local Government in Illinois (Johns Hopkins University Studies, vol. i. No. 10). The Blue Book of the State of Illinois (Springfield, 1903); H. B. Hurd’s Revised Statutes of Illinois (Chicago, 1903), and Starr and Curtis, Annotated Statutes of the State of Illinois (Chicago, 1896), are also of value.
The standard histories of the state are J. Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical (2 vols., Chicago, 1889); and H. Davidson and B. Stuvé, Complete History of Illinois (Springfield, 1874). Edward G. Mason’s Chapters from Illinois History (Chicago, 1901) is of interest
for the French explorations and the colonial period. C. E. Boyd in “The County of Illinois” (American Hist. Rev. vol. iv.), “Record Book and Papers of John Todd” (Chicago Historical Society, Collections, iv.), C. E. Carter, Great Britain and the Illinois Country, 1763-1774 (Washington, 1910), R. L. Schuyler, The Transition of Illinois to American Government (New York, 1909), and W. H. Smith in The St Clair Papers (Cincinnati, 1882), and the Territorial Records of Illinois (“Publications of the State Historical Library,” No. 3) are important for the period until 1818. Governor Thomas Ford’s History of Illinois (Chicago, 1854), and Governor John Reynolds’s My Own Times (1855), are contemporary sources for 1818-1846; they should be supplemented by N. W. Edwards’s History of Illinois (1778-1833) and Life of Ninian Edwards (Springfield, 1870), E. B. Washburne’s Edwards Papers (Chicago, 1884), C. H. Garnett’s State Banks of Issue in Illinois (Univ. of Ill., 1898), and N. G. Harris’s History of Negro Servitude in Illinois (Chicago, 1904). C. E. Carr’s The Illini (Chicago, 1904) is a study of conditions in Illinois from 1850-1860. W. W. Lusk’s Politics and Politicians of Illinois, the Illinois Constitutional Convention (1862), the Granger Movement in Illinois, and Illinois Railway Legislation and Common Control (University of Illinois Studies), Street Railway Legislation in Illinois (Atlantic Monthly, vol. xciii.), are of value for conditions after 1860. The publications of the Chicago Historical Society, of the “Fergus Historical” series, of the State Historical Library, of the Wisconsin Historical Society, also the Michigan Pioneer Collections, contain valuable documents and essays.
- The statistics for years prior to 1900 are taken from reports of the U.S. Census, those for years after 1900 from the Year Books of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It should be borne in mind that in census years, when comparison can be made, the two sets of statistics often vary considerably.
- According to the report of the State Geological Survey, the value of the total mineral product in the state for 1907 was $152,122,648, the values of the different minerals being as follows: coal, $54,687,382; pig iron, about $52,228,000; petroleum, $16,432,947; clay and clay products, $13,351,362; zinc, $6,614,608; limestone, $4,333,651; Portland cement, $2,632,576; sand and gravel, $1,367,653; natural slag, $174,282; fluorspar, $141,971; mineral waters, $91,700; lead ore, $45,760; sandstone, $14,996; and pyrite, $5700.
- See the so-called McLean County Case (67 Ill. 11), the Neal Ruggles Case (91 Ill. 256), The People v. The Illinois Central Railroad Co. (95 Ill. 313), and Munn v. Ill. (94 U.S. 113).
- The populations in other census years were: (1810), 12,282; (1820), 55,211; (1830), 157,445; (1840), 476,183; (1850), 851,470; (1860), 1,711,951; (1870), 2,539,891; (1880), 3,077,871.
- The influence of immigration and sectionalism upon Illinois politics is well illustrated by the fact that the first six governors (1818-1838) were born in the Southern states, six of the eight United States senators of that period were also Southern born, and all of the representatives, with one exception, also came to Illinois from the Southern states. After 1838 the Eastern states began to be represented among the governors, but until 1901 no governor was elected who was a native of Illinois. See E. B. Greene, Sectional Forces in the History of Illinois (Publications of the Historical Library of Illinois, No. 8, 1903).
- In the slavery issue of 1848 the sentiment for abolition centred in the northern counties, the opposition in the southern.
- Mr French’s service of seven years is due to the fact that the Constitutional Convention of 1848 ordered a new election of state officials. French was re-elected Governor, beginning his new term in 1849.