Page images


Senate met, pursuant to adjournment.

Mr. Dore presented the credentials of Artemas Carter, elected to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of John L. Beveridge. John A. McClernand, Judge of the Sangamon Circuit Court, then administered the oath of othce to Artemas Carter, Senator elect from the twenty fifth district.

A message from the Governor, by E. B. Harlan, Private Secretary. Mr. President: I am directed by the Governor to lay before the Senate a special message. The documents referred to will be laid before the Senate as soon as they can be printed.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, SPRINGFIELD, ILL., November 15, 1871. Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:

It affords grounds for sincere congratulation that the Twentyseventh General Assembly, on meeting the fourth time for the transaction of legislative business, finds the country quiet, and that no question will be likely to distract the attention of the representatives of the people from the great duty of revising and improving the laws. Ordinarily I would not feel it to be my duty to transmit to that de partment a formal message, upon the mere resumption of business, after an adjournment by its own action for its own convenience; but there are certain special matters that it is my duty to present to the General Assembly, and others that have arisen since the special session of the 13th of October, 1871.

I have to lay before the General Assembly the report of the Trustees appointed to complete the Southern Illinois Normal University building, at Carbondale, and the Insane Hospital structure, at Anna. These reports have been examined carefully by the Board of Public Charities, and also the estimates of the Trustees carefully revised by that intelligent and indefatigable Board.

It is my duty to inform the General Assembly that I have received from the Trustees one hundred thousand dollars of the bonds of the city of Carbondale, surrendered by the administrators of James M. Campbell, deceased, under the provisions of the act of April 15, 1871. These bonds are deposited with the State Treasurer, and are the legal property of the State. I have to suggest that some legislation will be necessary to authorize their cancellation, or surrender to the city authorities. I have not supposed it to be probable that the General Assembly would require the city of Carbondale to pay the whole or any part of these bonds. They were given in accordance with the mischievous policy of offering the location of the State Institutions to the highest bidder, whereby cities and towns, excited by rivalries and pleased with anticipated and fanciful advantages, are tempted to burden themselves enormously, to discharge duties that properly devolve


upon the whole State. Carbondale is a small city of, perhaps, twentyfive hundred inhabitants, and is indebted largely otherwise on account of the effort to secure the location of the University, and cannot, without great embarrassment, pay the whole or any part of the amount of these bonds. It is due to the people of the city to say that the majority of them are earnestly exerting themselves to meet their engagements, but at the same time eagerly desire relief.

The report of the Board of Public Charities is also submitted herewith, and I feel no hesitation in commending it to the General Assembly.

I submit to the General Assembly certain papers forwarded to me by the authorities of the United States, in relation to the cession of the jurisdiction of the State over certain cemeteries that contain the remains of soldiers of the late war. These patriotic men were, at the time of their death, engaged in the service of the Republic, and it is eminently proper that their honored remains should be committed to the nation's care. A brief act will be sufficient to transfer the care of the soil in which they repose to the jurisdiction of the government of the United States.

I also submit a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, requesting the passage of a law by which the United States, by proceedings in the State courts, can condemn and appropriate lands required for public buildings. Such a law would, in my judgment, be free from objections, and the necessity for new and ample buildings for the use of the United States, in Chicago, suggests the passage of such a law without delay.

Immediately after the act providing for the appointment of railroad and warehouse commissioners took effect, I selected and appointed Hon. Gustavus Koerner, of St. Clair county, Richard P Morgan, Jr., Esq., of McLean county, and David S. Hammond, Esq, of Cook county. In my selection of these gentlemen I was influenced by a desire to combine in the board the requisite experience drawn from different pursuits and from different parts of the State. As soon as notified of their respective appointments, they assembled and organized as required by law, and will, no doubt, by the first of December next-the time fixed in the law-submit a report that will afford much valuable information upon the interesting subjects confided to their It is my duty to inform the General Assembly that the board are hardly provided with sufficient means to enforce this law. The State's Attorneys, who are the principal legal agents upon whom the board must rely, will cease to exist after the terms of those now in office expire, and the enforcement of the laws will be confided to county attorneys. The law, in this respect and also in others, will no doubt require amendments to make it realize public expectations.


I also have the honor to submit to the General Assembly, and through that department to the people of the State, a series of papers that present the leading facts of transactions that are without an example in the history of this or any other of the States.

On the day of October, 1871, Lieutenant-General Philip H. Sheridan, of the United States Army, whose Head Quarters, as Commander of the Military Division of the Missouri, were in Chicago,

under anthority that he claims was conferred upon him by the proclamation of the mayor of that city, ordered several companies of the regular army of the United States into Chicago, and, as LieutenantGeneral, issued to Frank T. Sherman, a private citizen of this State, the following order:


CHICAGO, ILL., October 11, 1871.

DEAR SIR-With the approbation of the Mayor of this city, Lieutenant-General Sheridan directs that you organize a regiment of infantry, to consist of ten (10) companies; each company to consist of one (1) Captain, one (1) First and one (1) Second Lieutenant, and sixty (60) enlisted men, to serve as guards for the protection of the remaining portion of the city of Chicago, for the period of twenty (20) days.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

The regiment was partly composed of companies of the State militia. ordered by Lieutenant-General Sheridan or some of his subordinates to report to him or them, and of recruits enlisted under their authority. An extract from the order of Lieutenant-General Sheridan, mustering these troops out of service, will show its organization:


CHICAGO, ILL., October 24, 1871.

The First Regiment Chicago Volunteers, raised with the approbation of the Mayor, and in pursuance of orders dated October 11, 1871, from these Headquarters, is hereby honorably mustered out of service and discharged.

This regiment was constituted as follows: Col. Frank T. Sherman, First Chicago Volunteers, commanding.

Major C. H. Dyer, Adjutant.

Major Charles T. Scammon, Aide-de-Camp.

Lieut. Colonel H. Osterman, First Regiment National Guards, Illinois State Militia.
Major G. A. Bender, First Regiment National Guards, Illinois State Militia.

Captain Fischer's Company (A). First Regiment National Guards, Illinois State Militia.
Captain Pasch's Company (D), First Regiment National Guards, Illinois State Militia.
Captain Cronas' Company (G), First Regiment National Guards, Illinois State Militia.
Captain Paul's Company (H), First Regiment National Guards, Illinois State Militia.
Captain Kelter's Company (I), First Regiment National Guards, Illinois State Militia.
Captain Rogers' Company (B), First Chicago Volunteers, Lieutenant Adams commanding.
Captain Merrill's Company (C), First Chicago Volunteers.

Captain Baker's Company (K), First Chicago Volunteers, recruited by Capt. Whittlesey.
Captain Colson's Company, University Cadets.

Captain Croley's Company, Montgomery Light Guards.

Captain McCarthey's Company, Mulligan Zouaves.

Captain Ryan's Company, Sheridan Guards.

Captain Sulter's Company, Chicago Cadets.

Captain Williams' Company, Hannibal Zouaves.

The Norwegian Battalion of National Guards, Major Alstrup commanding, Ole Bendixen, Adjutant.

Captain Paulsen's Company, (A).

Captain Eck's Company, (B).

Captain Johnson's Company, (C).

Captain Beutzen's Company, (D).

The form of the oath that has been furnished to me as that taken by some of the volunteers, is as follows:

"We, the undersigned, do severally swear that we will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that we will honestly and faithfully obey the orders of the officers appointed over us; and that we will use our best efforts for the protection of property, and the preservation of order in the city of Chicago, for the period of twenty days."


Supported by this force, Lieutenant-General Sheridan proceeded to establish military rule throughout the city. His guards were established and his sentinels posted on the public streets, with orders from him or from some of his subordinates to arrest citizens who might, in the judgment of such guards and sentinels, be suspicious persons, and to fire upon and wound any person who should refuse to obey their commands; and one citizen of the city who was quietly passing along one of the streets, was ordered by a sentinel to halt, and upon his refusal to obey, was shot and mortally wounded.

It was not thought by Mayor Mason or Lieutenant General Sheridan to be necesary or proper to consult with or even inform me of their purpose to transfer the duty of protecting the lives and property of the people of Chicago, or the substantial government of the city, to the military forces of the United States, although I was in telegraphic communication with the Mayor, as will appear by several dispatches that will be hereafter mentioned, nor did either of them, when we met, on the 12th day of October, and discussed the affairs of the city at some length, inform me that they had determined that the government of the State was no longer equal to its duties, or that the Mayor had determined, as he has elsewhere said, to avail himself of the strong arm of the military power of the United States. Whether they supposed that to be a matter in which neither I nor the Legislature of the State, which was convened to meet on the next day to legislate for Chicago, had the least concern, or that the assent of the Legislature and the Governor might be safely presumed, I am not prepared to say, but they left me to make the discovery as others did, so that I received no information of the existence of the proclamation of the Mayor, or of Lieutenant-General Sheridan's construction of his powers under it, until the 17th of October, and only heard of the regiment raised under the orders of Lieutenant-General Sheridan at a later day, and from an application, by a person who claimed to command one of its companies, to be supplied with arms.

It may easily be imagined that the information of these extraordinary acts of the Mayor and Lieutenant General Sheridan, filled me with surprise, for I was conscious that I had put forth every effort and employed all my official powers to aid the people of Chicago, and to preserve the peace and tranquility of the city. On Monday, the 9th day of October, at noon, when I understood the fire to be still raging (and anticipating the probable necessity of official action, that could best be done at the capital), I had despatched Gen. E. B. Harlan, my Secretary, (in whose energy and prudence I have the highest confidence) to Chicago, with instructions to report to the Mayor, and inform him that all the resources of the State, that were subject to my legal control, were at his service for the aid and protection of the people.

Gen. Harlan has informed me that he reached Chicago on the evening of the same day, at about ten o'clock, and without delay visited the office of the Mayor, who was reported to him to bave retired to his home; that early on Tuesday, the 10th, he delivered his message, and, acting in the spirit of his instructions, at once drew upon me for $5,000, to be applied to the relief of the sufferers, and that he remained in the city during the day to watch the course of events, and

apprise me of any occurrence that might require my official or personal action.

I had, myself, immediately after the departure of Gen. Harlan, for Chicago, forwarded the following dispatch to the Mayor: .

SPRINGFIELD, October 9, 1871. To Col. R. B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago : Shall I send food for your people? Answer. Tell me what I can do.

JOHN M. PALMER. At 2:40 o'clock I received from him the following answer:

CHICAGO, October 9, 1871. To John M. PALMER: We want bread, cheese, and cooked provisions; also, tents for the houseless.

R, B. MASON, Mayor. I then, at once, caused 2,000 band-bills to be circulated throughout this city, calling for contributions for Chicago; and from purchases made by ine, and the contributions of the people, I was enabled, at eight o'clock, to telegraph the Mayor:

SPRINGFIELD, October 9, 1871, To R. B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago :

Three car loads leave here at ten o'clock. Others follow to-morrow. Do you need pota toes, flour, etc.? or can you buy better there, if money is sent?

JOHN M, PALMER. On the morning of the 10th of October, finding that telegraphic communication with Chicago was suspended, and having no report from the Secretary, I drew the sum of $2,000 from the Treasury of the State, aud forwarded it to Mayor Mason, by Rev. Fred H. Wines, Secretary of the Board of Public Charities.

At twenty minutes past one o'clock of the same day, I received the following dispatch from Gen. A. Stager:

CHICAGO, October 10, 1871. To GOVERNOR PALMER:

The fire spent its fury in all directions yesterday afternoon, after completely destroying all the business part of the city on the south side, north of Harrison street. Everything gone on the north side from the river and lake to Lincoln Park. Gas and Water Works stopped. Great consternation and anxiety exists on account of the presence of roughs and thieves, who are plundering in all directions. Two incendiaries shot last night while in the act of firing buildings in south part of city. Strong southerly wind has prevailed since Saturday night at times blowing a gale. A little rain fell last night. The Mayor is nuw organizing a patrol. The poor and houseless are suffering.

A. STAGER. And, understanding that he was officially connected with the telegraph lives, and would certainly receive my dispatch, I immediately answered him:

SPRINGFIELD, October 10, 1871. To Gen. A. STAGER, Chicago, Ills.:

Please inform the Mayor that if the presence of organized forces is necessary for the preservation of property and order, I will at once send two or three well organized companies into Chicago. Thanks for your dispatch.

JOHN M. PALMER. And at half-past four o'clock he replied:

CHICAGO, October 10, 1871. To GOVERNOR PALMER:

The Mayor requests me to say to the Governor to send men immediately by special train, to report directly to the Mayor, at three hundred and sixty-five (365), Michigan Avenue.


« PreviousContinue »