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but rarely happens, and the injurious consequences of which it is considered practicable, by proper embankments, wholly and effectually and permanently to obviate. And, whereas, there is no doubt but a city, erected at, or as near as is practicable to, the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, provided it be thus secured by sufficient embankments, or in such other way as experience may prove most efficacious for that purpose, from every such extraordinary inundation-must necessarily become a place of vast consequence to the prosperity of this growing Territory, and, in fact, to that of the greater part of the inhabitants of these Western States. And, whereas, the above named persons are desirous of erecting such city, under the sanction and patronage of the Legislature of this Territory, and also of providing for the security and prosperity of the same, and to that end propose to appropriate the one-third of all the moneys arising from the sale and disposition of the lots into which the same may be surveyed, as a fund for the construction and preservation of such dykes, levees and other embankments as may be necessary to render the same perfectly secure; and, also, if such fund shall be deemed sufficient thereto, for the erection of public edifices and such other improvements in the said city as may be, from time to time, considered expedient and practicable, and to appropriate the other two-thirds parts of the said purchase moneys to the operation of banking." (See Laws of the Session of 1818.)
John G. Comyges, Thomas H. Harris, Charles Slade, Thomas F. Herbert, Shadrach Bond, Michael Jones, Warren Brown, Edward Humphreys and Charles W. Hunter were designated as proprietors of the then prospective city.
In the sixty-six years that have passed since this legislation, Cairo has had a hard struggle for the mastery of the floods. In the spring of 1882-83-84, respectively, the height of the rivers exceeded that of all former years, yet the levees successfully resisted the pressure of the water, which clearly demonstrates that human skill has placed Cairo beyond the power of the floods.
PEORIA IN 1824,
Peoria, now with her forty thousand busy, prosperous people, her many grand railways, her great commerce, her immense manufactories, and her flourishing schools, colleges and churches, had but a feeble existence when Edward Coles was Governor. In a report to the Secretary of the Treasury (See Peck's Gazetteer of 1834), regarding the title to town lots in the then village of Peoria, Mr. Coles made the following minute reference to the early history of the place, which, in view of the great achievements since, is worthy of preserving as a part of the history of the State:
"The village of Peoria is situated on the northwest shore of Lake Peoria, about one and a half miles above the lower extremity or outlet of the lake. This village had been inhabited by the French previous to the recollection of any of the present generation. About the year 1778, the first house was built, in what was then called Laville de Maillet-afterwards the new village of Peoria-and of late the place has been known by the name of Fort Clark. The situation being preferred in consequence of the water being better, and its being thought more healthy, the inhabitants gradually deserted the old village, and, by the year 1796 or 1797, had entirely abandoned it and removed to the new village.
"The inhabitants of Peoria consisted generally of Indian traders, hunters and voyagers, and had formed a link of connection between the French residing on the waters of the great lakes and the Mississippi river. From that happy facility of adapting themselves to their situation. and associates, for which the French are so remarkable, the inhabitants of Peoria lived generally in harmony with their savage neighbors. It would seem, however, that about the year 1781, they were induced to abandon their village from the apprehension of Indian hostilities; but soon after the peace of 1783, they again returned to it, and continued to reside there until the autumn of 1812, when they were forcibly removed from it and the place destroyed by a Capt. Craig, of the Illinois militia, on the ground, it was
said, that he and his company were fired on in the night, while at anchor in the boats, before the village, by the Indians, with whom the inhabitants were suspected, by Craig, to be too intimate and friendly. The inhabitants of Peoria, it would appear, and from all I can learn, settled there without any grant or permission from the authority of any government; that the only title they had to the land was derived from possession."
SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY-1828-30.
The Sixth General Assembly convened December 1, 1828, and adjourned January 23, 1829. Lieut.-Gov. Kinney presided over the Senate, and Emanuel J. West served as Secretary. John McLean was elected Speaker of the House, and William L. D. Ewing Clerk.
James Hall, of Jackson, became Treasurer February 12, 1827. Alex. P. Field, of Union, became Secretary of State December 31, 1828.
Ninian Edwards ceased to be Governor December 9, 1830. Mr. Edwards discharged the duties of the Executive with ease to himself and satisfaction to the people, having had nine years experience as Governor of the Territory.
Gov. Edwards was born in Montgomery county, Maryland, March, 1775. He graduated at Dickinson College; studied both medicine and law, but devoted himself to the practice of law. Removing to Kentucky, he was twice elected to the Legislature; he was appointed Circuit Clerk and subsequently Judge of the General Court of Kentucky; Judge of the Circuit Court; Judge of the Court of Appeals, and finally Chief Justice of the State, which position he
resigned to accept the office of Governor of the Territory of Illinois, and, while holding this trust, he had many conflicts with the Indians. Before Congress had adopted any measures on the subject of volunteer rangers, he organized companies, supplied them with arms, built stockade forts, and established a line of posts from the mouth of the Missouri to the Wabash river, and was thus enabled to protect the people against the assaults of the Indians.
Gov. Edwards had three sons, Ninian W., Albert G. and Benjamin S.-all of whom are living; and two daughters, Julia Catherine, who married Daniel P. Cook, and Mary B., who married Joseph S. Lane, of St. Louis, Missouri, -both of whom died some years ago. Gov. Edwards died July 20, 1833.
ALTON AS A RIVAL TO ST. LOUIS.
Alton as a Rival to St. Louis-Massacre at Fort Massac-One of the Landmarks of 1837.
One of the things contemplated in the internal improvement system of this State in 1837, was to make Alton the rival of St. Louis, as a great commercial center; and all who did not bow down to that idea were regarded as common enemies of the State, but it is interesting to know that all our public men did not accept as practical the policy of confining our commerce and the business of our railroads within the limits of the State. Among the projected roads was one from Alton to Mt. Carmel, known as the Southern Cross railroad. Governor Zadok Casey,
father of the well-known Samuel K. Casey, and also of Thomas S. and Newton R. Casey, hardly less well-known, clearly saw the inutility of making Alton its terminus, and made an earnest effort to secure its diversion to St. Louis, but it was unavailing, as the following incident will show: He planned an extensive campaign along the proposed line, and made his opening speech at Fairfield, and, as it turned out, his last one on the subject. A great crowd gathered on the public square of that village, now a thriving little city, and the Governor, a man of fine presence and pleasing address, mounted a goods-box and proceeded to open up the subject in a manner which brought forth hearty applause, but when he suggested St. Louis, instead of Alton, as the terminus of the road, a change came over the spirit of his hearers, and they unceremoniously assisted him off the box; and here ended his campaign in the interest of a railroad from Mt. Carmel to St. Louis. But it is creditable to his foresight to say that such a road is now in operation. It is known as the Air-Line, running from Louisville to St. Louis, and traverses the identical section of country mapped out by Gov. Casey forty-six years ago.
MASSACRE AT FORT MASSAC.
Peck's Gazetteer of Illinois, of 1834, gives the following interesting account of an Indian massacre of French soldiers at Fort Massac, in what is now Massac county, when Illinois was owned by the French government:
"Fort Massac, formerly a military post, was situated on the Ohio river, on the dividing line of Johnson and Pope counties, eight miles below Paducah, at the mouth of the Tennessee. A fort was erected here by the French when in possession of the Western country. The Indians, then at war with them, laid a curious stratagem to take it. A number of them appeared in the day time on the opposite side of the river, each of whom was covered with a bear skin and walked on all fours. Supposing them to