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be bears, a party of the French crossed the river in pursuit of them. The remainder of the troops left their quarters, to see the sport.

"In the meantime a large body of warriors, who were concealed in the woods near by, came silently behind the fort, entered it without opposition, and very few of the French escaped the massacre. They afterwards built another fort on the same ground, and called it Massac, in memory of this disastrous event."

On this memorable spot there is not now a vestige of the old fort.


One of the few landmarks of the internal improvement system of 1837, is the bank building of the "Bank of Illinois," of Shawneetown, which was erected in 1838-40. It is of massive stone and brick, four stories high, fifty feet front and ninety feet deep. It is of Doric architecture, with five solid stone columns, forty feet high and sixty inches in diameter. The building, which cost $3,000, is imposing in appearance, and although constructed fortysix years ago, would grace any of our modern cities. The "Bank of Illinois" had six branches-Galena, Quincy, Alton, Jacksonville, Pekin, and Lawrenceville. The bank and its branches were forced to close business in 1843, and the banking house at Shawneetown was sold some years after to Joel A. Matteson, who started a bank there in 1853 or 1854, in charge of A. B. Safford, as cashier. Subsequently Mr. Safford removed to Cairo, when L. B. Leach took control of it until the war for the Union ensued, when the bank ceased to do business, and Mr. Matteson, fearing that the country would be overrun by the rebels, sold it to Thos. S. Ridgway, for the trifling sum of $6,500, and since 1865 it has been occupied by the "First National Bank," with John McKee Peeples as President, and Thos. S. Ridgway as Cashier, until the death of Mr. Peeples, when Mr. Ridgway became President, and Wm. D. Phile Cashier.



The fourth State government was inaugurated December 9, 1830, with John Reynolds, of St. Clair, as Governor; Zadok Casey, of Jefferson, Lieutenant-Governor; Alex. P. Field, of Union, Secretary of State; James T. B. Stapp, of Fayette, Auditor of Public Accounts; James Hall, of Jackson, Treasurer; George Forquer, of Sangamon, Attorney-General.

The Seventh General Assembly convened December 6, 1830, and adjourned February 16, 1831. Lieut.-Gov. Casey presided over the Senate, and Jesse B. Thomas was elected Secretary. Wm. L. D. Ewing was elected Speaker of the House, and David Prickett, Clerk.



Novel School Laws-School Tax Paid in Produce-Alton the first to Establish a Free School-Normal Schools-Colleges--State Teachers' Association-Prominent Educators-Superintendents of Public InstructionSchool Journals.

Among all the grand achievements of our State, there is none of which the people have reason to feel a greater pride than in the progress made in the school system. Its success has been the foundation stone of all other successes, whether moral, religious or industrial. A contemplation of the past and present of the system can not fail to prove both entertaining and instructive, if not amusing.

The General Assembly of 1821 passed an act which authorized Upper Alton to levy a tax not exceeding seventy-five cents on each town lot, to be applied to the support of teachers, erection of school buildings or repairing. The proprietors of Upper Alton having donated one hundred town lots, one-half of which was for the support of the gospel, and the other half for the support of public schools, the act exempted these lots from this tax. Under this act Alton established the first free school, which was declared to be free to all, of suitable age, within the limits of the town. Up to this time no school system had been adopted, and no provision made by the General Assembly for the support of the schools, with the exception of the small amount realized from leasing the school lands. In 1825, the General Assembly passed the first act establishing free schools throughout the State, the preamble of which reads as follows:

"To enjoy our rights and liberties we must understand them; their security and protection ought to be the first object of a free people; and it is a well-established fact, that no nation has ever continued long in the enjoyment of civil and political freedom, which was not both virtuous and enlightened. And believing that the advancement of literature always has been and ever will be the means of more fully developing the rights of man; that the mind of every citizen in a republic is the common property of society, and constitutes the basis of its strength and happiness, it is therefore considered the peculiar duty of a free government, like ours, to encourage and extend the improvement and cultivation of the intellectual energies of the whole."

Section one provided that there should be established a common school or schools in each of the counties of the State, which should be open and free to every class of white citizens between the ages of five and twenty-one years; provided, that persons over the age of twenty-one years might be admitted into such schools on such terms as the trustees might prescribe. The schools were wholly

under the direction of the trustees. The county boards in the several counties were required, by the same act, to establish school districts containing not less than fifteen families. The legal voters were given the power to vote an annual tax, either in cash or good merchantable produce, upon the inhabitants of their respective districts, not exceeding one-half per centum, nor amounting to more than ten dollars per annum on any one person, and two dollars out of every hundred received into the State treasury was appropriated for the support of the schools. For the purpose of building or repairing school houses, supplying furniture and fuel, the people could classify themselves and determine the amount of work, material or money, in lieu thereof, each should give. But no one was required to contribute in this way unless he sent a child to school. The tax levy, made in produce, might be transferred to the teacher, who was empowered to make the collection. In case of disagreement as to the price of any produce offered, arbitration was provided for. But this law went further than the wishes of the people, and in 1827 the General Assembly repealed the clause making the appropriation of two dollars from the State treasury, and the law was further amended so that no person might be taxed without his consent. This left the support of the schools so precarious that they made but little progress. In 1829, the General Assembly passed an act which provided for the sale of school and seminary lands, which laid the foundation for the present township fund system.

In 1845, the General Assembly again empowered the districts to vote a tax, but a two-thirds vote was required, and the tax was limited to fifteen cents upon the hundred dollars. This power of taxation was enlarged by the General Assembly in 1849, and again in 1851. But it was not until the enactment of the free school law of 1855, nearly

in the form prepared by Ninian W. Edwards, who had been appointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction the year before, that the school system was put upon a firm basis by the requirement that in each district the schools should be maintained for at least six months in each year, and by granting the school boards power to levy taxes for whatever amount they found necessary for building purposes and for current expenses. And a twomill State tax for the support of schools was also authorized. From this time our public school system made rapid progress.

The school for the Feeble-Minded at Lincoln, and the schools for the Deaf and Dumb, and for the Blind, at Jacksonville, all supported by the State, are properly considered a part of the State's system of education.

The Industrial University, at Champaign, chartered in 1867, is a State institution of high standing as a school. of technology and art, and offers fine facilities for an extended literary course. It is supported mainly by the income from the sale of lands, which were donated by Congress for the establishment of agricultural colleges in the several States, and partially by State aid. Tuition fees are nominal. Dr. Selim H. Peabody, a man of high character and eminent scholarly attainments, is President.

The State maintains two normal schools, one at Normal and the other at Carbondale, partly by the income of college and seminary funds, and partly by direct appropriations from the State treasury. In both, tuition is free to persons intending to teach. Cook county has for years maintained a normal school of high rank, which has been liberally patronized.

In this enlightened age, it would seem hardly necessary for us to allude to the purpose of such schools. In the minds of some of our people there exists a strong prejudice against the Normal School, and frequent attempts

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