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18, 1836, and U. F. Linder succeeded Scates February 4, 1837. Levi Davis became Auditor of Public Accounts November 16, 1835. Charles Gregory became Treasurer, December 5, 1836; he was succeeded by John D. Whiteside March 4, 1837.
FIRST AND ONLY DUEL IN ILLINOIS.
In Ford's History we find this account of the first and only duel in Illinois:
"The year 1820 was signalized by the first and last duel which was ever fought in Illinois. This took place in Belleville, St. Clair county, between Alphonso Stewart and William Bennett, two obscure men. The seconds had made it up to be a sham duel. to throw ridicule upon Bennett, the challenging party. Stewart was in the secret, but Bennett, his adversary, was left to believe it a reality. They were to fight with rifles; the guns were loaded with blank cartridges; and Bennett, somewhat suspecting a trick, rolled a ball into his gun, without the knowledge of his seconds, or of the other party. The word to fire was given, and Stewart fell, mortally wounded. Bennett made his escape, but two years afterwards he was captured in Arkansas, brought back to the State, indicted, tried and convicted of murder. A great effort was made to procure him a pardon, but Gov. Bond would yield to no entreaties in his favor, and Bennett suffered the extreme penalty of the law, by hanging, in the presence of a great multitude of people.
This was the first and last duel ever fought in the State by any of its citizens. The hanging of Bennett made dueling discreditable and unpopular, and laid the foundation for that abhorrence of the practice which has ever since been felt and expressed by the people of Illinois."
There were afterward some pretences at duels between some of the distinguished men of the State, notably that of 1842, between James Shields and Abraham Lincoln, which was caused by the publication of an article in a newspaper, the Sangamo Journal, reflecting on the official conduct of Shields, while Auditor of State; and between Shields and Wm. Butler, growing out of the same matter. But the framers of the constitution of 1848 put an
end to the barbarous practice, in a summary manner, in the adoption of Section 25 of Article 13, which is in these words:
"Any person who shall, after the adoption of this constitution, fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge for that purpose, or be aider or abettor in fighting a duel, shall be deprived of the right of holding any office of honor or profit in this State, and shall be punished otherwise, in such manner as is or may be prescribed by law." The framers of the constitution of 1870, doubtless believing that the civilization of the age was against dueling, did not carry that provision into the new constitution, thus leaving public opinion to frown down the code.
The sixth State government was inaugurated December 7, 1838, with Thomas Carlin as Governor; Stinson H. Anderson, Lieutenant-Governor; Alexander P. Field, Secretary of State; Levi Davis, Auditor of Public Accounts; John D. Whiteside, Treasurer; George W. Olney, Attorney-General.
The Eleventh General Assembly convened December 3, 1838, and adjourned March 4, 1839. In 1839, the capital was removed to Springfield, and a second session convened there December 9, and adjourned February 3, 1840.
Lieut.-Gov. Anderson presided over the Senate, and Benjamin Bond was elected Secretary. William L. D. Ewing was elected Speaker of the House, and David Prickett Clerk.
There was quite a number of eminent men in this Legislature, among whom we mention Isaac P. Walker, who subsequently emigrated to Wisconsin, and was elected a United States Senator from that State in 1848.
HOW A CHALLENGE WAS AVOIDED.
This laughable, not to say serious, incident in the early life of Dr. Isaac Vandeventer, is related to us by one who was cognizant of the affair, and knew all of the parties mentioned. When W. A. Richardson was elected to the State Senate in 1838, his opponent was Dr. Isaac Vandeventer, a Whig, and one of the purest men in the State, but wholly ignorant of party usages or practices. He had been selected by the Whigs as the man most likely to defeat Richardson, for the District was largely Democratic, and T. Lyle Dickey, now of the Supreme bench, and James W. Singleton, since a member of Congress, then both young men, undertook the management of his campaign. When the returns came in, it was found that Richardson had beaten him only four or five votes; and investigation showed that, on Sugar Creek, seven or eight illegal votes had been cast for him, some of which were polled by men having in their veins African blood. Dickey and Singleton resided at Rushville, and they sent for Vandeventer to come and see them, with the view of instituting proceedings to contest the election. Contesting was regarded as unpopular, and to throw the burden on Richardson, they induced Vandeventer to send him a letter, setting forth the fact that he claimed to be the Senator elect, and to save expense and trouble, to request Richardson to resign his certificate and run the race over at a special election, to which Richardson replied, in
substance, that he was fairly elected, but had no objections to running the race over, provided he could be assured that the Doctor would "stay beat," and if he would give bond, with approved security, to that effect, he would consent to make the race over.
Dickey and Singleton were indignant, and insisted that it was a personal insult, that could only "be wiped out in blood," and urged Vandeventer to challenge Richardson, and consenting to do so, they undertook the preparation of the letter inviting the hostile meeting. Vandeventer went to his hotel for dinner and was to return to Dickey's office at 1 o'clock that day and sign the challenge, and then one of them was to bear it to Richardson, but 1 o'clock came, 2, and then 3, and Vandeventer came not; and on inquiry it was ascertained that he had paid his bill and left for home. Thus ended the duel and the contest, for Dr. Vandeventer was never again seen in Mr. Dickey's office.
TWELFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY-1840-42.
The Twelfth General Assembly convened November 23, 1840, and adjourned December 5. It convened again December 7, and adjourned March 1, 1841.
Lieut.-Gov. Anderson presided over the Senate, and Merritt L. Covell was elected Secretary. William L. D. Ewing was elected Speaker of the House, and John Calhoun Clerk.
Wickliffe Kitchell became Attorney-General, March 5, 1839; Stephen A. Douglas, Secretary of State, November 30, 1840; James Shields, Auditor of Public Accounts, March 4, 1841, and Milton Carpenter, Treasurer, March 6, 1841.
Josiah Lamborn, of Morgan, became Attorney-General, December 3, 1840.
Gov. Carlin was born in Kentucky, July 18, 1789; he was self-educated; removed to Illinois in 1812; his first
office was Sheriff of Greene county; in 1834, President Jackson appointed him Receiver of Public Moneys. He was Governor at the time Illinois became overwhelmingly involved in debt through the internal improvement system, and he used his best ability in piloting the ship of State through the financial storm. After his term as Governor he removed to Carrollton, and in 1849, was elected Representative to the Legislature, vice J. D. Fry, resigned. He died February 14, 1852.
No city in the world has had so prosperous or marvelous a growth as Chicago, and a history of Illinois would not be complete without a special reference to this great and grand metropolis. The Gazetteer of 1823 describes Chicago as "a village in Pike county, situated on Lake Michigan, near Chicago creek, containing twelve or fifteen houses and about sixty or seventy inhabitants."
Chicago was first laid out as a town in the autumn of 1829. The first map made of the place was drawn by James Thompson, and bears date of August 4, 1830. Cook county, of which Chicago is the county seat, was not organized until January 15, 1831. The first steamer to enter the port was in 1832. Gen. Winfield Scott was a passenger, en route to take part in the conference of the army, which related to the treaty of peace with Black Hawk, who had been utterly routed at the battle of Bad Axe. The year 1833 was signalized by the establishment of a postoffice and weekly mail; the same year a town government was organized, and a weekly newspaper, entitled the Chicago Democrat, was founded by John Calhoun. In 1836, the then great enterprise of the western world, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, was inaugurated. In 1837, the Legislature passed an act incorporating the City of Chicago, (see House and Senate Journals of 1837), and in the