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Utterly exhausted,- after depicting the horrible crime in all its enormity and demanding the extreme penalty of the law upon its perpetrator,- at its close, in tones that touched the hearts of all who heard him, he exclaimed:
"Gentlemen of the jury, I have prosecuted the pleas of this Commonwealth until the blood has dried up in my veins, and the flesh has perished from my bones!"
These were his last words- and his life went out that same night just as the clock struck twelve. At the selfsame hour the steps of the jury were heard slowly ascending to the court-room which had witnessed his last effort their verdict, "Guilty; the penalty, death!"
THE "HOME-COMING" AT BLOOMINGTON
- MARQUETTE AND LA SALLE EXPLORES
MCLEAN COUNTY'S READINESS TO WELCOME HER CHILDREN
HE McLean County (Illinois) "Home-Coming" of June 15, 1907, was an event of deep significance to all Central Illinois. On that occasion I delivered the welcoming address, as follows:
"These rare days in June mark a memorable epoch in the history of this good county. The authoritative proclamation has gone forth that her house has been put in order, that the latch-string is out all things in readiness — and that McLean County would welcome the return of all her children who have in days past gone out from her borders.
"In the same joyous and generous spirit in which the welcome was extended, it has been heeded, and from near and far, from the land of flowers and of frosts, from the valley of the Osage, the Colorado, and the Platte, from the golden shores of California, and 'where rolls the Oregon'— sons and daughters of this grand old county have gladly turned their footsteps homeward.
"When thy heart has grown weary and thy foot has grown
Remember the pathway that leads to our door.'
"As in the ancient days all roads led to Rome, so in this year of grace, and in this glorious month of June, all roads lead back to the old home; to the hearthstones around which cling the tender memories of childhood, and of loved ones gone to the little mounds where sleep the ashes of ancestral dead.
"The 'Home-coming' to which you have been invited will leave its lasting impress upon all your hearts. The kindly words that have been spoken, the cordial grasp of the hand, the unbidden tear, the hospitality extended, have all given assurance that you are welcome. Here, for the time, let dull care and the perplexities that environ this mortal life be laid aside, let whatever would in the slightest mar the delight of this joyous occasion be wholly forgotten; so that in the distant future, to those who return and to those who stay, the recollection of these days will be one of unalloyed pleasure; and so that, when in the years to come we tell over to our children of the return to the old home, this reunion will live in our memories as one that, like the old sun-dial, 'marked only the hours which shine.'
"No place so fitting for this home-coming could have been selected as this beautiful park, where the springing grass, transparent lake, and magnificent grove-'God's first temple'- seem all to join in welcoming your return. How, from a mere hamlet, a splendid city has sprung into being during the years of your absence! No longer a frontier village, off the great highway of travel, with the mail reaching it semi-weekly by stage-coach or upon horseback,— as our fathers and possibly some who now hear me may have known it, it is now 'no mean city.' Its past is an inspiration; its future bright with promise. It is in very truth a delightful dwelling-place for mortals, and possibly not an unfit abidingplace for saints. Whoever has walked these streets, known kinship with this people, called this his home - wherever upon this old earth he may since have wandered - has in his
better moments felt an unconquerable yearning that no distance or lapse of time could dispel, to retrace his footsteps and stand once more within the sacred precincts of his early home. Truly has it been said: 'No man can ever get wholly away from his ancestors.' Once a Bloomingtonian, and no art of the enchanter can dissolve the spell. 'Once in grace, always in grace,' whatever else may betide! Eulogy is exhausted when I say that this city is worthy to be the seat of justice of the grand old county of which it is a part.
"Upon occasion such as this, the spirit of the past comes over us with its mystic power. The years roll back, and splendid farms, stately homes, magnificent churches, and the marvellous appliances of modern life are for the moment lost to view. The blooming prairie, the log cabin nestling near the border-line of grove or forest, the old water-mill, the crossroads store, the flintlock rifle, the mould-board plough, the dinner-horn, with notes sweeter than lute or harp ever knew, · are once more in visible presence. At such an hour little stretch of the imagination is needed to recall from the shadows forms long since vanished. And what time more fitting can ever come in which to speak of those who have gone before,― of the early settlers of this good county?
"It was from the beginning the fit abode for men and women of God's highest type — and such, indeed, were the pioneers. Their early struggles, their sacrifices, all they suffered and endured, can never be fully disclosed. But to them this was truly 'the promised land' —a land they might not only view, but possess. From New England, Ohio, the 'Keystone,' and the 'Empire' State, from the beautiful valley of the Shenandoah and the Commonwealths lying westward and to the south, came the men and the women whose early homes were near the banks of the little streams and nestled in the shades of the majestic groves. Here they suffered the hardships and endured the privations that only the frontiersman might know. Here beneath humble roofs, their children were born and reared, and here from hearts that knew no guile ascended the incense of thanksgiving and praise. The early settlers, the pioneers, the men who laid the foundations
of what our eyes now behold, builded wisely and well. Their descendants to-day are in large measure the beneficiaries of all that they so wisely planned, so patiently endured. Their names and something of what they achieved will go down in our annals to the after times. Peace to their ashes; to their memory all honor! They were the advance guard — the builders — and faithfully and well they served their race and time. Upon nobler men and women the sun in all his course hath nowhere looked down.
"And where upon God's footstool can domain more magnificent than this good county be found; one better adapted to the habitation of civilized man? The untrodden prairies of three-quarters of a century ago, as if touched by the wand of magic, have become splendid farms. And groves more beautiful the eye of man hath not seen.
"Containing a population of less than two thousand at the time of its organization, there are more than seventy thousand souls within the bounds of this good county to-day. The log cabin has given way to the comfortable home. The value of farm lands and their products have increased beyond human forecast or dream. As shown by the last Governmental report, McLean County contains four thousand eight hundred and seventy-three farms, aggregating seven hundred thirty-seven thousand five hundred and seventy-eight acres. The corn product for the year 1899 exceeded fifteen millions of bushels, being near one-twentieth of that of the entire State. In the value of its agricultural products it is third upon the list of counties in the United States.
"The life of the farmer is no longer one of drudgery and isolation. Modern conveniences and appliances have in large measure supplanted the hard labor of human hands, lessened the hours of daily toil, and brought the occupant of the farm into closer touch with the outer world. More than all this, our schoolhouses, universities, churches, and institutions for the relief of the unfortunate and dependent, all bear witness to the glad fact that in our material development the claims of education, of religion, of charity, have not been forgotten. It is our glory, that in all that tends to human