Inaugural Address--In the Historical Society
of Pennsylvania there is a scrapbook, probably kept by Coles, with
articles from an unidentified newspaper (or newspapers) that chronicle his
years as governor. I have used this source for the texts of Coles'
inaugural address and the committee reports discussed below. Back
These new settlers--Theodore Pease, The
Frontier State, Springfield, Illinois, 1918, pp. 14-18. The totals for
the counties named are: Coles-1860, Phillips-516, Browne-151, Moore-79.
See also the Illinois Intelligencer of June 4, 1824, for an analysis of
the population issue. A second reason that the Legislature was pro-slavery
is that some pro-slavery candidates were successful enough at diverting
the campaign to local issues to be elected by anti-slavery constituencies.
See William H. Brown, An Historical Sketch of the Early Movement in
Illinois for the Legalization of Slavery, Chicago, 1876, p. 17. Back
Bringing forward the measure--Edward
Coles to Roberts Vaux, Jan. 21, 1824, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
See also Edward Coles to Nicholas Biddle, April 22, 1823, in Alvord, p.
120. Hooper Warren (Alvord, pp. 339-343) criticizes Coles' move, and Ford
says of Coles' call for abolition: This served as the spark to kindle
into activity all elements in favor of slavery (Thomas Ford,
History of Illinois, Chicago, 1854, p. 52). Back
There were a number of abolition bills--Illinois
Intelligencer, Dec. 7, 1822 - Feb. 15, 1823. The argument against
abolition bills is contained in the minority report of the House
committee. Unless otherwise specified, the source of my narrative of
events in the legislature is these issues of the Intelligencer. Back
At this period of the session--Brown, pp.
the revenues of my counties--Edwardsville
Spectator, March 29, 1823. All quotations from Hansen are from this
The county commissioner declared Hansen the
winner--Illinois Intelligencer, Dec. 14, 1822. See also the editorial
in the Edwardsville Spectator, Feb. 15, 1823; Ford, p. 52; and Joseph
Gillespie, "Recollections of Early Illinois and Her Noted Men," Fergus
Historical Series, no. 13, Chicago, 1880, p. 10. Back
came to my lodgings--Edwardsville Spectator, March 29, 1823. Back
In the course of the evening--Edwardsville
Spectator, Feb. 15, 1823. Back
That night, behind the scenes--Alvord, p.
77. Washburne claims that a rider was despatched to Pike County to bring
Shaw to Vandalia, but that was impossible since it is 260 mile round
trip--a journey of four to five days, as Washburne says.
But the time
between the vote on the convention bill and its reconsideration--with Shaw
voting in the affirmative--was only 24 hours. Both Ford (pp. 52-53) and
Gillespie (p. 10) claim that the pro-slavers planned all along to seat
Hansen for the purpose of electing Thomas to the Senate and then replace
him with Shaw in order to pass the convention bill. This explanation
accounts for Shaw's remaining in Vandalia through February 11, but does
not explain why the pro-slavers did not unseat Hansen before the February
11th vote, when he almost ruined all chance of their success. The most
likely explanation is that Hansen was seated partially to vote for Thomas
and partially because he may actually have had a stronger case for the
seat than did Shaw. The pro-slavers kept Shaw in Vandalia not to replace
Hansen so much as a threat to keep him in line. Back
Ford of Crawford County--Illinois Intelligencer, Feb. 15, 1823. Back
death blow to the convention--John Reynolds, My Own Times,
Chicago, 1879, p. 153. Back
They formed themselves--Ford, p. 53.
Since this description looks much like the description given in the
Edwardsville Spectator of the carousals of the previous night, it is
possible that the dating of one or the other is in error. But since both
Ford and Reynolds recall a procession on the night after passage of the
resolution, while the Spectator article clearly describes a scene
occurring on the previous night, the likelihood is that there were two
tumultuous demonstrations on two successive nights, the first one angry
and the second exultant. Back
I wrote Brother Isaac--Edward Coles to Mary
Carter, March 15, 1823, University of Virginia Library. Back
Never did I see--Edward Coles to Nicholas
Biddle, April 22, 1823, in Alvord, pp. 120-123. Back
The nominations were tabled--Illinois
Intelligencer, Feb. 22, 1823. See also Edward Coles to John Lofton, Feb.
16, 1823, in Alvord, pp. 115-116. Back
To [Fulton] county--Edward
Coles to James Madison, April 15, 1823, in The William and Mary
Quarterly, vol. 7, series 2 (1927) 32-34. Back
Madison's answer--James Madison to Edward
Coles, May 23, 1823, Princeton University Library. Back
outrage--Illinois Intelligencer, Feb. 22, 1823. Back
To Messrs. Brown and Berry--Edward Coles
to Brown and Berry, Dec. 10, 1822, Princeton University Library. Back