Main Menu Documents 1-25

  1. Proclamation Creating New Boundaries for St. Clair and Randolph Counties (1801)
    In the attached proclamation, Governor William Henry Harrison redraws the county lines of St. Clair and Randolph counties, which are the State of Illinois' two oldest counties.
  2. An Act Prohibiting Trade with Native Americans (1813)
    This law was passed five years before statehood during the second session of the Territorial General Assembly.
  3. Trader Bonds for Shadrach Bond to trade with Native Americans (1816)
    Two bonds from March and October 1816 involved Shadrach Bond, who two years later became the first governor of the state of Illinois.
  4. Territorial Census (1818)
    The 1818 census is divided by county. Illinois had 15 counties at the time of the census. This document shows one page of the 1818 census returns from Pope County.
  5. Illinois Constitution (1818)
    The 1818 State Constitution was approved on August 26, 1818 and consists of eight articles. It was modeled after the state Constitutions of New York, Kentucky and Ohio.
  6. Election Results for Governor and Lt. Governor (1818)
    This document is the first page of Volume 1 of 10 volumes of the Record of Election Returns (1818-1951). It lists the official election returns in the first election for Governor and Lt. Governor.
  7. First Bill Passed by the General Assembly (1819)
    The first bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly is a hand-written, one page document entitled "An Act Declaring What Laws are in Force in this State."
  8. First Black Law (1819)
    This piece of discriminatory legislation is titled "An Act Respecting Negroes, Mulattoes, Servants and Slaves." It severely limits the rights of African-Americans and servants in Illinois.
  9. Law to Relocate Capital from Kaskaskia to Vandalia (1819)
    In keeping with the requirements of the new Constitution, legislation to move the state capital from Kaskaskia to Vandalia is approved on March 30, 1819.
  10. Petition for Black Male Suffrage (1822-1823)
    Despite the discrimination they faced, a small number of free African-Americans settled in Illinois after statehood. In this petition, several African-Americans petition the legislature for the right to vote.
  11. Post and Paul Map of Proposed Illinois and Michigan Canal Route (1824)
    The idea of building a canal connecting Lake Michigan to the Illinois River had existed since at least the arrival of the first Europeans. This map shows a proposed canal route for what eventually became the Illinois & Michigan Canal.
  12. House Roll Calls for a Constitutional Convention to Legalize Slavery (1824)
    Legislation designed to make Illinois a slave state by changing the state Constitution actually passed the General Assembly but was defeated in a referendum by Illinois voters. These roll calls show some of the political efforts designed to make Illinois a slave state.
  13. Coles v. County of Madison, 1 Ill. 154 (1826)
    One month before future governor Edward Coles freed his slaves in Illinois, the legislature had enacted a law requiring that free African-Americans had to file a $1,000 bond with the county of residence before settling in Illinois. Coles was sued for not posting the bond.
  14. Speech of Kennekuk (1831)
    This document is a hand-written transcription, and possibly a translation, of remarks Kickapoo leader Kennekuk gave in response to a July 23, 1831 talk of General William Clark, who was the regional Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
  15. Lincoln-Black Hawk War Muster Roll (1832)
    This is the first page of a muster roll of a company of volunteers captained by Abraham Lincoln during the Black Hawk War.
  16. Land Plat for the Town of Chicago (1833)
    This document is a land plat for Chicago from the year it was incorporated as a town in 1833.
  17. Internal Improvement Act (1837)
    The Internal Improvements Act calls for spending $10 million to fund improvements to the state's transportation network.
  18. Bond to Permanently Locate the State Capital in Springfield (1837)
    On March, 22, 1837, fifty-one leading citizens of Springfield signed a bond agreeing to donate $50,000 to help pay to permanently locate the state capital in Springfield.
  19. Lincoln's House Journal Entry on Slavery (1837)
    Following the passage of the pro-slavery resolution, Representatives Abraham Lincoln and Dan Stone, both from Sangamon County, introduced a protest to it. In the protest, they argued that the institution of slavery was founded in "injustice and bad policy."
  20. Resolution Notifying the Senate that the House is Organized (1840)
    The twelfth biennial session of the Illinois House of Representatives met for its second day on November 24, 1840 and William L. D. Ewing of Vandalia defeated Abraham Lincoln of Springfield for Speaker.
  21. Bonds signed by Joseph and Hyrum Smith (1840)
    Two bonds signed by Mormon leaders Joseph and Hyrum Smith seek arms for an independent militia unit based in Nauvoo.
  22. Charter for the City of Nauvoo (1840)
    Members of the Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) begin to settle in Nauvoo in western Illinois in the late 1830s. The General Assembly approved "An Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo" on December 16, 1840.
  23. Jarrot v. Jarrot, 7 Ill. 1 (1845)
    Joseph Jarrot was a slave in Illinois in the 1840s. Jarrot sued his owner for his freedom, arguing the slavery was illegal in Illinois.
  24. Seventh Congressional District Election Returns (1846)
    Abraham Lincoln defeated Peter Cartwright for Congress in 1846. This document is part of the official state election returns kept in ledger books by the Illinois Secretary of State's office.
  25. Second Illinois Constitution (1848)
    Delegates to the 1847 Constitutional Convention approved a highly detailed document that was much longer than the 1818 Constitution.