Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Report of Commissioners Appointed to Investigate the Illinois and Michigan Canal Claims [1]

To His Excellency, January 7, 1853

the Governor [2] of the State of Illinois:

We, the undersigned, two of the commissioners appointed by the act of the general assembly of the state of Illinois, entitled ``An act to constitute a commission to take evidence in relation to certain claims,'' approved June 22, 1852, report that the Hon. Hugh T. Dickey, [3] the other commissioner named in said act, having declined to act, we caused a notice to be published in more than one newspaper in Chicago, in one at Joliet, and in one at Ottawa, more than thirty days before the 3rd day of December, 1852, that on said third day of December, we would meet at Ottawa, for the purpose of taking evidence according to said act, an exact copy of which publication is as follows, to wit:

``Notice to claimants against the state, on account of the Illinois and Michigan canal.---All claimants within the provisions of an act of the general assembly of the state of Illinois, entitled `An act to constitute a commission to take evidence in relation to certainPage  163 claims,' approved June 22, 1852, are hereby notified that the undersigned, two of the commissioners named in said act, will meet on the third day of December next at Ottawa, on the line of said canal, for the purpose of taking evidence according to said act.

November 2, 1852. NOAH JOHNSTON, [4]

A. LINCOLN.''

That, accordingly, we did, on said third day of December, 1852, at Ottawa, take the oath prescribed in said act, which was administered to us by the Hon. Edwin S. Leland, judge of the ninth judicial circuit of the state of Illinois, and did proceed at once to the taking of said evidence.

On motion of counsel for claimants, and against the objection of Mr. Edwards, [5] counsel for the state, it was ordered by the board that the original papers filed at the seat of government, and then in the control of the board, should be subject to the inspection of the counsel for the claimants as well as the counsel for the state, but that said papers was not to be taken from the room where the board might be sitting, nor to be inspected by witnesses.

Mr. Edwards, counsel for the state, gave notice to claimants for damages to real estate, that title papers must be produced.

Roswell D. Lyman, whose claim has been presented to the legislature, offered evidence, which, together with the cross-examination by counsel for the state, is as follows:

[See Plat A.] [6]

Joseph H. Wagner, being duly sworn, says he is acquainted with sec. 6, T. 33 N., R. 4 E., that the plat marked ``R. D. Lyman, No. 1,'' fairly represents said section, that witness is county surveyor, and made the plat from actual survey and the original field notes of the United States survey. Notes at the bottom of the plat are correct, there are coal beds between the river and the feeder on the northeastern subdivision of the section; extent of these beds from S.W. to N.E. about forty rods, and from the river to and under the feeder; so much of the coal as lies under the feeder, and also so much as lies near adjacent to the feeder, cannot be worked without injury to the feeder, and the breakage of the feeder is some detriment to the working of the remainder; the strata of coal is about two feet thick; all the subdivisions of said section whichPage  164 are marked ``Lyman'' are inclosed and the greater part cultivated as farm land; Lyman's residence is on said land at the point where the word ``house'' is written on the plat. To travel from Lyman's residence to the coal bed he must go a mile and a half further than he would if the feeder were not there, unless he should ford the feeder, which is impracticable, and the same distance to reach that part of his farm lying south of the feeder; the residence of Lyman a mile and a quarter from Ottawa, and the coal land one and three quarters. From 8 to 12, south of where the east and west line passing through the middle of said section crosses said feeder, there is a waste weir or place for surplus water to escape. The water runs a distance of about twelve rods over another coal bed into the river. This last mentioned coal bed has a stratum of about two feet, it is opened about four rods one way and thirty or forty feet the other, doubtless extends further, but how far is not known. So far, witness thinks, the waste water aforesaid has facilitated the raising of coal from the bed, but thinks it will ultimately be an injury to it. Thinks Lyman's farm is, at this time, worth from twenty to twenty-five dollars per acre.

Cross-Examination.---In the winter of 1842-3 thinks the land was worth eight dollars per acre. The town of Ottawa was laid out on state canal land, part on a donation by the state to the county, and part as a state's addition to the town; the proximity of Lyman's land to Ottawa has something to do with its enhanced value. The construction of the canal has enhanced the value of all lands on the line, and Lyman's with the rest, and witness thinks if Lyman's land had been his, would have preferred having the canal, without compensation, to not having it at all. Re-examined.---Lyman's land derives no particular advantage from the canal, but only the common advantage with other lands on the line. The feeder, witness considers a decided disadvantage to Lyman's farm, on the whole, though it gives a small advantage of bringing stock water more convenient to him. Witness thinks the lands lying along the Illinois river are as much benefitted by the canal as those immediately on the line. The feeder, witness thinks, indispensably necessary to the canal, but that it might have been constructed at less expense, just as beneficial for the canal and less injurious to Lyman's land.

George H. Norris, by Mr. Edwards, for the state, says he has and is prosecuting a claim against the state, for damage done by the canal on one tract and by a feeder on another.

By Lyman's counsel.---Lyman's land is not cut by the main canal, it is a half mile distant, and Fox river is between at thePage  165

nearest point. Witness thinks Lyman's farm is now worth twentyfive dollars per acre; Lyman has occupied and possessed said farm for near fifteen years. Witness knew Downey Buchanan, who testified for Lyman on his original application, and knows that he is now dead, and with good opportunities for knowing, he does not believe he had any interest in this or any similar claim. Witness thinks that Lyman's coal beds, taken separately from the other land, is worth four or five hundred dollars per acre. Feeder is not navigable with canal boats freighted; tried it several times and failed.

State of Illinois, La Salle county, ss.

Henry J. Reed, being first duly sworn, says that he is well acquainted with the farm of R. D. Lyman, on the west fraction of the north-east quarter of sec. six (6,) town. 33, range 4, east of the third principal meridian; that he has been acquainted with said land about eighteen years; that Roswell D. Lyman has been in possession of the same since about 1839, claiming title; that said land is an improved and cultivated farm; that there is on said tract of land a valuable coal bed on the north-east corner of the fraction. Said feeder runs across said coal bed for forty rods or more; said coal bed is of a good quality and the strata of coal about two feet thick. I think the coal on that land is worth two cents a bushel. The coal bed cannot be worked nearer than almost twelve feet of the base of the feeder bank. To get to this coal bed or to that part of his land which is across the feeder from his house, Lyman has to travel at least one mile and a half further than he would have to do if the feeder was not there. On that piece of land which is marked ``Cushman and Lyman,'' on the plat, there is a bank on each side of the feeder 75 feet wide, making 150 feet in width, exclusive of the bed of the feeder, which is rendered utterly useless by reason of the deposit of earth and sand excavated from the feeder. On the same land, on the north side of the feeder, about three acres are overflowed by water setting back from the feeder. On the south side of the feeder about six acres of land is rendered useless, by reason of the drainage from the feeder. On the same land is a coal bed of a good quality, about two feet thick, over which the feeder runs. I believe there is coal under the bed of the feeder in its whole length on section six aforesaid. Affiant knows that when the feeder was dug, coal was found in various places for the whole distance, and coal was raised from the feeder very near the waste weir hereafter mentioned, at a time when therePage  166 was a break in the feeder. There is a waste weir of that land where the water runs from the feeder, and that water will render it difficult to get the coal. Lyman has been obliged to dig a drain to carry the water around that part of the coal bed where coal is now being raised. I believe the coal land to be worth four hundred dollars an acre for the coal that is upon it. And that the farm of Lyman, and the land of Cushman and Lyman, is worth less by one-fourth than it would be if the feeder did not cross it at all.

Cross-Examination.---The feeder mentioned was constructed in 1838, 1839, and 1840. Does not know whether Lyman made any objection to the construction of feeder. Witness knew there was coal on Lyman's land before feeder was located; thinks some coal was dug there in the fall of 1834. Boats can pass on the feeder now and take coal from the bank. Thinks Lyman's whole farm now worth from twenty to twenty-five dollars per acre. Knows of contiguous canal lands being appraised at one hundred dollars per acre; thinks this canal land mentioned, worth more than Lyman's by ten dollars per acre. Has no interest in this or any similar question. Re-examination.---Witness thinks the appraisement of the canal lands as above stated was very much above the true value; thinks thirty dollars per acre about the true value. Witness thinks the said canal lands more valuable than Lyman's, because it is not cut by the feeder, the quality of the land is very similar, the canal lands are also nearer the town of Ottawa. Before the construction of the feeder Lyman's land was all dry and fit for cultivation; about nine acres of that part of the land marked on the plat as ``Lyman and Cushman,'' is flooded by the feeder, this being the same mentioned in the direct examination. On reflection, witness does not remember to have ever seen a common canal boat on said feeder, and is not sure the feeder is navigable for such boats. Re-Cross-Examination.---Witness thinks the lands marked ``Lyman,'' on the plat, is not as much damaged by the feeder as that marked ``Lyman and Cushman.'' Thinks this land was worth about twenty dollars per acre as early as 1839. Re-examination.---Thinks that while the feeder injures Lyman's land, as before stated, it does not benefit it in any particular. Thinks the canal is of benefit to the state generally, and also supposes it may be of some greater benefit to the lands now contiguous to it. [7]Page  167Abstract W. fr. S. E. 1/4 Sec. 6, 33, 4.

Allen H. Howland and Henry Green, W. fr. S. E. 1/4 6, 33, 4. Filed October 21, 1835, . . . . . A.500

Henry Green, etrx. Henry L. Brush, deed, und. frac12; same. March 3, 1836, . . . . . C.118

United States patent, Henry Green, W. fr. S. E. 1/4 sec. 6, 33, 4. March 24, 1840, . . . . . 5.159

Henry Green, etrx. deed, W. H. W. Cushman, und. frac12; W. fr. S. E. 1/4 6, 33, 4. March 17, 1841, . . . . . 7.176

Henry L. Brush, etrx. deed, R. D. Lyman, und. frac12; W. fr. as above. May 15, 1841, . . . . . 7.300

Henry Green, etrx. deed, W. H. W. Cushman, und. frac12; W. fr. as above. March 29, 1842, . . . . . 8.93

Joseph O. Glover, etrx. deed, W. H. W. Cushman, und. frac12; same. March 23, 1842, . . . . . 9.07

R. D. Lyman, mort. John Vahort, November 15, 1844, und. frac12; same tract, . . . . . 10.443

R. D. Lyman, mort. W. H. W. Cushman, und. frac12; same tract. April 25, 1846, . . . . . 12.349

Henry Green, etrx, trust deed, Aaron Reed, W.fr.S. E. 1/4 sec. 6, as above. Filed March 24, 1847, . . . . . 13.537

State of Illinois, La Salle county, ss.

I, Philo Lindley, clerk of the circuit court, and ex officio recorder in and for said county, do hereby certify that the within is a correct abstract of conveyances of west fr. of S. E. 1/4, sec. 6, T. 33, R. 4, as shown by the tract book in my office, and that the dates given herein are the dates of filing for record.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court, this 4th day of December, A.D. 1852.

[L.S.]

P. LINDLEY, Clerk and ex officio Recorder.

The record shows that the consideration mentioned in the deed from Henry L. Brush to R. D. Lyman, was three hundred dollars. The date of the deed, April 30, 1841, book 7, page 300.

The consideration in the deed from Henry Green to H. L. Brush, of date 31st August, 1835, was sixty-three dollars, book C, page 118.

George H. Norris, on one claim which had been presented to the legislature, offered evidence, which, together with the cross-examination by counsel for the state, is as follows, to wit:

Henry J. Reed, being first duly sworn, saith that he is wellPage  168 acquainted with the west fraction of the south-west quarter of section thirty-two, in township thirty-four north, of range four, east of the third principal meridian. The Fox river feeder of the Illinois and Michigan canal enters said tract on the north line of said tract, and following the base of the bluff runs diagonally through said tract about a half a mile, in a south-west direction, leaving twenty-five acres of said land in a strip, over a half mile long, between Fox river and the feeder, and the remainder of the tract in a three cornered form on the other side of the feeder. There is a coal bed on said tract. In my judgment, at least two acres of the coal land on said tract is taken up by the said feeder and its banks. That to get from one part of said land to the other, it would be necessary to travel at least two and one half miles. The construction of the feeder injures the land for farming purposes, and makes it a great deal more difficult to get the coal to market. Affiant agrees in his opinion in relation to these last matters with the statements of J. H. Wagner, this day made in this case. I have known this land some eighteen years. In my opinion the injury to the coal bed alone, and the amount of the coal taken, damage the land one thousand dollars.

Cross-Examination.---This land is immediately above and corners with section six. From 1838 to 1840 the land was worth from ten to fifteen dollars per acre. This land is not so valuable as that of Mr. Lyman's. This land is, from 1848 till now, worth from fifteen to twenty dollars per acre. The general value of the lands for four or five miles up the feeder, and up the canal, is from fifteen to twenty-five dollars per acre. Re-examination.---The piece of land joining Norris, on the west, was in 1839 worth twelve dollars per acre, and in witness' estimation it is now worth more per acre than Norris'. In estimating Norris' land at from ten to twelve dollars per acre from 1838 to 1849 witness did not intend to estimate the coal upon it at that time. Witness knew there was some coal there, but did not know the extent of it. Witness now regards the coal as of more value than the land would be independent of it. Re-Cross-Examination.---In answer to the question, what was the market value of Norris' land from 1838 to 1840, witness says, if that land had been put up for sale I should not have given more than ten dollars per acre. In answer to the question, what is it now worth as a market value, he says, from fifteen to twenty dollars per acre. Re-examination.---Witness thinks Norris' land, as it is, is worth twenty-five dollars, and that it would be worth ten dollars more with the feeder off from it.Page  169

Joseph H. Wagner, being duly sworn, deposes and says, that he is acquainted with the situation of the W. fraction of S. W. 1/4 sec. 32, T. 34, R. 4 E. That the feeder of the Illinois and Michigan canal runs through said tract from the north to the south end, rendering it almost valueless for farming purposes; that there is a bed of coal to the extent of several acres on said land, part of which is covered by said feeder and its banks, that the coal land is materially injured in value by the leakage from the feeder rendering it more difficult and expensive excavating the coal; the only way to haul coal from that portion of the land lying east of the feeder is by hauling it either on the bank of the feeder, or across Fox river, which in the winter season is difficult and sometimes dangerous; there is no bridge by which a team can cross from one portion of the land to the other, without traveling at least two and a half miles. Aside from the damage done the land for farming purposes, in my opinion the value of the land lessens by the construction of the feeder, one thousand dollars.

Cross-Examination.---This land was worth in 1842, from eight to ten dollars; was not in the county before 1842. The lands up the feeder its whole length, four miles, excepting sections one and two, which are now worth from twenty-five to thirty dollars per acre in 1842 suppose they were worth from six to ten dollars per acre, though was not so well acquainted then; sections one and two are now valuable; section one is canal land and section two is not. Witness is county surveyor. Re-examination.---If the feeder was not there the coal bed would be worth a cent and a half per square foot as it is; that which is accessible is not worth more than half as much, to say nothing of that which is covered by the feeder and banks. That part of the land west of the feeder is, for farming purposes, worth twenty-five dollars per acre; that between the feeder and river is, for farming purposes, worthless; the land between the feeder and river is some wetter in consequence of the feeder, but would still be good meadow land if it were accessible; as it is not, without a bridge, and it would not be so convenient even with a bridge, the land between the feeder and river, including the coal bed, is worth ten dollars per acre. The cost of a bridge to reach the land between the feeder and river, would be more than the value of the land. The feeder is not navigable for ordinary canal boats, but witness has seen it navigated by small flat boats drawing ten inches water, in transporting flour and bran from the Dayton mills.

The deed for the land to Norris is dated December 4, 1847, consideration $575, quantity 73.17-100 acres.

George H. Norris, on another claim which had been presentedPage  170 to the legislature, offered evidence which, together with the cross-examination by counsel for the state, is as follows, to wit:

Norris' deed for this land is dated August, 1835, consideration $10 per acre.

John H. Wagner, produced by the claimant and examined by the attorney for the state, says that cattle cross the canal and feeder. Does not know that there is coal on sec. 10, 33, 3, but sec. 2, where the feeder crosses, there is coal, which is from seven to eleven feet under ground, and is worth from one and a half to two cents per bushel in the bed.

Cross-Examination.---That the canal trustees claim to control on each side of the canal ninety feet in width; that the ground occupied by the spoils banks is worthless, rendered so by the occupation of this earth, and that the spoils banks occupy the ninety feet, or nearly so, and that the trustees of the canal have forbidden the adjoining proprietors from removing said earth.

Henry Green, being first duly sworn, saith that he is acquainted with sec. 12, town. 33 north, range 3 east, and has known it for nineteen years. The W. frac12; of N. E. 1/4, and und. frac12; of E. frac12; of same quarter, is claimed by W. H. W. Cushman. The Illinois and Michigan canal runs through the whole quarter section from the east line to the west line of the quarter section; that through the west half of the said north-east quarter, said canal is one hundred feet wide, except about twelve rods on the west side, which is sixty feet, exclusive of the spoil banks; there is a coal bed on said quarter, which is worked upon the W. frac12; of said quarter at different points, and coal exhibits itself nearly the whole width of the quarter and on both sides of the canal, and I have no doubt that the bed of coal underlies the whole bed of the canal on that quarter, except about ten or twelve rods next to Fox river; the strata of coal on that land is from eighteen to twenty inches thick, so far as opened, and is worth at least one cent per bushel in the bed; between three and four acres on the west half of said quarter had been stripped to the depth of from three to four feet, so as to render the same entirely valueless for farming purposes, and said last named tract is mostly in such a situation in reference to the canal that the coal cannot be removed from it, so that it is for the most part entirely valueless. [8]

Page  171Reddick and Brush, each making a separate claim for damage to the E. frac12; of S. E. 1/4 of sec. 2, T. 33 N., R. 3 east, presented their title papers, to which Mr. Edwards, counsel for the state, raised no objection. The consideration in one of the deeds shows this land to have been worth $60 per acre in September, 1848.

Henry L. Brush, on a claim for damages to S. frac12; of W. frac12; of N. E. 1/4 of sec. 10, T. 33 N., R. 3 east, also for E. frac12; of N. E. 1/4 of same section, presented title papers, to which counsel for the state raised no objections. The deed to Brush, in this case, dated July 14, 1837, consideration $2.50 per acre; also proved by Joseph H. Wagner that he considers Brush's land on sec. 10, worth seventy-five dollars per acre.

One the claim of Henry L. Brush for the undivided half of E. frac12; of S. E. 1/4 of sec. 2, and for the whole of the S. frac12; of W. frac12; of N. E. of sec. 10, and E. frac12; of N. E. 10, all in T. 33 N., R. 3 E., counsel for the state offers the parol testimony of Joseph H. Wagner, which is as follows, to wit:

Joseph H. Wagner sworn, says he considers the E. frac12; of S. E. 1/4 of sec. 2, 33 N., R. 3 east, worth five hundred dollars per acre, and thinks the coal on it increases the valuation one half; considers Brush's land on sec. 10 worth seventy-five dollars per acre. [9]

On the claim of J. C. Chaplin and others, for damages to the W. frac12; of S. E. 1/4 of sec. 2, T. 33 N., R. 3 E., counsel for the state offered the parol testimony which follows, to wit:

Joseph H. Wagner sworn, says that he considers the W. frac12; S. E. 1/4 sec. 2, 33, 3, worth now, the south forty acres, one thousand dollars per acre, the north forty acres, two hundred and fifty dollars per acre. Witness thinks that there is ten acres out of the south forty acres worth only fifty dollars per acre; said ten acres lies in the south-west corner of said forty. Witness has been a civil engineer since 1835, and employed on the Utica and Schenectady Railroad, firstly as rodman and leveller, and on the Canojoharie and Catskill Railroad, as assistant engineer, and is acquainted with the land, and has been for several years. Does not know that the feeder could have been constructed so as to have injured that land much less than it is. Witness thinks that material for construction of the feeder banks might have been obtained at other points, so as to have not injured that land as much, but to have done this it would have been more expensive to the canal. Witness thinks that the material for these embankments might have been taken from one acre of ground, but to have done so would have been more expensive,Page  172 but such additional expense would not equal the additional damage done the land by extending over the surface.

Springfield, December, 1852.

R. E. Goodell states on oath, that he has resided in the town of Ottawa eighteen years last past, during which time the Fox river feeder of the Illinois and Michigan canal was constructed; that since the construction of said feeder he has been well acquainted with the value of real estate in the state's addition to Ottawa and the adjoining lands; that in his opinion the state's addition to said town has increased as much in value, since the construction of said feeder, as any part of section number two, adjoining the same. The town of Ottawa is situated on section eleven, and most of the part I refer to, to wit, the state's addition to Ottawa, is nearer the court house than any part of section two. The increased value of section eleven has been caused, in my opinion, by the nearer location it has to the business part of the town, and the completion of the canal. I think that the valuation of section two in a body has been increased by the completion of the canal. At the time the canal was completed, I think I would rather have the land in section two with the canal than without it. The land which is used on the W. frac12; S. E. 1/4 for the feeder, I consider worth at least six hundred dollars per acre. The land overflowed by the feeder and the canal I think in a body valueless. The injury done by the overflowing the eighty acres with the feeder I consider not less than eight thousand dollars. By the construction of the canal without the feeder, unless the state built a culvert so as to let the water pass off, there would have been nearly the same amount of land overflowed; this would have been in consequence of the construction of the canal. The plat herewith filed, marked ``Plat of lands near Ottawa,'' is a correct map.

The following plat, proved to be correct, was introduced by counsel for the state, and filed for reference in all cases to which it applies:

[See Plat B.] [10]

The trustees of the United States Bank, whose claim had been presented to the legislature, offered the exhibit herewith, marked ``U.S. Bank, No. 1,'' which, together with explanatory parol testimony, was received, as follows, on the condition stated: Samuel Staats Taylor, produced by the attorney of the United States Bank, and sworn. The witness holding in hand the account herewithPage  173 filed, marked ``U.S. Bank, No. 1,'' offered to give some explanatory evidence, when Mr. Edwards objected to the filing of the paper; first, because it was proved ex parte, without opportunity of cross-examination, and, secondly, because it lays the basis of a new claim; whereupon the claimant consents that it be filed, to be used only in explanation of the claim as originally filed, and in no wise as an increase of the same---upon which condition the commission have allowed it to be filed.

Witness knows John Rumsey, who made the affidavit filed with the account; was one of the book-keepers in the United States Bank, employed as such during all the time the transactions stated in said account occurred, and that he is now and has always been one of the book-keepers of said bank. Knows his hand-writing, and the signature to the affidavit is his. The difference in the amount between this account and the one originally filed arises from the fact that in this account there is a charge made for coupons that is not in the first account, the bank having been made to pay them, on a garnishee process issued against the bank by one of the creditors of the state of Illinois. [11]

The undersigned further report, that all the other claims, upon which any evidence was offered, falling in classes, so that any evidence, applicable at all, was applicable to a whole class, we found it convenient, and even absolutely necessary, for the saving of time, to take a larger portion of the testimony under the head of ``general evidence.'' Intermingled with this are occasional explanatory notes. The general evidence is as follows, to wit:

General evidence taken at Ottawa, Chicago and Springfield before Hon. N. Johnston and Hon. A. Lincoln, December, 1852.

William M. True, on behalf of the state, sworn, says---During the time the contractors were to work on the canal, he received canal scrip at par, as a merchant at Ottawa. Witness does not know that the hands received scrip of contractors at par; thinks merchants generally received it at par.

Cross-Examination.---Witness thinks he did not receive and pay out scrip as low as twenty-five cents on the dollar---thinks it was at one time received as low as twenty cents; there was a time when it rated at fifteen and twenty cents on the dollar, and business men generally refuse to deal in it at that time. Do not recollect whether the work on the canal was in progress or not. Cannot recollect that at any time after July, 1852, scrip was received by merchants atPage  174

par. There was a time, while the canal was in progress, that scrip was received by the merchants as low as seventy-five cents on the dollar---no positive recollection of taking it lower than that.

Re-examination.---Cannot state that at any time from 1842 to 1845, it was received at par.

Continuation of general evidence taken at Chicago.

Alexander Brand, on behalf of claimants, sworn, says---That he has been engaged in the exchange business since 1839, in the city of Chicago. Has dealt in canal indebtedness. The first was the old 1840 interest scrip. Second class was certificates given for large balances due the contractors. Third class was what is now called indebtedness, and printed on the back of an engraved plate.

March 6, 1840. Exchange between here and New York on State Bank of Illinois, was 12 and 12frac12; per cent.

April 3, 1840. Some merchants in this city took scrip at par; George Smith, dealer in exchange and banker, bought it at 62frac12; and 68 cents.

April 16, 1840. Scrip was taken by many merchants at par, for most goods. The merchants contrived generally to increase the price of their goods. Some goods they would not sell for scrip, at par. Some had attempted to scale down scrip to 75 and 80 cents, selling goods at their cash prices; but that was not liked by purchasers. It was bought at 68 and 75 cents on the dollar, in Illinois money. When bought or sold for specie the price was different.

May 9, 1840. Scrip was getting more languid, at 70 cents. Many merchants were selling goods for it at par, adding something, I presume, to the prices. Exchange on New York 10 per cent.

May 13, 1840. Scrip, at this date was from 65 to 75 cents.

May 26, 1840. Witness sold five hundred dollars of scrip at 71 cents.

June 1, 1840. On this date, witness bought eleven hundred dollars at 73frac12; cents.

June 13, 1840. Scrip, at this date, from 70 to 72 cents.

June 28, 1840. Offered for a quantity of scrip 68 cents, but the nominal price was 65 cents.

July 9, 1840. Sold $1,052 for 70 cents, but purchasing at 65 cents. The above sale was on account of a St. Louis broker.

August 21, 1840. Sixty-five cents was as much as was given at this date. It had fallen suddenly, and was suspected that workmen would not take it any longer at par from the contractors. Exchange at this date on New York 8 per cent.

August 27, 1840. Witness bought at 65 cents; other brokers refused to give more than 62frac12; cents.

Sept. 3, 1840. Canal scrip is quoted at 62frac12; cents.

Page  175Sept. 26, 1840. Canal scrip is quoted at 65 cents, and exchange on New York 7 per cent.

Nov. 6, 1840. Exchange on New York 7 per cent., scrip 72 to 75 cents.

Nov. 18, 1840. Exchange on New York 3 per cent. This reduction of exchange was in consequence of the bank having bought part of the ``contractors' loan.''

December 1, 1840. Scrip was not selling for less than 70 cents upon and after the receipt of the governor's message.

Dec. 11, 1840. The ``Branch Bank'' at Chicago resumed specie payment on its own notes. Exchange on New York 3 per cent.

Dec. 17, 1840. Exchange on New York 3 per cent. Scrip, nominally, at 70 cents. The reduction of exchange spoken of was an important measure for the bank to facilitate the resumption of specie payments, in the opinion of the witness.

January 9, 1841. Scrip quoted at 63 to 68, dull, for State Bank bills. Exchange on New York 3 per cent premium.

Jan. 13, 1841. Scrip 62 to 68. Exchange on New York 3 per cent premium.

Jan. 15, 1841. Scrip dull---no fixed quotations---say 62 to 68.

February 15, 1841. Bank here ceased to draw to-day.

February 18, 1841. Exchange on New York from 8 to 10frac12; in State Bank paper. Specie was worth from 9 to 11 discount on State Bank paper. The value of specie here changed, owing to the greater or less demand for land sales. At this time, witness' impression is that the bank had again suspended specie payment.

Nov. 13, 1841. Exchange on New York 10frac12; per cent. About this date scrip sold for 45frac12; cents.

Nov. 20, 1841. Exchange on New York 11 per cent.

Dec. 2, 1841. Exchange on New York 12 to 13 per cent.

Dec. 4, 1841. Witness offered to sell scrip for 42frac12; cents--- does not think he sold at that.

Dec. 17, 1841. Exchange on New York 15 per cent.

Dec. 28, 1841. Exchange on New York from 15 to 17 per cent.

Dec. 29, 1841. Sold over $2,000 of scrip at 40 cents.

January 19, 1842. Exchange on New York from 14 to 16 per cent.

Jan. 22, 1842. Witness offered twenty-five cents for five hundred dollars canal scrip, on the face, not counting interest.

Jan. 29, 1842. The price of canal certificates ranged from 20 to 25 and 30 cents.

In February the exchange on State Bank paper run up from 15 to 22 per cent. The bank soon after failed.

February 16, 1842. Canal office made a new issue on the backPage  176 of the blank checks on State Bank, afterwards known as canal indebtedness not bearing interest. Worth at this time about 25 cents. Canal scrip worth from 28 to 33 cents, in currency.

March 5, 1842. Exchange for currency, (Indiana and Wisconsin money,) was 14 per cent. premium. Indebtedness selling at 20 and 25 cents, for currency.

May 26, 1842. Illinois State canal scrip, bearing interest, worth 30 to 25 cents, and indebtedness from 18 to 23 cents. Interest not included in this scrip, but bought at the face. Next day, exchange on New York 8 per cent.

June 11, 1842. Canal scrip sold on the face for 23 cents; indebtedness, with no interest, from 18 to 22 cents.

Aug. 5, 1842. Canal scrip and indebtedness might be bought for 15 cents, and sold at 20 cents.

Aug. 11, 1842. Scrip worth from 15 to 22 cents. Same price on the 26th; and Sept. 5th same price.

Sept. 24, 1842. Scrip from 18 to 22 cents. This range of figures includes canal scrip and indebtedness.

October 8 and 25, 1842. Quotations the same---18 to 22 cents.

Nov. 23, 1842. Scrip from 20 to 22 cents. Exchange on New York, for Indiana and Ohio currency, 3 per cent.

Dec. 3, 1842. Price rising, temporarily, and worth from 18 to 25 cents.

Dec. 29, 1842. Scrip and indebtedness dull at from 17 to 22 cents.

Jan. 14, 1843. Scrip from 16 to 20 cents, and dull.

July 5, 1843. Scrip about 25 cents. July 17---worth 29 and 30 cents; and up to the 20th November did not range higher than 26 cents, but at the canal sale it was nominally as high as 30 cents.

All the above information was extracted from letters, and quotations of rates, written by witness to correspondents, and he believes the same to be as correct as he could write them at the time. As a general thing, witness did not deal in scrip and indebtedness for canal contractors. One of the canal contractors deposited with witness canal indebtedness as security for borrowed money, and he afterwards had to sell it to reimburse himself. The amount of indebtedness was twenty-five hundred dollars. It was sold in June, July, and August, 1842, for about 20 cents on the dollar. The indebtedness belonged to Mr. Bracken. Witness bought of E. W. Herrick, one of the contractors, in the months of November and December, 1845, nearly $1,500 of scrip and indebtedness, at from 32 to 33 cents on the dollar. May have bought from other contractors, but does not recollect the particulars of any purchase.

June 20, 1844. Witness bought in New York city $800 of scripPage  177 on the face, for $320; and bought, in Chicago, in the same month, indebtedness, for 32 cents. During July, August and September, that was about the rate it sold for here.

Oct. 3, 1844. Witness bought $130, on the face, for $44, being a little over 33 cents on the dollar.

Nov. 22, 1844. Bought $200 of indebtedness at 26 cents. In December bought again at the same rate.

May 22, 1845. Bought indebtedness at 30 cents. In July bought $1,000 at same rate.

Oct. 1845. Bought indebtedness at from 30 to 32 cents, and scrip, computing interest, about the same.

Feb. 20, 1846. Bought Scrip at 30 cents, computing interest. In the summer bought scrip at 28 and 30, and in September bought at 35 cents, on the face.

January, 1847. Bought, from January to March, for 26 and 28 cents.

In September, 1847, it run up to 35 cents. Governor's scrip was sold, during 1846 and 1847, generally at about the same rates.

Cross-Examination.---The legislature afterwards allowed interest to contractors on the indebtedness, from the time it was issued, but the contractors having parted with their indebtedness, in many instances, derived only a partial benefit from this provision.

For all canal lots and lands sold previous to and including the year 1843, scrip and indebtedness was taken at par; but persons buying paid much higher for the lots and lands, knowing that they could pay in scrip and indebtedness. My recollection is, that lots and lands brought three times as much as the appraisal.

Witness paid for S. frac12; of lot 9 in block 5, fr. section 15, (sold in 1843,) $1,020---is now worth $3,000, cash---and paid for lot 5, block 12, same section, $620, in scrip. It has just been sold for $5,000. Lot 3, block 21, was sold for $225 in scrip, is now worth about $1,500. E. frac12; lot 4, block 42, and lot 7, same block---one was sold for $3,580, and the other for $1,350---are now worth $4,000 each. Lot 7, block 1, sold for $2,170, is now worth $5,500.

(Counsel from claimants objects to the testimony in regard to the value of the property.)

Re-examination.---He cannot say that he remembers of any lots or land having been bought by contractors.

He does not know of any of the contractors having sold bonds for wheat, and lost the whole.

Edward J. Tinkham, on behalf of claimants, sworn, says. Has been in the banking and broker business in the city of Chicago since 1839. His impression that the per centage on State Bank of

Page  178Illinois between Chicago and New York, in 1840, was from 6 to 7 per cent. Cannot say what the per centage between New York and London was at that time.

Thinks that the exchange for State Bank of Illinois, in the fall of 1840 and spring of 1841, was gradually rising; that in the spring of 1841 it was 10 per cent.

He bought from 1840, and for a year or two afterwards, considerable scrip.

When the interest scrip was first issued, in March, 1840, the price varied in the market of Chicago, from 60 to 70 cents.

The canal indebtedness, when first issued, was worth, in this market, from 30 to 35 cents, but subsequently sold, and the house in which witness was engaged bought it, as low as 28 cents, and knows of sales at that rate; that the canal bonds were quoted at about the same rate; that at the time state indebtedness scrip had depreciated, and was worth about the same, including interest, to wit, 30 to 35 cents on the dollar. When witness speaks of scrip, he alludes to the scrip issued in 1840 bearing interest; and when he speaks of indebtedness, he alludes to an issue, made in '41 or '42, which did not bear interest. When witness speaks of the value of scrip and indebtedness being equal, he means the indebtedness on its face, and the scrip with the interest added in.

Cross-Examined.---From 1840 to 1845, the custom was, in sales of scrip at Chicago, that if he bought one hundred dollars of scrip with one year's interest upon it, at fifty cents on the dollar, he gave fifty-three dollars for it. When scrip was first issued I knew of instances where merchants received it at par for debts due them, depending on the character of the debt and the solvency of the debtor, and whether they could have got any thing else. Does know of indebtedness or canal bonds being taken in that way. Witness does not know as he ever sold at any rate.

Henry Smith, on behalf of the claimants, sworn. Says he has resided in Chicago since 1838. Prior to 1841 was engaged in carrying out a contract on the canal. Has no interest in any claim against the state. After 1841 was engaged in the mercantile business, and as a dealer in real estate. In 1842 William B. Ogden received some $18,000 or $20,000 in canal bonds from an association of contractors, to dispose of at New York city. Ogden exchanged some bonds for goods. Witness made the settlement between Ogden and the contractors. He knows of the goods having been received. These bonds were disposed of so as to net about twenty per cent. of their face; and witness believes that was the best disposition that could have been made of them, and was aPage  179 higher rate than they could have been sold for cash. Witness knows that the same goods were paid out to hands at the Chicago market price in payment for their labor. Witness has heard the testimony of Alexander Brand. At the time referred to by him, I had more or less scrip and indebtedness passing through his hands. Concurs in his general statement in regard to their value at the times mentioned. Witness knows where scrip or indebtedness was taken by merchants for goods, or by laborers for labor, or for materials, or provisions for the canal, at par. A corresponding increase in the price was made to cover the depreciation so as to approximate to the cash value. Whenever payment was made to laborers par funds only were used in payment; and the price per day or month was always fixed on the intended payments of current par funds. No scrip or indebtedness was paid to laborers, except when at par, or discounted to par funds at the time. The same, also, in payment for materials or goods. There was but one price for labor by the day or month, and that was always understood to be for cash. From the first of May, 1838, to the stopping of the work on sections five and six, the witness speaks of all the cases which fell within his observation or knowledge. He was acquainted with many of the contractors, and their connection with the public works was generally disastrous, and in most cases ruinous to them.

George Steel, on behalf of claimants, sworn. Says witness was a contractor and one of the claimants. Has known of contractors buying cattle and provisions by paying half cash and half scrip; usually paid more than they could have bought the same for in cash. Scrip traded off in this way brought more than when sold to brokers. This was in the years of 1840 and 1841. Has known of cases where laborers were to receive part pay in scrip and part goods; but the men generally took their pay in goods, preferring to take goods to taking scrip at par, and they received very little scrip. Some of them were in debt for goods, and received no scrip. These are cases that fell under witness' observation. There may have been cases where the contractors had smaller stocks of goods and paid their men more scrip. I paid my men all cash, and Mr. Barnett paid his men in cash and goods at cash prices, and done a large amount of work after the indebtedness was issued. Witness knows of Mr. Barnett's borrowing fifteen thousand dollars, and kept his scrip. Thinks he now has from sixty to eighty thousand dollars. He, Mr. Barnett, told me about a year ago that he had from sixty to eighty thousand dollars. Witness knows from his own case and from information in regard to others that all the contractors, for some months, paid more or less cash. This was in thePage  180 year 1841. The effect of Mr. Barnett and others paying cash to their hands was to render it difficult for other contractors to get hands without paying cash or a higher price in scrip. He does not know that other contractors paid a higher price in scrip. Heard them complain of the prejudicial effect of these cash payments. Witness knows of a dozen or more contractors who finished their contract in the years of 1841 and 1842. Mr. Matteson, Mr. Blanchard & Co., Steel & Aymer, among the number. Could name several other heavy contracts that were finished.

Cross-Examined.---In the winter of 1838 and 1839 provisions fell fifty percent from what it was in 1837, and labor from twenty to twenty-five per cent. Most of the contracts in 1838 and 1839, taken at lower rates, to correspond with the lower price of labor and provisions. The prices of provisions and labor was about the same in 1841 and 1842 as in 1839. Labor had fallen, and was very low in the winters of 1837 and 1838. He knew of contractors---Mr. Negus, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Harvey, as well as himself---who bought a few lots at the sale of 1843. They had not the scrip to buy with, having hypothecated with the broker their scrip to raise funds to finish their contracts, and very few of the contractors bought.

D. L. Roberts, on behalf of the claimants, sworn. Says he was a contractor, and one of the claimants. Witness has heard the testimony of George Steel, and believes it to be, in the main, correct, and does not know it to be incorrect in any particular.

Cross-Examined.---Witness had a sub-contract as well as an original contract. As such sub-contractor he was to receive one-third cash, as the work progressed, and the balance when the state paid the contractor. The contractor failed, and witness made a compromise with him and received state indebtedness---a considerable larger amount than would have been due if taken at par. The contractor had received some of his pay from the state in indebtedness. Witness considers he is not yet paid according to his contract, but he took what he received by way of compromise, the contractor being insolvent. Mr. Bracken, the contractor referred to, paid the hands in his employ cash. Re-examined.---Witness does not know of any other sub-contractor. Witness thinks the cause of Mr. Bracken's failure was the state not paying him in cash, according to contract. Does not know of any contractor, except Mr. Barnett, who yet holds state indebtedness. Witness knew many of the contractors and their circumstances at the time, and in his opinion most of them were broken down by losses on their contracts; and most of them parted with their indebtedness while it sold at a low figure.Page  181

James E. Bishop, on behalf of the state, sworn. Says, knows of but very few sub-contracts, and as far as his knowledge extends the sub-contractors were paid in cash. That was his practice with his sub-contractors.

Cross-Examined.---Witness, as a general thing, at first kept his indebtedness, hoping that the state would make it good. Witness sold a portion of his scrip at fifty cents on the dollar, for groceries and supplies for the men, about the year 1841, and paid the same out to other men at fair cash prices. The men received nearly all of their pay in goods, taking little, if any, scrip. What scrip I paid they took at par. After the bonds and scrip had fallen lower I sold two bonds in this city at eighteen cents on the dollar, which was the highest price in the market. Some contractors, before scrip had fallen so much, made an arrangement with their hands to take it at par. The hands, however, ceased to take it after a short time. While the arrangement existed the young men generally left the work, and the work was done by men of families, who received their pay principally in goods at the cash market rates.

Joel Manning, on behalf of claimants, sworn. Says, witness commenced as secretary of the canal board in 1836, and continued as such until the canal passed into the hands of the present trustees. Witness, as such secretary, some time since, gave certificates to various contractors upon the canal, to be used in presenting their claims to the legislature, which certificates are true in all matters of which they certify. These certificates are on file with the papers of the respective claims, and are now here in the hands and control of N. W. Edwards, counsel for the state. A list of the names of the claimants to whose claims these certificates apply, is on a sheet herewith filed, marked ``General Evidence---A.'' Witness has examined the contract filed in the case of Stephens, Douglass and Norton, and all the other contracts were given in the same form, except the contracts made under the Morris letting. Witness has examined the originals of the documents reported on pages 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 23 of the Reports of the session of 1840 and 1841. To the best of his knowledge they are true copies of the originals.

Cross-Examined.---The papers, Nos. 2 and 3, pages 18 and 19, of the Reports of session of 1840 and 1841, were signed by all the contractors who received money under the Thornton loan. The other documents referred to were signed by the parties whose names are attached to the documents in said Reports. The contracts referred to in Mr. Steele's testimony were surrendered in 1837 and 1838. The following is a true copy of the instrument signed by the persons who availed themselves of the law named in the instrument:Page  182

``To Gholson Kercheval, James Mitchell and William M. Jackson, assessors of damages on the Illinois and Michigan canal:

``We, George Armour, Adam Lamb, and Richard McFadden, assignee of Thomas Williams, by Joel Manning, attorney in fact for said McFadden and Thomas Williams, contractors on the Illinois and Michigan canal, for the purpose of availing themselves of the privileges and benefits conferred upon them by an act entitled `An act to provide for the completion of the Illinois and Michigan canal, and for the payment of the canal debt,' approved February 21, 1843, do hereby apply for an appraisal, according to the provisions of said act, of the actual damages which they will sustain in being deprived of their contracts on sections number twenty-five and twenty-six, on the summit division of the Illinois and Michigan canal; and we do hereby consent and agree that such appraisal and assessment of damages shall be made without allowing them any prospective damages, or any profits which they might have made had they finished said jobs or contracts. Dated at Lockport, Illinois, this twenty-sixth day of September, A. D. 1843.

ADAM LAMB, THOMAS WILLIAMS,

GEO. ARMOUR, RICHARD MCFADDEN,

By Geo. Steele, his attorney. By J. Manning, his attorney.''

The following is a list of sections and other work upon the Illinois and Michigan canal, let by the canal board from and after and including the lettings on the 20th and 22d days of September, 1841, during the presidency of Mr. Morris, [12] containing dates, jobs of work, and names of contractors:

Date of Job of work Names of contractors

letting

1841, Sept. 22 Secs. 109, 112, 126,

151, 153, and John Lafferty,

stone culvert Thomas McKown,

over Nettle J. G. Patterson.

creek, Walter D. McDonald, Michael

`` Secs. 110, 111, 131, Williams and Michael McDonald.

and 132,

`` Secs. 113, 121, 122, M. Benjamin

`` 117 Titus H. Abbott

`` 118, M. Mott and F. L. Owens.

`` 119, 120, Jacob Francis.

`` 123, 136, 137, Thos. Galleher & Co.

`` 124, James Mullany.

Page  183Date of Job of work Names of contractors

letting

`` 125, John Darlin, Lot Whitcomb.

`` 127, James Cronan & Co.

`` 128, 129, Thomas Beale, Norton

Twitchell.

`` 130, 133, 134, 138, H. L. Galleher & Co.

`` 135, 142, Wm. Reddick, Thomas O'Sullivan.

`` 139, Patrick Kenney & Co.

`` 140, Patrick & John Kelly.

`` 141, Thos. W. Hennessy, and

J. Brennon & Co.

`` 143, 144, 145, 146, Timothy Kelly, and Jer.

Crotty & Co.

`` Secs. 147, 149, 154, Michael Kennedy,

and stone culverts Patrick M. Kilduff, and

on sections B. Duffy & Co.

112, 149, 154,

`` Secs. 148, 150, George Armour and Adam

Lamb.

`` Locks Nos. 9 and 10, M. Kennedy, P. M. Kilduff,

and B. Duffy & Co.

`` Sect. 152, Dennis Kelley and Timothy

Kelley.

`` Wood culverts: on Thos. Campbell and John

secs. 119 and 121, McGirr.

134, 141, 136, Lafferty & Larkin.

142, R. Johnson.

`` Stone culverts

on secs Michael Killela.

145 and 148,

`` Au Sable aqueduct, James Kinsley.

lock No. 8,

`` Secs, 114, 115, 116, Buck Van Alstine.

24 161, Hauley & Healy.

1842, Jan. 28 130, Walter McDonald & Michael

Williams.

`` 123, James Burk.

Feb. 18 143, 144, 145, 146, Jeremiah Crotty.

109, 112, 126,

151, 153, and Declared abandoned.

Nettle creek

aqueduct,

`` 125, William E. Armstrong.

23 Culverts on secs. A. D. Butterfield and

134, 136 and C. L. Lukens.

141,

Apr. 21 Sec. 118, Andrew Kinsley.

June 7 141, Rich'd Cody, Tho. Hennessy,

Chas. Bannon.

Page  184Date of Job of work Names of contractors

letting

June 7 125, William E. Armstrong,

Jas. Hart.

8 153, Timothy Kelley.

Oct. 28 109, 112, 114,

116, 117, 123,

126, 133, 134, Declared abandoned.

136, 137, 138,

139, 140, 151,

153,

`` Sec. 130, Declared abandoned.

`` 134, Thos. Larkin.

`` 138, Maher & Castello.

At the ``Morris lettings'' the following order was made and posted up in a public place, and was so understood, in the opinion of the witness, by the contractors under that letting:

``Ordered, That the following be the conditions of letting the forty-six sections advertised for contract this day:

``1st. If no more acceptable arrangement can be made, the governor has promised to place in the hands of the commissioners state bonds, to be paid out to contractors at par, from time to time, as they are earned.''---Made Sep. 20, 1841.

From the spring of 1841 to the winter following, we received orders from the contractors in favor of laborers and others, registered the orders, and, when requested, gave the bearer written acceptances; and during the winter of 1841 and 1842 we received what is called canal indebtedness, with which the orders and acceptances were redeemed when called for. Most of them were called for.

Re-examined.---Does not know what amount of these orders was presented by the laborers. Thinks considerable proportion was so presented. Does not know at what rate these orders were received from the contractors. They were drawn for so many dollars and cents. Knows that some contracts were completed after the work was generally abandoned in 1841. Among them were Steele and Aymer, Blanchard & Co., Roberts & Co., and others.

Mr. Edwards, attorney for the state, offered the journals of the legislature, messages of the governor, reports of the commissioners, engineers, and other officers under the canal laws, the report of Gen. Thornton on the ``Thornton loan,'' printed correspondence between the governor and Gen. Thornton, and between Gen. Thornton and the contractors and others, relating to the disposition of bonds; also, the correspondence and agreement between

Page  185Gen. Thornton and the contractors, as evidence. The documents are referred to and considered as evidence, to save copying, and extracts of which are in the report of the counsel for the state.

The counsel for claimants objected to the reception, as evidence, of reports of ``engineers and other officers'' under the canal laws, not acting on behalf of the contractors.

Springfield.---Isaac N. Morris, on behalf of the state, sworn. Says, was canal commissioner in 1841 and 1842, about two years. When I assumed the control in part of the canal, I found the treasury exhausted of money, or there was but a small amount of funds in it, and no provision had been made by the legislature to supply it. The question was raised whether the board should suspend operations upon the work altogether, or proceed with it, and pay scrip and bonds, if the bonds could be obtained from Gov. Carlin. Many of the contractors and others urged a new letting, and we informed them of the kind of payments we could make, and that if they became bidders they would have to receive it at par. They expressed a willingness to do this, and the board accordingly instructed Mr. Gooding, [13] the chief engineer, to survey and make out a cash estimate of certain portions of the canal, which he did, and which was afterwards let out upon bids, the contractors, as I have stated, understanding they were to receive payment, as I have expressed it, in scrip and bonds at par. The board did not believe they were authorized to pay scrip and bonds in any other way. I cannot now remember the names of the particular contractors, but I am satisfied that those engaged upon the work, as well as those who proposed to take contracts, knew there were no funds in the canal office, and that they must receive scrip and bonds in payment, at par, if they went on with the work or took new contracts. I never heard any of the contractors object to receiving scrip or bonds, in compliance with the foregoing understanding. By the word scrip I do not mean regular six per cent. canal scrip, for that the board, as they understood the law, were not authorized to issue; but I refer to certificates or canal indebtedness such as the board had stricken off and issued.

In the case of the claim of Haven & Haven, the claimants and the counsel for the state agreed that no further evidence should be introduced on either side in that case.

The old evidence, filed with the several claims, was admitted in evidence, and the right of cross-examination waived by the counsel for the state.

The undersigned further report, that during their sitting at

Page  186Ottawa, C. L. Starbuck presented a claim for and on behalf of Andrew Kinsley, which claim the board refused to receive evidence upon, because of no sufficient evidence that it had been ever before presented.

That George Armour, Andrew Lamb and Thomas Williams, for the use of John and George Armour, presented a claim, founded on a decree of the Cook county circuit court, rendered June 5, 1852, and offered to prove the same, which was rejected by the board as a new claim.

That Alonzo Walbridge and Mary, his wife, William Johnson and Sarah, his wife, and Elias Keyes, for the use of Alonzo Walbridge, presented a claim for damages, arising out of the construction of the canal across sec. 14, township 33, range 4 east, part of the estate of Edward Keyes, deceased, and offered proof of the same, which was rejected by the board as a new claim.

The undersigned further report, that all the witnesses who testified before us were duly sworn, and gave their testimony under their oaths respectively.

All which is respectfully submitted. A. LINCOLN,

January 7, 1853. NOAH JOHNS[T]ON.

By way of supplement, we, the undersigned, submit, that while at Ottawa we engaged the use of the sheriff's office, with the expression of our belief that the state would make reasonable compensation for the same; that we so occupied said office three days; and that the sheriff's name is-----Thorn.

We also state that on the 6th day of December, 1852, at Ottawa, we engaged Mr. R. E. Goodell, as clerk of our board; that he accompanied us to Chicago and thence to Springfield, and has been with us constantly up to the time of making this report.

We also state, that when we advertised the notice of our meeting, as mentioned in our report, we sent the same to the Ottawa Free Trader, Joliet Signal, and the Chicago Journal, with a note to the latter to request the other Chicago papers to copy; we mentioned that we supposed the state would foot the bills. None of the proprietors of the papers to whom we directly sent said notice, have presented a bill to us, but Alfred Dutch, proprietor of the Commercial Advertiser, who published under the request to copy, has presented us a bill of $3.00, which we suppose ought to be paid.

At the instance of the counsel for the state, Isaac N. Morris traveled from Quincy to Springfield, and appeared before us one day as a witness, for which we suppose he should be compensated.

As to ourselves, we state, that from the time we left our respectivePage  187 homes till we returned to Springfield, we were constantly engaged in this business; that we went to Chicago because we were satisfied we could save time by so doing. The bills below are correct in point of fact, and, as we suppose, are in accordance with the law:

State of Illinois to Noah Johnston, Dr.

To travel from Mount Vernon, by way of St. Louis, to Chicago,

and back to Mount Vernon, by way of Naples, Springfield

and St. Louis, 1,025 miles, $102 50

To 44 days service, 176 00

-------

$278 50

-------

State of Illinois to A. Lincoln, Dr.

To travel from Springfield, by way of Naples to Chicago, and

back the same way, 650 miles, $ 65 00

To 21 days service, 84 00

-------

$149 00

-------

NOTE.---The difference in the number [of] days charged by one and the other of us, arises from the fact, that a large part of the time Mr. Lincoln was at home attending to his own business, while Mr. Johnston was necessarily away from his home, and was also engaged a good deal of the time in this business.

State of Illinois to R. E. Goodell, Dr.

To travel from Ottawa to Chicago, thence to Springfield and

back to Ottawa, 650 miles, $ 65 00

To 32 days service, 96 00

-------

$161 00

-------

Respectfully submitted, this 7th of January, 1853.

A. LINCOLN,

N. JOHNSTON.

Annotation

[1]   Reports Made to the Eighteenth General Assembly of The State of Illinois (1853), House Reports, pp. 4-24.

[2]   Augustus C. French.

[3]   Hugh T. Dickey was a Chicago attorney and judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court.

[4]   Noah Johnston (or Johnson, both spellings appearing throughout this and other contemporary records) was a Mount Vernon attorney who had served several terms in the Illinois legislature, both House and Senate.

[5]   Ninian W. Edwards.

[6]   Brackets in the source.

[7]   Footnote in source: ``NOTE.---Mr. Edwards objected to all the proof, in the case of R. D. Lyman, in relation to coal and coal banks, as being an increase of a claim.''

[8]   Footnote in source: ``NOTE.---Mr. Edwards, counsel for the state, objects to so much of the above statement as relates to coal, because it is an increase of claim, which objection the board sustain, but allowed the statement to be placed on file for the inspection of the legislature, on the ground that the evidence in relation to coal is rejected. Mr. Edwards declines to cross-examine the witness, or to introduce proof upon the point. Mr. Edwards admits the sufficiency of the title to all the tracts in this claim.''

[9]   Footnote in source: ``NOTE.---This evidence, as to the first tract, applies equally to the claim of Mr. Reddick.''

[10]   Brackets in the source.

[11]   Footnote in source: ``NOTE.---The testimony of this witness, so far as it may tend to lay the basis of a new claim, or to increase the original claim, is excluded, and is only received so far as it may tend to explain the original claim.''

[12]   Isaac N. Morris succeeded William F. Thornton as president of the board of commissioners in 1842.

[13]   William Gooding.