Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  189

Bill Introduced in Illinois Legislature
to Incorporate the Vermillion Coal and Manufacturing Company [1]

February 5, 1853

A bill for an act to incorporate the ``Vermillion Coal and Manufacturing Company''

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois represented in the General Assembly: That John A. Rockwell, [2] his associates, successors and assigns, are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, under the name and style of the ``Vermillion Coal and Manufacturing Company'' and under, and by that name, they may contract and be contracted with, sue and be sued, in all courts and places: they shall have the power to organize such company, by the appointment of a President and such other officers as they may deem necessary at such time and place as may be designated by notice previously given by them or a majority of them, and when thus organized, they may have a common seal, and alter the same; and shall have power to make such by-laws, rules, and regulations as they may deem necessary from time to time, for the government and management and prossecution of the business of the said company, not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States or of this State.

Sec: 2. The said Company may engage in the business of the mining of coal, iron, clays, and other minerals; and of welling for salt, on lands now owned in whole, or in part by said John A. Rockwell near the Little Vermillion in the county of La Salle in the State of Illinois, and lands contiguous to the same, which may be hereafter purchased, and in the manufacture, sale, and transportation of the products of their mines, wells, and other commodities, as the company may think expedient. And the said company shall have power to construct a rail road from such point or points on said land as they may deem expedient to the nearest convenient point of the Illinois and Michigan canal or, [3] in lieu thereof, at their option to the nearest convenient point on the Illinois Central Railroad or on the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad; provided they shall not construct more than one such Railroad. And the right of way and occupancy may be acquired, and damages adjusted under the provisions of the law now in force in relation to the right of way; and when such damages are assessed and paid, or payment tendered, according to the provisions of said law, thePage  190 rights so acquired shall vest in said company for the uses and purposes thereof.

Sec: 3. Whenever any married woman, infant, or person non compos mentis, shall be entitled to damages on account of the passage of said railroad or it's branches over their land the guardian of such infant or person non compos mentis or the husband of such married woman, may release all damages for and in their behalf as fully as might be done by the parties when free from disability.

Annotation

[1]   AD, I-Ar. Lincoln had Asahel Gridley, state senator from McLean County, Introduce the bill in the Senate on February 5. It was passed by the Senate on February 9, but died in the House upon adjournment. See Lincoln to Rockwell, February 15, infra.

[2]   John A. Rockwell has not been identified beyond the circumstances indicated in this bill and Lincoln's letter of February 15, but a ``John Rockwell'' is listed in contemporary sources as a pioneer of LaSalle County.

[3]   The original phrasing, deleted at this point, calls for all three connections rather than the choice of one. Lincoln explains the change in his letter to Rock-well, infra.