Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Discussion in Illinois Legislature
Concerning the State Bank [1]

February 24, 1841

On motion of Mr HENDERSON, [2] the bill in relation to the State Bank was again taken up. . . .

Mr McCLERNAND [3] moved to lay the bill on the table, which motion was lost, yeas 26, nays 51.

The bill was then ordered to a second reading.

Mr LINCOLN moved to dispense with the rules, and read it a second time by its title.

Mr LINCOLN expressed his views of the necessity of an immediate settlement of the question: it was he said so connected with the great measure of providing for the interest and credit of the State that he hoped it would be passed without further delay.

Mr KITCHELL [4] said, he hoped the bill would not be read again, nor at all: he believed the bill was calculated to ruin the State.

Mr LOGAN [5] said, that some gentlemen were total destructives, they wished to destroy the canal, the Bank and every thing---but he would like to know how could the people pay taxes if the whole circulation was destroyed? now, it depended on this Bank: if it was destroyed the currency of the State would be cut off.

The motion of Mr LINCOLN was then carried, and the bill was read a second time. . . .

Mr McCLERNAND moved to refer the bill to the committee on Finance. . . .

Mr MURPHY [6] of Perry, moved its reference to a select committee.

Messrs. LINCOLN and BROWN, [7] of Vermilion, opposed the reference.

Mr McCLERNAND supported the reference, and referred to Mr Lincoln's having on a former occasion expressed his intention of going against the Bank, as a mark of inconsistency.

Mr LINCOLN replied and explained: that he had deprecated the efforts made to crush the Bank and only acted consistently in recommending what he thought the best means of saving both it and the state.


[1]   Illinois State Register, March 5, 1841. See Lincoln's bill introduced February 22, 1841, supra.

[2]   William H. Henderson of Putnam County.

[3]   John A. McClernand of Gallatin County.

[4]   Wickliff Kitchell of Montgomery County.Page  243

[5]   John Logan of Jackson County.

[6]   Richard G. Murphy.

[7]   John J. Brown.