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as soon as they can be made available without impoverishing and oppressing the people.
Resolved, 1 hat our failure hitherto to meet our obligations has not arisen from any intention on the part of the Legislature, or any respectable portion of the people, to repudiate or evade these obligations, and that we utterly detest and abhor the repudiation of just debts by States or individuals as immoral, dishonorable, and destructive of public and private character.
Resoloed, That such failure is wholly attributable to causes involving the commercial nations of Europe as well as this country, over which we had but limited control, that seduced by an inflated currency and the consequent apparent prosperity, we contracted these debts vainly hoping that a corresponding state of prosperity would enable us to develope our rich resources and make them available to meet our obligations; that a rapid and almost unprecedented contraction and depreciatiou of the currency caused a corresponding depreciation in the value of property, crippled our resources, dried up the sources of revenue, and produced universal embarrassment and pressure, which can only be removed by the slow operations of active and patient industry.
Resolved, That the inflation of the currency had its origin and aliment in the overaction of the credit system, both in England and this country, that each nation contributed to swell the tide of excitement and speculation, which a few years ago rolled over both nations, and to which cach in its turn became a victim, that its consequences were manifested in England by embarrassment and distress, and multitudes of failures and bankruptcies in 1839; and that the manifestations of such effects from the operation of similar causes in so rich and powerful a country should be a sufficient apology for the inability of a people, circumstanced as we are, to meet our obligations without a suspicion of base or dishonorable motives.
Resolved, That we do not regard a failure on the part of individuals or nations to pay their debts as vase or dishonorable, when such failure proceeds from inability, and inevitable circumstances that history furnishes examples of other nations, now high on the roll of fame, where circumstances not more imperious than ours, such as the South Sea speculation in England, and the Mississippi bubble in France, compelled a sacrifice of public and private obligations, without impairing the character and honor of those nations.
Resolved, That the actual debt of Illinois, for which no means are appropriated, is not insurmountable, when compared with our great natural resources—that our population, in a few years, according to the rates of augmentation, will amount to one million of people, and that our wealth and resources will be increased in a greater ratio—that the surplus productions of our rich soil, even with our present population, would
be amply sufficient to enable us to meet all our liabilities, could they be converted into money at reasonable prices; and that we must only await with patience, that period, which cannot be remote, when sufficient amount of sound a currency will be in circulation to secure to our agricultural population a fair price for their productions, and enable them to pay all necessary taxes, to meet the wants of the government at home, and discharge with integrity all our obligations to our creditors abroad.
PASSED, 21st Feb., 1843.
MEMORIAL AND RESOLUTIONS on the subjeci of the narigation of
- To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled: Your Memorial memorialists, the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, navigation of would respectfully represent to your honorable body that the western rivers free and unmolested navigation of the river Mississippi, not only along the western border of our naturally rich and luxuriant State, (more than six hundred miles in extent) but from the falls of St. Anthony to New Orleans and the Gulf, is a consideration which lies at the very foundation of western enterprise and prosperity, to say nothing of the vast and multifarious benefit to the whole Union arising therefrom. Since our great river is the pational channel through which our ag. ricultural and other products of the vast country, of which it is the drain, must find a market while those products are annually increasing to an extent almost to defy belief, the dangers of navigation seem to increase in a corresponding ratio. The immense losses of property, as well as of human life, upon this great highway for our commerce have become a subject of deep and abiding interest to all classes in the west. The mighty wrecks, the vast quantities of scattered and decaying property, and the dreadful manifestations of consequent distress which so frequently present themselves to the eye of the traveller along the Mississippi, particularly between the mouth of the Ohio and the city of Alton, are startling in their character, and call aloud to the philanthropist and statesman to use their exertions to prevent the recurrence of similar calamities.
Your memorialists have not at hand any certain data by which to ascertain the loss of human life and of valuable property, by reason of snags, sawyers, and other obstructions, which mechanical power, properly applied, can remove; but do not hesitate to say that many hundred lives and more than a million of dollars of property, with which steamboats were freighted, have been lost and destroyed within the last year alone.
To no power competent to the removal of the evil can your memorialists apply but to your honorable body. No means are within the control of any of the States watered by the Mississippi sufficient for the undertaking, and your memorialists are assured that in the just exercise of those powers delegated to you by the Constitution, the grievances of which they complain cau be wholly removed; to this end your memorialists would respectfully suggest the propriety of organizing at once an efficient corps, skilled in operations of the kind, to be in service at all seasons when it is practicable to work; and would earnestly pray your honorable body, in tender consideration of the premises, to make appropriations commensurate with the magnitude and importance of the work, and continue them annually until the grcat object is accomplished. Your memorialists fully believe that if such a corps be organized, and such appropriations made, the obstruciions will be removed in a few years and our citizens relieved from those great losses of property, to which they have been so long exposed, diminishing as they have so enormously the profils of their labor and skill. Whilst liberal
appropriations are made for similar purposes to other portions the Union, and of which we do not complain, your memorialists believe a just regard to the great, diversified, and important interests of the valley of the Mississippi will prompt your honorable body to adopt, at the earliest possible moment, the most efficient measures to accomplish the object set forth in this their memorial, and by so doing advance the interests of a people whose great dependence is upon the safe navigation of their great and majestic river; and at the same time render that vast outlet of the western world what na. ture intended it to be, a source of State and National pride and prosperity; and your memorialists, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.
Resolved by the General Assembly of the Stale of Illinois, That our Senators in Congress be instructed to present the foregoing memorial to the Congress of the United States, and that those Senators be further instructed, and our Representatives requested, to use their best endeavors to procure the passage of a law, having for its object the removal of the obstructions in said memorial mentioned.
Resolted, That the Governor be requested to transmit a copy of the foregoing memorial and resolutions to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress.
JOINT RESOLUTION authorising a settlement with the Fund Commis. Gov. & Audio sioner,
itor to settle
with late Resolved by the House of Representatives, 'the Senate concur-Fund Comis ring herein, That the Governor and Auditor of Public Accounts be and they are hereby authorised and required to settle with the present Fund Commissioner, John D. Whiteside, in relation to his dealings as such Fund Commissioner, without delay, and report the result to the General Assembly.
Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concur-Sec. of State ring herein, That the Sccretary of State be authorised to fur-to
binder with nish the binder with paper for fly leaves for book binding for paper for fly the State.
JOINT RESOLUTION in relation to certain plates'. Whereas, there are several engraved plates belonging to the Preamble
State now in the hands of engravers and others, and which have heretofore been used to print State bonds; and whereas, it is important that those plates should be procured by the proper authorities of this State and that they should be destroyed; therefore,
Risoided by the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, Gov. to preThat the Governor shall be and he hereby is authorised and cure plates required to procure the possession of all such engraved places, and cause the same to be deficed or destroyed.
MEMORIAL AND RESOLUTIONS to Congress in relation to canaling
the Des Moines and Rock river rapids on the Mississippi river.
The committee on internal improvements to whom was re- Report ferred the memorial to Cougress of the Territorial Legislature of Iowa, praying for an appropriation to make canals round the Des Moines and Rock river rapids, or falls of the Mississippi river, which had been forwarded to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the State of Illinois, respectfully, soliciting the co-operation and recommendation of the Legislature of said State in behalf and in the support of the objects of said memorial, have had the same under consideration and recommend the adoption of the following preamble and resolutions: WHEREAS, it appears from all the best information that can be Preamble
obtained, that the falls of the Mississippi river, commonly called the Des Moines and Rock river rapids, effectually obstruct and operate as a barrier to the navigation of the Mississippi river; and whereas, the best interests of that beautiful, fertile, and extensive region of country require
that a canal should be made round said falls or rapids, in order to facilitate the transportation of its agricultural and mineral productions to market, and admit vessels to ascend said river with such articles of importation as the wants, necessities, or convenience of the population of said region may require; and whereas, the cost of such canal would far exceed the means within the possession of individuals or of single States, and that such a necessary and desirable link of international communication can be accomplished only by an effort of the General Government; therefore,
Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Illinois, the Senate concurring therein, That we heartily concur in the memorial of the Territorial Legislature of Iowa, praying the Congress of the United States for an appropriation for the construction of a canal round the falls of the Mississippi river, commonly called the Des Moines and Rock river rapids, in order to remove or avoid the obstructions in the navigation of said river, and thereby facilitate the intercourse between the inhabitants of that region and those of our common country.
Resolved, That the Senators and Representatives of the State Instructions of Illinois in the Congress of the United States, be requested
to use every exertion in their power to sustain the said memorial from lowa to Congress, and to obtain the appropriation therein prayed for, both by introducing a bill and other. wise.
Resolved, That the Governor of this State forward a copy of this memorial and resolutions to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to each of our Senators and Representatives in the Congress of the United States, and to the Governor of the Territory of Iowa.
JOINT RESOLUTION authorizing the Governor to procure the surrender
of the lease of S. M. Tinsley & Co., on the Northern Cross Railroad.
dler of lease of
Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concur
ring herein, That the Governor be authorised to procure the Gov. to pro- surrender of the lease of S. M. Tinsley & Co., on the Northern cure surren. Cross Railroad between Springfield and Mcredosia, and to setS, M. Tinsley
tle with them on such terms as he may think just and equita& Co, on ble, and most conducive to the interest of the State; Provided, railroad
that the Governor shall not promise to pay, or pay, them any thing for the lease, in which, &c.
Provided, That the Governor shall also be authorised and required, if it be practicable, to procure the surrender of any lien which may exist upon the said road and the tolls of the same.