Notes from Illinois House Journal 1862-1863


Notes from Illinois House Journal 1862-1863


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House Journ. 76 Jan 8th 1863 F A Eastman offered a Resolution in memory of Jackson, applauding his assistance of the writ of habeas corpus. Shope of Fulton Co. Dem. moved to lay it on the table. Carried by 50 to 33. Democrats all voting affirmative.

House Journ 78 Jan 8th 1863 Wenger Democrat from Tazewell, "two years of unsuccessful war" "loss of 500000 lives" "nation of widows & orphans" "who if the Emancipation Proclamation is carried into effect will become a prey to the lusts of freed negroes." Resolved that we are in favor of an immediate suspension of hostilities and recommend the holding of a national convention for an amicable settlement of our difficulties.

House Jour 78 Jan 8 Walker of Macoupin Democrat and came near getting the nomination Congress recently in the 10th Dist. offered a resolution charging the Govt with unlawful arrests, and implying that they were made because the parties were Democrats i.e. traitors. Referred to a spl committee -

House Journal 1863 80-81-82-83 Jan 8th, 1863 Sedgwick, Republican offered Resolution in favor of vigorous prosecution of the war. O'Brien Democrat of Peoria, who came very near getting nomination for Congress at large over Dickey, moved to insert these words, "For the preservation of the Union as it was and the Constitution as it is," slavery included. On the same day O'Brien after reciting passages from Mr. Lincoln's Inaugural and other addresses, and also his Emancipation offered the following resolution "That the Administration broken its faith, violated pledges, deceived the people, betrayed the army, and made restoration of the Union almost a hopeless impossibility." Also, "That the Proclamations of Lincoln giving freedom to the slaves are unconstitutional, contrary to the rules of civilized warfare, calculated to bring shame disgrace and eternal infamy upon the flag of the Republic, and that Illinois will protest against any war which has for its object execution or enforcement of said proclamations."

OBrien is now an admirer of Lincoln's policy as illustrated and enforced by A. Johnson.

House Journ 83 Brentano Republican offered substitute for the foregoing. "That the Proclamations will deprive rebels of their principal element in support of Rebellion," "and that we are in favor its rigid enforcement." Bunn, now a candidate for Congress in 10th Dist. moved to lay substitutes on the table, carried by 49 to 31. Democrats all voting to lay on the table.

House Journ 84 Calhounism Jan 8th Daugherty, Democrat from Clark Co offered the following resolution. That the several states composing the United States are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to the General Government; but that by compact, under the style and title of "A Constitution for the United States" and of amendments thereto, they constitute a general government for special purposes, delegated to that Government certain definite powers, reserving each state to itself the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers its acts are unauthorized and void and of no force; that to this compact

"each State acceded as a State and is an integral part; that this Government created by this Compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself since that would make its discretion and not the Constitution the measure of its power but that, as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."

Jan 9th 1863. O'Brien in a Resolution charged the Government with "tyrannical invasion of the rights of the people" and that it should be resisted by the people everywhere throughout the land," and denounced the Governor Richard Yates, as conniving at, and aiding in the tyrannies of the Government. See House Journal 1863, pages 91 & 92.

Jan 9th Shope Democrat offered a series of resolutions, one of which was as follows: "That we earnestly recommend a cessation

of hostilities for such a period as may be necessary to allow the people of the North and the South to express through a national convention, their wish for peace and a maintenance of the Union as it was and the Constitution as it was." See House Journ page 94.

Haynes, Republican moved to amend the voting law so that soldiers may vote. Fuller & Bunn Democrats filibustered and killed it by sending to Com on Federal Relations.

[Haines?] moved that it is the sense of the house that they should vote which was rejected by a strict party vote. See Journal 110 & 111.

June 4th 1863 O'Brien offered resolutions denouncing the arrest of Judge Constable and Vallandigham and demanding protection from the military despotism of the General Government. See Journal of House pages 673 & 674.

Passed the House June 8th 1863 See House Journal pages 715 & 716.

Jany 17th 1863 Sedgewick Rep. offered Resolutions pledging the State to stand by the Administration and the Government in putting down the rebellion. Killed by referring it to Com on federal relations on motion of Morrill Democrat from Hancock Co. See House Journal page 152.

Same day. Bunn killed a resolution offered by [Tenney?] in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war. House Journ page 152.

Jany 27th - on Motion of Walker of Macoupin the Hall of the House of Representatives was granted to the traitor M Y Johnson, that he might instigate sedition against the Government. Johnson had just been released on the promise of good behavior from Fort LaFayette.

This Resolution was not refered to a committee.

See House Journal page 226.

The following is from the Journal of the Constitutional Convention of 1862. Jany 10 1862- W A Wacker President of the Convention, left his seat, to offer the following: "Resolved that it is the sense of this convention that the writ of Habeas Corpus should never in any event be suspended in the State of Illinois. See Jour page 36.

Edwards, Rep. moved to amend by inserting "except when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it" which was rejected by strict party vote. See Journal 716 & 717.

OMelveny. Dem. moved Resolutions Jany 14, 1862, declaring states sovereign and independent of the Federal Government. See Journ page 72 & 73

Jany 31st 1862 Brooks of Adams offered resolution charging the responsibility of the War upon people of the North as well as South , "equally and alike traitors." See Journal page 216.

Jany 29th 1862, Bartley offered a Resolution providing for taking votes

of soldiers. Bunn always hostile to the soldiers moved to send it to the Committee on Elections, carried. See Journal page 190;

[Hoeker?], on 8th of Feby moved an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting Congress from abolishing slavery. See Journal page 358. passed the Convention by 42 to 24 and again by 39 to 23. See Journal pages 412 & 451.

Feby 18, 1862, Soldiers were in distress and Sheldon Republican moved that each member of the Convention "give $50 instanter" for their relief, lost by 34 to 31. See Journal page 481.

March 18 1862, Com on Elections report that they are unable to devise a plan for allowing soldiers to vote!! showing their hostility to them. see Allen of Williamson's report. Journal page 908.

March 21, Convention unwilling to trust soldiers to organize their polls, and select judges, appointed three Comrs to collect their votes, all over the South, and left with them discretionary power as to where they would go and how much notice they would give to the voters. These Comrs all partisans for the Constitution. See Journal page 1035,

The author of this brilliant idea was Alex Starne, afterwards elected by the [citzs?] as State Treasr and who is reported to have said in a speech at Winchester Ills that "500000 souls were in hell in consequence of this abolition war".

This Revolutionary body arrogated to itself the right to elect a senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Stephen A. Douglas, also to apportion the state for members of Congress, although the Constitution which they recognized as still in force

expressly provides that these things shall be done by the Legislature.

Soldiers voting



Percent Completed




Original Format



“Notes from Illinois House Journal 1862-1863,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed September 18, 2020,