A Bill to Incorporate the Beardstown and Sangamon Canal Company, [12 December 1835]1
A Bill for "an act to incorporate the Beardstown and Sangamon Canal Company."
Sect[Section]. 1. Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Illinois represented in the General Assembly thatArchibald Job, Francis Arenz, Thomas Wilbourn, Benjamin Sutton of morgan County and John Taylor and Charles Broadwell of Sangamon Countyand all such persons as shall become Stockholders, agreable to the provisions of this act, are hereby constituted a body corporate by the name of "The Beardstown and Sangamon Canal Company" and shall continue for the term of fifty Years from and after the passage of this act.
Sect. 2. The Corporation shall have the right and power to construct, and during its existance to maintain and continue a Canal from Beardstown on the Illinois River to a point in township Nor nineten north of range Nor seven west2 on the Sangamon River from thence to improve the Waters of said River by Canal or otherwise through Sangamon County into Macon County as shall or may be agreed on by said Company, to transport take and cary persons and property on the same and to have hold use, and enjoy the same, and the Tolls and profits thereof for and during the period aforesaid
S[ec]t 3. The Capital Stock of said corporation shall be three Hundred Thousand Dollars, with liberty to increase the same from time to time by new subscriptions in such manner and form, as they shall think proper if such increase shall be found necessary by the Company to fulfil the intent of this act: which said Capital stock shall be divided into shares of one hundred Dollars each, which shall be deemed personal property, and transferable in such manner as the said corporation shall by law direct.
Sect 4. That Archibald Job, Francis Arenz, Thomas Wilbourn Thomas Beard Benjamin Sutton Allen F. Lindsey John Taylor and Charles Broadwell are hereby appointed Commissioners, the duty of whom or a majority of them shall be, within one Year after the passage of this act, to open Books at some suitable
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place in Beardstown, Springfield and Decatur
to receive subscriptions to the Capital Stock of said corporation and to do such other things as in their opinion is best calculated to get Stock taken: thirty days public Notice shall be given by said Commissioners of the time and place of the opening of said books in one or more of the public newspapers in each of the said places. The commissioners shall receive no subscription unless five Dollars on each share subscribed, be paid the time of subscription; and as soon as the whole of the Stock or Twenty five Thousand Dollars thereof shall be subscribed, to give a like Notice for a meeting of the Stockholders, to choose five directors, and such Election shall then and there be made by such Stockholders as may attend either in person or by proxy. and the persons having the highest number of votes shall be duly Elected each share of Capital Stock owned ten Days previous to an Elec[tion] shall entitle the owner to one vote, the Commissioners who receive the subscriptions of Stock shall be inspectors of the first Election— and shall certify under their hand and Seals the names of those elected Directors, and deliver over the moneys, Books and Papers to said Directors, the first meeting of directors shall be held at Beardstown within ten Days after the Election
Sect. 5. that in case the Capital Stock in whole or Twenty five thousand Dollars thereof shall not have been subscribed at the places named in the foregoing Section, after the books have been kept open ten Days; then the said Co[mmis]sioners shall be authorised to reopen said books for the subscription of stock at such times and places, and in such manner, and after such notice and under the direction of one or more, as a majority of them shall direct. and in case a greater amount of Capital stock shall be subscribed for than necessary for a construction of the who[le] or such part of the Canal as the directors shall designa[te] the excess shall be taken from each Subscriber in proportion to the amount subscribed.
Sect. 6.

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5. 6
Sec 6 At the first meeting of Directors, ^after an Election^ they shall chose one of their body as President, and the Directors first Elected shall continue in office until the first monday in June next after their Election, and until others are chosen, And Elections shall be held annually thereafter on the first monday in June at Beardstown ^such place as the directors shall designate^— each subsequent Election shall be held under the Direction of three Stockholders, not being Directors, who shall previously be appointed for that purpose by the Directors— all Elections shall be held by ballot, no person shall be a Director who shall not at the time of the Election Own One Hundred Dollars of Stock. In case an equal number of votes shall at any time be given for two or more persons for Directors, those having a plurality of votes shall determine by Ballot who shall be entitled to the office,
Sec 7. In case it shall at any time happen that no Election shall be held for Directors at the time required by this act, the said corporation shall not thereby be dissolved but the former Directors in office shall continue until successors are Elected.

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Sec 8 The said Directors shall cause such Examinations and surveys to be made, as may be necessary to the selection by them of the most advantagious line, course or way for the said Canal, from Beardstown to such point or place on the Sangamon River, as they shall designate for the termination of the same, and shall locate the same, on the most advantagious Route, and after such Location, shall make out a map thereof, and certify under their hands & seals, upon such map, the courses and distances of the route selected, ^discribeing the Land through which it passes^ and file one copy of such map & certificate, with the Recorder of each County through which said Canal [?] is intended to pass— and the said Company shall be authorized to construct and make the said Canal on the route so located,
Sec 9. The said corporation shall have power to purchase, receive and Hold, such real estate as may be necessary to and useful, in the accomplishment of the objects of its creation, and shall be authorized to have and Hold any and all Lands which may be given, granted or donated to the same, by the United States or this state, or by any person or body politic, and to sell and convey the same, It shall also be authorized to inter upon and use any and all Lands

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over and upon which the said Canal may pass, and such so much of such Lands as may be necessary to the construction of the canal, and to the convenient use & enjoyment of the same, also to take and use, timber stone, and such other materials as may be indespensible to the construction and maintenance of said Canal, provided, that said company shall pay to the owner or owners of Land ^entered upon and used as aforesaid^ the damage sustained by such owner or owners, and also to the owner or owners o[f] timber, stone, & materials before the value thereof before [...?] entering upon & taking the same, and if said company and owner or owners, shall be unable to agree upon the damage sustained, by the entering upon, & useing Lands and real estate, or the value of timber, stone, & materials, such damage or the value of materials aforesaid, shall be ascertained under, the proviso and according to the provisions of the act entitled, "An act concerning the right of way & for other purposes approved 28th February 1833."3
Sec 10. Th[e] said company shall be authorized to use the Waters of the Sangamon River to supply the Canal ^or otherwise^, and to divert said River make such dams ^or Locks^ across said River, as may be necessary, to procure
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a Sufficient Quantity of Water, for the use of the Canal ^or otherwise^, provided, that no dams or Lock shall be constructed across said River so as to injure the navigation thereof & provided also, that said company shall be responsible for all damage sustained by the overflowing of any Land, by any ^the^ owner of such Land ^thereof^, and also for all damage sustained by the making a dam or Lock upon the Lands of any [p]erson, or persons whatsoever—
In case the said Canal shall cross any water course or ^public^ Road, the same shall be so constructed as not to injure the use of such water course or Road.
Sec 11. The Directors of said company shall have power to transact all the business of said corporation, and to this end may appoint, such agents, clerks, and servants, Engineers and other persons as may be deemed necessary, to attend to and manage the business, of the Company. They shall also have power to prescribe all such rules, and to adopt all such Bye Laws, touching the management an[d] disposition of the stock, property and estate of the Company, and touching the conduct and duties of all persons employed by the Company, as may be necessary to and not inconsistant with Law.

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They shall also have power to require payment by the stockholders of the s[toc]k subscribed, at such times, and in such proportions, as the same may be needed in the construction of the Canal or for any other purpose, ^authorized by this act^ and shall from time to time give public notice of the payments thus required, and of the time & place of payment, in some Newspaper published in Morgan ^& Sangomon^ County, Illinois, and such other papers as may be selected, such notices to be published at least four weeks previous to the day appointed for such payment, and the Directors are authorized in case any stock holder shall fail to make payment as required, to cause the stock of such stockholder to be sold at public auction and apply the proceeds of such sale to such payment, or to provide for the forfeiture of such stock to the company,
Sec 12. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a Quorum to do business, and shall have ^& Exercise^ all the powers, conferred upon the company, provided that the Directors, may by their Bye Laws require the presence of all the Directors in the transaction of such business

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as the Directors may think, should require [such] presence— the said company is hereby declared able & capable in Law, to sue & be sued, to plead & be impleaded, in all courts of Law and in chancery, to contract and be contracted with, as fully and completely as a natural person,
Sec 13. The stock of said company shall be personal property, and shall be liable to be sold on Execution, said stock shall also be transferable & assignable in such manner as the Directors of said company shall prescribe,Sec 13 The State, or the counties through which the said canal shall [pass?] shall, at any time, after ten years shall have elapsed [from the completion?] of said canal, have the previlege of purchas[ing the] same, by paying said company th[e] original cost, together with any deficiency which may have accrued by a failure of said canal to produce twelve per cent per annum from the time of it's completion, upon the [ori]ginal cost4
Sec 14. The Canal to be constructed by said Company shall be of sufficient width & depth, to admit the passage of Canal Boats of the ordinary kind, and the company shall be responsible for all accidents and delays, occasioned by the negligence, or inattention of any of its agents, said Company shall also permit all persons to pass upon said Canal, with boats persons & property, whenever the same is passable, upon payment of such tolls, as may be fixed upon by the Directors, provided that the tolls shall be Uniform, and so regulated as never to produce more than twelve percent

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per annum profit to the Stock Holders, after
Sec 15. If any person or persons, shall wilfully or negligently do, or cause to be done, any act or acts whatsoever, whereby any building construction or work of the said Corporation or any ^Boat,^ matter or ^other^ thing pertaining to the same, shall be weakened, injured, or distroyed, any such person shall forfiet and pay to said corporation treble the amount of damages sustained, to be recovered by action of debt in the name of said Corporation in any court, or before any Justice of the peace, having Jurisdiction thereof with costs of suit, and such person or persons shall also be subject to Indictment and punishment by fine or Imprisonment.
Sec 16. Unless the said corporation shall commence the construction of said Canal within three years from the passage of this act, and complete so much thereof as lies in the county of Morgan within six years, the same shall be considered as dissolved, and the powers & priviledges ^hereby^ conferred shall cease— and the said corporation shall be dissolved.

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Section 17.
If the said corporation shall at any time Violate the provisions of this act,
The mode of suing said corporation, shall be by summons, and a copy of the summons delivered to the President of the Board, the secretary or Treasurer shall be a good ^sufficient^ service of process to require the corporation to answer and to authorize the ^any^ court to proceed to Judgment against it,
A Bill for "An act to Incorporate the Beardstown Canal Company"

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A Bill for an act. to incorporate the Beardstown and Sangamon Canal Company
to be Engrossed
Clk. H. R.
1This draft of the bill is in the handwriting of several different people. Abraham Lincoln authored the text of Section 13, which can be seen on page 8 of the document transcription or page 9 of the document image. In Collected Works, Basler identified the Lincoln portion as an amendment; however, research shows that Lincoln’s text was not an official amendment, but was rather a change made in committee. The slip of paper was affixed with wax over the original Section 13 and was included in the original draft of the bill that Lincoln reported from the select committee into the House. Lincoln’s section has since become separated. The document is damaged in places; supplied text comes from Collected Works.
On December 11, 1835, Abraham Lincoln introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to appoint a select committee of five to inquire into incorporating a company to construct a canal in the Sangamon River valley. The House approved the resolution and appointed Lincoln to the committee. On December 12, Lincoln, reporting on behalf of the select committee, introduced the bill in the House, with one section in his handwriting. On December 15, the House referred the bill to a select committee, of which Lincoln was a member. On December 16, the select committee reported back the bill without amendment and the House passed the bill. On December 18, the Senate passed the bill unamended. On December 28, the Council of Revision approved the bill and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 34, 38, 66, 73, 110, 142, 156, 162; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 52, 55, 58, 115, 117, 131.
2The township described here is bordered on the east and the north by the Sangamon River.
3“An Act concerning the Right of Way, and for Other Purposes,” 28 February 1833, Revised Laws of Illinois (1833), 534-37.
4This separate insertion, shown in image 9 of the document, is in the handwriting of Abraham Lincoln and was originally affixed with wax over the stricken Section 13 on page 8.

Handwritten Document, 13 page(s), HB 7 and Lincolniana, GA Session: 9-2 , Illinois State Archives (Springfield, IL)