A Bill to Establish a State Road from Beardstown in Cass County to Petersburg in Sangamon County, [13 July 1837]1
A bill for an act to establish a State road from Beardstown in Cass county to Petersburg in Sangamon county—
Section 1 Be it enacted by the People of the state of Illinois represented in the General Assembly: ^That^ Henry McHenry, Solomon Penny and Myram Penny be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to view, mark, and locate a State road from Beardstown in Cass county, thence as near as the ground will permit, by way of the town of Richmond, and Robinsons Mill to Petersburg in Sangamon county.
Sec 2. Said commissioners, or a majority of them shall meet at Beardstown on the first monday in September next, or on any other day which they may agree upon, within six months from the passage of this act, and after being duly sworn by some Justice of the Peace, faithfully to perform the duties herein required, shall proceed to view, mark, and locate said road as above described, avoiding as much as the public interest will permit, the injury of private property.
Sec— 3. Said commissioners shall make out a complete map and report of the location of ^so much of^ said road as lies in the county Cass, and file the same with the clerk of the county commissioners court of the said county of Cass; and a like map and report of so much as lies in the county of Sangamon and file the same with the clerk of the county commissioners court of said county of Sangamon.
Sai Sec. 4. Said road shall be and remain a state road, and shall be opened and kept in repair as other state roads are.2
Sec. 5. The county commissioners courts of the said counties of Cass and Sangamon shall allow said commissioners such compensation as they may deem reasonable
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the text of the bill as well as its title on the back page. He introduced it in the House of Representatives on July 13, 1837.
On July 12, 1837, Abraham Lincoln presented to the House a petition from citizens of Sangamon and Cass counties, requesting a state road between the two counties. The House referred the petition to a select committee that included Lincoln. On July 13, Lincoln introduced the bill in the House on behalf of the select committee. On July 14, the House approved Lincoln’s motion to amend the bill by striking out the name “Miram Penny,” and inserting instead “Isham Revis.” The House then passed the amended bill. The Senate concurred on July 18. On July 20, the Council of Revision approved the bill and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1837. 10th G. A., special sess., 24, 49, 64, 115, 125, 137; Illinois Senate Journal. 1837. 10th G. A., special sess., 54, 76, 84, 108-9.
2State roads were those public roads established or designated by the General Assembly and usually crossed county lines. Only the General Assembly could establish, alter, or abandon state roads, until 1840 and 1841, when the General Assembly gave counties the authority to alter or to abandon state roads upon petition by a majority of voters in the area of the change.
Handwritten Document, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, HB 15, GA Session: 10-S, Illinois State Archives (Springfield, IL)