Byrd Monroe and Others to Thomas Mather, 26 December 1839Springfield, Illinois, December 26, 1839.Col.[Colonel] Thomas Mather,President of State Bank:
You are herewith furnished with a copy of the joint resolution adopted by both branches of the General Assembly of Illinois, which has for its object the appointment of a joint committee to investigate the condition of the State Bank and Branches.1
The undersigned have been appointed the committee, under the resolution, have organized, and are now ready to proceed with the examination contemplated by the aforesaid resolution.
You will have the goodness to advise the committee at what time you will be ready to receive them on the business aforesaid.With great respect,
We have the honor to be,
Your obedient servants,BYRD MONROE,JAMES H. WOODWORTH.JOHN D. WOOD,
Senate Committee.ORLANDO B. FICKLIN,WILLIAM W. HAPPY,RICHARD MURPHY,ABRAHAM LINCOLN,JOHN MOORE,
1For the complete text of the joint resolution, see the Illinois House Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 51-52; Illinois Senate Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 26-27.
On December 10, 1839, Orlando B. Ficklin in the House of Representatives introduced a resolution calling for the appointment of a joint select committee consisting of five representatives and three senators to investigate the condition of the State Bank and any charges preferred against the institution. The committee would have power to subpoena persons and records. The House adopted this resolution and appointed Ficklin, Happy, Murphy, Moore, and Edward D. Baker to the committee. The House Journal does not record Lincoln as originally on the committee. On December 17, the Senate amended the resolution by striking out all after the word “Resolved” and inserted a substitute. The Senate resolution gave the select committee power, among other things, to ascertain if the Bank had forfeited its charter. After further amendment, the Senate adopted the resolution as substituted and amended, and named Monroe, Woodworth, and Wood to the committee. On December 21, the House concurred with the Senate amendments, and at this point Lincoln replaced Baker on the committee.
Illinois House Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 7, 51-52, 69; Illinois Senate Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 25, 26-27, 53.
2On January 21, 1840, Ficklin presented the majority report of the joint select committee in the House of Representatives. Ficklin, Lincoln, and Monroe, all Whigs, joined Wood, a Democrat, in signing this report. On the same day, Woodworth, Happy, and Moore, all Democrats, issued their own minority report in the Senate. Murphy, also a Democrat, signed neither report.
Lincoln attended twelve of the nineteen sub-committee meetings, but there is little evidence that he had much to do with the composition of the report carrying his signature.
Illinois House Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 219-20, 221; Illinois Senate Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 156; Reports Made to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Illinois (Springfield: William Walters, 1840), 1:339-59; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 307, 320, 324.
Printed Letter, 1 page(s), Reports Made to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Illinois (Springfield: William Walters, 1840), 1:339.