A Bill Authorizing the Purchase of a House for the Use of the Governor, [24 January 1840]1
A bill for an act authorizing the purchase of a house for the use of the Governor.2
Sec[Section]: 1st Be it enacted by the People of the state of Illinois represented in the General Assembly: That the Auditor of Public Accounts be and he is hereby authorized to purchase a suitable house and lot, within the town of Springfield, for a residence for the Governor of the state, Provided the same shall not cost more than eight thousand dollars.
Sec: 2nd The Auditor shall issue his warrant on the Treasury for the amount agreed on by him for said purchase, in favour of the person or persons of whom said purchase shall have been made—
Sec: 3rd Before issuing his warrant as aforesaid, He the Auditor shall particularly enquire into and ascertain that a clear and unencumbered title to the house and lot so purchased can be made; and moreover shall actually take a conveyance of such title to the Governor of the state of Illinois for the use of the People of said state—
Sec: 4th Upon the completion of such purchase and conveyance, the Auditor shall notify the Governor thereof; and after one month subsequent to said notice, no allowance for house rent, or traveling expenses shall be made to the Governor—3
A bill for an act authorizing the purchase of a house for the use of the Governor.
Ind. post.[Indefinitely postponed]
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the text of this bill as well as the bill’s title on page two.
2On December 21, 1839, William F. Elkin in the House of Representatives introduced a resolution on the residence of the governor, which the House adopted and referred to the Committee on Finance, of which Abraham Lincoln was a member. In response to this resolution, Lincoln introduced HB 299 in the House on January 24, 1840. On January 29, Representative William Maus offered an amendment, and the House indefinitely postponed consideration of the bill and proposed amendment by a vote of 57 yeas to 25 nays, with Lincoln voting nay.
Illinois House Journal. 1839. 11th G. A., special sess., 72, 239, 282.
3After the capital moved from Vandalia to Springfield, the state provided a house for the governor at Eighth and Market (now Capitol Avenue), one block north of Abraham Lincoln’s home. In 1853, the General Assembly authorized construction of a suitable house for the governor. Construction finished on the house in 1855, and the mansion, located at 410 E. Jackson Street, remains the residence for Illinois governors.
“An Act to Appoint Commissioners to Build a House for the Governor of the State of Illinois,” 12 February 1853, General Laws of Illinois (1853), 220-21; “The Governor’s Mansion A Century Ago,” Journal of the Illinois Historical Society 48 (Autumn 1955), 330-37.
Handwritten Document, 2 page(s), Lincolniana Collection, Illinois State Archives (Springfield, IL).