Summary of Legislative Debate on Bill to Authorize Certain State Debtors to Discharge Their Indebtedness in IL Internal Improvement Scrip, 1 February 18411
Mr[.]LINCOLN , from the committee on Finance, reported back the bill authorizing certain state debtors to discharge their debts in Illinois State scrip, recommending its passage.2
Mr[.] Ross moved to amend by adding a proviso, that the payment be made without suit.
Mr[.] LINCOLN replied in opposition to this amendment, when, on motion, further proceeding under the call were dispensed with, and the judiciary bill was then taken up; the question being on the passage of the bill, mr[.] Peck moved the previous question.
Mr GILLESPIE moved that the House adjourn; on which question messrs[messieurs] Emmerson and Froman demanded the yeas and nays; which were taken, ayes 32, noes 56.3
The question, “shall the main question be now put?” was then decided in the affirmative, by yeas 49, nays 39, and further debate was arrested....5
Mr[.] ROSS offered to modify his amendment by adding “after sixty days,” which mr[.] Lincoln expressed himself unwilling to accept.
1Abraham Lincoln introduced this bill in the House of Representatives on January 27, 1841. The House referred the bill to the Committee on Finance, on which sat Lincoln.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 289.
2In 1840, contractors still working on internal improvement projects received their pay in scrip. During 1840, the Board of Public Works issued scrip totaling $1,342,372.82. In October 1840, merchants in Springfield began accepting scrip for goods at eighty-one and one-fourth cents on the dollar.
John H. Krenkel, Illinois Internal Improvements, 1818-1848 (Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch, 1958), 100.
5 Lincoln voted nay to the question. The House of Representatives followed with a vote on the judiciary bill, which passed by a vote of 45 yeas to 43 nays, with Lincoln voting nay.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 311.
7On February 10, the House refused to table the bill, passing the bill by a vote of 57 yeas to 23 nays, with Lincoln voting yea. The Senate concurred on February 27. On February 27, the Council of Revision approved the bill and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 311-12, 320, 362, 552, 569; Illinois Senate Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 290, 305, 448.
Printed Document, 1 page(s), Illinois State Register (Springfield), 12 February 1841, 4:5,