In force Jan.[January] 18. 1836.
AN ACT to incorporate the Illinois Central Rail Road Company.1
Nature and powers of the incorporation.
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That William Wilson, Alexander M. Jenkins, David J. Baker, John S. Hacker, Henry Eddy, Wilson Able, Elijah Williard, Joel Manning, Richard G. Murphy, Pierre Menard, Miles A. Gilbert, Francis Swanwick, John Reynolds, Alfred Cowles, Harry Wilton, Sidney Breese, John D. Wood, Charles Prentice, John Dement, William F. Thornton, William Williamson, John F. Henry, M. L. Covell, Lovell Kimball, John M. Krum, D. B, Holbrook, Simon M. Hubbard, William C. Greenup, James Hughes, Albert G. Snyder, William G. Reddick, G. S. Hubbard, Daniel Wann, John Taylor, Elijah Iles, Thomas Mather, John Todd, A. G. Henry, James Thompson, Gabriel Jones, William Adair, R. K. McLaughlin, Henry Smith, William Linn, Jesse C. Lockwood, Abraham Irvin, Daniel Marshall, Daniel Field, George H. Hannah, Samuel J. Ghapman, John Dunn, William W. Romman, Lyman Adams, James Mitchell, William Welsh, Nathan Homer, Thomas B. Aflick2 and Porter Clay, their associates,
<Page 2>successors and assigns, be, and they are hereby made a body politic and corporate, under the name of the “Illinois Central Rail Road Company;” and by that name shall be, and are hereby made capable in law and equity, to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in any court or place whatsoever; to make, have, and use a common seal, and the same to renew and alter at pleasure; and by that name and style be capable in law of purchasing, holding, and conveying, real and personal estate, for the purposes and uses of said corporation; and shall be, and are hereby vested with all the powers, privileges, and immunities, which are, or may be necessary to carry into effect the purposes and objects of this act, as hereinafter set forth. And the said corporation are hereby authorised and empowered to locate, construct, and finally complete a rail road, commencing at or near the mouth ef the Ohio river, and thence north to a point on the Illinois river, at or near the termination of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, in such manner and form as they shall deem to be most expedient: and for this purpose said company are hereby authorised to lay out their road not exceeding eight3 rods wide,4 through its whole length; and for the purpose of cuttings, embankments, and procuring stone or gravel, may take as much more land as may be necessary for the proper construction and security of said road; Provided, however, That all damages that may be occasioned to any person or corporation, by the taking of such land, or materials, for the purposes aforesaid, shall be paid for by said company, in the manner hereinafter provided.
Directors, election of.
Directors to choose a president.
Sec. 2. The capital stock of said company, shall consist of twenty-five thousand shares, of one hundred dollars each; and the immediate government and direction of the affairs of said company, shall be vested in a board of not less than five directors, who shall be chosen by the members of the corporation, in the manner hereinafter provided, and shall hold their offices until others shall be duly elected and qualified, to take their places as directors: and the said directors, a majority of whom shall form a quorum for the transaction of business, shall elect one of their number to be a president of the board, who shall also be president of the company; and shall have authority to choose a clerk, who shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of his duty; and a treasurer, who shall give bonds to the corporation, with sureties to the satisfaction of the directors, in a sum not less than twenty thousand dollars, for the faithful discharge of his trust.
Power of directors.
Sec. 3. That the president and directors, for the time being, are hereby authorised and empowered, by themselves
<Page 3>or their agents, to exercise all the powers herein granted to the company, for the purpose of locating, constructing, and completing said rail road; and for the transportation of persons, goods, and merchandise; and all such other powers and authority, for the management of the affairs of the company, not heretofore granted, as may be necessary and proper to carry into effect the objects of this company: to purchase and hold land, materials, engines, cars, and other necessary things, in the name of the company, for the use of the road, and for the transportation of persons, goods and merchandise: to make such equal assessments, from time to time, on all the shares in said corporation, as they may deem expedient and necessary, in the execution and progress of the work, and direct the same to be paid to the treasurer of the company; and the treasurer shall give notice of all such assessments: and in case any subscriber shall neglect to pay his assessment, for the space of thirty days after due notice by the treasurer of said company, the directors may order the treasurer to sell such share or shares, at public auction, after giving due notice thereof, to the highest bidder; and the same shall be transferred to the purchaser; and such delinquent subscriber shall be held accountable to the company for the balance, if his share or shares shall sell for less than the assessment due thereon, with interest and costs of sale; and shall be entitled to the overplus, if his share or shares shall sell for more than the assessment due, with interest and costs of sale; Provided, however; That no assessment shall be laid upon any shares in said company, of a greater amount in the whole, than one hundred dollars on a share.
Powers vested to Company.
Sec. 4. The said company shall have power to make, ordain, and establish all such bye-laws, rules and regulations, and ordinances, as they may deem expedient and necessary, to accomplish the designs and purposes, and to carry into effect the provisions of this act; and for the transfer and assignment of its stock, and the conveyance of property, and the well ordering, regulating and securing of the interests and affairs of the company; Provided, The same be not repugnant to the constitution and laws of this state, or of the United States.
Legislature may reduce tolls.
Sec. 5. A toll is hereby granted and established, for the sole benefit of said company, upon all passengers, and property of all descriptions, which may be conveyed or transported upon said road, at such rates per mile as may be agreed upon and established, from time to time, by the directors of said company. The transportation of persons and property, the construction of wheels, and form of cars and carriages, the weight of loads, and all other matters
<Page 4>and things in relation to the use of said road, shall be in conformity to such rules, regulations, and provisions, as the directors shall, from time to time, prescribe and direct; Provided, however, That if at the expiration of ten years, from and after the completion of said road, the nett income or receipts from tolls, taking the ten years aforesaid as a basis of calculation, shall have amounted to more than twelve per centum per annum, upon the cost of the road, the legislature may take measures to alter and reduce the rate of tolls, in such manner as to take off the overplus, for the next ten years, calculating the amount of transportation upon the road to be the same as the ten preceding years: and at the expiration of every ten years thereafter, the same proceedings may be had; Provided, further, That the legislature shall not, at any time, so reduce the tolls, as to produce less than twelve per centum upon the cost of the said rail road, without the consent of the said company. And no other rail road than the one hereby granted, shall, within fifty years from the passage of this act, be authorised to be made, leading from the Ohio river, or Mississippi river, commencing below the mouth of the Illinois river5, to any place within ten miles of the northerly termination of the rail road hereby established; Provided, That the said rail road shall be commenced in five years, and completed within twenty years from the passage of this act.
Erect toll houses, appoint toll gatherers.
Sec. 6. The directors of the said company, for the time being, are hereby authorised to erect toll houses, establish gates, appoint toll gatherers, and demand toll upon the road, when completed, and upon such parts thereof, as shall from time to time be completed.
Sec. 7. The said company shall be holden to pay all damages that may arise to any person or persons, or corporation or corporations, by taking their land for said rail road; when it cannot be obtained by voluntary agreement, to be estimated and recovered in the manner provided by law, for the recovery of damages happening by laying out highways.6
Lands of Feme covert, Infants or persons non compos mentis.
Sec. 8. When the lands or other property or estate of any feme covert, infant, or person non compos mentis, shall be necessary for the construction of said rail road, the husband of such feme covert, and the guardian of such infant, or person non compos mentis, may release all damages for any lands or estate, taken and appropriated as aforesaid, as they might do if the same were holden by them, in their own right, respectively.7
Persons obstructing said road.
Sec. 9. If any person shall wilfully, maliciously, or wantonly, and contrary to law, obstruct the passage of any carriage on said rail road, or in any way spoil, injure, or
<Page 5>destroy said rail road, or in any part thereof, or any thing belonging thereto, or any material or instrument to be employed in the construction, or for the use of said rail road, he, she, or they, or any person or persons, assisting, aiding, or abetting in such trespass, shall forfeit and pay to said company, for every such offence, treble such damages as shall be proved before the justice, court or jury, before whom the trial shall be had; to be sued for and recovered before any justice, or any court proper to try the same, by the treasurer of the corporation, or other officer whom they may direct, to the use of said company: and such offender or offenders shall be liable to indictment by the grand jury for the county within which said trespass shall have been committed, for any offence or offences contrary to the above provisions; and on conviction thereof, before any court competent to try the same, shall pay a fine not exceeding one hundred, nor less than thirty dollars, to the use of the people of the state of Illinois; or may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year, at the discretion of the court before whom the conviction may be had.
Election of directors.
Sec. 10. The annual meeting of the members of said company, shall be holden on the second Monday in December, in each year, at Vandalia, or such other places as the directors, for the time being, may appoint; at which meeting the directors shall be chosen by ballot, each proprietor being entitled to as many votes as he holds shares; and any two of the individuals named in the first section of this act, are hereby authorised to call the first meeting of the said company, by giving notice in some public newspaper, published at the place where such meeting is to be held, of the time, place, and purpose of such meeting, at least ten days before the time mentioned in such notice.
Rail road when passing over highway, &c.[etc.]
May construct a lateral road.
Sec. 11. If the said rail road, in the course thereof, shall cross any river, canal, turnpike, or other highway, the said rail road shall be so constructed as not to impede, or obstruct the safe and convenient use of such river, canal, turnpike, or other highway. And said combany, hereby created, may construct a lateral rail road from Belleville, through Lebanon, in St. Clair county, to the nearest practicable point of said central road8; which lateral rail road may be made and constructed in the same manner, and the work progress in the proportion of the work done on the main central rail road, until the same is completed; to be subject to the same rules and regulations, when completed, that the main road is, by this act.9
State may purchase road.
Road may be extended to Galena.
Sec. 12. It shall be lawful for the legislature of this state, at any time during the continuance of the charter of the said rail road, after the expiration of twenty-five years
<Page 6>from the opening for use of the rail road herein provided to be made, to purchase of the said company the said rail road, and all the franchise, rights and privileges of the said company, by paying them for the amount expended in making said rail road: and in case, at the time of purchasing, the said company shall not have received a nett increase equal to twelve per cent. per annum, on the said expenditure, from the time of the payment thereof by the stockholders, by paying the company such additional sum, as together with the tolls which they shall have received from the said rail road, will be equal to a nett profit of twelve per cent. per annum, on the cost of said rail road, from the date of the payment thereof, by the stockholders of the said corporation, to the time of such purchase.Sec. 13. The said company are hereby authorised to extend the said rail road, herein provided for, from the Illinois river, to Galena, in this state; Provided, The route proposed to be taken, shall be surveyed and located within four years from July next, and the whole rail road completed within the time limited in the fifth section of this act.
Capital Stock increased.
Sec. 14. It shall be lawful for said company to increase their capital stock to an amount sufficient to extend and complete the rail road authorised by this act, whenever the company shall deem it expedient, by a vote of the stockholders, at a meeting specially notified for the purpose, to be assessed to the same amount as the shares which are already created; Provided, That the additional number of shares so to be created, shall not exceed ten thousand: and the proprietors of the shares already created, for the time being, shall have the option of subscribing to said additional shares, in proportion to the amount which they may hold respectively, of the said original shares.
If state purchase road, &c.
Sec. 15. In case the state shall purchase the rail road, authorised to be constructed by this act, the limitation provided in the fifth section of this act, shall cease and be of no effect.
Report to legislature.
Sec. 16. It shall be the duty of said rail road company, from year to year, to make report to the legislature of their receipts and expenditures, on said rail road and branches, authorised to be constructed under the provisions of this act.
Stock to be disposed of in this state.
Restriction of subscribers.
Sec. 17. It shall be the duty of said company to reserve of said capital stock, to the amount of five hundred thousand dollars, to be disposed of in this state; which stock, so reserved, the president and directors of said company shall, within four months after the said company shall have been organised, offer for sale, by causing books to be open-
<Page 7>ed at the several places hereinafter mentioned, and under the direction of the following commissioners, namely: at Ottowa, under the direction of Lovell Kimball; at Bloomington, under the direction of M. L. Covell; at Springfield, under the direction of William Carpenter; at Jacksonville, under the direction of John Henry; at Decatur, under the direction of Isaac Pugh; at Shelbyville, under the direction of Joseph Oliver; at Hillsboro’, under the direction of Christian B. Blockburger; at Vandalia, under the direction of James Black; at Greenville, under the direction of James Bradford; at Carlyle, under the direction of Joshua T. Bradley; at Salem, under the direction of Mark Tully; at Mount Vernon, under the direction of Harvey T. Pace; at McLeansboro’, under the direction of Milton Carpenter; at New Nashville, under the direction of John D. Wood; at Frankfort, under the direction of Johnson Wren; at Equality, under the direction of Daniel Wood; at Darwin, under the direction of Uri Manly; at Alton, under the direction of J. A. Townsend; and at Belleville, under the direction of John D. Hughes: and the said commissioners, at the places above named, shall receive subscriptions for said stock, which books shall be kept open for the space of at least sixty days, or until the whole of said stock, so offered for sale, is taken. And whenever, and as soon as twenty-five thousand dollars thereof shall have been subscribed, at any one of the before mentioned places, the books at such place shall thereupon be closed. One dollar on each share so subscribed, shall be paid by the subscriber, at the time of subscribing; and no person shall, during the first thirty days after the opening of the books as aforesaid, be allowed to subscribe for more than five shares, in his or her own name: and any, and so much of said stock, so offered for sale at said places, as aforesaid, as shall remain unsubscribed, after sixty days from the time of opening said books, may be disposed of in such manner, and at such time, as the said president and directors of the company shall deem proper. Public notice of the time and place, when and where, said books shall be opened, for the purposes aforesaid, shall be given in three or more newspapers, of general circulation, published in this state. And all vacancies occasioned by death, or refusal to serve, of the above named commissioners, shall be filled by the president and directors of said company.10
In force 60 y’rs[years]
Sec. 18. This act of incorporation shall continue in force for the term of sixty years, from and after the passage thereof; shall be deemed and taken to be a public act, and shall be in force from and after its passage.11
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 339; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 195-96; John H. Krenkel, Illinois Internal Improvements 1818-1848 (Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch, 1958), 80.
Approved, Jan. 16, 1836.
1John S. Hacker introduced SB 57 in the Senate on December 29, 1835. The Senate tabled the bill, ordering 100 copies printed. On January 4, 1836, the Senate referred the bill to the Committee of the Whole and made it the order of the day for January 5. On January 8, the Committee of the Whole reported back the bill with sundry amendments. The Senate amended the proposed amendments by striking out the word “bill” in the last line of the eleventh section and inserting in lieu thereof the word “act.” The Senate then concurred in the amendments as amended. The Senate further amended the bill by adding a new twelfth section. The Senate agreed to engross the bill for a third reading by a vote of 18 yeas to 4 nays. On January 9, the Senate struck out the twelfth section, added a twenty-fifth section, and amended the fifth, eleventh, thirteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and twenty-fourth sections. The Senate passed the bill as amended by a vote of 13 ayes to 8 nays. On January 9, the House of Representatives tabled the bill, ordering 100 copies printed. On January 12, the House refused to refer the bill to the Committee of the Whole by a vote of 19 yeas to 32 nays, with Abraham Lincoln voting nay. The House struck out all the language after the word “act” in the fifth line of the first section to the word “lands” in the seventh line, nineteenth section. It amended the first section and added two new sections. The House agreed to read the bill a third time as amended by a vote of 31 yeas to 20 nays, with Lincoln voting yea. On January 14, the House rejected an amendment to the second section by a vote of 21 yeas to 29 nays, with Lincoln voting yea. The House rejected the bill by a vote of 21 yeas to 30 nays, with Lincoln voting yea. The House later re-considered that vote, referring the bill to a select committee. The select committee reported back the bill on January 15 with sundry amendments. The House amended the select committee’s report by adding an additional section. It also amended the first and eleventh sections. The House concurred in the select committee’s report as amended. It passed the bill as amended by a vote of 40 yeas to 3 nays, with Lincoln voting yea. The Senate concurred with the House amendments on January 15. On January 16, the Council of Revision approved the bill, and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 265, 266, 295-99, 325-26, 328, 338-40, 346, 347, 358; Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 119, 159, 179, 183, 192-93, 195, 264, 268, 279.
2On January 12, 1836, the House of Representatives amended the bill by adding Thompson, Jones, Adair, McLaughlin, Smith, Linn, Lockwood, Irvin, and Marshall to the list of incorporators. On January 14, it added Field, Hannah, Chapman, Dunn, Romman, Adams, Mitchell, Welsh, Homer, and Aflick.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 298, 339.
3On January 14, 1836, the House of Representatives amended the bill by striking out the word “six” and inserting in lieu thereof the word “eight.”
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 339.
5On January 9, 1836, the Senate amended the bill by adding the words “commencing below the mouth of the Illinois.”
Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 195.
6Sections one and three of the act governing right of way outlined the procedures to follow in these instances.
“An Act concerning the Right of Way, and for Other Purposes,” 28 February 1833, The Revised Laws of Illinois (1833), 534-36.
7A “feme covert” is a married woman. In antebellum Illinois, a married woman could not buy, sell, or contract in her own name without the concurrence of her husband. The term “non compos mentis” refers to any person not of sound mind, and covers all varieties of mental infirmity. At this time, the age of majority in Illinois was 21 for males and 18 for females
8On January 9, 1836, the Senate amended the bill by adding the words “Belleville, through Lebanon, in St. Clair county, to the nearest practicable point of said central road.”
Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 196.
9On January 8, 1836, the Senate amended the last line in the eleventh section by striking out the word “ bill” and inserting in lieu thereof the word “act.”
Illinois Senate Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 192.
10On January 12, 1836, the House of Representatives amended the bill by adding this section.
Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 2nd sess., 296-97.
11On January 12, 1836, the House of Representatives amended the bill by adding this section. On January 9, 1836, the Senate had amended the bill by adding an additional proviso to the twenty-fourth section and by adding a twenty-fifth section. The House did not retain these sections.
Section eighteen, sub-section seven of the internal improvement act appropriated $3,500,000 for a railroad from Cairo to the termination of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. This required the Illinois Central Railroad Company to surrender its charter, which it was slow in doing, delaying construction of the railroad and other parts of the internal improvement system.
Printed Document, 7 page(s), Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at their Second Session (Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1836), 129-35, GA Session: 9-2,