In force 21st July, 1837.
AN ACT in relation to the Penitentiary.1
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That the first and second sections of an act passed February 9th, 1837, enti-
<Page 2>tled “an act to amend an act to regulate the penitentiary,” approved February 19th, 1833, be and the same are hereby repealed.
Powers of inspectors of Penitentiary.
Sec. 2. That all the power and authority hereby conferred on the warden of the penitentiary, is hereby vested in the inspectors thereof; who are authorized and empowered2 to appoint a superintendent of the penitentiary, to superintend and manage the affairs of the said penitentiary, or to farm out the convicts to some individual or individuals, as they in their judgment may think will best advance the interest of the state.3
In case of failure to defray expense.
Sec. 3. That the inspectors of the penitentiary, on a failure of realizing from the labor of the convicts confined in the said penitentiary, a sum sufficient to defray the expenses of a superintendent, or in case they farm out the convicts to some individual or individuals at less than sufficient to defray the incidental expenses, and support the convicts, they shall have power to draw on the auditor of public accounts for the sum not exceeding eight hundred dollars.4
Sec. 4. This act shall take effect from and after its passage, and be in force till the close of the next session of the General Assembly.5
Approved, 21st July, 1837.
1On July 18, 1837, George Smith of the House Committee on the Penitentiary, of which Abraham Lincoln was a member, introduced HB 73 in the House of Representatives. On July 20, the House amended the bill by adding language to the beginning of the second section and by striking out the words “let or” wherever they occurred in the bill. The House passed the bill as amended. The Senate passed the bill on July 21. On July 21, the Council of Revision approved the bill and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1837. 10th G. A., special sess., 113-14, 125, 152, 156, 182; Illinois Senate Journal. 1837. 10th G. A., special sess., 103, 113, 118, 136, 142-43.
2On July 20, 1837, the House of Representatives amended the bill by adding the new beginning to this section. It also struck out the words “let or” wherever they occurred.
Illinois House Journal. 1837. 10th G. A., special sess., 125.
3In 1839, the General Assembly passed an act more fully delineating the rules for leasing the penitentiary.
4In 1839, the General Assembly passed an act increasing the total expenses allowed from $800 to $1,500 annually.
5In 1831, the General Assembly created the position of Warden of the Penitentiary. On January 16, 1837, the General Assembly elected Benjamin Enloe as warden of the Illinois State Penitentiary at Alton. Enloe began his duties on March 4, the same day the General Assembly passed an act increasing the warden’s salary from $600 to $800 annually. In July 1837, governor Joseph Duncan reported to the House of Representatives that in his opinion, the increase in Enloe’s salary was unconstitutional because Enloe was a sitting member of the General Assembly when the increase was approved. Eight days later, the General Assembly passed an act abolishing the position of warden, transferring the warden’s authority and responsibilities in the Inspectors of the Penitentiary. Enloe only held the position of warden from March 4 to July 21, 1837, yet he claimed the state owed him the balance of the salary for the two-year term to which he was elected. In December 1838, Enloe brought suit in the Illinois Supreme Court in an attempt to compel the Auditor to pay him the remainder of his salary. The Court disagreed and refused to compel the Auditor to pay any further money to Enloe. In January 1839, the General Assembly passed an act directing the Auditor to pay $200 to Enloe as the remainder of his salary.
“An Act to Amend an Act Entitled, ‘An Act relative to Criminal Jurisprudence,’ Approved January 6, 1827, and to Provide for the Regulation and Government of the Penitentiary,” 15 February 1831, Laws of Illinois (1831), 103-13; Illinois House Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 276-79; People ex rel. Enloe v. Auditor of Public Accounts, 2 Ill. (1 Scammon) (1838) 536-38.
Printed Document, 2 page(s), Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at their Special Session (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1837), 47-48, GA Session: 10-S