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Petition of R. W. Burton and Others to U.S. Congress, [29 January 1849]1
To the Hon. the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled:
The undersigned citizens of the State of Illinois, would respectfully pray your Honorable bodies that a grant of lands be made to our State, to aid in building a railroad from the Upper and Lower Mississippi to Chicago, on the same general terms and conditions of the bill for the same object, which passed the Senate at the last session, by the large vote of twenty-four to eleven.2
These routes being par excellence, great national thorough-fares, in the construction of which, all sections of the country have a direct interest, particularly the Northeast, the West, and Southwest, and being to ourselves the most important within our borders, so that an undivided and strong support will be obtained in Congress for them, if left unencumbered by other roads; we would respectfully pray that the passage of the bill be not endangered by amendments, and that the terms of the grant be made liberal to the State as in the former bill, so as to secure the completion of the roads, and that it be passed the present session, before the best lands shall have been absorbed by speculators in soldiers’ warrants. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.3
R W, Burton MD Zera Munsell
D G Bracken
W Butcher James R Crane
John Maris C. C. Scott
R H Snell James Smith
J K. Van Meter W F Graves
J. W. Evans
James J Waughop J. C. Eccles
P Fifer
P. H. Anthony W, A, Ross
Thomas Fish
Joseph Kelso
Thomas Snell
John L Marsh J L Mitchel
Noah Fogg W, B, Yales
Silas Willard J S. Bree
Chas S. N. Anthony John Lorimer
Haven Peirce Joseph N Scott
G L Gibson
J. R. Scott G M Cullen

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A petition of certain citizens of the State of Illinois, praying a grant of Lands to aid in the construction of a Rail Road–4
Refer to Com:[Committee] on Pub.[Public] Lands.
A. Lincoln5
January 29 Referred to the Committee on Public Lands.
1Thirty-three people signed this petition. Abraham Lincoln penned two instances of docketing on the back page, and signed one.
2Senator Stephen A. Douglas introduced this bill--S. 95-- in the Senate on January 20, 1848, and the Senate referred it to the Committee on Public Lands. The committee reported back the bill on January 24 without amendment. The Senate passed the bill on May 4. On August 12, the House of Representatives refused to read the bill a third time by a vote of 73 yeas to 79 nays, with Lincoln voting yea.
S. 95, 30th Cong. (1848); U.S. Senate Journal. 1848. 30th Cong., 1st sess., 125, 129, 290, 314, 592; U.S. House Journal. 1848. 30th Cong., 1st sess., 1270; Cong. Globe, 30th Cong., 1st Sess., 214, 230, 723 (1848).
3Lincoln presented this petition on January 29, 1849, and it was referred to the Committee on Public Lands. Lincoln presented five more petitions on this topic on February 13, 1849. Other Illinois congressmen also presented many of these petitions between January 29 and February 24, but it does not appear that the House of Representatives acted upon any of them.
4Lincoln wrote this docketing.
5Lincoln wrote and signed this docketing.

Printed Document Signed, 2 page(s), RG 233, Entry 367: Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thirtieth Congress, 1847-1849, Records of Legislative Proceedings, Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents Which Were Referred to Committees, 1847-1849, NAB.