In force, Dec.[December] 14, 1840.
An ACT to amend an act entitled "An act to provide for the settlement of debts and liabilities incurred on account of internal improvements in the State of Illinois," approved, February 1st. 1840.1
Sec.[Section] 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That so much of "An act to provide for the settlement of debts and liabilities incurred on account of internal improvements in the State of Illinois," approved, February first, one thousand eight hundred and forty, as provides for the election of a board of public works, and the appointment of their clerks and secreta-
<Page 2>ries, be, and the same is hereby repealed after the fifteenth day of December, one thousand eight hundred and forty.2
Com’rs[Commissioners] to deliver books.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the said commissioners shall by the said fifteenth day of December, deliver over to the treasurer of the State of Illinois, all books, records, papers, maps, plats, profiles, accounts, or other papers in their possession, also, all property of every description in their possession pertaining to their respective offices connected with the system of internal improvements, and it shall be the duty of the treasurer to take charge of the same.
Treasurer to adjust acc’ts[accounts].
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the treasurer to audit, adjust and settle the accounts of the said commissioners, and in case any member of said board shall be found in arrear to the State, it shall be his duty to cause suit forthwith to be instituted against such person.
Pay of officers to cease.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That the compensation of all engineers, agents, and other persons in the employment of the board of public works shall cease and determine at and upon the passage of this act.
Scrip shall not be issued.
Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That no State scrip or drafts shall be issued after the passage of this act.
Treasurer to give bond.
Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That the treasurer of the State, for the faithful discharge of the duties imposed upon him by this act, shall give bond to the people of the State of Illinois, with one or more good securities, to be approved by the Governor, in the penalty of twenty thousand dollars.
Agent to be appointed.
Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That the treasurer is hereby authorized to appoint an agent to take charge of such parts of rail roads as may be completed, and all the cars, engines and other things belonging to said roads until otherwise provided for by law. 3
Approved, December 14, 1840.
1Wyckliffe Kitchell introduced HB 1 in the House of Representatives on November 27, 1840. A member moved to refer the bill to the Committee on Internal Improvements on November 30, to which the House did not concur by a vote of 42 yeas to 44 nays, Abraham Lincoln voting yea. A member then proposed an amendment, to which another amended. The House voted to table the amendment of the amendment by a vote of 56 yeas and 31 nays, Lincoln voting nay, but passed the initial amendment by a vote of 51 yeas to 35 nays, Lincoln voting nay. An additional amendment was then rejected by a vote of 7 yeas and 78 nays, Lincoln voting nay. After a contentious debate, the House referred the bill to the Committee on Internal Improvements on December 1 by a vote of 46 yeas and 40 nays, Lincoln voting yea. On December 2, the committee reported back the bill and recommended a substitution for the entire text, to which the House concurred. On December 4, the House passed the bill as substituted by a vote of 77 yeas to 11 nays, Lincoln voting nay. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 34 yeas to 1 nay. The Council of Revision approved the bill on December 14 and the act became law.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 32, 39-41, 43-45, 45-46, 58, 71-72, 101, 111, 113, 117; Illinois Senate Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 45, 66.
2Section two of the act made provision for a board of public works, and section three empowered it to appoint one clerk and one secretary.
3 Democrats in the House opposed to the internal improvement system, citing the State’s debt crisis brought on by the Panic of 1837, urged the immediate abolition of the Board of Public Works and cession of expenditures on public works, while Whigs and Democrats sympathetic to the need for an improved infrastructure resisted such drastic measures.
Illinois State Register (Springfield, IL), 4 December 1840, 2:7, 3:1.
Printed Document, 2 page(s),
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twelfth General Assembly (Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1841), 166-67, GA Session: 12-2,