Resolved That as William J Phelps has received a majority of the votes for Representative from Peoria County as appears by the poll books of the election. and as this House it has not been prov[ed] to the satisfaction of this House that he has not received a majority of the legal voters of said County, therefore in the opinion of this House the said William J Phelps is entitled to hold his seat as Representative from Peoria County.2
1On November 25, 1840, the House of Representatives appointed a select committee to investigate a contested election for state representative from Peoria County. On December 4, 1840, Ebenezer Peck presented the Democratic majority report. The report concluded with a resolution declaring Norman H. Purple the winner of the election. John J. Hardin presented the Whig minority report, which concluded that Phelps rightly won the seat. Both reports were referred to the Committee of the Whole. On December 21, the House amended the resolution to read as shown here. The House then adopted the resolution as amended, by a vote of 48 yeas to 33 nays, Abraham Lincoln voting yea.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 8, 9-10, 59-67, 90, 93, 131, 132-34, 138-39.
2The contested election occurred in August 1840 between Phelps and Norman H. Purple. As part of its investigation, the House select committee had subpoenaed the poll books that listed the votes cast in said election.
Illinois House Journal. 1840. 12th G. A., 9.
Handwritten Document, 1 page(s), Collection: Folder 426, GA Session: 12-2, Illinois State Archives (Springfield, IL) ,