Resolved, That we approve of the general course of the present administration.
1On December 9, 1836, Governor Joseph Duncan presented his annual message to the General Assembly. On December 10, the House of Representatives referred the portion of the message condemning Andrew Jackson and his administration to a select committee. On December 23, John A. McClernand of the select committee reported back the anti-administration portion of the governor’s message with a lengthy report, together with two resolutions. The House refused to amend the resolutions by striking out all after the word “Resolved” and inserting a substitute by a vote of 24 yeas to 57 nays, with Abraham Lincoln voting yea. The House also rejected a call of the House by a vote of 26 yeas to 55 nays, with Lincoln voting nay. The House agreed to vote on the resolution by a vote of 53 yeas to 29 nays, with Lincoln voting nay. Dividing the question, the House adopted the first resolution by a vote of 64 yeas to 18 nays, with Lincoln voting nay. The House adopted the second resolution by a vote of 57 yeas to 25 nays, with Lincoln voting nay. Upon a motion to publish the select committee’s report and the resolutions and the vote thereupon, the House refused to amend the motion by including the substitute and the yea and nay votes on the resolution and substitute by a vote of 26 yeas to 57 nays, with Lincoln voting yea. The House ordered 3,500 copies of the report, resolutions, and votes printed by a vote of 61 yeas to 16 nays, with Lincoln voting yea.
Illinois House Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 15-26, 102-19.
2Governor Joseph Duncan delivered his pointed critique of Andrew Jackson in the aftermath of Martin Van Buren’s victory in the Presidential Election of 1836. Duncan accused the out-going president of abusing his powers over appointment and patronage and of violating the U.S. Constitution, particularly in his dealings with the Second Bank of the United States. The House select committee disagreed with Duncan’s allegations and provided a point by point rebuttal of his assertions.
John J. Hardin introduced the substitute resolution that gained the support of Abraham Lincoln and those opposed to the policies of Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party. Hoping to capitalize on local concerns, Hardin argued that it was “inexpedient to consume the time of the Legislature,” at a time when the prosperity of the state required immediate action on creating an internal improvement system, improving public schools, and reforming revenue laws, “in acting upon any resolutions which merely involve national politics.” Hardin offered a similar amendment to a resolution introduced immediately after passage of the pro-Jackson resolution
Illinois House Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 15-26, 102-19, 120.
Printed Transcription, 1 page(s), Journal of the House of Representatives of the Tenth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, at Their First Session (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1836), 114