Bank of Illinois

City: Shawneetown

County: Gallatin

State: Illinois

In December 1816, Illinois' territorial legislature incorporated the Bank of Illinois and it opened for business on January 1, 1817 with a 20-year charter. The bank suspended specie payment in 1821 and closed in 1823. In 1835, the legislature revived the bank and extended its charter to 1857. Speculators from Alton controlled the majority of the bank's stock, and speculations in lead and lead mines pushed the bank to the verge of bankruptcy by 1837. The legislature responded by increasing the capital stock of the bank and subscribing a large portion of that to the state. The state was heavily indebted to the Bank of Illinois, but was unable to pay its loans. The bank finally collapsed in June 1842.

Charles H. Garnett, “State Banks of Issue in Illinois” (essay, University of Illinois, 1898), 3-4, 6-7, 25-28, 34-35, 38; "An Act to Incorporate the President, Directors and Company of the Bank of Illinois," 28 December 1816, Laws Passed by the Legislative Council and House of Representatives, of Illinois Territory (1817), 11-19; An Act to Extend for a Limited Time the Charter of the Bank of Illinois at Shawneetown; An Act Supplemental to an Act entitled "An Act to Incorporate the President, Directors and Company of the Bank of Illinois at Shawneetown"; An Act to Increase the Capital Stock of Certain Banks and to Provide Means to Pay the Interest on a Loan Authorized by an Act entitled "An Act to Establish and Maintain a General System of Internal Improvement"; An Act to Provide for the Payment of Certain Debts Due from the State to the Banks.