We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
(ScSlp: dp. 2,033; Ibp. 216'; b. 39'; dph. 20'; a. 8 guns; cl. Swatara)
The second Vandalia-a screw sloop-was laid down at the Boston Navy Yard, Mass., in 1872 and commissioned there on 10 January 1876.
Vandalia was soon deployed with the European Squadron and spent most of the next three years cruising in the Mediterranean along the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey. She put into Villefranche, France, in October 1877, and left on 13 December with the former President, General Ulysses S. Grant, as a passenger. During the next three months, the screw sloop of war touched at ports in Italy, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece before President Grant disembarked at Naples on 18 March 1878. After making several more Mediterranean cruises, Vandalia received orders to return to the United States later that year. She put into Boston on 13 January 1879 and departed on 7 April, bound for Norfolk, Va., and duty with the North Atlantic Squadron.
Vandalia remained with the North Atlantic Squadron for five years. During this time, she performed patrol, reconnaissance, and convoy escort duty off the eastern seaboard of the United States. The vessel was also active off the Grand Banks and in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Vandalia was detached from the squadron in 1884 and put out of commission at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard on 14 October for a thorough overhaul.
Repairs continued for over a year before Vandalia was ready for recommissioning on 15 February 1886. The sloop left New York on 14 August, heading westward for duty with the Pacific Squadron as the flapship of Rear Admiral Louis A. Kimberly. Vandalia remained with the squadron into 1889, seeing duty in the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa, as well as along the Pacific coasts of North, Central, and South America. The sloop put into the Mare Island Navy Yard, San Francisco, for repairs on 11 October 1888.
While Vandalia lay at Mare Island, relations between American and German officials at Apia, Samoa became increasingly strained. Late in the winter of ;889, at the behest of the American consul in Samoa. Vandalia, Trenton, and Nipsic sailed for Samoa and reached Apia Harbor early in March to balance the presence of the German vessels SMS Adler, Olga, and Eber. The British were ably represented by HMS Calliope. On 15 and 16 March 1889, each of these vessels suddenly became trapped in the harbor when violent, hurricanefoce winds roared out of the northeast, driving mountainous waves before them. Adler, Olga, and Eber were all either sunk or hopelessly grounded and torn apart on the sharp reef, and together lost a total of 150 officers and crew killed. The powerful engines of Calliope barely enabled the vessel to get to sea in a dramatic performance that drew cheers from the crews of the American vessels. However, despite heroic efforts by the officers and crews of Vandalia and Trenton, the two vessels tore their bottoms out upon the reef on 16 March. Vandalia struck at about noon and sank until her docks were completely awash, forcing her crew to scramble into the rigging. Trenton grounded alongside Vandalia at 2200 that evening, but enough of her main deck remained above water to allow Vandalia's crew to climb on board. After the hurricane began, Nipsic was driven ashore on a sandy beach and was later salvaged.
American casualties totalled 49 killed, 43 from Vandalia alone. The survivors from Vanadalia, Trenton, and Nipsic soon sailed for Mare Island on board a chartered steamer, but Vandalia and Trenton themselves were so battered that they were soon dismantled and their scrap donated to the Samoans.
HISTORY OF AUDRAIN COUNTY
The County of Audrain, the 52nd in Missouri, was officially organized on December 17, 1836. Named after James H. Audrain, a member of the Missouri state legislature, it was once mostly prairie. Mexico, centrally located and the oldest town in Audrain County, was founded by two early settlers, James H. Smith and the Reverend Robert C. Mansfield, and then designated the county seat. They chose the town's name because of widespread excitement over Texas, then fighting for independence from the country of Mexico it was the place to go to make your fortune and they were confident that the name would bring the new village good luck and "popularity." The first county court met in Mexico in February 1837 and within two years the first courthouse was built on the public square.
Early Audrain County Settlers
Most of the county's early settlers originated in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. They first claimed land near woods and small streams, leaving the prairie in the eastern section of the county almost vacant. Prominent among them was John B. Morris, the first postmaster, owner of a general store, county official, and operator of a tavern in Mexico. The county saw little growth over its first three decades with the population by 1850 being only 3,508. Most county residents were farmers, while a few were regarded as "mercantile men." The one development in these early years that bore the mark of progress was the coming of the railroad. In 1856 North Missouri, one of the state's earliest rail lines was laid through the county, promoting trade for Mexico the county seat, and the surrounding area.
Civil War Activity in Audrain county
During the Civil War Audrain, county residents were politically divided. An estimated 600 men served in the Union Army and around 500 with the Confederacy. No official battles took place although one skirmish did occur. The war record of Audrain County centers on the railroad, the occupation of Mexico, and constant guerrilla warfare in the area. Because of the railroad, Federal troops made Mexico their headquarters for most of the war. The occupying Union army ousted elected officials, enforced martial law, with curfew and street patrols, damaged buildings, and furthered unrest throughout the county. Ulysses S. Grant, then a Colonel, was among those assigned to the area for a short time early in the war.
Growing Agricultural Importance in Audrain County
The 1870's, the 1880s, and 1890s brought progress and prosperity to the county. More settlers arrived, particularly many Germans who settled on the eastern prairie, now more easily cultivated. Additional railroad lines were being built which increased trade and business to the local area. Vandalia, Laddonia, and other towns in the county were founded and along with Mexico saw growth during these years. Farming, from its beginning the county's main occupation, now became of primary importance. Audrain County was recognized as one of the state's leading agricultural counties during this period with chief crops of corn and oats with livestock of horses, mules, hogs, and sheep adding to the agricultural base.
The Firebrick Industry in Audrain county
Audrain County also became known as the "Fire Brick Center of the World." The importance of fire clay lay in its capacity to withstand extremely high temperatures without changing form or deteriorating. It was used to build industrial furnaces and became essential to many basic industries. As early as 1883 county leaders were promoting fire clay, but it was A.P. Green and his Fire Brick Company, established in 1910, that revolutionized the industry by 1937 the firebrick produced in Audrain County was being used in applications around the world. The Mexico Refractories Company and other smaller firebrick companies strengthened the county's lead in this field. Audrain County refractory companies played a major role in World War II and later in the exploration of space with county products being utilized on launch pads. Over the years the industry continued to expand and diversify, remaining a vital part of the county's economy.
Educational Advances in Audrain county
The county has always placed a great emphasis on education. The Mexico Board of Education built the first public school in 1873 and by 1900 nearly one hundred country schools had been organized in an effort to serve all rural students. During the 1970s these smaller schools were consolidated into three larger school districts. For decades around the turn of the century, two private institutions attracted students from across the nation. Hardin College for Young Ladies was founded in 1873 and flourished until financial difficulties forced it to close in 1933. Missouri Military Academy for young men was founded in 1889. A century later it was named by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the nation's "Exemplary Private Schools" and it continues to be one of the county's valuable educational assets.
Outstanding Citizens of Audrain County
Among Audrain Counties outstanding citizens have been two Missouri governors: Charles H. Hardin (1875-77) and Christopher S. Bond (1973-77 and 1981-85). Three Audrain attorneys have served on the Missouri Supreme Court: George B. MacFarlane, Ernest S. Gantt, and Frank B. Hollingsworth. During World War II Admiral Samuel G. Fuqua was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for Heroism at Pearl Harbor. In the 1950's Walter G. Staley Jr. represented the United States in the Olympic Games. Many others have held prominent positions in commerce, medicine, politics, government, education, religion, and agriculture.
After a Century and a Half
In 1986 Audrain County celebrated its 150th birthday. The 1990 census four years later listed seven incorporated cities besides its county seat, with a total county population of 23,599. Still one of Missouri's leading agricultural counties, primary crops are currently soybeans, corn, grain sorghum, and wheat, with hogs and cattle the main livestock. Along with its three public school districts and several private schools, the county once again has a college with its Advanced Technology Center.
Proud of its history, residents across the county have supported the restoration of historic buildings and the preservation of significant artifacts through a number of private organizations, including the Audrain County Historical Society with its restored mansion, museums, and library.
The Bee Line and Midwest Railroads reset their goals – to St. Louis: Gateway to the West!
See Part II to learn about the Bee Line’s financing dilemma – the loss of control to the Cleveland Clique and Wall Street.
Advertisement for ships to California during the Gold Rush, circa 1850.
Gold! In January 1848 gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California. The Gold Rush had begun. And with it, the nation turned its gaze to the West.
John Brough, courtesy of the Ohio History Connection.
The Bee Line and other Midwest railroads would also reset their goals – to reach Chicago or St. Louis: Gateway to the West. And for John Brough, president of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad [M&I], the prospects were particularly tantalizing. While he had already begun to implement a strategy to extend the M&I’s control to the potentially lucrative Indianapolis and Bellefontiane Railroad [I&B] building toward the Ohio state line, the thought of constructing and controlling a line to St. Louis was pure gold.
Midwest Railroads Map, circa 1860, showing the Madison and Indianapolis [M&I], Terre Haute and Richmond [TH&R], and component roads of the Bee Line: Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati [CC&C] Bellefontaine and Indiana [B&I] Indianapolis and Bellefontaine [I&B], courtesy of Erin Greb Cartography. A Cleveland Clique of connected businessmen, politicians and railroad investors had already struck gold of their own. The opening of the Midwest’s first regional railroad in 1851 between Cleveland and Columbus – the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad [CC&C] – had proved to be successful beyond their most optimistic expectations. They began to consider expanding their reach, not by building, but by buying or controlling the purse strings of other roads headed west . . . to Cincinnati, Indianapolis . . . and St. Louis.
Chauncey Rose, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society.
John Brough’s strategic and financial needs were more immediate, as the M&I’s business calculus began to wane. One of Brough’s peers on the Indianapolis Union Station’s Indianapolis Union Railway board, Chauncey Rose of Terre Haute, had already assembled a circle of businessmen from Indiana’s largest town west of Indianapolis. In 1847, along with Rose’s New York-based financier brother John, they had gathered the funds necessary to construct the first leg west from Indianapolis toward St. Louis: the Terre Haute and Richmond Rail Road [TH&R]. It would be renamed the Terre Haute and Indianapolis Railroad [TH&I] by 1865, to more accurately reflect its final route.
Importantly, the Rose brothers also insured the Terre Haute circle would retain substantial financial control in spite of tapping into the newly available public markets of Wall Street. They would control their own financial destiny, unlike nearly all other Midwest railroads, until well into the 1870s. On February 14, 1852 the first train completed the entire seventy-three mile trip to Indianapolis. The line proved to be the juggernaut for rail travel to St. Louis and the West via Indianapolis.
Railroads west from Indiana, including the Terre Haute and Richmond [TH&R], Ohio and Mississippi [O&M], Mississippi and Atlantic [M&A], and St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute [StLA&TH], courtesy of Erin Greb Cartography. Rose and Brough were running into obstacles, both political and economic, in organizing a rail line spanning the unpopulated expanse of Illinois to St. Louis. While Rose initially focused on indirect connections via Vincennes and the nearly complete Ohio and Mississippi Railroad [O&M] extending across the southern third of Indiana and Illinois, Brough had a different plan. He would leverage on an 1846 Illinois charter – then moribund – for a direct route between Terre Haute and St. Louis through the former state capital (1820-1840): Vandalia. In 1850 Brough teamed with Vandalia business and political leaders – as well as James F. D. Lanier’s Wall Street firm of Winslow, Lanier & Co. – to resurrect the charter as the Mississippi and Atlantic Railroad [M&A]. He soon became its president.
James F. D. Lanier. Sketch of the Life of J. F. D. Lanier (self published, 1877).
Brough’s venturesome efforts to reach St. Louis did not go unnoticed by the Cleveland Clique. It comported with the Clique’s and Henry B. Payne‘s (then president of the CC&C) vision for reaching and controlling lines to the West. And since Winslow, Lanier & Co. and the Cleveland Clique were already digging their financial talons into the two Bellefontaine lines that would soon carry the publicly-dubbed Bee Line moniker, the collective financial support for Brough’s effort was assured. Along with Brough’s M&I, the component Bee Line roads anted up several hundreds of thousands of dollars in spite of the tenuous financial footing of all except the CC&C – courtesy of the Clique’s urging and Lanier’s financial wizardry or skullduggery.
But Brough was having other problems. As the M&I revenue picture darkened, the I&B’s brightened. Now connected with the Bellefontaine and Indiana [B&I] and CC&C to reach Cleveland, the I&B’s passenger and freight revenue per mile spiked during the first year of through service in 1853. In addition, new traffic carried between Indianapolis and Cincinnati – via a connection at the increasingly critical junction town of Union – translated into booming business along the band of steel known as the I&B.
Oliver H. Smith, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society.
Even before the I&B reached Union, however, the M&I was having trouble meeting its obligations under the five year operating contract the two had inked in 1850. The M&I’s inability to supply and maintain a sufficient number of locomotives and cars capable of handling the increasing traffic across the partially completed I&B was obvious. By the summer of 1852, I&B president Oliver H. Smith had initiated a series of discussions with Brough to recast the arrangement. Brough’s stance was adamant, as Smith reported: “They [M&I] claimed by resolve to run the whole Road for the time specified.” But Brough’s ego did not reflect the reality of his situation.
The Bellefontaine and Indiana’s “Sidney” Locomotive, built by Niles & Co., 1853 (rebuilt 1856), courtesy of New York Central System Historical Society.
At the same time, Smith approached the I&B board with specific proposals to purchase additional rolling stock and motive power equipment. He also proposed building machine shops, an engine house and depot buildings. Smith mapped out a game plan to finance the expansion. It would require selling stock and/or floating $150,000 of bonds on Wall Street. Board member Calvin Fletcher reflected the Hoosier Partisans’ growing concern about Smith: “It was doubted by myself & others whether the Embassader [sic] intended had the qualifications to act in the matter.” Newly dominant shareholders Daniel Yandes and Alfred Harrison would handle the funding question.
Calvin Fletcher, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society.
Things were coming to a head on many fronts. At the I&B board meeting in February 1853 a resolution was passed to terminate the M&I operating agreement effective May 1st, more than two years earlier than anticipated. The M&I and Brough were becoming an afterthought.
Then, in March, Oliver Smith challenged the I&B board to endorse his continued presidency. Given his intransigence on moving the Indianapolis depot closer to the new Union Station – for personal business reasons – Smith’s demand fell on deaf ears. Waxing eloquent, Calvin Fletcher penned a response on behalf of the Hoosier Partisans: “We have no doubt, from your standing in this country . . . that you can do for yourself and the country much better than to remain the President of the said Road.” Smith would resign the presidency on April 6th.
On hearing of the I&B’s bold move to terminate its operating contract with the M&I, Brough was beside himself. As May 1st arrived, Fletcher was concerned, noting “Did not sleep very well having been notified that the M&I would not permit the I&B to have possession & that they would defend with force & arms.” Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed during daylong meetings between Brough, Yandes, Harrison and Fletcher. The next day the operating contract was dissolved.
The Madison and Indianapolis Railroad [M&I] and involved roads: the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad [P&I], extending north from Indianapolis, and the Mississippi and Atlantic Railroad [M&A], extending west to St. Louis. Terre Haute and Richmond [TH&R] also shown, courtesy of Erin Greb Cartography. Adding insult to injury, Brough’s strategy to tighten the M&I’s grip on a second railroad heading north from Indianapolis – the Peru and Indianapolis [P&I] – was also in peril. While a combination with the M&I would be effected in 1853 as the Madison, Indianapolis and Peru Railroad, it unwound the next year. E. W. H. Ellis, president of the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad, lamented upon the dissolution of the combination: “It is to be regretted that, in the days of its [M&I’s] prosperity, the road, its rolling stock and machinery, were permitted to run down and that these heavy burdens are thrown upon the company.” The I&B was already wise to the M&I’s deficiencies.
Still, the prospect of Brough’s push to St. Louis seemed all but certain. Winslow, Lanier & Co. had successfully attracted adequate funds to begin letting construction contracts. The Mississippi and Atlantic Railroad [M&A] had overcome political obstacles thrown in its path by an alliance of Chicago and Mississippi River town interests. They much preferred a route to a smaller river town, on Illinois turf, just north of St. Louis. Much like Indiana’s push to establish Madison as its improbable center of commerce on the Ohio River, against all odds Illinois opted to create Alton as its alternative to St. Louis along the Mississippi River.
Henry B. Payne, courtesy of the Library of Congress.
To the Cleveland Clique and CC&C president Henry B. Payne, Brough’s progress in establishing and constructing a direct line to St. Louis, in the form of the M&A, was a dream come true. Controlling this line as well as the Bee Line would solidify the Clique’s plan for the West. And, as his tenure at the M&I grew tenuous, Brough would find Payne’s forthcoming offer incredibly attractive.
To the shock of the Hoosier Partisans, Brough was elected president at the I&B’s annual meeting on June 30, 1853. He was now at the head of three roads simultaneously: the M&I, M&A and I&B. Fletcher’s observations on Brough’s election summed up the feelings of the Hoosier Partisans: “In order to carry out the design we had to take Mr. Brough as president who had acted for the Madison RR . . . where interest . . . adverse to the I&B created a hostility to him. But it was obvious that we had to forgo the objection & take him.” It was not an easy pill to swallow for the Hoosier Partisans.
While it may not have been obvious at that point, the Hoosier Partisans’ decision to accept funding from the CC&C and Winslow, Lanier & Co. – let alone seeking counsel from the Cleveland Clique – would be fraught with long-term consequences.
Check back for Part IV to learn more about the fate of the Mississippi and Atlantic Railroad, and the related destiny of John Brough with the Bee Line – under influence of the Cleveland Clique.
Vandalia II - History
(A copyrighted publication of West Virginia Archives and History)
Vandalia: The First West Virginia?
By James Donald Anderson
Volume 40, No. 4 (Summer 1979), pp. 375-92
In 1863, led by a group of staunch Unionists, the western counties of Virginia seceded from their mother commonwealth to form a new state. This was not the first attempt to separate the mountanious area from the piedmont and the tidewater country. Patriotism, however, played little part that time. Less than a century previous a group of entrepreneurs and land speculators from the eastern seaboard and England had endeavored to establish a new colony, Vandalia, in the frontier region south and east of the Ohio River. The boundaries of the proposed province closely match those of the present state of West Virginia. Their efforts ended in failure, but that was not for a lack of trying.
Since the country was sparsely populated, the inspiration for separation had to come from elsewhere. Some of the leading merchants and politicians in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and England hoped to profit from their efforts. Printer and philosopher Benjamin Franklin, his son Sir William, governor of New Jersey, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Northern Department Sir William Johnson, his deputy George Croghan, merchants George Morgan and John Baynton, and lawyer and Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly Joseph Galloway all interested themselves in the project. The leading lights of the movement, though, were members of a prominent and prosperous Quaker mercantile family, the Whartons of Philadelphia. 1
The Wharton males, guided and inspired by patriarch Joseph, Senior (1707-76), had risen in two generations from relative poverty to riches in local trade, the export-import business, and sponsoring small industries. His sons Thomas 1730/31-1784), Joseph, Junior (1732-1816), and Charles (1744-1838) profited as merchants. Samuel (1732-1800) became a partner in Baynton and Wharton, later Baynton, Wharton and Morgan, a firm interested in trading overseas and with the Indians in the west. A younger brother, Isaac (1745-1808), allied himself with Thomas and progressively became a successful insuranceman and banker. All held interests in common, particularly the accumulation of excess capital to invest in wide-ranging enterprises with emphasis on land bought cheap and sold dear. 2 In many respects the story of Vandalia centers on the Whartons and their moves and countermoves to obtain approval for the new colony from the British crown.
The Whartons had initially invested in real estate in the vicinity of Philadelphia, but had rapidly expanded and extended their speculations. Thomas in particular had with various partners purchased land in the frontier regions of Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania. His Virginia ventures included tracts in what is now the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. All these efforts failed to find a profit. In some cases, as in Virginia and New York, Indian troubles and depredations and the advent of the War of American Independence discouraged prospective buyers here and abroad. Clouded titles further confused the issue. In the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, for instance, courts decided disputed claims in favor of squatters on the land rather than to absentee speculators. 3 The fight for Vandalia began with the failure of the Illinois Company.
The end of the French and Indian War and the resulting Treaty of Paris in 1763 opened vast areas of formerly enemy-held territory to British exploitation. Traders such as Baynton, Wharton and Morgan foresaw immense profits to be gained from supplying various Indian nations and the British garrisons along the Mississippi River. Samuel and his partners together with Croghan and some frontier merchants from Lancaster formed the "grand Illinois Venture," which by 1766 evolved into the Illinois Company. The investors included four Whartons (Joseph, Senior Joseph, Junior Samuel, and Thomas), George and John Morgan, John Baynton, William Franklin, George Croghan, and Sir William Johnson. For additional capital they later invited some Englishmen to participate, a deal which paved the way for future joint Anglo-American speculative collaborations. An interested bystander was Benjamin Franklin, then Pennsylvania's agent in London. The investors attempted to use his influence in governmental circles to obtain the necessary approval. Franklin readily cooperated. He had already tentatively agreed to join Samuel and Baynton in the purchase of two large tracts in newly acquired Quebec. In all, the Illinois Company applied for a grant of 1,400,000 acres to be effected upon the establishment of a civil government. This effort collapsed for several reasons. Loss of trade goods and overinvestment forced Baynton, Wharton and Morgan into receivership. The reluctance of British ministers to approve large grants, however, proved to be the main cause. They also feared that the resulting violations of the Proclamation Line of 1763, which limited settlements to the east of Allegheny Mountain, would invite the Indians to renew fierce and bloody frontier wars. Competing claims by other interested parties, mainly represented by the Gratz family of Philadelphia and Lancaster, also confused government agencies which took the easy way out by declining all applications. 4
The failure of the Illinois venture caused the Whartons and their allies to seek their fortunes elsewhere. They grabbed at what appeared to be a better opportunity, tying themselves to the appeals of the "suffering traders." In 1754, during the opening scenes of the French and Indian War, several traders, including William Trent and Croghan, lost supplies to Indian raids. Trent, a partner in Franks, Trent, Simons and Company, was a close associate of the Gratzes. The natives repeated their seizures in 1763 when Pontiac lured his followers to battle English settlers on the frontier. Some of the material destroyed during the "conspiracy" belonged to Baynton, Wharton and Morgan although the firm had evidently only consigned goods to other traders. The victims of the attacks sent Croghan to London in 1764 to seek compensation for their losses. Croghan failed to interest the government in their appeals, and he returned empty-handed. 5
In February 1765 twenty-one parties petitioned Sir William Johnson to convince the Six Nations to indemnify them for the £80,- 862:12:05 (New York currency) in destroyed goods. Samuel and his firm had already received the proxies of four of the traders, and Trent represented the remainder. They and other speculators soon convinced additional distressed men to sell their shares at a discount to be paid when the Indians repaid them by forfeiting some land. A complicated system of shares was devised based on the value of each individual's losses. As in most cases such as this, the speculator soon completely superceded the original losers. Johnson assembled a meeting at Johnson Hall in April at which time he placed the petition forcibly before the sachems. He chose, however, to ignore the "sufferers" of 1754 because, as he later explained, the Indians destroyed their property in time of war. On May 6 the chiefs agreed to concede some lands to the traders, but nothing further resulted from the conference. Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan remained optimistic of "the Justice of Our Application" for the Indians "making Recompense for their Robbry." 6 The major steps for obtaining the land came with the organization of the Indiana Company, the details of which are vague, and the conference at Fort Stanwix in 1768. Samuel Wharton with 16,628 shares was the major stockholder of the new company. Other important shareholders included John Baynton (8,530), Trent (7,427), and William Franklin (5,399). 7
|On October 24, 1768, after some delays, Sir William Johnson opened the meeting at Fort Stanwix. The seriousness of the main issue - alterations to the Proclamation Line of 1763 - merited attendance by Governor Franklin, Governor John Penn of Pennsylvania and two members of his council, and Virginia's commissioner Thomas Walker as well as the heads of the Indian nations concerned, Croghan, Samuel, and Trent also participated. Much about the proceedings remains a mystery since the majority of the discussions were conducted in secret. The attendees, white and Indian alike, agreed, however, on a new line to be established west of the original demarcation. In the area of immediate concern, it traversed from Fort Pitt down the Ohio River until it met the Tennessee where it turned south./ The extent of the new area authorizing white settlement far exceeded Johnson's instructions and has caused his motives to be questioned. He may have linked private ambitions with official duties. The chiefs listened to the appeals made by Samuel and Trent, then acquiesced and ceded to the "suffering traders" the tract which became known as Indiana. Its boundaries (see sketch map, page 376) began on the|
The agreement with the Indians and the location of the grant would have been impossible without the transfer of the proclamation line to the Ohio River.
After the Indians had conceded the land, the company stockholders decided to guarantee their interests by obtaining consent from the British ministry. Since a personal representation appeared to be the best method, they sent Samuel and Trent, the spokesmen for the two main factions (the Whartons and the Gratzes) within the company, to London to plead their case. Five of the most interested, parties pledged their financial support. The personable Samuel was the key man. All the members involved anticipated that the visit would be short. Many would have reconsidered if they had known that Trent would not return until 1775 and Samuel more than three years later. Hopes ran high that the government would readily approve the grant. Few could have predicted that an even larger grant would be sought for the establishment of a new colony inland of Virginia. 9
Samuel departed Philadelphia sometime after February 1769, carrying with him letters of introduction to English contacts. William Franklin described him as "a gentleman of character & abilities," informing William Strahan, an English publisher and post office official, "You will like him." In London, Samuel encountered a society which, though unfamiliar, delighted and enticed him, one completely free from the Quaker surroundings in which he was raised. Apparently shrewdly analysing his character, Doctor Cadwalader Evans, an old family friend, recommended that Benjamin Franklin "read a lecture to [him] on temperance" before the "luxeries of London" infected him. Samuel became a stylish hypochondriac, though enjoying excellent health, "dressed in rich Silks," and took to wearing a "Sword &c. with as much ease, as if He had always done it." Though the assumed foppishness created some problems with the more conservative Trent, he became recognized by many as an expert on the colonies. His wide range of acquaintances impressed one visitor who remarked that Samuel had introduced him "to some of the first families of this place" and entertained him "with much Splendor." 10 If Thomas, who enjoyed his own lifestyle, for he and his brother Joseph were among the wealthiest of the Philadelphians, had known of Samuel's pretensions, he would have been disgusted with his brother's un-Quaker-like affectation, not least because he was financing Samuel in London and the latter's family in Philadelphia.
After their arrival in England, both Samuel and Trent decided that any appeal to the government for Indiana would be fruitless. Thus they did not even petition the Privy Council for the land. Their reasoning could have been influenced by two considerations. First, existent governmental opposition, even hostility, would automatically deny any such application. Second, they may have listened to Benjamin Franklin who, as he later said, advised Samuel that the grant had been willingly given by the Indian nations as sovereign governments. In his opinion, that legally sufficed, and British ministerial sanction would thus be superfluous. Regardless, the agents switched direction, and, upon the recommendation of Thomas Walpole, Sir Robert's nephew and important member of Commons, they decided to form a new company with English and American investors to purchase a block of land south and east of the Ohio River. This tract incorporated the area of Indiana. The group, which now included Franklin as an active participant, became known as the Walpole Associates, and in July they applied for a new grant. Each member contributed five guineas to pay for what Samuel described as "Clerkship." 11
The new organization brought many changes. As the plan, or plot, developed, Samuel and Franklin discarded many of the Americans interested in Indiana. Most importantly, the omission of Baynton and Morgan seriously split the partnership. Morgan later vowed that henceforth he would contact Samuel strictly on business relating to their firm. Although the roster of members included Croghan by necessity, he had already forfeited some of the claims he gained at Fort Stanwix. On December 10, 1768, he sold his share of Indiana to Thomas Wharton and Joseph Galloway, each paying £450 (Pennsylvania currency). 12
On December 27, 1769, the members of the Walpole Associates convened at the Crown and Anchor Inn in London and organized the Grand Ohio Company. Samuel proposed to purchase from the crown the land which became known as Vandalia. He and his allies hoped to establish a colony placed on the same footing with the old provinces incorporating governmental organizations, a royal governor, a legislature, courts, etc. At first the sponsors planned to call it Pittsylvania in honor of William Pitt, but, to encourage royal consent, they named it Vandalia for the queen who reputedly was descended from the Germanic tribe. In England it is generally known as the Walpole Grant. Representatives of the Illinois and Indiana factions participated, and they agreed to cede Indiana to the new company when the government approved the new colony. Indeed, for all practicality, the members of the older companies hedged their bets to preserve their interests. Within six months, George Mercer asserted to incorporate the rival Ohio Company of Virginia (he was its representative in England and his endeavors had been unsuccessful) into the enterprise for two of the seventy-two shares. The land requested, more than two million acres, the greater part of the present state of West Virginia (see sketch map page 376) was vast. The boundaries were delineated as follows.
From that time the fortunes of the company rose and fell with the success of the efforts made by Lord Hillsborough, Secretary of State for the Colonies, to obstruct the project. Franklin, who distrusted the Secretary, described him as 'the most insincere, and the most wrong-headed" of all his acquaintances. Further, he believed Hillsborough had deliberately attempted to sabotage the land deal from the start. According to the philosopher, Hillsborough "encouraged us [the Associates] to ask for more Land, when we first ask'd only for 2,500,00 [the estimated size of Indiana] Ask for enough to make a Province, were his Words, pretending to be friend our Application . . . ." Secretly, he then meant "to defeat" the petition 'from the beginning, and that his putting us upon asking so much was with that very View, Supposing it too much to be granted." 14
Observers on the scene viewed the prospects of the company optimistically. As early as January 1770, Abel James, a Quaker merchant and varingly a rival or compatriot of the Whartons, informed Baynton, "It is next to impossible that [Samuel's negotiations] can miscarry." Walpole informed Joseph, Junior, in November 1771 that it had "a fair chance of success." That same month Samuel considered the contract with the Treasury to be "fixed & irrevokable" (a thought echoed by Franklin) and the only remaining complication, "The Policy of Settling," would be resolved "during this Winter." 15
Despite this bright outlook, Hillsborough's opposition at first succeeded. Upon deliberation, the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations in April 1772 reported negatively on the venture to the Privy Council. They opposed the new proclamation line established at Fort Stanwix and inland colonies in general as counter-productive to the empire as an entity. Indeed, they recommended that all settlements west of the original line of 1763 be forbidden or demolished and the decision enforced. In August, however, the Privy Council ordered another study in light of the proposal of a separate government for Vandalia. Walpole's spirited defense of the company's memorial had caused them to reconsider. Hillsborough's plan had backfired his opposition to a large grant had returned to haunt him. He fell from power to be replaced by the Earl of Dartmouth. As Franklin explained it, "[H]is Mortification becomes double. He had serv'd us by the very means to destroy us, and tript up his own Heels into the Bargain." The next year the Commissioners revised their stance and recommended that a new colony be established with boundaries extended beyond those requested. The new borders were moved further westward into what is now Kentucky and the southern boundary coincided with the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina. The conditions of granting the concession included a payment of £10,460:07:03 Sterling with annual quitrents of two shillings per each one hundred acres beginning twenty years after the first settlement. 16 This was indeed a cheap price to pay for the huge prospective benefits to be gained. The announcement created great jubilation among the investors, but they had overcome the foe in only one battle the campaign remained to be won.
In America in the meantime, the stockholders, or proprietors as Thomas Wharton habitually called them, eagerly anticipated the colony's approval. As early as late in 1769 William Franklin had formulated plans for the construction of forges and mills in Vandalia. Morgan, excluded from Vandalia but still a holder of stock in Indiana, proposed his moving west in the summer of 1772 to arrange land surveys. He had received many inquiries concerning the nature of the terrain there, but, despite his many journeys to the west, he knew little about the lay of the land except for the plots "bordering on the [Ohio] River." The timing was right for him "as this seems to be a proper Season & a time of Liesure [sic]." The opportunities for locating settlers also appeared to be auspicious. The next year Christopher Rawson, Thomas' longtime friend and commercial contact in Halifax, reported sending his son to Philadelphia for his health and asked Wharton to give him "directions respecting a purchase on the Ohio." Joseph Trumbull from Connecticut wrote Wharton of his and his brothers' desires to "go & settle on the Banks of the Ohio." Croghan encouraged matters when he optimistically, and perhaps mischievously, relayed the information that "there cant be less than 60000 Souls settled between this place [Fort Pitt] & the mouth of that [Scioto] River. 17
Yet relations among the investors did not proceed entirely smoothly. Individual greed complicated the scene. Stimulated by the prospects for great wealth, Joseph, Senior, yearned to increase his allotment of shares in the company. Perhaps recent events in England had deluded him as to the extent of Samuel's influence, for he believed Samuel's opposition to be the main cause of Hillsborough's fall from grace. "The Grand Duke," a term commonly used to describe Joseph, could not conceal his elation, and, as a result, he irritated a few influential Philadelphians with his "verey unbecoming aiers." 18 For reasons which remain unclear, William Franklin's holdings became his particular target. Perhaps there was some personal animosity involved, for, after all, Franklin's father had been one of Joseph's closest friends for years he had been one of the original members of the famed Junto.
Unbeknownst to either Thomas or Joseph, Junior, "The Old Man" sent one of the brothers to Franklin "to demand" that the governor "sell [his] Share of the Lands on the Ohio" to Joseph, Senior. Since the messenger was a stranger and did not identify himself, Franklin indignantly refused. He later indicated that he would have acted in a more gracious manner if he had known the courier's identity, but he allowed that his answer would not have been changed. Still, the unpleasant episode indelibly altered the relationship between Franklin and Joseph, Senior, whom the New Jerseyite described as "becom[ing] excessively absurb." His father agreed, noting that the elder Wharton's act demonstrated "more Craft than Friendship" and further commenting, "perhaps I resent it as much as you do." 19 Although Thomas took pride in Samuel's accomplishments, and even though the latter had downgraded Benjamin Franklin's important role in obtaining the Commissioner's approval, the strong bonds between himself and both the Franklins were not affected by this unseemingly incident.
Meanwhile, in England, plans for the new government proceeded at a satisfactory pace. Samuel fully expected to be named the royal governor of the province. Rumors of his appointment had circulated there and in the colonies as early as mid-1770. At least at the beginning, he anticipated operating out of Fort Pitt, and so he asked Croghan to arrange for suitable quarters fashioned out of existing houses or, if necessary, to be constructed. Samuel wanted to hurry any decision, for a new potential menace to Vandalia had arisen. To counter Virginia's activities on the frontier, Pennsylvania planned to establish a new county, Westmoreland, west of Bedford. The boundaries of the new county could possible affect those of Vandalia. Samuel predicted, "It need not give us any Uneasiness," but he did discuss the matter with several of the investors and some government officials including Lord Camden, Anthony Todd, and Thomas Pitt. 20
The other main faction of Americans in the Vandalia project, the Franks-Trent combination, also approved the progress demonstrated so far. Bernard Gratz, a relative of the Franks, could hardly wait for Samuel's return. He heartily approved of the plan then in the hands of the Solicitor General which he had seen during a visit to Thomas. As yet the proprietors, including prospective chief executive, knew little about the geographical aspects of the purchase. Samuel asked Thomas to investigate the land and, most vital to the interests of all, determine the prices to be charged. Morgan at that time had not reported on his reconnaissance as had been expected. Later, however, the Whartons estimated that a fair price might be twenty pounds (Pennsylvania) per hundred acres though Morgan believed fifteen pounds would be more realistic. 21
Thomas also eagerly anticipated Samuel's return. He did not wait, however, to spread information about Vandalia around the colonies. He knew from his previous land deals that he had to solicit customers from a wide audience. In one typical letter he described the virtues of the area to Joseph Trumbull. Vandalia's attractions were many, not least being "the Richness of the Land" and "the Temperature [temperateness] of the Climate." He believed many would enjoy living there, and he encouraged Trumball to find "a Number of industrious, sober Families to settle therein." 22
Consolation of the Indians living or hunting in the area was another major consideration of the company. For these activities the investors learned considerably on the good will and the services of Croghan at Fort Pitt, although he no longer enjoyed an active association with the company. Croghan had always been amazingly adept at dealing with the natives. In several instances they had refused to deal with any other Englishman. Wharton sent him £160 (Pennsylvania) in 1773 to buy presents and provisions for the chiefs at a conference to be held there. Croghan reported that the Indian leaders as a result had "returned to their Habitations with much good Will toward the Province." Additional support came from the Seneca Chief Kayasuta, whom Wharton aptly described as a King, who traveled widely in the west, from Illinois to Johnson Hill, spreading support for the company. In anticipation of gaining final approval for Vandalia, the company officers purchased various supplies and gifts to be presented upon Samuel's arrival at his new domain. The goods, including gunpowder and lead for bullets, were shipped to Georgetown, Maryland, in care of Thomas. They never reached their intended recipients, but the munitions later got the merchant into trouble with the Maryland Committee of Safety. 23
Rival interests in the west, however, clouded the issues and slowed the recruitment of settlers. Virginia's efforts to enforce her claim to the lands in Vandalia complicated the situation. In November 1773 reports reached Thomas that George Washington was surveying the valley of the Kanawha River, and he feared the Ohio Company of Virginia would sell lands there at a cheaper rate than Vandalia could. He asked Samuel to inquire into the possibilities of opening a loan office so sales might begin. As the year progressed he expected momentarily to hear of the grant's approval. It was now under what seemed to him to be an interminable review by the crown's attorneys. Moreover, Virginia's seizure of Fort Pitt and its environs through the activities of Doctor John Connolly really disturbed him. Pennsylvania protested Connolly's movements (and later Lord Dunmore's) around the forks of the Ohio, but months passed before the problem was resolved. Wharton perceived that Vandalia could not become reality until the actions of the executives of both provinces "will be confined to the limits of their Colonies." That Connolly had the nerve to sell land within the boundaries of Vandalia truly angered Wharton. He believed that only final approval by the crown would end "The Annarchy & Confusion . . . on our Frontiers." He dreaded that Connolly's rampages and inciting of the Indians would lead to another border war. In addition, another Virginian named Lewis sold lands within the proposed province for "a small Consideration Which must hurt them [the settlers whose titles were not clear] & abundently [sic] Injure the Proprietors." 24 Virginia's sale of land within her own boundaries as described by her charter was at least quasi-legal her activities in the vicinity of Fort Pitt were both illegal and immoral.
In America the affairs of Baynton, Wharton and Morgan became, perhaps inevitably, entangled with the prospects for Vandalia. Samuel's presence in London induced some Englishmen not involved with Vandalia to seize a financial advantage. Abel James, a trustee of the firm then in the capital city on business, warned Thomas in 1770 to watch out for Richard Neave, a British banker who had served the needs of several Whartons, who wanted to collect monies due him. The English firm later did create considerable pain and trouble for the trustees. Neave wanted all dividends from the company and proceeds from the sale of Samuel's lands to go toward paying his debts. Underlying his threats always lay the danger that Samuel could be imprisoned as a debtor. By 1776 Neave had become at least a minor stockholder in Indiana through absorption of Samuel's shares. 25 The resurrection of Baynton, Wharton and Morgan provided one more reason for the Philadelphia investors to hope for Vandalia's approval. At least one Londoner believed Samuel would gain sufficient funds immediately "to discharge all the Demands of Baynton & Wharton's Creditors" from the sale of "Lands in the new Colony." 26
Thomas, distracted as he was as an agent for the East India Company, continued to pray for the grant through the exciting days of the tea crisis of 1773. As the court attorneys delayed approval, he began to suspect a conspiracy against the investors. He thought some "secret and weighty opposers" influenced officials to sidetrack Vandalia. Later he believed General Thomas Gage, who opposed western immigration and inland colonies because they incited the Indians, to be the chief culprit. In September 1774 he discussed Lord Dunmore's exertions in the Ohio country with Patrick Henry, then one of the delegates to the First Continental Congress. The Virginian was convinced that the Indian war then being waged was actually to the advantage of Vandalia. Dunmore, according to Henry, wanted better lands north of the Ohio and appeared willing to surrender the more mountainous areas. Henry also stated that lawyers he had consulted confirmed the validity of the Vandalia grant, and he thus approved any expansion for Virginia to be even further to the west. This analysis must have surprised a naturally suspicious Wharton who discounted Henry's version. He commented to Croghan that Dunmore's interest probably derived "from a private than Publick View." 27
Over and above the legal delays, the business of obtaining final approval for Vandalia proceeded slowly because of the nature and habits of British officials. Samuel complained that the matter could not even be discussed since key ministers absented themselves from London for months at a time. He planned to publish a pamphlet to counter arguments then current against the grant. In addition to prevention of conflict with the Indians, the opponents argued that limiting settlements to the seaboard would discourage establishment of local manufactories, thus contributing to the efficiency of the various Acts of Trade. Moreover, by preventing migration westward, the labor supply would increase where it was most needed. Samuel thought the arguments specious and "beyond all historical Example." Regardless of the ultimate ministerial action on Vandalia, he believed the movement of the population westward in America was unstoppable. In October 1774 he thought a decision on the colony had to be made that winter. 28
Actually, the Vandalia affair simply drifted and finally faded into obscurity with no decision being announced. Other events in the relationship of Britain and her colonies simply dominated discussions in Parliament and in the Privy Council. Open warfare between colonials and British regular troops erupted in April 1775. Thomas, who abhorred any thought of bloodshed, reluctantly accepted the fact that more important and pressing considerations facing the British ministers overshadowed Vandalia. The fantasy faded very slowly from his thoughts, however, because it had come so close to reality.
Samuel's thought began to turn elsewhere. In August he visualized "little prospect of Harmony being speedily, if ever restored between this Kingdom and America." He therefore focused his attention on land he believed already legally theirs Indiana. He recommended that Thomas and Trent, who had recently returned to Philadelphia, contact "Dr. Franklin & other members of Congress" to obtain support for purchasers of land from Indian nations. To speed approval from that body, Thomas should offer one-half of a share in the company each to eight delegates. Thomas approached the Congressmen with these bribes, no other word suffices, and his efforts apparently got him into deep trouble, for in 1777 Congress recommended that he be arrested as an enemy to his state and be exiled to Virginia. One odd aspect of this situation is that Samuel asked Benjamin Franklin for help. The philosopher had evidently resigned from the Great Ohio Company at least a year previous. Additionally, Samuel had commented to Croghan in 1773 that relations between them had deteriorated, and he thought Franklin's reputation "mere Piff & Declamation." Regardless, ten days after writing to Thomas, Samuel closed his accounts and severed his business, if not his personal, relationship with his English associates. 29 For all practical purposes, this step marked the end of the efforts to secure Vandalia. All that remained was the allotment of the expenses involved among the other investors.
Thomas and the survivors of the "suffering traders" did revive the Indiana Company. They convened on March 20, 1776, at the Indian Queen Tavern in Philadelphia and formed a new corporation for selling the land. Those attending selected Joseph Galloway president and Wharton vice president. They sent Morgan, by this time embittered at all the Whartons since he and his father-in-law Baynton had been excluded from Vandalia, to Fort Pitt to open a land office and to sell tracts in Indiana. Croghan, also at that frontier fort, had allied himself with Virginia during the Connolly affair, a decision Samuel described as "exceedingly indiscreet." He added, seeking additional justification for the defeat of the Grand Ohio Company, that Croghan's actions "may have contributed to the Delay of our Grants, And in the End will not be useful to Himself." As an appended mission, the company assigned Morgan the task of restoring Croghan's loyalty. All these undertakings soured when Trent, the majority proxy holder, refused to attend the company's general meeting at Philadelphia in the fall. His reluctance to cooperate finished Thomas' practical hopes for riches from the west, although to his deathbed in 1784 his visions lingered on. At that moment he may have been content with Trent's decision. He informed him,
Attempts to rejuvenate the Indian grants of 1768 continued spasmodically thereafter. The most earnest efforts may have been those exerted by Benjamin Franklin and Samuel in the early 1780s while the latter served as a delegate to Congress. The other representatives hesitated to take any action, and Indiana fell by the wayside again. All endeavors by the Whartons ceased when the states forfeited their claims to the western lands as a condition of entering the Union, and Virginia retained as part of the commonwealth the lands encompassing both Indiana and Vandalia.
Thus the campaign to create a new colony, "the first West Virginia," waned into oblivion. Not one of the involved parties gained as a result, and many friendships were broken, some, as viewed with hindsight, unnecessarily. Land competition in the west caused Pennsylvania and Virginia almost to resort to the clash of arms. Sir William Johnson's reputation tarnished because he promoted the revised proclamation line of 1768. Baynton, Wharton and Morgan underwent complete bankruptcy proceedings because of the split among the partners over membership in the Grand Ohio Company. Divided opinions for a time separated Samuel and Benjamin Franklin when concerted action may have insured successful acceptance of Vandalia. Greed influenced a break between Joseph, Senior, and both Franklins. Perhaps the one most affected was Thomas who financed Samuel in London and his family in Philadelphia, funds never reimbursed during his lifetime. This loss, combined with the collapse of his business during the War of American Independence, placed him in deep financial distress at the time of his death. There was only one winner, avarice, and that is by its very nature a loser.
1. The most recent and comprehensive account of the Whartons is James Donald Anderson. "Thomas Wharton, 1730/31-1784: Merchant in Philadelphia" (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Akron, 1977).
4. Clarence Edwin Carter, Great Britain and the Illinois Country, 1763-1773 (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1970), passim: Anderson, "Thomas Wharton," 158-62 Max Savelle, George Morgan, Colony Builder (New York: AMS Press, 1967), Chap. II and III Baynton and Wharton to B. Franklin, November 3, 1764, Leonard W. Labree, el al., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959- ), XI, 427-28 (hereafter Franklin Papers), Articles of Agreement, Illinois Company, April 29, 1766, Wharton-Willing Col., Historical Society of Pennsylvania (hereafter HSP). A concise description of these companies from an imperial viewpoint can be found in Lawrence Henry Gipson, The British Empire Before the American Revolution (15 vols. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946-1970), IX 457-88. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has authorized quotations from manuscript materials in the Society's collections.
5. George E. Lewis, The Indiana Company, 1763-1798: A Study in Eighteenth Century Frontier Land Speculation and Business Ventures (Glendale, Calif.: Arthur H. Clarke Co., 1941), 38-44.
6. Petition, Suffering Traders to Sir William Johnson, February. 1765. Wharton- Willing Col., HSP [Samuel Wharton,] Plain Facts: Being an Examination into the Rights of Indian Nations (Philadelphia: Aitken, 1781), Evans 17437, 54-64 T. Wharton to B. Franklin, November 7, 1768, Leonard T. Beale Col., HSP: Baynton, Wharton and Morgan to B. Franklin, August 28, 1766, Franklin Papers, XIII, 399-400. The change- over to speculators can be seen in the rosters, Table 4-1, Anderson. "Thomas Wharton," 165.
7. William Vincent Byers, ed., B. and M. Gratz, Merchants in Philadelphia, 1754-1798 (Jefferson City, Mo., Hugh Stevens Printing Co., 1916). 90.
8. [Wharton.] Plain Facts, 71-72, 77-78, 84-87, italics removed Ray A. Billington, "The Port Stanwix Treaty of 1768." New York History, XXV (1944), 184-92, who mistakenly places Thomas at the conference. For a contemporary discussion of the boundary problem, see S. Wharton to B. Franklin. September 30, 1767, Franklin Papers, XIV, 257-60. For a first hand account of the meeting, see same to same, December 2, 1768, ibid., XV, 275-79.
9. Peter Marshall. "Lord Hillsborough, Samuel Wharton, and the Ohio Grant, 1769- 1775," English Historical Review, LXXX (1965), 717-18, who presents an anti-Samuel bias W. Franklin to B. Franklin, July 29. 1773, Franklin Papers, XX, 331.
10. W. Franklin to William Strahan, January 29, 1769, Charles Henry Hart, "Letters from William Franklin to William Strahan," Pennsylvinia [sic] Magazine of History and Biography, XXXV (1911), 445-46 (hereafter PMHB) Cadwalader Evans to B. Franklin, June 11, 1769 Franklin to Evans, September 7, 1769, Franklin Papers, XVI, 157, 199-200 William Trent to George Croghan, June 10, 1769, William E. Lingleback, "William Trent Calls on Benjamin Franklin," PMHB, LXXIV (1950), 49 William Hanna to Sir William Johnson, July 20, 1772, E. B. O'Callaghan, ed., Documentary History of the State of New York (4 vols. Albany. 1849-1851), IV, 447.
11. Lewis, Indiana Company, 78-87 B. Franklin to W. Franklin, July 14, 1773, Franklin Papers, XX, 302-304 Cecil B. Currey, Road to Revolution: Benjamin Franklin in England, 1765-1775 (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1968), 248-54 B. Franklin, et al., to the King. [June?, 1769], Franklin Papers, XVI, 165-69 S. Wharton to T. Wharton, December 6, 1769, Corr., Owen Jones Papers, HSP. See also Jack M. Sosin, "The Yorke-Camden Opinion and the American Speculators," PMHB, LXXXV (1961), 45-48.
12. See references, note 11. G. Morgan to S. Wharton, April 24, 1772, Baynton, Wharton and Morgan Papers (microfilm ed. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1967). reel 1 (hereafter BWM Papers) bond, Croghan to T. Wharton and J. Galloway. December 10, 1768, Wharton-Willing Col., HSP. For a flavor of the intrigue involved, see Jack M. Sosin, Whitehall and the Wilderness (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1961), 187-88. The Indians had granted to Croghan vast tracts of land in New York and western Pennsylvania in addition to his share of Indiana in 1768. 13. Byers, B. and M. Gratz, 345 S. Wharton to T. Wharton and J. Galloway, April 7, 1773, Franklin Papers, American Philosophical Society (hereafter APS) Agreement to admit the Ohio Company as Copurchaser with the Grand Ohio Company, May 7, 1770 Memorial, Thomas Walpole, et al., to the Right Honorable the Lords Commmissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, January 4, 1770, Franklin Papers, XVII, 9-11, 136. The Whartons involved were Thomas, Samuel, Charles, Joseph, Sr., and Joseph, Jr. A complete list of the investors in Vandalia can be found in K. G. Davies, ed., Documents of the American Revolution, 1770-1783 (Shannon: Irish University Press, 1972- ), V, 309.
14. B. Franklin to W. Franklin. July 14, 1773, Franklin Papers, XX, 310, emphasis in original.
15. Emphasis in originals. Abel James to Baynton, January 19, 1770, BWM Papers, reel 2 extracts, Thomas Walpole to Joseph Wharton, Jr., November 6, 1771 Samuel W[harton to Joseph] Wharton. Jr., November 1771, Franklin Papers, APS.
16. Davies, Documents of the American Revolution, IV. 153, 308-309, V. 166-69, VI 134-42 B. Franklin to W. Franklin. July 14, 1773, Franklin Papers,. XX, 310 Lois Mulkearn, ed., George Mercer Papers Relating to the Ohio Company of Virginia (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1954), 668-69.
17. B. Franklin to W. Franklin, March 17, 1770, Franklin Papers, XVII, 97 Morgan to T. Wharton, May 6, 1772 Rawson to T. Wharton, July 1, 1773, Corr., Wharton Papers (hereafter WP), HSP Joseph Trumbull to Thomas and Isaac Wharton, July 12, 1773, Joseph Trumbull Papers, Connecticut Historical Society (hereafter CHS) Croghan to T. Wharton, December 9, 1773, "Letters of George Croghan," PMHB, XV (1891), 436-37. Any migration westward could help Croghan sell some of his own lands at Fort Pitt.
18. Nathaniel Falconer to B. Franklin, May 13, 1773, Franklin Papers, XX, 206.
19. W. Franklin to B. Franklin, April 30, 1773 B. Franklin to W. Franklin. July 14, 1773, ibid., XX. 184-85, 306. The identity of the Wharton son can only be surmised, but, since W. Franklin knew all the elder brothers, one can presume he was either Carpenter or Robert.
20. J. Baynton in Col. John Wilkinson, September 5, 1770, BWM Papers, reel 2 S. Wharton to Croghan, February 3, 1773, Croghan Papers, Cadwalader Col., HSP S. Wharton to J. Calloway and T. Wharton, April 9, 1773, Franklin Papers, APS.
21. Bernard Gratz to Groghan, August 1, 1773, Byers, B and M. Gratz, 134-35 S. Wharton to T. Wharton, September 1, 1773, Corr., Owen Jones Papers, HSP Sewell Elias Slick, William Trent and the West (Harrisburg: Archives Publishing Co. of Pennsylvania, 1947), 157.
22. Thomas and Isaac Wharton to Trumbull, January 11, 1773, Joseph Trumbull Papers, CHS.
23. T. Wharton to Thomas Walpole, December 27, 1773 to S. Wharton, September 23, 1774, T. Wharton Letterbook, 1773-1784, WP, HSP S. Wharton to Croghan, December 24, 1772, Croghan Papers, Cadwalader Col., HSP. For the fate of the supplies in Maryland, see Anderson, "Thomas Wharton," 307-309.
24. T. Wharton to S. Wharton November 30, 1773, January 3, 1774, February 28, 1775 to Thomas Walpole, May 2, 1774 to George Croghan, December 25, 1773, March 17, 1774, T. Wharton Letterbook, WP, HSP S. Wharton to T. Wharton, March 17, 1774, Corr., Owen Jones Papers, HSP. All Virginia's activities ran counter to the government's instructions. See, for example, Earl of Dartmouth to Earl of Dunmore, April 6, 1774, Davies, Documents of the American Revolution, VII, 80.
25. Abel James to T. Wharton, July 25, 31, 1770, T. Wharton Papers, Thompson Col., HSP T. Wharton to S. Wharton, September 23, 1774, February 28, 1775, T. Wharton Letterbook, WP, HSP.
26. As reported by W. Franklin to B. Franklin, July 29, 1773, Franklin Papers, XX, 31.
27. T. Wharton to Thomas Walpole (?), September 23, 1774 to S. Wharton, September 23, 1774 to Croghan, September 30, 1774, T. Wharton Letterbook, WP, HSP.
28. S. Wharton to T. Wharton, May 21, 1774 (incomplete), October 5, 1774, Corr., Owen Jones Papers, HSP.
29. S. Wharton to T. Wharton, August 7, 1774, Corr. T. Wharton to S. Wharton, May 7, 1774, T. Wharton Letterbook, WP, HSP S. Wharton to Croghan, February 3, 1773, Croghan Papers, Cadwalader Col., HSP Mulkearn, George Mercer Papers, 670.
30. Indiana Company Meeting Minutes, March 20, 1776, T. Wharton's Book of Indiana Company Deeds T. Wharton to Levy Andrew Levy, July 28, 1776 to Trent, September 12, 1776, T. Wharton Letterbook, WP, HSP S. Wharton to T. Wharton, October 5, 1774, Corr., Owen Jones Papers, HSP undated note, George Morgan Letterbook, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Samuel thought Croghan's alliance with Connolly precluded his selection as Sir William Johnson's successor.
Networking with Vandalia Researchers
When it comes families and genealogy research, it's important to remember that different people may have different information: some may even have inherited one-of-a-kind family documents or photos, and the best way to connect with these family members is by posting a message board query -- often in the process of collaboration, you can build a more complete picture of your ancestor or ancestral family. The article "Looking for John Smith - Focusing a Query" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Vandalia queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Vandalia ancestors.
Pittsburgh to Columbus (1848-69) Edit
The Steubenville and Indiana Railroad was chartered February 24, 1848, in Ohio to build west from the Ohio River at Steubenville to the Indiana state line between Willshire and Fort Recovery, via Mt. Vernon. On March 12, 1849, it was authorized to build a bridge at Steubenville and a branch to Columbus.
The first section opened December 22, 1853, from Steubenville west to Unionport. On February 2, 1854, an extension from Unionport west to Cadiz Junction opened the branch to Cadiz opened June 12. Further extensions west from Cadiz Junction opened June 22 to Masterville, July 12 to Bowerston, and April 11, 1855, the rest of the way to Newark. However, it did not yet connect to any other railroads in Newark.
On December 25, 1854, the S&I came to an agreement with the Central Ohio Railroad to use its tracks from Newark west to Columbus. Some surveying had been done for a separate route via Granville. The connection at Newark opened April 16, 1857, and was built with funds provided by the Columbus and Xenia Railroad, which helped provide a through route to Cincinnati from the S&I. In 1864, the S&I outright bought a half interest in the Newark-Columbus track.
The Pittsburgh and Steubenville Railroad was chartered March 24, 1849, in Pennsylvania to build west from the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh to the Virginia (now West Virginia) state line towards the Steubenville and Indiana Railroad. It was authorized to extend across the Monongahela to Pittsburgh on April 21, 1852. The Western Transportation Company was incorporated by the Pennsylvania Railroad in Pennsylvania on March 15, 1856, to build and operate the P&S.
On July 22, 1853, the president of the S&I deeded right-of-way he had bought from 36 landowners across the Virginia Panhandle to the P&S. This allowed the railroad to build without a charter, which was required to use eminent domain the powerful city of Wheeling had opposed the P&S, which bypassed Wheeling. The private Edgington and Wells Railroad (named after its owners, Jesse Edgington and Nathaniel Wells of Brooke County) opened July 4, 1854, but failed later that year, as it did not connect to any other railroads. The Holliday's Cove Rail Road was chartered by the Western Transportation Company on March 30, 1860, in Virginia to build across the Panhandle near what is now Weirton, West Virginia the charter was only used to build the Steubenville Railroad Bridge. The next day the Wheeling Railroad Bridge Company was chartered by the same company, as a political promise to allow the incorporation of the HCRR.
The full P&S opened October 9, 1865, from Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh west to Wheeling Junction at the east end of the Steubenville Railroad Bridge. That same day, the Steubenville Railroad Bridge opened over the Ohio River, connecting the S&I and P&S, as did the connection at Pittsburgh, connecting the Pennsylvania Railroad with the P&S via the Monongahela River Bridge (commonly called the Panhandle Bridge) and Grant's Hill Tunnel. From then until 1868, the line was operated as the Pittsburgh, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad by the Western Transportation Company.
The P&S was sold under foreclosure on November 6, 1867, to the Panhandle Railway, which had been chartered April 8, 1861. On April 30, 1868, the PHRy, S&I and HCRR merged to form the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railway, and the Western Transportation Company was dissolved soon after.
Columbus to Indianapolis (1847-67) Edit
The Terre Haute and Richmond Rail Road was chartered in 1847 to build across Indiana via Indianapolis. On May 25, 1850, stockholders east of Indianapolis organized the Terre Haute and Richmond Railroad (East of Indianapolis). On January 20, 1851, that section, from Indianapolis east to the Ohio state line, was renamed the Indiana Central Railway. On January 31, an Ohio law authorized the Dayton and Western Railroad to unite with the Indiana Central and operate jointly. The line from Indianapolis east to Greenfield opened in September 1853, and on October 8 it was completed to the state line, where it connected with the Dayton and Western. Joint operation of both lines between Indianapolis and Dayton, Ohio began August 1, 1854. In 1859 the rail gauge was changed from standard gauge to the broader Ohio gauge ( 4 ft 10 in or 1,473 mm ) to allow for direct connections with the Little Miami Railroad and Columbus and Xenia Railroad at Dayton.
The Columbus, Piqua and Indiana Railroad was chartered in Ohio on February 23, 1849, to build from Columbus west via Urbana, Piqua and Greenville to the Indiana state line. On March 21, 1851, the CP&I was authorized to change the route west of Covington, and a more northerly alignment was chosen to meet the Indianapolis and Bellefontaine Railroad at Union City, Indiana for access to Indianapolis. The first section, from Columbus west to Plain City, opened June 6, 1853. Extensions opened to Urbana September 19 and Piqua October 16, 1854 on the latter date it changed its track gauge to Ohio gauge ( 4 ft 10 in or 1,473 mm ) to connect with the Indianapolis and Bellefontaine, which had also re-gauged. The rest of the line to Union City opened March 25, 1859, after some financial problems. The CP&I was sold at foreclosure on August 6, 1863, and reorganized October 30 as the Columbus and Indianapolis Railroad.
The Richmond and Covington Railroad was chartered in Ohio by the Indiana Central Railway and Columbus, Piqua and Indiana Railroad on March 12, 1862, to build a branch of the latter from Bradford to the former at the Indiana state line near New Paris. The R&C opened in early 1863, and the Indiana Central's joint operating contract with the Dayton and Western Railroad was dissolved on March 9. On January 10, 1864, the IC, C&I and R&C signed an agreement for joint operation as the Great Central Line between Columbus and Indianapolis, headed by the Indiana Central. The C&I bought the R&C on September 5, 1864. The Indiana Central Railway and Columbus and Indianapolis Railroad merged October 19 to form the Columbus and Indianapolis Central Railway, with a main line from Columbus, Ohio to Indianapolis, Indiana and a branch from Bradford, Ohio to Union City, Indiana.
Richmond to Chicago (1848-65) Edit
The New Castle and Richmond Railroad was chartered February 16, 1848, in Indiana to build a line from New Castle east via Hagerstown and Greens Fork to Richmond. The company was authorized on January 24, 1851, to extend northwest beyond New Castle to Lafayette. On February 26, 1853, it was renamed the Cincinnati, Logansport and Chicago Railway to better reflect its expanded role. The original line opened between New Castle and Richmond in December 1853, and it was operated jointly with the Richmond and Miami Railroad and Eaton and Hamilton Railroad, which continued the line southwest to Hamilton, Ohio. The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad, connecting Hamilton to Cincinnati, joined the operations on February 1, 1854.
The Cincinnati, Cambridge and Chicago Short Line Railway was incorporated in Indiana on January 25, 1853, to build from New Castle southeast via Cambridge to the Ohio state line the Cincinnati, New Castle and Michigan Railroad was incorporated April 11 of the same year to build northwest from New Castle towards St. Joseph, Michigan. The two companies merged May 1, 1854, to form the Cincinnati and Chicago Railroad. On October 10, 1854, the Cincinnati, Logansport and Chicago Railway was merged into the Cincinnati and Chicago Railroad. The unfinished line between Richmond and Logansport was leased to John W. Wright and Company on October 16, 1856. That company began operating it on December 1, and the joint operation towards Cincinnati ended. The full line between Richmond and Logansport opened on July 4, 1857. That line was sold at foreclosure on April 28, 1860, and reorganized July 10 as the Cincinnati and Chicago Air–Line Railroad. Grading had been done from Wabash southeast to the Ohio state line portions were later sold to the Fort Wayne and Southern Railroad and Connersville and New Castle Junction Railroad.
On September 25, 1857, the Chicago and Cincinnati Railroad was chartered in Indiana to build a line from Logansport northwest to Valparaiso. That line opened in 1861, connecting at Valparaiso with the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway to Chicago. The Cincinnati and Chicago Air–Line opened a bridge over the Wabash River at Logansport on September 25, 1861, connecting it to the Chicago and Cincinnati. Joint operation between Richmond and Chicago began July 1, 1862 and ended January 29, 1865.
Realignments towards Chicago and mergers (1857-69) Edit
The Galena and Illinois River Railroad was chartered in Illinois on February 18, 1857,  to build from Galena through Chicago to the Indiana state line towards Lansing, Michigan. The Chicago and Great Eastern Railway was incorporated in Indiana on June 19, 1863, to build from Logansport northwest to the Illinois state line towards Chicago. The charter of the G&IR was assigned to the C&GE on September 11, 1863, and the C&GE absorbed the G&IR on October 30. The line from Chicago (12th Street) south and southeast to the Chicago and Cincinnati at La Crosse, Indiana opened March 6, 1865, and the old line northwest from La Crosse to Valparaiso was abandoned. On May 15, 1865, the C&GE absorbed the Cincinnati and Chicago Air–Line Railroad and Chicago and Cincinnati Railroad.
The Marion and Mississinewa Valley Railroad was incorporated in Indiana on May 11, 1852, to build from Union City northwest to Marion. On May 14, 1853, the Marion and Logansport Railroad was incorporated to continue northwest from Marion to Logansport. The M&L conveyed its property to the M&MV on November 28, 1854. The Union and Logansport Railroad was incorporated January 5, 1863, and bought the unfinished M&MV on January 9.
In the meantime, the Logansport and Pacific Railroad was incorporated in 1853 to build from Logansport west to the Illinois state line. After several reorganizations, the Toledo, Logansport and Burlington Railroad opened to the Illinois state line near Effner in 1859. The Logansport, Peoria and Burlington Railroad continued as part of a line to the U.S. West, bypassing Chicago.
On September 11, 1867, the Columbus and Indianapolis Central Railway, Union and Logansport Railroad and Toledo, Logansport and Burlington Railway merged to form the Columbus and Indiana Central Railway. The main line, formerly being built by the Union and Logansport, opened from Union City to Marion in October 1867.
On February 12, 1868, the Columbus, Chicago and Indiana Central Railway was formed as a merger of the Columbus and Indiana Central Railway and Chicago and Great Eastern Railway. The rest of the new main line, from Marion northwest to Anoka, on the old main line east of Logansport, was completed March 15, 1868, making the old route via New Castle and Richmond into a branch. The CC&IC now had main lines from Columbus, Ohio to Chicago and Indianapolis, Indiana, with branches from near Logansport, Indiana southeast to Richmond, Indiana (on the Indianapolis line) and west to Effner, Indiana. The Erie Railway offered in late 1868 to lease the CC&IC, but the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railway made a better offer on January 22, 1869, leasing it on February 1.
Expansion (1869-90) Edit
On December 1, 1869 (retroactive from February 23, 1870) the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railway leased the Little Miami Railroad. This included the Columbus and Xenia Railroad, Dayton and Western Railroad and Dayton, Xenia and Belpre Railroad, as well as the Richmond and Miami Railway's branch west to Richmond, Indiana. With that lease, the Pennsylvania Railroad acquired access to Cincinnati.
With the 1870 completion of the St. Louis, Vandalia and Terre Haute Railroad and Terre Haute and Indianapolis Rail Road, the PRR now had a route to East St. Louis via the PC&StL to Indianapolis.
The Columbus, Chicago and Indiana Central Railway went bankrupt and was sold at foreclosure on January 10, 1883. The Chicago, St. Louis and Pittsburgh Railroad was incorporated in Indiana on March 14 and Illinois on March 15, and the former CC&IC was conveyed to the two companies on March 17. Operation by the PC&StL continued until April 1, 1883. On April 1, 1884, the two companies merged to form one Chicago, St. Louis and Pittsburgh Railroad. That company was merged with the PC&StL, Cincinnati and Richmond Railroad and Jeffersonville, Madison and Indianapolis Railroad on September 30, 1890, to form the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (PCC&StL).
20th century Edit
In 1891, the PCC&StL acquired stock ownership of the Little Miami Railroad. On December 21, 1916 (taking effect January 1, 1917), the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway merged with the Vandalia Railroad, Pittsburgh, Wheeling and Kentucky Railroad, Anderson Belt Railway and Chicago, Indiana and Eastern Railway, forming the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad.
The PCC&StL was leased by the PRR on January 1, 1921, and finally was merged into the PRR's Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad on April 2, 1956.
In October of 1991, legislation passed by the US Government recognized the Panhandle Line from Pittsburgh to Weirton as a secondary main line. Although the line was very busy at the time, the US Government required Conrail to abandon the line between Pittsburgh and Weirton. [ dubious – discuss ] The line was abandoned later that month, and Burgettstown to Weirton was lifted in December. Walkers Mill to Burgettstown remained until 2000, and the Panhandle Trail Construction began during 2000. Walkers Mill to Weirton was left in place, and was sold to RailTex in 1994, then the P&OC in 2000. It was operated by the P&OC until early 2014. As of March 2018, the line is very overgrown with everything west of Carnegie having been severed from the rest of the P&OC, and thereby inaccessible. Soon, this line will likely be removed and become part of the trail, sealing the fate of the Panhandle line. [ citation needed ]
Current use Edit
Sections of the route have been adapted for other uses. The easternmost section, from the Pittsburgh Union Station through the Panhandle Tunnel and over the Panhandle Bridge to Station Square in Pittsburgh, is part of the Pittsburgh Light Rail system. From there to the Sheraden neighborhood of Pittsburgh, the railway forms part of Norfolk Southern's Mon Line. The portion from Sheraden to Carnegie, Pennsylvania has been converted into the West Busway, a bus-only roadway. The section from Carnegie to Walkers Mill, Pennsylvania, retains its rails and is owned by the Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad, however, it has not seen a train since early 2014, and it will likely be removed to become part of the Panhandle Trail. [ citation needed ] The section from Walkers Mill to Weirton, West Virginia, has been made into the Panhandle Trail, a bicycling/walking trail. From the trail's end in Weirton to Columbus, the rails are still in place: from Weirton to Mingo Junction, the route is part of various rail lines and spurs, and from Mingo Junction to Columbus, the line forms part of the Columbus and Ohio River Railroad.
#SmallTownSaturday – Vandalia, IL
This week we’re visiting Vandalia, Illinois (population 7,012) for #SmallTownSaturday!
The origins of this Fayette County town go back to May 1819. When the State of Illinois was formed and admitted to the Union less than a year prior in 1818, the historic village of Kaskaskia was chosen as its first capital. Within months though, the state was in search of a better location as Kaskaskia was under constant threat of flooding from the Mississippi River. Congress then donated land to the state for the purpose of founding a new capital, and in May 1819 five commissioners were sent to select the new site. They chose a wooded area known as Reeve’s Bluff ninety miles northeast on the western banks of the Kaskaskia River. By constitutional provision, this new spot was to be the state capital for the next twenty years. Thus Vandalia was born.
Founded specifically to be the new Illinois capital city, Vandalia was hastily built so as to be ready for the December 1820 session of the General Assembly. The key building in all the construction was, of course, the statehouse itself. Commissioned for $4,732, the final product was a plain two-story wood frame building. Illinois’s second capitol was, as one legislator described it, “primitive and plain as a Quaker meeting house.” It was also fairly small for a capitol building, providing no permanent space for the Illinois Supreme Court or the state’s executive offices. The State Treasurer, in fact, operated out of his own home while the Secretary of State worked out of an office in the nearby state bank.
While the town’s architecture may have initially been “ramshackle,” Vandalia could boast of a greater cultural and intellectual life than most places in the West. Vandalia’s status as state capital regularly brought well-educated and talented residents and visitors to the remote village. Writing of the “intellectual feasts” she enjoyed in town, one legislator’s wife recounted the stimulating lectures and political and legal debates available for public consumption. One visitor, James Stuart, recalled meetings of the local historical society and praised them as being “as regular, and as well conducted” as if “the society had been at Oxford or Cambridge.” An early immigrant to Vandalia, a wealthy German named Ferdinand Ernst, brought with him a colony of other German immigrants who introduced the music of Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn to the town. Other people calling Vandalia home at this time included the painter James W. Berry and authors like James Hall.
Still, the state capital was not totally immune to the violence and other problems that plagued many frontier towns. In December 1823, a mere three years after its construction, the statehouse was burned down under suspicious circumstances connected to a campaign to outlaw slavery in Illinois. This, of course, necessitated a third state capitol building. Within two months, work had begun and local citizens contributed some $3,000 to the effort. The new statehouse stood two stories tall and, for the first time, incorporated office space for the Supreme Court, Secretary of State, and other officials. It was also in this building that a young Abraham Lincoln took his seat as a Representative for Sangamon County in 1834.
The capitol’s hasty construction on low, moist ground soon showed though. The walls cracked and bulged, the floor sank seven inches, and by 1836 it was decided that the building was too far gone for repairs. Vandalians again contributed labor and materials for a new $16,000 statehouse on the previously vacant public square. Measuring 150 feet by 50 feet, Illinois’s fourth capitol likely seemed statelier than its predecessors with its cupola and exterior brick. Unfortunately, it was also incomplete at the start of the December 1836 session with legislators enduring the smell of wet plaster as workers buzzed around them. On top of that, despite being the largest statehouse so far, it was too small to accommodate the enlarged General Assembly following the latest census. On January 24, 1837, with Vandalia’s twenty-year term as capital expiring in the near future, Orville Hickman Browning introduced a bill to select a new, permanent capital city. Lincoln and the rest of the Sangamon County delegation, known as the “Long Nine,” successfully agitated for a move to Springfield in 1839.
Lincoln in 1840s.
Although Vandalia at first declined in the years following the capital’s move to Springfield, the village was revitalized in 1855 with the completion of the Illinois Central Railroad. Today, Vandalia is home to a humble population of 7,042. While the third capitol building was razed and no photos are known to exist, Vandalia still preserves the fourth and oldest surviving Illinois statehouse as the Vandalia State House State Historic Site.
Want to learn more about the history of this small town? Come visit us at the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections! From books like Paul Stroble’s High on the Okaw’s Western Bank to manuscript collections like Thomas Mather letters and Dorothy Golden postcards, we have a wealth of resources available to anyone interested in historic Vandalia, Illinois.
Burtschi, Joseph Charles. Documentary History of Vandalia, Illinois: The Capital of Illinois from 1819 to 1839. 1954. Call Number: 977.3797 V28D.
Burtschi, Mary. Vandalia: Wilderness Capital of Lincoln’s Land. Vandalia, IL: The Little Brick House, 1972. Call Number: 977.3797 B95V.
Ford, Thomas. A History of Illinois from its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847. Chicago: The Lakeside Press, 1945. Call Number: 977.3 F751995.
Stroble, Paul E. High on the Okaw’s Western Bank: Vandalia, Illinois, 1819-1839. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. Call Number: 977.3797 ST87H.
—. “The Vandalia Statehouse and the Relocation to Springfield.” Illinois Heritage 2, nos. 3 and 4 (Spring-Summer 2000). Call Number: Q. 977.3005 ILH.
Compliance Corner: A Brief Introduction to the History and Theory of Campaign-Finance Law, Part II
In Part I of our look at the history and theory of campaign-finance law, we considered the 1976 US Supreme Court case of Buckley v. Valeo, which established the principle that First Amendment political speech can be limited by the government only when there is a compelling justification, such as preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption.
These principles set forth in Buckley continue to play a role in our campaign-finance system today. Under US Supreme Court jurisprudence, it is permissible for the federal government or a state to institute limits on the amount of a contribution that may be received from one contributor, because high-dollar contributions from one individual could create the appearance of corruption. But once funds are raised in accordance with applicable limits, states can’t then restrict what a candidate can expend on his or her campaign because there is no anti-corruption rationale for such a restriction.
Thus, New Jersey non-gubernatorial candidates can only accept $2,600 per election from each contributor, and contributions that exceed $300 per election must be reported in detail to ELEC. These limits and requirements are consistent with the First Amendment. (Some states have opted to allow unlimited contributions—for example, Pennsylvania allows individuals to contribute without limit to a Pennsylvania candidate. The First Amendment protection of free speech allows contribution limits, but doesn’t require them.) But New Jersey candidates can’t be forced to endure an expenditure cap, except in the limited scenario of a candidate that voluntarily opts to participate in the gubernatorial public-financing system.
These concepts even apply to independent expenditures and Super PACs—if the rationale the Supreme Court cited to uphold contribution limits is that these limits are necessary to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption, then it follows that independent expenditures and committees that make only independent expenditures must not be subject to limits because there is no danger of corruption when activities are not coordinated with the candidate. This was the rationale behind the Citizens United line of cases—provided that expenditures are truly independent, the Supreme Court determined that there is no danger of corruption or the appearance of corruption, and thus limits on what may be contributed to a Super PAC are unconstitutional. People can and do disagree on the effects of Super PACs on our politics, but “overturning” Citizens United isn’t as simple as it may seem: the legal principles underlying our politics date back to Buckley in 1976 and the First Amendment.
Other countries, not subject to the First Amendment protections on political speech, have devised different systems. In Germany, for example, there is no limit on what an individual may contribute to a political party. But elections there are not dominated by large individual contributors because there is significant public funding of major parties and there are also federal and state limits on expenditures made by the parties—in one clarifying example, German public guidelines ensured that the two largest parties would be limited to 12 minutes of TV ad time per campaign period, with smaller parties limited to either 6 or 3 minutes. While TV viewers in October of a US Presidential election year might appreciate these limits on TV commercials, these mandatory limits would not pass constitutional muster under our First Amendment.
The key thing for those looking to be active in political activity is to understand both the theory of campaign-finance law as well as the practical application of the law.
Avi D. Kelin, Esq. is Counsel in Genova Burns LLC’s Corporate Political Activity Law Practice Group and Chair of the firm’s Autonomous Vehicle Law Practice.
This column is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. It is recommended that readers not rely on this column, but that professional advice be sought for individual matters.
7. Vandalia Lake
©Journal Communications/Jeff Adkins
Located 4 miles northwest of the city, this 660-acre lake is a haven for fishing, boating, camping, swimming and picnicking. In late spring, camping begins to pick up, and the area is very family-friendly. Bring your own fishing boat to the marina to cast a line, as the lake is stocked with large-mouth bass, catfish and bluegill. Be sure to get your boat permit and fishing license ahead of time at City Hall.
Vandalia II - History
Welcome to Fayette County, Illinois
“Home of the oldest existing capitalbuilding in Illinois”
221 South Seventh
Vandalia, IL 62471
This page was updated on Nov 7, 2017 @ 2:31 pm
© 1997-2008 Fayette Co., IL GenWeb Project. All Rights Reserved.
The electronic pages on this website are not to be linked to or reproduced in any format for profit or payment. They may be freely used by non-commercial entities This page is part of the US GenWeb Project & IL GenWeb Project. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data and images maybe used by non-commercial entities, for educational and/or research purposes as long as no payment is asked for or made in exchange for viewing them and this message remains them. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or for other presentation without express permission by the contributor(s), Fayette County GenWeb Project, Illinois US GenWeb Project and US GenWeb Project.
The graphics on thispage are from US GenWeb, IL GenWeb, Roots web & GenieArt.