Vermillion - History of LaSalle County Town Sketches - 1877 - Illinois

History of LaSalle County, Illinois ~ 1877

Sketch of Settlers


[Pages 287 - 310]



The town of Vermillion embraces that part of T. 32, R. 2, lying southwest of the Vermillion river. It was among the earliest settlements in the county. It contains a fine tract of timber, called Bailey’s Grove, through the centre of which runs Bailey’s creek, while to the northeast it rests on the Vermillion river. This grove was doubtless the attraction that induced the settlement, for here, as elsewhere, the first settlements were all along the edge of the best timber.

Lewis BAILEY, the first settler in the town of Vermillion, came from Ohio; first to Indiana, and then to Illinois in 1825. He first came to Ottawa, but located on Section 19, at the head of Bailey’s Grove, which was called Bailey’s Point. His son Augustus is claimed to have been the first male white child born in the county, while a daughter of Christopher LONG was the first. George GALLOWAY, son of James GALLOWAY, of Fall River, has claimed the honor of being born before BAILEY. The fact seems to be that BAILEY’s son was a few days the oldest, but he was born at Peoria, where his parents had gone in a canoe, in anticipation of the event, and soon after returned, having been absent from home eighteen days.

The location selected by BAILEY was a romantic one, and he said it was a favorite resort of the Indians, who ever evinced a keen appreciation of the beautiful. Mr. BAILEY’s neighbors at first were only Indians. He always expressed a high opinion of his swarthy friends, and persistently claimed that they were more honest, friendly and trustworthy than the whites. He was doubtless somewhat misanthropic. He with his family left the county in 1844, and died in Oregon. He had two sons: Augustus and Timothy.

William SEELEY, a native of Seneca County, New York, came to Madison County, Illinois, in 1818, and brought his family in 1820. He came to BAILEY’s Grove, La Salle County, in the fall of 1828, and brought his family in the spring of 1830; he settled on Section 19, just east of BAILEY’s; he subsequently laid out the town of Lowell, on the Vermillion, and in company with Charles ELLIOTT built the stone mill now standing; he held the office of Justice of the Peace several years; was County Commissioner, and prominent among the early settlers; he died March, 1857. His children were: John, who died single; William, married Belle TYLEE, they are in Kansas; Randolph, married Clarissa ELLSWORTH, are in Nebraska; Samuel, married Hattie TYLEE, live in Lowell; Anna, married a Mr. KNIGHT, live in Chicago; Mary, married Ebenezer BURGESS, now deceased; Eveline, married Barnum NEWTON; Sarah, married John SEELEY, now dead.

Mr. ENOS came from Sangamon County in 1829; settled on Section 18, and sold his claim to Mr. PATE, who came from the same county in 1830, and he sold to Jacob MOON in 1831. ENOS and PATE were frontier men, and went West.

Jacob MOON came from Dayton, Ohio, in 1831, and settled on the ENOS claim, and in 1833 sold to Joel ALVORD; he moved on to a claim on the Vermillion, just over the line, in what is now Livingston County, called Moon’s Point, where he died in 1853. The family are wealthy farmers and large stock dealers.

John SLATER, from Ohio, settled in Sangamon County in 1823, came to Bailey’s Grove in 1829; he bought a claim of TRACY, a transient claimant, on S. 24, T. 32, R. 1; in 1833 sold his claim to Nathaniel EDDY, and made a claim on S. 19, T. 32, R. 2, where he lived and raised a large family. He died of cholera in 1848; his first wife died in 1832; his second wife, Mary WARNOCK, is now living with Alfred. He left seven children: Henry, married Lydia GALLOWAY, he died of cholera in 1848; Harriet, married Jacob BARR, they live at Lowell; Sally, is single; Olive, married Charles CLARK, and lives in Missouri; Jerusha, married J. W. WELLS, she is now a widow, living in Streator; B. F., married Louisa DART, are now living at Farm Ridge, have six children; Alfred, married Mary Jane KIRKPATRICK, and lives at Metropolis, Ill.

John BAILEY, and wife, Sally BENJAMIN, came from Windsor, Vermont, in 1831, to Putnam County, and in 1832 bought the claim of WARREN’s estate on S. 17, T. 32, R. 2, where he lived till his death in 1842. A good citizen, he always cheerfully bore his portion of the public burden of a new settlement. His widow died in 1854. He left seven children: Sarah Ann, married Nelson ALVORD, a Baptist preacher; Mary, married William LAUGHLIN, now a widow; Rhoda, married Samuel BULLOCK; Annis, married Bailey BARRASS; Maria, married Seth EATON; Emily, married Frank WOOD, they live in Eden; William, married Janet POTTER, adopted daughter of John RIDER, and lives on the old farm - is now Town Supervisor.

Leslie KENT, and wife, Huldah HARMAN, from Conway, Mass., in 1833; settled on S. 18, T. 32, R. 2. Mrs. KENT died in August, 1840; he died in September, 1846, leaving two daughters: Huldah, married Edward R. WILLIAMS, they live in Deer Park; Caroline Mahala, married Wells ALDERMAN.

Daniel WARREN, and wife, came from Maine in 1809, to Madison County, New York; he came by wagon, with his family, the whole distance from New York to Illinois in 1830; settled on S. 17, T. 32, R. 2; died there in 1832, aged 64; his claim was sold to John BAILEY. He left eight children: Polly, married Asa HOLDRIDGE; Nathan, settled in Serena; Daniel, died in Serena; Ezekiel, died at Au Sable; Samuel, died on Indian creek; Eunice, married Alfred KELLOGG; Betsey married George SPRAGUE; Olive, married Alva O. SMITH, and died in Serena.

William PETIGREW, from Kentucky, a single man, boarded with Lewis BAILEY; made a claim; sold to ENOS, and went to Holderman’s Grove; married a widow with two children, and then removed to Indian creek, where he and his family were all killed in the Indian massacre.

Dea. John LEONARD, from near Boston, Mass., in 1831, came with the Northampton colony in company with Mr. JONES; they located at Bailey’s Grove. JONES died soon after, and LEONARD eventually married JONES’ widow, and settled on S. 18, T. 32, R. 2. He was deacon and an active member of the Congregational church; a radical abolitionist, he had the reputation of keeping a station on the Underground Railroad; he removed to Galesburg, where he died in 1866; his wife and two children, Levi and Sarah, died there also.

Levi JONES, from Massachusetts, in 1831, one of the Northampton colony, died the same year; his widow married Dea. LEONARD, left four children; Daniel and Raymond; Mary, married Daniel LITTLE; Susan, is in Galesburg.

Jacob ELLIOTT, and wife, Mehitable COOK, from New Hampshire, in 1839, resided at Lowell. He died in 1841, leaving four children. His son Charles married Lucy BACH; second wife, Harriet HUNTINGTON. He was a partner of William SEELEY in the town of Lowell and water-power adjoining. They built the stone mill, and anticipated building up a manufacturing town that would not disgrace it namesake in Massachusetts. It was not a success proportioned to the enterprise of its founders, and the early death of its proprietors put a stop to its further progress. Charles ELLIOTT was for several years a Justice of the Peace and County Commissioner; he died about 1855 or ’56, and left one son by his first wife, Jacob, who married a daughter of Sargeant CUMMINGS, and lives in Iowa; Sarah, the daughter of his second wife, married Uriah PAINTER, and lives at Streator.

Jacob ELLIOTT’s other children were: Cook, who married Jane WISWALL, and died soon after; Mary, married Emery STANFORD, now dead; Sarah, married a Mr. WEBER, both are dead.

Emery STANFORD, from Waterloo, N. Y., came in 1837, a stone mason by trade; he built the stone mill at Lowell for SEELEY & ELLIOTT, an enduring monument to the skill and fidelity of its builders. He married Mary ELLIOTT, and moved on to a farm on S. 27, T. 32, R. 2, where he still resides. Has been Town Supervisor and held other positions of trust. He has three children: Sarah, married Justin HALL, of Chatsworth; Russell, married Mary HUTCHINSON; Frank, is in Livingston Co. Mr. STANFORD has a daughter, Susan, by a former wife, who married Henry LOOMIS, now in Kansas.

Leonard BULLOCK, from Rehoboth, Mass., in 1837; he first engaged in teaching and then extensively in farming in company with his brother, Joseph, near Tonica. He married Julia EAMES, and died in fall of 1856, leaving three children: Henry, married Fanny LAUGHLIN, and lives near Tonica; Eliza and Lura reside with their mother on the old farm.

Henry L. FULTON, millwright, and Emeline CASTLE, his wife, from Waterloo, New York, came to Lowell in 1837, and moved to Chicago in 1842, where he now lives. They had two children: Juliette, married Thomas C. WHITMARSH, live in Chicago; and Franklin, married Amelia SCHOCK, now practicing as physician in Geneseo, Illinois.

Joseph HAMAR, of Massachusetts, came to Illinois in 1835, in company with Dr. J. S. BULLOCK; left Massachusetts in October, and came by the way of Albany, Erie canal and steamer to Cleveland, and by canal to Portsmouth, Ohio, and by steamer to St. Louis; took passage for the Illinois river; was detained by ice near Alton. Nov. 30th left the boat, and Mr. HAMAR and Edw’d KNAPP, also from Massachusetts, started on foot through a deep snow and over an uninhabited prairie for his destination in La Salle County. They reached Spring-field Dec. 4, Tremont, on the 7th, and Bailey’s Grove on the 11th. Dr. BULLOCK arrived by boat Jan. 2, 1836. In January, Mr. HAMAR went to Dixon on foot to enter land, and was gone ten days. In the spring he was joined by his family and found quarters at the hospitable house of Lewis BAILEY. He settled on S. 32, where he built a log cabin the following summer, the first in that locality that ventured to settle away from timber on the open prairie. Mr. and Mrs. HAMAR, in common with their neighbors from New England, brought with them a high regard for the church and school-house, which they learned among their native hills. Mr. HAMAR died Aug., 1846, aged 51. Mrs. HAMAR died May, 1876, aged 78, leaving seven children: Elizabeth, now the widow of Samuel WAUCHOPE, of Farm Ridge; Mary Ann, widow of George KINGSBURY, living near Tonica; Minerva O., wife of Nathan L. EATON, living three miles east of Tonica; Joseph E., living in Santa Barbara, Cal.; Geo. E., is in Dodge County, Nebraska; Therestal, died in 1846; Eugene lives in Tonica.

Benjamin WASHBURN, and wife, from Plymouth County, Massachusetts, in 1835; settled on S. 15. Had four sons: Benjamin, lives in Lowell; Salmon B., is in Colorado; Gustavus and Stillman are dead.

Henry ANGELL, from Rhode Island; left there in the fall of 1835. While on the way was frozen in on the Erie Canal, and wintered in Utica, New York; arrived here in the spring of 1836, and settled at Vermillionville, where his wife died. He married Miss WASHBURN, and settled on S. 35; he died about 1850; his widow died in 1874. His children by his first wife are: Abbey, who married John FRY, her second husband is John M. TROUT, now in Kansas; Henry, is in Nebraska; Mary Jane; Lydia, married Granville CLARK. His children by his second wife are: Washburn and Albert, twin brothers - Albert is dead. Washburn married Miss STILLWELL; Everett, is married, and lives on the old place; Ann, married George ENDERTON; Hannah, married George SHARP.

Mr. WILKINSON, from Rhode Island, came with Henry ANGELL, his brother-in-law, in 1836, and settled at Vermillionville; soon after went to Iowa.

Levi WOODWARD, and wife, from Massachusetts, came in 1837, and settled on S. 32, T. 32, R. 3, where he died in 1846. His widow married John CLARK; she became insane, and died in the Asylum at Jacksonville. Mr. WOODWARD left four children: Lewis, married Relefe G. DART, second wife Margaret DART, is living in the town of Allen, has twelve living children, and is a large farmer; Ona, is living in Denver; Mary, married a Mr. RICHARDSON, and they are living in Iowa; Elizabeth, married a Mr. CONWAY, of Missouri.

Lloyd C. KNAPP, came from Massachusetts in company with the family of Joseph HAMAR, and Joseph BULLOCK, in the spring of 1836; he settled on S. 33, T. 32, R. 2, where he now lives. He married Sarah KIRKPATRICK. Their children are: Alvan, who died soon after his return from the army, in the war of the rebellion; Austin, lives in Kansas; Sarah, wife of Nathan HALL, lives at East Lynn; Dora, wife of Albert HALL, lives at Chatsworth; George, is at Anna, Ill.; and two younger children, at home.

Joel ALVORD, Edward ALVORD, Nelson ALVORD (sons of Joel), Jacob BARR, William GROOM, and Madison GOSLIN, left Albany County, New York, in wagons, the 15th day of May, 1833, for the West. In Chicago, they met Judge Isaac DIMMICK, then returning from a tour of exploration, who directed them to this locality. They arrived here July 18th. A journey by land for hundreds of miles at that day through a country, most of it unsettled, without roads or bridges, can hardly be appreciated now. They were compelled to adopt camp life; stopping at night on the bank of some stream, where wood and water could be procured, and sleeping in their wagons, or on the ground, and in some instances were compelled to build bridges to cross the streams. Madison GOSLIN died in the fall of 1833.

Joel ALVORD, and wife, in 1833, bought a claim of Jacob MOON, on S. 18, where he spent the remainder of his life a substantial farmer, and good citizen. He died, March, 1856, aged 76, leaving five children: Betsey, married Reuben MOFFAT; Edward, married Elizabeth CLEVELAND; Alison; Nelson, a Baptist clergyman, married Sarah BAILEY, and lives in Kansas; Joel, married Lydia HALL, died of a wound.

Jacob BARR married Harriet, daughter of John SLATER and is now living at Lowell; has five children: Henry, married Harriet ALYDO; Sybil, married Eugene MILLER; Imogene, married Samuel UNDERHILL, of Tonica; Ellen, married Benton CRUMRIN, now in California; Arthur, is in California.

The author is indebted to Mr. BARR for the history of the colony, of which he was one.

Ezra HAWLEY, and wife, Rhoda M. BUCK, came from Bennington County, Vermont, to Sangamon County, and to Bailey’s Grove, in June, 1835; settled on S. 20, where he is still living. His living children are: Anson, at home; Myron, who married Emeline HALL, in Vermillion; Hiram, married Mary GOODWIN, lives near the old place.

Nathan HAWLEY, brother of Ezra, came from Vermont, July, 1836, and died the next October; his widow, Chloe Ann WHITESIDE, lives near Peoria.

Aurilla BUCK, sister of Mrs. Ezra HAWLEY, came in 1836; she married John BECKER; is now a widow, living in Rockford.

Jacob BURGESS, came from Burlington County, New Jersey, in December, 1837; settled on Section 31. His wife was Olive CLARK; they are both dead. Ebenezer, married Mary SEELEY, he died in 1841; Dorothy, married Jonathan HUTCHINSON, of Iowa; Jacob, married Betsey HALL, and lives in Tonica; Warren, married Emma SWIFT; Stokes, married Emma HILLER; Sidney, married Miss ALLEN, on the old farm; Mary, married Israel HUTCHINSON.

Israel HUTCHINSON, from New Jersey, came in 1837, and settled on S. 32, where he still resides; he married Mary BURGESS, and has had fifteen children.

Jonathan HUTCHINSON, from New Jersey, came in 1837; married Dorothy BURGESS; moved to Iowa.

Bailey BARRASS, from Saratoga, N. Y., in 1837; a carpenter and joiner by trade, an industrious and good mechanic; he married Annis, daughter of John BAILEY. He died in 1864, aged 51, leaving four children: John, died in the army; Orvill, married Anna FLEMING; Onslow, married Margaret A. MOSIER, of Tonica; Julia, at home.

Josiah SEYBOLD, from Southern Illinois, a native of the State, came in 1833. He built a flouring mill on the Vermillion, which was completed in 1836; he sold the mill to the Messrs. TODD, and moved on a farm in the town of Eden. While descending the Mississippi in a flat boat, he died at Natchez, suspected of poison. He left three children: Thaddeus, married Lizzie DENTON, lives in Washington, D. C.; Jerome, is in Chicago; Mary, is the wife of Willis STEWART, of Putnam County. Mrs. SEYBOLD, Nancy SCANLAN, from Virginia, now lives with Mrs. STEWART.

Chester DRYER, from Seneca County, N. Y., in Dec. 1835, his family came in June, 1836. A sad fatality attended his family, his second son, Calvin, died in 1840; his oldest son, William, died in 1841, and his wife, Sarah HOBRO, died in 1842. Of seven children by his first wife, one only survives, Keziah, wife of Sanford HARWOOD, living in Iowa. Mr. DRYER’s second wife is Mary LITTLE; they have one daughter. He brought in the first threshing machine - a four-horse power that delivered the grain on the ground from the cylinder to be cleaned by the hand mill - an imperfect implement, but far better than tramping out the grain on the ground with horses or cattle.

Mr. DRYER has held the office of Justice of the Peace for several years.

George BROWN, from New Hampshire, came in 1830; was part owner, with William SEELEY, of the first sawmill built at Lowell; he died at SEELEY’s about 1836.

Moses LITTLE, son of Ebenezer, came from New Hampshire in 1837; settled on Section 33; removed, and died in Iowa, November, 1856.

Fernal LITTLE, from New Hampshire, came in 1837; went to the south part of the State.

Deacon BUTTON came from Ohio to Michigan, and from Michigan to S. 31, T. 32, R. 2, in 1835; in 1844 he moved to Wisconsin. He had a large family: Rosanna, married Peter SCHOONOVER; another daughter married a Mr. CURTIS; Ann, went to Wisconsin; Aladelphia, died at home. His sons were: Hollis; Ard, married the widow FARO; Charles, is a Baptist preacher of note; Asa; and some younger children. They all went to Wisconsin.

Mr. CURTIS, son-in-law of BUTTON, came from Michigan with him, was constantly in litigation with his brother-in-law SCHOONOVER till he left for Wisconsin with his wife’s father, when SCHOONOVER had to find another opponent.

Peter SCHOONOVER came from Ohio and from Michigan here in 1830, settling on Sections 32 and 33; married Rosanna BUTTON, and was a large farmer and stock raiser. He had a passion for litigation which was apparently uncontrollable, and he seemed in a state of suffering when denied the pleasure and excitement of a lawsuit. About 1857 he moved across the plains to Oregon and when last heard from was preaching in California. He had but little education, but much practical shrewdness, and had learned by experience many quibbles and quirks of the law. Nothing afforded him more exquisite pleasure than to get the advantage of an opponent at law or to circumvent and outwit the simple men he employed to work his farm. The tale of his sharp transactions would fill a volume. His practice was, to make a written contract with the men he hired, so worded that the contract was sure to be broken, when the laborer got no pay.

A few are inserted as a curiosity in their way.

He sold a pair of steers for $65 worth $35, and took a note as follows: "One day after date, I promise to make for Peter SCHOONOVER 32,000 oak shingles at $2.00 per M., SCHOONOVER to furnish timber." The cattle were placed at double their value, and so was the work - but as the shingles could not be made in one day, the giver of the note was called on for the money at the advanced price.

He arrested a German for burning some wheat stacks, as he claimed, by carelessness; the frightened German who had not been near the stack, settled and gave a note for $100; this by advice, he refused to pay; an arbitration followed, and SCHOONOVER recovered $28. Anxious to pay it and be clear of the trouble, he traded a rifle worth $25 and a heifer worth $15 - all the property he had, with SCHOONOVER, and got an old rifle worth 50 cents and a credit on his note for $13. Now, says SCHOONOVER, you can not read English, and will not comprehend an endorsement, you had better give me a new note for the $15 balance and take up the old note. He did so, but found he had received the $100 note that was killed by the arbitration - SCHOONOVER retaining the twenty-eight and the fifteen dollar notes and the rifle and heifer.

He hired two Germans to split 6,000 rails for $30, or $5 per M., and to take in pay a mare for the $30. The rails were to be good size, not less than four inches square at the little end. One evening, SCHOONOVER says, "Boys, let me learn you a little shrewness - it will enable you to get rich; let us alter the terms of our contract, you give me $60 for the mare and I will give you $10 per M. for making the rails, it will be all the same; if you buy the mare for $30, you can never sell her for more, but give $60 and she will sell for that." They did so. When the rails were made, they would not measure four inches square at the small end, as no lot of rails ever did, and they got nothing for the splitting, and paid $60 cash for the mare worth $30, which he had induced them to take in advance, and they had traded away.

As a specimen of his forensic ability, a sample is given. His father-in-law, Dea. BUTTON, sued him for taking and butchering some of his hogs, and recovered. At the trial, SCHOONOVER said: "This old man has followed me from Ohio to Michigan and from Michigan to Illinois; he has pursued me as Saul pursued David. And although I have had frequent opportunities I never cut off the tail of his coat. How it looks for this old man to endeavor to destroy the reputation of the legal protector of the only unspotted daughter the old man has got; this venerable old man with one foot in the grave, and God knows the other had ought to be."

Benjamin LUNDY, settled in the town of Vermillion in 1838. His reputation is so world-wide that among the old settlers he deserves more than a passing notice. His ancestors were from England and Wales, and both his parents belonged to the Society of Friends. He was born at Hardwich, Sussex County, New Jersey, January 4, 1789. His education advantages were a few months only at a common school. He learned the trade of a saddler at Wheeling, Virginia, and as that place was then a great slave mart, he became strongly impressed with the enormity of slavery. He here formed the acquaintance of William LEWIS, and sisters, one of whom he afterwards married, and set up his business of saddler, at St. Clairville, on the Ohio. Although successful in business, he soon left it for the more congenial employment of working for the freedom of the slave. Lecturing, forming anti-slavery associations, and editing an abolition paper, was the commencement of a work to which he devoted his life. When he entered the field he promised never to leave it till he ceased to breathe or the object was accomplished; he kept his word and died in the harness. Like Howard, the philanthropist, he made it a life-work, regardless of the sacrifices, privations and personal dangers that beset his path. His was such a character as the world seldom produces. It crosses the plodding, selfish track of common humanity like a luminous meteor passing athwart the sombre darkness of the midnight sky. Men pause while the evils and wrongs of society are exposed; and those who are ever prone to travel thoughtlessly and without inquiry, in the ruts their fathers made, even though they may be stained with the blood of suffering innocence, have their dormant and sleeping consciences aroused.

LUNDY was the first anti-slavery apostle, whose whole life was an offering on the altar of human rights; his efforts aroused and enlisted TAPPAN, GOODELL, GARRISON, and others, who became his co-workers, and who carried on the work after LUNDY had gone to his rest.

He started an anti-slavery paper at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, in 1821, called the "Genius of Universal Emancipation." This paper he published sometimes as a weekly, but generally as a monthly, with slight interruption, till his death, a period of eighteen years. After issuing eight monthly numbers he removed his paper to Tennessee where he continued till his removal to Baltimore in 1824. The circulation of his paper was quite satisfactory, especially so in most of the slave-holding States. His treatment of the subject, though firm and decided, was mild and conciliatory, yet it soon aroused the demon of slavery, and often exposed him to personal danger. On one occasion in Tennessee, two ruffians entered his office, shut and locked the door, and demanded the recantation of an article published in the "Genius," but he coolly faced and held them at bay till help arrived.

The circulation of his paper had become so general over the whole country, that he thought its publication in one of the Atlantic cities would increase its efficiency; he selected Baltimore as being central, and within the shadow of the dark pall of human slavery, and located there in 1824. In 1828, he made a tour through New England, lecturing and forming his favorite anti-slavery societies, and increasing the circulation of his paper. On this trip he first made the acquaintance of Arthur TAPPAN, in New York; of William GOODELL, in Providence, and of William Lloyd GARRISON, in Boston. Previous to this time, neither of those gentlemen had been very active in the anti-slavery cause.

In November, 1828, he again traveled over New England and New York, and delivered forty-three lectures while on the trip. The following winter he was assaulted and nearly killed in the streets of Baltimore by Austin WOOLFOLK, a slave-trader, for commenting on his conduct. The judge, before whom WOOLFOLK was tried, told the jury that LUNDY got no more than he deserved, and when the jury rendered a verdict of guilty, the judge fined him one dollar, and gave the offensive article to the grand jury, informing them that it was libelous, but the jury thought otherwise, and found no bill. The same winter LUNDY went to Hayti in the interest of some manumitted slaves who were settled there in a state of freedom. While in Hayti his excellent and amiable wife and co-worker died, leaving him with a family of five children. Though keenly sensitive to his loss, his efforts in his life work were soon renewed with his usual vigor.

In the spring of 1829, he went again to Hayti on a similar mission. That spring Wm. Lloyd GARRISON joined him at Baltimore in editing the "Genius." GARRISON was more severe in his language than LUNDY, and was soon imprisoned for libel, and compelled to leave Baltimore. Soon after, a similar experience awaited LUNDY, and he was compelled to removed his paper to Washington.

In the years 1830 and 1831, he traveled most of the time, taking some of his type and his subscription list with him. Stopping each month at some village printing office he would get the loan of press and types, issue his monthly edition, mail to his subscribers, and go on lecturing and forming societies; but Washington was nominally the place of publication.

LUNDY visited Texas and Mexico three different times, to procure grants of land on which he could locate emancipated slaves, and raise cotton and sugar by free labor. He found encouragement in Texas, but the fillibustering on that contested field about that time defeated the object. He obtained a grant of 138,000 acres in the Mexican State of Tamanlipas, on condition he should introduce 250 families; this scheme received much favor at home, but the arrangement was also defeated by the Texas imbroglio.

In these enterprises, LUNDY seemed to trust in Providence, but more in his own industry and indomitable pluck. On his arrival at Metamoras, on his journey to Mexico, his funds gave out; he at once rented a room, went to work at his trade of saddler, earning sometimes five dollars per day, and when his purse was replenished, he again went on his way; he had frequently done this before.

His paper was prominent in all public questions where slavery was involved. With the co-operation of John Q. ADAMS, he fought the enterprise of the Texan invaders, as he had before in 1823 and ’24, taking a leading part in opposition to the attempt to introduce slavery into Illinois. It is singular, in the light of the subsequent history of the anti-slavery contest, that the movement inaugurated by LUNDY should have made such headway in the slave States. His paper for August, 1825, states that he had more subscribers in North Carolina than in any other State. At an election in Baltimore, in 1826, RAYMOND, the anti-slavery candidate, received one-seventh of the votes cast; this and other indications show that there was a healthy anti-slavery sentiment at the South, but the aristocratic slaveholders then, as since, when aroused, crushed it out and silenced its voice. A very unfortunate occurrence took place on the 3d of August, 1831, in the insurrection of about fifty slaves in Southampton Co., Va., under a fanatical preacher by the name of Nat TURNER. They procured arms and commenced an indiscriminate massacre of all they met, without distinction of sex or age, to the number in all of sixty-three, when they were dispersed. At the same time a plot for an insurrection of the slaves of several counties of North Carolina was discovered, and rumors of plots elsewhere were rife.

The natural effect of all this was to prejudice the public mind against all anti-slavery efforts, and to embitter the contest between the pro’s and anti’s.

There is no probability that the anti-slavery movement had any influence in the Nat TURNER insurrection; TURNER was a fanatic, and probably insane; he claimed to have been commanded from heaven to do what he did.

In August, 1836, LUNDY commenced in Philadelphia the publication of a weekly paper devoted to emancipation, called the National Inquirer, and in 1838 relinquished its publication, and was succeeded by John G. WHITTIER. The "Genius," as a monthly, was published during this time at Philadelphia, where it had been removed from Washington.

A large hall, costing $30,000, built by abolitionists and others, was opened on the 14th of May, 1838, and several abolition meetings and discussions held therein. On the evening of the 17th, a mob assaulted and burned the hall, with little opposition from the police; the firemen protected the adjoining building, but did nothing to save the hall. This was done in staid Quaker Philadelphia, and shows the bitter contest then being waged on the slavery question. LUNDY’s books, papers, clothing and other personal effects were all burned in the building. He had for sometime contemplated moving his paper to the then opening Northwest. He left Philadelphia in July, and arrived in Illinois in September. Disappointed in an attempt to start his paper at Hennepin, he accepted a proposition from the citizens of Lowell, La Salle Co., and moved there in the winter of 1838-9, built a house and printing office, and purchased a tract of land four miles distant. Here his paper was published rather irregularly, for the want of funds, having at first no help but his two sons, one of whom attended to the farm. In August he was attacked with bilious fever, then prevalent in that locality, and died on the 22d of August, 1839, in the 51st year of his age. His remains were buried in the Friend’s burying ground on Clear creek, in Putnam County, Ill.

The foregoing gives but a faint idea of the self-sacrifice, indomitable perseverance, and whole-souled philanthropy of Benjamin LUNDY, for whatever may be the views of any one on the slavery question, it can not be denied that he deserves the name of a philanthropist in the broadest sense. He was not a fanatic; his views were broad and catholic, as is shown by the toleration of his efforts at the South, where his paper was as well received as at the North. His efforts at colonization were broad and comprehensive, showing a cool head as well as a warm heart; always conciliatory, but never yielding an iota of the rights of our common humanity, his was just the organization to lay broad and deep the foundations of universal emancipation. With an open and pleasing countenance, genial, and winning manners, he made friends of all his associates, while his convictions of truth and right were as firm as the granite hills; neither poverty, sickness, affliction, toil and privation, mob violence, or the heel of the beastly WOOLFOLK, could swerve him from his purpose.

His weapons were argument, reason, justice, and right, clothed in the garb of plain Quaker simplicity and sincerity; and when the contest became intensely embittered, and insane passion put reason and right at defiance, it was, perhaps, well that he should quietly go to his rest beneath the peaceful sylvan beauties of the prairie, where coming generations will chant the praise of the Quaker philanthropist, whose quiet voice spoke terror to Tyranny’s hosts, and inaugurated the work that finally broke the fetters of the slave.

Mr. LUNDY left five children, two sons and three daughters: Susan, married Wm. WISEMAN, of Putnam County, now in Kansas; Eliza, married Isaiah GRIFFITH, live in Iowa. Mr. Lundy’s sons are both dead. Charles, died in Oct. 1858; his widow, Mrs. E. M. LUNDY, is living at Granville, Putnam County. Benjamin, married, practiced medicine in Magnolia, and died there, leaving one son, William L., the only male descendant, who is clerk in a drug store, in Henry; his widow married C. C. GAPPIN, and lives in Lacon. Esther, the twin sister of Benjamin , died single.

Zebina EASTMAN was assisting Mr. LUNDY in the publication of his paper, at the time of LUNDY’s death, and immediately after commenced the publication of the "Western Citizen," an anti-slavery paper, at Chicago, which was continued for several years, and was really a continuation of LUNDY'’ work in the Northwest.

David PERKINS came from New York in 1837. He married Miss BARRASS; resided at Lowell several years, and removed to Chicago, where he is now living.

Dr. Jethro HATCH, and wife, Ruth COGSWELL, came from New Preston, Ct., in 1834; was a physician of good practice. Had two daughters: Mary Ann and Elizabeth. Mrs. HATCH died about 1845; the Doctor died about 1850.



1877 History of LaSalle County - Town Index

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