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"This forms a very respectable list from a new college. Its department of law, the prime mover in the formation of which was Hon. Thomas Hoyne, was under the charge of Judge John A. Jameson, Henry Booth, and Harvey B. Hurd. From the class of 1866 in this department was graduated, among others, Frank G. Hoyne, Norman T. Gassette, General Joseph Smith Reynolds, and Robert T. Lincoln. From the class of 1867 was graduated Hon. A. C. Bardwell, of Dixon, James H. Gilbert, D. G. Hamilton, R. C. Givens, John C. Wallace, Judge Gwynne Garnett, Judge E. H. Gary, Judge F. A. Smith, Colonel F. A. Riddle, Robert E. Jenkins, John A. Hunter, and others."


Dr. Levi D. Boone was elected mayor of the city in the spring of 1855, on the "Know Nothing" ticket, the only time that the party of that name ever won an election in Chicago except in the case of some minor offices. During the period when Dr. Boone was mayor party feeling ran high. "It was one of the hottest and most unreasoning political periods in the history of the country," says the writer of an article published in later years in the Chicago Times. "The temperance question was alive; the Catholic question almost precipitated a religious war, and KnowNothing-ism hung on the outer wall a banner inscribed, 'Put none but Americans on guard.'" Each of these questions was well calculated to rouse fierce popular passions, and in fact a large and clamorous element became prominent in the public affairs of the city and menaced its peace and welfare.

Almost immediately after Mayor Boone was inducted into office he was called upon to exercise his authority in the suppression of a riot. During the preceding winter the state legislature had passed a stringent temperance law, to be submitted to the people for their approval or otherwise. Mayor Boone believed that the measure would be ratified, and judged that it would render the transition easier from "wet" to "dry" if some of the liquor sellers and beer saloon proprietors could be induced to quit the business before being compelled to do so. He therefore recommended to the City Council that the license fee be raised from fifty dollars per annum, as it then stood, to the rate of three hundred dollars; but that no license be issued for a longer period than three months. By that time it was anticipated prohibition would have been voted, and those few saloons which had survived the large increase in the license fee could be easily dealt with. This he believed to be a wise measure of precaution, since it would "root out" the lower classes of saloon-keepers, leaving only the better men in the business.

The saloon-keepers throughout the city naturally regarded the measure, which had been passed by the Council, as oppressive, and united their efforts to defeat its object. The City government was at that time completely in the hands of the "Native American party," that is, the "Know Nothing" party, and every man of of the eighty or ninety patrolmen on the force was a native American. At the same time that the enforcement of the ordinance was attempted there was discovered among the municipal regulations a Sunday law, which had become a dead letter, but now it was sought to enforce this regulation also. Most of the saloon-keepers were foreigners, and, in the temper the people were in at that time, no consideration was to be shown to them. Some of the saloon men defied the authorities, which action on

their part resulted in a large number of arrests. It was agreed to try one case and let the others be settled by the precedent thus established.

The case decided upon for the test was called on the 21st of April, before Squire Henry L. Rucker, who was Police Magistrate and held his court in the courthouse. It will be remembered by old residents that a street was named in honor of Squire Rucker which in later years was changed to Center avenue. Soon after the beginning of the session of the court a great commotion ensued in the neighborhood. The saloon interest had massed itself in a solid body on the North Side, and headed by a fife and drum proceeded to the courthouse forming a noisy mob threatening to interrupt the further course of the trial. The mob gathered in force at the intersection of Clark and Randolph streets, and completely obstructed both thoroughfares opposite the Sherman House. Cyrus P. Bradley was the chief of police at that time, and Luther Nichols captain of police. Darius Knights was the marshal. Mayor Boone gave orders to "clear the streets and disperse the mob." This was done without any serious consequences resulting except a few arrests.

In the afternoon of the same day another mob assembled on the North Side with the declared intention of releasing the men who were on trial. Meantime the mayor strengthened his position by swearing into service a hundred and fifty extra policemen, thus placing a force of about two hundred and fifty men at his command. The mob approached the north end of Clark street bridge, and a portion got across the river. The mayor sent word to the bridge-tender to swing the bridge at this moment, thus dividing the mob into two parts. The police having made suitable dispositions the bridge was opened again for passage, upon which the remainder swarmed across the river and joined their fellows on the south side. Here they were met by a solid phalanx of the police, but the leaders of the mob urged the men on crying out, "Pick out the stars," "Shoot the police," which was followed by a brisk fusillade of shots. "For a short time," says the account printed many years afterward in the Chicago Times, in a series of historical articles, "things were exceedingly lively round the Sherman House. Quite a number of rioters were seriously wounded, but so far as can be ascertained, only one was killed, though a few days later there were several mysterious funerals on the North Side, and it was generally believed that the rioters gave certain victims secret burial."


This affair caused intense excitement throughout the city, and a call was made upon several companies of the local militia to aid in preserving order. An Irish company, known as the "Montgomery Guards," an American company known as the "Chicago Light Guards," and a battery of artillery consisting of two guns responded to the call. The latter was in command of Richard K. Swift, the banker. Mayor Boone asked Swift to protect the courthouse with the artillery, but, as he was in doubt as to how the four sides could be protected with only two guns, the warlike mayor drew a diagram showing him that by placing one gun at the corner of La Salle and Washington streets, and the other at the corner of Randolph and Clark streets, he would be able to command all the approaches to the square in which the courthouse was situated. These measures were effectual and no further collisions occurred. Much was due to the firmness and ability shown by the

Mayor on this occasion. "Mayor Boone," says the account already quoted from, "being a man of nerve and decision, took the riotous bull by the horns, the moment he made his appearance, and knocked the brute insensible at the first blow."

The result of the referendum vote on the proposition to prohibit the sale of liquors was voted on by the people throughout the state, as well as in the city of Chicago. The result was adverse to the proposition, and the situation then reverted to its former state. Thus the "lager beer riots," as they were called, passed into history.


An echo of the Know Nothing movement was found some years afterward in the proclamation issued by Governor Letcher of Virginia soon after that state had cast in its lot with the Southern Confederacy. On May 3d, 1861, Governor Letcher, in his proclamation to the people of Virginia, said that the authorities at Washington had used "every artifice" which "could inflame the people of the northern states and misrepresent our purposes and wishes," that "these misrepresentations have been carried to such an extent that foreigners and naturalized citizens, who but a few years ago were denounced by the north and deprived of essential rights, have now been induced to enlist into regiments for the purpose of invading this state." This allusion to the old Know Nothing party shows how weak were its principles, which within a few years after its collapse gave a weapon into the hands of the Southern "Fire-eaters," when such an appeal as the proclamation above quoted from was made to the southern people.

It was a fine response made by the men of foreign birth when the time of stress and danger came, and, hearing the call for help, joined with all other defenders of the Union. They hesitated not and allowed no former political differences and enmities to stand in the way of a united effort. Thus they heaped coals of fire on the heads of those who lately regarded them with feelings of enmity, but now with relief and gratitude.





HILE Abraham Lincoln was a member of Congress from the Sangamon district he made his first visit to Chicago. This was at the time of the River and Harbor Convention in July, 1847. The Chicago Journal, in its issue of July 6th, 1847, mentions, among those who were present at the convention, the name of Abraham Lincoln, "the only Whig representative to Congress from this state." "This is his first visit to the commercial emporium of the state," says the Journal. It was while in attendance upon this convention that he caught the observing eye of Horace Greeley, who was reporting the proceedings for the New York Tribune. David Dudley Field of New York. had addressed the convention in a speech which called out a sharp difference of opinion among the delegates. "In the afternoon," writes Greeley, "Hon. Abraham Lincoln, a tall specimen of an Illinoisan, just elected to Congress from the only Whig district in the state, was called out, and spoke briefly and happily in reply to Mr. Field." We make these quotations although they are given in another part of this work, under the account of the River and Harbor Convention, as they have a special interest in connection with Lincoln's earliest appearance in Chicago.

Henceforth Lincoln was a frequent visitor to the city, during the years of his professional and political activities, and became intimate with many of its leading citizens.

At one time he was offered, it is stated by Nicolay and Hay, in their work, "a partnership on favorable terms by a lawyer in good practice in Chicago; but he declined it on the ground that his health would not endure the close confinement necessary in a city office."


Mr. E. B. Washburne, in a volume entitled "Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln," edited by Allen Thorndike Rice, says, regarding his early acquaintance with

Mr. Lincoln, that he met him for the first time when he (Washburne) attended the Supreme Court at Springfield in the winter of 1843 and 1844. "The Supreme Court library was in the courtroom, and there the lawyers would gather to look up their authorities and prepare their cases. In the evening it was a sort of rendezvous for general conversation, and I hardly ever knew of an evening to pass without Mr. Lincoln putting in his appearance. He was a man of the most social disposition, and was never so happy as when surrounded by congenial friends. His penchant for story-telling is well known, and he was more happy in that line than any man I ever knew. But many stories have been invented and attributed to him that he never heard of But his anecdotes were all so droll, so original,

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so appropriate and so illustrative of passing incidents that one never wearied of listening to him.

His dress and

"Ceasing to attend the courts at Springfield," continues Mr. Washburne, “I saw but little of Mr. Lincoln for a few years. We met at the celebrated River and Harbor Convention at Chicago, held July 5th, 6th and 7th, 1847. He was simply a looker on and took no leading part in the convention. personal appearance on that occasion could not well be forgotten. It was then for the first time I heard him called 'Old Abe.' Old Abe, as applied to him, seems strange enough, as he was then a young man, only thirty-eight years of age.

"One afternoon, several of us sat on the sidewalk under the balcony in front of the Sherman House, and among the number the accomplished scholar and unrivaled orator, Lisle Smith. He suddenly interrupted the conversation by exclaiming, 'There is Lincoln on the other side of the street. Just look at Old Abe,' and from that time we all called him 'Old Abe.' No one who saw him can forget his personal appearance at that time. Tall, angular and awkward, he had on a shortwaisted, thin, swallow-tail coat, a short vest of the same material, thin pantaloons, scarcely coming down to his ankles, a straw hat and a pair of brogans with woolen socks. Mr. Lincoln was always a great favorite with young men, particularly with the younger members of the bar. It was a popularity not run after, but which followed. He never used the arts of the demagogue to ingratiate himself with any person."


After his career in Congress had closed, in 1849, Mr. Lincoln devoted himself to the pursuit of his profession, apparently having satisfied his ambition in the political field. He had served several terms in the state legislature, and one term in Congress. But the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1850 aroused him again, and he became deeply interested in the progress of the warm controversies over the extension of slavery. "He was generally on the Whig electoral tickets," says Herndon, "and made himself heard during each successive canvass." It is related by John T. Stuart that he held a conversation with Lincoln in 1850, as follows: "Lincoln, the time is coming when we shall have to be all either Abolitionists or Democrats." Lincoln replied emphatically, "when that time comes my mind is made up, for I believe the slavery question can never be successfully compromised." But he was cautious in his relations with the "impetuous Abolitionists," and once when Herndon, who was radical in his views, warned him against his conservatism, he replied, "Billy, you're too rampant and spontaneous."

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