Primary tabs


The Legislature Prorogued.

Yesterday was an exciting day in the Legislature, an interesting day in Springfield and a remarkable day for Illinois. For the first time in the history of this State, the Governor has been called upon to exercise the power vested in him by adjourning the Legislature.

We have already explained the condition of things in the two Houses as it existed on Monday evening, with reference to their disagreement on the resolution for adjournment. In consequence of the Senate being without a quorum, this state of facts continued to exist yesterday morning. The House met at half past nine o'clock. One of the first acts after the opening of the session, was to refuse, by a strict party vote, to take up the bill appropriating $100,000 for the relief of sick and wounded Illinois soldiers. Its next act was to take up and pass a local railroad bill.

At fifteen minutes past ten o'clock, Colonel Hirschbeck, the Governor's private Secretary, made his appearance in the Hall, and addressing the Speaker, began to read the following


To the General Assembly of the State of Illinois:

WHEREAS, On the 8th day of June, A. D. 1863, the Senate adopted a joint resolution to adjourn sine die on said day at 6 o'clock, P. M., which resolution, upon being submitted on the same day to the House of Representatives, was by them amended by substituting the 22d day of June, and the hour of 12 o'clock, M., which amendment the Senate thereupon refused to concur in; and

WHEREAS, The Constitution of this State contains the following provisions, to-wit:

SECTION 13, ART. 4. In case of disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor shall have power to adjourn the General Assembly to such time as he thinks proper, provided it be not to a period beyond the next constitutional meeting of the same:" and

WHEREAS, I fully believe that the interests of the people of the State will best be subserved by a speedy adjournment; the past history of this Assembly holding out no reasonable hope of beneficial results to the citizens of the State or the army in the army in the field from its further continuance.

Now, therefore, in consideration of the existing disagreement between the two Houses, with respect to the adjournment, and by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution as aforesaid,

I, Richard Yates, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby adjourn the General Assembly, now in session, to the Saturday next preceding the first Monday in January, A. D. 1865.

Given at Springfield this, the 10th day of June, A. D. 1863.


At the same moment the Proclamation was being read to the Senate by Lieut. Gov. Hoffman, after which he pronounced that body adjourned, and left the chair.

The Proclamation was a bomb-shell among certain partisan members in both houses. Never since the days of the "Rump Parliament" was such a scene witnessed in the "Rump Legislature" of Illinois. During the reading in the House, the Speaker kept thumping with his gavel vigorously, but was unable either to drown the reader's voice or put a stop to the reading. The reading having been ended, Mr. Speaker Buckmaster declared the act by the Governor's Secretary out of order (seemingly ignorant of the fact that communications from the Governor are always in order) and disrespectful to the House, and announced that he should not regard it, but that the House would proceed to business.

Mr. Burr felt inclined to proceed with the business of the House, notwithstanding (as he said) the high-handed and arbitrary attempt of the Executive to prorogue the House, but as the Senate had obeyed that Proclamation, and they were powerless to do any business, he thought it best to acquiesce in the same and adjourn, and let their constituents and the Democracy know who was responsible for the failure to make appropriations, etc.

Mr. Buckmaster, who had previously announced his determination to disregard the Proclamation, arose and said, in substance, "If the Governor's Proclamation has any effect at all, no action on the part of this House is necessary. Therefore, I leave the chair." He did so, throwing down his gavel in disgust.

A meeting of the faithful was then loudly called for, and Mr. Burr gave notice that they would assemble in caucus, immediately, at the caucus room, alias the "Tent."

Thus expired, with the most horrible contortions, what was once the Legislature of Illinois.

In adjourning the Legislature Gov. Yates has performed an act which, under the Constitution, he had the undoubted right to perform. This has been conceded by the opposition, themselves, and only called in question when they perceived its exercise would interfere with their partisan schemes. He has done more. He has performed an act called for and approved by the best men of all parties in the State, and has entitled himself to the thanks and the approbation of the people. He has relieved the State of an intolerable nuisance and an expense which was resulting in no advantage to the people or the soldiers.