An Act forming a new County out of the County of St. Clair, 1818


Be it enacted by the Legislative Council and House of Representatives of the Illinois territory, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That all that district of country within the following bounds and limits to-wit : Commencing at the north west corner of township No. two, north of range No. five west ; thence east to the north east of township No. two north on the third principal meridian line ; thence south with the said meridian line to the south east corner of township No. three south ; thence west to the south west corner of township three south of range five west ; thence north between ranges five and six west to the beginning, shall constitute a separate and distinct county, to be called Washington : and the seat of justice for said county shall be the house of James Bankson, until it shall be permanently established, in the following manner, that is to say, there shall be appointed five persons, to-wit: Jacob Turman, Thomas Rattan, Leven Maddux, Reuben Middleton and James Fisher, who, or a majority of them, being duly sworn before some judge or justice of the peace of this territory, faithfully and impartially to take into view the situation of the settlement, the geography of the county, the convenience of the citizens, and the eligibility of the place, shall meet on the first Monday in March next, and proceed to examine and determine on the place for the permanent seat of justice, and designate the same: Provided, that the proprietor or proprietors of the land shall give to the counter, for the purpose of erecting public buildings, a quantity of land at said place not less than twenty acres, to be laid off in lots and sold for the above purpose. But should the proprietor or proprietors neglect or refuse to make the said donation as aforesaid, then and in that case, it shall be the duty of the said commissioners to fix and decide upon some other spot or place for the seat of justice, as convenient as may be to the present and future settlements of said county ; or should the said commissioners fix it upon lands be- longing to the United States, in that case the judges of the said county, or any two of them, may apply to the Register of the land office in which the land lies, and in behalf of the said county, purchase one quarter section, for the use of the county, and the seat of justice shall be established thereon, and the county shall be bound for the purchase money; which place when fixed upon and determined, the said commissioners shall certify under their hands and seals, and return their certificate of the same to the next county court, or court of common pleas, in the county aforesaid : and as a compensation for their services, they shall be allowed two dollars for every day they may be necessarily employed in fixing the aforesaid seat of justice, to be paid out of the county levy ; which said court shall cause an entry thereof to be made upon their records.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the citizens of St. Clair and Washington counties that are entitled to vote, may at any election for a member of the legislative council, and members to the house of representatives to represent said district, proceed to vote at their respective seats of justice for such member ; and it shall moreover be the duty of the sheriff of the said county of Washington, within ten days after the close of said election, to attend at the court-house of the county of St. Clair, with a statement of the votes given in the said county of Washington, to compare the polls of the respective counties; and it shall be the duty of the sheriffs of St. Clair and Washington, to attend at such time and place, with a statement of the votes of St. Clair and Washington counties ; and upon counting the votes of the said counties, it shall be the duty of the sheriffs of St. Clair and Washington to make out and deliver to the persons duly elected a certificate thereof. If the said sheriffs or either of them, shall refuse or fail to perform the duty required of them by this section, such delinquent shall forfeit and pay the sum of two hundred dollars to be recovered by action of debt, or indictment in any court having jurisdiction, one half to the use of the territory, the other half to the use of the person suing- for the same.

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the citizens of Washington county are hereby declared to be entitled in all respects to the same rights and privileges in the election of a delegate to congress of this territory, as are allowed to other counties ; and all elections are to be conducted at the same time, and in the same manner as provided for other counties in this territory. This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage thereof.

Willis Hargrave, Speaker pro tem, of the House of Representatives.

Pierre Menard, President of the Legislative Council.

Approved—January 2, 1818, Ninian Edwards.


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