A Paper read before theChicago Historical SocietyFebruary 16, 1915
Nation itself, the Illinois country was to be for a large part of its history "half slave and half free"--both in sentiment and in practice.
Two attempts against the integrity of the "Sixth Article" were made during Gov. St. Clair's administration. The trouble began with the appeals of the French slave-holders against the loss of their slaves. As civil administration under the Territorial government was not established among the Illinois settlements until 1790, both the old French inhabitants and the new American colonists suffered all manner of disabilities and distresses in the interval between 1784 and 1790, while just across the Mississippi there was a settled and prosperous community under the Spanish government of Louisiana. When, therefore, the French masters appealed to Gen. St. Clair, in 1787, to protect them against the loss of the principal part of their wealth, represented by their slaves, he had to face the alternative of the loss of these substantial citizens by migration with their