Chapter 14

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writing as "Agis"--For evidence that Coles was "Agis," see R. Carlyle Buley, The Old Northwest: Pioneer Period, 1815-1840, Bloomington, 1978, vol. 1, p. 83; Solon J. Buck, Illinois in 1818, 2nd ed., Urbana, 1967, p. 242; Max Gordon,The Slavery Conflict on the Illinois Frontier, M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, 1961, pp. 66-67; and Thomas Lippincott, letter in the Alton Telegraph, February 24, 1865. Back

his matrimonial voyage--Helen Skipwith Coles to Selina Skipwith, November 2, 1817, Roberts Coles Collection. The dates of his movements, as far as I can tell, are as follows. He arrived at Enniscorthy from Europe on September 11, 1817. From September 24 to September 30, and again from November 6 to November 14, he was at Montpelier. On November 28 he left with his widowed sister, Mary Carter, and her two daughters for Richmond (Almanac Dates). In January he was in Philadelphia (Nicholas Biddle to Edward Coles, January 15 and 26, 1818, Princeton University Library), leaving sometime in early February for Washington. In the letter of January 26, Biddle writes from Washington to Coles in Philadelphia, hoping that Coles would remain in Philadelphia a few extra days so that they would not pass each other on the road. Coles returned to Enniscorthy on March 18 (Almanac Dates). While in Washington for the inauguration of James Monroe, he met George Flower at the house of Mr. Madison (George Flower, History of the English Settlement in Edwards County, Chicago Historical Society Collections, Chicago, 1882, vol. 1, p. 45). Back

There are many pretty women here--Edward Coles to John Coles III, February 17, 1818, Princeton University Library. Back

on April 4, 1818--Almanac Dates, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See also Helen Skipwith Coles to Selina Skipwith, April 2, 1818, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

bills of credit--With Thomas Rutherfoord and Sons he placed the following amounts of cash, upon which he could draw in Illinois: $7,889 of his Virginia Farmers Bank Stock; $5,112.19 from his U.S. Bank Stock; $7,578.70 from Walter; and about $10,400 from his sister Mary Carter (Account Book, Historical Society of Pennsylvania). Back

his first investment--Ibid. The purchase was made on April 13, 1818. Back

a very useful acquisition--James Monroe to Ninian Edwards, April 13, 1818. In Clarence Alvord, Governor Edward Coles, Illinois Historical Society Library, 1920, pp. 40-41. Back

he writes in June--Edward Coles to Emily Rutherfoord, June 29, 1818, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

I remained several weeks--1844 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See also "Edward Coles, Second Governor of Illinois--Correspondence with Rev. Thomas Lippincott," Journal of the Illinois Historical Society, vol. 3, no. 4 (January 1911) p. 60, in which Coles says erroneously that he attended the convention on his first visit to Illinois, rather than on his second visit. Back

see our rich meadows--Edward Coles, writing as "Agis," Illinois Intelligencer, July 1, 1818. Coles also wrote under the name "Agis" in the June 17, 1818 issue of the Intelligencer. Back

Slavery had been the major political issue--This account of the history of slavery in Illinois is based generally on Buck, pp. 180-293. See also Max Gordon, The Slavery Conflict on the Illinois Frontier, M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, 1961, pp. 26-43. Back

On August 15, 1818--The records of all of these transactions can be found in the Account Book in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The deeds to these lands can also be found in the same place. Concerning the lawsuit over the Bryant's Creek tract, there are extensive papers that bear witness to the effort Coles had to put into this case. Back

The part of Illinois that pleased him most--Edward Coles to James Monroe, October 11, 1818, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In this letter he also asks for the post of register of the land office. Back

Coles visited Morris Birkbeck--Edward Coles to William Barry, June 25, 1858, Chicago Historical Society. Back

it was divided into two hostile camps--The history of the English settlement is set forth in Flower. Back

Other troubles plagued Birkbeck--Isaac Coles to Joseph Cabell, December 26, 1818, University of Virginia Library. Isaac reports, perhaps not reliably considering his hostility to idealists, what Edward has told him of his visit to Birkbeck. Back

Edward Coles

Chapter 14