Caption: Booklet - Illinois Day Celebration 1917
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No danger lurked which we might not forefend. The open grassy fields stretched mile on mile Before us till our view was lost to sight Far off in distant years. These prairies were The State of Illinois, and over all The deep blue shining sky of Heaven! My friends here with me were among the men Who then so boldly wisely did their part In organizing this State government And in securing its admission as A State. Nathaniel Pope, our Delegate In Congress, in the first month of the year Presented our petition in the House. ( On April eighteenth the Enabling Act Was signed. Therein two clauses specially Worked for the great upbuilding and the power Of the future Commonwealth. The first one gave The State some fifty miles of shore upon Lake Michigan, thus making possible her port And intimate relations with the North, To match the commerce that the Mississippi Swept along its flood of waters toward The South. The second clause provided well For making roads to lead into the State; So should the immigration come straight through And not be hindered by the forest tracts That lay forbiddingly across the pathways From the east. Then too still other clauses gave, According to the noble precedent Of other States, endowment for the Schools, And for a public University, In final consequence whereof these walls Afford us shelter now, and serve the great Unfathomable destinies to which God leads the State. Pursuant to this Act, We met in August at Kaskaskia To draft a Constitution for our State,