Jefferson County 1820
Submitted By: Mary Zinzilieta

Probably written by J. S. BOGAN about 1931.

An old record in the Court House describes Jefferson County, IL hotel rates; 
Orders Assessment of Negroes as Personal Property.

An excerpt from the records of the proceedings of the county board of 
commissioners, in 1820, two years after Illinois was admitted to statehood 
recalls a day when slavery existed in the union, and was countenanced in Illinois, 
and when it cost more to put up a horse for a night than lodging for a man.

The record which is one of the oldest on file in the office of County Clerk, 
George B. THOMPSON, was exhibited today by Deputy Clerk Claire LATTA.  It is 
an excellent state of preservation, and contains the signatures of some of 
Jefferson County's greatest men.

One of the most interesting of the century old report is dated June 5, 1820, 
and prescribes prices which tavern keepers may charge for lodging and board 
of man and horse.  

Lodging for a man for a night was at the rate of 12 1/2 cents 
and for a horse, 50 cents.

In the same report is a record ordering the County Treasurer to make a list 
of taxable property, including negroes.

Zadok CASEY, an early Lieutenant Governor of the State, and one of the founders 
of Mt. Vernon, is one of the three commissioners whose signatures appear on the 
record.  Joel PACE, first County Clerk, prominent in early Jefferson County history, 
was clerk of the Circuit Court and County Board, and received a salary of $60.00 per year.

A short excerpt from the proceedings follows, dated June 5, 1820:  
"Rates by which tavern keepers are to be governed in this county established January 14, 1820.

Breakfast 37 1/2 cents
Dinner 37 1/2 cents
Supper 37 1/2 cents
Lodging 12 1/2 cents
Horse, per night, 50 cents
Horse, single feed, 25 cents"

"Ordered that the County Treasurer proceed to take a list of taxable property, 
to consist of lands, town lots, bank stock, horses, cattle, stock in trade, 
riding carriages and Negroes."

"Ordered that the County Treasurer pay to Joel PACE thirty dollars for ex-officio 
services as Clerk of the County Commissioners Court."

"Ordered that Court be adjurned until Court in course."

Signed:
Zadok CASEY
Joseph JORDAN
Flemming GREENWOOD



 

 
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