6. Election Results for Governor and Lt. Governor (1818)

Background: On April 18, 1818, President James Monroe signed legislation known as the Enabling Act, which laid out the requirements for Illinois to become a state. One of the requirements stated that Illinois form a government before statehood. In September, following the passage of the state Constitution on August 26, 1818, Illinois conducted its first election of officers for the new state. Although there were no true political parties at the time, two factions had emerged. The first faction was led by territorial governor Ninian Edwards. The second faction was led by Judge Jesse Thomas. When it came time to elect a governor, both sides apparently compromised on Shadrach Bond as a candidate. Bond was a former delegate to Congress from the Illinois Territory and ran unopposed. For Lt. Governor, Pierre Menard, leader of the French community that was left over from when Illinois was a French possession, was elected over two other candidates.

The Document: This document is the first page of Volume 1 of 10 volumes of the Record of Election Returns (1818-1951). Unlike future election returns, this document doesn't show the actual election results. This is a summary of the results submitted for approval to the Illinois House of Representatives on the first day of its very first session, held October 5, 1818 in Kaskaskia. The House had to officially receive the election results so that Shadrach Bond and Pierre Menard could be sworn into office the next day. Although the document notes that official election results from Johnson County hadn't yet been received, Bond, who ran unopposed, and Menard, who ran against two opponents, were declared the winners.

Note: Bond County is named after Shadrach Bond and Menard County is named after Pierre Menard. Abstracts of election results are available at the Illinois State Archives as part of Secretary of State Record Series 103.033, "Record of Election Returns."