3. Trader Bonds for Shadrach Bond to trade with Native Americans (1816)

Background: In December 1813, the General Assembly of the Illinois Territory passed a law prohibiting most trade between Illinois residents and Native Americans residing within the territory. However, this law proved ineffective and on December 22, 1814, the territorial legislature passed a new law to regulate trade with Native Americans. One of its provisions allowed territorial Governor Ninian Edwards, who also served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to grant licenses to individuals who sought to conduct trade with Native American tribes in the territory. To obtain a license a trader had to post a bond with the state.

The Document: Two bonds from March and October 1816 involved Shadrach Bond, who two years later became the first governor of the State of Illinois. The bonds are payable to Ninian Edwards, Illinois' territorial governor and later the third governor of the State of Illinois. Bond partnered with Francois Turcott on the first bond and with Andrew St. John for the second bond. The documents give them permission to trade with the Native American tribes specified in each bond. Conditions of the bond include the traders' adherence to all federal and territorial laws and regulations concerning Native American trade; that they must not be foreign citizens and not provide foreign uniforms, flags, and other ornaments to the Native Americans; and that they send the governor accurate invoices of all merchandise traded. The bonds also prohibit the sale of alcohol to the Native Americans.

Note: These trader bonds are available at the Illinois State Archives as part of Secretary of State Record Series 103.068, "Executive Section. Bonds and Certificates."