Discourse from John C. Bennett, 3 February 1841

  • Source Note
Page 316
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Inaugural Address.
City of , Illinois, Feb. 3rd, 1841.
Gentlemen of the City Council;
Aldermen and Councillors:—
Having been elected to the Mayoralty of this by the unanimous suffrages of all parties and interests, I now enter upon the duties devolving upon me a your Chief Magistrate under a deep sense of the responsibilities of the station.— I trust that the confidence reposed in me, by my fellow citizens, has not been misplaced, and for the honor conferred they will accept my warmest sentiments of gratitude. By the munificence and wise legislation of noble, high-minded, and patriotic statesmen, and the grace of God, we have been blessed with one of the most liberal corporate acts ever granted by a legislative assembly. As the presiding officer of the law making department of the municipal government, it will be expected that I communicate to you, from time to time, by oral or written messages, for your deliberative consideration and action, such matters as may suggest themselves to me in relation to the public weal; and upon this occasion I beg leave to present the following as matters of paramount importance.
The 21st Sec. of the addenda to the 13th Sec. of the City Charter concedes to you plenary power “to tax, restrain, prohibit and suppress, tippling-houses, dram-shops,” etc. etc., and I now recommend, in the strongest possible terms, that you take prompt, strong and decisive measures to “prohibit and suppress” all such establishments. It is tru[e] you have the power “to tax,” or license an[d] tolerate, them, and thus add to the city fina[n]ces; but I consider it much better to rai[se] revenue by an ad valorem tax on the proper[ty] of sober men, than by licensing dram shop[s] or taxing the signs of the inebriated worshi[p]pers at the shrine of Bacchus. The ravels [p. 316]
Inaugural Address.
City of , Illinois, Feb. 3rd, 1841.
Gentlemen of the City Council;
Aldermen and Councillors:—
Having been elected to the Mayoralty of this by the unanimous suffrages of all parties and interests, I now enter upon the duties devolving upon me a your Chief Magistrate under a deep sense of the responsibilities of the station.— I trust that the confidence reposed in me, by my fellow citizens, has not been misplaced, and for the honor conferred they will accept my warmest sentiments of gratitude. By the munificence and wise legislation of noble, high-minded, and patriotic statesmen, and the grace of God, we have been blessed with one of the most liberal corporate acts ever granted by a legislative assembly. As the presiding officer of the law making department of the municipal government, it will be expected that I communicate to you, from time to time, by oral or written messages, for your deliberative consideration and action, such matters as may suggest themselves to me in relation to the public weal; and upon this occasion I beg leave to present the following as matters of paramount importance.
The 21st Sec. of the addenda to the 13th Sec. of the City Charter concedes to you plenary power “to tax, restrain, prohibit and suppress, tippling-houses, dram-shops,” etc. etc., and I now recommend, in the strongest possible terms, that you take prompt, strong and decisive measures to “prohibit and suppress” all such establishments. It is true you have the power “to tax,” or license and tolerate, them, and thus add to the city finances; but I consider it much better to raise revenue by an ad valorem tax on the property of sober men, than by licensing dram shops or taxing the signs of the inebriated worshippers at the shrine of Bacchus. The ravels [p. 316]
Page 316