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Rump Assembly of the Illinois Country (French America)

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The Rump assembly of the Illinois Country was the governing body of the territory south of the Great Lakes, east of the Mississippi River, North of the Ohio River, and west of the Appalachian Mountains. It governed from 1789 to 1793. It was succeeded by L'Assemblée générale du Pays d'Illinois (The General Assembly of the Illinois Country).

Formation

The rump assembly is called so because it consisted of a portion of the Assembly of Notables of Quebec, those who lived in the Illinois Country and wished to join the new union being formed by the former English colonies. Of the eighteen notables in the assembly of Quebec, only three lived in the Illinois Country. these three met at Vincennes and agreed on who else in the country was suitable to join them in geverning. They sent letters requesting twenty wealthy landholder asking them to join the Assembly of notables of the new country. Twelve responded and joined the assembly in Vincennes. Thir first actions were to declare the country independent and elect Jean-Pierre Ribadoux Governor.

Actions

First, the notables sent a delegation of three people, all rlatives of the notables, to request to join the continental congress. If they were admitted (which they were) they would sit as the countries delegates.

The next order of business was to create a militia in the case that the royalist Quebecois would attempt to restore control over the region. Captains were elected by their platoons, usually one per settlement. Appointed by the Assembly were most other ranks and the Governor ws to also serve as Commander of all the militias.

By 1791, there was concern among the notables that there was a lack of fervor for the young territory because militia enlistments were dwindling. To beget loyalty to the cause, the Assembly of notables conducted elections for the assembly of Commoners. Each of the seven towns elected two representatives, the four counties did as well. The Assembly of Commoners elected Guilliaume Gaspard its Speaker.

It was at this time that the Assembly became known as the General Assembly of the Illinois Country.

It's powers were negligable, but it a great symbolic step forward in an area which hand never even ad a legislature. It would gain more influence over h couse of its history. It was not metioned in its charter, but when ribadoux died in 1795, Commoner voted alongside Notables to choose the next governor.

Elections

The house of notables was renewed by the notables themselves. when a Notable passed, the Assembly convened to elect another to his place. The elections to the Assembly of Commoners were held again in 1793, shortly after and every two years after.

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