Letter, William Ewing to John Bills, circa 30 November 1843

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Major John Bills,
The foregoing opinions constitute my reason for refusing to issue the Warrants in your favor— I am not satisfied myself entirely, of the correctness of the opinions of the Attys General. If you should be dissatisfied with the decision, I would advise you to raise the question before the Supreme Court which will be in Session on the 2nd. Monday of December. I am the more desirous that this should be done, because I wish to be satisfied whether I was correct or not in issuing warrants to you in the Spring. Be pleased to advise me on the subject
<​exd.​> [p. [1]]
Novr. 30th. 1843
Copy opinion of — Atty. Genl.
Copy Letter from .
<​◊◊◊ Nov. 30th.​> Decr. <​Novr.​> 30th. 1843
I have examined the claim of , as Brigade Inspector of the , and it is my opinion that the claim should be disallowed.
The Legislature, in giving authority, for the organization of a body of “independent Military men” at , intended no doubt, that all expences &c except “their proportion of Public Arms” should be defrayed by the and its privileged .
They occupy a novel position, disconnected from the Military Communities, of the whole , and in no way subject to the regular Military Officers, possessing an exemption, even, from subjection to the general Military laws, with a law making power invested in their own — It is not reasonable to suppose that the Legislature would confer so many exclusive favours, and yet pay those who profit by this Condition of things, as is much as is paid to regular Militia Officers.
In the absence of any express provision by Law to authorize the payment of the claim, I can see nothing from which an authority of the kind could be derived, and therefore advise accordingly.
Atty. General
<​exd.​> [p. [2]]
[verso of page [2] blank]
Illinois Novr. 30th. 1843
Auditor &c
I have examined the claim of John Bills, Brigade Major of the for services under the 53 Sec of the Militia law, and have arrived at the conclusion that the are not to be considered, as a part of the regular Militia of this , and that the general law has no further application to them than is expressly provided for in the law authorizing their organization— The law providing for the organization of the Legion, making no provision for the payment of its officers by the , It is my opinion that the above claim ought not to be audited.
The was organized by the City Council, is subject to their control for the purpose of enforcing their Ordinances— it is entirely independent of the general military law, may have a different organization, make laws for its own government and seems evidently designed to sustain the municipal authorities of If there are expences to be paid, the municipality of which they form a very important Element must meet them.
I am with great respect Your obedt. servt.
<​exd.​> [p. [3]]
No 4


  1. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Willard Richards.