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Governor as Ex Officio Fund Commissioner - RG 492 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Governor as Ex Officio Fund Commissioner - RG 492
Variant Name: Fund Commissioner; Board of Fund Commissioners


Historical Note:

The Board of Fund Commissioners was created under an "Act to establish and maintain a general system of internal improvements," approved February 27, 1837 (L. 1837, p. 121). The board consisted of three commissioners elected biennially by the General Assembly. They contracted for and negotiated all loans authorized by the General Assembly for internal improvements and signed and executed all bonds or stock certificates issued for such loans. Monies received from the proceeds of the loans were deposited at the State Bank of Illinois and the Bank of Illinois at Shawneetown. These deposits were used to pay drafts issued on the Fund Commissioners by the Board of Commissioners of Public Works for expenditures on internal improvement projects or purchases of land. Under an act of 1839 the Fund Commissioners also were empowered to purchase and furnish the iron, machinery, and other materials requisitioned by the Board of Commissioners of Public Works for the projects (L. 1839, p. 89).

In 1840 the Board of Fund Commissioners was abolished and replaced by a single Fund Commissioner, also elected biennially by the General Assembly (L. 1840, p. 93). He assumed the duties formerly exercised by the commissioners and was responsible for auditing and settling their accounts and those of the Board of Commissioners of Public Works. When the Board of Auditors was established in 1841 to settle the unpaid accounts of contractors on internal improvement projects, that board was authorized to draw drafts on the Fund Commissioner for any approved settlements (L. 1841, p. 38).

Legislation passed in 1843 abolished the Office of Fund Commissioner and designated the Governor to succeed as Ex Officio Fund Commissioner (L. 1843, pp. 147-148). The Governor was instructed under subsequent acts to issue state bonds and stock in various attempts to settle the large internal improvement and canal debt. He also was involved in making settlements with former contractors, engineers, commissioners of public works, and Fund Commissioners and in the leasing and sales of property of the various internal improvement projects. The Governor continued to function as Fund Commissioner until nearly all the internal improvement debt was paid; the last appropriation to his office for the expenses of a secretary to the Fund Commissioner was made in 1875 (L. 1875, p. 26).



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