On the road to fiscal recklessness

“A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing,” Alexander Hamilton wrote on April 30, 1781.

Several years later, Thomas Jefferson observed with obvious sarcasm: “At the time when we were funding our national debt, we heard much about ‘a public debt being a public blessing.’”

Ninian Edwards, the aristocratic territorial governor (who later served as a state governor), got Illinois off on the wrong foot by following Hamilton’s advice.

When Illinois was struggling to organize itself as a territory, a power struggle ensued. Rather than take sides, President James Madison did what any politician would do – he avoided the issue by appointing an outsider to be the territorial governor. Edwards was that outsider. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref="http://etypeservices.com/Cass%20County%20Star%20GazetteID497/"><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>