01 August 2014

William Kile Citizenship Restored in 1867

Private acts of state legislatures can contain a variety of material. This one from Illinois in 1867 was particularly interesting. Apparently when he was sentenced for larceny in Mercer County, Illinois in 1859, William Kile lost not only his right to vote, but also his citizenship "in the state of Illinois" as well. To be honest when I saw the reference to his citizenship being restored, I thought the loss was due to participation in the Civil War--I was partially correct, but not in the way in which I had thought. 
The "Act to restore William Kile to citizenship" from 1867 references his pardon by Illinois governor Richard Yates and his subsequent service in the Civil War. The citizenship that is restored is that of a "citizen of the state of Illinois."  I'll have to do a little searching to see just what that phrase means. I need to look at contemporary Illinois state statute to answer that question as well as what actually happened to Kile's citizenship when he was convicted. He was not the only convict who had an act reinstating his citizenship in 1867.

The Act also refers to Kile's unit and his dates of service. That information should be validated with records that are a little "closer to the original source" than this. There is always chance that a date or unit number is off, but the essence of the statement regarding Kile hopefully is true.

And there are local court records and newspaper records that could be searched for information on Kile's crime as well.

One never knows what one will find in GoogleBooks.