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The history of Illinois, embracing more than two cen- 
turies of discovery, exploration, settlement and develop- 
ment, is rich in incident and abounds in valuable lessons. 

Her soil has been occupied successively by Indian, 
Frenchman, Englishman and American. 

The men who planted her foundations were generous, 
noble and brave. 

Within her borders clashed and finally harmonized the 
principles of Cavalier and Puritan. 

Her sons have become leaders in the councils of the 
nation, and, on the field of battle, have led our armies to 
victory. No less famous than her statesmen and soldiers 
have been the commercial and industrial leaders nurtured 
upon her soil. 

Notwithstanding the fact that there is so much that 
is honorable and glorious in her steady progress, " from 
a wilderness of prairies " to a great and populous State, 
the history of Illinois is unfamiliar to most of her citizens. 
The youth in her public schools are better acquainted with 
the early history of Virginia, or Massachusetts, than with 
the stirring events connected with the establishment of 
their native State, and we should encourage our boys 
and girls in the study of the history of their State and 
strengthen the love for Illinois. 

The author wishes to thank for helpful suggestion and 
kindly criticism : Mr. John E. Ferreira, of East Chicago ; 
Supt. Walter R. Hatfield, of . Pittsfield ; Prof. David 


Felmley, of Normal; Dr. Edward C. Page, of De Kalb; 
Dr. W. E. Simonds, of Galesburg, and Gen. P. C. Hays, of 

Many of the illustrations have been obtained through 
the courtesy of Mr. Charles Evans, Secretary of the 
Chicago Historical Association. 

Supt. T. C. Clendennen, of Cairo, furnished the illustra- 
tion of a " Bird's-eye View of Cairo.' 

The illustrations of the bronze relief tablets in the 
chapters on Marquette and La Salle were obtained from 
the Marquette building, Chicago. The tablets pertaining 
to Marquette's journey were designed by the sculptor, 
Mr. Herman A. McNeil, a faithful student of Indian char- 
acteristics. The heads of the noted Indian Sachems and 
early explorers were modeled by Mr. Edward Kemeys, 
the sculptor whose work received wide recognition at the 
World's Fair. 







The Mississippi Valley Foster 

Geology of Illinois Northern 

The West R. B. Porter 

Illinois Moses 

State Reports 




History of the United States McMaster 

History of the United States Bancroft 

Last of the Illinois Judyc J. D. Caton 

Illinois and Indiana Tribes H. W. Bcckicith 

Annals of the West Peck 

American Slate Papers 




V. TONTI . 60 




San-alive and Critical History of America Windsor 

La Salic Parkman 

History of Illinois Davidson and Stance 

Early Voyatjcs Shea 

Historical Collection of Louisiana French 

Journal of Father Uarqiicttc 

The Winning of the West Roosevelt 



Catholic Missions Shea and Kip 

Early. French Voyages Gravier 

New -France Charlemix 

Early History of Illinois Judtje James Breeze 

Records of the Chicago Historical Society 

Magazine of American History 



Illinois in the Eighteenth Century Mason 

Early Settlements of yorthirest Territory Dillon 

Montcaltn and Wolfe Parkman 

Conquest of Canada Warburton 

Settlements on the Mississippi in 1771 Pitt man 

French Explorations 




Pioneer History of Illinois Reynolds 

Campaign in the Illinois Clark 

History of Indiana Dillon 

Vol. IX. of Michigan Pioneer Collections 

Old Record Book Col. John Todd 

Conquest of the North West Wm. H. English 



The St. Clair Papers 

Charters and Constitutions Poore 

Laws and Journals of Congress 

Illinois Moses 




History of Indiana Dillon 

Pioneer History Reynold* 

Illinois Moses 




Field Book of War of 1812 Losslng 

History of Illinois Edwards 

History of Illinois Ford 

My Own Times Reynolds 

Fort Dearborn John Wenticorth 

Illinois Moses 

History of Illinois Brown 

XIV. KEEL BOATS . . .133 




Fergus' Historical Series Chicago 

Illinois Moses 



Sketch of Edward Coles Washburn 

Memoirs of E. P. Love joy 

Alton Riots 



Illinois Moses 

History of Illinois Ford 

Life of Edwards Edwards 

Report of George Forquier Senate Journal, Session 


American State Papers, Vols. XX, XXI 




Atlantic Monthly, December, 1869 John Hay 

History of Mormonism Hove 

Ms. of Solomon Spauldiny 




History of the American War Mansfield 

The Other Side, or a Mexican History of the War. 

Translated by Alex. C. Ramsey 

History of the Battle of Buena Vista Cotton 



Abraham Lincoln, a History Nicolay and Hay 

McClure's Mayaeine 

Abraham Lincoln P. A. Hanaford 

The Pioneer Boy 



Grant's and Sherman's Memoirs 

The Story of the Fifty-fifth Illinois Ciw/.-o 1 

History of Illinois Davidson and Stourc 

Century Magazine 

Illinois, Vol. II Moses 





State Reports 

Reports of State Supt 

Pioneer History of Illinois 

College Catalogues 







Statue of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Park .Frontispiece 

The Great Seal of Illinois 14 

Material from Which Coal Was Made 17 

Chicagou 23 

Black Hawk 25 

Starved Eock Opposite 26 

First Settlement in Chicago Opposite 33 

Departure of Marquette 34 

Jolliet 37 

Totem of the Illinois 38 

Marquette Opposite 38 

The Piasa God (from an old drawing) 40 

Death of Marquette 46 

Robert Cavelier La Salle 49 

La Salle Opposite 52 

Tonti 61 

Nika 72 

Flag of France 77 

Fort Chartres (1718) 88 

A Typical Log House 96 

Col. George Rogers Clark 98 

Gen. Arthur St. Clair 114 

View of First Fort Dearborn 132 

Lovejoy Monument (Alton) 140 

Xinian Edwards 141 

Judge Nathaniel Pope 142 

Shadrach Bond 146 

Pierre Menard 148 

Gov. Edward Coles 149 

First Capitol (Kaskaskia) 157 



Second Capitol (Vandalia) 159 

Third Capitol Building, Springfield 161 

Fourth State Capital, Springfield 164 

Bird's-eye View of Cairo 174 

Lincoln Monument, Springfield 188 

Lincoln's Home, Springfield 191 

Great Lincoln Rally, 1860 Opposite 192 

Stephen A. Douglas 193 

The Chicago Wigwam Opposite 194 

Old State House at Kaskaskia (before destruction) 196 

Abraham Lincoln 198 

General U. S. Grant 200 

View of Chicago in 1821 210 

John Kinsey's House 213 

New City Hall, Chicago 217 

Field Museum, Chicago 219 

Art Institute, Chicago 221 

U. S. Courthouse and Postoffice, Chicago Opposite 222 

Library Building, State University 233 

Panorama of the University of Chicago Opposite 236 

French Canyon, near Starved Rock 269 


Indian Tribes of Illinois Opposite 27 

Plan of Villages of Illinois Country 85 

Forts and Settlements of the Early French 94 

Burnt District, Chicago Fire 216 

Illinois, Showing Counties and Their Population 271 


"By thy rivers gently flowing, 

Illinois, Illinois, 
O'er the prairies, verdant growing 

Illinois, Illinois, 
Comes an echo on the breeze, 

Rustling through the leafy trees, 
And its mellow tones are these, 

Illinois, Illinois, 

And its mellow tones are these, 



The State of Illinois is a gently sloping tableland. Its 
extreme length is three hundred and eighty-five miles, 
and its extreme breadth two hundred and eighteen miles. 
It is larger in area than New England without Maine. 
If Illinois were laid upon the Atlantic coast, it would 
stretch from Boston, Mass., to Old Point Comfort in 
Virginia. With the exception of a broken, hilly ridge of 
land that crosses the southern portion of the State from 
west to east, the surface of Illinois is nearly level, and 
slopes from an altitude of eleven hundred and seventy 
five feet above the sea on the north, to Cairo, where the 
altitude is but three hundred and fifty feet. 

Including the boundary rivers, Illinois possesses many 
hundreds of miles of navigable waterways. These streams, 
furnishing a ready means of transportation, were important 
factors in the early development of the State. A northern 
tributary to the Illinois River takes its rise in the broad, flat 
prairies within cannon s'hot of Lake Michigan. At an early 
day a canal was constructed, connecting this river with the 
lake, thus forming a continuous water passage from the 
Atlantic Ocean, by way of the St. Lawrence, to the Gulf 
of Mexico. 

Closely linked to both the Northern and the Southern 
States by lake and river, Illinois lies wholly within that great 
temperate belt that has been the birthplace of the most ag- 



gressive peoples of the world. In the heart of the Missis- 
sippi Valley, a region capable of feeding the human race for 
ages, Illinois is essentially a farming State, and grows 
within her borders nearly every staple food product of the 
world. To illustrate the wealth of her agricultural re- 
sources, it may be said that the value of all the gold and 
silver mined in the United States during the year A. D. 
1910, was $126,036,973. The value of the farm products 
of Illinois for the same year was over $290,295,000. 

While nature bestowed upon Illinois so productive a 
soil, she also filled the earth beneath with an abundant 
store of minerals. The geologist tells us that millions of 
years ago, when the earth was young, upon the bare ribs 
of rock, were laid great deposits of limestone and sand- 
stone. The "Niagara" limestone, appearing here and 
there throughout the northern portion of the State, is 
extensively quarried. This stone entered largely into the 
construction of the Capitol building at Springfield, and 
the Eads Bridge at St. Louis. Another deposit of lime- 
stone, which has added to the wealth of Illinois, contains 
lead and zinc. This ore galinite gave name to the city of 
Galena because of the mines opened in that region. 

Above these layers of limestone is found a deposit called 
"St. Peter's Sandstone." Because of its purity and free- 
dom from coloring matter, this sandstone is extensively 
used at Alton, and other places, in the manufacture of 
glass. Starved Rock, Deer Park and many of the pic- 
turesque bluffs located within the area of LaSalle county 
and along the Illinois River are of this formation. 

At Joliet ; in the vicinity of Rock Island ; within certain 
parts of Calhoun county and in other localities may be 


found pronounced formations of the Niagara limestone 
group. In other sections of the State may be seen the 
sub-carboniferous and the carboniferous, containing coal; 


in fact, these formations are to be found in practically 
every part of the State if borings are sunk deep enough 
to reach those lying beneath the surface. 

Above these deposits are found many layers of lime- 
stone and sandstone containing fossils of various kinds, 


which are records of the earlier vegetable and animal life 
of the globe. 

These deposits were succeeded by the coal measures. 
The warm, moist atmosphere of that period rendered vege- 
tation luxuriant. Great forests covered the slopes and 
hills, and impenetrable jungles spread over the marshy 
plains. Pine trees lifted their stately heads side by side 
with the graceful lepidodendron. Gigantic ferns raised 
their tufted fronds high in the steamy air. Many other 
strange growths flourished in these ancient forests. One 
peculiar tree, the sigillarid, had a large, fluted trunk, which 
resembled a clustered column. Thirty feet from its base ex- 
tended immense branches, covered with a grass-like foliage- 
The bark of such a tree, five feet in diameter, was thirteen 
inches thick. The wood was in the form of a cylinder and 
enclosed a ten-inch column of pith. Caterpillars and snails 
crawled upon the slimy banks of streams; within the 
swamps and seas dwelt many huge creatures 'having forms 
resembling frogs and lizards; bright-hued butterflies, 
beetles and dragonflies arose in brilliant clouds above the 
tropical foliage. 

As ages passed, these forests gradually sank with the 
soil in which they grew and became imbedded in the miry 
deposits, or were swept by dark rivers into shallow lakes. 
Through the agency of heat and pressure this embedded 
vegetation was gradually transformed into coal. 

Two-thirds of the surface of Illinois is underlaid by these 
vast coal deposits, every layer of which corresponds to an 
ancient forest and varies in thickness from a few inches 
to eleven feet. In some counties these veins of coal are 
sometimes near the surface; in others, shafts are sunk to 


a depth of several hundred feet. As it requires eight cubic 
feet of wood to form one cubic foot of coal, these ancient 
forests must have been growing for ages. 

England, the greatest coal consuming nation of the 
world, possesses twelve thousand square miles of coal 
measures. It is estimated that the coal energy produced 
by the coal consumed in that country in a single day is 
equal to the power furnished by nineteen servants for each 
inhabitant, and that at this rate of consumption the coal 
supply of Great Britain will be exhausted in two hundred 
and fifty years. At the same rate, the coal measures of 
Illinois would furnish England with mechanical power and 
heat for one hundred thousand years. 

Above the coal are layers of sandstone and limestone. 
One of these deposits, the "Burlington" limestone, fur- 
nished the material to build the court house at Monmouth. 
From another, the "Keokuk" limestone, was constructed 
the Mormon Temple at Nauvoo, the Custom House at 
Galena, and the Postoffice at Springfield. A fine quality 
of lime is made from a third deposit, the St. Louis lime- 
stone. The city of Joliet owes much of its importance to 
the splendid quarries of limestone found in its vicinity. 

As time went on, many strange creatures appeared upon 
the earth. Great beasts roamed the forests ; frightful rep- 
tiles sported in the rivers and shallow seas. This is called 
the age of Mammoths. During this period, the waters 
of the Gulf of Mexico receded from a few miles below 
the mouth of the Ohio River to their present limits. The 
peninsula of Florida was raised above the sea, and the 
ranges of the Rocky Mountains were uplifted 

The period of Mammoths was followed by the Ice age; 


tropical heat was succeeded by arctic cold. Great floes 
of ice and towering bergs, carrying soil and rocks from 
the distant North, drifted southward. In this manner the 
surface of the State was covered with a mass of rock and 
gravel to a depth of two hundred feet at the north. The 
thickness of this deposit gradually decreases, until, at the 
southern border, it almost disappears. 

Upon the disintegrating mass of mineral, vegetation 
grew luxuriantly, covering the earth with a rich carpet of 
verdure that, decaying, formed the black soil of the prairies 
and the deep loam of the bottom lands. 

By this process there were released from the rocks those 
mysterious elements which give beauty to the flower, color 
to the fruit and substance to the grain. 

The State contains seven distinct drainage basins, each 
of these being drained respectively by Lake Michigan, the 
Mississippi, Ohio, Embarrass, Kankasia, Big Muddy, Rock, 
and Illinois Rivers. Many large sections of the State are 
almost level and thousands of acres were ready to be tilled 
by the first fanners without the usual necessity of remov- 
ing trees or stumps. 

The natural drainage combined with an exceptionally 
rich soil has, through the industry of the husbandmen, 
given to Illinois her exalted position as the first agricul- 
tural State in the Nation. 



When first explored, Illinois, like other portions of our 
country, was inhabited by the red men. How many years 
they had dwelt here or what peoples they displaced, we do 
not know. There are historians who believe that they were 
preceded by another race, who built beautiful palaces and 
large cities which long ago crumbled into dust. Others 
suppose that mounds, and various evidences of an earlier 
occupation of the territory, were the works of the ancestors 
of the Indian. 

When the Europeans discovered America they found the 
Indians living in small villages or scattered in roving bands. 
Indians east of the Mississippi River have been classified 
in groups, each embracing several tribes more or less con- 
nected by ties of blood, and these groups placed in three 
general divisions : the Muskhogees, who lived south of 
the Tennessee River and comprised the Choctaw, the 
Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole tribes ; the Iroquois, who 
occupied the territory extending from the Hudson and 
Delaware Rivers westward to the Great Lakes and north 
to the St. Lawrence. These warlike people included the 
famous five Nations of New York, Mohawk, Oneida, 
Onandagua, Cayuga and Seneca, and also the Cherokees, 
Htirons, Eries and the Tuscaroras. 

And finally the powerful Algonquin family, who occu- 
pied the remaining territory east of the Mississippi River. 



This family embraced the Narragansetts, Pequots and 
Mohegans of New England; the Powhatans and Dela- 
wares of Virginia ; the Shawnees, who dwelt on the Ohio, 
and a large number of the tribes living on the shores of 
the Great Lakes. 

Everywhere the early voyagers came in contact with 
these people. The French found them upon the banks 
of the St. Lawrence. It was an Algonquin who came into 
the village of the Pilgrim, shouting "Welcome ! English- 
man !" An Algonquin greeted Roger Williams as he 
landed on the site of the future city of Providence, with 
the words, "What cheer?" Captain John Smith bought 
corn from them in Virginia ; William Penn made his treaty 
with them in the shade of the Pennsylvania elm; the 
Jesuit missionaries baptized them with the waters of the 

The Indian knew nothing of the value of iron or other 
metals, but fashioned their simple implements or weapons 
out of stone and bone. Their dress was made from the 
skin of animals or the fiber of some kinds of bark, and 
their rude huts were covered with the same materials. Their 
only musical instrument gave forth discordant sounds. 

Improvident to the extreme they cultivated the soil 
but little, and depended almost entirely upon the chase. 
Hunting and dancing constituted their chief enjoyments. 
"Their great business in life was to procure food and 
devour it, to subdue their enemies and scalp them. It is 
probable that if they had never come in contact with the 
whites, they would have remained untamed, savage and 

To such a people the "Illinois country," with its rolling 


prairies, the feeding-ground of buffalo and deer; its for- 
ests filled with bears and panthers; its navigable rivers 
over which their canoes could be propelled with little exer- 
tion, offered a congenial home. Seven different nations 
dwelt in the re- 
gion, and al- 
though they all 
belonged to the 
Algonquin fam- 
ily, they were 
con stantly at 
war among 
themselves. In 
the southeast 
were adventur- 
ous Shawnees, 
who had come 
from Georgia. 
This tribe pro- 
duced the great 
T e c u m s e h. 
North of them 
and extending 
to the Lakes, 
lived the brave 
and sagacious CHICAGOU. 

Miamis who Illinois Chief, Who Visited France in 1725. 

were always opposed to the white men, and greatly retarded 
the early settlement of the country. 

West of the Miamis were the fierce Kickapoos, who 
occupied the lands along the Vermillion and Sangamon 


Rivers. Here they lived for a hundred years until they 
were driven westward by the whites. 

The Pottawattomies drifted westward from the St. Law- 
rence River, and divided into three sections, one of which 
settled upon the headwaters of the Kankakee and Illinois 

The Winnebagos lived to the west, but were driven 
northward beyond the bounds of the present State, and 
finally settled near Green Bay. These people distinguished 
themselves in various wars against the whites. 

The restless Sacs and Foxes settled upon Rock River, 
and for a hundred years were a menace to the early settlers 
of Illinois. 

Between these various peoples and occupying the fairest 
lands, dwelt the Illini or Illinois Indians, a term signifying 
"real men." 

The Illinois, a powerful confederation composed of the 
Kaskaskias, Tamaroas, Cahokias, Peorias and Mitchi- 
gamies, laid claim to all the lands from the sources of the 
Illinois River westward to the Mississippi and southward 
to the Ohio. Their favorite meeting ground was in Central 
Illinois. Here upon the Illinois River, near the present 
village of Utica, was located the largest of their seventeen 
villages, which they called Kaskaskia. Upon Peoria Lake 
was the chief town of the Peorias, while, nearly opposite 
the present site of St. Louis, the Cahokias and Tamaroas 
had established their chief village. 

One of the French missionaries, Father Membre, speak- 
ing of these Illinois Indians, states that, while they were 
"tall of stature, strong and robust, the swiftest runners in 
the world and good archers," they were "idle, revengeful, 


jealous, cunning, dissolute and thievish." On the fertile 
meadows that lined the banks of the rivers the squaws and 
old men cultivated vegetables and Indian corn, which they 
stored in rude caves for winter use. These Illinois Indians 
waged constant war with the neighboring tribes, who 
wanted to possess their splendid hunting grounds. Victory 
was usually upon their 
side, for they were brave 
and sagacious. The 
blood-thirsty Sioux fre- 
quently made war upon 
the more peaceful Al- 
gonquins on the Illinois 
side, but the most dread- 
ed foes of the Illinois 
Indians were the fierce 
Iroquois, whose home 
was south of distant 
Lake Erie. They often 
made the long journey 
of more than five hun- 
dred miles through the 
forests to slaughter the 
tribes in the valley of 
the Illinois, laying waste 
their fields and leaving their villages in smoking ruins. 
The early French were kindly received by the Illinois 
Indians, who hoped to procure firearms from them, and 
with their assistance, to subdue the common foe. The 
friendship and goodwill, which had been so strongly estab- 
lished between the Frenchmen and the Illinois Indians, 


Chief of the Sacs and Foxes. 


continued as long as the French pioneers remained in the 
territory of Illinois. 

Near the close of the seventeenth century, the Iroquois, 
possibly encouraged by the English, sent six hundred 
picked warriors against the Illinois. The attack was a sur- 
prise ; twelve hundred Illinois warriors were killed, and the 
entire tribe was scattered. After the Iroquois went back 
to Lake Erie, many Illinois returned to their homes, but 
their strength was broken. Hemmed in by relentless tribes, 
their numbers steadily diminished. In 1769 the remnant 
of the band, pursued by the Pottawattomies, was compelled 
to take refuge on the site of old Fort St. Louis. 

Here they could have defended themselves for a long 
time, as the rock is impregnable and provisions were not 
lacking. But water could be obtained only from the river 
far below, by means of a vessel attached to the end of a 
grape vine. The Pottawattomies, concealed near the base 
of the cliff, seized the vessels as they were lowered. In 
vain did the Illinois attempt to get their water supply in 
the middle of the darkest nights, and at last, famishing 
with thirst, they slowly starved to death, only one escap- 
ing to tell the tale of their sufferings. The promonotory 
on the Illinois River, where this tragic event occurred, re- 
ceived the name of Starved Rock. 

Thus miserably perished, hunted to death by their own 
kindred, the last of that confederation which at one time 
constituted the most powerful people of the Illinois valley. 

The Indians were destined to give place to a stronger 
race. By treaty and conquest, the remaining tribes were 
finally removed, and Illinois became the possession of the 
white man. 



The Black Hawk War was the last united effort of the 
Indian tribes to drive the whites from the soil of Illinois. 

At the opening of the Nineteenth century the Sacs and 
Foxes occupied the entire territory included between the 
Rock River and the Mississippi. 

On November 3d, 1804, by a treaty made at St. Louis 
between General Harrison and five chiefs representing the 
Sacs and Foxes and the Winnebago tribes, these lands 
were ceded to the United States, with the understanding 
that the Indians would leave the territory when the lands 
were required by the whites for "actual settlement." 

During the war of 1812 some Indians who were opposed 
to the conditions of this treaty, under the leadership of 
Black Hawk, sided with the British and were known as "The 
British Band." The remaining Sacs and Foxes, with Keo- 
kuk, the principal chief of the tribe, opposed the policy of 
aggression against the United States. 

At the close of the war of 1812 Black Hawk established 
his village at the confluence of the Rock and the Mississippi 
Rivers. All went well with the Indians until 1830, when 
Keokuk, without the knowledge of the rival chief, made a 
final cession of all lands held by his tribe east of the Missis- 
sippi River. The treaty further provided that Black Hawk 
and his band were to give up their villages, corn fields and 
hunting grounds during the following year. When the 
veteran warrior heard the news he was thoroughly aroused 
and declared both treaties to have been obtained through 
fraud. Without delay he strove to unite all Indians in the 
common cause of resisting the whites. In the meantime 


Keokuk and his band quietly crossed to the west bank 
of the Mississippi River. 

When Black Hawk and his Indians returned from their 
winter hunting trip in the spring of 1831 they discovered 
that the very ground on which their village stood had been 
purchased by a fur-trader who was preparing to plant a 
corn field of seven hundred acres which the Indians had 
cultivated for years. The indignant chief was for imme- 
diate war, but temperate counsels prevailed and the field 
was finally divided between the white man and the chief 
with the understanding that each was to cultivate his re- 
spective half. But constant disputes arose and in May 
eight white men united in a memorial of grievance to Gov- 
ernor Reynolds. A call for volunteers, to protect settlers, 
was made without delay. Early in June General Gaines, 
arrived at Fort Armstrong, on Rock Island, prepared to 
execute the orders of the Governor. 

Black Hawk and his band were persuaded to cross the 
Mississippi and the soldiers took possession of the Indian 
village. Finding that the Indians were not inclined to be 
hostile, rations were issued to them and the volunteer sol- 
diers were dismissed. 

Early in the spring of 1832 Black Hawk and his men re- 
crossed the Mississippi and marched up the Rock River, 
declaring that they were going to their friends, the Winne- 
bagoes, who lived in Wisconsin, for the purpose of plant- 
ing corn. General Atkinson, in command at Fort Arm- 
strong, warned him to return, but undeterred, Black Hawk- 
pressed on to Dixon's ford, where he pitched his camp.* 

* Related by a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dixon. 


Mrs. Dixon invited the chief and his friends to dine with 
her and treated him with much courtesy. Black Hawk 
never forgot the kindness shown him hy this woman. 

The news of Black Hawk's return to Illinois quickly 
reached Governor Reynolds, who immediately sent General 
Vv'hiteside with eighteen hundred volunteers to expel the 
intruder from the State. When General Whiteside 
reached Dixon he learned that Black Hawk was encamped 
upon the banks of Sycamore Creek, thirty miles distant. 
A force of nearly three hundred men, in command of an am- 
bitious officer, named Stilhnan. was sent forward to recon- 
noiter. Black Hawk was feasting his Winnebago friends 
at the time and sent six of his warriors, under the protection 
of a white flag, to meet the approaching party. The undis- 
ciplined volunteers fired upon the Indians, killing two of 
their number. Justly aroused, Black Hawk commanded 
his men to give battle and the volunteer force was driven 
back in confusion, leaving eleven of their number dead 
upon the field. These were the first white men killed in the 
Black Hawk war. 

The alarm of an Indian war rapidly spread among the 
exposed settlements and farms. Chiefly through the aid 
of the noble old Pottawattomie chief, Shebana, the settlers 5 
in the region of Bureau Creek were warned and fled for 
safety to Ottawa. Those near Plainfield and Naperville 
found shelter at Fort Dearborn. A few families upon In- 
dian Creek, who refused to heed the warning, were mur- 
dered, and two little girls, Sylvia and Rachel Hall, were 
carried into captivity. 

General Whiteside immediately marched to the scene of 
Stillman's defeat, but Black Hawk had moved northward. 


The soldiers who had volunteered for Indian service had 
seen enough of fighting and as their terms of enlistment 
had expired refused to pursue the chief and his band. 

Two thousand more men were speedily enlisted, but in 
the interim Black Hawk and his warriors were preying upon 
the settlements near Galena. The most notable attack in 
this region was upon the Apple River fort, where Elizabeth 
now stands. The Indians besieged the place for an entire 
day, but the brave garrison defended the fort so gallantly 
that Black Hawk withdrew and turned his attention to an 
attacking force approaching under Colonel Dement. These 
troops came very near falling into an ambuscade, but es- 
caped in safety to the shelter of buildings at Kellogg's 
grove, where they were secure from the enemy. 

A more formidable army was now sent against the In- 
dians, and Black Hawk retreated northward intending to 
save himself by crossing the Mississippi River. At Blue 
Mounds, upon the banks of the Wisconsin River, he was 
overtaken by General Henry and a battle ensued on July 
2 ist, in which the Indians lost about fifty warriors. The 
Indians continued their retreat until August 2d, when they 
were again overtaken near the mouth of Bad Ax River. 
Here a fierce battle was fought and almost all in Black 
Hawk's band were killed or drowned. 

Broken hearted the veteran warrior fled to a Winnebago 
village and gave himself up to two chiefs, who delivered 
him to the Indian agent, General Street, at Prairie du Chien. 

General Scott, with nine companies of troops, had ar- 
rived at Fort Dearborn, but his men were stricken with 
cholera and he took little or no part in the campaign. 
When his men recovered they were marched to a de- 


serted Indian village between the present site of Beloit and 
Tuttle Creek, and soon after proceeded to Fort Armstrong. 

Early in September Black Hawk and his captured war- 
riors were sent to Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis. The 
following spring the famous warrior was carried to Wash- 
ington City and thence sent to Fortress Monroe. After a 
trial he was returned to his own people as nothing but 
"honorable warfare" could be charged against him. 

In the cities of the East he attracted much attention and 
won compliments from every side. He told the legislators 
that the day would come when the courts of justice and 
prisons of the white men would be powerless to protect 
society from criminals that the white man's civilization 
fostered and developed.* ''Serious predictions," remarked 
Wendell Phillips, "and it is a warning worth heeding." 

Black Hawk was restored to his tribe as a chief subordi- 
nate to Keokuk, and established his home on the banks of 
the beautiful Des Moines River. Here he lived in peace 
and contentment until his death, which occurred on October 
3d, 1835. His friends buried him in a sitting posture and 
erected above the grave a large mound of earth. 

Black Hawk has been called "the last native defender 
of the soil of Illinois," and although a brave and fearless 
man, he was claimed by some to be inferior in talent to 
Tecumseh or Little Turtle. He fought bravely and some- 
times victoriously, but did not show any very remark- 
able talents as a leader. That he was injured by his oppo- 
nents cannot be denied ; and that he displayed the white flag 
and gave notice of his willingness to surrender with his 
small band of warriors, and thus avoid useless bloodshed, 



and was met and answered by the rifle instead, is also true. 

Black Hawk was conscious of the inferior strength of his 
body of men, when compared to that of his foes, and from 
the beginning of hostilities had nothing to gain and every- 
thing to lose by engaging in battle with the Americans. 
He fought bravely against superior numbers and without 
the assistance of allies, although he had been promised 
help from them. The other Indian tribes having avoided 
the unequal contest, he was left to depend solely upon his 
own resources. 

In a closing address to his defeated warriors he is quoted 
as saying: "Farewell! Black Hawk tried to serve you and 
avenge your wrongs. He drank the blood of some of the 
whites. His plans, however, are stopped ; he can do noth- 
ing further. He is near his end. His sun is setting and 
he will rise no more. Farewell to Black Hawk." Ther.e 
can be no doubt that the character of Black Hawk is beyond 
reproach as a man of honor, full of noble and generous 
aspirations. Victor Hugo, basing his opinion of him on 
the reports of his enemies alone, in his Jersey speech, de- 
clared him the peer of "any patriot, and as much above 
Alexander, Scipio, Napoleon and such barbarians, as the 
moon in its zenith is above the earth." 




The St. Lawrence River, flowing eastward, empties the 
waters of the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean, directly 
opposite the continent of Europe. This noble stream was 
discovered in 1534 by Jacques Cartier, who took possession 
of the entire country drained by it, for the King of France. 
By the middle of the seventeenth century, the French were 
making extensive plans to occupy this territory and estab- 
lish a great empire. 

Treaties were made with the Indians, and a thriving 
trade in furs was carried on with the remote tribes dwelling 
on the distant shores of the Great Lakes. A chain of 
trading and military posts was established which served 
to overawe the savage, and for many years prevented the 
advance of the English. The strongly fortified cities of 
Quebec and Montreal became centers of military power 
and commercial operations in the New World. 

Among the bold spirits who laid the foundations of New 
France in America, none are more worthy of honor and 
admiration than the early Catholic missionaries. These 
men, actuated by a religious enthusiasm, boldly explored 
the trackless wilderness and planted their humble missions 
among remote and savage tribes. 

* This spelling is given in an autograph letter now in the pos- 
session of the Chicago Historical Society. Marquette also 
uses it in his Journal. 


The illustrious 
Jacques Mar- 
quette was 
among the most 
zealous of these 
devoted men. 
Born of an hon- 
orable French 
family he early 
consecrated him- 
self to the service 
of the Church, 
and in 1666, was 
sent by the Jesuit 
Order to the In- 
dian missions up- 
on the St. Law- 
rence River. A 
store - house and 
cluster of log cab- 
ins constituted a 
trading post at 
the mouth of the 
Saguenay River. 
Here the young 
priest was sta- 
tioned and de- 
voted himself so 
zealously to the 
study of the In- 
dian language, 
that in two years 
he had mastered 


six of the dialects. Burning with a desire to labor 
among more remote tribes, Marquette obtained per- 
mission to preach to the Indians of the Upper Lake 
region. With none but Indian guides he ascended the 
Ottawa River, threaded his way through the forests, 
crossed Lake Nippissing, and penetrated as far west as 
Point St. Esprit on Lake Superior. Everywhere he won 
the friendship of the simple red men by the gentleness of 
his manner and the purity of his life. 

At length he was placed in charge of the mission of St. 
Ignace, which had been established by Father Allouez, at 
Mackinac. From wandering bands of savages who came 
under the sway of his influence, Father Marquette heard 
of a mighty river to the west, and became filled with a 
desire to preach the gospel to the tribes that dwelt upon 
its banks. 

The Court in far-away France was also anxious to dis- 
cover this mysterious river. On June 4, 1672, the French min- 
ister wrote to the Governor of New France that there was 
"nothing more important for the colony than the discovery 
of a passage to the South Sea. His majesty wishes you 
to give it your attention." Thus urged, Frontenac entered 
upon the task with much enthusiasm. In November of the 
same year he instructed Sieur Louis Jolliet, a Quebec 
fur-trader and "a man of great experience in this kind of 
exploration," to "discover the South Sea by the Moskou- 
ten's country and the great river Mississippi, which is be- 
lieved to empty into the California Sea." 

It now became necessary to select a missionary to accom- 
pany the expedition and the choice fell upon Marquette, 
who received a letter bidding him prepare for the long and 



tedious journey to the Illinois country, where he had longed 
for years to spread the gospel. 

The message was delivered upon the festival of the 
Immaculate Conception, and so great was the missionary's 
joy that he resolved to name the first church he should 
establish in the unexplored region "The Mission of the 
Immaculate Conception." 

On the seventeenth of May, 1673. Jolliet and Marquette, 
in two birch canoes, driven by the strong arms of five 
French boatmen, proceeded along the western shore of Green 
Bay to the mission station of St. Xavier. From this point 
they paddled up the shallow waters of the Fox River ; the 
boatmen were equally skillful with the axe, rifle and paddle. 
At evening the canoes were drawn upon the pebbly shores 
and a hut of boughs was speedily made, before which a 
cheerful camp-fire chased back the darkness of the night. 
The forest supplied game, and the streams fish in abund- 
ance. The difficult task of dragging their boats over the 
tumultuous rapids was finally accomplished, and at length 
they crossed Winnebago Lake and entered the quiet waters 
of the upper Fox River. The stream threaded its way 
amid rice swamps, the feeding ground of large flocks of 
water fowl. 

On the seventh day of June they reached an Indian 
village which the good Father describes as, "standing on 
the crown of a hill, while all around, the prairie stretched 
beyond the sight, interspersed with groves and belts of tall 

Marquette was delighted to find in the center of the 
village a large cross, erected by a former missionary, decor- 
ated with rude offerings of skins, belts, bows and arrows. 


The simple red men were greatly surprised that these 
seven voyagers were desirous of exploring an unknown 
wilderness beset by countless dangers. 

When at length the strangers were ready to depart, the 
people of the 
village accom- 
panied them to 
the water's 
edge, and pro- 
vided guides to 
conduct them 
through the 
windings of the 
stream. Arriv- 
ing at the por- 
tage, the frail 
canoes, lifted to 
the shoulders of 
the men, were 
carried through 
marsh and for- 
est to the head 
waters of the 
River. Here the 
friendly Indians 
left them. 

Launching their boats, the travelers floated down 
the turbulent waters amidst scenes of imposing beauty. 
On the seventeenth day of June, 1673, they were 
filled with joy on beholding the majestic flood of 


the Mississippi rolling before them. Its strong current 
bore them rapidly into solitudes never before vis- 
ited by white men. Tall crags lifted their heads hundreds 
of feet into the air. Bluffs of stupendous size jutted into the 
river. Prairies dotted with groves and gemmed with 
flowers swept away from them on either side like emerald 

seas. Herds of deer and buffalo 
were continually in sight. Again, 
the river rolled between primeval 
forests, the homes of wolves, bears 
and panthers. 

At the end of two weeks they 
discovered a broad trail which led 
westward into the interior of the 
country. Leaving the five men to 
guard the boats, Jolliet and Mar- 
quette followed the path for a dis- 
tance of six miles, and suddenly 
came upon a large Indian village. 
Great was the consternation of 
the natives at the unexpected ar- 
rival of the white men. 

When the first commotion had 
subsided, four chiefs, bearing 
aloft peace pipes, advanced to 
meet the strangers. "To what nation do you belong?" 
asked Marquette. 

"We are Illinois," one of the chiefs replied. "In token 
of peace, we have brought you our pipes to smoke. We 
invite you to our village." 
At the door of the large wigwam, a chief stood to receive 



[The painting from which the picture was made was discovered 
by chance at Montreal, a few years ago, and has strong claims to 
probability. THWAITES : " Father Marquette."] 


them. Raising his hands to the sun, he exclaimed : "How 
beautiful is the sun, O Frenchmen, when you come to visit 
us. All our people welcome you." 

Conducted into the presence of the great chief of the 
Illinois, whose lodge was not far distant, they were received 
with every majk of respect, and after kind words and pres- 
ents had been exchanged, the chief gave to Marquette a 
calumet or peace pipe, the bowl of polished redstone, the 
stem decorated with feathers. 

"This is the sacred calumet," said the old man. "It sig- 
nifies that wherever you bear it, you are the messenger of 
peace. All our tribes will respect it, and it will protect you 
from harm. I beg of you in behalf of the whole nation," 
continued the chief, "not to go any farther down the river, 
for your lives will be in the greatest peril." 

At the close of the council a great feast was served in 
their honor, consisting of four courses. The first course 
was a pudding of pounded corn. With a horn spoon one 
of the chiefs deftly fed the Frenchmen from a wooden dish. 
The second course consisted of broiled fish. The same 
Indian carefully removed the bones and placed the meat, 
bit by bit, in the mouths of the guests, much as a bird 
might feed its young. The third course of broiled dog, 
considered a delicacy by the Indians, was not relished by 
the white men. But the last course, of choice and tender 
buffalo meat, was much more to their liking. 

After the feast, the guests were led into each one of the 
hundred wigwams, where they were kindly treated, and 
given many presents. 

The next morning, six hundred of their entertainers 
accompanied Jolliet and Marquette to the canoes. It is 


From an old drawing. 


probable that this meeting occurred near the mouth of the 
Des Moines River. 

Resuming their journey, the voyagers floated out upon 
the current of the stream. Passing the mouth of the 
Illinois River, they glided beneath the picturesque Piasa 
bluffs and, with astonishment, discovered upon the smooth 
surface of the cliff the hideous figures of two Indian gods, 
painted in gorgeous colors. 

Marquette relates that, "Each of these frightful figures 
had the face of a man, the horns of a deer, the beard of a 
tiger, and the tail of a fish, so long that it passed around 
the head and between the legs. It was an object of Indian 
worship, and greatly impressed me with the need of sub- 
stituting for this monstrous idolatry the worship of the 
true God." 

"As we discoursed of them," continues Marquette, "sail- 
ing down beautifully clear water, we heard the noise of a 
rapid on which we were about to fall. I have seen nothing 
more frightful. A mass of large trees, entire, with branches, 
came floating from the mouth of the river, so impetuously 
that we could not, without great danger, expose ourselves 
to pass across. The agitation was so great that the water 
was all muddy and could not get clear." 

This stream was the Missouri, which rushes down from 
its distant source in the mountains, and renders turbid the 
waters of the Mississippi for the rest of its course. 

In a few days they reached the mouth of the Ohio, whose 
clear waters were a striking contrast to the murky flood 
of the Missouri. 

As the voyagers proceeded southward, the banks of the 
Mississippi became low and marshy, and were covered 


by dense fields of cane, from which arose clouds of mos- 
quitoes to attack the travelers. 

One morning- upon the eastern bank of the stream they 
beheld a band of Indians, armed with guns. When the 
peace pipe was held aloft, the savages invited the strangers 
to the land and prepared for them a feast of white plums, 
buffalo meat and bear's oil. 

Bidding adieu to these simple people, the travelers re- 
sumed their journey through stretches of forest and swamp. 
A few miles above the mouth of the Arkansas they sud- 
denly came in sight of a large Indian village, situated a 
few feet above the level of the water. These Indians had 
probably been mistreated by the Spaniards, for on per- 
ceiving the white men, they approached with fierce war 
whoops and uplifted weapons. 

Some leaped into canoes and pushed out from the shore, 
others fitted arrows to their bows and rushed to the at- 
tack. While vainly waving his peace pipe, Father Mar- 
quette narrowly escaped a war club, which a warrior 
furiously hurled. At length the older chiefs, who had 
arrived and discovered the peaceable intentions of the 
strangers, called off the warriors and invited the French- 
men to land. Trembling, they obeyed, not knowing what 
was in store for them. An old Indian chief was found who 
could speak the Illinois dialect, and after friendly relations 
were established, the Indians prepared a feast for their 
guests. The next morning the whites were escorted down 
the river to a large village opposite the mouth of the 
Arkansas River, where dwelt the head chief of the tribe. 
He received the strangers before his lodge, beneath a scaf-. 
folding of poles. The floors had been covered with rush 


mats and skins. Upon these the. Frenchmen were placed,, 
while the warriors, according to rank, were seated around 
them to the number of several hundred. A young Indian, 
who had an excellent knowledge of the Illinois tongue, 
acted as interpreter. 

"Through him," writes Marquette, "I first spoke to the 
assembly by the ordinary presence. They admired what 
I told them of God, and showed a great desire to keep me 
with them." 

The Indians told the strangers that they could reach 
the mouth of the river in ten days, but that along the banks 
they would meet warlike tribes, who had been furnished 
with guns by the Spaniards. They themselves dared not, as 
formerly, go to that region to hunt the buffalo, but were 
compelled to live mainly upon Indian corn. The conference 
lasted the entire day, and was only interrupted by the vil- 
lagers, who constantly brought in dishes of food, consisting 
of mush, boiled corn, and dog flesh. These Indians were 
skillful in the manufacture of clatters, earthen pots and 
other articles. They were also provided with knives, 
hatchets and beads, which had been obtained from those 
tribes that traded with the Spaniards or French. 

From information gathered thus far, the Frenchmen had 
definitely ascertained that the Mississippi emptied into the 
Gulf of Mexico, and believing that the object of their voy- 
age had been attained, they held a council as to what course 
they should take and wisely determined to return to their 
headquarters at the mission of Green Bay. 

On the seventeenth of July they turned their canoes up 
stream and began the homeward voyage. It was difficult 
to force their way against the swift current. Day by day 


they toiled under a summer sun, and by night slept amidst 
the fogs and vapors of the marshes. 

Exhausted by the heat and exposure of the voyage, Mar- 
quette became ill, and for weeks lay in the bottom of the 
canoe scarcely able to raise his head. Reaching the mouth 
of the Illinois River, they determined to continue their 
journey up that stream, having been informed that its 
source was within a few miles of Lake Michigan. Father 
Marquette gives a glowing account of this region. 

"We have seen nothing like this river for the fertility 
of the land, its prairies, woods, wild cattle, bustards, swans, 
ducks, parrots and even beavers. It has many little lakes 
and tributary rivers." After paddling a number of days, 
they came to a large village of Illinois Indians, consisting 
of seventy-four lodges. This village, called by the dwellers 
Kaskaskia, was located near the present site of Ottawa. 

Friendly relations were established with this people, and 
a company of young warriors gladly guided them to the 
shores of Lake Michigan. From this point they proceeded 
to Green Bay Mission, where they arrived at the close of 
September, after an absence of four months, having 
traversed in their birch canoes a distance of two thousand 
five hundred miles. 

Marquette remained at the mission to recover from his 
illness, but Jolliet pushed on to Canada to make his report 
to the Governor. When near Montreal his canoe was over- 
turned, his papers lost, and he himself narrowly escaped 

This unfortunate occurrence robbed the daring fur-trader 
of the laurels justly due him. As the journal of Father Mar- 
quette was the only source of information left, to this mis- 


sionary was given the honor of the exploration. Jollict 
was the official leader of the expedition, while Marquette 
was in the capacity of a subordinate; popular sentiment 
nevertheless has reversed the positions of the two men, and 
the honor due the fur-trader is bestowed upon the 

On the 25th of October, 1674, Marquette s health being 
somewhat restored, he set out with two faithful boatmen, 
Pierre and Jacques, to fulfill his promise to establish a 
mission at Kaskaskia, the chief town of the Illinois In- 
dians. A band of Pottawattomies and another of Illinois 
Indians accompanied the missionary. The party, filling ten 
canoes, paddled along the shores of Green Bay and made the 
difficult portage to Lake Michigan. 

Ascending the Chicago River a short distance, Father 
Marquette was taken with bleeding of the lungs, and was 
unable to proceed any farther. So, his companions made a 
rude sledge and, aided by some friendly Pottawattomies, 
drew him slowly over the ice to a place about five miles 
from the shore of Lake Michigan, where the devoted 
Pierre and Jacques built for him a cabin of logs and roofed 
it over with bark. A hole served for a window and a mat 
upon the dirt floor was his only bed. Here, upon the very 
site of Chicago somewhere on the west branch of our 
river this great and noble man and his faithful compan- 
ions remained during the long and severe winter of 1674-5, 
far from home and without even the rudest conveniences 
of life. When spring arrived the health of Marquette had 
become better and they were able to continue their journey 
and finally reached their destination. 

The Indians received Marquette, we are told, "as an angel 

4 6 


from heaven," and listened to his eloquent words with 
reverence and joy. A chapel was erected for the good 
man, who remained a while among them, preaching and 
visiting from wigwam to wigwam ; also establishing in their 
midst the mission of the Immaculate Conception. When 
failing strength warned him that he must return to his 
friends in Canada, he summoned his beloved Indians to a 
grand council, held "on the great meadow which lies be- 


tween the river and the present village of Utica. Father 
Marquette took his place in the center of the assemblage. 
About him, seated in a circle, were five hundred chiefs and 
warriors; beyond them were fifteen hundred young men and 
behind these a thousand women and children. Then the 
missionary preached to them his farewell sermon and gave 
them his advice and blessing. They begged him to remain 
among them, but he knew he must depart, for his life was 


fast ebbing away. He promised them, however, that he 
would return or send another to finish the work he had 
begun. Such is the story of the establishing of the first 
mission among the Illinois Indians. 

Greatly enfeebled, Marquette set out upon the return 
journey. A band of devoted Indians accompanied him 
as far as Lake Michigan. Tenderly did these men of the 
forest care for the dying missionary. At night they made 
him a shelter, cooked his food, and spread his couch of 
leaves and furs. Having reached the lake, they placed him 
in a canoe with the faithful Pierre and Jacques, bade him 
an affectionate farewell, and returned to their forest home. 
Father Marquette continued to grow weaker, and knowing 
that death was near, requested the boatmen to land on a 
pleasant slope near the mouth of the St. Joseph River. 
This they did on the nineteenth day of May, and, erecting 
a small hut, kindled a fire, and spread a couch for the 
dying man. He thanked them for their kindness to him, 
asked forgiveness for any wrong, gave minute directions 
for his burial, and praised God that he was permitted to 
die in the wilderness as a missionary of the Holy Faith. 
During the night he was constantly in prayer until his spirit 
peacefully took its flight. His weeping companions buried 
the body as directed, and sadly made their way to the 
Mission at Mackinac. 

The next winter a hunting party of Indians, who had 
loved the missionary, took up the bones, and in accord- 
ance with their custom, carefully washed them, and bore 
them in a funeral procession to the Mission of St. Ignace 
at Mackinac, where they were buried beneath the altar of 
the little chapel. 



Robert Cavelier, knight of La Salle, was born of a rich 
burgher family in the City of Rouen, France. In 1666, 
at the age of twenty-three, he landed at Montreal and ob- 
tained a grant of land eight miles above the town where 
the St. Lawrence widens into the Lake of St. Louis. Here 
he built a village, surrounded it with palisades, and sold 
out the adjacent land to settlers, who were to pay him in 
small annual payments. The place was dangerous because 
of hostile Indians, but was favorably located for trading 
in furs. While developing his possessions, La Salle ap- 
plied himself to the study of the Indian language, and 
within two years was master of the Iroquois tongue and a 
number of other dialects. 

From friendly Indians who stayed with him during the 
winter, he first heard of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 
lying far to the south and west. 

Believing that by these rivers lay the route to the Indies 
he resolved to explore them. With four canoes and four- 
teen men, La Salle paddled down a tributary to the Ohio, 
discovered that stream and descended as far as the Falls of 
the Ohio, now Louisville. He returned to Canada, and 
in 1673, in company with Frontenac, proceeded to the head 
of Lake Ontario. Here they held a grand council of the 
Indian chiefs, made a treaty with them and built a log 
fort near the present site of Kingston, which they called 
Fort Frontenac. 




Tidings of the discovery of the Mississippi having 
reached them, La Salle sailed for France to lay before the 
King a vast scheme for building a chain of forts from 
the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. Armed with 
letters from Governor 
Frontenac his recep- 
tion at the court was 
most cordial. He was 
honored with the title 
o f Chevalier ; was 
made governor of Fort 
Frontenac, and invest- 
ed with the ownership 
of the adjacent lands. 
Wealthy relatives sup- 
plied him with much 
money, and he return- 
ed to Canada to en- 
gage in fur trading. 
The wooden fort was 
supplanted by a large 
one of stone, containing 
barracks for the sol- 
diers, a mill and bake 
oven, a blacksmith's 
shop and a separate 
house for the officers. 
Nine cannon were ROBERT CAV *WER LA SAU.E. 

mounted and served to protect the little village that was 
springing up in the shadow of the fort. 

The ambitions of La Salle and Frontenac to monopo- 


lize the fur trade in this region and colonize the West had, 
by this time, however, made them many bitter enemies. 
All the traders of this part of the country were becoming 
unfriendly and the Jesuits also gave them considerable 
trouble for having usurped most of the power in Canada 
that had formerly been possessed by the Jesuits. 

In 1677, La Salle made a second visit to France, and re- 
ceived new honors and more extended privileges. Upon 
his return he brought with him an Italian gentleman named 
Henri de Tonti. This man served as his assistant, and, 
during the succeeding years, proved a faithful follower and 
devoted servant. In November, 1679, La Salle, with a 
company of men including Tonti and Father Hennepin, 
a priest, proceeded westward along the shore of Lake 
Ontario. At the mouth of the Niagara River, after obtain- 
ing reluctant permission from the Seneca Indians, they 
built a warehouse, which served as winter quarters for the 
men. La Salle had conceived the idea of building a vessel 
above Niagara Falls, to be used in navigating the Upper 
Lakes. Toiling through the deep snows of midwinter, the 
men, under the leadership of Tonti, reached a spot six 
miles above the falls, where a rude shipyard was cleared 
upon the banks of a small stream. Two Indian hunters, 
who had come with them, constructed large wigwams in 
which they were to live. While the Indian hunters sup- 
plied them with game, the men felled trees, hewed timbers 
and .soon had the keel and ribs laid. 

The Seneca Indians, upon whose hunting grounds the 
men were working, were greatly displeased when they saw 
the timbers assume the proportions of a ship, and attempted 
to burn it. The carpenters, too, became discontented, and 


the successful completion of the boat was threatened. 
Through the persevering efforts of the brave Tonti, the 
dissatisfied carpenters continued their work, and at the 
opening of spring the little vessel of forty-five tons' burden 
was completed and ready for launching. "The friar pro- 
nounced his blessings on her ; the assembled company sang 
a Te Deum, cannon were fired, and French and Indians 
alike, warmed by a generous gift of brandy, shouted and 
yelped in chorus as she glided into the Niagara. Her 
builders towed her out and anchored her in the stream, 
safe at last from incendiary hands ; and then, swinging their 
hammocks under her deck, beyond reach of the tomahawk, 
slept in peace. The Indians gazed on her with amaze- 
ment. Five small cannon looked out from her portholes ; 
and on her prow was carved the image of a dreadful 
monster, the Griffin, whose name she bore, in honor of the 
armorial bearings of Frontenac." 

While the Griffin was building, La Salle had dispatched 
his French traders in canoes, paddled by Indians and laden 
with merchandise, to purchase furs from the Indians liv- 
ing on the shores of the Upper Lakes. It was a great 
event for an Indian village when the white trader arrived 
with hatchets, knives, beads and cloth. Furs worth many 
dollars in Paris were gladly bartered for a hatchet which 
had cost but a few francs. The Indian was satisfied with 
the exchange, for with the hatchet of steel he could quickly 
cut down the tree or hew the log. The bow was skillfully 
shaved with the blade of a knife for which the red man had 
gladly exchanged his wares. Rival traders and companies 
attracted by the enormous profit of the business, tried to 
injure La Salle by spreading false reports among the 


tribes, and "Canada became for him a nest of hornets, buz- 
zing in wrath, and watching for the moment to sting." 

When the commander returned from Fort Frontenac, 
whither he had gone in the depth of winter, the company, 
thirty-four in number, embarked upon the vessel. The 
canvas was spread, a salute was fired from the five cannon, 
and the "Griffin" sped upon her memorable voyage across 
Lake Erie, while the crowd of silent Indians gazed in 
astonishment and awe from the shore. 

Upon the third day they entered a strait, which La Salle 
named Detroit. Here was such abundance of game that 
the men, leaping upon the bank, soon returned laden with 
deer, bear, turkey, grapes and plums, with which the deck 
was speedily strewn. Continuing their course, they crossed 
a small lake, which La Salle named St. Clair, and upon 
the following day Lake Huron opened magnificently before 
them. While crossing this lake they encountered a furious 
tempest that threatened to send them all to the bottom, 
and caused the stoutest among them to fall upon his knees, 
but the storm quieted and they finally reached the little 
Mission Station of St. Ignace at Mackinac and dropped 
anchor in the quiet bay. 

The rival traders and priests of the little mission openly 
extended a welcome to La Salle. while they secretly har- 
bored jealousy. After a salute had been fired, La Salle, 
wearing a rich robe of scarlet and gold and attended by 
his men, was rowed to the shore, and all marched in pro- 
cession to the little chapel. At this station the commander 
arrested four of his white traders, who had played him 
false and squandered .his goods. Tonti was sent to St. 
Mary's to arrest two others for the same offense. Upon 


[The above portrait is said by Winsor, " Narrative and Critical 
History," to be based on an engraving preserved in the library of 
Rouen, entitled " Cavilli de la Salle Francois," and is the only picture 
of La Salle, except one, a small vignette, published by Gravier, which 
shows the face of a slighter man than is here indicated and one of 
more spiritual cast of countenance than the above.] 


Tonti's return with his prisoners La Salle sailed through 
the straits and across Lake Michigan to Green Bay, where 
others of his traders more faithful than those found at 
Mackinac, delivered to him a large cargo of furs. Here he 
made a lasting friend of a Pottawattomie Chief, who en- 
tertained him with hospitality. La Salle resolved to send 
back the "Griffin" with the cargo of furs collected here 
and at other points along the journey. This cargo was of 
such value that if it arrived in Canada his creditors would 
all be paid and he would be a rich man. Accordingly the 
"Griffin," richly freighted, was dispatched with orders to 
unload at Niagara and return with all speed to the head of 
Lake Michigan. 

La Salle continued the voyage in four large canoes con- 
taining a blacksmith's forge, mechanic's tools, arms and 
ammunition. His party consisted of thirteen men and a 
skilfull Mohegan hunter and guide. In the voyage along 
the western shore they encountered violent storms and 
suffered much from hardship and hunger. As they ap- 
proached the southern shore, game became plentiful and 
the weather was more pleasant. Paddling up the eastern 
shore they entered the mouth of the St. Joseph River. 
Here they were to await Tonti, who, with a company of 
twenty men, was approaching from Mackinac. Tonti did 
not arrive, and La Salle's men clamored to be led into the 
country of the Illinois, where they knew an abundance of 
corn for the winter was stored. But the commander re- 
fused to desert his faithful lieutenant, and set his discon- 
tented men to building a fort. At the end of twenty days 
Tonti arrived, but brought no tidings from the "Griffin." 
It was now more than two months since the ship had set 


Tonti's return with his prisoners La Salle sailed through 
the straits and across Lake Michigan to Green Bay, where 
others of his traders more faithful than those found at 
Mackinac, delivered to him a large cargo of furs. Here he 
made a lasting friend of a Pottawattomie Chief, who en- 
tertained him with hospitality. La Salle resolved to send 
back the "Griffin" with the cargo of furs collected here 
and at other points along the journey. This cargo was of 
such value that if it arrived in Canada his creditors would 
all be paid and he would be a rich man. Accordingly the 
"Griffin," richly freighted, was dispatched with orders to 
unload at Niagara and return with all speed to the head of 
Lake Michigan. 

La Salle continued the voyage in four large canoes con- 
taining a blacksmith's forge, mechanic's tools, arms and 
ammunition. His party consisted of thirteen men and a 
skilfull Mohegan hunter and guide. In the voyage along 
the western shore they encountered violent storms and 
suffered much from hardship and hunger. As they ap- 
proached the southern shore, game became plentiful and 
the weather was more pleasant. Paddling up the eastern 
shore they entered the mouth of the St. Joseph River. 
Here they were to await Tonti, who, with a company of 
twenty men, was approaching from Mackinac. Tonti did 
not arrive, and La Salle's men clamored to be led into the 
country of the Illinois, where they knew an abundance of 
corn for the winter was stored. But the commander re- 
fused to desert his faithful lieutenant, and set his discon- 
tented men to building a fort. At the end of twenty days 
Tonti arrived, but brought no tidings from the "Griffin." 
It was now more than two months since the ship had set 


sail from Green Bay, and they were fearful that she had 
gone down with La Salle's entire fortune. He was deeply 
in debt to the Canadian merchants, and if the vessel were 
lost he would be a hopeless bankrupt. Amidst this gloom 
and uncertainty the fort was finished and called Fort 
Miami, because of the presence of a tribe of Indians bear- 
ing that name. 

With anxious eye La Salle scanned the dreary horizon. 
But as day after day passed and no sail appeared, he sent 
two men to Mackinac to guide the vessel, if it should ever 
appear, to Fort Miami. The company sadly completed 
their preparations for ascending the river, "whose weedy 
edges were already glossed with thin flakes of ice." On 
the third of December, 1679, no tidings having been re- 
ceived from the "Griffin," the party began the voyage up 
the St. Joseph River. In four days they arrived at the 
present site of the city of South Bend. Here they expected 
to find an Indian trail leading to the headwaters of the 

In the absence of the Mohegan hunter, who was search- 
ing for game, La Salle tried to find the path and became 
lost in the tangled woods and blinding snow. The men 
scoured the region to find him, and fired their guns to 
direct him to camp. Late the next afternoon he appeared 
carrying, dangling from his belt, two opossums, which he 
had killed with a club as they were hanging from a bough 
of a tree. After losing his way, La Salle had been com- 
pelled to skirt a large swamp, and did not again reach 
the bank of the river until late at night. He fired his gun 
to signal his companions, and after wandering far, espied 
in the distance a camp fire. Making his way to it he found 


no one, but near it a soft bed of leaves and twigs, from 
which some one had hastily retreated at his appearance. 
He vainly called to the invisible person in every Indian 
tongue known to him. Finding that the owner would not 
return, he crept into it himself and slept soundly until 

With the return of the Mohegan the trail was found, the 
canoes and freight were lifted upon the shoulders of the 
men and carried across the marshy, snow-covered plain 
that separates the sources of the Kankakee River from the 
St. Joseph. The canoes were placed upon the current of 
the narrow stream, which wound its sluggish course 
through a marshy morass whitened with snow and edged 
with gray elder bushes and withered rushes. Game be- 
came so scarce that the discontented men threatened to 
desert and join the Indians. As the voyagers proceeded 
the stream widened and the miry waste gave way to un- 
dulating prairies, in summer the feeding ground of count- 
less herds of buffalo and deer. Occasionally they could 
see, upon the distant horizon, Indians in pursuit of game, 
while at night blazing camp fires twinkled like great 
eyes. The hunger of the party was unexpectedly appeased 
when they found a huge buffalo bull mired near the bank 
of the stream. After he had been killed a rope was passed 
around his body, and, by the united efforts of twelve men, 
he was dragged to the shore. 

At length the party, with revived spirits, floated into the 
more majestic Illinois River. Upon either side were wooded 
hills, from whose summits the voyagers could see the 
prairies of green stretching away into the distance. The 
stream threaded its way amidst islands covered with stately 


woods. On the right of the travelers was Buffalo Rock, 
for many years a favorite gathering place for the Indians, 
and a few miles below, upon the left, they beheld a lofty 
cliff, crowned with forest trees. This cliff was afterwards 
famous as Starved Rock. Upon the right bank, the undu- 
lating meadows swept back to the distant hills. Upon this 
plain, near the present village of Utica, w r as situated the 
chief town of the Illinois Indians. Silence was everywhere, 
for the wigwams were deserted and no living thing was 
to be found. The Indians were on their southern hunting 
trip at this season of the year. The pits in which they 
stored their corn were found, and La Salle moved fifty 
bushels to his canoes, with the intention of repaying the 
owners when he should meet them on the river below. 
Proceeding upon their way, they entered the expansion of 
the Illinois River known as Peoria Lake, a sheet of water 
twenty miles in length and three in breadth. As they pro- 
ceeded many columns of smoke ascending from wigwam 
fires warned them that they were approaching an Indian 
village. The lake again narrowed to the width of a river, and 
as they turned a sudden bend, eighty lodges came in view, 
pitched on either side of the stream. La Salle immediately 
arranged the eight canoes abreast, himself upon the left, 
and Tonti upon the right. The men exchanged their pad- 
dles for their guns as the swift current bore them into the 
midst of the astonished Indians. A scene of wild con- 
fusion followed. The warriors, howling and whooping, 
rushed for their weapons, while the women and children 
sought the protection of their wigwams. In the midst of 
the hub-bub, La Salle and his little band leaped upon shore, 
and with guns raised awaited the combat. The Indians, 


recovering from their first fright, and desirous of making 
peace, advanced with the calumet, and the hostile demon- 
trations upon both sides ended in expressions of friendship. 
A feast was prepared, and, according to the Indian code 
of hospitality, the food was placed in the mouths of the 
Frenchmen by the savages. At the close of the feast, La 
Salle explained to the Indians his reason for taking the 
corn from the deserted village, and amply repaid them for 
it. He then told them that he wished to build a fort in 
their midst to protect them from the Iroquois. If, how- 
ever, they did not look upon his plans with favor he would 
pass on to the Osage Indians and give them the benefit of 
his protection and trade. Anxious to retain the friendship 
of the French, and jealous of the other tribes, the Illinois 
readily consented and promised all that was asked. The 
remainder of the day was spent in dancing and feasting. 

La Salle's enemies continued to follow him. During the 
night an Indian named Monso, a chief of the Mascoutins, 
in the employ of rival Frenchmen, arrived at the Indian 
camp. He gathered the chiefs in a secret council, and 
warned them not to trust La Salle because he was voyaging 
below to stir up other tribes against the Illinois, and was 
in truth a spy of the Iroquois. He hoped to check the 
advance of the party or to induce the men to de- 
sert their leader, who was secretly informed of Monso's 
intrigues by a friendly chief. At a feast held the next day 
an old chief arose and warned them against the dangers 
of the Mississippi. He pictured the hostile tribes, the de- 
vouring monsters and the raging whirlpools. While the 
leader was in no way discouraged by the speech, its effect 
upon his men was perceptible. La Salle thanked the chief 


for the warning, but replied that if there were great dangers 
to be encountered there would be all the greater glory if 
their journey were successful. But had they not been 
deceived by lies ? Continuing, he said, "We were not asleep, 
my brother, when Monso came to tell you under cover of 
night, that we were spies of the Iroquois. Look at what 
we have brought you. It is not weapons to destroy you, 
but merchandise and tools for your good. If you still 
harbor evil thoughts of us, be frank, as we are, and speak 
boldly." The chief said nothing, but made a sign for the 
feast to proceed. The next morning La Salle was cut to 
the heart by discovering that six of his men had deserted. 
Calling the others together he told them that any man who 
wished to return in the spring should have free leave to 
go safel/ and without dishonor. 

As an attempt was made to take his life by placing poison 
in the pot in which their food was cooking, La Salle re- 
solved to leave the Indian village immediately and build 
a fortified camp for himself. 

A strong position was selected on a low hill two miles 
below the village on the southern bank of the river. An 
embankment was thrown up on every side, and a palisade 
twenty-five feet high was also placed around the entire fort. 

Lodgings for the men, built of bullet proof timber, were 
located at two angles of the enclosure. A priest's chapel 
occupied a third angle, the magazine and forge, a fourth. 
The tents of La Salle and Tonti were placed within. 

Such was the first civilized occupation of the region which 
now forms the State of Illinois. 

La Salle christened his new fortification Fort Crevecoeur 
(Heart break). The name tells of disaster and suffering, 


but does no justice to the iron-hearted constancy of the 
sufferer. He planned to build a ship, load it with buffalo 
hides, descend the Mississippi and cross the Atlantic. The 
iron and rigging of such a vessel had been placed in the 
hold of the "Griffin." But all hope of again seeing that 
vessel had been abandoned. Never faltering, this man of 
indomitable energy resolved to make the journey on foot 
to Fort Frontenac, a distance of twelve hundred miles, and 
bring back the materials necessary for building and 
equipping such a vessel. Leaving Tonti in command of the 
fort, La Salle started, with five companions, upon the return 
to Fort Frontenac. This wonderful journey across bleak 
plains, through storms of snow and ice, was accomplished 
in seventy days. 



Tonti, with four trusty men and a dozen unscrupulous 
fellows, was left in command of Fort Crevecoeur, when 
La Salle set out for distant Canada. The season of the year 
was the worst possible for such a journey. The Illinois 
River was filled with floating ice, which retarded the prog- 
ress of the party, but they pushed their way up the stream 
to the deserted town of the Illinois, where they had bor- 
rowed corn on their downward trip. While camped here 
La Salle visited Starved Rock. Impressed with its nat- 
ural advantages as a fortress, he sent word for Tonti to 
examine the place, and if an outbreak of Indians occurred, 
to fortify it. 

The party continued its journey up the river to the pres- 
ent site of Joliet, where the heavy ice rendered further 
progress by water impossible. Concealing their canoes, 
they began that remarkable journey overland. As they 
neared the lakes the country became a dreary waste of 
melting snow and half-frozen mud, intersected by swollen 
streams, which were waded or crossed upon rudely con- 
structed rafts. On the 23d of March they reached the 
mouth of the Calumet River and on the 24th arrived at Fort 
Miami at the mouth of the St. Joseph where La Salle 
found the two men who had been sent to search for the 
missing "Griffin." All hope of finding the vessel had been 
given up, and he ordered the men to report to Tonti at 
Fort Crevecoeur. 




La Salle and his party then pushed on to Canada. The 
hardships of the party increased with every step of the 
journey. Sometimes they were compelled to sleep for 
several nights in succession upon the bare ground without 
any means of building a fire with which to keep warm. 
Their clothes, wet with rain and snow, if taken off for the 
night, froze stiff so that 
they could not put 
them on in the morn- 
ing. Lacerated by 
thorns, plunging to 
their waists in half- 
frozen swamps, chilled 
to the bone by icy 
streams, tracked by 
bands of savages, they 
finally overcame all diffi- 
culties and arrived at 
Fort Frontenac on the 
sixth of May. Had La 
Salle not possessed an 
iron constitution and an 
invincible deter- 
mination, he never 
could have performed such a journey. Nature and man 
seem to have conspired to wreck his fortunes. The "Grif- 
fin" had disappeared, and the valuable cargo of furs, after 
safely passing the great lakes, had been swallowed up in 
the rapids of the St. Lawrence. His enemies were attempt- 
ing to work his overthrow with the government, 
and ruin him with his creditors. But La Salle did 



not despair. Hastening to Montreal he appeared before 
his astounded enemies, satisfied his clamorous creditors and 
obtained the necessary supplies for his fort upon the dis- 
tant Illinois and material for the ship, which was then upon 
the stocks. Then he returned to Fort Frontenac to prepare 
a new expedition. 

Born to command, La Salle lacked those qualities by- 
which men are won and held. To his companions he was 
stern, cold and incomprehensible. Scarcely was his iron 
hand removed from the fort upon the Illinois before the 
garrison began to talk of revolt. His large schemes had 
no attraction for them, and they showed their discontent 
and dislike in a hundred ways. When the men from Fort 
Miami arrived with the tidings that the "Griffin" was 
wrecked and La Salle a hopeless bankrupt, unable to pay 
them their wages, they became openly rebellious. 

In accordance with La Salle's instructions, Tonti, with 
a few men, had gone up the river to examine the Rock 
of the Illinois. No sooner had he departed than the gar- 
rison arose in rebellion, destroyed the fort, seized the 
ammunition and fled. Two of their number who remained 
true hastened to Tonti, who was now left in the midst of 
treacherous savages with but five men, two of whom were 
the good friars Membre and Ribourde. Returning to the 
dismantled fort, Tonti collected the tools and stores that 
had not been destroyed by the mutineers. These he re- 
moved to the great town of the Illinois, near Starved Rock, 
hoping by this display of confidence to banish the distrust 
that had been planted in the minds of the Indians by La 
Salle's enemies. 

In this Indian town, which consisted of 5,000 to 8,000 

TONTI. 63 

people, Tonti and his five companions would have remained 
unmolested but for the fact that a new engine of destruc- 
tion was about to be hurled upon them. The terrible 
Iroquois, who dwelt on the shores of Lakes Ontario and 
Erie, were preparing to sweep down upon the unsuspecting 
Illinois. They had already destroyed or scattered the 
Hurons and Eries, and were now turning their attention 
to the Indians who lived in the West. 

At the moment when Tonti and his men were dwelling 
among the Illinois, five hundred of the Iroquois warriors 
were swiftly traversing the forests and prairies that sepa- 
rated them from their enemies. The Miamis had also been 
induced to join in the attack upon 'their neighbors and 
kindred. Swiftly the wild bands advanced upon the doomed 
village. The alarm was first given by a Shawnee Indian, 
who discovered the approaching foe. The news spread 
rapidly from wigwam to wigwam, and all became excite- 
ment and confusion. The squaws, with frantic screams, 
snatched their children and sought protection in the un- 
derbrush, or trusted to the speed of their canoes, while the 
warriors, seizing their weapons, began to prepare for the 
coming battle. Tonti and his men were soon surrounded 
by an angry crowd, who accused them of being in league 
with the Iroquois. In their rage the savages seized the 
forge and tools brought from the fort and threw them into 
the river. The women and children were hastily embarked 
in canoes and sent down the stream, where they were pro- 
tected by sixty braves. The remaining warriors, four hun- 
dred in number, spent the day in preparing for battle. As 
evening approached they built huge fires that cast a glare 
for miles, illumining the village, river and forest with the 


brightness of day. About these fires, their bodies be- 
smeared with war paint and decked with feathers, the braves 
of the Illinois danced, howled and brandished their weapons 
in an attempt to screw up their courage to meet the dreaded 
foe. At dawn the Illinois scouts returned, and mistaking 
an Iroquois decked in a French uniform for La Salle, re- 
ported that the Frenchman was with the enemy. At this 
the infuriated warriors rushed upon Tonti and his men 
with the determination of despatching them for their ap- 
parent treachery. The Frenchmen were only saved by a 
promise that they would join them in fighting the Iroquois. 
As the Illinois hurried across the river and reached the op- 
posite bank, the Iroquois emerged from the woods that 
skirted the Vermillion River. Both bands, now face to face, 
began to leap, to dodge behind every available cover and to 
fire their guns. Tonti saw at a glance that the foe, who out- 
numbered the Illinois, were armed with superior weapons, 
and would doubtless be victorious. Presuming upon the 
treaty of peace between the French and Iroquois, at the 
imminent peril of his life, he seized a belt of wampum, 
which he waved above his head and advanced to meet the 
approaching savages. His swarthy Italian complexion and 
half-savage dress was nearly the cause of his death, for 
the Iroquois, mistaking him for one of the Indian warriors, 
rushed upon him, and one young brave plunged his scalp- 
ing knife into his body. Fortunately the blade was deflected 
from a vital part by striking one of his ribs, but the blood 
gushed from the wound. A chief, who perceived his true 
character, now attempted to staunch the wound, and others 
helped to stay the approaching battle. A conference of the 
Iroquois was held. Some were for putting Tonti to 

TONTI. 65 

death at once, and one warrior stood with his scalping 
knife ready to strike, while others, who dreaded the ven- 
geance of the French, demanded that he should be set at 
liberty. At length Tonti decided the tide of the angry 
controversy by declaring that 1,200 Illinois and sixty 
Frenchmen were being held in reserve. The half-believing 
Iroquois thereupon sent him back with a peace belt, and a 
battle was prevented for a time. The Illinois, believing that 
safety now lay in flight, set fire to their lodges, and under 
the cover of the smoke and flame, fled in their canoes down 
the river and rejoined their women and children. The 
Iroquois, crossing the river, destroyed everything of value, 
and encamped amid the burning wigwams. Tonti and his 
men had taken up their abode at the fort. The next day 
the Iroquois, believing the number of the enemy to be very 
great, sent Tonti with a hostage to make peace with the 
Illinois, who were delighted with the prospect, and in 
return sent a young Indian brave as a hostage to the camp 
of their foes. This young Indian came near proving the 
destruction of them all by betraying the weakness of their 
tribe to the crafty Indians. With loud cries the Iroquois 
rushed upon Tonti, charging him with having deceived 
them, and it required all his tact and courage to extricate 
himself and his companions from this new difficulty. 

Perceiving that he could no longer be of service to the 
Illinois, Tonti with his five companions embarked in a 
leaky canoe and set out upon the journey to the French 
mission at Mackinac, where they intended to remain until 
their leader, La Salle, put in his appearance. 

The Iroquois, no longer restrained by the presence of the 
French, started in pursuit of the fleeing Illinois. Day 


after day the savage foes fought each other as pursuer and 
pursued continued down the stream. 

When near the mouth of the Illinois the fleeing tribes 
separated; some crossed the Mississippi, others continued 
down the stream. The tribe of the Tamaroas, believing 
that pursuit was over, tarried near the river, and were sud- 
denly attacked by overwhelming numbers. The warriors 
fled in terror, leaving their women and children to fall into 
the hands of their ferocious foes. Burnings and tortures 
followed. At length the savages, whose greed for slaughter 
had been satisfied for the time, returned to their homes, 
taking with them the women and children, who had been 

Meanwhile Tonti and his men paddled their dilapidated 
canoe northward until they were compelled to land to re- 
pair it. While the men were engaged in this work, Father 
Ribourde, charmed by the beauty of the scenery, wandered 
to a distant grove. Here, while engaged in prayer, he was 
killed by a band of Kickapoo Indians who were hovering 
near. "Thus, in the sixty -fifth year of his age, the only 
heir of a wealthy Burgundian house perished under the war 
clubs of the savages, for whose salvation he had renounced 
ease and affluence." 

The saddened party continued the journey up the river 
until, compelled to abandon the canoe, they proceeded to- 
ward Lake Michigan on foot. Their provisions became 
exhausted, and they subsisted as best they could upon 
acorns, roots and wild onions. One of them became lost 
while hunting for game, and did not return to camp for 
several days. Tonti, weakened by his wound, and the many 
privations of the journey, fell sick. Their destination was 

TONTI. 67 

the village of the Pottawattomie Indians, upon the shores 
of Green Bay, where they felt sure of shelter and food for 
the winter. The cold increased as they proceeded north- 
ward. But for a few ears of corn and some frozen pump- 
kins found in a deserted Indian village the entire party 
must have perished. At length, near the end of November, 
they fell in with a hunting party of Pottawattomie Indians, 
who greeted them warmly and fed them bountifully. The 
exhausted Frenchmen were placed in canoes and carried 
to the village two leagues away, where their famine was 
"turned to abundance." 

The chief of the village was an ardent admirer of 
La Salle, whom he had befriended the year before, and 
was accustomed to say that "he knew but three captains in 
the world, Frontenac, La Salle and himself." 

With the opening of spring, Tonti and Father Membre 
paddled across to Mackinac, and in June were overjoyed by 
the arrival of La Salle upon his return from Fort 


Ignorant of Tonti's whereabouts, La Salle was hasten- 
ing from Fort Frontenac to the Valley of the Illinois, with 
a party of twenty-five men and abundant supplies, when, 
arriving at the St. Joseph River, he left a portion of his 
stores at the ruined fort and pushed on to the Valley of 
the Illinois. Everywhere was desolation, silence and 
death. He found the great town of the Illinois a mass of 
ruins. The plain about was strewn with wrecks of Indian 
homes, and even the ruined fort was ornamented with 
ghastly heads and skulls. The work of destruction had 
been completed by trampling- down the growing corn 
around the site of the destroyed village. 

La Salle carefully searched the ruins for remains of 
Tonti and his men, but none were to be found. His fort 
was destroyed, and only the keel and ribs of his vessel 
remained upon the stocks. Tonti and his men had dis- 
appeared, and the peaceful valley had become a scene of 
desolation. But La Salle was not to be overcome by mis- 
fortune. He descended to the mouth of the Illinois, look- 
ing anxiously for traces of his friend, and everywhere were 
the evidences of the deadly work of the savages. On the 
edge of a prairie, near the mouth of the Illinois, they came 
upon the charred and mutilated bodies of the unfortunate 
Tamaroas, but no evidence of the missing men was to be 
found. The party sadly returned at the beginning of win- 


ter to Fort Miami. As La Salle passed through the coun- 
try devastated by the Iroquois, he resolved to form a league 
of the western tribes, and to colonize them upon the plain 
about the rock of St. Louis. Here, protected by a garrison 
of Frenchmen, the Indians would be secure from the in- 
cursions of their terrible foe. He would be able also to 
monopolize the fur trade of all the Indian tribes dwelling 
in the Mississippi Valley. La Salle devoted the winter to 
forming this Indian Confederation. The remnants of the 
Mohegan and several other eastern tribes, dwelling near 
Fort Miami, were ready to cast in their lot with the great 
white chief. If he could reconcile the Miamis and the 
Illinois, who were gradually returning to their desolated 
homes, the confederation would be accomplished. At a 
village of the Miamis which he visited, a number of Iroquois 
were behaving with great insolence, boasting of their 
bravery and prowess. La Salle rebuked them so sternly 
for their many wicked acts, that during the night they 
quietly slunk away. The astonishment of the Miami tribes 
was great, and La Salle's influence was increased by the 
act. The Illinois Indians readily consented to join the 
confederation. Having united these western tribes La Salle 
returned to Canada in the spring to obtain needed supplies 
and make terms with his creditors. On his way thither he 
was overjoyed to meet Tonti at Mackinac Mission, and to 
have him for a companion during his return journey. 
A prosperous voyage repaid him for his many hardships, 
and in the fall he again started for Fort Miami, which he 
reached late in the season, with renewed hopes. During the 
month of December La Salle set out upon another expedi- 
tion, although the streams were sheeted with ice and the 


ground was covered with snow. The object of this, the 
greatest of all his undertakings, was to open the way for 
reaching France and Europe by means of the great rivers 
flowing to the gulf, and thus, avoiding the hardships of over- 
land transportation and the menace of warring Indian tribes, 
to place on a sure basis the commercial relations of the 
French colonies with the mother country. 

The baggage and canoes were placed upon sledges and 
drawn by the French and Indians from the present site of 
Chicago to the sources of the Illinois, and thence down 
that frozen stream. Arriving at Fort Crevecoeur, they 
found the river open, and, embarking in their canoes, the 
party reached the great river on the sixth of February. 
The stream was filled with floating ice and they were com- 
pelled to camp and await open water. As soon as they were 
able they launched their canoes and started on their voyage 
to the sea. 

Passing the mouths of the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, 
they camped at Chickasaw Bluffs, on the 24th of February. 
Here one of their number, Pierre Prudehomme, was lost 
while hunting, and as the others had seen fresh tracks of 
Indians, La Salle feared that he had been killed. Some of 
his followers built a small stockade fort on a high bluff by 
the river, while others ranged the woods in search of the 
missing hunter. At length the man was found and brought 
to the camp, where he enjoyed a hearty meal, for he was 
half dead from starvation. To commemorate the restora- 
tion of the hunter, La Salle called the stockade Fort Prude- 

As the party continued its journey down the river, the 
climate became more springlike. Trees were budding, and 


flowers opened their petals to the warm air and sunshine. 
The river wound its course through wastes, swamps, and 
stretches of cane brake. One day, near the middle of 
March, they became enveloped in a fog so thick that they 
could see neither shore. While thus floating, the booming 
of an Indian drum sounded upon their ears. Crossing to 
the opposite bank, the men landed and threw up rude 
breastworks of fallen trees and branches. When the fog 
lifted, the astonished Indians upon the farther shore dis- 
covered the strangers at work. Advancing to the water's 
edge, La Salle made signs of peace and beckoned the 
Indians to come over. When their canoe approached 
within gunshot one of the Frenchmen paddled out to meet 
them, and upon being well received, the entire party pro- 
ceeded to the Indian village. It proved to be a town be- 
longing to the Arkansas Indians, who dwelt near the mouth 
of the river now bearing their name. The Frenchmen were 
provided with every comfort possessed by their friendly 
entertainers. Separate lodges were given them, and an 
abundance of feasting followed. La Salle took possession 
of the entire country in the name of King Louis of France, 
and with much ceremony erected a cross in the center of 
the village. At the end of three days the Frenchmen, ac- 
companied by two Indian guides, continued their journey 
down the mighty river. 

Three hundred miles below, their guides showed them 
a path which led to the town of Taensas. Father Membre 
and Tonti decided to visit it. Shouldering their canoe, the 
men carried it through the swamp to a lake which was 
once the bed of the river. When they reached the town 
the Frenchmen gazed upon the well-constructed houses 


with astonishment. Tonti writes that he had "seen nothing 
like it in America ; dwellings large and square, built of sun- 
baked mortar, mixed with straw, surmounted by dome-shaped 
roofs of thatched cane. Two buildings larger than the others 
attracted the attention of the visitors. The one set apart for 
the chiefs was forty feet square and contained but a single 

room. The chief sat 
upon his throne to re- 
ceive his visitors. His 
three wives sat near 
him and howled an ac- 
companiment to his 
speech. About him 
stood sixty grave men, 
clad in white robes 
made from the inner 
bark of the mulberry." 
The other building 
was the temple of the 
sun, where were kept 
the bones of departed 
chiefs, supposed to have 
been children of the 
Sun god. A fire was 
kept constantly burning upon the altar by three old men 
appointed to that service. The temple was surrounded by 
a wall decorated with the skulls of victims whose lives 
had been given as sacrifices to the Sun god. 

These Indians were the Natchez, a tribe who later played 
a prominent part in the Indian history of the Southwest, 
and by many were supposed to have been the remainder of 

La Sallc's Faithful Indian Hunter. 


the ancient Mound builders. They were sun worshippers, 
and their villages and peculiar customs were unusually in- 

On the sixth of April, 1682, the voyagers were glad- 
dened by the salt breeze blowing fresh from the Gulf, and 
soon its broad bosom, tossing restlessly, burst upon their 
sight. The intrepid La Salle had triumphed over every 
obstacle, and at last the mystery of the great river was 
revealed. At a distance above the mouth of the Mississippi 
the party landed. While the Indians looked on in amaze- 
ment, La Salle planted a column inscribed with the arms of 
France, and took possession of the territory drained by the 
mighty river and its tributaries in the name of his sovereign. 
A leaden plate, bearing a Latin inscription, was buried near 
the column, and above it was planted the cross.' Then 
with hymns and volleys of musketry ended the ceremony 
that gave to King Louis XIV. of France the vast basin of 
the Mississippi. 

The boats were now turned up stream and the toilsome 
return journey began. At times the voyagers were with- 
out food, at others they lived upon the flesh of alligators. 
When the party reached Fort Prudehomme, La Salle was 
taken with a burning fever, and had to remain there for 
more than a month ; but, desiring to proclaim the wonderful 
discovery, he sent the faithful Tonti on before him. As soon 
as La Salle became strong enough he pushed on to Mack- 
inac, where he was joined by Tonti, and together they 
formed plans to establish the confederacy of the Western 
Indians. Tonti was sent to Starved Rock, or the Rock of 
St. Louis, as La Salle named it, to begin the work of clear- 
ing the summit on which to build a fort for the protection 


of the pioneers and the Illinois Indians against their com- 
mon foe, the Iroquois. 

The Rock of St. Louis is deserving of more than passing 
mention. It is a steep bluff upon the south side of the 
Illinois River, not far from the present city of La Salle, and 
opposite the village of Utica. It "rises steep on three sides 
as a castle wall, to the height of a hundred and twenty-five 
feet above the river. In front it overhangs the waters that 
wash its base; its western brow looks down on the tops 
of forest trees, and on the east lies a wide gorge, or ravine, 
choked with the mingled foliage of oaks, walnuts and elms, 
while in its rocky depths a little brook creeps down to 
mingle with the river. From the trunk of the stunted cedar 
that leans from the summit you may drop a plummet into 
the river below, where the catfish and turtle may plainly 
be seen gliding over the wrinkled sands. The cliff is 
accessible only from behind, where a man may climb up, 
not without difficulty, by a steep and narrow passage."* 
This description is not accurate now. The rock may be 
entirely gone in the year 3000. 

In the month of December La Salle and Tonti began the 
work on the fort. Dwellings and storehouses built 
with timbers dragged up the rugged path, soon crowned 
the summit of the rock. The whole was surrounded by a 
strong palisade. The fortress was named by La Salle Fort 
St. Louis, in honor of the King of France. The scattered 
tribes of Indians, who looked upon La Salle as their cham- 
pion against the dreaded Iroquois, reared their wigwams 
and lodges in the valley below. From this fortress, in- 

* Parkman. 


accessible as an eagle's nest, La Salle looked down upon 
the homes of twenty thousand Indians, from whom he 
could muster four thousand warriors. His singular plan 
for forming a colony had been marvelously successful. 

La Salle now left Tonti in command of Fort St. Louis, 
and hastened to France, by the way of Quebec, to ask King 
Louis to aid in planting another colony at the mouth of 
the Mississippi River. If this were done, he could take his 
furs, purchased from the Indians, down the river and sail 
through the Gulf of Mexico. The long and dangerous 
voyage through the Great Lakes and down the St. Lawrence 
would thus be avoided. At this time France was at war 
with Spain, who claimed the sole right to sail vessels in 
the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. King Louis was greatly 
pleased with the idea of establishing such a colony and 
driving Spain from the Gulf. He gladly gave La Salle four 
vessels, abundant supplies and a hundred soldiers. With 
their numbers increased by the addition of six priests, six 
gentlemen and a number of mechanics and laborers with 
their families, the expedition set sail on the 24th day of July, 
1684. But misfortunes came upon them thick and fast. One 
vessel was captured by Spanish buccaneers, the others, fail- 
ing to find the mouth of the Mississippi, sailed along the 
low marshy coast in vain search for it, and, landing upon 
the shores of Matagorda Bay, erected a fort. Soon after 
one of the remaining vessels was wrecked, losing many 
supplies, and at length the last ship, while exploring the 
coast, was lost and her crew drowned. Gloom and despair 
settled over the little band huddled about the solitary fort 
upon the desolate Texas shore. La Salle was blamed for 
the overwhelming disasters. Lack of good food and water 


caused many to fall sick, while others were killed by In- 
dians. The rising discontent of the unfortunate people 
was fanned to a flame by evil-minded persons, who hated 
their leader and desired his death. La Salle led an ex- 
pedition in search of the great river, and unfortunately 
these men were permitted to be of the number. A hunting 
party of which they formed a part was absent so long that 
La Salle sent his nephew and a companion to search for 
them. The nephew was a hot-headed, unreasonable fellow, 
who, when he came up with them, not only rebuked 
them severely, but took the best portions of their game 
for himself. The men became very angry, and that night 
killed the nephew, his companion, and a faithful Indian 
guide who had accompanied La Salle in his long journey 
from Fort St. Louis. The next day La Salle, accompanied 
only by Father Douay, sought to learn the cause of the 
delay, and was shot from ambush by the cowardly mur- 
derers. In this miserable manner, at the early age of 
forty-three, perished the most remarkable explorer of the 
new world. Like his own Rock of St. Louis, he had stood 
unmoved in the storms and disasters that swept around 

His murderers were soon after killed in a quarrel with 
their companions. La Salle's brother and a few men who 
were left, after enduring many hardships, made their way 
to Fort St. Louis upon the Illinois. Here they were kindly 
treated by Tonti, who was kept in ignorance of his com- 
mander's death. 

In the spring these men forged a draft in the dead lead- 
er's name, which was generously honored, and with the 
money thus secured they returned to France. A few 



months after their departure Tonti learned from a band 
of Indians of the unhappy fate of La Salle. He deserved 
a title of nobility and great wealth from his country; in- 
stead, after his death at the hands of villainous assassins, 
he was denied even a grave beside the murky river in the 
dreary wilderness. 




The good Father Marquette established the earliest mis- 
sion among the Illinois Indians, at their chief town, which 
he named "Kaskaskia." He felt that his life was ebbing 
away and he must depart, but he promised to send other 
missionaries to carry on the work he had begun. With 
sorrowful eyes did the Indians watch his canoe disappear 
in the distance, for they had learned to love this man, whose 
pure life and gentle words taught them peace and good 
will. Other missionaries held services in the little cross- 
crowned chapel that stood near the village and ministered 
to the sick and dying. 

At about the close of the seventeenth century, probably 
as early as 1695, fear of the ferocious Iroquois impelled the 
Illinois tribes to abandon their village and remove to the 
southward. The mission station under the charge of the 
Catholic fathers was moved with them. 

A beautiful valley about six miles in width is formed by 
the confluence of the river which is now called Kaskaskia 
with the Mississippi. Between these two streams but six 
miles above their junction, where the waters of the Kas- 
kaskia curl beneath the bluffs of the eastern bank, a new 
site was chosen for the village. Row upon row of Indian 
lodges soon covered the plain. A log chapel and a house 
for the Jesuit Fathers was built above the village and en- 
closed with a neat stockade. With the help of the Indians 



the land adjoining the mission was cultivated. Cattle, hogs 
and other domestic animals were introduced. 

About this time, probably in 1700, a mission station had 
been established by Father Pinet among the Tamaroa 
Indians at Cahokia, four miles south of the present site of 
East St. Louis. The following year a number of French- 
men settled there. Houses were erected, and each settler 
was given a piece of ground 300 feet square. Cahokia 
became a village of considerable importance, and in 1795 
was made the county seat of St. Clair County. This honor 
was wrested from it in 1814 by the thriving town of 
Belleville. Damaged by the floods of 1844, Cahokia fell 
into decay, and at the present time is only a hamlet. 

The early French immigrants were attracted from Can- 
ada by the reports of mild climate and fertile soil. After 
New Orleans and other French colonies were planted in 
Louisiana, numbers of settlers came to the Illinois country 
by the less laborious route of the Mississippi River. Be- 
fore many years had passed a regular trade was established 
between the settlements of Upper and Lower Louisiana. 
Cargoes of flour, tallow, bacon, hides and leather were 
floated down to New Orleans, where they were shipped 
to the West Indies and France. The boatmen brought 
back sugar, rice, indigo and articles manufactured in 
Europe. By the middle of the eighteenth century sev- 
eral thousand Frenchmen and their descendants were 
living upon the banks of the Mississippi and its tribu- 

Kaskaskia was now the metropolis of Northern Louis- 
iana. The log chapel had been replaced by a larger building 
of stone. In the midst of many acres of cultivated 


land was situated a house for the Fathers and a Jesuir 
College. Beyond lay the village, its rows of white houses 
fronting the street upon which were located the store- 
houses of the fur-traders and me 'chants. Across the river 
to the east arose the high bluffs of "Garrison Hill," crowned 
by a fort built to repel a threatened attack of the Chicka- 
saw Indians. 

The houses were quaint in appearance and peculiar in 
construction. The walls were formed by planting, deep 
in the ground, a framework of posts held together by cross 
strips. The whole was strongly braced at the corners, and 
resembled many ladders placed one above the other. This 
framework was then filled in neatly with straw and mortar. 
The carefully trimmed walls were given many coats of 
whitewash within and without. The roof of thatch was 
quite steep, and often projected over the broad porch which 
extended round the entire building. The floors were made 
of slabs hewn from logs. These dwellings, of uniform size 
and appearance, gave to the village an air of peace and con- 
tentment, in keeping with the simple lives of the people. 

Longfellow has given us a description of such a town in 
Evangeline : 

"Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and 
of hemlock, 

Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the 

Thatched were the roofs, with dormer windows, while 
gables projecting 

Over the basement below, protected and shaded the door- 
way :" 
The dress of these people was simple and quaint. Coarse 

blue shirts were covered with vests and pantaloons of 


homespun. A long blue coat with pointcJ. hood was a 
common outdoor garment. Upon hunting expeditions and 
in winter, coonskin caps and pantaloons of deerskin were 
worn. The dress of the women was of blue cotton or 
Spanish cloth, made with a short waist and full skirt. A 
blue handkerchief was a common head covering for both 
sexes. Both men and women wore deerskin moccasins, 
decorated with shells and beads. 

With primitive wooden plows drawn by oxen yoked by 
the horns instead of the necks, these people cultivated 
thousands of acres of land, and raised bountiful crops of 
tobacco, hops, oats and wheat. Corn was raised to feed 
the hogs or to make hominy, for the early French did not 
use corn bread. The horses, driven tandem, were atta-ched 
by a neat harness of rawhide to rude carts having wheels 
of solid wood. Spinning wheels and looms were unknown 
to these people; butter was made by beating the cream 
with a spoon or shaking it in a bottle. 

The cultivated lands were held by the village in common, 
and portions dealt out to the heads of the families in 
proportion to their numbers. If the land was neglected 
or went uncultivated, it was taken again by the village. 
A pasture and woodland, many acres in extent, was also 
used in common for the herds and flocks of the synple 
people. As the numbers of families increased by marriage 
or the arrival of immigrants, portions of land would be 
taken from the common pasture and added to the cultivated 
fields. The affairs of the village, even the planting and 
gathering of the crops, were regulated by a council of the 
elder men. 

Their homely tasks were interspersed with amusements, 



festivals and holidays, for these French were a merry people. 
Middle-aged and young alike enjoyed dancing, while the 
old men and priests looked on with beaming eyes. Even 
the Indians and the slaves joined in this simple revelry. On 
the last night of the old year it was the custom for the 
young to dress in unusual garb and, entering the houses of 
the village, engage the inmates in merry making. The 


entire community then gathered at a common meeting 
place, where with dancing and feasting the new year was 
ushered in. Another festal season was the sixth of January. 
Four kings had been selected at the gathering the year 
before by distributing to the men a cake in which four 
beans had been hidden. The lucky finders of the beans 
each selected a queen to assist in arranging a king ball. 
At the close of the first dance the queens selected new 
kings, whom they formally saluted with a kiss. These kings 


in their turn selected other queens, and thus the mirth and 
merriment continued for the week preceding Lent. 

As agriculture was the only occupation of the village, 
many of the young men entered the employ of the fur 
companies, or on their own account went on long trading 
expeditions among the Indians who dwelt upon the Missis- 
sippi or Missouri Rivers. Upon their return in the fall, 
laden with furs, the entire community united to do them 

Flatboats, in which furs and farm products were floated 
down to New Orleans, gave employment to others. The 
voyage required months for its completion, and was at- 
tended by many dangers. As the boats floated with the 
current they were propelled by mammoth oars called 
sweeps. On the return voyage the boatmen were assisted 
by large sails. When the wind failed the men were com- 
pelled to walk along the shore and pull the boat by means 
of a long rope ; or the boat was "cordelled" by means of 
a rope carried ahead and tied to an overhanging tree or 
projecting rock, while the crew pulled hand over hand. 

The relations of these French settlers with the Indians 
by whom they were surrounded were always friendly. Their 
tact and fairness caused them to escape the wars which 
frequently engaged the colonists upon the Atlantic coast. 
Together they explored rivers and traversed the forest in 
search of game ; together they received the sacrament from 
the priests and stood with bowed heads around the altar. 

Thus for nearly a century did the white man and the 
native owner of the soil dwell in a peace that was rudely 
broken by the advent of the blunt and inconsiderate Eng- 
lish explorers. 


The relations between the French and the Indians is 
well illustrated by an incident which occurred soon after 
Kaskaskia came into possession of the Americans. For 
a murder that had been committed in a broil, three young 
Indians were given up by the Illinois Chiefs to the newly 
instituted authority. The sympathy of the Kaskaskia peo- 
ple, especially the women, was entirely with the Indians, 
and they desired that they should be received into the true 
church and publicly baptized before their execution. Ac- 
:ordingly each of the young men was adopted by a woman, 
who gave him a Christian name and was to stand as his 
god-mother during the ceremony. The entire female popu- 
lation of the town was busily engaged for a number of 
.days in preparing for the occasion. Needles were plied 
incessantly, and finally the preparations were completed. 
The evening before the execution the Indians escaped, as 
some believed through the assistance of their fair sympa- 
thizers. When the danger blew over the young men re- 
turned and were permitted to remain unmolested. 

Kaskaskia rapidly increased in numbers, and in 1725 
became an incorporated town, with special privileges from 
Kinti' Louis XV. 

several Villages ta tic 


TVJti Part of tie 

River Mississippi &c, 



Twenty miles above the ancient village of Kaskaskia, a 
long, irregular mound of earth marks all that remains of 
the once formidable Fort Chartres; yet this fortress was 
erected on a scale of magnificence unequaled by any other 
fortification of France in the new world. 

In 1718, young Pierre Duque Boisbriant, the newly- 
appointed Commandant of French military affairs in Illi- 
nois, arrived at Kaskaskia with instructions to erect a fort 
in the Mississippi Valley. 

Midway between Kaskaskia and Cahokia a site was 
chosen on the valley lands a mile from the great river, and 
here the soldiers of France cleared away the virgin forest, 
hewed out the timbers for the walls, and with much toil 
brought the stone for the foundation from the bluffs four 
miles away. After more than two years of labor and at a 
cost of one million crowns, the fort was completed, and 
named in honor of the Due de Chartres, son of the regent 
of France. It immediately became the seat of French 
military power. Large warehouses and factories of the 
trading companies were erected, and under the protecting 
shadow of the fortress the village of New Chartres sprang 
into life. The fort, as will be found hereafter, was re- 
modeled and enlarged in 1750. 

To the fort came Philip Renault, Secretary of the French 
Trading Company, bringing with him mechanics, slaves, 



settlers, and miners, for the French expected to find precious 
ore in the bluffs that lined the Mississippi River. 

The valley lands between Kaskaskia and Cahokia were 
cleared and planted to corn, wheat, tobacco and cotton. 
The French villages of St. Philip and Prairie du Rocher 
were founded and grew into thriving settlements. 

The people of the fort and village led a merry life. 
Lordly processions of gentlemen and richly dressed ladies 
marched into the chapel to hear mass. Gay hunting parties 
issued from the gates of the fort and returned at night 
full laden with spoils of the chase. 

Stately receptions were given, where officers in uniforms 
covered with gold lace Danced with ladies robed in velvets 
and satins. The fashions of Paris were reproduced in this 
military station on the distant Mississippi. 

The fame of Fort Chartres spread to every settlement in 
the new world. It became a common saying 01 the early 
days, "All roads lead to Fort Chartres." 

From the great warehouses of the Commercial Com- 
pany, parties of traders went out to barter with the Indians 
and returned laden with furs and hides which were shipped 
in batteaux to New Orleans. 

When France and Spain were at war in Europe, an attack 
upon the fort was planned by the Spaniards of distant Santa 
Fe. The soldiers of Spain marched across the plains of 
Colorado and Kansas intending to secure as allies the 
Osages and next to fall upon the Missouri Indians, who 
were friendly to the French. By mistake the guides led 
them to a village of the Missouri Indians, whose chiefs 
listened gravely while the Spaniards revealed their plans 
of attack. That night the Spaniards, sleeping among the 


supposed Osages, were murdered to a man, with the ex- 
ception of one fat priest who was permitted to escape 
because of the crucifix he carried. 

In 1736 the dashing Pierre D'Artaguiette led the soldiers 
of Fort Chartres against the distant Chickasaws. His fleet 
of canoes and batteaux, filled with officers, soldiers and 
Indians, made an imposing appearance as it floated out 
upon the current of the river. Fierce was the battle and 
terrible the defeat of the French. The captured officers, 
including the commander and Vincennes, who had come 
from the fort on the Wabash, were burned at the stake by 
the infuriated victors. 

When the sad tidings reached Fort Chartres the bells 
were tolled and the people walked in sorrowful procession 
to the chapel of Sainte Anne. 

In 1750 a new commandant, the Chevalier Makarty was 
sent to Fort Chartres with orders to reconstruct the fort 
of stone. Accordingly the wooden walls were torn down 
and at an incredible expenditure of labor and treasure the 
new fort was erected. 

When completed it was the strongest and most preten- 
tious fortress in the new world. We can hardly realize 
the difficulties that attended the building of so great a 
structure in the heart of a western forest. The iron that 
entered into its structure and the skilled workmen had 
to be brought from France. Wagon roads had to be built 
over which rude ox-carts hauled stones prepared at distant 
quarries. The walls of the fort were eighteen feet high and 
enclosed four acres of land. The four bastions of masonry 
each contained eight embrasures, forty-eight loop holes, 
and a sentry box. Above the arched gateway, fifteen feet 


in height, was a platform of cut stone reached by a stair- 
way of nineteen stone steps. 

Within the walls stood the great stone storehouse, 
ninety feet long by thirty feet wide, and a guard- 
house with chapel and rooms for the priests on the 
second floor. The government house was eighty-four 
feet by thirty-two feet, with a great stone porch running 
across the front, and the coach house and pigeon loft near 
by. The two rows of barracks measured each one hundred 
and thirty-five feet long by thirty-six in breadth. In one 
angle of the fort was situated a bake house containing 
two ovens, with a well near by. Apart from the other 
buildings was located the magazine, a building of stone 
thirty feet square and thirteen feet high, the roof and door- 
way being also of stone. This magazine is the only building 
that still remains. The stone from this fort has furnished 
material for the walls and chimneys of many farm houses 
in the vicinity. 

Under the brave commandant Makarty the soldiers of 
Fort Chartres issued forth to take part in the wars with 
the English, and fought upon many battlefields in the 
French and Indian war. 

To the soldiers of Fort Chartres Washington surrendered 
at Fort ISfecessity, and they were present at the overthrow 
of General Braddock. 

When Canada was won for the English by General 
Wolfe, in the famous battle beneath the walls of old 
Quebec, it was thought that the territory controlled by 
Fort Chartres might be retained for the French. But, by 
the treaty of 1763 all the French territory of the New 
World east of the Mississippi was ceded to England. By 


a secret treaty at about the same time, the territory west 
of the Mississippi was given to Spain. 

The aged St. Ange kept possession of the fort until the 
arrival of the English, and in October, 1765, formally 
delivered it to the new commander, Captain Thomas 

French soldiers and even Indian warriors wept when the 
lilies of France were hauled down from above the walls 
and the hated cross of St. George was flaunted to the 
breeze. St. Ange and his little garrison, believing that they 
would be upon French soil, withdrew to St. Louis. Here 
he continued to rule for a number of years until displaced 
by a Spanish governor. 

A large number of French inhabitants, unwilling to dwell 
in a country ruled by men of a different race and creed, 
whom they had been taught to hate for generations, sold 
their possessions and left the country. The greater number 
withdrew to the settlements of St. Genevieve and St. Louis. 
Others embarked upon the Mississippi and removed to 
Natchez, Baton Rouge or New Orleans. 

The English immediately established civil courts and 
introduced the jury system of trial. The French did not 
take kindly to the English courts. They had been content 
to submit all disputes and difficulties to the priests. 

In the spring of 1772, the great river, as if to avenge the 
defeat of the French, overflowed its banks and swept in a 
mighty flood across the bottom lands. The western wall 
of the fort crumbled into the raging waters and the place 
had to be abandoned. The British removed their military 
stores to the fort opposite Kaskaskia, which was named 
in honor of the British commander in America, Fort Gage. 


Kaskaskia continued to be the center of British power 
and influence until the entire territory was given over to 
the Americans. 

The policy of the English Government was to prevent 
colonists from settling in the newly acquired territory. 
They desired to turn the vast region into a hunting ground 
where only British agents could purchase the quantities of 
furs that were annually sold by the Indians. In a proc- 
lamation dated October 7th, 1763, King George forbade 
"making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking 
possession of any lands beyond the sources of any rivers 
which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the north or 

This policy would have made a perpetual wilderness of 
a vast region unsurpassed for fertility. 

In violation of the king's proclamation the British gov- 
ernors permitted companies to purchase lands from the 
Indians. The Illinois Land Company, composed of Eng- 
lish traders and merchants, obtained two vast tracts of land 
from an Indian council, representing the Kaskaskias, 
Peorias and Cahokias, held at Kaskaskia on July 5th, 1773. 
The deed, signed by ten chiefs, each making his mark, 
gave the white men an immense tract of land embracing 
many counties of Illinois. The consideration for this 
princely domain was, "two hundred fifty blankets, two 
hundred sixty strouds, three hundred fifty skirts, one 
hundred fifty pairs of stroud and half thick stockings, one 
hundred fifty breech cloths, five hundred pounds of gun- 
powder, one thousand pounds of lead, one gross knives, 
thirty pounds vermillion, two thousand gun flints, two 
hundred pounds brass kettles, two thousand pounds to- 


bacco, three dozen gilt looking-glasses, one gross gun- 
worms, two gross awls, one gross fire steels, sixteen dozen 
of gartering, ten thousand pounds of flour, five hundred 
bushels of Indian corn, twelve horses, twelve horned cattle, 
twenty bushels salt, twenty guns, and five shillings in 

This deed was recorded in the office of a notary public 
at Kaskaskia, September 2, 1773. This is one of many 
such deeds made at this time, and but for the establishing 
of an independent government by the colonists, the titles 
might have been sustained by the British Government. 

Colonel Wilkins, the British commander at Kaskaskia, 
made many grants of Indian lands to his friends. One of 
these grants, consisting of thirty thousand acres, came into 
the possession of John Edgar, a British officer who came 
to Kaskaskia and established a store. This British grant 
was afterwards confirmed by Congress, and made Mr c 
Edgar the richest land owner in Illinois. 








The annals of the Revolution contain no achievement 
more brilliant or daring than the winning of Illinois for 
the Americans by George Rogers Clark. The colonists 
on the Atlantic coast were struggling heroically with the 
British foe within their own borders, and gave little heed 
to the western country beyond the Alleghany mountains. 
With the exception of a few French settlements in the 
Valley of the Wabash, on the Mississippi, and a fringe of 
settlements in Kentucky planted by adventurous Virginians 
and North Carolinians, the entire territory was a wilder- 

The strong military posts at Detroit, Vincennes and 
Kaskaskia were occupied by the British, who had won 
over the Indian tribes with offers of gold for the scalps of 
men, women and children. 

George Rogers Clark had gained renown in Kentucky 
by successfully leading companies of men against the 
Indians in those conflicts that gained for the region the 
name of the "Dark and Bloody Ground." Perceiving that 
the attacks of the savages had been instigated by the British 
agents, who furnished them with aYms and ammunition, 
Clark resolved to capture and win the entire territory for 
the cause of the colonists. Full of his project, he hastened 
back to Virginia and laid the plans before the Governor, 


9 8 


Patrick Henry. The idea of subduing the British strong- 
holds in the west was pleasing to the Governor, who gave 
to Clark "$6,ooo in paper currency and an order on the 
commander at Fort Pitt for boats and necessary stores." 
He was also authorized to enlist seven companies of fifty men 

each, with a promise to 
every man of three hun- 
dred acres of land 
should the expedition 
prove successful. En- 
listing a few men at 
Pittsburg, Clark floated 
down the Ohio River as 
far as Kentucky, where 
others to the number of 
one hundred and fifty 
were added to his com- 
mand. Continuing h i s 
journey to the Falls of 
the Ohio with his force, 
which now aggregated 
about two hundred men, 
COL. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. he built a fort on Corn 

Island, opposite the present site of Louisville, and stored 
his supplies. After hearing the complaints of some of his 
party, none of whom knew upon what errand they were 
bound, Clark now for the first time revealed his plans to 
the men, and announced the real destination of the expedi- 
tion. This announcement was received with expressions of 
disapproval by some of his men; but the majority favored 
the invasion. 


Some of his followers, dismayed by the daring of the enter- 
prise, deserted during the night and waded to the Kentucky 
shore. The remainder of the soldiers, accustomed to hard- 
ships and danger, were enthusiastic in their approval ot 
the project. 

On the 24th of June, 1778, he embarked his little army 
of one hundred and fifty men, plunged through the rapids, 
and continued down the Ohio to the mouth of the Ten- 
nessee, where his forces landed upon an island. Here they 
met a party of hunters returning from Kaskaskia, who 
informed them that the soldiers of the fort were numerous, 
and that sentinels were stationed on the bluffs of the Mis- 
sissippi. They stated further that the discipline was not 
strict, because no one supposed an attack was contem- 
plated. Clark determined to march across the country, 
a distance of one hundred and seventy miles, and take the 
fort from an unexpected quarter. The hunters eagerly 
joined the party in the capacity of guides. As the utmost 
secrecy was necessary to the success of the undertaking, 
scouts were sent ahead to kill game and capture any wan- 
dering bands of French or Indians. 

Threading tangled forests and marshy swamps, the sol- 
diers at length emerged upon the open prairies. Once the 
guide, John Saunders, lost the way and the men, becom- 
ing suspicious, determined to kill him. But at length the 
trail was found, and he led them with little loss of time to 
within three miles of Kaskaskia, where they arrived upon 
the afternoon of July 4. 

Thus far their advance had been unobserved and, to make 
the surprise more complete, Clark led his little army 
through the thickets above the town and kept them con- 


cealed until nightfall. Crossing the Kaskaskia River, they 
captured the inmates of the ferry-house, from whom they 
learned that none of the villagers supposed a foe to be 
near and that the soldiers of the fort were entirely off their 
guard. Taking these people with him as guides, Colonel 
Clark separated his little army into two divisions. One 
band surrounded the town ; the other, led by the com- 
mander, proceeded to capture the fort occupied by the 
unsuspecting British. 

When Fort Gage was burned in 1766, it is probable that 
the British removed their stores and supplies across the 
river to Kaskaskia and took possession of the old Mansion 
House built by the Jesuits. This building, which was in 
the southern portion of the town, was fortified and doubt- 
less proved sufficiently strong for their needs. 

The soldiers in the mansion far outnumbered the attack- 
ing party, but Colonel Clark trusted for success to the 
suddenness and boldness of the attack. The officers of the 
fort, it is said, were giving a ball to which the young men 
and maidens of the village had been invited. As the little 
army approached the postern gate, lights streamed through 
the windows, and the sound of music and merriment could 
be heard from within. Posting his men near the entrance, 
Clark boldly marched in and stood with folded arms, an 
interested spectator. As the lights from the flickering 
torches shone upon his face, an Indian, who had been re- 
clining upon the ground, recognized him and sprang to 
his feet with a fierce war whoop. The dancers stopped 
aghast, while the soldiers ran toward their quarters. But 
Clark, with grim humor, invited them to continue their 
merriment, announcing, however, that they were now danc- 


ing under the flag of Virginia instead of that of England. 

At a signal, his men rushed in and captured all the 
officers and men. The band, concealed near the village, 
hearing the shouts of victory, rushed into the town with 
hideous cries, and drove the terrified people into their 
homes. The panic-stricken inhabitants delivered up their 
arms, and the capture of the British stronghold in Illinois 
was accomplished without the shedding of a drop of blood. 
The affrighted people passed a sleepless night. Dreadful 
stories had been told by the British agents of the harshness 
and cruelty of the Kentuckians, or "Long Knives." If 
their lives were spared, the French expected nothing less 
than that they would be driven from their homes and their 
property confiscated, as had happened to the Acadians a 
few years before. Clark, on the other hand, had no thought 
of doing them harm, but was anxious to win their friend- 
ship. The next morning he called together the chief men 
of the village and assured them that he had penetrated 
the wilderness to protect the people rather than do them 

Continuing, he said, "We do not war against Frenchmen. 
The king of France, your former ruler, is the ally of the 
colonies; his fleet and his arms are fighting our battles, 
and the war must shortly terminate. Go and inform the 
inhabitants that they can dismiss their fears." When the 
French heard the message, their terror was turned to wild- 
est joy. The young men and maidens with songs and 
shouts danced through the streets bearing garlands of 
flowers and the older men sought in every way to honor 
their deliverers. 

Captain Bowman, with a company of men and a num- 


ber of French militia, was now sent against Cahokia, a 
French settlement, fifty miles north of Kaskaskia, on the 
Mississippi River. These people accepted the change with- 
out resistance and took the oath of allegiance to the 

The forts had been captured and the French won over 
to the cause of liberty, yet there remained the more difficult 
task of winning or subduing the Indian tribes. These tribes 
were allies of the British. Colonel Clark felt that his work 
would not be completed until their strongholds were cap- 
tured. His army was very small, and could with difficulty 
sustain itself surrounded by so many enemies. Many of 
his men had enlisted for only three months and that time 
had expired. He persuaded a hundred of them to re-enlist 
and, with the addition of seventy French volunteers, re- 
solved to march upon Vincennes at once. When the French 
heard of his determination, they begged him to give up the 
attempt as many of the residents at Vincennes were their 
friends and relatives. Father Gibault, the village priest, 
grateful to the soldiers for not molesting his church or 
people, volunteered to go to Vincennes and persuade the 
people there to transfer their allegiance to the Americans. 
As Father Gibault was a man of influence, his request was 
readily granted. 

With but two companions the priest set out upon his 
mission. He easily persuaded his people to throw off the 
yoke of the British, and marching to the fort, which con- 
tained but few soldiers, the citizens pulled down the British 
flag and hoisted that of America. 

When the good news reached Kaskaskia, Colonel Clark 
" "-at Captain Helm and a company of French volunteers to 


take formal possession of the fort. This officer's bravery 
and knowledge of Indian character admirably fitted him 
for the trying position of commander. Below Vincennes, 
upon the banks of the Wabash, lived a powerful chief, who 
was styled the "Grand Door of the Wabash." Captain 
Helm skilfully won this chief to the American cause, and 
the submission of the other Indians living in the valley 
speedily followed. 

Colonel Clark now took upon himself the greater task of 
dealing with the horde of savages, representing nearly 
every western tribe, who had come to Illinois to learn 
just what had happened, and to hear for themselves all 
that the "Long Knives" had to say. A meeting was called 
at Cahokia, and the streets of the little village swarmed 
with savages. Colonel Clark had studied the Indian char- 
acter so carefully that he knew how best to treat them. 
Instead of appearing anxious to gain their friendship, he 
addressed them in a long speech and carefully explained 
the reasons for war between the colonists and Great Britain. 
In conclusion, he said, "As I am convinced that you never 
heard the truth before, I do not wish you to answer me 
until you have taken time for consideration. We shall 
therefore part this evening, and when the Great Spirit shall 
bring us together again, let us speak and think as men 
with but one heart and one tongue." 

The next day the chiefs, having concluded to turn from 
the British and accept the Americans, gathered to the 
council. One chief, their spokesman, thus addressed 
Colonel Clark : "We will take the belt of peace and cast 
down the bloody belt of war; our warriors shall be called 
home ; the tomahawk shall be thrown into the river, where 


it can never be found, and we will carefully smooth the 
road for your brothers whenever they wish to come and 
see you." The peace pipe was again lighted, and after it 
was passed around the council ended. 

Colonel Clark's character and tact are well illustrated 
by an incident that occurred at this meeting. The Meadow 
Indians had been offered a large reward to kill the Ameri- 
can commander and, attending the council for that purpose, 
camped near the American headquarters. But Colonel 
Clark, ever watchful and alert, was not to be taken off his 
guard. At midnight the s vages attempted to break into 
the house in which he was supposed to be sleeping. In- 
stantly they were seized by the French militia and bound 
hand and foot. The people of the town, alarmed at the 
uproar, seized their arms and rushed to the assistance of 
the commander and his men. The crest-fallen warriors 
begged to be released, but Clark turned from them indif- 
ferently. He even refused to see the friendly chiefs who 
came to intercede for their guilty kinsmen. Next morning, 
calling all the tribes to a grand council, he released the 
captive chiefs that he might speak to them in the presence 
of their friends and allies. 

"After the ceremony of Indian etiquette had been fin- 
ished, Clark stood up in the ring of squatted warriors, 
while his riflemen, in travel-worn hunting shirts, clustered 
behind him. Taking the bloody war belt of wampum, he 
handed it to the chiefs whom he had taken captive, telling 
the assembled tribes he cared neither for their treachery 
nor enmity. He had a right to put them to death, instead 
he would escort them outside the camp, and after three 
days begin war upon them." The humbled warriors begged 


earnestly for peace, but the commander turned a deaf ear 
to their entreaties. At this point, two young warriors 
came forward and offering themselves as a sacrifice, silently 
awaited the expected tomahawk. Advancing, Colonel Clark 
ordered them to uncover their heads, and thus addressed 
them : "I am rejoiced to find men among all nations. These 
two young warriors who have offered themselves as a 
sacrifice are at least proof for their own countrymen. Such 
men are worthy to be chiefs, and with such I like to treat." 
Taking them by the hand he introduced them to the assem- 
bly as men worthy to be chiefs of their tribe and, because 
of their courage, freely forgave the crime of all. These 
two men were ever after held in high esteem by their 

An alliance was formed with these Meadow Indians that 
was never broken, and the renown of Clark spread to every 
tribe. As he never did a dishonorable act, his influence over 
them became very great. 

Peace was made with the Indians, but a still greater diffi- 
culty confronted him. The commander at Detroit, Gen- 
eral Hamilton, having learned the strength of Clark's 
forces, prepared to lead an expedition against the forts and 
retake the country. "Throughout September, every soul 
in Detroit was busy from morning till night mending boats, 
baking biscuits, packing provisions in kegs and bags ; 
collecting artillery stores, and in every way preparing for 
the expedition. Fifteen large boats were procured, each 
able to carry from 1,800 to 3,000 pounds. These were to be 
loaded with ammunition, food, clothing, tents, and espe- 
cially with presents for the Indians. Cattle and vehicles were 
sent ahead to the most important portages on the route. 


When all things were in readiness Hamilton had a grand 
council of chiefs, and made them a great feast, at which 
oven were roasted whole." 

The next day, October 7, 1778, the army, numbering 
five hundred men, French, English and Indians, started 
across Lake Erie to the mouth of the Maumee River. Pull- 
ing their boats up the river to the portages, they placed 
them upon cart wheels and rolled them through the woods 
to the sources of the Wabash. Embarking his forces upon 
this river, Hamilton slowly proceeded, stopping at every 
Indian village to hold a conference and give presents to 
the chiefs. Upon the morning of December 15, 1778, the 
British army appeared before Vincennes. The French 
immediately deserted Captain Helm, who was left with 
but one American, named Henry. The two men placed 
a loaded cannon in the open doorway, and when the Brit- 
ish advanced, Captain Helm, standing with lighted match 
in hand, commanded them to halt. Hamilton, ignorant 
of the strength of the garrison, halted his men and de- 
manded the surrender of the fort. 

"No man shall enter here," exclaimed Captain Helm, 
"until I know the terms." 

The British officer replied, "You shall have the honors 
of war." 

Accordingly the entire garrison, consisting of one officer 
and one soldier, marched out and laid down its arms. The 
news of the fall of Vincennes did not reach Kaskaskia until 
six weeks after the capture of the fort. Through a French 
trader who lived at St. Louis, Clark learned that Hamilton 
had reduced his force to eighty men; that he was well 
supplied with ammunition and provisions, and that he in- 


tended with the opening of spring to obtain re-enforcements 
from Detroit and recapture all the posts in the Ohio and 
Mississippi Valleys. 

Colonel Clark immediately decided to advance, with his 
little army, and attack Vincennes before the opening of 
spring. Captain John Rogers and forty men were at once 
sent out in a boat containing provisions, ammunition and 
several small cannon, with instructions to proceed by 
water to the mouth of the White River and there await 
the land expedition. 

On the 7th of February, Colonel Clark, with one hun- 
dred and seventy men, began the march to Vincennes, a 
distance of two hundred and forty miles. Fortunately the 
weather was not cold, but as the plains were under water 
the march was difficult and fatiguing. The commander 
devoted himself ceaselessly to keeping up the spirits of his 
men. He and his officers shared every hardship and were 
foremost in every labor. The men were divided into com- 
panies. Each company in turn was permitted to hunt by 
day and invite the entire army to a feast at night. Tents 
there were none, but blazing campfires were built, and 
around these they spent their evenings in singing, dancing 
and feasting upon buffalo hump, elk saddle, venison and 
wild turkeys. The pleasures of the night caused them 
to forget the toils of the coming day, and thus, without 
murmur or complaint, they reached the "drowned lands" 
of the little Wabash. "The channels of these two branches 
were a league apart, but the flood was now so high that 
they formed one great river, five miles wide," the over- 
flow of water being three feet deep in the shallowest part 
of the plains between and near the main channels. 


Without delay the commander hewed a boat from the 
trunk of a large tree. Then, crossing over the first channel, 
a scaffold was placed on the edge of the flooded plain. 
The men and baggage were ferried over and placed upon 
the scaffold ; the pack horses were brought across and 
reloaded as they stood in the water. The second channel 
was crossed in the same manner. Thus they traveled mile 
after mile in the icy swamps, oftentimes waist deep, until 
they stood upon the main channel of the Wabash, ten miles 
from Vincennes. Their provisions were exhausted, and the 
boat commanded by Captain Rogers had not arrived. 

Parties were sent in different directions to search for 
food and boats, but succeeded in finding nothing but a 
small canoe. A party of Frenchmen in a boat were hailed 
and came to land. They informed Clark that the British 
did not know of the presence of the army and that the 
inhabitants of the village were friendly to him. This was 
cheering news to the little army, and as one man killed a 
deer that day all had something to eat. The next day 
was consumed by the soldiers in crossing the deepest 
channels in canoes, and on the following day they traveled 
but three miles, much of the time in water up to their 
necks. Coming to a small elevation called "Sugar Camp," 
they stopped and were compelled to stay for another day 
in a drenching rain without food. Four miles of water 
still lay between them and the highlands. The next morn- 
ing dawned more clear, and Colonel Clark addressed a 
speech to the men, informing them that when they had 
crossed the plain and reached the woods beyond, there 
would be an end to their fatigue, and the prize would be 
before them. 


The men responded with a shout and followed their 
leader as he stepped into the stream. Then followed the 
most thrilling of all their experiences. The water was so 
deep in places that Colonel Clark feared many of the weak- 
est would be drowned, but by the help of the strong, all 
reached the woods, shouting and cheering encouragingly. 
Here, however, the water was as deep as on the plains, 
but those who were short and weak, by floating upon logs 
and clinging to branches, managed to struggle on for 
several miles farther until they reached a dry spot of 
ground, ten acres in extent. Here fires were made, but 
the weak were so exhausted it was necessary for two strong 
men to take one between them and march up and down. 
Fortunately an Indian canoe, containing some squaws and 
children on their way to Vincennes, was captured. In the 
boat, to their delight, they found a "quarter of buffalo, 
corn, tallow and kettles." Broth was immediately made 
and served to the famishing soldiers. With fine weather 
their spirits revived and, marching a little way to the edge 
of the timber, they came into full view of Vincennes, not 
'two miles distant. "Every man now feasted his eyes and 
forgot that he had suffered anything, saying that all that 
had passed was owing to good policy, and nothing but 
what a man could bear." A number of horsemen who were 
shooting ducks in the ponds were decoyed to camp and 
captured. By one of these men, Colonel Clark sent the 
following letter to the people of the village : 

"To the Inhabitants of Vincennes: 

Gentlemen : Being now within two miles of your village 
with my army, determined to take your fort this night, and 
not being willing to surprise you, I take this opportunity 


to request such of you as are true citizens, and willing to 
enjoy the liberty which I bring you, to remain still in your 
houses, and those, if any there be, who are friends of the 
King, let them instantly repair to the fort, and join the hair- 
buyer general, and fight like men. And if any of the latter 
do not go to the fort, and shall be discovered afterwards, 
they may depend upon severe punishment. On the con- 
trary, those who are true friends to liberty, may depend 
upon being well treated ; and I once more request them 
to keep out of the streets, for every one I find in arms on 
my arrival shall be treated as an enemy! 

Respectfully yours, 

George Rogers Clark." 

Soon after sunset Clark, with his little army, entered 
and took possession of the town. Hamilton knew nothing 
of the presence of the Americans until the firing began 
upon the fort and one of his men was shot down. Then 
the drums called the garrison to arms, but the fort was 
completely surrounded, and when a porthole was opened 
to thrust out a cannon, a dozen bullets from the unerring 
rifles of the woodsmen found an entrance. Thus the attack 
continued during the night. Protected by houses, palings, 
ditches and banks, the riflemen poured in a deadly fire, 
whenever a form appeared or a window opened. 

At nine o'clock the next morning, Colonel Clark de- 
manded the surrender of the fort. While Hamilton was 
deliberating, the men cooked and ate the first regular meal 
they had tasted since their entrance into the drowned lands. 
Upon Hamilton's refusal to surrender, the firing began 
again. Clark found it difficult to keep his men from ex- 
posing themselves by rushing from cover to storm the fort, 
in such contempt did they hold the marksmanship and 
skill of the British soldiers. It was sport for these men, 


who could shoot the head from a turkey at one hundred 
yards, to fire through the loop-holes and send their bullets 
into every crack and crevice. In the afternoon Hamilton, 
seeing that it was useless to continue the defence longer, 
agreed to surrender, and the fort was turned over to Clark 
and his followers. 

The next day Colonel Clark took possession of the fort, 
changed its name to Fort Patrick Henry, ran up the Ameri- 
can flag and fired a salute to celebrate the important event. 
The prisoners were permitted to return to Detroit, except 
Hamilton and a few officers, who were sent to Virginia. 
The Indian tribes of the region hastened to make peace 
with one who had conquered their allies with so little 

Two important advantages were gained by the capture 
of this territory : the Indian tribes were subdued, and the 
colonies were able to claim the Northwest Territory, with 
the Mississippi for its western boundary. The Virginia 
Assembly controlled all the captured country, which they 
called the Territory of Illinois. 

Colonel Clark served as a soldier during the remainder 
of the Revolution, and at its close he enlisted under the 
flag of France and fought the Spanish on the lower 
Mississippi River. The latter years of his life were spent 
near Louisville fighting disease and poverty. Near the 
close of his life the State of Virginia offered him a sword. 
To the committee which presented it, he exclaimed : "When 
Virginia needed a sword I gave her one. She sends me 
now a toy. I want bread." With these words he thrust 
the blade into the ground and snapped it with a blow from 
his crutch. 



At the close of the Revolution the States of Massachu- 
setts, Connecticut and Virginia, by virtue of their original 
charters, laid claim to all the territory between the Ohio 
River and the Great Lakes westward to the Mississippi. 
These colonies, with great reluctance, finally ceded their 
claims to the newly established national government, and 
the country was called "The territory of the United States, 
northwest of the Ohio River." In this manner did our 
Government come into possession of the vast domain from 
which were carved the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Michigan and Wisconsin. 

Settlers began to enter the region, and it became neces- 
sary for Congress to provide a form of government which 
might insure peace and security to the people. Accord- 
ingly, on July 13, 1787, the "Continental Congress" framed 
a law which is known in history as the "Ordinance of 1787." 
As this instrument has become so famous it may be well 
to notice some of its wise provisions which were helpful in 
promoting the happiness and prosperity of the people. 

In England many had been put to death because they 
refused to worship in the manner prescribed by the King. 
Even in the colonies there were those who believed that 
every man should follow a form of worship established by 
the Government. The "Ordinance of 1787" provided that 
"no person of peaceable demeanor was to be molested on 



account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments." 
The kings of England had often thrown men into prison 
and kept them there for many years, without allowing them 
a form of trial. Sir Walter Raleigh was thus confined in 
the Tower of London for twelve years. Unjust imprison- 
ment has ever been a weapon used by tyrants to close the 
mouths of men whom they feared. To provide against this 
abuse, it was enacted in the ordinance that : "No man 
shall be deprived of his liberty or his property, but by the 
judgment of his peers (equals), or the law of the land : and 
should it be necessary for the common preservation to take 
any person's property, or to demand his particular services, 
full compensation shall be made for the same." 

In England only a few had the means of procuring an 
education, but the colonists in America at an early day 
established schools for their children. The framers of the 
"Ordinance of 1787," with wise forethought, organized a 
system of free schools to be supported by taxation and by 
money derived from the sale of public lands, some of the 
lands being also set aside for the support of a university in 
each State. 

At the close of the eighteenth century slavery existed 
in many countries. In America it flourished in several 

Statesmen were beginning to see the evil of the con- 
tinuance of such a system. Others believed slavery to be 
wicked and contrary to the laws of God. Honest toil is 
honorable. Wherever slavery exists the people look upon 
work as degrading. The framers of the "Ordinance of 
1787" were providing a home for honest, self-respecting 
people. They therefore enacted that slavery and involun- 


tary servitude, except as punishment for crimes, should be 
prohibited forever in the Northwest Territory. 

Furthermore, the territory was to be divided into not 
less than three, nor more than five States. If it seemed 
best, Congress might ''form one or two (more) States in 
that part which lies north of an east and west line drawn 

through the southerly 
bend or extreme of 
Lake Michigan.' 
(However, when Illi- 
nois became a State in 
1818, the northern 
boundary was fixed, not 
by running a line west 
from the extreme 
southern end of the 
lake, as prescribed in 
the Ordinance, but by 
a parallel sixty-one 
miles farther north. 
This was done for the 
purpose of securing lake 
frontage to the State.) 
Civil authority was 
vesting in a governor 
who was to be commander-in-chief of the militia, with 
power, until a general assembly was organized, to appoint 
all civil officers of each county. A court consisting of 
three judges was also appointed. These judges, with the 
governor, were to adopt such of the laws of the thirteen 
original States as were deemed best for the territory. 



Whenever there were five thousand free male inhabitants 
of legal age within the limits of the territory, the people 
were to elect a general assembly, consisting of one repre- 
sentative for every five hundred voters. The assembly was 
to choose ten men, and Congress was to select five of these 
to act as a Council or Upper House. 

Such was the government provided by the "Ordinance 
of 1787," and with slight changes it has proven adequate 
to the needs of territorial government up to the present day. 
Whenever the population of a Territory numbered 60,- 
ooo, it might take the necessary steps to become a State. 
The wise provisions of this ordinance respecting per- 
sonal liberty, education and slavery have more or less in- 
fluenced the destinies of all States formed from the public 

President Washington appointed as the first governor 
General Arthur St. Clair, and the little village of Marietta 
on the Ohio River became the seat of territorial govern- 
ment. In 1788 Governor St. Clair and his three judges 
entered upon the duties of their offices. 

October 6, 1790, President Washington wrote to the 
governor requesting him to carry out "the wishes of the 
late Congress relating to the inhabitants at Vincennes, 
Kaskaskia, . and the other villages upon the Mississippi." 

Continuing he writes, "It is a circumstance of some 
importance that the said inhabitants should, as soon as 
possible, possess the lands to which they are entitled by 
some known and fixed principle." Governor St. Clair 
immediately set about carrying out President Washington's 
commands, and arrived at Kaskaskia in February, 1791, de- 
termined to adjust matters in an impartial manner. 


The country as far north as the Little Mackinaw Creek 
on the Illinois River was organized into a county and 
named St. Clair, with Cahokia as the county seat. This, 
the "mother county" of Illinois, was divided into three 
judicial districts. A court of common pleas was established 
and three judges appointed: John Edgar, of Kaskaskia, 
John C. Moulin, of Cahokia, and John Baptiste Barbeau, 
of Prairie du Rocher. 

William St. Clair, brother to the governor, became the 
first recorder of deeds, and William Biggs the first sheriff. 
The first lawyer to locate in Illinois was John Rice Jones, 
a highly educated Welshman, who came to Kaskaskia in 
1790. It is said he possessed much ability and had a 
practice extending from Kaskaskia to the Ohio River. 

Lawsuits were as expensive and inconvenient in those 
days as at the present time. In a certain suit brought in 
Cahokia to recover the value of a cow, the damages were 
assessed at $16.00. The defendants, who lived at Prairie 
du Chien, appealed the case. The sheriff, with his summons 
and subpoenas in his pocket, fitted out a boat with goods 
suitable to trade with Indians, and started on his journey 
of four hundred miles to carry out the instructions of the 
court. Having served his subpoenas and his summons, 
he returned in the same manner. His charges for mileage 
and service, together with other expenses, carried the costs 
of the suit to more than $900. 



The soldiers of Colonel George Rogers Clark were the 
first Americans to enter the Illinois country. Some of these 
men probably remained here, while others, after their term 
of enlistment had expired, returned to Kentucky and Vir- 
ginia, spreading abroad glowing reports of the wonderful 
richness and fertility of this region. 

In the spring of 1781, a company of people from Mary- 
land, composed largely of Colonel Clark's veterans under 
the leadership of James Moore, crossed the Alleghany 
Mountains and prepared to descend the Ohio River. A 
number of flat boats, at that time called "arks," were built 
for this purpose. These boats were froni thirty to forty 
feet in length and ten or twelve feet in breadth, a large 
craft for those days. The entire boat was decked with 
a rude, strong roof, which had much the appearance of a 
farmyard, for it was covered with wagons, carts and 
plows, spinning wheels, hay, coops of chickens, bags of 
seed and feed for the cattle. Beneath the roof were 
crowded together the men, women and children, with the 
horses, sheep, hogs and cattle. At length when all was 
prepared, the little fleet of boats loaded with people and 
animals glided out upon the current of the Ohio and began 
the long voyage to the "Illinois country." Many were the 
dangers encountered. Sometimes the voyagers were at- 
tacked by Indians; then it was necessary for the women 



and children to crouch low while the men beat back the 
savages by firing through the "port holes" with which the 
sides of the "arks" were provided. Often at night they 
dared not light a fire for fear that the blaze might attract 
the lurking foe. 

After a journey of many days the boats reached the 
rnouth of the Ohio and, stemming the current of the Mis- 
sissippi, arrived in safety at Kaskaskia. The little company 
settled on the broad valley west of the village; and the lo- 
cality, from the fact that they were the only American set- 
tlers, received the name of "American Bottom." 

But the majority of the immigrants to the new country 
came in great covered wagons drawn by oxen or horses. 
These brave pioneers, unmindful of the dangers around 
them, pushed their way through the dark and tangled for- 
ests. If the streams which intercepted the route were too 
deep to be forded a raft would be constructed on which 
the family, the cattle and the wagons were ferried to the 
opposite bank. Occasionally the cattle would stray from 
the camp during the night and be lost for days. 

At all times the hunters of the party watched for the 
approach of prowling Indians. At night, as they gathered 
about the blazing camp fire and engaged in songs and 
merriment, one of the number would be detailed to stand 
guard. The steaks of buffalo, bear or deer, which were 
cooked every night, were supplied by the rifles of the hun- 
ters. A Johnny cake, baked before the fire on a "journey 
board," from which was derived the name, completed the 
abundant supper. 

When the horses were turned loose to feed upon the 
rich grass of the open glade, a tinkling bell was attached 


to the neck of the leader. Its noise served to guide the 
owner to the spot where the horses had strayed during the 

The women and children slept in the wagons, but the 
men and boys, wrapped in their blankets, lay down about 
the camp fire. 

The journey usually occupied many months. At last 
the family or colony, having arrived on the banks of a 
river whose beauty pleased their fancy, resolved to make 
a permanent home. Rude cabins were erected, and the 
work of clearing away the forests and planting a crop in 
the virgin soil was begun without delay. The early immi- 
grants disliked to settle upon the beautiful prairies on ac- 
count of the distance from water, the absence of shade and 
on account of green-headed flies which swarmed there. 

In 1782, the settlement of New Design was established on 
the beautiful elevated lands overlooking the Kaskaskia and 
Mississippi Rivers. 

Another colony of one hundred and fifty-four people 
from Virginia arrived in 1797, under the leadership of Rev. 
David Bagley. They had been subjected to much exposure 
and suffered many hardships. The season was unusually 
wet, and more than half the colonists died from the effects 
of a malignant fever. "Fever and ague" and "milk-sick," 
a peculiar disorder, caused by drinking the milk of cattle 
diseased from eating the rank herbage or a peculiar weed, 
attacked many new comers. 

The many cases of sickness gave rise to the report that 
Illinois was an unhealthy country, and this, for a time, 
checked the tide of immigration. 

The habits and manners of these early pioneers were 


plain and simple. Accustomed to life in the forest, they 
knew little of the ways of more thickly settled communities. 
The deer, bear, buffalo, elk and fox provided material from 
which were made hunting shirts, caps and moccasins. 
Skilful with ax, drawing-knife and auger, each settler made, 
not only his humble cabin, but the necessary furniture as 

Oiled paper supplied the place of window glass. The 
beams of the floor and the weight poles of the roof were 
held in place by wooden pegs. The door swung upon 
wooden hinges and was fastened by a wooden latch, which 
was lifted from without by a deer thong run through a hole. 
Any person was at liberty to enter a home if "the latch 
string was out." Often the rude cradle was made from 
the half of a hollow log. Rich indeed was the housewife 
who could display upon her broad mantel shelf a few 
pewter dishes and spoons which had been brought from 
the old home "back East." In those early days one could 
travel the entire length of a stream without finding a bridge, 
and a single water mill ground wheat and corn for the entire 
settlement. Sometimes the spring floods caught the settler 
unprepared and prevented him from going to mill. At 
such a time, when his meal had "run out," he resorted to 
the "gritter." This was made by perforating a sheet of 
tin, obtained from some cast-off vessel. Inverted, it was 
nailed to a board and looked much like a large nutmeg 
grater. Putting one end of the board in a tray made from 
a hollow log, the settler, grasping an ear of soaked corn 
with both hands, proceeded to rub it over the roughened 
surface. In this primitive way did our fathers often obtain 
the meal for fheir corn bread. "Lye hominy" was also 


a staple article of food and, with the pork to be found in 
every household, gave rise to the expression "hog and 

As fear of the Indians decreased, farms became larger, 
and settlements grew into little villages. Cotton and flax 
were raised, and herds of sheep were pastured in the woods. 
Gradually clothing made from cotton, flax and wool took 
the place of that made from the skins of wild beasts. 

These pioneers had many "merry makings" to enliven 
the arduous labor of clearing land, splitting rails and plant- 
ing crops. If misfortune overtook a settler the entire 
neighborhood turned out to help gather the harvest or plow 
the land. While the men worked in the field their wives, 
who had accompanied them, spread a bountiful repast upon 
tables made of wagon boards. After dinner the men gath- 
ered in groups and talked politics or engaged in wrestling 
and foot racing. Often, however, a horse race enlivened the 
day's pleasure, for these early settlers were passionately 
fond of this sport. They were good story tellers, too, and 
at such a gathering some veteran of the Revolution related 
the story of the capture of Burgoyne,or extolled the bravery 
of Morgan at the battle of Cowpens. Others, famous in 
Indian wars, told and retold of hairbreadth escapes from 
the savage foe. "Log rollings" and "husking bees" were 
also popular gatherings. And after the work was finished, 
to the music of a squeaking fiddle, the merry makers, old 
and young, danced until the early morning hours. Then 
the horses were "hooked up," and with much noise and 
laughter the company separated. 

Living remote from settlements, each man played the 
part of carpenter, blacksmith, or harness-maker, as neces- 


sity required. James Lemon, a pioneer minister and farmer 
of Monroe County, was one day engaged in plowing a 
field upon which the stubble was so heavy that his son 
was compelled to use a pitch-fork to keep the plow from 
"clogging." When the team was turned out for dinner 
the father, as was his habit, left the harness upon the plow 
beam. The boy, having tired of the work, remained behind 
long enough to hide one of the home-made collars, ex- 
pecting to have a "playing-spell" while his father was em- 
ployed in making a new one. On returning from dinner the 
fanner missed the collar, and after reflecting a few moments, 
promptly took off his leather breeches. These the boy 
was compelled to stuff with straw and stubble. They were 
then straddled across the neck of the horse and served as 
a collar. The father, bare-legged, followed the plow and 
kept the roguish son busily at work during the long after- 

Many of these early pioneers were men of great force 
of character, and afterwards rose to positions of prominence 
in the State and nation. Shadrach Bond, the first governor 
of the State, was a member of the first colony that settled 
in the "Illinois country." 



The frequent outbreaks of the Indians at the opening 
of the War of 1812 made it necessary to provide for the 
protection of the settlers. Accordingly Congress organized 
ten companies of mounted rangers and assigned to four 
of them the task of guarding the Illinois frontiers. Each 
man provided his own horse, gun and provisions, and was 
paid one dollar for every day of service. 

These hardy rangers, accustomed to the life of the fron- 
tier, were a most valuable aid in repelling the attacks of 
the Indians. 

One of the most daring of these men was Tom 
Higgins, a member of Captain Tourney's company. 
Tom was strong and muscular, absolutely without fear, 
and possessed of good judgment in time of danger. One 
morning when stationed at Hills Fort, near the present site 
of Greenville, a band of Indians was discovered, and the 
Rangers started in pursuit of them. 

The wily savages, knowing they were being followed, 
ambushed their pursuers, and killed several of them. Al- 
though the Rangers fought bravely, they were greatly out- 
numbered, and finally retreated to the fort. Tom Higgins, 
however, waited behind the others to have another pull 
at them, and taking careful aim, shot down a savage. 

Just as he was mounting his horse, which had been 
wounded, a voice from the tall grass saluted him with the 



words "I'm wounded, Tom, you won't leave me ?" Higgins 
replied, "Come on, Burgess, and I will put you on my 
horse." As Tom attempted to lift the wounded man the 
terrified animal jerked the bridle from his owner's arm 
and ran away. Keeping the murderous savages at a safe 
distance with his leveled rifle, Higgins calmly directed Bur- 
gess to crawl through the long prairie grass to the fort, 
which was standing only- a short distance away. 

As soon as the unfortunate man was well on his way 
to a place of safety Tom plunged into a dense thicket and, 
closely followed by the Indians, ran for the fort, when sud- 
denly he was confronted by other savages. To avoid them 
he leaped into a deep ravine and continued his desperate 
flight. As he ran he perceived for the first time that he 
had been shot, and looking over his shoulder, saw that he 
was being closely pursued by three savages. At this instant 
the foremost Indian fired and Tom fell, wounded the 
second time ; as he arose the other two fired, and he fell 
again, pierced by two more bullets. 

Then the three savages, with uplifted tomahawks, rushed 
forward to complete their work, but the brave fellow arose 
the third time, and by presenting his rifle first at one and 
then at another kept them at bay for a time. The largest, 
thinking that the rifle must be empty, sprang forward, only 
to fall dead with a bullet in his brain. The other warriors, 
with a shout, rushed forward to avenge the death of their 
comrade, and a terrific hand to hand conflict began. The 
wounded man defended himself with a long knife until he 
was again hurled to the ground by a blow from a toma- 
hawk, which was thrown with such unerring aim that it 
cut off his ear. As Tom lay upon the ground the two 


sprang upon him, but he managed to seize a spear from one 
and thrust it through the body of the other. 

The unequal combat had occurred in full view of the 
fort, but beyond the range of the rifles held by men, who 
believed that it was all a ruse to draw them out into another 
ambuscade. Finally Mrs. Pursley, a brave woman who 
had watched the battle, mounted a fleet horse and started 
to the rescue, declaring that she "would not see so brave 
a man killed." The men, not to be outdone by a woman, 
hastened after her, and at their approach the remaining 
Indian fled. 

Tom, fainting from loss of blood, was carried to the fort, 
where his wounds were dressed and the balls extracted 
from his body. For many days he lingered between life 
and death, but eventually recovered and lived to receive 
a pension for his bravery. Later in his life he was made 
the doorkeeper of the State General Assembly at Vandalia. 

During this period there was incessant war between the 
red man and the white, each watching for every opportunity 
to overcome the other. It happened that as Captain Short 
and his Rangers were encamped near the present site of 
Covington, in Washington County, they discovered "Indian 
signs," and immediately started in pursuit of the savages, 
who were driving off a number of stolen horses. Captain 
Short knew from the signs that the band was large, and 
dispatched a trusty scout for reinforcements. The Rangers 
overtook the savages and a battle ensued, in which the 
white men were worsted and beat a hasty retreat. Moses 
Short escaped being killed because of a thick twist of to- 
bacco in his pouch, which received the bullet that otherwise 
would have entered his body. 


The next day reinforcements arrived, and the Rangers 
again took up the trail of the Indians, who, flushed with 
victory, had grown careless. When approaching the forks 
of the Little Wabash River the report of a rifle warned the 
Rangers that they were near the foe, and, by a cautious 
advance, the savages were surrounded before they were 
aware of the white men's presence. When the Indians 
discovered that there was no hope of escape they chanted 
their death song and fought desperately until the last 
warrior was killed. By such bloody conflicts was the soil 
of Illinois wrested from the red men. 

During the War of 1812, the Indians, reinforced by num- 
bers of British, often gained the advantage over the Rangers 
who dared to penetrate into the "Indian Country," as 
Northern Illinois and Iowa were called. 

In the spring of 1814 Governor Clark of Missouri sent a 
force of two hundred men up the Mississippi to attack 
Prairie du Chien, which was held by the British and In- 
dians. The attack was successful, but in the summer the 
fort was retaken by the enemy. 

General Howard, ignorant of this unfortunate occurrence, 
determined to send reinforcements to the remote post, and 
fitted out a force of one hundred and eight men, who were 
placed in charge of Lieutenant Campbell. Sixty-six of 
these men were Illinois Rangers, and, commanded by Cap- 
tains Riggs and Rector, occupied two of the three keel- 
boats in which the expedition embarked. 

The Indians were not ignorant of the destination of the 
soldiers, and resolved to give them battle at the Rapids 
near Rock Island. When the boats reached this point the 
wily savages approached with every profession of friend- 


ship, but quietly urged the French boatmen, against whom 
they cherished no ill will, to return to their homes. But for 
this event Lieutenant Campbell and his men might have 
been taken off their guard. 

As the boats proceeded up the rapids the barge contain- 
ing Lieutenant Campbell, which was in the rear, was blown 
by the strong wind upon a small island near the Illinois 
shore. With the approach of evening the boat was tied 
up, the necessary sentinels stationed, and the men were 
ordered to prepare fires upon which to cook their suppers. 
This was the opportunity for which the Indians had waited. 
Under the command of Black Hawk they poured across 
the narrow channel and rushed upon the troops, who 
quickly sought the shelter of their boat. From behind logs 
and trees the Indians poured in a storm of bullets upon 
the soldiers, who defended themselves as best they could. 
In the midst of the battle the boat took fire, and every 
man would have been destroyed but for the timely arrival 
of the Illinois Rangers who, at the first sound of firing, 
had turned their boats, and in the teeth of a howling gale, 
hastened to the rescue. 

Captain Rigg's boat became stranded upon the jutting 
rocks of the rapids, but Captain Rector with his brave men, 
in plain view of the hundreds of savages who lined the 
shore, coolly guided his vessel to the windward of the 
burning craft, while his Rangers poured volley after volley 
into the savages. The French boatmen leaped into the 
water and, protected by the side of the boat, skilfully guided 
it to the burning barge. The soldiers and wounded men 
were quickly transferred to the rescuing boat, which 
glided safely out into the midst of the stream and began 


the retreat to St. Louis. The island where this attack oc- 
curred is still called Campbell's Island. 

The Rangers in Captain Rigg's boat had their hands full 
to keep at bay the savages by whom they were surrounded, 
In the night, after the fierce wind had subsided, they suc- 
ceeded in getting their boat off the rocks, and followed the 
others to St. Louis, which they reached without further 

The next year another body of troops, commanded by 
Major Zachary Taylor, attempted to penetrate the Indian 
country, with the purpose of burning villages and destroy- 
ing cornfields. But the expedition was no more successful 
than the previous one, and the savages compelled them 
to retire with a serious loss. 

With the beginning of winter gloom and fear settled 
down upon the frontier of Illinois, but the treaty of Ghent 
between America and England closed the war, and the 
Indian depredations ceased for a number of years. 



As an additional protection against the savages, many 
block houses were erected. These extended from the Illi- 
nois River to the Kaskaskia, thence to the Salt Springs 
near the present town of Equality, thence up the Ohio and 
Wabash Rivers. These forts furnished a refuge for nearly 
all settlers of the frontier. 

They were built of hewn logs, carefully put together, so 
as to afford no crevice for hand or foot of an Indian foe. The 
doors were made of thick puncheons, held in place by 
strong wooden, beams. Port-holes on every side, above the 
height of one's head, gave opportunity to repel an attack. 
The second story projected over the first and, in this pro- 
jecting floor, holes were made through which rifles could 
be fired at any Indian who might try to force an entrance. 
Sometimes these block houses were located on the edge 
of a prairie, but, if situated in the timber, the ground was 
cleared for a distance on every side, that no protection 
might be given to the lurking foe. 

Stockade forts were made by building four block houses 
at the corners of a square, and connecting them with a 
stockade twelve or fifteen feet in height. This fence was 
made of huge posts placed side by side, and planted firmly 
in the ground. If there was no spring within the enclosure, 
a well was dug, and sometimes huts were erected. Port- 
holes seven or eight feet above the ground were reached 
from raised platforms. Two heavy entrance gates, securely 



barred, were made large enough to admit wagons and cat- 
tle. In times of danger the families of the entire neighbor- 
hood would flee to such a fort, bringing their stock with 
them. By day the cattle were permitted to graze in the 
clearing and woods, but at night they were usually driven 
within the enclosure. Often, when the gates were opened 
in the morning, the savages concealed in the woods beyond 
the clearing would fire upon the inmates of the fort. 

Camp Russell, the largest and strongest of these stock- 
ades, was built by Governor Edwards at Edwardsville. 
The ancient cannon of old Fort Chartres were removed 
thither and placed upon the walls, where they served to over- 
awe the savages. This fort became the center of military 
operations during the War of 1812, and was made a store- 
house for supplies. Within this stockade, defended by stout 
hearts and strong arms, the people of the territory often 
sought shelter and protection. 

Twenty-two block houses were erected between Kas- 
kaskia and the present city of Alton, but, in spite of these 
precautions, the settlers were frequently attacked within the 
fortifications themselves. 

One evening three men, venturing out from Jourdan's 
fort to gather firewood, were attacked by Indians and only 
one succeeded in making his escape. At another time a 
band of savages, wandering through the woods, came into 
the vicinity of Hill's block house. Stealthily approaching, 
they picked the mud from a crevice in the chimney and 
saw a soldier sitting near the fire. A rifle was inserted 
and the man was shot. The report of the gun caused the 
soldiers to rush to their posts. Now it happened that a 
man named Lindley had gone out of the stockade to carry 


feed to the stock and had left the large gate open. The 
Indians made a rush for the entrance, but the men within 
hastily closed and barred it, leaving poor Lindley on the 
outside, in the midst of the terrified cattle. 

The baffled Indians turned their attention to the soldier 
who had sought refuge among the herd. Every creature 
stood with dilated nostril and uplifted tail, glaring at them. 
As the savages with raised weapons and blood-curdling 
yells rushed forward, the cattle, bellowing loudly, turned 
and fled. Lindley, who was a powerful man, on the in- 
stant contrived a plan of escape. Leaping astride a steer 
as it passed him, he coiled his long arms around the aston- 
ished creature's neck and slipped beneath its huge body. 
The arrows of the Indians only served to quicken the speed 
of the herd, and Lindley was quickly carried out of danger. 
The savages returned to the attack of the fort, but at 
length were repulsed and driven away, taking their dead 
and wounded with them. That night Lindley returned to 
the fort and in a few days the scattered herd was recovered. 

The most pretentious defense against the Indians of 
Northern Illinois was old Fort Dearborn, which was erected 
at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1804, and named in 
honor of General Dearborn. 

At the breaking out of the War of 1812 it was garrisoned 
by fifty soldiers under the command of Captain Heald. By 
the direction of General Hull this garrison evacuated Fort 
Dearborn and attempted to reach Fort Wayne. Upon 
entering the broken sand-hill country to the southeast, 
they were treacherously attacked and twenty-three of the 
garrison murdered, together with many women and children 
who accompanied them. 

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During the early settlement of the Illinois country the 
rivers formed the great highways of travel. Goods were 
brought in flat boats and barges from Pittsburgh and New 
Orleans. The wheat and produce of the country were 
floated down to Louisiana in boats manned by the settlers 
themselves, but as the voyage was full of danger and re- 
quired many months, a class of men called keel-boatmen 
gradually arose, who made this work their sole business. 
Their boats were built very large and symmetrical, with a 
cabin for passengers as well as a space set apart for freight 
and stock. 

A long oar, sometimes thirty feet in length, with a blade 
like the fin of a fish, was used for steering the craft, while 
four large oars at the bow furnished the propelling power. 
A speed of five or six miles an hour could be obtained when 
glidingi down the stream ; but it was no easy task for such 
a boat to stem the current of a river, especially the Missis- 
sippi. A large sail was used when the wind favored, but 
often the crew walked many weary miles along the shore, 
and pulled the boat after them by means of a long rope. 
Sometimes the rope was carried ahead of the boat and 
attached to a rock or over-hanging tree, and then the crew 
stood upon the deck and pulled "hand over hand." 

The dangers of river navigation were increased by the 
large number of pirates and savages that infested the banks 



of the Mississippi River. These desperadoes would sally 
forth from their hiding places at the mouth of a convenient 
river or from the steep bluffs near Grand Tower, and fall 
upon solitary keel boats, seizing the cargo and murdering 
the crew and passengers. 

At length the pirates became so bold that keel boats were 
compelled to travel together for protection. 

In 1797 Spain placed on the Mississippi a large fleet of 
armed boats, which speedily cleared the river of these out- 

At Beausoleil Island, in the year 1787, river pirates 
boarded a richly-laden keel boat bound from New Orleans 
to St. Louis, capturing the owner and the entire crew. 

Their rescue was effected by the courage and daring of a 
young negro servant named Cacassotte, who shrewdly 
planned it. By laughter and good humor he gained the 
confidence of the robbers and persuaded them that he was 
delighted thus to gain his freedom. Cacassotte, who acted 
as cook, resolved to attempt the execution of his plan at 
the dinner hour after the pirates had imbibed freely". When 
the desperadoes had seated themselves at the bow and 
stern the negro and his two colored comrades went among 
them distributing food and drink. 

As he appeared before the leader, who, armed to the teeth, 
was standing at the bow, Cacassotte gave the signal, and 
instantly three robbers were struggling in the deep water. 
With the swiftness of lightning, they rushed upon three 
more of the men, who straightway joined their companions 
in the river. 

Before the remainder of the robbers could recover their 
presence of mind they too were pushed overboard. Then, 


seizing the rifles which were scattered upon the deck, the 
negroes shot the drunken fellows as they struggled in the 

These keel-boatmen were fearless and hardy men. Their 
peculiar occupation developed herculean strength in many, 
and made desperate characters of not a few. 

Naked to the waist, they propelled their boats with their 
strong arms, amidst many dangers. At the close of the 
day they partook of a strong pull at the whiskey bottle 
before eating their hearty supper of hominy and pork. 

To the music, of a sprightly fiddle or the rippling of the 
waters, these men were then lulled to sleep, to be awakened 
the next morning by the steersman's horn, which called 
them to another pull at the bottle and an early breakfast 
before their day's work begun. 

The keel-boatmen greatly enjoyed rude sports. Some 
were excellent shots with the rifle. All were fond of fight- 
ing, and often waged battle with the crews of rafts and flat 
boats, whom they cordially hated. 

The most notorious character among these keel-boatmen 
was Mike Fink, who acted in the capacity of spy, scout 
and boatman in the war of 1812. Born at Pittsburg, from 
early boyhood Mike followed the life of keel-boatman. He 
was a man of great strength, skillful with axe and oar, and 
noted as the best rifle shot in the Mississippi Valley. As 
his keel boat, the "Lightfoot," glided down the river Fink 
would amuse himself by shooting the tails from the pigs 
upon the shore. Seeing a negro upon the wharf with his 
foot elevated, the reckless fellow shot off his heel. The poor 
darkey fell to the ground howling with pain. At the trial 
which followed, the jury refused to listen to Mike's ex- 


planation, which was that he wished "to correct the defect- 
ive foot and prepare it for a genteel boot." 

Fink had a boon companion named Carpenter, who was 
also expert with the rifle. The two friends frequently 
amused themselves and entertained the crowd of boatmen 
by shooting tin cups full of whiskey from each other's 

One day, while under the influence of liquor, Fink and 
Carpenter quarreled, and after apparently making up de- 
cided to indulge in their favorite pastime. 

Carpenter was the first to place the cup on his own head. 
Mike walked away the required distance, turned, took care- 
ful aim and fired; Carpenter fell dead. Fink tearfully 
claimed that it was an accident, and the spectators believed 
this to be true. A few months after, however, the drunken 
fellow boasted that he had killed Carpenter intentionally. 
Thereupon a friend of the murdered man shot him upon 
the spot. Thus ended the life of one of the most notable 
and desperate of these early characters. 

A gentleman who took a trip on one of these boats in 
company with his cousin, who was going to New Orleans, 
has left an interesting account of a disaster which befell 
them a few miles above the mouth of the Ohio River. 

"One dark rainy night our boat drifted rapidly down 
stream with the current. We usually 'tied up along the 
shore' on very dark nights, but our captain, who was also 
pilot, declared he could steer in the darkest night that ever 

"Most of the passengers had retired to their cabins and 
were asleep, when suddenly there came a crash, which sent 
me out of my berth onto the floor. I sprang to my feet 


and my first thought was of Nancy (the lady under my 
charge). I ran to her cabin and found her up and dressed, 
and not nearly so badly frightened as I had feared she 
would be. 

" 'What has happened?' she asked. 

' 'The boat has struck a snag and may sink. Stay right 
here until I come for you.' 

"Then I went on deck, where all was confusion. There 
were twelve or fifteen passengers there, running about like 
mad people. 

"The most excited of all were five men from St. Louis. 
They had dragged their trunk and carpet bags to the deck, 
and were calling for a skiff or yawl to take them to shore. 
All the captain or mate could do or say to quiet them was 
in vain. Three or four lanterns were lighted, and served 
to increase the terror of all by revealing the black, turbid 
waters into which we were gradually sinking to what ap- 
peared to be certain death. 

"The men who had brought their trunk on deck seized 
one of the yawls, leaped in with their baggage, before any 
one could prevent them, and pulled to shore, which the 
flashes of lightning showed was not more than thirty yards 

"About the time they landed with their baggage, I ob- 
served that the boat began to rock just like a basin sinking 
in shallow water. The captain noticed this also, and 
shouted : 

' 'You are all safe. The boat is on a sand bar and can't 

"In fact one of the crew had cast the lead line a moment 
before, and discovered that we were in only about five feet 


of water. I went back to Nancy, who was anxiously await- 
ing my return. 

" 'What shall we do?' she asked. 

" 'Go to bed and sleep until morning,' I answered. . 

"She did so. It rained all night. It was one of those 
cold, disagreeable rains that makes one shiver, and one's 
bones ache. Next morning we saw five or six wet, mis- 
erable wretches sitting on the bank, shivering and begging 
the captain to take them on board. 

"They were the selfish cowards who would have escaped 
with their luggage and left the remainder of us to drown. 
Their haste to get to land was so great that they forgot to 
moor the yawl in which they went ashore, and it had floated 

"Though the captain had another, he would not send for 
them, and left them all night in the rain. But soon after 
daylight he brought them all aboard. 

"Our boat had struck a snag which knocked a hole in 
the bottom ; but fortunately, after striking, we came imme- 
diately to such shallow water that we could not sink. 

"We lived in this grounded boat for over a week before 
another keel boat came and took us down the river to our 
journey's end." 

With the advent of steam both flat and keel boats grad- 
ually disappeared, and with them departed the race of brave 
and hardy men who played so important a part in the devel- 
opment and settlement of Illinois. 





In 1809 the Territory of Illinois was separated from 
that of Indiana, a territorial government was organized 
and Ninian Edwards, of Kentucky, was appointed governor. 

Partly on account of peace with the Indians, which fol- 
lowed the War of 1812, 
and partly owing to an 
act of Congress in 
1813, which gave set- 
tlers the right to "pre- 
empt" the public lands, 
the tide of immigration 
began to roll in upon 
the new region. (It 
might be well to ex- 
plain here that the law 
of pre-emption provid- 
ed that when a settler 
had made improve- 
ments upon a piece of 
government land, he 
could not be supplanted 
by another purchaser NINIAN EDWARDS. 

until he had been afforded an opportunity to buy the land 
from the government.) The pioneer had used deer skins, 
coon skins and various other pelts as a medium of ex- 
change, but the payment of the soldiers and the arrival of 




immigrants caused money to become more abundant. 

The population increased rapidly from 1812 to 1818. 
Many of the soldiers from the States of Virginia, Tennessee 
and Kentucky were so well pleased with the country that 
they sent for their families and established permanent 
homes. Before 1818 ten new counties had been formed, 

making a total of fif- 
teen, and the popula- 
tion of the State had 
increased to almost for- 
ty thousand. 

"The Bank of Illinois''' 
was established ?t 
Shawneetown i n 1816, 
and the following year 
other banks were locat- 
ed at Kankasia and 
Edward sville. 
Although the popula- 
tion had not reached 
60,000, the number re- 
quired for statehood by 
the "Ordinance o f 
1787," the people, ener- 
getic and restless, clam- 
ored to be admitted to the Union. Congress passed an 
"enabling act" reducing the requirements to 40,000, and a 
questionable census reported the necessary number. The 
territorial delegate to Congress was Judge Nathanial Pope, 
who thoroughly understood the needs of the Illinois coun- 
try. Deep and lasting should be our gratitude to this 



great man for his wise forethought in placing important 
amendments to the bill which admitted Illinois as a State. 

One of these amendments provided that three-fifths of 
the 5 per cent fund from the sale of public lands should 
be devoted to "the encouragement of education" and that 
one-sixth of this sum was to be used exclusively for the 
establishing and maintenance of a university or college. 
To-day the State is reaping the fruits of this wise legislation. 

Another amendment, which has proven of inestimable 
value to Illinois, provided that the northern boundary 
should be extended to the parallel of forty-two degrees 
and nine minutes north latitude. This was fifty-one miles 
north of the line indicated by the "Ordinance of 1787." But 
Judge Pope contended that it would be of great advantage 
to Illinois and the nation to have the new State embrace a 
part of Lake Michigan. 

In his plea upon the floor of Congress he used these elo- 
quent words : 

"If her commerce is to be confined to that great artery of 
communication, the Mississippi, which washes her entire 
western border, and to its chief tributary on the south, the 
Ohio, there is a possibility that her commercial relations 
with the South may become so closely connected that in 
the event of an attempted dismemberment of the Union, 
Illinois will cast her lot with the Southern States. On the 
other hand, to fix the northern boundary of Illinois upon 
such a parallel of latitude as would give to the State terri- 
torial jurisdiction over the southwestern shores of Lake 
Michigan, would be to unite the incipient commonwealth 
to the States of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New 
York in a bond of common interest well nigh indissoluble. 


By the adoption of such a line Illinois may become at 
some future time the keystone to the perpetuity of the 

Judge Pope, with all his wisdom, probably "builded bet- 
ter than he knew." Had the original boundary prevailed 
Chicago would have been situated in Wisconsin instead 
of Illinois. 

It is a question whether in that case the city would 
have become so great, for the Illinois and Michigan canal, 
and the Illinois Central R. R., which contributed so largely 
to her early growth, were due wholly to the enterprise of 
the State and would not have been built to any city in an 
adjoining territory. 

In 1856, the votes of the fourteen counties formed from 
this strip made Illinois a Republican State and assured the 
candidacy of Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency. This 
change in boundary gave to Illinois the city of Galena, the 
home of U. S. Grant. 

These are some of the reasons why the change of our 
northern boundary through the wisdom of Judge Pope was 
of very great importance to Illinois and the nation. 

In July, 1818, thirty-three delegates gathered in Kaskas- 
kia to draft a constitution for the future State. The greater 
number of them were farmers, men of limited education, 
but possessed of much natural ability and experience in 
public affairs. The constitution framed by them was a 
brief document, copied largely from the constitutions of 
Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. In a series of eight articles 
it defined the duties and powers of 'the executive, judicial 
and legislative departments of the new State. 


A curious provision of this constitution placed the veto 
power with a "Council of Revision," consisting of the 
governor and the judges of the Supreme bench. 

No salaries were fixed, but it provided that the Governor 
should not receive to exceed $1,000 annually, and the 
Secretary of State not more than $600. 

As if doubting the wisdom of placing too much power 
directly with the people, the Constitution provided that the 
only officers to be elected should be Governor, Lieutenant- 
Governor, Sheriff, Coroner and County Commissioners. 
Other officers were to be appointed by the Governor or 
the General Assembly. 

Their labors ended, the members of the Convention 
adjourned on August 26, and on December 3, of the same 
year, Illinois was admitted to the Union as the eighth 
new State. 

Few public documents stand, unaltered, the test of time 
and experience. The ready-made Constitution was poorly 
suited to the needs of the people of Illinois. Upon it was 
heaped the blame for the many misfortunes that befell the 
State in its early years. 

At length, in 1848, a new Constitution, which corrected 
many of the defects of the old, was adopted by the people. 
But as this Constitution was framed when the people were 
heavily in debt and before the natural resources of the 
country were known, it failed to provide for the expansion 
of the young State. 

In December, 1869, a convention of the people gathered 
at Springfield "To alter, revise or amend the Constitution" 
for a third time. This Convention, numbering eighty-five 
delegates, was the ablest body that had ever gathered in 



the State. It was composed of men of ripe experience, 
sound judgment and profound learning, who had gained 
distinction in their various professions as lawyers, farmers, 
merchants, bankers, physicians and editors. Such a body 
of men, inspired by high and patriotic motives, could not 

fail to produce a docu- 
ment suited to the needs 
of the people. The result 
of their deliberations 
was the present Consti- 
tution, which many stu- 
dents o f politics c o n - 
sider wiser and better 
than that possessed by 
any other State in the 
Union. The State, 
however, in its rapid de- 
velopment has o u t - 
grown many of its pro- 
visions, and a consider- 
able number of amend- 
ments have been added 
from time to time so 
that the instrument may 
continue to serve the 
purpose for which it was originally intended. One of the 
new and commendable articles of the Constitution provides 
for the establishment and maintenance of an efficient pub- 
lic school system. Another very important clause of the 
instrument distinctly prohibits any city, town or county 
of the State from becoming a subscriber to the capital stock 



of any railroad or corporation. It further provides for the 
establishing of a minority representation in the State legis- 
lature. This principle permits every voter to cast as many 
ballots for one candidate to the legislature as there are 
representatives to be chosen in his district, or he may 
divide his votes among the various candidates as he wishes. 
Thus the minority party in any district in the State may 
mass its votes upon a single candidate. This, the third 
Constitution, was adopted by the people in 1870. 

The first governor of Illinois was Shadrach Bond, who, 
like many men who have contributed to the greatness and 
honor of the State, was born beyond its limits. He came 
to the Illinois country from Maryland in 1794, when but 
twenty-one years of age. Compelled to work upon a farm 
in the American Bottoms, he obtained little schooling, 
but by diligent use of his time he acquired a store of 
knowledge which made him a power among men of that 
early day. With jet black hair and eyes, tall and erect, com- 
manding in appearance and dignified in bearing, he won the 
esteem and respect of all men. A captain in the War 
of 1812, he was elected as the first territorial delegate to 
Congress. Appointed as the receiver of public moneys, 
he removed in 1814 to Kaskaskia, and erected there a 
spacious brick house, which he occupied until his death. 
The first lieutenant-governor of the State, Pierre Menard, 
was born near Montreal, Canada, in 1766. When but a 
lad he came to Vincennes and hired out to a French mer- 
chant. About the year 1790 he removed to Kaskaskia and 
set up a business for himself. He was short of stature, 
impulsive in his nature, bright and alert, and possessed of 
a kind heart that won him many friends. 



The soul of honor, Pierre Menard treated red men and 
white with equal consideration. Over the Indians, who 
had implicit confidence in him, he possessed an influence 
greater than that of any other man in the territory. At 
his spacious home he dispensed a boundless hospitality 
to rich and poor alike. In those days salt was expensive 

and difficult to obtain. 
At one time Pierre Me- 
nard held the only sup- 
ply to be found outside 
of St. Louis. In great 
distress, the people of 
the region came to buy. 
He ranged those who 
declared they had mon- 
ey with which to pur- 
chase upon one side of 
his store and those who 
confessed they had 
nothing on the other. 
Then he addressed them 
in his broken English: 
"Your men who got de 
money can go to St. 
Louis for your salt. Dese poor men who got no money 
shall have my salt, by gar." At the expiration of his term of 
office he retired from public service and lived upon his large 
estate at Kaskaskia, where he died in 1844. The State, in 
recognition of his services, named a county for him. Charles 
Pierre Choteau of St. Louis, erected at the east front of 
the capitol at Springfield a monument to his memory. 




The first negro slaves were brought to the American 
colonies in 1619 by a Dutch trader and sold to the Virginia 
planters. A century later, in 1721, Philip Renault pur- 
chased 500 ne- 
groes a t S a n 
Domingo and 
brought them 
to Fort Char- 
tres t o work 
in the gold 
and silver 
mines which 
the Commer- 
cial Company 
expected to 
open. But no 
mines were 
discovered and 
the slaves were 
sold to the 
French set- 
tlers. All the 
French slaves 
of Illinois were 
descended from GOVt EDWA RD COLES. 



these San Domingo negroes. At this time the countries of 
Europe permitted slavery in their various colonies. The 
laws of France regulating the practice were humane and 
merciful. They provided that slaves were to be instructed 
in the Roman Catholic religion. The Sabbath also was to 
be observed by them. Marriages between whites and blacks 
could not be solemnized. Masters were commanded to 
deal kindly with their slaves, and to care for those rendered 
useless by infirmity or old age. Negro families were not to 
be separated by sale, nor could a negro over forty years of 
age be sold from the land on which he lived. 

Slavery never flourished in Illinois. In 1810 there were 
but 1 68 slaves within the borders of the Territory, and in 
1820, with all the increase in population, only 917. But 
many of the settlers came from States where slavery flour- 
ished and were desirous of continuing the system. When 
the "Ordinance of 1787," prohibiting slavery in the North- 
west Territory, was passed, many people believed that 
the institution would disappear from the South as it had 
from the North. But the invention of the cotton gin and 
the steam engine greatly increased the demand for cotton. 
The States bordering upon the Gulf became vast cotton 
fields, cultivated by slave labor. In New England and 
Great Britain millions of spindles were whirling and shut- 
tles were flying to supply the waiting world with clothing. 
Instead of dying out, slavery became firmly fastened upon 
the nation. Those who were benefited by its existence 
began to do all in their power to make it a permanent 

While Illinois was still a Territory, several attempts were 
made to repeal that clause of the "Ordinance of 1787," 


prohibiting slavery. These attempts upon Congress might 
have proved successful but for the influence of James 

Illinois was admitted as a free State in 1818, only after 
the most serious objection from the slave-holding element. 
To satisfy those who had been defeated, the first general 
assembly, whose members had been largely reared in slave- 
holding communities, enacted a series of "black laws" 
which were as severe as those of any slave State. 

Since this iniquitous institution has passed away, it may 
be interesting to examine these laws which did not entirely 
disappear from our statute books until 1848. "Any one 
who freed his slaves within the State was compelled to 
give a bond for $1,000, a guarantee that those liberated 
should not become public charges, livery free negro was 
required to obtain a certificate of freedom certified to under 
seal of a court of record. This certificate was recorded 
in the county in which his family settled. Every negro not 
holding such a certificate was* adjudged a runaway slave. 
He was to be arrested, and if he was not claimed within 
six weeks or his freedom established, he was to be sold 
for a period of one year. At the end of this time if no 
one claimed him a certificate might be granted him. 
Any person employing a negro who did not hold 
such a certificate was liable to a fine of $1.50 for each 
day the negro was employed. To harbor a slave or 
hinder the owner from retaking him was declared a 
felony, punishable by a fine of two fold the value of the 
slave and whipping not to exceed thirty stripes. No 
person could sell to, buy from, or trade with any slave, 
without consent of his master, under penalty of forfeiting 


to the owner four times the amount of the transaction. 
Any slave found ten miles from home without a permit was 
liable to arrest and to receive thirty-five stripes, on the 
order of a justice of the peace. A lazy or disorderly slave 
or bond servant was to be corrected with stripes, and for 
every day he refused to work he was to serve two. Riots 
or unlawful assemblies of slaves were punishable with 
stripes not to exceed thirty-nine. In all cases where white 
citizens were punishable by fines, slaves were punished by 
whipping at the rate of twenty stripes for every $8.00 fine. 
But the punishment was not to exceed forty stripes at 
any one time." 

After the admission of Illinois, the entire nation soon 
became engaged in an angry contest over the question of 
admitting Missouri as a free or slave State. The excite- 
ment had not subsided at the time of the second general 
election in Illinois in 1822. Although the subject of slavery 
was not mentioned, yet every one felt that "the question 
was in the air." To the surprise of the people, Edward 
Coles, a native of Virginia and a strong anti-slavery man, 
was elected governor. The smouldering embers were 
fanned into a flame by his eloquent message to the general 
assembly. It strongly recommended that the Black laws be 
repealed, and that the slaves of the French settlers be no 
longer held in bondage. 

The friends of slavery attempted to make a slave State 
of Illinois. This could be done only by amending the 
Constitution. Accordingly the legislature, which contained 
a majority of members who favored slavery, adopted a 
resolution submitting the question to a vote of the people 
at the next election. The passage of this measure was 


considered a great victory for the friends of slavery, who 
indulged in many triumphal celebrations. 

But the opponents of slavery did not lose heart. There 
were still eighteen months before the election, and each 
party put forth every effort to gain adherents. Such 
an exciting canvass had never before been witnessed. 
Every one became engaged in the party strife. Fami- 
lies were divided; neighborhoods surrendered to the 
bitter warfare; personal combats were frequent. Every 
newspaper of the new State was ranged upon one side or 
the other. Papers were established during the campaign 
to which the ablest writers of their respective parties con- 
tributed. Pamphlets were distributed containing statistics 
for or against slavery. The "friends of freedom" organized 
"anti-slavery societies." Governor Coles contributed his 
entire salary, $4,000, as a campaign fund. On election 
day each party turned out in full force. The lame, the 
halt, the blind, the aged, were assisted to the polls by their 
friends. When the votes were counted it was found that 
slavery had been defeated by 1,800 majority. This was 
the most exciting and important election ever held in early 
Illinois. Feeling in the matter speedily subsided. Six 
months after, it was difficult to find a politician who would 
admit that he favored the introduction of slavery into 

Outside the State, the contest over slavery raged fiercely. 
Slave-holders believed that discussion of the subject from 
the platform or in the newspaper should be prohibited. This 
was denying the right of free discussion and liberty of 
speech. These are two principles that have always been 
dear to the Saxon. 


Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, a Presbyterian minister, was 
editing- a religious paper in St. Louis. In the columns of 
the Observer, he fearlessly attacked the institution of 
slavery. A mob entered his office, broke his press to pieces, 
threw his type into the river, and compelled him to leave 
the city. Determined to remove to a free State, he went 
to Alton, purposing to re-establish his paper. Two other 
presses were destroyed by mobs, but his friends, now fully 
aroused, collected money with which to purchase a fourth 
press. The press arrived on the night of November 7, 
1837, an d was stored in the stone warehouse of Godfrey, 
Gilman & Co. The next night, news of its arrival having 
been circulated, a drunken mob, armed with guns, brick- 
bats and stones, assembled and demanded the press. 

Mr. Lovejoy and a few friends, who had also armed 
themselves, were gathered in the building. "It is my 
determination to defend my property," exclaimed Mr. 

"Shoot the Abolitionists ! Tear down the house !" 
shouted the mob, and, suiting the action to the word, they 
began to break the windows and fire upon the building. 

The men within returned the fire, killing one and wound- 
ing others of the mob. "Burn the building," shouted the 
drunken ruffians. Ladders were raised and a man quickly 
ran up and applied a torch to the roof. 

Mr. Lovejoy, with a rifle in his hands, appeared and was 
shot down, pierced by five bullets. Thus died the first 
martyr to the cause of slavery in the State of Illinois. 

Widespread excitement was caused by this tragic death. 
Papers came out in mourning. Public meetings were held 
ki many places. Orators declared that Lovejoy had found 


a grave in a free State ; that the martyrdom of this repre- 
sentative of justice, liberty and free speech would kindle 
a flame, which years would fail to extinguish. 

An institution known as the "underground railroad" 
existed in many of the Northern States. The engi- 
neers and conductors were people who believed slavery 
to be wrong. The road had its beginning on the banks of 
the Ohio River and its terminus in Canada. The passen- 
gers were escaped negroes who were conducted by night 
from one friendly family to another, where they were con- 
cealed during the day. Who the operators of this mys- 
terious system were no one knew. But in nearly every 
community there lived some farmer or business man whose 
house was a refuge for these unfortunate beings. Levi 
Coffin was the most prominent of all the men who were en- 
gaged in assisting runaway negroes to Canada. He was 
born in North Carolina, but early developed such a hatred 
for the institution of slavery that he determined to live in a 
free State, and removed to Indiana. It is said that he 
sheltered more than a hundred fugitives every year. 

The slave-holders began to complain that they were 
being systematically robbed, and that they should be pro- 
tected. Accordingly Congress passed the Fugitive Slave 
Law which made it a crime to assist a runaway slave. But 
instead of benefiting the slave-owner, the passage of this 
law raised a storm of opposition. 

Thus the struggle against slavery continued. In Kansas 
civil war broke out. Preston S. Brookes, a member of 
Congress from South Carolina, became enraged at Charles 
Sumner, of Massachusetts, for offensive insinuations con- 
tained in a speech delivered against slavery. He attacked 


Senator Sunmer on the floor of the Senate chamber, and 
beat him into insensibility with a heavy cane. 

While few people expected to see slavery abolished, 
there were some, both among Whigs and Democrats, who 
believed that it should not be permitted to spread to new 
States and Territories. 

Dissatisfied members from all parties united to form 
the Republican party, which was pledged to prevent the 
spread of slavery. 

Abraham Lincoln had become noted because of a series 
of debates which he had held with Senator Stephen A. 
Douglas upon the political questions of the day. In an 
address before the people of Springfield, he used these 
words : "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I 
believe this Government cannot endure half slave and half 
free, I do not expect the Union will be dissolved, but I 
do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all 
one thing or all the other." 

The election of Abraham Lincoln, the candidate of the 
Republican party in 1860, was followed by the great Civil 



When the Territory of Illinois was separated from Indiana 
by Congress in 1809, Kaskaskia, the most important com- 
mercial center of the region, was chosen as the seat of 

The Territorial legislature held its sessions in a large 
rough building of uncut limestone, located in the center 
of the square. This venerable structure had been the head- 
quarters of the military commander during the time of 
French occupancy. The lower floor of the cheerless struc- 
ture was fitted 
up for the use 
of the House. 
The members 
of the council 
occupied a small 
chamber above 
where they per- 
formed their la- 
bors, gathered 
about a circular 

FIRST CAPITOL. table. The vil- 

lage of Kaskaskia continued to flourish as the capital 
of the Territory. It was the chief town of the region. Easily 
accessible to steamboats and post-roads, the large com- 
mercial firms had here their headquarters. It became the 
home of many statesmen and public men. 



But when the members of the convention gathered to 
frame the first State Constitution, they provided in this 
instrument that "the seat of government should remain 
at Kaskaskia until the General Assembly should other- 
wise direct." They also provided that this body should 
''petition Congress for a grant to the State of four sections 
of land for the seat of government," and if the prayer was 
granted that a town should be laid out thereon, which 
should remain the capital of the State for twenty years. 

The land was to be situated upon the Kaskaskia River, 
and east of the Third Principal Meridian. The only reason 
for a change of location at this time was "a mania for 
speculation" and the hope that fortunes might be made 
by building a new town. 

Carlyle, which had been laid out on the Kaskaskia River 
by two gentlemen from Virginia, was competing for the 
honor of location with a site higher up the river known 
as "Pope's Bluff." While the contest was raging, a hunter, 
named Reeves, appeared before the convention and de- 
clared that "Pope's Bluff and Carlyle wasn't a primin' to 
his bluff." His cabin was located still higher up the river 
at a point where the Third Meridian crossed the stream. 
The location was indeed beautiful. Under the shade of the 
gigantic trees, "former lords of the forest might have held 
grave council." The site was so commanding that the 
commissioners fixed upon the hunter's home as the location 
for the future capital. 

Tradition relates that a wag who was present suggested 
to the commissioners that, since the Vandals were a power- 
ful tribe of Indians, who formerly occupied this region, 
the name Vandalia would preserve the name of the extinct 




Three different State houses were built at Vandalia. The first, a 
two-story frame building, was burned December 9, 1823. The sec- 
ond, a commodious brick structure, erected at a cost of $12,381.50 
toward which the citizens contributed the sum of $3,000 was de- 
molished in 1836 to make place for the present building, which the 
people of Vandalia erected to prevent the removal of the capital 
to Springfield. But the capital remained in Vandalia only a few 
months, however, or until 1837, when the legislature passed a bill 
ordering its removal to Springfield. This was immediately done 
and the State refunded to Vandalia the $16,000 her residents had 
expended in constructing the building. The brick columns of this 
building were replaced by iron pillars September 18, 1889. 


race and also make an excellent name for the new capital. 
Accordingly the town site was called Vandalia. 

A temporary State House of two stories was speedily 
erected upon a foundation of rough stone. Two men were 
paid $25 to transfer the State records to the new capital. 
In December, 1820, they shouldered their axes and cut a 
road through the forest for the small wagon containing the 
valuable freight. 

A little village sprang up, and when the new State House 
was burned in 1823 the citizens speedily raised $3,000 with 
which to assist in erecting a new building. 

In the center of the square, a commodious brick structure 
was erected, which answered well the needs of our early 

This building, in 1836, gave place to a more beautiful 
structure, which still adorns the city of Vandalia, and is 
used for the Court House for Fayette County. 

Immigration was pouring into the rich farming lands 
in the central and northern portions of the new State. Long 
before the limit of twenty years had expired, agitation be- 
gan for the removal of the capital from Vandalia, which 
had grown to be a beautiful little city. 

In that early day before the introduction of railroads, 
when all travel was by stage or by horseback, the location 
of the capital at a more central point was of greater 
importance than it would be at the present time. 

After much discussion the legislature passed an act re- 
quiring that the two houses meet on the 28th of February; 
1837, at 10 o'clock, to select a suitable place for the per- 
manent location of the seat of government, after the ex- 
piration of the Constitutional term at Vandalia. 



Twenty-nine towns were rivals for the honor. The six 
whose chances seemed good were Illiopolis, Peoria, Jack- 
sonville, Alton, Vandalia and Springfield. On the fourth 
ballot seventy-three votes made Springfield the choice of 
the convention. The success of Springfield was due largely 
to the able delegation, consisting of two senators and seven 



representatives sent to the legislature from Sangamon 
county. The delegation was known as the "long nine," 
because the combined height of its members was fifty-four 
feet. Abraham Lincoln and Ninian Edwards were mem- 
bers of this famous delegation. These men, able, per- 
sistent and talented, went to Vandalia with the express 
determination of obtaining the location of the capital at 
Springfield. With this end in view they pulled together 
and voted as a unit on every question. 

At this time almost every section of the State desired 
appropriations to improve rivers, construct railroads and 
lay out canals or public roads. "The long nine" took 
advantage of the situation. All axes could be sharpened 
upon their grindstone if in return delegates would vote 
for the removal of the capital to Springfield. The "log 
rolling" of the "long nine" continued throughout the 
winter, and resulted in final victory. 

At this time Springfield was an ambitious village of 1,500 
people, second in population only to Jacksonville. Its 
frame houses were poorly constructed; sidewalks were 
lacking, and the streets were often rendered impassable 
by the deep mud. 

President Lincoln enjoyed telling this story of the town 
of which he was so fond : 

Thompson Campbell, Secretary of State, one day re- 
ceived an application from a meek looking man, with a 
white necktie, for the use of the assembly chamber to de- 
liver a course of lectures. 

"May I ask," said the Secretary, "what is to be the sub- 
ject of your lectures?" 

"Certainly," was the reply, with a very solemn expres- 


sion of countenance, "it is on the second coming of our 

"It is no use," said Campbell, "if you will take my 
advice you will not waste your time in this city. It is my 
private opinion that if the Lord had been in Springfield 
once, he would not come the second time." 

The corner-stone of the new State House, which was to 
be built in the center of the village, was laid with much 
ceremony July 4, 1837. The building, which cost $200,000, 
was greatly admired for its beauty, and was considered 
large enough to meet the needs of the State for many 

The advancement and prosperity of a State may be read 
in its public buildings. Before twenty-five years had 
passed, our State had outgrown its third capitol building, 
which is now the Court House for Sangamon County. 
Again did rival towns, especially Peoria and Decatur, bid 
for the tempting prize. Finally the citizens of Springfield 
donated "the Mather lot," a beautiful tract of seven acres, to 
which four acres more have been added. Upon this the 
State has reared a pile of architecture so rich and ornate 
in design, so ample in proportion, and so costly in struc- 
ture, that the question of capital removal will probably 
never again be discussed. 

The corner-stone was laid in October, 1868, and the 
entire structure was completed at a cost of $4,260,000. 

The opening of vast coal fields, the centering of railroads 
in the city, the establishing of manufactures, the energy 
and thrift of her citizens, has caused Springfield to grow 
from an inconsiderable village to an attractive and beautiful 
city, a fit home for our capitol, a fit capital for our State. 



In the little village of Sharon, Vermont, was born on 
December 23, 1805, a child named Joseph Smith, who was 
destined to wield a wide influence and establish an addi- 
tional religious sect. When Joseph was but a lad his 
father removed to Palmyra, New York. 

At about the age of fifteen young Joseph Smith attended 
one of the great revival meetings which were being held in 
the State and was deeply affected. He relates that retiring 
to a wood for prayer and meditation he beheld a wonderful 
vision. Two persons appeared to him in a pillar of light. 
One of these heavenly visitors commanded him to unite 
with no established church. He further states that he was 
again visited by an angel, who revealed to him the location 
of certain gold plates hidden in the earth, that contained a 
record of the former inhabitants of America. In a few 
/ears these were obtained and translated by him and pub- 
lished as "The Book of Mormon." 

About this time there appeared an itinerant preacher 
named Sidney Rigdon, who had one time worked in a print- 
ing office in Pittsburg. To this office one Solomon Spauld- 
ing had sent a writing styled "The Manuscript Found,"* a 
romance of the origin of the North American Indians. Cer- 
tain people claim that this manuscript obtained by Sidney 
Rigdon is the basis of "The Book of Mormon." A com- 

*This manuscript is in the possession of The Oberlin (Ohio) 
College Library. 



parison of the two books, however, necessitates an aban- 
donment of this theory. There is no common incident or 
name, in fact, no resemblance whatever between 'The 
Manuscript Found" and "The Book of Mormon." The 
Mormons, moreover, claim that Joseph Smith made this 
translation several years before he became acquainted with 
Sidney Rigdon, who joined the sect November 14, 1830. 

The "Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints" was organ- 
ized at Fayette, New York, on April 6, 1830. The little 
band, at this time numbering but six members, chose Jo- 
seph Smith to be the presiding officer. 

The church grew rapidly and in 1836 dedicated its first 
temple at Kirtland, Ohio. This structure still stands and 
is a remarkable monument of Mormon industry and zeal 

Through a revelation it was declared that Independence, 
Mo., was to be the future "City of Zion." To this religion 
many of the faithful gathered. But there was much strife 
between them and the people of Missouri concerning relig- 
ion and the question of slavery, for the Mormons did not 
hold slaves. The newly organized county of Caldwell was 
given them for their exclusive use. Here they gathered in 
great numbers and established the city of "Far West." To 
this place Joseph Smith and other leading Mormons from 
Kirtland, Ohio, came in the year 1838. But the persecu- 
tions did not cease and in the winter of 1838-39 they were 
driven from the State and sought shelter in Illinois, pur- 
chasing a large body of land in Hancock County. In the 
midst of this tract, upon the banks of the Mississippi, they 
established Nauvoo, "the Holy City of the Saints." 

A special charter was secured for this new city and John 
C. Bennett was elected mayor. Each of the two great 


political parties the Whigs and the Democrats desired 
to secure the support of the Mormons. 

Thus it happened that when Dr. Bennett went to Spring- 
field to secure a charter for the new city life was aided by 
the politicians of both parties. 

A Nauvoo Legion was established which, in addition to 
the regular powers of the Militia of the State, was to be 
"at the disposal of the Mayor in executing the laws and 
ordinances of the City Corporation." 

The Governor of Missouri made a demand upon Gov- 
ernor Carlin of Illinois for Joseph Smith, who had fled 
from the State while under arrest. A warrant was issued 
for him and he was brought before Judge Douglas, who 
found the warrant defective and released the prisoner. 
Because of constant persecutions and fearful that their 
leader might be taken from them, it is said the Mormon 
Council enacted a law "That no writ issued at any other 
place except Nauvoo for the arrest of any person in the 
city should be executed without approval endorsed 
thereon by the mayor." The result of this law was soon 
apparent. Any man who committed a crime would now 
endeavor to hide in the city of Nauvoo, and it is certain 
that the Mormons were blamed for many crimes committed 
by others. 

The Mormons now became unpopular everywhere. After 
the release of Smith by Judge Douglas his followers had 
returned to the Democratic party. 

The Whigs, realizing that they were lost to their party, 
began to attack them through the columns of their papers. 
The Legion had been furnished by the State with 250 


stands of arms and three pieces of cannon. These the 
papers magnified into many thousands of arms. 

The people, now inflamed, prepared to make war upon 
the Mormons, and the Governor called out the troops. 
Before his arrival upon the scene, the entire militia of 
McDonough and Schuyler Counties had assembled at 
Carthage and Warsaw. The Governor, fearful that the 
Mormon leaders would be sacrificed to the fury of the peo- 
ple, obtained from the officers a promise that they would 
keep within the limit of the law in the discharge of their 

Knowing that warrants had been issued, Joseph Smith 
and his brother Hyrum went to Carthage and gave them- 
selves up to the sheriff. But on June 27, 1844, they were 
assassinated at the hands of a mob. 

In summing up the character of Joseph Smith one writer 
states : 

"But whether knave or lunatic, whether a liar or a true 
man, it cannot be denied that he was one of the most 
extraordinary persons of his time, a man of rude genius, 
who accomplished a much greater work than he knew ; and 
whose name, whatever he may have been whilst living, will 
take its place among the notabilities of the world." * 

As organized, the church consisted of three presidents 
and twelve apostles, who were abroad preaching Mormon- 
ism. Two of the presidents Joseph and Hyrum Smith 
were dead. The third, Sidney Rigdon, proposed to seize 
the power, but becoming unpopular a fierce dispute arose 
between him and the twelve apostles who had returned at 
the news of their leaders' death. 

*Smucker's History of Mormons, page 183. 


The apostles with Brigham Young at their head gained 
control and sent missionaries everywhere preaching Mor- 
monism and the martyred Joseph Smith. Many flocked 
into the church and the sect grew rapidly. At the death 
of the Prophet the church numbered about two hundred 
thousand, "a number equal, perhaps, to the number of 
Christians when the Christian church was of the same 

Meanwhile the State had revoked the charter of Nauvoo 
and the Saints prepared for the journey to the promised 
land, where they hoped to live undisturbed. 

In the spring of 1846 the great company began to depart, 
and after enduring many hardships arrived upon the shores 
of Salt Lake. Of this region their industry soon made a 
garden. Here were laid the foundations of a mammoth 
Temple, which has been completed after many years of 
labor and the expenditure of great treasure. 

The city of Salt Lake grew up around it, and with pass- 
ing years the church of the "Latter Day Saints" has grown 
in wealth and in the number of its people. 

But many Mormons refused to follow Brigham Young to 
Utah, nor would they accept the doctrine of polygamy 
announced by him in 1852. These people, many of whom 
lived in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, began a movement to 
reorganize the church. This was finally accomplished and 
in 1860 Joseph Smith, a son of the founder, was chosen to 
be the presiding officer. 

This branch of the Mormon church, the "Re-organized 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," has its head- 
quarters at Lamoni, Iowa. 

* Ford's History of Illinois, page 359. 



When Illinois became a State, in 1818, the only means 
of transportation available was the pack horse or mule and 
the heavy ox-wagon over the roadless prairies ; the canoe, 
flat-boat and keel-boat on the rivers which crossed the State 
or formed a part of its boundary lines. 

Immediately after its admission into the Union, immi- 
gration into Illinois increased astonishingly. Emigrants not 
only from the older States but also from foreign countries 
rushed within its borders, and, spreading over its northern 
prairies, reached the banks of the Mississippi or the wooded 
bottoms of the Illinois, the Okaw and the Sangamon. 

Farms by hundreds sprang up; at first, the portions 
chosen for settlement were the wooded and watered sec- 
tions, and here the woodman's ax made the clearing neces- 
sary for the farm. On this account the work of preparing 
land for cultivation was slow. Soon, however, settlers 
realized the value of the rich open prairie lands for farming 
purposes, and by the tens of thousands the acres were put 
under the breaking plow, and the tall wild prairie grass 
gave way to growing corn and waving wheat fields. 
Thousands of farms came into cultivation, and towns 
and villages innumerable were laid out and carefully sur- 
veyed. Lots in blocks and lots single were put at auction 
everywhere, until at last "the principal product of Illinois 
is town lots" became a common saying. 



With so many towns, cities and villages coming into 
being, with the rapid development of farming industry, 
the problem of transportation naturally presented itself. 
How were the fast increasing crops to reach the markets, 
and how were the settlers to transport from the East and 
South the many things required in their new homes? 

The first attempt to solve this all-important problem was 
made in 1836, when Illinois was eighteen years old. In 
that year a bill, recommended by Governor Duncan, was 
introduced into its legislature providing for a "system of 
internal improvements." This bill became a law on Feb- 
ruary 27, 1837. 

It provided for the issue of over ten million dollars' 
worth of bonds to be used for the improvement of naviga- 
tion on the Illinois, Wabash, Rock and Kaskaskia Rivers, 
and also for building several railroads, among which were 
lines from Cairo to Galena, Alton to Mt. Carmel, Peoria to 
Warsaw, Alton to the Central railroad, another name 
for the Cairo and Galena line. 

The first railroad, "the Great Northern Cross," was be- 
gun May 9, 1838, at Meredosia. Eight miles of track were 
completed, and the people, anxious to see the cars run, 
had a locomotive shipped by water from Pittsburgh. All 
the horses and oxen of the community were required to 
haul the huge machine up the river bank. This engine, 
the first ever seen in the Mississippi Valley, made its first 
run November 8th, 1838, with Engineer Joseph Field in 
charge and Governor Duncan and a party of his friends as 
passengers. This was only ten years after the building of 
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first one in the 
United States. 


The railroad building under State supervision and the 
brilliant scheme of improvement so full of promise on the 
start, was doomed to failure. Due to dishonesty of con- 
tractors, to lack of business experience and to the greed of 
many, the proposed work under State provision had to be 
stopped. The blunder of embarking upon an undertaking 
without the necessary knowledge to conduct it successfully, 
was followed by a still greater blunder, that of disposing 
of what transportation property the State owned with such 
haste that hardly anything was realized. This can be given 
as one instance : The Meredosia Railroad completed to 
Springfield at an expense of $1,000,000, was sold to Mr. 
Nicholas H. Ridgley, of Springfield, for $21.100. 

Railroads, nevertheless, were indispensable for the suc- 
cessful development of the State, and what had not been 
accomplished by the State itself was to be carried suc- 
cessfully through by private enterprise or by private enter- 
prise with State aid. 

On September 20, 1850, Congress passed an act grant- 
ing the right-of-way, and making a grant of land to the 
States of Illinois, Alabama and Mississippi, in aid of the 
construction of a railroad from Chicago to Mobile. This 
grant gave to the State of Illinois the alternate sections of 
land, for six sections in width, and designated by the even 
numbers, on each side of the road and its branches re- 
quired to be built in the State. 

The grant was "for the purpose of aiding in making the 
railroad and its branches aforesaid" and upon the condition 
that such lands, including the right-of-way, "shall be applied 
in the construction of said railroad and its branches and 
shall be applied to no other purpose whatsoever." This 


grant, by Congress to the State, was in trust for the specific 
purpose of building that railroad. 

At the time this act was passed the State was, and had 
been for years, in default of interest due upon its bonds. 
The State constitution then in force forbade the use of State 
money or credit in aid of the building of railroads, so the 
state chartered a company (Illinois Central Railroad Com- 
pany), which assumed all the obligations contained in the 
act of 1850, and, in addition thereto, agreed to pay to the 
State annually, in lieu of taxes, seven per cent of the gross 
earnings of the Company. 

The grant of right-of-way of 1850 was, of course, only 
for such land as the general government still owned at the 
time. The company had to buy, and did buy a good deal of 
other land, some of which for those days was high priced. 
In Chicago, a portion of the Fort Dearborn Reservation, and 
other land, was sold to the railroad through a subsequent 
act of Congress. 

The building of the Illinois Central made the immediate 
settlement of the State possible. Towns sprung up along 
the lines of railroad, and from these there radiated settle- 
ments in all directions. Not only did the building of the 
road bring the settler, but it also brought a market for the 
products of his labor. 

The Illinois Central for the year ended April 30, 1910, 
paid the State $1,197,280.02, and the total amount paid to 
April 30, 1910, aggregated $29,100,427.81. 

The amounts paid are increasing from year to year as the 
business of the road increases. This steady stream of cash 
into the State treasury has done much to keep the State free 
from debt, strengthen its credit and lighten its taxes. 


The linos of the Illinois Central now extend south from 
Chicago to St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis and 
New Orleans, and west to Omaha, Sioux City and Sioux 

While the Illinois Central was pushing the construction 
of its tracks to reach the southern end, the Ohio and Mis- 


sissippi was opening one of the most important trunk lines 
in the State reaching from Cincinnati, in Ohio, to St. 
Louis on the Mississippi River, and crossing the State of 
Illinois east and west about 125 miles north of Cairo. This, 
the extreme southern city of our State, is built on a "delta" 
formed by the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. 
It was named Cairo after the ancient Egyptian city, built 
on the delta of the Nile, and, on that account, the section 
of the State bounded on the east and west by the two 
rivers which meet at Cairo, and on the north by the Ohio 
and Mississippi Railway, was naturally nick-named Egypt. 
At Cairo one of the most important U. S. military 


posts was established, during the Civil War in the sixties. 
Here it was that General Grant began his noted career as a 
successful commander, and from her wharves were em- 
barked the gallant troops which reduced Forts Donelson 
and Henry. The Illinois Central Railroad has spent much 
money on its approaches to the Illinois Egyptian city, and 
across the Ohio it has built one of the most massive bridges 
to be found on the continent. Once nothing but a marsh and 
a bog, the land on which the city now stands has been 
made safe only after millions of expense in filling and in 
mural protection against the periodical overflow of the two 
mighty rivers which almost encircle her. 

One by one railroads have been built, until Chicago and 
Peoria have become railroad centers and terminals second 
to none. Almost every town or city within the borders 
of the State has been connected by rail, and Illinois to-day 
has more miles of operated railroads than any other State 
in the Union. 

The Chicago and Northwestern, the Chicago and Alton, 
the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, the Baltimore and 
Ohio, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, the Vandalia 
line, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, the Ohio, 
Bloomington and Western, the Chicago and Eastern 
Illinois, the Jacksonville and Southeastern, the Wabash, 
the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, the Cairo Short Line, 
the Mobile and Ohio, the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati 
and St. Louis, these are some of the prominent railroads 
which, with more than forty others, have laid their tracks 
within the borders of the State, and, with their telegraphic 
lines, have made a perfect network over its varied and fertile 


With the use of electricity as a motive power, Illinois has 
not been outstripped by any of its sister States. From 
East St. Louis east, from Chicago in every direction, out 
of and about every one of its large cities, the electric rail- 
roads have their trollies stretched, and cars, lighted and 
heated and moved by that mysterious agent, are everywhere 
seen hurrying and carrying the busy to and from their daily 

Only sixty-three years since the State was without a 
railroad! Only sixty-two years since the first engine was 
seen, by the wondering settlers, on the banks of the Illinois. 
Only fifty years since the State made its grant to the 
Illinois Central Company. 

In these fifty years the enterprise of its citizens has made 
it possible for them to reach any portion of the great State 
with greater ease and comfort and in less time than in 1835 
they could travel a score of miles. 

From Chicago, Cairo, 365 miles away, is reached in 
less than eight hours and a half. In 1835 it would have 
taken double that number of days. St. Louis is reached in 
less than eight hours from Chicago. In 1835 the trader 
made the trip in nineteen days ! The ox-cart is gone, the 
pack-mule is no longer seen, and even the horse is fast 
being superseded by steam and electricity in the rushing, 
growing life of the State. Wonderful, indeed, is the tran- 
sition from ox-cart to trolley. 


So far we have dealt with overland transportation ; but 
no less important and, according to some, far more im- 
portant, on account of its cheapness, from the standpoint of 


both operation and maintenance, is the transportation which 
properly constructed waterways afford between different 
sections of the country. 

The States of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Mary- 
land had built numerous canals. It was, therefore, perfectly 
natural that the early settlers of Illinois should also think 
of constructing them. Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the 
Treasury, directed the attention of Congress to the im- 
portance of building a canal to connect the waters of the 
Illinois River with Lake Michigan. 

Others took up the project, and finally a Congressional 
Act was passed authorizing "the State of Illinois to open a 
canal through the land to connect the Illinois River with 
Lake Michigan." The land for ninety feet on either side 
was granted to the State. 

Four commissioners were appointed, who employed 
civil engineers to compute the probable cost of construc- 
tion. Their estimate was $700,000.00, and the State pro- 
ceeded with the work until $1,500,000.00 had been spent 
with little progress. Work was suspended until the Illinois 
members in Congress succeeded in having passed by that 
body an act granting to Illinois "for the purpose of aiding 
her" to complete the work, the alternate sections of public 
land for five miles on each side of the canal, along its 
entire route, amounting to 2,243,323 acres. A large force 
of men was employed, Chicago and Ottawa were laid out, 
and, at the end of twelve years, the work was completed. 
The canal was sixty feet wide at the ground level, thirty-six 
feet at the bottom, and six feet in depth. Five feeders 
furnished the water supply, twenty-five bridges spanned it, 
seventeen locks were used in lifting and lowering boats, 


and a steamboat harbor was built where the canal joins 
the Illinois River. 

On April 16, 1848, the canal boat General Thornton, gaily 
decked, made the first journey, of one hundred miles, on 
the waters of the completed Illinois and Michigan Canal, 
the citizens of La Salle and other towns along its route, 
as well as those of Chicago, celebrating the event. 

In 1865, Chicago enlarged and deepened the channel, 
so that it might assist in clearing the Chicago River of 
accumulated filth. The large expenditure for this purpose 
was to be repaid from the future earnings of the waterway. 
But when the city was laid waste by the dreadful fire of 
1871, the State promptly placed the entire sum expended 
in the treasury of the stricken city. Since its completion, 
in 1848, until 1887, tne canal earned enough to pay for 
the expense of building it, and $2,000,000.00 besides. 

In 1882 the canal was, by legislative action, made a na- 
tional waterway and placed under control of the United 
States Government. Extensive improvements on the Illinois 
River for the promotion and development of commerce, 
an admirable passenger and freight steamboat service on 
the lakes, as well as on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, 
all combine in giving to Illinois excellent water transporta- 
tion facilities. 



When, in 1845, war was declared upon Mexico, and 
President Polk called for volunteers, the men of Illinois 
responded with enthusiasm. Everywhere strains of martial 
music and the oratory of public speakers rallied the people 
to the defense of the flag. While the quota from Illinois 
was only "three regiments," six were furnished, and many 
companies were refused. Colonel John J. Hardin com- 
manded the first regiment, and Colonel William H. Bissell 
the second. These regiments assembled at Alton, and 
hastening southward joined the troops of General Taylor 
in August, 1846. The war was on in earnest. General 
Taylor's troops had already won the battles of Palo Alto 
and Resaca de la Palma, fighting so bravely that a Mexican 
poet wrote these lines regarding them: 

"Dark is Palo Alto's story ; 

Sad Resaca Palma's route; 
On those fatal fields, so gory, 

Many gallant life went out. 

, *i *P '\* *P H* *K 

On they came, those Northern horsemen, 
On, like eagles toward the sun; 

Followed then the Northern bayonet, 
And the field was lost and won." 

The Illinois troops, with those from other States, forming 
an army 4,500 strong, marched to Monterey and thence, 



after a long delay, to Buena Vista (beautiful view), where 
they were confronted by an army of 20,000 men, com- 
manded by General Santa Anna. 

This army comprised the flower of the Mexican regulars 
and volunteers. Santa Anna was confident of victory. On 
the morning of February 22, Washington's birthday, he 
sent an officer to General Taylor with this message: "You 
are surrounded by 20,000 men, and cannot avoid being 
shot to pieces. I give you this notice, that you may sur- 
render at discretion." "I beg leave to say that I decline 
to accept your invitation," replied General Taylor. 

Where the valley was most narrow, with lofty mountains 
on each side, General Taylor formed his line of battle. The 
plain beyond had been cut into deep ravines by the moun- 
tain torrents. Captain Bragg's battery and the Kentucky 
volunteers were posted west of the little stream at the 
left of the plain. Washington's battery of eight guns, and 
the First Indiana volunteers, were stationed at Angostura. 
The First Illinois, under Colonel Hardin, and a Texas com- 
pany occupied the remainder of the line, which was thus 
completed to the high ground of the plateau. Beyond them, 
extending toward the mountains, were placed the First 
Dragoons, the Second Illinois, the Second Indiana and the 
Arkansas regiments. 

Up the valley came General Santa Anna with his 20,000 
troops, expecting to sweep the Northern invaders before 

Seeing the disposition of the American troops, he sent 
General Ampudia with his division to climb the mountain 
side and fall upon the left flank of the little army. At three 
o'clock the battle began, and continued on the left until the 


going down of the sun. The Illinois men had never been 
under fire. As the balls began to come thick and fast the 
soldiers involuntarily ducked their heads. 

"Steady boys. Don't duck your heads," shouted Colonel 
Bissell from the saddle. 

At that moment, with a roar, a cannon ball passed so 
near to the Colonel that involuntarily he stooped to 
avoid it. 

"You may duck for the big ones, boys," Colonel Bissell 
laughingly exclaimed. 

At dawn Santa Anna advanced his troops in three 
columns. All day the battle raged. The Mexicans on the 
left overpowered brave Lieutenant O'Brien, and compelled 
him to withdraw his battery. For some unaccountable 
reason the Indiana troops retreated in disorder. 

The brave Illinois troops stood almost unsupported, 
fighting with Mexicans in front of them, upon their right, 
and a great cloud enfolding them upon the left. Their 
rifles flashed forth sheets of flame. The valiant Colonel 
Bissell saw that they must fall back, and gave the com- 

"About face, to the rear ! March !" 

As though upon the parade ground the troops moved 
at the command of their officer, in whom all had confi- 
dence. Still back toward the Narrows our men were 
pressed, until now General Taylor, who had hastened from 
Buena Vista, took command. The batteries of Bragg and 
Sherman thundered forward, and began to pour grape and 
canister, into the masses of the Mexicans. Again the 
cannons blazed forth, and the line at that point began to 


Upon the left Ampudia was put to flight by Colonel 
Jefferson Davis and his brave Mississippians. The Illinois 
troops, supported by the Kentuckians, started in pursuit. 
This was most disastrous to our brave men, for as they 
dashed into one of the deep ravines, the Mexicans, rein- 
forced by 12,000 men, returned to the conflict, and gather- 
ing upon the edge, proceeded to shoot down the Americans 
like sheep. The only door of escape, the mouth of the 
ravine, was being closed by the enemy's cavalry when the 
welcome sound of Washington's battery was heard, and 
in a moment the well-directed shot of our batteries began 
to explode in the midst of the cavalry. Panting and 
breathless, those of our men who were left emerged from 
the slaughter pen and were reformed by Colonel Bissell. 

The supreme moment of the battle had arrived. Cut 
down by our shot and shell, their lines broken by the 
unerring fire of our riflemen, the Mexicans streamed back 
over the plain, pursued under the shadow of the moun- 
tains, and the battle was over. 

That night the Mexican army fled southward, leaving 
its wounded upon the field. The Mexican nuns ministered 
to Americans and Mexicans alike. It was the conduct of 
these noble women that inspired the poet Whittier to write 
a beautiful poem, "The Angels of Buena Vista." 

" 'Speak and tell us, our Ximena, looking northward far 


O'er the camp of the invaders, o'er the Mexican array, 
Who is losing? Who is winning? Are they far or come 

they near? 
Look abroad and tell us, sister: Whither rolls the storm 

we hear?' 


" 'Down the hills of Angostura, still the storm of battle 
rolls ; 

Blood is flowing. Men are dying, God have mercy on 
their souls. 

'Who is losing? Who is winning?' Over hills and over 

I can see but smoke of cannon clouding through the moun- 
tain rain.' 

"Nearer came the storm, and nearer, rolling fast and fright- 
ful on, 

'Speak Ximena speak, and tell us who has lost and who 
has won?' 

'Alas ! Alas ! I know not : Friend and foe together fall ; 

O'er the dying rush the living. Pray my sisters, for them 

The battle of Buena Vista, so fierce and so stubborn, 
was a turning point in the war. Upon this battlefield were 
buried the bodies of many Illinois boys. The noble Colonel 
Hardin fell in the ravine of death. His body was brought 
home by his men and buried at Jacksonville. 

General Taylor refers to the services of the Illinois troops 
as follows : "The First and Second Illinois and the Ken- 
tucky regiments served immediately under my eye, and I 
bear a willing testimony to their excellent conduct through- 
out the day. The spirit and gallantry with which the First 
Illinois and Second Kentucky engaged the enemy in the 
morning restored the confidence to that part of the field, 
while the list of casualties will show how much these three 
regiments suffered in sustaining the heavy charge of the 
enemy in the afternoon. In the last engagement we had 
the misfortune to sustain a very heavy loss. Colonels 
Hardin, McKee and Lieutenant Colonel Clay fell at this 


time while gallantly leading their commands. Colonel 
Bissell, the only surviving colonel of these three regiments, 
merits notice for his coolness and bravery on this occa- 

The Third and Fourth Illinois regiments, under the com- 
mand of Colonels Foreman and Baker, were joined to the 
troops of General Scott. They took part in the storming of 
Vera Cruz, and after the fall of the place they advanced with 
the army against the City of Mexico. In the battle of Cerro 
Gordo, the Illinois troops greatly distinguished themselves, 
charging upon the enemy's line again and again. 

The other Illinois troops did not reach the fields of bat- 
tle, but the Fifth Illinois infantry, under Colonel Newby, 
was first ordered to Fort Leavenworth, and endured the 
hardships incident to a wearisome march across the arid 
plains to Santa Fe. 

With the surrender of the City of Mexico the war closed, 
and the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo was signed. The 
result of this war was to establish the southern and west- 
ern line of Texas, and to give to the United States a vast 
region, from which have been formed California, Nevada, 
Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah, an area of 
country greater in extent than the original thirteen States. 



Early in the spring of 1830, a large covered wagon drawn 
by four yoke of oxen, was driven through the woods of 
Indiana by a tall, strong young man, who carried a long 
whip with which to guide his ox teams. 

This young man was Abraham Lincoln, who had re- 
moved with his father's family from Kentucky, when but 
a lad of eight, and had grown up among the hills and 
woods of Southern Indiana. And now, at the age of 
twenty-one, he was setting out with his father's family to 
help them establish a new home in Illinois. The wagon 
contained all the possessions of the Lincoln family. The 
journey through the muddy forest roads and across 
swollen streams was hard and long. None of the kind 
frontiersmen with whom they stopped imagined that the 
rough, ungainly young man who drove the oxen would 
some day become the first citizen of Illinois and the greatest 
man of his time. 

At the end of fifteen days the little company reached the 
Sangamon River, ten miles south of Decatur, where a farm 
was chosen and a log cabin built. 

Abraham Lincoln was now his own master, but he re- 
mained at home until his father was well settled. He and 
his cousin, John Hanks, built a barn, cleared and plowed 
fifteen acres of land, which they fenced with rails split from 
the tall timber that grew on every side. 



Young Lincoln needed new clothes, but no member of 
the family had any money. A few miles from the Lincoln 
cabin lived Mrs. Miller, a thrifty woman, who owned a 
Hock of sheep, and from their wool wove strong, home- 
spun cloth, called "jeans." Lincoln bargained with this 
woman for a pair of trousers, promising to make four hun- 
dred rails for every yard of cloth used in the garment. The 
clothing was furnished, and in payment for them the young 
man split fourteen hundred rails. 

As he was no longer needed at home, Lincoln and his 
cousin John started out to shift for themselves. 

They engaged with a man named Offutt of Beardstown 
to take a flat-boat and cargo to New Orleans. 

With the opening of spring they repaired to Springfield, 
only to learn that although the cargo was ready, no boat 
could be obtained. Lincoln at once proposed to Mr. Offutt 
that John Hanks and himself would build a flat-boat if he 
would pay them twelve dollars per month. The offer was 
accepted, and the two men went to old Sangamon, seven 
miles northwest of Springfield. Here upon the bank of 
the river they felled trees, hewed them into shape, and in 
clue time carried Mr. Offutt's cargo in safety to New 

While at Old Sangamon Lincoln captured the entire 
village with his entertaining stories and quaint jokes. It 
required only four weeks to build the boat, but in that short 
time the awkward, good-natured young man made friends 
who remembered him through life. A man named Roll, 
who helped young Lincoln upon the flat-boat, relates that 
in appearance "he was a tall, gaunt young man, dressed in 
a suit of home-spun jeans, consisting of a roundabout 


jacket, waist coat and breeches, which came to within about 
four inches of his feet and were generally stuffed into the 
tops of his rawhide boots. He wore a soft felt hat, which 
had at one time been black, but now, as its owner dryly 
remarked, "it had been sunburned until it was a combine 
of colors." 

Near the village was a whittling log, where the "men 
folks" were in the habit of meeting at noon and after work 
was finished. The log had been peeled of its bark, and 
upon it the men sat and whittled as they talked, just as 
our grandmothers used to chat over their knitting. 

Mr. Roll tells us, "So irresistibly droll were Lincoln's 
yarns that whenever he'd end up in an unexpected way, the 
boys on the log would whoop and roll off." During this 
month of story telling the log became polished by frequent 
use, and thereafter, until it crumbled to decay, was known 
as "Abe's log." The inhabitants of the little village watched 
with regret the departure of the interesting story teller. 

A few miles below old Sangamon was the little village 
of New Salem, where a mill had been erected and a dam 
built across the river. Upon this dam Lincoln's flat-boat 
stuck and hung with its bow high in the air. The people 
lined the bank, and in a good-natured way shouted sug- 
gestions to the men in the boat, but they soon discovered 
that their advice was unnecessary. Lincoln unloaded a 
portion of the cargo, bored a hole in the bottom of the boat 
to let out the water, tilted up the stern, and to the aston- 
ishment of the crowd the craft slid over the top of the dam 
and floated in the deep water below. The cargo was re- 
loaded, and Lincoln and his companion continued their 



Mr. Offutt was so pleased with the result of the New 
Orleans trip that he offered young Lincoln a position in 
a store he was planning to open at New Salem. When 
the young man arrived months after to take his place the 
people still remembered the strapping fellow who was "such 
a master boatman." 

Lincoln employed his leisure time at the store in reading 


and study. He wished to know something of English gram- 
mar, and learning that a book on the subject was owned 
by a man who lived eight miles away, he walked the dis- 
tance and borrowed the volume. With the assistance of the 
village lawyer he mastered the contents of the book and 
greatly improved his language. 


When he wished to speak on any subject it was his 
habit to go off alone and put his thoughts into clear, simple 
words. This habit of careful thinking and speaking proved 
of great value to Lincoln in after life, especially during the 
period of his political career. 

In the vicinity of New Salem lived a number of wild, 
reckless young men, who were in the habit of challenging 
any new comer to wrestle or fight. They went by the name 
of the "Cleary Grove Boys," and resolved to test Lincoln's 
strength, of which Mr. Offutt had frequently boasted. The 
strongest of them, Jack Armstrong, challenged the young 
man to wrestle, and as he could not well refuse, he con- 
sented to the match. Jack's friends soon discovered that 
their champion was no match for Lincoln, and pressing 
close they attempted to lend assistance by sly kicks and 
blows. This angered the young man, and seizing Arm- 
strong by the throat, he choked him until he was black 
in the face. Seeing that Lincoln was fully aroused and 
possessed of the strength of a giant, they avoided provok- 
ing him further. This evidence of his pluck and strength 
had the effect of causing these rough young men to become 
his ardent admirers. 

At another time, when some women were trading in the 
store, a rough bully came in and began to use profane 
language. Lincoln ordered him to leave, and was at once 
challenged to fight. As soon as his customers had been 
waited upon, he followed the ruffian into the street, threw 
him down, and rubbed smartweed into his eyes until the 
cowardly fellow begged for mercy. 

Lincoln's reputation for good nature, strength and cour- 
age was now well established. He had no further trouble 


with the young men, and often acted as peacemaker be- 
tween them. 

By his honesty and integrity he won the confidence of 
every one. In making change for a customer, a woman 
who lived several miles from the little village, the young 
man took a "flip" six and one-quarter cents more than 
was due the store. Upon discovering his mistake he walked 
the entire distance to her home to return the money. 

At another time he used the wrong weight in measur- 
ing tea for a woman. After she had gone he found that 
she should have received two ounces more. That night 
after the store had been closed and the shutters put up he 
carried the tea to the woman. 

In 1832 the Black Hawk war broke out, and Lincoln, 
with many other, young men, volunteered to fight against 
the Indians. When the company in which he had enlisted 
was called upon to choose a captain, three-fourths of the 
men walked over to Lincoln, thus designating him as their 

At the close of the war Lincoln was in Southern Wis- 
consin, and in company with a friend started to walk back 
to Illinois. At Peoria they secured a skiff, and in it con- 
tinued their homeward journey. Reaching Havana the 
young men walked across the country to their home at 
New Salem. 

Lincoln soon purchased a grocery store, but having as 
a partner a reckless young man, the store accumulated 
many bad debts, and before very long "winked out." He, 
was many years in paying the debts contracted by this un- 
fortunate venture, but in the end canceled all the obliga- 
tions contracted by himself and his partner. 


Next he became postmaster, and having- little to do, dis- 
tributed the mail from house to house, carrying the letters 
in the crown of his hat. 

He was appointed deputy county surveyor, but never 
having studied the science of surveying, he applied himself 
to the subject, and with the aid of the village schoolmaster, 
obtained a fair knowledge of the work. The people of 
Petersburg are proud of the fact that Abraham Lincoln 
laid out their town. 


By his strict honesty, amusing stories and charming good 
nature, he constantly widened the circle of his acquaint- 
ances and won favor with the people. When a man was 
to be chosen to represent them in the Legislature they 
naturally thought of Abraham Lincoln. 

He was duly elected, but being too poor to pay his stage 
hire, he walked the entire distance, nearly one hundred 


miles, to take his seat in the State Legislature at Vandalia. 

When Lincoln was in the store at New Salem he had 
taken up the study of law, and now he devoted himself to 
the work so earnestly that in 1837 ne was ready to settle 
at Springfield and begin the practice of law. All these 
years he had been winning the affection and confidence of 
the people. When it was known that he had become a 
lawyer his services were much sought after. 

In those days lawyers, in attending court, rode on 
horseback from county to county. One day, while riding 
in company with other lawyers, Mr. Lincoln, who was 
dressed in a new suit, noticed a pig fast in the mud. He 
knew if he went to its rescue his clothes would be ruined, 
but he was so kind-hearted that the picture of poor piggie 
haunted him, and he could not get it out of his thoughts. 
After riding two miles he turned his horse's head and re- 
turned to the mud puddle. Hitching his horse he waded 
into the mud, and seizing the squealing pig by the legs 
and tail, brought him safely to dry land. 

Mr. Lincoln had served the people so faithfully in the 
State Legislature, and had won such distinction as a speaker 
and debater, that in 1846 the people elected him to Con- 
gress. Here he came in contact with the greatest men of 
the nation. 

At this time the question of slavery was beginning to 
attract the attention of the whole people. The Southern 
States, in which were many slaves, were desirous of making 
slave territory of all the land that had been obtained from 
Mexico. Many people in the North believed that no slaves 
should be permitted in this new region. From this time 
on men began to range themselves upon one side or the 

A Prfi&i.-&rdfBab! |. 


rn.tftci* A. 


Reproduced from the Daily State Journal, of August 9, 1860. This was the 
greatest rally of the campaign. Mr. Lincoln was present and spoke briefly 
his only campaign speech of that year. The newspaper account says: 

"At the conclusion of these remarks, Mr. Lincoln descended from the plat- 
form and with difficulty made his way through the vast throng who eagerly 
pressed around to take him by the hand. By an adroit movement he escaped 
on horseback, while the crowd were besieging the carriage to which it was 
expected he would return." 


other of this great question, and a new party, the Repub- 
lican, was formed by the men who believed that slavery 
should be extended no farther. 

Mr. Lincoln believed that slavery should not be brought 
into the new 
territory. His 
f u 1 speeches 
on this subject 
were listened 
to or read by 
many people, 
and made him 
more famous 
than ever. In 
company with 
Senator S t e - 
phen A. Doug- 
las, who was a 
Democrat, Mr. 
Lincoln made 
a tour of the 
State, holding 
joint debates 
at a number 
of places. Ev- 
erywhere thou- 
sands of peo- 
ple turned out to hear the brilliant orators discussing the 
subjects of "slavery" and "State Rights," and these ques- 
tions became more prominent than ever before. 



The Republican party was becoming stronger every 
year, and when its delegates met at Chicago, in 1860, to 
select a candidate for President, Abraham Lincoln of Illi- 
nois was chosen. During the convention some men carried 
to the platform a number of rails that he had split when 
a young man, and the delegates cheered themselves hoarse 
at the sight. 

From this time forward Abraham Lincoln becomes a 
great character in our nation's history. 

His election to the Presidency precipitated the Civil War, 
with its four years of bloodshed and sorrow. During those 
trying times President Lincoln managed the affairs of the 
nation with consummate wisdom. 

On the eve of taking up the work of his office for a second 
term he uttered these noble words: 

"With malice toward none ; with charity for all ; with 
firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let 
us strive on to finish the work we are in ; to bind up the 
nation's wounds ; to care for him who shall have borne the 
battle, and for his widow and his orphan to do all which 
may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among 
ourselves and with all nations." 

With one stroke of his pen he gave the slaves their free- 
dom, and when our great armies had brought victory to 
the North and peace to the nation, it seemed that the great 
work of Abraham Lincoln had been accomplished. And 
so it proved, for five days after the surrender of the Con- 
federate army, on the evening of April I4th, as the great 
war President sat in Ford's Theatre, he was shot by John 
Wilkes Booth, the actor. 

An entire nation North and South bowed in grief, and 


from every part of the world poured in messages of sorrow. 
The humble "rail-splitter of Illinois" had taken his place 
among the great and honored dead of the world. 



MY. FRIENDS : No one not in my situation can appreciate 
my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and 
the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I 
have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a 
young man to an old man. Here my children have been 
born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when or 
whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater 
than that which rested upon Washington. Without the 
assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him I 
cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trust- 
ing in Him who can go with me and remain with you, and 
be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will 
yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in 
your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate 




"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the 
right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the 
work we are in." 




Our prolonged struggle for the preservation of the Union 
has taken its place in history among the great wars of the 

For the numbers engaged, the valor displayed by the 
soldiers of both North and South, the issues involved and 
the length of time the conflict lasted, it has proven the 
most remarkable war of modern times. 

Volumes have been written upon the part taken in this 
great civil duel by the soldiers from Illinois. 

In all, our State furnished 260,000 men for the conflict. 
This places Illinois in the fourth rank, for, the States of New 
York, Pennsylvania and Ohio excepted, she furnished more 
troops than any other. But in 1860 each of these States 
had many more inhabitants, and in proportion to her 
population then, Illinois furnished a greater number of 
soldiers than any other State except Kansas. One is 
almost tempted to claim that the war could not have been 
won without the aid of the brave men from Illinois, but 
this would be unfair to other loyal States. It required the 
united efforts of all, and every State deserves praise and 
honor. Illinois was peculiarly fortunate in furnishing many 
illustrious leaders. 

First of all we must place our President, Abraham Lin- 
coln, the one man of the nation to guide the country dur- 
ing its dark hour of conflict. 




Next to him stands General U. S. Grant, the greatest 
captain of his time. After these great men come a long 
list of illustrious generals, such as General Hovey, who 
resigned the presidency of the State Normal School to 
command a regiment of volunteers; Generals John A. Lo- 
gan, John A. McLernard, Richard Oglesby, John M. Pal- 
mer, John A. Rawlins, John Pope, and a host of others, who 
added to the luster of Illinois by their valor and courage 
displayed on the battlefield. 

But these great leaders, of whom we are justly proud, 
would have been powerless but for the rank and file of 
patriotic men who left their harvests ungathered, their tools 
upon the work bench, their ledgers upon the desks, and 
marched southward to the inspiring music of war. 

At Belmont, November 7, 1861, the Illinois troops under 
command of General Grant fought the first battle of im- 
portance. From here they marched against Forts Henry 
and Donelson. The taking of Fort Donelson was the first 
great victory for the North, and throughout the country 
a shout of thanksgiving went up. 

Some of the Illinois regiments were nearly cut to pieces 
in this engagement, and the loss of officers was very great. 

It was at this battle that General Grant gained the name 
of Unconditional Surrender Grant, by dictating the follow- 
ing message to the Confederate commander, General 
Buckner : "No terms but unconditional and immediate 
surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately 
upon your works." 

In recognition of the valor displayed by the Illinois 
troops in this battle, a New England author wrote the fol- 
lowing poem, which was published in the Atlantic Monthly : 


"Oh, gales that dash the Atlantic's swell 

Along our rocky shores, 
Whose thunders diapason swell 
New England's glad hurrahs, 

"Bear, to the prairies of the West, 

The echoes of our joy ; 
The prayer that springs in every breast. 
God bless thee, Illinois. 

"Oh, awful hours when grape and shell 
Tore through the unflinching line ; 
'Stand firm, remove the men who fell, 
Close up, and wait the sign.' 

"It came at last ; now, lads, the steel ! 

The rushing hosts deploy ; 
Charge, boys, the broken traitors reel, 
Huzza! for Illinois. 

"In vain thy rampart, Donelson, 

The living torrent bars ; 
It leaps the wall, the fort is won, 
Up go the stripes and stars! 

"Thy proudest mother's eyelids fill, 

As dares her gallant boy, 
And Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill, 
Yearn to thee, Illinois." 

One of the most daring deeds of the war was performed 
by General Benjamin H. Grierson and his Illinois cavalry, 
during the siege of Vicksburg. Starting from La Grange, 
Tennessee, he swept through the entire State of Mississippi 
and part of Louisiana, burning bridges, destroying rail- 


roads, striking Confederate outposts and damaging much 
property. He reached the Union lines in safety, having 
ridden a distance of 800 miles in sixteen days. The last 
thirty hours his men rode without eating or resting. So 
exhausted were the soldiers that they went to sleep in their 
saddles, and were only aroused by the sound of musketry. 
After a skirmish they would again relapse into sleep. 

A record of Illinois troops in the war would recount 
weary marches and fierce battles in Arkansas, Texas, Ten- 
nessee, Mississippi, Georgia and other Southern States. 

Illinois troops withstood the shock of the rebel hosts 
upon the bloody field of Shiloh ; Illinois troops fought at 
Perryville and Corinth ; Illinois troops contended at Chicka- 
mauga and climbed the heights of Missionary Ridge and 
Lookout Mountain ; Illinois troops waited weary weeks in 
the trenches around Vicksburg, and shouted for joy when 
the city finally surrendered; Illinois troops fired the first 
shot at the battle of Gettysburg; Illinois troops marched 
with Sherman "from Atlanta to the sea," and took their 
place in the last grand review. 

On the banks of the Mississippi, and where the Tennessee 
ripples over its rocky bed; in the valleys of the Southern 
mountains, and by the waters of the Gulf, along the track 
of the marching hosts, may be found the resting places of 
thousands of Illinois soldiers who went forth to battle but 
never returned. 


While the great mass of men at the North were loyal 
to the Union, there were others to be found in nearly every 
community who secretly sympathized with the South. Be- 


lieving in the system of slavery, they would have "preferred 
the triumph of the South to the restoration of the Union 
with slavery abolished." These men interfered in many 
ways with the work of the war. Desertion was encouraged, 
resistance to the draft was advised, and some of them acted 
as spies for the enemy. A secret association was formed, 
known as the "Knights of the Golden Circle." Members 
of this order, aided by officers of the South, even went so 
far as to plan the liberation of the Confederate prisoners 
held at Chicago and Rock Island. The scheme also in- 
cluded the burning of Chicago. But the authorities were 
warned in time and the attempt was frustrated. 

To counteract the work of this organization, the loyal 
men formed a secret political society known as the "Union 
League of America." Organized first in Tazewell County 
in 1862, this order rapidly spread from State to State, and 
before the close of the war it had reached a membership of 
175,000. This organization, a mighty influence for good, 
materially assisted the Union cause. 

The work of the soldiers in the field was nobly assisted 
by the "stay-at-homes." Without patriotic men to carry 
on manufactures and railroads, harvest crops, till fields and 
provide for the women and children, the success of the 
North would have been impossible. 

These men with their aid and sympathy, freely giving 
of their time and money, kept the flame of patriotism 
burning brightly, and made possible our glorious success. 

When news reached Illinois of the bloody and glorious 
victory of Fort Donelson, Governor Yates, often called "the 
soldier's friend," accompanied by his staff, hastened to the 
field of battle to assist in caring for the sick and wounded. 


A sanitary commission was established. Medical sup- 
plies and provisions were collected and distributed among 
the wounded in camp and hospital. The State also estab- 
lished hospitals at Peoria, Quincy and Springfield, to which 
many wounded were conveyed. Immediately after the 
battle of Shiloh, the governor chartered a steamboat, and 
with nurses, physicians and supplies, hastened to the scene 
of conflict. His coming was hailed with joy by the suffer- 
ing soldiers, many of whom had lain upon the ground for 
a week with their wounds unattended. The boat, loaded 
with those most severely injured, hastened to the Northern 
hospitals and returned with all speed for others. In this 
way thousands of our wounded soldiers were brought back 
to the State, where they were cared for by their relatives 
and friends. 

Governor Yates remarked, "We must not let our brave 
boys think they have been forgotten, but follow them in 
their weary marches, with such things as they need for 
their comfort, which the Government cannot supply, and 
with messages of love and encouragement from home, 
wherever they go and at whatever cost." 

Auxiliary associations, aid societies and soldiers' homes 
were established everywhere. Through these agencies 
thousands of dollars in money and large quantities of pro- 
visions were collected and distributed, the whole amounting 
to more than a million dollars. 


The mothers and sisters of Illinois were foremost in 
every effort to lend aid, and give comfort. Scarcely had 
the smoke of battle cleared away when they presented them- 


selves to nurse the wounded. At home they organized 
societies to knit stockings, pick lint for the wounded, and 
prepare delicacies and reading matter for their sons and 
brothers at the front. The efficiency of the home organiza- 
tions was due largely to our heroic women. 

The patriotic women of Galena, unable to enlist, deter- 
mined to make uniforms for the first company that their 
town sent into the field. Accordingly they purchased the 
necessary cloth, employed tailors to cut the garments, and 
made them up themselves. 

The ladies of many communities made the flags that were 
borne aloft as the companies marched to the war. 


Among the factors that contributed to the success of the 
Union cause scarcely any was more important than the 
many inspiring and thrilling songs that were composed and 
sung at that time, some of the best of which were written by 
citizens of Illinois. George F. Root of Chicago was one 
of the most gifted composers of war music. His songs, 
"Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching," "Just 
Before the Battle, Mother," and "The Battle Cry of Free- 
dom" were sung on every battlefield, and around every 
camp fire. 

When the "emancipation proclamation" was issued by 
President Lincoln many officers took offense, and some 
were upon the point of resigning their commands. At 
about that time a glee club from Chicago came into the 
camp singing a new song, "The Battle Cry of Freedom." 

"The Union forever, hurrah ! boys, hurrah ! 
Down with the traitor, up with the stars. 


While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again, 
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom." 

The effect was wonderful. The words ran through tfie 
camps like wild fire. Every one took up the refrain. 

"The Union forever, hurrah! boys, hurrah!" 

From tent to tent sounded the harmony. All thoughts of 
resigning were thrown to the winds while the great army 
united in the mighty chorus. 

The inspiring songs, "Brave Boys are They," "Kingdom 
Coming" and "Marching Through Georgia," were written 
by Henry Clay Work of Illinois. 

From the pine woods of Arkansas, the swamps of Vir- 
ginia, the mountain tops of Georgia and the bayous of 
Louisiana, ascended a chorus of song whose music thrilled 
the patriotic soul, and whose words recalled again and 
again the principles for which the boys in blue were risking 
their lives. These songs, simple in language and sweet 
in melody, touched the heart beyond the power of argu- 
ment, recalling again the words of Andrew Fletcher, uttered 
two hundreds years ago, "Give me the making of the 
ballads, and I care not who makes the laws of a nation." 
One Confederate commander remarked, "I shall never for- 
get the first time I heard 'Rally Round the Flag.' It was 
a nasty night, during the Seven-days fight ; I was on picket, 
when just before taps, some fellow on the other side struck 
up that pong and others joined in the chorus. Tom B. 
sung out : 'Good heavens, Cap, what are those fellows 
made of? Here we've licked them six days running, and 
now on the eve of the seventh they're singing "Rally Round 


the Flag." : I tell you that song sounded to me like the 
death knell of doom, and my heart went down into my 
boots, and it has been an up hill fight with me ever since 
that night." 

A few days after the surrender of Lee, another Confed- 
erate commander who heard these songs sung by a Union 
quartette, exclaimed: "Gentlemen, if we'd had your songs 
we'd have licked you out of your boots. Who couldn't have 
inarched or fought with such songs?" 

And so these stirring army songs, breathing a spirit of 
patriotism and loyalty, played their part in winning the war 
for the Union. 



Fort Dearborn, which had been destroyed by the Indians 
in 1812, was rebuilt in 1816, and the settlers began to gather 
about it again. The Indian trader, John Kinzie, with his 
family, was the first to return, but until 1827 the number of 
families did not exceed eight. In 1829 the survey of the 
canal, which was to unite the waters of Lake Michigan 
with the Illinois River, and the arrival of commissioners 
to lay out a town, mark the beginning of the great 

Then followed the official act of organization, authoriz- 
ing the platting and surveying of the original town site. 
This embraced the territory which now lies between Madi- 
son and State, and Kinzie and Halsted streets. The map 
of the town, drawn by the first city surveyor, James Thomp- 
son, bears the date, August 4, 1830. 

Chicago River, one and a half miles in length, is formed 
by the union of two small streams, which flow the one from 
the northwest and the other from the southwest. This 
peculiar feature naturally divided the town site into three 
parts, North, South and West. The cabins of the early 
settlers were reared upon the west side known as Wolfe's 
Point. On the north side was built the Miller House, and 
op the south side was located a pretentious tavern, partly 
log and partly frame, kept by Mr. Elijah Wentworth. 



The prospect of obtaining work upon the canal attracted 
people to the new town, and in the following year Cook 
County, named for Daniel P. Cook, representative in Con- 
gress, was organized, and included, aside from its present 
territory, five other counties. 

In 1830 Stephen Van R. Forbes taught the first school 
in a log cabin standing near what is now the corner of 
Randolph street and Michigan avenue. The first church 
service was held in 1832. In 1833 Chicago was honored 
with a weekly mail and post office. During this year an 
election was held to determine whether it should become 
an incorporated town. Twenty-eight men, the entire male 
population, were present at the polls. In the following 
year the levy for city taxes amounted to $48.90, and a loan 
of $60 for public improvements was negotiated. 

In 1836, although the town had increased to more than 
two hundred voters, the State Bank refused it a loan of 

The Legislature incorporated "the city of Chicago" in 
1837, and on the first Tuesday in May the Hon. William 
B. Ogden was elected mayor. 

The census now showed a population of 4,179, and the 
people began to think seriously of making permanent pub- 
lic improvements. The altitude of the city was only a few 
feet above the level of the lake. Consequently there was 
no drainage, and after a heavy rain the entire surface was 
covered with water. Accordingly the city raised the grade 
of the streets several feet above the ground floors of the 
dwellings, filling in with clay dredged from the harbor on 
the lake front, and the houses were raised to conform to 
the new level. 


The enterprise and energy of the little city was shown 
by the method it pursued to obtain its water supply. 

In 1839 a company erected a reservoir at the corner of 
Michigan avenue and Water street, and with a pump, pro- 
pelled by a twenty-five horse-power engine, drew water 
from the lake and distributed it to the city through pipes 
made of logs, bored to carry a stream from three to five 
inches in diameter. But the little city soon outgrew this 
primitive system, and in 1851 another plan was devised. 
A new company made a crib of wood 20x40 feet, and sunk 
it in the lake six hundred feet from shore. From this crib 
the water was conducted to the lake front, where it was 
collected in a well twenty-five feet deep. Here a pump with 
a two hundred horse-power engine forced the water through 
the distributing pipes. Three stone reservoirs in different 
portions of the city were used for storing purposes, and a 
large tower at the engine house served the double purpose 
of chimney and reservoir. In 1862 one hundred and five 
miles of water pipe had been laid. 

As early as 1860 Chicago was beginning to be a railroad 
center, and the commerce of lake and river was increasing 

The growing population, at this time, numbering more 
than 100,000, required a better system of drainage. The 
sewerage of the city, the refuse of packing houses situated 
along the banks of the river, were all poured into the 
stream. As the current was always sluggish the Chicago 
River gradually became a dreadful nuisance. Complaint 
was also made that when the wind was in certain quarters 
filth was carried out to the crib, to be redistributed by the 
waterworks through the mains. 


The water supply was purified in 1863 by the construc- 
tion of a tunnel beneath the lake, through which pure water 
could be drawn. The new tunnel necessitated a monster 
crib, a powerful engine, and a stone tower one hundred 
and thirty feet high. These extensive improvements cost 
the city a million of dollars. 

So successful had the city been in forcing a tunnel be- 
neath the lake bed that the people resolved to tunnel the 
river for the purpose of facilitating business traffic, which 
was often impeded by the opening of pivot bridges which 
spanned the stream. In 1869 a tunnel, with a double 
driveway and foot path for pedestrians, was built under 
the river on the line of Washington street, connecting the 
South and West Sides. Two years after, a larger and better 
tunnel was forced under the main stream on the line of 
La Salle street, connecting the North and South Sides.* 

Pure drinking water was abundant, but the Chicago 
River was becoming more and more polluted. At length 
the city obtained permission from the Legislature to estab- 
lish a continuous flow of water from the lake to the Illinois 
Canal by way of the Chicago River. At first it seemed 
absurd to think of making water flow up stream, but after 
many miles of solid rock had been excavated and the ob- 
structing barriers torn away, the murky flood of the river 
began to move into the new channel, which henceforth 
was to serve as its outlet. 


Chicago had grown to be a populous city of 300,000 
people, and was the great distributing center for the Mis- 

*Thse tunnels have since been rebuilt. 


sissippi Valley and the lake region. Its many large trunk 
railroad lines reached out their hundred arms to gather 
in the wealth of Southern and Western States. 

The products of forest, mine and fertile soil were brought 
to her wharves by a thousand vessels. From her great 
warehouses and factories articles of commerce were sent 
to every land. The fame of her enterprising merchants 
and sagacious business men had become world wide. Her 
rapid growth had made her the marvel of the world. While 
her substantial business blocks were constructed of stone 
and brick, her many miles of outlying streets were lined 
with thousands of wooden dwellings. Suddenly she was 
overtaken by the most awful fire that ever devastated a 
community a calamity so severe that it almost completely 
wiped the thriving metropolis from the map. 

In the southwestern part of the city, amidst rude and 
inferior buildings, lived Mrs. O'Leary. Report has it that 
on the night of October 8th, 1871, she went out to milk her 
cow and carried to the shed a lighted lamp. The unruly 
beast, irritated by its mistress, kicked over the lamp, which 
exploded, and the ignited oil was scattered upon the straw 
and refuse. In an instant the shed was in a blaze, and the 
adjacent dwellings, dry as tinder, speedily caught fire. The 
flames spread to other buildings, and before the inhab- 
itants realized the seriousness of the situation, the fire was 
beyond control. Fanned by a strong gale that was blow- 
ing from the southwest, the flames swept toward the center 
of the doomed city. Gathering in volume as it advanced, 
the fire fiend marched toward the Chicago River. Billows 
of flame and smoke rolled heavenward, casting showers of 
brands and sparks far in advance. The stately and sub- 



stantial iron and stone structures in the business portion 
of the city crumbled and melted away like wax before its 
heated breath. The river proved a feeble barrier to the 
onward sweep of the flames. The court house, built of great 


blocks of stone, although standing apart, succumbed to the 
destroying monster. Hope of staying the fiery flood was 
abandoned. The crackling wood, the crash of falling build- 
ings, the explosions of combustibles, the roaring of 
flames and the shouts of the people intermingled in an awful 
chorus that unnerved the stoutest hearts and brought terror 
to the more timid ones. 

An eye witness says : "For miles around was a circle of 
red light. The brute creation was crazed. The people were 
mad. They crowded upon frail points of vantage, on high 



sidewalks, which fell beneath their weight and hurled them 
bruised and bleeding in the debris. Seized with wild panic, 
they surged together, cursing, threatening, imploring, fight- 
ing to get free. Liquor flowed like water, for the saloons 
were broken open and men and women were to be seen on 
all sides frenzied with drink. Amid this terrible chaos, 


hundreds of lost children also rushed around crying and 
screaming for their parents." 

The desolation of the people was complete. A hundred 
thousand, rendered homeless by the flames, huddled to- 
gether upon the bleak prairies or gathered in open spaces 
upon the lake beach. Here young and old, sick and strong, 
vile and virtuous, millionaire and beggar, were drenched 
by the downpour of rain that followed the fire. Seventeen 
thousand five hundred buildings, covering 2,124 acres and 


valued at $150,000,000, had been swept away by the flames. 

When news of the dire calamity spread abroad, the civil- 
ized world responded generously. Donations of food, cloth- 
ing and money began to flow in upon the stricken city. 
Bureaus of distribution were organized, and contributions 
in money to the extent of $7,000,000 were sent in. A special 
session of the Legislature reimbursed to the city the $3,000,- 
ooo it had expended upon deepening the canal. 

But the city, though in ashes, was not dead. The cour- 
age, self-reliance and ability of her citizens remained. With 
characteristic energy they began to rebuild their homes 
and engage in business. Massive business blocks, larger 
and more stately than those destroyed, lifted their heads 
above the waters of the lake. The destruction of the city 
by the flames did not astonish the world more than its 
later prosperity. The new Chicago grew more rapidly than 
the old, and in a few years it had become the second com- 
mercial center of the nation. 


When a site was to be selected for holding a great fair 
in honor of the four hundredth anniversary of America's 
discovery, the choice very properly fell to Chicago. Colum- 
bus landed upon the new world in 1492, but the prepara- 
tions for the Exposition were upon so vast a scale that it 
was not formally opened until May 1st of the year follow- 
ing the anniversary. 

Under the skilful management of an able and patriotic 
committee, Jackson Park, fronting upon Lake Michigan, 
was transformed into an enchanted land. Beautiful build- 
ings arose upon every hand. Stately and appropriate 



edifices were erected by the nations of the world and be- 
came headquarters for the foreigners who thronged the 
Fair. Congress appropriated ten millions of dollars to be 
used in various ways, and every state erected buildings in 
which were grouped the products of mine, forest, cultivated 
field and workshop. Treasures of art and science were 
gathered from every quarter of the globe and added to the 
graceful lines 
of the en- 
chanting pic- 
ture. Chicago 
was constant- 
ly thronged 
with a multi- 
tude of visi- 
tors and for 
s i x months 
the grounds 
and buildings 
of the great 
Fair were 
crowded with people from every civilized land of the globe. 

After the close of the Exposition its buildings were, with 
one exception, torn down ; the area which they had occupied 
was cleared and is now a part of beautiful Jackson Park. 
The building which was not demolished is known as the 
Field Museum of Natural History in many respects the 
most remarkable museum of its kind in the world. 

Coming, as it did, on the last decade of the nineteenth 
century, the "World's Columbian Exposition" was a fit 



crown, not only for the expiring century, but for the four 
hundred years of growth and development which made 
possible the gigantic display of instructive and delightful 
wonders brought together within its portals. 

With the location of the "World's Fair" in Chicago the 
population of the city was greatly increased, and every suc- 
ceeding year has added to the number of people already 
there. The system of drainage which was sufficient for 
hundreds of thousands was inadequate for millions, and it 
was found necessary to build the 


This remarkable structure, which was finished at the be- 
ginning of the year 1900, is indeed a triumph of engineering 
skill. As has been mentioned before, the city of Chicago 
had, in 1865, deepened the Illinois and Michigan Canal 
so as to cleanse the waters of the Chicago River. If in 
1865 such work was deemed advisable, in 1894 it became 
a necessity. 

It is more than probable that in pre-historic times the 
Chicago River, as well as one or two others now obliterated, 
were outlets to Lake Michigan. The great canal then 
restores the ancient topographical conditions. 

To accomplish this it was necessary to cut through the 
rocks and glacial drift to be found between Lockport and 
Chicago. It meant a cut twenty-eight miles in length and 
thirty-five feet in depth. This continuous depth makes the 
Chicago canal the greatest artificial waterway ever con- 
structed. The flow is of over 300,000 cubic feet of water 
per minute. At Lockport the canal becomes a harbor or 
basin, about 500 feet in width, for the purpose of accom- 


modating the largest lake vessels. Seven years of time and 
fifty-six millions of dollars ($56,000,000), with the employ- 
ment of more than one hundred thousand men, are the fig- 
ures given for the work accomplished. For a drainage 
canal twenty millions of dollars ($20,000,000) would have 
sufficed, but to this the city added over thirty-six millions 
($36,000,000), that it might not only facilitate drainage, 
but become the terminus of a mammoth ship canal, which 
would reach the Gulf by the smaller navigable rivers and 
the Mississippi. 

Its commercial value is as great as its sanitary worth. 
Through the canal to the Illinois and Mississippi and thence 
to the Gulf go the ships of Chicago. Chicago's enterprise 
has made her an Atlantic seaport. 

With her marvelous growth, Chicago has also provided a 
magnificent system of parks and boulevards, which now 
cover more than two thousand six hundred acres of land. 
The six large parks and many smaller ones aggregating 
nearly one hundred in number are connected by forty-eight 
miles of boulevards, which form a wonderful driveway 
through and around the city. Two of these boulevards 
Drexel and Grand are conceded to be the finest thorough- 
fares of the kind in the United States ; each of which is two 
hundred feet in width and adorned with a large variety of 
magnificent floral decorations. One can start from Jack- 
son Park, on the South Side, and make a complete circuit 
of the city in an automobile or carriage, without leaving 
the parks or boulevards. These parks are plentifully sup- 
plied with many notable specimens of ta^uary and monu- 
ments. Lincoln Park, on the North Side, contains an ex- 
ceptionally fine collection of zoological specimens of par- 


ticular interest to school children also a free bathing beach, 
where thousands of the city's younger element congregate 
during the summer season. Of more than passing interest 
is the Field Museum of Natural History in Jackson Park. 
Here are contained many thousands of selections pertaining 
to natural history that have been procured from all parts 
of the world regardless of cost. 

The authorities are also providing a series of Municipal 
Playgrounds, chiefly for the use of children. These grounds 
are being located in different sections of the city and are 
open daily with proper attendants and officers provided by 
the city to care for the grounds and the crowds that fre- 
quent them. Many "of the smaller parks also contain Field 
Houses, where lectures and entertainments are provided 
without cost to the public. Almost every school in the 
city is now within reach of one or more of these play- 
grounds, or places of wholesome amusement, and the last- 
ing benefits that such recreation is conferring upon the 
health and morals of the city's youth cannot be estimated. 

Wonderful, indeed, has been the development of Chi- 
cago, which was a despised hamlet when St. Louis, Cleve- 
land, Cincinnati and Detroit were flourishing towns. At the 
opening of the twentieth century she has outstripped her 
sisters, and stands to-day with her population of 2,185,283 
people (1910 census), the greatest grain market, the great- 
est live stock market and the greatest railroad center in 
the world. Though removed from the ocean, she is the 
largest shipping port on the continent, and as a money 
center is second only to New York city. 



Every State provides for the confinement of its criminals 
and cares for its unfortunates. To this end Illinois has 
provided a beneficent and liberal system of State, penal 
and charitable institutions. 


The rude log jails of the early days were insufficient to 
hold the many desperate criminals that were to be found 
upon the frontier. A penitentiary building was greatly 
needed, but the people were unwilling to endure the burden 
of taxation necessary to secure it. Fortunately, at this time, 
Congress ceded to the State 40,000 acres of land, the funds 
derived from the sale of which were to be applied toward 
the erection of a State prison. Such a building, containing 
twenty-four cells, was erected at Alton in 1827. But in 
a few years it proved inadequate, and the State erected at 
Joliet a building that would accommodate 1,000 prisoners. 
In 1860 the convicts were removed thither from Alton. 

As the population increased, another similar institution 
was built upon the banks of the Mississippi River near 


In nearly every county is to be found an almshouse 
located upon an ample farm. Here the poor or sick who 



have no other home are kindly cared for. Charity is dis- 
pensed to others through the County Court or by the Board 
of Supervisors. 


It was discovered that some of these dependent classes 
could be made self-supporting citizens by a careful system 
of education. To Orville H. Browning of Quincy, who had 
made an exhaustive study of the subject, belongs the honor 
of inaugurating a movement to establish an "Asylum for 
the Education of the Deaf and Dumb." The school was 
located at Jacksonville, and opened on January 26, 1846, 
with only four pupils. As the work of the school became 
known its numbers rapidly increased, until at the present 
time, it is the largest school of the kind in the world. Here 
have been trained to lives of usefulness nearly 4,000 per- 
sons, who otherwise would have been a burden to society. 
The boys are taught typesetting, broom-making, carpentry 
and other useful trades. The girls learn to do housework, 
to draw, to paint and make many kinds of fancy work. 


No class of unfortunates appeals to us more strongly 
than the insane. Miss Dorothea Dix early applied herself 
to the bettering of their pitiable condition. This woman 
traveled over the State, speaking to audiences upon the 
subject, and enlisting the sympathy of the people. When 
the State Legislature met, she addressed to them an elo- 
quent and convincing argument favoring the establishment 
of an asylum for the care of the insane. Accordingly, such 
a hospital was located on a beautiful stretch of prairie-land 


a mile south of Jacksonville. From 1851, the year in which 
the first patient was received, the institution has grown and 
prospered. As the population of the State increased it 
became necessary to make provision for many more 
patients than could be accommodated at the Jacksonville 
Asylum. The Legislature, in 1869, provided for the 
erection of two other hospitals: One known as the 
Northern Home for the Insane, located on the banks 
.of the Fox Rrver, near Elgin; the other established at 
Anna. Although these hospitals are very large, in a few 
years the State was compelled to build another, which 
was located near Kankakee. This institution has attracted 
much attention, both at home and abroad. It consists of 
a large hospital building, surrounded by a number of de- 
tached cottages, which are occupied by the patients. The 
plan has proven so successful that it has been copied by the 
States of Ohio, Indiana and New York. 

Illinois now has nine hospitals (or asylums), for the 
insane. They are located as follows: Elgin, Kankakee, 
Jacksonville, Anna, Watertown, Peoria (South Bartonville), 
Chicago (Dunning), Chester (for insane criminals). One 
of the nine hospitals provided for by law is not yet fully 


Yet another beneficent institution had its beginning at 
Jacksonville. Samuel Bacon, a blind man, in 1847 opened 
a private school in that city for those who were afflicted 
like himself. 

This gave the people the idea of a school for the blind, 


and in 1849 a bill for the establishment of such an institu- 
tion passed the Legislature. It was opened during the same 

An act passed in 1887 provided for the establishment of 
an industrial home designed to promote the welfare of tli3 
blind by teaching them trades and afford them employment; 
that will best tend to make them self-supporting. No steps 
were taken toward it until 1893. It is located at Chicago. 


Several other charitable institutions should be mentioned. 
In 1875 the School for Feeble Minded Children, which had 
been an outgrowth of the Deaf and Dumb Institution at 
Jacksonville, was removed to Lincoln, where it was pro- 
vided with ample and beautiful buildings. This school, 
under the management of Dr. Chas. T. Wilbur and those 
who have followed him, has done noble work in fitting feeble 
minded children, as far as possible, for earning their own 

At Normal the State has established a "Home for the 
intellectual, moral and physical development of children 
whose fathers served in the Union army or navy during 
the war." The idea of founding this home originated in 
a "most patriotic impulse on the part of the people to fulfil 
the pledge made to the gallant soldiers who imperiled their 
lives on the field of battle during the dark days of the Civil 
War, that if they fell in the fight the widows and children 
should be cared for." This pledge is being sacredly kept 
by the State and nation. 


In 1885 the General Assembly established a Home for 
Soldiers and Sailors. This institution, built at a cost of 
$200,000, was located at Ouincy. It has proved a boon to 
many a brave veteran who, without its comfort, would be 
compelled to spend his old age in poverty and want. 

In response to a movement set on foot by the State 
Teachers' Association, the legislature in 1867 passed an 
act providing for the establishment of a State Reform 
School. This institution is located at Pontiac. It is for the 
confinement, education and reformation of boys between the 
ages of 10 and 16 years who have been convicted of crimes. 
Male criminals between the ages of 16 and 21 years, who 
have not before been sentenced to a penitentiary, may also 
be sentenced to the reformatory instead of a penitentiary at 
the discretion of the court. 

The Eye and Ear Infirmary is located at Chicago. Its 
object is to provide gratuitous board and medical treatment 
for all indigent residents of Illinois who are afflicted with 
diseases of the eye or ear. 

In 1895 The Soldiers' Widows' Home of Illinois was 
established. It is located at Wilmington, Will County. 

The Illinois State Colony for Improvable Epileptics is 
located at Lincoln. The nature of this institution is dis- 
closed by its title. 

The State Training School for Girls was established in 
1893. Its permanent location is at Geneva. It is for the 
confinement, education and reformation of girls between 
the ages of ten and sixteen years, who have been convicted 
of offenses punishable at law. 

The St. Charles School for Boys is located at St. Charles. 
It was established as a home for delinquent boys. 



The Continental Congress which prepared the "Ordi- 
nance of 1787," wisely provided for a system of public 
schools for the Northwest Territory. The sixteenth sec- 
tion of every township was reserved to provide funds for 
the maintenance of public schools within said township. 
Two entire townships in each State were also set aside for 
the use of a "future seminary of learning" or university. 

Thus generously did these early statesmen provide for 
the education of the children who were to be born in the 
territory north of the Ohio River. But it was not until 
many years after these lands had been appropriated that 
they were sold and the money was used for the purpose in- 
tended. As yet the entire territory was a wilderness. 

The early French of Illinois established a seminary of 
learning at Kaskaskia in 1721. But this institution prob- 
ably exerted little influence upon the community, for 
Governor Reynolds tells us in his "History of Illinois" that 
these happy people "had use for neither knowledge nor 
wealth, and therefore possessed not much of either." 

The early American settlers of Illinois for the most part 
were ignorant and poor. Living in thinly populated re- 
gions, they gave little thought to the education of their 

The first schools were held in the cabins of the settlers, 
and were taught by wandering teachers whose educational 



qualifications were little above those of the people whom 
they served. Gradually, however, log school houses were 
built in many communities. The floors of these rude build- 
ings were made of thin slabs called puncheons, which were 
hewn smooth upon one side. Often the entire end of the 
school house was taken up with a huge fireplace crowned 
with a chimney of sticks and mud. The desks and benches 
without backs were hewn from logs and a long thin slab 
served as a writing table. 

Reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling constituted 
the course of study. In the same reading class could be 
found copies of the New Testament, Weem's Life of Wash- 
ington or Franklin, and the Pilgrim's Progress. 

The teacher usually went around the neighborhood with 
a subscription paper. His charges were from $1.00 to 
$2.50 per school month for each pupil. As there was little 
or no money in the new country, he took his pay in 
produce, wheat, tallow, skins, wool or young cattle. If 
a single man, he usually "boarded around" in the humble 
cabins of his patrons. Before and after school hours he 
assisted in splitting wood, making fires or milking the 
cows. It is said that John Doyle, an Irishman, taught a 
school at Kaskaskia in 1778. John Seeley, who has been 
called "the first American school master of Illinois," 
taught in Monroe County as early as 1783. The first 
school house was built in 1811 at Shiloh in St. Clair County. 

In this irregular fashion, public instruction continued 
during the early days of the pioneers. 

The village of Upper Alton was the first to lead off in 
the attempt to establish a school sustained at public ex- 
pense. The people set apart 100 lots, the funds provided 


from the sale of whidi were to be applied "half for the 
support of the Gospel" and half for the public schools. 
In addition, a tax for the support of the schools was 
imposed upon the remaining real estate of the town. But 
no general effort was made to establish a public school 
system throughout the State until 1825, when the legis- 
lature passed an act whereby public schools, supported 
by taxation, were to be opened in all counties of the State. 
A majority of the public had never been taxed to support 
schools of any kind, and resented the idea of being com- 
pelled to pay the tuition of other people's children. The 
measure proved so unpopular that four years later the law 
was repealed and another substituted, which declared that 
no man should be taxed except by his own consent. 

This was a hard blow, to the public schools, but a tide 
of immigration friendly to education had begun to pour 
in from the East. The sentiment in favor of schools ex- 
pressed itself in the founding of a number of 


Dr. John Murray, in 1818, established a Baptist College 
at Upper Alton. McKendree College, at Lebanon, was 
planted in 1828, with Rev. (afterward Bishop) E. H. Ames 
as the first principal. Peter Cartwright, a noted Methodist 
preacher, was one of the prime movers in this enterprise. 
A movement to establish a school at Jacksonville was in- 
augurated as early as 1827. The result was Illinois College, 
formally opened in 1829. Julian M. Sturtevant, the first 
teacher, afterward became President in 1844. Dr. Edward 
Beecher became the first President in 1831. 

Within the twenty years that followed the legislation of 


1825, most of the denominational* colleges of the Stare 
were established. During this period a colony came from 
western New York with the intention of locating a college 
settlement in the new State. A tract of land near Knox- 
ville was purchased for the purpose. In the midst of the 
colony lands Knox College was founded in 1837, and the 
town of Galesburg was laid out around it. The institution 
attracted to the new town people of sobriety, earnestness 
and refinement. Of all the communities that assisted in 
the upbuilding of "the great West," none performed a 
greater work or is deserving of more praise than the 
colony of Christian people which established Knox College. 

Another institution worthy of mention in this connec- 
tion is the Monticello Female Seminary at Godfrey. This 
school, the first seminary in the Mississippi Valley for the 
education of young women, was founded in 1835 by Cap- 
tain Benjamin Godfrey. The first building was erected 
amidst the foliage of a primeval forest. To-day the work 
of teaching is carried on in a beautiful stone structure 
built at a cost of $250,000. Its course of study was mod- 
eled after that of Yale College, and from the first it 
possessed a faculty of cultured men and women. 

The influence of these schools upon the people of the 
new State can never be estimated. 

Their students and graduates settled in every portion 
of the State, and as doctors, lawyers, farmers, preachers 
and business men did much to -elevate the life and influence 
the opinions of the early settlers. It was no small task 
to convince the people that the paramount duty of the 
State was to give to every child the opportunity to obtain 
a common school education. Indeed, it was largely through 



the efforts of the teachers and friends of these denomina- 
tional colleges that the present public school system was 
finally adopted. 

There was held at Peoria in 1844 a convention of educa- 
tors, which addressed a memorial to the legislature de- 
manding the imposing of a general school tax and the 
establishment of the office of State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction. In 1853 tne ^ rst State Association of Teach- 
ers met at Springfield, and the following year the legisla- 
ture complied with this request. A school tax was imposed 
and Ninian Edwards became the first State Superintendent. 

The advent of better teachers and improved school- 
houses announced the dawn of a new day. The citizens 
of Illinois are justly proud of the system of public educa- 
tion, which has done so much to advance the State to a 
front rank among the commonwealths of our nation. 

The amount expended by Illinois for educational pur- 
poses is exceeded by that of New York alone. It surpasses 
that of Pennsylvania or Ohio, is more than twice that of 
Missouri, and is seven times greater than the amount 
expended by Kentucky. 


The public school system having been fully determined 
upon, it became necessary to found a school where teachers 
might be properly trained. Accordingly, in 1857, the State 
legislature passed a law establishing a "State Normal Uni- 
versity," "to qualify teachers for the common schools of the 

The Board of Trustees selected by the legislature chose 
a site for the new school near Bloomington. Here the 


buildings were erected, and around them sprang up the 
beautiful little city of Normal. The school entered at once 
upon a successful career with Charles W. Hovey as the 
first principal. It has performed excellent work for the 
cause of education, and has taken high rank among the 
oth<v normal schools of the nation. 

But our commonwealth is of great extent. In a few 
years a training school for teachers was demanded by 
Southern Illinois. In 1874 the "Southern Illinois Normal 
University" was located at Carbondale. This institution 
has done an important work for the public schools of 
Southern Illinois. 

As the population increased, the State established other 
Normals at Charleston and DeKalb, and funds are already 
appropriated for still another to be located in the western 
part of the State. 


The crown of our educational system is the State 
University. The wisdom of the early legislators in grant- 
ing many thousands of acres of land for the founding of 
a seminary of learning bore fruit in Illinois, when the 
State University was located between the cities of Cham- 
paign and Urbana. 

Dr. John M. Gregory, of Michigan, was inaugurated 
president in 1868, but not until five years later was the main 
building of the school completed. Recently, beautiful new 
buildings have been erected; various departments of in- 
struction have been enlarged and others added. To-day 
the Illinois State University compares favorably with the 
largest and best equipped schools of the nation. 



In recent years other schools and colleges have been 
established within the borders of the State. The phenom- 
enal growth of the city of Chicago, with its libraries, art 
galleries and museums has attracted to its vicinity some 
of the best of these institutions, making Chicago the 
greatest educational center of the interior. The Chicago 
University, the Northwestern University, the Lake Forest 
University, and the host of theological seminaries, com- 
mercial and professional schools, add their beneficent in- 
fluence to the educational forces of the State. 


Appendix A Resume. 

Prepared for use as a Text Book on the History of Illi- 
nois, and bringing the contents of this volume down to 



The State of Illinois is three hundred and eighty-five 
miles in length and two hundred and eighteen miles in 
width, covering 55,410 square miles, or 35,462,400 acres. 
The highest elevation of land is in the northern part of 
the state, which is about 1,175 ^ eet above the level of 
the sea. From here the surface slopes gradually to the 
most southern point, where it is only 350 feet above the 
Gulf of Mexico. The surface is level, except for an ir- 
regular range of hills in the southern part, stretching 
from Grand Tower on the west to Shawneetown on the 


The territory of Illinois extends to the middle of the 
Ohio River on the southern boundary and the middle 
of the Mississippi River on the west. The Illinois River 



lies wholly within the state, and is nearly 500 miles in 
length, about one-half of which is navigable. 

Pjy the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which unite? Lake 
Michigan with the Illinois River, there is a continuous 
water passage through the State from the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. 


Because of the extreme length of Illinois from north 
to south, which is more than five and a half degrees of 
latitude, nearly every staple food product of the world 
is grown within her borders. The value of all the gold 
and silver mined in the United States in one year is not 
equal to that of the farm products of Illinois in the same 
period of time. 


Illinois is covered in large part by the products of the 
carboniferous era. From the northwest to the southeast 
an immense coal field may be traced for 375 miles, and 
from St. Louis to the northeast, about 200 miles, cover- 
ing a total area of about 45,000 square miles. Only cer- 
tain portions of this great area contain workable coal 
mines, however. The coal produced is bituminous. 

Various kinds of limestone are quarried within the 
state, from which many of the public buildings have been 

The soil is generally black, of a loamy character and espe- 
cially adapted to agricultural purposes. 



The Illinois. The Illinois Indians comprised a con- 
federacy of the Peorias, the Kaskaskias, the Cahokias, 
the Tamawas and the Witchigamies. They occupied and 
claimed nearly the whole of the State of Illinois, as well 
as contiguous portions of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri. 
They belonged to the great Algonquin family, and were 
friendly to the French. For this reason, and in order 
to deprive them of thtir rich hunting grounds, the hos- 
tile Iroquois, as well as other tribes, made constant war- 
fare upon them. 

The original name of the Illinois was "Illini," meaning 
"real men." The French changed the plural ending of 
the word by substituting their own termination, ois. 

But finally the Iroquois surprised the Illinois and con- 
quered them. The shattered remnant, in 1769, were 
assailed by the Pottawottomies, and actually died from 
thirst and hunger, in their impregnable fortress at what 
has since been known as "Starved Rock," on the Illinois 
River. Only one escaped to tell the tale of their suffer- 

The Black Hawk War. By a treaty signed at St. Louis 
November 3, 1804, the Indians ceded to the United 
States all land lying between the Rock River and the 
Mississippi River, and agreed to remove west of the 
Mississippi. But Black Hawk, a chief of the Sacs, and 
some others of the Sacs and the Foxes, did not approve 
of the treaty, and during the war of 1812 sided with the 
British, and at its close continued in a hostile mood. 


In 1830, Black Hawk undertook to unite all Indians 
against the whites, and in the spring of 1831 a dispute 
arose about a cornfield which had been purchased by a 
fur trader and which Black Hawk would not surrender. 
Governor Reynolds therefor sent General Gaines with 
a company of volunteers to Fort Armstrong, on Rock 
Island, near the Indian village, who persuaded Black 
Hawk and his band to cross the river. But early the 
next spring Black Hawk and his men recrossed the river, 
declaring that they were going to their friends, the Win- 
nebagoes, who lived in Wisconsin, for the purpose of 
planting corn. Governor Reynolds immediately sent 
General Whiteside, with 1,800 volunteers, to drive them 
back. A reconnoitering party was met by messengers 
from Black Hawk carrying a white flag. Contrary to 
the rules of warfare the volunteers fired on the Indians, 
killing two of them, which so enraged Black Hawk that 
he attacked the volunteers, killed . eleven of them and 
drove the rest back to their general. This was the first 
bloodshed in the Black Hawk War. 

The war continued, with occasional conflicts, till August 
2d, when nearly all of Black Hawk's band were de- 
stroyed, and the valiant warrior surrendered, through the 
friendly offices of two Winnebago chiefs. The Govern- 
ment at Washington could charge nothing against him but 
"honorable warfare," and he was permitted to return to his 
own people. He died near Des Moines, on October 
3, 1835, 



Jacques Marquette was a French Catholic missionary 
to the Indians on the St. Lawrence River, and later to the 
Indians of the Upper Lake region. He endeared himself 
to the Indians everywhere by the gentleness of his man- 
ner and the purity of his life. 

Sieur Louis Jolliet was a fur trader of Quebec. In 
November, 1672, he was instructed by Frontenac, the 
Governor of New France, to make a journey of discovery 
to the Mississippi River and its mouth. Marquette was 
chosen as a missionary to accompany the expedition. 
Nothing could have pleased him more. 

Jolliet and Marquette, with five French boatmen, in 
two birch canoes, started from the mission of St. Ignace, 
going southward along the western shore of Green Bay 
to the mission of St. Xavier, up the shallow waters of the 
Fox River, across Winnebago Lake, by Portage to the 
headwaters of the Wisconsin River, down the Wisconsin 
to the great Mississippi, and down the Mississippi tc 
the mouth of the Arkansas River. From this point they 
returned to the mouth of the Illinois River, and up that 
stream to an Indian village called Kaskaskia, near the 
present site of Ottawa. From here they proceeded to the 
shores of Lake Michigan and back to the Green Bay 
mission, having been absent four months and traveled 
2,500 miles in their birch canoes. From here Jolliet re- 
turned to Canada, and Marquette, in the fall of 1674, 
set out to establish a mission at Kaskaskia. Arriving in 
Chicago, he was taken ill and remained until spring, 


when he proceeded to the accomplishment of his task. 
But his health failing rapidly, he reluctantly bade them 
farewell and started to return to his friends in Canada. 
With two faithful companions he reached the eastern shore 
of Lake Michigan, near St. Joseph, and there peacefully 
and thankfully surrendered his work to his Master and 
closed his eyes in death. The next winter some Indians 
transferred his bones to the mission of St. Ignace at Macki- 
nac, where they were buried. 


Robert Cavelier, Knight of LaSalle, was born in France, 
went to Montreal at the age of twenty-three, became an 
adventurer and discover, and later a fur trader. 

LaSalle's connection with the history of Illinois begins 
in December, 1679, when he, with an Italian named Tonti, 
and ten Frenchmen, entered the State in canoes by way of 
the Kankakee River. 

Floating into the Illinois River, they passed the cliff 
afterwards famous as "Starved Rock," and built a fortified 
camp a few miles below Peoria, which was the first 
home of civilization to be established within the borders of 
the State of Illinois. 

This camp he called Fort Crevecoeur. From here he 
returned with five companions on foot to Fort Frontenac 
in Canada, a distance of 1,200 miles, for the purpose of 
obtaining materials for building a ship which he might 
fill with buffalo hides and take down the Mississippi River 
and across the Atlantic. 



Tonti was left in command of the fort. But a succes- 
sion of troubles immediately followed. According to in- 
structions received from LaSalle, he took a few men and 
went up the river to examine the cliff, near Kaskaskia, the 
chief village of the Illinois. As soon as he departed those 
left behind rose in rebellion, with the exception of two, 
destroyed the fort, seized the ammunition and fled. The 
hostile Iroquois then came upon the Illinois and Tonti 
came near losing his life. At last he escaped to the French 
mission at Mackinac. 


When LaSalle returned to the village of the Iroquois 
on the Illinois River he found nothing but desolation. 
Not knowing what had become of Tonti and his men, he 
descended to the mouth of the Illinois, where he came 
upon the field of death where the unfortunate Tamawas 
had been slaughtered. Returning then to Fort Miami, 
he resolved to form a league of the western tribes and 
colonize them about the Rock of St. Louis, as he had 
named the cliff on the Illinois River. Again he returned 
to Canada to obtain needed supplies and at Mackinac 
Mission he was overjoyed to meet Tonti, who returned 
with him to Canada. Coming again to the present site 
of Chicago, he continued down the Illinois and the 
Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas, and below 
to Texas, and then to the Gulf and took possession of the 
country in the name of France. Returning to Mackinac, 


Tonti was sent to the Rock of St. Louis to prepare the 
place for a fort. LaSalle followed and the fort was 
named Fort St. Louis. So far his plan for a colony was 
successful. He now left Tonti in command and went to 
France for aid in planting colonies at the mouth of the 
Mississippi River. The King gave him the aid he de- 
sired, including four vessels, abundant supplies and 100 
soldiers. But the vessels were lost and captured by the 
Spanish. Disasters multiplied and LaSalle was at last 
killed by the treachery of some of his own men, who had 
become disaffected. He was forty-three years of age at 
the time of his death. 


The earliest mission among the Illinois Indians was 
established by Marquette at Kaskaskia. This mission 
was moved about 1695, when the Illinois abandoned the 
region through fear of the Iroquois, and re-established 
near the junction of the Kaskaskia River with the Miss- 
issippi, where the Indians chose a new site for their 

A few years later Father Pinet established a mission 
among the Tamaroa Indians at Cahokia, four miles south 
of the present site of East St. Louis. Other Frenchmen 
settled there and the village became one of considerable 
importance. Within less than a hundred years it became 
the county seat of St. Clair county. But in 1814 the 
county seat was transferred to Belleville. In 1844 heavy 
floods destroyed the village of Cahokia, and it has since 
been nothing but a hamlet. 


By 1750 there were many Frenchmen living along the 
banks of the Mississippi River, having found access from 
the Gulf much easier than by way of Mackinac. The 
province of Louisiana extended indefinitely northward 
along the river, and Kaskaskia was the chief metropolis 
of the northern portion. In 1725 it became an incor- 
porated town. 


The French and the Indians dwelt together in perfect 

In 1718 a site was chosen midway between Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia for the building of a fort. This was named 
Fort Chartres, and immediately became the seat of 
French military power. The French villages of New 
Chartres, St. Philip and Prairie du Rocher grew into 
thriving settlements. 

In 1750 Fort Chartres was torn down and recon- 
structed of stone. This was then the strongest and 
most pretentious fortress in the New World. The sol- 
diers of Fort Chartres were engaged in many battles 
during the French and Indian War. This fort was for- 
mally delivered to the English in October, 1765^ they 
having come into possession of all this territory former- 
ly held by the French, through their conquest of Canada. 

In the spring of 1772 the fort was partially destroyed 
by an overflow of the river, and the British removed their 
military stores to the fort opposite Kaskaskia, which was 
named Fort Gage, in honor of the British commander in 



Colonel George Rogers Clark, with a commission from 
Patrick Henry, the Governor of Virginia, which at that 
time claimed the territory lying west, even to the Miss- 
issippi River, marched northward from Kentucky with 
upwards of 150 volunteers for the purpose of capturing 
Kaskaskia and Fort Gage and driving the British from 
the territory. This was in June, 1778. On the fourth 
of July they arrived within three miles of Kaskaskia, 
having marched a distance of 170 miles, most of the way 
through tangled forests and marshy swamps. The cap- 
ture was successfully accomplished without bloodshed, 
and soon Cahokia was also in possession of the colonies. 

But the Indians were allies of the British, and were 
not disposed to submit to peaceable occupation of their 
country by the Americans. A great council was held 
at Cahokia and Colonel Clark was successful in persuad- 
ing them to be friends. 

Colonel Clark next marched his men across the State 
and captured Fort Vincennes, on the Wabash, which 
gave the whole Northwest Territory to the colonies. The 
Virginia Assembly named the captured country the Ter- 
ritory of Illinois. 


Under the Ordinance of 1787 Governor St. Clair, who 
had been appointed by President Washington the first 
Governor of the Northwest Territory, which included 


the present States of Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wis- 
consin, came to Kaskaskia, in February, 1791, from Ma- 
rietta, the seat of the territorial government, for the pur- 
pose of organizing a local government and distributing 
the lands to their rightful owners. 

St. Clair county thus became the first organized county 
within the present state, and Cahokia the first county 


The first Americans to enter the Illinois country were 
the soldiers of Colonel George Rogers Clark. In the 
spring of 1781 a company of people from Maryland com- 
posed largely of Colonel Clark's veterans, came by boat 
to Kaskaskia by way of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. 
Other immigrants followed in great covered wagons 
drawn by oxen or horses, coming from Virginia and the 
other colonies. 

At first their comforts and conveniences were very 
few, but after a time, as the number of people increased 
and the fear of the Indians decreased, the settlements 
became villages, and extensive farms were cultivated, 
with large herds of sheep. Shadrach Bond, the first 
Governor of the State, was a member of the first colony 
that settled in the Illinois country. 


At the opening of the war of 1812 the Indians became 
very dangerous and Congress assigned four companies 
of rangers to guard the frontiers of Illinois. The con- 


flicts between the red men and the white were frequent 
and bloody, the British joining with the Indians. But 
after the treaty of Ghent, by which the war between 
America and England was ended, the Indians gave no more 
trouble for a number of years. 


As a means of defense against the Indians numerous 
"block houses" and stockades were built, extending from 
the Illinois River to the Kaskaskia, thence eastward to 
the Ohio River, and up this river and the Wabash to Vin- 

In northern Illinois the most pretentious defense against 
the Indians was Fort Dearborn, which was erected at the 
mouth of the Chicago River in 1804. This was garrisoned 
by only fifty soldiers at the outbreak of the war, and they, 
by order of General Hull, attempted to escape to Fort 
Wayne. But they had gone but a few hundred yards when 
they were attacked by Indians and twenty-three of them, 
v/ith several women and children, were ruthlessly massa- 


The necessity of using the Mississippi River for trans- 
porting the products of the country to New Orleans, and 
bringing back goods purchased there, gave rise to a class 
of men who made a business of such transportation in what 
were called keel-boats. 

Many pirates and savages infested the banks of the 
river and the keel-boatmen had many a conflict with 


them in defending their cargoes, until, in 1797, Spain placed 
a large fleet of armed boats on the river, which quickly 
cleared it of these outlaws. 


The Territory of Illinois was organized in 1809, and 
Ninian Edwards was appointed first Governor of the Terri- 

The "Bank of Illinois" was established at Shawneetown 
in 1816, and the following year other banks were located 
at Kaskaskia and Edwardsville. 

The people clamored for admission into the Union as 
a State, but by the ordinance of 1787 a population of 60,000 
was necessary. Congress, therefore, passed an "enabling 
act" reducing the requirement to 40,000, and a questionable 
census reported the required number. 

In the bill admitting Illinois as a State it was provided 
that three-fifths of the five per cent fund from the sale 
of public lands should be devoted to "the encouragement 
of education," and that one-sixth of this sum should be 
used exclusively for the establishing and maintenance of 
a university or college. It was also provided that the north- 
ern boundary of the State should be extended to the parallel 
of forty-two degrees and nine minutes, north latitude, which 
was fifty-one miles north of the line indicated by the ordi- 
nance of 1787. This placed the site of Chicago in Illinois 
instead of Wisconsin. 

In July, 1818, thirty-three delegates met in Kaskaskia 
to draft a State constitution. The convention adjourned 


August 26, and on December 3d of the same year Illinois 
became the eighth state added to the original thirteen. 

A new constitution was adopted in 1848, and a third 
in 1870. 


The first slaves in Illinois were 500 natives of San Do- 
mingo, brought to Fort Chartres in 1721 by Philip 
Renault to work in the gold and silver mines which the 
Commercial Company expected to open. As no gold and 
silver were found, there were no mines to work, and the 
slaves were sold to the French settlers. 

But slavery never flourished in Illinois. The "Ordi- 
nance of 1787" prohibited slavery in the Northwest Ter- 
ritory, and in 1818 Illinois was admitted as a free State. 

At the election in 1822 Edward Coles, a native of Vir- 
ginia and a strong anti-slavery man, was elected Gov- 
ernor. A majority of the Legislature favored slavery, 
and a resolution was adopted submitting to a vote of 
the people the question whether Illinois should be a 
slave state or not, hoping to secure an amendment of 
the constitution. This led to a most bitter and exciting 
political contest. Governor Coles contributed his entire 
salary, $4,000, as a campaign fund. The anti-slavery 
party won by 1,800 majority. 


Elijah P. Lovejoy, editor of "The Observer," a reli- 
gious paper published in St. Louis, fearlessly attacked 
the institution of slavery in the columns of his paper. 


His office was assaulted by a mob and completely de- 
stroyed. He then moved to Alton, in a free state, and 
attempted to re-establish his paper, but mobs destroyed 
his press twice. A fourth press was purchased by his 
friends. It arrived on the night of November 7, 1837. 
The next night a drunken mob attacked the warehouse 
where it was stored. In the building were Mr. Lovejoy 
and a few friends, who had armed themselves to defend 
the property. The mob set fire to the building and shot 
the men within. This event created great excitement 
throughout the state. 


The first capital of Illinois was Kaskaskia, chosen in 
1809, when the Territory of Illinois was separated from 
that of Indiana. 

The second was Vandalia. The temporary State 
House was occupied first in December, 1820. This 
house was burned in 1823, and a commodious brick struc- 
ture was at once erected, the citizens contributing $3,000 
toward the cost. The building was replaced by a still 
more pretentious one in 1836, the citizens paying the ex- 
pense in order to prevent the removal of the capital. 
But in 1837 the capital was removed to Springfield and 
the state refunded to Vandalia the $16,000 which the 
building had cost. The new State House in Springfield 
was built at an expense of $200,000. But so rapid was 
the growth of the State that in 1868 the corner stone was 
laid for the present magnificent State House which cost 



The sect of Mormons came from Missouri to Illinois 
in the winter of 1838-39 and settled in Hancock county, 
calling their village Nauvoo. But the Mormons became 
unpopular in Illinois, as they had been in Missouri, and 
the people threatened such violence against the leaders, 
Joseph Smith and: his brother Hyram, that they gave 
themselves up to the sheriff. On June 27, 1844, they 
were assassinated at the hands of a mob. Then fol- 
lowed dissentions among the Mormons themselves, arid 
in 1846 most of them migrated to Salt Lake, Utah, under 
the leadership of Brigham Young, but many dissenters 
separated from the main body and in 1860 chose Joseph 
Smith, a son of the founder of Mormonism, to be their 
president and settled at Lamloni, Iowa. 


Railroads. The first railroad in Illinois was "The 
Great Northern Cross," begun May 9, 1838, at Mere- 
dosia. This was only ten years after the building of the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the first one in the United 
States. This road was completed to Springfield, at an 
expense of $1,000,000, but was sold at auction for 

In 1837 the Legislature passed a bill providing state 
aid for the improvement of navigation on the Illinois, 
Wabash, Rock and Kaskaskia Rivers, and also for build- 
ing several railroads. In 1850 Congress gave the Illinois 
Central Railroad Company 3,000,000 acres of land for the 


construction of a road through the whole length of the 
State. In return the Illinois Central Railroad Company 
pays into the State treasury annually seven per cent of its 
gross earnings in place of the usual taxes. This percentage 
has already made an annual income for the State of over 
one million dollars, and a total up to 1910 of $29,100,- 
427.81. There are more miles of railroad to-day in the 
State of Illinois than in any other State in the 

Canals. By an act of Congress the State was author- 
ized to "open a canal through the land to connect the 
Illinois River with Lake Michigan." The land for ninety 
feet on each side of the canal was gi anted to the state. It 
was estimated that the canal would cost $700,000, but 
after $1,500,000 had been spent work was suspended 
until a grant was obtained from Congress giving the 
state the alternate sections of public land for five miles 
on each side of the canal along its entire route, amount- 
ing to 2,243,323 acres. 

The work was completed in twelve years. The canal 
was sixty feet wide at the ground level, thirty-six feet 
wide at the bottom, and six feet deep. 

The first complete trip of 100 miles was made in 
April, 1848. 

In 1865 Chicago enlarged and deepened the channel 
so that it might assist in clearing the Chicago River of 
accumulated filth. After the great fire of 1871 the state 
promptly repaid the city the money it had expended on 
the canal. 

The canal has earned more than twice as much as was 


spent in its construction. The United States Govern- 
ment was given control of the canal in 1882, and it be- 
came a national waterway. 


Illinois furnished six regiments for the Mexican War, 
though her quota was only three. The First and Second 
Illinois Regiments were engaged in the battle of Buena 
Vista, and many men were buried on that bloody field. 
The Third and Fourth Regiments were engaged in the 
storming of Vera Cruz, and in the capture of the City of 
Mexico; also in the battle of Cerro Gordo. 


Early in the spring of 1830 Abraham Lincoln, with his 
parents, came into Illinois as immigrants from Indiana, 
Lincoln being then twenty-one years of age. The family 
settled on the Sangamon River, about ten miles south of 

Young Lincoln needed new clothes, and being without 
money, he bargained with a woman to make four hundred 
rails for every yard of cloth she would use in making him 
a pair of trousers. He had to split 1,400 rails for 
his trousers. 

Setting out to earn an independent living, he became 
clerk in a store at New Salem. He was captain of a com- 
pany in the Black Hawk War. After the close of the war 
he became postmaster. He was chosen to represent 
the people of his district in the State Legislature. In 


1837 he settled at Springfield and took up the practice of 
law. In 1846 he was elected to Congress. During this 
year, in company with Stephen A. Douglas, he made a 
tour of the State discussing the subject of slavery in the 
territory obtained from Mexico. 

Lincoln was nominated for President of the United 
States at a convention of the Republican party held in 
Chicago in 1860. His election precipitated the Civil 


The State of Illinois furnished 260,000 men for the 
great Civil War. Only New York, Pennsylvania and 
Ohio furnished a larger number. Only Kansas furnished 
a larger number in proportion to her population. 

General U. S. Grant was a citizen of Galena when he 
first entered the army as a volunteer. 

Other illustrious generals from Illinois were President 
C. E. Hovey, of the State Normal School ; John A.. Lo- 
gan, John A. McClernand, Richard Oglesby, John M. 
Palmer, John A. Rawlins, John Pope, and many others. 

Illinois troops were engaged in battles in all parts of 
the great battlefield, and everywhere distinguished them- 
selves for their bravery and excellent discipline. 

The Stay-at-Homes. Among those who did not enter 
the army were many who sympathized with the South. 
Plans were formed by these persons to liberate the Con- 
federate prisoners held at Rock Island and Chicago, and 
even to burn the city of Chicago. But a society known 
as the "Union League of America" was formed in Taze- 


well county in 1862, which did much to check the plans 
of the "copperheads," as the Southern sympathizers were 
called. The great majority of those who stayed at home 
were as loyal as the soldiers themselves, and did much to 
aid the Union cause. 


After the rebuilding of Fort Dearborn in 1816, John 
Kinzie, with his family, returned to his former home, 
but for eleven years only six or eight other families took 
up their residence there. In 1829 the Illinois and Michi- 
gan Canal was surveyed and commissioners arrived to 
lay out a town. The official plat embraced the territory 
now lying between Madison, State, Kinzie and Halsted 

The two branches of the Chicago River naturally di- 
vided the town site into three parts, north, south and 

Cook county was organized in 1830. At first it in- 
cluded five other counties besides its present territory. 

The first school was opened in 1830, in a log cabin near 
what is now the corner of Randolph street and Michigan 

In 1833 Chicago had its first post-office and weekly 

The Legislature incorporated "the City of Chicago" 
in 1837. William B. Ogden was elected first mayor on 
the first Tuesday in May, 1837. 

The population at that time was 4,179. 

The land surface was only a few feet above the level 


of the lake, and was often entirely covered with water. 
Therefore the city raised the grade of the streets and 
the buildings were elevated to conform to the new grade. 

The Water Supply. In 1839 a reservoir was erected 
at the corner of Michigan avenue and Water street. 
Water was pumped into this from the lake and dis- 
tributed in pipes throughout the city. 

In 1851 a crib, 20x40 feet, was sunk in the lake 600 
feet from the shore, and from this the water was con- 
ducted to the lake front and collected in a well twenty- 
five feet deep. Here a two-hundred horsepower engine 
forced the water through the distributing pipes. In 
1862 one hundred and five miles of water pipe had been 

In 1860 the population numbered over 100,000, and a 
better system of drainage was required. 

In 1863 a larger crib was constructed three miles from 
the shore, and a tunnel built beneath the lake, which cost 
the city a million of dollars. 

In 1869 the first tunnel under the river was construct- 
ed joining Washington street on the south and west 

Two years later the LaSalle street tunnel was con- 
structed, connecting the north and south sides. 

Later the Chicago River was joined to the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal by extensive cutting away of rock and 
other barriers for miles, and the water of the river be- 
gan to flow away from its mouth. This greatly purifies 
the water and improves the drainage. 

The Great Fire. On the night of October 8, 1871, fire 


broke out in the southwestern part of the city, and in an 
incredibly short time was under such headway that no 
human agency could stop it. Substantial structures of 
iron and stone melted like wax as the mad flames swept 
onward through the heart of the city. The river proved 
to be no barrier, and the whole business portion and 
thousands of residences were consumed. 

A hundred thousand people were rendered homeless 
and huddled together on the prairie west of the city. 

Seventeen thousand five hundred buildings, covering 
2,124 acres, and valued at $150,000,000, were swept away 
by the flames. 

Donations were sent from all civilized portions of the 
globe, amounting to $7,000,000. A special session of 
the Legislature gave the city $3,000,000, which it had 
spent in deepening the canal. 

The World's Fair. The World's Fair Columbian Ex- 
position was formally opened May I, 1893, at Jackson 
Park, which had been specially prepared for it. Con- 
gress appropriated $10,000,000 to aid in promoting the 
enterprise. It was the greatest achievement of the kind 
the world had ever known. 

The Drainage Canal. This great work was begun in 
1893 and completed in 1900. It had become a necessity 
on account of the incomplete drainage of the city. The 
canal is 28 miles in length. It is the greatest artificial 
waterway ever constructed. The flow is over 300,000 
cubic feet a minute. 

The canal cost over $56,000,000. 

More than 100,000 men were employed in constructing 


it; $36,000,000 of the expense was furnished by the city 
of Chicago to make it large enough to serve as a ship canal 
from the lakes to the rivers and the Gulf, and thus make 
Chicago an Atlantic seaport. 

Chicago now has a population of 2,185,283, and is the 
greatest grain market, the greatest live stock market, and 
the greatest railroad center in the world. 


State Penitentiaries. The first State's Prison in Illi- 
nois was erected at Alton in 1827. In 1860 this was aban- 
doned for a new and much larger prison at Joliet, capable 
of containing 1,000 prisoners. Another has since been con- 
structed at Chester. 

The Deaf and Dumb. The Asylum for the Education 
of the Deaf and Dumb was built at Jacksonville and 
opened January 26, 1846. It is now the largest school of 
the kind in the world. 

Hospitals for the Insane. Illinois has nine hospitals 
for the insane. They are located as follows : Elgin, 
Kankakee, Jacksonville, Anna, Watertown, Peoria 
(South P>artonville), Chicago (Dunning), Chester (for 
insane criminals). One of the nine hospitals provided 
for by law is not yet fully established. 

Institutions for the Blind. In 1849 a State School for 
the Blind was opened at Jacksonville, which is now ranked 
as one of the best in the world. 

Illinois Industrial Home for the Blind promotes the wel- 
fare of the blind by teaching them trades and affording 


them employment that will best tend to make them self- 
supporting. It is located at Chicago. 

Other Institutions. The School for Feeble Minded Chil- 
dren is located at Lincoln. 

At Normal the State maintains the Illinois Soldiers' 
Orphans' Home, a home for the intellectual, moral and 
physical development of children whose fathers served in 
the Union army or navy during the Civil War. 

The Illinois Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary is located 
at Chicago. The State furnishes about two-thirds of its 

At Quincy is a home for soldiers and sailors which cost 
the state $200,000. 

The Soldiers' Widows' Home of Illinois, was established 
in 1895 an d is located at Wilmington. 

Illinois State Colony for Improvable Epileptics is located 
at Lincoln. 

State Training School for Girls was established in 1893, 
and is located at Geneva. 

St. Charles School for Boys is located at St. Charles and 
was established as a home for delinquent boys. 

At Pontiac is the Illinois State Reformatory. 

All these institutions except the penitentiaries are man- 
aged by a Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities. 


The constitution of the state provides liberally for the 
maintenance of a free public school system, and prohibits 
the legislature, counties, cities and towns from making any 
appropriation for, or paying any money to aid any denomi- 


national college, seminary or literary or scientific institution. 

The first public schools supported by the state were 
authorized by an act of the legislature passed in 1825. This 
act was so unpopular, however, that it was repealed four 
years later. 

No other state except New York expends more money 
for educational purposes than Illinois. 

The Normal Schools. In 1857 the legislature passed 
a law establishing a "State Normal University" to qualify 
teachers for the common schools of the state. This was 
located near Bloomington, and the city of Normal sprang 
up around it. 

In 1874 the "Southern Illinois Normal University" was 
located at Carbondale. 

Other state normal schools have since been established 
at Charleston, DeKalb and Macomb. 

The State University. The "Illinois Industrial Univer- 
sity," now styled the University of Illinois, is located be- 
tween Urbana and Champaign. 

The Northwestern University is located at Evanston, the 
University of Chicago at Chicago, and Lake Forest College 
at Lake Forest. 


The present constitution of the State was adopted in 

The Senate consists of fifty-one senators, elected for four 

The House of Representatives consists of 153 members, 
elected for two years. 


The legislative sessions are biennial. 

The salary of Senators and Representatives is one thou- 
sand dollars per year, ten cents a mile for actual mileage 
and fifty dollars per session for postage, stationery, etc. 

The Executive Department of the State consists of a 
Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, 
Auditor, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction 
and Attorney General, all elected by the people for a 
period of four years, except the Treasurer, whose term 
is two years. 

The Judicial Department consists of a Supreme Court, 
Circuit Courts, County Courts, Justices of the Peace and 
Police Magistrates. 

The Supreme Court consists of seven judges, elected 
by the people of their respective districts for a term of 
nine years. 

The Circuit Courts are held in judicial circuits of 100,- 
ooo inhabitants, and the circuit judges hold office for 
six years. A county with more than 100,000 inhabitants 
forms a single judicial circuit. 

Every male citizen of the United States above twenty- 
one years of age, who has resided in the state one year, 
in the county ninety days, and in the election district 
thirty days next preceding an election is a legal voter at 
state elections. 

All votes are by ballot. 



Of the one hundred and two counties into which the 
State of Illinois is divided, six were named in honor of 
Presidents of the United States. These are Washing- 
ton, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams (named for John 
Quincy Adams, not for his father), and Jackson. 

Bond County was named for Shadrack Bond, who 
later became the first Governor of Illinois ; while Coles, 
Edwards and Ford also took their names from chief 
executives of the state. 

Of those who have figured in the history of Illinois, or 
who were, for one reason or another, prominent in the 
early days, the following men have given their names to 
counties : 

William M. Alexander, a state senator in the second 
and third general assemblies. 

Daniel P. Cook, first attorney general of the state and 
a representative in Congress from 1819 to 1827. 

Stephen A. Douglas, whose name will ever be asso- 
ciated with that of Lincoln ; orator, political leader, rep- 
resentative in Congress, United States senator, and 
Democratic candidate for the presidency. 

John Edgar, pioneer merchant, politician and land 

Elias Kent Kane, Democratic leader, pro-slavery advo- 
cate, member of the first constitutional convention, judge 
of the territory, first Secretary of State and second United 
States senator. 

John Logan, M. D., father of General John A. Logan. 


William McHenry, who served in both the War of 1812 
and the Black Hawk War; member of the first, fourth 
fifth and ninth general assemblies. 

John McLean, lawyer, territorial judge and first repre- 
sentative in Congress in 1818 and senator in 1824. 

Pierre Menard, a French Indian trader, a colonel of 
militia, and first Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. 

Joseph Ogle, politician and lieutenant of militia in the 
territorial days. 

Benjamin Piatt, attorney general of the territory from 
1810 to 1813. 

Nathaniel Pope, first territorial Secretary of State and 
last territorial delegate in Congress. But for his efforts 
the north tier of counties of Illinois would be in Wis- 
consin and Chicago a city of that state. 

Benjamin Stephenson, adjutant general of the terri- 
tory in 1813. 

Leonard White, a gallant soldier; major of militia, 
member of constitutional convention, state senator in 
the second and third general assemblies; killed in the 
battle of Tippecanoe. 

Samuel Whiteside, colonel of territorial militia, repre- 
sentative in the first general assembly and brigadier gen- 
eral of militia during the Black Hawk War. 

Conrad Will, territorial recorder of Jackson County, 
member of the constitutional convention of 1818, and 
member of the general assemblies from the first to the 
ninth, inclusive. 

Among the brave soldiers whose names are perpetuated 
in those of our counties are : Jacob Brown, major gen- 


eral in 1812 ; George Rogers Clark, who as colonel of 
Virginia militia established control in the Illinois coun- 
try by capturing Kaskaskia and Fort Vincennes; Baron 
Jonathan DeKalb, the German nobleman who served the 
colonies and was killed at Camden, S. C., in 1780 ; Major 
General Nathaniel Greene of revolutionary fame; William 
Jasper, the famous sergeant of the revolution who re- 
placed the flag shot away at Fort Moultrie and was later 
killed at Savannah ; Joseph Hamilton Daviess, the Ken- 
tucky lawyer who gave his name to Jo Daviess County, 
'United States district attorney and major of militia ; 
Richard M. Johnson, colonel of Kentucky militia, veteran 
of the War of 1812, representative in congress, United 
States senator from Kentucky and Vice President of the 
United States from 1837 to 1841; Henry Knox, major 
general and Secretary of War under Washington ; Fran- 
cis Marion, soldier of the revolution; Hugh- Mercer, 
American officer killed at the battle of Princeton ; Richard 
Montgomery, revolutionary general, killed before Quebec 
in 1775; Daniel Morgan, commander of the "rifle 
brigade" during the revolution; William Moultrie, who 
built and defended the fort bearing his name; Zebulon 
Pike, soldier and explorer; Count Casimir Pulaski, a 
Polish exile who espoused the cause of the colonies dur- 
ing the revolution and was killed at Savannah in 1779; 
Major General Israel Putnam ; Major General Philip 
Schuyler, member of the continental congress and United 
States senator from New York; Major General John 
Stark of revolutionary fame; Major General Arthur St. 
Clair, commander in chief of the army after the revolu- 


tion and governor of the territory of the United States 
northwest of the Ohio; Joseph Warren, major general, 
killed at the battle of Bunker Hill ; Anthony Wayne, 
major general during the revolution, commander in chief 
of the army after St. Clair. 

Three counties bear the name of naval officers Mc- 
Donough, named for Commodore Thomas McDonough, 
who commanded the fleet on Lake Champlain in a suc- 
cessful engagement with the British near Plattsburg in 
1814; Lawrence, for Captain James Lawrence, com- 
mander of the Chesapeake, who was mortally wounded 
in an engagement between that vessel and the British 
ship Shannon, in the War of 1812 ; Perry, for Commodore 
Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the battle of Lake Erie 
in 1813. 

The following statesmen and soldiers who were not 
citizens of Illinois are represented in the names of coun- 
ties: John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, representa- 
tive, senator, Secretary of War, Vice President and 
"father of nullification"; Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 
signer of the Declaration of Independence ; Lewis Cass, 
soldier, statesman, minister to France, senator from 
Michigan, Secretary of War under Jackson, Secretary 
of State under Buchanan, and candidate for the presi- 
dency ; Henry Clay ; William H. Crawford, senator from 
Georgia, minister to France, Secretary of War and of the 
Treasury, and a candidate for the presidency; Benjamin 
Franklin; Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury; 
Felix Grundy, senator from Tennessee and Attorney 
General of the United States; Alexander Hamilton; John 


Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Independence; 
Patrick Henry ; Amos Kendall, Postmaster General under 
Jackson ; Richard Henry Lee, member of the Continental 
Congress and senator from Virginia ; Edward Living- 
ston, Mayor of New York, representative in Congress 
from that state, afterward representative and senator 
from Louisiana, Secretary of State tinder Jackson and 
minister to France ; Nathaniel Macon, colonel in the 
revolution, representative and senator from North Caro- 
lina; John Marshall, chief justice of the Supreme Court; 
Edmund Randolph, soldier of the revolution, member of 
the Continental Congress, Attorney General and Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, Secretary of State of the United States 
and Attorney General under Washington ; Isaac Shelby, 
Governor of Kentucky ; Lyttleton W. Tazewell, lawyer, 
governor, representative and senator from Virginia. 

From DeWitt Clinton of New York, mayor, governor, 
senator, lawyer, financier and chief promoter of the Erie 
Canal, two counties DeWitt and Clinton have taken 
their names. 

Through the influence of immigrants from three 
other states, nine of our counties are named after coun- 
ties in those states Champaign and Richland from Ohio; 
Christian, Hardin, Henderson, Mason, Scott and Wood- 
ford from Kentucky, and Williamson from Tennessee. 

Iroquois, Kankakee, Macoupin, Peoria, Sangamon, Wa- 
bash, and Winnebago counties recall the red men, the 
original owners of the land now comprised in the State 
of Illinois. 

Boone County is named for Daniel Boone; Bureau for 


Pierre Buero, a French trader; Cumberland takes its 
name from Cumberland in Maryland ; Du Page from a 
small river. Effingham County is named for Lord 
Effingham, who resigned his commission in the British 
army, refusing to serve in a war against the colonies: 
Fulton, for Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat; 
Jersey, for the state of New Jersey; Lake, for Lake 
Michigan; LaSalle, for the celebrated French explorer; 
Massac, from Fort Massac ; Rock Island, from an island 
in the Mississippi River; Saline from the salt springs of 
the vicinity; Union, for the federal Union, and Vermilion 
from the river which flows through the county. 


Starved Rock stands on the south bank of the Illinois 
River, opposite the Village of Utica, about nine miles west 
from the city of Ottawa, six miles east of LaSalle, and 
ninety-four miles from Chicago. The canyons lie to the 
east and west of Starved Rock, along the Illinois River. 

In 1911 the legislature passed an act (approved June 
10, 1911), which provides: 

It shall be the duty of the governor to appoint a commis- 
sion to be known as the Illinois park commission, to consist 
of three members, only two of whom are to be of the same 
political party. One is to serve one year, one two years 
and the third three years ; after that the term is to be three 
years for all. They are to serve without compensation. 
The park commission shall have power to take care of and 
manage all state parks acquired under this act or acquired 




hereafter, to make rules for the same and to have charge of 
all the necessary employes. Section 4 of the act provides 
that a tract of land in LaSalle County consisting of 1,155.56 
acres shall be secured by the commission and be set apart 
for a state park, which shall be known as "The Starved 
Rock State Park." The land so acquired shall make one 
contiguous and compact tract and shall include within its 
area Starved Rock proper. The sum of $150,000 is appro- 
priated for the acquisition of the property by negotiation 
or by condemnation proceedings. No liquor is to be sold 
in any state park. 

Starved Rock was purchased by the State of Illinois 
because it is a great historical site worthy of preservation. 





Pierre Menard, Lt. Gov. 


Adolphus Hubbard, Lt Gov. 


Wm. Kinney, Lt. Gov. 


Zadoc Casey, Lt. Gov. 

5. EWING (L. D.), 15 days. . .1834 


A. M. Jenkins, Lt. Gov 

7. THOS. CARLIN 1838 

8. THOS. FORD 1842 

John Moore, Lt Gov 

9 A. G FRENCH 1846 

Jos. B. Wells, Lt. Gov. 

10. A. G. FRENCH 1850 

Wm. Murtry, Lt. Gov. 


G. Koerner, Lt. Gov. 

12. WM. H. BISSELL 1857 

John Wood, Lt. Gov. and 
served as Governor 1860 


Thomas Marshall, Lt Gov. 


Wm. Bross, Lt. Gov 

15. JOHN M. PALMER 1869 

John Dougherty, Lt. Gov. 

16. RICHARD J. OGLESBY. .1873 

J. L. Beveridge. Lt. Gov., 
and Served asGovernr r . . . 1873 

17. SHELBY M. CULLOM.. .. 1877 

Andrew Sherman, Lt. Gov. 
Re-elected 1881 

18. JOHN M. HAMILTON 1883 

19 R. J. OGLESBY 1885 

20. JOSEPH FIFER 1889 

21 JOHN P. ALTGELD 1893 

22. JOHN R. TANNER 1897 

23. RICHARD YATES, Jr. ...1901 
24 CHARLES S. DENEEN.. . 1905 

25. CHARLES S. DENEEN.. .1909 

26. EDWARD F. DUNNE . . . . 1913 


1818 First Constitutional Conven- 
tion. July. 

Counties represented all at that time 
organized in the State. Kaskaskia 
the capital. 

1. Randolph. 

2. Madison 

3. Gallatin. 

4. Johnson. 

5. Pope. 

6. Jackson. 

7. Crawford. 

8. Bond. 

9. Union. 

10. Washington. 

1 1 Franklin. 

Kaskaskia had three Territorial and 
one State Legislature. 

1820 Capital changed to Vandalia. 

1825 La Fayette visits Illinois by in- 
vitation of Gov. Coles. 

1826 State income $35,400 

State expenses 21 304 

Cash in Treasury . . .$14,096 

1832 Black Hawk War. 

1832 Chicago Population 396. 

1834 State Bank Capital, $2,000 000. 

1838 Illinois and Michigan Canal 
construction pushed. 

1839 Capital changed to Springfield 
and the second session of the 
llth General Assembly con- 
vened there Dec. 9. 

1840 Nauvoo and Mormons. 

1848 Second Constitutional Conven- 
tion at Springfield, June 7, 
1847. Constitution adopted, 

1850 Abolition Party in Illinois. 

1858 Great Political Debate between 
Lincoln and Douglas. 

1871 Chicago Fire. 

1893 World's Fair in Chicago . 

1900 Drainage Canal completed, 
(begun, 1893) 

1910 Chicago Population, 2,185,283. 

1910 Illinois Population, 5,638,591. 
1912 Republican, Progressive Conven- 
tions Chicago 


Abolitionists, 154. 
Age of Ice, 19. 
Age of Mammoth, 19. 
Agricultural Worth, 16. 
Algonquin, 21. 
Allouez, Father, 35. 
Alton, 16, 130. 
Ampudia, General, 182. 
Angels of Buena Vista, 182. 
Apple River Fort, 30. 
Arkansas River, 42. 
Armstrong, Fort, 28, 31. 
Asylums for Insane, 225, 226. 
Atkinson, Gen., 28. 

Bacon, S., 226. 
Bagley, Rev. David, 119. 
Bank, Edwardsville, 142. 
Bank, Kaskaskia, 142. 
Bank of Illinois, 142. 
Barbeau, 116. 
Barracks, Jefferson, 31. 
Barter with Indians, 51. 
Beattsoleil Island, 134. 
Bisselt, Colonel, 179. 
Black-Hawk, 27-32. 
Black-Hawk War, 27, 190. 
Blind, Institutions for the, 226. 
Block Houses, 129. 
Bond, Shadrach, 122, 146, 147. 
Booth, J. W., 194. 
Boundary, Illinois, 144. 
Bownian, Captain, 101. 
Buena Vista. 180-184. 
Burgess, 124. 
Burgoyne, 121. 
Burlington Limestone, 19. 

Cacassottc, 134. 

Cahokia, 79, 86, 87, 102, 103, 


Cahokias, 24, 92. 
Cairo. 173, 174, 176. 
Campbell, Lieutenant, 126, 127. 
Campbell, Thompson, 162. 
Canals, 176, 177, 178. 
Capitals, Our State, 157. 
Carlin, Gov. Thomas, 167. 
Carlyle, 158. 
Carpenter, 136. 
Cartier, Jacques, 33. 
Catholic Missionaries, 33. 
Chartres, Fort, 86, 89, 91, 130, 


Cherokees, 21. 
Chicago, 209 to 223. 
Chicago Fire, 214. 
Chicago River, 45, 131, 178, 209. 
Chickasaws, 89. 
Chickasaw Tribe, 21. 
Choctaws, 21. 
Choteau, 148. 
Civil War, 199. 
Civil War Period, 197. 
Clark, Geo. Rogers, 97-111. 
Clark, Gov., 126. 
Clark and the Indians, 105. 
Clark's Advance, 99. 
Coalfields, 18, 19. 
Coles, Gov. Ed., 152. 
Colleges, Denominational, 231. 
Connecticut, 112. 
Constitution, 1870, 147. 
Constitution and Government, 




Constitutions, 145. 
Convention, Const., 145, 146. 
Council of Revision, 145. 
Council of Utica, 46. 
Counties, Names of Our, 263. 
Course of Mississippi, 43. 
Covington, 125. 
Cowpens, 121. 
Creek Indians, 21. 
Crve Coeur, Fort, 58. 

Davis, Col. Jefferson, 182. 
Dates, Notable Illinois, 272. 
Deaf and Dumb, 225. 
Dearborn, Fort, 29, 131, 132, 


Decatur, 163. 
Delawares, 22. 
Dement, Col., 30. 
Democrats, 167. 
Denominational Colleges, 231. 
Des Moines River, 31, 41. 
Detroit Straits, 52. 
Distribution of Indians, 23, 24, 


Dix, D., 225. 
Dixon, Mrs., 29. 
Donelson, Fort, 201. 
Douay, Father, 76. 
Douglas, Judge, 167. 
Douglas, Stephen A., 156, 193. 
Drainage Canal, 220. 
Due de Chartres, 86. 
Duncan, Governor, 171. 

Fads, Bridge, 16. 
Early Fauna, 18. 
Farly Forests, 18. 
Early Vegetation, 18. 
Edgar, John, 93, 116. 
Education in Illinois, 229. 
Educational Institutions, 229- 


Edwards, Governor, 130. 
Edwards, Ninian, 141, 162. 


Edwardsville, 130. 

Election, State Officers, 1818, 


England, 19. 

English Gov't. Policy, 92. 
Equality, 129. 
Fries, 21. 

Fayette County, 160. 

Fayette, N. Y., 166. 

Feasts, Indian, 39, 43, 57. 

Fink, Mike, 135. 

First Railroad, 171. 

First Sight of Miss., 37. 

Five Nations, 21. 

Flat Boats, 83. 

Florida, 19. 

Fort Budding, 74. 

Fort Crve Coeur, 58. 

Fort Chartres, 86, 89, 91, 130, 

Fort Dearborn, 30, 129, 131, 


Fort Frontenac, 48, 68. 
Fort Frontenac Rebuilt, 49. 
Fort Patrick Henry, 111. 
Fort Hills, 123. 
Fort St. Louis, 26, 74, 75. 
Forts, Stockade, 129. 
French and British Occupation, 


French Trading Co., 86. 
Frontenac, 35, 48, 49. 

Gaines, General, 28. 
Galena, 16, 30. 
Galenite, 16. 
Gallatin, Albert. 177. 
General Assembly, 125. 
Ghent, Treaty of, 128. 
Gibault, Father, 102. 
Governors, 272. 
Grand Tower, 134. 
Grant, U. S., 144, 201. 

INDEX 275 

Great Northern Cross, The, 


Gre.en Bay, 43, 45. 
Greenville, 123. 
Griffin, The, 51. 
Griffin, Loss of The, 54. 
Griffin, Voyage of, 52. 
Gulf of Mexico, 19, 43. 

Hall, 29 

Hanks, John, 186. 

Hardin, Col. J. J., 179. 

Harrison, Gen., 27. 

Heald, Capt, 131. 

Helm, Capt., 102, 103, 106. 

Henry, Gen., 30. 

Henry, Patrick, 98. 

Higgins, Tom, 123. 

Hills, Fort, 123. 

Hog and Hominy, 121. 

Howard, Gen., 126. 

Hugo, Victor, 32. 

Hull, Gen., 131. 

Hurons, 21. 

Illinois, 15. 

Illinois After Revolutionary 
War, 112. 

Illinois, Bank of, 142. 

Illinois Central R. R., 172-175. 

Illinois Country, 22. 

Illinois Indians, 24, 26, 45. 

Illinois Pioneers, 117. 

Illinois Rangers, 123. 

Illinois River, 41, 44. 

Illinois River Reached, 55. 

llliopolis, 161. 

Immaculate Conception Mis- 
sion, 36, 46. 

Independence, Mo., 166. 

Indian, The, 21. 

Indiana, 112, 141. 

Indian Characteristics, 22, 23. 

Indian Country, 126. 

Indian Feast, 39, 43, 57. 

Indian Lands Sold, 92, 93. 
Indians, Fear of, 121. 
Indian Tribes, 21. 
Insane Hospitals, 225, 226. 
Institution for Deaf and Dumb, 


Institutions for the Blind, 226. 
Institutions, State, 224. 
Internal Improvements Bill, 


Iowa, 126. 
Iroquois, 21, 26, 63. 

Jacksonville, 161, 225, 226. 
Johnny Cake and Johnny 

Bread, 118. 
Joliet, 16, 19. 
Jolliet and Marquette, 33. 
Jones, Rice John, 116. 
Jourdan's Fort, 130. 

Kaskaskia, 44, 78, 86, 115, 116, 

129, 144, 157. 
Kaskaskias, 24. 
Keelboats, 133. 

Keokuk Indian Chief, 28, 31. 
Keokuk Limestone, 19. 
Kickapoos, 23. 
Kirtland, Ohio, 166. 
Knights of the Golden Circle, 


Lake Michigan, 44. 

Lamoni, Iowa, 169. 

La Salle, 48. 

La Salle, Character of, 62. 

La Salle, Death of, 76. 

La Salle and Miamis, 69. 

La Salle's Enemies, 57. 

La Salle's Return, 68. 

La Salle Visits France, 50. 

Latter Day Saints 1st Church, 

166, 168, 169. 
Laws, Slavery, 150, 151. 
Lemon, James, 122. 


Lightfoot, 135. 

Limestone, 19. 

Lincoln, 156, 162, 184-195. 

Lindley, 130. 

Log Rolling, 121. 

"Long Knives," 101. 

Louis XV, 84. 

Love joy, Rev. E. P., 154. 

Lye Hominy, 120. 

Mackinac Mission, 35, 47. 
Mackinaw, Little, 116. 
Makarty, 89. 
Mammoths, Age of, 19. 
Marquette, 45. 
Marquette and Jolliet, 33. 
Marquette, Death of, 47. 
Marietta, 115. 
Massachusetts, 112. 
Mather-lot, 163. 
McKee, Col., 183. 
Membre, Father, 24. 
Membre and Ribourde, 62. 
Menard, Pierre, 147, 148. 
Meredosia Railroad, 172. 
Mexican War, 178-184. 
Miamis, 23. 

Miamis and La Salle, 69. 
Michigan, State, 112. 
Milk-Sick, 119. 
Miller, Mrs., 186. 
Missionaries, Jesuit, 22. 
Mission, First, 47. 
Mississippi River, 38. 
Miss. Valley, a French Colony, 


Missouri River, 41. 
Mitchigamies, 24. 
Mohegans, 22. 
Monroe, Fortress, 31. 
Montreal, 33. 
' Moore, James, 117. 
Mormon, Book of, 165, 166. 
Mormons, 165-169. 
Moulin, John C, 116. 


Muskhogees, 21. 

Names of Our Counties, 263. 
Naperville, 29. 
Narragansetts, 22. 
Nauvoo and the Mormons, 165, 

166, 167. 

New Design, 119. 
New France, 33. 
New Orleans, 133. 
Niagara Limestone, 16. 
Nippissing Lake, 35. 
Normal Schools, 234. 

O'Brien, 181. 

Offutt, 186, 188. 

Oglesby, Gov., 201. 

Ohio, 112. 

Ohio River, 41. 

O'Leary, Mrs., 215. 

Old Kaskaskia, 78. 

Ordinance of 1787, 112, 143. 

Ottawa, 44, 177. 

Ottawa River, 35. 

Palmyra, 165. 

Palo Alto, 179. 

Paper Currency, 98. 

Paris, 87. 

Patrick Henry, 98. 

Peoria, 161. 

Peoria Lake, 24, 56. 

Peorias, 24. 

Penn, Wm., 22. 

Pequots, 22. 

Piasa Bluffs, 41. 

Pierre and Jacques, 45. 

Pittsburgh, 133. 

Plainfield, 29. 

Polk, President, 179. 

Pope, Nathaniel, 142. 

Pope's Bluff, 158. 

Pottawattomies, 24, 26, 45. 

Powhatans, 22. 

Prairie du Chien, 30, 116, 126. 



Prairie du Rocher, 87. 
Proclamation by Clark, 109. 
Pursley, Mrs., 125. 

Quebec, 33. 

Railroads, 171-175. 
Raleigh, Sir Walter, 113. 
Rangers, Illinois, 123. 
Rapids, 126. 
Rector, Capt., 126. 
Reform School, State, 228. 
Renault, Philip, 86, 149. 
Revision, Council, 145. 
Reynolds, Gov., 28, 29. 
Rigdon, Sidney, 165, 166, 168. 
Riggs, Capt., 126, 128. 
Riots, Slave, 152. 
Rock Island, 28, 126. 
Rock of St. Louis, The, 74 
Rock River, 28. 
Rocky Mountains, 19. 
Roger Williams, 22. 
Rogers, Capt., 107. 
Route to Indies, 48. 
Russell, Camp, 130. 

Sacs and Foxes, 24, 27. 

Saguenay River, 34. 

St. Clair County, 116. 

St. Clair, Gen., 115. 

St. Clair, Wm., 116. 

St. Esprit Pt., 35. 

St. Ignace, 35. 

St. Lawrence, 33. 

St. Louis, 91, 128. 

St. Peter's Sandstone, 16. 

St. Philip, 87. 

Salaries, 145. 

Salt Springs, 129. 

San Domingo, 150. 

Sangamon, 170, 185. 

Santa Anna, 180. 

Scott, Gen., 30. 

Seminoles, 21. 

Sharon, Vt., 165. 
Shawnees, 22, 23. 
Shebana, Chief, 29. 
Shipbuilding, 50. 
Short, Capt., 125. 
Slavery, 113, 149, 156. 
Smith, Capt. John, 22. 
Smith, Hyrum, 168. 
Smith, Joseph, 165-168. 
Soldiers' and Sailors' H., 228. 
Songs, War, 206. 
Spain, 87, 134. 
Spain on the Miss., 134. 
Spanish Troops, 87. 
Spaulding, Solomon, 165. 
Springfield, 161. 
Starved Rock, 16, 26, 60, 74. 
Starved Rock State Park, 268. 
State Capitals, Our, 157. 
State House, 163. 
State Institutions, 224. 
State Period, 139. 
State Rights, 193. 
State Superintendent, First, 234. 
State University, 235. 
Statehood and the Constitu- 
tion, 141. 

Stay at Homes, 203. 
Stillman, 29. 
Stockades, 129. 

Taensas, Indian Town, 71, 72. 

Tamaroas, 24. 

Taylor, Zachary, 128, 179, 181, 


Territorial Period, 95. 
Thornton, Canal Boat, 178 
Tonti, 50, 60. 
Tonti in Trouble, 63. 
Tonti Wounded, 66. 
Tourney, Capt., 123. 
Transportation, 170. 
Tuscaroras, 21. 

Underground Railroad, 155. 

278 INDEX 

Union League of America, 204. 
University, Chicago, 236. 
University, State, 235. 
Utica, 24." 

Vandalia, 125, 158, 192. 

Vandals, 158. 

Vincennes, 102, 103, 106, 107, 

111, 115. 
Virginia, 112, 158. 

Wabash, Grand Door of, 103. 
Wabash River, 103, 129. 
War, 109, 179, 190, 197. 
War Songs, 206. 
Washington, 115. 

Washington's Surrender, 
Wendell Phillips, 31. 
"What Cheer," 22. 
Whigs, 167. 
Whiteside, Gen., 29. 
Wilbur, Chas. T., 227. 
Winnebagos, 24, 28. 
Wisconsin River, 37. 
Wisconsin State, 112, YA 
Women of Illinois, 205. 
World's Fair, 218. 

Xavier, St., 36. 
Young, Brigham, 168. 
Zion, City of, 166. 

See also Appendix (pages 237 to 272) for summary of the Historji 
of the State. 



A Chapter of Colonial History 


The purchase of Starved Rock by the State of Illinois, makes this 
history of the famous site peculiarly timely. This volume, now 
revised and enlarged, is the only continuous narrative of the history 
of the "Rock of St. Louis" and the most important period of western 
colonial history. 

The story is complete in all essential details and particulars, but 
condensed into readable compass, making it particularly suitable for 
school reading on the early Illinois history. It is also of interest 
to the general reader who wants to know why Starved Rock really 
is a great historical site worthy of preservation by the State of 

For the student there are ample notes as a guide to more detailed 
reading; there are pictures of local scenery and of specially notabl-e 
localities; reproductions of old maps and rare engravings; portraits 
of Marquette and La Salle; signatures of actors in the story; as 
well as a map of the West during the period covered by the narrative 
and one of the present environs of the Rock. 

The story is the fruit of laborious study and collation of all the 
foundation sources of information and is told in a manner both 
fascinating and graphic. It presents the history of Starved Rock 
in an entirely new aspect, giving it a prominence in the great Franco- 
English struggle for the possession of North America that has never 
hitherto been pointed out. It dignifies the Rock as a historical site 
of national, even international importance. 


Cloth, 206 pages, revised and enlarged, profusely illustrated. 
Price, 50 cents. 


I HEN Grandma was a little girl 

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Parts 5, 6, 7, 8. Each book has 40 pages. 
Price, Each ...... 20 Cents 








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Illinois and the Nation 


By O. R. Trowbridge, Member of the Bloomington Bar 

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tion, Roads and Carriages, Waterways, Inland Waterways, Railways, 
Electric Railways, Mountain Railways, Express, Carrying the Mails. 

With colored map and si.vty-sevcn illustrations. 263 pages. Cloth. 
Price, 60 cents. 




This series of books for supplementary read- 
ing comprises selections from the world's best 
authors and poets, together with stories from 
history, literature, biography and nature. 
Arranged for use in schools, with introductory 
and explanatory notes, biographical 
sketches, portraits and illustrations. 

Characteristic Features: Large, clear type, 
good paper. Convenient form. Excellent 
illustrations, biographical sketches, etc. Neat 
and durable covers. Books carefully graded 
and well edited. 

Five Cent Editions 

Price, per copy, 6 cents; five or more 5 
cents each, postpaid. 


Aesop's Fablea Old Time Stories 

First Steps in Reading 

Blttercress and Roses 

Three Fairy Stories 

Hiawatha and Its Author 

Stories About Animals 

Life of Bob, the Cat 

Our Little Sisters and Hiawatha 

Pussy Willow and Wake Robla 

The Squirrel and His Home 

Jack and the Beanstalk 

Robinson Crusoe 

Whtttler and His Snowbound 

Thanksgiving Stories 

Mr. and Mrs. Stout and Jack Rabbit 

The Three Misses Cottontail 


Fairy Tales, No. 1 

Fairy Tales, No. 2 

The Little Story Reader 

Stories About Birds 

The Spring Beauty and the Anemone 

Stories from Andersen 

The Little Fir Tree and Other Stories 

Stories of Old New England 

How Little Cedrlc Became a Knight 

The Story of a Beehive 

Golden-Rod and Aster 

Christmas Stories 

The Coming of the Christ-Child 

Stories of '76 

Longfellow and Hiawatha 

The Rebellion in Toyland 

Some of Our Birds 

Arthur the Hero King 

Stories of ^lr Launcelot 


The Norsemen and Columbus 
Our Pilgrim Forefathers 
The Story of the Revolution 
How Canada Was Discovered and Settled 
Dickens' Christmas Carol, abridged 
Legends of Rhtneland The Story of Franklin 

Miss Alcott's Girls Miss Alcott's Boys 

The Blackbird Family 
The Crow, The Raven and the Kingfisher 
The Story of Grace Darling 
The Story of Daniel Boone 

American Naval Heroes (Jones, Perry, Farragut, 


The Story of La Salle Father Marquette 

The Discovery of America 

The Shepherd Psalm 

Hawthorne's Three Golden Apples 

Heroes of Industry (Watt, Fulton, Cooper, Steph- 


The Story of McKlnley 
Hawthorne's Miraculous Pitcher 
The Story of Joan D'Arc 


Rab and His Friends 

The Pied Piper of Hamelln 

King of the Golden River (Ruskln) 

The Great Stone Face (Hawthorne) 

The Snow Image (Hawthorne) 

The Legend o Sleepy Hollow (Irving) 



Thanatopsis and Other Poems 
Enoch Arden Hip Van Winkle 

Evangellne (Longfellow), 88 paces, complete 
Whlttler's Snowbound and the Corn Song 
The Story of Lincoln A Longfellow Booklet Thomas Moore; Biography and Selected Poems 
The Story of Washington The Song of Hiawatha, abridged, 80 pages 


The Courtship of Miles Standlsh, 4S pages, complete 

Vision of Sir Launfal anil Other Poems The Cotter's Saturday Night and Other Poems 

Deserted Village and Gray's Elegy Sohrab and Rustum 

The M:ign:i Charta, Bill of Rights, etc. Three Selections from Washington Irving 

The Ulme of the Ancient Mariner Speeches by Lincoln 



This series of books for supplementary read- 
ing comprises selections from the world's best 
authors and poets, together with stories from 
history, literature, biography and nature. 
Arranged for use in schools, with introductory 
and explanatory notes, biographical 
sketches, portraits and illustrations. 

Characteristic Features: Large, clear type, 
good paper. Convenient form. Excellent 
illustrations, biographical sketches, etc. Neat 
and durable covers. Books carefully graded 
and well edited. 

Ten Cent Editions 

Price, per copy, 10 cents, postpaid. 


Modern Fables 

The Tale of Bunny Cotton-tall 

The Story o Two Little Rabbits 

Bunny Boy 

Grizzly Bear's Stories 

The Story of Joseph 

The Story of Moses 

Bow-Wow and Mew-Mew 


How Bee Martin Became King of the Birds 
Story of Longfellow 
Alan's Jungle Story 

The Doll's Calendar and Selected Stories 
A Story of Acadia 

The Cary Sisters 

Twelve Cent Editions 

Price, per copy, 12 cents, postpaid 


Stories of Famous Musicians 

A Dog of Flanders 

The Numbers Stove 

A Christmas Carol, complete 


Selected Essays from Irvlng's, The Sketch Book 
The Song of Hiawatha, complete 
The Courtship of Miles Standlsh 
The Lady of the Lake 
Julius Caesar 

Tales of A Wayside Inn Part I 
Tales of A Wayside Inn Part II 
Tales of A Wayside Inn Part III 
Story of King Arthur 
The Merchant of Venice 

Tennyson's The Princess 
The Man Without a Country 
The Lay of the Last Minstrel 
The Tempest 

The Lays of Ancient Rome 
The Gold-Bug and Other Selections 
from the Works of Edgar Allan Poe 

Fifteen Cent Editions 

Price, per copy, 15 cents, postpaid 

Duke For Grades 3 and 4 
The Strike at Shane's For C.rades.3 and 4 
Evangellne, with Plan of Study and Special Notes 
by \V. F. Conover For Grades 7 and 8 

The Courtship of Miles Standish, with Plan 
of Study and Special Notes by W. F. 
Conover For Grades 7 and 8