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HE success which attended our republication of Gov 
Reynolds' " My Own Times ", and the favorable com- 
ments which such rehabilitation received from the press and 
the public, was a sufficient attestation of two facts: that works 
of unquestioned historic value and accuracy are demanded and 
appreciated ; and that research that develops additional facts 
or adds to the intrinsic value of some historic exposition, also 
receives commendation from the student and the reader, even 
if such illumination should, by the cold light of reason, dissi- 
pate some of the roseate hue of romance. 

Therefore the publishers determined upon issuing the present 
volume, Reynolds' PIONEER HISTORY OF ILLINOIS, and in 
adding such explanatory notes, comments, and biographical 
data obtainable as will be not alone requisite to a thorough 
comprehension of the text, and the individuals therein dis- 
coursed upon ; but will also add to the valuable information 
contained in the original volume. This material has long been 
cited by numerous authorities as a well-spring of historical 
data, crystalline and sparkling; the very brusqueness of Gov. 
JOHN REYNOLDS' phraseology like the emery-wheel of the 
I* ^lapidary but makes the delineation clearer and crisper, the 
.cscription more forcible and vivid, and his admirable common- 
1 sense renders his deductions the most feasible solutions of a 
problematic question. 

Occasionally, however, the depicting of individuals by the 

; historiographer has to be read aim grano salts; as he would 

" allow his imagination to run riot with his pencil in eulogizing 

c those persons for whom he entertained sentiments of admira- 

-' tion ; but in the essentials of history, Gov. John Reynolds is 

eminently reliable, his biographical utterance being merely an 

expression of his own opinion a character appended to the 

picture by "Old Ranger". 

As instances of the value added to the original matter by the 
annotations and addenda of the publishers, especial attention is 
called to the picture and description of the celebrated Francois 
Vigo, and, inter alia, the list of the first pensioners who received 



lands under acts of Congress; while, as examples of how his- 
tory, written thirty years since, may be augmented in value by 
subsequent research, these instances are cited : 

[From the Missouri Gazette and Illinois Advertiser, Saturday, May 25, 1816.] 


will be given to any person who will deliver to me, in Cahokia, a negro boy named 
Moses, who ran away from me in Cahokia about two months since. He is about 16 
years old, well made, and did belong to Messrs. McNight & Brady in St. Louis, where 
he has been seen frequently, and is supposed to be harbored there or about there. 
He had on a hunting-shirt when he left me. May 14, 1816. JOHN REYNOLDS." 

[From the Illinois Herald, Oct. I, 1815.] 

"NOTICE. I have for sale 22 slaves. Among them are several of both sexes, 
between the years of 10 and 17 years. If not shortly sold, I shall wish to hire them 
in Missouri Territory. I have also for sale a full-blooded stud-horse, a very large 
English bull, and several young ones. October i, 1815. NINIAN EDWARDS." 

Both the above advertisements demonstrate a fact of which 
Gov. Reynolds says nothing: that both he and Gov. Edwards 
were adherents of the "peculiar institution", and believers in 
the doctrine that property in a human being could be held by 
legal tenure; and that no inconsideration for the feelings of his 
fellow-creatures was a motor in Gov. Reynolds' entity the fol- 
lowing advertisement will manifest: 

[From the Illinois Herald, Kaskaskia, 111., Dec. 16, 1815.] 

"To the poor people of Illinois and Missouri Territory: To the above class of 
mankind whose pecuniary circumstances will not admit of feeing a lawyer, I tender 
my professional services as a lawyer, in all courts I may practise in, without fee or 
reward. JOHN REYNOLDS." 

The paradox of a man owning human beings and treating 
them as chattels, and defending the legal rights of poor free- 
persons gratis, was only one out of many antagonisms created 
by the ownership of slaves. These three advertisements, ex- 
humed from old newspaper files, testify to the accession of fact 
gained by patient investigation. 

Thus, the publishers consider themselves justified in the com- 
pleted volume here presented: the intrinsic value of the history 
is conceded, and their additions are merely cumulative evidence 
and testimony; and this republication places within the reach 
of every student or reader this intrinsically and extrinsically 
valuable work, and the knowledge of one's own country which 
is commended as peculiarly desirable is easily attainable from 
the writings of a careful, conscientious, and reliable narrator. 


MY friends will think it strange that I have written a book, 
no matter how small or unpretending it may be. Having the 
control of my time and actions, it was a very pleasant occupa- 
tion to employ some of my leisure hours to write, in my hum- 
ble manner, "The Pioneer History of Illinois." Time is rap- 
idly sweeping off from the scene of action the pioneers of our 
country; and even the recollection of their actions will soon 
be forgotten, if no attempt is made to perpetuate the history 
of this worthy and noble race of men. 

The pioneers suffered, without a murmur, all the privations 
and difficulties in the early settlement of the country; and by 
their energy, bravery, and sound practical sense, the country 
we now enjoy, with all the comforts and blessings of civilized 
life, they reclaimed from a wilderness infested with hostile sav- 
ages and wild beasts. 

It is a story of these pioneers, French, British, and Amer- 
icans, in their discovery and early settlement of Illinois, that I 
now attempt to narrate. Moreover, I know of no work, of 
this character, that is confined solely to the discovery and 
early settlement of Illinois, but the present unpretending one, 
which is now presented to the public. This was some induce- 
ment to the task. I hope my humble performance may please 
and interest the reader, as it has done the writer. 

Among the many authors I consulted on this subject, I 
obtained much valuable information from the works of my 
friend, the talented and Rev. Mr. PECK, of St. Clair County, 
111. Many facts stated in the "Pioneer History," since the 
year 1800, came under my own personal observation, which 
may be relied on as true. 

This humble attempt at history must speak for itself; and 
the only recommendation I can give it, is, I think it contains 
the truth. 




Gov. JOHN REYNOLDS, - - Frontispiece 

Fort Chartres, Plan of 46 


Gen. JOHN EDGAR, - - - - - 116 

Rev. JOHN MASON PECK, - - - 253 

HENRY GRATIOT, .... 309 

Gov. SHADRACH BOND, - ... 323 

Gov. NINIAN EDWARDS, ... 367 

Hon. DANIEL POPE COOK, .... 395 

Gov. JOSEPH DUNCAN, ..... 403 

Col. FRANgois VIGO, ... 423 



The Indians of Illinois, . . . I7 


The Discovery and Settlement of Illinois, to the first Government ot 
the "Company of the West," in 1718, - - - 25 

Illinois under the French Government,- - - . 46 -^ 

Illinois under the British Government, - - - -74 

Illinois under the Government of Virginia, - . g, 


Illinois under the Government of the Northwest Territory, - 145 

The Religion and Morals of Illinois prior to 1818, - 253 _- 

Illinois under the Government of Indiana Territory, - - 276 -*. 

Illinois under the Government of the Illinois Territory, - 365 

Appendix, . . .' 4,9 ' 





The Indians of Illinois. 

IT is difficult to give to the history of the Indians of Illinois 
any thing like authenticity. The information we obtain on this 
subject is frequently founded on Indian tradition, which is often 
destitute of truth. 

The explorers of the country from Canada, in the year 1673, 
found certain Indians southwest of Lake Michigan, whose gen- 
eric name was known as Illinois, or Illini, as Hennepin wrote 
it. Those Indians having that name, and residing on the banks 
of the river, gave that name to the Illinois River, and to the 
whole country, down to the mouth of the Ohio. 

We are informed that Illini means, according to the Indian 
understanding of that word, "real men" or "superior men." 
The Delaware Indians attach the same meaning to Lenni, and 
indicates, in their language, "real, or superior men." 

The writers on this subject state: that almost all the Indians 
of North America are of the Algonquin <race, except the Iro- 
quois. We may therefore conclude that the Delaware name of 
Lenni, or Lenni-Lenape, is the same as the Illini, which gave 
the name of Illinois. If we take Indian tradition for our guide, 
we may conclude that the Delawares and the Illinois Indians 
are of the same family. Many of the western tribes call the 
Delawares their "Grandfathers." 

It is an Indian tradition, that the Indians inhabiting the 
country between Virginia and Canada were of two races the 
Lenni-Lenape an.d the Mengwc. The Lenni-Lenape were the 
Delawares, and the Mengwe the Iroquois or Five Nations. The 
tradition states further, that the Lenni-Lenape emigrated from 
the Far-west, to the Namce-si-sipu Mississippi or Fish River 




and there they found the Mengwe, who also came from the 
West, and inhabited the country toward the sources of the Mis- 
sisippi. These migrating tribes found a great warlike nation, 
the Allewige, located in the country between the Mississippi 
and the Alleghany mountains. This nation gave the name of 
Alleghany to the river and mountains of that name. The Del- 
awares and Iroquois united and conquered the country from 
the Allewige. This Indian story is fortified by the missionaries 
Heckewelder and Zeisberger. It is a fact, which is better than 
tradition, that the Iroquois conquered and drove out west the 
Delawares. The Delawares being relations of the western 
Indians, and being forced out amongst their cousins, they may 
have given the name Illini to the Indians inhabiting the banks 
of the Illinois River. 

The derivation of the name, Illinois, is not important. The 
State and country have the name, and the citizens feel proud of 

The Illinois Indians are of the Miami stock, as well as the 
Delaware, and in the year 1673, when the whites first visited 
the West, they occupied the country south of a line from about 
the lower rapids of the Mississippi to Ottawa, and down to the 
mouth of the Ohio. 

The Illinois confederacy embraced five tribes: the Peorias, 
Cahokias, Tammarais, Mitchagamies, and Kaskaskias. The 
Mitchagamies at first occupied the shores of Lake Michigan, 
and gave the name to that Lake. Afterwards, we find them 
located on the Mississippi near Fort Chartres, in the present 
county of Monroe, Illinois. They inhabited this tract of coun- 
try before the year 1720, as the French Government reserved 
their lands from the whites from that date. Afterward they 
became extinct as a nation, and the remnants merged into the 
Kaskaskia tribe. The Peorias, Cahokias, and Kaskaskias occu- 
pied respectively the villages of Peoria, Cahokia, and Kaskaskia, 
and the country adjacent. The French continued the names of 
these villages, which they retain to this day. The Tammarais 
inhabited also the village of Cahokia, and the "country 'round 
about." They have left no name of any locality indicating 
their residence in Illinois, except, perhaps, the Twelve- Mile 
Prairie, in St. Clair County. In olden times, this prairie was 


called "'Prairie TammaraisT The tribe may have had a vil- 
lage in or near this prairie; but it has been swept off by time, 
so that their existence is only known in history. 

These were the confederated tribes of Illinois Indians, who 
were gradually driven off by their enemies from the north to 
the south, until they took refuge amongst the whites, near the 
villages of Kaskaskia and Cahokia. They diminished for more 
than one hundred y.ears, and left the country at last, being a 
remnant only of their former greatness. 

A melancholy reflection forces itself on us: that the nearer 
the Indians reside to the white population, so much the worse 
it is for the Indians; and all the attempts heretofore made 
the most worthy and pious men to Christianize and civilize the 
nations have produced an injury rather than a blessing to them. 
There may be some exceptions to this statement; but they are 
only exceptions which do not disprove the statement. The 
policy of the United States to remove the Indians as far as pos- 
sible from the white population is the only course to preserve 
their existence. And it is doubtful, even if this humane policy 
will secure them from annihilation. 

The Piankeshaws inhabited the country on both sides of the 
Wabash toward its mouth, and between the sources of the Kas- 
kaskia and Saline rivers, to the Ohio. They have left no name 
in the country they occupied. 

The Shawnee Indians had a village, in ancient times, on the 
north bank of the Ohio River, and inhabited the adjacent coun- 
try. The same site is now occupied by Shawneetown, in Gal- 
latin County, Illinois. 

The Miamis inhabited the northeastern section of the present 
State of Illinois; but their country mostly lay east of that. 

The Pottawatomie Indians occupied in modern times a large 
portion of the northeast section of Illinois. They were a branch 
of the great Chippeway nation, and were also connected with the 
ancient Miamis. They extended their hunting and fishing 
almost the whole length of the Illinois River. But toward Chi- 
cago was their main residence. Branches of this nation ex- 
tended to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. They were the 
largest nation of the West in modern times, and figured feroci- 
ously in the wars against the whites. 


The Winnebagoes, or Puants, as the French called them, 
from their unsavory and "ancient fishy smell," inhabited the 
country west of Green Bay. The old French maps often call 
this bay Le Bale des Puants, for these Indians. 

These Indians occupied a section of the northern part of 
Illinois, on Rock River; but their country, for the most part, 
lay north and east of that in Illinois. They were a tolerably 
large nation; but dirty and savage in their habits. If we can 
say anything of the Indians that they advanced in civilization 
it will be nearer true to say: the Winnebagoes advanced 

There is a tradition amongst the Winnebagoes, and other 
nations, that the Winnebagoes emigrated from the West, and 
settled near the lakes. They claim no connexion with the 
other Indians, nor do I think there is any. Their language is 
different from any other near them. Almost all the nations in 
the West have some affinity in their language, except the 
Puants. They speak a gutteral language, and it is very diffi- 
cult to learn or speak it. An interpreter must be raised with 
them, to be able to speak or understand their language. They 
are stout, robust people, and about the copper color of their 
Indian neighbors. Their cheek bones are higher, and they are 
generally a degree more uncouth and savage than the other 
tribes near them. I presume, they are not connected with any 
of the other tribes in the West. 

A small, but energetic tribe of Indians, the Kickapoos, resided 
on the east side of the State of Illinois, between the Illinois and 
Wabash Rivers, and including the Sangamon River and the 
country thereabout. Some lived in villages near the Elk- 
Heart Grove, and on the Mackinaw River. They claimed 
relationship with the Pottawatomies, and perhaps the Sauks 
and Foxes also. This nation \vas the most bitter enemy the 
whites ever had. It may be said in truth of this tribe, that they 
were the "first in a battle, and the last at a treaty with the 
Americans." They were more civilized, and possessed more 
energy and talents than the other Indians in their vicinity. 
They were also more industrious and cleanly. They were 
better armed for war or the chase. This energy, and their im- 
placable enmity to the United States, caused them to be first 


and the most efficient in all the Indian battles with the whites 
in the Northwest. They bore a conspicuous part against Har- 
mar, St. Clair, and Wayne; and at Tippecanoe they were first 
in all the bloody charges of that savage battle. The Kickapoos 
disliked the United States so much, that they decided that 
when they left Illinois, that they would not reside within the 
limits of our Government: but settle in Texas. What will they 
do now? Texas is annexed, and forms a part of the Union. 
The northern tribes of Indians waged a destructive war against 
the Illinois Indians for ages, and at last nearly exterminated 
them. The last hostile attack was made by the Kickapoos, in 
1805, against the poor Kaskaskia Indian children. These chil- 
dren were gathering strawberries in the prairie above Kaskas- 
kia, in this year, and their relentless enemy captured and car- 
ried away a considerable number of them. The Kaskaskias 
followed the Kickapoos, to recapture the children, a long dis- 
tance; but failed to overtake them. The enemy escaped with 
the children to their towns, and thus ended this outrage. 

Power in the hands of frail man Indian or white is apt to 
be abused. The Northern Indians destroyed the Illinois tribes, 
because they had the power; and then the white man destroys 
the Indian, and occupies his country because the civilized man 
has the power. 

"Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn." 

The Sauks and Foxes emigrated -from the lakes west, and 
occupied the country on both sides of the Mississippi, of whose 
residence Rock Island was about the centre. These Indians 
extended their hunting-ground toward Peoria, and to Galena 
and Wisconsin. They are a large, stout, well-made people, and 
not so dark as the southern Indians. It was a band of these 
natives, called the British, or Black- Hawk Band, that caused 
so much trouble and expense to the United States, in the years 
1831-2. Not only the expense, but many valuable lives were 
lost in this war, commonly known as the Black-Hawk War. 

The Sauks and Foxes drove back the weaker nation the 
lovvas and occupied the country wherein the State of Iowa is 

In the year 1778, Julien Dubuque, a Canadian and a man of 


talent and great enterprise, established a trading -post, near 
the present city of Dubuque, in Iowa. This trader was in fact 
a talented man, and was as such recognized by the Indians. 
All grave and important matters they submitted to his decision. 
The Indians, in a drunken frolic, caught a horse near the post 
of Dubuque two got on the horse and run him throu' the prai- 
rie. The horse fell and killed one of the Indians. This homi- 
cide caused a bitter quarrel between the families of the two 
Indians. The family of the deceased insisted on revenge, and 
that was to be blood. The other side contended it was an acci- 
dent, and blood should not be shed for it. The parties submit- 
ted the case to Dubuque, for his decision. After hearing the 
statements, Dubuque, in a grave and serious manner, pronounced 
judgment: that it was just and right to have blood for blood 
that no man had a right to shed his brother's blood without 
having blood shed for it. But Dubuque, in a most solemn and 
severe manner, also pronounced: that two Indians, one of each 
family, should mount the same horse, and run him throu' the 
prairie, until one or the other Indian be killed. This judgment 
reached the common-sense of the Indians and quieted the par- 
ties; and also raised Dubuque high in the estimation of the 

The city of Dubuque is called for this man, whose grave is 
situated near it. For years after Dubuque's death, the Indians 
kept a lamp burning at his grave every night, in honor of his 
memory. He was much esteemed by the whites as well as by 
the Indians. 

It is impossible to ascertain the precise dates of Indian migra- 
tions. There are no records kept of the movements of Indians. 
Not long after the first whites came to the country, in 1673, the 
Illinois Indians were started south by their enemies, and in 
1720 the Mitchagamia band was located on .the Mississippi near 
Fort Chartres. Before the year 1730, the most of the Illinois 
Indians were forced south from the Illinois River. Kaskaskia 
was the last place of refuge for the whole of the Illinois confed- 
eracy, united into the Kaskaskia band, and from this place the 
tribe migrated west. About the year 1800, the whole confed- 
erated tribes amounted to about one hundred and fifty warriors. 

At this time the Kaskaskia tribe had for their chief, Ducoign, 


who was a cunning man, and had considerable talents. He was 
a half-breed, and was well qualified to take charge of his nation 
in their present condition. He boasted of never he or his 
nation shedding white blood. This no doubt was true; but 
the reason was that he and nation depended on the whites for 
support and protection. He had visited President Washington 
at Philadelphia, and wore a medal received from his great father, 
as he called the President. He had two sons, Louis and Jeffer- 
son Ducoign, who were drunken, worthless men. 

A Peoria Indian, being bribed by the British, stabbed to 
death, in the streets of Cahokia, the celebrated Pontiac, the 
greatest Indian warrior, perhaps, that ever existed. This was 
one main reason the northern Indians were so bitter against 
those of Illinois. 

These Kaskaskia Indians were afraid to venture out far from 
the white settlements, on account of the hostility of the other 
Indians. This almost forced them to starvation. Their spirit 
and national character were destroyed; and they became a 
degenerate people, always drunk, when they could obtain the 
liquor. By these means, they diminished, not only in numbers, 
but also in standing or character, until a few years ago the rem- 
nants of them moved to the Southwest. 

Although it may seem hard, to force the Indians from their 
own country to accommodate the white population, yet it is the 
only wise and humane policy that can be adopted. The two 
classes of people can not live in peace together. The tide of 
white population is flowing on, and the Indians must recede 
from it. It is a heart-rending sight to see the poor natives 
driven from their own country. Their tears and lamentations 
on leaving Illinois would pierce a heart of stone. 

We must submit to the decrees of Providence. It is quite 
possible, that these same tribes drove off the peaceable occu- 
pants of the country, and then took possession of it by force, as 
we have done. Moreover, I think Providence will be best 
pleased in having a greater number of the human family in 
existence than a few. A white population can sustain more 
numbers on the same territory than the Indian mode of living 
will permit. Nevertheless, it is difficult to find good reasons 
for the expulsion of the Indians from their own country. But, 


with, or without reason, the Indians must emigrate, leaving Illi- 
nois the finest country on earth, for the peaceable occupation 
of the white man. 

There is another etimology of the name of Illinois. It is 
said, it is derived from Isle an Noix, the "Island of Nuts," in 
English. It is well known, that when the French first discov- 
ered the country, they were excited and enchanted with its fer- 
tility, climate, products, grapes, etc., etc.; and no doubt it was 
also blessed with nuts. And as the country was almost sur- 
rounded with rivers the Mississippi, the Ohio, Wabash, Illi- 
nois, and Lake Michigan on the northeast the country, in fact, 
was nearly an Island; so that it was not so unreasonable that 
the country should be called Isle au Noix. The sound of Isle- 
au-noix in French, is almost similar to that of Illinois. 


The Discovery and Settlement of Illinois; to the first Government of 
the "Company of the West," in 1718. 

JAMES MARQUETTE, a Jesuit missionary, first conceived the 
idea to explore the Mississippi, and suggested it to M. Talon, 
the intendant of Canada. At length the governor of Canada, 
M. Talon, assisted Father Marquette in this laudable expedi- 
tion, and joined with him M. Joliet, a merchant of Quebec. 

The first white men that saw the Mississippi were DeSoto 
and his army in the year 1541. They crossed the Mississippi 
about the site of the present city of Memphis, Tennessee. The 
next were Marquette and Joliet, Frenchmen from Canada, in 
the year 1673. The Mississippi lay quiet from the time DeSoto 
explored the lower Mississippi, until the indefatigable Jesuit, 
Marquette, entered it at the mouth of the Wisconsin. 

In early times, two passions entered deep into the breasts of 
the people of Europe: one the Christianization of the North 
American Indians; and the other, a northwest passage to the 
East Indies and China. Both of these popular enterprises sank 
deep into the heart of Marquette; but particularly the conver- 
sion of the Indians to the Christian faith. M. Joliet was a mer- 
chant of Quebec, and no doubt possessed the common mania of 
that day, for the Indian trade if nothing higher or better. 

I am sorry I can not find much material for the history of 
Marquette. He was, so far as I can discover, the Napoleon, 
the ne plus ultra of all the Indian missionaries in the Northwest. 
He was a Recollect monk and Jesuit, and was fired with all 
the zeal and enthusiasm of that order of religionists. He fol- 
lowed the footsteps of Layola, his illustrious predecessor, in all 
religious duties, so far as he had the ability to act. He had 
abandoned the Old World, and the common comforts and en- 
joyments of life, for the sole object of Christianizing the Indians 
in the wilds of America. He gave himself up entirely to the 



most severe and dangerous services to uncommon hardships 
and perils, and almost starvation itself, amongst the wildest 
savages of North America. All these dangers and perils did 
he perform and endure, with the greatest pleasure; because his 
conscience assured him he was doing the will of God Among 
all the devout and benevolent Indian missionaries, Marquette, 
for his true piety, holiness of purpose, and grand enterprises he 
performed, stands unrivalled in the West. He at last ended his 
days, as he had lived them, in the actual service of God. 

The Jesuits, at this time, were the most energetic order of 
Christians in Europe. There was no country on the globe but 
the Jesuits visited and administered to the spiritual wants of 
the people. Such was the case in the northwest of America. 
No Indian nation was too far off, or too wild, to deter these 
Jesuit missionaries from visiting. And Marquette was always 
first to do good in these missions. 

In the year 1669, he had been out west of Green Bay, or 
Le Bale du Puants, as the French sometimes called it, prepar- 
ing the Indians for his great enterprise West, and obtaining an 
Indian of the remote region of the Mississippi, for an interpreter. 

These preparations being made, he and Joliet left Mackinac, 
the mission-station of Marquette, on the I3th May, 1673, for 
Green Bay. Father Marquette had been all thro' this region of 
country, and had acquired an excellent character amongst all 
the nations, for his piety and kindness to the Indians. 

In two canoes, with five men, Marquette and Joliet left the 
missionary-station of Green Bay, on the loth June, 1673, for 
the far- West. The Indians gave a terrible history of the mon- 
sters in the great, river that would swallow them up and their 
canoes. The Maneto at the Piasa was represented as devour- 
ing all passengers. This was to deter Marquette from his voy- 
age; but he had the same fearless courage that Martin Luther 
possessed, when his friends persuaded him not to make a cer- 
tain journey in Germany. 

The explorers passed over the portage between Fox River 
and the Wisconsin, and down the latter to the Mississippi. 
They saw the Mississippi for the first time, June I7th, 1673, 
and "entered it," Marquette says in his journal, "with a joy I 
can not express." No doubt the hearts of these enthusiastic 


French bounded with joy at the sight of this noble and majestic 
river. I 

They floated down the river about one hundred miles, and on 
the west side they discovered Indians. To use the pious lan- 
guage of Marquette, "they commended themselves to God, and 
approached the village." They remained with this tribe for six 
days, and "in full council" Marquette "proclaimed to them the 
one true God, the Creator." The journal of Marquette reports 
that "they passed the most beautiful confluence of rivers in the 
world," where the Missouri, called by the Indians Peckitanoni, 
mingles its muddy waters with the Mississippi. They mention 
the painted rock* the Piasa near the present city of Alton. 
They saw also the great rock, the grand Tower, in the Missis- 
sippi, and came to the mouth of the Ohio, which they mistook 
for the Wabash River. 

It is well-authenticated history, that the hostility of the Iro- 
quois Indians kept the French from any knowledge of the 
Ohio River for many years after the voyage of Marquette and 
Joliet to the West ; and for a long time, the Ohio River was 
called the Wabash from the mouth of the Wabash down to the 
junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi. 

After a few days' delay at the junction of the Ohio, Mar- 
quette and Joliet passed down the river to the Arkansas Indians, 
in latitude 33 degrees north. At this point, the party narrowly 
escaped destruction by the Arkansas Indians. 

The pious-hearted Marquette says, "they resolutely presented 
the peace-pipe to the warriors, and God softened their hearts;" 
so the explorers escaped unhurt. They descended no further. 
This party reached somewhere on the river, about the place 
that DeSoto crossed it in the year 1541. 

* I saw what was called the picture sixty years since, long before it was marred 
by quarrymen or the tooth of time, and I never saw anything that would have 
impressed my mind that it was intended to represent a bird. I saw daubs of coloring 
matter that I supposed exuded from the rocks that might, to very impressible people, 
bear some resemblance to a bird or a dragon, after they were told to look at it in 
that light, just as we fancy in certain arrangements of the stars we see animals, etc., 
in the constellations. I did see the marks of the bullets shot by the Indians against 
the rocks in the vicinity of that so-called picture. Their object in shooting at this 
place I never could comprehend. I do not think the story had its origin among the 
Indians or was one of their superstitions, but was introduced to the literary world by 
John Russell of Bluff Dale, 111., who wrote a beautiful story about it. J. GILLESPIE, 
Jan. 25, 1883. 


Marquette, being a little shocked by the warriors of the Ar- 
kansas, and also hearing it was a long voyage yet to the ocean, 
determined to return to the lakes. But after the reconciliation 
with the Indians, they feasted on corn and dogs. This tribe 
cooked in and eat out of earthen-ware, and were at last kind 
and loving to their French friends. 

On the 1 7th July, 1673, Marquette and company commenced 
to ascend the river. At the mouth of the Illinois, the Indians 
informed the explorers, that to ascend that river it was shorter 
to the lakes than by the route of the Wisconsin. The party 
ascended the Illinois, and entered the lake at the present city 
of Chicago; and in September they reached Green Bay in 
safety, not, during their voyage, losing a man, or receiving any 
hurt or injury whatever. Marquette writes that, "no where did 
we see such grounds, meadows, woods, stags, buffaloes, deer, 
wildcats, bustards, swans, paroquets, and even beavers, as on the 
Illinois River." 

It is true, as Marquette states, that there are "no grounds" 
on earth superior in fertility and productiveness, than are found 
for many miles on each side of the Illinois River. 

After the return of Marquette and Joliet to Green Bay, the 
latter proceeded to Quebec, while our pious Christian quietly 
returned to his Indian charge, laboring night and day to save 
the heathen from destruction. 

Joliet, on his way to Canada, lost his papers, and nearly his 
life, by the upsetting of his canoe. By this misfortune the nar- 
rative of the discovery of the great Father of Waters was lost. 
Marquette cared not so much for the discovery of the country, 
as the discovery of Indians, so they might be converted to God 
from savage paganism. Therefore he kept a very limited jour- 
nal of their voyage; but it is recognized by all authors as 
correct and true. Thus it is, that we find very little in detail 
of this discovery of a country, the valley of the Mississippi, 
which is not equalled for fertility of soil, climate, extent, and 
beautiful surface, on the globe. This valley extends from the 
Alleghany to the Rocky Mountains, a distance of nearly three 
thousand miles, and from the Gulf of Mexico to the sources of 
the Mississippi, with a climate of the temperate zone, congenial 
to the culture of almost all the produce of the earth. This val- 


ley is without mountains and without swamps, intersected with 
large navigable rivers, and possessing a surface adapted to the 
construction of railroads in every direction; so that, in fact, 
Marquette saw "a terrestial paradise," as the French called it, 
when he entered this valley, in 1673. 

It appears, from the journal of Marquette, that they were as- 
tonished at the magnitude of their discoveries the soil, the 
products, the rivers, buffaloes, etc. ; but if they could have seen 
thro' the future to this time 1852 they would be still more 
amazed and astonished. The improvements of the country 
the cities on the margins of the rivers they sailed on, and the 
large steamboats passing their bark canoes, would cause these 
Frenchmen to believe, that Omnipotent power alone could 
effect this extraordinary change. Almost the same conclusion 
will be forced upon all rational men: that the unparalleled 
growth of the United States is fostered by Divine Providence. 
Our free institutions, in the hands of Deity, are the foundation 
of our growth and prosperity. The Constitution of the United 
States presents to the world the perfection of human wisdom. 
Our national greatness and grandeur rest upon this glorious 
instrument. It binds us together in patriotic love, from ocean 
to ocean, and from the tropics to the frozen North ; and may 
God bless it and preserve it eternal. 

Marquette and Joliet, on their return, made out such a glow- 
ing report that it set all Canada on fire, and also swept over 
France like a tornado. The French, always excitable, caught 
the mania, and became almost crazy to see and settle the West. 
This rage for western enterprise reached LaSalle, and bound 
him in its folds during the remainder of his life. 

Robert de La Salle was a native of the city of Rouen, in Nor- 
.mandy, France; and possessed a liberal education. By some 
means he lost his patrimony and attached himself to the Jesu- 
its. It is stated by his biographer, that he was a scholar, versed 
in the arts and sciences, and fitted for any business. The great 
and dominant trait of his character was an iron will, and a 
moral and physical courage; that all the evils of life all the 
disasters and misfortune that man is heir to had no effect on 
him. A despondency or retreat found no place in his charac- 
ter. He also possessed, in an eminent degree, an ungovernable 


When a character of this description gets strongly impressed 
with a great enterprise, he becomes enthusiastic and almost 
crazy on the subject. Such was the case with LaSalle, in the 
discovery, and the Indian trade of the far West, 

LaSalle arrived in Canada in the year 1670, and had become, 
to some extent, acquainted with the country, at the time Mar- 
quette and Joliet reported their discoveries of the West. 

He was strongly impressed with the notions of that day, to 
find a direct passage to China. He supposed a river might be 
found to- ascend, which would lead a northwest route to the 
Pacific Ocean. He also urged warmly on Frontenac, the gov- 
ernor-general of Canada, the propriety, and even the necessity 
for France to establish a line of forts from Canada thro' the 
Illinois country to the Gulf of Mexico. The governor entered 
into the views of LaSalle with ardor, and advised him to lay 
his plans before the Government of France. LaSalle consented, 
and set sail for France in the year 1675. The minister of the 
king, the great Colbert, approved his scheme, and entered 
warmly into the subject. LaSalle was created chevalier, and 
invested with the Seigniory of Fort Frontenac, on condition 
that he would rebuild the fort. He returned to Canada and 
labored on the fort to the close of the year 1677. Again he 
returned to France, and was received with favor by the court. 
The king granted him new privileges. His mission having 
succeeded so well, that he procured his lieutenant, M. Tonti, 
an Italian, and thirty men, and sailed from Rochelle the I4th 
July, to Quebec, where he arrived the I5th September, 1678. 
He made little or no stay at Quebec; but proceeded direct to 
Fort Frontenac. This fort occupied the site of the present 
town of Kingston, in Upper Canada. 

Another character in these discoveries was Louis Hennepin. 
He was, as Marquette was, a Recollect monk of the Jesuit 
order; but very unlike the pious and pure-hearted Marquette, 
in almost everything else. He was full of ambition to be a 
discoverer "daring, hardy, energic, vain, and self-exaggerating, 
almost to madness." He possessed talents and courage, but 
was ambitious of fame, even at the expense of truth. 

The religious superiors of Hennepin appointed him to pro- 
ceed with the expedition of LaSalle, and he was ready at Fort 
Frontenac, October 1678. 


\Yhat a contrast between these two dignataries of the church 
Marquette and Hennepin. One dedicated himself entirely to 
the pious and holy works of religion, while the other wore the 
garb of religion to advance his own fame. 

Marquette returned to Illinois/and pursued his holy ambition 
in converting the Indians to Christianity, until the year 1675. 
On the 1 8th May of that year, he was with his boatmen on 
Lake Michigan, and proposed to stop and say mass. Leaving 
his men with the boat, he went a small distance to pray. He 
staid some time, and his friends became alarmed at his stay. 
They called to mind something he had hinted ; that "he should 
die there." They found the reverend father dead, in the post- 
ure of praying. The death of Marquette occurred at the mouth 
of a small river emptying into the lake from the east, which is 
named for him, and there he was buried in the sand. His body 
would have been exposed to the rise of the waters, but the river 
retired and left the holy man's grave in peace. Charlevoix was 
at the place some fifty years after, and discovered that the 
waters of the river had forced a passage in another direction, 
and cut through a solid bluff, rather than to disturb this good 
man's grave. Thus ended the life of Marquette, in glory; while 
Hennepin enjoys a celebrity of another character. 

LaSalle and party, on the i8th November, 1678, embarked 
on a small vessel of ten tons, from Fort Frontenac to the West, 
and in four weeks' sailing on Lake Ontario, they landed near 
the Niagara River. The winter was setting in, and they remained 
in that neighborhood until the next spring. 

Another vessel, the Griffon, was built during the winter and 
and spring of 1679, at the mouth of Tonnawanto Creek; and 
during this time, LaSalle returned again to Fort Frontenac. 
On his- return the vessel carrying his goods was destroyed, and 
part of his stores lost. This was the first of a series of misfor- 
tunes which he suffered. 

On the 2Oth January, 1679, LaSalle arrived at Niagara; and 
this whole summer was employed by him, in preparing for the 
West, gathering furs, etc. ;, while Chevalier Tonty was sent on 
West to prepare the way for LaSalle. 

On the 7th of August, 1679, the Griffon was ready to sail. 
Then, with Te Deum and discharge of fire-arms, she set sail 
upon Lake Erie. 


At Green Bay the Griffon was loaded with furs, and sent to 
Niagara, while LaSalle, with fourteen men, started for the Mia- 
mis, or St. Josephs. There the party waited for the return of 
the Griffon. At this point, LaSalle built a fort. The party, 
on the 3d December, consisting of thirty laborers, and three 
monks, went up the St. Joseph, crossed the portage to The-an- 
kc-ki, now Kankakee, and down to the Illinois River. About 
the last of December, they reached a village of the Illinois In- 
dians, containing five hundred cabins; but no inhabitants. The 
travelers discovered a large quantity of corn, and being in great 
need of provisions, took as much of this article as satisfied their 
wants. This village is supposed to have been near the Rock 
Fort, LaSalle County, 111. The party entered Peoria Lake on 
the 4th January, 1680, and proceeded some distance down the 
River, where they were well received by the Indians. They 
obtained permission of the Indians to erect a fort at this place. 

About the middle of January, the news of the loss of the 
Griffon and cargo reached LaSalle. Other disasters also visited 
him, so that he called this Fort Creve Coznr in English, broken 
heart. LaSalle discovered a mutiny amongst his men; and 
also the Indians were excited to unfriendly feelings against him. 
But by a bold and daring energy, based on truth and honesty 
he quieted these troubles around him. Yet his heart was sorely 
afflicted, as the name of this fort indicated. He was far in 
advance of the settlements of Canada amongst Indians, whose 
friendship was precarious and uncertain; and even his own men, 
on whom he was compelled to rely for support in perils and 
dangers, were disaffected. Altho' all these calamities surrounded 
the Chevalier LaSalle, he hesitated not a moment in the pursuit 
of his daring object, the exploration and the commerce of the 

They completed the fort and established friendly relations 
with the Indian tribes far and near. 

At this fort, some of LaSalle's own men, more treacherous 
than the red skins, attempted to poison him, but did not suc- 
ceed. This great man was richly entitled to the honor of being 
called "Chevalier", as his fortitude and resolution never for a 
moment forsook him, in any of the perilous trials. 

He organized a party to explore the upper Mississippi; while 


the reliable lieutenant of LaSalle, the Chevalier Tonty, would 
remain in the Fort Creve Cceur, and the brave Norman himself 
return to Fort Frontenac. 

The exploring party consisted of Louis Hennepin, M. DuGay, 
or D'Ucan, and six Frenchmen, oarsmen, woodsmen, or other- 
wise, as occasion might require. 

In bark canoes, on the 28th of February, 1680, they left Fort 
Creve Cceur for the Mississippi, and waited at the mouth of the 
Illinois River for ten days, to permit the floating ice in the Mis- 
issippi to pass out. Hennepin, with the consent of LaSalle, 
called the western side of the Mississippi Louisiana, in honor of 
the king of France, and the Mississippi, St. Louis River. One 
of these names remains to this day, while the old Indian name 
of the Mississippi was not changed by the French explorers. 

Hennepin and party proceeded up the river to the Great 
Falls, which he called St. Anthony, in honor of his patron saint 
of Padua. On a tree near the falls, the Franciscan friar and 
Jesuit monk, Hennepin, caused the cross and arms of France to 
be carved. 

About the nth of April, near the mouth of the Wisconsin, 
Hennepin's party were captured by the Sioux Indians; and 
detained in captivity for several months, but were released. 
They explored the river above the falls, up to latitude 44 deg. 
north, but not to the source, as Hennepin asserts. They met 
another party of French from Lake Superior, under the com- 
mand of Sieur de Luth, trading and reconnoitring the country. 
They returned by the route of the Wisconsin to Green Bay, the 
most western missionary station. 

The same season, 1680, Hennepin was ambitious to supercede 
LaSalle in the discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi 
descended the Wisconsin and the Mississippi to the mouth of 
Arkansas, and returned late in the year to the upper Illinois. 
He then returned to Europe, and got into the hands of the 
British, who were jealous of the French discoveries in the New 
World, and the said monk and Jesuit priest published an inac- 
curate history of his exploration of the Mississippi. His book 
gave the world an untrue view of the discovery; but "truth is 
powerful," and did prevail. Altho' Hennepin is suspected of 
exaggeration, yet he did much, and showed himself a great 


man. And I would ask any one to reflect on the situation of 
both Hennepin and Marquette, in their discoveries. They 
made these explorations without means and almost without 
men; and also without the direct sanction of their Government. 
I can not conceive how they procured their supply of provi- 
sions. I think they must have existed greatly on energy and 

The Chevalier LaSalle, it is true, had the authority of his 
Government direct; but I can not find that he had any other 
support from his king. He was crippled all the time by his 
commercial operations. 

In March, 1680, LaSalle, preparing himself with a gun and 
powder, with deer-skins for moccasons, and a sack of parched 
corn on his back, to eat, he and three men started on foot from 
Fort Crevc Cceur to Frontenac. This was a dreary and perilous 
trip. Not only had LaSalle to pass over the black swamps in 
the northern part of the State of Ohio, which impeded General 
Harrison so much in the winter of 1813 in the war with Great 
Britain ; but the Iroquois Indians were at that time engaged in 
a war with the French. Altho' the journey was dangerous and 
perilous, he arrived safely at Fort Frontenac in June. 

LaSalle left M. Tonty in possession of Fort Creve Cceur and 
the country, "with orders to repair Fort St. Louis." 

There is some confusion with authors in regard to these forts, 
and their precise location. There were two forts: one called 
Creve Cceur, and the other Rock, or Fort St. Louis. Creve 
Cceur was located somewhere, I presume, on the southeast side, 
eight miles above Peoria, on the lake; and Rock Fort, or Fort 
St. Louis, at either the Starved Rock, or the Buffalo Rock, in 
LaSalle County, Illinois. It is difficult to determine at this 
day, the exact location of either of these forts. The Starved 
Rock, or the Buffalo Rock either, will answer the description 
given them in the first exploration of the country. I have 
often been on both these rocks, and think there is not room 
on the Starved Rock for a fortress. Yet, it may have been 
large enough for the occasion. It is easier fortified than the 

The tradition of the Indians being starved on this rock, was 
unknown to the pioneers, or else we would have had the name 


in their journals. The tradition of calling this rock the Starved 
Rock, is a pretty tale, which may or may not be true. The 
history of the Buffalo Rock is believed by many: that the 
French and Indians drove the buffaloes on this high ground on 
the northeast side, and forced them over the rocks at the south- 
west, where the rocks are perpendicular, and thereby killed 
them. The buffaloes were butchered, and the meat and skins 
shipped from that point to the New Orleans market. These 
are the traditions of the names of these two localities in Illinois. 

Starved Rock and Buffalo Rock are both situated in, or 
adjacent to, the low lands of the Illinois River; and they and 
the country generally, exhibit indubitable evidence of a great 
volume of water, at some remote time, having passed down this 
valley of the Illinois River. The Buffalo Rock rises up, in the 
midst of the low lands, or Illinois Bottom, to a great height, 
and is perpendicular on three sides. It must have been an 
island in former days, when this whole valley of the Illinois 
River was water. 

At this remote period, the waters of the Niagara River, passed 
down this valley. The outlet of the waters of the lakes was 
then not at Niagara. Since the discovery of the country, the 
rocks at the falls of Niagara have been worn away by the action 
of the water flowing over them. This outlet of the waters has 
been of modern date to the ancient discharge of the waters thro' 
the Illinois River. Engineers have leveled the country around 
the lakes and find that if the chasm at the falls of Niagara was 
filled up, the waters of the lakes would pursue their ancient 
course down the Illinois River. The waters broke thro' the 
rocks at Niagara, and turned their course from the Illinois River 
to Lake Ontario. The appearance of greater quantities of water 
having formerly passed than at present, is visible in many places 
on the Mississippi. 

During the absence of LaSalle, in the summer of 1680, M. 
Tonty had much trouble with the Indians. The Iroquois waged 
a bitter war with the prairie Indians, which forced Tonty to join 
his neighbors of the West. This war brought him into great 
peril and danger, which at last compelled him to abandon Fort 
Creve Ccenr, and seek safety at Mackinac. 

After LaSalle enduring much embarrassment at Frontenac, 


and on his journey out, he arrived at Creve Cceur late in Decem- 
ber, or early in January, 1681. But to his great astonishment 
and disadvantage, found no one in the fort, altho' it was in 
good repair. This was another calamity to swell the list of 
misfortunes which he suffered. But dejection or despondency 
found no place in his remarkable composition. He returned 
with his party to Mackinac, and greeted Tonty with the same 
feeling and friendship as if he had met his friend at the Hotel 
de Ville in Paris. 

LaSalle again visited Fort Frontenac, and made the last pre- 
parations for his grand discovery. On the 3d November, 1681, 
he was at the fort of St. Joseph, as full of courage as ever. 

About the middle of December, with twenty-three men, eigh- 
teen eastern Indians, ten squaws, and three children, he started 
by the way of Chicago River, and on the 6th January, 1682, 
they left the bord.ers of Lake Michigan, traveling on foot, and 
the baggage on sledges. They passed on to Fort Creve Cceur, 
and found that place in good repair. On the 6th February, 
they were on the Mississippi, and on the I3th they set sail down 
that river. 

At the Chickasaw Bluffs they erected a fort, which they 
called Prudhomme, and on the 6th April they discovered the 
three outlets of the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico. 

The following is the description of their doings at the mouth 
of the Mississippi by LaSalle himself: "We landed on the bank 
of the most western channel about three leagues from its mouth. 
On the /th M. de la Salle went to reconnoitre the shores of the 
neighboring sea, and M. de Tonty examined the great middle 
channel. They found three outlets, beautiful, large, and deep. 
On the 8th we reascended the river a little above its conflu- 
ence with the sea, to find a dry place beyond the reach of inun- 
dations. The elevation of the north pole was about twenty- 
seven degrees. Here we prepared a column, and a cross, and 
to the said column we affixed the arms of France with this in- 
scription : 


The whole party was paraded under arms, chanted the Tc 
Deuvi and other hymns in praise of God for the great discovery. 


They shouted Vive le Roi and raised Lhe column. LaSalle 
himself, in a very orderly and solemn manner, took possession 
for the King of France of all the country watered by the River 
Colbert, or Mississippi. 

The provisions being scarce, Sieur LaSalle was compelled to 
return north; and became sick at Fort Prudhomme. He sent 
M. Tonty on to. the Governor of Canada with the report of his 
discoveries. He himself did not reach the fort at the mouth of 
St. Joseph River, until September. At this place, LaSalle sent 
Father Zenobe with his despatches to the court of France, and 
he remained amongst the Indians, trading for their furs, and 
repairing his favorite fort, St. Louis, supposed to be on the 
Buffalo Rock. But hearing he had enemies at the government 
of France, who represented him as a man more ambitious to 
advance his own interest than that of his government, he, in 
the autumn of 1683, set sail for France and reached there on 
the 1 3th December. The overbearing deportment of LaSalle, 
which was the greatest defect in his character, caused him many 
enemies, and amongst the rest was M. de la Barre, who had suc- 
ceeded Count Frontenac in the government of Canada. 

The presence of LaSalle put all idle rumors against him to 
flight at the court of his king. The ministers saw him, be- 
lieved him, and found him to be, what he really was, sincere, 
energetic, brave, and enthusiastic. The king also believed, and 
the City of Rochelle resounded with the uproar of fitting out a 
fleet for the New World. 

On the 24th July, 1684, four vessels sailed from Rochelle, 
carrying two hundred and eighty persons for the mouth of the 
Mississippi. Amongst these persons were soldiers, artificers, 
volunteers, and "some young women." They started with high 
hopes of honors and fortunes; but sad reverses overtook them. 
Not one of the emigrants escaped destruction except six men 
with Joutel, who reached Illinois in the year 1687, in a most 
deplorable condition. LaSalle and Beaujeau, the commander 
of the fleet, did not agree on the voyage to America; but had 
a bitter quarrel, which was the cause, perhaps, of the failure 
of the expedition. There is nothing so dangerous to an enter- 
prise as quarrels amongst the leaders; we see in ancient, as 
well as in modern times, disputes prove fatal to the greatest and 


best expeditions. M. Joutel was the commander of one hun- 
dred soldiers, and was a man of judgment and courage. He 
was afterward the historian of the expedition. 

This fleet, after much delay, storms, and calms, and one ves- 
sel being captured by the Spaniards, on the I5th January, 1685, 
reached the coast of America in latitude 29, 10 degrees north, 
supposed to be not far from the mouth of the Mississippi. But 
LaSalle caused the fleet to sail west; so that the mouth of the 
river was not discovered for years afterward. While in the Gulf 
of Mexico, a storm visited the fleet and destroyed one of the 
vessels loaded with provisions, implements, and other necessary 
articles, which were all lost. 

The marine commander Beaujeau considered he had per- 
formed his duty in reaching the Gulf of Mexico with the fleet, 
and decided he would land LaSalle and his colony and return 
to France. He came to this conclusion, more by the dissention 
between him and LaSalle than on any other consideration. 
The colony was landed at Madagorda Bay, now called St. Ber- 
nard, seven or eight hundred miles by the indentations of the 
sea, west of the mouth of the Mississippi. At this bay, LaSalle 
made a "lodgement," as he called it, and fortified the place to 
some extent. 

Every hour and every day from LaSalle's landing at the 
Madagorda Bay until his assassination, he had more perils, diffi- 
culties, and calamities to encounter and suffer, until death 
seemed to be his best friend. He never ceased hunting for the 
"hidden river" for two years. He tried to reach the Mexican 
colonies and failed ; and made an attempt to go to the North, 
and also failed. In March, 1687, he started to the Illinois coun- 
try, in company with sixteen men, provided with horses procured 
from the Indians, to carry their baggage. They had proceeded 
about three hundred miles to Trinity River (some say, the 
Brazos), where the party encamped to recruit themselves, and 
to procure supplies by hunting. Jealousies and rankerous feel- 
ings took possession of the individuals of the party to such 
extent that two men of the party murdered Moranget, a 
nephew of LaSalle, and three days after LaSalle himself was 
shot dead by Dehaut, one of his own men. This murder 
occurred on the 2Oth March, 1687, and soon after, Dehaut and 


Leotot, two of the murderers, met the same fate by the hands 
of their comrades. 

The French writers make some very sensible remarks on the 
character of LaSalle. They say he possessed all the elements 
of a very great man; one alone excepted, and that was to secure 
the affection and friendship of his men. It has been astonish- 
ing to me, that a man of the abilities of LaSalle could not see 
this defect in his character, and remedy it. It is strange that a 
man with his discernment could not see the disaffection of his 
men. Bonaparte had this element in an eminent degree. His 
soldiers and officers were always willing to thrust themselves 
into danger and death to save their general. 

Joutel, the best friend of LaSalle, says of him: "He had a 
capacity and talent to make his enterprise successful; his con- 
stancy and courage, and extraordinary knowledge in the arts 
and sciences, which render him fit for anything, together with 
an indefatigable body, which made him surmount all difficulties, 
Avould have procured a glorious issue to his undertaking, had 
not all thfise excellent qualities been counterbalanced by too 
haughty a behavior, which sometimes made him insupportable; 
and by a rigidness to those under his command, which at last 
drew on him an implacable hatred, and was the occasion of his 

Illinois has been not unmindful of the services of LaSalle, 
Hennepin, Joliet, and Marquette. Counties are named for 
LaSalle and Marquette, and towns for Joliet and Hennepin. 

Joutel and six men after passing thro' hardships, dangers, 
and perils of almost every description, found a post of the 
French on the Arkansas River, sixty miles from the Mississippi. 
The sight of these countrymen was the next thing to the full 
view of heaven, to Joutel and party. They took up the line of 
march north in May, 1687, and on the 24th July, they reached the 
post of Arkansas, and on the I4th of September, they arrived at 
the Fort St. Louis, or Rock Fort, on the Illinois River. Joutel 
remained here until March, 1688, and then went to Canada. 

It will be recollected that the Chevalier LaSalle left Tonty 
in command of the whole Illinois country, which was beginning 
to be settled by the clergy and the Indian traders. Tonty 
acquitted himself with honor and benefit to his country. He 


was compelled in the time (which lasted three years) to join 
the Illinois Indians in repelling the British and Iroquois, as a 
war raged then between France and Great Brfetain, and it 
reached out into the remote regions of the West. 

Tonty was the chief and captain -general in conducting the 
war against the British and the Iroquois, and became, as he 
deserved, a conspicuous character in the infant settlement of 

In the year 1686, he heard of his friend LaSalle being in the 
West Indies, and descended to the mouth of the Mississippi in 
search of him; but returned without him. On the route he 
established the post of Arkansas, which name it retains to this 
day, being one hundred and sixty-six years old. And I presume 
the settlements of Illinois, Peoria, Cahokia, and Kaskaskia may 
date their existence from the same period, 1686 We have in- 
dubitable record evidence that Tonty established the post of 
Arkansas in 1686, and the conclusion is irresistible that the 
settlements of Cahokia and Kaskaskia, right under the eye of 
Tonty, were also commenced at that time or before. 

M. Tonty was the commander-in-chief of all the vast region of 
Illinois, which, at that day, had no defined limits, extending 
from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and east and west from 
the Mississippi as far as French imagination pleased to stretch 
it. Tonty was viceroy of this vast country almost the whole 
time since he first saw it, with LaSalle, in the year 1679, to the 
year 1700, which is the last we hear of him at the mouth of the 
Mississippi with Iberville. 

In the year 1687, he was commanding the Rock Fort, when 
Joutel was there. Joutel remained at this fort all winter, and 
it seems his travels in Illinois closed up in the Spring of 1688; 
he left the Rock Fort in March of that year for Quebec, and 
then on to Rochelle, being absent four years in America, and 
experiencing every peril and misery except death itself. 

The Chevalier Tonty, the Italian, was actively employed 
for twenty-one years in erecting forts, defending the country 
from Indian and British depredations, and organizing the first 
settlement of Illinois. We must therefore conclude that Tonty 
was a clear-headed, discerning man, of moral and physical cour- 
age, and of such energy, with these other qualities, as made him 
successful in all his enterprises. 


From the time, 1686, Tonty descended the Mississippi to 
meet LaSalle, the Illinois country commenced settling. The 
minds of the people in Canada, and even in France, became 
enthusiastic in favor of Illinois, which caused emigration to it, 
and the religious institutions, and particularly the Jesuits, were 
also much interested to snatch from destruction the Indians 
that were unconverted. All over the West the French had 
missionaries, and at every Indian village the holy father was 
seen employing all his talents and energies to convert the sav- 
ages to Christianity. It was at the Indian villages, Cahokia 
and Kaskaskia, that the missionaries first located themselves to 
instruct the aborigines. And then next came the Indian traders. 
The traders built store houses and forts in these villages, and 
the missionaries erected houses of worship; and thereby both 
classes became stationary, and the excitement to emigrate to 
Illinois soon made farmers and mechanics join them, and they 
located in these villages. Many of the traders, and others, 
married Indian women ; and other families came from Canada, 
so that in a few years both Kaskaskia and Cahokia became 
places of civilization and residence of a white population. It 
was about the year 1686 that the Reverend Claude Allouez, a 
companion of LaSalle, made his first missionary entry into the 
Indian village of Kaskaskia. He was the first white man that 
made this village his permanent residence. Some time after, 
the Reverend Gabriel Marest also visited the place, and dated a 
letter: "Aux Cascaskias, autrement dit de 1'Immaculee Concep- 
tion de laSainte Vierge, le 9 Novembre, 1712." About the 
same time, Father Pinet formed the station of the missionaries 
in the Tammarais and Cahokia villages of Indians which was 
first called "Notre Dame de Kahokia." 

Peoria arose in the vicinity of the old Fort Creve Cceur, but 
did not improve as the other settlements did at Kaskaskia and 
Cahokia; but now, in its turn, is far the largest place, and bids 
fair to be one of the largest cities in Illinois. 

The missionaries emigrated to Illinois in numbers, and did 
all in their power to make the Indians drink of the waters of 
everlasting life; but the natives refused even to this day to 
embrace Christianity. 

In our opinion, the doctrines of Christianity are too refined, 


too subtle, and too obtuse, for the comprehension of the illit- 
erate natives. They must have a religion more suited to their 
capacities, and more to be evidenced by their senses. The 
experiments made by thousands of good men to convert the 
savages to Christianity have signally failed ; the aborigines must 
have their minds cultivated and enlarged before they can com- 
prehend Christianity. 

Father Marest says that "our life is spent in rambling thro' 
thick woods, in climbing over hills, in paddling the canoes 
across lakes and rivers to catch a poor savage who flies from 
us, and whom we can tame neither by teachings or caresses." 

Sebastian Rasles, or Raleau, came to Illinois in 1692, and 
remained here two years. He was recalled and stationed in 
Maine, where he and his Indian flock were murdered by the 
Pilgrims of New England. 

The next pioneer who figured in early Illinois history, is 
Baron la Hontan. This adventurer sailed up the River of St. 
Peters, and returned without adding much to the development 
of the country, or to his credit. His journal is considered 
doubtful authority in all cases where the truth is required. 

Gabriel de la Rebourde and Zenobe Membre, were two mis- 
sionaries in Illinois who collected a troupe of Indians, mostly 
females about St. Louis on the "Great Rock." This was 
sometime in 1690. 

In the year 171 1, a missionary station was established at Fort 
Massacre on the Ohio River and a fort was there built by the 
French in 1758. 

About the year 1700, the inhabitants commenced cultivating 
the alluvial soil in the American Bottom around the villages of 
Kaskaskia and Cahokia, and to erect buildings fit for the habi- 
tation and comfort of the white man. The missionaries built 
churches at those villages, and attended with apostolic care 
their flocks. 

The government of France decided to establish a colony 
toward the mouth of the Mississippi; therefore in the year 1699, 
Iberville, under the direction of France, commenced a settle- 
ment at Mobile, and also at Dauphin Island. He left France 
with two ships on the nth Oct., 1698, and on the 3ist Jan., 
1699, arrived in Mobile Bay. Iberville was a man of sound 
judgment, discretion, and prompt action. 


These settlements in the South, in early times were consid- 
ered intimately connected with the Illinois country, and so they 
always will be esteemed. Iberville, after much search on the 
2d of March, 1699, found the Hidden River, whose mouth had 
been so long sought for. A vessel wae despatched to France 
with the glad tidings. The natives called the river " Mal- 
bouche," and the Spaniards "La Palissade," from the trees grow- 
ing on its banks. 

After ascending the Mississippi for some distance, Iberville 
sailed to the Bay of Biloxi and there erected a fort. Leaving 
this place in the command of Bienville, he embarked for France; 
and in his absence Bienville again returned to the Mississippi, 
and alarmed an British ship ascending the river, so that the 
vessel turned down the river, and this place on the Mississippi 
is to this day called "the English Turn." General Jackson, on 
the 8th of Jan., 1815, gave the British a much more bloody 
"turn down," about the same section of the river. 

In the year 1700, Iberville returned from France, and built 
a fort at the mouth of the Great River, and ordered M. le Sueur 
to proceed up the Mississippi and the St. Peters, in search of a 
copper mine, which order was fulfilled, and much matter was 
found similar to copper, but, on being analyzed in France, it 
turned out to be worthless. Sueur erected a fort on the St. 
Peters, in latitude 44. 13 north, and called it L'Huiller [1702]. 
The Indians being hostile, the party returned. 

In 1705, the same party ascended the Missouri River to 
the Kansas, but soon returned without finding any valuable 
mines, but commenced a profitable commerce with the Indians. 

M. Dutisne, another pioneer, was sent out to explore the 
country of the Missouris, Osages, and Pawnees. He ascended 
the Mississippi to the Saline River, some fifteen miles below 
Ste. Genevieve, and crossed the country by land to the above- 
named Indians. He traveled west over a broken and hilly 
country to the Osages and finally reached the Pawnees in a 
fine buffalo region in the prairies, four or five hundred miles 
from the Mississippi. 

The emigration in 1708, and about this time, commenced to 
flow into Illinois from the South as well as from Canada. The* 
country around Mobile, Biloxi, and Dauphin Island being colo- 


nized from France to some extent, emigrants found their way 
to Illinois and settled in the villages of Cahokia and Kaskaskia. 
This last-named village was honored with the appellation of 
Old Kaskaskia, and was, in truth, the metropolis of Illinois. 

The French government, seeing it was difficult to colonize 
Louisiana, as the public concerns were then conducted, granted 
a monopoly of the commerce of the whole country to Crozat, a 
wealthy merchant of Paris. This grant is dated I4th Septem- 
ber, .1712, and conferred on Crozat the absolute property of all 
mines he might discover. He was associated with Cadillac, the 
founder of Detroit and governor of Louisiana. 

Crozat established a trading company in Illinois. About this 
time, a considerable commerce was carried on between Illinois 
and the French in the South. We read of fifteen thousand 
deerskins, in one year, being sent from Illinois to Dauphin 
Island. Also flour and buffalo meat were sent to the South. 
Illinois in the year 1712 commenced assuming the character of 
a civilized and permanent-settled country. The villages of 
Kaskaskia and Cahokia were fast changing their Indian charac- 
ter for that of civilized communities. The clergy and the traders, 
who first located in the country, had with them associated other 
families and citizens that cultivated the soil and improved the 

There was no organized government in the country, until the 
Company of the West was established. The small number 
of the inhabitants, and their destitution of wealth, made a gov- 
ernment entirely useless. The leaders of the first French set- 
tlements of Illinois were men of talents and, for the most part, 
of classic education. They were characters of the first order 
and rank in any society, while the payans voyageurs and cou- 
reurs de bois were innocent, honest, and kind, and obedient to 
the commands of their leaders. They gave themselves no 
trouble to think about or to discuss public matters. They were 
regardless of wealth and also of their time and labor; so that if 
they were provided with a scanty supply of clothes, corn, and 
deer's tallow or meat, to eat, they would sing and dance, and 
were in fact happy whether they were in the snows of the 
Rocky Mountains or in the dancing saloons of Quebec. The 
community thus constituted in the first settlement of Illinois, 


needed little, or no government; in fact, they had none until 
the Company of the West ["Compagnie d' Occident"} was estab- 
lished in the country. 

The society in Illinois, before any government was organized, 
was moral, honest, and innocent; and perhaps no more happi- 
ness in any other condition could be enjoyed; but so soon as 
the inhabitants increased, and wealth, altho' not great, was accu- 
mulated, then came also a new order of things, which did not 
add to the happiness of the people. 


Illinois under the French Government. 

CROZAT surrendered his charter in 1717, and the celebrated 
Company of the West was organized in Paris for the New 

John Law, a Scotchman, made all France crazy with his 
banking scheme. I presume, no nation ever became so wild 
and inconsiderate as France did on this subject. 

The Mississippi or Western Company was established to aid 
and assist the banking system of this crazy Scotchman. 

In 1718, colonies were sent out from France, and in that 
year New Orleans was laid out. The directory of the Western 
Company, the same year, sent its agents and officers to Illinois. 
Sieur Dugue de Boisbriand, the commandant; and Mark Anto- 
ine de la Loire des Ursins, the principal secretary, with a small 
military force, reached Illinois with orders to erect a fort in or 
near old Kaskaskia. 

About sixteen miles above Kaskaskia, in the American Bot- 
tom, three miles from the bluff and three-quarters of a mile 
from the river, a fort was commenced in 1718, and completed 
in eighteen months, which was called Fort Chartres. Fort 
Chartres, while the French retained the country, jwas the seat 
of government of Illinois, and it was also the headquarters of 
the military forces of Great Britain until the year 1772, when 
an extraordinary freshet in the river destroyed one side of the 
fort, so that the British abandoned it and made Kaskaskia the 
seat of government. 

The fort was an irregular quadrangle; the sides of the exte- 
rior polygon are 490 feet; the walls are two feet two inches 
thick, and built of limestone. 

This fort was enlarged and improved in the year 1756, when 
war was declared by Great Britain against France. It is strange 
that such a site would be selected for a fort by a nation famous 
for two thousand years past in all the science of the military 



Drawn from a survey made in 1820 by Nicholas Hansen of Illinois, and 
Lewis C. Beck. 

A A A The exterior wall 1447 feet. 

1? The gate or entrance to the fort. 

C A small gate. 

D D The two houses formerly occupied by the commandant and commis- 
sary, each 96 feet in length and 30 in breadth. 

E The well. 

E The magazine. 

GGGG Houses formerly occupied as barracks, 135 feet in length, 36 in 

11 II Eormerly occupied as a storehouse and guard-house, 90 feet by 24. 

I The remains of small magazine. 

K. The remains of a furnace. 

L L L A ravine, which in the spring is filled with water. Between this and 
the river, which is about half-a-mile, is a thick growth of cotton-wood. 
The area of the fort is about four square acres. 



art. The place in the bluff may be seen to this day where the 
stone was quarried to erect the fort. A lake intervened be- 
tween the quarry and the fort, so that the rock must have been 
boated across the lake and then carted to the building. The 
site is on alluvial soil which has been washed away; so that 
the wall of one side has been swept off by the Mississippi; and 
then again, the river after destroying part of the fort, has left 
it out of sight. 

This fort is situated in the southwest corner of Monroe 
County, Illinois, and is an object of antiquarian curiosity. The 
trees, undergrowth, and brush are so mixed and interwoven with 
the old walls, that the place has a much more ancient appear- 
ance than the dates will justify. The soil is so fertile that it 
forced up the large trees in the very houses which were occu- 
pied by the British soldiers. 

A regular government being established in the country gave 
a standing and character to Illinois that caused a great emigra- 
tion from Canada and also from Louisiana to flow into it. 
The government of the Western Company was mild and 
equitable. No complaints were made of oppression or misrule 
against this company. 

A branch of the Company of the West, called the Com- 
pany of St. Phillips, was organized in Paris, for the express 
purpose of mining; and Phillip Francois Renault, a native of 
Picardy, France, was appointed the principal agent. He sailed 
from France in the year 1719, with two hundred mechanics, 
miners, laborers, etc. In the West Indies he purchased five 
hundred negro slaves to work the mines, and reached Illinois 
with all the necessary means of prosecuting the business of the 
company. These were the first negroes introduced into Illinois, 
and were the ancestors of the French slaves, who existed in 
the country for many years after. 

.Renault was a man of sound mind, and much energy. He 
obtained a large grant of land to enable him to prosecute his 
mining operations. This grant was located a few miles above 
Fort Chartres, and on it was built the village of St. Phillips; so 
called in honor of the founder. A chapel and a water-mill were 
built in this place for the accommodation of the inhabitants. 
A part of the grant to Renault extended over the hills adjacent 


to the bottom, the title of which is not, to this day settled. 
Farmers and mechanics were encouraged to settle on this grant 
in the bottom; so that the necessary supplies for the mining 
operations might be obtained from it. 

Other grants were made to him, one including the mines in 
upper Louisiana, and another near Old Peoria, to embrace a 
copper mine, which was supposed at that day to exist there- 
Renault and his company of mechanics, laborers, etc., were 
the greatest acquisition Illinois had heretofore received. These 
people for the most part were more intelligent and efficient 
than the first inhabitants of the country; and the whole West 
was much advanced by them. 

Exploring companies were sent out on both sides of the 
river. In Jackson, Randolph, and St. Clair Counties, in Illinois, 
the ancient traces of furnaces, etc., may yet be seen. Silver 
Creek was so called because they supposed silver ore was found 
near it. 

Renault turned his attention finally to the smelting of lead. 
Pack-horses conveyed it to the river and then in perogues it 
was transported to New Orleans. 

In May, 1719, the Company of the West was united by 
the king to the Company of the Indies under the name of the 
Royal Company of the Indies. This retarded the operations 
of Renault and he finally left the country in the year 1744 and 
returned to France, where he remained. 

The Company of the West being vested in fee simple with 
the right of the public domain, made grants of land to private 
individuals and to the villages. The French system to dispose 
of the public land was not very dissimilar to that of the United 
States, only in this: one government granted the land without 
a price and the other sold it for a valuable consideration. 

The French system required the grants to be adjacent to 
each other and numbered so that no intervening tracts could 
exist. The grants were generally made by so many arpents in 
front and extending at right angles to the requisite quantity. 
The lines were, not like the lands of the United States, run on 
the cardinal points, but were run the same course and frequently 
the same length. Generally, the French grants in Illinois com- 
menced at the river, and extended to the bluff, or from river 


to river, as they are at Kaskaskia. A French acre, or arpent, is 
eleven rods and sixty-seven hundredths of a rod, English meas- 
ure being the square of the arpent. This system contemplated 
either large enclosures, embracing the lands of many farmers, 
or the fields cultivated without fencing. It would be too ex- 
pensive for a farmer having a grant of one arpent, in front 
H 67 / IOO rods, and running, perhaps, many miles the other way, 
as they do in the Cahokia common field, to fence his farm to 
himself. And in consequence of this system, the French of the 
villages had, in olden times, their whole common field enclosed 
together. The fence generally extended near the villages from 
either the Mississippi to the bluff, or from the Mississippi to the 
Kaskaskia River; as it was at Kaskaskia. The common field 
was on one side of this fence, and the stock: cattle, horses, 
hogs, etc., were formed to range on the other side. This was 
the ancient manner of enclosing the common fields of Kaskas- 
kia and Cahokia for nearly one hundred years; and the same 
system was adopted by all the other villages of Illinois. A 
large gate was erected in the fence, near the village, and a 
keeper was stationed at it, to permit the farmers and others to 
enter the field and return at pleasure. 

In the fall, when the corn and other crops were gathered, the 
gate was thrown open, and the stock took possession of the 
field during the winter. 

Grants of land were made for almost all, or entirely so, of the 
American Bottom, from the upper limits of the common field 
of St. Phillips to the lower line of the Kaskaskia common field, 
a distance of nearly thirty miles; and the traces of cultivation 
could be discerned in the greater portion of this tract of country 
down to the year iSoo, and after. 

Wind, water, and horse-mills were built in this region of 
country to manufacture flour for the use of the inhabitants and 
for exportation to Mobile and New Orleans. The Jesuit mis- 
sionaries were mostly instrumental in procuring the erection of 
mills. The remains of water-mills may be seen to this day at 
various places in the bluffs of the Mississippi opposite to this 
cultivated tract of country; and the traces of a wind-mill was 
visible not many years ago in the prairie between Prairie du 
Rocher and Kaskaskia. 


The first grant of land, which is preserved, was made to 
Charles Danie on the loth May, 1722, and the next to the mis- 
sionaries of the Cahokia and Tammarais tribes of Indians, dated 
22d June, of the same year. 

Soon after the completion of Fort Chartres in the year 1720, 
a village near the fort was commenced and became the habita- 
tion of many families. The site of this village was swept off by 
the Mississippi ; so that not much or any vestage of it remains 
at this day. This village had its common field, commons for 
wood and pasture, its church and grave-yard, like the other set- 
tlements of Illinois. The common field and commons remain, 
but scarcely any other traces of the village exist. 

About the year 1722, the village, called appropriately by its 
location, (Prairie du Rocher) Rock Prairie, may date its com- 
mencement. It is situated at the base of the perpendicular 
rocks of the Mississippi Bluff, about four miles below Fort 
Chartres. It had its church, common field, and commons; 
together with its priest, catechism, and mass. As it was sit- 
uated so near the rocks, many of the houses were made of that 
material. In the outlet of a creek thro' the bluff near this- 
village are the vestages of a water-mill, said to have been 
erected by the Jesuits in the palmy days of the French settle- 
ments in Illinois. This village, like many others in Illinois, is 
now, like the poet said of Troy, Illium fuit. 

In olden times, Kaskaskia was to Illinois what Paris is at 
this day to France. Both were at their respective days the 
great emporiums of fashion, gaiety, and I must say happiness, 
also. In the year 1721, the Jesuits erected a monastery and 
college in Kaskaskia, and a few years afterward it was char- 
tered by the government. Kaskaskia for many years was the 
largest town west of the Alleghany Mountains. It was a toler- 
able place before the existence of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or 
New Orleans. In this year, Charlevoix visited the country, and 
he states that "the inhabitants of Kaskaskia have black cattle 
and poultry, and are doing well." The Jesuits had erected 
water and wind-mills near this vi''age. The streams thro' the 
bluff exhibit the traces of water-mills to this day, and the pres- 
ent flouring-mill of Mr. Riley occupies the same site of a mill 
of one hundred years anterior date. 


Charveloix, in a letter dated, Kaskaskia, 2Oth Oct., 1721, in 
relation to Cahokia, says: "We lay last night in a village of the 
Cahokias and the Tamaroas, two Illinois tribes, which have 
been united, and together compose no very numerous canton. 
I passed the night in a missionary's house, with two ecclesias- 
tics from the Seminary of Quebec. M. Taumur, the elder, was 
absent; but I found the younger, M. le Mercier, such as he had 
been represented to me, rigid to himself, full of charity to others, 
and displayed in his own person an amiable pattern of virtue." 
The common fields of Cahokia and Prairie du Pont were 
extensive. I presume the arpent land attached to these vil- 
lages are fifteen miles long, and in places extending from Caho- 
kia Creek to the bluffs. They are five or six miles wide. The 
greater portion of these lands was cultivated, and enclosed in 
two large fields. A chapel of some character always existed in 
Cahokia since its foundation. In Prairie du Pont there was 
none. Each village had granted to it a large common. Prairie 
du Pont, in English Bridge Prairie, is situated on the south 
side of the creek of that name, and one mile south of Cahokia. 
Its first commencement was about the year 1760. In olden 
times, a water-mill was erected on the creek near the village. 

Cahokia never was as large as Kaskaskia, and Peoria wa*s not 
so large as Cahokia in early times. Cahokia was a greater 
trading-post than Kaskaskia for the northern Indians; while 
Kaskaskia was more agricultural, and extended its commerce 
to New Orleans and Mobile instead of the Indians in the North. 
In the early settlement of the country, the horned cattle 
came from Canada, and the horses reached the country from 
the South and the West. The cattle were a hardy race, not 
large but of neat formation. The horses were of the Arabian 
strain. The Spaniards introduced them into their American 
possessions, and from this race originated the French horses. 
This blood of horses was brought into Spain from Arabia by 
the Moors. These French horses were small, but performed 
better to their eize than any others. 

Spain, knowing of the improvements and settlements of the 
French on the east side of the Mississippi, became jealous and 
were determined to occupy the west side of the river them- 
selves. Some authors say Fort Chartres was erected to guard 


against the assaults of the Spaniards. At all events, a consider- 
able colony of Spaniards started from Santa Fe in 1720, and 
marched for the Pawnee villages on the Missouri River. The 
Missouri Indians resided on the same river, above the mouth 
of the Kansas. These nations of Indians were at war with 
each other, and the Missouris were in alliance with the French. 
The Spaniards made a mistake. They halted with the Mis- 
souris, thinking they were Pawnees. They divulged to the 
Missouri nation their object, which was to destroy the Missouris, 
and asked the Pawnees to assist them. The Missouris con- 
cealed the mistake of the Spaniards, but in forty-eight hours 
two thousand of the Missouri tribe appeared under arms. 
They attacked the Spaniards at night, and all were killed 
except the priest, who escaped on horseback. 

This bold attempt of the Spaniards, crossing a wilderness of 
eight or nine hundred miles, alarmed the French; and Sieur de 
Bourgmont was dispatched with a considerable military force to 
take possession of an island in the Missouri River above the 
mouth of the Osage, and on it he erected a fort, which was 
called Fort Orleans. Bourgmont set out from the fort on the 
3d July, 1724, to take an extensive tour amongst the north-west 
Indians, and returned on the 5th Nov. of the same year. His 
object in this expedition was to pacify the Indians, and secure 
their trade. 

Soon after this period the Indians destroyed Fort Orleans, 
and massacred every soul in it. A bitter war with these Indians 
continued for sixteen years. Three forts and settlements of the 
French in the West were almost entirely destroyed by the 
Indians. The fort at Matagorda Bay in 1690, or thereabouts, 
was annihilated, as the inhabitants were never after heard of. 

The fort at Natches, on the 28th Nov., 1729, was attacked 
and all killed by the Indians, except a few women and children; 
and the inhabitants of Fort Orleans, on an island in the Mis- 
souri River, were entirely annihilated, as above stated. 

It is surprising to any one at this day to read the perils, dan- 
gers, and deaths which the pioneers of America suffered in the 
colonizing of the country. Examine the history of the early 
settlements of Virginia and Massachusetts, as well as of Illi- 
nois, and it is almost beyond belief the calamities and loss of 
life which the first emigrants to the country suffered. 


These disasters and sufferings were not visited on the pio- 
neers of Oregon or California. 

Although the distance by land to California and Oregon 
from the States may not be as great as from Europe to America, 
but the overland travel to the Pacific is more difficult than to 
cross the Atlantic, and the voyage by sea to Oregon and Cali- 
fornia is much greater. Yet, under these circumstances, the 
first settlements on the Pacific were a pleasure in comparison 
to the difficulties in colonizing the Atlantic coast or the West. 

About this time, 1722, the valley of the Ohio River was 
explored by the French. The bitter hostility of the Iroquois 
or Five Nations to the French, prevented, hitherto, the explorers 
of the Mississippi from visiting the Ohio Valley. The Five 
Nations having, in the year 1713, an accession from the Tusca- 
rowas from North Carolina, was called the Six Nations, and 
became hostile to the British. Thus it was that the French 
were permitted to explore the river of the Iroquois, as the Ohio 
was then called. And soon after, it was garrisoned by the 
French troops. 

The date of the first settlement of Vincennes, on the Wabash, 
is not precisely known. Its settlement might be dated at 1722, 
about the time Illinois, of which Vincennes was then consid- 
ered a part, commenced its permanent and substantial improve- 
ment. The French established a fort at Massacre, on the Ohio 
River, as it has been stated. 

The reason of this fort acquiring its name is a little singular. 
The Indians on the southeast side of the Ohio, the opposite 
side from the fort, covered themselves with bear-skins, and 
imitated the bear in their movements on the sandy beach of 
the river. The French soldiers in the garrison supposed them 
"true and genuine" bears, and crossed the river to have a bear 
hunt; but sorely did they suffer for it. The Indians threw off 
the bear-skins, and massacred the soldiers. Hence the name 
of Fort Massacre, pronounced in English Massac. A county 
is called Massac including the fort and missionary station. 

The Illinois settlements continued to flourish, and no people 
were more happy. It is said that in the Illinois country in 
1730, there were about one hundred and forty French families, 
besides about six hundred converted Indians, and many traders, 


voyagers, and courenrs de dots. The Jesuit college at Kaskas- 
kia, continued to flourish until the war with Great Britain, in 
1754, was declared. 

It is stated that the upper Wabash was considerably settled, 
and that a lucrative commerce was carried on between the 
French colonies of the upper and lower Mississippi. 

In the year 1732, the Company of the West (part of the 
Royal Company of Indies) requested to return their charter to 
the king, which was accepted; and thereupon the Illinois coun- 
try became a part of the royal government of Quebec. 

Altho' the company did not do much for themselves, they 
introduced into Illinois and protected the culture of wheat and 
other crops. The mines of lead in Missouri were opened and 
worked, and the cultivation of rice, indigo, sugar, tobacco, and 
silk was commenced in lower Louisiana. 

At the dissolution of the company, in 1732, Loubois was 
appointed royal governor of Louisiana, and Artaguiette, for 
Illinois. Both these officers had distinguished themselves in 
the southern wars with the Indians, and were well qualified to 
take command of their respective provinces. 

From this date, 1732, and during the time the country was 
under the administration of the French government to the year 
1754, when war was declared by Great Britain, the Illinois 
French experienced their most palmy days. In these twenty- 
two years, the whole county exhibited a scene of flourishing 
prosperity. With a very few exceptions, the Indian tribes, far 
and near, were on peaceable terms with the French and gave 
their trade to them.. 

A considerable trade was carried on between Illinois and the 
lower Mississippi and Mobile. In return, all the necessaries not 
produced in the country, and much of the luxuries of life were 
received and used by the inhabitants. This country was remote 
from the old world, and thereby never experienced any of the 
evils or corrupt influences of a dense and profligate population. 
The vices and crimes, arising out of a wealthy and vicious com- 
munity, were unknown in the early history of Illinois. 

These settlements in Illinois being so weak and so far 
removed from any civilized communities, and amidst savage 
nations of Indians, that the inhabitants were forced to rely on 


each other for self-preservation. This made them kind and 
friendly to each other. 

These virtues were cherished and cultivated for ages, and 
transmitted thro' many generations; so that kindness and 
generosity became a fixed character with the Creole French. 

They were ambitious for neither knowledge or wealth, and 
therefore, possessed not much of either. That sleepless, fero- 
cious ambition to acquire wealth and power, which seizes on so 
many people at this day, never was known amongst the early 
settlers of Illinois. The French of these twenty-two years had 
exactly, almost to a mathematical certainty, a competency of 
worldly gear. There is a happy medium between the ex- 
tremes of poverty and wealth, if mankind could settle on it, 
that would render them the most happy. These people had, 
at that day, in my opinion, found the philosopher's stone of 
wealth and happiness. They lived in that fortunate medium, 
which forced itself on them rather than they on it. 

The people, with scarce an exception, at that day had 
neither the means or disposition to suffer the pains and penal- 
ties of drunkenness. The French, to a proverb, are a tem- 
perate people, as to drink; and, moreover, at the above date, 
there was not much in the country. The people were then 
enjoying that high and dignified standing of teetotal temperance 
which conduced not a little to their happiness. 

The inhabitants were devout and strong believers in the 
Roman Catholic Church. They were willing to fight and die 
for the maintenance of the doctrines of their church. They 
considered the Church of Rome infallible, eminating direct from 
God, and therefore all the dogmas were received and acted on 
by them without a why or wherefore. They performed their 
devotions in this church with a confidence that rendered them 
happy in religious matters. 

Their spiritual teachers were of sincere piety and religion. It 
was the duty and it became also the pleasure of these Christian 
men to administer to the religious wants of the people. 

The people being governed by the precepts of the Gospel, 
enforced by the power and influence of the church, formed a 
pious and religious community, which was the basis of the hap- 
piness of the Illinois people in the primitive times. 


This was the golden age of Illinois, and at no subsequent 
period will the people enjoy the same happiness. Wealth and 
greatness do not necessarily make a community happy. Chris- 
tian virtues must govern the heart before a people can be pros- 
perous or happy. 

The British government became vexed and jealous at the 
occupation and settlement by the French of the Mississippi 
Valley. They not only by intrigue soured the minds of the 
Iroquois and Southern Indians against the French, but were 
evil enough to encourage the slaves to mutiny and to leave 
their masters. About the year 1734, the commerce by the 
Mississippi was almost entirely cut off by the hostility of the 
Chickasaws and other Indians, caused by British intrigue. 
There was a great wilderness on the river between Illinois and 
lower Louisiana, and the hostile Indians occupied it to the 
great danger of commerce on that section of the river. It 
therefore became the imperious duty of the government to 
restore safe intercourse between these two settlements. 

In order to accomplish this desirable object, the Chickasaws 
were to be humbled or destroyed. The governor, Bienville, of 
Louisiana, with the approbation of the French king, decided 
on a campaign against the enemies of France the Chicka- 
saws. All the disposable military force of the Mississippi Valley 
was brought into requisition, and organized into an army under 
Bienville. Artaguiette, the governor of Illinois and com- 
manding at Fort Chartres, was ordered to join the campaign 
with all the military force he could muster in Illinois and 
Wabash countries, and to meet Bienville and the Southern 
army on the loth of May, 1736, on the sources of the Tombig- 
bee and the Yazoo Rivers. The Illinois troops, whites and 
Indians, were to descend the Mississippi to the lower Chicka- 
saw Bluffs, and then march in a northeast direction to the 
sources of the Tallahatchie River. Bienville was to ascend the 
Tombigbee to the forks, and then march to the northwest to 
meet the Illinois army. 

Bienville started from New Orleans to Mobile with thirty 
barges and thirty perogues, and ascended the Tombigbee. 
The river was so low that he and Artaguiette never met. 
Bienville had a battle with the Chickasaw enemy, and was 


unsuccessful. He left the Indian country for New Orleans on 
the 29th of May, 1736, abandoning the Illinois troops to their 

In this bloody battle, which was fought by Bienville, near 
Pontotoc Creek in the county of the same name, State of Mis- 
sissippi, thirty-two men were killed and sixty-one wounded. 
The slain were left on the field, but the army was withdrawn in 
tolerable order. 

Artaguiette, whose fame extended from Louisiana to Que- 
bec, exerted his influence, and many of the Indian warriors 
from the Mississippi to Detroit joined his standard. The brave 
and gallant young hero, Chevalier Vincennes who was the hope 
and pride of the Wabash country, joined, with his forces, the 
troops under Artaguiette. This army consisted of one thou- 
sand Indian warriors, all the regulars that were in the country, 
and whatever militia force that could be collected. They left 
Fort Chartres and landed at the lower Chickasaw Bluffs accord- 
ing to instructions. They marched in a northeast direction, 
toward the sources of the Tallahatchie, and. were on the spot 
at the time loth of May, 1736 appointed by Bienville, but 
found no Southern army, as was promised. The Illinois troops, 
from the Qth of May until the 2Oth, camped in sight of the 
enemy, waiting for Bienville and his army. 

The Indian allies became restless, and forced Artaguiette 
to lead them to battle. The plan of the battle was devised 
with judgment and vigorously executed; but they were too 
weak to contend against such fearful odds. On the 2Oth of 
May, the fearless and gallant leaders of the Illinois division of 
the army marched their forces against the enemy. The Chick- 
asaw towns were fortified under the direction of the British and 
the flag of that nation waved over the Indian and British ene- 
mies of France. 

The Illinois forces drove the Chickasaws out of two of their 
fortified towns, and were almost certain of success at the third 
and last fortified village, when Artaguiette received two 
wounds, which laid him helpless on the battle-field at the very 
moment that victory was about to crown his noble efforts. But 
such are the vicissitudes of a battle-field. 

When the soldiers, who fought like tigers under Artaguiette, 


while he was able to command, discovered him down and almost 
lifeless, they retreated under the command of M. Voisin, a youth 
of only sixteen years with the Indian enemy at their heels for 
sixty-five miles. This noble youth, who, in the wilds of America, 
amidst a victorious and savage enemy, in such a masterly man- 
ner, withdrew the remnant of the Illinois army, imitated the 
most heroic deeds of his chivalric nation. 

The Chevalier Vincennes, with that nobleness of character 
which few possess, remained with his beloved commander, altho' 
he might have escaped, and was captured by the enemy. The 
Jesuit monk, Senat, also despised life by running to save it, 
and staid with the noble-hearted and generous Artaguiette. 

At first the Chickasaws treated their prisoners with kindness 
and attention. They supposed that they would be ransomed 
at a great price, or that they might be made useful, if the for- 
tune of war should turn against them. But when the enemy 
learned the defeat and retreat of Bienville and his army, they 
changed their treatment of the prisoners to the utmost bar- 
barity and brutality; and at last burned them at the stake with 
slow and lingering tortures. Only one man escaped to tell the 
sad story of the fate of his countrymen. 

The French were compelled to observe in America, a most 
rigid discipline and subordination with their troops. The sol- 
diers at Cat Island rebelled and killed the commander. They 
attempted to escape to Carolina, but failed. The Choctaws 
brought them all back except one, who destroyed himself, 
rather than suffer a military execution. Two of the ringleaders 
were broken on the wheel, and one a Swiss after the manner 
of his country, was nailed in a wooden coffin and sawed in two, 
by two sergeants, with a whip-saw. 

These brave French officers, Artaguiette and Vincennes, 
together with the noble-hearted ecclesiastic, Senat, perished in 
the service of their country in the vigor of life and usefulness 
in the present County of Pontotoc, State of Mississippi. The 
lamented Vincennes has his name perpetuated by the ancient 
and respectable town of Vincennes on the Wabash River in 
Indiana. Vincennes bids fair to be as honorable on the list of 
cities, as its namesake was noble, courageous, and generous in 
the military service of his country. 


Bienville discovered that his military fame was clouded, and 
made, during the following year, another attempt to chastise 
the Chickasaws. 

In the year 1739, Bienville erected a fort, called St. Francis, 
at the river of the same name; and reached there with all the 
Louisiana militia, regulars, and a few companies of marines, 
with sixteen hundred Indians. 

La Buissoniere was appointed governor of Illinois and com- 
manded at Fort Chartres after the death of Artaguiette. He 
Avas ordered to meet the Southern army at Fort St. Francis. The 
governor, with his lieutenants, M. Celeron and M. St. Laurent, 
assembled their forces, which Avere two companies of white men, 
and some cadets from Canada, Avith three hundred Indians, and 
descended the river to Fort St. Francis. 

The army crossed over to the mouth of Margot Creek, and 
a fort, called Assumption, was built there. This fort was com- 
pleted about the middle of August, 1740, when the fever raged 
amongst the troops. Only two hundred men were able, with 
the negroes and Indians, to march against the enemy. This 
division of the army was commanded by M. Celeron, who made 
a patched up treaty Avith the enemy, which Bienville ratified, 
much to his discredit. 

Thus ended these tAvo campaigns against the Chickasaws, 
without doing much good to the country and at the loss of 
many valuable lives. 

Bienville was superceded by the Marquis de Vaudreuil, gov- 
ernor and commanding general of Louisiana. 

During these campaigns, the whole of the French colonies 
increased their numbers and their wealth. The Illinois and 
Wabash countries were much improved and enlarged. The 
commerce now had a free passage between the upper and lower 
Mississippi, and the Avhole valley Avas in a most thriving and 
prosperous condition. 

For ten years after the close of the ChickasaAV war, the val- 
ley of the Mississippi enjoyed a prosperous and happy peace. 

The Indians, throughout the whole length and breadth of 
the valley, Avere at peace with the French, and rendered them 
their Avhole traffic. Not an Englishman from the Atlantic col- 
onies, or otherwise, even to this date, 1740, put his foot on the 


shores of the Mississippi, except the vessel whose turn has 
given the name of the English Turn to a section of the River 
below New Orleans. The French had a quiet and peaceable 
possession of the valley, and occupied it by forts and settle- 
ments from Canada to New Orleans. 

The country enjoying these blessings, induced many persons 
of capital and enterprise to come and settle in it. 

In the fall of 1745, a destructive storm visited lower Louisi- 
ana, and destroyed almost all the crops. But the Illinois and 
Wabash settlements relieved them. Boats descended in the 
fall, and returned early in the spring. It is stated that four 
thousand sacks of flour were sent this fall to the lower Missis- 
sippi from Illinois alone. These sacks weighed 100 pounds 
each and were made of deer-skins. 

In the year 1751, La Buissoniere, who had administered the 
government in the Illinois country for several years, and had 
the command of Fort Chartres, was succeeded in the command 
by the Chevalier Makarty. On the 2Oth August, 1751, Makarty 
left New Orleans with a small military force, to take command 
in Illinois. Makarty remained in Illinois in command of Fort 
Chartres and the country until a short time before the British 
took possession of the country, by virtue of the treaty of Feb. 
10, 1763. At that time M. St. Ange de Belle Rive commanded. 

The British, waxing warmer and more hostile to the French 
occupying the valley of the Mississippi, made preparations to 
colonize the country on the Ohio River. About this time, the 
hostile feeling that never dies between the French and British, 
became stronger and more developed in the western country. 

The Indians throughout the Mississippi Valley were on 
friendly terms with the French, except, perhaps, some few 
bands of the Cherokees and Chickasaws. There were no 
Indian wars in Illinois, as was the case around the frontiers of 
the British colonies. 

By British excitement, the red skins but very seldom com- 
mitted depredations on the French. M. Paget with some 
negroes were killed in his water-mill, situated on the east side 
of the Kaskaskia River, where Mr. Riley's mill now stands, not 
far from the village. The head of Paget was cut off and thrown 
into the hopper of his mill. 


A Frenchman will yield to circumstances. He can adapt 
himself to a civilized or savage life. He is pliant and accom- 
modating, and is willing to permit another person to have some 
privilege of thinking for himself. 

An Englishman is the reverse of the above. He is unwilling 
to yield to almost unavoidable circumstances. He is far from 
being pliant or accommodating; and he is not willing to permit 
any one to have an opinion but himself. 

With these different characteristics, it is not strange that the 
French were on friendly terms with the natives, while the British 
were disliked by them. Moreover, the French made their set- 
tlements in villages, and did not occupy so much of the Indian 
country as the British colonists did. When a Frenchman was 
with the Indians, he became almost an Indian. He painted, 
dressed like them and frequently married with them. 

Under all these considerations, it was quite natural, that 
almost all the Indian population of the Mississippi Valley 
became warm and efficient allies of the French, in the war with 
Great Britain, which was declared a few years after. 

The British were determined to occupy a part, or all if they 
were able, of the western country. Governor Spottswood of 
Virginia, as early as the year 1710, made arrangements to 
secure part, at any raje, of the valley of the Mississippi, and at 
no period after that did that government cease making efforts 
to seize the country and expel the French. They 'bought part 
of the West of the Iroquois, and the treaties of cessions were 
confirmed at various periods, from the year 1684, down to the 
Lancaster treaty in 1744. 

Companies were organized by British authority to settle and 
occupy the West. The Ohio Company was established in the 
year 1748, and many others after that date, to secure the valley 
of the Ohio. 

The government of Canada were sensible of the efforts of 
the British to seize the West, and wrote to France on the loth 
May, 1744, that the consequences of the British establishing 
trading -houses amongst the western Indians would be injurious 
to the interests of the French colonies. In November, 1748, 
the governor of Canada superceded the British, by occupying 
Fort Prudhomme on the Yazoo; where LaSalle had first 
erected it. 


In the summer of 1749, he despatched Louis Celeron with a 
party of soldiers from Canada, to deposit lead plates in the 
mounds, and in conspicuous parts of the western country, to 
notify the British of the French right to the same; but it was 
disregarded by the voracious British. The storm was gather- 
ing and nothing could avert it but for the French to abandon 
their own country to their ancient enemy. 

The valley of the Oyo, as it was sometimes called, was 
doomed to experience a bloody war. 

Christopher Gist, the agent of the Ohio Company, made a 
tour thro' the West, in 1751, preparatory to the settlement of 
the country. The French, in opposition to this, repaired the 
forts, beginning at Presque Isle, and extending to New Orleans. 

In 1756, old Fort Chartres, the Gibraltar of the West, was 
repaired and rebuilt. 

In 1752, the French and their Indian allies destroyed a 
British trading-house and some families, and carried the traders 
to Canada. This house was situated at Pickawillany, or per- 
haps Piqua, in the present State of Ohio. In this battle, four- 
teen Indians, called the Twigtwees, in the British service, were 
killed, and- whose tribe, supposed to be the Miami Indians, 
never ceased reminding the British of the loss of their warriors, 
and to make reparation for the same. ^Pennsylvania made a 
present of 200 to this nation for the loss of their warriors. 

The British, in 1752, sent their commissioners to Logstown 
to treat with the Indians, right or wrong, for the benefit of the 
Ohio and other Companies. This town was situated on the 
north bank of the Ohio, 17 ^ miles below Pittsburgh. By 
means not the most honorable, a treaty confirming the former 
cessions was made, and thereby the British had an artificial 
foothold in the West. But, in fact, it was their interest, as they 
considered it, that made them so tenacious for the western 
country, and not for any just claim they had to it by treaty. 

The French were not idle. They prepared cannon and all 
the munitions of war in their power, from Canada to New 
Orleans, and had enlisted in the cause almost all the Indians 
of the waters of the Mississippi. But the British had still vastly 
the advantage, by the proximity of the hardy and energic war- 
riors of the British colonies a race that soon after conquered 
their freedom and independence from the same British. 


Robert Dinvviddie, governor of Virginia, being disposed to 
know the situation of the French, and their feelings in the West, 
sent George Washington, a lad of nineteen years of age, to 
Logstown on the Alleghany River, and north to Venango and 
the head of French Creek. Major Washington was in the West 
late in the fall of 1753, and returned over the mountains in the 
winter with Gist, his guide. 

On Washington's return, in January, 1754, he met seventeen 
horse-loads of materials, and some families, by autnority of the 
Ohio Company, going out to erect a fort at the confluence of 
the Alleghany and Monongahela Rivers Pittsburgh, at present. 
But as soon as Dinwiddie received the report of Washington, 
he ordered two companies to be raised; one by Washington, 
and the other by Trent, a backwoods-man. The last-named 
company was ordered to march forth to the forks of the Alle- 
ghany and Monongahela Rivers, and assist the Ohio Company 
to complete the fort, and to retain the same at all hazards. 
Trent had left the fort for supplies; and Ensign Ward in com- 
mand, on the 1 7th April, 1754, saw a sight that caused him to 
feel a little like Nebuchadnezzar felt, without the tremor. He 
saw descending the Alleghany River, sixty batteaux and three 
hundred canoes laden with men and cannon, under command 
of Contrecoeur, and was compelled to surrender to this French 
and Indian force, which is stated to be a round thousand. 

On the 28th May, 1754, Col. Washington, in command of a 
corps of Virginia militia, found a party of French soldiers on 
the west side of the mountains, not far from the Laurel Hill, 
under the command of M. Jumonville. Washington made an 
attack on them and killed ten with the commander. 

This skirmish was near Braddock's grave and wherein Wash- 
ington lost but one American and had only two wounded. M. 
Villiers, the brother of Jumonville, who was a military officer at 
Fort Chartres in Illinois, requested and obtained leave to attack 
Washington to avenge the assassination, as he alleged, of his 
brother. M. Villiers left Fort Chartres, ascended the Ohio 
River, gathering strength as he proceeded, and on the 3d of 
July, 1754, Washington surrendered the fort to him, called 
Fort Necessity. Washington had 70 men killed. Altho' these 
transactions occurred on the upper Ohio, they were at that day, 


nevertheless, directly connected with Illinois, and as such they 
are narrated here. 

During these years, 1750 and onward, while the war was 
being commenced on the western side of the Alleghany moun- 
tains, both the French settlements in Illinois and lower Louisi- 
ana were not only improving in population, but also in the sub- 
stantial articles of produce. Rice and indigo were the chief 
crops in Louisiana, and cotton was introduced into both Louisi- 
ana and Illinois about the year 1750. Tobacco was also culti- 
vated at Baton Rogue, Natches, and Illinois. 

It is stated that M. Dubreuil invented a cotton-gin, to pick 
the seeds from the cotton. The invention is not described ; but 
it is stated that the facility of picking the cotton by this inven- 
tion increased the culture of cotton in Louisiana. 

The invention of the cotton-gin is amongst the greatest efforts 
of human genius. It has become old and common since Whit- 
ney's invention; so that it is now looked upon as an invention 
almost growing with the cotton. There have been so many 
other discoveries and improvements made since Whitney's day, 
that his great invention is not regarded as it should be. 

I well remember the trouble to extricate the seeds from the 
cotton before the cotton-gin was in use. Cotton was then worth 
little or nothing; now it clothes millions and millions of people. 
Whitney deserves to be ranked with the greatest and best bene- 
factors of mankind. 

At this time the whole coast toward the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi was in a state of tolerable cultivation, and mostly protected 
by levees on the banks. 

The Jesuits, in 1751, introduced into Louisiana the sugar- 
cane for cultivation. They imported a quantity of cane from 
St. Domingo. M. Dubreuil, I presume, the cotton inventor, a 
man of capital and enterprise, in 1758, opened a sugar planta- 
tion on a large scale. He erected the first sugar-mill in Louisi- 
ana. His plantation occupied the lower part of New Orleans, 
known as the "suburb of St. Marigny." 

This year, 1752, another Chickasaw war commenced, and ter- 
minated almost similar to the other wars against that tribe of 
Indians. The Marquis deVaudreuil, governor of Louisiana, with 
seven hundred regular soldiers and Indians almost without 


stint, commenced the march. The route of invasion was up the 
Tombigbee; the same that Bienville pursued in 1736. He had 
cannon and munitions of war in abundance; but failed. He 
left a strong garrison in the heart of the Chickasaw country. 

I do not see that any Illinois troops were engaged in this 
campaign. I presume the British on the upper Ohio occupied 
the attention of the people of Illinois too much for any of the 
military to be spared South. 

Contrecceur, the French commander, fortified the forks of 
the Alleghany and Monongahela Rivers, and called it Fort 
Duquesne, in honor of the governor of Canada. This fort 
occupied a conspicuous situation even in the year x i754, as the 
City of Pittsburgh does at the present time. 

About this time, the Marquis de Vaudreuil was transferred to 
the government of New France or Canada, and M. Kerlerec, a 
captain in the navy, was appointed governor of Louisiana. 

Efforts were made to work the mines of lead and copper in 
Illinois, and miners were sent from Paris for this purpose. 

As the war was raging between Great Britain and France, 
and as the quarrel arose about the western country, Great Brit- 
ain sent to America a large army to invade the West. 

General Braddock landed from England in 1755, at Alexan- 
dria, Virginia, with '1000 regulars, and, April 20, with about 
2000 men, regulars and provincials, proceeded west to capture 
Fort Duquesne. Braddock was defeated and killed, and a great 
portion of his army destroyed by the French and Indians. In 
consequence of this signal overthrow of this great British army, 
the valley of the Mississippi remained quiet for two years. 

In 1758, another British army was organized under Gen. 
Forbes, and at whose approach near Duquesne, Contrecoeur 
and his forces burnt the fort and descended the river to Illinois 
and Louisiana. 

Altho' the war raged in Canada and south of the lakes, yet 
Illinois remained as quiet and as peaceable as if none existed. 

From the hostility of the French and Indians to Great Brit- 
ain, no Briton ever saw the upper Mississippi, until the treaty of 
Paris, Feb. 10, 1763, ceded all New France to Great Britain. The 
first Britons who visited the country, were the military detach- 
ment under the command of Capt. Sterling, of the Royal High- 


landers, to take possession of the country, in the year 1765, two 
years after the treaty of cession. 

This is the strongest evidence of the hatred entertained by 
the French and Indians against the British, that no Briton 
ever saw the Mississippi before the year 1765, altho' it was 
inhabited by the French from the year 1686 always excepting 
the English Turn, below New Orleans. 

The French settlements in Illinois were at the greatest pros- 
perity at the close of the war, in 1763, and ever since, to this 
day, the French inhabitants have been declining in Illinois. It 
is stated that Old Kaskaskia, the Paris of Illinois, in 1763, 
contained two or three thousand inhabitants, and was a place 
of business, wealth, and fashion. The Jesuits had a college 
there, and all other ecclesiastical concerns, suited to the wealth 
and population of the country. The commerce to New Orleans 
was regular and profitable. A great portion of the Illinois 
Egypt, the American Bottom, was in a state of profitable culti- 
vation. Wheat, tobacco, and various other crops were raised, 
not only for consumption but for exportation. But over this 
happy prosperity a sad cloud of misfortune extended. The 
British, whom they so bitterly hated, and for good cause, cap- 
tured the country by force of arms, from these innocent and 
inoffending people. 

The inhabitants of Illinois saw how the British treated the 
Acadians, in the year 1755. At the treaty of Aix la Chappelle, 
Acadia was ceded to Great Britain, but retained in it some 
French inhabitants. The British were fearful that these Acadi- 
ans, would join their countrymen the French of Canada in 
the war. This was "the front of their offending." The Navy 
of Great Britain was ordered to kidnap these unoffending 
people, and drag them from their own country. Their personal 
property was destroyed, and themselves landed on the shores 
of the colonies, without friends or means of support. The 
public odium of a cold-blooded murder would be a measure of 
too atrocious a character for even the British government to 
bear; but they did perform acts of atrocity to the Acadian 
people, in the dark, that were equally criminal. 

These poor people, destitute of everything, even the support 
of life, until relieved by their countrymen of the West, wan- 


dered over the States, "not knowing where to lay their heads;" 
and at last crossed the Alleghany mountains, in the yedr 1755. 
Boats were provided for them on the Ohio, and they reached 
the open arms and hearts of their friends in New Orleans. 

In the annals of history such an act of outrage and atrocity 
scarcely can be found. It is of the same character as the British 
government offering, and giving gold for the scalps of women 
and children in our Revolutionary War. These Acadians were 
helpless. The British government had them under her pro- 
tection, and by having the power, and these people being 
French, they committed this crime which would make a Turk 
blush. And yet we hear some in the United States talking 
favorably of the "fatherland." God preserve me from such a 

These Acadians settled on the banks of the Mississippi, which 
has given to that part of the river the name of the Acadian 
Coast, to this day. Their descendants are there yet, and are 
respectable citizens. It will be seen in the next chapter, that 
one-third left the country, on account of their hatred to the 

Cahokia, at the session in 1763, was also a respectable village, 
as to population and improvements. As has been stated, a 
large tract of country was under cultivation, which yielded them 
much for exportation, besides an ample supply for home con- 

The village of Prairie du Pont was settled by emigrants from 
the other French villages, in the year 1760, and was a prosper- 
ous settlement. They had their common field and commons, 
which were confirmed to them by the government of the United 
States. This village is situated about one mile south of Caho- 
kia, and extended south from the creek of the same name, for 
some distance. It is a kind of suburb to Cahokia. The arpent 
lands of this common field extended from the bluff to the Mis- 
sissippi, with a few exceptions, and were three or four miles in 
width. It is stated that this village, in the year 1765, contained 
fourteen families. 

The custom amongst the inhabitants of the Illinois villages, 
in regard to making and keeping in repair, the fence of this 
common field was, that each proprietor of land should make 


and keep in repair the fence passing over his land. And if a 
tract of land was abandoned by its owner, as was the case some- 
times, the land was sold out at the church-door to any one who 
would make the fence to enclose it. This system was based on 
the principle that each land proprietor should make the fence in 
proportion to his land. 

These early French had many customs in relation to the com- 
mon fields that were just and equitable. There was a time 
fixed, that all should have their crops gathered. After that the 
fence was not attended to; and the same in the spring, to repair 
the fence and keep the stock out of the field. 

The French, in those days, mostly sowed spring wheat; so 
that the wheat crop was preserved in the spring, which was the 
object of being rigid in repairing the fences. Sometimes wheat 
was sowed late in the fall, and the cattle did not much injure it 
during the winter. 

Indian corn was -not so much cultivated as wheat, or used by 
the inhabitants. A species of Indian or hominy corn was raised 
for the voyagers, which was an article of commerce. The early 
French did not use Indian corn-meal for bread to any great 
extent. They raised some corn for stock, and to fatten hogs. 
The corn they cultivated was of the flinty, hard grain, and 
ripened early in the fall. 

Their farming implements were neither well made or of the 
proper kind. The old plow used by the French would be a 
curiosity at this day. It had not much iron about it. A small 
piece of iron was on the front part, covering the wood, which in 
some manner resembled our Gary plows of the present day. 
They had no coulter, and had a large wooden mould-board. 
The handles were short and almost perpendicular; the beam 
was nearly straight, and rested on an axle supported by two 
small wheels; the wheels were low, and the beam was so fixed, 
on the axle, with a chain, or rope of raw hide, that the plow 
could be placed deep or shallow in the ground. The wheel 
made the plow unsteady. 

The French settlers seldom plowed with horses; but used 
oxen. It is the custom of the French everywhere, to yoke oxen 
by the horns, and not by the neck. Oxen can draw as much 
by the horns as by the neck, but it looks more savage. 


Sometimes the French worked oxen in carts, but mostly used 
horses. I presume that a wagon was not seen in Illinois for 
nearly one hundred years after its first settlement. A French 
cart, as well as a plow, was rather a curiosity. It was con- 
structed without an atom of iron. When the Americans came 
to the country, they called these carts "barefooted carts," 
because they had no iron on the wheels. 

In a country where there was no rocks to travel over, these 
carts answered a valuable purpose. They were mostly used for 
farming business. The ox-yoke was almost a straight stick of 
wood, cut at the ends to fit the horns of the ox, and was tied to 
the horns with a strap of raw hide. 

The primitive French had no tanned leather for any purpose 
whatever. They made harness out of raw hide, which was 
strong but rough. They had the traces for their horses plaited 
of small strands of raw hide, so that they were round and neat. 
These traces were very strong, and such are used to this day in 

The French houses were generally one story high, and made 
of wood. Some few were built of stone. There was not a 
brick house in the country for one hundred or more years from 
the first settlement. These houses were formed of large posts 
or timbers; the posts being set three or four feet apart 'in many 
of them. In others the posts were closer together, and the 
intervals filled up with mortar made of common clay and cut 
straw. The mortar filled up the cracks, so that the wall was 
even and regular. Over the whole wall, outside and inside, it 
was generally whitewashed with fine white lime, so that these 
houses presented a clean, neat appearance. The other class of 
houses having the posts farther apart, the spaces were filled up 
with puncheons. The posts were guttered for the puncheons to 
fit in. These houses were used for stables, barns, etc., etc. 
Some dwelling-houses and the stables and barns were made of 
longer posts set in the ground, instead of a sill as was used in 
the other houses. These posts were of cedar or other durable 
wood. The small houses attached to the residence were gen- 
erally set with the posts in the ground. The covering of the 
houses, stables, etc., was generally of straw, or long grass cut in 
the prairie. These thatched roofs looked well, and lasted longer 


than shingles. They were made steep and neat. All the 
houses, almost, had galleries all around them. The posts of 
the gallery were generally of cedar or mulberry. 

The floors of the galleries, as well as the floors of the houses, 
were made of puncheons, as sawed boards were scarce. The 
roofs of the dwelling house were uniform and peculiar. They 
were made of rafters and lath for sheeting. These roofs had no 
gable ends perpendicular, but were shingled on the ends as well 
as the sides. The ends sloped considerably toward the centre 
of the building, so that the shingles would lie on the lath. No 
nails were used to fasten the shingles to the lath. Holes were 
bored in the shingles and pegs put in them. With these pegs 
the shingles were hung on the lath, and the holes and pegs cov- 
ered so completely that no one would know at a distance that 
the shingles were not nailed on. The outside course of shingles 
was generally nailed, and then one course bound another, until 
the whole roof was solid and good; never leaking one drop. 
The shingles were generally made of white oak, and lasted for 
many years. On the comb of the roof a cross of wood was 
often placed, that also lasted a long time. 

The doors were plain batton work, out of walnut mostly. 
The windows had generally some glass in them, and the sash 
opened and shut on hinges, as the French fashion is generally. 
The houses were mostly raised from the earth a foot or two by 
a stone wall. The French, in these their happy days, had neat, 
clean wells, nicely walled with rock; and a windlass fixed to 
them, so that water was convenient and clean. 

The French villages were laid out by common consent on the 
same plan or system. The blocks were about three hundred 
feet square, and each block contained four lots. The streets 
were rather narrow, but always at right angles. Lots in ancient 
times were enclosed by cedar posts or pickets, planted about 
two feet in the ground and about five feet above. These pickets 
were placed touching each other, so that a tight and safe fence 
was made around each proprietor's lot. The upper ends of the 
pickets were sharpened, so it was rather difficult to get over the 
fence. A neat gate was generally made in the fence, opposite 
to the door of the house, and the whole concern was generally 
kept clean and neat; so that their residences had the air of 
cleanliness and comfort. 


The costume of the French was like all other matters apper- 
taining to them, of that day, singular and peculiar. It seems 
the masses of the French, in France as well as Illinois, have a 
strong predeliction for the blue color. Blue handkerchiefs were 
generally worn on the head by both male and female. It was 
tastfully tied on the head, and seemed rather to become the 
male in place of a hat. 

Hats in olden times were very little used. The capot made 
of white blanket, was the universal dress for the laboring class . 
of people. A kind of cap was attached behind at the cape, 
which in cold weather was raised over the head, in the house, 
or in good weather, was permitted to rest on the shoulders like 
an ordinary cape. Coarse blue stuff the working men used for 
pantaloons .in summer, and buckskin, or cloth in the winter. 
The females did not labor so hard as the males, and, therefore, 
dressed neater and better than the male part of community. 

The French generally, and the females of that nation partic- 
ularly, caught up the French fashions from New Orleans and 
Paris, and with a singular avidity adopted them to the full 
extent of their means and talents. The females generally, and 
the males a good deal, wore the deer-skin moccasons. A nicely 
made moccason, for a female in the house, is both neat and ser- 
viceable. ' 

The men out of doors wore a coarser and stronger article 
made out of thicker leather, which the Americans call "shoe 
packs." But both sexes were always provided with something 
tasty and neat for the church and ballroom. In these places 
the French took great pleasure. I do not believe there was a 
more devout people than the primitive French. With senti- 
ments of true piety it afforded them the utmost happiness to 
attend the church and perform their devotions. After their 
religious duties were performed, recreation and amusement of 
an innocent and harmless character were indulged in, on perhaps 
the afternoon of the same day they attended church. 

But it was in the ballroom where these merry and innocent 
people enjoyed themselves. Dull care was entirely cast aside 
for the pleasures of the dance. It is astonishing the excitement 
and animation that is experienced in a French ballroom. The 
old and young, the rich and poor, all meet together in good 


feeling, and mingle together with hearts overflowing with the 
ecstasies of merriment. 

The ancient innocent custom was for the young men about 
the last of the year to disguise themselves in old clothes, as 
beggars, and go around the village in the several houses, where 
they knew they would be well received. They enter the houses 
dancing what they call the Gionie, which is a friendly request 
for them to meet and have a ball to dance away the old year. 

The people, young and old, met each one carrying along 
some refreshment, and then they do, in good earnest, dance 
away the old year. 

About the 6th of January, in each year, which is called le 
Jour de Rats, a party is given, and four beans are baked in a 
large cake; this cake is distributed amongst the gentlemen, 
and each one who receives a bean, is proclaimed king. These 
four kings are to give the next ball. These are called "king 
balls." These kings select each one a queen; and make her a 
suitable present. They arrange all things -necessary for the 
dancing party. 

In these merry parties, no set supper is indulged in. They 
go there not to eat, but to be and make merry. They have 
refreshments of cake and coffee served round at proper intervals. 
Sometimes bouillon, as the French call it, takes the place of 
coffee. Toward the close of the party, the old queens select 
each one a new king, and kisses him to qualify him into office ; 
then each new king chooses his new queen, and goes thro' the 
ceremony as before. In this manner the king balls are kept up 
all the carnaval. 

In the ballroom much order and decorum are observed. Two 
aged discreet persons are chosen, who are called provosts; one 
to select the ladies for the dance, and the other for the gentle- 
men, so that each one dances in proper turn. It is in this man- 
ner that these innocent and merry people spend much of their 
nights in the winter. The old people regulate all; the time to 
retire and the time to meet again. By this regulation, much of 
the excesses of dancing parties are avoided. The young people 
are not so capable to judge in these matters as the old. 

The French, in the early settlement of the country, turned 
their attention to the Indian trade, and to hunting, in a great 


measure, for their support. Game was then plenty. Buffalo 
and other wild animals were found in the prairies between Kas- 
kaskia and Vincennes, that served to supply the inhabitants 
with animal food. The Indians called the Kaskaskia Raccoon 
River, for the number of those animals living on it. A great 
many of the inhabitants were expert voyagers and hunters. 
These hunters and voyagers were a hardy and energetic race of 
men. No hardships or perils terrified them; and this laborious 
and difficult service was performed with pleasure, and frequently 
with songs. Often these innocent and kind-hearted men per- 
formed this labor with scanty allowance of food, and at times 
without anything, for days together, to eat. 

These people solved the problem : that an honest and virtuous 
people need no government. Nothing like a regular court of 
law ever existed in the country prior to the British occupation 
of Illinois, in the year 1765. 

The governor and commandants of posts, together with the 
advice of the priests, regulated the police of the country, and 
gave friendly council, which either settled controversies, or pre- 
vented them arising. 

The customs of Paris, or more properly, the laws of France, 
were recognized, and governed in descents of property, and all 
other things. These people never paid any taxes, and, I think, 
worked on the public roads very little or none. It is true, they 
were organized into military companies, and mustered. They 
had militia officers in each village, who, it seems, were comman- 
dants in other matters as well as military. 

Keeping up a military organization was natural with the 
French ; and their extreme exposed situation was also another 
reason. They had three wars with Great Britain during their 
occupation of Illinois, and the British were endeavoring all the 
time to poison the Indians against them; so that the military 
services were punctually rendered to the country. 

On the roth February, 1763, a treaty of cession of New 
France, except a small portion of Louisiana, was made between 
Great Britain and France, and thereby the Illinois country 
passed to the government of Great Britain. 


Illinois under the British Government. 

ILLINOIS was so remote, and so small a settlement, that the 
British did not take possession of it until Capt. Stirling, of the 
Royal Highlanders, as has been already stated, arrived at Fort 
Chartres, in the year 1765, and took possession of the country. 

M. Saint Ange de Belle Rive was then commandant at Fort 
Chartres, and governor of Illinois. Saint Ange retired to St. 
Louis on the arrival of Capt. Stirling. 

It is stated that all the population of Illinois, black and white, 
before the cession, did not exceed three thousand souls, and 
one-third left it at, and on account of, the cession. Writers say 
not more than two thousand French, British, and Negroes, 
remained in the country after the British took possession of it. 

The mission of St. Sulpice had a fine plantation near Caho- 
kia, in Prairie du Pont, in the year 1764, and a very good mill 
for corn and planks. They sold their plantation and mill to a 
Frenchman, M. Gerardine, who remained under the British gov- 
ernment; and they returned to France. 

Capt. Stirling brought with him the proclamation of Gen. 
Gage, who was commander-in-chief of all the British forces in 
North America. This proclamation was dated at New York, 
3Oth Dec., 1764, and was a kind of constitution for the govern- 
ment of Illinois. It granted the right of worship to the Catho- 
lics and many other salutary regulations. 

Capt. Stirling died a short time after he arrived in Illinois, 
and was succeeded first by Major Frazier, and next by Col. 
Reed the latter became notorious for his military oppressions. 
These all gave place to Col. Wilkins, who arrived at Kaskaskia 
on the 5th Sept., 1768. 

Col. Wilkins issued a proclamation authorized by Gen. Gage, 
to establish a court of justice. Col. Wilkins appointed seven 
judges, who held the first court at Fort Chartres, 6th Dec., 1768. 
This was the first court of common -law jurisdiction established 



in the Mississippi Valley. Courts were held once each month- 

Pontiac, perhaps one of the greatest Indian chiefs that ever 
existed in North America, was killed in Cahokia, in the year 
1765, by a Peoria Indian. This great man was dreaded by the 
British, who employed an Indian to assassinate him. This 
nation feared the great Napoleon. She did not assassinate him 
in open day, but confined him on the sickly island of St. Helena, 
so that he dragged out some years of existence, in mental ago- 
nies worse than death. 

Pontiac was a chief of the Ottawa nation and raised near 
Detroit. He had in his veins French blood, and was imbued 
and trained with the mos Ideadly hostility to the British. He 
declared before the "Great Spirit the Master of Life," eternal 
hostility to the British, like Hannibal did against the Romans. 
Both he and Hannibal were fighting in the most holy cause 
the defence of their countries and both were sacrificed, and 
their respective countries wrested from them by their merciless 

After the French ceded the country to the British, and they 
making preparations to garrison and occupy it from the Missis- 
sippi to the Arleghany Mountains, Pontiac saw at once that the 
Indians must either defend their country or entirely lose it. 
They knew the mode of the British was different from, the 
French, in colonizing the country. The British drove the 
natives from their homes, while the French lived in peace with 

Pontiac (sometimes pronounced Pondiac), whose soul, like 
that of Patrick Henry, was fired with true patriotism, conceived 
the grand design to unite all the Indians in one league, from 
the Carolinas in the south to the northern lakes, and from the 
Mississippi in the west to the Alleghany Mountains, against 
the British. This was the greatest and most efficient combina- 
tion of Indians ever made on the continent; and it was not an 
idle scheme, conceived in the brain and never executed, but in 
fact, it was executed to the destruction of many British forts, 
and to the loss of many lives. 

Pontiac saw and advised his brethren to a sense of their com- 
mon danger. He visited, in a short time, all the tribes within 
the above limits, containing at this day eight or ten millions of 


Americans. He settled and quieted, for the common cause, all 
the old feuds and differences amongst the various nations, from 
the north to the south, and from the east to the west. He 
appealed to the passions of the warriors, and stated to them 
that the French king had authorized him to drive the British 
out of the country. That the Great Spirit also decided that the 
Indians should destroy the British enemy. The will of the 
"Master of Life" was given to a Delaware chief in a dream. 
The Great Spirit said: "Why do you suffer these dogs in red 
coats, to enter your country, and take the lands I have given ta 
you? Drive them from it. Drive them and when you are in 
trouble I will help you." 

Pontiac had acquired, by his military powers and wise coun- 
cils with his brethren, a standing amongst the Indians, that 
Tecumseh, or perhaps any other Indian warrior, never pos- 
sessed. He had been the master-spirit amongst the Indians, 
in their wars with the French, against the British, from the 
Acadian war, in 1747, to the year 1763, when this extraordinary 
Indian effort was made to force their enemy out of the country. 
He was a conspicuous Indian leader in the defence of Fort 
Duquesne, and in the memorable defeat of Braddock, in the 
year 1755. He had acquired, and richly deserved, the name of 
emperor, amongst the Indian nations. 

The plan of attack was for the Indians to rise and take all 
the British forts in the West, on the same day, and this was 
kept a profound secret, except in one instance, where a squaw 
divulged it. 

This Indian Bonaparte was well acquainted with the country, 
as well as with the Indian character. He also knew all the 
leading warriors amongst the various tribes, and with this 
knowledge he made out the plan of attack of each fort, and 
the warriors and tribes that should execute it. All these 
things were done by the force of genius, without education, 
and even without writing. The forts were numerous, and lay 
at a distance from each other. All, except Fort Niagara, were 
to be captured on the same day some by open attack, and 
others by stratagem. Fort Niagara was considered by the 
Indians too strong for their means of attack. The forts, trad- 
ing-posts, and settlements, which were to be destroyed, were 


Detroit, Mackinac, Green Bay, St. Joseph, Ouiatenon or Weas 
town on the Wabash, Miami, Sandusky, Presque Isle, Le Bceuf 
Venango, Ligonier, Pitt, Bedford, and Cumberland. All these 
forts perished under the hand of Pontiac except three. 

When Major Rogers was marching his military forces to take 
possession of Detroit and Mackinac, by orders of Gen. Am- 
herst, in the year 1760, and when the detachment entered the 
territory of Pontiac, he sent messengers to inform Maj. Rogers 
that their chief, Pontiac, was master of that country, and that 
no armed warriors of any nation, should pass thro', or settle in 
it, without his permission. 

Pontiac knew he was not prepared at that time to contend 
in battle with the British, and made a treaty with Maj. Rogers, 
merely to deceive him, and to gain time to prepare for the gen- 
eral destruction of the British forts and settlements. 

It required much sagacity, talents, and courage to plan the 
attacks against these forts, and to capture them. It must be 
recollected that the Indians had no cannon, and if they had, 
they had not science to use them. They had no provisions to 
sustain an army, more than they could obtain from the game 
in the forest. The leaders had no power by government over 
the warriors, to enforce order or obedience, longer or different, 
than the parties pleased. The various tribes and the forts and 
settlements to be destroyed were a great distance apart. To 
plan this organization and to execute it showed extraordinary 
talents. Under the circumstances, so adverse and so appalling 
to ordinary minds, for Pontiac to accomplish all, as he did, 
raises him high in the temple of fame; as one of the greatest 
men that lived in any age or any country. If he had a Homer 
to sing his battles, his name would be transmitted to posterity 
with as much honor and glory as any of the Greek heroes. 
The Greeks fought to conquer Pontiac to defend his country. 

Stratagem was frequently resorted to by Pontiac, in order to 
obtain possession of the commanders of the forts, and then 
destroy the soldiers and inhabitants. At Miami, on the Mau- 
mee River, a squaw enticed the captain of the fort off two hun- 
dred yards to a man dying, as she represented. Thereby the 
captain was led into an Indian ambuscade and killed. The 
rest of the garrison all perished under the tomahawk of the 


A British trader, Alexander Henry, was present at the 
massacre of the whole fort at Mackinac, and relates a most 
horrid scene of this butchery, where seventy persons were slain 
and scalped. 

The Indians acted with great cunning and sagacity in get- 
ting possession of this fort. It was a strong and important gar- 
rison. It was in the heart of the Indian country, and was much 
dreaded by them. It was provided with cannon, and impreg- 
nable to an Indian enemy without sagacious management. 

The Indians pretended a great game of ball, called bagga- 
toiua, to celebrate the birthday of the British king. They bet 
high and played with great excitement; so that many of the 
soldiers and officers of the garrison were out of the fort to look 
on, as the game commenced on a beautiful plain outside of the 
fort; but in the excitement of the game, the ball, as if by acci- 
dent, was thrown over the walls of the fort, and vast crowds of 
Indians entered it in search of the ball. They had weapons 
concealed, and the garrison was destroyed. The French were 
spared. About four hundred warriors were engaged in this 

The posts of Mackinac, St. Joseph, and Presque Isle were 
captured with the general slaughter of the garrisons. Presque 
Isle held out for two days, and at last was taken and destroyed. 

A squaw divulged the plan to capture Detroit, which put 
Maj. Gladwyn the commander on his guard. This post being 
the most important; containing vast stores of Indian goods, 
Pontiac in person conducted the operations against it. 

His plan was to gain the interior of the fort in friendship, 
and then kill all within. He pretended to the commander of 
the fort that the Indians desired to "take their new father, the 
King of England, by the hand." And that a council was to be 
held the next morning, but during the night the squaw apprised 
Gladwyn of the scheme. 

The commandant had his garrison prepared and well armed 
to receive Pontiac and his red warriors, the next morning. 

Pontiac, when he entered the fort, enquired "why all this 
military display;" the commander answered "it was to keep 
his young men from being idle." About this time, Gladwyn 
raised the blanket of Pontiac and saw he was armed with a 


short gun. The Indians had provided themselves with short 
guns and concealed them under their blankets. 

The officer ordered them out of the garrison, and on the 
Indians retiring they yelled and fired their guns, but to no 
effect. They murdered several persons outside the fort, and 
besieged the garrison for several months, until it was relieved 
from Montreal. The fort contained 122 men. 

Fort Pitt was attacked, and besieged for a long time, until 
Bouquet with 300 men gave them relief. The posts of Detroit, 
Niagara, and Pitt were successfully defended, and retained by 
the whites, but the balance fell into the hands of the savages. 
At the fall of these forts the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Vir- 
ginia were forced back over the mountains, the Virginians over 
the Blue Ridge. More than twenty thousand in Virginia fell 
back on the old settlement. Horrid massacres were the com- 
mon practices on the frontiers from Carolina to Montreal. 
The Indians remained active in the war during the summer of 
1763, until fall, when the savages were compelled to retire for 
the want of provisions. ' 

Pontiac, failing to take all the forts, was discontented and 
desponding. Me retired to the far West. The British, knowing 
his power amongst the Indians, bribed a savage to murder him 
in the streets of Cahokia. Thus fell one of the greatest men 
nature ever formed. His dust is now reposing in peace, near 
the old and deserted village of Cahokia, "but yesterday the 
word of Caesar might have stood against the world; now he 
lies there, and none so poor as to do him reverence." The 
northern Indians held Pontiac in the greatest estimation. 
They knew their loss was irreparable. The murder of Pontiac 
so enraged them, that they almost exterminated the whole 
Illinois Indians, whose tribe participated in this horrid murder 
of their friend and protector, the great Pontiac. 

In the year 1765, Col. George Croghan, a commissioner, was 
sent out West to conciliate the Indians, after the cession of the 
country to the British. He descended the Ohio River, and 
was at the falls of the Ohio on the ist June, 1765. The party 
came to the mouth of the Wabash, where they discovered some 
Indian fortifications. They still descended to an old Shawnee 
village, the same that retains the name of Shawneeto\vn, in 


Gallatin County, on the north bank of the Ohio Riyer. Col. 
Croghan and party remained there six days, making friendly 
arrangements with the Wabash Indians. 

On the 8th of June, they were attacked by eighty warriors, 
mostly of the Kickapoo and Mascouten tribes, and many of the 
whites were killed and more wounded; and all made prisoners. 

The party from this point went to Vincennes, by land, where 
they found eighty or ninety French families. From the Shaw- 
nee village, Col. Croghan sent messengers to Lord Frazier, who 
had been sent to Fort Chartres; and also dispatches were for- 
warded to Saint Ange at the same fort. After remaining at 
Vincennes several days, Col. Croghan went up the Wabash 210 
miles, to Ouiatenon, the Weas Town, as the Americans called 
it, and on by the Miami post to Detroit, where they arrived on 
the 17th August. At Ouiatenon there were fourteen families 
and at Detroit about eighty houses of all sorts. 

On the 27th February, 1764, Major Loftus, a British officer, 
who was stationed at Bayou Manchac, on the Mississippi, was 
despatched with 400 men to Fort Chartres, to take possession 
of the fort and country in the name of his government. But 
as he ascended the Mississippi, at a place now known as Loftus 
Heights, or Fort Adams, the Tunaca Indians killed many of 
his party; so that the balance returned down the river. 

The defeat of Loftus and party delayed the British from the 
occupation of the country until Capt. Stirling assumed the com- 
mand from the benevolent Saint Ange. A short time after 
Capt. Stirling took possession of the country, he died, and 
Saint Ange considered it his duty to return from St. Louis to 
Fort Chartres, and take command, as he had under the French 

It is stated that the first Anglo-American settlement that 
was made on the Mississippi, was in the year 1764, by Ameri- 
cans from Roanoak, North Carolina. They settled on the 
highland north of Iberville Bayou, and thence northwardly 
toward Baton Rouge. 

The remoteness of Illinois from the British colonies the 
hatred of the French and Indians to the Long -Knives and the 
Bostonians, and weakness of the settlement; that very few 
Americans or British, visited the country during the govern- 


ment of the British. Scarcely another man was seen of the 
British, except the British troops, in any part of Illinois, until 
the Americans under Col. Clark took it in 1778. 

The British, in the year 1769, erected, on the Wabash River, 
a fort, which was called Sackville. This fort was a short dis- 
tance below Vincennes, and was a regular stockade fort, with 
bastions, and a few pieces of cannon, under the command of 
an officer and soldiers. 

In 1756, as has already been stated, Fort Chartres was 
repaired and improved, by the French, to guard the country 
against the invasion of the British. It was believed that this 
fort was the most "convenient and best in North America." 
In this year (1756), it stood half a mile from the bank of the 
river. In 1766 it was only eighty yards. The bank of the river 
next it was continually wearing away. In the year 1770, the 
river made further encroachments, and in 1772, the river inun- 
dated the American Bottom, and washed away one of the side 
walls of the fort. 

At this time, the British garrison abandoned it, and moved 
the seat of government to Kaskaskia. Fort Chartres has never 
been occupied since. It is stated in 1820, that "at the south- 
east angle there is a gate, and the wall is perfect. It is about 
fifteen feet high, and three feet thick. There is also a large 
gate eighteen feet wide." 

After the year 1772, the British garrison occupied Fort Gage, 
which stood on the Kaskaskia River bluffs opposite the village; 
this fort continued the headquarters of the British while they 
possessed the country. 

Fort Gage was built of large square timbers, and was an 
oblong, measuring 290 by 251 feet. 

There were in this fort, in the year 1772, an officer and twenty 
soldiers. In the village of Kaskaskia, there were two French 
companies organized, and in good discipline, ready to march 
at a moment's warning. 

At the time the British troops came to take possession of 
Fort Chartres, two young officers, one French and the other 
British, had a misunderstanding at the fort. This quarrel arose, 
as did the war of the Greeks against the Trojans, on account 
of a lady. These officers fought with small swords, early on a 


Sunday morning, near the fort, and in this combat one was 
killed. The other left the fort, and descended the river. I 
was informed of the above duel nearly fifty years ago, by a 
very aged Frenchman. He informed me of the details, and 
said, he was present and saw the combat. This duel was, no 
doubt, the first fought in Illinois. That barbarous, anti-chris- 
tian mode of settling controversies has never been much prac- 
tised in this country. Public opinion, which is the certain cor- 
rector, has been always strong against it. And the last Con- 
stitution of Illinois, eminating from an enlighted public opinion, 
has placed a positive veto against the practice forever. 

When the British took possession of Illinois, many of the 
first inhabitants, as was before stated, emigrated to Louisiana, 
which was nothing more than to cross the Mississippi. 

On the 3d Nov., 1762, France made a secret treaty with 
Spain, by which Louisiana was ceded to Spain; but it was not 
made known before April 21, 1764. About this time, and 
before the treaty was known, the villages of St. Louis and Ste. 
Genevieve made their appearance on the west side of the Mis- 

The French are always celebrated for giving persons and 
places nicknames suitable to the occasion. St. Louis was called 
Pain Court Short Bread; Carondelet, Vide Pouche Empty 
Pocket; Ste. Genevieve, Missier Misery. These names were 
the only ones for many years by which these places were known 
and called. It was not until after the cession of Louisiana to 
the United States, in 1803, that St. Louis, in common parlance 
was known by any other name than Pain Court. The same of 
Ste. Genevieve; and it was not long since that Vide Poiichc 
lost its cognomen, and assumed its present city-name of Car- 
ondelet. St. Charles, in Missouri, was known as Petite Cote. 

In the year 1766, a plantation of the Jesuits, near Old Kas- 
kaskia, containing two hundred and forty arpents of cultivated 
land, a very good stock of cattle, and a brewery, was sold by 
the French government to Monsieur Beauvois. This property 
was taken by the French government when the order of 
Jesuits was suppressed. Monsieur Beauvois was a wealthy cit- 
izen of that day. He had eighty slaves and furnished eighty- 
six thousand pounds of flour to the king's store; and this was 
not near all his harvest of one year. 



Illinois under the Government of Virginia. 

THE first part of the American Revolution was not much 
perceived in Illinois. The country was so remote from the 
Atlantic States, and peaceably yielding to British authority, 
that nothing transpired in Illinois during the first years of the 
Revolution that can be interesting to narrate. The inhabitants 
continued in their usual avocations, during the first years of 
the struggle. But, in the year 1778, Illinois was visited by a 
small army of the most valiant and courageous heroes that, per- 
haps, ever invaded and captured any country. 

I do not believe that history presents a parallel of such extra- 
ordinary invasion and conquest of a country, of such vast 
extent and importance, as was the result of Col. Clark's expe- 
dition into Illinois, in the year 1778. This invasion was con- 
ducted to an honorable and successful termination, without the 
loss of lives, and almost without means or men. 

George Rogers Clark was born in the Old Dominion, Albe- 
marle County, iQth Nov., 1752. In his youth, like Washington, 
he was employed in surveying land. 

Col. Clark was in the West, on the upper Ohio, in the year 
1773, and was in the neighborhood of the murder of Logan's 
family in 1774, but not concerned in that bloody transaction. 
He was a staff- officer in Governor Dunmore's war with the 
Indians, in the campaign to the Scioto, and reached Kentucky 
in the next year 1775. 

From the year 1774, and after the murder of Logan's family, 
a murderous Indian war raged throughout all the West. This 
war extended from the western frontiers of Georgia to Canada. 
It was not alone the massacre of Logan's family that caused 
the war. It mainly was attributable to British influence, 
together with the encroachments of the Americans, on the 
Indian country. The settlements of Virginia, Pennsylvania, 
and the other Atlantic States, were rapidly extending west. 



Boone and others discovered Kentucky, and were locating 
themselves in it as early as the year 1774. 

The Revolutionary War was discerned and feared by Dun- 
more in his campaign to the Scioto. It was believed by Wash- 
ington, Marshall, and others, that instructions were sent to Dun- 
more, when he was on his march west of the Ohio River, to 
treat with the Indians, and leave them as friendly as possible. 
It may be said that this was the first spark of the Revolutionary 
War which was discovered in the movements of Dunmore and 
the last was extinguished by Gen. Wayne, also in the West, at 
the Greenville treaty in the year 1795. The commencement 
and the termination of the American contest for freedom was 
in the West; and the Godess of Liberty has raised her stand- 
ard higher and it shines with more splendor in the valley of 
the Mississippi than in any other section of the globe. 

It was quite reasonable that the British authorities in Amer- 
ica should discover symptoms of revolt in the colonies at this 
time. It was on the 5th Sept., 1774, that the first Continental 
Congress convened at Philadelphia, and it was on the i6th 
Dec., of the previous year, that the tea was destroyed in the 
harbor of Boston. In the next year occurred the battle of 
Lexington and other movements for liberty in the old Bay 
State. It is not strange, therefore, that Dunmore was easing 
off from the troops of the colonies and making fair weather 
with the Indians of the West. 

For nineteen years this Indian war was prosecuted with the 
utmost rancor and with bloody vengeance against all the west- 
ern frontiers of the United States. Old people, now alive, well 
recollect the indiscriminate slaughter of all classes of people 
on the frontiers. The Cherokees, the Shawnees, and other 
hostile Indians, were dreaded around the frontiers, in olden 
times, as much as the Asiatic cholera is at this day. There 
was scarcely a family in the West but could mourn the loss of 
some of its number. And many times the evenings were spent 
in narrating the horrid tales of the slaughter of women and 
children as well as of their fathers and husbands. 

Altho' this frontier life exposed the people to many hard- 
ships, dangers, and deaths that were not known in the interior 
settlements; yet it had its peculiar advantages. This border 


life produced a most hardy, energetic, and daring race of men 
whose characters were peculiar to themselves. They were 
raised in such a dangerous and hazardous condition of the 
country that every latent spark of talent and energy was elicited 
and brought into active employment. For many years in the 
West, danger of the Indians was ever, night and day, pressing 
on the frontier settlers. Those persons who could not with- 
stand these incessant shocks of Indian warfare retired to the 
interior of the country and left those on the frontiers who dis- 
regarded danger and death. 

Together with these dangers and hardships of Indian wars 
the frontiers had many other disadvantages and privations to 
encounter. In all new countries the people have not the nec- 
essaries or the ordinary means of comfortable living that they 
enjoy in an old country. No schools, no churches, no mills, and 
no courts were the common destitutions of the new settlements; 
but when the horrors of an Indian war are added, it is then 
that the people, to sustain themselves against all these united 
calamities, become the most courageous and energetic of the 
human family. This mode of life also developes their mental 
faculties. Their education was not acquired in schools or in 
colleges but it was forced on them by passing events. The 
minds of the pioneers were developed and improved by the 
force of circumstances which they could pot control. 

This primitive race of men was also the most independent 
and self-sustaining people on earth. They relied on their own 
resources, in all emergencies, and by which they generally sus- 
tained themselves. They were for the most part at remote- 
distances, out of the reach of relief, and were compelled to 
rely on themselves for support, and by this mode of life they 
obtained a character for freedom and independence that people 
raised under different circumstances can never attain. 

In this kind of life, under all these circumstances of a new 
country, in a bloody war with the Indians, the character of 
George Rogers Clark was formed. He was the noble and tal- 
ented representative of this class of men. He possessed a 
great and comprehensive mind. It was moulded on the gigan- 
tic order, not capable of embracing* both extended views of 
policy and various military combinations. His mode of life 


being in constant hostile array against the Indians, gave him 
a perfect knowledge of their character; and also, the want of 
sufficient military force to contend with them, compelled him 
to resort to stratagem, the ruse de guerre, as well as to open dar- 
ing and bravery. It is not common for commanders to excel 
in both these modes of warfare. But such was the character 
of Col. Clark that he excelled in both. 

Such are some of the traits of this extraordinary character 
who, almost without troops and without any support from the 
government, conquered and retained the Illinois country 
against the combined forces of the British and their Indian 

At this time, in the beginning of the Revolution, two char- 
acters, Simon Kenton and Simon Girty, arose in the West 
whose celebrity was extended throughout the country. 

Simon Girty was a native of Pennsylvania and of Irish 
extraction. He was a spy in the campaign to the Scioto coun- 
try under Lord Dunmore in 1774 and was a companion of 
Simon Kenton. In 1755, the home of Simon Girty, who lived 
with his father, was attacked and burnt by the Indians. His 
stepfather, some years after, was burnt at the stake, in the 
presence of his family; the rest of the family were taken pris- 
oners. Simon was adopted by the Seneca Indians and became 
an expert hunter. He returned and resided in western Penn- 
sylvania. In the Revolution, he joined the Tory side and 
resided among the hostile Indians. He commanded on many 
occasions the war parties of the Indians and became a terror to 
the frontiers. He witnessed the burning of Col. Crawford and 
made some effort to save his life. He saved the life of Simon 
Kenton when he was tied to the stake to be burnt; they had 
shared the same blanket together in Dunmore's war. He 
resided at Sandusky at which place he had a store. He enter- 
tained, all his life, a bitter hatred to the United States and a 
corresponding friendship to the British and Indians. He was 
in Proctor's army in 1813, and was killed by Col. Johnson's 
men at the Thames. He was intemperate and when intoxi- 
cated was savage to friend and foe. 

As it was said, Kenton was a ranger and spy in Dunmore's 
war and came down the Ohio River in a canoe with two other 


men to the place on the Ohio where Augusta now stands. He 
was tall, robust, and athletic, and a man of great energy of 
-character. He spent one season hunting on the Licking River; 
he was taken by the Indians and sentenced to be burnt. He 
was tied to the stake and the fire was burning around him. 
His old comrade, Simon Girty, saved him from the fury of the 
Indians. Simon Kenton was with Col. Clark in the campaign 
of 1778 to Kaskaskia and headed a party on the night of the 
4th July of that year who entered Fort Gage and captured 
Lieut.-Governor Rocheblave in his bed. 

After the conquest of Kaskaskia, Col. Clark sent Kenton 
with despatches to the "Falls," and to pass by Vincennes in his 
route. Kenton lay concealed during the days, for three days, 
.and reconnoitered the village of Vincennes during the nights. 
He acquitted himself as usual in this service to the satisfac- 
tion of his general. He employed a trusty messenger to con- 
vey the intelligence of the feelings, numbers, etc., of the people 
of Vincennes to Col. Clark at Kaskaskia. 

Simon Kenton served under General Wayne in the Indian 
war, which was closed at the treaty of Greenville in 1795. He 
ended his days in the State of Ohio not long since, full of years, 
and what is better, his heart full of Christian piety. 

These two singular characters were a good deal similar, each 
possessing an extraordinary degree of energy and decision of 
character. Each one honest in his professions and attachments. 
They espoused different sides in the Revolutionary contest, but 
were always friends as to personal feelings. 

The enemies of Girty give him a horrid character; and, per- 
haps, if we were to see the British and Indian history of Ken- 
ton's character, some specks might appear not so angelic. The 
different society they kept might have produced some effect to 
make one blood-thirsty, while the other, by the influence of cor- 
rect and proper principles, became humane and merciful. 

They both, like the lesser prophets, became conspicuous in 
a small way, and both, after a very long and active life, are now 
resting in peace. 

Col. Clark was appointed to drill and organize the militia at 
Harrod's Station, and at Boonsboro', in Kentucky. He was 
then, and ever afterward, recognized as the main defender of 
the Western frontiers. 


Late in the fall of 1775, he returned to Virginia, and prepared 
to leave in the early spring for Kentucky, to make the West his 
permanent residence. 

During this year, a great meeting was held at Harrodsburg, 
to take into consideration the political situation of Kentucky;, 
and at this convention Major Clark, so called at that day, and 
Gabriel John Jones were appointed delegates to the general 
assembly of Virginia. These members of the Virginia legisla- 
ture crossed the mountains at the Cumberland Gap, and suf- 
fered much with scald feet in walking to the seat of govern- 
ment of the Ancient Dominion. 

When they arrived at the capital, the general assembly had 
adjourned; but Clark and Jones waited on Governor Patrick 
Henry, and urged on him the necessity of furnishing the frontier 
with a supply of powder; and also strongly pressed the necessity 
of a new county. After much difficulty, a supply of powder was 
granted to be received at Pittsburg, and on the 7th Dec., 1776} 
a county was organized, and called Kentucky. The powder 
being at Pittsburg, Clark and Jones were compelled to pass 
there, on their route to Kentucky, and conveyed the precious 
article down the Ohio to the creek called Limestone, where 
Maysville is now built. There they concealed the powder, and 
sent adrift their boat; so that the Indians might not discover 
them or the powder. On their way to Harrodsburg, they heard 
of Col. Todd being in the vicinity with some troops, and Jones, 
with five of the boatmen, remained with Todd, to return and 
convey the powder to the settlements, while Clark and the other 
two men went direct to the station. 

Todd and party were defeated .near the Blue Licks, on the 
25th Dec., by the Indians, who were in ambuscade, on the trail 
of Clark and Jones. Jones and two others were killed, but 
Clark and his men reached Harrodsburg in safety, and the 
powder at last reached the station. 

Clark, altho' only 25 years of age, had learned, in the school 
of Indian danger and peril, so much, that his education was 
complete in Indian warfare. His mind, naturally strong and vig- 
orous, comprehended at once the condition of the West, and was 
determined to give it relief. 

The British posts of Detroit, Vincennes, and Kaskaskia, were 


stations for the hostile Indians, where the British government 
furnished them with all the necessary means to murder the 
exposed frontier inhabitants, and paid them in gold for the 
scalps of men, women, and children. 

On the first of October, Clark left Harrodsburg for the seat 
of government of Virginia. 

After much delay and caution, the government of Virginia, 
on the 2d January, 1778, decided to appoint Clark lieut. -colonel, 
to take command of such forces as could be raised, to conquer 
the British garrisons in the West. 

Altho' the Illinois country was remote from the seat of the 
Revolutionary War, yet the inhabitants knew of its existence, 
and were, in their hearts, unfriendly to the British, and warmly 
attached to the American cause. This being the case, the 
French people were ready, on all favorable occasions, to engage 
in any expedition against their ancient enemy the British. 

Thomas Brady, commonly called Mr. Tom, resided in Caho- 
kia in the year 1777, and was a man of sound mind and an 
enterprising and courageous disposition. In his youthful days 
he had been much inured to Indian warfare, and had been long 
in the midst of the dangers and adventures of a Western life. 
His neighbors, the French of Cahokia and Prairie du Pont, were 
ready at a moment's warning to enter into any enterprise, mili- 
tary or civil, that was honorable, and had no work attached to 
it. And, altho' the Illinois French were not ambitious or enter- 
prising in individual capacities, yet no people made better sol- 
diers. They were obedient to orders, never murmured, and pos- 
sessed the inherent courage of their nation, to face danger and 
death, in all its horrors, on a battle-field, without the least trepi- 

Thomas Brady organized a band of sixteen volunteers, from 
the villages of Cahokia and Prairie du Pont, and on the first of 
October, 1777, set out to capture a British post at St. Joseph, 
on the southeast side of Lake Michigan. This party marched 
thro' the prairies from Cahokia to the Cow Pens, so called 
at that day which is the same place that LaSalle first estab- 
lished a post, in 1679, and called it St. Joseph. 

Brady and party were successful in capturing the post, con- 
taining twenty-one soldiers and a considerable quantity of Indian 


goods. Only one person was killed. This was a negro slave, 
who had run off to the Indians from the settlements on the Mis- 
sissippi. He left the fort when it was attacked, and was shot. 
The victorious party packed up the merchandise and started for 
Cahokia; but they moved slow, and were overtaken at the Cal- 
umet, a few miles southeast of Chicago. The British traders 
roused the Indians and the British soldiers into action. Several 
hundred Indians fell on the party when they were camped for 
the night on the Calumet. Two men were killed, two wounded, 
and one made his escape; twelve were made prisoners and sent 
to Canada. Brady was with the prisoners, but escaped, and 
returned to Illinois by the way of his native state, Pennsylvania. 
These: prisoners remained in Canada two years. A Mr. Bois- 
menue of Cahokia was one of the party, and was wounded. 
He remained with the Indians all winter, to heal his wounds, 
and returned to Cahokia in the spring. 

It is stated of Mr. Boismenue, that when he saw these two 
Cahokias tomahawked by the Indians, he supposed it would be 
his fate next to be served in the same manner, and to avoid 
the sight of the hatchet sinking into his brains, he was sitting 
before the fire, and threw a blanket over his head. He was 
saved ; and was afterward the father of a very respectable family, 
some of whom are yet living in the country. 

Mr. Boismenue's desire not to know the time of his death 
shows the wisdom of Providence in not letting his creatures 
know that important epoch. Man would be miserable if he 
knew the time of his decease, were it one hundred years off. 

This was rather a wild and hazardous expectation. Seven- 
teen men to take a fort of twenty-one regulars with arms and 
other means of defence, required masterly skill and bravery. 
They surprised the fort at night, but could not escape with any 
of the spoils, which was, no doubt, one great object of the enter- 
prise. But Col. Clark undertook a more noble enterprise, to 
take all the British garrisons in the West. 

Two sets of instructions were given to him by the governor 
and council of Virginia. One, which was public, was for Col. 
Clark to raise seven companies for the protection of Kentucky, 
and to proceed west. These men were enlisted for three months. 
The second instructions were, that Col. Clark should raise seven 


companies of men, fifty in each company, and proceed to Kas- 
kaskia to attack the British garrison at that place. That if suc- 
cessful, to take and preserve the cannon and munitions of war 
found at that post. That boats would be furnished at Pitts- 
burg for the transportation of the troops, and that the expedi- 
tion must be kept a profound secret. That Gen. Hand, at Pitts- 
burg, would supply the powder and lead. The inhabitants of 
the country captured were to take the oath of allegiance, or 
otherwise be visited with the miseries of war. Two men, who 
were from Kaskaskia, were to be secured at Williamsburg, for 
fear of their developing the object of the expedition. In their 
instructions it was particularly enjoined, that humanity should 
be observed to all persons who might fall into the hands of the 
Virginia troops. The Gov. Patrick Henry signed these instruc- 
tions, which were dated the 2d of January, 1778, and none knew 
anything about them, except Gov. Henry, Thomas Jefferson, 
George Wythe, and George Mason, who were his council, and 
Col. Clark. 

On the 4th of February following, Col. Clark left the capital 
of Virginia for Pittsburg. It was decided that troops could not 
be spared on the east of the mountains, as they were so much 
needed there, but must be raised in the West. 

The situation of Col. Clark can be easily imagined. He was 
acting under immense responsibility. His plan was adopted. 
His instructions were secret, and the whole and sole manage- 
ment of the expedition was confined to his judgment. He had 
received but twelve hundred pounds of depreciated currency to 
carry out the expedition, and the country without troops or even 
credit. But the genius and talent of the leader supplied all 
deficiencies, and the British posts were captured. 
' Maj. William B. Smith was ordered from Virginia to go to the 
Holston country, Tenn., to raise troops, and to join Clark at the 
appointed time and place. 

He succeeded in raising four companies, but never joined 
Clark, having use for them on the other frontiers. 

It was unpopular at Pittsburg to enlist men to take them 
away from the frontiers of Pennsylvania to Kentucky, but the 
character of Clark, and by his extraordinary exertions, three 
-companies were raised at Pittsburg. With these companies, 


and several adventurers, Col. Clark descended the Ohio to the 
Falls, and the small island opposite the present City of Louis- 
ville was occupied and fortified. This island was then called 
Corn Island. He had ordered Capt. Bowman to meet him at 
this island. Bowman had been sent on a southern route from 
Pittsburg through Kentucky to raise a company of men. Capt. 
Bowman and a company from Kentucky, under the command 
of Capt. Dillard, met him at the island. 

With all the exertions that could be made, Col. Clark could 
not raise more than four companies for the expedition. These 
companies were commanded by Captains Montgomery, Bow- 
man, Helm, and Harrod. Simon Kenton joined the expedition 
at this place with many other resolute persons. It appears that 
Captain Montgomery was found at the Falls, being an "Irish- 
man and full of fight." It was on Corn Island when Col. Clark 
announced that his destination was to Kaskaskia in the Illinois 
country. This information was received by this brave band of 
warriors with enthusiasm and joy. But, in fact, the troops under 
Clark were like all soldiers under great leaders, ready to go any- 
where and do anything in their power commanded by their gen- 

After the fainthearted were discharged, all the troops mus- 
tered into the campaign to Kaskaskia were one hundred and 
fifty-three men. 

Keel-boats being procured, Clark, on the 24th June, 1/78, 
while the sun was eclipsed, started down the river from Corn 
Island on this hazardous expedition to Kaskaskia. 

They descended the river to the old Cherokee Fort, or Fort 
Massacre, below the mouth of the Tennessee River, and forty 
miles above the mouth of the Ohio, where they found a party 
of hunters from Kaskaskia commanded by John Duff. Clark 
learned from these hunters that Lieut-Governor Rocheblave, a 
Canadian Frenchman, commanded Fort Gage at Kaskaskia and 
the country: and that the militia were organized and well dis- 
ciplined: that spies were out to give information if the Long 
Knives came into the country. This was the Indian name for 
the Virginians, and the New England people were called Bos- 
tonians by the French and Indians of that day. 

Col. Clark, before he left Corn Island, obtained two items of 


information, of which he made good use. One was, that France 
had joined the Americans in the war against Great Britain; and 
the other was, that the French in Illinois were made to believe 
by the British that the "Long Knives" were cannibals, worse 
than demons. 

Clark secured his boats, and engaged John Saunders, one of 
Duff's hunting-party, to be his guide to Kaskaskia. The whole 
hunting-party were willing to return with Clark, but he took 
only one of them. 

Clark's warriors had no wagons, pack-horses, or other means 
of conveyance of their munition of war or baggage, other than 
their own robust and hardy selves. Col. Clark himself was 
nature's favorite, in his person as well as mind. He was large 
and athletic, capable of enduring much; yet formed with such 
noble symmetry and manly beauty, that he combined much 
grace and elegance, together with great firmness of character. 
He was grave and dignified in his deportment; agreeable and 
affable with his soldiers when relaxed from duty; but in a crisis 
when the fate of his campaign was at stake, or the lives of his 
brave warriors were in danger his deportment became stern and 
severe. His appearance, in these perils, indicated, without lan- 
guage, to his men, that every soldier must do his duty. 

The country between Fort' Massacre and Kaskaskia, at that 
day, 1778, was a wilderness of one hundred and twenty miles, 
and contained, much of it, a swampy and difficult road. 

At one time, poor Saunders, the guide, was bewildered, and 
the party suspected him of treachery; but soon after, he became 
himself again and led the party safe to the vicinity of Kaskas- 
kia. Within a short distance of the village, Col. Clark concealed 
his men until dark, and spies were sent out to reconnoitre and 
report. This was on the 4th of July, 1778. After dark he pro- 
ceeded to a house on the river the old ferry-house three- 
fourths of a mile above the village. He took possession of this 
house, and there made the following disposition of his troops: 
Two parties were to cross the Kaskaskia River, and the other 
was to remain on the east side, so as to capture the town and 
fort at the same time. The fearless Captain Helm commanded 
the troops to cross the river, and take the village; while Clark 
himself commanded the other wing to capture the fort. Boats 
and canoes were procured to cross the river. 


About midnight, on the banks of the Kaskaskia River, in the 
dark, Col. Clark delivered a short address to his troops. He 

"Soldiers We are near the enemy for which we have been 
struggling for years. We are not fighting alone for liberty and 
independence, but for the defence of our own frontiers from the 
tomahawk and scalping-knife of the Indians. We are defending 
the lives of our women and children, altho' a long distance from 
them. These British garrisons furnish the Indians with powder 
and lead to desolate the frontiers; and pay gold for human 
scalps. We must take and destroy these garrisons. The fort 
before us is one of them, and it must be taken. We can not 
retreat. We have no provisions; but we must conquer. This 
is the 4th of July. We must act to honor it, and let it not be 
said in after-times, that Virginians were defeated on that mem- 
orable day. The fort and town, I repeat, must be taken, at all 

After these remarks the troops in silence separated; two par- 
ties crossed the river, and the other remained with Col. Clark, 
to attack the fort. Each party at the two extremes of the vil- 
lage, entered it first, in silence, so not one in the town kne\v of 
the Long Knives being in the country, until they heard the 
most terriffic yelling and hollowing in the streets, that ever 
before, or since, was heard in Old Kaskaskia. The French 
supposed the whole nation of the Long Knives had broken loose 
on them at once. Those among the Americans, who could speak 
French, proclaimed to the terrified inhabitants, that if they re- 
mained quiet within their houses, they would not be hurt; but 
if they came out, or made any resistance, they would be exter- 
minated. The inhabitants were much alarmed. The inhabit- 
ants were night to day light. In two hours after the town was 
first entered the inhabitants surrendered all their guns and 
means of defence, thinking this was the only means to save 
their lives. 

In the daylight the citizens were not the less terrified at the 
appearance of the Long Knives, than they had been at their 
noise. The troops had no change of clothes. All their supplies, 
provisions, and all, they were compelled to pack on their backs 
from Fort Massacre to Kaskaskia, and could not carry with them 


their extra clothes, if they had any, and that was doubtful. 
They had no means or time to shave or dress. They possessed 
brave hearts under ragged and soiled clothes. 

Their appearance and furious noise in the night made the 
French believe that the Long Knives would almost devour 

Col. Clark took to himself the most perilous enterprise, to 
take Fort Gage, which was a strong British fortification, defended 
with cannon and regular soldiers. This would seem, at this day, 
a similar perilous enterprise to Wayne storming Stony Point. 
Clark had no cannon or means of assaulting the fort, and there- 
fore must use stratagem. He found the garrison unprepared 
for defence. The brave and sagacious Simon Kenton com- 
manded a detachment to enter the fort; they found a light 
burning in it. An American, a native of Pennsylvania, was there 
in the fort and conducted Kenton and his small party into the 
fort by a small back gate. This was a perilous situation for 
Kenton's men, to be housed up in a British strong fortification, 
if the gate had been shut on them. The noble Pennsylvania!! 
was true to liberty and conducted them to the very bedchamber 
of the sleeping governor, Rocheblave. The first notice Roche- 
blave had that he was a prisoner, was Kenton tapping him on 
the shoulder to awaken him. 

Thus the fort and village were both captured without shed- 
ding one drop of blood. The wife of the governor concealed 
some papers which were supposed to be public, and ought to be 
delivered with the garrison to the captors, but the gentlemanly 
bearing of Col. Clark made him respect female prerogative, and 
the lady secured the papers in that adroit manner peculiar to 
female sagacity. 

Clark had now possession of the fort and cannon, which com- 
manded Kaskaskia, and could at his ease have coerced the 
inhabitants into submission, if it became necessary. 

The conquest of Fort Gage and Kaskaskia, the capital of 
Illinois, is one of the most singular and important events recorded 
in history. It was the extraordinary genius and capacities of 
Col. Clark that achieved it. He had scarcely any men; and all 
their armor, provisions, camp equipage, etc., were packed on 
their backs, to the scene of action; and this, too, to take a 


strong garrison, defended with cannon, British soldiers, etc. This 
may be taken in after-days as romance; but now it is known to 
be reality. 

It seems Governor Rocheblave was insolent. Clark put him 
in irons, and sent him, in the care of Capt. Montgomery, to 
Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia. Clark was stern and 
severe, when his duty required it. 

The next day after the conquest, Col. Clark organized the. 
post, and confined some suspected persons. His actions and 
appearance among the inhabitants of Kaskaskia were on pur- 
pose made to correspond with what the British had informed 
them ; that the Americans were the most savage beasts on earth, 
and that no mercy could be expected at their hands, were they 
to conquer the country. Clark withdrew his troops from the vil- 
lage; observed the most rigid discipline; and appeared to be 
meditating what was the worst mode of torture and death to 
inflict on the inhabitants of Kaskaskia. This deportment of 
Clark and troops, together with their uncouth and savage appear- 
ance, aroused the people to a sense of their danger and destruc- 
tion. Father Gibault, the priest, with others of the "grave and 
reverend seigniors," waited on Col. Clark at his camp, and 
appealed to him to permit them, the inhabitants, to meet in the 
church once more before they were destroyed, or remove to a 
foreign land. Clark still kept up the appearance of annihilation 
in his deportment. His words were few, and scorched like they 
had proceeded from a fiery furnace. 

When Clark had the people of Old Kaskaskia worked up to 
the utmost excitement of terror, he addressed them thus: 

"Do you mistake us for savages? Do you think Americans 
will strip women and children, and take the bread out of their 
mouths? My country disdains to make war on helpless inno- 
cence. To prevent the horrors of Indian butchery on our own 
wives and children, we have taken up arms, and penetrated to 
this stronghold of Indian and British barbarity, and not for des- 
picable plunder. The king of France has united his powerful 
arms with those of America, and the contest will soon be ended. 
The people of Kaskaskia may side with either party. To verify 
my words, go and tell your people to do as they please, with- 
out any danger from me." 


When this good news came to the ears of the people, gloom 
and dejection changed into extravagant joy. The people were 
nearly frantic, and entered the church to thank God for their 
happy deliverance. Clark's policy had its desired effect, to 
make the people his steadfast friends. 

Captain Bowman was despatched to capture the post of Caho- 
kia, and several influential persons of Kaskaskia volunteered 
their services to prepare the minds of the people of Cahokia for 
the change. The party, mounted on French ponies, proceeded 
to Cahokia, and seized on it without resistance. This expedi- 
tion was conducted with the same celerity and secrecy as that 
to capture Kaskaskia. In fact, there were not many soldiers in 
the fort at Cahokia; so that a defence was useless. 

Col. Clark had it instilled into his army, and he also propa- 
gated it: that a large, army of Americans, Long Knives, were 
organized at the Falls, and were ready to take Vincennes and 
Detroit, and to reinforce the American garrisons at Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia. These statements were believed by the French 
and Indians, and had a powerful effect in keeping, not only 
order and peace in the country, but also, the American domina- 
tion throughout the West. As Clark and men had done so 
much, the inhabitants and Indians concluded that another such 
army could conquer any nation; and the judgment was not so 
incorrect; but the army must have had another Clark to com- 
mand them; and that such genius and talents as his are rare 
at any time and in any country. 

Col. Clark soon heard that the British governor at Vincennes 
had gone to Detroit, and that the fort, old Sackville, was in the 
hands of the citizens of Vincennes, and none of the redcoat 
gentry were in it. 

Arrangements were readily made for an embassy, headed by 
the good old priest, Gibault, to go to Vincennes and bring the 
people over to the American cause. This enterprise was suc- 
cessful. The French of Vincennes declared for the Americans, 
and Gibault and his party, together with several gentlemen from 
Vincennes, returned to Kaskaskia, about the first of August, 
with the joyful intelligence. 

The enlistment oi the volunteers under Clark was about to 
expire, and his instructions were vague; so he acted at discre- 


tion. His judgment at once advised him that the country 
should not be abandoned; so he enlisted again many of the 
same men he had first, together with many of the French. 
Those troops, who were to be discharged, were sent back to the 
Falls at Louisville, under the command of Capt. William Linn, 
with instructions to abandon the station on Corn Island and 
erect a permanent fort on the main shore. For the command 
of the post at Vincennes, Col. Clark selected Captain Leonard 
Helm. He had great confidence in this officer. He knew him 
to be a brave, talented man, and one who was well acquainted 
with the Indian character. Clark appointed him Indian agent 
in the department of the Wabash. About the middle of 
August he went and took possession of his command. 

Captain Helm was a very adroit negotiator with the Indians, 
and brought the whole Wabash Indians, thro' the influence of 
the Big Door, the chief of the Piankeshaw nation, to the Ameri- 
can interest. All the Indians on the Wabash, as far up as Ouia- 
tenon, came down to Vincennes and treated with Capt. Helm. 
The British interest with the Indians lost ground at last for 
some time. 

Captain Montgomery reached the seat of government of 
Virginia with the British governor of Illinois, a prisoner of 
war, and with dispatches from Col. Clark. 

The whole country spontaneously resounded with the warmest 
gratulations to Col. Clark and his brave little band. 

The legislature of Virginia, in 1778, formed the Illinois 
country into a county of that name. Illinois had the honor 
to extend her name, in former times, over the territory of the 
States of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. All the 
settlers on the west side of the Ohio were included in this 
county, and John Todd, Esq., of Kentucky, was appointed 
lieut.-colonel and civil commandant of the same. 

The governor of Virginia did not send troops to Col. Clark, 
as they both expected, which forced Clark to receive into his 
service many of the Illinois French. With the troops he had 
he garrisoned Kaskaskia and Cahokia, and appointed Williams 
captain at Kaskaskia, and Bowman at Cahokia. In the fall of 
the year, Major Bowman organized a respectable force and pro- 
ceeded from Cahokia north to Rock River. This expedition 


was intended to influence the Indians to abandon the British 
interest to join the Americans. 

By proper arrangements, Col. Clark had a great number of 
Indians convened at Cahokia, in the month of September, 1778, 
and made friendly treaties with them. 

He was extremely sagacious to discover the secret moving 
springs of human action; and particularly, he knew well the 
Indian character. 

At Cahokia, Col. Clark waited for the Indians to make the 
advance to peace and friendship. He waited with determined 
obstinacy until the red-skins threw away the hostile wampum 
given them by the British before he said anything to them, and 
cautioned his men not to shake hands with the Indians until 
peace was made; so that heart and hand could go together. 

Before the close of the season, all the Indians, far and near, 
were friendly to the Americans. The country inhabited by the 
whites was all quiet and peaceable in the hands of Virginia. 
The famous Capt. Helm was in peaceable possession of the 
strong British fort, Sackville, with only two Americans and some 
French militia; while Clark occupied the whole Illinois country 
with less than one hundred men. 

The "House of Delegates" of the Virginia legislature passed 
the following complimentary resolution: 

Monday, the 23d Nov., 1778. 

Whereas, authentic information has been received, that Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel George Rogers Clark, with a body of Virginia 
militia, has reduced the British posts in the western part of this 
Commonwealth on the river Mississippi and its branches, where- 
by great advantage may accrue to the common cause of America, 
as well as to this Commonwealth in particular: 

Resolved, That the thanks of this House are justly due to 
the said Col. Clark and the brave officers and men under his 
command, for their extraordinary resolution and perseverance 
in so hazardous an enterprise, and for their important services 
thereby rendered to their country. 

Attest, E. RANDOLPH, c. H. D." 

Governor Hamilton, hearing at Detroit that the Americans 
had seized on the country in his absence, was much concerned 


and chagrined that the country he had in charge was wrested 
from him by a few ragged militia fro.rn the Old Dominion. 

He collected his forces thirty regular troops, fifty Canadi- 
ans, and four hundred Indians and reached Vincennes on the 
1 5th December, 1778. The people made no defence, but the 
whole defence of the fort devolved on Capt. Helm and one 
other American, by the name of Henry. When Gov. Hamil- 
ton came within hailing distance, Helm called out with a loud 
voice, "halt"! This show of defence caused Hamilton to 
pause. Henry had a cannon well charged and placed in the 
open gateway, while Helm stood by it with a lighted match. 
Helm exclaimed, "no man shall enter here until I know the 
terms." Hamilton responded, "you shall have the honors of 
war." The fort was thereupon surrendered, and the one officer 
and one private received the honor aforesaid, for their defence 
of the fort. 

A portion of Hamilton's forces was dispatched to the fron- 
tiers to kill and scalp the inhabitants, while Helm was detained 
a prisoner of war. The French were disarmed. 

Clark was in a most perilous and distressing situation. No 
supplies of troops or munitions of war reached him from Vir- 
ginia. The country infested with hostile Indians, direct from 
Detroit, and Hamilton preparing to attack him at Kaskaskia. 
This posture of affairs gave Clark excessive uneasiness, and 
harassed him day and night. To abandon the country to the 
hostile Indians, he could not think of for a moment; but he 
had no means of defence. However, his courage and judg- 
ment never forsook him. His talents and resources were 
always superior to the occasion. He called Major Bowman 
and his little force from Cahokia down to Kaskaskia. He 
burnt down some houses in the village near his fort and pre- 
pared for a siege. But on mature reflection, he came to the 
bold and hazardous conclusion, that he would muster all his 
forces and capture Hamilton; "for." he said, "if I do not take 
him, he will take me." 

This expedition to Vincennes was conducted in the dead of 
winter, thro a wilderness country, without resources, and 
without any of the common necessaries for the support of an 


Clark, with his uncommon sagacity to penetrate the hearts 
of men, engaged Col. Vigo, who resided at the time in St. 
Louis, upper Louisiana, to go to Vincennes and reconnoitre 
Fort Sackville, and ascertain the disposition of the people. 
No choice could have been better. . Col. Vigo was an Italian 
by birth, but in his heart the principles of freedom and love 
for the American cause sunk deep. He was a merchant pos- 
sessing great wealth, all of which, together with the most of 
his time, he spent in the cause of the American Revolution. 
Not a more worthy man lived in the West than Col. Vigo. He 
resided a long time in Indiana, and died there. The State 
honored his memory by calling a county for him and Congress 
refunded much of the money he expended in the early settle- 
ment of the country. 

Col. Vigo, after conferring with Col. Clark at Kaskaskia, with 
only one man started for Vincennes; but at the Embarras, five 
miles from his destination, he was taken prisoner by the Indi- 
ans, and brought before Governor Hamilton. He was sus- 
pected of being an American spy, but being extremely popular 
with the inhabitants and a Spanish subject, Hamilton did not 
detain or punish him as such. The inhabitants threatened to 
give no more supplies to Hampton if Vigo was not suffered to. 
depart in peace. Hamilton was reluctant to yield, and on this 
condition only, that "Vigo was not to do any act during the 
war injurious to the British interest." He peremptorily refused 
to sign such an article; but agreed that he would not do any 
"act on his way to St. Louis!" This was accepted, and Col. 
Vigo was permitted to leave in a perogue down the Wabash 
and up the Mississippi to St. Louis. He kept his pledge with 
the sanctity of an oath; but he remained at St. Louis only to 
change his clothes, when he started to see Col. Clark at Kas- 

From Vigo, Clark learned that many of the soldiers were 
out with the Indians on marauding parties; that Hamilton had 
eighty regulars in the fort; and that the French were friendly 
to the Americans. He also learned that there were in the fort 
three brass field-pieces and some swivels; and that Hamilton 
intended in the early spring to reconquer the Illinois country. 

On receiving this information, Clark still continued his 


determination to capture Fort Sackville to prevent Hamilton 
from taking him. He also wrote to Governor Patrick Henry 
of Virginia, and gave him in detail the condition of the country 
and his extreme perilous situation. He wanted more troops 
but received none. 

There was no time left for Clark to delay any longer; or 
else Hamilton would be on him. A boat was fitted up carry- 
ing two four-pound cannons, four swivels, and provisions; and 
commanded by Capt. John Rogers with forty-six men. This 
boat was to meet Clark at a point near Vincennes with all con- 
venient speed. 

Clark organized two companies of French into his army; 
and, all told, his whole force amounted to no more than one 
hundred and seventy men. One company from Cahokia was 
commanded by Capt. McCarty, and the other company from 
Kaskaskia was commanded by Capt. Charleville. 

On the /th February, 1779, this band of heroes commenced 
its march from Kaskaskia on the Old Vincennes trace to Fort 
Sackville. This trace was celebrated in Illinois. The Indians 
laid it out more than one hundred and fifty years ago. It 
commenced at Detroit, thence to Ouiaton on the Wabash, 
thence to Vincennes, and thence to Kaskaskia. It was the 
Appian way of Illinois in ancient times. It is yet visible in 
many places between Kaskaskia and Vincennes. This expedi- 
tion of Col. Clark was the most dreary and fatiguing that was 
performed during the Revolution. 

During the march the weather was uncommonly wet. The 
watercourses were out of their banks, and the larger streams 
had inundated the bottoms from bluff to bluff, often three or 
four miles wide. Yet our hardy backwoodsmen, on foot with 
their knapsacks on their backs filled with parched corn and 
jerked meat, waded thro mud and water to the forks of the 
Little Wabash River. The bottom here was three or more 
miles wide and inundated never under three feet and often 
four feet. 

Thro this low land the battalion was forced to march, 
feeling for the trace. At this place, to cross the river Little 
Wabash, the party made a canoe, ferried themselves over the 
stream, and put their baggage on a scaffold to keep it out of 


the water while they were crossing the river. They crossed 
this river on the I5th Feb., and proceeded on over the streams, 
Fox River and others, until on the i8th they heard the morn- 
ing gun of Fort Sackville at Vincennes. 

Before the party reached the Great Wabash, they were nearly 
exhausted by fatigue and traveling in the cold water. At the 
Little Wabash, many of the troops were sinking and their 
spirits exhausted. Clark, always fruitful in resources, called 
upon an Irishman, a drummer in the battalion, who had a 
peculiar talent to sing comic songs. When the men wading 
for hours in the icy water up to their middles and armpits, and 
were nearly chilled to freezing, this Irishman would sing lively, 
cheering songs, and thereby rouse the troops to life again. 
But it was at the Great Wabash where the party experienced 
all the hardships and sufferings of which human nature is cap- 
able of surmounting. 

The party reached the Wabash below the mouth of the 
Embarrass, and were in the most exhausted, destitute, and 
starving condition. The river was running all over its banks 
and the lowlands near it; so that it was several miles wider 
Colonel Clark had not time or means to make canoes to cross 
the river. The party was literally starving. 

On the 2Oth of February, the Americans hailed a party of 
French in a boat from Vincennes and brought them to. From 
them Col. Clark learned that the people of Vincennes were 
friendly to the Americans, and that the British garrison had 
no knowledge of the expedition. This information was cheer- 
ing; but a sea of cold water, the Wabash bottom, which they 
had no means of crossing, lay between Clark and Fort Sack- 

Clark and his party experienced the greatest difficulties and 
perils in crossing Wabash River and the lowlands attached to 
it. They waded and rafted, and suffered every sort of hard- 
ship except death itself. On reaching the high ground below 
Vincennes, and when they were seated on dry ground, Clark 
addressed the following note to the citizens of Vincennes: 

" To the Inhabitants of Post Vincennes: Gentlemen: Being 
now within two miles of your village with my army, deter- 
mined to take your fort tonight, and not being willing to sur- 


prise you, I take this method to request such of you as are 
true citizens, and would enjoy the liberty I bring you, to 
remain still in your houses. Those, if any there be, that are 
friends to the king, will instantly repair to the fort and join the 
hair-buyer general, and fight like men; and such as do not go 
to the fort, and shall be discovered afterward, they may depend 
on severe punishment. On the contrary, those that are true 
friends to liberty shall be treated as friends deserve. And 
once more I request them to keep out of the streets, for every 
one I find in arms on my arrival, I shall treat as an enemy. 

"G. R. CLARK." 

This singular address had the desired effect. It made the 
people believe that Clark had a large army there from Ken- 
tucky, as none, as they supposed, could reach there from Kas- 
kaskia. Clark sent in various names of gentlemen from Ken- 
tucky to their friends in Vincennes, which made the citizens 
believe that half Kentucky was there with him. The colonel, 
in marching thro the prairie to the town, made a large display 
of his troops, by marching them back and forward around cer- 
tain mounds, so that the army made the appearance of a great 
body of troops. The flags were changed, so that the delusion 
of many fierce Kentuckians being present was riveted on the 
garrison, as well as on the citizens of Vincennes. 

On the 23d of Feb., 1779, about sunset, the attack was made 
on Fort Sackville, by Lieut. Bayley and fourteen men. This 
small party lay concealed behind a bank of earth within thirty 
yards of the fort and secure from the guns of the garrison. 
Whenever a port-hole was opened the bullets from the Ameri- 
can rifles would whistle in, destroying the men at the guns; ^so 
that none would dare to work the cannon. Some were killed 
at the port-holes, and none others could be got there to defend 
the works against the Americans. 

At nine o'clock, on the 24th, Clark sent into the fort a note. 
While this was going on, his men ate the first breakfast they 
had seen for many days. The letter is the following: 

"SiR: In order to save yourself from the impending storm 
which now threatens you, I order you immediately to surrender 
yourself, with all your garrison, stores, etc. If I am obliged 
to storm, you may depend upon such treatment alone as is 


justly due a murderer. Beware of destroying stores of any 
kind, or any papers or letters that are in your possession, or 
hurting one house in town; for by heaven if you do there shall 
be no mercy shown you. G. R. CLARK." 

Gov. Hamilton was affected by the above communication, as 
will appear by the following mild answer: 

"Governor Hamilton begs leave to acquaint Col. Clark, that 
he and his garrison are not to be awed into any action 
unworty of British subjects." 

The attack was renewed. About midnight before, Clark 
had cut a ditch near the fort, and in it his riflemen had a 
secure shelter from the guns of the fort. They poured in an 
incessant fire thro the port-holes, and silenced two pieces of 
artillery in fifteen minutes. Every gunner who approached 
the cannon at the port-holes was instantly killed or driven 
back from the guns horror-stricken. 

This terrible and incessant fire for eighteen hours made the 
garrison believe that they would all be destroyed. To avoid 
this catastrophe, Gov. Hamilton sent the following communi- 
cation to Clark: 

"Governor Hamilton proposes to Col. Clark a truce for 
three days, during which time he promises that there shall be 
no defensive works carried on in the garrison, on condition that 
Col. Clark will observe on his part a like cessation of offensive 
works; that is, he wishes to confer with Col. Clark as soon as 
can be, and promises that whatever may pass between them 
two and another person, mutually agreed on to be present, 
shall remain secret until matters be finished as he wishes, 
whatever the result of the conference may be, it may tend to- 
the honor and credit of each party. If Col. Clark makes a 
difficulty of coming into the fort, Lieut. -Gov. Hamilton will 
speak to him by the gate. 

"February 24th, 1779. HENRY HAMILTON." 

To this address Clark sent the following reply: 

"Col. Clark's compliments to Gov. Hamilton, and begs leave 
to say that he will not agree to any terms other than Mr. 
Hamilton surrendering Jiimsclf and garrison prisoners at discre- 
tion. If Mr. Hamilton wants to taik with Col. Clark, he will 
meet him at the church with Capt. Helm." 


A conference was held between Clark and Hamilton. A 
surrender was demanded by Clark, or otherwise, he threatened 
a massacre of the leaders in the fort for the gold given for 
American scalps. Clark was in earnest, and so the garrison 

In one hour, Clark dictated the following terms: 

"ist. Lieut.-Gov. Hamilton agrees to deliver up to Col. 
Clark, Fort Sackville and all the stores, etc., etc. 

"2d. The garrison are to deliver themselves as prisoners of 
war, and march out with their arms and accoutrements. 

"3d. The garrison to be delivered up tomorrow at ten 

"4th. Three days are allowed the garrison to settle their 
accounts with the inhabitants and traders. 

"5th. The officers of the garrison are to be allowed their 
necessary baggage. 

"Signed at Post St. Vincennes, this 24th day of February, 
1779; agreed to for the following reasons: ist. Remoteness 
from succor. 2d. The state and quantity of provisions. 3d. 
The unanimity of the officers and men in its expediency. 4th. 
The honorable terms allowed; and, lastly, the confidence in a 
generous enemy. 

"HENRY HAMILTON, Lieut.-Gov. and Superin't." 

On the 25th February, under this arrangement, the fort was 
surrendered to Clark, and all the arms and public stores of the 
fort amounting to fifty' thousand dollars or more. Seventy- 
nine prisoners were sent off on parole to Detroit, and Col. 
Hamilton and Major Hay with some other officers were sent 
with a strong guard to the capital of Virginia. 

During the attack on the fort the second day, a war-party of 
Indians, ignorant of the presence of Clark, arrived at Vin- 
cennes from an excursion to the frontiers of Kentucky, bring- 
ing with them two white prisoners, and camped in the vicinity 
of the fort. Clark sent out a detachment against them, and in 
a short time routed the Indians with the loss of nine warriors. 
The remainder of the Indians, being terrified at the impetu- 
osity of the Long Knives, were well pleased to get off with 
their lives. 

Intelligence was received at Vincennes that a large amount 


of merchandise with an escort of soldiers was on the way for 
Sackville; Clark, with his usual and unaccountable celerity and 
sagacity, ordered Helm at the head of sixty men to intercept 
the convoy and take the goods. In a few days' absence, Helm 
returned with the escort and goods, amounting to ten thousand 
pounds, without the loss of a single man. 

Clark organized a government at the Wabash, and returned 
to Kaskaskia. It was in contemplation to march a military 
force to Detroit and take it, but it was not carried out. 

Clark had treated with a great portion of the Indians in the 
northwest, and had captured the general of the hair-buying 
government; so that the Indians after the conquest of Illinois 
were never so powerful or so hostile as before. The British 
Government never after this conquest attempted to regain pos- 
session of the country. Thus terminated one of the most 
remarkable conquests of a country recorded in history. This 
small army was provided with nothing to sustain them and 
guide to victory and honor except the extraordinary talents of 
the commander. 

John Todd being appointed the commandant of the county 
of Illinois, arrived at Kaskaskia early in May, and on the 
1 5th June, 1779, issued a proclamation. He organized courts 
of justice, and appointed officers, etc., to establish a regular 
government in the country. On his return thro Kentucky 
from Virginia, where he had been on public business, he was 
killed at the battle of the Blue Licks in Kentucky. Another 
commandant, Timothy Demountbrun, was appointed over the 
County of Illinois, but what 'he did or when his official duties 
expired no one at this day knows. 

It is an extraordinary fact, that very few Americans visited 
Illinois or lived in it before the conquest by Clark. All the 
intercourse Clark had was with the French, and of them he 
obtained supplies for his army. Oliver Pollock was a kind of 
an agent for the Government stationed at New Orleans, to 
settle and pay drafts sent to him by the officers of the army 
and others in the West. Clark gave drafts on this agent for 
the supplies for his army when they were in Illinois; but not 
many of these orders are paid to this day. 

Virginia had not the means to spare to send either men or 


money to Clark to sustain his troops. It is true, the govern- 
ment of the Old Dominion gave a large grant of land, which 
is located on the Ohio River opposite the celebrated Corn 
Island, to Clark and his men. This tract of land amounts to 
one hundred and fifty thousand acres. 

At the time Clark and his army occupied Illinois, there was 
very little metallic currency in the country, and bank paper 
was almost unknown. The currency was more in shaved deer- 
skins, three pounds for the dollar, than in any other currency. 
If books were kept in reference to any other currency it was 
merely nominal, as the exchange of one article for another 
was the mode of doing business at that day and for many 
years after. 

The cultivation of the soil gradually diminished, and the 
French population of Illinois declined from the time the 
British took possession of the country; yet the French who 
remained, cultivated the common fields and were also engaged 
as voyagers and coureurs de bois, as they were designated. 

These early Canadian French were robust, strong men and 
made excellent boatmen. They were hardy and became accus- 
tomed to voyaging; so that on a boat to New Orleans or to 
the Falls of St. Anthony or to the Rocky Mountains they 
were at home. A great number, forty, fifty or more would 
embark on a single barge to New Orleans and return with it 
heavily freighted with southern products and European mer- 

About the year 1775, Joseph Trotier, an enterprising trader 
from Canada, settled in Cahokia. He carried on a large com- 
merce from his village Cahokia to New Orleans. On a 
voyage from New Orleans to Cahokia in one of his large boats 
heavily laden, a large cotton-wood tree fell across the boat and 
destroyed it and the cargo. Such an occurrence was not 
unfrequent during high water with boats ascending the Missis- 

The current of the Mississippi was so strong that boats were 
compelled to run close to the shore, where the current is less 
forcible. The river, when it was high, frequently washed the 
sands from under acres of the banks with large trees growing 
on them, and this land, when undermined, would sink at once 


into the water with a great noise, which may be heard for 
miles. It was in one of these slides that Trotier's boat was 

The boatmen had great difficulty in ascending the Missis- 
sippi, on account of the strong current. It frequently required 
them four or five months to ascend the river with a large bat- 
teau from New Orleans to Kaskaskia; and often on the voyage 
many of the boatmen were swept off by sickness. 

It was not only sickly on a voyage ascending the river in 
the summer, but it was extreme hard labor to navigate a large 
vessel against the current of the Mississippi. In the most 
rapid current the oars would not answer the purpose. In such 
extraordinary sections of the river a large rope or cordelle was 
used. One end was fastened to the boat and ten, fifteen, or 
twenty men, according to the necessity of the case, placed at 
the other end, towed the boat after them. When the party 
reached a river or creek entering into the Mississippi, they 
swam over with the cordelle and towed on the boat. Canoes 
or skiffs were sometimes used in crossing these intervening 
streams. In some currents that were very strong, the upper 
end of the cordelle was fastened to a tree and the other end 
put round a windlass and thereby the boat was forced up the 
river against the current. 

These cordelle ropes were frequently very long, measuring 
five or six hundred yards, and the size in proportion to the 
boat which was to be towed. 

Every one has witnessed the extraordinary difference in 
ascending the river between common barges and steamboats. 
Comfort and even pleasure is enjoyed on a steamer; while 
excessive labor, tardy progress, and sickness attended the 
barges in their slow head-way up the river. 

In the first settlement of the country, the inhabitants were 
in great distress for want of salt; but they discovered in the 
present county of Gallatin, salt-springs, which were much used 
by the Indians and French of Vincennes. From the first set- 
tlement of the Wabash by the French for nearly one hundred 
years after, much salt was made out of the water of these 
springs and conveyed to Vincennes. The enterprising and 
energetic United States Senator Henry Dodge of Iowa and 


the French before him made salt at the saline below Ste. Gen- 
evieve. From these works much salt was conveyed to Illinois. 
Whether Gen. Dodge manufactured salt or served in the United 
States Senate, he always deported himself with that dignity 
and noble bearing that forms the true character of a western 
pioneer. Mr. Cabanne of St. Louis, another sample of these 
noble pioneers, made salt at his works west of St. Louis near 
the Merrimac River. Salt was manufactured here in early 
Spanish times in Louisiana. 

The city of Nashville, Tennessee, is situated at the site of 
the salt-works known in the early times as the French Lick. 
Salt was manufactured and conveyed to Illinois. Salt-water 
in modern times has been discovered in many places in Illinois. 
On Big Muddy River, quantities were manufactured by Conrad 
Will and others. Judge Biggs made salt in Madison County 
on Silver Creek; and in Bond County on Shoal Creek salt was 
also manufactured. Gen. Edger owned the works and manu- 
factured salt many years at a saline in Monroe County at the 
Mississippi Bluff. 

In Vermilion County salt-water was discovered, and salt 
manufactured by Mr. Vance. This gentleman bored into the 
rock for salt-water to the depth of four or five hundred feet. 

It appears that there is salt-water throughout the State of 
Illinois, and, in fact, all over the western country salt-water 
has been discovered either in springs or by digging for it; so 
that this indispensable article may be found in every section of 
the country. 

The Kannahwa salt-works; the Ohio Saline, situated in Gal- 
latin County; and the Boone's Lick works, Mo.; in modern 
times furnished great quantities for the West; but the convey- 
ance of sea salt from New Orleans being so cheap, and the 
article being stronger, not so much is manufactured at these 
works as formerly. Much salt is now conveyed to Chicago 
from New York. 

In the early settlement of the country, the inhabitants used 
not much iron. The earth was, for the most part, clear of 
gravel and rocks; so that the luxury of horse-shoeing was not 
much indulged in. The plows were almost strangers to iron^ 
and the carts entirely so. Iron was not much in use, and none 
made in the country. 


In very early times, very little intoxicating liquor, if any at 
all, was introduced into the country. Indian traders may have 
had small quantities; but so small that it was scarcely noticed. 
In after-times, a liquor from New Orleans, called Taffia, was 
brought to Illinois. This was manufactured out of sugar or 
sugar-cane in the West -India Islands, and resembled New- 
England rum. Some considerable wine was manufactured out 
of the native grapes. This wine was made by the first settlers 
but disappeared with the Europeans. The Creoles made little 
or none. 

In the middle ages of Illinois, the Monongahela whisky 
reigned triumphant, and was hailed at shooting-matches and 
horse-races by many as "the poor man's friend", the "kindest 
and the best." Yet, in truth, the Illinois people were never in 
early times intemperate. 

In the pioneer times of Illinois, the mechanic arts did not 
flourish. Mason work of that day was good; but of the rest 
I can say nothing in praise of them. The cooperage of the 
country amounted to very little more than making well- 
buckets. The carpenters were unskilful in their profession. 
They framed houses and covered them with peg shingles; 
made batton-doors, etc., in a rough fashion. No shoemakers 
or tanners; but all dressed deer-skins and made moccasons. 
Almost every inhabitant manufactured his own cart and plow, 
and made his harness, traces, and all out of raw-hide. Black- 
smith's-shops were like iron scarce. Altho the citizens had 
cattle, yet scarcely any butter or cheese was ever seen in the 
country. In fact, neither male or female worked much; but 
the females assumed their prerogative of doing less than the 
males. There was neither spinning-wheels nor looms in the 
land. It must be awarded to the French, and particularly to 
the ladies, that they expended much labor and showed much 
taste in making nice gardens. They received not only much 
profit and comfort of living out of their gardens, but they also 
enjoyed the pleasure of rearing and seeing the beautiful plants 
and flowers growing in their gardens, which is so congenial to 
French taste. 

The invading army under Col. Clark was made acquainted 
with the fertility and advantages of Illinois, which caused 
many of his men and others to settle in the country. 


It was the war with Great Britain in 1812, that gave Illinois 
a modern notoriety. The troops from Kentucky and the West, 
seeing the northern section of Illinois, reported the advantages 
of the country, which caused it to settle. Clark's campaign 
made the country known and thereby it was settled. 

I can not agree with the generality of mankind, that war is a 
great scourge and curse on mankind. If a war is carried on 
without its being based on some proper and just principle, it is 
a curse; but this is not often the case in these modern days. 

I consider that the war of the American Revolution was ser- 
viceable to the whole human family. The result of this war 
was the first practical demonstration that man is capable of 
self-government. The free institutions of America, which are 
the fruit of the Revolution, will have a tendency to liberate all 
people who are oppressed by an arbitrary government. In this 
view, the Revolutionary War was the best and most holy that 
ever existed; and is a blessing to all mankind. 

The wars of the crusades done good to Europe. This is the 
decision of the best and wisest of men. The revolutionary war 
of France, altho much blood was shed, yet it was serviceable to 
the world. It made the people know their rights, power, and 
importance. And the campaign of Col. Clark not only made 
known this country to the colonies, but the conquest of Illinois 
figured strong in our favor in making the treaty of 1783 with 
Great Britain. 

It was during the Revolution, while the colonies were strug- 
gling for their independence, and the whole country in arms, 
one against the other, that a small band of enterprising emi- 
grants from the colonies settled in Illinois in the year 1781. 
At this early period, and while no one knew in traveling whether 
he would fall into the hands of a friend or foe, James Moore, 
Shadrach Bond, Robert Kidd, Larken Rutherford, and James 
Garrison decided to make Illinois their homes. This small 
party crossed the Alleghany Mountains, descended the Ohio, 
and stemmed the current of the Mississippi to Kaskaskia. The 
emigration of these pioneers was also during a bloody Indian 
war. This party was for peace and for the settlement of the 
country, having with them their women and children; so that 
they were not armed and prepared for war as a military expedi- 


tion would be. It is therefore extraordinary that this small 
party of emigrants could escape all the dangers of the Revolu- 
tion and Indian hostilities and reach Illinois in safety. It would 
seem that Providence was fostering this infant settlement in 

James Moore was the leader of the party, and was a native 
of Maryland. Kidd and Rutherford had been soldiers under 
Col. Clark. Bond was also a native of Maryland, and raised 
near Baltimore, until he made the Far-west his home. Gar- 
rison, Moore, and Rutherford located* themselves near the Belle- 
fontaine in the present county of Monroe, while Bond, Kidd, 
and Garrison settled in the Mississippi Bottom. 

These American families settling in the Mississippi lowland, 
gave the name of American Bottom to the alluvial land of the 
river from Alton to the mouth of the Kaskaskia River. This 
is perhaps the largest and most fertile body of alluvial soil in 
the United States. Some of it has been cultivated for more 
than one hundred and fifty years without improvement of the 
soil, and it yet yields excellent crops. Almost all the early 
French settlements were made in it, and when it is drained of 
some lakes and ponds it will be the largest tract of land of the 
same fertility in North America. 

The river at times not frequent inundates the American Bot- 
tom. The first notice history gives us of a great rise of water 
in the Mississippi was in the year 1770. That year the water 
encroached on the banks of the river opposite Fort Chartres, 
erected in 1718. At that time the river was three-fourths of a 
mile from it; but continued to advance on the fort until the 
year 1772, when the bottom was inundated and one of the walls 
of the fort washed down. The next extraordinary freshet in 
the riyer was in the year 1784, this was a deep inundation of 
the bottom. The inhabitants of Kaskaskia made a temporary 
encampment on the high land east of the town and some of 
them cultivated land on the hills that year. The same of the 
Cahokia people. Many of them retired to the rocky bluff, 
southeast of Cahokia for relief during the high water and called 
it Bon Succour. Others went to St. Louis. The next very high 
water in the American Bottom was in the year 1844. Large 
steamboats in this flood sailed from bluff to bluff. This rise of 


water did great damage to property in the bottom, and almost 
destroyed the villages of Cahokia, Prairie du Pont, Prairie du 
Rocher, and Kaskaskia. These villages have not recovered 
from the injury of the floods of 1844. The past year, 1851, 
the bottom was again flooded and much damage done to the 
real and personal property. This rise of water was not so high 
as either that of 1784 or 1844. A considerable flood occurred 
in the bottom in 1826; but not to compare with those men- 
tioned above. 

The first site at which Moore made his resting-place was not 
far southwest of the present town of Waterloo at a spring called 
to this day Slab Spring. 

Bond, Garrison, and Kidd made a settlement in the bottom 
known at that day as the Block-House Fort. 

Not long after the arrival of James Moore, he was employed 
by Gabriel Cere, a wealthy merchant of St. Louis, to take goods 
and trade with the Indians in the western part of Tennessee. 

Mr. Moore continued in this trade with the southern Indians 
for many years, and made his general headquarters at the site 
the city of Nashville occupies at this time, called then the French 

Mr. Moore had a large family whose descendants in Illinois 
are both numerous and respectable. The same may be said of 
the other early emigrants, only, perhaps, their offsprings are not 
so numerous. 

Mr. Bond numbered many years before his death. As he 
advanced in age, his excellent traits of character became more 
and more known to the people, and the more was his character 
esteemed. He was often elected to the legislature of both Ter- 
ritories of Indiana and the Northwestern Territory. He was in 
(A the legislature at Cincinnati, September, 179^. He was, a jus- 
tice of the Court of Common Pleas of St. Clair County for 
many years together and was always held in high estimation by 
the people. Judge Bond in his neighborhood possessed a stand- 
ing for integrity and honesty that could not be surpassed. In 
his younger days, as most others did, he hunted part of his 
time and was considered an excellent woodsman. He was no" 
ambitious for wealth and when he acted for the public it was t 
accommodate them, not himself. 


He possessed a strong mind and an excellent heart. He had 
a very limited education ; but nature supplied all the omissions 
of education and made him a most worthy character. 

James Garrison was almost *fac-simile of Judge Bond except 
he always successfully refused office. He was an honest, upright 
citizen and an excellent soldier; as that part of his character 
was frequently put to the test in the many Indian skirmishes he 
and others of the emigrants had with the hostile Indians. He 
lived and died in the American Bottom where he left a posterity 
of very exemplary citizens. 

Robert Kidd continued his residence in the American Bottom 
until his death. He lived for many years on a mound in the 
American Bottom near Fort Chartres. He was a good citizen, 
quiet and domestic. He raised a family of children; some of 
whom are now alive and are like their father, worthy and 
respectable. Mr. Kidd was a farmer and lived a long life to 
enjoy the country he assisted to conquer under Col. Clark. He 
died in 1849, at his residence in the Bottom in Monroe County, 
numbering more than four score years. 

Larken Rutherford was also one of Col. Clark's valiant men 
that aided in the conquest of Illinois. He was large and 
athletic, bold and fearless. He was in his decline of years a 
member of the regular Baptist Church, and exercised the same 
energy and zeal in this avocation as he did with the rifle in 
storming Fort 1779. In the organization and gov- 
ernment of the church Mr. Rutherford was not a dormant 
member but up and active in the work, whether the job was 
difficult or not. He was in his church like he was in the army, 
ready at any moment for mortal combat. He was honest but 
rather inclined to a vigorous observance of his duties, and a 
trouble in the clerical camp if the others did riot come to the 
. exact point as he did. He was a farmer in the county of St. 
Clair and resided for many years not far north of the present 
city of Belleville. 

About this time, 1781, and from the time Col. Clark first 
came to the country, which was about four years before, private 
individuals and families emigrated to Kaskaskia and many of 
them permanently remained there. Kaskaskia was the metro- 
polis of the country while the French and British possessed it, 


and it continued the same under the American government 
until 1819. The seat of government of Illinois soon after this 
date was established at Vandalia. 

John Edgar, during the American Revolution, left the naval 
service of Great Britain in 1776, came to the United Colonies, 
and arrived at Kaskaskia in 1784. He had command of a 
vessel on the lakes, but he resigned all for liberty and confided 
his life to the American cause. This was quite natural- and 
honorable to him. He was a native of Ireland and a gentleman 
of liberal education. His heart burned for freedom, and he was 
born and educated with an intense hatred to Great Britain. 

He was intelligent and felt with a keen sensibility the heart- 
less despotism exercised by Great Britain over his native land. 
He was found in the British service when the colonies raised 
the standard of freedom and independence. What was he to 
do? He could not with a clear conscience fight for a country 
that in his heart he despised ; and against a people he admired 
and loved. The decision was easily made and he became a 
citizen of the United States. He emigrated to Kaskaskia with 
a large stock of goods suitable to the market, and remained 
there till his death which occurred in 1832. He lived in Kas- 
kaskia for at least half a century and during all that time sus- 
tained a very conspicuous and honorable character. 

He came to the country wealthy, and shared it out among 
the people with unbounded hospitality. He possessed in an 
eminent degree the kind and benevolent heart of an Irish gen- 
tleman; and with his wealth and benevolent disposition it 
afforded him happiness to make all around him happy. He 
was in his younger days an active business man, and was 
largely engaged in the land trade. In very early times, he 
erected at great expense, a fine flouring-mill on the same site 
where M. Paget had built one sixty years before. This mill 
was a great benefit to the public and also profitable to the pro- 
prietor. Before the year 1800, this mill manufactured great 
quantities of flour for the New-Orleans market which would 
compare well with the Atlantic flour. 

Gen. Edgar was the owner of a splendid mansion in Kaskas- 
kia, and in it, on all occasions, the traveler and stranger found a 
hearty welcome. No one ever displayed more real hospitality 


than he did in his house. Hospitality was the common custom 
of the country; but he improved on it. This agreeable dwell- 
ing was the fashionable resort for almost half a century; and 
many yet alive can testify to the comforts and kind treatment 
they have enjoyed under his hospitable roof. 

For many years he was the most wealthy man in Illinois. 
He held real estate throughout the country, and paid more 
taxes than any other person at one time in the territory. With 
all this wealth and influence, he was kind and benevolent to the 
poor; nor did it ever change his deportment from an American 
gentleman. He enjoyed the confidence of the public, and was, 
when in active life, very popular. He was elected from Illinois 
a member of the legislature of the Northwestern Territory. 
This General Assembly convened at Chilicothe, Ohio; and was 
held under the administration of Arthur St. Clair, governor of 
the Northwestern Territory. 

Gen. Edgar acted as justice -of- the -peace and judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas for a long series of years and gave 
general satisfaction. He had never made the profession of the 
law his particular study; but common sense, a good education, 
and experience in business with perfect honesty made him a 
very respectable officer. The United States appointed him 
major-general over the Illinois militia, and he reviewed the 
general musters with that dignity that became his high station. 
And when his years were almost numbered, the general assembly 
of Illinois named in honor of him a county. Edgar County on 
the east side of the State is one of the first counties in the 
VVabash Valley. 

Gen. Edgar in person was large and portly. In his youth he 
was active, and was always in both youth and age an accom- 
plished gentleman. He possessed a well-balanced mind; no 
one trait prevailing over the others except his benevolence. 
This quality was predominant, which was exhibited hi him 
throughout a long and eventful life. His dust is mixed with 
his mother-earth at Kaskaskia, where the people will long 
remember Gen. Edgar with love and gratitude. He had a wife 
but no children. And altho he was accused of many gallant- 
ries with the ladies, yet he died without issue. Gen. Edgar well 
sustained the honorable character of a pioneer. He possessed 


many of the qualities that adorn the human race, with very few 
that are condemned. He died as he lived, "the noblest work 
of God." 

The treaty of peace between the United States and Great 
Britain made in 1783 had a great effect in advancing the emi- 
gration to Illinois. 

The acknowledged Independence of the United States by 
Great Britain gave the whole country, Illinois included, a fixed 
character and standing at home and abroad. This was a great 
inducement to emigration. 

In fact, the American Revolution is an event so interesting 
to the whole people that it had a great influence on Illinois as 
well as on every section of the Union. I shall, therefore, give 
the outlines of that extraordinary change of government; be- 
cause it is connected with the "Pioneer History of Illinois." 

The founders of the Republic of the United States were 
raised and lived in adversity. The school of adversity made 
the colonists a great and energetic people, capable of achieving 
a revolution that has produced more beneficial effects to man- 
kind than any other recorded in history. 

All men are influenced by surrounding circumstances, and 
can not avoid it. The various colonies along the Atlantic sea- 
coast were planted and reared under very adverse circumstances. 
They had a long series of hardships and perils to encounter. 
They were annoyed with almost everything that could injure 
the human family. Indian wars, sickness, famine, and destruc- 
tion of almost everything that rendered life comfortable were 
visited on the first settlements of the colonies. This kind of 
life for several generations together, gave the people of the 
colonies a decided character of independence and courage. In 
fact, they possessed all the qualities of mind and body to enable 
them to accomplish this memorable revolution. 

The very moment the British Parliament infringed on their 
rights as freemen, they resisted it. It is true, at first they had 
no idea of freedom and independence of the British crown. 
They were not, at the commencement, united; and therefore 
did not know their strength; nor did the parent country know 
the young lion she was rousing into action. The British Gov- 
ernment continued their oppression and illegal measures in par- 


liament, until these colonists, who knew their rights and dared 
maintain them, would not submit any longer. 

The energies and bravery of the colonies were exerted for 
the mother-country in the French war, so called; which was 
closed by the treaty of Paris in 1763. In this war the colonies 
lost twenty-five thousand men and expended their revenues to 
sustain it until they were reduced to poverty. It was these 
colonies that wrested the western country and Canada from 
France, and it enabled them also to conquer their own freedom 
and independence from the mother-country. 

The British Government being clear of any embarrassment 
arising from France in the new world, commenced a different 
policy with the colonies, and in March, 1764, the next year 
after the treaty of Paris, commenced the memorable stamp act 
and similar oppressive measures. The Government of Great 
Britain decided to raise a revenue from the colonies without 
them being represented in parliament. This measure violated 
that fundamental principle, that taxation and representation 
must go together, and the Americans resisted it with all their 

The colonies from the beginning established for themselves 
in each province a legislative assembly. These assemblies were 
the great means of achieving the freedom and independence of 
America; and for ten years these assemblies and the people 
continued a political warfare with Great Britain, one party con- 
tending [for despotism and the other for the rights and privi- 
leges of other Britons. It was at last recommended by the 
people and adopted that a general assembly or continental con- 
gress of all the colonies should convene at Philadelphia. The 
object of this congress and their constituents was not indepen- 
dence; but to petition the Government of Great Britain for a 
redress of their grievances. No one in that body thought of 

This continental congress, the first ever convened in America, 
met in Philadelphia on the 5th Sept., 1774. This assembly 
contained some of the greatest men that ever figured in the 
actions of men. In it there were a few above fifty members, 
elected from the different colonies. Peyton Randolph was 
elected president and Charles Thompson secretary. In this 


assembly were George Washington, John Adams, Roger Sher- 
man, Patrick Henry, Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, Edward 
Pendleton, John Jay, Silas Deane, John Rutledge, Sam'l Adams, 
Thomas Mcfceon, and a host of others of equal merit and noto- 
riety all known to fame. 

This congress was composed of not only great men, but also' 
of moral, pious men. On the 6th September, it was 

"Resolved, That the Reverend Mr. Duche be desired to open 
the congress tomorrow morning with prayers at the Carpenter's 
Hall at nine o'clock." 

"WEDNESDAY, September 7, 1774, 9 o'clock a.m. 
"Agreeable to the resolve of yesterday, the meeting was 
opened with prayers by the Rev. Mr. Duche. 

"Voted, That the thanks of the Congress be given to Mr. 
Duche by Messrs. Gushing and Ward for the performance of 
divine service and for the excellent prayer which he composed 
and delivered on the occasion." 

These proceedings prove that this assembly entertained the 
proper respect for morality and religion ; and they also estab- 
lished the fact that they were much pleased with the prayer of 
Mr. Duche. 

This congress made a short session. They petitioned the 
crown for the redress of grievances and made an address to the 
people of the colonies. They also recommended the meeting 
of another congress. 

The following is the census of the colonies, in Sept., 1774: 


Massachusetts, 400,000 

New Hampshire, - 150,000 

Rhode Island, 95,678 

Connecticut, - 192,000 

New York, 250,000 

New Jersey, - - 130,000 

Pennsylvania (including lower counties), 320,000 
Virginia, - 650 ooo 

N. Carolina, - 300,000 

S. Carolina, 225,000 

Total, - - - 3,025,678 


I presume the above census included the colored population 
as well as white. It may be presumed that the above- census 
is, at least, not low, but, perhaps, enlarged to some extent. It 
appears from the proceedings of this congress that Georgia 
took no part in the movement. 

Another continental congress convened at Philadelphia on 
the 5th of September, 1775, but not a sufficient number of 
members to do business were in attendance. They adjourned 
to the 1 3th. To this congress Georgia sent members. This 
assembly also contained great and wise statesmen. Gen. Wash- 
ington had been appointed by the previous congress to be 
"commander-in-chief of all the troops raised" and "to be raised 
in North America," but the great philosopher and statesman, 
Thomas Jefferson, was returned in his place. Washington was 
appointed to the command of the army on the loth May, 1775. 

The contention between Great Britain and her colonies was 
so much widened toward the close of the year 1775, that every 
discerning man in America saw at once that the case was inde- 
pendence of Great Britain or a slavish subjection to her des- 
potism. This congress was occupied in preparing the country 
for defence, rather than presenting petitions to the king. 

This assembly voted to raise twenty thousand troops for 
defence and three millions of dollars with which to prosecute 
the war. The nation was preparing for the terrible conflict to 
be freemen or slaves, and this to be decided by the force of 

This congress adjourned, and the most memorable assem- 
blage of men that perhaps ever existed convened at Philadel- 
phia in the year 1776. This year is so intimately connected 
with liberty that it will be respected and admired so long as 
liberty and freedom exist on earth. Thomas Jefferson, a mem- 
ber from Virginia whose extraordinary fame and character is 
known all over the earth, drafted the celebrated Declaration of 
Independence, and on the 4th July, 1776, it passed the con- 
gress and was signed by all the members. This declaration 
with the force of arms made the colonies a free nation. 

After a most bitter struggle of seven years, Great Britain 
acknowledged the independence of the United States and 
agreed to the treaty of peace, signed at Paris Sept. 3d, 1783. 


During the Revolutionary War, a most singular character 
arose, whose actions were excessively bold and energetic. 
Paulette Maillet, which is pronounced Mia, was born at Macki- 
nac, in the year 1753, of French parents, and, like Othello, 
from his tender years he "used his dearest action in the tented 
field," and he knew little of the world, "except what pertains 
to feats and broil of battle." He was an Indian trader, and 
roamed over the country toward the sources of the Mississippi 
and the Rocky Mountains. He was raised and lived out of 
the pale of civilization. He possessed an extraordinary strong 
mind and a kind of singular ferocity of courage. 

He founded, in the year 1778, the new town of Peoria which 
occupied the site of the present city of that name. The old 
village was a mile and a-half up the lake from the present city. 
This new village was often called Le Ville a Maillet. The 
Indian traders and others settled around Maillet and made a 
village at the outlet of the lake. 

He heard of the defeat of Thomas Brady of Cahokia by 
the British and Indians, in the fall of the year 1777, at St. 
Joseph on the east side of Lake Michigan and was determined 
to avenge it. He had relatives and acquaintances in the expe- 
dition conducted by Brady, and some of them were killed, 
which roused him into a great rage to have satisfaction. The 
next year, 1778, Maillet called on his legions, who were always 
ready to serve him, for support to take the British fort at St. 
Joseph and to revenge the death of his friends. This was not 
made in vain. About three hundred warriors, white, mixed, 
and red, assembled under his standard. In this corps were 
many of the most respectable citizens who marched with Mail- 
let for the relief of their countrymen, who were taken pris- 
oners the previous year while under the command of Brady. 

The Indians joined the expedition for plunder and friendship 
for Maillet. They started from Peoria and marched on foot 
to St. Joseph. On the march in the hot prairies, exhausted 
with fatigue and not much to eat, one of Maillet's men, M. 
Amlin, gave out and was unable to travel. Maillet had no 
time to spare, and no provisions except a scanty supply of 
dried meat packed on their backs, and if the British garrison 
knew of their approach their defeat was certain. This great 


savage warrior coolly and deliberately took his tomahawk and 
sunk it deep into the brains of the exhausted soldier. This 
was savage and ferocious; there is some palliation for it but 
no justification. The object of the expedition would be 
defeated if the utmost secrecy and celerity were not practised. 
If the sick man was left he might perish or give notice of the 
campaign. Maillet may have performed this act to impress 
his followers with fear and dread of him. He had with him 
rather a piratical crew, and if severe and decisive measures 
were not practised on them, the expedition must have failed. 
It was a bold and decisive stroke that few men would have the 
nerve to perform. 

After this decisive act, Maillet's men marched under his 
standard with vigor; and they fought the British garrison like 
tigers. They captured the fort altho defended by British 
troops and cannon. The party took all the stores of the 
Indian goods, whfch amounted to fifty thousand dollars; they 
permitted the British to retire to Canada in peace. The 
wounded men of Brady's party were safely returned to Caho- 
kia and thus the expedition of Maillet ended. 

Maillet was of a strange composition and had a strong, 
uncultivated mind; but a great preponderance of courage and 
savage combativeness. He at last lost his life by this trait of 
character. In Peoria, in the year 1805, he had an affray with 
a Frenchman called Senegal. Maillet, still accustomed to use 
violence to obtain victory, was shot dead by Senegal. 

Another singular character arose above the horizon in Illi- 
nois in the year 1779. Dominique Ducharme was a Canadian 
and an Indian trader. He was another of this class of North- 
western traders who possessed great talents, extraordinary 
energy, and indomitable courage. He lived at intervals in 
Cahokia and had a brother residing there. Ducharme was 
habituated to the savage life and had unbounded influence 
over the Indians from Lake Superior to the Falls t>f St. An- 
thony, and down toward the Illinois River. He obtained a 
supply of Indian goods at Mackinac, and contrary to Spanish 
regulations, he entered the Missouri River to trade with the 
natives in the Spanish dominions. He had proceeded up the 
Missouri some distance, when a party of Spanish soldiers from 


St. Louis with an officer in a barge overtook them and capt- 
ured his boat, goods, and all except himself. He made his 
escape with only his gun and his life. 

St. Louis was the Spanish post from which the armament 
proceeded that captured Ducharme's boat and merchandise. 
This made him swear vengeance against this post. All w r inter 
he was active in raising his savage friends for an attack on St. 
Louis. His war-whoop was heard from Lake Superior to the 
Falls of St. Anthony, and down to Rock River, and fifteen 
hundred warriors responded to the call. The British garrison 
at Mackinac furnished a few regular soldiers and some Cana- 
dians to join Ducharme. 

With these forces Ducharme made arrangements to capture 
St. Louis on the 26th of May, 1780. He made the assault, 
and killing as many as appeased his wrath, he withdrew his 
red warriors and abandoned the massacre. It is said that 
when Ducharme and his Indians saw many of their old friends 
dead, their anger turned into sorrow and they withdrew to 
their wigwams in the North. The year of this attack on St. 
Louis, 1780, was known afterward as "L'anne u'u coup!" 

It is astonishing the great influence Ducharme had over the 
Indians. The British joined in, as Spain and Great Britain 
were then at war; but the British acted a subordinate part to 
Ducharme in this matter. It was Ducharme's campaign, not 
the British. 

In the fall of 1780, La Balme, a native of France, organized 
an expedition from Kaskaskia to capture Detroit. He marched 
from Kaskaskia with twenty or thirty men; at Vincennes they 
engaged a few more. He moved up the Wabash to the British 
trading-post, Ke-ki-ong-a, at the head of the Maumee, and 
destroyed the place. After securing the plunder, he marched 
to the river Aboite, and while encamped, a party of Miami 
Indians attacked his troops in the night and killed him and 
dispersed the balance. 

The expedition must have been rather of the privateering 
order than regular war. The celebrated Col. Clark was on 
the Mississippi, perhaps at Fort Jefferson now the Iron 
Banks at the time when La Balme organized his party to 
capture Detroit, and if a regular campaign had been on hand 
Clark would have been its leader. 


Thomas Hughes from the western part of Pennsylvania, 
visited Illinois in the year 1783 to settle in the country. He 
made a tomahawk improvement on Nine-mile Creek in the 
present county of Randolph. He returned for his family the 
next year, and on the Ohio River near Fort Massac, where 
they landed for the night, the Indians attacked the boat, killed 
Hughes and a sucking child in the arms of its mother, and 
wounded severely the mother in the shoulder. The rest of 
the emigrants escaped down the river in the boat to the Iron 
Banks, not being able to stem the current of the Mississippi 
to Kaskaskia. This defeat interrupted the emigration of this 
family for many years; but in the year 1797, the surviving 
children of Hughes, together with the widow and her second 
husband, Pillars, as she had married again, moved to the coun- 
try and located in Randolph County where many of their 
descendants reside at this day. The child spoken of above 
was shot thro the head and its brains scattered over the 
mother's breast. Such is the barbarity of Indian warfare. 

It has been stated that the French population of Illinois 
commenced to decline from the conquest of the country by 
the British in the year 1763, and the villages of Fort Char- 
tres and St. Philip were at this time, 1783, rapidly declining. 
After the year 1800, not a French family resided in either of 
them. The other French villages of Illinois are fast verging 
to the same fate of their extinct neighbors. Mr. Everett was 
the only inhabitant of the village of St. Philip in 1803. It is 
almost impossible to give a satisfactory reason for the decline 
and fall of these French villages in Illinois. 

Both the Government of Great Britain and the United 
States that had dominion over the country, permitted the 
French inhabitants a free toleration of their religion and 
allowed them all the rights and privileges of other citizens. 
And, moreover, grants of land were given to them that were 
denied to Americans who settled in the country after the year 
1788. The French settlers enjoyed the first selections of the 
lands in the country, and with all these advantages that popu- 
lation has in all the settlements declined, and in some locali- 
ties none at all exist where once were populous villages. The 
French population will not reside on farms, each family to 


itself, like the Americans. They always live in villages where 
they may enjoy their social pleasure. The church also induces 
them to settle near it in villages. In these villages the inhabi- 
tants can not farm to the same advantage as those living on 
separate plantations. The French also neglected to educate 
their children. This is another heavy drawback against them. 
It seems that the Creole French do not possess that indomit- 
able energy of character that the Americans so eminently 
enjoy. The masses of the French are unambitious of wealth 
or office. They are innocent and honest, and care but little 
for the future if the present is prosperous and happy. They 
do not trouble themselves with that restless ambition to obtain 
wealth and power that frequently renders the American popu- 
lation extremely unhappy. This course of conduct and life 
will, of necessity, make one class of people outreach the other 
in the race for wealth and worldly advancement. One class of 
people will be the most efficient and will extend itself through- 
out the country; while the other race will at least remain sta- 
tionary or decline in the vicinity of the Americans. Yet it is 
doubtful which race is the most happy. Excessive, restless, 
ungovernable ambition, such as actuates the American popula- 
tion, does not produce happiness while the French are less 
actuated by ambition and have less energy, they enjoy more 
of the calm of life and indulge more in the social enjoyments 
which I believe makes them a happier people than the Ameri- 
cans; but not so energetic. 

This course of life of the Creole French has almost entirely 
secured them from any infractions of the penal laws of the 
country. Very few or none of the Creoles were ever indicted 
for the crimes the law-books style maluin in se. Not one to 
my knowledge was ever in the penitentiary for a crime. I 
believe the records of the courts in Illinois do not exhibit an 
indictment against a Creole Frenchman for any crime higher 
than keeping his grocery open on a prohibited day of the 

In the year 1782, the Spanish authorities at St. Louis, Upper 
Louisiana, fitted out an expedition to capture the same British 
post, St. Joseph, that both Brady and Maillet had before taken, 
and the same that LaSalle erected in 1679. It i s known that 


the British Government retained some of the posts in the 
Northwest after the treaty of 1783 which were within the 
limits of the United States. This fort was one of them. It 
will also be recollected that Spain and Great Britain were at 
war at the time. A company commanded by a Spanish cap- 
tain with sixty-five men marched from St. Louis across the 
prairies of Illinois and captured the British garrison at St. 

This was a singular expedition not known whether it was 
against the British or to seize by force of arms some of the 
western country which the Spaniards laid claim to, as they 
had assisted the Americans in the Revolution. The court of 
Spain urged this conquest against the Americans when the 
Spaniards contended for a part of the western country. The 
Spanish captain retained possession of the post only for a short 
time and returned to St. Louis. 

About this time, 1783, Cahokia was the partial residence of 
many Northwestern Indian traders. Julien Dubuque made it 
his residence before he established himself on the west side of 
the Mississippi near the present city of Dubuque. He pur- 
chased of the Indians the lead-mines to which his name was 
given, situated on the west side of the Mississippi, 22d Sep- 
tember, 1788, and on his petition to the Baron de Carondelet 
at New Orleans on the loth November, 1790, these mines were 
granted to him. This tract of land extends on the river six 
leagues and three back. 

Dubuque's grave is about one mile below the city of Du- 
buque; and was by the Indians held in great veneration while 
they remained in the country. It was stated by the Indian 
traders that the Sauk and Fox Indians made it a duty of 
religion to visit once a year the grave of Dubuque and per- 
form some religious ceremonies over it. Every visit an Indian 
made to the grave, he cast a small stone on it in honor of the 
deceased. The superstition of the Indians made them believe 
that Dubuque was not entirely dead; but that he would soon 
be restored to life and be their guide and friend again. 

William Arundel, a merchant from Canada and an Indian 
trader, resided in Cahokia before the year 1783, and had 
before that time resided in or near Peoria. He was an 


orderly, moral, correct man and dealt largely in lands. He 
emigrated from Ireland and had received a liberal education. 
His handwriting for a long series of years may be seen in the 
various offices of St. Clair and Randolph counties. He lived 
to a very old age and died at Kaskaskia in 1816. Thomas 
Brady and William Arundel were the only two persons who 
were not French that resided in Cahokia before the year 1788. 
Thomas Brady lived in Cahokia for many years and was sheriff 
of St. Clair County under the organization of Gov. St. Clair in 
the year 1790. He had the reputation of an honest, correct 
citizen; and I believe he deserved it. 

Capt. McCarty was a citizen of Cahokia and was captain of 
the French company that joined the standard of Col. Clark in 
February, 1779, in the Revolution, and endured the fatigues 
and perils of the campaign to Vincennes thro high water and 
ice; and almost in a starving condition. He assisted in the 
conquest of Fort Sackville arid Vincennes, and performed his 
duty there to the satisfaction of Clark. 

Another McCarty, called English McCarty, built a water- 
mill on the Cahokia Creek about three-quarters of a mile 
northeast of the present Illinoistown. He expended much 
money and time on this mill, and did not obtain any great 
profit in return. It is impossible to establish on such streams 
as Cahokia Creek mills that will be profitable to the proprie- 
tors and serviceable to the public. McCarty's mill was large 
and did much business at times; but the banks of the creek 
being so easily washed away, the dam could not be made to 
stand. The vestages of this mill may yet be seen altho it was 
built seventy or eighty years since. McCarty obtained an 
improvement right of four hundred acres of land covering his 
mill -site which is worth more than ten times as much as his 
mill ever was. McCarty emigrated to Illinois from Canada 
and left no heirs in the West to enjoy either the mill or his 

About this time, a water-mill was built at the Falling 
Spring, two miles southeast of Prairie du Pont. The French 
call this spring L'eau Tomb which gushes out of a perpendic- 
ular rock of the Mississippi Bluff with a fall of sixty or eighty 
feet to the bottow below. At times in the spring a great 


quantity of water rushes out of this channel in the rock and 
the fall of which may be heard for several miles. A mill was 
constructed at these falls for grinding wheat. A kind of 
trunk or hollow log conducted the water to the wheel of the 
mill. This mill was small and at this day not a trace of it 
remains to be seen. This spring is rather a curiosity and is 
now made a fashionable watering-place in the hot days of 
summer. It is a celebrated site of picnic parties, and the 
young and gay assemble there in the summer to look love at 
each other. 

The first water-mill erected in this section of the country 
was that built on Prairie-du-Pont Creek by the Mission of St. 
Sulpice. This mill was the nucleus around which the village 
of Prairie du Pont was formed. This mill and settlement 
must date its commencement about the year 1754. The mill 
and the plantation of this religious society were in fine repair 
in 1764, when they sold out to M. Gerardine and left the coun- 
try on account of the British Government. 

A wind-mill was erected in the prairie, two miles southeast 
of Cahokia, by the Jesuits in the year 1744, or a short time 
before. This mill also declined and went to decay about the 
time that the British took the country and the order of the 
Jesuits was suppressed. Some of the millstones are yet lying 
in the prairie where the mill once stood. There is an ancient 
graveyard near this old mill-site. 

Col. Clark, by order of the executive of Virginia, in the 
spring of 1780, left Kaskaskia to establish Fort Jefferson at 
the Iron Banks on the east side of the Ohio River, some dis- 
tance below the mouth. It became necessary for Col. Clark 
to leave Fort Jefferson and return direct to Kentucky. This 
tour he performed on foot with only one man with him, while 
the Indians were numerous and extremely hostile in the sec- 
tion of the country thro which he was obliged to travel. He 
lay by in the daytime, generally, and traveled at night. He 
packed his gun, provisions, and other articles indispensable for 
his journey, on his back. Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers 
were crossed on rafts. When out in the current of these rivers 
on a raft, he pulled down the stream for a mile or two and 
then landed. He feared that the Indians seeing him would 


place themselves at the bank where he would most likely land 
and destroy him before he could land or see them. By row- 
ing down the stream, the enemy could not keep pace with him, 
he being in the current of the river and they on the shore. 
Thus he saved his life and reached Kentucky in safety. He 
was appointed by Virginia, brigadier-general and established 
his headquarters at the Falls of the Ohio. He remained in 
this office until the close of the Revolutionary War, and was 
disbanded by his State, because the country was about that 
time transferred to the general government, and thereby Vir- 
ginia ceased to have the particular defence of the country from 
Indian depredations. The whole country, and particularly his 
native State, awarded to him the greatest honor and thanks 
for his extraordinary services in the West. 

On the 2d July, 1783, Benjamin Harrison, governor of Vir- 
ginia, wrote to General Clark a letter from which I give the 
following extracts: 

"Before I take leave of you, I feel myself called upon, in 
the most favorable manner, to return to you my thanks and 
those of my council for the very great and singular service 
you have rendered your country in wresting so great and valu- 
able territory out of the hands of the British enemy, repelling 
the attack of their savage allies, and carrying on a successful 
war in the heart of their own country. This tribute of praise 
and thanks so justly due, I am happy to communicate to you 
as the united voice of the executive." 

On or before the year 1783, there were in Illinois about 
forty-five improvements made by Americans that entitled the 
owners to four hundred acres of land under the act of Con- 
gress passed 1791. This act granted four hundred acres of 
land to all who made improvements in Illinois prior to the 
year 1788, except in villages. 

All the American heads of families amounted to seventy- 
five; and the Americans who resided in the country on or 
before 1791, who were capable of bearing arms as militia-men, 
were only sixty- five. All the heads of families in the coun- 
try, French and Americans, who received donations of four 
hundred acres of land, were two hundred and forty-four. All 
the militia-men amounted to about three hundred. 


It is very near correct that the heads of families in Illinois 
being two hundred and forty-four in the year 1788, because 
each head of a family received a donation of four hundred 
acres of land, which would induce them to be recognized 
before the proper officers to obtain their lands. The public 
documents of the government state the above number, and by 
estimating each family at an average to have five members, 
the whole population of Illinois in the year 1788 would be 
twelve hundred and twenty souls. It might reach to two 
thousand by counting transient persons and all others. 

The Indian depredations were severe on the Americans in 
these early settlements which compelled the inhabitants to 
erect stations or block-house forts all over the country for 
their protection. Many of the sites of these stations are 
almost forgotten at this time. They were important in war 

A block-house was erected near Bellefontaine by the first 
emigrants to that section of Illinois. Another was established 
in the American Bottom by Bond and his followers at his first 
residence in the present county of Monroe. Another station 
was erected by the Flannarys, that was on the main road from 
Kaskaskia to Cahokia, and known in after-times as Whitesides' 
Station. Another was built by James Piggot and others, that 
was situated at the foot of the Mississippi Bluff, where the 
small creek, the Grand Risseau, so called by the French, south 
of Columbia, runs thro the bluff, and about one and a-half 
miles west of Columbia in Monroe County. Capt. Nathaniel 
Hull erected one including his residence, also at the foot of 
the Mississippi Bluff in Monroe County about twelve miles 
southwest of Waterloo and above the Narrows. 

The families of McElmuny and Flannary built a station fort 
as early as the year 1783, on the Mississippi opposite the Island 
22 in the present county of Alexander in township 16, south. 

These settlements were composed of hunters who made 
small improvements. Some of them may have been those 
who met Col. Clark in the year 1778 near Fort Massac. These 
inhabitants left the country long before 1800, and scarcely a 
trace of their settlements could be discovered at this date. 
Beshears erected a fort in the American Bottom, south of 


Bond's, near section 18 in township 3, south range 11, west. 
Golden erected another in the same neighborhood near sec- 
tion 24. No traces of these stations are visible at this time. 

A block-house fort was generally a defence against Indian 
attacks. The lowest order of these forts was a single house, 
built strong, and a story and a-half or two stories high. The 
lower story was provided with port-holes to shoot thro, and 
also with strong puncheon doors, three or four inches thick, 
with strong bars to prevent the Indians from entering. The 
second story projected over the first, three or four feet and 
had holes in the floor, outside the lower story, to shoot down 
at the Indians attempting to enter. 

A higher grade of pioneer fortifications were four large, 
strong block-houses fashioned as above and erected at the four 
corners of a square lot of ground as large as the necessities of 
the people required. The intervals between these block- 
houses were filled up with large timbers placed deep in the 
ground and extending twelve or fifteen feet above the surface. 
Within these stockades were cabins built for the families to 
reside in. A well of water or spring was generally found to 
be necessary in these forts. In dangerous times, so called, the 
horses were admitted in the forts during the night for safe- 
keeping. Dogs, cats, etc., as a matter of course, remained 
with their owners. The cattle and milch cbws were not often 
admitted. Generally two strong gates were made to these 
garrisons with bars in proportion to secure the doors against 
the red-skins. Port-holes were cut in the stockade above the 
head and platforms raised to stand on to shoot. 

It was never neglected to clear off the timber near these 
forts or build them in the prairie; so that the enemy might 
not conceal himself behind the trees, brush, etc. In the morn- 
ings it was dangerous at times to open these gates and go out. 
Many times the Indians attacked the milking parties and 
others first going out of the fort. Sentinels were sometimes 
kept up all night like a regular garrison. 

Altho this backwoods life made the people friendly as 
brothers; yet at times the injunction of the Scriptures "to 
love thy neighbor as thyself" was forgotten. It must be 
recollected that in these forts the party was not select, as the 


emigrants occupying the forts came from all parts of the 
Union and some from Europe; so that a mixture of all sorts 
was frequently crowded together in these garrisons. Some- 
times the rights of property were not respected. This was 
often the ground of quarrels. It must also be recollected that 
no regular courts of law existed in the country in these times. 
The mothers of children could not see, as they said, "their 
children imposed on," and if they possessed red hair and thin 
lips, generally a battle of words ensued. Sometimes the un- 
wise and irritable husbands enlisted in these petticoat squab- 
bles. At times a rude boy would throw clods of dirt into 
another boy's victuals and then run to his mother for protec- 
tion, informing her that "the bad boy was just going to whip 
him;" and the mother, nine times out of ten, believed her dar- 
ling child. But the most prolific source of trouble in these 
forts arose out of the violation of the seventh commandment. 
The territory within the walls of these garrisons was so limited 
that Venus had no shady groves or sweet-scented bowers in 
which to open her court; so that her votaries had no suitable 
shrine in which to adore that godess. Detection suddenly fol- 
lowed the act and the injured party made the fort resound 
with fume, froth, and female thunder. For those not particu- 
larly concerned these love broils were a source of much amuse- 
ment. Some would remark: "How he run when he saw his 
wife coming." Others would say: "The lady looked beauti- 
ful." But the grave old ladies and old aunts with spectacles 
on would raise their eyes in pious detestation of the crime and 
exclaim: "Oh! the sins of the world! It is no wonder we 
have an Indian war upon us." 

These troubles were generally hushed up after the proper 
amount of female tears were shed and male sorrows displayed 
by solemn promises made by the husbands "not to do so any 
more." Then they "kissed and made friends." 

In these forts, like other communities, were frequently excel- 
lent, moral, pious people; and sermons were often preached 
in them that would do honor to Christianity in any country. 
Family worship was kept by some; while dice, cards, or other 
games for amusement were indulged in by others in the even- 


The most danger was from the Indians when the families 
left the fort for their homes in the neighborhood. They 
found their houses, yards, and fields out of repair and the 
grass grown over the yards; so that all wore a dismal appear- 
ance; and, perhaps, the blood yet on the floor or yard where a 
member of the family had been killed by the Indians before 
they moved into the fort. 

Sometimes these garrisons were attacked by the Indians and 
then was human thunder displayed in all its various forms and 
shapes. The Indians yelling, whooping, and firing into the 
fort from the outside, while the inside was energy and activity 
in the highest degree. 

The commander, dressed in moccasons and hunting- shirt, 
with his rifle in hand, gave his orders in such a cool, dignified 
manner that soon quieted the first uproar of the women and 
children and placed every soldier at his proper post. Such 
men as these could not be conquered. Perhaps many of the 
same men who defended these forts possessed the talents, in 
peace times, to fill the highest offices in the gift of the people. 
These trials and dangers developed their minds and educated 
them to grace the highest stations in the country. 

It is not an idle story that the females in these forts run 
bullets and did other services in defence of the garrisons in 
time of Indian attacks. 

By habit and experience in these times of difficulties with 
the Indians, all the pioneers, male and female, became accus- 
tomed to the use of the rifle in self-defence; and on many 
occasions saved themselves and families from destruction by 
these means. 

About this time, 1788, a singular tragedy occurred at Peoria. 
An Indian trader, Louis La Vossiere, resided at Peoria and was 
a singular high-toned Frenchman from France. He was fitted 
for the ages of chivalry more than for the grovelling times of 
money-making. The same Paulette Maillet, as he believed, 
was too well acquainted with his wife, and thereby La Vossiere 
became diseased of a kind of mania. He was determined to 
put an end to his existence. That he might do this in an hon- 
orable, chivalric manner and with his friends, he decided on 
having a splendid dinner; and when all were in perfect happi- 


ness and being ethereal with wine, to fire a quantity of powder 
prepared for the purpose in the cellar under the table, and all 
to go off in a frolic together. 

He prepared the dinner, wine, and powder and called in his 
friends. The feast for a while went on well. The dinner over 
and the wine going round in floods, when his guests perceived 
something strange, and just before the powder was fired off 
they had retired barely far enough away to save their lives, 
while La Vossiere was killed by the explosion. He left two 
children who are yet alive. His widow married her paramour, 
Maillet, whose fate is before narrated. 

It is the great misfortune of all new countries that there are 
no means of educating the children. This was the case with 
Illinois from its earliest settlements by the French and for one 
hundred years after. The Jesuits at Kaskaskia had some kind 
of a religious institution of learning established in the year 
1720, but the children had no schools at ail, or scarcely any, 
wherein they could receive a common education. It is true, 
the clergy attended particularly to the learning of the children 
the catechism and other religious teaching, but not much more 
was given to the youth of that day. It was not the custom of 
the times, and thereby this essential ingredient of man's happi- 
ness was almost entirely neglected. There is much excuse for 
the omission of schools in early times with the Americans, and 
almost a justification of it. 

The people were, almost all of them, poor, and the hostile 
Indians were always pressing danger and death on the frontier 
settlers. In many instances the school-houses were guarded 
and the children on going to and returning from school were 
in danger all the time. Schools to exist under such circum- 
stances were out of the question. Thus it was, the greater 
portion of the people raised on the frontiers received no book 
education. But this defect, to a great degree, was remedied 
by the circumstances of the country. As it has already been 
stated that the dangers, perils, and troubles of various kinds 
which are experienced by pioneers in settling a new country, 
and that country in a war with the Indians, will develop and 
improve the mind. The inhabitants must become active and 
energetic in self-defence. Reflection and action will both be 


forced on the people in such situation, and thus they become 
wise and energetic men. They can not make a display in 
literature, but they possess wisdom and practical common- 
sense which is far preferable. 

The frontier inhabitants raised in adversity have more prac- 
tical sense than those living in the old settlements. One race 
have their minds always in action; while the other indulges in 
a lifeless monotony. 

A mixture of book education and backwoods activity pro- 
duces the greatest race of men. Education by means of 
schools or otherwise must be extended to all classes of citizens 
in this Republic, or otherwise it is impossible to maintain a 
free government. 

The system of Sunday-schools is among the greatest- dis- 
coveries of human wisdom. The great man, R. Raikes, who 
first put this machinery in operation, should be hailed all over 
the world as "the poor man's friend, the kindest and the best." 
The children of the wealthy can always obtain an education; 
but it is the poor and the humble that this system accommo- 
dates and relieves from ignorance and oppression. The benev- 
olent and the charitable have the time and power on the Sab- 
bath to attend in the schools and instruct the children in 
morality and the Scriptures. Nothing can be so pleasing to 
the heart of a good man or woman as to instruct the children 
to pursue that course of life which will make them good and 
happy. On this earth a more dignified and pleasing sight can 
not be seen than a talented and accomplished lady having her 
flock of little girls and boys with her going to the Sunday- 
school. These groups having with them the sacred writing to 
teach them happiness here on earth and at the close of life the 
way to heaven will be ready to open to those that are happy 

Sunday-schools must be regulated by wisdom. The proper 
books and the proper teachers must be provided, or otherwise 
they will be a curse rather than a blessing to mankind. This 
is the case with all systems of education or teachings. To 
educate the heads of children and leave their hearts unin- 
structed in morality and honesty, is doing mankind an injury 
and harm. Science and literature without morality and hon- 


esty will be a curse to the human family. Sunday-schools will 
aid in the education of the heart to a great extent. 

The female children deserve more the attention of the public 
in theii education than the males. It is the mother who first 
gives their tender offspring the leading bent of mind. The 
infant around its mother receives its first impressions.from her, 
which may govern it thro life. How difficult it is to discard 
early impressions. If they are good and received from a kind- 
mother they are calculated to make the person happy thro life. 

The legislature should do something to advance the cause 
of Sunday-schools. The teachers might be paid, books and 
rooms provided for the schools at the public expense. No- 
money could be expended to do as much good, if it were 
properly applied, as to advance the Sunday-school system. 

James Piggot, John Doyle, Robert Whitehead, and Mr. 
Bowen were soldiers in the expedition under Colonel Clark in 
the year 1778, and soon after the campaign settled in Illinois. 
Doyle had a family and resided in or near Kaskaskia. He 
was something of a scholar and taught school. He spoke 
French and Indian and was frequently employed as an inter- 
preter of those languages into the English. He was unambi- 
tious and lived and died without much wealth. He was con- 
sidered an honest man and was always respected while alive 
as he is now, when dead as one of the brave men who assisted 
Col. Clark in the conquest of Illinois. 

Bowen and Whitehead were both correct men. Whitehead 
raised a large family and lived to an advanced age. Bowen 
lived single and received a pension as a Revolutionary soldier. 

All these soldiers of the Revolution, Biggs, Piggot, Kidd, 
Rutherford, Doyle, Whitehead, Bowen, and others who aided 
in the conquest of Illinois under the celebrated Col. Clark, 
performed services for their country that entitle them to the 
gratitude and respect of a people who are now enjoying the 
harvest of their labors. Under any circumstances a brave sol- 
dier of the Revolution is entitled to much honor and gratitude. 
The conquest of Illinois under the perilous and dangerous cir- 
cumstances attending it entitles those brave men who achieved 
it the highest honor that man can bestow on them. 

During the Revolution, Mr. Huff and family left the Monon- 


gahela country in Western Pennsylvania for Illinois. He had 
married a widow Murdoch, who had three sons with the party. 
This emigrating party was tolerably strong and had prepared 
and fortified their boat. They started from Red Stone, Old 
Fort, so called in those days, where the town of Brownsville 
was built-in the year 1786. On the Mississippi near the Grand 
Tower, while encamped for the night, the Indians attacked the 
party and killed Mrs. Huff, one of her sons, and some others. 
The survivors retreated in the boat and thus saved themselves. 
Mrs. Huff was mangled in a shocking manner before the eyes 
of her husband and family. She was cut open and quartered 
and the Indians drank her blood. This was the reason that 
her son, John Murdoch, who was a very conspicuous char- 
acter in the early times of Illinois, swore vengeance against all 
Indians, and could scarcely be restrained from killing them in 
time of peace as well as in war. 

The party came on to the American Bottom and settled 
there. Mr. Huff, only a few years after, was killed by the Ind- 
ians on the road between Prairie du Rocher and Kaskaskia. 
His watch and some other articles were found, many years 
after, where he had been killed. 

Toward the close of the Revolutionary war, many American 
families settled in Kaskaskia. Ichabod and George Camp first 
resided in Kaskaskia, and afterward made improvements on 
the high land west of the Kaskaskia River, on a stream called 
Camp's Creek. They afterward moved to St. Louis and resided 
at what is now called Camp Spring, west of that city. They 
gave the name to that spring. 

John and Israel Dodge resided in Kaskaskia; so did John 
Cook and Jacob Judy and their families. 

Israel Dodge was the father of Hon. Henry Dodge,* the pres- 

* Gov. Dodge represented the State of Wisconsin after its admission to the Federal 
Union, as one of its first senators in congress from 1848-51; at the expiration of the 
first term he was reelected and served a second term, ending in 1857, when having 
been continuously in public life for a period of more than fifty years, he retired to a 
well-deserved rest, making his home with his son, Gen. A. C. Dodge, in Burlington, 
Iowa, where he departed this life, full of years and honors, June 19, 1867. 

Gen. Augustus C. Dodge, son of Gov. Henry Dodge, had a career of no less 
interest than that of his honored sire. Born in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, in 1812, he 
received the best tuition the country afforded, which was but spare. He removed 


ent senator in congress from the State of Wisconsin. The 
father had resided at the Iron Banks and was on his way from 
there by Vincennes to Kentucky, and at Vincennes Henry 
Dodge was born, in the year 1777. Israel Dodge resided with 
his family for several years at Kaskaskia, while Henry com- 
posed part of his family. The Dodge family left Kaskaskia 
about the year 1790, and resided in upper Louisiana. 

Henry Dodge was raised in a new country, where the oppor- 
tunities for education were almost entirely denied the children 
whose fathers had not the means to send them abroad ; and 
the society, sixty or seventy years ago, about Kaskaskia and 
Ste. Genevieve, where young Dodge was raised, was not cele- 
brated for its morality; but Dodge steered clear of the vices 

with his father some years later to the neighborhood of the lead-mines in the territory 
of Wisconsin, where he remained until 1838, when he settled in what afterward 
became the State of Iowa, in the City of Burlington. He rendered valuable services 
in the Black- Hawk War, attaining the rank of brigadier-general. He was the first 
delegate to represent the territory of Iowa in the United States congress, a position 
to which he was a second time elected. He was one of Iowa's first United States 
senators, serving from 1848-55. At the expiration of his term as senator, he was 
appointed by President Buchanan as minister to the court of Spain. On his return 
to Burlington from Madrid, he retired to private life and, except serving a few terms 
as mayor of the city and the filling of a few minor positions of trust, he never again 
entered the political arena. Gen. Dodge died, universally esteemed and generally 
regretted by a large circle of personal friends, Nov. 20, 1883. 

P'rom 1848-55, the Dodges, father and son, were members at the same time of 
the United States senate, a coincidence without a parallel in American history; and 
the untimely death of Gov. Dodge's half-brother, Dr. Lewis Lynn, before the expira- 
tion of his term as senator from the State of Missouri, prevented his service in the 
same senate with the father and son. 

A daughter of Gov. Dodge is also well known in Illinois history. Mary Louise 
Dodge was married to Col. John Dement at Ft. Leavenworth in 1835, and has been 
truly one of the pioneer mothers of our State. By the death of her distinguished 
husband on January 17, 1883, she is left to survive most of her family. Her present 
residence is in Dixon, Lee County, 111. 

Her son, Hon. Henry Dodge Dement, is the present secretary of state of the State 
of Illinois, a position he has attained by the exercise of those qualifications of integ- 
rity, ability, and geniality, which have descended to him from both families of his 
illustrious ancestry. Mr. Dement has represented his county in the State legislature, 
and served four years as a senator from his district in the State senate. He also has 
maintained the fighting reputation of both sides of the house by making a good 
soldier in the late war, entering the service as a second lieutenant while a mere boy, 
early in 1861; he was promoted to a first lieutenant shortly afterward; and made an 
honorable record in one of the veteran regiments of Illinois the Thirteenth Infantry. 
J. II. G. 


and immoralities so much practised at that time. And 
altho he had not the opportunity to receive much education 
inside of a college, yet he studied men and things outside; so 
that he has acquired a great store of intelligence and informa- 
tion, which enables him to occupy an elevated and conspicu- 
ous standing in society. Nature bestowed on him some of her 
most precious gifts. He possesses a strong and solid judg- 
ment; but he moves to a conclusion with caution and reaches 
it with mathematical certainty. His leading traits of char- 
acter are: a strong intellect, great firmness, and much dignity. 
Nature designed him for the profession of arms, and he has 
embraced the military on all fit and appropriate occasions. In 
his youth he was much engaged in hunting the wild game and 
often remained in the woods for weeks and months together. 
On these occasions his apparel corresponded with his vocation, 
which would make a strong contrast with his present respect- 
able and dignified appearance in the senate of the United 
States. Such are the blessings of our free institutions, that 
merit can rise from the humble h:e of a hunter to the most 
dignified and elevated stations known to the people. 

In former days, he manufactured great quantities of salt at 
the works below Ste. Genevieve. He had several hundred 
laborers in his service, at times working this saline. 

In the late war with Great Britain, he was engaged almost 
the whole time in the defence of the frontiers. He was elected 
a general of the militia of Missouri before the war of 1812, 
which enabled him to keep the militia in a proper organiza- 
tion for active operations. 

He took command of a battalion of four hundred men, com- 
posed of United-States rangers, mounted riflemen, and others, 
with a squad of friendly Shawnee Indians, and removed a band 
of the Miami Indians from the Boone's-Lick Settlement on the 
Missouri River to the Wabash. These Indians were made to 
unite with their own nation on the Wabash, for safe-keeping 
out of the influence of the hostile Indians in the north. When 
they resided on the Missouri and professed to be friendly, it 
gave rise to suspicion that they harbored and sustained the 
others who were hostile. It was wise and benevolent policy to 
settle them with their own people on the Wabash ; thereby 


"keeping them out of temptation." Gen. Dodge performed 
this delicate service with judgment and discretion. 

He was appointed United- States marshal in the State of 
Missouri at the first organization of the State government, and 
continued to execute the duties of that important station for 
many years. He was punctual, prompt, and decisive in per- 
forming the duties of this office. 

In 1822, he emigrated from the State of Missouri to the 
Michigan Territory. He located in that section of the terri- 
tory north of the State of Illinois which composes the State 
of Wisconsin at this time. In this new country, he operated 
in the lead business. A town is called Dodgeville Tor him, in- 
cluding his residence. 

In the Black-Hawk war, his section of the territory of Wis- 
consin was very much exposed to the Indian depredations, 
and he was the main defender and protector of the country, 
as almost the whole country was a frontier. He organized all 
the male persons, old and young, that could be raised in the 
country for the defence of their firesides. After Gen. Still- 
man's battle on Sycamore Creek, above Dixon's Ferry on Rock 
River, in 1832, I sent an express at night to Gen. Dodge, who 
was in the neighborhood, informing him of the facts and that 
his country in the territory was in imminent danger from the 
attacks of the Indians. We knew that the hearts of all the 
Indians, who resided within three hundred miles of the scenes 
of the Black -Hawk war, were with him in the quarrel and 
wished him success. 

If Black Hawk had succeeded in some skirmishes, and no 
efficient efforts been made against him, all the tribes around 
about would unite with his band and harass the frontiers. To 
prevent this outbreak of the Indians, it was necessary to act 
with despatch and efficiency. Gen. Dodge carried out this 
policy with great activity and spirit. The Indians were pre- 
vented from joining Black Hawk, and much injury to the 
country was thereby avoided. 

A bold and decisive battle was fought by Gen. Dodge and 
fifteen of his men against sixteen Indians. These Indians had 
committed some murders near Hamilton's Fort, in the terri- 
tory, and Dodge and party pursued them. There was no time 


to lose, or the Indians would escape. The whites pursued the 
Indians toward Rock River and overtook them. Dodge and 
party rushed on them and destroyed every one. He had three 
or four of his men killed and some wounded. It was neces- 
sary to make this energetic and decisive attack on the Indians 
to make them sue for peace. 

In the Black-Hawk war he acquired much reputation ; and 
at the close of it, was appointed a colonel over a regiment of 
dragoons. At the head of this regiment, he marched, in the 
.year 1833, across the plains to the Rocky Mountains, and made 
several important treaties with the Indians at the mountains 
and also on* the plains. He returned in the fall with his regi- 
ment in good order and health. This regiment of dragoons, 
after being disciplined and inured to service with Col. Dodge 
at its head, was an efficient corps and would have sustained 
the honor of the service in any situation on a battle-field or 

He was appointed governor of the Wisconsin Territory, and 
executed the high and responsible duties of that office to the 
entire satisfaction of both the people of the territory and the 
general government. He was also superintendent of Indian 
affairs, which is an office incident to that of the governor. 

This territory was, at that time, surrounded with Indians, 
which made the office of superintendent one of much delicacy, 
and required sound judgment to execute it; but he performed 
the duties of this station to the honor of himself and much to 
the interest of the people. Gen. Dodge has occupied for many 
years the high and dignified office of senator in the congress 
of the United States, and has made an excellent member. He 
has now before him the experience of a long and eventful life, 
together with a sound and solid judgment, so that he now 
makes an efficient, substantial, and dignified member of con- 
gress. He has a large and respectable family. One of his 
sons, A. C. Dodge, is in the United-States senate from the 
State of Iowa. 

William Musick, James Piggot, Robert Sybold, and some 
few others were inhabitants of Kaskaskia before the close of 
the Revolution. 

Before the year 1778, many American families made im- 


provements in Illinois, by which they obtained a bounty of 
land from the government. 

John Montgomery improved that tract of land two or three 
miles east of Kaskaskia River, Randolph County, on the Vin- 
cennes old road, where Stace McDonough has since resided 
for more than half-a-century. Montgomery erected a small 
water-mill on a spring near his house. The remains of the 
old dam may be seen to this day, although it must be about 
seventy years old. 

George Lunsford made an improvement, and by it obtained 
a grant of land. Henderson, Harniss, Huff, Chaffin, Sybold, 
and many other Americans with their families resided in Illi- 
nois and made improvements before the year 1783. 

It will be recollected that Col. John Todd* of Kentucky 

* Col. John Todd, the first of the name to emigrate to Illinois, was a son of David 
Todd and Hannah Owen, who came from Ireland, where they were married, to the 
town of Pequea, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, prior to the 1< evolution. David 
Todd had three sons, John, Robert, and Levi, who were all educated by their uncle, 
Rev. John Todd, who conducted a literary institution of an educational character in 
that county. The three brothers emigrated together to Fayette County, Kentucky, 
in 1778; and shortly afterward, Col. John Todd was commissioned by Patrick Henry, 
then governor of Virginia, to be lieutenant-colonel and civil commandant of Illinois 
County, then just authorized by an act of the Virginia assembly, October, 1778. 
Afterward he organized the new county government, June 15, 1779, and everything 
was running smoothly when he had occasion to visit Virginia in reference to land- 
titles, in the summer of 1782, and on his return, while visiting his family in Ken- 
tucky, the Indian invasion from the western side of the Ohio River occurred, and in 
a battle which was fought with them at Blue Licks, in which Col. Todd was a volun- 
teer commander, he was killed, on August 18, 1782. 

Levi Todd, brother to John Todd, was a lieutenant under George Rogers Clark 
in the expedition which captured Kaskaskia, in 1778, and he returned with the de- 
tachment which took the British commander, M. Rocheblave, a prisoner to Virginia. 
He never returned to Illinois, but spent the balance of his life at Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, where he filled many important^ positions of trust and confidence. Gen. Levi 
Todd is best known in Illinois by his descendants. His daughter Hannah was mar- 
ried to Rev. Robert Stuart, a distinguished Presbyterian divine, and former professor 
of languages in Transylvania University. From this union sprang Hon. John T. 
Stuart, a distinguished member of the Springfield, 111., bar, the preceptor and after- 
ward the law-partner of Abraham Lincoln. 

Gen. Todd's son, Robert S., was the father of Mrs. Ninian W. Edwards, Mrs. Dr. 
Wm. S. Wallace, Mrs. C. M. Smith, and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, all of whom have 
lived in this State for many years, and those of the number yet living still reside in 
Springfield Dr. John Todd, brother to these, emigrated to Edwardsville in 1817, 
and afterward, in 1827, to Springfield. The numerous descendants of Dr. Todd and 


organized the government of Illinois at Kaskaskia in the year 
1778, under the jurisdiction of Virginia, and whatever govern- 
ment the people had, was that established by Col. Todd and 
Capt. Stirling, when the British conquered the country, in the 
year 1763. 

The government was very imperfect; but the people needed 
little or none. Rocheblave was governor when Clark captured 
the country, and Timothy Demountbrun was the comman- 
dant when Col. Todd came to Kaskaskia. There was a kind of 
mixture of the civil and British law in the country, adminis- 
tered by courts down to 1790, when Gov. St. Clair came to 
Kaskaskia and set in motion the territorial government under 
the ordinance or act of congress of 1787. A people, such as 
those in Illinois were, in sparse settlements, poor and honest, 
needed very little government. And it is a curse all over the 
earth that " the people are governed too much." When a 
people are shackled down with excessive legislation, with char- 
ters for corporations, and sometimes with a public debt, they 
are in a humble and degraded condition; and if no other relief 
can reach them, they should resort to a revolution for it. 

his sisters rank among' the best people, socially and intellectually, 'about the State 
capital. One of them, Robert Todd Lincoln, being at the present time secretary of 
war. J. H. G. 


Illinois under the Northwest Territory of the Government. 

AFTER the close of the war of the Revolution, the people 
of the United Colonies were much embarrassed and largely in 
debt. A seven years' war with the most powerful nation on 
earth was severely felt by all classes of people. The federal 
government and many of the States earnestly solicited the 
State of Virginia and other States to cede their western lands 
to the general government, and thereby a fund could be real- 
ized by a sale of these lands to pay the public debt and carry 
on the government. 

Virginia, with that nobleness of character and disinterested- 
ness which has always influenced its councils, on March i, 
1784, ceded to the general government her public domain, 
that now forms the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, 
and Michigan; and also transferred to the United Colonies the 
government and 'urisdiction of the ceded country. 

As it has been stated, in the year 1785, an ordinance of ti^ 
old congress passed to survey and prepare for market some of 
the public domain. The ordinance required townships of six 
miles square to be laid off by lines running north and south 
and east and west on the true meridian. The first of these 
lines were to commence on the Ohio River at a point north of 
the western termination of the western boundary of Penn- 
sylvania; thence due north, and another line commencing at 
the same point running due west. Each township was to be 
subdivided into thirty -six square miles, and numbered from 
one to thirty-six, commencing in the northeast corner and 
numbering west and east to the termination in the southeast 
corner, at the number 36. One of these sections (i6th) was 
reserved in each township for the use of schools. 

Various acts of congress en the subject have passed; so that 
as low a number as forty acres of land may be entered to 
accommodate purchasers. This land-system has been adopted 
10 145 


over all the public domain in the United States, and has proved 
to be of general utility. This system also gave the first direc- 
tion of public opinion in favor of schools. In this, as in other 
things, the provisions of this act of congress were based on 
wisdom and with a just regard to the claims of posterity. 

The New Design was the name of the settlement made 
about four miles south of Bellefontaine, in the present county 
of Monroe. This location of emigrants was established as 
early as 1782, and then received the name of New Design. It 
is a beautiful country whereon this settlement was made. It 
is elevated and commands a view of both rivers, the Kaskaskia 
and Mississippi, and withal, the soil is fertile. It was first a 
prairie and barrens; but at present the timber has grown up 
all over the country which is not cultivated. 

This was the largest settlement made by Americans in Illi- 
nois in early times, and was generally the first rendezvous of 
the emigrants. It was the headquarters, together with the 
Bellefontaine settlement, of the whole American population. 
Before the year 1790, a considerable settlement was formed in 
the New Design. Horse-mills and blacksmith's-shops were 
established there. Mr. Dougherty erected a band-mill, which 
answered the pioneers a good purpose in 1795. 

John Murdoch, it will be recollected, came to the American 
Bottom with his brother, Barney, and Mr. Huff, his step-father, 
in the year 1786, and resided there during life. 

Barney Murdoch died in early life and the step-father, Huff, 
as was before stated, was killed by the Indians, leaving much 
estate, and thereby John Murdoch inherited for that early 
time a large property. He came to the country when a mere 
lad, and his mind and character were formed under the perilous 
circumstances of a wild and new country. He had, in his 
younger days, little opportunity of education and therefore his 
book-learning was limited. He could merely read and write 
and was acquainted with some of the common rules of arith- 
metic. Making a living in the American Bottom was not diffi- 
cult and he paid not much attention to it. His youthful days 
were spent by him in a kind of poetic action. If ever a gay 
young man acted poetry, it was John Murdoch, in his limited 
sphere. He possessed a mind of extraordinary ability and let 


it loose like Childe Harold: "He vexed with mirth the drowsy 
ear of night." Nature blessed Murdoch with an active and 
vigorous intellect. But few individuals, in any country, possess 
the strong mind that nature bestowed on him. But the situa- 
tion of the country, together with his associations, rendered 
this gift of nature to him useless and perhaps injurious. A 
great and vigorous mind, when it has a wrong direction, does 
much more injury than a weak one. This was the case with 
Prince Henry until his father's death, when he became king of 
England and then Henry the Fifth was the greatest monarch 
of his age. 

John Murdoch was a model of symmetry and masculine 
beauty, rather above the ordinary size of men, and somewhat 
corpulent. He was as straight as an arrow and of a dark 
complexion; his eyes were large and black and displayed an 
uncommon brilliancy; his head was large and forehead uncom- 
monly capacious. In all societies, with the young or old, with 
the wild or religious, he was always the centre of attraction 
and the commanding spirit of the circle. . 

The manners and customs of early times permitted him to 
enter into the dissipations of the country. He acquired among 
the French their language and their accomplishments in the 
dance. He performed well on the violin and possessed an 
excellent natural talent for music. In his early day, no one 
could sing with more grace and glee than he could. The 
necessities of the country learned him the use of the gun and 
he became an excellent marksman and hunter. Horse-racing 
at that day was indulged in by almost all classes of citizens, 
and in that sport he took great delight. He was also enamored 
with the various games of cards, which grew on him and at 
at last ruined him. 

A palliation, not a justification, for gambling with cards may 
be given in the fact that nearly the whole country, forty or 
fifty years ago, enjoyed the luxuries of a card-table, and public 
opinion was somewhat in its favor; but notwithstanding this, 
this sin will, earlier or later, bring ruin on those who 

As he grew in years, he became more dignified and com- 
manding in person and deportment. There.was in his char- 
acter nothing frivolous or trifling. In all situations, in the 


woods, the camp, or the legislative halls, he also deported him- 
self with that hauteur of character and manly bearing which is 
becoming a gentleman. 

Easy, graceful manners seem to have been born with him; 
he was polite by instinct and in all his various scenes of pleas- 
ure and gayety, he never forgot the good breeding of a gentle- 
man, and always showed respect to religion and to the aged 
part of community. 

John Murdoch was benevolent and kind and possessed no 
malignity or malice in his heart; he had no gall in his compo- 
sition, yet firm and warm in his attachments. If he had been 
raised in different society, and had received a competent edu- 
cation, he would have been a great man. Nature did much 
for him, and he depended on these natural gifts and did noth- 
ing for himself; yea, worse, he contended against these natural 

Like almost all of these characters that nature has done so 
much for, he did nothing for himself. He was indolent, to an 
extreme, in everything except in the pursuit of pleasure. He 
had no business talents; he was raised in wealth, in a country 
where industry was not known; he grew up in a country where 
the people lived free and easy; he, like the others, indulged in 
everything that tended to pleasure and to his amusement. 

When he reached the age of manhood, he was frequently 
called upon to serve the public. He was elected, in 1803, as 
one of the three members of St.Clair County to the territorial 
legislature, which convened at Vincennes in the same year. 
This was the first general assembly held under the authority 
of the Indiana Territory. 

In the year 1802, the territory of Indiana was established 
and Illinois constituted a part of it. This was an important 
legislature, to organize the new territorial government. Mur- 
doch acquitted himself in the legislature to the satisfaction of] 
the public. He was at that day very young for a legislator; 
but his mind under the circumstances of the country and his 
situation in it was considerably developed. He had been 
thrown on his own resources from his infancy, and had thereby 
become old in experience tho young in years. 

He was very popular with the ladies; his gayety and per- 


sonal attractions made him a great favorite with them. He 
acted the gallant as part of a gentlemanly deportment to the 
fair sex; but he did not extend the power he possessed iri that 
respect beyond a decent propriety. 

He married a Miss Garrison, who was the step-daughter of 
Judge Bond, and likewise an amiable and agreeable lady of 
excellent family. He and family occupied a plantation in the \ 
American Bottom until his death. 

He had some talent and taste for military life. He was first 
captain of a company and afterward became a major of a bat- 
talion. In this office, on a general muster-day, no officer ever 
appeared in the field to equal the imposing appearance of 
Major Murdoch. He was a splendid horseman, together with 
his dashing uniform and manly military display on parade, 
which made htm show off to great advantage. Yet all this 
good fortune did not spoil him. He was neither vain or over- 

He declared an eternal warfare against the whole Indian 
family, in peace or in war. He had a mother, father, and two 
step-fathers killed by the Indians. Perhaps no other man had 
the same reason to dislike the Indians, as he had, on account 
of so many of his parents being killed by them. Ever since 
he was able to raise a gun, he was, on all proper occasions, out 
against them. 

In the late war of 1812, against Great Britain and her Indian 
allies, Murdoch was active and zealous to fight the red men. 
He was field-officer in the campaign under Gov. Edwards, in 
the fall of 1812, to the upper end of Lake Peoria, and acted 
as major in that expedition. He also acted as major in the 
campaign of 1813, under Gen. Howard. 

Murdoch never gave himself the trouble to study military 
tactics, but depended on his natural resources, which seldom 
failed him. 

He was elected November 10, 1813, from St.Clair County to 
the legislative assembly, held at Kaskaskia under the territorial 
government of Illinois. He was a quiet voting member of the 
assembly, and always had the sound judgment to prevent him 
from frothy declamation, by which the public good is not 
advanced; and in every particular he made a good solid mem- 


her, and his constituents highly approved his conduct. In fact, 
being raised among his constituents, and having good sound 
sense, with extremely popular manners, he almost made public 
opinion in his county. Almost everything he did was popular. 
It was his great popularity with the young men of his day that 
led many of them estray into the paths of pleasure and dis- 
sipation. They imitated him, but had not the talents to shun 
the rocks that lay concealed under the waves of dissipation as 
well as he did; and even he at last was ruined by this course. 

Murdoch spent much of his spare time in hunting. He was 
a great hunter and marksman, and camped out for weeks to 
hunt and recreate himself in the woods. 

Murdoch being past the meridian of life, these follies and 
foibles of human nature increased on him until his death. He 
died in 1830, regretted by all Monroe County. 

John Murdoch was a noble pioneer. He had united in him 
a strong mind, graceful manners, and the self-sustained inde- 
pendence of the perfect backwoodsman. 

Murdoch had human foibles and frailties. One great defect 
in his character was that he had not the power to resist temp- 
tation. The gayety and fascination of agreeable society he 
could not resist. He was all life and animation, and indulged 
in these fascinations, at first, without much injury; but at last, 
this course of life became second nature to him, so that he 
could not refrain from it. The weak point in man is that he 
has not the power to withstand temptation. 

Truth requires it to be stated of Murdoch that Ije was one 
of the greatest men that was ever raised in Illinois; he was 
Nature's nobleman. 

The old village of Prairie du Chien, situated on the east 
bank of the Mississippi, a few miles above the mouth of the 
Wisconsin River, was built by the French not long after the 
first discovery of the country, and was occupied by the Indian 
traders and farmers. It was the outpost of the Indian trade. 

This village took its name from a band of the Fox Indians, 
who resided there and were called the dog band. Prairie du 
Chien is in English, the prairie of the dogs. 

The French inhabitants cultivated the Mississippi Bottom 
for four miles up and down the river, and nearly a mile wide 


from the river to the bluff. The present village of Prairie du 
Chien is about one mile above the old village, and was built in 
the year 1783, under the British authority. The site was pur- 
chased of the Fox Indians. In 1807, in the village and vicinity, 
there were thirty-seven houses, and counting ten persons to 
each house, there would be three hundred and seventy inhabi- 
tants. A few houses were erected on the west side of the 
Mississippi, at Girard's River. 

In the year 1812. Dubuque, Antya, and Girard were the 
principal settlers in Prairie du Chien. Brisbois, N. Boilvin, and 
others also resided there. At some seasons of the year, there 
was a great influx of traders at this village, to the number of 
six or eight hundred white persons and Indians in proportion. 

The citizens being so remote from the white population had 
children with the squaws; so that many of the present genera- 
tion have some Indian blood in their veins. This is considered 
no disparagement in that section of the country. 

It is no disparagement in any country. The Indian blood 
is found in the veins of many of the greatest Americans that 
figured on the stage of public action. John Randolph, whose 
celebrity is extended over Europe, as well as America, had a 
share of the bow-and-arrow blood in his composition; as also 
many other great and eminent men in the United States. The 
only misfortune is that the Indian race is not equal to the Euro- 
pean, and far below the North American. The compound will 
not improve the stock. The American race of people with 
the various crosses, and being raised and educated under the 
influence of free and liberal institutions, present to the world 
a race superior to any other nation. A great variety of cir- 
cumstances produce this result. 

In the first place, the most talented and energetic people 
leave Europe and settle in America. The drones are left at 
home in the old country. The various races intermarry, whose 
offspring is improved by it. In the next place, the country of 
North America is large and presents opportunities and facili- 
ties for the pursuit of wealth and power that accommodates all 
the different views of the citizens and urges them on to action. 
And our republican institutions, based upon equal principles 
and their influence. Education is diffused and the road to 


power and wealth and the highest offices are open to merit, so- 
that all these incentives to action develope the intellect and 
energies of the people until the Americans are a superior race. 

Our old enemies, the British, and their American friends give 
us the name of new Anglo-Saxons. Our name, blood, and 
lineage are American and not Anglo-Saxon. It is true that 
most of the Americans are descendants of Europeans, but the 
preponderance of blood is not of the Anglo-Saxon race. There 
are more of the descendants of the Irish and Germans in the 
United States than English. In fact, the American race at 
present is so compounded and improved that we are a stock 
of our own. 

It is stated that in 1814, the farms of Prairie du Chien were 
in high cultivation. Between two and three hundred barrels 
of flour may have been manufactured there that season besides 
a vast quantity of corn. 

The first American school-master ever appeared in Illinois 
was Samuel John Seely, in 1783. This school-teacher entered 
on his labors in the New Design in the present county of 
Monroe. I would respectfully recommend to the attention of 
the directors of the common-school system in Illinois the pro- 
priety of doing honor to Mr. Seely and to the subject of educa- 
tion by establishing great anniversary jubilees on the occasion. 

The next teacher was Francis Clark, an intemperate man, 
who appeared in 1785. The next was an Irishman named 
Halfpenny, who taught school in many sections of Illinois for 
many years. This preceptor taught almost all the American 
children in Illinois in his day that received any education at 
all. He might be styled the school-master general of Illinois 
at that day. 

The next teacher was John Clark, a preacher and a talented 
man. He was a Scotchman and was well educated. He 
taught the higher branches of education mathematics, phi- 
losophy, etc. 

The Indian depredations prevailed throughout the country 
so much that the education of the children could not be much 
attended to before the peace with the Indians in 1795. 

The Indians were never hostile to the French population. 
They might do some injury to their property and at rare in- 


vals kill a white man; but there was never a settled determina- 
tion to wage war against the French, with some exceptions, 
where the British instigated the savages to the deed. But far 
different it was with the American population. It is difficult 
to say when Indian depredation on the Americans commenced; 
but Wayne's treaty, in 1795, put a stop to these hostilities. 

Wherever the American population was large enough in Illi- 
nois for the attention of the Indians, then a bitter marauding 
warfare commenced. 

In 1786, was the first decisive Indian war waged against the 
Americans in Illinois. James Flannary was killed in 1783, by 
the Indians, but this was not considered a general war. 

In 1786, not far northwest of Waterloo, Monroe County, 
James Andrews, his wife, and daughter, James White, and 
Samuel McClure were killed by the Indians and two daugh- 
ters of Andrews were taken prisoners. One died with the 
Indians and the other was ransomed by the French traders. 
This first act of Indian warfare on the Americans in Illinois 
was bold and decisive. Five were killed and two taken pris- 
oners. The daughter of Andrews who was ransomed is still 
alive and is the mother of a large family. 

This slaughter of part of the infant settlement of Illinois- 
produced a great panic among the pioneers and caused then* 
to erect the stations and forts that are heretofore mentioned 
for their protection. A continual murderous warfare was kept 
up against the first American settlers until 1795. It is astonish- 
ing how so small a settlement as was in the country in 1785 
could sustain itself against the great numbers of Indians that 
were in the country at that day. The whites not only fortified 
to protect themselves, but were compelled to mount guard 
day and night for their safety. When a man was plowing in 
the field, one other or more were stationed outside to protect 
him. The same with the domestic affairs of a family, guards 
for protection were indispensable to save their lives from the 
attack of the hostile Indians. 

In 1788, December 10, Benjamin Ogle and James Garretson 
were fired on by two Indians while they were hauling hay from 
the Bottom. A ball lodged in Ogle's shoulder and remained 
there. Garretson made his escape in the woods. In stacking 


the same hay, Samuel Garretson and Mr. Reddick were both 
killed and scalped. Mr. Ogle received a pension for this wound. 

The year 1789 was one of continual commissions of murders 
and depredations by the Indians on this small defenceless set- 
tlement. The citizens at that day must have had iron wills or 
otherwise they would have been exterminated by the Indians. 
We read of repeated an i repeated murders of the inhabitants 
almost daily, and yet the wise conduct and unparalleled bra- 
very of the people saved them from destruction. 

Three boys were attacked by six Indians a small distance 
from the block-house fort in the American Bottom, situated 
not far from the Fountaine Creek, where it first enters the 
Bottom. David Waddle was struck with a tomahawk in three 
places scalped made his escape and recovered. The other 
boys run to the fort and were saved. James Turner, John 
Ferrell, and three others were killed this year at several times 
by the Indians, and John Dempsey and another were scalped 
and left for dead, but recovered. 

These are only the partial items of the horrid and revolting 
murders of this year. No individual, male or female, night or 
day, was safe. This year may be denominated the year of 
blood in Illinois. The settlement of the present county of 
Monroe must have suffered this year by the Indians a loss of 
one out of every ten of its population. 

The enemy acted with savage ferocity, not only on the in- 
habitants, but turned that same savage malignity to destroy 
the animals of the whites. They not only stole horses which 
is rather a beggar commerce with the Indians but destroyed 
the stock with a wantonness unparalleled in Indian warfare. 

We will abandon these horrid murders committed by the 
Indians for a moment, and turn our attention to the organiza- 
tion of the Northwestern Territory and other matters more 

It will be recollected that Virginia ceded Illinois to the 
United States in 1784, and on July 13, 1787, the ordinance, so 
called and known in the territory, was passed by congress. 
This territory included five States, as they are at present 
organized ; Illinois being one. This act of congress, which 
-calls itself a compact as well as an ordinance, is made the 


foundation of all territorial governments organized since that 
day. The great and leading feature in it is the provision 
against the introduction of slavery in the territory. This ordi- 
nance secured all the Northwest from slavery. I think con- 
gress has the power to legislate on the subject, as was done in 
the case before us; but it is unwise and impolitical to act in 
the case; but permit the people of the terr.ory to use their 
own judgment on the occasion, whether they have slavery or 

Arthur St.Clair was appointed governor of this territory, and 
remained in office until the State of Ohio was organized, in 

In contemplating the life and character of Gov. St.Clair, a 
melancholy reflection forces itself on us; as he appears to be 
a man doomed to misfortune. His motives and impulses were 
pure and patriotic; yet, in almost every enterprise or business 
in which he was engaged during a long and eventful life, he 
failed in almost every instance. 

He was born in Edinburgh, in 1734, and was of good family, 
but unknown to history. He came to America with Admiral 
Boscowen, in 1755. Having served in Canada as lieutenant 
under Gen. Wolf in 1759 and 1760, he was, after the close of 
the war, appointed to the command of Fort Ligonier, in Penn- 
sylvania. When he left the British army is not known; but in 
December, 1775, he was married and held six offices in the 
State, to wit: clerk of the court, prothonotory of a court, judge 
of probate, register of wills, recorder of deeds, and surveyor of 
the largest county in the province. In this same year, 1775, 
he acted as secretary to the commissioners who held a treaty 
at Pittsburg with the Indians. He became known and popular; 
so that without solicitation, he was, in January, 1776, appointed 
colonel in the continental army with orders to raise a reg^nent 
to operate in Canada. He raised the regiment in six weeks, 
and left Philadelphia with six companies on March 12, and 
reached Quebec on May 11, to cover the retreat of the troops 
from that place, while the other four companies remained at 
Sorel, on the St. Lawrence. He was appointed brigadier- 
general on August 9, 1776, and ordered to join Gen. Washing- 
ton's army, then retreating thro New Jersey. Gen. St.Clair 


acted well his part in the battles of the Revolution, at Trenton 
and Princeton. 

On Feb. 9, 1777, congress appointed him a major-general, 
and on June 5, he was ordered to take command of the fort at 
Ticonderoga. He abandoned this fort, and altho it was done 
on the consultation of officers, yet the public disapproved of 
it. A court-martial sustained the movement, and congress, in 
1778, confirmed it. But still the wound was not healed in, 
public estimation. 

Washington always retained his first confidence in General 
St. Clair. He acted his part well at the battle and siege of 
Yorktown, at the capitulation. From this point he was sent 
with six regiments to Gen. Greene in South Carolina, with 
orders to reduce all the British garrisons in North Carolina. 
These posts were abandoned at his approach, and on Decem- 
ber 27, 1781, he joined Gen. Greene at Jacksonburg. After 
the peace, Gen. St. Clair resided in Pennsylvania, and was 
elected a member of congress in 1786, and the president of 
that body in 1787. When the Northwestern Territory was 
established, in 1787, he was appointed governor of the terri- 
tory. He did not desire this appointment, but he seems to 
have acted on the principle recognized by Gen. Jackson, "he 
would neither ask or refuse office." St. Clair observed that 
"to accept the office of governor was the most imprudent act 
of my life." He was appointed in 1788, and remained in office 
to the year 1802, when the State of Ohio was organized. 

On July 15, 1788, Gov. St. Clair appeared at Marietta and 
put the machinery of government into operation as far as pos- 
sible. Washington County was the first- organized county in 
the territory. In September, 1788, the governor and United- 
States judges for the territory Parsons, Barnum, and Symms 
prepared and adopted a code of laws for the Northwestern 
Territory, which has formed the basis of the statute laws of 
all the States formed out of this territory. Gov. St. Clair and 
Winthrop Sargeant, his secretary, in February, 1790, arrived 
at Kaskaskia and organized the county of St. Clair. The 
governor also appointed the various officers in the new county 
necessary to the administration of justice, and partially adjusted 
the land -titles of the citizens. 


The county of St.Clair was called for the governor and was 
bounded as follows : beginning at the mouth of the Little 
Mackinaw Creek, where it empties into the Illinois River, and 
running a direct line to the mouth of a creek which empties 
into the Ohio not far above Fort Massacre ; then down the 
Ohio to the Mississippi; then up that river and the Illinois to 
the place of beginning. 

St.Clair is the mother of counties in Illinois, and still retains 
her youthful vigor, looking around with pleasure on her happy 
offspring. It will be recollected that the Ancient Dominion, 
in October, 1779, erected Illinois into a county of that name, 
which retained a kind of obsolete existence down to the year 
1790, when the county of St.Clair was carved out of part of it. 

Gov. St.Clair appointed William St.Clair clerk of the court 
and recorder of deeds in St.Clair County, and many others to 
office the same year. 

He had, in the year 1788, organized the second grade of ter- 
ritorial government and caused elections to be held in the 
several counties which he had established. 

Both the branches of the legislature met in Cincinnati, first, 
on September 16, 1789, and adjourned on the 24th of the same 
month. Knox County, at that day, included both Vincennes 
and the Illinois country, and from the Illinois part of Knox 
County, Shadrach Bond, Sr., was elected to the house of repre- 

At that session an excited struggle was had for the election 
of a representative to congress from the territory. Public 
opinion settled down on William H. Harrison and Arthur 
St.Clair, Jr., the nephew of the governor. Harrison had eleven 
votes and St.Clair ten. This election came off on Oct. 3, 1799. 

Gen. St.Clair died August 31, 1818, on the top of the Alle- 
ghany mountains, in Pennsylvania. 

Henry Levens and family settled in the New Design in 1797. 
He landed at Fort Massacre with two teams and wagons; one 
was an ox team. He put a large skiff on one wagon, for a 
wagon-body on land and a ferry-boat when they reached the 
creeks that were swimming, on their march to Kaskaskia. They 
were twenty-five days in this pilgrimage from the Ohio to Kas- 


He emigrated from the western part of Pennsylvania and was 
well calculated to brave all the dangers and difficulties incident 
to the settlement of a new country. He was a very large, stout 
man, and a stranger to fear. He was not educated to any great 
extent, and was rather decisive and energetic in his common 
intercourse with society. He was kind and hospitable to those 
he esteemed, and to those he disliked he acted the reverse. 

He possessed rather a strong mind, but uncultivated, which 
was formed under circumstances unfavorable to advance the 
meek, mild, or amiable traits of the human character. He 
was, withal, kind and hospitable to those, friend or foe, under 
his roof; his house was the common hotel for dancing and con- 
vivial parties. He raised a large family, and as the old and 
young, male and female, were inclined to gayety and sociability, 
they indulged in the pleasures of the ballroom and other amuse- 
ments of a similar character. A greater portion of his sons 
and some of his daughters played on the violin, and all, young 
and old, danced. 

This family was the centre of attraction, and many are the 
happy days, and particularly nights, of innocent amusement 
and recreation, which were enjoyed in pioneer times at the 
friendly and hospitable mansion of Henry Levens, on Horse 

In 1800, Levens erected a saw-mill and grist-mill on Horse 
Creek, near his residence, and carried this mill on with energy 
and advantage to the public. The lumber for nearly all the 
flat-boats built in early times, in Illinois was sawed at 'this mill. 
The sons of Levens were like their father, active and resolute 
men, and as most other pioneers, they, too, were excellent 
hunters and marksmen. The rifle with the early settlers was 
literally a staff of life, and almost every one became not only 
expert with the gun at the shooting-match, but were also excel- 
lent hunters. Old Nimrocl would have been pleased to have 
the young Levens 'in his corps, as they would, in the chase, do 
honor to their captain. 

The Levens family, while they lived together, became more 
wealthy than the neighboring pioneers. Their stock was raised, 
winter and summer, without much labor, and the mill and farm 
yielded considerable income; so that the family had the means 


of supporting the frolics and amusements they indulged in. The 
sons also made something by the peltries arising from hunting. 
The whole family were active and energetic people; but they 
delighted in sport more than in work. The gun, race-horse, 
and violin were articles of the greatest admiration in the family. 
They were strictly honest and extremely kind and hospitable, 
after the manner of their father. The Levens family were an 
excellent sample of a prominent pioneer family. They were 
all blessed with good intellectual faculties, and were very active 
and energetic, and were also large and portly men and resolute 
to excess. For many years there were four or five grown sons 
and two daughters in the family before any were married. The 
sons or father never indulged in any great intemperance, nor 
much gaming, farther than amusement. 

The sons delighted in the rural sport of foot-racing, wrest- 
ling, jumping, etc. Horce-racing, shooting-matches, and dan- 
cing in early times were enjoyed by almost the whole commu- 
nity, and the Levens family indulged in these amusements with 
a particular delight. The males, young and old, were not bash- 
ful in a fight, in which they indulged at times to the great 
discomfiture of their adversaries. 

In fact, the Levens family possessed a respectable and con- 
spicuous standing in society, which, together with the circum- 
stances already stated, enabled them to enjoy an uninterrupted 
round of pleasure and of happiness of the character above 

The aged sire, at last, like Boone, was interrupted by the 
approach of neighbors, which produced too near him a species 
of mathematical society, which he disliked, and he sold out his 
possession on Horse Creek, in 1818, and moved to the frontiers 
of Missouri. He lived to advanced age and died in that State, 
the aged patriarch of a large family. 

The Indian murders and troubles seemed to increase in 1790. 
This may have arisen on account of the Indians seeing the 
Americans flocking to the country and a government being 
organized in it. The red men on this consideration may have 
made greater efforts to prevent the settlement of the country, 
and thereby the natives would occupy the homes of their 
fathers longer. This year was a sad and sorrowful one with 
the infant settlements of the Americans in Illinois. 


It was mostly the Kickapoos that were so extremely hostile 
and ferocious against the whites. This nation resided nearest 
the Americans, and were better armed and more vigorous than 
the other Indians to commit depredations on the settlements. 
And they committed their savage warfare with a vengeance 
unequalled in any other country. 

In the winter of this year, 1789, the Osage Indians crossed 
the Mississippi and stole some horses from the whites in the 
American Bottom. The Americans pursued them toward the 
river, and James Worley, being in advance of the rest of the 
party, was killed and scalped by the Indians before his com- 
panions could rescue him. It was not common for the Osages 
to commit depredations on the whites on this side of the river. 
It was stated that the Indians cut off the head of Worley and 
threw it in savage triumph toward the whites as they advanced. 
I presume that when Worley was killed and the whites found 
that the Indians outnumbered them, that they recaptured the 
horses and came off about "second best." 

William Morrison emigrated from Philadelphia to Kaskaskia 
in 1790. He was recognized by the act of congress granting 
land to all those who were enrolled in Illinois for military duty 
on August i of that year. He was a native of Bucks County, 
Pennsylvania, and soon became, after his arrival in Illinois, one 
of the most influential and conspicuous characters in the coun- 
try. He was a self-made man, casting his lot in a new wild 
country and depending on his own resources for fortune and 
fame, and he accomplished both in an eminent degree. Like 
most great men, he never underwent the drudgery of a scho- 
lastic education. Whether his means or other circumstances 
prevented it, I know not; however, such was the fact that he 
acquired barely an English education at the schools ; but he 
studied in nature's great academy and became a very eminent 
man. His natural genius and talents were of such high order 
that he acquired information at every step he made thro a long 
and eventful life. His business and his proper sense of pro- 
priety enabled him to frequent the higher circles of society and 
thereby become one of the eminent. He made one of the 
most interesting and conspicuous characters in every society 
wherein he associated. Dignity and polish of manners seemed 


to be natural with him. He was a polished gentleman without 
effort. Nothing little or cramped existed in his character. His 
mind and impulses were fashioned on a large scale. It is seldom 
united in the same person, the strength of mind and the polish 
of manners that were blended together in the character of Wil- 
liam Morrison. He was not only kind and benevolent in all 
his relations with society, but also honest and upright. As to 
a husband, he was everything that would make a wife's heart 
overflow with love for him, and a kind and indulgent father to 
his children. 

Morrison came to Illinois, ambitious, enterprising, and talented. 
He located himself in the centre of the great valley of the Mis- 
sissippi, where his talents and energies had ample scope for 
operation, and most nobly and honorably did he execute his 
destiny. By his great activity and sound judgment, he was the 
head and front of almost all the commercial operations of Illi- 
nois and upper Louisiana during a long series of years. He 
was associated with his uncle, Guy Bryant of Philadelphia, in 
merchandising, and the firm of Bryant & Morrison was known 
throughout the West as one of great wealth and honorable 
standing. Bryant did not himself operate in the West; so that 
his partner, Morrison, had the control of all the commercial 
business of this vast region of country. The commercial busi- 
ness of this house extended from Kaskaskia around to Pitts- 
burg, New Orleans, Prairie du Chien, and the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and William Morrison was the master spirit that managed 
and conducted all these vast mercantile transactions to a suc- 
cessful termination. No ordinary talents could combine, con- 
trol, and execute with success all this complicated machinery. 
It required the first order of intellect, and such was Nature's 
gift to this great and noble pioneer. 

Kaskaskia was, when he came to Illinois, one of the largest 
towns west of the Alleghany Mountains, and possessed not 
only its central position for commerce, but had many other 
advantages, and he settled himself in it. 

By his industry and energy, he became very wealthy. His 

main store, wholesale and retail, he kept in Kaskaskia, and 

from it the merchants of St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girar- 

deau, and New Madrid received their goods. About 1800, he 



established a store in Cahokia and placed in it a clerk William 
Atchison. This clerk was a singular and eccentric Irishman. 
He soon, by excessively high prices, acquired by derision the 
name of Chape Wollie, which he retained while he remained 
in the store. 

Many anecdotes are told on this Irishman. Rev. Benjamin 
Young, a Methodist circuit rider, at the request of Chape 
Wollie, preached at his store in Cahokia in 1807, and it turned 
out that Young had a small congregation. Atchison made 
excuses for his French neighbors not attending the preaching. 
" For his part," he said, "he would walk, on Sunday, miles thro 
briars and hell to hear such a sermon as that ye prached ; but 

these d d French love dancing better than praching. An', 

Misther Young, could ye not stay with us tonight and go to 
the ball this evening ? " The Methodist preacher begged off 
from Mr. Atchison's civility in going to the dancing-party on 
Sunday evening. 

Mr. Morrison furnished the Indians and Indian traders with 
great quantities of goods, and on them a great profit was 

He accumulated great quantities of land, which descended 
to his children ; yet he was not what is known as a land specu- 
lator. He purchased much, but sold little. 

About the time his store opened in Cahokia, he encouraged 
the farmers of the New Design, and, in fact, throughout all the 
sparse settlements at that time, to cultivate wheat, He com- 
menced a commerce in flour. He conveyed the wheat to Edgar's 
mill, near Kaskaskia, and had it there manufactured into flour. 
Flat-boats were built at Levens' mill, on Horse Creek, and on 
them and other vessels he shipped the flour to New Orleans. 

He was generally fortunate in his voyages on the river; but 
a large boat laden with wheat from Cahokia and bound to Kas- 
kaskia, struck a sawyer in the river above Ste. Genevieve and 
sunk with the entire loss of the wheat. I think there were 
more sawyers in the river at that day than at present. 

For a long series of years, he carried on a heavy commerce 
on the Mississippi, between Kaskaskia and New Orleans. He 
shipped to Pittsburg and New Orleans almost all the surplus 
products of the country, to wit: peltries, furs, lead, flour, horses, 


etc., and returned with articles for the consumption of the people. 
His boats were large and of the first class of that day. On these 
large barges it required forty or fifty boatmen to force them up 
against the strong current of the Mississippi, and it sometimes 
occupied four or five months to make the voyage from Kaskas- 
kia to New Orleans and back. 

In 1804, a fine young Creole Frenchman, La Chappelle of 
Kaskaskia, had charge of his boat laden with a costly cargo, 
worth probably fifty thousand dollars, and he died on the voy- 
age up, at Natchez. When the commander, La Chappelle, died, 
none other on the boat was competent to take command. Many 
others of the men also died on the voyage, so that the boat was 
left at Natchez. The cargo was put in a warehouse, but the 
liquors and wines leaked out of the casks, and other articles 
also were destroyed, so that the whole cargo was almost entirely 

In 1801, he built a fine stone-house in Kaskaskia and fur- 
nished it in an elegant manner. This house, at that day, was 
the best in the country, and in it he lived in a princely style. 
At his table, with his friends and family, he displayed the hos- 
pitality and elegant bearing of a well-bred gentleman. 

In the war of 1812, with Great Britain, he obtained the con- 
tract for this military district to furnish rations to the troops; 
and with his talents, energy, and wealth, he performed the 
responsible duties to the satisfaction of all concerned. Out of 
this contract he made a large sum of money, altho he abounded 
in wealth before. 

The garrisons to be furnished were situated from Prairie du 
Chien to the extreme South and throughout the West. They 
were punctually supplied with rations, altho so remote from the 
settlements and surrounded by hostile Indians. 

He employed Thomas Van Swearengen and John Postlewait, 
two men well known here at that time, to take charge of beef- 
cattle along with Harrison's army to the battle of Tippecanoe, 
in the fall of 1811. Swearengen and Postlewait were bold and 
daring characters, and withal, men of strong minds. They had 
no guns or arms at the commencement of the battle, and were 
sleeping in a wagon. The Indians' bullets soon shattered off 
the splinters of the wagon into their faces, which compelled 


them to enter the battle-field. They soon found guns and other 
weapons, whose owners were already killed in the battle. With 
these arms, these two men sought the hottest of the conflict and 
fought with such cool and determined bravery that they excited 
the admiration of the whole army. 

Mr. Morrison possessed a public spirit and was ready and 
willing to enter into public improvements that would advance 
the interests of the country. He was the main pillar in erect- 
ing two bridges across the Kaskaskia River; one adjacent to 
the town of Kaskaskia and the other at Covington, in Washing- 
ton County. That at Covington he built himself. 

He was exemplary in his morals and never indulged in light 
and frivolous amusements. Gambling and drunkenness he 
abhorred. When the graceful and noble animal, the race-horse, 
was led out on the turf at Kaskaskia, he frequently attended 
the races and became much excited in the sport. He at times 
bet on the race a suit of clothes with a friend, or some such 
small amount, and cared very little whether he lost or won. 

His personal appearance was dignified, commanding, and pre- 
possessing. He was of the ordinary size of men, and in his 
advanced age, rather inclined to be corpulent. Energy and 
activity were discernable in his walks and movements, as well 
as in all his conduct. He made it one of his fixed principles 
to dress richly and with taste and elegance. He had a just 
sense of propriety on this subject. He was always uneasy 
when in company with a sloven. He often said that a man 
frequently made his fortune by a decent appearance. He was 
always extremely gallant and polite to the ladies, and often 
advised his friends to frequent female society. He said intelli- 
gent and correct female society was the great lever to govern 
human actions and to promote morals and religion. 

Mr. Morrison possessed a decided and marked character. 
His predominent traits were a strong mind and great energy. 
All his impulses were of the noble and elevated order. 

Toward the close of his earthly career, he became interested 
in religious matters, and after due reflection, he joined the 
Roman-catholic church. He devoted much of his attention to 
the church before his death, and performed all the duties en- 
joined upon him with a sincere devotion. 


He died in the arms of the church, praising God. His death, 
altho he was aged, was much regretted by the community, as 
"one of the great had fallen in Israel." He died in April, 1837, 
and his remains rest in peace and quiet in the old graveyard at 
Kaskaskia, where he, in his life, displayed so much energy and 
activity. How death changes the scene! 

In 1798, Robert and James Morrison, brothers of William, 
arrived in Kaskaskia from Pennsylvania. Robert remained an 
inhabitant of Kaskaskia during life. He held various offices 
under the territorial governments and performed the duties to 
the satisfaction of the public. This gentleman was extremely 
civil and polite to all persons, and particularly to strangers. 
His house was made the home of many gentlemen of merit 
whose means were limited. It afforded Mr. Morrison great 
pleasure to extend to his friends the civilities and hospitalities 
of his table. He died in Kaskaskia in 1842, much regretted 
by his family, friends, and the public. 

He married in 1806, his second wife, a sprightly and talented 
lady from Baltimore. This lady, Mrs. Robert Morrison, being 
of wealthy and respectable family, received an excellent educa- 
tion and was, in fact, a finished and classic scholar. She pos- 
sessed a strong, original, and sprightly mind. She was endowed 
with strong perceptions and much originality of thought. Her 
mind disdained the ancient shackles of any system when its 
strength was based on its antiquity alone for its support. 

Nature gave her rather a romantic turn of mind, and by rea- 
son of this disposition, she accompanied her brother, Colonel 
Donaldson, from Baltimore to the West, in 1805. He was a 
commissioner to investigate the land -titles at St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, and his sister, Mrs. Morrison, after her marriage, made 
her residence at Kaskaskia in 1806. She, like most others who 
are endowed by nature with rare gifts, possessed great energy 
and activity of mind. Her delight and home were in the rosy 
fields of poetry. Her grave deserves to be decorated with 
flowers. Her versification was decided by critics to be far 
above medium and many of her pieces to reach the higher 
order of poetry. 

She remodeled in verse the old orthodox Psalms of David, 
and had the volume presented to the dignitaries of the church 


in Philadelphia for adoption, instead of the Psalms used in the 
church. The divines gave the work of Mrs. Morrison a critical 
examination, and barely rejected it, more by its advent from an 
unknown individual than from a want of merit. Her pen was 
never idle. She wrote for the scientific publications of Mr. 
Walsh of Philadelphia, and many of her pieces in prose and 
verse grace and sustain that celebrated work. Her contribu- 
tions to periodicals were numerous and highly prized. Many 
of the political characters of Illinois in early times were greatly 
benefited and advanced by her energetic and talented produc- 
tions in the newspaper discussions of that day. 

This lady wrote, on many occasions, at the request of her 
friends, petitions and memorials to congress and to the presi- 
dent that were chaste and classic in their composition and 
sound and substantial in their appeals made to the general 
government. For this class of writing this lady was celebrated 
and much esteemed by her friends. 

She entered thoroly into the investigation of the various 
religious systems. She became a Presbyterian, but on further 
research and much reflection, she entered the Roman-catholic 
church and became a very warm and zealous member. 

This lady was ardent and enthusiastic in all her pursuits. She 
was also ambitious of honor and fame and possessed a force of 
character that was almost irresistible. By her example and in- 
fluence almost all who came within her circle became Roman 
catholics and joined that church. 

She lived to an advanced age and died in Belleville in 1843, 
much regretted by her friends and the public generally. 

The fruit of the marriage of Mr. Morrison with this lady was 
an interesting family, three of whom are now alive. These 
three sons were born in Kaskaskia and are at this time con- 
spicuous members of the bar. 

Jesse Morrison, who is the youngest of the family, emigrated 
to the country in 1805. He and his brother, James, formed a 
commercial partnership and established themselves at St. Charles 
in Missouri. Both these gentlemen raised large and respectable 
families. Jesse Morrison is now a resident of Galena, Illinois, 
enjoying, amidst a large number of relatives and friends, the 
happiness of a well-spent life. He has reached that elevated 


stand of human nature when all the wild and unruly passions 
have subsided and the perfection of that nature remains trium- 
phant; so that he, in his old age, tastes some of the bliss laid 
up beyond the grave for the upright and just. 

Samuel Morrison, a brother of the above, arrived in Kaskas- 
kia in 1807. He was a moral and excellent youth. He did 
business for his brother and remained in Kaskaskia until, it was 
said, a young lady, whose beauty and charms were so irresistible 
that she wove a web of love around him from which he could 
not extricate himself till he called in time and distance for 
relief. He was too young and unsettled to extricate himself 
from love by marriage. For redress, he embarked in the Rocky- 
Mountain Company of Emanual Liza and others, and trapped 
and traded with the Indians on the mountains for three years. 
He returned home safe and cured of his love monomania. 

He returned home in 181 1, and some time afterward married. 
He made his residence at Covington, Washington County, 111., 
where he died in 1828. He was universally respected and es- 
teemed, and his death was lamented and regretted by a great 
portion of the community. 

Another brother, Guy Morrison, emigrated to Kaskaskia in 
1814, and soon entered into the business of his brother William 
at Cahokia. He was employed in furnishing provisions to the 
army. He, like the others of the family, possessed a strong 
mind and great energy, so that he was an efficient agent for his 
brother in the contract with the United States. He remained 
in Cahokia eleven years, and became well acquainted with the 
people and the manner of doing business in Illinois. He mar- 
ried and turned all his energies of mind and body to agriculture. 
He located himself on a fine farm in the American Bottom, 
northwest of Collinsville, in 1826, and with his sound judgment 
and unbounded activity, has acquired an immense fortune. His 
rents annually and increase arising from his farms are eight or 
ten thousand bushels of grain. His income every year must 
amount to twelve or fifteen thousand dollars. His lands are 
well selected and valuable. 

With all this wealth, he is a plain business man, without osten- 
tation or parade. He resides at this time in Collinsville, in a 
plain, neat style and is always pleased to receive and entertain 


his friends in his hospitable mansion. He has no children to- 
inherit his fortune. 

A singular lady pioneer emigrated to Cahokia from the lakes 
about 1770. She was born of French parents of the name of 
LaFlamme, at St. Joseph, on Lake Michigan, in 1734. She first 
emigrated to Mackinac, and after residing there some time, 
settled at Chicago with her husband, Sainte Ange, or Pelate, as 
he was sometimes called, about 1765. Sainte Ange dying, she 
married M. La Compt, a Canadian, in Cahokia, about 1780. 
From this marriage proceeded one of the largest French fami- 
lies in Illinois. After the death of La Compt, her second hus- 
band, she married the celebrated Thomas Brady. They had 
no issue. This female pioneer possessed a strong mind, with 
the courage and energies of a heroine. She was also blessed 
with an extraordinary constitution. She was scarcely ever sick, 
altho exposed often in traveling and otherwise to the inclemency 
of the weather and other hardships. 

The Indians were her neighbors and friends from her infancy 
to nearly her death. By a wise and proper course with these 
wild men, and by sage councils to promote their interest, she 
acquired a great influence over the Pottawatomies, Kickapoos,. 
and other nations bordering on the lakes. 

She was familiar not only with the language of the Indians,, 
but also with their character. In the early American settle- 
ments of the country, from 1781 down to the peace in 1795,. 
this lady prevented many an Indian attack on the white popula- 
tion. The Indians often became hostile to the French during 


the American Revolution, by the intrigues of the British, as the 
French had joined Clark ii^the capture of the British garrisons 
in the West. 

On many occasions this lady was awakened in the dead hours 
of the night by her Indian friends, from the hostile warriors, 
informing her of the intended attack, that she might leave 
Cahokia. Her friends among the Indians could not think of 
permitting her to be killed. She has started often to meet 
some hundreds of warriors who were camped near the Quentine 
Mound, at the foot of the bluff, near the present French Village, 
or at some other place in the neighborhood. She would cause 
herself to be conveyed near the Indian camp, perhaps, in the 


night, and then dismiss her company and proceed on foot to 
the camp of the Indians. No one knew the Indian character 
better than she did. A female on foot approaching several 
hundred armed warriors would produce a sympathy that she 
followed up with wise councils to the Indians that were irresisti- 
ble. She often remained with them for days and nights, appeas- 
ing their anger. She never failed to avert the storm and pre-- 
vent bloodshed. The inhabitants of the village were often' 
waiting with their arms in their hands, ready for defence, when 
they would see this extraordinary woman escorting to the vil- 
lage a great band of warriors, changed from war to peace. The 
Indians were painted black, indicating the sorrow they enter- 
tained for their hostile movements against their friends. The 
Indians were feasted for days in the village. They would 1 ! 
remain in peace for some time after these reconciliations. 

Mrs. LaCompt, as she was commonly called after Brady's- 
death, lived to an extreme old age and died in Cahokia in- 
1843, at the age of one hundred and nine years. 

I knew this old lady for thirty or more years, and I believe 
that her health and longevity depended much on her hardy and 
frugal mode of living. She never feared the inclemency of the 
weather. The health of more people is injured by walking on 
fine, rich carpets, between the piano and the air-tight stove,, 
than by walking on the ice and snow in the open air. 

The increase of the population in Illinois diminished the wild 
game. The migratory race of fowls in early times were quite 
numerous near the Mississippi and Illinois River. Swans, geese, 
brants, cranes, and ducks passed north in the spring and south 
in the fall, in immense flocks. On their passage they remained 
a short time in the lowlands of the river, where the hunters 
killed great numbers. In the fall, cranes were the first that 
made their appearance. They rose so high in the air that they 
were scarcely visible. These fowls wintered in the swamps 
south, toward the Gulf of Mexico, and hatched in the summer 
on the shores of the lakes. They, like the Indians, have almost 
entirely disappeared on the approach of the white population. 

The honey-bee acts on the reverse of the instincts of the 
fowls. The bees do not much precede the white population. 
There is nothing the Indians dislike more than to see the bee 


arrive in the country. They know then that the white man is 
not far behind. The bees came to Illinois from Kentucky and 
the Northwest Territory. 

The flowers in the prairies sustained great numbers of bees. 
At one time, in Illinois, the wild honey-bees were very plenty. 

In 1790, an enterprising and very conspicuous character, John 
Rice Jones, arrived in Kaskaskia and located himself there. 
Mr. Jones was born February 10, 1759, in Merionthshire, Wales. 
He received a classical education in the old country. He was 
a regular college graduate ; he studied law in Great Britain. 
He was a good linguist, having become well acquainted with 
the Greek, Latin, and French, as well as the English. The 
soundness of his" mind enabled him also to become an excel- 
lent mathematician, which he preferred to all other science. 
He was, in fact, an accomplished scholar, and with these advan- 
tages, soon became a scientific and profound lawyer, and thro 
life he was a sound and enlightened expounder of it. 

In 1780, Mr. Jones emigrated to the United States and 
settled in Philadelphia. He opened a law-office in that city 
and practised his profession there for some time. During this 
time, he became acquainted with Dr. Franklin, Dr. Rush, Myers 
Fisher, and other distinguished characters. 

He left Philadelphia and emigrated to Vincennes in 1787, 
when the Northwest Territory was organized. 

Mr. Jones, the next year, 1788, assisted William Briggs to 
return to his family in the New Design in Illinois from his cap- 
tivity with the Indians. 

In 1790, he settled in Kaskaskia and there practised his pro- 
fession. He was the first practising lawyer in Illinois and 
would be a conspicuous member of his profession in any coun- 
try. He possessed a strong and active mind, rather restless, 
and excessively energetic. This energy of character enabled 
him to practise law in important cases at different times of his 
life throughout the West; Louisville, Ky., Vincennes, Indiana, 
Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Illinois, and many of the courts in Mis- 
souri, after the cession of the country, in 1803, from France to 
the United States. Mr. Jones being an excellent French scholar, 
enabled him to do the business of the French population to the 
advantage of both parties. 


He always employed his time in some honorable business 
and never permitted himself to be idle or engaged in light or 
frivolous amusements. Like most of his countrymen, he pos- 
sessed strong passions, and at times, altho he possessed a strong 
mind, his passions swept over his reason like a tornado. His 
friendships were ardent and sincere, and his hatred and anger 
were excessively scathing for the moment. When his feelings 
of ire were excited, his words burnt his victims like drops of 
molten lead on the naked skin. He was mild and amiable 
until some injury or insult, as he supposed, was offered to him; 
then he burst asunder all restraints and stood out the fearless 
champion of his right, bidding defiance to all opposition. He 
possessed a great degree of personal courage. 

In the forepart of 1802, he again moved to Vincennes and 
was appointed a United-States judge of the Indiana Territory. 
He and Col. Johnson revised the statute laws of Indiana in 
1807, and the legislature of that State enacted them with very 
little alteration. The substance of these acts is still retained in 
our statute-books, as Illinois at that time comprised a part of 

In 1810, Judge Jones moved to St. Louis, Missouri, but did 
not reside there any great time, but settled in Washington 
County, Missouri, at Petosi. 

Here he found Moses Austin, with whom he formed a part- 
nership in the lead business. They erected the first cupola or 
reverberating furnace ever made in the United States. By this 
furnace, fifteen or twenty per cent more lead can be extracted 
from the ore than by the former furnaces. 

Judge Jones was a member elected from Washington County, 
Missouri, to form the first constitution of that State. Jones 
was a wise and efficient member of that convention, which sat 
in St. Louis in 1819. He was a candidate before the next 
general assembly of the State for the United-States senate, but 
Col. Benton was elected. 

Judge Jones was elected by the same legislature one of the 
judges of the supreme court of Missouri, which office he retained 
during his life. His decisions in the supreme court were always 
.much respected by the bar and the public. 

He died in St. Louis, while in office, in 1824, and was nearly 


sixty-five years of age. On his death-bed he said " he did not 
desire to live any longer, as he could be of no further use to his 
family or country, and might be a source of trouble if he lived 
any longer." Hz was perfectly resigned to his fate and died 
with that calm composure that always .attends the exit of the 
" noblest work of God," an honest man. 

The person of Judge Jones was small, but erect and active. 
His complexion was dark and his hair and eyes very black. 
His eye, when excited, was severe and piercing. 

Judge Jones lived a life of great activity and was conspicuous 
and prominent in all the important transactions of the country. 
In his youth, altho not bred to the military profession, yet he 
was engaged in the wars against the Indians, both in Indiana 
and Illinois. The death of Judge Jones was regretted by a 
wide circle of friends and the public generally. His integrity, 
honor, and honesty were always above doubt or suspicion. He 
was exemplary in his moral habits and lived a temperate and 
orderly man in all things. He left a large and respectable 
family. His sons have filled, with credit to themselves,, many 
of the most important offices in the country, and one, at this 
time Hon. G. W. Jones is in the senate of the United States 
from the State of Iowa. 

Rice Jones, the eldest son of John Rice Jones, was born in 
Philadelphia in 1781. When his age permitted, he was placed 
in the institution in Kentucky, and was a classmate of the late 
Colonel Richard M. Johnson of that State. Young Jones was 
endowed with great intellectual powers and thereby made rapid 
advances in his education. He quitted the school in Kentucky 
with a reputation for talents and education not inferior to any 
student that was at the institution. 

After finishing his education, he studied medicine in Phila- 
delphia, and graduated from the medical school with a diploma 
and what is better, with much honor. 

After practising medicine a short time and disliking that pro- 
fession, he abandoned it and commenced, in Litchfied, Conn., 
the study of the law. After some years of intense study, he 
quitted the institution with increased honor. 

He located himself in Kaskaskia in 1806, and opened a law- 
office. No young man at that day, and not many since, com- 


inenced with prospects of a more brilliant career of life than 
Rice Jones did. He possessed a strong intellect, but was also 
endowed with an excessive ambition, together with an ardent 
;and impetuous disposition, and showed the Welsh temper more 
:than his father. He practised his profession some time and his 
;friends needed his talents and energies in their political cam- 

.Party spirit raged in and about Kaskaskia with a violence 
:not equalled at any time since. Many of the prominent poli- 
ticians were almost crazy on the subject. Young Jones caught 
'.the mania and became excessively zealous. Altho he was 
yung, yet from his talents and energy he was at the head of 
one of the parties in that day. He had been elected a member 
,of the legislature of Indiana, held at Vincennes, and was be- 
coming a very conspicuous character in the country. The other 
party did not like his prominency or standing with the people. 

In this excited state of the parties, and Jones at the head of 
.one party, it was not difficult for the parties to quarrel or even 

A controversy growing out of politics commenced between 
him and Shadrach Bond, the first governor elect for the State 
.of Illinois, and a duel between those persons (Jones and Bond) 
was agreed upon. The parties met on an island in the Missis- 
sippi, between Ste. Genevieve and Kaskaskia, and when they 
had taken their positions and about to fire, Jones' pistol, having 
.a hair trigger, went off by accident. Dunlap, the second of 
Bond, said it was Jones' fire and Bond might fire at Jones; but 
Bond, with that greatness of soul that appeared in all his actions, 
public and private, cried out, " it was an accident." 

The parties settled the controversy on the ground on honor- 

.able terms; but a bitter quarrel ensued between Jones and 

Dunlap on the subject. This controversy waxed warmer and 

more malignant, until at last Dunlap shot Jones in the public 

streets of Kaskaskia. Jones was standing in the street, leaning 

on the railing of the gallery and talking to a lady, when Dunlap 

came up behind him and shot him dead with a pistol. 

This horrid murder of such a talented and promising young 
man shocked the community and to some extent quieted the 
_party feuds for a time. 



This murder occurred in 1809. Dunlap escaped to Texas 
and was never punished by the temporal courts. 

Thus ended, in his twenty-eighth year, a young man of ex- 
ceedingly great promise. Judging from the character he acquired 
at school, and what was known of him at Kaskaskia, it is not 
improbable that his superior was not in the country before or 
after his death. 

The whole community mourned for the death of this fine 
young man cut off in his prime by an assassin. It was indeed 
shocking to the public. 

In early times the inhabitants of Illinois were in a small 
degree tinctured with the absurdity and nonsense of witchcraft 
and fortune- telling; but in after-days this ignorant superstition 
has entirely disappeared. 

The French at no time were troubled with the apparitions, 
ghosts, or spirits. Haunted houses were out of fashion with 
them. It is true, they had an imaginary being they called le 
lotip garreau the growling wolf. This was hatched up more 
to scare children than the grown folks. Yet the ancient French 
in Illinois believed that the negroes in the West-India Islands 
possessed a supernatural power to do injury to any one that 
had incurred their displeasure, and had power, also, to look into 
futurity. This power, the old French ladies believed, came from 
Africa and was retained with the African negroes. It may be 
said that this belief of fortune-telling was mostly femate, as the 
intelligent among them, as they do now, laugh at the nonsense. 

The French in Cahokia dreaded to incur the displeasure of 
certain old colored people, as they could do them injury, even 
to death, by these African incantations. The great empress of 
France, Josephine, had her fortune told her in the West Indies, 
which to some extent influenced her conduct thro life. The 
old sibyl in Martinique said to Josephine: "You will be queen 
of France." With all the good sense of that celebrated woman, 
she rather believed the prophecy, yet laughed at it. It was the 
belief of some people and families that an old woman living on 
Silver Creek, 111., had the power of witchcraft to take the milk 
from her neighbors' cows without seeing or touching them. AH 
this ignorance and nonsense have disappeared from the minds 
of the people by a proper education. School -houses always 


destroy witchcraft. The people, in proportion to their ignor- 
ance, will be troubled with this superstition. 

The Creator gave no power to the demons of darkness to 
change the laws of nature at their diabolical pleasure, and to 
vex and harass mankind at their will. 

I think it is blasphemy to believe that witches are the vicege- 
rents of God to change his laws at their pleasure. 

In Cahokia, about 1790, this superstition got the upper hand 
of reason, and several poor African slaves were immolated at 
the shrine of ignorance for this imaginary offence. An African 
negro, called Moreau,* was hung for this crime on a tree not far 
southeast of Cahokia. ^ It is stated that he had said, " he poi- 
soned his master, but his mistress was too strong for his necro- 
mancy." Another slave, Emanuel, was shot in Cahokia for this 
crime, and an old woman, Janette, was supposed to have the 
power to destroy persons and property by her incantations. 
Many grown people and all the children were terrified at her 

All countries have had their witches, and I hope Illinois will 
never again return to such scenes of bloodshed, to appease the 
demon of ignorance. 

In May, 1791, John Dempsey was attacked by the Indians, 
but escaped. It will be recollected that this same Dempsey 
was, a few years before, scalped by the Indians and left for 
dead. This pioneer was determined to stand his ground in 
Illinois, dead or alive. Eight men, Capt. N. Hull, command- 
ing, James Lemen, Sr., Joseph Ogle, Sr., Benjamin Ogle, J. 
Ryan, William Bryson, John Porter, and Daniel Raper pursued 
this party of Indians, who were double the number of whites. 
The hottest of the battle was fought in the timber northwest 
of the camp-meeting ground, at the Big Spring, in Monroe Co., 
and not far east of the road from Waterloo to Whiteside's Sta- 
tion. This was a running fight from tree to tree, the Indians 
fleeing and the whites pursuing. This bloody conflict was kept 

* In "Fergus' Historical Series. No. 12, By Edward G. Mason," may be found 
"Col. John Todd's record book," and on page 58 is the order for the execution 
of 'Negro Manuel, a slave," and on page 59 is the order for the detail of a party 
of militia to "guard Moreau, a slave condemned to execution, up to the town of 
Kokos," daied "June 15, 1779". J. H. G. 


up until dark separated the combatants. Five Indians were 
killed and not a white man's blood was shed. 

These trials and dangers in the first settlement of the country 
made the pioneers an iron race of men, and they were like the 
army of Oliver Cromwell they cared very little about the 
numbers of the enemy opposed to them. This was verified in 
the case of Capt. Hull and seven men running sixteen Indians 
and killing five of them. 

Several emigrants had stopped at Kaskaskia and Jacob Judy 
.among the rest. He sold out his property at Kaskaskia and 
located himself and family on the site where at present stands 
the old water-mill known at this day as Judy's mill. This mill 
is a small distance west of Whiteside's Station, in Monroe Co. 
It was erected in 1794, and was at the time the first water-mill 
in that section of the country. It was of great service to the 
infant settlement, as many of the pioneers can testify at this day. 

A few years after, other water-mills and some band-mills of 
.two or four horse-power, as the parties were provided with these 
animals, were also erected in the same neighborhood. George 
Valentine built a water-mill on a stream nearly west of Judy's 

These mills relieved the people, when the water was high and 
plenty, from the use of graters, hand-mills, and mortars to manu- 
facture corn-meal. 

In early times, these various expedients were resorted to by 
the people to manufacture corn-meal. The band-mill was so 
called because a raw-hide band twisted was put on the large 
wheel in the place of cogs. It saved the gearing of the mill. 
They are the lowest and cheapest order of horse-mills. Pins 
are put in the arms of the large wheel and around them the 
band is placed. These pins may be changed into holes made 
for the purpose, so the band may be made tighter when neces- 

The next is the hand-mill. The stones are smaller than those 
of the horse-mill and propelled by man or woman power. A 
hole is made in the upper stone and a staff of wood is put in it, 
and the other end of the staff is put thro a hole in a plank 
above, so that the whole is free to act. One or two persons 
take hold of this. staff and turn the upper stone with as much 


velocity as possible. An eye is made in the upper stone, thro 
which the corn is put into the mill with the hand in small quan- 
tities to suit the mill, instead of a hopper. This is a hand-mill. 
A mortar wherein corn is beat into meal is made out of a large 
round log, three or four feet long. One end is cut or burnt out, 
so as to hold a peck of corn, more or less, according to circum- 
stances. This mortar is set one end on the ground and the 
other up, to hold the corn. A sweep is prepared over the mor- 
tar, so that the spring of the pole raises the piston and the hands 
at it force it so hard down on the corn that after much beating, 
meal is manufactured. 

The last and lowest order of inventions to manufacture meal 
is a grater. A plate of tin is pierced with many holes, so that 
one side is made very rough. The tin is made oval and then 
nailed to a board. An ear of corn rubbed hard on this grater, 
whereby the meal is forced thro the holes and falls down into a 
vessel prepared to receive it. 

These are the contrivances which the pioneers, in early times, 
were forced to adopt. In the fall of the year, the water-mills 
generally were idle, for the want of water, and the people were 
compelled to resort to these shifts for meal. 

In my youth, I had a very intimate and personal acquaintance 
with all these modes of manufacturing corn-meal, and was as 
happy then as at any time of my life, under different circum- 

The Irishman, Halfpenny, the school-master general, likewise 
erected a water-mill on the Fountaine Creek, not far west of 
the present town of Waterloo. This mill was built about 1795. 
In 1798, Josiah Ryan built a water-mill on the stream below 
the mill of the late Gen. James, in Monroe County. These two 
last-named mills and all traces of them have disappeared from 
their respective localities. It may be that in the course of time 
the finest steam-mills that now ornament and benefit the coun- 
try so much at this day, and even the populous cities them- 
selves, may cease to exist, and the remains of them present as 
melancholy a spectacle to other ages as the ruins of Palmyra 
and Balbec do to us at this day. Man and his works are all 
transient and evanescent. The very continent of North America 
Itself mav again be submerged by the ocean, as it once was, 


and thereby the most promising part of the globe, with all its 
population and free institutions, may disappear and a dreary 
waste of water again occupy its place. 

There is nothing permanent but the great Supreme Being 
and His eternal laws which govern the universe. 

After the close of the Indian wars, the French and Ameri- 
cans associated themselves together more and adopted each 
others customs and habits to some extent. 

The Americans became enamored with the French custom 
of charivari, and practised it sometimes right, but more often 
wrong, according to the rules established by .the French. 

The old French charivari was innocent. It was, in their 
hands, a merry rural serenade, sustained by all sorts of loud 
and discordant noises. The charivari party was composed of 
old and young, and generally conducted by some orderly and 
aged man. They enlisted into their service all sorts of things 
that could by any means be forced to make a noise. They 
used bells, horns, drums, pans, tin kettles, whistles, and all such 
articles as would make loud, harsh sounds. This French organ- 
ized charivari was such a merry, noisy uproar that it would 
make a monk laugh if he heard it. 

The proper French custom was that if persons married of 
the same condition, there was no charivari; but when discord- 
ant materials were tied together with that delicious silken cord f 
which is so dazzling to the female eye, then a similar discordant 
noise attended the celebration. For example, when neither of 
the parties ever before tasted the delicacies of matrimony, there 
was no ground for a serenade; but when a widower, who had 
before worshiped at the shrine of Venus, married a lady who 
was never before bound in wedlock, then, in such cases, the 
charivari was invoked with all its merriment. And the same 
with a widow who had before feasted on the sweet viands of 
love and married a man whose lot had heretofore been celibacy, 
in such cases the charivari was in order. 

Generally among the French the married parties were as will- 
ing as the others for the sport, and were prepared to extend 
some civilities to the good-humored crowd. Thus frequently 
the case ended in the best of feeling. But when the married 
folks were refractory, the charivari was kept up for a succession 


of nights, until they yielded to the custom. As the farce pro- 
ceeded, if the married parties were sour, the serenading crowd 
had the privilege to hint, in a wild manner, first at the character 
of the bride and then at that of the bridegroom. These hints 
generally closed the scene in good humor. When the noise 
was made in the crowd, some one would cry out at the top of 
his voice, "charivari! charivari!" and some other in the party 
would sing out, "pour qui?" " for whom?" The answer to this 
question gave rise to hint at the female and her character. At 
times, the bridegroom also was charged with things he would 
not like. 

This was the dernier resort. When this or other means pro- 
duced some kindness or civility, then the whole farce ended in 
the best of feelings among the French. But with the Ameri- 
cans this charivari is sometimes attended with disagreeable con- 
sequences. And, in fact, the serenading party is sometimes in- 
dicted for a breach of the peace. 

In all countries the administration of the laws is extremely 
important to the people. No matter how free a people may be, 
if the laws are not properly executed, that people can not pros- 
per and be happy. 

To make a people prosperous and happy, the laws must be 
not only equitable and just, but executed in the same manner, 
with equity and justice. 

In 1790, Governor St. Clair organized the government of the 
Northwest Territory, and also the judiciary of St. Clair County. 
He appointed justices of the peace throughout the county; but 
their jurisdiction was limited to twenty dollars in civil matters, 
and in criminal cases they had no power whatever, except to 
act as an examining court. The opinion of the people in olden 
times was opposed to giving justices much jurisdiction in civil 
and none in criminal matters. The rule of ancient times is 
relaxing, with experience, and at this day, the justices' courts 
are the most important tribunals in the country. A jury before 
a justice of the peace, in former times, was never known. 

Gov. St. Clair also appointed judges of the court of common- 
pleas, or quarter-sessions as they were sometimes called. They 
held these offices at the discretion of the governor ; but he 
scarcely ever exercised his power in dismissing any from office. 


The practice of dismissing men from office was not much exer- 
cised in early times, and it is a discretion that requires a sound 
judgment and a just sense of propriety to exercise it to the 
public interest. The old saying of Jefferson is known to all: 
" Is he capable ? Is he honest ? " It may be proper to change 
the policy of the republic on account of the great changes in 
the quantity and quality of the population in these days. 

These county-courts held sessions to do business every three 
months, which gave them the name of quarter-sessions. The 
governor and judges of the Northwest Territory adopted the 
common- law of Great Britain and the British statutes in aid 
thereof, to the fourth year of the reign of James I. of Great 

These laws provided for the trial by jury and recognized all 
such other appendages as are found in the common-law, appli- 
cable to our government. The ordinance of 1787 introduced 
the common -law into the territory and many other salutary 
regulations. The habeas corpus was secured to the people and 
such other fundamental principles as are generally provided in 
the various state constitutions. 

St. Clair County was parcelled off into three judicial districts. 
and the courts held their sessions in each district; one at Kas- 
kaskia, one at Prairie du Rocher, and one at Cahokia. The 
judges, sheriff, and clerk had jurisdiction throughout the county, 
but the citizens could not be sued out of their districts. 

I saw a case in the ancient records of Kaskaskia district, 
where a citizen entered his plea of abatement, in 1790, to the 
jurisdiction of the court, because he was [not] sued in the district 
of Prairie du Rocher, where he resided. This plea was made by 
John Rice Jones, his attorney, and prayed a nonsuit from the 
court at Kaskaskia. 

The writs are dated at these villages: Kaskaskia, Prairie du 
Rocher, and Cahokia, and run within the respective districts. 

In 1790, John Edgar of Kaskaskia, Jean Baptiste Barbeau of 
Prairie du Rocher, and John de Moulin of Cahokia were the 
chief-justices of their respective districts, and in whose names 
the judicial processes of their districts were issued. 

William St. Clair and William Biggs were the clerk and the 
sheriff, whose authority extended throughout the county of 
St. Clair. 


Grand-juries were organized in each district and returned in- 

I saw a record proceeding at Prairie du Rocher against a 
colored man for the murder of a hog. At that day no prose- 
cuting attorney attended the court, and I presume the grand- 
jury found the form of an indictment in some book, for murder, 
and applied it to the negro and the hog. It was malicious mis- 
chief in destroying the hog, which I presume was the offence 
the grand-jury was investigating. The same equitable justice 
may have been done under the indictment for murder, as if it 
were one for malicious mischief and prosecuted by the ablest 
attorneys in the country. 

In those days John Rice Jones was the only attorney practis- 
ing in these courts, and the next, in 1794, was the celebrated 
Isaac Darnielle of Cahokia. 

Ejectment suits were common, at that day, for particular and 
valuable tracts of land. I can not perceive that there was any 
mode pointed out for an appeal from these courts, and in no 
case was it practised, so far as I can discover. The United- 
States judges of the Northwest Territory held their sessions 
at the seat of government at Cincinnati or Chillicothe, which 
was so remote from Illinois that an appeal to this court was 
much more impracticable than an appeal at this day is to Wash- 
ington City. The people, at that day, required not much from 
the courts and nothing from appeals. 

Toward the close of the Indian war, the country south of the 
New Design commenced its settlement. Johnson J. Whiteside 
and others laid off a town, not on paper, but on a site situated 
on the west bank of the Kaskaskia River, not far south of the 
northern limits of the present county of Randolph, and called 
it Washington. This town was commenced in 1795, and occu- 
pied a beautiful situation on the high bluff of the river, over- 
looking, to the west, much of the Horse Prairie. The inhabi- 
tants enclosed and cultivated large fields of grain and raised 
stock to a considerable amount. The houses in this town were 
log-cabins; but streets and other town notions were observed in 
the building of the place. 

In the early settlement of this town, the Going families were 
conspicuous. The Goings, the old and young William, emigrated 


from Kentucky in 1794, and erected a station a short distance 
southwest of the Bellefontaine. In this fort, John Pulliam 
located himself and family in 1796. Some other families like- 
wise were tenants of this station this year. 

Both father and son were blacksmiths, and the younger was 
a man of considerable talents. The old gentleman was a plain 
man, except when he became excited with tafia. Then he was 
a rough customer. At courts and other gatherings he had bells 
to sell, and he often put a cord thro the staples of the bells, 
perhaps a dozen, more or less, of all sizes, and then tied the 
cord around his waist. To make the scene more imposing, he 
dressed himself with a fox-skin cap, with the tail suspended 
behind, and other dress of the same outlandish character. Thus 
equipped, he danced in the crowd, so that his noise would drown 
thunder. He was not large, but very active and strong. In 
early times, Judge Symmes, one of the United-States judges of 
the Northwest Territory, held court at Cahokia and Going 
tormented the judge with his bell-dance. Many other such 
wild freaks, Going and others of his day indulged in. The old 
man died in Washington, on the Kaskaskia River, and is buried, 
with many more, in the old graveyard, north of the town. 

William Going, the son, was of a different order of men. His 
mind and person were both formed on a large and substantial 
scale. He received a very limited education and could barely 
read and write. But nature did much for him, tho he did little 
for himself. With his natural gifts, he might have been among 
the first men in any country. As it was, he was leader, in his 
manner. He possessed a Strong natural mind and a bold energy 
that was on some occasions exerted in a manner of which the 
community did not approve. His courage and daring bravery 
were always equal or superior to the emergency. These 
traits of Going's character no one ever doubted. His person 
was large and modeled on the stern and rather defiable order. 
He was neither repulsive or very prepossessing in his appear- 
ance; but all who saw him, at once came to the same conclusion 
that he was a decided, firm, and great man in his sphere. His 
decision among his comrades was the law and the gospel to 
them. No one of his friends ever murmured at, or attempted 
an appeal from, his judgment. He was the great governing 


spirit in his circle at the races, shooting-matches, and card- 
tables. His impulses were naturally on the side of honesty 
and integrity, but bad associations and habits gradually grew 
on him, which forced the public to think strange of his conduct. 
He was ardent and sincere in his friendships. He had a high 
sense of honor in his peculiar notions of that virtue. He would 
suffer martyrdom before he would desert or abandon a comrade 
in his distress, and would risk his life for a tried friend. The 
wealth of a nation might be committed to his care, and it would 
be safe, if he pledged his honor in the case and confidence were 
placed in him. If he had lived in the days of the crusades to 
the Holy Land, he would have been a leader of magnitude. 
Talents, courage, energy, and chivalric notions of honor would 
have placed William Going the leader of many of the bold and 
daring attacks on Jerusalem. If Going had been with General 
Wayne in his army, he would have been, in all probability, one 
of Wayne's men in storming Stony Point. But as it was, his 
life was wasted away in an obscure corner, where his talents and 
energies had not the proper theatre in which to act. 

He was a blacksmith and gunsmith, but like many others 
raised at that day in Illinois, he had no ambition for hard labor. 
He worked in his shop for "his pleasure and cared but little for 
wealth, save a support for himself and family. He possessed 
a talent for repairing guns and shooting them, having steady 
nerves and excellent eyesight. With these qualities and much 
practise with fine rifles, he shot with great exactness. An eye- 
witness, who is now alive, informed me that he saw Going, in 
1807, at his residence on the Kaskaskia River, a short distance 
below the present town of Fayette, shoot a rifle, with a rest, 
ninety yards, and put four balls into the same hole, near the 
centre of the target. The fifth bullet touched the same hole. 
This is a precision in shooting that is rarely reached. It will 
be remembered that a great portion of the time of the people 
at that day was occupied with the gun, either in defending 
themselves from Indian attacks or in procuring a living for 
their families. 

Altho Going was possessed of a strong mind and great firm- 
ness, yet he was not invulnerable against the attacks of beauty. 
Love made him sever the ties of a former marriage, and he 


became the victim of a new flame. This second marriage de 
facto remained during life and the parties lived in peace and 
harmony. He died in Arkansas in 1830. 

John Pulliam was also, in early times, a resident of this town. 
By common consent, this place changed its name from Wash- 
ington to that of Horse -Prairie Town. Under this name it 
lingered and died. 

In 1/96, John Pulliam emigrated from Kentucky to New 
Design, in Illinois. He was a native of Botetourt County, Vir- 
ginia, and emigrated to Kentucky just after the war of the 
Revolution. He moved to the west of St. Louis in 1797, and 
remained some years at the Flourisant and Owen's Station. 
He returned to Illinois in 1799, and settled in the Horse-Prairie 
Town. He cultivated the field near the town for a few years 
and then made a farm, in 1802, on the Prairie-du-Long Creek, 
near the mouth of Richland Creek, in the present county of 
Monroe. He sold his place and made another plantation on 
the Kaskaskia River, on which he lived and died. His last 
residence was near the present town of Fayette, where he 
settled in 1808, and died in 1813. 

Mr. Pulliam was a man of good mind and more energy and 
activity than ordinary. He had a large family, whose descend- 
ants and connections were very numerous in Illinois. Not 
many pioneer families in Illinois, of whom I am acquainted,, 
are so numerous in their lineal descendants and the connections 
and ramifications as the Pulliam family, all descending from 
John Pulliam, the aged patriarch of the family. 

John Grosvenor resided in this town in 1799, and for some 
years. He was a native of Connecticut and was a stone-masoa 
and farmer. He cultivated a large farm adjacent to the town 
and sold much produce. He was an honest, correct man, moral 
in all things, except, perhaps, in his young days he permitted 
the Godess of Love to furnish him with a traveling companion,, 
from Connecticut to Illinois, at whose departure some one, at 
least, in Connecticut felt sorry. 

As the country in the Horse Prairie improved, this town 
declined, until the village ceased to exist and the country 

Another town was staked off at the Bellefontaine, but obsti- 


nately refused to grow. French as well as Americans settled 
in this village. It had a shorter life and a more humble one. 
than the Horse-Prairie Town. 

In 1793, Illinois received a colony of the most numerous,, 
daring, and enterprising inhabitants that had heretofore settled 
in it. The Whitesides and their extensive connections emi- 
grated from Kentucky and settled in and around the New 
Design in this year. Not only the numerous names of White- 
side was in this colony, but also were their connections: Griffin, 
Gibbons, Enochs, Chance, Musick, Going, and others. This 
large connection of citizens, being all patriotic, courageous, and 
determined to defend the country at the risk of their lives, was 
a great acquisition to Illinois, which was hailed by all as the 
harbinger of better times. 

The Whitesides and their early connections were born and' 
raised on the frontiers of North Carolina, and emigrated to- 
Kentucky. They had been inured to Indian hostilities and 
other hardships incident to frontier life, from their early years 
to manhood. The patriarch and leader, William Whiteside,. 
had been a brave soldier in the Revolutionary war and was in 
the celebrated battle of King's Mountain. To be a soldier in 
the battle of King's Mountain is an honor of itself. His 
brother, John Whiteside, was also in the war for independence, 
and acted well his part in that struggle. The Whiteside family 
were of Irish descent and inherited much of the Irish character. 
They were warm-hearted, impulsive, and patriotic. Their friends 
were always right and their foes always wrong in their estima- 
tion. They were capable of entertaining strong and firm attach- 
ments and friendships. If a Whiteside took you by the hand, 
you had his heart. He would shed his blood freely for his 
country or for his friend. 

William Whiteside erected a fort on the road from Cahokia 
to Kaskaskia, which became celebrated as Whiteside's Station. 
At this station, Whiteside raised a large and efficient family of 

John Whiteside, his brother, resided at the Bellefontaine for 
many years, and died there. He also had a large family, whose 
descendants are very numerous and settled in many parts of 
the West. 


William Whiteside, soon after he arrived in Illinois, became 
conspicuous and efficient as a leader in the Indian war. He 
was the captain of many parties that took signal vengeance on 
the savage foe for murders they committed on the women and 
children, as well as on the grown men. One trait of character 
bravery the Whiteside family possessed in an eminent 
degree, and the patriarch of whom I am speaking was as cool, 
firm, and decided a man as ever lived. Scarcely any of the 
family ever knew what fear was. 

William Whiteside was the captain of a party of eight men, 
who pursued a large number of Indians and overtook them on 
Shoal Creek. 

In 1793, the Kickapoo Indians stole a number of horses from 
the American Bottom, not far distant from the present residence 
of Mr. Miles, and fled toward their towns at the sources of the 
Sangamon River. Many of the citizens assembled to pursue 
the Indians, but only eight came to the sticking point, Wil- 
liam Whiteside, captain, Samuel Judy, John Whiteside, Samuel 
Whiteside, William Harrington, Wm. L. Whiteside, John Porter, 
and John Dempsey. They pursued the Indian trail near the 
^present City of Belleville, toward the Indian camp on Shoal 

It was a hazardous and dangerous march, eight men in pur- 
suit of a large body of Indians, and going into a country where 
hundreds of the enemy could be called forth in a few hours. 
Scarcely eight men in any country could be selected, with the 
-same talents and efficiency, to succeed in such a perilous attempt 
on the enemy, as those composing this almost forlorn hope. 

These pioneers had no time to prepare for the march, or the 
Indians would escape. They had scarcely anything with them 
to eat. Their guns, ammunition, and bravery were almost all 
they had along. One other essential ingredient they had in an 
eminent degree, great talents, caution, and experience in the 
captain and also many of his party. They followed the trail, 
day and night, with great rapidity. One of the party was 
generally out before on the trail as a spy, to prevent the whites 
from rushing into an ambuscade. Better to lose one man than 
all the party. 

They came up with the Indians on Shoal Creek and found 


three of the horses grazing in the prairie. They secured these 
horses and then made arrangements to attack the Indian camp. 
Uy order of the captain, altho the party was small, yet it was 
divided into two parties, and each to attack the camp at the 
same time, from the opposite sides. The captain's gun to fire 
was the signal to commence the battle. One Indian, the son 
of the chief, old Pecon, was killed, one mortally wounded, and 
others slightly. 

The Indians, altho many more than the whites, ran off and 
left their guns and everything but themselves. The old chief 
surrendered and gave up his gun to Whiteside. The chief, 
judging from the bold and energetic attack, supposed the 
whites to be nu:nerous behind. But when he discovered the 
whole were only eight men, he cried with a terrific voice to his 
braves to return and fight the Americans, and at the same time 
seized his gun in Whiteside's hands and attempted to wrench 
it from him. Whiteside was an extraordinary stout man and 
never at a loss in any personal scramble that resembled a fight. 
Whiteside's men were afraid to shoot the Indian, as they might 
kill their captain; but he was in no danger from the Indian. 
Whiteside retained the gun in triumph and the Indian, altho a 
brave man, was forced to acknowledge the superiority of the 
white man. Whiteside would not injure or let his men kill an 
unarmed foe, altho the Indian broke the truce. The Indian 
escaped to his warriors unhurt, much to the honor of Whiteside. 
These were the days of chivalry in Illinois. 

Whiteside, who was famous for his prudence as well as his 
courage, said it was unwise to remain in the Indian country a 
moment longer. They started back with the horses they caught 
and neither eat or slept until they reached Whiteside's Station. 
And the very night they arrived at the station, Pecon and 
seventy warriors camped in the vicinity of Cahokia, in pursuit 
of Whiteside and his party. 

The wisdom of Whiteside was verified in this case. Suppose 
the whites had loitered at the Indian camp on Shoal Creek a 
few hours, these seventy savages would have destroyed a part 
or all of Whiteside's party before they reached the settlement. 

Savage malignity and revenge was not appeased by the noble 
and generous act of Capt. Whiteside in saving the life of the 


old chief, Pecon; but in revenge for the loss of his son, the old 
warrior and his braves shot, near the station, a young man, 
Thomas Whiteside, and tomahawked the boy of the captain 
while he was out at play, so that he died. These murders 
occurred the next year, 1794, after the son of Pecon was killed. 
There is no passion in the breast of a savage so strong as that 
of revenge. 

In 1795, a Frenchman in Cahokia informed Capt. Whiteside 
that a camp of Indians of considerable number was established 
at the bluff, a short distance south of the present macadamized 
road from Belleville to St. Louis, and that they meditated some 
injury to him to kill him, or steal horses, etc. This informa- 
tion aroused the blood of the old warrior, Whiteside, and he 
called on his tried band of heroes. His passion was not cooled 
down for the loss of his people, and, moreover, he was acting in 
self-defence. His small company, Samuel and William L. White- 
side, Samuel Judy, Isaac Enochs, Johnson J. Whiteside, and 
others, to the number of fourteen, were assembled, and just 
before day, the camp was surrounded and all the Indians killed 
except one. He escaped, not to live, but to die, as the other 
Indians killed him for his cowardly running off. The Indians 
numbered more than the whites, but were surprised and killed. 
This is Indian war. The bones of these Indians were seen at 
this battle-field for years after. 

In this battle, Capt. Whiteside was wounded, he supposed^ 
mortally. He fell to the ground, and in this condition, he ex- 
horted his men to fight bravely; never to give an inch of ground 
and never permit the enemy to touch his body when he was 
dead, supposing he would die in a short time. His son, Uel, 
was also wounded in the arm and could not use his gun. He 
examined his father's wound and discovered that the ball had 
not passed thro the body, but struck a rib and glanced off to- 
ward the spine. On further examination, he found that the 
bullet had lodged near the skin, and with his butcher-knife he 
cut it out, saying, " father, you are not dead yet." The old man 
jumped to his feet, remarking, " boys, I can still fight the Ind- 
ians." Such desperate feats of courage and military enthusiasm 
rarely occur in any age or in any country. 

As Capt. Whiteside and party were returning to Whiteside's 


Station, they halted at Cahokia to dress the wounds of the cap- 
tain and his son. A widow lady, an American, had two beauti- 
ful and intelligent daughters, and as few Americans resided in 
the village, the wounded men stopped at this lady's house a 
.few minutes to dress their wounds. William B. Whiteside* was 
'with the party to this lady's residence. He was quite young 
-and very handsome. This accidental meeting made these 
young people acquainted with each other and at last the two 
brothers married the two sisters, Misses Rains, and each party 
raised large families. It is singular that such small circum- 
stances may decide the destiny of a person during life. 

The father and son both recovered of their wounds and lived 
-a long time after. The name of Whiteside was a terror to the 

The old warrior, William Whiteside, rested in peace from 
Indian wars for many years, as this battle was the last, until 
1811, when the Indians again commenced depredations. He 
was elected colonel of St. Clair County and held that office for 
many years. He never cared much about the parade of mili- 
tary office. He admired more " the hair-breadth 'scape in the 
imminent deadly breach." 

Col. Whiteside, after the peace with the Indians, turned his 
attention to his farm at the station, and improved it. He cul- 

* I am inclined to think the Governor was indebted to his imagination for this 
piece of romance. Wm. B. Whiteside, called Bolin, was one of the sons, and Uel 
the other. I knew Bolin intimately, and the family of Uel. I also knew Mrs. 
Bolin Whiteside, whose maiden name, according to my recollection, was Arendell. 
In a sketch of the Whiteside family that I furnished Hon. E. B. Washburne, to be 
used in an address delivered by him before the Agricultural Society of Whiteside 
County, in 1877, I fell into the error of taking the Governor's account of this double 
marriage without due reflection. Afterward, on meeting with Michael Whiteside, 
since deceased, who lived in this county, he said he did not believe the story, and 
referred to circumstances that satisfied me that it was not true, and upon reflection 1 
am constrained to believe either that the Governor culled this ornamental story from 
his imagination or some one injected it into the story. The Governor was in the 
habit of having fine passages written by his friends. Col. Nathaniel Niles of Belleville 
has been suspected of writing a very fine passage, touching the return of Reynolds to 
the. hearthstone of his early life and the scenes of his childhood in Tennessee. If 
this passage in regard to the double marriage is a canard or was an interpolation, the 
Governor should be held responsible, for he knew the history of the Whitesides, as 
his brother Robert married a daughter of Wm. B. or Bolin Whiteside. This I know. 
JOSEPH GILLESPIE, Jan. 25, 1883. 


tivated a fine apple-orchard, which, in days gone by, was quite 
celebrated, as very few orchards were in the country. 

He and his brother, John Whiteside, in 1806, purchased a 
land-warrant of one hundred acres and located it on a mill-seat 
on Wood River, where the main road crosses the creek from 
Edwardsville to Alton. They prepared and hauled much tim- 
ber to the premises for the mill, but never built it. 

Col. Whiteside was a justice-of-the-peace and judge of the 
court of common-pleas. These offices he executed to please 
the people, not himself, as the military was his fort and pleasure. 

In the war of 1812, Col. Whiteside was active and efficient in 
organizing the militia of St. Clair County and preparing them 
for active service. He himself was in the service and attended 
at Camp Russell in carrying out the military operations in the 
defence of the frontiers. He died at his residence, the old 
Station, in 1815. He was universally known throughout the 
country, and his death cast a gloom over the community. 

He had been a regular member of the Baptist church for 
many years previous to his 'death. He was an exemplary and) 
moral man and possessed a strong, uncultivated mind. His 
education was limited, but his life, being one of extraordinary 
events, made him intelligent. Reflection and study were forced 
on him in self-defence. His frontier life, with the Indian war 
and all its dangers and perils impending over him for many 
years, developed his mind and made him a grave, reflecting 
man. His person was stout and active. He, as it was with 
most of the name, was a stranger to fear. He was calm and 
meditative in times of peril. He never permitted any rash 
impulses to influence him in battle. His remains now rest at 
his old Station, -in peace and quiet, from the din and uproar of 
the battle-field, where his energies and commanding talents 
have, on many occasions, won the victory for the stars and 
stripes. He was the leader and pioneer of the Whiteside 
family and connections in Illinois. They are exceedingly 
numerous, extending throughout the country. They may look 
back at him with esteem and respect as the pioneer, Moses, 
that conducted them thro the wilderness to Illinois, the 
"promised land." 

Joseph Kinney came to the New Design in 1793, and raised 


a crop preparatory to the emigration of his family to Illinois. 
He resided at the time on Bear-Grass Creek, seven miles from 
Louisville, Kentucky, and the next year he moved his family 
to the New Design. He had seven sons and four daughters, 
and raised them all to years of maturity before any one of 
them died. This family was a great acquisition to a new coun- 
try. They descended the Ohio from Louisville to Fort Mas- 
sac, and then crossed the country from Massac to Kaskaskia. 
In this early time there was scarcely any road for a wagon, 
or even for pack-horses, from Massac to Kaskaskia; but .the 
energetic pioneers overcome all obstacles and performed the 
tour. It was said that William Kinney, the son of Joseph 
Kinney, and afterward lieutenant-governor of the State of Illi- 
nois, drove the first wagon on this road from Massac* to Kas- 

Not only had this family great difficulty in moving to the 
country, but they also experienced many more disasters and 
dangers in this new country. .One of, the greatest misfortunes 
that the family had to suffer was the want of schools to educate 
the children. The younger portion of the family were almost 
entirely deprived of this blessing. Nature had gifted this 
family with strong minds and great energy, but they had no 
opportunity of improving their minds in their younger days. 

The youngest daughter of Joseph Kinney, when she was 
married to Rev. Joseph Lemen, in 1809, possessed no book- 
education, whatever; but her husband, much to his credit, sent 
her to school, and she learned, after she was married, to read 
and write. She is now an intelligent lady and the mother of a 
large and respectable family. 

* The French commander who evacuated Fort Duquesne in October, 1758, on the 
approach of Gen. Forbes, descended the Ohio River, and Monette says : " Made a 
halt about forty miles from the mouth, and, on a beautiful eminence on the north 
bank of the river, commenced a fort, and left a detachment of one hundred men, 
as a garrison. The post was called 'Fort Massac', in honor of the commander, 
M. Massac, who superintended its construction. This was the last fort erected 
by the French on the Ohio, and it was occupied by a garrison of French troops 
until the evacuation of the country, under the stipulations of the treaty of Paris. 
Such was the origin of Fort Massac, divested of the romance which fable has 
thrown around its name." "History of the Valley of the Mississippi." Vol. I, p. 
3I7--J. H. G. 


Toward the close of the Indian war, Joseph Kinney settled 
on Rock-House Creek, a few miles east of the New Design, 
and erected a mill on this creek. He also made a farm on the 
premises. This creek being small, and in the fall deficient of 
water to propel the mill, he built a horse-mill. These mills 
were a relief to the neighborhood and were hailed, with the 
others built about the same time, as a great blessing to the 

Before these mills were constructed, the people were forced 
to resort to expedients or to go to the horse-mills at Prairie du 
Rocher or Cahokia to procure their grinding. Trips to the 
.mills at these villages were dangerous, on account of the 
Indians, and also a considerable distance to travel. 

Joseph Kinney possessed a good sound mind and much 
enterprise. He left the old settlements and located in a new 
country, for the benefit and advantage of his large family. 
Scarcely any emigrant that ever settled in Illinois was blessed 
with such a numerous family as the patriarch, Joseph Kinney, 
was. He lived at the Rock-House Creek, in the even tenor of 
his way, for many years, and died there in 1803. He was a 
strong, athletic man, and enjoyed, as he deserved, an excellent 
character. He was moral and correct in all his actions, and his 
death was much lamented by his friends and the community 

Mr. Dement married one of his daughters in Kentucky, in 
1792, and moved to Illinois. He located himself and family a 
few miles southeast of the New Design, and made a fine farm 
on his premises. He was a pious, orderly man. One Sunday 
morning he was preparing to go to meeting and went to bridle 
his horse. The horse kicked him so that he died of the injury. 
His death occurred in 1811. 

Andrew Kinney, one of the sons of Joseph Kinney, built a 
water-mill on a spring branch, southwest of the New Design. 
This mill occupied the same site where the late Gen. James 
owned and rebuilt the Kinney mill. This mill, while in the 
hands of Andrew Kinney, was one of the first in this section 
of country that manufactured flour for the St. Louis market. 
Before the war of 1812, this mill manufactured flour for the 
foreign markets. 


In building this mill, Kinney was much injured by a large 
piece of timber falling on his breast, which caused him to be 
confined to his house for years. He became melancholy or 
depressed of mind. The public considered him laboring under 
the hypochondria. Either by dreams or otherwise, he decided 
in his own mind that he would die at such a time naming the 
day. For months before the time, he still adhered to. his notion, 
and so stated it to his friends and family. On the day he was 
to die, a large concourse of people assembled at his residence 
to see what they would see. Kinney went to bed and lay out 
as if he were to die. He supposed he would die. The crowd 
gazed on the scene, but he did not die. He lived for many 
years after. During this time of his melancholy, he either could 
not, or supposed he could not, ride on horseback. He was con- 
veyed about in a sled, and hunted and killed deers while riding 
in his sled, with his son driving him. He became a candidate 
for the office of member of the State convention, in 1818, and 
either the exercise or the excitement cured him. He then rode 
on horseback and became a scund man in mind and body. He 
died a few years since, in Missouri, at a respectable old age. 
Mr. Kinney was an upright, honest man, and always deported 
himself with great propriety and morality. 

Robert McMahon was an emigrant from Kentucky and set- 
tled in the New Design in 1794. He was venturesome and 
risked himself and family on a new place in 1795. He located 
himself a few miles southeast of the New Design, in the prairie 
now known as the Yankee Prairie. Four Indians attacked his 
house in daylight and killed his wife and four children before 
his eyes. They laid the dead bodies in a row on the floor of 
the cabin, and took him and two of his small daughters pris- 
oners. A child in the cradle was found unhurt by the Indians, 
but dead. The cradle was upset, but the people supposed the 
infant died of hunger. What a shocking sight this must have 
been to McMahon to see his family butchered and himself 
and two daughters in captivity ! He presumed the Indians 
were taking him to their villages to burn him to atone for some 
loss of their warriors killed in the battles with the whites. This 
murder was committed in December, 1795, and the weather was 
excessively cold. The party were on foot and the frozen ground 


was severe on the feet of the daughters of McMahon; but this 
was nothing to compare with burning at the stake. The Ind- 
ians were in a great hurry to get off, for fear the whites would 
follow them. They took from the house whatever light articles 
they could pack on their backs, and started. Before they left 
the house, they tied one of McMahon's arms behind his body 
and left the other loose, to hold on his pack. They packed on 
him a full load of his own goods and steered their course north- 
east, with a quick and determined step. 

These Indians were brave and determined warriors and used 
no more rigor with McMahon than was necessary to secure him. 
After the rage of the murder of the family subsided, the Indians 
were kind and friendly to the little girls. They cheered them 
up, by signs, and attended to their wants. They fixed their 
shoes and made them as comfortable as the nature of the case 
would permit. 

They marched a straight course, crossing Prairie -du- Long 
Creek not far from the mouth of the creek whereon Gen. 
Moore had a mill afterward, and they camped the first night 
on Richland Creek, about one-half mile below the present City 
of Belleville. 

McMahon was secured with tug-ropes and tied down on his 
back, so he could not turn or stir. His shoes and most of his 
clothes were taken from him and put under the Indians, to pre- 
vent him from getting them if he attempted to escape. They 
also put on him a belt, finely wrought with porcupine quills and 
small bells, so that if he stirred, the bells would rattle and give 
them alarm. The Indians themselves were almost starving, 
and, of course, McMahon and girls had very little to eat. A 
small pittance of dried meat was all their food. 

What a contrast is often seen in the human family! What a 
striking difference between the condition of these captive girls 
and the well-dressed and lively little girls of this city! The 
little captives camped all night on the creek, below Belleville, 
with four savage warriors, who had, the day before, killed their 
mother and four sisters or brothers, and had their father in 
bondage perhaps to burn him. They were also oppressed 
with the travel and all day without victuals or rest. They had 
scarcely a stitch of clothes to preserve them from freezing dur- 


ing the night. What a contrast with the gay and cheerful little 
girls of Belleville at this time! One party enjoying all the 
comforts of life, with kind parents to administer to their wants, 
while the other had no mother, and a father, probably to be 
burnt, and they themselves in the hands of the murderers of 
their mother and family, to be, perhaps, also murdered. 

An Indian war is horrible, because of its barbarity on the 
defenceless part of community. 

The party pursued their course across Silver Creek, above 
the present town of Lebanon, on to the sources of Sugar Creek, 
and there camped the second night. It snowed this night. 
McMahon meditated his escape, but of it did not inform his 
girls. He supposed they would cry and try to prevent it, and 
it would do them no good to see him burnt, and so did not tell 
them. The Indians tied and secured him as they did the pre- 
ceding night. But in the night, when all were sound asleep, he 
slipped off the cords from his arms and body. He covered his 
clothes, what little he had on, over the belt of bells, so they 
made no noise, and was about rising quietly to escape, when 
one of the large Indians, just as he had the cords loose and 
preparing to rise, raised his head up and looked around, but. 
laid it down again without noticing him. 

This was a perilous time for McMahon and children, as, prob- 
ably, if he had been detected in his attempts to escape, they 
would have killed both him and his children. 

When the Indian laid down his head and again slept,. 
McMahon escaped, without his shoes, hat, or much of his- 
clothes. He was almost naked and barefooted on the snow- 
He slipped back to the camp and tried to get his shoes or the 
Indians' moccasons, but could get neither. He thought either 
way was nearly death to stay with the Indians or leave them 
in the wilderness, without shoes, clothes, or anything to eat 
He sLarted in the night toward the New Design, as well as he 
could discover his course. He slept out one night besides the 
night he left, and came near freezing. He lay beside a log and 
gathered up some dry leaves with which to cover himself. He 
thought this world lost to him, as he must freeze that night. 
His feet and elbows froze to some extent ; his elbows being 
exposed, as his clothes had holes in them. He steered, as well 


as he could, toward the southwest, but missed the New-Design 
settlement, and found himself at Prairie du Rocher, the first 
place he saw a white man. 

He was in a horrid and deplorable condition when he reached 
the settlement. He was without shoes, hat, or much clothes, 
almost exhausted with hunger, having eaten very little for four 
days, together with his feet and arms frozen. His clothes, what 
little he had on, were torn and tattered, and his skin and flesh 
injured and wounded in many places. 

His family lay dead some days before the neighbors knew of 
the murder, and therefore they were not immediately buried. 

A small Spitz dog, who had been much admired and petted 
by McMahon's family, came frequently to the settlement of the 
New Design, and would run back and forward toward the resi- 
dence of McMahon ; but no one perceived the object of the 
dog, which was made manifest after the murder was discovered. 
The poor dog wanted to give the information, but could not. 

Old Mr. Judy was the first that discovered the dead bodies, 
and reported it to the settlement. He had seen such a horrid 
sight that he shed tears when he told the sad story of the 

The citizens went out and buried the dead and had a religious 
meeting called on that same evening, at the fort of James Lemen, 
Sr., as a kind of funeral devotion for the deceased family. 

Just as the meeting closed, at nine or ten o'clock in the even- 
ing, McMahon entered the house from Prairie du Rocher. All 
parties were surprised and much affected at the scene. McMahon 
sat at the fire and his little dog was also there, but did not know 
his master at first, as he was so changed; but the moment he 
looked into his master's face, he leaped into his lap with exceed- 
ingly great joy. This little incident produced a sensation in 
the assembly that was very affecting and sorrowful. McMahon 
could not restrain his feelings and burst out into loud lamenta- 
tions for the murder of his family. 

After McMahon became calm from, the first gush of sorrow, 
and his friends informed him that they had buried all his family 
in one grave, he, with a pious ejaculation, exclaimed: " They 
were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they 
were not separated." 


His daughters were ransomed and one of them married a 
Mr. Gaskill of Madison County, and has raised a large family. 
McMahon himself, in a few years after the murder of his family, 
married again and made a fine plantation on a beautiful emi- 
nence in the Horse Prairie. He was appointed a justice-of-the- 
peace and judge of the court of Randolph County, and exe- 
cuted the duties of these offices with punctuality and honesty. 
He possesed a good standing in community. He moved from 
Randolph County to St. Clair, and resided on a plantation a 
mile or two northeast of Lebanon. At last he settled in Madi- 
son County, southwest of Troy, and died there after living a 
long and eventful life. 

The Indians, in very early times, cared but little about the 
Americans emigrating to the country. They supposed they 
would occupy but a small portion of the territory, which would 
not do the Indians any injury. The Indian wars raged in Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee before much trouble was experienced in 
Illinois from them. 

This was a great inducement to the Ogles, Moores, and 
Lemens, and many other early settlers, to emigrate to the 
country. But the Indians saw that a great number of Ameri- 
cans were locating themselves in the country and organizing a 

In 1790, the red -skins commenced the defence of their coun- 
try, by attempting to prevent the whites from settling in it. In 
the whole West, the Indian war, in 1790, and for several years 
after, was carried on with rancor and bitterness not experienced 
before. The federal government commenced hostilities on a 
large scale against the Indians located in the northern section 
of the present State of Ohio. It was thought advisable to 
carry the war into Africa, and the northern nations of Indians 
must be subdued before a permanent peace could be established. 

With this view, the government ordered Gen. Harmar to 
march against the Indians in the Northwest. He organized an 
army of one thousand four hundred and fifty men, three hun- 
dred and twenty of whom were federal troops and the balance 
Kentucky and Pennsylvania militia. This army left Fort Wash- 
ington, which is now occupied by the City of Cincinnati, Sept. 
30, 1790, and marched toward the Indian towns on the Maumee- 


He separated his army into several divisions and made many 
charges on small parties of Indians and on deserted villages; 
but on the whole, he did not sustain the honor of the stars and 

On October 19 and 22, he was partially defeated. The public 
and the Indians considered Harmar as having failed in his cam- 
paign ; but the general himself, at least, at the time did not 
think so. The Indian account of the battles is that Harmar 
lost five hundred men, killed, and the rest retreated, while the 
Indians only lost fifteen or twenty warriors. The Shawnees, 
Pottawatomies, and Miamis were the Indians engaged in these 
battles against the American army. The government believed 
that the campaign of Gen. Harmar was a failure, and in conse- 
quence, made arrangements for a more powerful prosecution of 
the war against the Indians. 

An act of congress for the protection of the frontiers passed 
March '3, 1791, and Gov. St. Clair was, on the 4th of the same 
month, appointed to the command of the Northwestern army. 
Messengers of peace were sent to the Indians, but the British 
agents prevented them from accepting the terms offered by the 
United States. 

Before St. Clair could get ready, Gen. Charles Scott of Ken- 
tucky was ordered on a campaign, in May, 1791, against the 
Wabash Indians. He destroyed all the towns at and near Oui- 
tenon, or Weastowns, and returned. Gen. Wilkinson was also 
engaged against the Wabash Indians, and both expeditions were 

Gen. St. Clair and Gen. Butler, who was second in command 


made the utmost exertions to raise and organize an army to 
retrieve the honor of the country, which in the other campaign 
did r.o: shine out with the accustomed brilliancy. The army 
under St. Clair amounted to two thousand three hundred strong, 
and left Ludlow's Station, near Cincinnati, on September 17, 
1791, for the Indian country toward Detroit. 

Gen. St. Clair halted at the Miami and built a fort, called 
Fort Hamilton. Then the army proceeded forty-four mile; 
and erected Fort Jefferson. This fort was commenced Oct. 12, 
and finished on the 24th. When the troops commenced the 
march, the army did not proceed more than seven miles per 


day, and at many times sixty or more of the militia deserted at 
a time. 

Twenty-nine miles from Fort Jefferson, the army camped on 
a small stream twelve yards wide, which was a branch of 
the Wabash River. The regiment of Col. Hamtramck, and the 
colonel himself, were sent back for deserters and other troops; 
so that on November 3, he had only fourteen hundred men 
under his command at the disastrous battle. Half-an-hour 
before sunrise, the Indians, on the 4th, surprised the army and 
defeated it, killing and wounding eight or nine hundred men. 
In Braddock's defeat of one thousand two hundred men, he lost 
seven hundred and fourteen, in killed and wounded. Brad- 
dock had eighty-six officers, of whom sixty-three were slain or 
wounded. In St. Clair's army there were between eighty-six 
and ninety officers, and sixteen were killed and wounded. 

The causes of the defeat of St. Clair and army have been 
much canvassed and discussed before military committees of 
the army and of congress. The defeat has been placed on the 
grounds of lateness of the season, want of discipline in the 
.army, and a disagreement between the generals, St. Clair and 
Butler. All these minor causes go to show a want of such 
great military talents in the general that he must possess to 
enable him to succeed. 

St. Clair was honest and upright, and possessed ordinary, 
good talents as a general, but his health was bad. He could 
not get on or off a horse without help, and old age was advanc- 
ing on him; so he was not the energetic and talented man that 
he was in the Revolution. He was surprised by the Indians; 
his troops were not trained or disciplined; it was late in the 
year (and not very late either November 4), and Col. Ham- 
tramck was absent with his regiment. All these were causes a 
man of talents would have guarded against. He could not stop 
at the time, but he could have been out sooner, or not at all, 
that season. If he had fortified his position and waited for the 
return of Col. Hamtramck, the loss of eight or nine hundred 
,men might have been avoided, and what was also desirable, the 
honor of himself and army. To be surprised by Indians is an 
.argument against the sagacity of a general. 

jQen. St. Clair, after this battle, retired from the army and 


demanded an enquiry into his conduct, which was granted him. 
He was .acquitted by the committees, but the public and the 
Indians did not discharge him from blame. 

The next year, Gen. Wayne was appointed to take command 
of the army to conquer a peace over the Indians in the North- 
west. The government disliked to shed blood and to expend 
the treasure of the country, and therefore they resorted to nego- 
tiation for two long years. 

- It seems unreasonable that the government would try peace 
measures with the Indians when the British agents and officers 
were urging them up to fight the Americans and they having 
already whipped two American armies. All the peace-talks 
ever presented to the red men could not have kept them in 
peace under these circumstances. 

Gen. Wayne said he had with him about four thousand mes- 
sengers of peace to make a treaty with the Indians at the 
muzzle of the cannon. It must be written for the Indian's with 
powder and lead. No other treaties had ever any good effect 
with savages and scarcely with any other nation. 

All this time, two years, the government were coaxing the 
Indians into peace, Wayne was preparing his army for active 
service, and on August 19, 1794, he arrived in the vicinity of 
the enemy. He here erected a strong fort, called Fort Deposit. 
In it he put all his heavy baggage, etc., and on August 20, gave 
battle to the Indians, nearly under the guns of the British gar- 
rison. He entirely defeated them, and the next year, on Aug_ 
3, 1795, a general peace was made with the Indians at Green- 
ville. This peace relieved the people of Illinois, as well as- 
throughout the western frontiers, from Indian hostilities. 

After this memorable epoch, immigration set into Illinois and 
the settlements commenced to extend themselves from the New 
Design and the forts in the American Bottom, into other sec- 
tions of the country. 

About 1799 and 1800, a settlement commenced in the Horse 
Prairie. Samuel and Winder Kinney, Chance Ratcliff, Gibbons, 
McMahon, and some others settled in the upper end of Horse 
Prairie. At the time they settled there, the country was almost 
entirely prairie and barrens, with a few scattering large trees. 
Now it is covered with young growing timber, except the fields 


that are cultivated. So soon as the fire is kept out of the prai- 
ries they soon grow up with timber. 

It is a fact that is known to all the pioneers, that there is, at 
this day, much more timber in all these old counties than was 
in them fifty years ago. The timber grows faster than it is 
used, since the first settlement of the country. 

Teter and others afterward also settled in the Horse Prairie; 
but the settlement almost entirely broke up before 1810, and 
nearly all the inhabitants left. Levens and some others re- 

The Horse Prairie lies west of the Kaskaskia River and east 
of Horse Creek, and both the creek and prairie obtained the 
name by herds of wild horses running, in early times, in and 
around this prairie. These horses escaped from the French vil- 
lages and lived in the prairie. 

About 1796, the Ogles, Biggs, and some others formed a set- 
tlement in the Bottom and on the hills near the Bottom, where 
the road from the Bellefontaine to Cahokia descends the bluff. 
The Ogles made a large farm in the Bottom. 

George Lunceford and Samuel Judy purchased the sugar-loaf 
tract of land and made a farm on it. Judy sold out to Lunce- 
ford and went, in 1800, to his residence in the present county of 
Madison, where he died. The sugar-loaf was rather remarkable 
in the first settlement of the country. A small mound rises on 
the top of the rocky bluff, which is supposed to resemble a 
sugar-loaf, that gives the name to this place. It is five or six 
miles south of Cahokia. 

The American Bottom received many immigrants about this- 
time. Many from the New Design moved to the Bottom. 
Edward and Thomas Todd, the Badgleys, and others left the 
New Design and settled in the Bottom. 

James Gilham, Sr., emigrated from Kentucky to Illinois in 
1797, and settled in the American Bottom. He had resided on 
the frontiers of Kentucky and the Indians had taken two of his 
sons prisoners. These two boys, Samuel and Clement Gilham, 
remained with the Kickapoos for several years, and were ran- 
somed in Illinois. The Indian traders purchased the young 
men from the Indians and it took the family many years' toil 
and labor to pay the ransom. They paid " Chape -Wollie"" 
Atchison at Cahokia. 


Mr. Murdoch and family emigrated from Kentucky and settled 
in the American Bottom in. 1796. He resided near Judge Bond, 
where he died the next year. He was the father of John Mur- 
doch, the eccentric and quizzical personage, of some celebrity 
in after-times. The widow Murdoch, in a few years after her 
husband's death, married George Blair, the first proprietor of 
the site of Belleville. 

The Big Prairie, in the American Bottom, contained a con- 
siderable settlement before 1800 more than it ever did since. 

James Gilham being the pioneer, a large connection of that 
family followed him and came to Illinois at an early period. 
They settled first in the Big Prairie. 

The American Bottom, in early times, contained a dense set- 
tlement almost from Fort Chartres to Cahokia. At one time, 
I presume, three-fourths of the American population in Illinois, 
resided in this bottom. The people residing in the American 
Bottom gave tone and character to a great extent to the entire 
population of the country. 

The customs and habits of the early settlers of the Bottom 
were fashioned very much on the French model. They were 
extremely gay, polite, and merry. 

In the American Bottom a support for a man and family 
arose almost spontaneous. The Indian wars were closed and 
the people enjoyed a kind of perpetual jubilee for many years. 
They associated themselves with the French and imitated that 
people in their amusements and recreations. 

When any work of any importance was to be done and it 
could not be put off any longer, the neighbors assembled to- 
gether and organized themselves into a kind of working frolic, 
and the job was performed. 

The harvest of wheat was always gathered in this cheerful 
.and jovial manner. No one heard of pay for work in harvest 
in old times. House-raisings were the same. And if a neighbor 
got behind with his work from sickness or otherwise, his friends 
around him assembled together and performed his work without 
pay or reward, except the pay of an approving conscience, which 
is better than all the gold of California. 

Flax was cultivated in these times, and was often pulled at 
the time that the wheat was harvested. The girls frequently 


attended these flax pullings and then animation and brilliancy 
were infused into the whole atmosphere at the gatherings. A 
proper number of old ladies were mixed with the girls to see 
that matters were conducted with a proper proportion of gayety 
and merriment, together with moderation and decorum. Other 
females were in attendance at the cooking- department, while 
the grown men were out in the wheat-field, with each one a 
reap-hook or sickle in his hand. The aged men and boys were 
shocking the wheat and carrying out water. 

At noon all came in to dinner. Then there was a feast of 
good feeling with both the young and the old. The whole 
people, male and female, would wash and fix up for dinner. 
These personal preparations with the young people were 
speedily made, so that they would be the sooner in the gay and 
cheerful society of each other. 

When these pioneers mixed together under shade trees at 
these gatherings, much kind feeling and sociability were en- 
joyed. The aged sires were proud to see their sons do a man's 
work in the harvest-field, while the old matrons were excited 
with intense feeling of pleasure to see their daughters make 
such a decent appearance and so much admired and esteemed 
by the people. 

Groups of old men were often sitting on the grass, under the 
shade of a tree, with a bottle of Monongahela or tafia in the 
centre, and talking over the Indian battles they fought before 
Wayne's treaty, and what hard fights they had with the British 
and tories at the Cow-Pens, Guildford Court-House, and King's 
Mountain. These old sires, at times, were excited at these con- 
vivial meetings, with liquor and the wars, until they burst all 
restraint and swore eternal enmity against the British and tories 

It did their hearts good to exult over the manner they hung 
the tories in North Carolina, and at last Providence and Wash- 
ington conquered the whole concern at Yorktown. 

It must be recollected that these times were but a few years 
after the Revolution, and all the transactions of that terrible 
conflict were fresh in the minds of these old men and perhaps 
many of them had been engaged in them. But it was the young 
folks at these harvest noons that forgot dull care and enjoyed 
themselves with a hilarity and social feeling that can not be 


described. These young people, after they washed and the 
girls made their toilets, under the shade of a tree, met perhaps 
at a fine spring of water, in the shade, and talked, laughed, and 
almost amalgamated together. Then was seen innocent and 
honest society. Many of this young group had neither shoes- 
or moccasons on their feet, but washed them clean, and the cus- 
tom and times made it all right. 

After the common salutations were closed and the crowd 
seated on the grass, some one would propose a song. At that 
day songs were much admired and enjoyed. The singer, as a 
matter of course, had a bad cold.. He " kotch his cold," he said r 
" by running after a wounded deer." However, after the proper 
solicitation, he commenced to cough and spit and then asked, 
"What song will I sing?" Half a dozen mouths shouted for 
" William Riley." 

In old times, if a song was not sung loud, it was no singing 
at all. Often this " William-Riley " song was sung so loud that 
it could be heard to a considerable distance. He finished, and 
the common praise was given to the song and singer, and dinner 
was announced. 

A table was erected under a shade, with the sides and bottom 
planks of a wagon-body, placed on cross-pieces of timber, sup- 
ported by forks set in the ground. This table was made in pro- 
portion to the company. All the dishes, plates, knives, etc., of 
the neighborhood were collected for the occasion. Benches, 
stools, boards, and all such articles were prepared, on which to 
seat the company. 

Almost always two very dissimilar things were mixed together 
at these dinners, grace at the table and on it several bottles of 
liquor. It was the universal custom, in olden times, to use spirit- 
ous liquors at these gatherings. Sometimes these harvest-frolics 
were closed up at night with a dance. At all events, all went 
home in fine humor. 

I do not believe that any happier people existed anywhere 
than in the American Bottom for twenty years, from 1790 to 
1810. These were the palmy days of the American Bottom, 
and such a feast and flow of good feelings, generosity, and most 
of the virtues that adorn human nature, as were experienced in 
the American Bottom, rarely exist in any country. 


About this time, 1796, a small settlement was formed between 
the Bellefontaine and the Mississippi Bluff. Short, Griffin, Gib- 
bons, Roberts, Valentine, and some others were located in this 
vicinity. These inhabitants resided here a few years and aban- 
doned the new settlement entirely. A large graveyard in this 
settlement may be seen to this day. 

William Scott, an ancient and respectable pioneer of Illinois, 
was born of Irish parents, in Botetourt County, Va., in 1745. 
He emigrated to Woodford County, Kentucky, and remained 
there for many years. He was energetic and ambitious, like 
most of the pioneers, to explore new countries. He visited 
Illinois in 1794, with an intention to reside in it if he liked it; 
but he returned to Kentucky and entered into a traffic between 
Frankfort and St. Louis, in the then Spanish country. 

He and" his partner, Branham, fitted out at Frankfort, on the 
Kentucky River, a small craft, laden with articles for the 
St. Louis market. They continued this trade to St. Louis for 
two years, and when they dissolved the partnership, Mr. Scott 
found that his partner had injured him to a considerable 
amount. This was one reason of his leaving Kentucky. 

Late in the fall of 1797, the family of Mr. Scott and son-in- 
law, Jarvis, emigrated from Kentucky to Illinois by land and 
reached the Horse-Prairie Town, on the Kaskaskia River, which 
was the first white settlement they saw in the country. 

Mr. Scott, having remained in Kentucky a short time, joined 
his family at the New Design the same fall, and about Christ- 
mas, they all located themselves on Turkey Hill. This place, 
with the French and Indians, was conspicuous as a trading-post. 
The Indians had made this place their camping-ground for ages 
past, and the traders had met them there with merchandise to 
exchange for their peltries, furs, etc. Blue-grass grew around 
this beautiful eminence, and other indications show it to be a 
place of general and ancient resort of the Indians and Indian 
traders. Turkey Hill is a commanding and imposing situation. 
It rises to a considerable height and can be seen from the east 
'at thirty or forty miles distance. Turkey Hill was known to 
the French by the name of Cote de Dindc for more than one 
hundred years past, and many legends and tales of olden times 
are told of the Indians of this place. 


Tradition says that the Tamarawa Indians had a large town 
on Turkey Hill a great many years ago, and that the Great 
Spirit sent an old Indian, a wise, good man, with the seeds of 
all the good things for the Indians corn, beans, potatoes, and 
peas and this old man showed them how to plant and raise 
them. That the old man lived with them many years and gave 
them good advice: never to go to war or to kill any one. For 
a long time, while this good man lived with them, the Tamara- 
was did well ; but at last the Indians got too proud and did 
bad; then this good, wise man left them. This tradition may 
be the reason that the prairie south of Turkey Hill was called 
Prairie Tamarawas. 

At the time Mr. Scott settled himself on Turkey Hill, he and 
the Indians held the country as tenants in common. The Kicka- 
poos were his nearest neighbors. They hunted and resided 
much of the year near him, but were friendly after Wayne's 

Mr. Scott and family were the first American settlers north- 
east of Whiteside's Station, in the present county of Monroe, 
and remained so for several years. He had a large family of 
sons, which enabled him to sustain himself in his new settle- 
ment, which was so much in advance of the white population. 

His sons, in 1798, being the next year after their arrival at 
Turkey Hill, cultivated a crop in the American Bottom, and 
also some improvement was made on Turkey Hill the same 
year. After this year, the family made a large improvement 
on Turkey Hill, where they all resided for many years together 
in peace and happiness. 

At length the sons married and settled in the neighborhood 
around the venerable patriarch, until he might, with propriety, 
say: " I have filled my destiny; I have run my race; I see my 
family and my country happy, and that makes me happy." 

Turkey-Hill settlement was the next important colony of the 
Americans after that of the New Design and the American 
Bottom. This settlement and Mr. Scott became quite conspicu- 
ous and were known throughout the West, until the country 
became densely populated and the original names disappeared. 
He was known far and near as Turkey-Hill Scott, and around 
him, the next year after his location, Hosea Rigg, Samuel 
Schook, and a few others, settled. 


Mr. Scott lived a long and eventful life of nearly eighty- three 
years, and died on Turkey Hill in 1828, regretted and lamented 
by the community generally. He was a man of excellent moral 
and honest character. He was a member of the Methodist- 
Episcopal church for many years, and sustained himself in that 
high and honorable station, which proved that his heart was 
impressed with Christian principles. He possessed a sound 
judgment and much practical experience, and was not ambitious 
of either wealth or worldly distinction. He purchased, in early 
times, four military land-warrants, of one hundred acres each, 
and located them on Turkey Hill. He also was possessed of 
sufficient worldly gear to make himself and family comfortable 
and happy. 

Toward the close of his life, he turned his attention to books 
and study; passed off his advanced years in the pleasures of 
meditation and reflection. He was intelligent and communica- 
tive, and when he died, he left no enemies, but a host of friends 
and acquaintances to mourn his death. 

Nathaniel Hull was born and raised to almost maturity in 
the State of Massachusetts. He was, like most of those of the 
Bay State, educated, and was a plain, good scholar. He emi- 
grated to Illinois about 1780. He and several other young 
men in the Revolution left their native State and traveled west. 
Hull descended the Ohio to a point near Ford's Ferry, on that 
river, and came across by land to Kaskaskia. This place on 
the Ohio was afterward known as Hull's Landing, and at it, in 
1786, the Lemen family and others landed and came across the 
country to the settlements. 

At this day the Indians were not hostile as afterward, so that 
Hull and party escaped thro the wilderness without injury. He 
located himself in the American Bottom, and in a few years 
after, he married into the O'Hara family. He settled at the 
foot of the bluff in the Bottom, and there made a plantation 
and erected a block-house fort, as has already been narrated. 
He soon acquired the name of Capt. Hull, which he richly 
deserved by his talents and energies in defending the country 
from Indian depredations. 

The residence of Capt. Hull became, in early times, a com- 
mon centre of attraction of the people, for information and for 


the backwoods discussions of the best mode of defence against 
the Indians. His sage councils were always received with much 
respect. A post-office and small store were established at his 
block-house. He headed many a party in pursuit of the com- 
mon enemy when any depredation was committed by them. 

In 1794, he went back to Massachusetts for his brother, Daniel 
Hull, and moved him and family to the American Bottom. 

Capt. Hull raised a large and respectable family. One of 
his sons, Daniel Hull, joined the Rocky-Mountain Company oi 
Emanuel Liza and others, and started to the mountains in 1809. 
He was destroyed there by a white-bear. 

Capt. Hull was not only a good scholar, but he read, reflected, 
and made himself a very respectable and intelligent man. He 
delighted to read the scenes and transactions of the Revolution. 
He was unambitious for office, but the public prevailed on him 
to act as justice-of-the-peace and county-court judge for Ran- 
dolph County. He administered justice and equity for many 
years in these capacities. The whole community was satisfied 
and pleased with his official acts; but it was in the county-court 
where his sound judgment and influence did the people the most 
service. He was for many years the main pillar of the Ran- 
dolph-County court. 

At all times the county-court, under our system of laws, is 
an important tribunal. It assesses the taxes and enforces their 
collection. Bridges, public roads, court-houses, etc., are within 
the jurisdiction of this ancient county-court. Justice Hull per- 
formed well, to the satisfaction of the people, all of these duties. 

He turned his attention almost exclusively to the improve- 
ment and cultivation of his plantation. He delighted in his 
residence. Just before he died, he enjoined it on his friends to 
bury him on the bluff adjoining his plantation, and, moreover, 
he requested them to bury^him standing on his feet, overlooking 
his premises. His grave was made and he was buried in the 
manner he requested ; it was handsomely paled in and was 
an object of inquiry and discussion for many years after his 
burial. He died in 1806. He possessed a character for probity 
and integrity that was recognized by all. His death, in his 
neighborhood and, in fact, throughout the country, was very 
much lamented and regretted. Capt. Hull stood as the main 


pillar of society in his neighborhood, and was in the same pro- 
portion mourned for at his decease. But such are the immu- 
table laws of Providence. We may regret death, yet the law is 
just, because it is the command of God. The great Roman 

poet said : 

" Nor loud lament, nor silent tear deplore 
The fate of Ennius when he 7 s no more." 

John De Moulin was a native of Switzerland and was a man 
of science and high classic attainment. He was educated a 
gentleman and sustained that character thro life. De Moulin 
emigrated to Canada from Switzerland. He settled in Cahokia 
in 1798, and became a conspicuous and interesting character. 

In 1790, he was the chief-justice of the court of common- 
pleas of the Cahokia district of St. Clair County. The writs of 
that day were issued in his name and dated at Cahokia. He 
was also elected colonel of the county and held that office for 
many years. He was, for a long series of years, a justice-of- 
the-peace and also a judge of probate. At this time, in 1790, 
and for many years after, Col. De Moulin was the most popular 
man in the county. 

He was a large trader in lands. His name is found on the 
ancient records of land titles, almost as much as any other per- 
son in the county. Being a classic scholar in Europe, he under- 
stood well the civil law and was a good lawyer, altho he did 
not practise in the courts. He practised law to great advantage 
in his own business. He studied the titles of the lands in mar- 
ket at that day, and was well versed in the science of land specu- 
lation. By this commerce he obtained a living and a compe- 
tency. At one time he was considered a wealthy citizen, but 
in the decline of his life, he was not so attentive to business 
and was stationary or declined in wealth. 

He was colonel of the county and made it his duty, as it was 
his pleasure, to drill, train, and keep in organization the militia 
of the county. De Moulin studied military tactics as they were 
understood and practised in the time of Louis Quatorze. 

The French were born a military people and the Americans 
were harassed by the Indians; so that the whole community, 
French and Americans, were zealous and anxious to carry out 
the efforts of the colonel on this subject. 


The spirit of military training was more popular in olden 
times than at present. I think the old custom should be pre- 
served. It should be a part of the education of an American 
citizen to know well the use of arms; so that he could be a 
soldier, ready for battle at the shortest notice. For the defence 
of our free institutions the citizens should be prepared at all 

It is not the friendship that the monarchies of Europe have 
for us that makes them respect us ; it is our power of defence. 
Therefore, to be prepared for defence, we should drill and train 
our citizens. To be always prepared for an effectual defence, 
will secure us an eternal peace. 

Col. De Moulin was large, portly, and an elegant figure of a 
man. He took great pride in his appearance on parade days, 
and wore generally a splendid military dress on these occasions. 
His subaltern officers respected him and obeyed his orders to 
the letter. He had that natural gift to command without giv- 
ing offence. The militia of the county, under his command, 
was well trained and well disciplined and efficient. 

He continued a single man during his residence in Illinois, 
and died without wife, children, or relatives of any degree in 
the country. He kept house and was slandered in friendship, 
after the manner Jefferson was, in reference to his female cook 
of a sable color. 

It was rumored that Col. De Moulin had a female acquaint- 
ance in Europe, whom he had promised before the church to 
love and cherish. This was not true, I presume, as no one ever 
came after his death to examine his estate. His residence in 
Cahokia was a medium between a bachelor-hall and the staid 
mansion, governed by a wise and decent matron. He was him- 
self a moral and correct man, and never permitted himself to 
relax into low or vulgar society. He always deported himself, 
as he was, a well-bred gentleman. 

He made a commencement of a small water-mill on the Mis- 
sissippi Bluff, not far east of the Falling Spring. He died at 
this place in 1808. He was universally esteemed and respected. 
His virtues of benevolence, kindness, and generosity were not 
questioned, and he lived and died very popular. His death 
was considered a calamity to the country. He had very few, 


or rather no, enemies. Altho he speculated in lands, he was 
honest and correct. His character was much to be admired 
and very little to' be condemned. He possessed a sound, well- 
balanced mind; not of the higher order, but very respectable. 

Nicholas Jarrot was an ancient and respectable pioneer of 
Illinois. He was a native of Franche Compte in France and 
was a younger branch of a highly respectable family. He 
received a liberal education and was, withal, a gentleman of 
elegant and accomplished manners. His education and his 
suavity of manners made him an acceptable member of any 
society wherein he might be. 

The troubles in France in 1790 caused him to emigrate to 
the land of the free and the home of the brave. He landed 
at Baltimore and traveled to New Orleans and perhaps to 
Havana. At last he reached Cahokia, in 1794, and pitched 
his tent in this place for his residence during life. He came 
to Cahokia a poor young man, a stranger and a foreigner, 
without family connections or friends, but by his talents and 
energy, in a few years he acquired an immense fortune, and 
what is better, a very respectable standing. 

It was not in the nature of Mr. Jarrot to be idle. His very 
composition was activity and energy. All the repose or leisure 
he desired to take was enough to recruit his physical strength, 
that he might enjoy the luxury of activity and his incessant 
application to business. His pleasure, his happiness, and his 
sinnmuni bonnm was an indefatigable industry. His mind was 
strong, active, and sprightly. It was trained and disciplined 
by education. 

In early times he was elected a major in a battalion of the 
St. Clair military, and for years he was known, far and near, as 
Major Jarrot. 

He was like the honey-bee: as soon as he reached Cahokia, 
he commenced business. He obtained a small supply of Indian 
goods and became partially an Indian trader. Almost every 
year he either went himself in his boat or sent it with goods 
to the Upper Mississippi, to Prairie du Chien, or the Falls of 
St. Anthony, or in that region of country. He bartered off 
such articles as the natives needed, for their furs, peltries, etc. 
He also kept a small retail store of goods, suitable to the 
market in Cahokia, for many years after his first arrival. 


Altho he commenced in an humble manner in these com- 
mercial operations, yet to advance his capital was certain. He 
saw and attended to the business in person, so that he knew 
every moment what he was doing. In early times the Indian 
trade was very lucrative. At times two or three hundred per 
cent was realized on the goods sold to the Indians. This traffic 
was the first rise that Major Jarrot made to reach the fortune 
he acquired. 

Not long before the war of 1812, with Great Britain, the 
British traders excited the Indians against the American popu- 
lation and the American traders. Altho Major Jarrot was a 
Frenchman, yet he was carrying on his commerce under the 
American flag. It was the custom of the Indian traders to 
make the village of Prairie du Chien their main depot of goods 
and carry such articles out to the Indian hunting-grounds as 
the red-skins needed. 

Jarrot took two men and some goods out from the village 
some distance to a large Indian camp. The Indians expected 
"him and were frantic with rage against him, because he was 
an American. This was effected by the British traders. The 
Indians were determined to kill him and take his merchandise. 
Jarrot and his men were only armed with shot-guns, expecting 
no enmity from the Indians. The warriors, to a considerable 
number, armed themselves for murder and proceeded out of 
.the camps to meet Jarrot. 

The Indians raised the warwhoop and brandished their 
spears and tomahawks in the air. It was approaching an 
alarming crisis. Jarrot and men seemed to be doomed to 
destruction. The furious savages would not permit a parley; 
but at last, when the warriors were so near Jarrot that it might 
be fatal with him, one of his old friends, a Winnebago Indian, 
stepped before the crowd of warriors and raised a terrific war- 
whoop, such as the Indians use in a battle where they are sure 
to be destroyed. It is a kind of death-cry, so called by them. 
The Indian was armed with all the weapons used by the infu- 
riated savages in mortal conflict. 

The warriors saw the danger they were in. One or more of 
them must be slain by the friend of Jarrot, if they persisted in 
the attempt to murder him and party. The bravery of the 


Winnebago made them reflect, and they desisted from the 
cowardly act to assassinate the trader. 

Jarrot and men were saved by the noble daring of this wild 
savage. The Indians changed his former name to that of 
Jarrot, and he was always known by that name afterward. I 
saw this Indian, who was called Jarrot, at Galena, in 1829. 

Maj. Jarrot erected a horse-mill in Cahokia, which was profit- 
able to himself and serviceable to the public. This mill was in 
operation before and during the war of 1812, and assisted much 
in providing the supplies for the troops engaged in that war. 

In 1810, while Jarrot was at Prairie du Chien, trading with 
the Indians, altho it was greatly against his interest, reported 
faithfully to the government the hostile disposition of the 
Indians toward the United States. 

In the war of 1812, he organized a company to proceed to 
Peoria, and he fortified his boat for the expedition in 1813, and 
made the voyage to Peoria in safety, altho the Illinois River 
was lined with the hostile .Indians. 

In early times, he turned his talents and energies to the com- 
merce in land claims and to the land itself. Various acts of 
congress granted to the ancient inhabitants of Illinois certain 
claims to land. These claims were to be adjusted and allowed 
by the proper officers of the general government. Many of 
the inhabitants were poor and could not wait for the general 
government to adjust the claims; also many were uninformed as 
to the manner of obtaining their rights. This situation of the 
country enabled Jarrot and others to make advantageous pur- 
chases of these land claims. 

He acquired an immense fortune in real estate, which, with 
some debts, descended to his heirs at his death. He owned the 
best selection of land in the country. At one time he owned 
the greatest po'rtion of the Wiggins- Ferry Landing, opposite 
St. Louis. 

The most unfortunate policy of Major Jarrot was his mania 
for mills. His talents, energies, wealth, and ambition were all 
enlisted to build and maintain a water-mill on Cahokia Creek. 
This mill was situated a few miles northeast of Illinoistown, 
and was not only the cause of his expending great quantities of 
money to no effect, but at last he lost his life by the exposure, 


fatigue, and sickness he experienced at this mill. During a 
period of about ten years, he exerted all his energies and means 
to sustain this mill, and at last he and it both perished in the 
struggle. He was contending against the elements in the 
American Bottom like Napoleon did at Moscow. The sand- 
banks of the creek, the swamps near the mill, and sickness suc- 
ceeded over him like the cold winter did over Napoleon Bona- 
parte in Russia. Moreover, this mill caused Major Jarrot much 
trouble and expense by the dam raising the water and flooding 
the lowlands near Cahokia Creek, above the mill. 

William Robb built another water-mill on the creek, above 
Jarrot's, and contended that Cahokia Creek was a navigable 
stream below his mill. Robb built a boat and loaded it with 
flour. He assembled many of his neighbors and forced his boat 
thro Jarrot's mill-dam. He did much injury to the dam. Robb 
was indicted, but the traverse jury did not agree ; thus the 
matter ended. 

Maj. Jarrot held the offices of justice-of-the-peace and judge 
of the county-court of St. Clair for many years. Jarrot's name 
is often found on the records of the court in ancient times, and 
his services in the judicial department were always respected 
by the people ; his decisions on the bench were prompt and 

Maj. Jarrot erected in Cahokia one of the first and finest 
brick-houses in the country, and lived in it, enjoying all the 
comforts of life. The kindness of heart and urbanity of man- 
ners which marked his actions attracted many visitors to his 
mansion, where they were received and entertained by him and 
his interesting family in a polished and elegant style. 

Maj. Jarrot raised a very large and respectable family. His 
first wife was a Miss Barbeau of Prairie du Rocher, who died 
soon after the birth of her first child ; his next wife was a Miss 
Beauvais of Ste.Genevieve. This lady possessed a strong mind, 
together with a mild and amiable disposition; so that she was, 
thro the earthly career of her husband, a great support and 
solace to him. 

Jarrot was much devoted to his family, and educated and 
improved them all in his power. In 1823, he died in Cahokia, 
and his family showed their sorrow and grief not only in their 


kind feelings and affection for him, but also the irreparable 
Joss they sustained in his death. 

Jarrot was a strict and zealous Roman-catholic, and performed 
with sincere devotion all his religious duties enjoined by that 
church. He and his wife always headed the family in going to 
and returning from church on the Sabbath. 

Being strictly moral, he set his family and others a good 
example of piety and religion. The remains of this good man 
are resting in peace in the ancient graveyard of Cahokia; this 
small territory contains most of the deceased of this village for 
the last hundred and fifty years. 

A small and sparse settlemgnt, mostly of Americans, was 
made on the east side of the Kaskaskia River as early as 1780, 
and for some few years thereafter, this colony continued to in- 
crease. Hilterbrand, Henry and Elijah Smith, Daniel Hix, 
Hayden Wells, Teel, and some few others resided on the east 
side of the Kaskaskia River above Nine-Mile Creek, and made 
small improvements there. John Doyle, John Montgomery, 
John Dodge, M. Arstugus, and only a few others resided in the 
neighborhood opposite Kaskaskia, on the east side of the river. 
Jean B. Beavois made an improvement at the head of Gravelly 
Creek, four miles east of Kaskaskia. Thos. Hughes improved 
on Nine-Mile Creek and was killed emigrating to the country, 
as before narrated. 

This colony did not flourish to any great extent From 1780 
to 1795, the Indian war raged and broke up this settlement. 
This colony disappeared and in 1796 and 1797, the first steps 
were taken toward reestablishing it. In these two years, several 
families permanently settled on the east side of the Kaskaskia 
River and remained there. Hughes, McDonough, Kelly, Ander- 
son, and Pettitt, with their families, formed a small settlement 
and occupied about the same neighborhood which the previous 
colony did. Andrew Dunks arrived soon after and improved 
on Nine-Mile Creek, in this settlement. 

This small colony did not increase in numbers for many 
years, altho they lived happy and improved their farms. They 
had the village of Kaskaskia and the Kaskaskia Indians for 
their neighbors. Gen. Edgar's mill in their immediate vicinity 
was a great inducement to reside there. No schools or religious 


meetings were enjoyed for many years in this settlement. The 
Indians who were disposed to friendship, begging and stealing, 
were their most common visitors. 

Stace McDonough was the main pillar and leader in this set- 
tlement. He was born in New Jersey in 1770, and when an 
infant, his father and mother died, leaving him on the cold 
charities of the world ; he was bound out, but followed the 
common practice of leaving his boss, and both sides throwing 
the blame on the other. This much can be said against his 
principal : that McDonough never received any school-house 
education whatever. This fault is set down on the side of his 

As soon as he was able, he emigrated West, and when a 
youth, he was engaged in the military service of the country. 

McDonough was a soldier in many of the expeditions with 
the Kentucky troops against the Indians toward Detroit. He 
was athletic, stout, and courageous, and was, moreover, an excel- 
lent marksman. With these qualifications, he frequently acted 
as a spy. He possessed a strong natural mind and employed 
all his energies, mind, and body to the service of his country; 
and was a conspicuous man in his sphere in the campaign under 
Gen. Clark, from the Falls to the Wabash, in 1786. Altho he 
was then only sixteen years old, the experience of many years 
was realized by him. 

McDonough entered the service of the government in 1790,. 
and was entrusted with the command of a number of pack- 
horses in the campaign of Gen. Harmar. In that campaign he 
was engaged and was always found in the many charges on 
the Indians, ordered by the general. After returning with the 
troops, he entered the service under Gen. St. Clair in 1791, and 
was again engaged in the responsible duties of commanding the 
convoys of provisions for the army, and was an honest, trust- 
worthy agent of the quartermaster department. Altho he knew 
not a letter in the book, yet he was intrusted with this impor- 
tant command. 

McDonough was in the disastrous defeat of Gen. St. Clair> 
November 4, 1791, where eight or nine hundred men were slain, 
and always said the whole catastrophe was the fault of the offi- 
cers that the number, strength, and capacity of the Indians 


were disregarded by the officers in command, and sorely did 
they pay for it. Butler lost his life and St. Clair his character 
and standing. 

McDonough often informed me that the Indians surprised the 
army and surrounded it. The militia were without officers and 
were so panic-stricken that they rushed about from one side of 
the camp to the other, like a herd of cattle, without the least 
attempt to fight or defend themselves. They were butchered 
like so many bullocks in a pen. By a kind of instinct the crowd 
of men, not soldiers, of St. Clair' s army made a movement to 
break thro the hords of savages who were around them, and 
the Indians could not kill all before some escaped. The regular 
soldiers often charged on the Indians and drove them a con- 
siderable distance; but other savages were assailing the troops 
in the rear, so that it required another charge back to reach the 
camp again. McDonough always uniformly stated that the car- 
nage and numbers slain in that battle never were stated in the 

McDonough escaped on foot from this defeat and left the 
main route, where the Indians made such havoc on the strag- 
gling men. After he left the road some distance, he found a 
wounded officer. This man was badly wounded, supposed then 
to be mortal. He was lying on the ground almost exhausted, 
and mistook McDonough to be an Indian when he first came 
up to him. The noble spirit of an American officer still re- 
mained in this man, lying almost lifeless on the ground. He 
drew his pistol and prepared for battle; but soon discovered a 
friend instead of a savage foe. McDonough said he could not 
help smiling, altho it was a serious time, at the ridiculous 
attempt this officer made to fight ; but it showed the true 
courage of an American officer. After much exertion and 
suffering from hunger, McDonough got this officer and himself 
safe into camp. Without help, the wounned man must have 
perished; but he recovered and lived many years afterward. 

McDonough was as efficient on the water as on land; being 
an excellent river pilot. He commanded one of the United- 
States boats on the Ohio River in 1793, and near the mouth of 
the Kentucky River, he was shot from the shore by an Indian 
in the shoulder. Some white man with the Indians hallooed 


out in English, "to throw that man overboard he will die in 
a short time ! " This was a severe wound and from which he 
never recovered altho he lived for many years after. He was 
about obtaining a pension for this wound when he died. Altho 
not well, he embarked in the campaign under Gen. Wayne. He 
was anxious to see the eagles of his country raised from the 
dust where the Indians had trampled them. He delighted to 
serve under Mad Anthony. 

McDonough was of Scotch descent and was easily fanned 
into a flame. Of such soldiers as McDonough, Wayne was the 
commander. He fought thro the battle under Wayne and 
hoped the general would order a charge on the British garrison. 
The Americans were more enraged against the British, who 
urged the savages on to fight, than against the Indians them- 

The war having closed with honor, McDonough left the ser- 
vice in 1795, and retired to Louisville, Kentucky. He married 
there, and in 1797, as above stated, settled on the place where 
he died. 

He turned his attention to agriculture and improved a fine 
plantation a short distance east of Kaskaskia. He was always 
extremely fond of the rifle and spared some of his time to hunt. 
In early times, a man who hunted none was a rare thing. 

During the war of 1812, he had the contract to carry the 
mail from St. Louis to Shawneetown thro the wilderness coun- 
try from Kaskaskia to the Ohio River. This mail-route was 
very important in the war, as that was the route thro which the 
correspondence was kept up between Illinois and Washington 
City. It was a dangerous service on account of the hostility of 
the Indians; but he carried the mails with punctuality. 

In the war, he was captain of a mounted company to defend 
the frontiers. He performed this service to the satisfaction of 
the public. He was thro life a man of great energy and activity. 
Nature gifted him with a sound, strong mind, and altho he had 
no A-B-C education yet his long life thro so many scenes and 
trials made him intelligent and wise. He entertained a high 
sense of honor and integrity, and no one doubted his patriotism 
and devotion to his country. His mind was well balanced, and 
he was honest and correct in all transactions. He lived for 


almost half- a -century on his farm and died there. He was 
deservedly popular and the public regretted very much his 

As soon as the West increased its population and raised a 
surplus produce, the navigation of the Mississippi was all im- 
portant to ship their surplus to market. It is astonishing at 
this day to look back at the excitement of the Western people 
for the free navigation of the river to the ocean. The people 
seemed to be frantic and almost crazy to do anything or join 
any government to secure the free use of the Mississippi. 

It must be recollected that Spain owned both sides of the 
Mississippi at the mouth and did actually prevent the West for 
a time to export their products to market. 

And what is still more astonishing that many leading char- 
acters in the West were willing to sever the Union for the sake 
of the navigation of the river to the Gulf of Mexico. A meet- 
ing of the staff-officers who were engaged in a campaign in 
1786, from the Falls of the Ohio, Kentucky, to chastise the 
Wabash Indians, met at Vincennes, October 8 of that year, and 
agreed to organize a separate and independent government. 
The object of this organization was mostly to secure the navi- 
gation of the Mississippi. 

The Spaniards were either to be driven off or joined, as the 
circumstances might be. This board of field-officers determined 
"to garrison that post (Vincennes), to raise supplies by impress- 
ment, and to enlist new troops." 

This new government was about to treat with the Indians 
and had seized a large amount of Spanish property in Vin- 
cennes and Illinois. Letters were written to the State of 
Georgia to induce that State to join in the cause, as the terri- 
tory of Georgia came in contact with the Spanish frontier. 

Congress hearing of this movement at Vincennes, prepared 
troops to suppress this new government. Public opinion and 
the good-sense of the people put this scheme down, as they did 
the whiskey insurrection and the South-Carolina treason to dis- 
member the Union in modern times. 

The officers decided at Vincennes that, as the Spaniards 
would not permit the Americans to descend the Mississippi, 
the Spaniards should not ascend the river. 


About this time, 1/93, Gennet, the minister of the new French- 
Republic, arrived in the United States. He landed at Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, and made a kind of a triumphal proces- 
sion from that city to the seat of government. He presumed 
much on the friendly relations, which were or ought to be in 
his opinion, between the United States and the French govern- 
ment. It will be recollected that France had commenced her 
glorious revolution for freedom and had established a republic. 
Gennet was its minister to the Federal government and pre- 
sented himself, on March 18, 1793, to President Washington. 
It also must be borne in mind that the federal and republican 
parties raged with violence and bitterness at this time. The 
federalists took part with Great Britain against France, while 
the republicans were for France and opposed to Great Britain. 
The administration was rather federal. 

Gennet, by all the means and arts in his power, attempted to 
induce the government to take sides with France against Great 
Britain; but the firmness and wisdom of Washington and his 
cabinet kept aloof from any "entangling alliances" with Europe. 
The same wise policy has governed the councils of the Nation 
to this day. Gennet was dissatisfied with the government and 
appealed to the people. He was a talented man arid had just 
come from a warm political discussion in France and attempted 
it here. He had not neglected the West and had given com- 
missions out, even in Illinois, to levy troops to sustain the West 
against the Union. Our government requested the Republic o' 
France to recall him and they did so. 

The next minister, Adet, who came to the United States in 
1796, attempted the same policy but failed more signally than 
his predecessor. 

During this season of excitement and confusion in the West, 
the Spanish authorities were active and vigilant in carrying on. 
intrigues with many influential citizens of the West to induce 
them to throw off their allegiance and become an independent 

The free navigation of the Mississippi was the great cause of 
dissatisfaction, and it was not healed up until Jay, our minister 
at the court of Madrid, made a treaty with Spain in 1795, which 
secured the free navigation of the river to us forever. 


The Federal government was vigilant and active in guarding 
against all these assaults on the Union. The garrison at Fort 
Massac was repaired and fortified. Troops were stationed there 
.and increased as danger threatened. In fact, soldiers had been 
.stationed there almost all the time since the treaty of peace in 
1783. Gen. Wilkinson, about 1795, made below Massac what 
was called Contonment Wilkinson. The remains of this fort 

can be seen at this day. 

In 1800, two companies of regular soldiers were stationed in 
Fort Massac. Capts. Russell and Daniel Bissell were the com- 

.manders. One of these companies was, in 1802, ordered to 
Kaskaskia and occupied the top of the river bluff east of Kas- 
kaskia, where once stood Fort Gage. This company remained 
there almost three years and until Louisiana was transferred to 
the United States in 1805. Then it was ordered off to St. Louis, 
in Upper Louisiana, and never returned. The celebrated Zebu- 
Ion Pike, who was destroyed in Upper Canada, at Queenstown, 
was attached to this company as a subaltern officer. He was 
very young at that day and was an active, energetic youth. 
He was restless and ambitious, and was mostly out of the gar- 

; rison on some scientific excursion. He delighted, while at Kas- 
kaskia, to be on horseback and exploring the country far and 

Gen. Wilkinson, in the West, acted a singular part as well in 
the transactions with Spain as with Aaron Burr in 1805. He 
seemed to have been born and to have acted all his life equivo- 

. cal. Courts of inquiry and the strictest investigations could 
not reach any solid charge against him ; but still the public 
always believed him to be not entirely free from blame or 

. at least of suspicion. He had fine talents and wrote his own 
memoirs and even that work leaves him doubtful. 

An officer of the United -States army, high in command, 
should act in that elevated and upright manner that his con- 

duct should be above doubt or uncertainty. He should "be 
like Caesar's wife, above suspicion." 

In 1794, the celebrated Isaac Darnielle arrived in Cahokia 
and remained in the West for several years. He was the 
second professed lawyer that emigrated to Illinois, John Rice 
Jones being the first. He was a classic scholar and was in his 


person genteel and agreeable; he possessed the easy and grace- 
ful manners of a polished gentleman. He was large and portly 
and made it a sine qua non to be extremely neat in his dress 
and attentive to his personal appearance. He studied all the 
arts and mysteries of gallantry and thereby made very deep 
and rather lasting impressions on his female friends. Darnielle 
studied the ladies more than he studied his profession of the 
law. He was benevolent and kind to all mankind, and particu- 
larly to the ladies. Rumor said that he had been educated in 
Maryland for the ministry, but his gallantry was too strong for 
the proper observance of the gospel precepts. It was also 
stated that he had occupied the pulpit for some time, but took 
French leave of his congregation and appeared next in Caho- 
kia. He possessed a strong intellect and his faculties had been 
well disciplined to study. His honesty, except in gallantry, 
was unquestionable. With these advantages it did not take 
him long to study the law, which he did, and practised it also. 
He being an agreeable speaker, together with a fine appearance 
of person, made him conspicuous and popular at the bar. 

The courts and juries at that day were not remarkably well 
versed in the technical learning and therefore Darnielle could 
figure with ease and safety before these tribunals. He was 
indolent, except in the pursuit of the pleasures of gallantry, 
and in this pursuit he spared neither time or exertions. When 
in a phrenzied state of love with a married lady of Cahokia, 
and she in the same delightful state of madness, they took a 
snap judgment on the husband and escaped to Peoria, where 
for many years they lived on love. The husband remained in 
Cahokia in sullen silence. 

At one time he and his lady love not, perhaps, the same 
that lived with him at Peoria made their resting-place on the 
highest pinnacle of the Mississippi Bluff, northwest of the peni- 
tentiary at Alton. Altho Cupid selected this spot as the most 
delicious place of love, yet Col. Easton of St. Louis made sober 
reality out of it by purchasing the preemption right of Dar- 
nielle to the land granted to him by act of Congress. 

Darnielle became acquainted with the land-titles in Illinois 
and made a commerce in land. He never was wealthy; this 
was not his ambition. He indulged in the land-trade more for 


occupation than for profit. He never married according to the 
laws of the country, but to all appearances, he was never with- 
out a wife or wives. It was also rumored that he left a married 
wife in Maryland who was an obstacle to a second marriage in 
this country. 

Darnielle had no malice or bitterness in his composition, but 
seemed to consider his summum bonum to consist in an easy, 
luxurious life: He was moral and correct in his deportment, 
except as above referred to. 

Darnielle never indulged in drinking or gaming, but fre- 
quently slept all day and made the evenings extend all night, 
in the sight and hearing of his terrestial angel. At one time, 
while in the zenith of his glory, he was the beau ideal of Caho- 
kia. His talents, his gay and graceful manners, together with 
his penchant for this sort of life, authorized him to some extent 
to be styled the Lord Chesterfield of Cahokia; but in practice 
he was more the Earl of Rochester than Chesterfield. 

While Darnielle retained his youthful vigor, this life passed 
off very well; but when old age crept on him, his former pur- 
suits were abandoned from necessity and he remained an old 
man without sincere friends or means for support. He taught 
school in the western part of Kentucky, where he died, rather 
humbled and neglected, in 1830, aged sixty years. 

If Darnielle had abandoned this one failing, the excess of 
gallantry, he would have enjoyed the character of one of the 
most honorable and respectable gentlemen in Illinois. 

In 1793, John Hays emigrated to Cahokia and remained 
there and in the vicinity during life. He was born in the city 
of New York in 1770, and when quite a youth, entered the 
Indian trade in the Northwest. He was a clerk to a wealthy 
house in Canada and was sent first to Mackinac and afterward 
toward the Lake of the Woods and the sources of the Missis- 
sippi. It was toward the headwaters of Red River, of Selkirk's 
Settlement, that he and two Canadians were caught out in a 
snow-storm in the prairie, and were compelled to lie under the 
snow for three days and nights, during the storm. They had a 
scanty supply of dried meat to eat and thin blankets to cover 
them. The storm raged with such violence that they were not 
able to travel in the open prairie and were forced to remain 


under the snow to preserve their lives. It snowed in the time 
to a considerable depth. No one who has not experienced the 
hardships in the Indian trade of the Northwest can realize it. 
The want of water under the snow was that which incommoded 
them most. 

He returned safe from this storm, and afterward he made 
arrangements with Messrs. Todd & Hays who had formed an 
extensive commercial partnership, to act as the agent and clerk 
2- \ ) in their business. He settled in Cahokia, in the employ of the 
company of Todd & Hay^i But Todd dying and the com- 
pany dissolving, forced Hays out again on his own resources. 
He turned his attention, as many others did, to the Indian 
trade. At times he also kept a small assortment of goods in 
Cahokia. His boats, either with himself or agent, generally 
made a voyage once a year to Prairie du Chien with articles 
for the Indian trade, and returned sometimes the same fall and 
sometimes in the spring. With a due regard to economy he 
made money in this commerce. 

He married a lady in Vincennes of excellent family and what 
is still better, of sound, good sense. They lived together in 
Cahokia and raised a respectable family. He turned his atten- 
tion to agriculture. He purchased land in the common-field of 
Cahokia and cultivated it to some considerable advantage. He 
managed his farm with good-sense and economy, as he did all 
his other business. 

He held the office of postmaster in Cahokia so long that 
"the memory of man" scarcely "runneth to the contrary." 
This was no profit to him, but he held the office for the accom- 
modation of his Creole neighbors, whose acquaintance with 
school-houses was extremely limited. He was appointed to 
the office of sheriff of St. Clair County by Gov. St. Clair in 
1798, and he continued to exercise the duties of this office 
down to 1818, when the State government was organized. I 
presume this was the longest term of office ever held in Illinois. 
It is the strongest evidence of the punctuality and honesty of 
the incumbent. Rotation in office was not then practised. 

In 1822, he was appointed Indian agent of the Pottawato- 
mies and Miamis at Fort Wayne, in the northeast section of 
the State of Indiana. He remained in this office for several 


years and received a handsome annual salary. He returned 
home to Cahokia and enjoyed his old age in peace and happi- 
ness with his family and friends. During a long life of industry 
and economy, he acquired a handsome property, and was in his 
advanced years very comfortably situated, having all the com- 
forts of life that render the human family happy. He died in 
old age, much regretted by his family and friends. 

Mr. Hays possessed a moral and honest character; his morality 
throughout life was very exemplary. He was not a member of 
any Christian church, but observed the precepts contained in 
the word with due respect and devotion. At his death his 
fortune descended to three daughters, his only children. 

He possessed a common-English education and spoke French 
fluently, and enjoyed a very respectable character; his memory 
is well entitled to the respect of posterity. 

Another personage of considerable celebrity, John Hay, 
whose memory is much esteemed by his friends and numerous 
acquaintances, settled in Cahokia in 1793. This pioneer was 
born in Detroit, on May 8, 1769. John Hay, his father, was 
a native of Chester County, Penn., and was the last British 
governor of Upper Canada. The mother of Mr. Hay was a 
French lady, a native of Detroit, ten years younger than her 
husband, the governor of Upper Canada. 

The subject of this brief sketch, when quite young, was sent 
to college at the Three Rivers, in Canada, and graduated with 
the common honors of the institution, receiving a classic educa- 
tion. Particular attention was paid by him to the languages 
taught at that day Latin, French, and English. His mother- 
tongue was French, but he spoke English without any French 
accent. The high standing of his family in Canada and the 
amiable and kind heart of himself attracted the attention of 
the most respectable inhabitants of the province. 

Lady Hamilton, whose husband was the highest officer in 
Canada, wrote to Mr. Hay, when he was at Three-Rivers col- 
lege, the following letter: 

"QUEBEC, March i6th, 1785. 

"Sir: Your letter of the nth inst. persuades me that you 
are diligent and desirous of improving yourself. I have, there- 
fore, for your father's satisfaction, enclosed your letter to him. 


" When you next favor me with a letter, let me know to what 
particular profession your disposition leads, and not only con- 
sult your inclination in a point so essential to your future hap- 
piness and credit, but take the opinion of some friend as to- 
the talents nature may have supplied you with for making your 
way thro the world. I shall be happy to serve you, on occa- 
sion, should it happen to be in my power, and am, sir, your 
very obedient and humble servant, 


"Mr. JOHN HAY." 

This short letter of Lady Hamilton shows her kind heart 
her interest for Mr. Hay and also her good-sense. 

The British government held possession of Detroit and other 
posts on the lakes long after the treaty of peace in 1783, and 
the father of Mr. Hay continued to be the governor of Upper 
Canada until his death, in 1785. Mr. Hay was only seventeen 
years old at the death of his father and thereby was turned out 
into the world on his own resources. His friends procured him 
a situation as a clerk in a wealthy commercial house in Mon- 
treal. He remained a few years at the merchants' desk and 
kept the books under the eye of a lank, lean, hungry-looking 
Scotchman. This nation, the Scotch, engrossed to a great 
degree the Northwest fur-trade in olden times, and they exer- 
cised that talent of cool, calculating shrewdness for money- 
making, for which they are so celebrated to great advantage. 
These Scotch traders have made Montreal a very wealthy city. 

Mr. Hay was fitted out with "an equipment," as it was called, 
and started for the extreme Northwest. An equipment among 
the Northwest traders means an assortment of goods for the 
Indian trade. It comprises a proportion of the several- articles 
sold to the Indians guns, blankets, strouding, flints, powder, 
bullets, knives, paints, etc. He embarked in a bark-canoe with 
several light-hearted, singing Canadians, for the Assinnaboin 
country, which is near the base of the Rocky Mountains, in 
latitude about 45 degrees north. The Northwest Company at 
that day had the entire trade and control of the country. 

When Mr. Hay got out into the wintering-ground and erected 
his quarters for winter, he forgot to some extent the sage coun- 
sels of his Scotch* friends in Montreal in relation to prudence. 


economy, and the profit on the stock, which profit, in their eyes, 
was the ne plus ultra of all human aspirations. 

Mr. Hay was then young and full of vigor, and with the 
clerks in the same region were other young men of the same 
character; so that these young folks forgot the Scotch lessons 
on economy they had so plentifully received before they left 
the counting-desks in Montreal. Gallantry in any country, even 
in the Northwest, is attended with both loss of time and money. 

Mr. Hay did not make a fortune on his outfit, but he saw 
the world even if it were in the Northwest. In that region he 
formed an acquaintance with a Mr. Todd, a merchant of con- 
siderable celebrity. This acquaintance ripened into friendship 
and a commercial partnership. They determined to establish 
their main store in Cahokia and send out in boats or otherwise 
goods into the Indian country. 

Mr. Hay started to the Illinois from the wintering -ground 
with only one Indian. They traversed the country in a southeast 
direction to reach the sources of the St. Peter's River, and after 
much difficulty they found the St. Peter's, which they descended 
and the Mississippi until they arrived at Prairie du Chien, where 
the Indian was dismissed and Mr. Hay came to Cahokia in 
1793, as heretofore stated. 

He and Todd commenced business with fair prospects of 
success, when Todd had business at New Orleans and while 
there he died. His death deranged all the business of the 
partnership and Mr. Hay never after that attempted merchan- 
dising on a large scale. 

He had by this time seen some of the world and came to the 
conclusion that a wandering life was not the most happy, and 
settled himself down in Cahokia for life. He became acquainted 
with an amiable and beautiful young Creole, born in Cahokia, 
Miss Margaret Poupart, and in 1797, married her. For several 
years after he settled in Cahokia he was doing a small business 
and settling up the concern of Todd & Hay. He purchased 
a house and lot in the village of Cahokia and commenced 
housekeeping, and now depended on his talents and exertions 
for a living. Altho his family and relations were wealthy and 
respectable in Canada, yet he depended on his own labor and 
industry for support rather than to resort to his friends. 


He wrote and did business for the merchants of St. Louis, in 
Upper Louisiana, and the American side also, for support. But 
his abilities to serve the people in office were made manifest, 
and Gov. St. Clair of the Northwest Territory, on February 15, 
1799, bestowed on him four several offices: the clerk of the 
court of quarter-sessions, clerk of the court of common-pleas, 
clerk of the orphans' court, and treasurer of the county of 
St. Clair. These commissions were dated at Cincinnati and 
signed by the governor and his secretary, William Henry Har- 

By his proper and honest deportment and his kindness and 
affiability, he continued in office and in several at a time, from 
the above date to the hour of his death. He has been, almost 
all the time, a notary public and justice-of-the-peace, and was 
often judge of probate and for a series of years, as the records 
will testify, was the recorder of land-titles in St. Clair County. 

The commissioners at Kaskaskia to adjust land-titles, having 
the utmost confidence in his honesty and integrity, entrusted 
him to take depositions in support of land-claims in the Kas- 
kaskia district. This was a very delicate trust, and he was 
found, as in all other situations, worthy of that confidence. 

All the administration of the governments, commencing with 
Gov. St. Clair in 1799, down thro all the territorial and State 
governments, to his death, have placed confidence in him and 
have given him office. It is not common that a man can retain 
as many offices as he did at the same time and enjoy them for 
almost half-a-century without the people losing confidence in 
the incumbent. It is evidence of his accommodating disposi- 
tion and his honesty and capacity in the performance of the 
duties of these offices. 

For many years he filled the office of judge of probate of 
St. Clair County. This office is an important one. The duties 
involved very often the most abstruse principles of the law; 
but he performed them and the duties of the various others to 
the entire satisfaction of the public. 

Out of all these offices he made a bare living. He had a 
very large family and raised them with great tenderness and 
affection; so that he expended much of his income to raise and 
educate them, and h.e was so kind and indulgent to his children 


that he could scarcely deny them anything they asked, if it 
were necessary or not. He never was wealthy but always 
enjoyed a full and plentiful competency. He had not the least 
talent for speculation, altho the whole country, almost, were 
engaged in it. He never bought or sold any land, as most of 
the other gentry of Cahokia did, and his own right to the land 
the government gave him, he sold at a very reduced price. He 
lived in peace and happiness in Cahokia among his French 
friends until the county-seat of St. Clair County was moved 
from Cahokia, in 1814, to Belleville. This was a terrible shock 
to the whole family. 

The French, by living together many ages, begin to think 
they could not exist out of a French village. Their social inter- 
course are so interwoven in their composition that to separate 
one from another are looked upon with a kind of horror. Thus 
it was with Mr. Hay and family. They were supported so long 
on the proceeds of these offices that they became a kind of 
second-nature to them, and to leave Cahokia, the church, and 
the ballroom was quite impossible. 

The offices had. to be kept in Belleville and Mr. Hay attended 
to them for many years in this place and saw his family at the 
end of each week. At last this was found to be disagreeable 
and he sold out in Cahokia and located permanently in Belle- 

In early times, a majority of the country were French inhabi- 
tants, and he spoke and wrote the French language as well as 
the English; so that he was well qualified to accommodate each 
class of people in performing his public duties. 

In 1804, when Gen. Harrison took possession of Louisiana, 
it was becoming the occasion to make a demonstration of our 
good feeling to our newly-acquired citizens, and that the people 
of Cahokia and St. Clair County should attend at St. Louis on 
the occasion. With heart and hand, he headed the cavalcade 
and made a grand display in the ceremony of taking possession 
of the country. 

At the treaty with the Indians, in 1815, at Portage de Sioux 
in Missouri, he was employed as interpreter and assistant-secre- 
tary to the board. He was very expert with the pen and was 
quite serviceable on such occasions. He had many peculiari- 


ties and became quite systematic. For many years he went to 
St. Louis, Missouri, at a stated time in the fall and remained 
there for a week. In this time he purchased the stationery for 
his office and other articles and visited his friends. He went 
and returned to the hour; and toward the close of his life, no 
matter what was on hand, if the weather permitted, he an. I his 
old lady took an evening walk. He and his wife lived together 
for almost half-a-century, and very few ever enjoyed more of 
domestic happiness than they did. Their marriage was based 
on proper principles and their union was sincere. It was 
founded on mutual and ardent affections. 

At mature age, he read, reflected, and became a Catholic. 
He was raised to respect the church of England more than any 
other, and was, thro the early part of his life, inclined to that 
church; but he changed his notions and became zealous and 
enthusiastic in the faith of the Romish church. He often be- 
came excited in conversation on religious subjects and frequently 
used words in the excitement of the moment, and forgot their 
unfitness in such cases. These words were similar to those 
Uncle Tobey used when his feelings were excited to the highest 
pitch at the sight of his friend about to expire and said: "By 

G , he shan't die." The angel above did not record it 

against Uncle Toby, nor will the angel record the utterance of 
these words against Mr. Hay. 

Morality, virtue, and honesty governed him, and he observed 
the injunctions imposed on him by these great guides to happi- 
ness with scrupulous exactness. It was in his last sickness that 
he displayed the calm philosopher and the Christian hero. Age 
had naturally destroyed in him much of the frailties of human 
nature. The passions had ceased to bewilder his calm reflection. 

The mind will turn back on the actions of life, and if they 
are good an approving conscience makes a kind of " heaven on 
earth below." This seemed to be the case of our friend. It 
appeared to be his transit from a sinful mortality to a happy 
immortality. Death reached him in that state of existence 
when its terrors were not regarded by him. He was anxious 
and pleased to realize that " undiscovered country from whose 
bourn no traveler returns." He died in Belleville in 1843, aged 
seventy-four years. His friends and the public felt real sorrow 


and grief for his death. When he died he had no enemies, but 
a host of friends who yet converse of him with tender regard. 
Their hearts and affections are with him in the tomb. 

In the first settlement of the country, wild animals were very 
plenty, which induced almost the whole community to become 
hunters. The range was so good and the vegetation in summer 
grew so luxuriant that a vast number of these wild animals 
were sustained in Illinois. 

The vegetation particularly the grass grew much stronger 
and higher fifty years ago than it does at this time. Corn does 
not grow as large or yield as much per acre as it did in these 
olden times. This is the opinion of almost all the pioneers : 
that the vegetation is not so luxuriant and stout as in former 
days. This is a fact and to account for it would be difficult. 
If a tract of land were fenced and thereby the tame animals 
prevented from pasturing on it, yet it is doubtful if the earth 
would produce as it did in former days. 

Fifty years ago the fire in a dry prairie with a strong wind 
was grand and rather terrific. In the fall it is often dry for 
months together ; so that the prairies were very dry toward 
Christmas and the Indians and others in hunting universally 
set them on fire. Sometimes the hunters made what they 
called ring-fires. They set fire to the grass and leaves around 
a considerable tract of country so as to enclose a number of 
deer and other animals. The fire, as it burns, contracts; so the 
game is huddled up in the centre and killed, more or less. 
These dry prairies on fire with a high wind were dangerous to 
man as well as beast. Often deer, raccoons, and the smaller 
animals were destroyed by the fire. It was also " death on the 
snakes." At many times a prairie miles long and on fire with 
a strong wind was in a dense flame for hundreds of yards wide 
at the same time. This flame often arose many feet high and 
would destroy any animal, man, or other that would be caught 
in it. The old pioneers will recognize the truth of this descrip- 
tion of the prairies on fire. 

It was this excessively thick and strong vegetation, burning 
in the fall, that caused the prairies. It is generally the case 
that the prairies are the most fertile soil. This caused the 
strongest fire which destroyed the timber. In the poor soil, 


where the vegetation did not grow rank, these fires did not 
destroy the timber, and about the water courses timber grew 
without the disturbance of the fire. The proof of the above is 
that the prairies, when the fire is kept out of them, soon grow 
up with trees. Illinois will have in twenty years more timber 
in it than there is at present. 

While the prairie is in a general conflagration, a terrible roar- 
ing, something similar to thunder, is heard. With this terrific 
noise and the flames so high, broad, and dense, a terror is pro- 
duced easier imagined than described. 

Two men were burnt to death in the American Bottom by 
the prairie burning, a few miles southeast of the ferry opposite 
St. Louis. These unfortunate men took refuge under their cart, 
but were, nevertheless, destroyed. 

In the first settlement of the country, hundreds of acres of 
timber, in some seasons, were all killed at the same time by 
fire. These trees would fall down rot or burn and a prairie 
would soon be formed. At that time the small undergrowth 
was burnt out and in many places nothing but the large trees 
were standing. In process of time these trees would also dis- 
appear and a prairie be formed where they grew. 

Not only was the summer range good but the winter also. 
All along the Ohio River and up the Mississippi to Muddy 
River and sometimes higher, the cane grew so thick and strong 
that man or beast could scarcely penetrate it. These were 
called brakes and were so thick and matted together that deer, 
buffaloes, horses, and other animals were completely housed and 
sheltered from the storms. Hunters say they have often heard 
buffaloes in the winter bellowing in these canebrakes as if it 
were summer in the prairies. 

Above the cane region the rushes grew on the sandy margins 
of the Mississippi and on sandy islands, strong and thick. They 
are more nutritious and better on which to winter animals than 
cane. Horses, cattle, deer, buffaloes, etc., will keep as fat on 
the rushes as if they were put in a cornfield in the fall. 

In the fall of 1807, my father put a large gang of horses on 
Gaborit Island, in the Mississippi River above St. Louis, and 
they wintered well. 

The region of country adjacent to the Illinois River, as 


Father Marquette observed, produced the strongest vegetation 
in olden times of any other section of Illinois, and the river 
and the swamps adjacent to it afforded the natives more sup- 
port than any other part of the West. The fowls, in the spring 
and fall in their migrations, stopped here and the Indians killed 
many of them. Also a great number of musk-rats were caught 
in the lakes near the river, and it was conceded by all that no 
river in America produced as many fresh-water fish as the Illi- 
nois did. This great supply of provisions for the Indians 
enabled more of them to subsist in this section of country than 
in any 'other in the West. The Indian traders visited this river 
in great numbers and many made fortunes by the traffic with 
the natives. 

Under these circumstances, Peoria was, perhaps, the greatest 
trading-post in the Mississippi Valley. At Mackinac more 
wealth was collected on its transit there than at any other 
point. The traders of the North met the merchants from 
Canada at this post and exchanged the peltries, furs, etc., they 
collected from the Indians either to pay old debts or for Indian 
goods. At some seasons of the year Mackinac was a very im- 
portant and interesting place; but when the traders and Indians 
disappeared the village assumed its former size and inefficiency. 

Prairie du Chien possessed something of the character of 
both Peoria and Mackinac. In it goods were exchanged with 
the traders for their peltries, etc., as well as sold to the Indians. 

At Mackinac and other points where the traders, voyagers, 
and hordes of Indians met those from Canada, a general jubilee 
was instituted. Great and grand doings of all sorts of amuse- 
ments and pleasures of which the French genius and their 
limited means at that place permitted were carried on at Macki- 
nac during these celebrated festivals. Men who had been in 
the Northwest trade for years, came to this post to meet, per- 
haps, their wives, relatives, and friends. Parents came out from 
Canada to see their absent sons and to give and receive some 
kind civilities. Or, perhaps, the more substantial article, per- 
sonal property, was exchanged on the occasion. Old debts 
and new ones were attended to. 

Many of the transactions of mankind, either in business, 
pleasure, or otherwise, were exhibited at these annual fairs in 
olden times. 


At times Mars, the god of war, was invoked to settle some 
old feud or to gain the triumph at the time in some personal 
quarrel, and even duels were not neglected at these gatherings. 
That barbarous practice of dueling, which is the brutal remains 
of the Roman shows of the gladiators, the Spanish bull-fights, 
and the English boxing-matches were hailed at these meetings 
by the code of honor and to some extent adopted. 
A duel was fought between two Northwest traders, Crawford 
and Campbell, that was so grossly unjust and inhuman and so 
much against the laws of both God and man that it had a ten- 
dency to arrest this brutal mode of settling disputes for a time. 

All this Northwest trade was conducted mostly in bark- 
canoes and on the backs of the stout and hardy Canadians. 
Sometimes a Mackinac boat, so called, and at rare intervals a 
schooner were employed in the commerce on the lakes. No 
craft can equal the bark-canoe for its cheapness of construction 
and for its neatness and utility. Its invention by the natives is 
before Indian antiquities and used by them on the lakes and 
adjacent rivers so long as they remained in the country. The 
bark-canoe is made out of strong, light, and elastic wood for 
the timbers within and covered with strong birch-bark, which 
gives the craft the name of a bark-canoe. The timbers within 
are strong in proportion to the size of the canoe, and are tough, 
light, and elastic. They are formed with great neatness and 
strength, and at the same time with shape to sail with the most 
facility. They are very sharp at the ends and rounding on the 
bottom ; so they may glide thro the water with the greater 
speed. Pitch is used on these canoes to prevent them from 
leaking, and the voyagers are always provided with the means 
of sewing up the splits and repairing them in the shortest pos- 
sible time. When the canoe becomes leaky it is unladen, car- 
ried on the shore, sewed up, and repaired in a few hours. These 
canoes are light and portable. When the waters of the lakes 
are rough, they are unloaded and taken on shore, out of the 
reach of the waves, and at the portages they are easily packed 
on men's shoulders across from water to water. They are pro- 
pelled by the voyagers using paddles and the patroon at the 
stern steering it also with a paddle. The paddles are made 
nice and neat, out of strong, elastic wood, and painted with all 


the taste and elegance of a boatman's genius. These canoes 
were, on occasion, greased with deer's tallow that they might 
sail the easier and swifter thro the water. 

Races were common and wagers made on them. Boat-racing 
seems to be coeval with boats. It is a cheering and interesting 
spectacle to see a crew of hardy, stout Canadians dressed in 
the uniform of the Northwest voyagers, paddling a bark-canoe 
under the excitement of boat -songs and an animated race. 
There is no excitement more intense and acute than these voy- 
agers experience in a canoe-race. They would freely exchange 
their freedom for life, for success, and almost life itself. They 
invoke the Virgin and promise masses for victory. These races 
are topics for French discussion of the canoe -men for years 

The Mackinac boat is a plain, unpretending vessel, somewhat 
similar to our skiffs, but larger and coarser made. They are 
sharp at the ends but flat on the bottom. They are not honored 
with a deck, but a tarpaulin cloth was generally used to secure 
the merchandise from the rain. From three to six men navi- 
gated them. One at the steering-oar and the other hands row 
the boat. They were generally about thirty feet long and the 
planks of -the side three or four feet high. These boats were 
intended to be carried over the portages. They sustained a 
heavy burden to their looks. 

As to the schooners used on the lakes in French times, who- 
ever saw a fishing-schooner on the shores of old France saw a 
vessel almost similar to these lake schooners. The French are 
a greater people on land than on the water in ships. In vessels 
below a schooner the Canadians did well enough. 

These Northwest traders also used the most simple and primi- 
tive mode of carrying on commerce, and that was by packing 
the articles of traffic on men's backs. The packs of merchan- 
dise were generally weighed and the Canadians packed them 
over the portages. Often they carried these packs out many 
leagues from the depots to the Indian camps and the peltries 
back again. Very little horse-power was used in this commerce. 

An efficient and enterprising colony of Americans immigrated 
from Hardy County, Virginia, and settled at^the New Design, 
Illinois, in 1797. This was the largest and most flourishing 


company of farmers, mechanics, and laborers that ever came to- 
Illinois at or before that day. 

A year or so before 1797, David Badgley and Leonard Car 
came out to explore the country. Daniel Stookey, Abraham 
Eyeman, Mr. Whetstone, and Abraham Stookey also explored 
the country before the colony settled in Illinois. These ex- 
plorers came from the south branch of Potomac, Hardy County, 
Virginia, on horseback and examined the country thoroly. 
They remained in the country most of the summer and Rev. 
David Badgley frequently preached. Mr. Stookey and others 
crossed the Mississippi at St. Louis in 1796, and gave that 
French village, the country around it, and the commandant a 
passing notice. 

This exploring party decided on making Illinois their homes 
for Hie. They returned to Virginia and reported the facts of 
their discoveries to their neighbors and friends. This whole 
colony then mustered up and commenced a long and arduous 
journey, at that day, for the Far- West. 

It is said that Solomon Shook and Mr. Borer came to Illi- 
nois the year before. This colony, all numbered and all told, 
amounted to about one hundred and fifty-four souls. They 
crossed the mountains in wagons, on pack-horses, and on foot 
to Morgantown, on the Monongahela River. Here they waited 
some time for their boats to be finished. At last, in May, they 
set sail down the rivers to the land of promise Illinois. After 
a long, tiresome, and exposed voyage down the rivers, they 
landed at Fort Massac, on the Ohio River. The. flat boats or 
broad horses, as they were sometimes called in derision, were 
not covered and the families in them were exposed to the in- 
clemency of the weather and the heat of a summer sun. 

This year, 1797, was uncommonly wet and the streams be- 
tween the and Kaskaskia were all out of the banks and 
swimming. It rained almost every day and the roads between 
Kaskaskia and Massac were literally covered with water and 
the mud almost impassable. This colony fixed up their 
wagons, horses, and all things for the New Design, Illinois, 
and left Massac. They were detained in this wilderness of 
mud and water for almost a month exposed to almost a ver- 
tical sun over their heads and positive mud and water under 
their feet. 


It must be recollected that at this time not a house stood 
between Kaskaskia and Massac. They rafted the creeks and 
at last reached civilization and contemplated relief;' but wofully 
were they disappointed. They were hailed at Kaskaskia and 
the New Design with all the good feelings peculiarly incident 
to the pioneers ; but a tempest of the most direful calamity 
was gathering to burst upon their devoted heads. Almost one- 
half of this cheerful and flourishing colony died during the first 
summer and fall of their arrival. 

This mortality is almost unprecedented in any country or 
under any circumstances. A most malignant fever prevailed, 
which was supposed to be contagious. This prevented the 
people from paying that kind attention to the sick which they 
needed. Scarcely a physician could be procured. 

When they reached the New Design, they could not procure 
houses to receive them and they were huddled together to the 
great injury of their health. In fact, provisions were not plenty. 
The Indian war had only ceased a year or two before and the 
inhabitants had not raised much support for themselves or the 
immigrants. At any rate, such was the mortality that even the 
burying of the dead was scarcely attended to. 

The graveyard of 1797 may yet be seen at the New Design, 
which will cause the observer to shudder at the mortality and 
consequent distress at that day. Scarcely a family of all these 
immigrants but had to mourn the loss of one or more of its 
number, and many of the families were almost entirely extinct; 
leaving, perhaps, a few helpless children to grieve over the loss 
of their parents, brothers, and sisters. At this time there were 
no means of relief for this distress in the country, except kind 
and benevolent hearts. The country was healtny after this 
year and the immigrants who were not swept off s .soon did well. 

Scarcely at any time or in any country will be twimd so many 
moral, honest, and laborious citizens, to the number of this col- 
ony, as the immigration from Hardy County to the New Design. 
The names of Car, Stookey, Eyeman, Shook, Mitchell, Clark, 
Badgley, Teter, Miller, and others will be recognized as the 
heads of families of this colony, whose descendants at this day 
are numerous and respectable. 

This colony introduced into the country an orderly and moral 


influence, which did great service to the previous inhabitants. 
The emigrants from Virginia attended strictly and honestly to 
business and not only improved the country, but their example 
also improved the people. They were the first who raised sheep 
to any number and manufactured the wool into clothes. They 
turned their attention to the culture of wheat and raised a 
surplus for market. They also encouraged the breed of horses 
and cattle and raised a great number themselves. 

The beneficial influence of this colony to improve the coun- 
try was in a short time perceived by everyone. The people 
composing it were not proud or overbearing; but on the con- 
trary, they were remarkable for their modest and amiable 
deportment; so that they taught by example the people, who 
esteemed and admired them. This colony was extremely 
moral and correct and their descendants to this day are noto- 
rious for their sober and orderly conduct. 

It was stated in a former page that John Murdoch came to 
the country with his father in 1796, and that his father, dying 
soon after, left the son with his widowed mother. He was born 
in Kentucky in 1790. He, like most of the youths at that day, 
acted his own part as he pleased, without the control of his 
mother. Murdoch run almost wild and attended very little at 
the school-house. He received a very limited education, but 
nature had bestowed on him singular parts. He was in his 
youth an odd kind of boy more intellect than ordinary chil- 
dren; but always applied it in a singular and quizzical manner. 

He was accustomed to play tricks on his step-father, Blair, 
when he was very young. He often pinned a cloth to the coat- 
tail of his step-father, and when the prank was discovered, he 
never showed the least emotion or laughed. He shaved the 
hair off the manes and tails of his step-father's horses; so as to 
"have a joke on the old man." As he grew up, these tricks 
increased on him, until Blair and almost all others were heartily 
tired of him. From his infancy to manhood, it cost more coax- 
ing, threatening, and labor to make him work than the work 
he ever did was worth. He was born to a kind of involuntary 
hatred to work or to do any business that was not of his own 

He would labor for days and weeks to accomplish some 


prank: such as to carry rails a half-mile to make a fence in the 
night around a man's door. He would get up out of bed when 
the family were asleep and ride miles to accomplish tricks, and 
would be back in bed before morning, and no one would, per- 
haps, ever detect him. But he obstinately refused to work. In 
a sly manner at church he often put old decks of cards in the 
preacher's pockets. 

He had not much friendship for an old Baptist preacher in 
his neighborhood, and wh^n the old man was engaged in the 
house of devotion, Murdoch slipped to the preacher's horse, 
which was hitched in the brushwood, took the saddle and bridle 
off the horse and put them on a large, old mulley ox. The 
horse ran home; but there stood the old ox, saddled and bridled 
for the preacher when he went to get his horse. No one could 
scarcely ever detect him in these tricks. 

He possessed in his composition not much malice or malig- 
nity; but at the same time, a moderate share only of the dis- 
position that adorns the human race was found in his character. 
He married and lived only at intervals with his wife. He made 
a sorry husband, as he did almost everything else he attempted. 
He entered the military service of the country in the war of 
1812, and ranged or staid at home almost at his pleasure. The 
officers could not do much with him. 

At Peoria, in the fall of 1813, he provided himself with two 
black bottles; one he filled with water and the other he left 
empty. He had not much credit with the sutlers; but asked 
for a quart of whisky and had it put into his empty bottle. 
Murdoch was slow, orderly, and circumspect in putting his 
whisky under his hunting-shirt. He put the bottle containing 
the water where the sutler first saw him put the whisky-bottle. 
In a grave, serious manner he observed to the sutler that he 
had no money, as he was out from home, and he must charge 
him with it. The sutler refused and then Murdoch offered him 
the bottle containing the water and said, he must put the liquor 
back again into the barrel. The grocer did so and put the 
neck of the water-bottle into the bung-hole of the barrel and 
let the water pour in. Thus it was that Murdoch exchanged a 
bottle of water for a bottle of whisky. 

He played another trick in the present county of Madison, 


on a landlord near Rattan's Prairie, in the war of 1812. He 
and several other jovial fellows were in a drinking frolic and 
had not the means to obtain as much liquor as they wanted. 
Murdoch had but one bit (twelve and a-half cents) and gave it 
for a half-pint of whisky. He watched where the landlord put 
the bit and saw him place it into a teacup which stood high up 
on a shelf. The master of the house went about his business 
out of doors, and when he was absent, Murdoch took the same 
bit out of the teacup and called foi another half-pint of liquor. 
The bit was again put into the same cup and the same process 
was carried on until evening, when the landlord supposed he 
had a cup almost full of bits; when lo ! and behold! he had 
barely one bit in the cup and his company, Murdoch and others, 
were in high glee. 

It was the law that the United-States Rangers should find 
themselves provisions, and they were permitted to go home, fix 
up, and return with the necessary supplies. Murdoch had been 
at home and on his return to Camp Russell, near Edwardsville, 
he caught a ground-hog and put it alive in his saddle-bags. 
When he got off his horse, which was hitched near the fort, he 
whispered that " something was in his saddle-bags;" making the 
man believe that it was a bottle of whisky in them. His con- 
fiding friend, having more taste for liquor than discretion, slyly 
alone went to Murdoch's horse and thrust his hand into the 
saddle-bags for the whisky; but the moment he put his hand 
in, the ground-hog bit him. 

This ranger that got bit thought he would bite someone else. 
He said nothing about the ground-hog biting him; but told 
another ranger, in under tone, that he got a first-rate dram out 
of Murdoch's saddle-bags. The man put his hand into the 
saddle-bags and the animal caught his hand and held on; so 
the second bit man roared out for help to get his hand out of 
the ground-hog's mouth. 

Such transactions gave Murdoch great pleasure altho he al- 
ways appeared serious and scarcely ever laughed or made any 
outward demonstrations of joy or pleasure on their success. 

This singular and curious character was rather silent in com- 
pany and never indulged in loud or boisterous conversation. 
His remarks, like his pranks, were severe and satirical. The 


same talent that caused him to perform these tricks also enabled 
him to make similar remarks. His person was of the, ordinary 
height and erect; but spare and emaciated almost to a skeleton. 
He seemed to possess no great passions or impulses; but his 
energies of mind w^re inclined to such feats as above. 

The pranks of his life would fill a volume. His mind pos- 
sessed some strength in its peculiar manner. It was active, 
elastic, and sprightly ; but was deficient in solid, sober judg- 
ment. It ranged in the lower regions of poetry, but never 
reached the platform of common-sense. If he had been raised 
and educated under different circumstances, he would have 
been a character of some celebrity. His natural gifts, without 
improvement, were an injury to him. By a proper education, 
these parts would make him rather a shining and brilliant char- 
acter; but not a solid or judicious one. After the close of the f\JJL 
war of 1812, he enlisted in the regular army and died. 

For years after the peace was established with the Indians, 
in 1795, many cases of hardship and suffering were the conse- 
quences of that war. 

It will be recollected that James Gilham, Sr., emigrated to 
Illinois at an early day, and at a still earlier one, he emigrated 
from South Carolina and settled on the frontiers of Kentucky. 
In 1790, he had selected himself a residence in Kentucky and 
was in the field plowing his corn, with one of his sons, Isaac, 
then a small boy. The boy was with his father, clearing the 
young corn from the clods and sods which the plow might 
throw on it, while the rest of the family were in the house. 
Several Kickapoo warriors went to the house and captured 
Gilham's whole family that were not with him in the field. 
The field was some distance from the house and he did not 
immediately discover the disaster. These savages captured his 
wife, one girl, and two sons. 

What horrid feelings Gilham experienced when he returned 
from his work as he supposed to his family and dinner; but dis- 
covered his house sacked by the Indians, his family captured 
and either killed or doomed to savage bondage! His grief and 
anguish must have been excessive; but 

" Man was made to mourn." 

The Indians made the family, by signs, remain quiet; so as 


not to alarm Gilham in the field. They made quick work of 
it and started for the Kickapoo town, toward the sources of the 
Sangamon River, Illinois. They cut open the bed-ticks and 
took such articles out of the house as they could carry away 
on their backs. They were afraid to take any horses, lest the 
whites would follow their trail and destroy them. 

The country where Gilham resided was thinly settled, and 
before he could get a party to pursue the Indians, they escaped. 
Mrs. Gilham was so terrified that she was almost bereaved of 
her mind. 

After the Indians had taken the house and the family, the 
first thing she recollected was her son Samuel, a small boy, say- 
ing : "Mamma, we're all prisoners." Gilham and neighbors 
followed the Indian trail a considerable distance; but could not 
overtake them. He, on his return, suffered misery and mental 
anguish that is indescribable. Yet hope lingered with him that 
as the Indians had not killed his people, he would again recover 
them. Hope never entirely abandons anyone in almost any 

The Indians steered clear of the settlements and were ex- 
tremely cautious in their march. They kept a spy before 
and one behind on the trail; so that their retreat was guarded 
as much as possible by their numbers. The party suffered 
much from hunger. The three white children were in great 
misery from their hurried march and the want of food. But 
human nature can endure much and will contrive many expe- 
dients before suffering death. Mrs. Gilham patched up rags 
round the feet of her children to save them from the briars and 
thorns. They traveled over a wilderness without roads. A 
mother's love for her children knows no bounds. Sympathy at 
last seized on the warriors and they treated the prisoners with 
all the savage kindness and mercy in their power. 

They were out of provisions and one day they halted to hunt 
for something to save them from starving. The children had a 
small morsel of dried meat to eat, and the grown ones nothing. 
Two of the best hunters were sent out and one returned with a 
poor summer raccoon. Mrs. Gilham said the sight of this poor 
coon caused her more happiness than any other earthly sight 
she ever saw. She was afraid her children would either perish 


.with hunger or the Indians would kill them to save them from 

The party could not hunt near the white settlement for fear 
of detection, and if they delayed, the whites would overtake 
them. This was the reason of their going so long without food 
and almost suffering death from hunger. 

This coon was not dressed in Parisian style, but most of the 
hair and fur were taken off and some of the contents of the 
extreme inside were thrown away, while the balance was put in 
a brass kettle and placed over a fire. The coon was soon boiled 
into a nondescript dish mixed together the meat, bones, hide, 
some hair, some entrails, claws and feet of the animal. As 
soon as this mess was cool and before, the horn and wooden 
spoons were in complete operation and the whole assembly of 
white and red-skins got some relief from absolute starvation. 

As they approached the Ohio River, they became more cau- 
tious, for fear of meeting the Americans on the river, either 
waylaying for them or in boats descending the river. They 
came to the Ohio a small distance above Hawesville, Kentucky, 
and camped near the river until rafts could be made on which 
to cross it. They were detained more than a day in making 
rafts. Dry logs were procured and tied together with red-elm 
bark and the rafts placed near the edge of the water, so that 
they might be put in the river in a moment and not touch the 
water before they started over; as they would not be so light,, 
having received some water before. The wily savages were 
afraid to cross the river in daylight. Mrs. Gilham was much 
terrified at the idea of crossing the river at night. The party 
had three rafts. The largest one took Mrs. Gilham and her 
three children, with two prudent old Indians to paddle it over. 
The others crossed in the two rafts prepared for them. The 
embarkation was in the night, as silent as if they were in a 
graveyard, and the rafts were paddled over the Ohio with the 
same secrecy. 

These warriors considered it a great triumph to take these 
four prisoners and conduct them in safety to the Indian towns. 
In this proportion they exercised all their talents of bravery 
and sagacity to accomplish it. But when they had crossed the 
Ohio, they considered themselves safe and released their watch- 
fulness and caution to some extent. 


In the country south of White River, in the present State of 
Indiana, they hunted, marched slow, and lived well in compari- 
son to the time they ate the coon. They steered clear of the 
small white settlements around Vincennes and crossed the 
Wabash below Terre Haute. They marched thro the present 
counties of Clark, Coles, and Decatur, Illinois, and finally,, after 
a long and hazardous travel from the southwestern frontiers of 
Kentucky three or four hundred miles they reached in safety 
the Kickapoo town, which was situated on Salt Creek, north- 
east of the Elk-Heart Grove in Sangamon County. 

What a horrid situation the Indian war placed the Gilham 
family in ! Four with the Indians and two in Kentucky in 
great misery and affliction. 

Gilham, as soon as he found his family were not killed, but 
taken prisoners by the Indians, took courage and hoped again 
to see his wife and children. He sold his improvement in Ken- 
tucky, put his son Isaac with a friend, and set out in search of 
his people. After much delay and fatigue of mind and body, 
he found they were alive among the Indians and made arrange- 
ments to purchase them. At last he obtained all his lost family 
and they lived together many years in happiness. The young 
son, Clement, could not talk a word of English when he was 
regained by his father. 

In 1815, Ann Gilham, the wife of James Gilham, obtained a 
grant of land of one hundred and sixty acres from congress, as 
an honorable testimony of the sufferings and hardships in her 
captivity with the Indians, as above narrated. 

The principal town with the Peoria Indians, in 1680, when 
the whites first explored the country, was at the outlet of 
Peoria Lake, on the site of the present City of Peoria and Fort 
Crevecceur, where LaSalle first erected it in January, 1680, 
was one mile and a-half east on the lake from this Indian town. 
The site at Crevecceur has been uniformly recognized by the 
old French inhabitants as the. Old Fort, ever since that day 
down to the present time. 

It was quite natural for LaSalle to erect this fort a short dis- 
tance from this large town of Indians and not directly in the 
village. And it may be said with equal truth^that 1 some con- 
tinuous settlement has existed at and near Fort Crevecoeur 


ever since its first establishment to the present time, only at 
two intervals, when the people were either driven off by the 
Indians or by Capt. Craig, in the war of 1812. 

About 1781 during the Revolutionary war when Major 
Montgomery visited Peoria and the inhabitants joined him 
against the British and Indians, the red-skins, under the influ- 
ence of the British, became hostile for a short time to the people 
of Peoria, and in consequence of this, the inhabitants left it; 
but in a short time, friendly feelings were restored and the citi- 
zens of Peoria returned to their village. The village was aban- 
doned but for a short time, and before the peace in 1783, it was 
restored to its former or greater size. 

In the fall of 1812, in the war with Great Britain, Capt. Thos. 
E. Craig fell out with the place and carried off many citizens. 
He landed these people at Savage's Ferry, on the Mississippi, 
where the town of Gibraltar was afterward laid out. In a few 
years, the citizens returned to Peoria and some went back the 
same winter after they were taken away. 

The traders, their voyagers, and others in their employment 
occupied this post more or less ever since its first establishment. 
As it has been said, the Indian trade of that section of country 
was better than at any other point. This made it the interest 
of the traders to occupy the place. 

Peoria never, in ancient times, was as large a village as either 
Kaskaskia or Cahokia ; but it is more ancient than either of 
them. LaSalle, when he first saw the country, was charmed 
with the beauty of the place and established a fort there. He 
also knew the resources of the country arising from the Indian 
trade, which was another and perhaps a greater inducement to 
erect his grand depot here for the Indian trade than for any 
other consideration. 

In the first settlement of the country, the missionaries settled 
at this post and had their flocks of the young natives around 
them. Peoria can boast of a higher antiquity than any town 
in Illinois, and about the same date with St. Joseph, Green Bay, 
Mackinac, and Detroit. 

The French cultivated some ground, more or less, at Peoria 
for more than one hundred years past. They cultivated at the 
old village to some extent and at the new one since 1778, when 


it was commenced by Maillet. It will be seen by the report 
of the United-States officers, sustained by positive proof, that 
one Antoine St. Francois had a family in Peoria in 1765 and 
cultivated a field of corn adjacent to the village. Other inhabi- 
tants also resided there at the same time and long before. It 
is true, most of the citizens were Indian traders and those living 
on the trade; but this trade required support by men and pro- 
visions, which were both furnished to some extent by the set- 
tlers at Peoria. 

Ke-kank-kem-kc was the Indian name of Peoria. The Potta- 
watomie Indians, who occupied the country after the Peorias 
were driven off, and all the surrounding Indians have recognized 
the above name. The meaning of the name in English is strait, 
frith, or narrow. The old Indian name of Detroit in Michigan 
is the same. The French recognize the meaning in the name 
of Detroit, but not the Indian word of Kc-kauk-kem-ke. Detroit 
in English is a strait, frith, or a narrow defile, which is the mean- 
ing of the above Indian word. 

The French gave the name of Peoria to that place on account 
of the Peoria tribe of Indians, who resided at the strait or out- 
let of the lake when they first explored the country. 

Thomas Forsyth settled in Peoria in 1809. He was of Irish 
extraction and born at Detroit, December 5, 1771. His father, 
Robert Forsyth, emigrated from Ireland to Philadelphia in 
1757; went to Canada and was wounded in the battle at Que- 
bec, where both Wolfe and Montcalm fell. He married in 
Canada and emigrated to Detroit, then a British province. 

John Edgar, the same that lived and died at Kaskaskia, Jas. 
Abbot, and Robert Forsyth were three prominent Irishmen at 
Detroit, whose friendship for the American Revolution caused 
at least two of them, Edgar and Forsyth, much hardship and 

The British governor of Detroit, hearing these Irishmen con- 
demning the war against the Americans and particularly that 
brutal conduct of .exciting the Indians to murder the American 
women and children on the frontiers, seized Edgar and Forsyth 
and cast them into a dark and loathsome dungeon at Detroit. 

The British, not repenting of their barbarous conduct toward 
these noble Irishmen, became more enraged and put them in 


irons for merely expressing their opinions in favor of the Ameri- 
can Revolution and condemning the murder of the women and 
children. The British governor of Detroit sent Edgar in irons 
to Quebec; but on his passage he escaped near Montreal and 
went to Boston. He continued his march until he reached 
Kaskaskia, as heretofore stated. The enraged British retained 
Forsyth for a long time in prison, and at last, finding nothing 
against him, turned him out. James Abbot was a little more 
cautious and was not imprisoned; but the frowns of the govern- 
ment were heavy and strong against him. 

Thomas Forsyth, the subject of this sketch, was raised and 
educated at Detroit until he was seventeen years old. He 
received a plain, common education, which qualified him in 
after-life for both the public and private business in which he 
was engaged. In 1793, he left Detroit with his half-brother, 
John Kinzie,* the founder of Chicago and the father of John H. 

* John Kinzie son of a Scotchman named John Mackenzie, who lived in Quebec, 
and later moved to Detroit, where he died was born in Quebec in 1763; his mother 
had previously been married to a gentleman of the name of Haliburton, whose only 
daughter by this marriage was the mother of Gen. P'leming and Nicholas Low of 
New York. John Kinzie was the only child by this second marriage; his father died 
during his infancy, and his mother married, 3d, Robert Forsyth, a Scotch- Irishman, 
from Blackwater, Ireland, arriving in New York about 1750; was a soldier under 
Wolfe at Quebec, and was twice wounded; was later stationed at Detroit and where, 
after his discharge, married and settled; kept a tavern some years; engaged in the 
fur-trade; and died about 1790. 

John Kinzie, when about eleven years old, ran away from a school at Williams- 
burg, L. I., where he and two younger half-brothers were, to Quebec, where he 
acquired, during the three years he remained there, a knowledge of silversmithing; 
that he turned to account in connection with the Indian-trade at which he commenced 
early in life, having establishments at Detroit, 1795-7, Sandusky, Maumee, and later, 
1800, at St. Josephs. As early as May 12, 1804, he was sutler for Fort Dearborn; 
later, trading-posts were established by him at Milwaukee, Rock River, on the Illi- 
nois and Kankakee rivers, and at LeLarge in Sangamon County, 111. About 1810, 
his partner was John Whistler, Jr., and the same year his half-brother Thomas 
Forsyth, they continued together as late as 1815. 

After the massacre, August 15, 1812, he returned to Detroit, and again to Chicago 
in 1816. In 1800, he married (2d) Mrs. Eleanor (Lytle) McKillup, the widow of a 
British officer, having previously married Margaret Mackenzie, by whom he had 
William, James, and Elizabeth. The children by the second marriage were John 
Harris; Ellen Marion, born at Chicago, Dec., 1804, married (i), July 20, 1823, Dr. 
Alex. Wolcott, Indian agent, (2) Geo. C. Bates, May 26, 1836, and died at Detroit, 
Aug. I, 1860; Maria, born 1807, married Lieut, now Maj.-Gen. David Hunter, 
U.S.A., of Washington, D.C. ; Robert Allen, born Feb. 8, 1810, married a daughter of 


Kinzie* and other children. He remained with Kinzie fifteen 
months and continued the Indian trade with a Scotch merchant, 
Mr. Sharp. After Sharp's death, in 1799, Forsyth commenced 
business himself and steered west thro the Indian country by 
St. Joseph, Chicago, Illinois River, to the Mississippi. He win- 
tered one year at the Two Rivers, on the Mississippi, and 
traded with the Western Indians for several years. 

He married a lady in Upper Canada, near Fort Maiden, and 
soon after removed to Peoria. His wife was born in Hagers- 
town, Maryland, and her family name was Le,Motte. Her 
father and family were captured on the Ohio River by the 
Indians as they were emigrating West, and this lady and 
others of the family were sent to Canada, where she married 
Mr. Forsyth. 

In the war with Great Britain in 1812, Mr. Forsyth acted an 
important and efficient part in that contest, and at the same 
time a very dangerous and confidential part. In the beginning 
of the Indian troubles in 1811, he resided at Peoria and had a 

Col. Wm. Whistler, U.S.A., and died at Chicago, Dec. 12, 1873. Shaw-nee-aw-ke 
silver man Mr. Kinzie's Indian sobriquet, was U.-S. Indian interpreter, sub-agent, 
etc., and died at Chicago, Monday, Jan. 6, 1828. G. H. F. 

* John Harris Kinzie, born July 7, 1803, at Sandwich, Canada, arrived with his 
father at Chicago, Oct , 1803, where he remained till 1812 when Fort Dearborn was 
abandoned when the family returned to Detroit, and in 1816 returned to Chicago,, 
where he remained till 1818, when his father apprenticed him at the Mackinac agency 
of the American Fur Co.; in 1824, he was transferred to Prairie du Chien; in 1829, 
he was stationed at Fort Winnebago, as sub-agent of Indian affairs, and was a sub- 
scribing witness at many of the treaties made with the Indians. Aug. 9, 1830, at 
Middletown, Conn., he married Miss Juliette A., daughter of Arthur Magill of that 
place, later of Chicago, 111. In 1833, Chicago again became his home, and was 
engaged in the forwarding business; later, his brother-in-law, now Maj.-Gen. David 
Hunter, was his partner. In 1841, he was appointed registrar of public lands by 
Pres't Harrison, and removed by Tyler. In 1848, when the Illinois-and- Michigan 
Canal was completed, he was appointed canal collector. In 1849, President Taylor 
appointed him receiver of public moneys. The office of canal collector he held until 
commissioned by President Lincoln paymaster in the army, in 1861; and this latter 
appointment he held at the time of his death, which occurred on the cars approach- 
ing Pittsburg, Pa., June 21, 1865. His widow, born Sept. II, 1806, died Sept. 15, 
1870; their children : Eleanor L.. wife of W. W. Gordon, and lives at Savannah, Ga. ; 
John Harris, Jr., killed at Fort St. Charles, Ark., June 18, 1862, aged 23; Arthur 
M., married Caroline Gilbert, third daughter of John Lush and Maria E. (Whipple) 
Wilson, now living at Riverside, Cook County, 111.; and George H., ist lieutenant, 
1 5th Infantry, U.S.A. G. H. F. 


great influence over all the Indians; but more particularly with 
the Pottawatomies. He had been raised with this nation, spoke 
their language well, and was well acquainted with their char- 
acter. His position, Peoria, was in their .midst; so that he had 
a knowledge of all their movements and even their councils 
relative to war. 

He was on business at St. Louis in the early part of 1811, 
and became acquainted with Gen. William Clark, the superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs. He related to Clark, on being 
requested, the state of the Indian disposition and their in- 
tended hostile movements. His character and merit were 
immediately appreciated and he was appointed an Indian agent 
at Peoria'; but this appointment was not made known, for wise 
and prudential considerations. If the Indians were to know it, 
he would lose all his influence with them ; but by retaining his 
standing and influence with them, he could ameliorate much 
of the horrid barbarities that are commonly practised on both 
sides in an Indian war. Forsyth had not the power to avert 
the Indian war, but he aided much in its amelioration. 

In the fall of 1811, he understood that the Sac and Fox 
Indians were about to make an attack on the frontiers of Mis- 
souri, and he sent down to the officer in command at St. Louis, 
a confidential Frenchman, Antoine Le Pense, who gave the in- 
formation to the officer and much of the calamity was avoided. 

Early in the spring of 1812, when a kind of quasi war existed 
between the Indians and whites, he descended the Illinois River 
to St. Louis to consult with Gov. Howard, and also proceeded 
to Kaskaskia to see Gov. Edwards. He laid the whole Indian 
affairs in relation to the approaching war open to these two- 
executive officers of Illinois and Missouri, which gave them the 
true state of matters, so they might make arrangements accord- 
ing to the exigencies. 

On August 15, 1812, the Indians massacred -most of Capt. 
Nathan Heald's company at Chicago, Illinois, and Lieut. Lina 
T. Helm was wounded and taken prisoner. Helm was the first 
lieutenant in the company of Capt. Heald. The Indians took 
him to the AuSable on the Illinois River. 

Mr. Forsyth, hearing of the massacre of the troops at Chi- 
cago, at the risk of his life, went directly to the Indian towns 


on the Illinois River to see and ameliorate the condition of the 
prisoners. He found Lieut. Helm at the AuSable with the 
Indians and had the influence with his captors to ransom him. 
He advanced the amount of the ransom out of his own funds, 
and perhaps all of it was never returned to him. He ransomed 
the lieutenant and had him sent in safety to St. Louis. 

Mr. Forsyth risked his life every moment he was engaged 
in this important and truly dangerous service. If the Indians, 
the Pottawatomies, were to receive a bare hint of his Indian 
agency, he would have been burnt at the stake. He risked his 
life for his country and was in extreme and imminent danger 
for a great portion of the war. It required the utmost sagacity 
and great propriety of judgment to manage the matter so as to 
retain the confidence of the Indians. Much of their friendship 
was for him personally. His personal influence was the great 
cause of his success. He had been uniformly kind and benevo- 
lent to them. 

To show his confidence and friendship to them, he took with 
him a few of the old friends of the Indians, who had married 
squaws and had before the war resided at Peoria. He also 
took with him some of the half-breed children to see their 
Indian cousins. They had no weapons, guns, or powder with 
them. They carried in the boat such articles as the Indians 
needed and such as Forsyth had heretofore sold to them, except 
ammunition. They asked Forsyth the reason why he did not 
-have powder and lead with him in his boat, as he used to have. 
He told them that in a war all the powder and lead belonged 
to the great father, the president, and he would not let any of 
his children have it until the war was over. He said Craig had 
seized him and all their old friends in Peoria by force and 
dragged them down to St. Louis, for fear their friends would do 
the Indians some good. * 

What made it the most dangerous was the influence Dickson 
had with the Indians, and he all the time tempting the Illinois- 
River Indians either to kill him or take him prisoner. 

While Forsyth was on one of these missions of benevolence 
from St. Louis to his old friend, a Pottawatomie chief whose 
name in English was Sugar, he very narrowly escaped losing 
his life. He went to his friend, the chief, at AuSable village, 


above Peoria, and staid with him all night. In the night he 
discovered his friend, the chief, very uneasy. He could not 
sleep and was frequently up, looking round his camp. Forsyth 
asked what was the matter. The Indian said: "I am afraid 
for you. Dickson tried to get me to take you prisoner. I told 
him you were my friend and I would not hurt you; but," he 
said, "there are some Winnebagoes not far off; they are drink- 
ing and I am afraid they may come to take you. They shall 
not take you; but in the conflict they might kill you." 

No Indians came that night ; but the next night Dickson 
had a host of Winnebagoes at the camp of the chief; but For- 
syth had left the same day. If he had remained he would 
have been killed or taken prisoner. 

Late in the fall of 1812, Craig was in the Peoria Lake with a 
boat and some Indians came down the lake in a boat and fired 
on his boat. The conduct of these Indians enraged Craig 
against the citizens of Peoria. He said they were friendly to 
the Indians. He forced all the inhabitants of Peoria Forsyth, 
the Indian agent, as well as the rest on board of his boat and 
landed them at Savage's Ferry, opposite the mouth of the Mis- 

These poor people were harmless, unoffending inhabitants of 
Peoria and were forced from their homes and living to almost 
starvation. Many of them soon returned to Peoria and some 
the same winter. They had left their cattle and all their sup- 
port at the village. Craig, in his rage, also burnt most of the 
houses in the village of Peoria. While Craig was kidnapping 
Forsyth, he did not inform Craig of the fact that he was Indian 
agent, residing at Peoria for the public service and at the 
request of the general government. 

Mr. Forsyth continued to act as Indian agent for the Illinois 
Indians during the war; but when peace was restored, he was 
entrusted with a very important agency that of agent for the 
Sac and Fox nations of Indians. He attended faithfully to 
his public duties in this office. He was entrusted with large 
sums of money and great amounts of merchandise for these 
Indians, and his accounts and duties were always approved by 
the government. He was an excellent and faithful officer. H 
.made treaties with the Sac and Fox nations, which were 


always ratified by the government. But his services in the war 
and his benevolent and humane conduct to the wounded and 
distressed prisoners on the Illinois River, deserve the lasting 
gratitude and esteem of the government, as well as those whose 
sufferings he so kindly relieved. 

He retained the office of the Indian agency of the Sac and 
Fox Indians for many years, and if he had been continued in. 
the office it is not very probable that Black Hawk would have 
attempted a war against the government. Forsyth had such 
influence over the Indians that it is quite certain he could have 
quieted their feelings and no blood would have been shed. 

After the war, in 1815, Dickson and Forsyth met in St. Louis 
and talked over their doings in the war. Dickson confessed he 
was near making Forsyth a prisoner; while Forsyth said Provi- 
dence and justice prevented it. 

In. the decline of life, Mr. Forsyth purchased a fine farm west 
of St. Louis and improved it. He died on it in 18^2. His 
death was a loss to the community and as such and for the re- 
spect and esteem entertained for him by the people, his friends, 
family, and the public generally, lamented his death with heart- 
felt grief and sorrow. Nature bestowed on him a sound, well- 
balanced mind, and benevolence and kindness of heart were his 
predominant traits of character. His person was large and 
portly. He occupied a prominent standing in community and 
well did he deserve it by his uncommon services to the public. 
His private life was amiable and kind. His duties as husband 
and father he performed in that amiable and benevolent manner 
that showed a heart overflowing with "the milk of human kind- 
ness." He possessed many virtues and trr.-ts of character to 
be admired and approved, while he had very few to be con- 

In 1795, the territorial legislature erected a new county out 
of the southern part of St. Clair and called it Randolph, in 
honor of the governor of that name of Virginia. The line 
dividing Randolph and St. Clair counties runs nearly east and 
west to the head of Ryan's Creek; pursued that creek to the 
Bottom, and thence to the Mississippi. Kaskaskia was made 
^the county-seat of Randolph County and Cahokia that of 
St. Clair. 

The Religion and Morals of Illinois prior to 1818. 

FOR the following sketch of the early American pioneers, 
their religious and moral character, and the pioneer efforts to 
form religious institutions in this territory, cultivate the minds 
and morals of the people, I am indebted to my friend, Rev. 
John Mason Peck* of this [St. Clair] County. The brief reply 
to the request made him precedes the sketch : 

* John Mason Peck, the only child of Asa and Hannah (Farnum) Peck, was born 
Oct. 31, 1789, at South- Farms Parish, Litchfield Co., Conn. He came of Puritan 
stock, his ancestors Dea. Paul and Martha Peck emigrated from Essex Co., Eng., 
1634, and settled at Hartford, Conn., of which place he was one of the proprietors 
.and where he died Dec. 23, 1695. J onn M. lived on his father's little farm and after 
his fourteenth year a large share of its cultivation was performed by him. During 
>the winter months a part of his time was spent at a common-school that must have 
been inferior to the average institutions of that kind then in New England, as he 
complained that after he was eighteen, and had began to teach school, his own spell- 
ing and writing were sadly deficient and he did not pretend to understand grammar. 
At this age he was brought under a strong religious influence, and soon it became a 
serious alternative choice with him whether it was his duty to prepare himself for 
the ministry or remain upon the farm as the chief reliance of his poor and infirm 
parents. It was perhaps to reconcile his conscience to the latter choice that he took 
to himself a wife, and married, May 8, 1809, Sarah Paine, born in Green Co., N.Y., 
Jan. 31, 1789, who, after her father's second marriage, went to her mother's relatives 
in Litchfield, Conn.; and died at Rock Spring, St. Clair Co., 111., Oct. 24, 1856. 
Their children were: Eli Paine, born July 28, 1810, at Litchfield, Conn., died near 
St.Charles, Mo., Oct. 5, 1820; Hannah F., born July 10, 1812, married Ashford 
Smith of Rockville, Iowa; Harvey Y., born Sept. 28, 1814, died Dec. 17, 1855, 
leaving a widow and six children; Wm. C., born Feb. ir, 1818, died Sept. 14, 1821; 
Mary Ann, born Sept. 18, 1820, wife of Sam. G. Smith, resides on the old homestead 
in St. Clair Co., 111.; Wm. S., born Nov. 13, 1823, lives in Iowa; John Q. A., born 
Aug. 27, 1825, lives at Rock Spring; an infant, born Dec. 10, 1827, died sin nomine; 
Henry M., born May 7, 1829, resides at Rock Spring; James A., born Sept. 21, 1831. 
Two years later, 1811, he moved with wife and one child to Wmdham, Green Co., 
N.Y., then known as Big Hollow; the six following years were devoted to preach- 
ing, school-teaching, and organizing churches and Sunday-schools in that sparsely- 
settled vicinity; in 1817, with wife and three children, he journeyed by land in a 
small wagon drawn by one horse to Shawneetown, 111., arriving late in the fall; 
thence in a keel-boat, commanded by Capt. Nixon, late of Calhoun Co., 111., his 
brother-in-law, to St. Louis, Mo., where, or near St.Charles, his family resided for 
the next five years, while he traveled through Missouri Ter'y, preaching, organizing 
churches and Sunday-schools, distributing bibles and other religious matter, except 



"Gov. REYNOLDS: Your letter of March 1st, requesting 
from my peri sketches of the religious and moral history of 

for a short time when he taught school at St. Louis and St. Charles; in the spring of 
1822, he purchased from the U. S. sec. 27, T. 2, N.R. 7, W., about 3 miles west 
of Lebanon, St.Clair Co., 111., Rock Spring, so named by him from a spring gushing 
from the cloven rock, near which the same year he built his first double log-house. 
( In Feb., 1825, he went East and secured funds and arranged for the establishment 
' of a Baptist seminary; with the aid thus secured, together with his personal contri- 
butions of money and labor, a two-story frame building with two one-story wings 
was completed in 1827, near his residence, and with 25 students, soon increased to 
100, was opened the " Rock- Spring Theological Seminary and High-School," the 
first institution in the State of a higher dignity than a common county-school. Dr. 
Peck was professor of theology; Rev. Joshua Bradley, president; and Rev. John 
Messinger, professor of mathematics; in 1831 it was closed, and was reopened at 
Upper Alton in 1832 as the Alton Seminary; a charter was granted in 1833, and 
declined by the projectors on account of its restrictions; intermediate legislation in 
1835-6 and the session of 1841 repealed the objectionable provisos; Dr. Peck had 
in the meantime induced Benj. Shurtleff, M. D., of Boston, Mass., to contribute 
$10,000, in consideration the name was changed and is still known as Shurtleff 
College. About 1822, Dr. Peck became the general western agent of the American 
Bible Society for western half of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri; he had strong 
anti-slavery sentiments and took an active, prominent, and leading part in the struggle 
of 1823-4 that prevented the introduction of slavery into the State; in 1826, wasj^ 
year at college in Philadelphia, where he acquired a knowledge of Greek and Latin, 
the sciences, and something of medicine. April 25, 1829, at Rock Spring, was 
issued the first number of The Pioneer, Rev. Thos. P. Green, publisher, and Dr. 
Peck, editor; it was a five-column, single-sheet newspaper, the second established in 
St.Clair Co. ; in the fall of the same year, Dr. Peck, by purchase of Green's interest, 
became sole proprietor; in 1836, 77ie Pioneer followed Rock-Spring Seminary to 
Alton, where it reappeared as Western Pioneer and Baptist Standard- Bearer, Dr. Peck 
continuing as editor and Ashford Smith, his son-in-law, having charge of the printing; 
in 1839, it was merged in the Baptist Banner of Louisville. Ky., to which the good- 
will and subscription lists were turned over. In addition to his many and varied duties, 
besides being a prolific lecturer on agriculture and aboriginal and early Western his- 
tory he found time to contribute to newspapers and many lengthy and studious articles 
to magazines, as well as to write the following: "Guide for Emigrants, containing 
sketches of Illinois and Adjacent Parts. Boston; Lincoln & Edmunds, 1831.'* 
'Gazetteer of Illinois; in Three Parts, containing a General View of the State; a 
General View of each Town, Settlement, Stream, Prairie, Bottom, Bluff, etc., 
Alphabetically Arranged. Robert Goudy, Jacksonville, 1834." Another, "Second 
edition, entirely revised, corrected, and enlarged; Grigg & Elliot, Phila. , 1837." 
"New Map of Illinois. J. H. Colton, N. Y., 1837." "Life of Daniel Boon,'* 
1846; and edited the "Annals of the West. Second edition. St. Louis, 1850." 

WJulejn charge of a Baptist college at Covington, Ky., in 1854, he was a "^i cte( i 
with a fever from the effects of which he never fulTy recovered, and died four years 
later at Rock Spring, March 15, 1858, as he said "literally worn out"; his remains 
rest beneath a beautiful monument erected to his memory in Bellefontaine Cemetery, 
St. Louis, Mo. H. W. BECK.\VITH, Danville, 111., July 17, 1884. 


the early American immigrants to Illinois, especially those 
about New Design and its vicinity, has received due atten- 
tion. In compliance therewith, I have prepared the following 
sketches previous to 1818, the period when your history ter- 
minates; which you are at liberty to use as you may deem 
expedient for your forth-coming work. 

"Respectfully yours, J. M. PECK. 
"RocK SPRING, ILL., March 20, 1852." 

The conquest of Illinois by Gen. G. R. Clark, in 1/78, and 
the organization of a civil government by Virginia, prepared 
the \yay for American immigration to this country, and by 
1786, a number of families had settled in the American Bot- 
tom and in the uplands of what is Monroe County. The set- 
tlement on the hill country at an early period obtained the 
name of New Design, the centre of which was some three or 
four miles south of Waterloo. Contiguous to the present 
county-seat and near the residence of the late John Milton 
Moore was another early settlement, called Bellefontaine from 
a celebrated spring, which still throws out a residuum of its 
salubrious water. A third settlement, which originated a few 
years later, was Whiteside's Station, a few miles north of 
Waterloo. Three other neighborhoods or settlements, as a 
few contiguous families were called, were in the American 
Bottom all within the present boundaries of Monroe County. 

The immigrants that require notice came principally from 
Western Virginia and Kentucky. A number of these pioneers 
had visited the Illinois country as volunteers under Col. Clark, 
seen its rich and fertile soil, gazed with wonder on its prairies, 
and after their discharge, returned with their families and in 
the company of neighbors and relatives. 

The first class of these immigrants came out in 1/81, of 
whom we can give the names of J. Moore, Shadrach Bond, Sr., 
Robert Kidd, James Garrison, Larkin Rutherford, and J. Pig- 
gott. Nothing deserving note occurred among this little band 
of pioneers until 1785, when they were joined by Capt. Joseph 
Ogle, Joseph Worlcy, and Jas. Andrews, all with large families 
from Western Virginia and but a few miles from Wheeling. 

In 1786, they were reinforced by the arrival of James 


Lemen, Sr., James McRoberts, George Atchison, and David 
Waddle, and their families. There were probably others 
whose names are not mentioned; but I am not able to give 
definitely the dates of their arrival in the country or of their 
religious and moral influence. 

None of these persons were members or communicants in 
Christian churches at the period of their arrival in this wild 
country; but many of them had been trained up by moral and 
religious parents or guardians, taught to regard the Sabbath 
as a day of worship and the propriety of doing justly and 
being merciful to their fellow-men and keeping the command- 
ments of the Lord. Tradition says there was a female. Mrs. 
Bond, who had been a member of the Presbyterian church. 

Their Sabbath meetings were held alternately at each others 
cabins and were conducted by Shadrach Bond, Sr., (called 
Judge Bond), James Piggott, and James Lemen, Sr., who read 
the Scriptures, especially the psalms, and sermons from books 
and sung hymns. No prayers were offered. In this way, 
order and good morals were preserved in the settlements. 

There was a class of Americans who paid no regard to the 
Sabbath, but engaged in sport and pastime, drank intoxicat- 
ing liquors, used profane language, and were careless of moral 
duties and the fear of the Lord ; but at this distant period 
they and their posterity are unknown. 

In the summer of 1787, James Smith, a Baptist preacher 
from Lincoln County, Kentucky, visited New Design and 
preached to the people repeatedly. His labors were success- 
ful ,and several of the leading pioneers professed to be con- 
verted ; among whom were Joseph Ogle and James Lemen, y 
Sr., their wives and other connections. Elder Smith returned 
again in the spring of 1790, and preached several times and 
many* more became deeply interested about the gospel of 
Jesus Christ. 

On May 19, as Mr. Smith was proceeding from the block- 
house, as it was called, to Little Village, in company with a 
Frenchman and a Mrs. Huff, they were fired on by a party of 
Indians who were concealed in a thicket near Bellefontaine. 
His horse and the one rode by the Frenchman were shot and 
the woman wounded. Smith had the presence of mind to 


throw his saddle-bags, which contained papers of value, into a 
thicket and retreated to the foot of the hill, fell on his knees, 
and prayed for Mrs. Huff, whom the Indians were butchering 
and who had been seriously exercised about her own salvation 
under the preaching for several days. The Frenchman made 
4iis escape and_ Smith's saddle-bags were found next day by 
his friends. The Indians made the preacher a prisoner, loaded 
him with a pack of plunder they had taken from the settle- 
ments, and began their march thro the prairies. Smith was a 
large, heavy man and under his heavy load and a hot sun, 
soon became fatigued. 

Consultations were held by the Indians how they should 
dispose of their prisoner. Some proposed to kill him, fearing 
the white people would follow them, and pointed their guns 
at his breast. Knowing well the Indian character, he bared 
his breast, as though he dared them to shoot him, and then 
pointed upward, to signify the Great Spirit was his protector. 
Having caught him while in the attitude of prayer and hear- 
ing him sing hymns on his march, which he did to relieve 
his mind from despondency, they concluded he was a " great 
medicine " and held intercourse with the Great Spirit, and 
must not be killed. 

They took him to their town on the Wabash, from whence, 
thro the agency of the French traders from Vincennes, he 
obtained his freedom the people of New Design paying one 
hundred and seventy dollars for his ransom. He visited Illi- 
nois the third time, obtained his saddle-bags and papers, which 
contained some evidence of land-titles for his friends, and re- 
turned to Kentucky, where he lived and died. 

The next preacher who visited the Illinois country was Rev. 
Joseph Lillard, a Methodist. Mr. Lillard had been in the 
'"traveling connection" of the Methodist Episcopal for several 
years. In 1790, he was placed on Lime-Stone circuit, Ken- 
tucky, a new one, and in 1791, on Salt-River circuit. In 1793, 
he visited the Illinois country, preached to the people, and 
spent some time there. Either then or at a future time he 
withdrew from the traveling connection, not being in favor of 
the government of that church. He organized the first Meth- 
odist class ever formed in this territory and appointed Capt. 


/ Joseph Ogle class-leader. The captain not being a ready 
[ writer, his sister, Mrs. Tolin, kept the records for him. 

Mr. Lillard was esteemed by all as a pious and exemplary 
man; but while in Illinois, he became afflicted with aberation 
of mind, made his escape from the house, _and tho pursued, he 
outran his friends and followed the trail toward Kaskaskia. 
On the route, he came across the body of a man by the name 
of Sipp, whom the Indians had killed and scalped. While 
looking on this horrid picture, he became calm, his conscious- 
ness was restored, and he returned to his friends at New 
Design and made report of the discovery. The people made 
up a party, visited the spot, and buried the unfortunate man. 
Mr. Lillard continued to preach the gospel as a kind of inde- 
pendent Methodist in Kentucky. About twenty years or 
more since, he made another visit to Illinois and preached in 
this county. 

After the visits of Elder James Smith, meetings were held 
/ more regularly, unless in times of Indian alarm, and were con- 
ducted with singing, prayer, and reading discourses. The late 
Shadrach Bond, Sr., called Judge Bond, frequently led in these 
meetings and read the discourses. 

It was probably in December, 1793, or January, 1794, while 
Judge Bond was officiating in this informal manner on Sab- 
bath, that a stranger came into the meeting. He was a large, 
portly man, with dark hair, a florid complexion, and regular 
features. His dress was in advance of the deer-skin hunting- 
shirts and Indian rnoccasons of the settlers ; his countenance 
grave and his aspect so serious that the mind of the reader was 
impressed with the thought that he was a man, perhaps a 
preacher, and an invitation was given for him to close the exer- 
cises, if he was a " praying man." The stranger kneeled and 
made an impressive, fluent, and solemn prayer. There was a 
man in the company of small talents and rather narrow views, 
who from his national origin bore the sobriquet of Dutch Pete 
among the people; or Peter Smith, as his name appears in thj 
land documents. Pete was a zealous Methodist and when his 
own brethren or preachers prayed, he felt moved by the spirit 
to utter amen at the close of every sentence. While the people 
were on their knees or with their heads bowed low on their 


seats, Pete manifested uneasiness during the prayer of the 
stranger. He fidgeted one way and then another ; uttered a 
low but audible groan and to those near him seemed in trouble. 
The very impressive and earnest prayer of the gentleman 
excited his feelings beyond suppression. He might not be a 
Methodist; but Pete could not hold in no longer and bawled 
out at the top of his voice: "Amen, at a wenture ! " 

The stranger proved to be Rev. Josiah Dodge from Nelson 
County, Kentucky, who was on a visit to his brother, Dr. Israel 
Dodge of Ste. Genevieve and the father of Henry S. Dodge, 
late governor and now United- States senator of Wisconsin. 
Hearing of these religious people being entirely destitute of 
ministerial instruction, he had arrived opportunely to preach to 
them. Mr. Dodge spent some time in the settlement, preached , / 
frequently, and in February the ice was cut in Fountain Creek 
and he baptized James Lemen, Sr., and Catherine, his wife, 
John Gibbons and Isaac Enochs, who were the first persons 
ever baptized in this Territory. 

During the next two years the people remained without 
preachers; but both Baptists and Methodists, without organized 
societies, united in holding prayer- meetings, in which, as for- 
merly, the Scriptures and sermon -books were read, prayers 
offered, and hymns sung in praise to God. 

In the spring of 1^96^ Elder David Badgley from Hardy ^ 
County, Virginia, made a visit to this country. He arrived in 
the New-Design settlement on May 4, and preached day and 
night until the 3Oth; during which time he baptized fifteen per- 
sons on a profession of .faith in Christ. Baptist immigrants 
had come from Kentucky since the visit of Mr. Dodge, among 
whom was Joseph Chance, who had been set apart as a lay- 
elder in Kentucky. He and Mr. Badgley organized the first 
Baptist church in the country, of twenty-eight members, which 
was called New Design. This church, with various fluctuations, 
continued until 1821, when, having been reduced by removals, 
deaths, and the formation of other churches, it became extinct 
and the remaining members joined Fountain-Creek church in 
the same vicinity. 

Rev. David Badgley returned to Virginia and in the spring 
of 1797, removed his family to Illinois and took the pastoral 


charge of this church. A revival of religion followed jind in 
April, 1798, Badgley and Chance formed another church of 
fifteen members in the American Bottom, a few miles above 

In 1796, the late Rev. Hosea Riggs, then an exhorter in the 
Methodist-Episcopal church, came to Illinois and settled in the 
American Bottom near Chaffin's old place. The class formed 
by Rev. Joseph Lillard had been dissolved or ceased to hold 
regular meetings, and Mr. Riggs gathered together the old 
members, the Ogles, Casterline, William Murray, and others, 
and formed the class regularly at Mr. Ogle's in the bottom, 
Monroe County. Subsequently, he forrrled another class in 
Goshen Settlement. Both of these subsequently ceased as 
social organizations and the members who maintained a Chris- 
tian character were merged in other classes. 

Mr. Riggs was born in Western Virginia, April 4, 1760. He 
was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and when twenty-two 
years of age, enlisted in the army of Christ and joined the 
Methodist church. He soon became an exhorter and proved a 
diligent and faithful soldier. In 1803, he went to Kentucky to 
attend the Western Conference and to solicit a preacher for 
Illinois, and the conference appointed Rev. Benjamin Young to 
form a circuit. Mr. Riggs was subsequently ordained and for 
a long series of years maintained a respectable character and 
standing as a local preacher. He removed to St. Clair County 
at an early period, settled two miles east of Belleville, and died 
October 29, 1841, aged eighty-one years; at that time the oldest 
man in the county. 

In 1804, Benjamin Young came to Illinois as a missionary 
preacher and^was the first Methodist preacher who rode circuit 
here under direction of the conference. 

The Western Conference, as it was called, was the only- 
annual conference in the Methodist organization in the Missis- 
~sippi Valley, and in 1805, contained four districts, Holton, Cum- 
berland, Kentucky, and Ohio, and 11,877 members in society. 
At that period there were a number of respectable ' men, pos- 
sessing more than ordinary intelligence, in the Illinois country 
who openly professed to disbelieve the sacred truths of revealed 
religion. At one period an effort was made to organize an asso- 


ciation and adopt a code of morality in which nothing was to 
be introduced from that antiquated and superstitious book 
called the Bible. Tradition says the organization was"defeated 
by the unlucky mistake of the committee unwittingly introduc- 
ing the moral principles of the Scriptures, which a waggish 
member exposed. It is a lamentable fact that some of the 
fraternity bewildered the mind of the -unfortunate preacher by 
their wild speculations and he was caught in the snare of scep- 
ticism. This was regarded, of course, as a splendid triumph 
and produced a disastrous effect on some others, especially 
untrained minds. 

Young was expelled from the conference and fora number 
of years was in darkness and doubt and sustained sore trials. 
After years of wandering and unbelief, afflicted in body and 
more wretched in mind, he became a penitent, sought an in- 
terest in the prayers of the preachers, cast himself on the 
mercy of God in Christ and died in peace. 

Dr. Joseph Oglesby was' the preacher on this circuit in 1805. 
He was a man of vigorous mind, good preaching talents, and a 
successful laborer. He is still living in Indiana. 

Rev. Charles R. Matheny"* followed him in 1806, who mar- 
ried a daughter of Capt. Joseph Oglesby and settled in the 
county of St. Clair. He turned his attention to law and poli- 
tics, but retained his ministerial and Christian profession; was 
appointed clerk of the county of Sangamon; settled in Spring- 
field, where he sustained an honorable and upright character as 

* Rev. Charles R. Matheny was a member of Capt. James B. Moore's company 
of "rangers" during the months of July and August, 1812. He was afterward a 
member of the territorial legislature, representing St. Clair County in the lower 
house of the third and last assemblies, in 1816-8; and was also a member from the 
same county in the second general assembly in 1820-2. "In 1817, the territory 
of Illinois was divided into three circuits; and in the first circuit, including the coun- 
ties of St. Clair and Randolph, presided over by Jesse B. Thomas as judge, Charles 
R. Matheny was prosecuting-attorney. In this capacity he attended the first circuit- 
court held in Monroe County, at Harrisonville, July 21, 1817. He was succeeded by 
Daniel Pope Cook, beginning at the fall term, 1819; the latter being the first prose- 
cuting-attorney under the new State organization." 

Removing to .Sangamon County on its organization, in 1821, he became its first 
county clerk, a position he held uninterruptedly until his death, Oct. IO, 1839. He 
was also circuit clerk until 1835. His wife survived him many years, dying at a ripe 
old age in 1858. Mr. Malheny was succeeded in the county clerk's office by his 


a citizen and a faithful and devout Christian, and died a few 
years since, beloved and revered by all his acquaintance. 

Among the useful men and successful pioneer preachers of 
Illinois we must not overlook Rev. John Clark. He was by 
birth a Scotchman, was well educated, followed the seas in 
early life, and was pressed on board a British man-of-war, 
which lay off Charleston harbor in 1781. Being a high-toned 
liberty man, he was so opposed to being compelled to fight the 
Americans that, at the risk of his life, he swam ashore and 
escaped with one of his comrades and made his way into the 
country, where he taught a school. For about one year he was 
under much distress on account of his sins and guilt, without 
anyone to give him instruction. At last he was delivered from 
this state of mind and obtained peace in believing. 

An old Scotch divine, on being asked for the " best evidence 
of a gracious state," promptly replied, " forty years close walk 
with God." Our venerable friend bore this testimony, unques- 
tioned by every class of persons who knew him, for fifty years. 
At that period he was on Broad River and joined a Methodist 
class under the preaching of John Major and Thos. Humphries, 
who first introduced Methodism into that part of South Caro- 
lina. After this he made a voyage to his native country, saw 
a beloved sister who was living, and received a little legacy left 
by his pious mother with her dying benediction. It was his 
wages while on the seas, which he had given orders to be sent 

second son, Noah W., who held the position continuously for thirty-four years, retir- 
ing in 1873 to accept the presidency of the First 'National Bank of Springfield, Ilk, 
a position he held until his death, April 30, 187^. His eldest son, Dr. L. D. 
Matheny, a physician of bright promise, died before, : his father, in 1837. The third 
son, Hon. James H. Matheny, is at the present lime county judge of Sangamon 
County, having been elected for three successive terms, by an almost unanimous vote. 
Judge Matheny was a member of the constkutional convention of 1847, and a col- 
league of Ninian W. Edwards and Stephen T. Logan; he was also lieut. -colonel of 
the i3Oth Illinois Infantry during the war of the Rebellion. The fourth son, Charles 
W. Matheny, was engaged in mercantile business for many years in Springfield, and 
was ah>o president of the First- National Bank of that city at the time of his death, 
April 1 6, 1879. The youngest son, E. Cook Matheny, is connected with the U. S. 
revenue department as.a gauger, a position he has acceptably filled for many years. 
The family, 'in its numerous descendants from Mr. Matheny's five sons and three 
married, daughters, is one which has maintained the reputation of their lamented 
progenitor, socially and morally as well as politically. J. H. G. 


her. He visited London, heard Rev. John Wesley preach, be- 
came more confirmed in his peculiar doctrines, returned to 
South Carolina and entered the ministry of the Methodist- 
Episcopal church, was received on trial in 1791, and com- 
menced traveling the circuit. In two years he was admitted 
in full connection and ordained to that order of their ministry 
called deacon. 

Being conscientiously opposed to slavery and not satisfied 
with the government of the Methodist- Episcopal church, he 
withdrew from the traveling connection in an orderly manner 
in 1796, traveled on foot to Kentucky, and there for several 
months made it his home with Elder Jolliff,* a Baptist preacher 

* Elder Abner Jolliff, who lived and died in Barren Co., Ky., was born in Green- 
brier Co., Va., and came of an old English family of Norman descent, who settled 
in Virginia in the seventeenth century; his four sons, Abner, Richard, James, and 
Elijah, and three daughters, Rachel, Elizabeth, and Jehoida, emigrated to Illinois in 
early days and settled in Jefferson, Clinton, Marion, and Washington counties, where 
they now have a large number of descendants. 

Abner, the oldest son, in 1824, settled about three miles north of the present town 
of Richview, Washington Co. ; raised a large family, nearly all now dead; his son, 
Richard, was somewhat noted as a Baptist preacher of promise, and died young. 

Richard, the second son, settled the same year near by his brother, both being on 
the old Vincennes trace; raised a large family, and his son Jacob, born on the claim 
the first year of the sojourn of the family in this State, yet -owns and occupies the 
old homestead, one of the finest farms in Southern Illinois. Elizabeth, his oldest 
daughter, married an Englishman named Edward Russell; their sons, Thomas and 
J. K. Russell, are well-known citizens of Washington County. Martha, his second 
daughter, married Reece Williams, and raised a large family, and surviving her hus- 
band, now lives in Texas with her children. James E., the oldest son, lives near 
Fort Scott, and was a soldier in the Mexican war in Capt. Coffee's company of Col. 
Bissell's regiment (2d) 111. Vols. Aaron, the second son, lived and died near the 
old. home farm in Washington Co.; was a soldier in Co. E, I4th Reg't U.-S. InPy, 
during the Mexican war. His daughter, Mrs. T. B. Affleck, resides in Richview. 
Abner, the third son, was drowned when a young man, in crossing Grand-Point 
Creek when the stream was in a swollen condition. Richard, the fourth son, mar- 
ried Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of Press. Taylor, a well-known pioneer of Washing- 
ton Co. ; was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion in Co. B, 6ad 111. Infantry, and 
died at Pine Bluff, Ark., August 2, 1864. Jacob, the fifth son, the youngest and 
only surviving member of his father's large family, was born Feb. 5> '825, on the 
farm he now lives on and owns, one mile south of Irvington, Washington Co., at 
the crossing of the Illinois-Central Railroad over the old Vincennes and Kaskaskia 
"trace"; married Elizabeth Willard, and has a family of four sons and one daugh- 
ter, who have all survived their mother. 

Col. James, the third son, settled about 1828 on Crooked Creek, Clinton Co., a 
few miles s.-w. of the present city of Centralia, and built a water-mill, about 1830, 


and father to Col. James.Jolliff of Marion County, Illinois. His 
peregrinations were made on foot the mode in which he trav- 
eled his circuits in South Carolina and in this way he arrived 
in Illinois in 1797. Here he preached with great acceptance 

on that stream near the site of Sherwood's horse-mill, erected in 1817; was a Vir- 
ginia soldier in the war of 1812, and with his brother-in-law, James Rhea, served 
with Perry on Lake Erie, being among the contingent of one hundred and fifty men- 
furnished by Gen. Harrison to Com. Perry to complete the crews in his fleet; and 
were both afterward engaged in the battle of the Thames, Sept. 17, 1813, where the 
celebrated Indian chief, Tecumseh, was killed. They were both celebrated Indian 
fighters in the early days of the Northwest. Col. Jolliff was twice married and left 
numerous descendants. His oldest son was Jackson JolliflF. Reuben W. Jolliff, 
his second son, was captain of Co. G, mth 111. Infy, in the war of the Rebellion, 
his younger brother, Samuel A., being second lieutenant of the same company, who, 
with his brother Abner, are now living in Patoka, Marion Co. Col. Jolliff 's daugh- 
ter, Elizabeth, married E. Orvis, and lives near the old Jolliff mill in Clinton Co., 
where they have raised a numerous family. Another son, Elijah, served in Co. B, 
62d 111. Vol. Infy, in the Rebellion, and died at Pine Bluff, Ark., July 28, 1864. 

Elijah, fourth son, settled in Jefferson Co. in the spring of 1825; had previously 
married in Kentucky and had several children; was accidentally killed, Christmas, 
1832, at the home of in Jefferson Co. and by his nephew, Capt. James Rhea a 
tow wad from a Christmas gun severing the femoral artery. Of his sons, Randall 
and William, and his daughter Elizabeth, married to James Willard, live in Oregon- 
Co., Mo. Elijah Jolliff, his third son, lives near Irvington, Washington Co. 

Rachel, the oldest daughter, born in Greenbrier Co., Va., Oct. 16, 1783, married 
Nov. 20, 1801, James Rhea, born in the same county, June 3, 1780; moved to Bar- 
ren Co., Ky., had ten children; then moved to Jefferson Co., 111., to the old Rhea 
place, four miles northeast of Richview, in 1824, where their youngest child, Thos. 
F., was born, July 27; in 1827, Jas. Rhea and most of his family moved to Island- 
Grove township in Sangamon Co., where he died in 1843, h' s widow in 1851, Of 
their children the oldest was Elizabeth, born in 1802, in Barren Co., Ky., and mar- 
ried there to George May; emigrated from thence with their parents first to Jeffer- 
son Co., then to Sangamon, moved afterward to Mason Co., where she died; her 
husband and children then moved to Gentry Co., Mo. The oldest son was James, 
who was born Aug. 27, 1804; married in Jefferson Co., 111., in 1826, Susan Mattox; 
was a soldier in Capt. Bowman's company in the Black-Hawk war; a captain of 
militia in 1832-3; after killing his uncle accidentally in 1832, moved near Little 
Rock, Ark., in the fall of 1834, and died there in 1840, leaving a widow and three 
children. William, the second son, born March 10, 1807; married Dec. II, 1828, 
Susan Foutch, in Sangamon Co. ; had twelve children, nine of whom lived to matu- 
rity, and died Feb. 8, 1860; his widow lives near New Berlin, 111. Richard, the 
third son, born Jan. 14, 1809; married to Eliza Rhea and had three children; when 
he died, his widow married William Etheridge, and moved to Iowa. Jehoida, born 
Oct. II, 1813; married in Sangamon Co., John Foutch, in 1827, and had four chil- 
dren, and died about fifty years ago. Rachel died at the age of ten. John, born 
July 14, 1817; married Nov. 14, 1839, Julia A. Stark, born June 21, 1823, in Rut- 
land, Vt. ; they had seven children, and with their children and descendants, live 


among various classes of the people in the settlements about 
New 'Design and the American Bottom ; formed one or more 
classes and taught the children and young men in science and 
literature. Of his first pupils, several are yet living and hold 

near New Berlin, Sangamon Co. Mahala, born April 25, 1820; married in Sanga- 
mon Co., Joseph Pulsifer; had twin sons, Nevo and Nevi, who are married and 
live in Gentry Co., Mo.; their mother died soon after their birth, and their father 
disappeared, it is thought was murdered for money while on a business trip to St. 
Louis. Mary A., born Oct. 27, 1822; died April 28, 1851; married E. R. Alsbury;. 
had one child, Lucinda, who married James Snuff. Thomas F. Rhea, the youngest 
son, born in Jefferson Co.; married Oct. 3, 1844, Lucinda Wilcox; has five children 
living, all daughters; is a stock-raiser and dealer at New Berlin, Sangamon Co. 

Elizabeth, second daughter, is a most noted pioneer matron of Southern Illinois;: 
was born in Greenbrier Co., Va., about 1803, and is now over eighty years of age; 
was married in Virginia to John Faulkner, a member of the celebrated family of 
that ilk which has furnished to Virginia many able men, one of whom was governor 
of that State; shortly after their marriage, they removed to Kentucky and afterward 
to Illinois, settling near her brothers, Abner and Richard, in 1830, when Mr. Faulk- 
ner soon afterward erected a horse-mUl, which furnished the settlers in that region 
their bread for many a year. This couple raised a numerous and historic family, 
and the husband and father died in 1853. Mrs. Faulkner still lives with her son 
Abner on her old homestead, where her family of thirteen were, some of them, bora 
and all raised to maturity. John, the oldest son, was a Baptist preacher, and died 
young. Katharine, the oldest daughter, married Matthew Pate, and died many 
years ago; her son, John Pate of Jefferson Co., is a well-known lawyer, who for- 
merly resided at Richview. Richard, the second son, died some years before the 
war, leaving a family. Aaron also reared a family on Grand Point, and died some 
years ago. Elizabeth married L. B. Baldwin, who live at Irvington and have raised 
a large and interesting family, among whom is R. D. Baldwin, a successful farmer 
of Irvington township. Gilbert, the fourth son, was a soldier in Capt. Coffee's Co. 
A, Col. Bissell's regiment (2d 111.), in the Mexican war, and now lives near the old 
homestead in Washington Co. Margaret married Meg. Taylor and lives in Kansas. 
James, the fifth son, died before the late war, although married, he left no descend- 
ants; was of large stature, as were all of the Faulkner and Jolliff families. Abner, 
the sixth son, was a soldier in Co. B, 62d 111. Vol. Infy, and lives with his family 
at the old homestead, a mile south of Irvington, on the Illinois-Central Railroad, 
and cares for his aged mother. Alexander, the seventh son, who was first-sergeant 
in Co. B, 6ad 111. Vol. Inf'y, in the war of the Rebellion, lives near and has a wife 
and several children. Charles J., the youngest son, was also a soldier in the war of 
the Rebellion, in Co. F of the 44th 111. InPy, and died since the war. Angeline 
married Clark W. Mitchell, a soldier in Co. B, 62d 111. Inf'y, and with her husband 
lives near Irvington. Caroline, the youngest daughter, married Jackson Trout, and 
died a few years since in Irvington, where her husband still resides. 

Jehoida, the youngest daughter, married Enoch Holsclaw in Kentucky, and after- 
ward removed to Illinois, settling near Mt. Vernon in Jefferson Co., from whence they 
again removed to Clinton Co., near the town of Central City, where both died many- 
years ago, leaving numerous descendants. J. H. G. 


the memory of Father Clark, as he was familiarly called, as pre- 
cious. Among those who are indebted to him for their educa- 
tion are those venerable men of this county: Robert Lemen, 
Esq., once marshal under the territorial government, and Rev. 
Joseph and James Lemen. 

At that period, Missouri, called Upper Louisiana, was under 
the dominion of Spain and of course the Roman- Catholic 
religion only was sustained and tolerated by law. But the 
commandants and other officers, being disposed to encourage 
emigration from the United States to that country, permitted 
Protestants, after a vague and general examination, as a mere 
matter of form, to settle in that country, and large numbers 
had expatriated themselves to obtain grants of land. It is but 
just to the memories of these people to state that a presenti- 
ment existed in their minds that the country would come under 
the American government and they, or at least their children, 
would enjoy equal rights. 

Father Clark was the first preacher of the gospel to cross the 
Mississippi and to preach to the American people there. This 
was in 1798. His excursions were regular and frequent, during 
which he would spend from two to three weeks. There were 
three settlements which he visited : one near the Spanish Pond, 
north of St. Louis, one near Owen's Station, now Bridgeton, and 
the other on Feef 's Creek. He was a man of singular sim- 
plicity of manners, unaffected piety, and wholly disinterested, 
and took no pains to conceal his visits or his object in the 
Spanish country. The late Zenoe Trudeau, commandant at 
St. Louis, knew his character, his habits, and his purpose in 
crossing the river. He was friendly to the American residents 
and not disposed to molest them ; but he must make a show of 
enforcing the laws and about the time Clark's appointments 
were finished, he would send a threatening message into the 
country that Mr. Clark must leave the Spanish territory or he 
would put him in the calabozo the prison. No personal moles- 
tation was ever offered. 

At a subsequent period, when the laws of the United States 
were extended there and settlements greatly enlarged, he made 
his home on that side of the river, but continued his visits to 
Illinois during his life, which terminated in 1833, at the age of 


seventy-five years. Early in the present century, he became a 
Baptist and subsequently was connected with that class who 
were termed, from their opposition to slavery, " Friends to 

Among the early pioneers of Methodism in this territory, the 
late Rev. Jesse Walker deserves a conspicuous place. His 
birthplace was the vicinity of Petersburg, Va., but his youth was 
spent in North Carolina, where he was accustomed to labor on 
a farm. This was in a settlement of wealth, aristocratic and 
irreligious people, where the Sabbath was spent in amusement 
and excursions to other settlements. It was while on such an 
excursion he heard a Methodist preacher, whose pungent exhor- 
tations arrested his conscience and went to his heart. After 
some two or three weeks of agonizing distress, he obtained 
relief and rejoiced in the forgiveness of his -sins. He imme- 
diately joined a Methodist class, became an efficient member, 
then a leader and exhorter, and soon after a laborious and suc- 
cessful local preacher. He was received on trial by the Western 
Conference, held at Cumberland, Tennessee, in October, 1802; 
ordained deacon and performed circuit duties on the borders of 
that State and Kentucky four years. 

He was emphatically a pioneer, continually advancing into 
new settlements that were unprovided with gospel administra- 
tions; for in 1806, by his own request, he was sent to Illinois, 
and the same year Rev. John Travis was sent to Upper Louis- 
iana, as Missouri was then called, being the first circuit preacher 
sent into that field by the Conference. The next year Mr. 
Walker returned two hundred and twenty members from Illi- 
nois, including a society of twenty on Coldwater in St. Louis 
County. This was a gain of eighty in Illinois in one year 
under his labors. 

It was in the summer of 1807 that the late Bishop McKen- 
dree, whose name has been perpetuated in the Methodist col- 
.lege at Lebanon, made his first visit to this territory, and as 
presiding-elder, with Mr. Walker for an assistant in preaching, 
held two camp- meetings : one in Goshen Settlement, near 
Edwardsville, and the other at Shiloh, six miles northeast from 
Belleville, where a log-house was erected for a chapel. This 
was the first meeting-house and these were the first camp-meet- 
ings in Illinois. 


From 1813, Rev. Jesse Walker was presiding-elder in the Illi- 
nois district and continued in that department in this territory 
until near the period of the close of this history. His residence 
was in Alexander's Settlement, as then called, seven miles 
northeast from Belleville. 

Of the Methodist pioneer preachers in the traveling connec- 
tion, before the organization of the State government, who fol- 
lowed successively on the circuit, or who were local preachers, 
our information is too imperfect to follow the line accurately, 
Rev. John Scripps, now living in Illinois, then a young preacher, 
accompanied Mr. Walker on his round as presiding-elder in 

Rev. Jacob Whiteside of this county commenced the ministry 
about that time, and Rev. Josiah Patterson was also a faithful 
laborer in the settlements near the Ohio River. Rev. J. Nowlen 
is another who began to preach about that time. 

In 1815, there were four circuits in Illinois, called Illinois, 
Okaw, Massac, and Wabash. Indiana, west of a meridian line 
at Madison, and Illinois made one district, over which Rev. 
Jesse Walker traveled as presiding-elder. 

Rev. Abraham Amos came to Illinois Territory at an early 
period, either in the character of a circuit or a local preacher. 
He was a circuit preacher on the Mad-River circuit, Ohio, then 
a new one, in 1805. He was appointed a member of the legis- 
lative council of Illinois Territory, and while sustaining that 
office, died, April n, 1818, much respected and universally re- 
gretted as a preacher, a Christian, and a citizen. 

In 1816, Rev. John Dew arrived in Illinois as the traveling 
companion of Bishop McKendree and soon proved himself to 
be an intelligent and successful preacher. The General Con- 
ference of the Methodist -Episcopal church had divided the 
Western Conference into two : Tennessee and Ohio. Tennes- 
see Conference included Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indi- 
ana to the meridian of Madison. 

This year, 1816, the General Conference had set off all this 
field into another conference, called Missouri, and its first ses- 
sion was held at Shiloh, commencing September 23. At this 
meeting Rev. Samuel H. Thompson appeared for the first time. 
He had traveled a circuit in Missouri for the preceding year. 


Mr. Thompson was born in Westmoreland County, Pa.; pro- 
fessed religion and joined the Methodists in Kentucky in 1807; 
became a preacher and entered the traveling connection in 
1809. He was married in February, 1816, and the next 
autumn, settled at Union Grove, south of Lebanon. Mr. 
Thompson became a prominent and useful man in the ministry. 

Among the local preachers, Rev. Josiah Randle of Edwards- 
ville was among the prominent men in the Methodist ranks in 
early times, and for many years clerk of Madison County. As 
the first Baptist preacher who settled in the country we have 
already mentioned David Badgley, who, with Joseph Chance, 
constituted the first church in the territory. Mr. Badgley was 
born in New Jersey in 1749; removed with his parents to Vir- 
ginia in 1768; made a profession of religion, and was baptized 
by Elder William Marshall in 1795, and a few years after, be- 
came a preacher. He was ordained in 1795. Mr. Badgley 
aided in forming a number of churches and died December 16, 
1824, at the advanced age of seventy-six. His descendants 
and connections are numerous in this county, and his youngest 
son is now one of the justices of the county-court. 

Elder John K. Simpson was one of the pioneer Baptist 
preachers in Illinois. He was a native of England and born 
near London, October 2, 1759. He was brought up an Episco- 
palian; married Ann Rider; removed to America and reached 
Vincennes in 1788; came to Kaskaskia in 1789, and next year 
settled near Bellefontaine. He was a religious man and joined 
the Methodist class under Mr. Lillard; but under the preaching 
of Elder David Badgley, he became a Baptist and was one of 
the fifteen baptized previous to the constitution of the church. 
He took an active part in church-meetings and social worship; 
commenced preaching and was ordained, probably, about 1803. 
Some may have deemed him too rigid and not sufficiently for- 
bearing and tender of the imperfections of his brethren ; for his 
name occurs frequently on the old book of records in connec- 
tion with cases of discipline. 

His decease, January 11, 1806, was singular. For some time 
previous, he told his brethren and friends he should die soon 
and even named the day. A little time before his death, he 
visited and preached to Richland church and bid his brethren 


farewell, assuring them they would see him no more on earth. 
He complained of no illness, but was serious and devotional. 
A short time after, on Sabbath morning, he rode ten miles from 
his residence to the house of Judge Bond in the American Bot- 
tom; preached with much power and effect from Rom. viii, 14, 
and died the same evening while sitting in his chair. The last 
words he uttered were: "Lord Jesus, thou hast promised to 
save me; come and receive my spirit." He was the father of 
Elder Gideon Simpson of this [St.Clair] county. 

Elder Joseph Chance, already mentioned, was born in the 
State of Delaware in 1765. His father died when he was a 
small boy ; his mother married John Gibbons and moved to 
North Carolina, where young Chance was raised without much 
opportunity for education. He married for his first wife Jemima 
Morris and moved to Kentucky, where he professed religion, 
was baptized, and commenced exhorting. In 1794, he removed 
his family to Illinois and became connected with the New- 
Design church. He afterward settled in Horse Prairie, where 
he preached to a little society; removed and settled east of 
Silver Creek, where a small church was organized in 1807. 

He made an excursion to Indiana and while there, was 
ordained. Mr. Chance was not a man of great talents, but he 
was faithful in the improvement of the gifts bestowed upon 
him ; devoted much time in preaching and visiting destitute 
settlements; raised a large family; and while on a preaching 
tour, died, in Washington County, Illinois, April 20, 1840, aged 
seventy-five years. 

Among the good men and ministers in the Baptist ranks, we 
must not omit Elder William Jones, who came to the territory 
and settled near Rattan's Prairie, east of Alton, in 1806. He 
was born in North Carolina, but professed religion and entered 
the ministry in East Tennessee, and in company with John 
Finlay, another pioneer, came to this region to do good. Be- 
fore the war, he removed to Shoal Creek, but the Indians 
becoming troublesome, he returned to Madison County. He 
was a preacher of moderate abilities and was moral, grave, 
peaceable, and pious in his habits. He represented Madison 
County in the legislature one term and died at his residence, 
in the hope of eternal life, January 2, 1845, aged seventy- three 


The name of James Lemen, Sr., has been mentioned among 
the early pioneers of Illinois. He was born in Berkeley County, 
Virginia, in the autumn of 1760. His grandfather was an emi- 
grant from the north of Ireland. His father belonged to the 
Church of England, a branch of which existed by law in Vir- 
ginia before the Revolutionary war, and died when James was 
a year old. His mother married again and he was raised by a 
strict Presbyterian. In 1777, he entered the army under Wash- 
ington ; went north ; was in the action of White Plains, and 
continued in service two years, when he was discharged and 
returned to Virginia. He then went to the vicinity of Wheel- 
ing, where he resided for a time and married Catharine Ogle, 
daughter of Capt. Joseph Ogle, already noticed. 

There are some amusing traditions among their descendants, 
relative to their early acquaintance. Both were young, moral 
persons, religiously educated, and early and simultaneously be- 
came impressed they were destined for each other. It seems 
this mutual attachment was strong, steady, and lasted thro life. 
Not a jar in feelings or an unpleasant word ever occurred be- 
tween them. 

James Lemen was a rigidly honest, humane, kind-hearted, 
and benevolent man; independent in judgment, very firm and 
conscientious in what he believed right, and exhibited much 
decision of character. He was opposed to war as an aggres- 
sive measure, not combative or cruel, but would fight like a 
hero when impelled by a sense of duty in defending the fron- 
tiers from Indian depredations. He followed his father-in-law 
to the Illinois country in the spring of 17^5, by descending the 
Ohio River in a flat-boat. The second night the river fell 
while they were tied to the shore, and his boat lodged on a 
stump, careened and sunk, by which accident he lost his pro- 
visions, chattels, etc. His oldest son, Robert, a boy of three 
years old, floated on the bed on which he lay, which his father 
caught by the corner and saved his life. Tho left destitute of 
provisions and other necessaries, James Lemen was not the man 
to be discouraged. He had energy and perseverance, and he 
got to the mouth of the Ohio and from thence up the Missis- 
sippi to Kaskaskia, where he arrived July 10, 1786. 

The Indians caused frequent alarms, provisions and all other 


necessaries of living were scarce. He subsequently settled at 
New Design, on the old hill-trace from St. Louis to Kaskaskia, 
and his house became the half-way stopping- place for many 
years, and none were turned away. He had been subject to 
religious impressions from his childhood, but was not clear in 
his mind to make a profession of religion until James Smith 
arrived and preached to the people. He was generous and 
hospitable, would divide corn with the destitute, observed the 
Sabbath strictly, kept perfect order in his family, and yet was 
never harsh or severe with his children. 

He was an acting justice-of-the-peace for many years under 
the territorial government and for a time one of the judges of 
the county-court. He took an active part in the lead of religi- 
ous meetings many years before he was licensed to preach. 
He was an opponent to slavery both from principle and policy 
and came to this territory to live in a free country. From some 
strong expressions he made on this subject while preaching at 
Richland Church in 1809, which ought to have been passed 
without notice, Larkin Rutherford, one of the members, tqok 
offence and brought a complaint into -the church and the conse- 
quence was an illustration of the Scriptures : " Behold how 
great a matter a little fire kindleth." The little church became 
divided; the association of churches also divided, and the issue 
was three parties of Baptists, who existed for ten years and two 
parties much longer. The association was formed in 1807, of 
the five following churches, to wit : New Design, Mississippi 
Bottom, Richland, Wood River, and Silver Creek. There were 
three ordained preachers and sixty-two members in these 
churches. At the division of 1809, there were ten churches, of 
which three were in Missouri, eight ordained preachers, two in 
Missouri, four licentiates, and four hundred communicants of 
the three parties of Baptists, including six churches on the 
eastern and southeastern parts of the territory. 

Presbyterians. At the date of the constitution in 1818, there 
was no Presbyterian minister residing in the State, nor had there 
teen a church organized in this part of the State. One or two 
small churches had been constituted in the southeastern part of 
the State under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of West, 
now Middle, Tennessee. Two Presbyterian missionaries from 


the general assembly of the Presbyterian church had visited 
the territory and preached at Kaskaskia, Shawneetown, and 
other settlements. 

In 1814, Rev. Messrs. Samuel J. Miles and Daniel Smith, 
Congregationalists from New England, performed an exploring 
mission thro the Southwestern States and territories, with a 
twofold object: providing for the distribution of the Scriptures 
to the destitute and future missionary labors. They were at 
St. Louis November 7, at Kaskaskia on the I2th, and Shawnee- 
town after New-Year, on their way down the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi to New Orleans. 

A subscription was started to form a Bible society at New 
Design and Kaskaskia, to which the names of James Lemen, 
Sr., James Lemen, Jr., Gov. Edwards, Nathaniel Pope, and 
many other gentlemen then living in Illinois were appended, 
with subscriptions of five dollars and under for the object. 
Nearly one hundred dollars were subscribed ; but it appears 
they never organized or paid their subscriptions. At that 
period, Bibles and school-books were very scarce and not to 
be obtained without sending to the Atlantic cities. Another 
similar but ab3rtive effort to form a Bible society was made at 
Shawneetown in 1816; a constitution adopted and directors 
chosen, which failed from lack of a little further effort. 

The late John Messinger, who was a philanthropist as well as 
mathematician, tho never a member of any church, obtained 
subscribers for the quarto family Bibles, published by Matthew 
Carey of Philadelphia in 1814, and circulated copies in many 
families in St. Clair County. Mr. Messinger taught many young 
men the theory and practice of surveying and he frequently 
taught an evening-school for young and old; and it is no dis- 
paragement to some gentlemen, who have since been distin- 
guished in the State, at the bar, and in the pulpit, to have it- 
known that they received the ground-work of their education, 
after they had families, from Mr. Messinger. 

There was a small colony of Tunkers and Dunkers, whey* 
settled in Union County and had a preacher of their ownVin 
early times. 

I will close this protracted sketch by a brief description of 
the manners and customs of the American pioneers I have 


noticed. They were rough in personal appearance and unre- 
fined, yet kind, social, and generous. They were hunters and 
stock-growers; and confined their agricultural operations chiefly 
to corn and a small amount of wheat. They were brave, prompt, 
and decided in war, yet liberal and magnanimous to a subdued 
foe. They showed great energy and a just spirit of enterprise 
in removing from five to fifteen hundred miles into a wilderness 
country and pioneering out the way for the future prosperity of 
their descendants. They were hospitable, generous, and ready 
to share with their neighbors or newly-arrived strangers their 
last loaf. They were guided by Providence, preserved amidst 
dangers, sickness, and savage assaults, and thus became the 
pioneers of civilization, the founders of a free government, and 
the extension of pure Christianity. They turned the wilder- 
ness into a fruitful field and prepared the country to sustain a 
more dense population and to increase in wealth and prosperity. 

Their habits and manners were plain, simple, and unostenta- 
tious. Their dwellings were log-cabins of the rudest and most 
simple structure. Their furniture and utensils and dress were 
the most simple and economical possible; for such only could 
be obtained. For clothing, dressed deer-skins were extensively 
used for hunting-shirts, pants, leggins, and moccasons, and the 
red skin of the prairie-wolf or fox was a substitute for the hat 
or cap. Strips of buffalo-hide were used for ropes and traces 
and the dressed skins of the buffalo, bear, and elk furnished the 
principal covering of their beds at night. Wooden vessels^ 
either dug out or coopered, and called noggins, were in common 
use for bowls, out of which each member of the family atv.- 
mush and milk for supper. A gourd formed the drinking-cup. 
Every hunter (and all the men were hunters) carried his knife 
in his girdle, while not unfrequently the rest of the family had 
but one or two between them. If a family chanced to have a 
few pewter dishes and spoons, knives and forks, tin-cups and 
platters, it was in advance of the neighbors. Corn was beaten 
for bread in the mortar, ground on a grater, or in a hand-mill. 

From the cession of the country by Virginia to the conti- 
nental congress in 1784, to the organization of the county of 
St. Clair by the government of the Northwest Territory in 1790, 
there was in fact no civil government in existence in the Illinois 


country ; yet the people were a law unto themselves. Their 
morals were pure and simple; the grosser vices were rare, and 
there was very little use for the administration of either civil or 
criminal law. Ardent spirits, that outrage upon morals, social 
order, and religion, had been introduced into the country but 
in small quantities before the commencement of the present 
century. Theft and other crimes against the peace of society 
were rare and fraud and dishonest dealings seldom practised. 

In the French villages, as in most Catholic countries, the Sab- 
bath was a day of hilarity and pleasure. The Catholic popula- 
tion, being principally French, attended mass in the morning 
and practised their devotions in the church; and in the after- 
noon, assembled in parties at private houses for social and 
merry intercourse. Cards, dances, and various sports made up 
the pastime. The French people in Illinois in those times were 
not intemperate in eating or drinking on such occasions. The 
wealthier classes used, moderately, light-red wines, especially 
claret, while the poorer classes, in convivial parties, drank tafia 
and a liquor called noyau. I have often heard the old French 
settlers deplore the habits of intoxication and other vices ) 
which, as they fancied, were introduced by the immigration that 
came after 1800. But old men always imagine the morals of 
the people grow worse and fraud and dishonesty increase as 
they advance in life. 


Illinois under the Government of Indiana Territory. 

THE Northwest Territory being so large extending from 
the shores of the Mississippi to the western line of Pennsyl- 
vania, and from the Ohio to the lakes and the northern limits 
of the United States the people became uneasy and restless 
in their situation.. One other consideration was that Gen. 
St. Clair, the governor of the territory, was very unpopular. 
The whole community, for various and for different reasons, 
was anxious for a change in the government. 

The Northwest Territory was divided May 7, 1800, by act of 
congress and the western section was called Indiana Territory. 
The eastern boundary of Indiana was a line beginning on the 
Ohio, opposite the mouth of Kentucky River; thence to Fort 
Recovery, and thence to the northern limits of the United 
States. Indiana Territory included the Illinois country. 

William Henry Harrison was appointed by the general gov- 
ernment the governor of the territory. He was born twenty- 
five miles from Richmond, Va., February 9, 1773. His father, 
Benjamin Harrison, was the governor of Virginia and acted a 
great and noble part in the Revolution. 

Young Harrison was educated at Hampden Sydney College 
and left it at the age of seventeen. He was placed, by his kind 
father, the governor of Virginia, at the medical college in Phila- 
delphia in 1790; but remained there not a long time. The 
defeat of Gen. Harmar in the West and the excitement to sus- 
tain the honor of the stars and stripes had reached the young 
and patriotic heart of Harrison in Philadelphia. The eloquent 
entreaties of his guardian and friend, the celebrated Robert 
Morris of that city, had no effect to retain him to the study of 
medicine. The mortar and pestle were exchanged for the sweet 
music of the drum and fife and he became a soldier in the war 
against the Northwestern Indians. He urged his pretentions 



on President Washington so strong that he was appointed an 
ensign in the army in 1791, when he was only eighteen years 
old. He repaired to the West, but too late to participate in 
the disastrous defeat of St. Clair, November 4, 1791. He con- 
tinued in the army and was aid-de-camp to Gen. Wayne. He 
was in all the active military operations for several years pre- 
vious to the celebrated battle of Gen. Wayne against the Ind- 
ians, in August, 1794. In this engagement, young Harrison 
was found fighting always in the hottest conflicts. 

After the treaty at Greenville in 1795, Capt. Harrison as he 
had been promoted to that office was left in command at Fort 
Washington, the site of the present City of Cincinnati, where 
he married that year the daughter of Judge Symmes. He 
then left the army and turned his attention to civil employment. 
At twenty- four, he was appointed secretary of the territory 
under Gov. St. Clair. He executed the duties of this office 
with punctuality and honesty. In 1799, he was elected by the 
general assembly of the territory to the office of delegate to 
congress. This office was one of great responsibility and the 
duties onerous and interesting to all the country northwest of 
the Ohio River. His first attention was imperiously called to 
the subject of the public lands. 

A heavy emigration commenced to the territory and the 
public domain at that day could not be sold in less tracts than 
four thousand acres, except fractions on the rivers. To poor 
settlers the land-system was a curse rather than a blessing, as it 
is at this day. Harrison was appointed chairman of the com- 
mittee on the public lands in the house of representatives and 
he reported a bill, which passed into a law, authorizing the sale 
of the public lands in tracts of three hundred and twenty acres. 
This was the smallest tract that could be sold in 1800. The 
new law required one-fourth paid down and a credit given for 
the balance of one, two, three, and four years. This was con- 
sidered at that day a public service which Harrison performed 
in congress, of the greatest importance to the country. 

To contrast the present system of the public lands with that 
of 1800 and before, is comparing night to day. Now tracts of 
forty acres may be sold, and before 1800, not less than four thou- 
sand could be entered by any settler. The passage of this law 


rendered Harrison extremely popular. He also obtained the 
division of the territory and was appointed governor of Indiana, 
which is narrated above. 

Extraordinary duties were imposed on Gov. Harrison. Be- 
sides the ordinary duties of a governor of a territory, the addi- 
tional and important trusts of the general agency of all the 
Indians and the duty of investigating the ancient land-claims 
in the territory were also confided to him. More treaties with 
the Indians were made and more land purchased by him from 
them than by any other man in America. His various duties, 
civil and military, required much energy and business habits in 
the office to enable him to perform them. These extraordinary 
trusts were executed with much ability and much to the satis- 
faction of the people and the government. It is truly astonish- 
ing, the many, the various, and the important offices which Gen. 
Harrison held and the duties of them he performed. His mili- 
tary career of itself would fill volumes, and his civil employ- 
ments were numerous and highly important to the country. 

In 1791, when he was eighteen years old, he was first, ensign 
in the army; then secretary of the Northwest Territory; dele- 
gate to congress ; governor of Indiana and superintendent of 
Indian affairs ; commissioner to adjust land-titles ; major-gen- 
eral in the army; a farmer in the North Be'nd; in 1824, a sena- 
tor in congress ; minister to Columbia, South America ; then 
the prothonotory of the court of Hamilton County, at Cincin- 
nati, the county-seat ; and next, the president of the United 

No man in America ever filled as many high and responsible 
offices as Harrison did. He experienced thro life a continual 
scene of hurried and important events, and nothing in it of 
monotony. It is the events in a life that makes it important 
and conspicuous. A monotonous life has but two events in it 
and those scarcely worthy of notice the birth and death of 
the individual. A life of monotony is a species of vegetation. 

Harrison was in office for almost half-a-century and at last 
died in the presidency the highest station known to man on 
the globe. The duties of these offices were performed in a new 
and rising community in the West, where parts of almost all 
nations, kindreds, and tongues were assembled together, and the 


duties as variant as the population. Under all these events and 
circumstances, he acted well his part. These facts demonstrate 
Harrison to be no ordinary man; but at the same time, he did 
not possess the highest order of intellect. He was a safe, pru- 
dent, and cautious man and one quality he enjoyed in an emi- 
nent degree and that was exhibited in all his transactions, public 
and private a rigid and positive regard to honesty and in- 
tegrity. This part of his character was tried in the fiery fur- 
nace of party politics and came out, like Daniel did out of the 
den of lions, unhurt. 

In the presidential canvass of 1840, between him and Van 
Buren, he did not encourage those disgraceful proceedings of 
hard cider, coons, canoes, etc. He had been in the presidency 
but a very short time, and died at Washington, D. C., April 4, 
1841. His death was truly a great public calamity and as such 
the community regretted and mourned his decease. 

It has always been my opinion that his death was occasioned 
by the ardent duties of the office and the host of office-seekers 
hovering around him night and day until death relieved him 
from the importunities of these vultures for office. The love of 
God and his country were in his heart the last and his lips gave 
utterance to these sentiments in the transit from earth to eter- 
nity. Almost his whole life was spent in the service of his 
country and the last efforts he made when death was upon him 
was in praise of that country. 

Harrison possessed an extraordinary energy and activity in 
business. He was very moral and correct in his habits and all 
his energies of mind and body were preserved for the service 
of the country. He possessed in an eminent degree both physi- 
cal and moral courage; but he did not possess that high order 
of military talents to command that under almost all circum- 
stances ensures success and victory to the army. He was plain 
and unostentatious in his manners and never paid much atten- 
tion to his private financial affairs. He lived and died in 
moderate circumstances. 

Emigration from the States commenced in earnest to flow 
into Illinois after the division of the territory in 1800. The 
American and even the French settlements began to extend 
throughout the western section of Illinois. Peace and plenty 


prevailed in every section of the country, which, together with 
its natural advantages, encouraged immigration. 

In this year, 1800, the first man, Ephraim Conner, located 
himself in Goshen, twenty odd miles in advance of the settle- 
ments. His settlement was made in the American Bottom, 
near the bluff some five or six miles southwest from the present 
town of Edwardsville. Col. Judy purchased Connor out in 
1801; lived there more than the third of a century, and died 
on the same place. 

Rev. David Badgley and some others, in 1799, explored the 
country at present embraced in the county of Madison and 
called it Goshen. They gave it this name on account of the 
fertility of the soil and consequent luxuriant growth of the 
grass and vegetation. It was, in truth, a land of promise, and 
some years after it was the largest and best settlement in Illi- 
nois. Goshen Settlement, so called in ancient times, embraced 
about all the territory of Madison County and was in its early 
life, as it always has been, a compact, prosperous, and happy 

A small impediment to the growth of the settlement was the 
killing of Dennis and Van Meter by the Indians in 1802. Tur- 
key Foot, an evil-disposed and cruel chief of a band of the 
Pottawatomie Indians, and his party, returning home from 
Cahokia to their towns toward Chicago, met Dennis and Van 
Meter at the foot of the Mississippi Bluff, about five miles 
southwest of the present town of Edwardsville. The country 
contained at that day very few inhabitants above Cahokia, and 
Turkey Foot, seeing the Americans extending their settlements 
toward his country, caught fire at the spectacle and killed these 
two men. These Indians may have been intoxicated, as they 
were frequently drunk when they were trading in Cahokia. 
This was not considered war, but a kind of Indian depredation. 

The first two white men that settled in the Six-Mile Prairie, 
in the present county of Madison, were Patrick Hanniberry and 
Wiggins. The latter had a family, but Hanniberry was a single 
man. They resided together in 1801, near the present residence 
of William Atkins. This settlement was called the Six-Mile 
Prairie, because it was six miles above St. Louis, in Upper 
Louisiana. The immigrants to the country were mostly from 


the Western and Southern States. Very few Eastern people 
or Yankees settled in Illinois at that day. The Ohio River was 
the main channel on which the hardy pioneers reached the 
country. The old Fort Massac was a depot for immigrants. 
Almost time immemorial, a few families and settlers resided in 
and adjacent to the fort. 

In very ancient times, a military road was opened and 
marked, each mile on a tree, from Massac to Kaskaskia. The 
numbers of the miles were cut in ciphers with an iron and 
painted red. Such I saw them in 1800. This road made a 
great curve to the north to avoid the swamps and rough coun- 
try on the sources of Cash River, and also to obtain the prairie 
country as soon as possible. This road was first made by the 
French when they had the dominion of the country and was 
called the old Massac road by the Americans. A road also 
extended from Fort Massac to Cape Girardeau, in the then- 
Spanish country. 

In olden times, two great crossing-places on the Ohio for the 
immigrants were at Lusk's and Miles' ferries. These pioneers 
were both most excellent, worthy men; yet they had, as is quite 
common, a rivalship with their ferries. The ferry of Lusk was 
opposite the present town of Golconda, Illinois, and that of 
Miles only six or seven miles above. 

It will be recollected that Nathaniel Hull descended the Ohio 
River in 1780, and landed at a place on the Ohio afterward 
known as Hull's Landing. Miles established his ferry near it- 
Hull had opened a road from his landing to Kaskaskia. This 
road did not intersect the Massac road, traveling west for eighty 
miles, altho the two roads were only a few miles apart at any 
one place from one end to the other. Miles adopted Hull's old 
trace and improved it. Many wagons and much travel crossed 
at these rival ferries and proceeeded on the respective roads to- 
Illinois and to the Spanish country. 

It must be recollected that the west side of the Mississippi 
was known as the Spanish country in early times, while the 
name of Louisiana might be recognized in the books, but not 
used by the people in common parlance. In these times, no 
four-wheeled vehicles traveled the road from Vincennes to Illi- 
nois. This road was used by single horses, pack-horses, and 


footmen alone. It was a straight, narrow road, mostly traveled 
by the Indians and their fair sex on horseback, without the 
civilized invention of side-saddles. 

The Indians are somewhat like the Arabs in their migrations. 
They travel together with several families, more or less, accord- 
ing to circumstances. They have their summer and winter resi- 
dences similar to the gentry of large cities; but for different 
considerations. These natives travel with all their wealth^ 
except at times they cache some articles in the earth, as the 
French call it : that is, they hide the article in the ground until 
they return. A family or a caravan of traveling Indians would 
make a good subject for a painter. These moving parties are 
generally going or returning from their winter hunting-grounds 
and have with them their wives, children, dogs, horses, and all 
their assets of every description. Each family has its own 
organization and government. In the evening when they camp, 
the females do all the work in making the camp, fire, etc., while 
their lords take their ease in smoking. The whole Indian race 
of the males is grave, sedate, and lazy. Some may go out to 
hunt while the squaws are working. They generally stop early 
in the evening to prepare for the night. 

This traveling with the Indians is a living as much as if they 
were stationary in their towns. They have nothing changed in 
their peregrinations, only a very short distance of latitude or 
longitude, or a little of both, on the surface of the earth. 
Therefore their migrations may be termed traveling residences. 
Under this system, they make as much improvement at each 
camp as they do at their winter hunting-grounds or in their 
towns. The small children are often tied on the horses' backs 
to pack-saddles, so they can not fall off; the still younger ones 
are tied on boards, and while traveling, the boards are sus- 
pended by the side of the horse. These boards answer a valu- 
able purpose to the Indians in traveling as well as at home. 
They are light and nicely made; are longer than the child and 
some wider. A hoop of strong hickory wood is bent over the 
face of the papoose and the ends made fast in the plank. 
Holes are pierced in the edges of the board, thro which straps 
are passed to secure the bed and the child fast to the plank. 
Blankets and other clothes are placed between the infant and 


the wood and likewise around the small one; so that it and its 
bed are safely and securely made fast to the board. The hoop 
is often covered with a cloth or small piece of a blanket, so that 
the child is perfectly at its ease and safe from external violence. 
At the end of the board a strap is passed thro a hole and the 
ends tied together. When the squaws are busy, they hang the 
boards and children up out of the way from a limb of a tree; 
so the infants are safe while the mothers do the work. Some- 
times they lean the board and child against a tree or post for 
safe-keeping. This is better for the child than sleeping in a 
cradle. Children placed on these boards grow straight, which 
is the reason the Indians are generally more erect than white 

The Indians, in their diet, are not fastidious or tasty. They 
display no unfriendly feelings to dirt or filth. When they kill 
a deer or buffalo, the choice parts are the entrails and they labor 
not much to discharge from this delicacy the inner substance. 
They throw these entrails on the coals and eat them when they 
are barely warm. They often pack their meat, in their jour- 
neys, by running a tug -rope thro each piece, which is cut six 
or seven inches square, and tying the tug to the saddle, the 
meat is suspended on the side of the horse, exposed to flies, 
dirt, etc. In their journeys, the males mostly ride and make 
the females walk. The manner in which the females are treated 
in any country is an exact index to the barbarity or civilization 
of the community. 

There are no Indian nations so barbarous and ignorant that 
they have not some notion of a Supreme Being. They all be- 
lieve in a Great Spirit, "the master of life," as they term it. 
They, for the most part, believe also in a bad spirit as well as a 
good one. They perform their devotions to both powers, to 
court their friendship or to appease their anger. They believe 
in a future state of existence and, of course, in the immortality 
of the soul. They also believe in rewards for virtue and punish- 
ment for crimes committed on earth. Guns and other articles 
and even at times their horses are buried with the dead to 
enable them to go to and hunt in the spirit land. Their 
notions are that a wicked man will be placed in a cold, dreary 
land, where the briars and flint-rocks will tear the flesh from his 


bones and the game will be within his reach and altho he is 
starving with hunger, he can not kill anything. A good man 
will have a fine, warm climate, good hunting, and many wives. 

The Indian belief of a future state in a dreary region is 
somewhat similar to the "Avernum" of Virgil, described in his 
" Sixth Book of the ^Eneid." Roman intelligence can not 
reach further on this subject than Indian ignorance. It is pro- 
hibited to man, learned or unlearned, to look into futurity. 

Religion seems to be a constituent part of every rational 
being. The fundamental principles are recognized by all man- 
kind that there is a great First Cause and that religion and 
adoration are due that Being from all His creation. Thus far 
all human beings agree; but when this adoration or religion is 
reduced to practise, nearly all the world disagree in the details. 
The variety of religious opinions among mankind arises from 
our ignorance of the Supreme Being ; yet all nations know 
enough to make themselves happy or miserable, as they may 
act. There is no mathematical problem more conclusive than 
that virtue produces happiness while crime causes misery. 

A difference of opinion will always exist on this subject 
among men, and it is the duty of man not to condemn his 
brother for opinions different from his own. Therefore, I con- 
sider, a liberal and charitable toleration of all sects and denomi- 
nations of religions is the enlightened platform of modern 
churches, and a departure from it, demonstrates the want of 
religion and also the want of every virtue that adorns and 
elevates the human family. It is impiety and blasphemy for a 
frail man to condemn his brother to perdition because he does 
not worship the Supreme Being in the same manner as he does. 

Toleration, forbearance, and charity are taught in almost 
every page of the New Testament. " Father, forgive them ; 
they know not what they do," should teach the human family 
a lesson on these virtues that exalt and elevate mankind. A 
religion that is based on proper and liberal principles should be 
taught, advanced, and urged on frail mortals; not by the SAvord, 
but by benevolence and charity and love. The more mankind 
are advanced in a pure and proper religion, the more elevated 
and dignified stand will the human family occupy. The more 
we love, revere, and worship God, the fountain of happiness, 


the nearer we approach Him and thereby the more happiness 
we must enjoy. Enlightened religion and virtue are correla- 
tives with happiness. One can not exist without the other. 
An austere, ignorant sectarian can not enjoy the same happi- 
ness that a liberal and enlightened believer is blessed with. 

Many nations in ancient and some in modern times sacrificed 
animals to court the favor of the Great Spirit. Blackhawk 
and his band, in 1832, when they marched up Rock River, im- 
molated a dog every night to appease the wrath of the Great 
Spirit. The dog was tied to a tree a short distance from the 
ground, with his nose uniformly pointed in the direction the 
Indians were marching. He was cut open and a small fire was 
made under him ; so his nether end was, in a small degree, 
burnt. The sight of this sacrifice excited sympathy for both 
the dog and the Indians. The Indians resort to this when they 
are overwhelmed with a great national calamity. 

The Indians pay considerable attention to the burial of the 
dead. When a member of the family dies while they are out 
from the towns, where the common graveya'rd is, they often cut 
a trough out of a log; make it light and neat and tie it in the 
top of a tree; so the corpse in it may remain safe from wolves, 
etc., until they return. They then carry it to the common 
burial-ground and inter it with its forefathers. It was a matter 
of curiosity to see these coffins fastened in the trees when we 
were ranging on the frontiers in the war of 1812. These poor 
Indians and most of their customs have passed away and are 
almost forgotten. 

In 1799, four Indians, Shawnees, were loitering about Lusk's 
ferry on the Ohio, and were in search of a man in that region, 
to kill. It is supposed that some one at Fort Massac wanted 
to destroy a man named Duff, who resided on the bank of the 
river, and hired these Indians to commit the murder. They 
came to the house of Mr. Lusk and examined him minutely, 
but did not molest him. He was not their victim. At length, 
they killed Duff, who resided at the mouth of Trade Water, on 
the Ohio. They escaped arid there the matter ended. It was 
rather common in these times to employ Indians to commit 
those crimes. 


In 1800, Lusk built a decent house on this shore of the Ohio, 
where Golconda now stands, to accommodate the travelers. A 
few years after, Gen. Lacy established on the Ohio another 
ferry, a short distance from Miles', and some time after, Ford 
occupied Miles' old ferry. In Ford's day, this ferry and the 
country adjacent to it, on the west of the Ohio, became noto- 
rious for the violation of the peace and order of society. 

In 1806, at the place, ten miles from the Ohio, where Potts 
resided afterward, on the road west of the river, a bloody 
tragedy was acted. A man by the name of Steagall the 
same who assisted to kill one of the Harps in Kentucky- 
eloped with a young girl and made the above place his resi- 
dence. Our country at that day was new and almost without 
inhabitants ; so that Steagall supposed that neither law or 
gospel could reach his crimes; but far otherwise. Two or three 
of the brothers of the seduced girl and her father followed 
them from Trade Water, in Kentucky, the residence of the 
father, and after dark, shot Steagall to death and brought back 
the deluded girl to Her home and family. They found Steagall 
and the others sitting up under a gallery outside of the cabin, 
with a lamp burning. The assailing party advanced in silence 
and secrecy near Steagall and shot him without doing any of 
the others any injury whatever. 

In 1756, Jean Baptiste Saucier, a French officer at Ft. Chartres, 
and married in that vicinity. After the country was ceded to 
Great Britain in 1763, he located himself and family in Caho- 
kia, where he died. He had three sons: Jean B., Matthieu, and 
Francis Saucier, who were popular and conspicuous characters 
in early times in Illinois. These brothers, while they resided 
in Cahokia, were employed in various civil and military offices 
and bore a conspicuous part in the transactions of the country 
at their day. Jean B. Saucier died in Cahokia, while the other 
two founded the village of Portage des Sioux in Upper Louis- 
iana. This village is situated on the Mississippi, at a narrow 
place between that river and the Missouri, where the Indians 
made a portage between the two rivers, which gave it the name 
of the Sioux Carrying Place. Both Matthieu and Francis Sau- 
cier raised large families at this place. Francis ' had five edu- 


cated and accomplished daughters, whose marriages united him 
to that number of conspicuous families. Cols. Menard, Chou- 
teau, Sr., James and Jesse Morrison, and George Atchison were 
the sons-in-law of Saucier. The two aged patriarchs (the Sau- 
ciers) died in this village. 

In 1792, Jean Francis Perry emigrated from France and set- 
tled in Illinois. He was a native of the city of Lyons in 
France and was the descendant of a very respectable and 
wealthy family of that famous city. His mother was a branch 
of the French nobility and his father a judge of dignity and 
high standing in Lyons. Young Perry received a liberal and 
classic education. He also studied and practised law in France. 
He was gifted by nature with a strong mind and improved it 
by the best education the old country could bestow on him, 
which made him a very superior man. He was forced away 
from the bright prospects before him, of wealth, honor, and high 
standing with his countrymen, and left his native land, his 
father's house and family, for an asylum in America. The 
French Revolution breaking out, caused him to migrate to the 
L T nited States. His father decided that his son must retire 
from the scenes of bloodshed for safety in the new world. He 
was fitted out with money and came to the United States. He 
associated with him M. Claudius, a Frenchman, in merchandis- 
ing and they started from Philadelphia to the West. They 
passed the new settlement of Gallipolis on the Ohio; but the 
good-sense of Perry advised him that that settlement was too 
new and too poor for him. He and partner reached Cahokia 
with their small store of goods; but soon after settled in Prairie 
du Pont. 

In a few years after they had opened their store, Claudius 
went to Philadelphia to purchase goods and was killed by being 
thrown from his horse in the streets of that city. His foot 
caught in the stirrup and he was dragged and torn to death on 
the pavements 

Perry purchased the ancient mill- site on Prairie-du-Pont 
Creek, where the Mission of St. Sulspice first erected a mill, 
long before the cession of the country to Great Britain in 1763. 
He built on this site a new and profitable mill and occupied the 
dwelling near it with himself and family. About this time, 


1794, he married a young and beautiful Creole, a daughter* of 
Jean B. Saucier, above mentioned. This union was prosperous 
and happy. Altho Perry was a sound and well-read lawyer, yet 
he never practised in our courts. He availed himself of the in- 
telligence of the law and his great energy and activity in busi- 
ness; so he amassed a great fortune in a very few years. He 
started into operation his mill and kept his store also in profit- 
able order; so that both these means advanced his fortune; but 
the greatest part of his wealth was acquired by his profitable 
commerce in lands. His strong mind, together with his knowl- 
edge of the law, enabled him to enter the arena of land specu- 
lation with the power to contend with a giant in that traffic. 

* Adelaide Saucier, was born in the village of St. Philip, that adjoined Fort 
Chartres, in 1758, and died at Belleville, 111., in 1833; of her two daughters by 
this marriage, the eldest, Adelaide Perry, born at Prairie du Pont, St. Clair 
County, January 24, 1803, died at her home in Belleville, May 13, 1881; and 
married, Oct. 18, 1820, Adam W. Snyder, son of Adam Snyder, a German house- 
carpenter, who emigrated to America from Strasburg, in the then French province 
of Alsace, and located in Reading, Pa. ; later he removed to Connellsville, where he 
resided until his death, in 1836. 

Adam Wilson Snyder was born in Connellsville, Fayette Co., Pa., Oct. 6, 1799; 
in boyhood he was physically incapable of hard labor, tho necessity compelled his 
exertion, and he supported himself by wool-carding during the long, summer vaca- 
tions between the winter terms of school, where he acquired the elementary English 
branches with a slight knowledge of Latin. In 1815, when scarcely 1 6, prompted 
by a desire to try life in the West with wider opportunities, he visited a half-brother 
near Columbus, Ohio, where he .soon became a clerk in the country store of 
McFarland, who afterward settled in Ridge Prairie, St. Clair Co. , 111. ; shortly after, 
while visiting his former home, Jesse B. Thomas, at that time one of' the judges of 
Illinois Territory, residing at Cahokia, the county-seat of St. Clair County, and later 
at Kaskaskia, the most important town in the Territory, called upon him and offered 
him a situation in a wool-carding and fulling-mill that, to supply a long-felt want, he 
had decided to erect at Cahokia. Accordingly in the spring of 1817, with all his 
earthly possessions in a moderately-sized bundle, he accompanied Judge Thomas, to 
whom he had been highly recommended, to Cahokia, and on his arrival immediately 
commenced mixing mortar and carrying stone for the first wool-carding mill in Illi- 
nois; with the advice and encouragement of his employer, he commenced and dili- 
gently prosecuted the study of law during the hours of labor, until he was admitted 
to the bar in 1820; with the assistance and influence of Judge Thomas, then U.-S. 
senator, he readily gained a professional, political, social, and, and financial position, 
and in 1830 was elected State senator from St. Clair County, serving in the seventh, 
eighth, and ninth general assemblies; was in the Black-Hawk war as a private in 
Capt. John Winstanley's Co., enlisting April 18, 1832; on the 2gth was appointed 
adjutant of his (ist) regiment, and upon the second call raised a company of which 
he was elected captain, enrolled May 27, mustered out June 21, 1832. Among the 


He owned at his death choice selected lands all over the coun- 
try, and what is the best evidence of his sound judgment, he 
owed not a cent at his decease. 

Perry was, with all his wealth, a plain, unostentatious man ? 
and lived and dressed in true republican style. He paid due 
regard to all the various rules of economy and was amiable and 
benevolent in an eminent degree. His house was always open 
to the poor coming from a distance to his mill, and he enter- 
tained and made them comfortable and happy with everything 
his means afforded. He was very popular and much esteemed 
by all classes of people. His friends forced him into public 
employments: he acted for a long series of years as a judge of 

high privates of his company were Hons. Joseph Gillespie; James Semple of Madison 
County, afterward U.-S. senator; Pierre Menard of Randolph County; and Col. John 
Thomas of St. Clair County. The county-seat of St. Clair Co. having been removed 
from Cahokia to Belleville he purchased and occupied the former residence of Gov. 
Edwards in 1833; in 1834, was defeated for congress by Gov. Reynolds both were 
democrats; in 1836, he defeated Reynolds for congress; in 1838, was again defeated 
for congress by Reynolds; in 1840, was elected State senator; and in Dec., 1841, 
received the democratic nomination for governor; the election was held in August, 
1842, but on May 14 previous he died at his home in Belleville; and Judge Thomas 
Ford was selected to fill his place on the successful ticket. Of his family who sur- 
vived him, the widow and three sons: 

Hon. William H., his eldest son, born July 12, 1825, has resided all his life in 
St. Clair Co., and in P>elleville since 1833; was graduated from McKendree College 
in 1845, an< * immediately commenced the study of law in the office of Gov. Koerner, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1846; was postmaster of Belleville by appointment 
of President Polk; during the Mexican war he was enrolled at Alton, May 26, 1847, 
as ist-lieutenant of G. W. Hook's Company E, and June 8, was adjutant of his regi- 
ment Col. Newby's; was twice prosecuting-attorney of the Belleville circuit; repre- 
sented St. Clair Co. in eighteenth and nineteenth general assemblies; was appointed 
and declined a lieutenancy of dragoons in 1856; member of the constitutional con- 
vention of 1870; and is now serving his third term as judge of the circuit (3d) court. 

Frederick Adam, second son, born Dec. 8, 1827; graduated at McKendree Col- 
lege at age of 17; was admitted to the bar two years later; in 1847, received appoint- 
ment of 2d-lieutenant, Co. G, i6th U.-S. InPy, in Mexican war, disbanded August, 
1848; practising his profession till 1849, he crossed the plains to California, and after 
a brief mining experience, located in San Francisco; in 1853 was a member of the 
legislature and one of three of its members appointed to revise the statutes of Cali- 
fornia; died en route to Lake Bigler in July, 1854, in his 27th year. 

Dr. John Francis, youngest son, born March 22, 1830, at an early age commenced 
the study of medicine, and has so far devoted his life to its practice; resides at Vir- 
ginia, Cass Co., III.; was elected a member of the legislature in 1878 from the 36th 
district; is known in the scientific world by his contributions to American ethnology 
and archaeology. 



the court of common-pleas. He also acted as a justice-of-thc- 
peace in and for the old St. Clair County almost all his life after 
he reached Illinois. Perry learned well the English language ; 
so he was at home in that as well as the French. He was pre- 
vailed on to serve one or more sessions in the legislature of 
Indiana Territory. He was there in one session at Vincennes 
with Judge Bond, and Major Murdoch, members of St. Clair 
County. He acquitted himself in all these various offices with 
honor to himself and advantage to the public. 

Some years before his death, by some excessive exertion, he 
injured his constitution, which caused his death. His system 
was so deranged that the blood-vessels refused to perform their 
ordinary functions. He wrote to Dr. Rush of Philadelphia on 
the subject and had directions from that celebrated physician 
who to manage the case. He lingered in this situation for 
several years and became, by the disease or by some other 
means, very corpulent. Blood was taken from him every 
month or oftener, to save his life. He died* in 1812, in Prairie 
du Pont, where he had resided for nearly twenty years. His 
decease was a sore calamity to his family and the public of that 
section of the country. His family -f- lost a kind, amiable, tender 
parent and husband, and his neighborhood was deprived of 
their best friend. 

His mind, as it has already been stated, was of the first order 
for strength and solidity. It was improved and trained by edu- 
cation and by profound meditation. He had nothing of the 
gaudy or tinsel character in his composition; but his talents am 
energy, in this new and poor country, had not the appropriai 
theatre in which to act. He was forced off from his counf 
and settled in an obscure corner. His talents at Prairie du Poi 
were like " the rose that wastes its fragrance on the desert air.' 
He possessed great energy and activity in business, and witt 
these qualifications, he reached the ne plus ultra of his situatioi 
He was placed in the highest offices in the country and becar 

* His widow married, in 1815, Augustine Pensoneau, who died in the fall of 181 
his widow and two children Felicite and Augustine surviving. 

t Henriet, his younger daughter (who died in St. Clair Co., April 22, 1882), mar 
ried, in the fall of 1822, Louis (died February 22, 1826, at Point a la Pierre), sc" o 
Louison Pensoneau; their only child, Louis Perry Pensoneau, now lives with 
married daughter his only child- at East St. Louis, 111. 


very wealthy; so he acted well his part in the limited sphere in 
which he was situated. He was upright and correct in his 
morals, but never identified himself with any church. His 
church was nature's creation before him and God the teacher. 

Toward the close of the last century, three brothers, Pierre, 
Hypolite, and Francis Menard, emigrated from Canada and set- 
tled in Kaskaskia. These French pioneers were conspicuous 
and very influential characters. They were natives of Quebec 
in Canada, and were of respectable family. Their father had 
been an officer in the French service and was in the military 
operations near Fort Duquesne about the time of Braddock's 

Pierre Menard, the oldest brother, was born in 1/67, and re- 
ceived a common, plain education in Canada. He was, like 
many of the young Canadians, filled with adventure to come to 
the West. He reached Vincennes in 1786, and entered the 
employment of Col. Vigo. He was an agent for Vigo in the 
Indian trade. He was employed that year and several others 
subsequent, to procure from the Indians supplies for the army 
under Gens. Clark and Scott. He headed many parties out 
from Vincennes to the Indian hunting-grounds and packed 
meat back for the troops. Col. Vigo and Menard crossed the 
mountains to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to see President Washing- 
ton on public business in regard to the defence of the country. 
This was in 1789, and they met the president at Carlisle. In 
1790, he and Du Bois of Vincennes became partners in mer- 
chandising and established a store of Indian and other goods 
in Kaskaskia. This year he located himself, a young, single 
man, in old Kaskaskia. At this time, his mind and body had 
reached man's estate. He had been mixing with the world for 
several years and had some experience in the affairs of men. 

Nature and education had conspired to make Menard a con- 
spicuous and very popular character. He was endowed with a 
strong, vigorous intellect and was also blessed with an energy 
that never tired or ceased exertion, only to enjoy rest, so as to 
be able again for redoubled activity. But nature and education 
had also given to him the most candid, frank, and honest deport- 
ment, of which very few men are blessed in such an eminent 
degree. His words, actions, and all his movements indicated a 


pure and upright heart, where neither guile, deceit, nor cunning 
had any resting-place. 

With these traits of character, he was one of the most con- 
spicuous and influential personages in the country. Few men 
in Illinois ever enjoyed the honest and sincere affections of the 
people in such degree as Col. Menard did. Not only did the 
the white population admire and respect his character, but the 
Indians almost worshiped him as they did the Great Spirit. At 
any time, an Indian would prefer giving Menard his peltry for 
nothing than to receive double value for it from a long-knife 
American. He was the United-States agent for the Indians for 
many years and acted in such an honorable and upright manner 
that both parties were highly pleased with his conduct. No 
man in the West had more influence with many of the Indian 
tribes than he had. .; He was appointed by the government in 
many cases to treat with the red-skins. 

He and Lewis Cass were at the Lower Rapids on the Missis- 
sippi in 1826, on July 4, preparing for a treaty with the Indians, 
and during the festivities of the day, he named the town at the 
foot of the Rapids, Keokuk, which it has retained to this day. 
This place was then just started and was christened Keokuk by 
Menard, one of the most popular and influential pioneers that 
ever was in Illinois. It will be recollected that Keokuk, for 
whom this town was named, was a great and talented chief of 
the Sac and Fox Indians. He was by nature not far behind 
any of the great Indian chiefs. He had the good-sense to know 
the red-skins could not contend with the whites and always on 
this consideration inculcated peace in his braves. 

Keokuk was made a war-chief by his merit and not by birth. 
In the late war with Great Britain, the Sac and Fox Indians 
were about to be destroyed, as they supposed, by the army 
under Gen. Howard in 1813. The whole nation at Rock Island, 
except a very few, commenced lamentations and shedding tears 
of distress, thinking the Long Knives were about to. kill them 
all. Keokuk was then a mere youth, but his great native mind 
and his true patriotism made him stand out the champion of 
the nation to defend them and country against Howard and his 
army. A few other choice spirits of the young warriors joined 
him and marched out to meet the American army, preferring 
death to the surrender of their country. 


It so happened that the Americans were not near them and 
the panic arose without foundation. I was with the army under 
Gen. Howard and we were almost as much alarmed at the Ind- 
ians as the Indians were at us. They had three or fourfold over 
our number. This movement made Keokuk a war-chief of the 
nation and Gen. Scott and myself, as commissioners at the treaty 
of Rock Island in 1832, with the Sac and Fox Indians, con- 
firmed him in this office. Keokuk had sound, good sense. He 
took the newspapers and got them explained to him. 

Col. Menard was almost all his life, after he left Canada, 
engaged in the Indian trade. He was never idle. He con- 
sented on many occasions to serve the people in the general 
assembly and was elected to represent Randolph County, with 
two others, Robert Morrison and Robert Reynolds, my father, 
in the legislature of the Indiana Territory in 1803. He was 
then quite a young man; energetic and well acquainted with 
the country between Kaskaskia and Vincennes. This assembly 
convened at Vincennes in the winter and the traveling across 
the wilderness, a hundred and fifty miles, between the Mississippi 
and Wabash rivers, was excessively bad. The creeks were 
swimming and the weather extremely cold. At that day, not a 
house stood between the small settlement near Kaskaskia and 
the Wabash River. 

Menard was first in almost every enterprise in pioneer times 
in Illinois. He was in the first legislatures of both the territo- 
ties of Indiana and Illinois and was the first lieutenant-governor 
of the State in 1818. He was elected to the legislative coun- 
cil, so called at that day, of the first Illinois legislature from 
Randolph County, in 1812, and was elected speaker of that 
body. He presided in that assembly, as he did in many subse- 
quent cases, with good, common -sense, but without pomp or 
parade. He was continued in the legislative council of the 
Illinois Territory from the first assembly in 1812, to the close 
of the territorial government in 1818, and always elected the 
presiding-officer. He had a sound, solid judgment and true 
patriotism to govern his actions in these legislative assemblies. 
He never made speeches of any length, but, like Franklin, told 
anecdotes that were extremely applicable and made remarks 
that showed both his good sense and patriotism. Many of the 


wise and equitable laws which have made Illinois so prosperous, 
came out from under his fostering care. 

After the close of the term of his office as lieutenant-governor, 
he almost always declined any further public employment. He 
accepted the office of commissioner to treat with the Indians, 
but longed for retirement, so as to attend to his private busi- 
ness and family. He gradually declined any public office and 
turned his attention to acts of benevolence and kindness, which 
were so congenial to his heart. 

It was not in public life where he excelled; but it was in his 
private and domestic conduct where his true and genuine be- 
nevolence displayed itself and all the virtues that adorn and 
ennoble the human family had a proper theatre in his heart for 
their action. The poor and distressed always received charity 
at his hand. The " milk of human kindness " never reigned 
more triumphant in any heart than it did in his. In his younger 
days, he had, as most others did, purchased lands of the citi- 
zens. These lands, together with his Indian trade and other 
means, made him a princely fortune; but his amiable and kind 
disposition diminished it to some extent. He could not refrain 
from being security for many individuals whose debts he \\ 
compelled to pay; but at last he died, seized of much wealth. 
The legislature of Illinois, in 1839, as a marked honor to him, 
called a county Me"nard, which is at this time a flourishing county, 
situated northwest of Springfield. He was extremely active 
and energetic during a long and eventful life. He was a part- 
ner, in 1808, in the mammoth company of Emanuel Liza and 
others and remained in the Rocky Mountains a year, doing 
business for i'e company. 

M6nard died at Kaskaskia in 1844, aged seventy-seven years. 
In his death, the country lost a great and good man and his 
family a kind and affectionate parent. He had no enemies to 
rejoice at his death, but a host of friends to mourn their loss. 
The blessings of the people rest in the grave with him. He 
was a liberal and enlightened member of the Catholic church, 
and died happy, confiding in the doctrines of that church. 

In 1795, Francis and Hypolite Menard left Canada when they 
were young men and settled in Kaskaskia. Hypolite was quite 
a youth when he came to Illinois. Francis soon became a great 


and conspicuous navigator of the turbulent and headstrong Mis- 
sissippi. He had the strong and energetic talents equal to the 
emergency to master the river and to conduct his gallant vessel, 
with fifty or eighty men on board, with safety from port to port. 
A commander acts under an immense responsibility in this ser- 
vice. Property to a great value and the lives of his crew were 
confided to his judgment and discretion. A wilderness of five 
or six hundred miles extended along the river between the 
upper and lower settlements. Under all these circumstances 
it required great and energetic talents to succeed over all these 
difficulties of the Mississippi. 

Menard had the capacity to perform these hazardous and 
perilous voyages and thereby he obtained a reputation not 
-equaled in the West for his judgment and courage in navigat- 
ing this dangerous river. He had such extraordinary judgment 
and corresponding energy that he took advantage of circum- 
stances that a man of less intellect and firmness would not dare 
undertake. On many occasions, when there were storms on the 
river, little less than tornadoes, blowing up or down, let it be 
night or day, Menard would unfurl the sails of his well-organ- 

(.1 craft and run before the wind, perhaps eighty or a hundred 
miles, before he would land his vessel. In these great emer- 
gencies, he assumed without effort a calm and composed dig- 
nity. The high order of talent and firmness which he so emi- 
nently possessed occupied the commander to the exclusion oi 
the common traits of human nature. He dressed himself in 
his favorite capote and red cap; invoked the favor of the Savior 
and promised masses. In such crisis, he showed himself the 
greatest of the great in his profession. His features indicated 
intelligence and extreme firmness on these occasions, bordering 
on recklessness. 

In these perilous storms, he took the helm in person and 
seemed almost as solid and firm as the rocky bluffs of the Mis- 
sissippi which he passed in his barge. He often sailed his ves- 
sel against the strong current of the river to a great distance 
before he touched land. By this he gained eight or ten days' 
hard labor. In one of his voyages to New Orleans, when his 
character was well known in that city, as in Kaskaskia and also 
on the river, one of his young men from Prairie du Rocher got 


a little tight just on the eve of their departure from New 
Orleans to Illinois, and saw a cage of birds a Spaniard had to 
sell. The Creole from Prairie du Rocher took it into his head 
that the birds would do better to be free and turned them out 
of the cage. The officers seized Menard's man and were about 
to commit him to the calaboose. Menard was ready to start 
home and disliked to lose his man or to wait for his trial. 

Boatmen in olden times were rude and the police had much 
trouble with them in New Orleans. For this reason, a guard of 
soldiers was put over the bird liberator. Menard was never one 
day in place but all his acquaintances were his devoted friends. 
This was the case at New Orleans. There was something unac- 
countable and indescribable in the frankness and candor of 
Menard to gain him friends wherever he was known. His hon- 
esty and disinterestedness seemed to aid in his popularity; but 
such was the fact. The boatmen of that day always carried 
their arms. He ordered his men to parade under arms. One 
or two were left with the boat to guard it and a swivel or two 
were charged to fire on the police, if necessary. He marched 
at the head of his corps to the place where the guard and 
police-officers had his man in custody. It will be recollected 
that nine-tenths of the citizens of New Orleans were French. 
Menard informed the guard, he came for his man; he would 
pay for the birds and would have his comrade. The die was 
cast he must succeed. In his loud, commanding voice, he told 
the assembly in French, who had crowded around the prisoner, 
to withdraw. He ordered his boatmen to cock their guns, and 
then in a decisive manner, he ordered his Creole to leave the 
police and the first man of the guard that tried to prevent it, 
should be shot. The prisoner left; the guard was intimidated 
and Menard marched his man to the boat amid the loud cheers 
of the people. The Spanish government, just before the ces- 
sion in 1803, was becoming very unpopular. 

Menard was attentive to his religious duties. He and crew 
performed their church devotions in both Kaskaskia and Ne\v 
Orleans, before and after a voyage, with sincerity. He always 
had masses said in both churches, returning thanks to God for 
his success. It was a sublime spectacle to see these rough, 
hardy boatmen, who bid defiance to all creation but God, kneel- 
ing at the altar in sincere devotion to Him on high. 


Menard had mostly on the boats he navigated, some part of 
the freight, by which he managed so as to make money. He 
purchased fine farms near Kaskaskia and became quite wealthy 
altho he was extremely liberal. He lived to an old age and 
died at Kaskaskia. No death was more lamented than his. 
Everyone considered they had lost their best friend. He pos- 
sessed a strong, uncultivated mind, with a heart, under an exte- 
rior of no great polish, that did honor to human nature. These 
two Menards were descendants of the ancient and noble Barons 
of Normandy, and if they had lived in olden times, they would 
have been knighted on the field of battle or buried there with 
the honors of war. 

Hypolite Menard was an excellent citizen ; raised a large 
family and was a good farmer in the Point, so called, between 
the Kaskaskia and Mississippi rivers. He was quite respectable 
and at times, represented Randolph County in the general as- 
sembly. He was an honest, correct man in all his actions, 
public and private, and possessed more French vivacity than 
his brothers. He also lived to an advanced age and his remains 
rest in peace in the old cemetery at Kaskaskia. 

In olden times, the whole country between Lower Louisiana 
and Canada was called Illinois, and the French citizens, down 
to 1810, or thereabouts, called the United States, America, and 
did not consider themselves dans V Amerique, as they termed it. 
It seemed strange to my ear to hear the French, in 1800, speak 
of America as a different country than theirs on the Mississippi. 
In fact, the people, their dress, language, houses, manner of liv- 
ing and doing business were so different from the Americans in 
the States that it almost made us believe we had traveled out 
of America. Add to this, a great number of Indians perhaps 
two to one white man were, for the most part of the year, in 
and camped around Kaskaskia. The other Indians forced all 
the Illinois tribes to remain near the whites for protection. 

It will be recollected that the Spanish government, in 1795 
and after, when the difficulty about the navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi River was settled between us and Spain, encouraged 
the Americans from the States to settle in Upper Louisiana. 
This policy was to build up a barrier of Americans against 
British encroachments from Canada. They knew the Ameri- 


cans disliked Great Britain and would not permit that nation to 
trample on them. Thus it was that liberal donations of lands 
were given to the settlers. In East Tennessee, about 1800, it 
became quite popular to move to the Spanish country in Illi- 
nois, as it was then called. The Birds and Murphys, two re- 
spectable and numerous connections of people, emigrated from 
East Tennessee to the west side of the Mississippi. 

The neighbors of my father had been out to see the country 
and put the people on fire to move. My father, Robert Reyn- 
olds, caught the mania. He emigrated from Ireland was brim 
full of energy and disregarded moving. The travel at that day 
from East Tennessee to the Mississippi was considered more 
troublesome and dangerous than the journey is at this time to 
California. The intelligence of the people and the facilities for 
traveling have been much improved within fifty years past. 
Our traveling caravan consisted of my two parents, six chil- 
dren (I the oldest), one negro woman, three hired men, eight 
horses, two wagons, and the appropriate number of dogs for a 
new country. We started from the northern section of Knox 
County, Tenn., for what was then literally true, the Far-West. 

To show the unparalleled improvement and growth of the 
West since 1800, I state that we crossed Clinch River at the 
southwest point, into a wilderness country belonging to the 
Indians. We saw a great abundance of cane near the Cany 
Fork of Cumberland River, where we crossed it at Walton's 
ferry. At that day there was no Carthage there. We passed 
Dixon's Spring, Bledsoe's Lick, and Betts' tanyard at the Red- 
River Ridge, so called at that day. We traveled thro the Red- 
River country to the place where Hopkinsville now stands. At 
that day there was not a house there, except a jail. We passed 
the residence of Judge Prince and Richie's horse-mill. Here 
my father purchased considerable provisions and the next point 
was Lusk's ferry on the Ohio, where my father's three hired 
men left us. 

The first Illinois soil I ever touched was on the bank of the 
Ohio, where Golconda now stands, in March, 1800. When we 
were about to start from the Ohio, I asked Mr. Lusk " how far 
it was to the next house on the road," and when he told us that 
the first was Kaskaskia, one hundred and ten miles, I was sur- 


prised at the wilderness before us. My father hired a man to 
assist us in traveling thro the wilderness. We were four weeks 
in performing this dreary and desolate journey. The first diffi- 
culty we encountered was a terrible hurricane that prostrated 
the timber and filled the road for miles with the trunks and 
branches of the trees. This detained us considerably, to cut a 
new road round and over this fallen timber. The next great 
obstacle was Big- Muddy River. That detained us several 
weeks. We first waited for it to fall; but at last we were forced 
to raft it and swim the horses. The horses became poor for the 
want of grain or grass, as it was then in the month of March 
and scarcely any grass was up to support them. A small mat- 
ter in a crisis is much regarded. We had two axes, but lost 
one in Big Muddy. The axe fell into water twenty feet deep ; 
so we could not regain it. If we had lost the other, surrounded 
with high water as we were, we might have been numbered, if 
not with the dead, at least with the distressed. 

The next creek was Little Muddy. We had learned the arts 
and mysteries of rafting and so we did better. The next creek 
was that small stream a few miles east of Beaucoup. We 
rafted that and Beaucoup, making four in all which we thus 
crossed. After that we reached Kaskaskia without much diffi- 
culty. We saw plenty of buffalo sign between Big and Little 
Muddys; but were no hunters and killed nothing. The citizens 
of Kaskaskia, Messrs. Edgar, John R. Jones, Robert Morrison, 
Menard, and others were anxious that my father should settle 
on this side of the river; but he went to St. Genevieve to obtain 
some permit or license from the commandant to settle in the 
country. The regulations of the government requiring him to 
raise his children Catholics determined him not to live under 
such government. My father and mother were born and raised 
in Ireland in the Protestant faith and would not consent to live 
in a Catholic country. We were destined for the Murphy's Set- 
tlement, on the St. Francis River, but the above caused us to 
settle in Illinois. We made a plantation a few miles east of 
Kaskaskia, in the settlement already described, and resided 
there until 1807, when we moved and settled in Goshen Settle- 
ment in the American Bottom, four miles southeast of the pres- 
c-nt town of Edwardsville. 


My father was born and raised in the county of Monohoir,. 
Ireland, and my mother in the City of Dundalk. They landed 
at Philadelphia not long after the Revolution and I was born m< 
Montgomery County, Penn., in 1788. The same year I was 
born, my parents moved to Knox County, Term., where they 
left for the Spanish country, as before stated. My father was a 
man of strong mind and possessed a good English education. 
He was ardent in politics and restless when young. In his 
matured age, he read much and wrote essays for the papers. 
He was a great admirer of Jefferson and hated the government 
of Great Britain with a ten -horse power. I never knew any 
man who loved the government of the United States more than 
he did. In his younger days, he was elected representative from 
Randolph County r to the Indiana legislature and held the offices 
of judge of the court of common-pleas of the county and jus- 

Judge James McRoberts"* of Monroe County was a very early 
and respectable pioneer of Illinois. It was by him and similar 
citizens of moral and correct deportment that Illinois has taken 
a stand in her infancy which bids so fair to prosperity in maturer 
days. James McRoberts was born in Glasgow, Scotland, May 
22, 1760. He emigrated to America and settled in Philadel- 
phia at the age of twelve years. At the tender age of seven- 
teen, he entered the tented field in the Revolutionary war and 
became a soldier in that most glorious struggle that not only 
broke to atoms the chains of bondage from our limbs, but it 

* Judge McRoberts' family came to America in 1772, residing at Philadelphia a 
short time, thence to Washington, Pa., where a permanent home was established; at 
1 7 years he joined the army at Brandywine, was in the battle of that name, at the siege 
of Yorktown, and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis, Oct. 19, 1781; remained 
in the service fighting Indians on the Ohio until discharged in 1783. Of his nine 
children, five of whom were daughters, six survived him; of the four sons: James, 
Jr., Samuel, Thomas, and Josiah; the three younger reached maturity and filled 
various State and national positions. At this time but two of the nine are alive 
Mrs. Mary Trail of Waterloo, Monroe Co., 111., born February, 1818; married 1841, 
Maj. Xerxes F. Trail, major, July i, 1846, of Col. Bissell's regiment 12-mo. vols , 
in the Mexican war, and fought in every battle from Buena Vista, where he distin- 
guished himself while in command of three companies in the conflict at the mountain 
on the left, to the final surrender of the city of Mexico, their two children : Mary 
Francis, wife of Col. Milton Moore, and Samuel, now living in Austin, Texas; 
and Circuit-Judge Josiah McRoberts of Joliet, 111. 


will, in the end, liberate and free all mankind from oppression. 
It is a proud honor to have an opportunity to serve in such a 
glorious war and the children of the Revolutionary fathers will 
hold sacred that honor transmitted to them under all vicissi- 
tudes of life. Judge McRoberts remained in the Revolution 
until the eagle mounted high over the fallen lion and was honor- 
ably discharged in 1783. 

In 1794, he married a lady of excellent, strong mind and high 
sense of propriety and proper deportment. He settled in 1788 
on the Ohio River in Kentucky and the next year, 1789, he 
visited Kaskaskia in search of a new country. McRoberts and 
comrades explored thoroly the Northwest and the Spanish coun- 
try west of the Mississippi, and returned to Kentucky and re- 
mained there until 1797. He had seen the advantages of Illi- 
nois and was determined to reside in it. This same year he 
came to Kaskaskia and the next year, he located himself on the 
plantation whereon he lived almost half-a -century and died. It 
is remarkable that in this new country where everything is so 
changeable that the same dwelling-house he built in 1798 is in 
existence and tenantable repair. In this same house, all his 
numerous family of children were born and raised. This is the 
birthplace of Hon. Samuel McRoberts,* who died while in the 

* Samuel McRoberts, born in Monroe Co., 111., Feb. 20, 1799; after receiving 
such instruction as the country afforded, at an early age entered Transylvania Uni- 
versity, Lexington, Ky., while Horatio Holly was its president; and taking higli 
rank in all his classes, was graduated in 1819 in classical and law departments; re- 
turning to Illinois, he was in 1821 elected the first circuit-court clerk of Monroe Co.; 
in 1825, he was appointed circuit-court judge, and held the office three years; presid- 
ing at the trial of the People vs. Solomon II. Winchester for the murder of Dan'l U. 
Smith, held at Edwardsville, March, 1825, in which Felix Grundy of Tennessee suc- 
cessfully defended; in 1828, was elected State senator, representing the district com- 
posed of Monroe, Clinton, and Washington counties; was later appointed by Prest. 
Jackson U.-S. dist.-att'y of Illinois, this office he resigned; was appointed by Prest. 
VanBuren receiver of public moneys at Danville, and on making his final settlement 
with the treasury it owed him $1.65, for this amount Secretary-of-the-Treasury Robt. 
I. Walker drew a treasury- warrant and remitted to him in 1839; VanPmren ap- 
pointed him in 1839 solicitor of the general land-office at Washington, he resigned 
in the fall of 1841, and at the ensuing session of the legislature was elected U.-S. 
senator, serving through the 2yth congress; died at Cincinnati, O., March 27, 1843, 
from the effect of a cold contracted while crossing the Alleghany Mountains. On 
Dec. 13, 1843, Sen. Breese, his colleague, introduced resolutions and eulogized his 
memory in the senate, and later Hon. John Wentworth introduced them to the 
house, and paid a glowing tribute to his memory. His only son died in 1874 in 
Washington, D. C. 


senate of the United States. It is also the birthplace of the 
talented and interesting member of the bar, Josiah McRoberts*" 
of Joliet, Illinois both the sons of Judge McRoberts. 

Judge McRoberts was a practical farmer and supported him- 
self and family by his agricultural industry. Of all the profes- 
sions pursued by man, farming is the most honorable and inde- 
pendent. In the case of mechanics, professional men, sailors, 
soldiers, etc., they must of necessity depend on others for sup- 
port; but the farmer does not depend on man for his bread. 
He depends on the earth and Providence and if he does his 
duty they will not desert him. 

Judge McRoberts was a conspicuous settler in his section of 
country, which induced others to locate around him; and thro 
all vicissitudes of the country, he remained on his plantation 
almost as firm and as regular as the days and nights succeed 
each other. His wisdom and good sense were appreciated by 
the people and he was called on in many cases to serve the 
public. To accommodate the neighborhood, he acted as justice- 
of-the-peace for many years. He was alsoelected to the office 
of county-judge under the State government. In all these 
offices, he acted with sound, good sense and acquitted himself 
much to his honor and to the benefit of the country. When he 
was on the bench of the county-court, the finances and the 
policy of the county were managed with good sense and with 
great advantage to the public. The duties of this court are 

* Josiah McRoberts, born in Monroe Co., 111., June 12, 1820; was placed under 
James Charters, a Scotch schoolmaster, a profound scholar and superior linguist, 
who laid the foundation for his classical education; in 1836, he entered St. Mary's 
College, Mo., Rev. John D. Timon, president; after being graduated in 1839, he 
began his legal studies at Danville, 111., under his brother Samuel; in 1842, he 
entered the law-school at Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., and after receiv- 
ing his diploma, returned to Danville in 1844 to practise; was elected State senator 
from the Champaign-and- Vermilion district in 1846, and at the expiration, of his 
term moved to Joliet, 111., where he now resides; was appointed by Gov. Matteson 
State trustee of the Illinois-and-Michigan Canal in 1852, holding this four years; 
in 1866, was appointed by Gov. Oglesby circuit-court judge to succeed Sidney W. 
Harris, resigned, this office he now fills, having been elected three successive times^ 
Judge McKoberts married at Joliet, Aug. 9, 1849, Gertrude Helmer, dau. of Robert 
and Catherine (Myers) Shoemaker, born at Herkimer, N.Y., March 6, 1828; came 
to Illinois in 1836, and died at Joliet, July n, 1883. Of their eight children but 
three are now living: Louise M., wife of Edward C. Aikin; Frank H. ; and Josiah, 
Jr.; Elizabeth, the second daughter, having died Nov. 2, 1880, aged 25 years. 


important to the community and they require the most expe- 
rienced and wise men in the county to perform them in a 
proper manner. Judge McRoberts possessed the sound mind, 
with long experience, and practical good sense to fill such office 
and he did so to the improvement of both the county and the 
morals of the people. 

This venerable patriarch, after living a long and useful life 
and seeing his family raised and doing well, died on his farm, 
in September, 1846, aged eighty-six years.. He was moral, 
punctual, and correct in all his acts, public and private. He 
lived a long and interesting life. His life may in truth be said 
to be eventful, altho he resided in one and the same locality for 
nearly fifty years. His emigration to America was an impor- 
tant event; the next was his services in the great and glorious 
Revolution; the next was exploring and settling in Illinois at 
such an early day; and the last and greatest was his continued 
and uninterrupted residence on the same place for forty-nine 
years. This pioneer seemed to me to have performed all the 
ordinary duties assigned to man. 

The aged and respectable matron, the widow* of Judge 
McRoberts, is still alive, a monument of female worth and use- 
fulness. This lady possesses a strong mind and a just sense of 
the independence of character. She gave her tender offspring 
the proper impressions when they were prattling around her 
knee and they never departed from those wise and proper in- 
structions. Her descendants for the most part are respectable 
and interesting. The conduct of this matron in her family 
proves the propriety of paying particular attention to the moral 
and correct education of the females; as it is the mothers who 
give their children the first impressions. If these impressions 
are good and wise, the children will become worthy and respect- 
able citizens. 

Altho emigration into Illinois had commenced in good ear- 
nest in and about 1800, yet the country was new and much in- 
fested with reckless savages. In 1802, a single young man was 
returning from Kaskaskia to the States and about fifteen miles 
east from Kaskaskia, on the Massac road, an Indian shot him. 

* Mary Fletcher, born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1776; married in 1794; and died 
in the spring of iS62, aged 86; surviving her husband 16 years. 


This murder was committed on the waters of the river Mary. 
No inhabitants were living near the place and the whole coun- 
try was a wilderness and crowded with Indians. The murderer 
was a straggling Delaware from the west side of the Missis- 
sippi. When he committed the murder, he took the man's 
saddle and some other articles and escaped toward the mouth 
of the Big Muddy, in the Mississippi Bottom. The whites dis- 
covered the outrage and employed the Kaskaskia Indians to 
assist in the search for the murderer. The Indians found the 
Delaware in the Mississippi Bottom and brought him to Kas- 
kaskia. The friends of the murdered man proved certain 
articles the Indian had with him, which, with other circum- 
stances, convicted the Indian. It was rather a sham to try an 
Indian, as the juries would always convict them if there was 
the semblance of evidence against their old enemies. Late in 
the fall, this Delaware was hung by George Fisher, the, sheriff 
of Randolph County, on a honey-locust tree on the bank of the 
Kaskaskia River, a mile or so above the village of Kaskaskia. 
This was the first man I saw hung and the revolting spectacle 
made a lasting impression on my mind against capital punish- 
ment. I recollect, the poor savage in his death-struggle reached 
his hand to the rope around his neck and it was with great diffi- 
culty the sheriff could extricate the Indian's grasp, so he could 
be hung until he was dead. How revolting it is to Christian 
principles, properly understood, to execute a human being ! 

Another barbarous execution was committed in Kaskaskia in 
1804. Emsley Jones killed a man of the name of Reed in the 
Mississippi Bottom, some twelve or fifteen miles below Kaskas- 
kia. Jones was executed in the commons, south of Kaskaskia, 
in the presence of a great concourse of people. I never would 
witness another execution after those of Jones and the Indian. 

In the early settlement of the country, when the people were 
too poor to erect suitable prisons to confine these malefactors, 
they were compelled, in self-defence, to resort to capital punish- 
ment; but at this day, there is no excuse for this barbarous and 
anti-Christian practice. I think it is horrid to force the mur- 
derer before his God with his brother's blood red on his hands. 
The convict should enjoy his natural life for reflection and re- 
pentance. Let him be put in a dungeon, so that he has an 


opportunity to prepare himself by penitence, contrition of 
heart, and such other changes as will fit him for the presence 
of God. Vengeance belongs to God and not to man. More- 
over, I think, life belongs to the Creator and we have no right 
to destroy it. We are tenants at sufferance; we may use the 
premises, but not commit waste on them. 

I can say, at least, in early times, Illinois was honored and 
blessed by the policy and services of great and wise men, 
LaSalle, Tonty, and many of the missionaries were great and 
good men. So were Renault, Vincennes, Artaguiette, and 
others. These werQ conspicuous characters in the discovery 
and early settlement of the country. For his Revolutionary 
services west of the mountains, Gen. Clark might with pro- 
priety be termed "the Washington of the West." Vigo and 
others acted well their part in the conquest of Illinois, and 
Charles Gratiot performed such great and important services 
for his country in the Revolution that he is entitled to the rank 
and standing of almost any of the above-named Illinois patriots. 
He is raised, by his meritorious services, to the dignified and 
elevated standing of a Revolutionary patriot the highest ele- 
vation that adorns the human character. 

He was born in the celebrated city of Lausanne, Switzer- 
land, in 1747. His family and connections were of the first 
respectability and wealth of that city. They were strong 
Huguenots and supposed it to be their duty to educate their 
son, Charles Gratiot, in that faith in London. At the age of 
ten years, he was placed in the care of a friend in the metro- 
polis of the British Empire to receive his education. His 
talents were soon developed, so that he was discovered to pos- 
sess an extraordinary strong mind. He was in the hands of 
influential and wealthy merchants, who believed the suminum 
bonum of human happiness to consist in two things : neatly- 
kept books and great wealth. Under these influences, young 
Gratiot was mostly prepared for commerce; but his genius dis- 
dained the sordid shackles of traffic when the freedom of man 
came in contact. After receiving his education, at the age of 
eighteen, he sailed from London for Canada and joined, at 
Montreal, a wealthy uncle. He immediately formed a partner- 
ship for the Northwest Indian trade with Messrs. Kay & McRae. 



It must be recollected that in early times, and particularly 
with the British in Canada, the Northwest trade with the 
Indians was the main channel to wealth and fame; and in fact 
almost all the enterprising and active young men of that day, 
whose energies and talents entitled them to fame and honor, 
turned their attention to the Northwest trade. 

Charles Gratiot,* in 1767, when he was only twenty years of 
age, embarked in this trade and bade Canada a long farewell. 
"His partners were stationed, one at Mackinac and the other in 
Montreal, while he himself was the active, intelligent, and busi- 
ness partner that extended the commerce of the company from 
the lakes and the waters of the Maumee, across the Wabash 
country to the Mississippi and from the Falls of St. Anthony to 
the mouth of the Ohio. As his business increased, his mind 
and energies in the same proportion improved and developed 
themselves. He was the master-spirit in commerce throughout 
this vast region of country and the company of which he was 
partner employed seventy or eighty thousand dollars in their 
Indian trade. Charles Gratiot had the entire control of this 
great sum of money and all the commercial transactions within 
this extended territory. He remained in the region of country 
near Lake Superior for some years, trading with the Indians, 
receiving his supplies of goods from Mackinac and returning 
the proceeds of sales also to that place. In 1774, he turned 
his attention to the Illinois country and established stores at 
both Cahokia and Kaskaskia. He also extended his Indian 
trade across the Wabash Valley to the waters of the Maumee; 
so that his vast operations embraced four or five States of the 
present Union in the Northwest. His grand depot of the 
Indian trade was at Cahokia for many years and from this 
point he extended the ramifications of his commerce in various 
quarters over this vast region. 

I have been favored with an examination of his commercial 
letters, dated at Cahokia, St. Louis, and the Riviere des Peres, 
in 1775 and down to 1785, which exhibit his commercial trans- 

* When the transfer of sovereignty took place at St. Louis, March 10, 1804, under 
the treaty which annexed Louisiana Territory, and the French flag was lowered, he 
unfurled the first American flag in Upper Louisiana, from the balcony of his resi- 


actions throughout a great portion of the Mississippi Valley. 
The old village of Cahokia he termed Cahos at that day in his 
letters. While Mr. Gratiot was engaged in successful commerce 
in Illinois and having great influence with the white and Indian 
population of the country, in 1778, Gen. Clark invaded the 
country with a small army, bearing on its banners liberty and 
independence. Altho Gratiot had been educated in England, 
yet the spirit of his dear native Switzerland burned strong in 
his heart for liberty and without hesitation, his sound judgment 
and his generous impulses for freedom declared for Clark and 
the American Revolution. This was not an empty declaration, 
but he embarked his whole energies and fortune in the cause of 
the Revolution. 

It is known to all that Clark had received scarcely any means 
from Virginia to conquer and retain the Illinois country. The 
army commanded by Clark was in a starving and destitute con- 
dition, except they were supported by the resources of the 
country. They remained in the Illinois and Wabash countries 
for several years and were sustained by the inhabitants of the 
country during that time. The French inhabitants were too 
poor to give away their substance and the support of the army 
fell on Gratiot, Vigo, and other such choice spirits, for the most 
of the above crisis. If these supplies were not given by Gratiot 
and others, the great and glorious campaign of Clark must have 
failed for the time being ; but the generous heart of Gratiot 
hesitated not a moment and he came to the rescue. Gratiot 
paid to the citizens and became accountable to them to the full 
amount of his vast estate for supplies for the American army. 
His heart and soul were enlisted in the cause of human freedom. 
The blood of the country of Tell burned in his veins and all 
his means were exhausted in the glorious conquest of Illinois. 
He paid at several times for army supplies as much or more 
than he was worth at the time of the conquest of the country; 
but his talents and energies soon enabled him to become 
wealthy again. 

At the time, both Virginia and the colonies, and for a long; 

<j O 

time after, were unable to refund to him the amount of money 
he so generously expended in the conquest of Illinois, and in 
fact not much if any has ever been paid back to him or his 


family by the government to this day. Virginia, always noble 
and generous in her councils, agreed to give Gratiot thirty thou- 
sand acres of land on the southeast bank of the Ohio, including 
the present City of Louisville; but before the grant was com- 
pleted, Kentucky was organized as a State over the country 
and the promise to Gratiot was never completed more for the 
want of application than otherwise. The general assembly of 
Virginia placed the claims of Gratiot on the list to be paid prior 
to many other debts; but his claims remain unpaid, with many 
others of a similar character, to the present time. 

Not only the operations of the army under Gen. Clark would 
have been crippled for the want of supplies if Gratiot and others 
had not given them; but the, various treaties made by that great 
and talented general, Clark, would not have been so many or 
so favorable if it were not for the aid these great and eminent 
patriots afforded him. When Gratiot saw his country free from 
British despotism and his exertions for the independence of 
America crowned with success, he retired from the public ser- 
vice and confined himself more to domestic enjoyments. Altho 
he employed his exertions and expended his fortune for the 
emancipation of his country, without pecuniary compensation, 
yet his heart exulted with great joy to see the colonies free, 
which was superior to any other payment that earth could 
bestow on him. 

He married, in 1781, a Miss Chouteau, a sister of Auguste and 
Pierre Chouteau of St. Louis, Upper Louisiana. This family 
were the founders of St. Louis in 1764, and were of the first 
standing and respectability in the West. Gratiot, after his mar- 
riage, made St. Louis his residence for life and became one of 
the most conspicuous characters in Upper Louisiana. In the 
decline of life, he abandoned the Indian trade and turned his 
energies to more domestic employments. He was engaged in 
manufacturing salt on the Merrimac, west of St. Louis, and 
turned'his attention to the lead-mines of the Upper Mississippi. 
He also acquired a large quantity of land west of St. Louis and 
made a plantation on it near the Riviere des Peres. He pur- 
chased slaves in Virginia and cultivated this farm. He resided 
on it at intervals and improved on it a very large plantation for 
that day. 



After enjoying life for sixty-five years and the most part very 
active and important transactions he performed, he died in St. 
Louis in 1817, amidst the tears and lamentations of his family 
and friends for the affection and respect they owed him and for 
the loss they sustained in his decease. He was frank, open, and 
candid in all his transactions, public and private, and his hon- 
esty and integrity were always above suspicion. He was moral 
and exemplary in his deportment, and altho he was never a 
member of any church, yet his conduct was approved by the 
wise and good of all denominations. 

He raised a large and interesting family.* One of his sons, 
Henry Gratiot,*f* was an Indian agent for the Winnebagoes for 
nany years and died in that office. Charles Gratiot, + another 
son, was placed in the military academy at West Point and 
graduated in that institution with much honor and high reputa- 
tion for his talents and the progress he made in the sciences 
taught at that academy, and was, after long and arduous ser- 
vices, promoted to the head of the engineer corps of the United 

* His family, who survived him, consisted of four sons and five daughters. 

t Henry Gratiot, second son, born St. Louis, Apr. 25, 1789; moved to Fevre- River 
Lead-Mines, now Galena, 111., Oct. ,1825, on account of his aversion to slavery and a 
desire to bring up his family in a free-state; married, June 21, 1813, Susan, dau. of 
Stephen Hempstead a Revolutionary soldier, and one of the earliest (1811) emigrants 
from Conn, to St. Louis, Upper Louisiana ter'y father of Hon. Edward Hempstead, 
first delegate in congress from Missouri Terr'y, and of Chas. S. Hempstead, one of 
Galena's early lawyers, as well as of Wm. Hempstead, a prominent and influential 
merchant of early Galena. Henry with a younger brother, Jean Pierre Bugnion Gra- 
tiot, were among the first to develop the Fevre-River Lead-Mines, and for a long time 
maintained a large mining-and-smelting business at Gratiot's Grove, now in Lafayette 
Co., Wis. ; enjoying the Indians' confidence, he was enabled to exert great influence 
over them during the Blackhawk war, rendering inestimable services to the entire 
white population; d. Barnum's Hotel, Baltimore, Md., Apr. 27, 1836; four sons sur- 
vived him: Chas. H. Gratiot, b. St. Louis, Jan. 9, 1814, d. Gratiot, Wis., Mch. 15, 
1883; Lt.-Col. Edw. Hempstead Gratiot, b. St. Louis, June 19, 1817, late ass't-pay. U.- 
S. A., d. Platteville, Wis., Dec. 17, 1882; Henry Gratiot, b. St. Louis, Oct. 25, 1824, 
resides at Smartsville, Cal. ; and Stephen Hempstead Gratiot, b. St. Louis, Nov. 21, 
1831, d. Wash., D. C., Dec. 17, 1864; his only surviving daughter, Adele, is the wife 
of Hon. E. B. Washburne, late U.-S. minister to France, and now living in Chicago. 

J Gen. Chas. Gratiot, eldest son, born St. Louis, Aug. 29, 1786; admitted to West 
Point from Missouri Terr'y, July 17, 1804; 2d lieut. eng'rs, Oct. 30, 1806; capt, Feb. 
23,1808; chief-eng. Maj.-Gen. Harrison's army in 1812-3; bvt.-col. Mich, militia, Oct. 
5, 1814; eng. in defence of Ft. Meigs, April and May, 1813; married Ann Belin, 
Phila., Apr. 22, 1819; attack on Ft. Mackinac, Aug. 4, 1814; maj., Feb. 9, 1815; lieut.- 
col., Mch. 31, 1819; col. and prin. eng., May 24, 1828; brevet brig. -gen., "for merito- 
rious service and general good conduct," May 24, 1828 (Sept. 29); inspector to mili- 
tary academy, May, 1828, to Dec., 1838; died at St. Louis, Mo., May 18, 1855. 


States and honored with the office of general of that scientific 
department. He remained in this high and dignified station 
for many years, performing the most scientific and difficult 
duties the government had to transact in this department. He 
was the officer that directed and governed the construction of 
Fortress Monroe, at old Point Comfort on the Chesapeake Bay, 
which will remain for ages, a splendid monument of the talents 
and science of Gen. Charles Gratiot. For durability and for 
scientific proportions and work, there is no fortification, perhaps, 
in America which surpasses that of Fortress Monroe. The 
war department ordered Gen. Gratiot to take into custody the 
amount of money necessary to construct the fortress and dis- 
burse the same. Under the order of the department, the gen- 
eral took charge of the funds and paid out, in the construction 
of the fortification, perhaps two or three millions of dollars. It 
had been the uniform practise of the disbursing officer, for his 
responsibility and care in keeping and paying out the money 
in such cases, to retain a certain percentage on the money dis- 
bursed. Gen. Gratiot retained the customary percentage and 
without trial or explanation was dismissed from the service for 
the above-supposed offence. 

Others of his children were also conspicuous and respectable 
citizens. Judge Gratiot of St. Louis County, Missouri, held the 
office for many years of county judge and acquitted himself 
well in that office. One of his daughters married J. P. Cab- 
banne, who was a talented, efficient business man. Another 
married Pierre Chouteau, Jr., who is one of the most talented 
and enterprising merchants in the country. He was for many 
years the head of a large company that traded to the Rocky 
Mountains, and by his commerce and other industry, he has 
acquired an immense fortune. The descendants of this Revo- 
lutionary patriot and meritorious pioneer are numerous and 
respectable, located in St. Louis and in many other sections of 
the Union. They may all look back with honest pride and 
exultation to their illustrious ancestor and say of him with the 
great poet: 

"An honest man is the noblest work of God." 

John Beaird and family emigrated from Wayne County, Ky., 
to Randolph County, 111., in 1801, and settled on the east side 


of the Kaskaskia River, four miles northeast of Kaskaskia vil- 
lage. Beaird was born in Virginia and raised in the mountains 
of New River of that State. He came to Tennessee in 1787, 
and married a connection of my father. He was located on the 
frontiers of Knox County, Tenn., while the Cherokee Indians 
were hostile and did much damage to the settlements in the 
northern section of Knox County. Beaird was uniformly 
elected a captain to pursue the Indians when any depredations 
were committed. He was brave, energetic, and decisive in his 
character and possessed a strong, uncultivated mind, but had 
not attended to an early education. His person was stout and 
comely and his courage was never doubted; but on the con- 
trary, this trait of his character was often tested in both private 
and public acts. 

In 1793, the Creek Indians intended an invasion of West 
Tennessee, called at that day, Cumberland, and William Blount, 
the governor of the Southwest Territory, gave Major Beaird 
the following order, dated at Knoxville, April 18, 1793: 

" SIR : The object of your command is to relieve the Cum- 
berland inhabitants, Meroe district, from a powerful invasion of 
the Creeks." 

Major Beaird had under him one hundred and twenty-five 
men. He marched from Knoxville to Nashville, two hundred 
miles; met some Creek Indians; killed a few, and returned 
home in good order with his command. On May 28, 1793, 
Gov. Blount ordered Beaird to pursue certain Indians with fifty 
mounted men and scour the Cumberland Mountains. The 
Indians had killed two citizens near Clinch River, of the name 
of Gillum. The country at that day was in a singular situa- 
tion. On one side of the Tennessee River, the Indians pre- 
tended peace and the government prevented the troops from 
crossing the river in search of those Indians committing mur- 
ders on the frontiers. When an Indian committed any aggres- 
sion on the whites, he would flee to the peace side of the Ten- 
nessee and be secure from the whites. The Cherokees, who 
resided on their side of the river, concealed the murderers and 
put the crime on the Creeks. The policy of the government 
and the practise of the Indians inflamed the minds of the 
people to the utmost excitement. 


When Capt. Beaird organized his company of fifty mounted 
men, to pursue the murderers of the Gillums, he, in defiance of 
his orders, crossed the Tennessee and chastised the Indians at 
Hanging-Maw's Town, so called. He killed several Indians 
there. Beaird was daring and decisive and took the responsi- 
bility. Nine-tenths of the people approved of his course. The 
government ordered a court-martial to try him, but he laughed 
at a trial. He and company found in the nation a quantity of 
Indian goods which the government had there to present to the, 
Indians if a treaty were made with them. Beaird and men 
took the goods from the guard and burned them. All these 
proceedings were sustained by the people, but highly condemned 
by the government. 

In all the Indian wars on the frontiers of Knox County, Ten- 
nessee, Beaird was the most efficient, bold, and daring officer in 
the service. He, did more service with the least means than 
any other officer on the frontiers. When the State government 
was formed, he was elected from Knox County to the general 
assembly of the State and his public services were always held 
in high estimation by the people of Knox County. He moved 
from Tennessee to Kentucky and thence to Illinois, as above 
stated. He made an excellent citizen in this new, wild coun- 
try ; improved a large plantation and assisted to change the 
habits and customs of the people from hunting and idleness to 
work and industry, which the country at that day much needed. 
He died in 1809, leaving a large family of children. 

One of his sons, Joseph A. Beaird, in after-days, became a 
conspicuous and respectable citizen. He represented Monroe 
County in the general assembly for many sessions and made an 
efficient and conspicuous member. He possessed a sound mind, 
with much polish of manners. Gentility and urbanity of man- 
ners seemed to be natural with- him. He was honorable and 
rather chivalric in his character; his probity, punctuality, and 
honesty always ranged high and above suspicion. His neigh- 
borhood made him their executor-general, while he would con- 
sent to do the business appertaining to that troublesome situa- 
tion, lie died in 1829, aged forty years, leaving a considerable 
property and several children. 

Another son, William A. Beaird, the old sheriff of St. Clair 


County, almost every one in the county knew. He was blessed 
with a sound, solid judgment, altho he did not use it as it 
seemed to. his friends he might have done. He obstinately 
refused to become educated or to receive any information thro 
the medium of books or from print in any manner whatever. 
He possessed much practical knowledge, which he acquired by 
observation and his intercourse with the people. He never mar- 
ried. He was kind and benevolent, particularly to the poor and 
distressed. Any one in distress, no matter what color, nation, 
or kindred, were sure of Beaird's assistance if he knew of the 
case. He was appointed deputy-sheriff in 1815, and continued 
in that situation until the State government was organized, in 
1818; then he was elected by the people and continued in that 
office by biennial elections for twelve years. In all, he per- 
formed the duties of that office for about fifteen years. He was 
at one time very popular; his kindness to the people made a 
lasting impression on them. Many in the county owe their 
taxes to him at this day. He died in Belleville in 1843. 

In 1801, that dreadful scourge, the small-'pox, made its 
appearance in St. Louis. Many of the citizens of Cahokia 
were inoculated by Dr. Sougrin of St. Louis and were lodged 
in his hospital in that city. It never came into Cahokia so as 
to sweep entirely over the village. It reached the vicinity of 
Kaskaskia some few years after and was principally confined to 
a house of refuge, erected by Dr. Fisher at his plantation, six 
miles out of town, at the foot of the bluff, on the road from 
Cahokia to Kaskaskia. Here the doctor provided a hospital, 
with all things necessary, and almost the whole French popula- 
tion passed thro this dreadful malady at this place under the 
the treatment of Dr. Fisher. I think very few died in this hos- 
pital. The citizens of Kaskaskia kept up a guard all summer 
at the outskirts of the village to prevent the contagion reaching 
the town. This disease did not reach the American settlements 
at all. The small-pox never raged thro the country and at last 
were rendered harmless by proper vaccination. 

In 1797, Abraham Eyeman, John Teter, William Miller, Mr. 
Randleman, and a short time after, Daniel Stookey, located 
themselves and families in a settlement a few miles southwest 
of the present City of Belleville. This colony was composed 


of industrious, moral, and upright citizens and it grew and pros- 
pered in the same proportion. In 1802, the whole country 
extended its borders. Many citizens the Ogles, Enochs, and 
Whitesides left the older settlements and located themselves 
in the fine, healthy country northeast of the present City of 
Belleville. This colony settled on that beautiful tract of coun- 
try known as Ridge Prairie, extending from two to eight or ten 
miles from Belleville. In this same year, 1802, the Goshen Set- 
tlement was enlarged and improved. The Gilham and White- 
side families settled there. These two large connections em- 
braced nearly all the inhabitants of the settlement. The Caster- 
lands, Seybolds, Groots, and some others located at the foot of 
the bluff, above the Quentine Creek. In 1803, Samuel and Joel 
Whiteside made the first improvements on the Ridge Prairie, 
six or eight miles south of the present town of Edwardsville. 

These settlements were made mostly by the pioneers who 
had been already in the country for many years and who had 
been accustomed to a frontier life. This frontier was exposed 
to Indians not entirely friendly to the whites and it required 
the most hardy and brave old settlers to brook the fierce and 
savage bands of Indians that infested the settlements at that 
day. Dennis and Vanmeter had been recently killed and the 
whites were distrustful of the Indians for many years in the 
early settlement of the country. 

It must be recollected that fifty years ago the whole country 
was crowded with aborigines and there was a very small amount 
of white population in proportion. On the frontiers in Ran- 
dolph, the inhabitants were not so much exposed to the fierce 
and hostile bands of Indians as those in the north. What also 
prevented the growth of the country was the want of mills, 
schools, and houses of worship. All these difficulties taken 
tDgether were adverse to the speedy growth of the country. 
These colonies in Illinois lingered in this condition for many 
years. When a brave, hardy, independent family came and 
settled among these original pioneers, it was hailed as a jubilee 
and all treated the new-comers as brothers. 

The most trouble and labor was in either obtaining corn-meal 
or doing without it. Flour at that time was not much in use. 
All the frontiers of Goshen Settlement and in fact all the upper 


colonies were compelled to go to Cahokia or to Judy's mill, 
near Whiteside's Station, for their grinding. The extreme set- 
tlements were forced to travel fifty miles or more for their meal 
for many years. This is the necessary result of a pioneer's life. 
To relieve absolute want, the band-mill, propelled by horse- 
power, was the pioneer that made its appearance and was hailed 
as a kind of Godsend. Several of these mills were erected in 
Goshen Settlement. The Fruits built one at the edge of the 
prairie a few miles east of the present town of Collinsville. 
Talbot had first a horse-mill and afterward a small water-mill 
on the Quentine Creek, south of Collinsville. Cornelius built a 
water-mill on the same creek, below. Elliot had a horse-mill 
south of the present Edwardsville about three miles. Carpenter 
kept one in the Six-Mile Prairie and Thomas Kirkpatrick built 
a water-mill many times on Cahokia Creek, adjoining the 
present Edwardsville. These were the pioneer mills of the 
frontiers for many years and were built before 1807. I have 
myself rode on bags to the most of them when I was a lad 
residing with my father in Goshen. 

In early times, McCann owned a horse-mill of much celebrity 
and standing. This mill was situated a few miles east of Tur- 
key Hill and was attended by its customers far and near. The 
mill of Hosea Rigg was a few miles west of that of McCann. 
About this time, Chapman built a small water-mill on the creek 
west of Belleville and old Mr. Schook erected a still smaller 
one on the small branch west of the mill of Chapman. These 
water-mills were like faith without works, not worth much. In 
the southern settlements, the people procured their grinding at 
the New Design, Levens', or at Kaskaskia. Under these cir- 
cumstances, what great rejoicing it was with the people when 
green corn and potatoes made their appearance and were fit for 
use. To procure grinding was the. greatest trouble and incon- 
venience of the new settlements. This want of mills retarded 
the improvement of the country in early times more than all 
other considerations. Schools and preaching could be dispensed 
with better than corn-meal. 

The country at that day was more sickly than it is at present ; 
but the only disease then was the bilious fevers with the pleu- 
risy at rare intervals. The bilious attacks showed themselves 


mostly in the form of fever and ague. The fever without the 
ague or some chill with it was not frequent. These diseases 
attacked the people in the latter part of the summer and in the 
fall and were very common, but not often fatal. The sickness 
at this time is not so common, but more malignant and dan- 
gerous. Many in olden times were sick in the fall, but few 
died. By improvement or by some other means, the diseases 
of the country have changed within the last fifty years to be 
much fewer cases, but more fatal. The remedies to cure the 
bilious fever and ague in the first settlement of the country 
were tartar - emetic, calomel, and jalap and peruvian barks. 
These were the uniform and universal medicines and they gen- 
erally succeeded. When the patient was weak after the fever, 
the doctors prescribed stimulus of wine, etc. But in the fall, 
after the sickness disappeared and all things were plenty, the 
citizens soon forgot the disease and turned their attention to 
fun, frolic, and hunting. 

In pure pioneer times, the crops of corn were never husked 
on the stalk, as is done at this day; but was hauled home in 
the husk and thrown in a heap, generally by the side of the 
crib, so that the ears when husked could be thrown direct into 
the crib. The whole neighborhood, male and female, were in- 
vited to the shucking, as it was called. The girls and many of 
the married ladies generally engaged in this amusing work. In 
the first place, two leading, expert huskers were chosen as cap- 
tains and the heap of corn divided as near equal as possible. 
Rails were laid across the pile, so as to designate the division, 
and then each captain chose alternately his corps of huskers, 
male and female. The whole number of working hands present 
were selected on one side or the other and then each party com- 
menced a contest to beat the other, which was in many cases 
truly exciting. One other rule was that whenever a male husked 
a red ear of corn, he was entitled to a kiss from the girls. This 
frequently excited much fuss and scuffling, which was intended 
by both parties to end in a kiss. 

It was a universal practise that tafia or Monongahela whisky 
was used at these husking frolics, which they drank out of a 
bottle each one, male and female, taking the bottle and drink- 
ing out of it and then handing it to his next neighbor, without 


vising any glass or cup whatever. This custom was common 
and not considered rude. The bread used at these frolics was 
baked generally on johnny or journey-cake boards and is the 
best corn-bread ever made. A board is made smooth, about 
two feet long and eight inches wide ; the ends are generally 
rounded. The dough is spread out on this board and placed 
leaning before the fire. One side is baked and then the dough 
is changed on the board, so the other side is presented in its 
turn to the fire. This is johnny-cake and is good if the proper 
materials are put in the dough and it is properly baked. Almost 
always these corn-shuckings ended in a dance. To prepare for 
this amusement, fiddles and fiddlers were in great demand and 
it often required much fast riding to obtain them. One violin 
and a performer were all that was contemplated at these inno- 
cent, rural dances. 

Toward dark and the supper half over, then it was that a 
bustle and confusion commenced. The confusion of tongues 
at Babel would have been ashamed of those at the corn-shuck- 
ings. The young ones hurrying off the table and the old ones 
contending for time and order. It was the case nine times out 
of ten that but one dwelling-house was on the premises and 
that used for eating as well as dancing. But when the fiddler 
commenced tuning his instrument, the music always gained the 
victory for the young side. Then the dishes, victuals, table, 
and all disappeared in a few minutes and the room was cleared, 
the dogs drove out, and the floor swept off, ready for action. 
The floors of these houses were sometimes the natural earth, 
beat solid; sometimes the earth with puncheons in the middle 
over the potato hole, and at times the whole floor was made of 
puncheons. Sawed planks or boards were not at all common 
in early times. 

The music at these country dances made the young folks 
almost frantic and sometimes much excitement was displayed 
to get first on the floor to dance. Generally the fiddler on these 
occasions assumed an important bearing and ordered in true 
professional style so and so to be done; as that was the way in 
North Carolina, where he was raised. This decision ended the 
contest for the floor. In those days they danced jigs and four- 
handed reels, as they were called. Sometimes three-handed 


reels were also danced. In those dances there was no standing 
still. All were moving at the same time, at a rapid pace, from 
the beginning to the end. In the jigs, the by-standers cut one 
another out, as it was called, so that this dance would last for 
hours at times. Sometimes the parties in a jig tried to tire one 
another down in the dance and then it would also last a long 
time before one or the other gave up. The cotillons or stand- 
still dances were not then known. Waltzes were introduced 
into the country at a late day by the Europeans. 

The dress of these hardy pioneers was generally in plain 
homespun. The hunting-shirt was much worn at that time, 
which is a convenient working or dancing- dress. Sometimes 
dressed deer-skin pantaloons were used on these occasions and 
moccasons, rarely shoes, and at times, bare feet were indulged 
in. The bottle went round at these parties like it did at the 
shuckings and male and female took a dram out of it as it 
passed around. No sitting was indulged in and the folks either 
stood up or danced all night, as generally daylight ended the 
frolic. A great deal of good feeling was enjoyed in these inno- 
cent parties and very little of the green-eyed monster was dis- 
played on these occasions. Mothers could then praise with 
sincerity the beauty and the grace in the dance of their neigh- 
bors' daughters ; while at this refined and civilized day, such 
praises come only from the lips and scarcely that deep. Exces- 
sive refinement and accomplishments may polish the outside; 
but it is doubtful if the inside is made better by the operation. 

Many a sweet love-story was told over, in a laughing manner, 
by the young hunters or farmers to their sweethearts during 
these nights of innocent amusement. The young man of eigh- 
teen would cough, choke, and spit, look pale, and sweat when 
he was about to tell his girl the secret movements of his heart 
in her favor, while his heart thumped with almost as loud a 
noise as a pheasant beating on a log. The girl received these 
outpourings of her lover's heart with such sparkling eyes and 
countenance that it spoke volumes of love to her beau. These 
love contracts that ended in marriage were frequently made at 
the dances. 

What ineffable pleasure it was to these young folks to dance 
together, who had in sincerity unfolded their hearts to each 


other. These honest, unsophisticated children of nature love 
with more sincerity and honesty than the excessively refined 
and educated do. In the morning, all go home on horseback 
or on foot. No carriages, wagons, or other wheeled vehicles 
were used on these occasions for the best of reasons : because 
they had none. 

The pioneers dropped slowly into the Illinois country. Jacob 
Judy was a very ancient and respectable pioneer in Illinois. He 
came and settled in Kaskaskia in 1788. He was born in Ger- 
many and emigrated to the United States when he was six 
years old. He married in Frederick County, Maryland; moved 
to Pittsburg, where he worked for the public at the gunsmith 
business for many years and received nothing for it. He had 
three children. In 1786, he and family descended the Ohio 
River to Kentucky. On the fiver, at the mouth of the Scioto, 
he heard the Indians making noises to decoy him to land; but 
he kept straight on. He had but one man with him besides his 
family. His daughter, Nancy Judy, then eighteen years old 
who is still alive and eighty years of age steered the boat, 
while her father, her brother, Samuel Judy, his son, and the 
hired man rowed the craft with all possible speed by this dan- 
gerous section of the river. He remained two years near Louis- 
ville in Kentucky and descended the Ohio in a flat-boat. He 
was forced up Cache River, in the present county of Alexander, 
for protection from the Indians and remained there for seven 
weeks until a boat could come from Kaskaskia to his relief. 
He resided at Kaskaskia four years and then moved, in 1792, 
to the New Design. In 1794, he settled at his mill and died 
there in 1807. 

Judy worked at his trade in Illinois and accumulated con- 
siderable property. He possessed a strong mind, with much 
enterprise and energy. Samuel Judy, his only son, came with 
his father to Illinois in 1788, and became a conspicuous and 
enterprising citizen. He married into the Whiteside family and 
settled in Goshen, as before stated, in 1801. In his youth, he 
was active and vigorous and was always ready and willing to 
enter into any campaign against the Indians or to do battle 
with them. 

In 1794, Joel Whiteside was driving a yoke of oxen about 


one hundred and fifty yards southwest of the public square in 
the present town of Waterloo and an Indian shot him. The 
ball passed thro his body, but did not kill him. Judy, Todd, 
Andy Kinney, and some others pursued the Indian with dogs 
and guns; overtook the murderer and killed him under a large 
tree which stood near the main road, about half a mile south of 
Whiteside's Station. The tree is now cut down and a field 
made round it. Young Samuel Judy was very active and ener- 
getic in the pursuit of this Indian and displayed the warrior in 
this, his first Indian skirmish. In two desperate conflicts with 
the Indians one on Shoal Creek with old Pecon and the other 
near the bluff and below the place where the macadamized road 
descends it Judy showed himself to be the bravest of the brave. 

In the late war with Great Britain in 1812, he was always 
actively employed in the service! He commanded a company 
of spies in the campaign under Gov. Edwards in 1812, against 
the Indians at the head of Peoria Lake, and acquitted himself, 
as he always did, to the satisfaction of the public. This ser- 
vice in the campaign of 1812 was arduous and at times dan- 
gerous. The spies were in advance of the little army, a mile 
or more, and were ordered to fight the enemy, let him be great 
or small, until the main army were placed in the order of battle 
behind them. He shot an Indian near the Black Partridge's 
Town, at the upper end of Peoria Lake, and killed him. 

In the next campaign, in the fall of 1813, he also commanded 
a company in the army of Gen. Howard. Like all his military 
services, he did his duty to the entire satisfaction of the public. 
In many of the skirmishes on the frontiers, Judy was active and 
efficient, and at the same time, prudent and cautious. He was 
always, in these military preferments, very modest and unas- 
suming. He never solicited an office in his life and would 
always have preferred acting as a private in these operations 
.against the Indians; but his neighbors and friends almost com- 
pelled him to take command, as above stated. He was elected 
to the legislative council of the Illinois Territory, in the fall of 
1812, from the county of Madison. This was the first legisla- 
ture that convened under the territorial government and was a 
very important general assembly. This body convened at Kas- 
kaskia and transacted very important business in organizing and 


starting the machinery of the new government into operation. 
The finances were to be regulated ; taxes imposed, and the 
militia organized. These subjects were of the greatest impor- 
tance and interest to the people. Judy performed his duties in 
this office much to his credit and also to the advantage of his 

Nature had been bountiful to Judy and had bestowed on him 
a clear, sound, &nd solid judgment. He had very little oppor- 
tunities of education and could barely make out to read and 
write and knew but little of the arithmetic; but his condition in 
life and his strong mind, with his retentive memory, made him 
a very able and efficient member of the legislative council of 
the territory. These qualifications, together with his merited 
character for honesty and probity, gave him a standing in the 
legislature which was not surpassed by any member in that 
body and which was always wielded for the benefit of the public. 
He remained in this office for four years and made an excellent 
member. The people of Madison County elected him to the 
important office of county commissioner for many years. His 
solid judgment, together with his positive honesty and practical 
economy, made him a most able and efficient member of the 
county-court. This was an office in which he displayed his 
talents. The county levies were to be made and the money 
expended on proper objects. This required just the judgment, 
honesty, and economy which he possessed in such an eminent 
degree, to enable him to execute the duties of the office. The 
finances of Madison County were safe in the hands of Col. Judy. 

With these talents, he managed his own private business with 
great success. He became wealthy by the common operations 
of agriculture, without speculation or chicanery. He improved 
a large-plantation and built a fine brick-house the first erected 
-within the limits of Madison County. This house he built in 
1808, and much enlarged and improved his farm the same year. 
In this new country, he availed himself of its advantages and 
raised large stocks of horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep. The cattle 
lived winter and summer in the range and the horses did the 
same, with a small amount of food in the bad weather of the 

In the matured age of Col. Judy, I, as the executive of the 


State, appointed him, with three others, warden of the peniten- 
tiary at Alton. The duty of this board was to adopt a peniten- 
tiary system ; erect a suitable building, and put the whole 
machinery into complete operation. I was one of the board 
and found that Judy was a wise, prudent, and efficient member. 
The plan and system of the prison at Alton were based on that 
of Auburn, New York. This at Alton has succeeded admirably 
well. He died at his residence in Madison County in 1833, 
aged seventy-five years. The death of Col. Judy was sincerely 
regretted by the public. His large family and connections knew 
well his worth and mourned his death with heart-felt grief. But 
mortality is born with all human beings. It is the just law of 
God and we must and ought to submit to it with pious resig- 

Few men had a mind more equally balanced than his was, 
It was moulded far above mediocrity. No trait had the ascend- 
ancy to destroy the legitimate operations of the others. His 
powers of judgment were 1 strong; so was his perception clear 
and discriminating. His imagination was kept in proper bounds 
by his solid judgment and his kindness and benevolence were 
strongly marked in his actions thro life. His courage was of 
the unterrified order, which had been tested on many occasions 
in the service of his country. He was moral and correct in his 
habits during a long life; never joined a church, but sustained 
all with his good-will and friendship. He never indulged in 
any of the excesses so prevalent in his day of gaming, drink- 
ing, or light and frivolous amusements. Judy was a pioneer 
that gave standing and character to the country and it is the 
seeds sown by him and such characters that have produced such 
fruits in Illinois of her future power and greatness. He left a 
large family of children and also a large estate. 

The stock of Col. Judy was injured by that mysterious disease 
known as the milk-sickness. It made its appearance in early 
times in his stock and remains to this day rather a mystery as 
to the cause of the disease. That such malady does exist, there 
is no doubt. The human family as well as animals are destroyed 
by it. I had a sister whose death, it was supposed, was caused 
by it. It is known that the disease is a poison. Dogs and 
other animals die with the^ poison when they eat in the dead 





bodies the victims of this disease. The human beings who 
die by the disease derive it from the milk, butter, or meat of 
the animal infected with the poison. The name of the disease 
arises from the milk the victims eat. This much is ascertained; 
but what is the poison, is not so well known. It is the general 
approved opinion that the poison is emitted from some poison- 
ous mineral substance in the earth. It rises in a gaseous state; 
falls back on the vegetation ; is infused in the water, and in the 
morning before the dew is evaporated, the animals eat the poi- 
son with the vegetation and thereby die. The disease only 
appears in the fall of the year and in shady, damp localities. 
A vegetable can not cause the disease because it would have 
been discovered, and in some cases, animals that are. kept up 
and eat no green food, di-e by the use of the water impregnated 
with the poison. It makes its ravages on stock in many parts 
of the West. Sometimes for many years it almost disappears 
and afterward returns and assumes its former virulence. 

The first governor of Illinois under the State government 
Shadrach Bond was a great, noble, and talented pioneer. He 
stood in the front ranks of that hardy and noble race of men, 
the ancient pioneers of Illinois. The few remaining of that 
class may look back at Gov. Bond with the proud recollection 
that he was one of them and was a sample of good sense, 
honesty, and most of the virtues that elevate and dignify the 
human character. Shadrach Bond was born in Frederick Co., 
Maryland, in 1773, and was raised by a pious father, Nicholas 
Bond, on a plantation. He was educated a practical farmer and 
such was his occupation during life, except the services in public 
stations he performed, which detained him from his farm for 
some portion of his time. In 1794, when he reached his 
majority, he emigrated to Illinois and resided in the American 
Bottom with his uncle, Shadrach Bond, Sr. He received in 
Maryland a plain English education, such as farmers generally 
bestow on their children. But Illinois, when he reached it, was 
a wild country, not much disposed to the improvement of the 
mind in science and literature. Yet man and his various actions 
were before him and he acquired the practical knowledge of 
mankind and the various springs of human action. He learned 
in his early life much useful knowledge of all the various moving 


principles of the human heart and availed himself of this infor- 
mation in after-life. Gov. Bond was in his matured age an in- 
telligent, practical man. He was not a lady-parlor scholar, who 
read the novels of lovesick swains and fainting girls; nor did he 
ever wash his face with cologne-water ; but he was nature's 
nobleman, educated in the wide world of the human family, 
and his conscience and sound judgment were his unerring pre- 
ceptors. Some think a man is not intelligent or learned if -he 
were not cudgelled thro a college or read " Robinson Crusoe " 
or the novel of " Goody Two Shoes." The whole creation 
should be a man's school-house and nature his teacher. Bond 
studied in this college and Providence gave him a diploma. 

He for some years resided with his uncle after he first came 
to Illinois and indulged in much of the gayety and amusements 
of the country at that day ; but when age and experience 
reached him, he changed his course and purchased a fine farm 
on the bank of a beautiful lake in the American Bottom and 
improved it in good style. He resided here for many years, a 
single farmer. About 1800, the whole society changed its char- 
acter to some extent to a more civilized and moral state; and 
the agricultural and other interests of the country changed in 
the same proportion. Bond was, by his example and precept, 
greatly instrumental in bringing about this desirable change. 
He labored with his own hands on his farm, with such assistance 
as he could procure at that early day. He felt an honest pride 
in being dependent on no one for his support except on his 
mother-earth and God, that giveth the increase. He spent the 
happiest part of his life on his farm. He possessed a jovial 
and convivial spirit, and with his friends he enjoyed much hap- 
piness. These convivial parties were not based on gluttonness 
or intemperance ; but they were sustained by the noble and 
generous hearts of the higher order of warm and congenial 
spirits. Bond possessed warm and ardent feelings and when 
excited in the society of his friends around the festive board, 
he not only was happy himself, but made all around him happy 
also. In these parties, he was the fountain of hilarity and good 
feelings and imparted it to all others around him. He possessed 
a heart filled with true benevolence and good kind feelings to 
all the human race, and on these occasions the feelings that 
adorn the human character flowed deep and strong. 


He generally kept a large pack of hounds and with his , 
friends, the fox-hunt was with him capital sport. The hounds, 
horn, and the voice of Gov. Bond made sweet music in the 
mornings on the commons near the village of Kaskaskia in 
olden times. He took great delight in this rural sport and in 
fact all his impulses and his disposition were inclined to the 
cheerful and bright side of human nature ; so he generally 
enjoyed himself and made all around him happy, likewise. 
When he reached man's estate, in the American Bottom, on his 
farm, his person was large and portly. He weighed two hun- 
dred pounds and was six feet high. His person was erect, com- 
pact, and formed with perfect symmetry. His bearing was 
noble, dignified, and commanding and his features were regular, 
but marked, strong, and masculine. His complexion was dark 
and his hair a glossy jet-black. His eyes were large, brilliant, 
and of a hazel color. His forehead was large and capacious 
and his countenance denoted him to possess superior intellect, 
with many other marked traits of character that adorn human 
nature. Such was the person of farmer Bond. 

With such character as Bond possessed and with his fine 
person, he was a great favorite with the ladies; yet his gallan- 
tries, altho many, were always circumscribed with propriety. 
He possessed the capital in this branch of business, but never 
traded in it to any great extent. In his early life, he was 
elected a member to the general assembly of Indiana Territory, 
which met at Vincennes. He made, as he always afterward 
did, a sound, solid member. He attended faithfully to the 
business of the people and mingled again with his constituents. 
In 1812, he was elected the first delegate from the Territory of 
Illinois to congress, and in this office he performed great and 
important services for his constituents. By his exertions in 
that body, the first act of congress was passed in 1813, to grant 
the citizens the right of preemption to secure their improve- 
ments. This was the first great lever that moved Illinois on- 
ward toward that glorious eminence she occupies at this time. 
The people, before this act of congress passed, had, nine-tenths 
of them, settled on the public lands and had no right or title to 
their plantations whatever. "No one was certain of securing his 
improvement or labor and therefore small improvements were 


This provision was hailed as the greatest and the best. It 
gave the country peace and quiet for the citizens in it and broke 
down the barriers against immigration to the territory. Ever 
after this act was passed which not only secured the right of 
preemption to settlers, but brought the public lands into market 
the flood of immigration was deep, strong, and constant. This 
act of congress was the great key-stone to the arch of the pros- 
perity and growth of Illinois. This one act entitles Bond to 
the lasting gratitude of his country. " Men's evil manners live 
in brass ; their virtues we write in water." How often do we 
hear, at this day, the young politicians casting slurs and disre- 
spect on such respectable statesmen as Gov. Bond. Many of 
these modern politicians are manufactured in the colleges by 
the wealth of their fathers, in the same manner as a mechanic 
makes an axe-handle and with almost as little intellect as the 
handle. Yet, because the pioneer statesman did not graduate 
with a parchment diploma, he must receive the ridicule of these 
modern butterfly critics and calico politicians. Nature gave her 
richest diplomas to Cromwell, Hannibal, and Washington, with; 
out their being kicked thro a college like an unwilling jack is 
whipped to his labor. The gigantic talents of Jackson and 
Clay, two of the greatest men the nation has produced since 
the Revolution, were never cramped and degraded by the 
monotonous routine of a collegiate education. I am in favor of 
a proper education and opposed to the abuse of one. All I dis- 
like is these tinsel scholars condemning men "whose shoes' 
latchet they are not worthy to loose." 

Bond remained in congress only one term and was appointed 
receiver of public moneys at Kaskaskia. This was a laborious 
and responsible office. The commissioners to adjust the ancient 
claims to land in Illinois had not completed their work and 
Bond, together with Michael Jones, examined a great many of 
the claims; reported them to congress, and they were approved. 
This was a delicate trust to perform, as the inhabitants and 
commissioners in former days were unfriendly on the subject; 
but Bond, with his usual good sense and honesty, gave general 
satisfaction. About this time, 1814, he moved from his old 
plantation in the American Bottom to Kaskaskia and made a 
large farm near that village. The intercourse of the people 


with Bond made them know and appreciate his merits, and at 
the election for State officers, he was chosen governor of the 
State without opposition. The honest and sincere friendship of 
the people for him made him the first governor of Illinois with- 
out opposition. The duties of this office were important, oner- 
ous, and difficult to perform. The change of the laws, policy, 
and all, from a territorial to a state government, required pru- 
dence, circumspection, and much wisdom. He possessed these 
qualifications and performed his duties to the general satisfac- 
tion of the people. 

Gov. Bond strongly urged on the people and the first legisla- 
tures of Illinois, during his term in office, the propriety and 
utility of constructing a canal connecting the waters of Lake 
Michigan with those of the Mississippi. Some short time after 
his term of office as governor expired, he was appointed register 
of the land-office at Kaskaskia, wherein he remained in his old 
age, doing business to the satisfaction of the public. On April 
11, 1830, he expired in happiness and in peace with man. His 
last breath was breathed in good will to the human family and 
praise to God. He left a very blameless and unspotted char- 
acter and as such, his friends and the public mourned his death. 
To his respectable family, their loss was irreparable. He was a 
kind parent and an affectionate husband. His earthly career 
is ended, but his worthy character stands strong in the hearts 
of the pioneers and others of Illinois.* 

Gov. Bond had two brothers, Nicodemus and Joshua Bond, 
who also settled in the American Bottom. Joshua Bond re- 
mained in Illinois but a few years; went to St. Louis, in Upper 
Louisiana, and thence to Vincennes on the Wabash. He raised 
a large and respectable family, who have for the most part set- 
tled in Illinois. The descendants of Joshua Bond possess a 

* Gov. Bond had six children : Thomas S., Emily, Julia R., Mary A., Isabella 
F., and Benjamin N. All are now dead except Dr. Benjamin N. Bond, who resides 
in Stanberry, Mo. Julia R. Bond married Col. Frank Sivanwick of Randolph Co.; 
Mary A. married Joseph B. Holmes, a merchant of Chester, in the same county; 
Isabella F. married James P. Craig of the same place. The descendants of Gov. 
Bond number many of the most respected and wealthy citizens of Randolph Co. 

In April, 1881. the remains of Gov. Bond and his wife were removed from Kas- 
kaskia to Chester and consigned to the same vault, over which a monument was 
erected by authority of the legislature of Illinois, act approved May 28, 1881. J. H.G. 


good standing in community. Several of the sons sustain a 
very respectable reputation at the bar as talented lawyers, and 
one of them, Benjamin, is at this time a sound lawyer and the 
marshal of the State of Illinois. One other, Thomas, was cap- 
tain of a company in the Mexican war and acted well his part 
in that service. All the Bond family may look back with grati- 
tude and honest pride to their illustrious and venerable relative^ 
Shadrach Bond, Sr., who was the brave and daring pioneer that 
enrolled himself in the Revolutionary war under the banner of 
Col. Clark, and he may say, with Clark and his troops, as Caesar 
said in ancient times: " We came, we saw, we conquered " Illi- 
nois. He was the illustrious Columbus of his family that dis- 
covered the new world for them, and as such, this ancient 
patriarch receives their gratulations and sincere homage. 

The country gradually increased in its population. In 1803, 
John Primm emigrated from Virginia and settled first in the 
New Design; made a crop there, and settled at the foot of the 
Mississippi Bluff, southeast of Cahokia; remained here several 
years and moved to his plantation, a few miles southwest of 
Belleville. He died there in 1836, aged almost eighty- seven 
years. Mr. Primm was born in Stafford County, Va.; served 
in the Revolutionary war immediately under Gen. Washington, 
and assisted at the glorious capture of Lord Cornwallis at York- 
town in 1781. This was the crowning battle for the freedom 
of the human race and Primm enjoyed the honor of aiding in 
this great and glorious victory. He had a large family seven- 
teen children four girls and thirteen sons. He lived the even, 
temperate life of an agriculturist and performed all his duties 
to the Creator and to man in a moral and correct manner. 
One of his sons was carrying the United-States mail in August,. 
1814, on horseback from Cahokia to Clinton-Hill post-office, 
two or three miles northeast of Belleville, and in the Derush 
Hollow, so called at the time, near the Bottom, he and his horse 
were killed by the lightning. His body was burnt black by the 

In 1799, sailed down the Ohio River, Matthew Lyon and 
family, with John Messinger and Dr. George Cadwell and their 
respective families. These last two named were the sons-in- 
law of Lyon and all settled at Eddyville in Kentucky. Mat- 


thew Lyon had obtained a considerable celebrity as a member 
in congress from the State of Vermont. He was a native of 
Ireland; had been in the Revolution, and was a warm advocate 
of Thomas Jefferson and republicanism against John Adams 
and federalism. He possessed some talents and much ardor 
and enthusiasm. While he was in congress, he had a difficulty 
with a member of the federal party and spit in his face. He 
was up before congress for contempt ; but speeches were the 
only result. He was extremely bitter against the administration 
of Adams and he was fined and imprisoned under the alien and 
sedition laws. While he was in prison in the State of Vermont,, 
his friends elected him to congress and took him out of confine- 
ment to serve them in the congress of the United States. He 
represented his district in congress from Kentucky for several 
terms and was always, during a long arid important life, an ex- 
cessively warm and enthusiastic partisan in politics. He was at 
last appointed an Indian agent for the Southern Indians and 
died there at an advanced age. Long after his death, congress 
paid back to his heirs the fine he paid, with interest. It was con- 
sidered by congress that the fine was paid under a void law and 
that it was due to principle, as well as to his descendants, to- 
refund the amount paid and interest. I voted in congress to- 
refund the fine and interest to his -heirs. 

Matthew Lyon was a droll composition. His leading trait of 
character was his zeal and enthusiasm, almost to madness itself, 
in any cause he espoused. He never seemed to act cool and 
deliberate, but always in a tumult and bustle, as if he were in a 
house on fire and was hurrying to get out. His Irish impulses 
were honest and always on the side of human freedom. This 
covers his excessive zeal. 

Messinger and Dr. Cad well left Eddyville in 1802, and landed 
from a boat in the American Bottom, not far above old Fort 
Chartres. They remained in the Bottom for some time and 
Dr. Cadwell moved and settled on the Illinois bank of the Mis- 
sissippi, opposite the Gaborit Island and above St. Louis. He 
was quite a respectable citizen ; practised his profession and 
served the people in various public offices. He was justice-of- 
the-peace and county-court judge for many years, in both St. 
Clair County and in Madison also, after its formation. Since 


the establishment of the State government, he served in the 
general assembly from both Madison and Green counties, at 
different times, and always acquitted himself to the satisfaction 
of the public. After a long life, spent in usefulness, he died in 
Morgan County, quite an old man. He was moral and correct 
in his public and private life and left a character much more to 
be admired than condemned; was a respectable physician and 
always sustained an unblemished character. 

John Messinger was born in West Stockbridge, Mass., in 1771, 
and was raised a farmer. He was in his youth educated both 
to work and the ordinary learning derived from books at a 
school. This system of farmers learning their children the 
science and practise of agriculture, as well as science from books, 
deserves particular consideration, and this mixture of education 
seems to me to be the best that a young American can receive. 

Messinger, when he advanced some years in age, in his agri- 
cultural pursuits, he commenced the study of mathematics with 
William Coit, who resided in the neighborhood of his father. 
In 1783, he left Massachusetts and settled in Vermont and 
learned not only the art of farming, but also in his early life 
became acquainted with the business of a carpenter or house- 
builder and the trade also of a millwright. He possessed a 
strong and vigorous intellect and his mind, by either nature or 
education or by both, became quite solid and mathematical. 
He possessed also a great share of energy and activity; so that 
it was not a difficult task for him to acquire these different 
mechanical trades as well as to become deeply versed in mathe- 
matical science. 

In maturer age, his whole delight and pleasure was found in 
the science of mathematics and the various practical branches 
arising out of that science. His whole life seemed to be tinct- 
ured with mathematics and I believe for many years he was the 
most profound mathematician and best land-surveyor in Illi- 
nois. He moved to the New Design from the American Bot- 
tom and in 1804, purchased a mill and premises on Rock-House 
Creek, east of the New Design. He repaired the mill and re- 
sided there for some years and then moved to Clinton Hill, his 
late residence, a few miles northeast of Belleville. 

John Messinger, by the force of his genius and energies, be- 


came an excellent English scholar and was always pleased to 
have an opportunity to instruct any of his neighbors or friends 
that would call on him for that object. He taught the science 
of surveying to a great many young men and has also taught 
many grown people, males and females, the common rudiments 
of education even after they were married. He reached Illinois 
in 1802, when there was scarcely a school in the country and it 
was honorable to both him and his students for one to give and 
the other to receive an education if it were after the parties 
were married. 

Messinger was not large in his person, but compactly built; 
hardy and very energetic. With the talents he possessed and 
his activity, he was extremely useful, not only in teaching the 
art of surveying to others, but in the practical operations of sur- 
veying himself. He was the first person or among the first sur- 
veyors that, in 1806, surveyed the United-States lands in town- 
ships in this section of the State. In town six, south range 
seven, west, and in that region of country, the public domain 
was surveyed by Messinger in the above year. I think he was 
a subcontractor under William Rector. He surveyed much of 
the public domain in St. Clair and Randolph counties. 

He not only was an excellent mathematician, but he wrote 
and published a book entitled, "A Manual or Hand-Book, in- 
tended for Convenience in Practical Surveying." This work 
was printed by William Orr in St. Louis in 1821, and contains 
the whole science of practical surveying, together with the neces- 
sary tables to enable the practitioner to calculate the area of 
land without any difficulty whatever. This book shows deep 
research by the author and establishes the fact that he was a 
profound mathematician. He was professor of mathematics in 
the seminary at Rock Spring, St. Clair County, for some time 
and performed the duties of this responsible station to the 
entire satisfaction of the public. In 1815, he was appointed 
deputy-surveyor under the surveyor-general, Edward Tiffin of 
the State of Ohio, and was authorized to survey the Military 
Tract in the forks of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. He 
surveyed much of this tract, which was approved by the sur- 
veyor-general. He was appointed, with a gentleman of Hills- 
borough, Illinois, to survey, on the part of the State of Illinois, 


the northern limits of the State, in latitude forty-two, one-half 
degrees north. Hon. Lucius Lyon of Michigan was the com- 
missioner on the part of the United States to assist in the 

Messinger was an efficient and scientific astronomer and 
mathematician in calculating the latitude and surveying this 
line dividing the State of Illinois from Wisconsin. He and 
Philip Creamer, a celebrated artisan, made surveyors' compasses 
that were as well calculated and as well finished in workman- 
ship as any made in the United States. Messinger was never 
ambitious of public office, yet the public called on him and he 
served them both in the general assemblies of the Indiana Ter- 
ritory and the State of Illinois. He was elected, in 1808, from 
the county of St. Clair to the legislature of Indiana Territory 
and did much toward obtaining a division of the territory, which 
took place the next year. He was elected from St. Clair Co. 
a member of the convention that met at Kaskaskia and formed 
the State constitution in 1818. He made a cautious and pru- 
dent member, always wise without rashness. In the first gen- 
eral assembly of the State of Illinois, at its organization in 1818, 
he was elected speaker of the house of representatives. He 
was a member elect from St. Clair County and made an upright 
and impartial speaker. This was an important legislature and 
much business was done during the session. 

He gave his children a common, good education and learned 
almost all of them the art of surveying. He never acquired 
any great amount of wealth, altho he had great opportunities 
to acquire property. He had no talent for speculation ; was 
rigidly and scrupulously honest and possessed an ambition to 
appear plain and unassuming. He seemed to be proud of his 
want of pride. His morals and orderly bearing were above 
reproach and such as even a clergyman might be proud of. 
His mind was strong and mathematical and all its various 
movements seemed to be in search of some abstruse problem in 
that science that delighted him so much. He died on his plan- 
tation in 1846, aged seventy-five years. At his death, he had 
no enemies, but truly all friends that mourned his decease. He 
had not time or disposition to attend to his farm. He seemed 
resigned to leave this vale of tears with the hopes of being with 
his God to enjoy a happy immortality. 


William Kinney was a great and talented pioneer of olden 
times and enjoyed a high and conspicuous standing in Illinois. 
He was blessed with a vigorous and strong intellect and also 
with great energy. Kinney was born in Kentucky in 1781, and 
emigrated, in 1793, with his father to the New Design, Illinois. 
When he came to the country, he was thirteen years old and at 
nineteen he married. His youthful days he had spent with the 
young people of the country in gay and amusing society. The 
young folks at that day did not work much and received no 
book-education whatever. The occupation of the youths and 
sometimes of the aged of that day was pleasure and amuse- 
ments of various descriptions. Young Kinney was never behind 
any one in these merriments and recreations. He was the 
leader in these festivities and amusements and altho many of 
the young men were injured by them, yet Kinney learned by 
this course of life much of the human heart and the various 
movements of human nature. He inherited from nature great 
parts and he improved them in every situation he was placed in 
during a long and important life. His mind was strong and 
solid whenever he took time to reflect. His judgment of men 
and things was good to a proverb. His memory was retentive, 
as he never forgot what he learned in either a frolic or under 
the droppings of the sanctuary. His energy and activity were 
boundless. These great and strong traits of character were all 
developed before he ever opened a book and in truth, he never 
went to school regularly as a scholar more than three months 
in his life. Both his natural disposition and his early education 
inclined him thro life to gayety and amusements of every char- 
acter. He possessed a fund of pure attic wit and his satire, 
when called out on proper occasions, was severe and scathing, 
and his anecdotes were extremely pertinent on many illustra- 
tions and were boundless; but his sound judgment restrained 
these traits of character in their appropriate limits. 

After he was married, he was taught by John Messinger to 
read and write. The arithmetic he mastered himself in his own 
way. This is the foundation of all .his scholastic education and 
on it and his observation and reflection, he became intelligent 
and made one of the most prominent, popular, and influential 
characters of his day. It would be almost useless to remark 


that at his marriage and always before and for some time after, 
he was entirely destitute of worldly means, except a mere sup- 
port. In his youth, his wild-oats were strong and rank, so that 
he had neither time or disposition to accumulate property; but 
being the head of a family and assuming a rank in society, he 
was forced to reflect and he changed his conduct. In 1803, he 
located himself on a beautiful and commanding eminence a few 
miles northeast of the present City of Belleville and commenced 
with his own hands to make a farm on these premises. His 
wife was a most excellent lady, of sound mind and amiable dis- 
position. They were both, at that time, young, talented, and 
poor; so they possessed the elements of success and they used 
them much to their honor and advancement. His amiable and 
excellent wife, with her first-born, was often out in the clearings 
and in the field, assisting her husband to gain their daily bread. 
They placed the child on a blanket and the parents worked in 
its neighborhood to improve their farm. Mr. Kinney in those 
days went to market himself in St. Louis and Cahokia and sold 
his surplus articles raised by his own hands on his farm. He 
resided first in a small house south of his late residence a half- 
mile or more and it \vas there he and wife made the first im- 

In 1809, Mr. Vonphul persuaded Kinney to take some few 
articles of merchandise and sell them; if he could not sell them, 
he might return them to Vonphul again. After some hesita- 
tion, he took the goods. They consisted of a few bolts of 
domestic manufactured cotton cloth and Kinney packed them 
before him on his horse from St. Louis to his farm. At that 
time, he could barely write and knew nothing of book-keeping; 
but his natural strong talents enabled him to invent a system of 
book-keeping for himself, without any previous knowledge of 
the science. This is the very humble and the very honorable 
commencement of the pecuniary career of Gov. Kinney. He 
began at this low foundation without any resources but his great 
mind and energies and he made a princely fortune in the same 
place and country where he commenced thus humble. He 
traded in merchandise, lands, horses, and almost everything 
that had any value attached to it and always made on the busi- 
ness he embarked in. He erected a comfortable house on the 


eminence where it now stands and in it, he displayed a kindness 
and hospitality rarely equaled in any country or in any age. 
His house was almost always crowded with his friends and they 
were always entertained with an unsparing hospitality. 

In matured life, he entered the political arena and was a 
warm and efficient politician. He was a Democrat, " dyed in 
the wool," and maintained the doctrines of the party without 

fear or affectation on all occasions. He was often elected from 


St. Clair County to the general assembly of the State of Illinois 
and made an efficient business member. In the first general 
assembly after the organization of the State government, he 
was a member and assisted to put the political machinery in 
operation. In 1826, he was elected lieutenant-governor of the 
State and presided in that office in a manner to give character 
and standing to the State. Altho he served the people in these 
public offices, he attended strictly in his early life to his private 
business and accumulated wealth all the time. In the decline 
of life, he was appointed commissioner of internal improve- 
ments, which gave him much trouble and was a great injury to 
his fortune. He died in 1843, aged sixty-two years, on his farm 
where he lived forty years. His death was regretted by his 
friends and family. In his early life, he became interested in 
religion and was baptized in 1809. He not only became a 
worthy and devout member of the Baptist church, but was 
authorized by the church to preach the gospel and became a 
distinguished and influential preacher. His sound judgment 
displayed itself in this profession as well as in all his other 
transactions in life. 

The travel on the road from the Ohio to Kaskaskia increased 
and it became necessary and also profitable to make tavern 
stands on the road. Comfort Joy, an Eastern man, in i8o4 ( 
made the first establishment on Big- Muddy River where the 
old Massac Trace crossed it. He resided some years here 
He was on his way to the Ohio Salt-Works with his cart and 
and oxen and by some means, the oxen kicked him, causing his 
death. The family broke up and left the stand. 

In 1803, Hays and some others formed the first settlements 
on Big-Bay Creek, some miles northwest of the present town 
of Golconda, Pope County. This settlement continued to in- 


crease. William Jones and John Finley stopped in it in 1804, 
and remained there two years before they moved to Madison 
County. In early times, in this settlement a murder was com- 
mitted. The accused was brought to Kaskaskia for trial; as 
all that section of country was embraced in the county of Ran- 
dolph at that day and Kaskaskia the county-seat. The man 
accused of the murder escaped. In 1805, Phelps, Daniels, and 
some others made a settlement on the Massac road, ten miles 
east of Big Muddy. Two settlements were made on Silver 
Creek in 1804, which were the first on the creek. One was 
made a few miles from the mouth, in this year, by Abraham 
Teter, Peter Mitchel, and a widow Shook the sister of Teter. 
They were the first families that located in the neighborhood of 
the present Solomon Teter, who is the son of Abraham Teter. 
The other was made by the Bradsby family,* about three miles 
north of the present town of Lebanon, at the edge of the Look- 
ing-Glass Prairie. 

William H. Bradsby, the oldest son, with two other yc ang 
men, came out in the spring of 1804 from Kentucky; made an 
improvement and raised corn on the place above mentioned. 
The family moved in the fall. The settlement of the Bradsbys 

* John Bradsby and William, his brother, soldiers of the Revolution, came to 
this country from Ireland about the middle of the l8th century; William was never 
heard of after entering the army, and it is supposed died in the service; John mar- 
ried Mary Higgins, a native of Virginia, in Bedford Co., Va., in 1785, and shortly 
after the birth of their eldest child, 1787, moved to Barren Co., Ky. , where he taught 
school and preached for several years; and their children were: 

Dr. Wm. H. Bradsby was born in Bedford Co., Va., July 12, 1787; married, Nov. 
6, 1818, Catharine M. Higgins (born in Barren Co., Ky., 1801); of their ten chil- 
dren: 3, Eloise, wid. of Wm. Adams, living near Lebanon; 8, Henry Clay of Effing- 
ham, 111., born Feb. 29, 1832, Covington, Washington Co., 111.; was educated at 
McKendree College, 111., and Jefferson College, Pa.; lawyer; was married July 28. 
1858, to Melinda, youngest child of Hon. Elijah C Berry, first State auditor, and 
have two children the eldest married F. W. Burnett, attorney, Springfield, 111. ; 
9, Indiana, wid. of J. H. Williams, residing in Lebanon, 111. ; 10, Catharine, wife 
of Addison Pyle, residing near Lebanon, 111. ; the others died young \vithout issue. 
The Dr. was the first postmaster in Washington Co. (at Covington); the first school, 
teacher; also the first circuit and county clerk and recorder; was probate and county 
judge when he died; and during many years was deputy U. S. surveyor, and surveyed 
much of this portion of the State, his labor extending as far east as Wayne and Clay 
counties; besides being clerk of all the courts he was virtually county treasurer, hav- 
ing the custody of the county money. All of the early records show his neat and 
elegant hand. He died in Nashville, 111., August 21, 1839. 


was in advance of the other inhabitants seven or eight miles. 
The Bradsby family were brave and energetic pioneers. They 
possessed good talents and were fearless and intrepid. They 
were firm and decisive when they took a stand and were also 
moral and correct and made excellent citizens. The old sire 
taught school in various neighborhoods. He had a school, in 
1806, in the American Bottom, almost west of the present Col- 
linsville, and the year after, he taught another in the Turkey- 
Hill Settlement. The other small colony on Silver Creek was 
also some distance from any other inhabitants. They likewise 
were good citizens. 

Peter Mitchell, in matured age, acted as a justice-of-the-peace 
and county commissioner. He was a moral, correct man and 
was one of the ancient emigrants from Hardy County, Virginia, 
who settled at the New Design in 1797. It would seem that 
there was a kind of fatality in colonizing a new country. Single 
families will frequently locate in advance of the other inhabi- 
tants, many miles in a wilderness, without obtaining any greater 
.advantages than those enjoy in a more dense settlement. 

The two oldest sons of Mr. Bradsby William and James 
were in the ranging service and made good soldiers. William 
H. Bradsby, after he was here a few years, returned to the old 

James, the second son, who served as a ranger in Whiteside's company, died at a 
ripe old age at the old home, near Lebanon, in 1868; left two sons, Addison and 
William, and three daughters, Mary, Priscilla, and Pauline; all dead except Addi- 
son, who lives on the old homestead. 

The third son, Richard, was 7 years of age when his father moved to Illinois; was 
married in 1831 to Lucinda Adams, and settled in Looking-Glass Prairie; was in the 
Black- Hawk War, first enlisting in Capt. Wm. Moore's company of Buckmaster's Odd 
Battalion in 1831, joining a spy company on the igth of June; no record of his later 
service has been preserved; in 1848, he was elected one of the county board of St. 
Clair Co., a position he held for many terms; and died Sept. 5, 1875; leaving one 
child, Virginia, the wife of Dr. James L. Perryman of Belleville. 

Mary married Richard Higgins; both died several years ago, leaving three daugh. 
ters who, with their descendants, live near Lebanon. 

Priscilla married Thomas Chilton, and removed to Sangamon Co. in 1819, and 
from thence to Wisconsin, where both died, leaving several children. 

Jane married Jesse Bayles, and was massacred with Lucinda Higgins, a sister of 
Mrs. W. H. Bradsby, by the Indians on Sugar Creek, in the fall of 1814. 

John married Naomi Paris; died in 1845, on his farm near Lebanon, leaving two 
sons, Francis and William, and a daughter. Francis died in 1880, and William 
now resides in Greenville, in Bond County. J. H. G. 


settlements; qualified himself and studied medicine. He was a 
good physician and practised some time, but disliked the pro- 
fession and became rather a public character. He was elected 
to the State legislature from St. Clair County in 1814, and made 
a good member. He was appointed to most all or quite all 
the small offices in Washington County when that county was 
organized. He made his residence at Covington for many years 
and when the county-seat was moved to Nashville, he still held 
the offices and died about that time. 

Dr. Bradsby sustained well the reputation of a pioneer. He 
possessed a strong mind with a courage that quailed at no 
danger or disaster. We were United-States rangers* together 
in the same company, commanded by Capt. William B. White- 
side in the war of 1812, with Great Britain. We were both ser- 
geants and ranged together around the frontiers of the infant 
settlements of Illinois to defend them from Indian depredations. 
By this occurrence, I became intimately acquainted with the 
merit and worth of Dr. Bradsby and no man ever possessed a 
purer, better heart than he did. His attachments and friend- 
ships were ardent and firm. He was generous and benevolent 
and always ready to relieve distress. His love of country and 
its free institutions was ardent and strong. When he was quite 
a lad, in 1804, when the stars and stripes were first raised in 
St. Louis, after the cession of Louisiana to the United States, 
on July 4 of that year, he quit his plow on Silver Creek and 
joined 'heart and soul in the celebration. He rejoiced to see 
the free institutions of the United States extended over the 
country where Spanish tyranny had heretofore been sustained 
by that despotic government. 

David Philips, the head of a numerous and respectable family, 
emigrated from North Carolina; stopped in Tennessee and 
finally settled in Illinois. He located himself and family on 
Richland Creek, a few miles south of the present City of Belle- 

* Congress, in iSii, passed an act authorizing the organization of ten companies 
of rangers which afterward formed a regiment, known as the iyth U. S. Infantry, 
placed under the command of Col. Wm. Russell of Kentucky, a renowned Indian- 
fighter Of these companies four were raised in Illinois Territory, those commanded 
respectively by Captains Samuel WhitesiJe, Wm. B. Whiteside, James B. Moore, 
and Jacob Short. J. H. G. 


ville, in 1803. Mr. Philips was born in Orange County, North 
Carolina, in 175$, and was a soldier in the glorious war of the 
Revolution. He spent much of his youthful vigor in the tented 
field and reposed in proud defiance of British tyranny under 
the stars and stripes. He trusted his all to God and liberty 
and he was victorious. He heard of Illinois and when he saw 
it in 1803, he realized all his fond hopes of the promised land- 
He emigrated to settle his large family in a new country. .There 
are seven of his sons alive at this time and the youngest is up- 
ward upward of fifty years old. He has also one daughter 
alive. His descendants are numerous and respectable. He 
and all his sons were raised farmers and they generally support 
themselves by that ancient and honorable profession to this day. 
The aged father died at his residence, south of Belleville, in 
1826, full of years and respected by his family and neighbors. 
He led his large family thro the wilderness; settled them in a 
fine country and died happy. 

After the conquest of Illinois, the State of Virginia instructed 
Gen. Clark to establish a fort at the Iron Banks on the Ohio 
River. He executed this command as he did all others, with 
great wisdom and celerity. He promised lands to all who would 
emigrate to the Iron Banks and settle there with or without 
their families. This was a kind of armed occupation of the 
country. These promises of Clark and his extraordinary influ- 
ence caused many families as well as many single men to locate 
at Fort Jefferson, which was the name of the fort at the Iron 
Banks. Toward the close of the Revolution, Virginia was not 
very able to sustain this garrison and the troops and families, 
were compelled to leave it for the want of support. The offi- 
cers of the fort first quartered the soldiers on the citizens of the 
French villages and at other places for support; but not calling 
for them, they were compelled to shift for themselves. Thus it 
was that many of Clark's men, as they were termed, as well as 
families, after 1780, were residents of the metropolis of the 
country, Old Kaskaskia. 

Pickett, Seybold, Groots, Hiltebrand, Dodge, Camp, Teel, 
Curry, Lunceford, Anderson, Pagon, Doyle, Hughes, Mont- 
gomery, and others were soldiers who had been in the service 
of Virginia under Clark, either at Fort Jefferson or in the con- 


quest of Illinois. It was part of these men who established the 
small colony on the east side of the Kaskaskia River, not far 
from the old town of Kaskaskia, after 1780. 

It was in this settlement, in the early part of the spring of 
1788, that a most singular battle and siege occurred. David 
Pagon, one of Clark's men, had made a house two miles from 
Kaskaskia, on the east side of the river, and had finished it in 
a strong and substantial manner, so as to withstand an Indian 
attack. Levi Teel and James Curry, also two of Clark's sol- 
diers, had been out hunting on the east side of the river and 
had encamped in this house for the night. The door of the 
house had three bars across it, to secure it against Indian 
assault, and in the door was a hole cut for the cat to go in and 
out. Toward day, Curry informed Teel that there were Indians 
about the house and that they must fix up their guns for defence. 
Teel was rather inclined to open the door and give up as pris- 
oners, while Curry would not listen to it at all. Teel went to 
the door to either open it or to make discoveries and stood with 
his foot near the cat hole. The Indians outside stuck a spear 
thro his foot and fastened him to the floor. The Indians, in 
their war expeditions, always carry spears with them. By a 
kind of instinct, Teel put his hand to the spear to draw it out 
of his foot and other spears were stuck in his hand. They cut 
and mangled his hand in a shocking manner; so that he was 
not only nailed to the floor of the house, but his hands were 
rendered useless. 

It was ascertained afterward that it was the Piankeshaw 
Indians and there were sixteen in the band. Curry was an 
extraordinary man ; brave to desperation and inured to broil 
and feats of battle until he was always cool and prepared. He 
jumped up in the loft of the house to drive the enemy off be- 
fore Teel would open the door and by a small crevice in the 
roof, he put his gun out and shot into the crowd of Indians. 
He shot three times with great rapidity, for fear Teel would 
open the door. It was discovered afterward from the Indians 
that Curry had killed three warriors. He then got down to see 
what Teel was about and found him transfixed to the floor, as 
above stated. He then got up again in the loft and tumbled 
the whole roof, weight-poles and all, down on the Indians standing 


at the door with spears in their hands. It will be recollected 
that in olden times the roofs of cabins were made with weight- 
poles on the boards, to keep them down. The pioneers used 
no nails as they do at this day. The roof falling on the enemy 
killed the chief and the others ran off. Day was breaking, 
which assisted also to disperse the Indians. Curry took both 
guns and made Teel walk altho he was almost exhausted on 
account of the loss of blood. They had a hill to walk up at 
the start, which fatigued Teel and he gave out before they 
reached Kaskaskia altho they had only two miles to travel. 
Curry left Teel and went to Kaskaskia for help and at last 
saved himself and comrade from death. 

To my own knowledge, the houses in times of Indian wars 
were fixed so the roofs could be thrown down on the enemy 
and sometimes large round timbers were laid on the tops of the 
houses on purpose to roll off on the Indians below. 

James Curry came with Clark in 1778, and was an active and 
daring soldier in the capture of Forts Gage and Sackville. He 
was large, strong, and active and was always foremost on the 
list of those who contended for the prizes in foot-races, leaping, 
wrestling, etc. He was a similar character to the celebrated 
Thomas Higgins of modern pioneer memory. In all desperate 
and hazardous services, Clark chose him first to act in these 
perils and dangers. 

The citizens of Illinois of olden times were compelled to hunt 
for a support. Curry and Joseph Anderson, who afterward 
lived and died on Nine-Mile Creek, Randolph County, were out 
hunting and the Indians killed Curry, as it was supposed; as he 
went out to hunt from their camp and never returned. Thus 
was the closing scene of one of the brave and patriotic heroes, 
the noble -hearted James Curry, whose services were so con- 
spicuous in the conquest of Illinois. Not only a burial was 
denied to this gallant soldier, but his remains are mingled with 
the mother-earth ; so that even the place of his death is not 
known. His blood was spilt in Illinois and it may produce, 
when the occasion demands it, a race of heroes whose services 
for their country may equal those of the lamented Curry. 

Another of the gallant soldiers of Gen. Clark, William Biggs, 
lived a long and eventful life in Illinois. He was born in Mary- 


land in 1755, and at the age of twenty-three years, he enrolled 
himself in the Revolutionary war under Gen. Clark. He acted 
as a subaltern officer in the conquest of Illinois in 1778 and 
1779. He was hardy, energetic, and brave and used these 
qualities for the redemption of not only the United Colonies 
from bondage, but of the whole human race. He withstood 
the perils and "hair-breadth 'scapes" incident to the campaign 
under Clark with the heroism of a veteran warrior. He re- 
ceived no bounty in land in the grant made to Clark and his 
soldiers ; but the congress of the United States, recognizing 
X the honorable services rendered to the colonies in the Revolu- 
tion by Lieut. Biggs, granted him, in 1826, three sections of 
land. The congress of the United States gave Judge Biggs 
this public and honorable testimony of his important services 
bestowed on his country for its liberation from British despotism. 
Soon after the close of the Revolution, he returned and married 
in West Virginia. Not long after his marriage, he, 'with two 
brothers, emigrated to Illinois and settled at Bellefontaine. 

In the spring of 1,788, he had been out hunting and had got 
some beaver fur, which he was desirous to sell in Cahokia. He 
then resided at the Bellefontaine and started with his beaver 
fur, in company with John Vallis, to Cahokia. John Vallis was 
from Maryland near Baltimore. Early in the morning of March 
28 of the above year, Biggs and Vallis were riding on the main 
road from the fountain to Cahokia the same road that is at 
present traveled about six miles from Piggot's Fort in the 
Bottom, and they heard the report of two guns. Biggs sup- 
posed them to be hunters; but soon after, he saw sixteen Indians 
with their guns presented. He and Vallis whipped their horses, 
but in vain; all the Indians fired their pieces at him and com- 
rade. The bullets riddled the horse of Biggs; killed him and 
shot four holes thro Biggs' overcoat, but did not hit him. A 
ball entered the thigh of Vallis and of which wound he died six 
weeks after. The horse of Vallis carried him to the fort. Biggs, 
his furs, saddle, and all fell oft" his horse and after running some 
distance the Indians caught him and made him a prisoner. 

When Vallis reached the fort, they fired a swivel to alarm 
the neighborhood. At the report, the Indians run with Biggs 
for six miles. They were Kickapoos and started direct to the 


Weastowns or Ouitenon on the Wabash River, two hundred 
miles above Vincennes. One of the Indians that captured 
Biggs attempted to kill him, but to get rid of this Indian, his 
comrades killed him. These savages have no regard for life 
except it be their own. The first day, they traveled with Biggs 
forty miles. They had no horses and must have traveled fast 
on foot. Sixty-four years ago, Biggs, as a prisoner, must have 
passed not far south of Belleville and Lebanon and traveled 
almost three hundred miles to the Wabash, opposite the Weas- 
towns, in ten days. The Indians were very severe on him in 
tying him at night, for fear of his escape ; so he was almost 
unable to walk. After he reached the Indian towns, he was 
ransomed by agreeing to pay a Spaniard, Bazedone, two hun- 
dred and sixty dollars ransom and thirty-seven more for other 
necessaries on which to enable him to reach home. He 
descended the Wabash and the Ohio to the Mississippi ; up 
that river to Kaskaskia and on home to the Bellefontaine. 

It was a miracle that so many Indians fired at Biggs and 
Vallis, and within forty yards, did not kill them both. Biggs 
suffered much, but he saved his life. He was a fine, handsome 
man and his beauty had its effect even on the untutored females 
of nature, as many of the Indian belles offered their hearts to 
him in wedlock; but he acted the second Joseph with them on 
the Wabash River as his illustrious predecessor did in Egypt. 

[Mr. Biggs wrote a narrative in 1826 of his captivity and had it 

! published. 

Gov. St. Clair in 1790 appointed him the sheriff of St. Clair 
County, which office he held and did the business of it for many 
years, as the ancient records testify. He had received a plain, 
common education and had mixed so much with men, danger, 
and war that he was well qualified to execute the duties of this 
office. He was kind and obliging, so that the office of sheriff 
sixty years ago, as it does to this day, enabled the incumbent 
to become popular, if he be an honest, agreeable man, with 
common business talents. He was popular and the citizens of 
St. Clair elected him to serve in the legislature of the North- 
west Territory for two different terms. He attended twice and 
rode on horseback to Vincennes; thence to Louisville; thence 
thro Kentucky and the territory to the seat of government of 
all the country northwest of the Ohio River. 


At a time when Bond and Biggs were doing military service 
in Illinois, in 1778, under Gen. Clark, they concluded to return 
to Illinois after the war was closed. They said in a joke that 
they would like to represent this country in the legislature, and 
behold, they both did realize their waking dreams expressed in 
the war. They were in the first general assembly of the terri- 
tory, convened west of the Ohio, after the Revolution. 

Biggs acted as justice-of-the-peace and judge of the court of 
common-pleas of St. Clair County for almost time out of the 
memory of man and made an honest, safe officer. He was 
elected from St. Clair County to the general assembly of the 
Indiana Territory in 1808, and acted well his part in obtaining 
a division of the territory. Illinois Territory was established 
soon after and the legislature of which Biggs was a member 
gave motion to the ball. Judge Biggs was elected, in 1812, 
from St. Clair County to the legislative council of the general 
assembly of the Territory of Illinois ; remained in this office 
four years and made a solid and useful member. He was act- 
ing in the first organization of the first territorial government, 
We are now enjoying the fruit of his and others' labors. Toward 
the close of his life, he manufactured salt in Madison County, 
on Silver Creek, and died at Col. Judy's in 1827, an aged and 
respectable pioneer of Illinois. Few men have had the good 
fortune to live in the age and had so many opportunities to 
perform services for the human family as Judge Biggs had; but 
in all these public transactions, he did not attend to his private 
interests. He never was wealthy only possessed a reasonable 
competency. His remains now repose in peace in a country 
wherein he acted in such important scenes. 

After the Indian war had closed in 1795, the citizens of Illi- 
nois turned their attention to the improvement of their stock. 
The breed of horses were advanced and many good ones raised 
in the country. Illinois at that day, as it has been ever since,, 
was a good climate for horses. Col. William Whiteside, in 1796, 
introduced into the country a fine blooded-horse of the Janus 
stock. It is supposed by the best judges of horses that a better 
horse has never since stood in Illinois. Many of his colts made 
turf nags that won races not only in Illinois, but in many parts 
of the Union. The owners of two of these horses, both sired 


by Whiteside's horse, made a large bet on a race between them ; 
of three miles and repeat. The race took place in the Horse 
Prairie in the spring of 1803. The people of Illinois at that 
day were all comprised within St. Clair and Randolph counties 
and were not numerous. The whole country, with a few excep- 
tions, were great amateurs of the sport and the race, and the 
horses were as much discussed, to the number of people, as the 
late Mexican war was. I would not be surprised if one-third 
of all the males of Illinois attended the race and part of the 
females. The celebrated race - horse, Sleepy Davie, whose 
famous character all the ancient pioneers recollect, won the 
race, beating a fine gray horse much larger than himself. 

These races were in their character something similar to the 
Olympic games in Greece and the railroad conventions and 
mass-meetings of modern times. It is essential for the people 
to assemble together to form friendly acquaintances and wear 
off unfounded prejudices. This is a great and important ele- 
ment in the congress of the United States. It gets the extremes 
of the nation together, and by a friendly intercourse among the 
members, the Union is made more permanent. By the Olympic 
games, the Grecian States were preserved and the people im- 
proved. Our Illinois races were nothing more in a small way 
than part of the Olympic games. The people came together 
from all parts of the inhabited Illinois and had a friendly inter- 
change of sentiment; became acquainted with each other, and 
returned home as friendly as brothers. At that day, 1803, less 
than sixty miles north and south and fifteen or twenty from the 
Mississippi, east and west, embraced the whole settlements, 
French and Americans, in Illinois. 

At these races almost every description of business was trans- 
acted. Horses were swopped and contracts made. Debts paid 
and new ones contracted. Amusements of various species were 
indulged in. Foot-racing, wrestling, and jumping were not neg- 
lected. Sometimes shooting- matches were executed; so that 
in old pioneer times these horse-races were names for meetings 
where much other business or pleasure was transacted and expe- 
rienced. Small kegs of whisky were often brought to the races ;. 
a keg in one end of a bag and a stone in the other. Sometimes 
a keg in each end was the manner of getting the liquor to the 


races. Old females at times had cakes and metheglin for sale. 
This race in the Horse Prairie was the most celebrated match- 
race that occurred in Illinois in early times and drew to it the 
greatest concourse of people. I think, in a moral point of view, 
the community was improved by it; not on account of the race, 
but by the friendly intercourse among so vast an assemblage of 
people at that day. 

I presume, in 1803, there were scarcely three thousand souls, 
French and Americans, in all Illinois. No census at that day 
was taken and it is difficult to be certain in the number; but 
judging from the best data in my power and my personal obser- 
vation, I think the above is correct. This estimate is allowing 
an increase of one thousand jouls in fifteen years since 1788 
to 1803. The French during this period were diminishing and 
the Americans made up the increase to scarcely three thousand 

About this time, 1800, and onward, the inhabitants changed 
to some extent their mode of business and living. They as- 
sumed more the agricultural pursuits and abandoned hunting. 
A commerce had commenced to New Orleans in flour, tobacco, 
and live-stock, which induced the people to change their em- 
ployments. The game was more exhausted; so that hunting 
was not so profitable as heretofore. This change gradually 
took place after 1800 to the war of 1812, which checked its pro- 
gress to some extent. The immigrants were mostly from the 
Southern and Western States and had been in the habit of cul- 
tivating cotton and they continued its cultivation in Illinois. 
It was supposed fifty years since that Illinois was a good 
medium cotton country. Tobacco was also cultivated. Flax 
was raised and manufactured into clothing. Wheat was more 
cultivated than in former days. The range was good ; so that 
cattle, hogs, and horses were raised in abundance. The only 
misfortune of which farmers complained was the want of a 
market for their surplus produce. 

This change in the industry of the people justified the erec- 
tion of more mills. Tate and Singleton, in 1802, built a good 
water-mill for that day on the Fountaine Creek, a few miles 
northwest of the present town of Waterloo. The mill -house 
\vas made of stone and the capacity of the mill was made in 


proportion to the demand of the country at the time. Edgar's 
mill continued to do the most of the merchant business of the 
country then and for a long time after. 

Madame Beaulieu, a pioneer lady, was born in the village of 
St. Phillippe in 1742, and was educated in Quebec, Canada. 
Her father, a subaltern officer, came with the French troops to 
Fort Chartres and located in the above village, sometimes called 
the Little Village. His name was Chouvin. He settled after- 
ward in Cahokia, where his daughter married M. Beaulieu. 
This lady was educated and intelligent. She was the director- 
general in moral and medical matters. She possessed a strong, 
active mind and was a pattern of morality and virtue. She was 
the doctress in most cases and the. sagefemmf general for many 
years. She was extremely devout and an exemplary member 
of the Catholic church. This, together with her merit gener- 
ally, enabled her to fix up many of the male and female delin- 
quencies of the village. She was sincerely entitled to the praise 
due a peace- maker. Many of the young and accomplished 
ladies courted the society of this old lady for improvement. 
She lived a long and useful life and died in Cahokia in 1826, 
eighty-four years of age, much lamented by all classes. 

On June 5, 1805, a terrific hurricane swept over a part of Illi- 
nois. It was one of those tempests of the whirlwind order. 
The tornado moved from the southwest to the northeast and 
crossed the Mississippi about a mile below the mouth of the 
Merrimac. It was about three-quarters of a mile wide, and to 
that extent, for several miles in Illinois, it prostrated trees and 
even swept the water out of the river and the lakes in the 
American Bottom to that width. William Blair had a boat 
moored on the river near the place where the storm crossed it 
and was certain that most of the water to the above extent was 
raised out of the river by the violence of the tempest. It also 
took the water out of the lakes. Fish from the river and lakes 
were scattered all over the prairie in the course of this storm. 
It occurred about one o'clock of the day and the atmosphere 
before was clear and the sun shining. 

Col. James A. James resided with his father nearly in its 
course and was an eye-witness to this terrific storm. Dr. 
Cairnes and family were directly in its course, and when they 


saw it approaching, they made an effort to escape it and suc- 
ceeded in saving their lives. James and family retired out of 
its violence. It reached the doctor and family, but it seemed 
they were saved by a kind of miracle. His wife was behind in 
their flight and she lay flat on the earth, holding on to a bush; 
but the rails, tree tops, and almost every moveable thing were 
dashed around her with great force. She was wounded in the 
head, but not mortal. The doctor and the rest of the family 
escaped unhurt. James and family were farther out of its vio- 
lence and were saved. The cattle of the doctor came home 
before the hurricane reached the premises, bellowing and much 
terrified. They all perished by the violence of the tornado. 
The doctor had a horse in a lot near his house, which was killed 
by a fence-rail running thro him. The lowest log in the house 
and last rock in the foundation of the chimney were swept off 
by the force of the wind. The vegetation and all and every- 
thing moveable in the course of this storm were destroyed and 
torn to pieces. A large bull was raised up high in the air; car- 
ried a considerable distance, and every bone in his body was 
broken. The force of the storm was measurably spent by the 
time it reached the Mississippi Bluff. It must have struck the 
bluff not far from the place where the township line descends 
into the bottom ; but no injury was done on the hills. The 
clothes and all the household furniture of the doctor were 
destroyed and scattered far and near. One of his waistcoats 
was found at the Little Prairie, where his father resided, six or 
eight miles from his demolished residence. The storm carried 
in it pine tops from Missouri, which do not grow nearer than 
fifty or sixty miles from the American Bottom. 'This was the 
most violent tempest that ever visited Illinois. Others have 
occurred, but none so violent. In the midst of the storm it 
was very dark. In 1814, Kaskaskia was assailed with one; but 
not so severe as that of 1805. It did not much injury to the 
old town, as it did not pass directly over it. We hope for good 
weather and no storms. 

In 1805, Philip Creamer emigrated from Harper's Ferry, Mary- 
land, and settled in the American Bottom a short distance east 
of Prairie du Pont. He was born in Taneytown in the above 
State and learned the trade of gunsmith at Harper's Ferry. 


Nature and education together made this pioneer one of the 
greatest mechanics in America. The work of this eminent 
artisan will compare favorably with the work of any mechanic 
in the Union. He possessed a natural and great genius to 
work in metal. Anything done in metal, he could accomplish 
by a short apprenticeship. But he was the best in making a 
gun, as he practised that part of the profession the most, and 
he made all parts of a gun and put it together as if it had 
grown fast there by nature. His gunlocks scarcely ever missed 
fire. It was a proverb in olden times, " he is as sure as a 
Creamer lock." In the war of 1812, he was very useful in re- 
pairing and making guns for the troops defending the frontiers. 
Government appointed him to work at his trade for the Ind- 
ians. Some of his friends induced him to make a pistol for 
Hon. John C. Calhoun when he was secretary of war. The 
workmanship so surprised Calhoun that he wrote Creamer a 
letter requesting to know where he learned his trade and a 
sketch of his life. Creamer was a singular man and would not 
answer it, as he said "he was no showman or stud-horse to be 
advertised." He lived to an old age and died a few years ago, 
much respected. 

In a new country I think there are more original and eccen- 
tric talents than in an old settlement. It seems that all the 
latent sparks of genius are called forth by the circumstances 
of the country. These singular talents were .often exhibited 
by the pioneers in their games and sports. 

In 1806, Robert Pulliam of Illinois and a Mr. Musick of Mis- 
souri made a bet of two hundred dollars on a horse-race of 
one-quarter of a mile. This race was agreed to be run on the 
ice in the Mississippi a short distance above St. Louis. It was 
a singular place on the ice to run a horse-race ; but the par- 
ties run it and were not injured. Another strange wager was 
made in Kaskaskia by two very respectable citizens. This 
bet was made in perfect good humor and for sport. A dozen 
bottles of Champagne were wagered on the following game: 
The snow was four inches deep and the bet was that the game- 
sters were to go out in the commons of Kaskaskia; strip off 
their boots and socks to the bare feet, and whoever killed the 
first rabbit on the snow in their bare feet, won the wine. It 


would puzzle Hoyle to define the principles on which this last 
game was based. 

In 1800, an enterprising and talented pioneer, Michael 
La Croix, settled in Peoria and extended his trade mostly 
with the Indians throughout the Upper Illinois country. He 
frequently visited Cahokia, but his main residence was at 
Peoria. He was a Canadian-Frenchman and had received a 
liberal education. The person of La Croix was stout, digni- 
fied, and prepossessing, and his appearance indicated what he 
really was: a man of sound mind and great energy. He was 
a successful Indian trader for many years and was in Canada 
to purchase goods when war was declared in 1812 against 
Great Britain, and he was detained in Canada, a British prov- 
ince, to defend it. He was also forced out into the service 
against the United States. This he disliked; yet, if he had 
deserted to the Union, his goods and estate, which were con- 
siderable, would be forfeited to the king. He remained on 
the side he disliked and the government pressed him into the 
military service. While he was forced into the army, he 
accepted a lieutenancy, merely to raise him from the ranks. 
When peace was restored, he returned to the United States, 
and in 1815, he was naturalized. 

Before he went to Canada in 1812, he built a fine house in 
Peoria and when Capt. Thomas E. Craig was at that place in 
the fall of 1812, he became excited against the citizens of 
Peoria and burnt the house of La Croix and many others. 
This burning by -Craig was considered by all reasonable men 
as a wanton act of cruelty. After the war, the Indian trade 
was not so good as heretofore. The whole country on the 
Illinois River was being settled with a white population, which 
took the place of the red-skins. M. La Croix died in 1821, 
in the village of Cahokia, much regretted by his family and 

It will be recollected that Virginia, in her cession of the 
Illinois country and the Northwest Territory to the United 
States in 1784, a compact was made that "the French and 
Canadian inhabitants and all other settlements of the Kaskas- 
kias, St.Vincents, and the neighboring villages, who have pro- 
fessed themselves citizens of Virginia, shall have their posses- 


sions and titles confirmed to them and be protected in the 
enjoyments of their rights and liberties.^ In June, 1788, a 
resolution of the old congress passed, granting a donation of 
four hundred acres of land to each head of a family in Illinois 
and also confirming them in their possessions, as required by 
Virginia. An act of congress passed in 1791, granting a 
donation of one hundred acres to each militia-man who was 
enrolled in the militia service of that year. The governors of 
the territories of the Northwest and Indiana were authorized to 
adjust the claims arising out of these various acts of congress. 
They had granted some of the claims, but many were still 
unadjusted. To remedy this evil, an act of congress was 
passed in 1804, establishing land-offices at Kaskaskia, Vin- 
cennes, and Detroit, to adjust these old claims and to sell the 
public lands after the private titles were set apart to the pro- 

The great desideratum, something devoutly to be wished for, 
w r as the settlement and improvement of the country. This 
was the universal prayer of all 'classes of people in Illinois, to 
my own knowledge, for almost half-a-century. It was quite 
natural. The country was so thinly populated that the inhabi- 
tants did not enjoy the same blessings of the government, 
schools, and even the common comforts of life that were 
enjoyed by the people of the old states. The adjustment of 
these old land-titles must be made and the public lands sur- 
veyed before the citizens could procure good titles to their 
lands, and before that, not much settlement of the country 
could be expected. Therefore the citizens were extremely 
anxious to have these matters all arranged; so that the coun- 
try could fill up with families living on their own lands, with 
good titles to them. 

Under the act of congress of 1804, Michael Jones and E. 
Backus were appointed register and receiver of the land-office 
at Kaskaskia. These commissioners entered into the duties of 
their office, but made no report of confirmations of titles before 
1809. This delay excited the people and a very bitter and 
rancorous feeling was engendered between the commissioners 
and many of the inhabitants. About that time, an excessive 
and virulent party-spirit, without any great principle to found 


it on, also existed. Jones, one of the commissioners, entered 
-warmly into these party politics. Michael Jones was born in 
Pennsylvania and came to Kaskaskia, the register of the land- 
office in 1804. He was a sprightly man, of plausable and 
pleasing address. He possessed a good English education 
-and was, in his younger days, well qualified for business if he 
had been clear of excitement. His temperament was very 
excitable and rather irritable. His mind was above the ordi- 
nary range; but his passion at times swept over it like a tor- 
nado. His colleague, E. Backus, was an excellent man, kind 
and benevolent, and entered not much into the feelings of 
cither side. He permitted Jones to take his own way in the 
reports made in the land-office to the secretary of the treasury. 
An act of congress passed in 1812 which pretended to 
authorize the commissioners to revise the former decisions of 
the governors and the commissioners themselves. With these 
excited feelings against his political enemies, Jones not only 
reported against many of the claims, but branded the parties 
with perjury and forgery to an alarming extent. With these 
party-excited feelings, many of the best citizens in the coun- 
try were stigmatized with the above crimes, without cause and 
when they had no means or manner of defending themselves. 
For nine years the delay to adjust the land-titles and to get 
the public lands into market was kept up throughout the coun- 
try and the immigration considerably delayed on that account. 
It was not until the act of congress passed in 1813, granting 
the right of preemption, that the country in true earnest com- 
menced to populate and improve. The public lands then were 
brought into market and the improvements of the people 

In 1802, and for a few years after, the settlements on the 
east side of the Kaskaskia River increased considerably. 
Fulton with his large family located there; so did the Hug- 
gins, Bilderbacks, Hill, and Livelys, and in 1805, about fifteen 
families from Abbeyville District, South Carolina, located in 
the same settlement, from five to fifteen miles from Kaskaskia. 
The Andersons, Thompsons, Erwin, McDonald, McBride, Cox, 
Miller, Couch, and others cori posed this settlement, and dur- 
ing the next few years, this colony from South Carolina in- 


creased to forty families or more. These South-Carolina emi- 
grants were hardy, energetic people, well qualified to sustain 
themselves in a new and frontier country. They were honest 
and patriotic, of Irish descent, and were warm and impulsive. 
The old ones were generally of the Presbyterian church ; but 
the younger class was moral, yet joined no church. 

In 1806, when the United-States lands were to be surveyed, 
the Rector family reached Kaskaskia and remained there for 
several years. This family in Illinois was numerous and con- 
spicuous in pioneer times. There were nine brothers and four 
daughters of the family. They were all born in Fauquier 
County, Virginia, and many of them raised there. Some of 
them had emigrated to Ohio and others direct to Illinois. 
The family were singular and peculiar in their traits of char- 
acter. They were ardent, excitable, and enthusiastic in their 
dispositions. They possessed integrity and honesty of pur- 
pose in the highest degree. Nature had endowed them with 
strong and active minds, but their passions at times swept over 
their judgments like a tempest. They were the most fearless 
and undaunted people I ever knew. Dangers, perils, and even 
death were amusements for them when they were excited. 
They were impulsive and ungovernable when their passions 
were enlisted. They were the most devoted and true-hearted 
friends and the most energetic and impulsive enemies to any 
one they thought deserved their hatred. The family in their 
persons were generally large and formed with perfect manly 
symmetry. They were noble, commanding, and elegant in 
their bearing and their personal appearance was, for manly 
beauty, not surpassed in the territory. They possessed an 
exquisite and high sense of honor and chivalry. An insult 
was never offered to any one of them that went unpunished. 

William Rector was the oldest brother and a monitor for 
the balance. He was a deputy-surveyor and all were respect- 
able gentlemen. Stephen Rector was a lieutenant in Capt. 
Moore's company of United-States rangers in the war of 1812, 
and performed well his duty to his country. 

Nelson Rector was captain' of n armed boat in 1814, and 
had an engagement with the Lritish and Indians at Rock 
Island. He possessed the noble bearing of the ancient 


knights. It became necessary at the battle-ground to leave 
the boat and rout some Indians from an island in the Missis- 
sippi. Capt. Rector was dressed richly, with a splendid mili- 
tary uniform, epaulettes, and a large red feather in his hat. 
Thus equipped, he drew his sword and walked deliberately on 
an open sand beach, in a short distance of the enemy, and 
ordered his company to follow him. Many Indian guns were 
fired at him, which he disregarded as if they were pop-guns. 
He escaped, but it was miraculous, as he was alone, in advance 
of his company, and such a distinguished object, an officer so 
gayly dressed, without a gun to return the fire. But all the 
Rectors were strangers to fear. 

Thomas Rector, one of the younger brothers, had a duel 
with Joshua Barton on Bloody Island, opposite St. Louis, and 
was as cool in that combat as if he were shooting at a deer in 
the prairie. These young men espoused the quarrel of their 
older brothers and Barton fell in the conflict. William Rector 
commanded a regiment as colonel in the campaign of 1812, 
against the Indians at the head of Peoria Lake, and in the 
same campaign, Nelson Rector acted as an aid-de-camp to 
Gov. Edwards. 

The whole Rector family were patriotic and were always 
willing and ready, on all proper occasions, to shed their, blood 
in the defence of their country. Nelson Rector had a com- 
pany of surveyors out on the waters of the Saline Creek in 
Gallatin County, Illinois, and on March i, 1814, he was fired 
on by the Indians and severely wounded. His left arm was 
broken; a ball entered his left side and another touched his 
face. His horse carried him off and he recovered from his 
wounds. In 1816, Col. William Rector was appointed sur- 
veyor-general of Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas. He made 
St. Louis his residence, where the whole family assembled and 
resided also. 

The Goshen Settlements were extended north in 1804. In 
that year, James Stockton and Abraham Pruitt settled at the 
foot of the bluff, not far below Wood River. These two fami- 
lies were the first that located in the Wood-River Settlement, 
so called afterward. These emigrants came from Knox Co., 
Tennessee, and were the pioneers of a large connection that 


followed in a few years after. They were honest, correct 
farmers. About this time, the Six-Mile Prairie Settlement in- 
creased also. 

In this year, 1804, Delorm, a Frenchman from Cahokia, set- 
tled at the edge of the timber cast of the Big Mound in the 
American Bottom, near the Quentine Creek. The French 
had resided on the Big Island in the Mississippi, below the 
mouth of the Missouri, at intervals, for fifty or sixty years 
before. Squire LaCroix, who died in Cahokia an old man a' 
few years since, was born on that island. 

The Quentine Village commenced its existence soon aftcr 
Delorm settled east of the Big Mound in 1804. It extended 
from, the mound west, along the margin of Cahokia Creek for 
some miles, and was at one time a handsome little village. 
They mostly emigrated from Prairie du Pont. About the 
same time, 1805, Nicholas Turgion, August Trotier, Dennis 
Vallcntine, and others commenced the French Village, which' 
is situated in the American Bottom on the banks of a lake. 
It extends west from the bluff and the macadamized road now 
passes thro it. Vallentine built a horse-mill in this village. 
This little French colony, like that of the Quentine, flourished' 
for several years and both were neat little French settlements. 
The Quentine has been declining for some time and has 
almost disappeared as a village. The country around it is 
assuming an agricultural existence and that of a French village 
is merged in farms. 

It was in the neighborhood of this village that the monks 
of LaTrappe established themselves in 1810, at the Big Mound 
in the American Bottom. It seems that this order of religion- 
ists carries on a crusade against human nature in their own 
persons. We read of the bravest of the brave, but they were 
the most rigid of the rigid. They carried out the nc plus ultra 
of fanaticism. Two of their vows were celibacy and perpetual' 
silence. It i* strange they did not declare against eating. 
Females were not permitted to enter on their premises. It is 
said they swept off their tracks if any came within their walks 
by mistake. This order is. a branch of the Cistercian monks 
and was first founded by Rotrou I., count of Perche, in 1040. 
It relaxed in its severe discipline until Abbe Ranee reinstated 


it in its vigor in 1664. It was situated first in the most gloomy 
and wild province of France that of Perche. Its last founder, 
Ranee, got soured at the world and particularly against his 
mistress, who discharged him for another lover, and he com- 
menced a war against himself. He lay on a rock, lived on 
bread and water alone, and removed a handful of earth from 
his grave each day of his life; and what is strange, he had fol- 
lowers. I have myself addressed many of the monks at the 
mound and they were as silent to me as the grave. The New 
Testament teaches no such doctrine as that. The Revolution 
in France removed them from that nation and public opinion, 
which is more powerful than a revolution, discharged them 
from the American Bottom. They located themselves first in 
the United States in 1804, at Conewago, Pennsylvania; then 
in Kentucky ; then at Florisant, St. Louis County, Missouri ; 
and lastly, as above stated. They were sickly at the mound; 
sold out and disappeared in 1813. 

Soon after the purchase of Louisiana, President Jefferson 
projected a peaceable campaign across the continent to the 
Pacific Ocean. The object of this exploration was to acquire 
information of the country between the two oceans and secure 
the friendship and trade of the Indians. Merryweather Lc* 
and William Clark, brother of Gen. G. R. Clark, were appoiiu 
the leaders of the expedition. The exploring party, consisting 
of thirty-four men, camped the winter of 1803 and 1804 in the 
American Bottom, not far from the Mississippi, below the 
mouth of Wood River. This camp was the nltama tliule of 
the white settlements in Illinois at that day. Lewis was a 
captain and Clark a lieutenant in the United -States army. 
They visited Cahokia, St. Louis, and the settlements around in 
Illinois during this winter. They embarked on the Missouri 
River on May 14, 1804, and returned to St. Louis in December, 
1806. Many of the party, John B. Thompson, Collins, Willard, 
Newman, Windsor, Frazier, Gibson, and perhaps some others 
settled in Illinois and most of them remained there. 

In the years progressing from 1804, the settlements of both 
Randolph and St. Clair counties enlarged considerably. Lacy, 
Tindale, Gaston, Franklin, Herd, Cochran, and others located 
in the settlement east of the Kaskaskia River, in Randolph 


County. Smith and Taylor located in the American Bottom, 
between Prairie du Rocher and Kaskaskia, in 1801, and both 
raised large families there. Henry Noble and Jesse Greggs 
were the two first families in 1804 that settled on Big-Muddy 
River. They were the pioneers of Big Muddy. Going, Pul- 
liam, Griffin, Chance, Ratcliff, Gibbons, and some others were 
added to the outside settlements of Kaskaskia River and 
Silver Creek in these times. Chiltons, Brazell, Lorton, Moore, 
Downing, Lemen, Copeland, Lacy, Gregg, Vanhoozer, Rattan, 
Hewitt, Hill, Stubblefield, Jones, and many others were at- 
tached to the eastern and northern parts of what was then 
known as the Goshen Settlement 

In these days, 1805, John T. Lusk emigrated from Ken- 
tucky and settled in Goshen, Illinois. He was born in South 
Carolina and had lived with his father at Lusk's Ferry on the 
Ohio, opposite the present town of Golconda. He has been 
engaged the greater part of his life in the administration of 
the laws. He served in the military in the war and has per- 
formed his duties well in both civil and military offices. 

The Six-Mile Prairie Settlement was enlarged by Waddles, 
Gnffin, Squires, Cummins, Carpenter, Gilham, and others, 
jut this time, some efforts were made to ship the produce 
10 market by the farmers themselves. The same energies that 
defended the country in times of war were now turned to com-, 
merce. Several flat-boats were constructed; laden with corn, 
hogs, cattle, etc., and started to New Orleans from the head of 
the Big Island, in the present county of Madison. Some 
reached the destined port, but others were wrecked on the 
voyage for the want of skill in the navigation of the river. 
Boats were also started down the river from the Big Prairie, 
in the present county of Monroe. The lead-mines in Missouri 
were a market for live-stock, hogs, and beef-cattle. 

School-houses were "few and far between" at that day. 
The immigrants were from the Southern and Western States, 
as it has already been remarked, and were not as efficient to 
advance education as their duties to themselves and country 
demanded at their hands. A school-house, a log-cabin, in 
ancient times stood at the foot of the bluff, half-way between 
Judy's and William B. Whitcside's ; but more than half the 


time it was not occupied. About half the time, a log school- 
. house was tenanted by a school, which stood east of the spring 
of John Fulton of Ash Hill, Randolph County. Doyle, the 
.brave old soldier of Gen. Clark, kept a school in Kaskaskia 
for many years after 1790. In 1805, Edward Humphrey taught 
a school in the American Bottom, near the Chaffins. In the 
French Villages, common education was very much neglected. 
The priests and the old ladies at times taught the children, 
.but not often. At the New Design and in the American Bot- 
tom, schools were to some extent sustained. About this time, 
1805, and onward, the country commenced to have frontiers. 
Before that, inside and outside of the American settlements 
were all frontiers. 

In pioneer times, professional characters were not numerous. 
The country was poor and sparsely settled; so that many of 
them could not make a living by their practice. 

George Fisher was a physician who was considered the best 
of his day. He emigrated from Hardy County, Virginia, and 
settled in Kaskaskia in very early times. He was also a mer- 
chant; but he did not long continue in that profession. Dr. 
Fisher was a gentleman of common education, and had been 
a well-read physician; but depended more on his natural abili- 
ties than books. He possessed a good, sprightly mind, and a 
great share of activity. He was an agreeable and benevolent 
man. Soon after the territory of Indiana was established, Gov. 
Harrison appointed Dr. Fisher the sheriff of Randolph Count}-. 
He executed the duties of this office to the satisfaction of the 
public for many years. He was elected to the first general 
assembly of the Illinois Territory. He was a great favorite 
with the people kind to the poor and indulgent to all. He 
was elected the speaker of the house of representatives. This 
is an office of standing and dignity, no matter where the 
assembly may be. Dr. Fisher was elected to the convention 
in 1818, from Randolph County. He acted in that celebrated 
convention that formed a Constitution, which secured the pros- 
perity and happiness of the State for many years. He died 
on his farm, at the foot of the bluff, in 1820, much lamented 
by the people. 

Dr. Wm. L. Reynolds emigrated from Kentucky, Bracken 


County, in the year 1809, and settled in Kaskaskia. He pos- 
sessed talents of a high order, and a probity and integrity 
that dignify human nature in any condition in life. He had 
received a collegiate education, and was well versed in the 
science of medicine. He had studied with great assiduity, and 
his labors were crowned with success. For many years he 
reigned triumphant in his profession in Kaskaskia and vicinity. 
Dr. Fisher had retired to his farm, and did not practise much. 
Dr. Reynolds moved to Cahokia, and practised there with a 
high reputation, as he had done in Kaskaskia. He returned 
to Kaskaskia, and practised his profession there for many 
years. He was elected to the territorial legislature in 1815, 
and was instrumental in establishing Jackson County, and 
giving it the name of Jackson, and the county-seat, Browns- 
ville, in honor of those two great generals in the United-States 
army. He became sickly, and died in 1823 with the con- 
sumption, without seeing many years. His death was much 
regretted, not only for his sake, but for a more sordid con- 
sideration, the loss of him as a physician. 

A more ancient pioneer doctor was Trueman Tuttle. Dr. 
Tuttle was an Eastern man, with classic education, who came 
as a surgeon of the United-States army with the troops that 
came to Kaskaskia in 1802. He was considered a good phy- 
sician, and accordingly got a good practice with the citizens 
while he remained in the army. When the army left, he 
resigned [1808] his office as surgeon, and remained to practise at 
Kaskaskia. After some years he established himself in Caho- 
kia, and there also maintained an excellent character. He 
was appointed judge of the court of common-pleas of St. Clair 
County, and justice-of-the-peace. He was honest and correct 
in these offices, as he had been in all his acts, public and 

There was a Dr. Wallace, who attended to the dreadful sick- 
ness of the New Design in 1797; but his character was little 
known then or at present. Dr. Lyle resided in Cahokia in 
very early times, and was considered a good physician, but 
excessively ill-natured and cross. 

Dr. James Rose emigrated from Kentucky, and settled in 
Kaskaskia in 1805. He possessed some talent and made a 


good physician in his early life. He was a little lame; but 
before he forgot himself for his friendship for alcohol, his 
mind was not lame. He enjoyed a good practice at Kaskas- 
kia and vicinity. He did reside in Belleville; but toward the 
close of his career he neglected his profession, and it in turn 
neglected him. 

Dr. Caldwell Cairnes was a sound, good physician in olden 
times in Illinois. He emigrated from Pennsylvania about half 
a century ago, and located in Illinois. In 1805, he was in the 
tornado already mentioned. He possessed himself of a splen- 
did farm, which he styled Walnut Grove. He farmed on a 
large scale, and attended likewise to his profession. He was a 
judge of the court of St.Clair County, and justice-of-the-peace.. 
When Monroe County was organized, he was elected from it 
one of the members that formed the State constitution. He 
made a solid business member in that body. He died on his- 
plantation, much regretted by the public. Dr. Cairnes was a 
sound, clear-headed man, and was honest and correct. He 
left behind him a good reputation and a large estate. 

Benjamin H. Doyle, an attorney -at- law, emigrated from 
Knox County, Term., and settled in Kaskaskia in 1805. He 
practised in the courts of Randolph and St.Clair counties. He 
possessed a good address, and would have made a good law- 
yer if he had attended to his studies. He was appointed 
attorney-general; but resigned his office in 1809, and left the 

James Haggin was born in Kentucky, and emigrated to- 
Kaskaskia in 1804. He practised law some years in the 
courts of both Randolph and St. Clair, and was a promising 
young man. He built a house, not in the settlement, but, at 
that day. in the wilderness, four or five miles east of Kaskas- 
kia, at the head of Gravelly Creek. He remained in Illinois 
but a few years, and went back to Kentucky, where he became 
a very eminent man. 

John Rector, a lawyer one of the Rector family before 
mentioned located in Kaskaskia in 1806; opened a law-office, 
and attended the courts at Kaskaskia and Cahokia. He prac- 
tised his profession for a few years in Illinois, and left the 


The first attorney who made Cahokia his permanent resi- 
dence, after Darnielle, was William Mears. He came to this 
village in 1808, and there commenced the practice of the law. 
He was born in Ireland in 1768, and emigrated to the United 
States. He landed at Philadelphia, and taught school some 
time in Pennsylvania. He came to Cahokia, about forty years 
of age, as if he had dropped down from the clouds without 
horse, clothes, books, letters, or anything except himself a 
rather singular and uncouth-looking Irishman. He had read 
law while he taught school in Pennsylvania. He possessed a 
strong mind and retentive memory. In his early days he was 
not a scholar, but by application and severe study he not only 
acquired a profound knowledge of the law, but also became a 
learned and intelligent man. He was appointed attorney-gen- 
eral for the territory of Illinois in 1814, and, to my own knowl- 
edge, he made an able and efficient prosecuting-attorney. He 
moved to Belleville when the county-seat was taken there, in 
1814, from Cahokia, and remained in this place during his life. 
He was elected clerk of the house of representatives of the 
general assembly. He married a respectable lady in Missouri 
built a house in Belleville, and died there in 1824. Mears had 
no talent for speculation or acquiring wealth; but lived decently 
on his practice, and died about even with the world. 

In 1809, Samuel D. Davidson, a lawyer from Kentucky, came 
and settled in Cahokia. He was a decent young man moral 
and correct but made no impression on anything where he 
lived, moved, or had his being. He wrote a beautiful hand, 
which was about the beginning and ending of his talents. I 
think he taught a school in Cahokia, and he entered the mili- 
tary service in 1812. In the campaign of 1813 he was appointed 
to some office in the quartermaster's department. Some time 
after the war, he left Cahokia to parts unknown. 

Russel E. Heacock practised law in St. Clair County in 1808, 
and moved to Jonesboro', south of Kaskaskia. He married in 
that vicinity, and practised law for several years in that section 
of Illinois. He moved to Buffalo, New York, and then to Chi- 
cago; and acquired considerable property in and near Chicago, 
[where died of cholera in 1 849.] 

Joseph Conway emigrated from Kentucky, and settled in. 


Kaskaskia, as a lawyer, in 1812. He acted in the contractors' 
department for some time on the frontiers during the war. He 
practised law in the courts in and south of Kaskaskia for some 
time after he settled there. Judge Thomas, one of the United- 
States judges for the territory of Illinois, appointed him clerk 
of the circuit-court of Madison County in 1816. He remained 
in this office until 1825. Politics then was warmly agitated by 
the people, and Emanuel J. West was put in the office of clerk 
of the Madison circuit-court. Conway was popular, and the 
people elected him to the State senate for four years. Then he 
was appointed clerk in Rock-Island County. He remained in 
this office for several years went down the river and died. 
Three brothers,* Louison, Etienne, and Louis Pensoneau, 

* Diligent inquiry has so far failed to discover the descendants of Etienne and 
Louis Pensoneau, and it is not known if they left any. After Etienne purchased 
from Blair the land upon which the city of Belleville stands, he built a water-mill on 
Richland Creek about two hundred yards south of the present site of the great Har- 
rison steam-mill, and continued to operate it until he sold out to Gov. Edwards. He 
then returned to Cahokia, and from there removed to St. Louis, where he engaged in 
business and remained until his death. 

About 1794, Louison Pensoneau married Miss Lizette LeCompt in the village of 
Cahokia, and after residing some years in Peoria, settled on a farm at Point a la 
Pierre, near the Grand Marais, four miles east of the Mississippi, on .the Belleville 
road. At that place he died in 1832, and his widow continued to reside there until 
her death in 1841. Of this union there survived ten children, three daughters and 
seven sons. The daughters were Bridget, Marie, and Louisa; the sons were Louis, 
Paschal, Laurent, Edward, Narcisse, Charles, and Francois, the two last being twins. 

Bridget was married to Amable Tramble in 1818, and died in 1831, and her hus- 
band, a Canadian- Frenchman, survived her but three or four years. They left two 
sons, Louis and Franfois Tramble, who both died without issue : Louis, a journey- 
man printer, dying in San Francisco, Cal., in the spring of 1850, and Franois was 
drowned in the Missouri River, near Fort Leavenworth, in the same year, on his re- 
turn from the Yellowstone as an employe of John P. Sarpy & Co., fur-traders of 
St. Louis. 

Marie married John Valentine, and both died in a few years after their marriage, 
leaving one daughter, named Louisa, who subsequently married Octav Born, a Cana- 
dian, and with him emigrated to New Orleans. 

Louisa married Joseph Trotier in 1820, and lived and died in Cahokia. She had 
two children, Mary and Joseph. Mary Trotier was married to Col. Vital Jarrot in 
1845, and died in 1852. Her brother, Joseph, wandered to the Far- West, and is 
perhaps still living. 

Of the sons of Louison Pensoneau and Lizette Le Compt now all dead Louis, 
born in 1800, married Henriet, youngest daughter of Jean Franfois Perry, in the fall 
of 1822, and died where he had always lived, at Point a la Pierre, Feb. 22, 1826. 
His only child, Louis Perry Pensoneau, born May i, 1824, is now residing at East 


emigrated from Canada, and settled in Cahokia in 1798. They 
were born at the old Prairie Fort, so-called, in the Three-River 
Settlement, Canada, between the years 1772 and 1776. These 
brothers married in Cahokia and made excellent citizens. Louis 
occupied the ferry between Cahokia and St. Louis for many 
years. In olden times the ferry between these two villages was 
kept below the mouth of the old Cahokia Creek. This was 
west of Cahokia and Louis Pensoneau was the ferryman for a 
long time. Etienne was a very active and business man. He 
possessed extraordinary energies, and improved the country 
considerably. He made the first house, "the brick-house," so- 
called, in olden times in Illinoistown. He then purchased the 
site of Belleville from George Blair, and sold it to Gov. Edwards. 
He went to St. Louis, purchased property, and died in 1821. 

St. Louis with a married daughter, his only child. The widow of Louis Pensoneau, 
with her son and widowed mother (nee Perry), removed to Belleville in 1833, and she 
died at Mascoutah, St. Clair County, April 22, 1882. 

Paschal Pensoneau, the next son, in early manhood became identified with the 
Kickapoo Indians, married one or more of them, and died a few years since on the 
reservation of the remnant of that tribe, in the Indian Nation, leaving several half- 
breed children. 

Laurent, the next son, born in 1805, married Elizabeth Hays, daughter of John 
Hays, Esq., and died at Point a la Pierre, without issue, July 18, 1848. His widow 
afterward married Bradford Broulette, and removed to Vincennes, Ind. , where she 
still resides, her second husband having died several years ago. 

Edward Pensoneau was born in 1810, and married Miss Isabella Boismenue in 
1843, who died in 1846, leaving one son, Edward, now residing near East St. Louis. 
Edward, Sr., was again married in 1853 to Margaret Saucier, daughter of Matthieu 
Saucier, who, with three children, survived him, and still resides in or near Cahokia. 
Edward Pensoneau, Sr., died in 1860. 

Narcisse Pensoneau was born in 1812, and married Felicite Pensoneau in Belle- 
ville in 1835, and died at Mascoutah, 111., Oct. 8, 1878. His wife died at the same 
place, November 28, 1876. Of several children they had, but two survived them: 
P'elicite, born in Belleville, July 22, 1836, who is living and unmarried, and William 
Bissel Pensoneau, married and residing in Jackson County, 111. 

The twin sons, Charles and Franois, were never married. Charles died in Belle- 
ville in 1860, and Francois about the same time, in Louisiana. 

About the time the three brothers, Etienne, Louis, and Louison Pensoneau, ar- 
rived in Cahokia, two other Pensoneaus second or third cousins of theirs who are 
not mentioned in the " Pioneer History," came to that village from Canada. They 
were brothers and named P"ran9ois and Augustine. They were citizens of Cahokia 
for many years, and both died and were buried there. Augustine Pensoneau mar- 
ried the widow of Jean Francois Perry in 1815, and died in the fall of 1819, leaving 
his widow and two children: Felicite, born in 1817, who married Narcisse Pen- 
soneau, and Augustine, born in 1819, who was raised in the family of Hon. Adam 
W. Snyder, and is now residing in Belleville. 


Louison Pensoneau, when he arrived in Illinois, embarked in 
the Indian trade, and remained in it almost during life. Me 
made the Illinois River the scene of his operations, and the 
Kickapoo Indians were his customers. Peoria was his main 
depot, and the prairies round about were his counters where he 
sold his goods. He was the first person that moved in the 
adjustment of the old Peoria claims. He got up a petition 
from the Peoria inhabitants and sent it to Hon. Daniel P. Cook, 
representative in Congress; and the consequence was the act of 
congress of 1820, authorizing the register of the land-office at 
Edwardsville to hear evidence and report on the claims. His 
report was confirmed by another act of congress, passed in 1823. 
These Peoria claimants stand in the same situation as any of 
the ancient inhabitants of Illinois who have had lands granted 
to them by the government. Louison Pensoneau died in 1832, 
much regretted. 

The settlements in the two counties, St. Clair and Randolph, 
enlarged considerably for some years before the territory of 
Illinois (in 1809) was created. The inhabitants had located 
themselves on the frontiers; so that the Wood -River Colony 
was made stronger and enlarged. The same of the settlements 
on Silver Creek and the Kaskaskia River, from Going's Settle- 
ment down. Some few had located on the River Mary, in Ran- 
dolph, and in the Mississippi Bottom below the creek called 
Gagnie. Hickman, Manscoe, and some others settled in this 
bottom as early as 1806. About this time Bowerman and Steel 
settled on the Massac Road, some fourteen miles east of Kas- 
kaskia. Two or three of the Bird family located at the mouth 
of the Ohio the present Cairo. The Birds were engaged in 
the commerce on the rivers, and made this establishment to 
accommodate themselves and others navigating the western 
waters in 1805. 

Near the Ohio Saline, as it was called, a settlement was 
formed in very early times, which increased for several years 
before the year 1809. A few families were residing on the west 
side of the Wabash, near Vincennes, some time before the war 
of 1812; but they left during the war. In 1809, Macauley 
emigrated from Kentucky, and located on the Little Wabash 
where the Vincennes road crossed. He abandoned this place 
in the war, but returned afterward. 


Illinois under the Government of the Illinois Territory. 

THE settlements were so remote from Vincennes, the seat of 
government of Indiana Territory and they being a small strip 
scattered on the margins of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers 
that the people in Illinois clamored much for a new territory. 
Nine-tenths of the country composing the Illinois Territory at 
that day was uninhabited and a wilderness. 

In the general assembly of the Indiana Territory, in 1808, 
Jesse B. Thomas, a member of the legislature, was elected a 
delegate to congress, and instructed to obtain a division of the 
territory. On February 23, 1809, the territory of Illinois was 
established. The boundaries of the Territory were the same as 
those of the State at present, except the Territory extended 
north to the northern limits of the United States. The Federal 
government organized the territorial government and appointed 
the officers to administer the laws in it. Ninian Edwards was 
appointed governor; Nathaniel Pope, secretary; and Jesse B. 
Thomas, William Sprigg, and Alexander Stuart, the judges. 
Stuart soon resigned, and Stanley Griswold was appointed. 
These officers, .for the most part, were great, talented men, and 
gave character and standing to the country. 

Nathaniel Pope being present, entered into the administration 
of the government in the absence of Gov. Edwards. Secretary 
Pope, acting as governor, appointed the proper number of jus- 
tices-of-the-peace and other officers in the two counties. John 
Hays was appointed sheriff, and John Hay clerk of the court, 
and John Moore, coroner. Gov. Edwards arrived at Kaskaskia, 
and he, with two of the judges of the Territory, by the authority 
of the Ordinance of 1787, constituted a legislative body in the 
first grade of territorial government. They rcenacted the laws 
of the Indiana Territory, which were applicable to the territory 
of Illinois. 



The establishment of a separate government in Illinois, in 
1809, had great influence on immigration. The country was then 
better known and its merits appreciated. A great many ad- 
venturers followed the government, and Gov. Edwards was 
greatly instrumental in procuring immigration. 

Matthew Duncan, an editor and proprietor from Kentucky, 
established the first newspaper in the Territory. The paper 
was published at Kaskaskia in the fall of 1809, which was a 
great lever to make known the advantages of Illinois. In 1815, 
Robert Blackwell and Daniel P. Cook purchased this paper,* 
and published it for several years at Kaskaskia. 

Col. Benjamin Stephenson and many other immigrants came 
to the country under the patronage of Gov. Edwards.*f* The 
Rector family being already there, with many others, and 
together with the colony arriving with the new government, 
made old Kaskaskia a gay and fashionable place again. Never 
did Kaskaskia witness as much gayety, carousal, and amuse- 
ment since the winter of 1809 and 1810. It is stated that the 
number of inhabitants in 1810 was 12,520. I think this num. 
b~r is swelled a little for effect; but the country was populating 

* In McDonough's "History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry counties," pun. 
lishcd in 1883, we find the following: 

"Writers disagree as to the date of the first appearance of a newspaper in lllinoi>. 
Reynolds says that it was as early as 1809, while others equally reliable fix the date 
in 1814. All, however, agree that the Illinois Herald was the first paper published 
in the Territory, and that Matthew Duncan was the publisher and editor. 
points being settled, we are prepared to fix positively the date of its first appearance. 
We are in possession of No. 32 of Vol. II. of the Illinois Herald, published at Kas- 
kaskia (Illinois Territory), Thursday morning, April 18, 1816. Presuming that its 
publication continued without interruption up to the date above named, the fust 
issue was made September 6, 1814, page 194. On the same page, we are informed 
that the date of the transfer of the Herald to [Daniel P.] Cook & [Robert] lilackwell 
was August 25, i8r7. They changed the name of the paper to the Illinois Intelli- 
gencer. " 

A careful examination of the files of the Missouri Gazette and Illinois' Advertiser, 
now in possession of the Missouri Republican, at St. Louis, fails to show any men- 
tion of the Illinois Herald prior to 1814. J. H. G.. 

t" NOTICE. I have for sale 22 slaves. Among them are several of both sexes, 
between the years of 10 and 17 years. If not shortly sold, I shall wish to hire them 
in Missouri Territory. I have also for sale a full-blooded stud-horse, a very large 
English bull, and several young ones. NINIAN EDWARDS. 

"October i, 1815." Illinois Herald, Kaskaskia, Oct. I, 1815. 


fast at that time to what it was in former days. All the influ- 
ence of these officers of the Territory that they could exercise 
were exerted for the welfare and growth of the country. 

In 1809, Gov. Edwards appointed John J. Crittenden attor- 
ney-general of the Territory, and, on his resignation, his brother, 
Thomas T. Crittenden, was appointed to the same office. These 
gentlemen did not remain long in the country, but returned to 
Kentucky. Gov. Edwards was born in Montgomery County, 
Md., in March, 1775. His parents were wealthy and respectable; 
and his education was commenced under favorable auspices. 
He was a companion at school of the celebrated William Wirt, 
and prepared for college under the tuition of a respectable 
clergyman Mr. Hunt. He then was sent to the college at 
Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He did not graduate, but left the col- 
lege and his home at the age of nineteen years for Kentucky. 

Nature bestowed on Edwards many of her rarest gifts. He 
possessed a mind of extraordinary compass and an industry 
that brought forth every spark of talent with which nature had 
gifted him. His intellect was naturally strong and vigorous, 
and these qualities, together with his assiduity in his studies, 
made him a very superior man. He rose in Kentucky to the 
high and important office of chief-justice of the State. He 
was appointed governor of the territory of Illinois by President 
Madison, and by appointments continued in that office to the 
organization of the State government, in 1818. 

Gov. Edwards, by proclamation, established in 1812 the coun- 
ties of Madison, Johnson, Pope, and Gallatin; and having had 
a vote of the Territory in favor of a second grade of territorial 
government, he ordered, on September 16 of the same year, an 
election for members of the legislature. By his proclamation 
this assembly was convened at Kaskaskia, November 25, 1812. 
This was the first legislative body elected by the people that 
ever assembled in Illinois. The whole Territory contained six 
counties, and the general assembly twelve members five in the 
council and seven in the house of representatives; as it seems 
Pope County had no member in the council that session. 

John Thomas of St. Clair County was elected clerk of the 
council, and William C. Greenup of Randolph, clerk to the 
house. One door-keeper attended on both houses, and each 


branch occupied a room in the same building. It is said that 
the whole assembly boarded at one house and slept in the same 
room in Kaskaskia. The members of the council were Samuel 
Judy of Madison, William Biggs of St. Clair, Pierre Menard of 
Randolph, Thomas Ferguson of Johnson, and Benjamin Talbot 
of Gallatin. The members of the house were William Jones of 
Madison, Joshua Oglesby and Jacob Short of St. Clair, George 
Fisher of Randolph, Philip Trammel, and Alexander Wilson* 
of Gallatin, and John Grammar of Johnson. This legislature 
did much business, and made a short session. 

Soon after Gov. Edwards and other territorial officers arrived 
at Kaskaskia, they organized a colony of themselves and located 
in the prairie below Prairie du Rocher. All made habitations 

* Alexander Wilson, native of Virginia, came to the State in 1809 or 1810, from 
Kentucky, and settled at Shawneetown. Was appointed a justice-of-the-peace of 
Randolph County by Gov. Edwards, July 20, 1810. Was a member of the first 
territorial legislature assembled by Gov. Edwards at Kaskaskia, and with Phillip 
Trammell represented the then new county of Gallatin. He took his seat Novem. 
ber 25, 1812, and died while a member of the legislature. His son, Harrison 
Wilson, altho but a youth, was a volunteer in the war of 1812, and served as ensign 
of Capt. Thomas E. Craig's company of territorial militia in the expedition against 
Peoria. After his father's death he was active in his section on all matters relating 
to the protection and development of the new territory; was appointed treasurer 
of Gallatin County, Dec. 28, 1813, and justice-of-the-peace in 1817. As the friend 
of Gov. Bond, he seems to have been well esteemed by the latter. His inclinations 
were for the military service, and after the close of the war of 1812, altho colonel 
of a militia organization, he had no opportunity for further duties until the Black- 
Hawk War of 1832, in which, as captain of one of the companies of Posey's Brigade, 
he served with credit to the end. After the end of the Indian troubles, he settled 
down upon his farm in Gallatin County and lived a quiet and uneventful life until 
his death, at Shawneetown, in Feb., 1852, at the age of 63. 

Alexander Wilson was succeeded in the legislature by Thomas C. Browne, and 
at his instance, in recognition of the services of his predecessor, as one of the 
pioneers and founders of the territory, the legislature by a unanimous vote, with 
the full approval of the council and Gov. Edwards, Nov. 29, 1814, granted the heirs 
of Alexander Wilson a right of ferry-franchise across the Ohio River at Shawnee- 
town. This franchise has ever since remained in the family and is now owned and 
operated by the heirs of Harrison Wilson, whose sons, John Andrew Wilson of 
Hamilton County, Maj. -Gen. James Harrison Wilson of the regular army, and 
Maj. Henry S. Wilson, i8th 111. S&w&^T and Maj. Bluford Wilson, late solicitor 
of the treasury, have all served the State or national government with credit, and 
Gen. Wilson with distinction in the war of the Rebellion. Gen. Wilson and Bluford 
Wilson alone siKyive^ncLsjnce the war have been the promoters and builders of the 
St. Louis-and-]WtawG3tci'n, Cairo-and-Vincennes, and Louisville, -Evansville- and - 
St. Louis railroads, in their native section of the State. J. H. G. 


in this neighborhood, and many of them resided there Gov. 
Edwards, Judge Thomas, Judge Stuart, some of the Rectors, 
Stephenson, and perhaps some others, resided in this colony. 
It at last broke up, and all the first pioneers left it. 

Gov. Edwards was very energetic and active in his youthful 
<lays; and the war of 1812 gave him an ample theatre in which 
to exercise his talents and energies. The country was weak 
and the enemy the numerous bands of Indians were strong, 
and were abundantly supplied by their allies, the British, with 
the means of annoying the settlements. The inhabitants were 
so extended over such a large country, which made it more 
difficult to defend them than a small territory would be; and 
the general government had not the power to relieve the Terri- 
tory to any great extent. Edwards was equal to the emergency, 
and performed his duty nobly to his country. He attended to 
the defence of the country in person, and was present in all the 
important transactions, guiding and directing the whole. He 
remained at home with his family a very small portion of his 
time during the whole war. 

He was elected to the senate of the United States in 1818, 
and was shortly after reflected, as his term soon expired. The 
duties of this high and important office he performed with an 
ability and force of character that gave him and the State much 
standing and reputation. In 1826, he was elected governor of 
the State, and gave to this high and confidential trust all his 
experience, talents, and energies. He was the fast friend of 
the canal, not only in the senate of the United States, when 
the law passed granting so much land to the State for that 
noble improvement, but also while he was the chief executive 
of the State he urged that measure with all his great abilities. 
At the close of the war of 1812, he was appointed, with August 
Chouteau and William Clark of St. Louis, a commissioner to 
treat with the Indians; and in 1815, many humane and equita- 
ble treaties were made with them. 

While the cholera was raging in Belleville, in 1833, he was 
out, attending night and day to the afflicted with that scourge. 
With his knowledge of medicine and his true benevolence, he 
was a kind and efficient friend to the sick. It was his great 
anxiety and exertions in time of the cholera to~save the dis- 


tressed that caused him to take that disease. He was aged and 
his constitution some shattered, so that he fell a victim to the 
disease in a few hours after it seized on him. He died in Belle- 
ville, July 20, 1833. In the death of Gov. Edwards* the coun- 
try lost one of its ablest and best friends, and his family a kind 
parent and husband. 

Judges Thomas, Stuart, and Sprigg were, under the new Ter- 
ritorial organization, authorized and required to hold courts in 
all parts of the Territory under the judiciary system prescribed 
by the Territorial legislature. Judge Stuart remained on the 

* Gov. Edwards left two sons whose connection with the history of the State was 
of scarcely less importance than his own. His oldest son, Ninian Wirt Edwards, 
was born April 15, 1809, near Frankfort, Kentucky, and removed with his father to 
this State. Was married to Elizabeth P. Todd, at Lexington, Ky., February 16, 1832. 
He graduated at Transylvania University in the law department in 1833. Was 
afterward appointed attorney-general by Gov. John Reynolds in 1834. Confirmed 
by the legislature in 1835. Disliking Vandalia as a residence, he resigned shortly 
afterward and removed to Springfield, in the latter part of the year 1835. He was 
the next year, 1836, elected to represent Sangamon in the loth general assembly as 
a colleague of Abraham Lincoln, Gen. E. D. Baker, and six others known in llie 
State's history as the celebrated "long nine", who encompassed the removal of the 
capital to Springfield. Mr. Edwards was reelected in 1838, in the first legislature 
which met in the new capital; was senator from Sangamon County in 1844-8; and 
again to the house in 1848-50; and reelected to the latter position in 1850-52. Dur- 
ing Mr. Edwards' term of office, as state senator, he was elected one of the delegates 
to the constitutional convention of 1847. Before the expiration of his last legislative 
term he was appointed, March 24, 1854, by Gov. Matteson to be the first State super- 
intendent of public instruction, under the new free-school law, a position he filled ably 
and worthily, giving the benefit of his ripe experience and extensive acquaintance, as 
well as his thoro scholarship to the proper organization of what has since proven to be 
one of the best systems of public education the land can boast. Mr. Edwards is still 
living in Springfield, where he occasionally appears as an attorney in the courts 
where he has practised for nearly fifty years. His rank as a lawyer was deservedly 
high; he was one of the attorneys representing the State before the board to inves- 
tigate the claims of the canal contractors in 1852-3-4. He was the author of the 
first free-school law, approved Feb. 15, 1855. He also edited his father's letters and 
published many of them, with a sketch of his life, in the year 1870. Mr. Edwards 
had two sons and twc daughters, who are all married, and most of their descend- 
ants are living near him in Springfield, Illinois. 

The younger son of Gov. Edwards, Hon. Benjamin Stephenson Edwards, is also a 
prominent member of the Springfield bar, and at the present writing a member of 
the firm of Stuart, Edwards & Brown. Judge Edwards was elected judge of the 
thirtieth circuit in 1869, a position he filled acceptably until his resignation the year 
following. He has filled many minor positions acceptably, and is today one of the 
acknowledged leaders of the bar of the capital city. J. H. G. 


bench in Illinois but a short time, and was appointed judge in 
the territory of Missouri. Stanley Grisvvold was appointed in 
his place in Illinois, as before stated. Judge Thomas presided 
in three upper counties in the Territory, Sprigg in the centre, 
and Stuart or Griswold on the Ohio and Lower Wabash. This 
system greatly improved the judiciary of Illinois, which was 
very much needed. 

Nature has been as bountiful to her native-born sons in Illi- 
nois as she has been generous in providing the fairest and finest 
country for their support. Samuel McRoberts, one of nature's 
loftiest sons, was born on his father's plantation in Monroe 
County, February 12, 1799. The natural gifts of Samuel 
McRoberts were great; and he added to them by an assiduity 
and intense application to, study that would almost overcome 
any obstacle. Three great leading elements composed his 
character: a strong and vigorous intellect, an untiring energy 
and industry, and an unbounded ambition. These traits, while 
yet a young man not much over forty years, raised him from 
an pbscure and humble situation in life to the senate of the 
United States, which is one of the most elevated and most 
important stations that is known to man. 

In his tender years a tutor in his father's house instructed 
him in the rudiments of education. When he was of the 
proper age, he assisted his father to cultivate the farm for their 
support. At maturer age he was placed under the care of a 
very competent teacher, the late Mr. Edward Humphry. Mr. 
Humphry was an excellent citizen and a fine scholar. He 
commenced a school in the American Bottom, near the resi- 
dence of Mr. Chaffin, in 1805, and continued to teach for many 
years. His merit raised him to the kind consideration of the 
people, and he held many important offices member to the 
general assembly, register of the land-office, etc. 

Young McRoberts received at this school an excellent Eng- 
lish education, and also studied the Latin language. He 
delighted in mathematics, in which science he became well 
versed at this institution. He continued to prosecute his 
studies with his means and under the circumstances of the 
country until he was twenty years of age; then he accepted 
the clerkship of the circuit court of Monroe County. While in 


this situation, he acquired the means and opportunity to im- 
prove his mind, and he let no opportunity escape; but read 
day and night, while other young men of his age and condition 
were enjoying themselves in society and amusements. At the 
age of twenty-two years he entered the law department of the 
Transylvania University, at Lexington, Ky. The faculty at 
this time were William T. Barry and Jesse Bledsoe, whose fame 
and characters are known all over the nation. He attended 
three full courses of lectures, and had the degree of bachelor 
of laws conferred on him by the president and faculty. For 
classmates he had ex -Senator Morehead of Kentucky; H. C. 
White, Jr., of Tennessee; Senator Sevier, Arkansas; Mr. Harri- 
son, late member of congress from Missouri; Mr. Speaker White 
of Kentucky; Gov. Boggs of Missouri; Hon. Mr. Howard of 
Indiana, and many others, who became distinguished characters 
on the American theatre of great men. 

After his return to Illinois, he commenced the practice of the 
law at a strong bar Kane, Cook, Star, Blackwell, Mears, Thos. 
Reynolds, Mills, Baker, and others composed the bar of this 
section of the State where McRoberts commenced the practice 
of the law; but he succeeded to the admiration of the public. 
In 1825, he was elected by the legislature circuit-judge of the 
second circuit in the State. In 1827, the judiciary was changed 
and he was placed again at the bar. In 1829, he was elected 
by the counties of Monroe, Washington, and Clinton to the 
State senate. In 1830, he was appointed, by President Jack- 
son, district-attorney for the district of Illinois; and in 1832, he 
was appointed receiver of public moneys at the Danville land- 
office.* In 1839, ne was appointed solicitor of the general land- 

* Prior to 1832, the land-office for Eastern Illinois, north to the Wisconsin line, 
was at Palestine, Crawford Co.; all north to the dividing line between townships 16 
and 17, and west to the 3d principal meridian, was cut off of the Palestine district in 
1831, and formed into the Danville land-district, with Mr. McRoberts as its first re- 
ceiver, and on June 26, 1834, the Danville land-district was subdivided by an east- 
and-west line between T. 30 and 31 (now the northern boundary of Iroquois and 
Livingston co's), the territory north of which composed the Northeastern land-dis- 
trict, and opened for business at Chicago, May 28, 1835. This explains why early 
settlers within the limits of the last-named district had to go, successively, to Palestine, 
Danville, and Chicago to enter government lands. Judge McRoberts remained re- 
ceiver of the Danville land-office until his appointment as solicitor of the general 
land-office at Washington in 1839; the house he lived in from 1832 9, a two-story 
frame, still stands on S. Vermilion St., Danville. H. W. B. 


office at Washington City; and in 1841, he was elected to the 
senate of the United States. 

While a member of the senate, March 22, 1843, he died at 
Cincinnati, on his return from Washington to Illinois. The 
whole State, and the public generally, mourned and regretted 
his death: that so young a man and one so promising for future 
greatness should be cut off in the zenith of his usefulness and 
promise. His family and relatives were overwhelmed with sor- 
row and grief; but such is the mysterious ways of Providence. 
Excessive energy and intense application to study and business 
impaired his health, and at last shortened his days. Few men 
in any country or in any age run the brilliant career he did in 
so short a time. He was very kind and attentive to his brothers 
and sisters, and aided to give them an education. 

George Forquer and Thomas Ford half- brothers were 
ancient and respectable pioneers of Illinois. Forquer was born 
near Red- Stone Old Fort, now Brownsville, Pennsylvania, in 
1794, and Thomas Ford in or near Uniontown, in the same 
State, in 1800. The father of George Forquer was an officer 
in the Revolution, and served in that disastrous campaign to 
Canada under Gen. Arnold. After his return from Canada, he 
was appointed collector of the revenue of Bucks County, Penn- 
sylvania, and was robbed by the tories; so that he lost all his 
private fortune, which compelled him to seek an asylum in the 
West. He located near the Red-Stone Old Fort, and there he 
was killed by a coal bank falling on him. Mrs. Forquer, two 
or three years after, married Robert Ford, and in 1802, her 
husband was killed, as it was supposed, by robbers in the 
mountains. The old lady had a large family and scarcely any 
means for their support.' 

It was the custom of the Spanish government to give lands 
to actual settlers; and with the object to obtain land, Mrs. Ford 
set sail in a keel-boat from Red-Stone Old Fort, in 1804, for 
St. Louis, in the Spanish country. When she reached St. Louis 
the country was ceded to the United States, and she received 
no land. She remained in St. Louis some time, an'd then she 
and most of the family were taken sick. After their partial 
recovery, they moved to the New Design, in the fall of the 
same year they reached St. Louis. They located themselves 


about three miles south of Waterloo. The next year they 
moved near the bluff, where for the first time Forquer and Ford 
walked upwards of three miles to school. They were under 
the same teacher (Mr. Humphry), who had the charge, likewise, 
of young Samuel McRoberts, and at the same time. 

Mrs. Ford had a large family, mostly females, and not much 
means to support or educate them; but used her utmost exer- 
tions to accomplish that most desirable object the education 
of her children. This lady possessed much talent, energy, and 
firmness of character. She observed system and economy in 
her family. It is supposed by many that much of the celebrity 
and standing of her two sons were caused by the sound moral 
principles with which she impressed them when they were under 
her maternal care. 

Forquer being much older than Ford, was compelled to leave 
school to assist to support the family. He was forced to work 
out when he was only nine years old; and his schooling alto- 
gether was very little more than one year. He learned the 
trade of a house-joiner or carpenter in St. Louis, and worked 
at his trade for several years in that city. He returned to Illi- 
nois and purchased the tract of land on which Waterloo was 
located, in 1818. Daniel P. Cook and Forquer laid out this 
town, and Forquer purchased a stock of goods. He afterward 
projected the town of Bridgewater, on the Mississippi, one mile 
above Harrisonville. He was injured by these goods, which 
was the reason he studied law. He commenced the study of 
the law with a defective education; but he possessed a vigorous 
and active intellect, which supplied all deficiencies. He attended 
the Polemic Societies in Monroe County, and he learned the 
arts and mysteries of a fluent and elegant speaker. He had a 
good voice, and was a pleasant orator. This was a great lever 
in his extraordinary success. He possessed, as most of the 
pioneers of olden times did, an unbounded ambition. It was 
with him as Lord Nelson said, before the battle of Trafalgar: 
" Victory ; or a grave in Westminster Abbey." Success or 
death, was imprinted on Forquer's banner. 

In the year 1826, he was elected to the legislature from 
Monroe County, and was at the end of the session appointed 
secretary of the State. Some years after he was elected 


attorney-general .of the State of Illinois. Afterward he moved 
to Sangamon County, and was elected to the State senate from 
that county. After that he was appointed register of the land- 
office at Springfield. He died of a pulmonary disease at Cin- 
cinnati, in 1837, aged forty-seven years. 

Altho he commenced in the world poor, and embarrassed 
with his merchandizing debts, yet he accumulated a considera- 
ble estate and died wealthy. He was blessed with the amiable 
and benevolent virtues in an eminent degree. He was generous 
and hospitable, which flowed from the pure fountains of his 
noble heart. He made a good and successful practitioner at 
the bar, and had acquired a reputation arid character by his 
merit that extended all over the country. The community sin- 
cerely mourned his death, as they had lost a great and good 
man; but it was his family that shed sincere tears of affliction 
and sorrow for their loss. 

Ford being younger, had a better opportunity than his brother 
Forquer to obtain an education; altho it was quite limited. 
He might be considered as having received a good common 
education for the wilderness state of the country, forty years 
since, in Illinois. In his youth his mind was developing itself, 
so that he gave great promise of his future success. At school 
he was ardently attached to the science of mathematics. Daniel 
P. Cook became acquainted with Ford, and saw at once that he 
possessed a vigorous and strong mind, and was his sincere and 
efficient patron ever after. 

Cook provided and made the arrangements for Ford to study 
law. Forquer considered Ford's education defective, and sent 
him to Lexington, Ky., to improve it. But he remained there 
not a year. His brother Forquer being broken up, he returned 
home and commenced the practice of the law, in 1823. He 
was compelled on many occasions, when he was reading law, to 
stop and teach school for a support. In 1829, he was appointed 
prosecuting-attorney for a judicial district. In 1831, I appointed 
"him again prosecuting-attorney Gov. Edwards having first 
appointed him. In 1835, he was elected by the legislature a 
circuit-judge, and in 1840 an associate- judge of the supreme 
court. In 1842, he was elected governor of the State of 


Gov. Ford possessed many of the high and noble traits of 
character that constitute an eminent man. He was gifted with 
a strong and investigating intellect, and also possessed a firm, 
open, candidness of character that was admired by all. His 
mind was original and self-sustaining. Being in his infancy 
thrown on his own resources strengthened this trait of character. 
His firmness, moral and physical courage were never doubted 
by those who knew him. His ambition was prudent and well 
regulated by his sound judgment. His imagination was barely 
sufficient for a great man. The great governing element that 
gave him the high standing and celebrity which he so justly 
deserved was his strong mind. This kept his whole mental 
machinery in operation, and produced the results which are so- 
much admired by mankind. But at last one trait was defective 
he could not resist the temptation of refined and intellectual, 
society. God in his wisdom has made this the weakest point 
in the human character, and more are shipwrecked on this rock 
than all others in the voyage of life. 

Gov. Ford possessed a nice sense of honor, bordering on the 
chivalric notions of olden times. His notions of probity and 
integrity were refined and well defined. With these notions, 
speculation, talented financiering was foreign from him; and he 
never cared for wealth more than a support, and scarcely that 
much. It is a difficult medium to reach, between ethereal phi- 
losophy on one hand and sordid money-making on the other. 
Two of the greatest men except Washington the nation ever 
produced were entirely dissimilar on this subject Franklin 
acquired an estate and Jefferson lost one. 

The mind and character of Gov. Ford qualified him for a 
judge better than for any other station. He was frank, open, 
and firm on the bench, and at the same time learned and com- 
petent in the exposition of the law. He was a good and sound 
lawyer, but not the advocate some others were at the bar. His 
honesty and warm friendly attachments to friends when he was 
governor enabled the cunning and shrewd hangers-on at the 
seat of government to mislead him at times. The Mormon war 
was a trouble to him, and it would have been to almost any 
governor placed in similar circumstances. That he acted with 
honesty and moral and physical courage in this nondescript 


war, I have no doubt. Ford not only possessed a strong mind 
generally, but his intellect was clear and discriminating. With 
these talents he made a good writer, and has written the history 
of Illinois, which is not yet published.* Those having the manu- 
script say this history will be valuable for its information, and 
add credit to its author. After the close of the gubernatorial 
office, he resided in Peoria and practised his profession. He 
died there in 1849, sincerely regretted by the public. 

It has been stated that George and William Blair emigrated 
to Illinois in 1796. George occupied a place on the main road 
from Whiteside's Station to the Fountain, where the late Mr. 
Eberman resided, and erected a distillery on the spring branch, 
west of the road. He was appointed sheriff of St. Clair County, 
and held that office for many years. In 1802, he moved with 
his family to the present site of the city of Belleville, and 
erected a log-cabin about the place where the house of the late 
John Hay stands at present, in this city. He owned two hun- 
dred acres of land on which the town of Belleville, in the year 
1814, was located. 

The county-seat of St. Clair County had been at Cahokia for 
many years previous, but the country being settled by the Ameri- 
cans out of the French villages, gave the preponderance of popu- 
lation to the East, and on Dec. 10, 1813, an act of the legisla- 
ture of the territory passed, authorizing James Lemen, Caldwell 
Cairnes, John Hays, Isaac Enochs, William Scott, Nathan Cham- 
bers, and Jacob Short to select a suitable site for the county- 
seat of St. Clair County. On March 10, 1814, the commis- 
sioners selected the plantation of George Blair for the county- 
seat. The public-square was staked off, one acre of land in 
Blair's field, which the report of the commissioners says " is 
twenty or thirty rods northeast of the house of George Blair." 
Blair agreed to give the county not only the public-square but 
also every fifth lot taken out of twenty-five acres of land around 
the public-square. It was agreed that the public-square " is 
given for the purpose of erecting public buildings thereon." 

* "A History of Illinois, from its commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847. Con. 
taining a full account of the Black- Hawk War, the rise, progress, and fall of Mor- 
monism, the Alton and Lovejoy riots, and other important and interesting events. 
By the late Gov. Thomas Ford. Chicago: Published by S. C. Griggs &Co. 1854." 


Blair agreed further that arrangements would be made so that 
the court in June of the above year may be held in Belleville. 
George Blair had the honor to give the name of Belleville to 
the town and county-seat of St. Clair County. The court of 
St. Clair County, on August 8, 1814, recognized the name of 
Belleville and dated their sessions ever after at it. Belleville is 
a French word, which in English means a fine city, and it has 
realized the name. Edwardsville was located about the same 
time and was made the county-seat of Madison County. It 
has remained the seat of justice of that county to the present 
time. I recollect of attending the court there in an old fort 
made by Thomas Kirkpatrick near the Cahokia Creek, late in 
the fall of 1814. The house which is the most conspicuous for 
its age and public services in Belleville is the hotel built by 
James Tannahill in 1816. It was in pioneer times the hotel de 
villc of Belleville. It stands on the west side of the public- 
square grows with the country and is now more popular than 

Thomas Higgins was born in Barren County, Ky., in 1790. 
He came to Illinois with his relatives in 1807, and located on 
Silver Creek, St. Clair County, near his folks, the Bradsbys. He 
received a very limited education, as his parents were in humble 
circumstances and he himself had not much love for a school- 
house. He possessed a good mind, but he would in defiance of 
danger or anything else, employ himself in harmless mischief 
and merriment. He had nothing savage or cruel in his disposi- 
tion, yet he was as brave a man as ever existed. He was in his 
manhood very strong, muscular, and active. He was not so 
very tall, but compactly formed for great strength and activity. 
During the whole war of 1812, he was actively engaged on the 
frontiers in defending the settlements. I personally knew him 
to be a member of the company commanded by Capt. William 
B. Whiteside in most of the war. In 1814, he joined another 
company,* and was one of the party under the command of 
Lieut. John Journey at Hills Fort, situated six or eight miles 
southwest of the present town of Greenville, Bond County. 
Journey had eleven men in his corps, and on August 20, 1814, 
Indian sign was discovered near the fort, and the next morning 

* Capt. Jacob Short's company. Edwards' "History of Illinois," pp. 347-8. 


at daybreak, Journey and party were mounted and out to recon- 
noitre the country. They had not marched far before they 
entered an ambuscade of a large party of Indians. The warriors 
fired on them and Journey and three of his men were instantly 
killed. William Burges and John Boucher* were wounded 
Boucher slightly. The horse of Higgins was shot in the neck 
and fell to the ground, but soon rose again. Higgins remained 
a moment "to get a pull at them," as he said. He took delib- 
erate aim at an Indian and shot him dead. He then mounted 
his horse and was about to return to the fort, when a familiar 
voice hailed him from the grass and said, " Tom, you wont leave 
me ? " Higgins hollowed out to him to " come on." " I can 't 
come, my leg is smashed to pieces," answered Burges. Higgins 
dismounted instantly and was getting the wounded man on his 
horse; but the horse scared and ran off. Higgins told Burges 
" to limp off on three legs, and he would protect him." Burges 
crawled off thro the grass and saved himself, while Higgins was 
left behind to fight the most bloody and terrible battle that 
ever the same number of men three Indians and one white 
man were engaged in. Higgins had loaded his gun as soon 
as he had killed the Indian and was ready for the enemy again; 
but all at once three Indians made their appearance near him. 
He saw a small ravine close to him and ran for it; so he could 
defend himself against so many Indians. While he was run- 

* John Boucher, son of a Frenchman, was born in Kentucky in 1 782 ; came to 
Illinois Territory in 1801; was married, Sept., 1817, to Margaret, a native of Hardy 
Co., Va., and with her parents came to New Design in 1796, daughter of Solomon 
.Shook; was a man of great physical strength and activity; and after moving about 
the then settled parts of Southern Illinois, he finally settled down, in 1836, in Wash- 
ington Co., a few miles west of Nashville, where he resided until 1851, when he 
removed to Jones Co., Iowa, where he died three years later, aged 72; his wife died 
at Monticello, Iowa, Oct. 4, 1866, aged 75. Of their six children, four sons and 
two daughters, three survived their parents: r, Thomas, still resides on the old 
homestead in Iowa; 2, John Vincent, born Sept. 27, 1818, married, March 5, 1844, 
Mary B., daughter of Allen Rountree; enlisted in the late war as orderly sergeant of 
Co. E., loth Missouri Inf'y, and contracting a dangerous illness, started home on a 
sick furlough, and died at Richview, Aug. 30, 1863; his oldest son, Geo. O., aged 
17, enlisted in Co. I, 8oth 111., and served for three years, and is at present engaged 
in mercantile pursuits at Joplin, Mo. Two other sons, Hiram and John, were 
e ngaged many years in merchandising in Nashville, where they still reside. P. H. 
and Lyman T. are practising law at Boulder, Colorado. The only daughter married 
Dr. Salem Goodner and lives at New Minden, Washington Co. J. H. G. 


ning, he discovered for the first time his leg failed him he was 
wounded at the first fire, but did not know it at the time. 

One of the Indians was a very large, stout man, as large as 
Higgins. The others were small and not so courageous as the 
large one. Higgins was satisfied he must receive the fire of the 
large Indian and attempted to dodge it; but the bullet lodged 
in his thigh and he fell; but rose instantly. By this time, the 
other two had also fired at him and both balls hit him; he fell, 
badly wounded, but soon again was on his feet, with his loaded 
gun in his hand. The Indians threw down their guns, as they 
had not time to load them again, and rushed, whooping and 
yelling, on Higgins, with their spears, tomahawks, and knives- 
When they advanced near him, he presented his gun at them, 
and that would keep them off awhile. Higgins often told me 
that the large Indian was as brave as a lion he could not daunt 
him or intimidate him in the least; but when the small ones 
came near him, they quailed under his furious looks. They 
could not look him in the face, " but the large Indian could look 
the devil in the face," as Higgins expressed it. The bold Indian 
was rushing on him and he shot him dead. It is supposed the 
large Indian did not believe Higgins' gun was loaded, or he 
would not have rushed on certain death. The Indian had a 
great soldier Higgins to contend with. When the other 
Indians saw their main man killed, it made them more fierce^ 
They raised the warwhoop the louder and rushed with greater 
vigor on poor wounded Higgins, who had in his body four 
Indian balls and had lost much blood; was weak and almost 
exhausted ; had an empty gun and no other weapon ; was near 
many Indian warriors besides the two pressing on him, who 
were armed with spears, tomahawks, and knives, and were 
strong, having lost no blood, nor were they wounded, as Hig- 
gins was. They gave Higgins many flesh-wounds, as his shirt 
and body were literally cut to pieces. One of the Indians 
threw a tomahawk at him ; cut his ear nearly off and laid the 
bone of his head and side of his neck entirely bare. This blow 
knocked him down, and when they rushed on him with their 
spears, he kicked them off. When one of the Indians presented 
his spear at the breast of Higgins while he was stretched on 
the ground, he caught the spear, and the Indian pulling it, 


raised Higgins up by it. Then it was that he took his gun and 
literally knocked the brains out of one of the Indians. This 
blow broke the skull of the Indian and likewise Higgins' gun. 
It was shattered all to pieces and the barrel was bent. Then 
he had but one Indian to fight, but he was nearly exhausted. 
During most of this fight, it was in sight of the fort, and a 
woman a Mrs. Pursley became excited and said " she could 
mot stand and see so brave a man as Higgins murdered by the 
Indians." She mounted her husband's horse and started to his 
rescue. The men in the fort could not see a woman go alone 
and followed her. As soon as the Indian fighting Higgins* saw 
the rangers coming, he fled, and they found Higgins prostrated 
on the ground, nearly dead cut and mangled and almost torn 
to pieces. It is supposed, when the Indian fled, the excitement 
of Higgins subsided and he fainted. In fact, he was nearly dead 
when his friends relieved him. He barely escaped death from 
his wounds and never entirely recovered from them altho he 
jived many years after. He received a pension to the full 
amount of the law.*f* He was appointed door-keeper to one of 
the houses of the general assembly of Illinois, and resided in 
Fayette County; was a farmer and raised a large family. He 
died at his residence, above Vandalia, in 1829. Higgins was a 
generous, open-hearted pioneer. 

In the war of 1812, the exposed situation of the country, the 
weakness of the population, and the strength of the Indian 

* Gov. Reynolds in his later work, gives an amusing account of a duel fought with 
rocks, between Higgins and another man, at the lead-mines, in which the celebrated 
Indian-fighter was victorious. "My Own Times", (2d ed. ) page 169. J. H. G. 

t I was well acquainted with Hiram Arthur, a remarkably honest and truthful 
man, who was in the fort near the scene when it took place, and observed it all. He 
gave me a written account of it, which is now among my papers, from which it 
appears that about nine-tenths of the amount of the melee is all bosh. "Higgins," 
he says, "was a brave fellow, but the trouble with the story we read of is that but a 
small percentage of the facts stated ever occurred. The account originated with 
Higgins himself. After the war, he lived in Fayette County, 111., and there he met 
with a Mr. Hall, who wrote or contributed to the 'Annals of the West,' and gave 
him his version of the affair, and it took wings and has flown ever since. All that 
can be said is that the account is altogether overdrawn. " I knew Tom Higgins well 
and he was in the habit of telling tremendous yarns, and was a capital hand at making 
himself the hero of all his adventures, particularly when he was in his cups. J. 
GILLESPIE, Jan. 25, 1883. 


enemy brought, into actual operation the whole capacities of the 
country, physical and mental, for its defence, and among the 
pioneers that came to the rescue was Thomas Carlin, who emi- 
grated to Illinois in 1811 and became a conspicuous and popu- 
lar character. Carlin was born in Fayette County, Ky., in 1789, 
and moved with his father to Shelby County, in the same State, 
in 1793. The family moved in 1803 to the Spanish country, 
Platin Creek, St. Louis County. The father of Carlin died the 
same year he settled in St. Louis County, leaving his widow and 
seven children Thomas the oldest. The parents of Carlin on 
both sides were of the Irish extraction. The circumstances of 
the father were very limited; so the son had no opportunity of 
an education. In fact, the county where they resided, in Upper 
Louisiana, was destitute of schools at that day. Carlin attended 
school at rare intervals; but such long periods passing between 
that he forgot almost as fast as he learned anything at school. 
At school his only guide was the Dilworth spelling-book and 
the Barlow knife to make pens; but Nature came to the rescue 
and recognized Carlin as her favorite son. She spread before 
him her ample creation and she herself became his teacher. He 
was highly favored with a strong and vigorous mind and an 
untiring energy. He possessed strong and excitable feelings; 
but his firm and decisive judgment compelled all these turbu- 
lent and violent passions to revolve around it like the planets 
do around the sun, the common centre. He possessed a marked 
and decided character and one of great force and influence. 
By mere accident, he got hold of an arithmetic, and without a 
teacher, he became well acquainted with that noble and grand 

On June 3, 1812, he entered the military service of the United 
States as a private in the company commanded by William B. 
Whiteside. The war was about commencing and the prospect 
was gloomy; but this was no impediment to Carlin to deter him 
from the defence of his country. Among his other decided 
traits of character, he had courage and firmness, even to des- 
peration. He made an excellent soldier; always prepared for 
any service, let it be perilous or not. In the fall of 1812, he 
was in the campaign to Lake Peoria, and the army under Gov. 
Edwards halted and camped within a few miles of the Black- 


Partridge's Town, on the east side of the Illinois River, nearly 
opposite the upper end of Lake Peoria. It was necessary to 
select some choice spirits to reconnoitre the Indian town at 
night. This was considered a dangerous and perilous service. 
Carlin volunteered as one of four to reconnoitre and report, and 
he and three Whitesides Robert, Davis, and Stephen were 
entrusted with this delicate service. They proceeded to the 
Indian village and went thro every part of it without detection. 
If a dog were to bark or other alarm made, these brave men 
must have perished, being thus caught in the midst of a'great 
number of hostile Indians. They reported the strength and 
situation of the enemy; so that the army could the next morn- 
ing be conducted with certainty to the attack. The United- 
States Rangers were established for the defence of the frontiers 
and they accomplished that object to the fullest extent; but in 
performing this service, great battles or long campaigns were 
not contemplated or required; yet all such services as were re- 
quired, Carlin and others performed to the satisfaction of the 
public. Carlin marched in the campaign under Gen. Howard 
in 1813, thro the country between the Mississippi and Illinois 

Toward the close of the war, he married a beautiful young 
lady of Madison County, of strong mind and of pleasing and 
agreeable manners. This lady being matured by age and expe- 
rience, developed a sound judgment and an amiable and happy 
disposition, and was to her husband in truth a helpmate during 
his life. They raised a large and respectable family. 

In 1815, Carlin emigrated north from Madison and located 
on the high land between Macoupin and Apple creeks, and was 
about the first family that settled north of the Macoupin Creek. 
When Green County was first organized, the county-seat was 
laid off on his land and the seat of justice called Carrolton. 
Carlin was elected the first sheriff of Green County and per- 
formed the duties of the office with punctuality and fidelity. 
This was the first office he ever held and he then gave proof of 
his efficiency, integrity, and activity to be useful to the people, 
and they always thereafter appreciated his merit. He was often 
elected to the general assembly of the State from Green Co.; 
always his public services were approved and he became still 


more popular. He was a cautious business member. When 
the county of Macoupin was established, the county-seat, Car- 
linville, was named in honor of him. He was appointed receiver 
of public moneys at Quincy and remained in that office many 
years. This was a very responsible office, as great amounts of 
money were received in that office for the government, and the 
accounts were settled to the perfect satisfaction of all. In this 
office, as well as in all others, he exhibited a positive honesty 
and integrity, which is one of the brightest ornaments in the 
human character. 

In 1838, he was elected the governor of Illinois. This was a 
high and important trust, and he performed the duties of that 
station with a sound judgment and practical common-sense. 
He was sworn into office at Vandalia in 1838, and on Dec. 7 of 
that year, he delivered a chaste and statesman-like message. It 
is short and well adapted to the situation of the country in its 
embarrassed condition. He appealed with warmth and sincerity 
to the people and the legislature to promote education. He 
also urged the completion of the canal and the necessity to 
legislate with care and caution on the subject of State banks. 
His measures and policy will be at some day admired for his 
wisdom and good sense. It must be recollected that Gov. 
Carlin* was a warm and ardent politician, and in fact he was 
ardent and enthusiastic in all his actions; but in politics, was 
firm, consistent, and ardent. He was one of the deepest dye in 
the democratic party, and was a great friend to Gen. Jackson. 
He was in his politics, as in all other transactions, honest and 
correct. His course in politics gave him great standing with 
his party. 

* In 1814, Gov. Carlin married Miss Rebecca. Huitt, and resided on the Mississippi, 
opposite the mouth of the Missouri, and four years later removed to Greene County. 
After retiring from public life to his Carrolton farm, he was again called from his 
retirement to serve out the unexpired term of Hon. John D. Fay, who had resigned 
his seat in Illinois legislature, 1848-50. 

His death occurred Feb. 14, 1852, aged 63, leaving a widow and seven children, 
six having died. 

Gov. Carlin was captain of a company in the Odd Battalion of Spies, commanded 
by Maj. John D. Henry in Gen. Whiteside's brigade, in the Black-Hawk war, and 
which served from April 20 to May 27, 1832. James Carlin, a brother of the gover- 
nor, was a private soldier in this company, and was at one time clerk of the circuit- 
court of Greene County, and died leaving considerable property in real estate in that 


After Gov. Carlin was married, became the head of a family, 
and had arrived at full maturity of mind, he became seriously 
concerned in religious matters. He received his first impres- 
sions of religion from the preaching of Rev. John M. Peck of 
St. Clair County, and became a member of the Baptist church. 
He was kind and benevolent to all, but to his family he was 
affectionate and sincerely devoted. He gave his children an 
excellent education and they profited by it equal to the efforts 
made by the parent. He died at his residence in Carrollton in 
February, 1852, full of years and full of honor. His death was 
lamented and regretted by the public and his family expe- 
rienced an irreparable loss, and as such they mourned his 
decease. Carlin was, in the true sense of the word, a self-made 
man. He commenced humble in life, and by his talents, energy, 
and integrity, he reached the highest office in the gift of the 
people in the State, and has reached still a higher station: that 
of a large place in the hearts of the people. 

About the time (1809) the territory was organized, the coun- 
try on the margins of the rivers down the Mississippi from Kas- 
kaskia and up the Ohio and Wabash rivers almost to Vincennes, 
commenced to settle and improve. Samuel Omelvany* and 

county; he was the father of Gen. William P. Carlin, whose record as colonel of the 
thirty-eighth Illinois infantry and afterward a brigadier-general in the army of the 
Cumberland, is part of the proud achievements of Illinois, in the late war. At the 
close of the war Gen. Carlin had attained by successive promotions the rank of major 
in the regular establishment, and brevet-major-general of volunteers. He is yet in 
the regular army, being colonel of the 4th Infantry. His younger brother, Hon. 
Walter E. Carlin of Jerseyville, was also a lieutenant in the thirty-eighth during the 
Rebellion, and at the age of nineteen refused a commission as captain of his com- 
I >any, tendered him by Gov. Yates. He represented Scott, Greene, and Jersey coun- 
ties as one of their Democratic members in the thirty-third general assembly. He is 
a banker by occupation, a member of the firm of Carlin and Bagley, and as a finan- 
cier ranks high, having when chairman of the county board caused to be liquidated 
under his management a heavy county debt. J. H. G. 

* John Omelvany, with his wife, two younger sons, Patrick and William, and a 
(laughter Mary, who married a McConnell and settled in Tenn., came from Ireland 
about 1798-9, and, after a few years residence in Ky., settled in what later became 
Pope Co., near his oldest son Samuel, who landed in Charleston, S.C., in 1797 or 8, 
where he married and soon after (Reynolds says in 1805, see next p., 386) came to 
Illinois Territory, settling in Pope Co., on the Ohio River. In addition to farming, 
trading, and flat-boating to New Orleans, he was for that day an extensive dealer in 
the products of the country corn and hogs. Later he removed to Randolph Co. 
and was a member of the county-court in 1819. Still later he resided in and repre- 



others formed a colony on the Ohio River, near the mouth of 
the Grand-Pierre Creek, as early as 1805. The margins of the 
rivers commenced settlement as early as 1804 or '5, and con- 
tinued to increase rapidly. A family of Quakers from North 
Carolina of the name of Stokes settled some miles east of the 
present town of Jonesboro' in 1808. It was called for years 
after, Stokes' Settlement. 

The Logan family emigrated from Missouri and settled on 
Big Muddy in pioneer times. Dr. Logan* is still alive and a 

sented Union Co. in the legislature in 1820-2, contesting successfully the seat occu- 
pied by Samuel Alexander; and died about 1828. His mother died the year of their 
arrival, and his father and younger brother Patrick the year following. His children: 
George died at 30, and John still lives in Pope Co., a successful merchant and trader; 
Margaret, married Wood, and Mary are long since dead. 

William, the youngest son of John, born 1775, married 1799, Susan McKee of Ire- 
land, in So. Carolina; moved to Ky. in 1804-5, settling near Elkton, Todd Co., 111. 
He had six sons and live daughters: (i) John, born in Ky. 1800, lawyer, settled at 
Carlyle, Clinton Co., 111., in 1830, where he practised law till he died in 1836; served 
in Capt. Andrew Bankson's company in Black-Hawk War. (2) William W.. born 
in Monroe Co., 1829; brought up to the law; county-clerk, 1843-8; now living in 
Centralia. (3) James M , bred to his father's trade, brick-making, in 1853 entered 
the mercantile business in Centralia, was postmaster for several years, and now lives- 
at East St. Louis, where one of his sons is city attorney. (4) Edward, lawyer, repre- 
sented Monroe Co. in the legislature of 1846-8; was presidential elector in 1852 on 
the Pierce ticket and died before the Rebellion. (5) Harvey K. S., also a lawyer of 
Centralia, was judge of the second circuit from 1858-61, filling the vacancy occa- 
sioned by the resignation of Judge Breese; moved during the late war to California, 
where he is now practising law. (6) Constantine was killed in his iSth year at Water- 
loo by the accidental discharge of a gun. Of the daughters, Nancy, born 1802, mar- 
ried, 1828, W. W. Moore in Monroe Co., and died at Oakland, Cal., Feb., 1883; 
Martha and Mary, twins, born 1804, married, and have descendants in Marion and 
Jefferson counties; Susan, 4th, died at San Jose, Cal., 1864; Elizabeth, 5th (Con- 
cannon) is living in Oakland, Cal. The mother of this numerous family died in 
Marion Co., Feb., 1875, aged 93. 

* Dr. John Logan came to this country from Ireland early in this century, and mar- 
ried, in 1824, Miss Elizabeth Jenkins, a sister of Hon. Alexander M. Jenkins, after- 
ward lieut. -governor of the State, a lawyer of hiyh rank, and a judge eminent for his 
probity and legal acquirements. Dr. Logan raised a family of eleven children, 
several of whom have shown marked ability, and the oldest son, distinguished as a 
soldier and a statesman, is Hon. John A. Logan, at present a United States senator 
from Illinois. Dr. John Logan was a man of great force of character and served in 
many public positions with satisfaction to the people and credit to himself. He was 
a member of the house of representatives in the tenth general assembly, serving with 
Abraham Lincoln, John J. Hardin, James Shields, Stephen A. Douglas, Augustus 
C. French, John A. McClernand, John Dement, Jesse K. Dubois, and many other 
political celebrities. He was reflected to the eleventh and twelfth and again in 1846 


respectable and living monument of the pioneers of Southern 
Illinois. This gentleman has been in much public service and 
acfed to the advantage of the public interest and much to his 
own honor. 

to the fifteenth general assembly, his last appearance in public life. He "was a 
corporal in Capt. A. M. Jenkins' company in the Black-Hawk War, serving through- 
out June and July, and was mustered out August 10, 1832, at Fort Hamilton." 

John Alexander Logan was born Feb. 9, 1826, at Murpheysboro', Jackson Co. ; his 
early education was limited by the resources of the country, but he had passed through 
a course at Shiloh College when the breaking out of the Mexican war called him 
from his studies to the field. He enlisted at Alton, and was enrolled May 29, 1847, 
in Company H of Col. Edward W. B. Newby's (5th) Regiment of Illinois Volunteers; 
was elected 2d-lieutenant of his company and afterward served for a time as adjutant 
of his regiment. After the close of the war, he studied law in the office of his uncle, 
Gov. Jenkins; was elected county-clerk of Jackson County in 1849, serving one term; 
continued his law studies and graduated from the law department of the University 
of Kentucky at Louisville in 1851. He went into the law practice with Gov. Jenkins 
in 1852. In June of that year he was elected prosecuting-attorney of the first judicial 
circuit, and removed to Benton, Franklin County. He was the same fall elected to 
represent Franklin and Jackson counties in the eighteenth general assembly; was 
married, Nov. 27, 1855. to Miss Mary Cunningham of Shawneetown, 111. In 1856, 
was chosen a presidential elector for the ninth congressional district on the democratic 
ticket; in 1858, was elected to congress from that district and again reelected in 
1860. He was an ardent supporter of Stephen A. Douglas, and followed the lead 
of that able statesman in his support of all necessary measures adopted by President, 
Lincoln on the suppression of the Rebellion. While yet a member of congress, he 
took a musket and went into the ranks, participating as a volunteer private in the 
memorable battle of Bull Run. Returning to Illinois, he raised the 3ist Regiment 
of Volunteers and became its colonel, and made his next record on the field of 
Belmont. On March 5, 1862, he was made brigadier-general of volunteers, and 
declining a reelection to congress in 1862, was made a major-general in November 
of that year, and devoted himself arduously to the task of putting down the Rebellion. 
He participated in nine of the battles about Vicksburg, afterward at Resaca, at 
Kenesaw Mountain, at Atlanta, at Dallas, and in many of the hotly-contested fields 
of the campaigns of 1863-5. H' s promotions were rapid, from a division he rose to 
a corps commander, and finally, on May 23, 1865, he was advanced to the command 
of the Army of the Tennessee. In 1865, he was appointed minister to Mexico, but 
declined. In 1866, Gen. Logan was elected congressman-at-large from the State of 
Illinois, and reelected to the same position in 1868 and again in 1870. In 1871, he 
resigned his seat in congress to accept the succession to Gov. Richard Yates in the 
United-States senate. His term expiring in 1877, he was the candidate of the 
republican party for the succession, but was defeated by David Davis. Two years 
later he was again elected and succeeded Gen. Richard J. Oglesby to the seat he 
now fills. (Jen. Logan was nominated by the Republican National Convention as 
their candidate for vice-president, at Chicago, June 6, 1884. 

Wm. H. Logan, a younger son of Dr. Logan, and a lawyer of much promise, 
died soon after the war. He represented Jackson and Williamson counties in the 
24th general assembly, possessed oratorical powers of no mean order, and acted as 
a Union independent democrat. J. H. G. 


Alexander M. Jenkins,* who was partially raised in Southern 
Illinois, is a talented and conspicuous citizen. Jenkins, like 
most of the pioneers, had no opportunity of an early education ; 
but in after-days, he improved himself, so that he is at this time 
not only a good scholar but an intelligent and well-read man. 
He was when a youth compelled to work on his own hook for 
the means to obtain an education, and succeeded well. He has 
been elected many terms to the general assembly of the State, 
and commanded a company from Jackson County in the Black- 
Hawk war. In 1834, he was elected lieutenant-governor of the 
State. He was appointed receiver of public money in the land- 
office at Edwardsville and resigned that office. For some years 
before, he had been merchandising and afterward he studied law 
and commenced the practice in the southern counties of Illi- 
nois. He was elected a member from Jackson County of the 
convention that formed the new constitution in 1847, and is at 
this time a practising lawyer. 

John Dougherty was also raised in Southern Illinois and has, 
by his merit and exertions, become a good lawyer and respect- 
able citizen. He labored under embarrassing circumstances in 
his youth; but by his natural resources and his exertions, he 
has surmounted all obstacles and is now enjoying the rich re- 

*Mr. Jenkins was elected to the legislature to represent Jackson County in 1832-4, 
at the expiration of which term he was elected lieutenant-governor, holding that posi- 
tion until his resignation, which occurred in 1836, to accept the position of president 
of the first Illinois-Central Railroad Company, chartered January 16, 1836. When 
the State adopted its ill-fated system of public improvements, February 27, 1837, the 
surrender of this charter was demanded, and although the company had already ex- 
pended considerable money and Mr. Jenkins given much time toward the prelimi- 
nary arrangements, necessary before the building of the road should be begun, the 
charter was cheerfully surrendered. After the State had expended over one million 
dollars on this road it was abandoned, and on March 6, 1843, the State, as an act of 
justice, returned the franchise to the representatives of the old company. The Cairo 
City-and-Canal Company reincorporating them for this particular purpose as the 
Great-Western Railway Company. A failure to secure the passage of a preemption 
grant in congress, and the grant at a later day, of a large quantity of land to the 
State in aid of the building of this road, resulted in the incorporation of a new com- 
pany (February 10, 1851), that finally completed the road. 

Mr. Jenkins was elected judge of the third judicial circuit in 1859, to fill the 
vacancy caused by the resignation of W. K. Fairish, and was reelected at the close 
of his term in 1861. He "died in the harness", before the expiration of his official 
term, February 13, 1864. J. II. G. 


ward that is always given to an energetic and proper course of 
conduct. His father was limited in his means and his son was 
compelled to rely on himself for his education and the study of 
the law before he commenced practise. He worked, taught 
school, and used all honorable means in his power to obtain an 
education. He has been elected time and time again to the 
general assembly of the State from Union County and often 
from both the counties, Union and Alexander, when they voted 
together. Dougherty has a good voice, a pleasing, eloquent 
speaker. He possesses a good mind and a kindness and benevo- 
lence of heart. 

George Hacker was appointed a justice-of-the-peace in Ran- 
dolph County in 1810. He resided then on Cache River. 

John S. Hacker was an early pioneer of Illinois and has, by 
his natural talents and exertions, become a conspicuous and 
popular man in Illinois. He was thrown on his own resources 
in his infancy and was compelled " to buffet the storms of life " 
without aid or assistance from any quarter ; but his natural 
talents are good. He possesses a quick and discriminating 
mind, and he has had such incessant intercourse with the people 
that he is well acquainted with the human character. Mankind 
seemed to be the school-house in which he received his educa- 
tion. He married a lady of fine common-sense and of mild 
and amiable disposition. She has acted in the family the part 
of a wise and dignified matron, to whose proper conduct much 
of the success of the family is attributable. Hacker was about 
the first settler in the pleasant town of Jonesboro', the county- 
seat of Union County, and has remained there thirty years. 
He makes a good speech and is listened to with pleasure; is 
original in his ideas and so utters them in his stump-speeches. 

Samuel Omelvany was a popular pioneer in his settlement 
and in fact throughout the south of Illinois in his day. He was 
a native of Ireland ; had resided in Kentucky, but ended his 
days in Southern Illinois. He was blessed with a very strong 
natural mind ; possessed not much education or book intelli- 
gence; but the strength of his mind was visible in all his actions, 
public and private. His person was large and he had no parlor 
polish in his manners; his mind corresponded with his exterior, 
strong and natural. He was a member-elect from Pope County 


to the convention in 1818 that formed the first constitution of 
the State, and he has been elected often from the same county 
to the State legislature, and has served the people in various 
other stations with ability. 

Hamlet Ferguson resided, in pioneer times at or near Gol- 
conda, Pope County, and was a respectable citizen. He filled 
various offices and was a member in the State convention that 
formed the constitution in 1818. " He acted well his part, there 
all the honor lies." 

A great many worthy working emigrants from North Caro- 
lina, Pennsylvania, and some from Kentucky settled in the 
region of country below Big Muddy and not far from the Mis- 
sissippi. They were of German descent and formed a moral, 
excellent settlement. A very conspicuous and talented man 
among them was Rev. George Wolf, who was a preacher of the 
gospel and was nature's great man. He was raised on a farm 
and pursued that profession for a living for himself and family. 
He is one of the Universalian Baptists and preached his ser- 
mons to contain the scriptures and reason together. 

In early times, large settlements were made in the present 
limits of Gallatin County, and the old Shawneetown, that the 
aborigines had occupied for ages past and Col. Croghan visited 
in 1765, was again brought into modern existence. It received 
the name of Shawneetown on account of a. band of Indians of 
that name having lived there in olden times. This town was 
first settled by talented, great men. John McLean, Thomas C. 
Browne, Jeptha Hardin, Joseph M. Street, Marshall, Jones, 
Hubbard, Railings, Gatewood, Kirkpatrick, Posey, Vanlaving- 
ham, and others of talents and enterprise, located in Shawnee- 
town' at different times during its pioneer days. At the Licks, 
as the salt-works were then called, were settled Isaac White, 
the United -States agent; Guard, Philip Trammel, Leonard 
White, John Lane, and others. About the close of the war in 
1814, several fine water-mills were erected on the Little-Wabash 
River a few miles above the mouth. The town of New Haven 
has been built in the neighborhood. 

Isaac White was a resident of the West for many years 
before the battle of Tippecanoe, where he perished in the 
cause of his country. White was agent for the United States 


at the Ohio saline for some years. Gov. Edwards appointed 
him captain of a company in 1810. He was with Gov. Harri- 
son in the campaign up the Wabash in 1811, and was killed in 
the battle of Tippecanoe in November of that year. The 
death of this brave soldier was very much regretted generally. 
The legislature called a county White in honor of him and to 
perpetuate his name. 

Probably of all the pioneers of Illinois, nature did the most 
for John McLean of Shawneetown. His gigantic mind, his 
form of noble and manly symmetry, and his lofty and dignified 
bearing, all demonstrated him to be the " noblest work of God." 
His person was large and formed on that model of natural 
excellence that would at once attract the attention and admira- 
tion of all spectators. The -vigor and compass of his mind 
were exceedingly great and other traits of character equally 
strong. His eloquence flowed in torrents, deep, strong, and 
almost irresistible. Nature did so much for him that he 
depended too much on his natural abilities and did not as 
much for himself. Yet without effort, he naturally took the 
highest stand in any situation in which he was placed. 

McLean was born in North Carolina in 1791. His father 
and family emigrated to Logan County, Ky., when his son 
John was only four years, old. He was raised there until he 
was twenty odd years old, and then he settled in Shawneetown 
in 1815. This pioneer, like most of the others, was raised in a 
country destitute of schools, and thereby had in his early days 
not the advantages of an education. His mind was permitted 
to exercise its own originality, without restraint or discipline; 
but it was so great and powerful that it would, to speak in 
sailor phrase, " right itself when thrown on its beam's ends." 
He studied law in Kentucky and commenced the practice in 
Shawneetown as a lawyer should be: poor, talented, and ambi- 
tious. When he reached Illinois, he had nothing to depend on 
but God and himself, and on this foundation, he soon became 
one of the most conspicuous and popular men in Illinois. Be- 
sides his great strength of mind, he was possessed with a lively 
imagination and much eloquence. There was no man in Illi- 
nois, before or since his day, that surpassed him in pure 
aiatural .eloquence. Nature made him a great orator. 


The first great trial of his strength was with Hon. Daniel P. 
Cook for a seat in congress. This was the first congressional 
election in the State. The country was much excited and two- 
of the greatest men then in the State, or ever have been in it 
since, were started on this track of honor. They were both 
open, noble-hearted Kentuckians, generous and chivalric; so 
that the canvass was conducted on honorable principles. The 
fashion at that day and ever since has been to have political 
meetings and address speeches to the people, literally from a 
stump of a tree. This custom was introduced here from the 
Southern and Western States. From the stump, these two 
young orators, both favorites of nature, addressed the audience 
in such streams of eloquence that has never been surpassed in 
Illinois before or since. These two young politicians were 
pioneers for whom any community would feel an honest pride, 
McLean was elected then; but Cook beat him the next election. 

McLean was elected many times to the general assembly 
from Gallatin County, and was almost always made speaker of 
the house of representatives. He was elected to the United- 
States senate twice. The first time for one session to fill a 
vacancy and the next was for a full term. But in 1830, at 
Shawneetown, he died. No man possessed a stronger hold on 
the people than he did; so that his death was considered, as it 
really was, a great public calamity, and mourned for with tears 
of sincere affection and sorrow. A county in Illinois bears his 
name, to do him honor. He was not wealthy; left a wife and 
many friends. 

In the fall of 1808, a wagon-road was laid off from Goshen 
Settlement to the Ohio salt-works. This road crossed the 
Kaskaskia River where Carlyle is situated at present; by the 
Walnut Hills, and so on to the salt-works. This was in olden 
times called the Goshen Road. 

Thomas C. Browne, a living and conspicuous pioneer of Illi- 
nois, was born in Kentucky; emigrated to Illinois and settled 
in Shawneetown in 1812. He studied law in Kentucky and 
commenced the practice as soon as he reached the north- 
western shores of the Ohio River. The first courts in Gallatin 
County were held at the r.onrjty - seat^Sh awn eef n w n ; in flat- 
boats; as they had at first no court-house. I Boats were plenty,. 


being floated down the river and moored to the bank at the 
county-seat. The grand-jury occupied one, while the court, 
bar, suitors, witnesses, etc., sat in another. 

Thomas C. Browne possesses many excellent traits of char- 
acter ; he is endowed by nature with a strong intellect and 
with a benevolence and goodness of heart that have marked 
his whole progress thro life. With these traits of character,, 
he delighted to mingle with the people and he obtained much 
of his education and intelligence in this manner. With the 
solid mind he possessed, he was in an academy of human 
knowledge every day and he profited well by the occasion. 
In 1814, he was elected with Philip Trammel to the legislature 
of the Territory of Illinois from Gallatin County, and made a 
wise and discreet member altho he was very young. In 1815, 
he was appointed prosecuting-attorney for the counties of Gal- 
latin, Pope, Edwards, and others in the eastern part of the ter- 
ritory. All these duties he performed to the satisfaction of the 
public. In 1816, he was elected from the same county to the 
legislative council of the territory. This office continued to 
the organization of the State government in 1818. By being 
in the legislature so long, and being a sound, solid member, 
and becoming so well known and popular throughout the 
country, the first legislature under the State government 
elected him one of the justices of the supreme court of the 
State, without much opposition. He remained in that office 
for nearly thirty years. Honor, integrity, and fidelity are 
prominent traits in his character. 

Nathaniel Pope was a younger branch of a great and talented 
family in the West. He emigrated from Kentucky to Upper 
Louisiana in 1804, and remained on the west side of the Mis- 
sissippi for some years. For some time, he made Ste. Gene- 
vieve his home and attended the courts on this side of the 
river. In 1809, he was appointed secretary of the territory 
of Illinois, and then made Illinois his residence during life. 
He was born in Louisville, Ky., in 1784. At an early age, he 
was placed in the Transylvania University at Lexington, Ky., 
and received a classic education. He also learned well the 
French language and spoke it fluently. At college, he attended 
assiduously to his studies, which gave presages of his future 


greatness, and he graduated with a high reputation for his 
learning and abilities. He studied law with his brother, John 
Pope of Kentucky, and soon became well versed in the laws 
of the country, for a young man. 

Nature had bestowed on him rare and great talents ; his 
judgment was strong and profound, and his great natural in- 
tellect was thoroly trained and disciplined by study. Nature 
gave him also an unbounded benevolence and kindness of 
heart. Nothing savage or cruel lurked in his breast, but the 
sunshine of kindness to all mankind illuminated his path thro 
life. He possessed a noble dignity of character that gave him 
a due degree of self-respect. With these admirable traits of 
character and his profound knowledge of the law r , he stood at 
the head of his profession and enjoyed an extensive practice. 
He married a lady of accomplishments and beauty. She also 
possessed a strong mind and an amiable and benevolent dis- 
position. These worthy parents were the progenitors of a re- 
spectable family of children. In 1816, he was elected a dele- 
gate to congress from the territory, and I think he did more 
important services for the people -than any one man has done 
since in so short a time. 

Among various other measures, he procured the northern 
boundary of the State to be extended north from the southern 
bend of Lake Michigan to latitude forty-two and a-half degrees 
north. On this globe, to the extent, there is not a better tract 
of country; and when there were barely forty thousand souls 
in the territory, he had passed an act of congress authorizing 
the people of Illinois to form a State government. When the 
State was admitted into the Union, he was appointed the 
United-States judge of the district of Illinois. In this office 
he remained upward of thirty years and made a judge that 
added dignity and respectability to the office and State. It 
was in the social, convivial parties where he was the greatest 
of the great. When the society was composed of learned i 
brilliant, and witty, he was among them, the centre of attrac- 
tion. It was in his own family circle, with a few accomplished 
friends, men of science and talents, where he displayed his 
great social qualities. Pope County was called by that name 
to honor him and to perpetuate his memory. He died Novem- 


ber, 1850, with great coolness and composure ; conversed of 
death itself with respect, but with as much calmness and Chris- 
tian resignation as upon any other subject. He was much 
esteemed by the public and his decease was in fact, as they 
considered it, a public calamity. 

In early times, before the New-Orleans sugar was sold so 
cheap in this market, the inhabitants French, Americans, and 
Indians made maple-sugar. Quantities were manufactured 
not only for domestic use but as an article of commerce. 
Molasses was also made. In early times, horse-flies were 
extremely annoying to animals. In the summer, horses were 
often killed by them between Kaskaskia and Vincennes. A 
green prairie-fly was the most numerous and annoying. In 
the heat of the day they were the worst. Sometimes farmers 
could not plow in daytime and at times they covered the horse 
with a blanket. Millions of these flies were produced in the 
prairies. When the country became settled and improved, 
they disappeared. 

It is almost forty years since Daniel Pope Cook, another 
great favorite of nature, commenced his brilliant career in Illi- 
nois. He rose high, shined bright, and died soon. He was at 
one time the darling and idol of the people ; he was great, 
brilliant, and active in his mind; his qualifications of heart 
were noble, generous, and benevolent. The name of Daniel P. 
Cook is yet sweet music in the ears of many an old pioneer of 
Illinois. They almost involuntarily cry out: "When is the 
election?" His genius, vigor of intellect, and versatility 'of 
talent were rarely surpassed and not commonly equaled in any 
country. He was born in Scott County, Ky., in 1793. His 
parents were pious, respectable citizens and obtained their liv- 
ing by cultivating a farm. Cook was, from his infancy, a sickly, 
weakly child, which was one reason, together with the circum- 
scribed means of his father, that his education in his youth was 
not much attended to. He started in the world with a very 
limited education. 

In 1811, when he reached his eighteenth year, he visited Ste. 
Genevieve, Mo., a poor, sickly youth, without friends, wealth, or 
any influence except his native talents, energy, and honesty. 
He was employed as clerk in the store of William Shannon at 


Ste. Genevieve for several years. In this situation, his mind" 
developed itself and he acquired friends by his agreeable address 
and amiable disposition. He attended punctually to his busi- 
ness and displayed those great abilities that in after-days were 
the admiration of the country. In 1813, he commenced the 
study of the law with Judge Pope in Kaskaskia, and by extra- 
ordinary exertions, he obtained license to practise in 1815. By 
intense study, his health was injured; so that he was compelled 
to take a voyage to restore it. In 1817, he went to the city of 
Washington and was appointed the bearer of dispatches to our 
minister, John Quincy Adams, at the court of St. James. Cook 
became acquainted there with John Q. Adams and returned with 
him to the United States. In 1818, he was appointed judge in 
the western circuit of the State, and became very popular in 
that office. The same year, he was a candidate for congress. 
In this canvass, he displayed the highest order of talents in his 
masterly appeals to the people, and demonstrated a statesman- 
ship that was surprising in so young a man. He did not suc- 
ceed, but was elected attorney-general of the State after the 
August election. At the next election to congress, he was 
elected over McLean. He remained in congress many years 
and made an efficient and able member. 

About this time, his health became enfeebled and he was 
sinking fast under a pulmonary complaint. On his return from 
Washington the last time, he visited Cuba and New Orleans for 
his health, but to no effect. He returned to Kentucky and died 
at his father's residence [Oct. 16, 1827], aged thirty-six years. 
" Alas, poor Yorick." His bad health and death were regretted 
by all classes of citizens. His opponents ceased their political 
warfare and joined in the sorrows and lamentations of the people 
for the death of so young a man and one of such high order of 
talents. His delicate frame and constitution would not admit 
of intense application to business or study. Confinement uni- 
versally made him sick, which was a great impediment to his 
intellectual improvement. He possessed a genius of such 
capacity that he acquired information as if by intuition. His 
mind was rapid as well as deep in its researches. He was 
ready and prepared on short notice for all ordinary subjects. 
He was eloquent and fascinating in his speeches. Nature 


blessed him with a benevolence and a good will to all mankind 
;in a superior degree, and he was a most amiable and interest- 
ing companion in society. His career was short but very bril- 
liant. As he could not, on account of his bad health, study 
books, he studied men and was a profound philosopher in the 
science of the human family. It was this information and his 
native eloquence that gave him such power at the bar over the 
jury and on the stump over the masses. The county of Cook 
is called in honor of him. 

Jeptha Hardin was a branch of the large and respectable 
family of Hardins in the West; was a half-brother of the cele- 
brated Benjamin Hardin of KentuTcky,. and also a relative of 
the late John J. Hardin* of Illinois, and he possessed traits of 
character in common with that talented family. In 1815, he 
came to Shawneetown a lawyer from Kentucky and remained 
there during life. He possessed a strong, original mind, and 
seemed to disdain scholastic education. He studied the law- 
books no more than answered his purpose at the bar and on 
the bench ; but mostly applied his strong mind to men and 
measures as they passed before him. He practised law to a 
considerable extent and became wealthy. He resided on a fine 
farm and enjoyed himself in scientific agriculture. He was 
appointed circuit-judge of the court and performed the duties 
of the office with ability and integrity. He sustained an irre- 

* His grandfather, John Hardin, born in Fauquier Co., Va., Oct. I, 1753, died 
in 1792. He early became an excellent marksman; served with distinction in the 
Indian wars of Virginia, and as a lieutenant in Morgan's Rifle Corps in the Revo- 
lution; settled in Washington Co., Ky., in 1786. He commanded a detachment of 
Kentucky and Pennsylvania militia under Gen. Harmar at his defeat, Oct. 19 and 
22. 1790; commanded Brig. -Gen. Chas. Scott's advance, and distinguished in his 
successful expedition against the Indians on the Wabash, in May, 1791. Murdered 
by the Indians while bearing a flag of truce, near Shawneetown, O., for his horse 
and equipments, which were very fine; was the father of Martin D. Hardin, lawyer, 
born on the Monongahela River, Pa., June 21, 1780; died Oct. 8, 1823; educated 
at Transylvania Academy; studied law; several years a member of the Kentucky 
legislature; secretary of state in 1812; a major under Maj.-Gen. Harrison in the 
Northwestern army in Lieut.-Col. John Allen's Rifle Reg't of Aug., 1812; U.-S. 
senator in 1816-7. He published reports of Laws in Kentucky Court of Appeals, 
1805-8, Frankfort, 8vo, 1810. His son, John J. Hardin, born in Frankfort, Ky., 
Jan. 6, 1810; educated at Transylvania University; practised law at Jacksonville, 
111.; was prosecuting-attorney; member of the 111. legislature, 1836-42; representa- 
tive in congress from 111., 1843-5; col. first reg't 12-month volunteers in Mexican 


proachable character, and in his old age, died wealthy at his 
residence near Shawneetown. 

Thomas Harrison is a noble and existing monument of the 
worth and merit of the ancient pioneers of Illinois. He and 
many others may look back with great satisfaction to their lives 
spent in the performance of their duties to God and man, and 
say: "We are the pioneers that first improved the country; 
defended it in times of peril, and are now about to transmit it, 
the finest country on earth, to our posterity." 

Thomas Harrison was born in York District, South Carolina, 
in 1779. His parents were respectable and obtained their liv- 
ing by cultivating the soil, which is the most ancient and honor- 
able occupation on earth. His father moved to Rutherford 
County, North Carolina, and resided there some time; then set- 
tled in Georgia ; afterward he resided in Buncomb County, 
North Carolina, and from that point, Thomas Harrison, the 
Galbreaths, and some others emigrated to Illinois in July, 1804. 
They camped on the bluff near Kaskaskia and from whence 
they explored the country. At last Mr. Harrison and some 
others of the immigrants settled the same year three or four 
miles southwest of the present city of Belleville. He improved 
a plantation, and in 1813, built on it the first cotton-gin that 
ever was established in Illinois. It was propelled by horse- 
power; but when the price of cotton was reduced so low, the 

war, June 30, 1846; killed, Feb. 23, 1847, ' m battle of Buena Vista, while leading 
his reg't in a charge at the latest conflict. His son, Gen. Martin D. Hardin, great- 
grandson of John Hardin, born at Jacksonville, 111., June 26, 1837; graduate of West 
Point; brevet 2d lieut. 3d artillery, July i, 1859; 2d lieut., Jan. 2, 1860; ist lieut., 
May 14, 1861; lieut. -col. I2th Penn. Reserve Veteran Corps, July 8, 1862; brevet- 
capt., Aug. 29, 1862, for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of Groveton, 
Va. ; brevet-maj., Aug. 30, 1862, for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of 
Bull Run (2d), Va. ; col. 1 2th Veteran Reserve Corps, Sept. i, 1862; brevet lieut. - 
col., Dec. 14, 1863, for gallant and meritorious service in an encounter with a band 
of guerrillas; brevet-col., May 23, 1864, for gallant and meritorious service in the 
battle of N. Anna River, Va. ; mustered out of volunteer service, June II, 1864; 
brig. -gen. of volunteers, July 2, 1864; brevet brig. -gen., March 13, 1865, for gal- 
lant and meritorious service in the field during the war; mustered out of volunteer 
service, Jan. 15, 1866; maj. 43d Inf'y, July 28, 1866; transferred to ist Inf'y, Mch. 
15, 1869; retired with rank of brig.-gen., Dec. 15, 1870; loss of left arm and wounds 
in line of duty (under acts of congress, Aug. 3, 1861, and July 28, 1866). GARD- 


cotton business and his gin were abandoned. Soon after, he 
purchased an ox tread -mill in Belleville and carried it on for 
some time; then built a small steam-mill, and then a larger one 
at the west end of the town. This mill, with sixty odd thou- 
sand bushels of wheat, or more, were burnt. Then they erected 
the splendid mill that they own at present. This mill is one of 
the best in the State, with four run of burrs and a capacity to 
manufacture two hundred barrels of flour in twenty-four hours- 
He has raised a large and respectable family, natives of St. 
Clair Co., and the males are associated with their honored sire 
in the mill business. 

Mr. Harrison and family possess strong and vigorous minds 
and great energy and industry. Their probity, honesty, and 
punctuality have gained them a high standing throughout the 
country. They have a large capital vested in their business. 
By their sound judgment and economy, they have amassed a 
fortune. Mr. Harrison embraced religion when a young man; 
joined the Methodist-Episcopal church, and has been an efficient 
and talented local preacher in that church for about half-a-cen- 

On Dec. 16, 1811, an earthquake visited Illinois. A convul- 
sion of nature of this character was never before experienced in 
Illinois. The first occurred in the night and many of the in- 
habitants on the frontiers supposed it was the Indians throwing 
the houses down. On the Kaskaskia River below Athens, the 
water and white sand were thrown up thro a fissure of the earth. 
The violence of the earthquake was so great that it threw down 
chimneys and injured houses. 

In the early spring of 1811, Jacob Shorthand Moses Quick* 

* Moses Quick was one of three sons of Isaac Quick, who emigrated in the latter 
part of the last century from New Jersey, where his sons were born, to Pennsylvania, 
and from thence to Illinois, settling near the present town of Mascoutah, in St. Clair 
County, in the year 1806. Isaac Quick brought with him his sons, Thomas and 
Moses. Isaac Quick was married to Lucretia Runyon in 1777. Aaron Quick, his 
eldest son, was born October 19, 1778, and was married December 9, 1800, to Lucy 
Preston, a native of Virginia. Aaron Quick came to Illinois in 1809; he settled 
near Belleville, where he entered a thousand acres of land in an early day. He was 
one of the first school-teachers of St. Clair County, and is described as a man of a 
high grade of intelligence, and altho a self- cultured man, one of a vast fund of 
general information. He left at his death a considerable estate, accumulated by 
judicious investments in lands of St. Clair County. In McDonough's "History of 


Randolph County", in a list of entries, Aaron Quick appears to have entered 160 
acres of land near the present site of Palestine, on November 17, 1816. The second 
son, Thomas, was never married. He was a man of fine social qualities, and died 
in Belleville in the spring of 1837, lamented by a large circle of friends and relatives. 

Moses Quick, the youngest son, was of an adventurous, speculative disposition, be- 
sides the enterprise to which Gov. Reynolds alludes. He also owned a mill near 
Belleville, on Richland Creek, and a farm adjoining, which he sold in the fall of 1816, 
to Major Washington West. On this mill was ground the first flour manufactured in 
St. Clair County. A shipment of 200 barrels was made by Quick to New Orleans 
in the year 1816. The following advertisement is from the Missouri Gazette and 
Illinois Advertiser, of Saturday, April 27, 1816: 


A SAW MILL, now in full plight, and equal if not superior to any in the ter- 
ritory, and a GRIST MILL partly built, which can be put in operation at a 
small expense. Also, 167 acres of well - timbered land, situated one mile from 
Belleville, Illinois Territory. 

April 26. MOSES QUICK." 

The consideration for which this property was sold is shown by the deed-records 
to have been three thousand dollars. Moses Quick removed shortly afterward to 
Mississippi, where he became largely interested in the steam navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi River, owning at one time several boats which plied on that river and Lake 
Ponchartrain. He died in 1835 or '36, while making a trip on one of his boats to 
St. Louis ; his descendants, who are numerous, all reside in the States of Louisiana 
and Mississippi. 

Isaac Quick had also fourteen daughters, five of whom married and left descend- 
ants, eight of whom died young, and one of whom never married. His daughters 
married as follows : MARY, to Cornelius Rettinghous, and a second time, to George 
Harris, having several children by each; AMY, married to Charles Messenger, leav- 
ing many descendants; RHODA, married to George Harrison, by whom she had five 
sons and five daughters; SARAH, married Henry Allyn, and with her children and 
descendants live in Washington Territory; LUCRETIA, married George Allen, and 
with her descendants live in Rock- Island County, Illinois. 

Hon. Thomas Quick, now a prominent member of the St. Louis bar, is a son of 
Aaron Quick, and one of twelve children, ten of whom lived to maturity; he was 
born Oct. 13, 1823, and is the youngest of the family. He was educated at McKen- 
dree College, and admitted to practise in 1846, and practised law in Waterloo from 
1847-55. He represented Monroe County in the legislature in 1850-2. He re- 
turned to Belleville in 1855, and formed a law partnership with Jehu Baker. He 
was appointed bank examiner by Gov. Bissell, and reappointed by Govs. Yates and 
Oglesby, and did much to successfully wind up the business of the system of unstable 
banks with which Illinois was then afflicted. He purchased a farm in Washington 
County in 1858, and removed to it, giving up temporarily his large and lucrative law 
practice. He was, in 1861, one of the incorporators of the Irvington Agricultural 

College, and was afterward one of the first board of trustees for the Agricultural Cok. 

lege at Champaign. He had six children four of whom three sons and one daugh- 
ter are yet living; his oldest son, Orlando T., died in the army in 1865 ; his oldest 
living son, Edwin, is a promising young lawyer, in Chicago. The descendants of the 
Quick family form today the strongest and perhaps the largest body of relations 
among the American residents in the St. Clair County. T. H. G. 


made a flat-boat on the north side of the Kaskaskia River, 
about three-quarters of a mile below the present town of 
Athens, and loaded it with beef, cattle, and corn. In March, 
they set sail -down the river to New Orleans. They sold out 
and returned on horseback. This was the first boat built on 
the river above Levens. 

It has been stated that the judiciary of the territory was 
much improved by the United-States judges holding the courts; 
yet the old system was retained to some extent. These judges 
were required to hold courts twice in every year in each county 
and a court of deinier resort at the seat of government. These 
judges were gentlemen of high standing and character, which 
added much to the reputation of the country. 

Jesse B. Thomas'" was a man of talents, but did not particu- 
larly employ his mind on the dry subtilties of the law. He 
was born a politician and never ceased the avocation until 
death closed the scene with him a few years since, in the State 
of Ohio. In 1818, he was elected a member from St. Clair Co. 
to the convention that formed the State constitution ; was 
elected the president of that body, and gave general satisfac- 
tion in the performance of his duty. He was also elected to 
the United-States senate the same year; made a good business 

* Jesse Burgess Thomas, a descendant of Lord Baltimore, was born in Hagers- 
. town, Md., in 1777; moved west in 1779; studied law with his brother, Richard 
Symmes Thomas, in Bracken County, Ky. , where he was married his wife dying 
within a year after marriage. On the organization of Dearborn Co., Indiana Ter- 
ritory, March 7, 1803, he located in Lawrenceburgh as a practising attorney, and was 
elected, Jan. 3, 1805, to represent that county in the legislature which convened at 
Vincennes, Feb. I, by proclamation of Gov. Wm. H. Harrison, to choose members, 
of the legislative council; from the ten names thus selected, congress appointed five; 
again, on proclamation of the governor, the legislature assembled at Vincennes, July 
29, 1805, and at this, its first session, he was elected speaker, and Benj. Chambers 
of the same county, president of the council; he presided as speaker of the first and 
second sessions of the general assembly at Vincennes, from Sept. 26, 1805, to Oct. 
24, 1808 three years and one month, when he was elected by the assembly as dele- 
yaie to the loth congress, to succeed Benj. Parke, resigned, serving from Dec. I, 
1808, to March 3, 1809; was appointed and commissioned, Aug. 24, 1805, by Gov. 
Harrison, a captain of militia of Dearborn County; during his legislative term, he 
married the widow of Maj. fohn Francis Hamtramck, and moved to Vincennes, resid- 
ing there a short time; on the organization of Illinois Territory, Mch. 7, 1809, Presi- 
dent Madison appointed him one of its judges; he then moved to Kaskaskia, thence 
to Cahokia, and later to Edwardsville; in July. 1818, he was a delegate from St. 


member; was a great friend of Crawford for the presidency,, 
and did much in the compromise of the Missouri question. 
He was a gentleman of fine appearance and address. He had 
a saying on which he acted considerably : that " you could not 
talk a man down, but you could whisper him to death." On 
the bench or in the senate, he possessed a dignified and re- 
spectful bearing, which added much standing to his character. 

William Sprigg possessed a strong, discriminating mind, and 
made an excellent judge; was a fine classic scholar and a well- 
read and profound lawyer. He was born in Maryland and was 
of excellent family. His brother was the governor of Maryland 
and other relatives occupied important stations in that State. 
He had an utter contempt for street politics. A purer heart or 
one with more integrity never found its way to the bench. He 
was a spectator in the campaign of 1812 under Gov. Edwards 
to Peoria Lake, as he had no gun or weapons that indicated 
belligerency. His pacific and sickly appearance, together with 
his perfect philosophic indifference as to war or peace, life or 
death, made him the subject of much discussion among the 
troops. He was the only savant in the army, to my observation 

Stanley Griswold was a correct, honest man; a good lawyer;, 
paid his debts and sung David's psalms. He was transferred 
to Michigan Territory and in his place Thomas Towles was 
appointed, who presided on the east of the territory. 

Clair Co. to and president of the convention that formed the constitution of Illinois 
and suggested its name; was elected by the first general assembly of Illinois one of 
its first two United-States senators, serving from Dec. 4, 1818, to March 3, 1828; 
in 1820, while in the senate, he introduced the Missouri Compromise, was chairman 
of the committee of conference on this measure, and as adopted was his work, this 
he regarded as the most important act of his life; in 1824, he was a member of the 
caucus that nominated his friend, William H. Crawford, for president; in 1840, he 
took an active part in effecting the nomination of his old friend, Gen. Harrison, for 
president, and attended the convention held that year at Columbus, Ohio; in 1829, 
he assisted in the organization of St.Paul's Episcopal church of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, of 
which he was a consistent member, where he had moved at the close of his last term 
in the senate, and owned a large property; he was also one of the town proprietors 
of Brookville, Franklin Co., Ind. In stature, he was full six feet, with florid-brown 
complexion, dark-hazel eyes, dark-brown (nearly black) hair, with a well-developed 
muscular system, and weighed over two hundred pounds; was very particular in his 
personal appearance, and had the mode of a refined gentleman of the last century; 
was very considerate of the rights and feelings of others, and would not buy at a 
sheriff's sale. He died, childless, at Mt. Vernon, O., leaving a large estate, May 4, 
1853, aged 75 years. SAMUEL MORRISON, Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 4, 1884. 


After the close of the war of 1812, Joseph Duncan emigrated 
to Illinois and settled at the high bluff in the Mississippi Bot- 
tom, near the Grand Tower in Jackson County. Duncan was 
young, unassuming, and of genteel deportment. He was born 
and raised in Paris, Ky., and was an ensign in the United-States 
army in the campaign to Canada in 1813, under Gen. Harrison. 
He was in the defence of Lower Sandusky, with Maj. Croghan, 
and behaved gallantly. He was governor of the State and in 
congress for many years. He died a few years since, much re- 
gretted by his family and friends. 

President Madison, on June i, 1812, recommended war against 
Great Britain, and on the i8th of the same month, war was de- 
clared. John C. Calhoun made an able and dignified report, 
appealing to the people to defend the honor and character ot 
the nation and recommending war the last resort to sustain 
our national honor. 

The Indians had been growing sour and hostile to the inhabi- 
tants for years before the declaration of war. Tecumseh and 
the Prophet, his half-brother, were exciting their brethren against 
the Americans for years before. It is surprising how quick and 
correct the information is that the Indians receive of the rela- 
tions between us and Great Britain. 

A very great chief, Tecumseh, appeared among the Indians, 
at this time. His father was a Shawnee and his mother an 
Ottawa woman. At rare intervals, extraordinary men will arise 
among the Indians. Any one that will study the character of 
this great chieftain will sincerely deplore his situation and that 
of the aborigines generally. This great man was almost or per- 
haps equal to any of the renowned warriors and statesmen 
among the North-American Indians. He possessed an extra- 
ordinary strength and vigor of mind. Tecumseh had a magna- 
nimity of character of which few of the great men of the nation 
were gifted. There was something noble and grand about him ; 
he disdained the friendship of the British, except he wanted to 
use them to save his country from destruction. This Indian 
Napoleon had his Talleyrand, the prophet. This last-named 
man was educated in Canada and was a cunning knave. He 
used, as well as counsel to the Indians, incantations, dreams, 
and juggling to rouse the red men against the whites. 


Robert Dickson, a talented Briton and Indian-trader, whose 
residence was at Prairie du Chien, had great influence over all 
the hordes of the savages in the North. He had prepared 
three or four thousand warriors ready to attack the frontiers of 
Illinois and Missouri. But these warriors were more needed in 
Canada. They were sent there and thereby we were saved. 
The war in Canada was our defence. While Dickson was pre- 
paring his Northern warriors, Tecumseh was South, rousing up 
the natives there to war against the government. 

Some few murders were committed on our frontiers before 
war was declared. On June 2, 1811, a family of the name of 
Cox resided on Shoal Creek, near the forks, and the Indians 
discovered the family from home, except a young man and 
woman. They killed the young man and mangled his body 
cruelly. The girl they took prisoner and also took several 
horses. Col. Pruit acting as captain, Henry Cox, Ben Cox, and 
some others, to the number of eight or ten men, pursued the 
Indians and overtook them and the girl about seven miles from 
their town and fifty miles north of Springfield. A kind of bash- 
ful fight ensued. In the scramble, the girl broke from the Ind- 
ians toward the whites, and as she ran, an Indian wounded her 
severely in the hip, by throwing a tomahawk at her. The 
whites got some of the stolen horses and the girl. They 
reached home in safety. 

The next murder of the same year was Price, a relative of the 
Whitesides. Price was killed on June 20, near the spring in the 
lower end of the present city of Alton. Price and another man 
were plowing their corn and they saw the Indians approaching 
them at the spring, where there was a small cabin. The horse 
was unhitched and the whites had a gun. As the Indians came 
near the spring, the Americans asked them if they were for war 
or peace. One of the Indians, who was very large and tall, 
.laid down his gun and gave his hand to Price, but held him fast 
and the other Indians murdered him. While the conflict was 
going on, his companion jumped on the horse and was wounded 
in the thigh in making his escape. 

This was war, and the frontiers commenced building forts and 
preparing for the contest. During this summer, Tecumseh uas 
in counsel with Gov. Harrison at Vincennes, and his conduct 


breathed war. The Prophet had assembled at his town on the 
Wabash at Tippecanoe all the hostile and straggling Indians in 
the Northwest, and had them in a rage against the United 
States. For the protection of the country, Gov. Harrison was 
compelled to disperse them or make them quit in some manner. 
He marched an army of seven or eight hundred strong against 
this town and encamped near it on November 6. The Indians 
made a furious attack on the army some time before day. If 
it had not been for the regulars, it would have been another 
St. Clair defeat. The regulars saved the army. The volunteers 
fought well, but they could not escape, as the enemy had almost 
surrounded them. This battle put the frontiers into a still 
greater panic. Indian war was considered to be declared by 
this battle. 

In the early spring of 1812, several mounted companies were 
organized for defence of the country. Small block-houses, 
family forts were erected all around the frontiers from Wood 
River to the mouth of the Ohio and up the Ohio and Wabash 
rivers. Camp Russell was erected about a mile and a -half 
northwest of the present town of Edwardsville, and was called 
for William Russell, who was colonel of a regiment of ten rang- 
ing companies. This was the great military depot for men and 
other material. Campbell, a United -States officer, erected a 
small block-house on the bank of the Illinois River, on the west 
side, twenty odd miles from the mouth. Another military sta- 
tion was on the Mississippi, opposite the mouth of the Missouri. 
This stand was to guard the river, as well as to range on the 
frontiers. Another was established on Silver Creek, northeast 
of the present town of Troy. At the site of the present town 
of Carlyle, a block-house fort was built. The same class of 
forts were built, one a small distance above the present town of 
Aviston, in Clinton County. This was called Journey's fort. 
Two were erected on the east side of Shoal Creek, known as 
Hill and Jones' forts. One on the west side of the Looking- 
Glass Prairie, a few miles southeast of the present town of 
Lebanon, and known as Fort Chambers. On the Kaskaskia 
River, at Middleton's and Going's, were block-houses. Another 
block-house was erected on Doza Creek, a few miles from the 
mouth, at Nathaniel Hill's. All around the southern frontier 


some security was made against Indian depredation. These 
forts were all erected in the spring of 1812. 

In the Jourdan settlement, Thomas and Francis Jourdan, 
both, with the assistance of the militia from the salt-works, 
erected two forts in 1811. They were situated eight or nine 
miles on the road east of old Frankfort. The settlement had 
commenced in 1808 or '9. 

Andrew Moore and family went from Goshen Settlement in 
1810, and settled on the road of that name, southeast, ten or 
fifteen miles, of the present town of Mount Vernon. He and 
his son were killed by the Indians in 1812. The father and son 
went to Jourdan's fort and returned toward home to the middle 
fork of Big Muddy, and camped all night. After much bloody 
fighting, both he and his son were killed by the Indians and his 
horses taken. A prairie where he resided is called Moore's 
Prairie. After dark at Tom Jourdan's fort, Barbara, Walker, 
and James Jourdan, three men, stepped out for some wood. 
The Indians lay concealed in the brush, and shot Barbara dead, 
wounded Jourdan in the leg, and missed Walker. 

Several officers distinguished themselves in the war in Illinois 
and showed strong minds as well as great devotion to the coun- 
try. Capts. Samuel Whiteside, W'illiam B. Whiteside, James B. 
Moore, Jacob Short, Nathaniel Journey, Willis Hargrave, and 
William Me Henry were efficient and very active in the defence 
of the country. Samuel Whiteside is still alive, a venerated 
and respected pioneer. Samuel and William B. Whiteside are 
two of the sons of the two gallant soldiers of King's Mountain 
memory. Each of these brave men commanded companies in 
the defence of the country. James B. Moore emigrated to Illi- 
nois with his father in 1781, and grew up a soldier amidst the 
wars and perils of the country. He also commanded a com- 
pany in 1812. The father of Jacob Short emigrated to Illinois 
-in 1796, while his son Jacob was a youth, and he too, like those 
already mentioned, was enured to the hardships and difficulties 
of a new country from his infancy. These four patriots were 
captains of four ranging companies, organized by act of con- 
gress for the defence of the country. Nathaniel Journey was 
a great and talented man and was a captain during most of the 
war. He mostly protected the settlements near to the fort 


bearing his name. Hargrave and Me Henry were officers in 
the service of the government and for the most part guarded 
the frontiers in the eastern section of the State. 

During the summer of 1812, four mounted companies under 
the above-named captains, ranging throughout the country as 
far as the Wabash, gave the country ample protection. In the 
fall of 1812, the fort at Hill's station was attacked and one man 
was wounded. An Indian shot thro the back wall of a chimney 
to one of the block-houses and thus wounded the man. An 
Indian was also killed or wounded, as blood was left where they 

In the fall of 1812, all the troops that could be mustered up 
for a campaign against the Indians were about three hundred 
and fifty men. Gov. Edwards was the commander and under 
.him were Cols. Russell, Stephenson, and Rector. Samuel Judy 
-was a captain over a company of twenty-one spies and of this 
corps I was a member. For these no baggage -wagons were 
provided, but each man packed his own provisions for twenty 
or thirty days, and the horses lived on the grass. The army 
marched from Camp Russell up the Cahokia Creek, by the head 
of Macoupin, and crossed the Sangamon River a few miles east 
of the present city of Springfield, and then on to the Black- 
Partridge Town. This Indian village was situated near the 
Illinois- River bluffs, opposite the upper end of the lake. In 
the morning before we reached the town, the spies met an 
Indian and his squaw before they perceived us. Judy killed 
the Indian, who, while dying, shot Right, who died of the wound 
soon after. The squaw was taken prisoner. Several Indians 
were killed and some whites were wounded. Three men, Peter 
St. Jean, John Howard, and Charles Kitchen, crossed the river 
in pursuit of the Indians. 

As Edwards did not meet Gen. Hopkins, as he anticipated, 
our army returned home with all convenient speed. Capt. 
Craig went in a boat from Shawneetown to Peoria with provi- 
sions for the troops of Hopkins and Edwards, but none were 
needed. Gen. Hopkins marched from the lower part of Ken- 
tucky with a large army to sweep over the Illinois country, down 
that river, and meet Gov. Edwards toward the head of Peoria 


On Feb. 9, 1813, two families were destroyed near the mouth 
of Cash River. The Americans followed the Indians south 
into the State of Kentucky, and a snow fell, so that the party 
could not follow the trail and the Indians escaped. 

In the month of March, two travelers, Young and McLean, 
crossed the Kaskaskia River at Hill's ferry, where Carlyle is 
situated at this day. The Indians, soon after they had crossed 
the river, killed Young and had a severe combat with McLean. 
They shot seven times at him, but he swam the river and 
escaped. Boltenhouse was killed a few miles south of Albion,. 
toward the VVabash. 

Howard was appointed brigadier-general and took the com- 
mand of the troops into his own hands. Another campaign 
was decided upon in the northern section of Illinois, and the 
Illinois troops, to the number of three or four hundred, left 
Camp Russell about August I, 1813. I was sergeant in Capt_ 
William B. Whiteside's company of United-States rangers, and 
marched in this campaign. At Fort Mason, the Missouri troops 
all swam over the river and joined us. The army was reorgan- 
ized at this station, Gen. Howard in command, Cols. McNair of 
St. Louis and Stephenson of Randolph, 111., were the two colo- 
nels, Comdts. Wm. B. Whiteside, Nathaniel Boone of Missouri t 
John Murdoch, and others were made majors. Col. Desha of 
the United- States army was in some command. Col. Clemson 
was the inspector. The whole force amounted to not more 
than eight hundred men. The army marched up the Missis- 
sippi Bottom to a point above Quincy, thence across the coun- 
try and struck the Illinois River forty odd miles below Peoria. 
The army reached Peoria on a calm, pleasant evening and the 
beauty of the situation was admired by the whole army. The 
lake and the scenery around made a pleasing impression of its 
grandeur and beauty even on the stern, rugged soldiers of the 
army. A young man was shot here during the night by acci- 
dent. The army marched to the upper end of the lake and 
returned next day. The troops camped on the south side of 
the lake for three or four weeks. It was here that the logs were 
cut for Fort Clark. With a proper truck -wagon and ropes with 
cross-pieces of wood tied at the proper intervals, eight men can 
draw as many logs as four horses. The logs were thrown into 


the water and the regulars under Capt John Phillips rafted them, 
over the lake and made Fort Clark with them. The army re- 
turned to Camp Russell in safety late in November. These 
campaigns did much good in checking the aggression of the 

In 1814, Mrs. Reagan and six children were killed in the 
forks of Wood River, a few miles east of the present city of 
Alton. A p^irty of whites followed them, commanded by Capt. 
Samuel Whiteside. One Indian was killed in a tree-top by 
Pruitt, and the rest escaped. 

In August, Henry Cox and son were killed by the Indians 
on his farm near Hill's fort, Shoal Creek. This was the brave 
soldier that saved the life of the girl some years before. 

In 1814 [July 19], Maj. John Campbell commanded a squad- 
ron of boats that ascended the Mississippi to Rock Island, and 
had a severe engagement with Sac and Fox Indians. Campbell 
was wounded and many of his men killed in his boats. He was 
relieved and the whole armament was drove down to St. Louis 
again. The men fought well, but the Indians were numerous 
and had almost captured the whole force. 

Major Taylor, the late president of the United States, sailed 
on August 3, 1814, with three hundred and thirty-four men, in 
boats to Rock Island. When they reached the island, the 
British, with a number of redcoats and more than a thousand 
Indians, met them. The enemy had also a six and three- 
pounder cannon. After much hard fighting, the Americans 
retreated, with a loss of several killed and wounded. In the 
same year, the British from Mackinac, with redcoats, cannon,, 
and Indians, captured Prairie du Chien and the Americans 
burned Fort Madison and Johnston, and retreated to Cape an 

In the fall of 1814, the wife of Jesse Bayles was killed by 
the Indians in Sugar-Creek Bottom, not far above the present 
town of Aveston. She and husband went out to look for the 
hogs and she was killed. 


In the winter of 1814 and '15, the Indians, as well as their 
ally, the British, ceased hostile operations in the Northwest, and 
in the summer of 1815, peace was established between all the 
Indians of the Northwest and the United States. This Indian 


war and peace were the key- stone to the prosperity and im- 
provement of Illinois. The soldiers from the adjacent States, 
as well as those from Illinois itself, saw the country and never 
rested in peace until they located themselves and families in it. 
Moreover, many of the citizens that were in the military ser- 
vice saved some of their wages and with it bought themselves 
farms. Illinois, since the peace of 1815, grew as if by magic to 
the present time, and within a reasonable short time, not a State 
in the Union will have a population that can be numbered equal 
to the Prairie State. 

At the termination of the war, with the influx of population, 
professional men also appeared in the country. Elias Kent 
Kane emigrated from the State of New York; touched at Ten- 
nessee, and finally, in 1814, settled in Kaskaskia. He was a 
native of New York and came to Illinois when quite young. 
He received a classic education and studied law in his native 
State. He possessed a strong mind and a benevolence and 
kindness of heart that are rarely surpassed. He was a profound 
lawyer and an agreeable and eloquent speaker. In 1818, he 
was appointed secretary-of-state and remained in this office for 
some time. He was elected to the general assembly of the 
State from Randolph County and then to the senate of the 
United States in 1824. In 1830, he was reflected, and [Dec. 12], 
1835, while in the senate at Washington, he died. The death of 
Mr. Kane was very much lamented in congress and also by the 
people of Illinois. His talents and amiable disposition endeared 
him to his friends and family, so that his death rendered them 
inconsolable. His career in Illinois was brief but elevated and 

Alonzo C. Stuart, a lawyer, emigrated from Reading, Pa., 
and settled in Belleville in 1816. He was a fine classic scholar 
and a well-read lawyer. Mr. Stuart was born in Clermont, N.H., 
and was a regular graduate at Dartmouth College; he received 
a diploma from that institution of learning. He obtained 
license in Pennsylvania in 1812 to practise law, and in Illinois 
in 1817; but soon after he experienced an accidental death that 
put an end to his usefulness and promise. His decease was 
very much regretted by his family and friends. 

Robert K. McLaughlin, a lawyer, emigrated from Kentucky 


and settled in Illinois in 1815. McLaughlin possessed a sound 
judgment and much energy and industry. He married a lady 
of excellent sense and an amiable disposition. He resided for 
a time in Belleville, but finally located in Vandalia, where he 
has been the balance-wheel (to speak in boat phrase) of the 
town for many years. He is now enjoying, in ease and wealth, 
the respectable life of a pioneer. He has a wife, wealth, ana 
no children. 

Col. Benjamin Stephenson moved with his family to Illinois 
from Kentucky in 1809. He was sheriff of Randolph County 
for many years. In the war of 1812, he acted as colonel in two 
campaigns. Stephenson was elected a delegate to congress 
from the territory of Illinois in 1814, and was appointed register 
of the land-office at Edwardsville. In public or private life, he 
was a polite and agreeable gentleman. Death closed his earthly 
career some years since [at Edwardsville.] 

Major William George Brown is a respectable and living pio- 
neer of Illinois. In the Old Dominion and Prince Edwards 
County, he was born in 1777. The father of Maj. Brown emi- 
grated to Kentucky in early times and the major moved to Illi- 
nois in 1816. At the Long Point, so called, he settled and has 
resided there for more than one-third of a century. The county 
of St. Clair has been represented by him in the State legislature 
for many years, and he has been active in the defence of the 
country in all the Indian wars of his day. With the public, 
his character stands high for his good sense and honesty. 

James Lemen, Sr., was blessed with a large family of chil- 
dren.* Most of his sons are members of Christian churches 

* The "U. S. Biog. Diet," Chicago, 1876, gives the following additional facts 
concerning this celebrated family. James Lemen, Sr., was born near Harper's Ferry, 
Ya. , in 1758; was married in Virginia in 1782, and had born to him eleven children, oi 
whom three died in infancy and eight lived to be over sixty. This remarkable family 
consisted of six sons and two daughters. James Lemen, Sr., lived to be 64, and 
died in 1822. His sons were as follows: 

i. Robert Lemen, born near Harper's Ferry, Va., Sept. 25, 1783; married Hester 
Tolan in 1805; settled in Ridge Prairie, St. Clair Co., 111., and there reared a family 
of fifteen children, most of whom arrived at years of maturity; was educated under 
the instruction of that eccentric and able pioneer Baptist preacher, "Father "John 
Clark, and was far above the ordinary men of his day in native and acquired ability; 
was appointed by President John Quincy Adams U. S. marshal of the State of Illi- 
nois in 1825; was a member of the Baptist church; and died Aug. 24, 1860, aged 77. 


and many of them preachers of the gospel. Robert Lemen r 
one of his sons, was engaged for many years in teaching school 
at a time when the country was in great need of schools. 

2. Rev. Joseph Lemen, born also in Virginia, Sept. 8, 1785; married Mary Kin- 
ney, daughter of Rev. William Kinney, Sr., afterward lieut. -governor of Illinois, 
and with her raised a family of fourteen children; was a prominent Baptist preacher 
for more than half a century; lived in Ridge Prairie, St. Clair Co. ; and died June 29, 
1861, aged 76. In McDonough's "History of St. Clair County" is a chapter written 
by Joseph B. Lemen, a member of this family, in which is given the history of the 
Baptist churches of that county. He says, speaking of the Richland- Creek Baptist 
Church, first organized June 14, 1806: 

"In 1809, these people built a meeting-house on Richland Creek, some three 
miles northeast of Belleville; and at that time had a membership of about forty. 
Among the members were Benjamin Ogle, James Lemen, Sr. , Wm. Lot Whiteside,. 
William Kinney, Isaac Enochs, Larken Rutherford, Rev. Joseph Lemen, Robert 
Lemen, Polly ,K. Lemen, Catharine Lemen, Ann Simpson, Hetty Lemen, Ann 
Whiteside, Sally Whiteside, Ann Lemen, Elizabeth Badgeley, Mary Kinney, and 
others. " 

On July 8, 1809, Rev. James Lemen, Sr., who had been licensed to preach one 
year previous, arose in church and denounced slavery and the practise of holding 
slaves as one he could not tolerate; to this some of the membership objected, and the 
senior Lemen and four others withdrew, and with two others organized a new church 
under the name of "the Baptist Church of Christ, friends of humanity," afterward 
known as the Bethel Baptist Church. Their building was located two and one-half 
miles southeast of Collinsville, and is yet a flourishing society. Joseph Lemen sus- 
tained pastoral relations with Bethel Church for many years except when his brother 
Moses was in charge during almost the first half-century of its existence. He was 
assisted also by his brother James during many years of the time, who is described 
as "a man of much power." 

3. Rev. James Lemen, born in Monroe Co., 111., Oct. 8, 1787; was also a Baptist 
preacher of considerable renown, preaching in Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky; 
married Mary Pulliam, Dec. 8, 1813; reared a large family; and died Feb. 8, 1870,. 
aged 82. "He was the second child born of American parents in the colony. Enoch 
Moore being the first. " He was a member of the second territorial legislature from, 
St. Clair Co. in 1814-15; again representing the county in the second general assem- 
bjy, 1820-22; and was state senator from 1824-28. His widow died in 1876, aged 81. 

4. William Lemen was born in Monroe Co. in 1791, and also belonged to the 
Baptist church from an early age; married in the same county Maud Miller, who 
bore him seven children, only two of whom lived to adult age; was a soldier in the 
Black-Hawk war; and died in Monroe Co. in 1857, aged 66. 

5. Rev. Josiah Lemen, born in Monroe Co., 111., Aug. 15, 1794, was also a Bap- 
tist preacher; married Rebecca Huff; reared a large family; and died near DuQuoin, 
in Perry Co., July II, 1867, aged 73. 

6. Rev. Moses Lemen, born in Monroe Co., 111., in 1797, became a Baptist min- 
ister in early life; married first, Sarah Hull, by whom he had three children; second, 
married Sarah Varnum, by whom he had seven children. He represented Monroe 
Co. in the house from 1828-30; and died in Montgomery Co., 111., March 5, 1859, 
aged 62. J. H. G. 


James Lemen, Jr., was born at the New Design in 1787, and 
was raised in Illinois. He has been elected at various times to 
one or the other branch of the general assembly of the State 
for twelve or fifteen years. Likewise, he was elected a member 
from St. Clair to the convention that formed the first constitu- 
tion of the State. In all these situations in which the people 
placed him, he has acted with ability and fidelity. The public 
awards to him an unblemished reputation. 

The Casey family, a numerous and respectable connection, 
emigrated mostly from Tennessee to Illinois and settled in 
several of the counties in the interior of the State. Hon. 
Zadoc Casey* is a conspicuous and worthy pioneer of the 

* Zadoc Casey's father came from County Tyrone, Ireland, settled in North Caro- 
lina before the Revolution, and was a soldier under Marion and Sumpter. Zadoc 
Casey was born in Georgia, March 7, 1796; was brought up in Sumner County, 
Tennessee, where the family removed while he was quite young; was married in Ten- 
nessee, Aug. 31, 1815, to Rachel King. They have had seven children. While his 
oldest child was an infant, Gov. Casey removed with his family to Illinois, in 1817, 
and settled in Jefferson County, near the present town of Mount Vernon, of which 
he was the founder, where his family was reared; and here he lived, died, and was 
buried. Gov. Casey was elected to the house of representatives of the third general 
assembly, to represent the counties of Jefferson and Hamilton, in 1822-4, the first 
representative either of said counties had in the general assembly. Two years later, 
Marion County having in 1823 been organized and added to the district, in 1824-6 
he represented the enlarged district. In 1826-30, he was in the State senate repre- 
senting the district comprising Jefferson, Hamilton, Marion, and Clay counties. In 
August, 1830, he was elected lieutenant-governor at the same election with John 
Reynolds as governor. He resigned this position in 1833, to accept a seat as one of 
three members which Illinois was allowed -in the Federal congress after the census of 
1830; and served five successive terms in congress, being reelected at every election 
until the district was changed in 1842. He was a prominent member of congress and 
was chairman of the committee on public lands, and the State of Illinois is indebted 
to him for the land -grant which enabled them to build the Illinois-and-Michigan 
Canal. He also made the first report to congress in favor of a grant to aid in the 
construction of the Illinois-Central Railroad. Senator Douglas, in a correspondence 
with Judge Breese in 1851, gave to Gov. Casey the credit of the first official recogni- 
tion of the importance of the road in a report made in 1837, to the house of repre- 
sentatives of the national congress, while chairman of the committee on public lands. 

Gov. Casey was elected to i6th general assembly in 1848, and was speaker of the 
house; he was ree'lected to the house again in 1850-2, as a colleague of Gen. Haynie, 
representing Jefferson and Marion counties. In 1860, he was elected as state sena- 
tor from the 2Oth district, composed of the counties of Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, 
Wabash, Marion, Clay, and Richland, and was holding this position at the time of 
his death, Sept. 4, 1862. 

Gov. Casey's oldest son, Samuel K. Casey, was educated at McKendree College, 


family and has held many high and honorable offices in the 
State. In 1830, he was elected lieutenant-governor and has 
been a member of congress for many years; was a member of 
the last convention to form the State constitution, and is at the 
present time a member of our State legislature. In early youth, 
he did not attend to his education, but in after-life, he improved 
himself very much and is an intelligent man. Nature blessed 
him with an interesting family, many of whom bid fair to be 
useful and distinguished citizens. 

Hon. John A. McClernand * is a conspicuous pioneer of 

Lebanon, Illinois; licensed to practise law in 1845; was warden for many years of 
the Illinois State penitentiary at Joliet; returned to Jefferson County after the Rebel- 
lion, and was elected to the State senate in 1868; and died during his term of office,. 
May 31, 1871, at his house in Mount Vernon of hemorrhage of the bowels. Mahala,, 
the oldest daughter of Gov. Casey, married Rev. Lewis Dwight, and died in 1844; 
her son, S. L. Dwight, a prominent lawyer of Centralia, Marion County, was a 
member of the house in the State legislature of 1870-2. Hiram R. Casey, the second 
son, died in Louisana in 1856. Dr. Newton R. Casey, the third son, was educated at 
the university at Athens, Ohio, is a physician and surgeon, and lives at Mound City. 
He was a member of the house in 25th, 26th, and 28th general assemblies, from Pula 1-i 
County. The fourth son, Thomas J>>Casey, was educated at McKendree College, 
taking the Master's degree in 1850; he was licensed to practise law in 1853; in 1856, 
he was elected circuit attorney of the twelfth circuit, to which he was reflected in 
1860; in the summer of 1862, he raised the iioth Illinois Infantry, of which regi- 
ment he was elected colonel ; served with his regiment thro the fall campaign with 
Buell in Kentucky in 1862, with Uosecrans in the battle of Stone River, making a. 
splendid record for personal gallantry in that severe engagement; and in May, 18635 
he was mustered out at his own request on a consolidation of his regiment, his busi- 
ness interests, and those of his father, who had died in the meantime, requiring his. 
personal attention. Col. Casey was married in 1861, to Miss M. S. Moran of 
Springfield. He was a member of the house of representatives in 1870-2, and suc- 
ceeded his brother, Samuel, in 1872-6, in the State senate. He was elected one of 
the judges of the second circuit in 1879; and was selected as the judge of the appeK 
late court from his circuit, a position he now fills. Gov. Casey's youngest son, Dr. 
John R. Casey, was educated at McKendree College, and afterward received a thoro. 
medical education, and is now a practising physician in the city of Joliet. J. H. G. 
* Gen. McClernand was born in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, in 1812. When 
four years of age he lost his father, and his early years were years of trial, hardship, 
and difficulty, which he surmounted with an indomitable will, and at the age of 
twenty he had placed himself in an honorable position in the profession of the law. 
He moved to Shawneetown, Illinois, in 1830; volunteered as a private in Capt. Har- 
rison Williams' company in the Black-Hawk war, in the summer of 1832, and was 
promoted to the position of assistant- quartermaster on the staff of Brig.-Gen'l Alex- 
ander Posey, commanding the 1st brigade, lie established a Democratic newspaper 
in Shawneetown in 1835; was elected to the legislature in 1836 8, and again in 1840; 


Southern Illinois. He was raised in Gallatin County and 
worked his way thro many difficulties to eminence and a high 
standing. Law was his avocation and he practised his profes- 
sion tor some time in Southern Illinois. In constructing the 
Illinois-and- Michigan Canal, he acted an efficient part as a 
State officer and has represented Gallatin County time and time 
again in the State legislature; but most of his public services 
were in the congress of the United States. In this honorable 
body he made a conspicuous and efficient member. Nature 
gifted him with an active and vigorous intellect and much 

was reflected in 1842; and in 1843 was elected to congress, to which position he was 
reelected in 1844, again in 1846, and still again for the fourth consecutive term in 
1848. He declined a fifth reelection, and removed to Jacksonville in 1851.^ In 1840 
he was elected a presidental elector on the Democratic ticket and in 1852 he was 
elector on the Pierce ticket. In 1856 he removed to Springfield, where he engaged 
in the practise of his profession before the Federal courts. In 1859 he was again 
elected to congress from the Springfield district, to fill the vacancy caused by the 
death of Maj. Thos. L. Harris. He was married in 1843 to Sarah, daughter of Col. 
James Dunlop of Jacksonville, 111. 

In August, 1861, Gen. McClernand was commissioned as a brigadier-general by 
President Lincoln. He immediately resigned? his seat in congress and returned to 
Illinois, where he recruited a considerable force of volunteers in a short time. He 
resumed command at Cairo, Sept. 5, 1861. After leading in many important cam- 
paigns and expeditions, and distinguishing himself at Fort Henry, Fort Donalson, 
and Shiloh, in each of which engagements he commanded a divison; and being pro- 
moted to a major-general after the surrender of Fort Donelson, he was next assigned 
to the command of an army corps, by Gen. Halleck's order, and in this position did 
much to further the Union cause in 1862. Gen. McClernand is undoubtedly entitled 
to much of the credit for planing the campaign of 1863. Unfortunate disagreements 
occurred between him and Gens. Grant and Halleck, and after his victory at Arkansas 
Post, he was ordered back. He afterward took part in the battles of Fort Gibson, 
May I, Champion Hill, May 3, and Big Block, May 17, 1863; also in the siege of 
Vicksburg which followed; and on June 18 was relieved from the command of the 131)1 
corps. Gen. McClernand tendered his resignation Jan. 14, 1864; which the Presi- 
dent refused to accept, and he was replaced in command of the I3th corps, and 
assigned to the department of Gen. Banks, on Jan. 23, 1864. He took part in the 
ill-fated Red River campaign of 1864, until prostrated by sickness, and on June 12 
was brought home shattered in health and unable to return to the field. Altho 
he sought active service afterward his health was not in a condition to justify it, 
and unwilling to hold a position that he did not fill he again tendered his resigna- 
tion in November, 1865, and it was accepted. 

He was president of the Democratic National Convention in St. Louis in 1876; 
has always been an ardent politician of the old Jefferson school. He is still engaged 
in the active practise of his profession in Springfield, a member of the firm of Mc- 
Clernand & Keyes. J. II. (i. 


Rev. John Mason Peck emigrated to the West in 1817, and 
has been extremely efficient and energetic in advancing the 
morality and religion of the country. This reverend pioneer 
was born in the State of Connecticut in 1787, and reached 
Shawneetown in 1817. For many years he resided in Missouri 
and he and family were much afflicted there with sickness. In 
1821, he located in Illinois and has resided at his celebrated 
site, the Rock Spring, ever since. 

Nature has endowed Mr. Peck with her choicest gifts and he 
himself has been indefatigable and energetic in his scientific 
and literary labors. A strong, vigorous, and discriminating in- 
tellect he possesses in an eminent degree. In addition to this 
great gift of nature, he is also blessed with an activity and 
energy that shrink from no labor and research that is within 
the compass of his power. With his efficiency and energy of 
character, he has accomplished much in the West. Education 
has been a favorite pursuit with him during his whole life in the 
Western country. The Sunday-schools may greet Mr. Peck as 
their most efficient supporter. The temperance cause may also 
hail him as its best friend and champion. Morality and religion 
itself were greatly advanced in this new country by his untiring 
exertion. The eminent talents of this divine are devoted mostly 
to preaching the gospel and writing books. Sermons of this 
gentleman are clear and strong and contain in them not only 
the theory of religion, but also the practical application to the 
actions of men. The writings of Mr. Peck exhibit much talent 
and research and do him and the country much honor. The 
literary character of this author stands eminent throughout the 
West and he promises much to advance his literary fame. The 
Baptist denomination of Christians he has joined and is one of 
their most efficient members. 

William B. Whiteside, the captain of the company of United- 
States rangers in the war of 1812, was born in North Carolina, 
and when a lad, came with his father, Col. William Whiteside, 
to the country in 1793. He was- raised on the frontiers and 
without much education, but possessed a strong and sprightly 
intellect and a benevolence of heart that was rarely equaled. 
All his talents and energies were exerted in the defence of his 
country. He was sheriff of Madison County for many years. 


At his residence in Madison County, he died some years since. 

Chicago was known, and visited by the explorers of the coun- 
try from the earliest times to the present; but no regular vil- 
lage or colony was ever established there until modern date- 
Indian-traders and the engage were often located there, but no 
continuous settlement was made. The name is of Indian ex- 
traction and means in English the Land of Onions or Wild- 
Onion Field. The Indians, in 1812, [Aug. .15], massacred al- 
most a whole company of regulars there and kept the place 
until peace was declared. 

Jean B. Pont-au-Sable had a store of Indian goods there in 
1795, and John Kinzie settled there about 1804. The Illinois- 
and-Michigan Canal gave Chicago the first start in modern times 
and now it bids fair to be the largest city in the valley of the 

John D. Whiteside, another son of the aged Col. Whiteside, 
was born at Whiteside's Station in 1794, and was raised, lived, 
and died there in 1850. This pioneer possessed a strong, solid 
mind. Many important public stations he occupied with credit 
to himself. At various times, he has represented his native 
.county in the State legislature and occupied for many years the 
office of treasurer of State ; also the office of fund-commis- 
sioner. The business of this last office required his services in 
Europe, where he transacted important business for the State. 
It is singular that he was born, lived, died, and was buried on 
the same locality, the Old Station, in the present county of 

The Moore family emigrated from Georgia and settled in 
St. Clair and were respectable citizens. The aged patriarch, 
Risdon Moore, was a popular and conspicuous man of his day. 
The county of St. Clair was represented in part by him for 
many years and he was elected the speaker of the house of 
representatives of the general assembly. He died many years 
since and left an unblemished character. 

A large connection of the Mitchells and Wests* emigrated 

* The West family are of English ancestry, and the first of the name came with 
Calvert, Lord Baltimore, to Maryland in 1632. John West, a progenitor of the 
present family, lived and died in Maryland ; his son, Benjamin, removed to Virginia 
before the Revolution, and served during that struggle on the military staff of Gen. 


from Bortetot County, Va., and settled in St. Clair County, east 
of Belleville in early times. This colony was composed of in- 
telligent and worthy citizens and the descendants have spread 
over the country far and near. 

George E. Walker, a respectable and worthy pioneer, was 
born in Tennessee, and his father and family, in 1811, settled 
on the east of the Kaskaskia River, near the northern limits of 
Randolph County. Young Walker in his early days started 
out into the wide world to make a living, and most nobly has 
he sustained himself. He traded with the Pottawatomie Ind- 
ians and the white population on the Illinois River to much 
advantage. Walker was an efficient member of the company 
that built a railroad from the Mississippi Bluff to the river. 
This road was constructed seven miles long in 1837, for the pur- 
pose of conveying coal to the St. Louis market, and was the 
first railroad built in the State. In 1839, he commenced mer- 
chandising in Ottawa, 111. At this time, he is one of the most 
wealthy and efficient merchants in this State. He possesses a 
strong natural mind and energy and activity unequaled. 

Washington; his son, Washington West, was born in Maryland, but was moved in 
infancy to Virginia, where he married Frances Mitchell of Virginia. Their children 
were two sons and one daughter. Benjamin Hillary West, the younger of these 
sons, was one year old when the family came to Illinois in 1818; he was married to- 
Maia Catherine Hiel, also a native of Virginia, and from this union sprang a family 
of eleven children; all reside in St. Clair County; prominent among these is the third 
son, Dr. Washington West of Belleville. The elder son, Tilghman Hilliary West, 
born in Montgomery Co., Md., Sept. 20, 1773; married in 1803, Mary Mitchell, 
and moved to Illinois Territory with his brother, Benjamin H. , and their families 
and sons in 1818. His son, Benjamin J. West, Sr., was married to Louisa A. 
Mitchell, June 7, 1836, and settled in Belleville. From this union sprang Benjamin 
J. West, Jr., born in July, 1846; he was educated at McKendree College and St. 
Louis University, and did efficient service in the I42d Regiment Illinois volunteers 
during the late war; was married June 12, 1869, to Miss L. K. Gere of Alton, 111.; 
and was mayor of Belleville, 111., in 1881. Hon. Edward M. West of Eclwardsville, 
Madison County, 111., an older son of Tilghman H. West, born in Botetourt County, 
Virginia, May 2, 1814, is the head of the banking-house of West & Prickett. In 
1838, he was elected treasurer of Madison County, and reelected to a second term. 
In 1844, he was elected school superintendent of the same county, and was one of 
the delegates from his county to the constitutional convention of 1847, and was 
largely instrumental, as a member of the finance committee, in securing the adoption 
of those wise measures which protected the State from repudiation and placed its 
credit on a sound basis. He has been a prominent member of the Methodist church 
since 1842; and held the position of chaplain, with the rank of captain, in the Illi- 
nois National Guard. J. H. G. 



[Revised by the author, Jan. 7, 1885. From the Sf. Louis Republican, Aug. 24, 1878.] 

I have long had it in contemplation, from my connection with the family of the 
deceased, Charles Gratiot, Sr., to prepare an article relating to the above individual, 
who, from the date of his first establishment in the then little village of Cahokia in 
1777 (but thirteen years after the commencement of the embryo village of St. Louis 
by Laclede) to his death in 1817, a period of forty years, was, from his education, 
acquirements, and business capacity, one of the most influential residents of our 
early St. Louis. 

I am more directly induced to commence this procrastinated intention from the 
perusal of an obituary in the Sunday Republican of July 21, of the recently-deceased 
(July 13, 1878; aged 81 yrs. 8 mo. 10 dys. ) Isabelle, relict of the late Julius DeMun, 
and the last-surviving child of Charles Gratiot, which obituary contains so many 
material errors of fact, particularly as regards Mr. Gratiot, that I deem it but proper 
for the truth of history that these errors should be corrected while fresh before us. 

But little is known at the present day of the ancestry of Charles Gratiot but what 
was derived from himself in his lifetime. He was of French origin, his ancestors 
being of those Huguenots who were compelled to leave their native France after the 
revocation of the edict of Nantes by Louis XIV., at the latter part of his reign, 
toward the close of the seventeenth century, owing to the persecutions they experi- 
enced for their religious views and opinions. A large portion of these persecuted 
people crossed the eastern boundaries of France into Switzerland, where all religious 
opinions were tolerated, and many settled in that country; among these were the 
immediate ancestors of Charles Gratiot, who in his lifetime always claimed to be a 
Swiss, and not a Frenchman. 

Charles Gratiot, the only son of David* and Marie (Bernard) Gratiot was born at 
Lausanne, Canton of Vaud, anciently Leman, situated on the north shore of the 
ancient Lac Leman, modern Lake of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1752. After his 
school -boy days he was sent to an uncle Bernard in London, a brother of his 
mother, in whose mercantile house he spent some years, and then came to Montreal, 
Canada, arriving May 30, 1769, to another uncle Bernard, a merchant of Montreal, 
with whom he served as clerk for some five years. In 1774, this uncle sent him in 
the Indian trade to Michilimakinac; and in 1775 to the Illinois country, with a 
venture of goods for this uncle's account, where he remained about a year, and took 
such a fancy to the country that he determined to return and settle in it. So in 
1777, having left this uncle's service and formed a copartnership with David McCrae 
and John Kay, two young Scotchmen of Montreal, fur-traders like himself, under 
the style of David McCrae & Co., he came to Cahokia late in November. The 

* Charles Gratiot in his marriage contract in the Spanish archives is called the son of Henry 
Gratiot and Marie Bernard, but in all his letters to his parents he addresses them to his father 
David Gratiot, which doubtless was his correct name. 



writer of this is the possessor of his first little ledger, in his own handwriting; the 
first entry therein bears date Michilimackinac, Sept. 24, 1777, on his route here; 
then follows entries at Green Bay, Portage of the Ouisconsin, Prairie du Chien, and 
the first at Cahokia, Dec. 2, 1777, where he must have arrived about the close of 
November, and remained over three years, removing to St. Louis early in 1781, 
previous to his being united in marriage to Victoire Chouteau, born in New Orleans, 
third and youngest daughter of Marie Therese Chouteau, nee Bourgeois, on June 21, 
178.1; Mrs. Chouteau, the mother, born in New Orleans, 1733, then residing at the 
southwest corner of our present Main and Chesnut streets, in the stone house that 
had been built for her residence, and which she occupied from its completion in 
1766-7 to her death, Aug. 14, 18.14, aged 81. Here Mr. G. lived for a few years, 
and in this house their first child, Julie, afterward Mrs. John P. Cabanne, was born, 
July 24, 1782. 

In 1783, about the close of the Revolutionary War, Mr. G. made a journey to 
Virginia to urge his claims for indemnification partly for large losses he had sustained 
in some manner by the seizure and confiscation of his goods in some of his Indian 
trading expeditions, in which he was then extensively engaged, but mainly for supplies 
and assistance furnished by him to Gen. Clark and the Americans. Here he met with 
Patrick Henry and other noted men of the day, and succeeded in obtaining grants 
for large bodies of land in Kentucky, then included in the territory claimed by Vir- 
ginia. From this journey he returned to St. Louis in the summer of 1784. 

Mr. Gratiot purchased, Nov. 28, 1785, from the widow of Eugene Poure, dit 
Beausoliel, for $500, the north half of our present block 3, 120 feet on Main by 150 
feet deep to the river, with a house of posts, 40 by 20 feet and another of 20 by 15. 
And subsequently, in 1787-8, the south half of the same block, upon which was also 
a small house of posts. On this property he resided for some years, and here several 
of his first children were born. 

Between the years 1792-3, Mr. Gratiot was associated with one Solomon Abraham, 
a merchant of Montreal, in trading with some of the Indian tribes of the upper 
country, the goods for these outfits being procured by Abraham from London. In 
the prosecution of this business they met with heavy pecuniary losses, as did all 
others engaged in this trade at this particular time. This was caused by the revolu- 
tion in France, involving that country in an immediate war with Great Britain, and 
subsequently with nearly all Europe, materially depreciating the price of furs in that 
country and enhancing the cost of the goods for the trade. 

At this period, 1793, Mr. G. made a voyage to Europe, being absent about twenty 
months. The facts connected with this voyage I derive from his letters from 
Canada and London (in my possession) to his brothers-in-law, the two Chouteaus, 
at whose instance principally the voyage was undertaken, they then having a large 
fur-trading establishment in Mackinac, from which it appears that Mr. Gratiot, 
having experienced heavy losses in business some time previously, and finding him- 
self very much embarrassed pecuniarily, had conceived the project of this voyage, 
then no small undertaking from this remote point, induced thereto partly by the very 
liberal remuneration to be allowed him by these gentlemen and others, whose furs, 
etc., he was to dispose of in London, then the great fur-mart of the world, and there 
purchase for them the goods they needed in the prosecution of their Indian trade, 
instead of, as heretofore, at Montreal, but mainly by the confident hope that, from 
Iris business capacity and his knowledge of the English language, " something might 
turn up" that would enable him to retrieve his affairs, and again place him in a 


prosperous position. In this hope he was not disappointed, as will subsequently 

He left St. Louis at the end of May, 1793. The route then was by canoe p 
periogue up the Mississippi and Ouisconsin rivers, through Green Bay to Mackina', 
thence down through the lakes to Montreal. He was in Mackina' in July and in 
Montreal about August 20, and. embarked for Europe about the close of October. 
At this time, Mr. G. was in the prime of life just forty years and had been mar- 
ried about twelve years, leaving at home five children, his wife giving birth to their 
sixth on Oct. 25, just as he was on the eve of his departure from Montreal. 

Arriving in London at the close of the year 1793, he spent the winter in unceasing 
application to the interests of those parties for whom he had undertaken the voyage, 
as is shown by his letters from that city. In attending closely to this business, he 
became intimately acquainted with a Mr. Schneider, a merchant of very large means, 
at the head of a commercial house having extensive business relations with some of 
the principal cities of Europe. This gentleman conceived a warm friendship for 
Mr. Gratiot. He made him propositions to establish a house in St. Petersburg, 
Russia, where large quantities of furs were disposed of. He proposed to furnish the 
capital necessary therefor, would procure for him consignments from other European 
cities, and eventually give him an interest in his London house. This generous 
proposition Mr. G. gratefully accepted, as he states in a long business letter of March 
30, 1794, from London, to his brothers-in-law, the two Chouteaus, covering some 
twelve or fourteen pages of large foolscap. 

Nothing could better exemplify the honorable character, the innate sense of those 
qualities which constitute the gentleman, and the liberality and self-sacrificing dis- 
position of the man, than a perusal of this letter but as that would require too much 
space in this article, I will merely condense the substance. The largest portion of 
the letter is devoted to the business interests of those for whom he made the voyage. 
Then, as to his personal matters : Explains the considerations that induced him to 
accept the offer to establish himself in Europe; regrets the severance of the ties, 
perhaps forever, that bind him to his friends in America; gives specific instructions 
for closing and settling his affairs in St. Louis, enumerating all those to whom he is 
indebted, with directions to pay all his debts and to dispose of all his property, etc. ; 
desires his wife to prepare herself and the children for the voyage to join him in 
Europe "when she will have received his instructions to that effect, and concludes 
with the hope that his friends there will cherish his remembrance and his sincere 
affection for all. " In view of his contemplated absence from St. Louis, for possibly 
a long period of time, Mr. Gratiot had executed to his brother-in-law, Aug. Chou- 
teau, before his departure, under date of May 24, 1 793, a general power of attorney, 
clothing him with full authority to act for him in his absence in all matters, as if done 
by himself in person. Archives, vol, iv. 505, ii. 770. 

At this period, his brother-in-law, Pierre Chouteau, had just lost his first wife, 
Pelagic Kiersereau, to whom he had been married some ten years, leaving him a 
widower, yet comparatively a young man of thirty-three, with four children. He 
then began to entertain the idea of a trip to Europe, as mentioned by Gratiot in the 
foregoing letter of the 3oth from London; but it appears that Chouteau had aban- 
doned the idea of this voyage, as he had just previously to the date of this letter 
taken to himself a second wife, Brigitte Saucier, of which fact, of course, Gratiot 
was not apprised when he wrote, expecting Chowteau to come over and bring with 
him under his protection Gratiot's wife and children. It appears then the voyage of 


Mrs. Gratiot was abandoned, if ever entertained by her. Mr. Gratiot remained 
abroad some twenty months, returning to St. Louis at the commencement of 1795- 
He must have met with pecuniary success in his enterprise, as we find him subse- 
quently in easy circumstances. 

At the close of 1796, Mr. Gratiot purchased from his brother-in-law, Joseph M. 
Papin, for $3000, the south half of our present block 32, 120 feet front on Main by 
300 deep to Second Street, just across the street (now Chesnut) from his mother-in- 
law, Mrs. Chouteau, with a large stone house of 55 by 36 feet. This house was 
built by Papin, who had purchased this lot from Martin Duralde in 1 780, built the 
house for his residence, and lived in it some sixteen years until he sold to Mr. Gratiot 
as above. Mr. G. moved into this house early in 1797, and in this house his six 
youngest children were born. As an instance of the kindness of heart and munifi- 
cent liberality of the man, I relate the following circumstance: In Feb., 1797, not 
long after his return from Europe, Mr. Gratiot purchased from Bernard Pratte, for 
$560 then its full value the northeast quarter of the block (now 32) north and 
adjoining his then residence on the south half of this block, with a large stone-house 
thereon. A few years thereafter, Mr. G. made to his wife's sister, Marie Louise 
Chouteau, wife of Joseph M. Papin, and her children, a "voluntary gift" (so expressed 
in the deed) of the above property, "in consideration of their near relationship, and 
having a large family in distressed circumstances, in consequence of the losses her 
husband has experienced in business, and the great affection she has always mani- 
fested for his family." This deed, executed Sept. 12, 1801, is on record in the 
archives, vol. i. p. '442. On this property Mr. and Mrs. Papin resided until their 
respective deaths some years thereafter, and with the growth of the city it became 
very valuable in after years. 

After his return from Europe, Mr. Gratiot again embarked in business, in which 
he was engaged up to the period of his death, in 1817. In his later years, and after 
the country had passed into the possession of the United States in 1804, Mr. G., 
possessing a knowledge of the English language, was a prominent man in the affairs 
of our little town, filling various offices of trust, etc. He was the first presiding 
judge of the court of common pleas after its organization in 1804, having for his two 
associates on the bench Auguste Chouteau and David Delaunay. Subsequently a 
justice-of-the-peace, and afterward, upon the organization of the town, chairman of 
the board of trustees for 1811-3. 

Mr. and Mrs. Gratiot continued to reside in the house above mentioned until their 
respective deaths; he died April 21, 1817, aged sixty-four, and his widow June 15, 
1825, aged sixty-five; surviving her husband eight years. They were the parents of 
thirteen children, four of whom died in infancy, and nine four sons and five daugh- 
ters grew to maturity, and were all married in this house with the single exception 
of their eldest son Charles, then of the United States army, who married in Phila- 
delphia in 1819, some years before the death of his mother. 

Mr. Gratiot named in his will his widow and his eldest son-in-law, the late John 
P. Cabanne, as his executors. The widow continued to reside in the old family 
mansion until her death. Her youngest son, Paul M. Gratiot, then a clerk in the 
employment of the French Fur- Company on the waters of the Upper Missouri, 
which occasioned his absence from St. Louis about nine months of the year, being 
then under an engagement of marriage with a sister of the writer, to take place at 
the expiration of the term of his engagement to the company, which had yet three 
years to run, being then in St. Louis on his annual return for two or three months, 



From a Lithograph by Mine. Mez 

Drawn by Chas. Alex. Lesucui 


and old Mrs. Gratiot, then very infirm, finding her end rapidly approaching and 
desirous of witnessing the nuptials of her last and youngest child, as she had those 
of all her elder children, desired that they might be united in her presence before 
she left this world. Accordingly the marriage ceremony took place on Jjme 6, 1825, 
in the chamber of the old lady, where she then lay on her death-bed, the few persons 
present being the relatives and a few intimate friends of the two families the writer 
of this being one, as elder brother and guardian of the bride. Mrs. Gratiot survived 
this event but nine days, breathing her last on June 15, 1825, aged sixty-five. 



Francis Vigo was born in 1747, at Mondovi, Sardinia. As a Spanish soldier, he 
was with his regiment, first at Havana, and afterward at New Orleans, when that 
city was a Spanish post. He left the army and came to St. Louis, then the military 
headquarters of the Spanish for Upper Louisiana. Here he became the partner of 
the commandant, Don Francisco de Leyba, and was soon extensively engaged in the 
fur -trade, acquiring great influence among the several Indian tribes between the 
waters of the Ohio and the Missouri. His sympathies, already enlisted in favor of 
the Colonies, took active form on the appearance of Clark at Kaskaskia. His time, 
influence, and whole fortune were staked with an open hand upon the issue. He 
turned out his merchandise to supply Clark's destitute soldiers, and sustained the 
credit of the Virginia continental money, by taking it at par or guaranteeing its re- 
demption, at its face, to those who exchanged their provisions or supplies for it. 
His advances or liabilities incurred in this way amounted to more than twenty thou- 
sand dollars, which, with Hamilton's, the British commander's confiscations at Vin- 
cennes, and losses through reprisals of Indians hostile to his side of the war, reduced 
him to poverty: Living to a ripe, old age, he also gave much of his time, subse- 
quently to the Revolutionary war, to the military and civic affairs of the old North- 
west and Indiana territories,. when the latter embraced all the former, except the 
present State of Ohio. He was never recompensed for his pecuniary sacrifices, 
though the United States made a tardy and partial restitution to his heirs. Toward 
the close of his life, he lived upon his little homestead farm, near Vincennes, in great 
poverty and cheerful to the last. Recurring to his old age, he often said in a re- 
signed, jocular way, " I guess the Lord has forgotten me." His wants were relieved 
often times by the kindly attentions of his neighbors, among all whom, particularly 
little children, he was a universal favorite. The nearly effaced. inscription upon an 
unpretending stone that marks the neglected spot where rest his remains, in the old 
cemetery at Vincennes, advises us that he died March 22, 1835. 

The sketch of Vigo is a photograph copy, presented to the writer by Prof. John 
Collett, Indiana-State geologist, and taken from the original, drawn by C. A. Le- 
seure the great artist and ichthyologist of the expedition of La Peruse, fitted out by 
Napoleon I. to explore Australia while he was associated with Rob't Owen at New 
Harmony, Ind. The sketch was recognized by Vigo's friends as a very good and 
striking one. This note is summarized from papers on