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Copyright, 1910, 1913 

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wl ISTORY is the most human, and there- 
fore the most absorbing, of all studies. 
There seems to be no practical limit to 
the interest that may be secured in the 
class room, when the great events are 
presented to the pupils as the actual deeds of real 
people. In capable hands the pages often become, 
as it were, a stage on which living characters 
reenact the dramas of former generations. 

Take the children, in imagination, through 
that picturesque region and along the beautiful 
streams that Black Hawk loved, and he ceases to 
be merely a troublesome Indian, and becomes to 
them thereafter the hero of a pathetic racial 

Pioneer days have gone forever from Illinois. 
Yet that ever-present longing in the human race 
to go to the woods, to build the cabin, and to bat- 
tle with the wilderness, will spring up as a flame in 
the minds of our boys and girls of today, when 
told of the heroic deeds of their forefathers. Nor 
will the fact be overlooked, that out of these 
meager frontier fabrics were woven some of the 
most sterling characters of our national life. 

Let us, then, carry out the lumber of unim- 
portant details and the dry bones of facts and dates, 
and bring in the live flesh and blood of INTEREST, 
INCIDENT and NARRATIVE, and we shall rind that 
the time devoted to the study of the history of our 
own state has indeed been a profitable season. 

W. L. N. 









































































TOPICAL INDEX . . . 299 


A charmed covering for spies which they imagined would enable 
them to pass unseen through the country, and even through the 
camp of their enemies. Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. 



The object of the "scalp-lock" was to give an adversary if 
he could get it a fair grip in fight, and also to enable him to pull 
his enemy's scalp off as a trophy of the battle. That lock was the 
Indian's flag of defiance. It waved above his head as the colors 
do above a fort, as if to say, "Take me if you can!" 



Name and Origin of the Indian. When Columbus first 
touched the shores of the New World he found here a 
native race of red men whom he called Indians, because 
he supposed he had discovered the East Indies. The 
Indian had not advanced far enough in the arts of civili- 
zation to keep a written record of his history. Where he 
originally came from and how long he had lived here before 
the coming of the white man, nobody knows. Most of 
the tribes declared they were natives, and that they came 
up out of the earth. One thing, however, is certain. The 
red race was spread, for long ages, over all North and 
South America. 

The Mound Builders. There is reason to believe that 
in former ages a race more advanced than the Indians 
occupied the Mississippi valley. From the large number of 
mounds they left, they have been called the Mound 
Builders. Within these mounds stone and copper weapons 



and utensils are discovered which show that this race was 
superior to the savages found here by the Europeans. 
Whence they came or whither they went, no one can tell. 
The closer we study the relics dug from these mounds, 
the more probable it seems that the Mound Builders were 
merely the more civilized ancestors of the Indians. 

The red men had forgotten much that was known to 
their mound-building forefathers. But they knew how 
to scratch the soil with a sharp stick, a bone, or a stone 
hoe, and thus raise corn and a few vegetables. So they 
were not entirely dspendent upon hunting and fishing for 
their living. They had dogs of a low breed which they 
used in the chase, but horses, cows, goats, sheep, and pigs 
were unknown to them. Without the help of such animals 
it is very hard to rise from barbarism into civilized life. 

The Algonquian Family. When the white men first 
visited the Mississippi valley they found "The Country 
of the Illinois" inhabited by eight different tribes: the 
Illinois, Miamis, Kickapoos, Mascoutins, Pottawatomies, 
Sacs and Foxes, Winnebagoes and Shawnees. These 
tribes were all members of the Algonquian family. 

The splendid location of Illinois, with its fine climate, 
fertile soil, and abundince of all kinds of game, was the 
cause of many a bloody war for its possession. Its famous 
hunting grounds were known even to the distant Iroquois, 
who made frequent incursions to seize upon them and drive 
out the resident tribes. 

The Indians of the Illinois country differed little from 
the other members of the Algonquian family, except that, 
because of the abundance of larger game, they knew little 
of trapping and fishing. Neither was agriculture carried 
on so extensively as elsewhere, for the same reason. 

The Work of the Squaw. The Indian family divided 
the work of life among its members. The lodge or wigwam, 


with all its arrangements, was subject to the rule of the 
squaw. She assigned to each a place to eat, sleep, and to 
store his belongings. Her husband never interfered with 
the affairs of the wigwam. If he did not like the way things 
were going he said nothing, but made for the woods. It 
was the work of the squaw to take down the lodge and bind 
the necessaries on the backs of dogs, or to carry them 
herself to the next camp. Later ponies were introduced, 
which served to lighten her burdens. The warrior was 
always left free on the march that he might be ready to 
meet a lurking enemy or to pursue game. 

The squaw was strong and vigorous and fully equal 
to her labors. Much of the time she spent in idleness. 
She had not, like the farmer's wife of today, cows to milk, 
butter to make, or poultry to care for. No dishwashing, 
knitting nor fancy work fell to her lot. She needed not to 
dress the children and prepare them for school. There 
was no wardrobe to care for, no books to read, no chairs 
to dust. The wigwam was not crowded with mahogany 
furniture. They sat and slept on brush or buffalo robes. 
Sweeping, too, was a simple matter. The broom was of 
cedar branches, the floor the bare earth, and if the squaw 
failed to sweep clean and often, the lord of the forest made 
no complaint. 

There was the fire-pit in the center of the wigwam where 
cooking was done. The meat and fowl provided by the 
red man were thrown on the fire, and eaten half-raw. 
Certain foods, such as succotash, were cooked by throwing 
hot stones into the containing vessel of unglazed pottery 
or wood which could not be put over the fire. Sometimes 
during the hunting season they dug a hole in the ground, 
shaped like a bowl, into which they fitted a green buffalo 
skin, hairy side down, and filled it with water. Heated 
stones were dropped into this to cook the buffalo meat. 


The family had one meal a day together. At other times 
each ate when hungry, the fingers answering for knives 
and forks. 

There was no wash-day. When a skin had been dressed 

, and a garment made of it, by using a bone needle with a 

v sinew of deer for thread, it was worn till it was in tatters. 

The squaw collected wood for fuel, using a stone hammer 

to break it into proper lengths, after which it was tied into 

bundles and carried to the lodge. She planted the patches 

of corn, beans, melons and pumpkins, and cultivated 

them with a sharp stick or a hoe made of the shoulder blade 

of the buffalo or elk. 

The Work of the Brave. It may seem that there was 
no work left for the red man to do, but this is not true. 
He has not been given justice in the matter of doing his 
share of the work. The making of implements and arms 
was a long and laborious task. The most skillful Indian 
could not make an arrow short of a hard day's work. 
In an exciting chase he often used and lost as many arrows 
as would keep him busy for months to replace. Bows 
were made from the wood of the Osage orange, for which 
long journeys were made. Each warrior had several in 
different stages of completion. Much time was required 
for the various processes and treatments necessary to make 
a good bow. The bow strings were twisted from finely 
shredded sinew. 

The savage had no end of chipped stone blades, with 
varying sizes for the deer, bear and buffalo. Their spears 
were tipped with antler or bone. Chipping tools from 
stone, and arrow heads from flint, was no child's play. 
Then there was the grooved ax with a handle of hickory 
or ash sapling that would bend double without breaking. 

The bringing down of animals for food was not mere 
pastime. Before the introduction of ponies and firearms 


from Europe, great endurance and patience, as well as 
skill, were required to approach and kill a buffalo or deer. 
"With his head covered by a cap of grass or weeds, the 
Indian will lie for hours, noiseless as a snake, watching 
the game: now perfectly motionless, now crawling a few 
feet: no constraint of position, no fiercest heat of the 
sun, seeming to affect him in the least. He will lie for 
a whole day at a water hole waiting for the game to 
come and drink, in such a position that the wind will not 
reveal him." 

Besides making arms and providing food, the red man's 
duty was to guard his hunting grounds, to keep out his 
enemies, and to protect the women and children in war. 
Fighting was the business of the braves, and they were 
on the warpath much of the time. While the work of 
the warrior and squaw was divided fairly before the white 
man came, the introduction of ponies and muskets lightened 
the work of the male Indian, while the squaw was not 
relieved so much. Because he did not quickly take upon 
himself some of his squaw's work, we have censured 
him unjustly. 

The Training of Children. The papoose was tied to 
the cradle-board for the first two years of its life. The 
father took no care of the child until he was big enough 
to learn the use of the bow and arrow and to throw the 
tomahawk. These cradle-boards were light and well 
made. They were longer than the child and somewhat 
wider. A hoop of strong hickory wood, wrapped to pro- 
tect the head, was bent over the face of the papoose, and 
the ends made fast to the boards. Holes were made in 
the edges of the board through which straps of rawhide 
were passed to hold the bed and child firmly in place. 
At the end of the board a strap was passed through a 
hole and the ends tied. When the squaw was busy, she 


hung the cradle-board and child to the limb of a tree, or 
stood it against a tree or stump. Perhaps this is better 
than putting a child in one of our cradles, for it keeps the 
little one's back straight. Some think this is why the 
Indian men are more erect than white men. 

The Indian boy "had to learn to swim like a fish and 
dive like a beaver, to climb trees like a squirrel, and to 
run like a deer. - He had to learn how to set traps for 
wild animals, and how to hunt and kill them. He was 
taught to howl like a wolf, to bleat like a fawn, to quack 
like a duck, and to gobble like a turkey. By imitating 
these Avild creatures he could better get near them in order 
to kill them." 

How to Become a Brave. When he grew up he 
obtained honor and social position not by riches, for there 
was no wealth except a few ornaments. To be counted 
as a brave, he must have taken a scalp or two, or at least 
have plundered and stolen from the enemy. The Indian 
never robbed members of his own tribe, but to steal from 
the enemy w r as counted a praiseworthy deed. 

Indian Customs. When one brave had been more 
fortunate than others in the chase, or in the use of the 
arrow or spear, the spoil was set apart for a feast. All 
the adults were invited. When the time came for the 
feast, each one, according to custom, took a wooden dish 
and possibly a wooden spoon, and proceeded to the host's 
lodge. The food was served with great care, each guest 
receiving a portion of the best. Cheerful conversation, 
anecdote and personal adventure, w r ere introduced by the 
men, the women not being allowed to take part. After 
the feast, the squaws retired to their lodges, leaving the 
warriors to smoke. Formal councils, where important 
questions like peace or war were considered, were always 
opened by smoking the pipe. 


Or C!&QfS 



The Red Man's Arithmetic. The Indian kept count of 
the number of scalps taken or the number of days on a 
journey by cutting notches in a bow or spear. There is 
no proof that they counted time by w.eeks, but they meas- 
ured the month by the moon, though they may not have 
known enough of numbers to tell how many days made a 
"moon." They measured years by the coming of the 
leaves in the spring. When these Indians made a purchase, 
they inquired, not how many dollars, but how many raccoon 
skins they owed. 

Indian Writing. The Indians wrote by drawing pic- 
tures. On the post or tablet at the head of an Indian grave 
was drawn the figure of the animal or totem showing the 
clan to which the deceased belonged. Streaks of red paint 
were added to denote his war expeditions, or the number of 
scalps he had taken from the enemy. 

Here is an actual letter written by an Indian maiden 
to her lover, inviting him to visit her at her lodge: 


a the writer of the letter, a girl of the Bear Totem, shown by that 
animal b; e and / are companions of a, the crosses signifying that 
the three girls are Christians; c and g the \\ig\\ams occupied by the 


girls near a large lake./, a trail leading from ij to // which is a well- 
traveled road. The letter was written to a brave of the Mud Puppy 
Tot nin, as indicated in d. i the trail leading to her lover's lodge. 
/, a lake near Indian ramp. In examining c, the writer's hand is seen 
protruding from an opening to denote beckoning and to indicate which 
lodge to visit. 

Ihj.crt of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1888-1889, page 363. 

Had the Indian girl written her letter in English, this 
is about the way it would have looked: 

My dear Brarc, 

Of the Mud Puppy Totem, 

I and two girl companions are living in wigwams 
that are pitched near a large lake. We are Christians, 
and we belong to the Bear Totem. Not far from our 
camp, south of the main trail, is another large lake. 
I wish you would call some evening at my lodge, which 
i/i i ii trill recognize by my hand waving you a salute. 
Your devoted Indian girl, 

Of the Bear Totem. 

A, Buffalo Hunt. Every fall a great hunt was made 
for the purpose of killing and curing a supply of meat 
for the winter's use. Runners were sent ahead to seek 
the most suitable place for the camp. It must be near a 
good supply of w ? ater as well as timber for tent poles and 
drying scaffolds. Level stretches of open prairie were 
necessary for the stretching and drying of hides. Above 
all, the camp had to be near the center of a region abounding 
in game. 

Having pitched camp, and "all things being ready, 
the best hunters were sent out before dawn. The herd is 
selected for slaughter whose position is such that the 
'surround' will least disturb the others. A narrow valley 


with lateral ravines is favorable. If the herd is unfavor- 
ably situated, the hunter waits for it to go to the water, 
or, by discreet appearances at intervals, drives it to the 
best spot. During this time the whole active male por- 
tion of the band is congregated out of sight of the buffaloes, 
silent and trembling with excitement." 

"The herd being in the proper place, the leaders tell 
off the men and send them under temporary captains to 
designated positions. Carefully concealed, these parties 
pour down the valley to the leeward, and spread gradu- 
ally on each flank of the wind until the herd is surrounded, 
except on the windward side. Seeing that every man is 
in his place and all ready, the head hunter rapid!}*- swings 
in a party to close the gap, gives the signal, and with a 
yell that would almost wake the dead, the whole line 
dashes in and closes on the game. The buffaloes make 
desperate rushes, until utterly bewildered, they almost 
stand still and await their fate. In a few moments the 
slaughter is complete." 

When bows and arrows Avere used, each warrior know- 
ing his own, had no difficulty in positively identifying the 
buffaloes killed by him. These were his property, except 
that he was assessed a certain portion. If arrows of dif- 
ferent braves were found in the same dead buffalo, it fell 
to him whose arrow was found nearest the heart. 

"The slaughter completed, the warriors return to 
camp, Avhile the women skin, cut up, and carry to camp 
almost every portion of the dead animals. As soon as 
the women's work is done, other 'surrounds' are made, 
until enough meat and skins are obtained. The work of 
the women is most laborious during the fall hunt. If the 
buffaloes are moving, the success of the hunt may depend 
upon the rapidity with which she performs her work on 
a batch of dead buffaloes. The men do not wish to kill, 


in any one day more than the squaws can skin and cut up 
on that same day." 

Preparing the Meat and Curing the Hides. "The 
meat is thoroughly dried on the pole scaffolds until it is 
as hard as a rock. It is then pounded into meal by means 
of stone mauls, and packed in cases made of rav. hide. 
Melted tallow is poured over the whole, which is kept 
warm until the mass is thoroughly saturated. When the 
meat, now called pemmican, is cold, the raAvhide cases 
are closed and tied up. The contents so prepared, will 
keep in good condition for several years." 

"The skins, as soon as they are emptied of their freight 
of meat, are spread, esh side upward, on a level piece 
of ground. Small slits are cut in the edges of each and 
it is stretched and fastened down by wooden pegs driven 
through the slits." 

The thickest hides were selected for shields and cases. 
The hair was removed by soaking the skins in a mixture 
of wood-ashes and water. The skin was then cut into 
the required shape, and was almost as hard as iron. For 
making buffalo robes, the skins, being too thick, were 
reduced one-half by chipping with a tool like a carpen- 
ter's adz. With this the squaw chipped at the hard skin, 
cutting off a thin shaving at each blow. It required great 
skill to make them thin and smooth and not to cut through. 
These skins were then made soft by being smeared with fat 
and buffalo brains, rubbed in with a smooth stone. 

For making lodges or wigwams, the skins were treated 
in much the same manner as for buffalo robes. In a sim- 
ilar way, deer skins were beautifully dressed for use as 

We here see the Indian woman in the role of butcher, 
meat-packer, cook, carrier, hide-dresser, tent-maker, clo- 
thier, shoemaker and house-builder. 

Cfr i HE 



A Tribe on the Warpath. The Indians wore some- 
what like the Arabs in their migrations. Several families 
usually traveled together. Like wealthy city people 
t )day, they had their summer and winter residences. 
I'pjn journeys they took all their possessions, except that 
at times they hid certain articles in holes in the ground, 
against their return. Their wives, children, dogs, ponies, 
and all other property, they took with them. 

In the early evening they were accustomed to encamp, 
pitching their wigwams with the same care as if for the 
winter. On the march the small children were often tied 
to pack saddles so they could not fall off. The still younger 
ones were tied on cradle-hoards and, while traveling, 
the boards were suspended by the side of the horse. The 
women usually walked. 

The Indian did not object to dirt in his food. On his 
journey, he often carried his meat by running a strap 
through each piece, which was cut about six inches square. 
He then tied the strap to the saddle with the meat dangling 
by the horse's side, exposed to flies and dirt. 

His Superstitions and His Religion. The Indian 
believed in ghosts, and thought there was somehow a 
connection between spirits and fire. He believed in dreams, 
too, because of which he had many doubts and fears. The 
hunter usually carried a small medicine bag hidden under 
his clothing. It contained some relic, as a tooth, a bone, 
or a claw of some animal, which he thought .would protect 
him from danger and evil of every kind. 

He believed also in a Great Spirit, which he called 
the ''Master of Life," to whom he made sacrifices. Black 
Hawk, when his nation was in dire distress in 1832, sacri- 
ficed a dog every night, because he thought the Great 
Spirit was unfriendly to him. The dog was killed and 
burned as it hung from a tree, with its nose pointed in the 


direction they were marching. In this manner he sought 
to win favor and protection from the god of the Indian. 

The red man believed, too, that all his evils, such as 
pain, disease, and death, came from bad spirits. To these 
he also sacrificed when he thought them unfriendly. The 
medicine-man was supposed to know how to control all 
spirits. By dancing about a patient and shaking hideous 
rattles, he strove to drive out the bad spirit. 

He believed in a future life somewhere, with happy 
hunting-grounds for the good Indian. He often had his 
guns, knives, and dogs buried with him, sometimes even 
his horse, to use in that glorious hunt in the next world. 

He thought that wicked people would go to a cold, 
dreary land, where briars and flint rock would tear the 
flesh from their bones, and where there would be plenty 
of game, but it would always be just beyond their reach. 

The Indians were careful about the proper burial of 
their dead. They had a common graveyard. When a 
member of the tribe died while away from home, on the 
warpath or on a hunting trip, they hewed a trough out 
of a log in which they placed the corpse and suspended 
it from the top of a tree, safe from wolves, until they 
returned home. During the war of 1812, when the Indians 
received severe punishment for aiding the British, their 
coffins were frequently seen in tree-tops on the frontier. 

The White Man and the Indian. When the white man 
came bringing ponies, cloth, firearms and whiskey to 
exchange for furs, the Indian began to change rapidly in 
many ways. He copied the vices of the whites, but he 
was not able to give up his wild life for one of settled 
agriculture. He was, therefore, gradually pushed back 
from the fertile valleys of Illinois, until 1832, when Black 
Hawk and his tribe were the last to be driven out of 
the state. 



1. To what race do the Indians of North America belong? 

2. Can you suggest a better name for the red men than "Indians"? 

3. Name several differences between savage and civilized 

4. Why do white children like to ''play Indian" so well? 

5. What constituted an Indian girl's education? 

G. What were the principal things an Indiim Icy n.ust learn? 

7. Distinguish between a family, a tribe, and a nation. 

8. What qualities should a good bow possess? II cw would you 
make one? 

9. What great advantage in weapons did the white men have? 


Rites and Ceremonies. The religious rites and ceremonies of 
the Indians were many and interesting. Cr.e of these is portrayed 
in MacNeil's famous statue, "The Sun Vow." The principal figure 
is that of an Indian youth standing with his left hand, holding a 
bow, extended directly toward the sun, into which he gazes as he 
repeats the "Sun Vow" of manhood. Seated behind him is 1 is 
father whose gaze is also fixed on the sun, unf inchingly. 1 l.c 
sculptor has put into both figures all the serious and romantic dig- 
nity of the race and of the occasion. 

Indian Games. Football was a popular game among the Indians. 
Sjmetimes even the squaws joined in the game. "In this case rules 
were made giving the women certain advantages; for instance, the 
men could use only their feet, while the women could use both hands 
and feet in the effort to get the ball through the goal posts. 


How Indians Compute Time. Youth's Companion, Vol. 66, p. 139. 

Indian History (Sign Language). F. S. Lrake. 

Blackfoot Lodge Tales. G. B. Grinnell. 

Indian Medicine. Popular Science Monthly, Sept., 1886. 

Myths of the Red Children. G. L. Wilson. 

The Way of an Indian. Frederic Remington. 

The Prairie Schooner. W.~ E. Borton. 

First Americans. St. Nicholas, Vol. 16. p. 935, 


I found myself in the blessed necessity of exposing my life for 
th'j salvation of all these peoples, and especially of the Illinois, who 
had very urgently entreated me, when I was at the point of St. 
Esprit, to carry the word of God to their country. 

Father Marquette'* Journal. 


The French Get a Foothold. The French had declined 
to help Columbus in his endeavor to find a western route 
to the Indies. But, no sooner had the Great Navigator 
discovered the new world than the French hastened to 
lay hold of a portion of the prize. French sailors soon 
discovered the St. Lawrence, and upon the rock of Quebec 
they laid the foundation of a great empire in America. 

The Objects of the Frenchmen. Their aims Avere to 
get hold of more territory for the king, to discover gold 
and silver mines, and to build up the fur trade with the 
natives. Each expedition was accompanied by a few 
holy men called Jesuit priests, whose sole ambition was to 
teach Christianity to the heathen and to spread the Cath- 
olic religion among the natives of the earth. No hard- 
ship was too severe, no danger too hazardous for them 
to undertake. The greater the sufferings of these loyal 
missionaries, the more they gloried in them. 

France was a Catholic nation. She was glad to aid 
and protect the Jesuits, \vho would in turn spread French 
influence among the Indians, and, by friendly relations 
with them, help to build up a rich fur trade. 




Jesuits and Explorers Hand-in-Hand. Missions were 
soon established throughout the region of the St. Law- 

80 V 

-> I 

,V '( j> <' r i o / } 


rence and Great Lakes. Wherever the Indians could be 
found in sufficient numbers, hither came the fur traders 
to barter for peltries, and the faithful Jesuit priests to 


instil into the savage heart something of the Christian 
ideal of love and peace. The French explorer and the 
priest pushed out, hand-in-hand, to conquer the wilderness. 

Jacques Marquette. Among these devoted priests was 
young Jacques Marquette, who had put aside a life of 
luxury and ease in France, in order that he might tame 
the savages in the American wilderness. Some Jesuits 
had to give up their work among the Indians on account 
of the hardships of a life in the forest; others, because they 
could not learn the Indian tongues. Father Marquette 
was a frail man, but with plenty of endurance. He worked 
so diligently that he learned, in a few years, to speak six 
different Indian diahects. While trying to teach the red 
men of Lake Superior, he was visited by some Illinois 
warriors, from whom he learned the difficult language of 
that nation. 

Marquette Hears of the "Father of Waters." They 
told him of a mighty river toward the setting sun which 
they called the Mississippi, or "Father of Waters." But 
they could not tell into what sea this great river emptied, 
and Marquette was anxious to learn whether it flowed 
into the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Pacific. He 
wished also to start a mission among the Illinois tribes, 
and won the promise of his superior to be permitted to 
do this. But it became necessary for him to return to 
Mackinac. Here he found Louis Joliet who had been 
sent by Frontenac, Governor of Canada, to explore the 

The Explorer Joliet. Louis Joliet was just the kind 
of a. man to send on this dangerous journey of thousands 
of miles among hostile red men. He could make shelter- 
huts, weapons, sleds, and birch bark canoes; he was a 
good hunter, 'fisher, and a fine cook; he could endure the 
rough life of the forests and camp; he could talk in several 


Indian dialects, and he was brave and tactful in dealing 
with the savages. 

A priest was always chosen to accompany exploring 
parties, and the choice happily fell on Father Marquette. 
They spent the winter months in making maps and col- 
lecting information about the wild country they were 
about to explore. They questioned all visitors to Mackinac, 
Indians, trappers and fur traders. 

Our Heroes Set Out. As soon as the ice broke up in 
the spring, they gathered a stock of corn and smoked 
meat, and set out from St. Ignace in two bark canoes with 
five companions (May 17, 1673). Hundreds of Hurons, 
Ottawas, and other Indians gathered on the shore to see 
our heroes depart. Marquette embraced his brother 
Jesuits and blessed all the people, red and white, while 
Joliet shook hands with everybody, and with shouts of 
good luck, they bent to their paddles, waving a last adieu. 
Their route lay to the westward along the north shore of 
Lake Michigan. At night they landed, drew their canoes 
up on the shore and lighted a camp fire on the edge of the 
forest. The streams abounded with fish and the forest 
with game. After a few days, they entered Green Bay 
and paddled up the Menominee River, where they met the 
Wild-Rice Indians. When they told of their plans, these 
Indians tried to discourage them, saying that the banks 
of the Mississippi were inhabited by fierce tribes who 
tomahawked every stranger that came that way; that 
in a certain part of the river there lived a demon whose 
roar could be heard afar off, and that this demon would 
swallow them. Besides, there were other monsters who 
would devour them and their canoes together. 

On the Fox River. Marquette gave no heed to these 
alarms, but having taught them a prayer, he bade them 
farewell and proceeded up Green Bay to the mouth of 


Fox River, where they found great numbers of wild geese, 
ducks, and other fowl. There were marshes of wild rice 
which furnished the Indian as well as the fowls with food.* 
Canoeing up the Fox River was not all pleasure, for there 
were many rapids where the canoes had to be unloaded 
and carried over the steep portage paths. They found 
many Indians here, for it is always good fishing just below 
rapids. Wild fowl, bear and wild cat furnished an abund- 
ance of meat, and the rice swamps afforded grain without 
much labor. 

Soon the explorers entered Lake Winnebago, a most 
charming body of water. They passed on across this lake 
and up the river through a fine prairie country, and soon 
arrived at the palisaded village of the Mascoutins, or 
"Fire Nation," where Marquette was delighted to see 
a cross erected by a former missionary. The cross was 
decorated with dressed deer skins and bows and arrows, 
which the Indians had hung up to the great Manitou of 
the French. 

The Fire Nation Furnishes Guides. Being kindly 
received, they called together the chiefs and the elders and 
told them their mission, and asked for guides to show 
them the way to the Wisconsin River. The chiefs gladly 
furnished two guides. Presents were exchanged, the 
Indians giving the explorers a mat of woven reeds to 
use as a bed. The entire population came down to the 
shore to see them off. They pushed on up the river, 
and soon reached the portage between the two rivers, 

*Wild rice was gathered by shaking off the heads into a canoe. 
These were then dried over a slow fire, put into bags made of skio 
which were placed in holes in the ground and tramped upon until 
the grain was separated from the chaff. The grain was then pounded 
into flour between stones. When boiled and seasoned with fat it 
was considered a great delicacy. 





where they had to carry their canoes and supplies a 
mile and a half across the prairies to the banks of the 
Wisconsin. (See map, page 31.) 

On the Wisconsin. On this stream they embarked, not 
knowing where it would carry them, whether to Virginia, 
the Gulf of Mexico, or the Gulf of California. "They 
glided calmly down this tranquil stream. At night the 
bivouac, the canoes inverted on the bank, the flickering 
fire, the meal of bison flesh or venison, the evening pipes 
and slumber beneath the stars; and when in the morning 
they embarked again, the mist hung on the river like a 
bridal veil, then melted before the sun." 

Drifting upon the Mississippi. On June 17th, after a 
voyage of seven days, they reached the mouth of the 
Wisconsin, and with great joy paddled out on the Miss- 
issippi. Southward they journeyed on the slow and gentle 
current, between wooded hills and amid picturesque scenery 
and beautiful islands. "We saw," says Marquette in 
his journal, "only deer and cattle, bustards (geese), and 
swans without wings, because they drop their plumage in 
this country." They were on the lookout for the "horrible 
monsters" described by the Indians. "From time to 
time we came upon monstrous fish, one of which struck 
our canoe with such violence that I thought it was a 
great tree, about to break the canoe to pieces." At length 
buffalo appeared in great numbers, grazing on the prairies. 
They saw at times four or five hundred in one herd. 
Marquette describes the fierce and stupid looks of the old 
bulls as they stared through the tangled manes which 
nearly blinded them. 

There had been no trace of human beings for a long 
distance, but they were very cautious. They landed in 
the evening, cooked their meal, put out the fire and pad- 
dled along some distance before they stopped for the 


night. They anchored out in I he stream to prevent 
surprise, leaving a, sentinel on guard. 

Footprints of Red Men. At length they discovered 
footprints in the mud en the bank, and a well-trodden 
path which they resolved to follow. They left their com- 
panions to guard the canoes, while Joliet and Marquette 
started across the prairie. They soon came in sight of 
an Indian village, and without being discovered, advanced 
till they could hear the Indian voices among the wig- 
wams. Then they stood out in clear view and shouted. 
There was a great stir in the village. "The inmates swarmed 
out of their huts, and four of the chief men presently came 
forward to meet the strangers, advancing very deliberately 
and holding up toward the sun two calumets or peace pipes, 
decorated with feathers. They stopped abruptly before the 
two Frenchmen, and stood gazing at them without speaking 
a word." 

The Peace Pipe Offered. Marquette was much 
relieved on seeing that they wore French cloth, whence 
he judged that they must be friends and allies. He broke 
the silence and asked them in their own language, "who 
they were; whereupon they answered that they were 
Illinois, and offered the peace pipe; which having been 
duly smoked, they all went together to the village." 
Here the chief received them in a strange manner, and in 
his way, tried to honor them. "He stood stark naked in 
the door of his wigwam, holding up both hands, as if to 
shield his eyes. 'Frenchmen, how bright the sun shines 
when you come to visit us! All our village awaits you; 
and you shall enter our wigwams in peace.' So saying- 
he led them into his own, which was crowded to suffoca- 
tion with savages, staring at their guests in silence." 

The Great Chief Visited. "Having smoked with 
chiefs and old men, they were invited to visit the great 


chief of ;ill the Illinois, at one of the villages they had 
seen in the distance; and thither they proceeded, followed 
by a throng of warriors, squaws and children. On arriving, 
they were forced to smoke again, and listen to a speech of 
welcome from the great chief, who delivered it standing 
between two old men, naked like himself." His lodge was 
crowded with the chief men of the tribe. Marquette 
addressed them, saying that he was a messenger sent by 
the God who had made them and whom they ought to 
obey. He told them about the power and glory of Count 
Frontenac, and asked about the Mississippi and the tribes 
he was about to visit along its banks. "The chief replied 
in a speech of compliment; assuring his guests that their 
.presence added flavor to his tobacco, made the river more 
calm, the sky more serene, and the earth more beautiful." 
He gave them a young slave and a peace pipe, and begged 
them at the same time to abandon their purpose of going 
farther down the Mississippi. 

A Delicious Feast. "A feast of four courses followed. 
First, a wooden bowl full of porridge of Indian meal boiled 
with grease was set before the guests; and the master of 
ceremonies fed them in turn, like infants, with a large 
spoon. Then appeared a platter of fish, and the same 
'server' carefully removed the bones with his fingers, 
and blowing on the morsels to cool them, placed them 
in the mouths of the two Frenchmen. A large dog, killed 
and cooked for the occasion, was placed before them"; 
but, since they did not seem to relish this food, it was 
removed, and a dish of fat buffalo meat served as a last 
course. The crowd then dispersed, and buffalo robes were 
spread on the ground. Marquette and'Joliet spent the 
night here. "In the morning, the chief with some six 
hundred of his tribesmen, escorted them to their canoes, 
and bade them, after their stolid fashion, a friendly farewell." 


The Voyagers See the Indian Gods. They paddled 
and drifted slowly on down the river, past the mouth of 
the Illinois. Soon they came upon a sight which filled 
them with fear. "Upon the flat face of a high rock were 
painted in red, black, and green, two monsters, each as 
large as a calf, with horns like a deer, red eyes, and a beard 
like a tiger's, and a frightful expression of countenance. 
The face is something like that of a man, the body covered 
with scales; and the tail so long that it passed entirely 
around the body, over the head and between the legs, ending 
like that of a fish," writes Marquette. These represented 
the Indian Gods, or Manitous. 

Pass the Missouri and the Ohio. In a few days they 
passed the mouth of a great muddy river from the unknown 
West, called by the Indians, Missouri. Its mad rush 
into the Mississippi almost upset their canoes. On they 
went by the lonely forest where now stands the great city 
of St. Louis. Soon they saw on the east bank the mouth 
of a splendid river which the Iroquois had named the 
Ohio, the Indian word for "Beautiful River." As they 
floated on towards the south, the heat became so intense 
that they had to crouch in the shade of sails put up as 
awnings. The banks of the Mississippi being swampy, 
were breeding places for mosquitoes without number, 
and these gave our heroes no rest. They passed some 
friendly Indians who delighted them with the information 
that they would reach the mouth of the Mississippi in ten 
days. But this was far from true, for it was still a thousand 
miles distant. 

Arrival at the Arkansas. Again they set forth, floating 
and paddling by turns, through miles and miles of trackless 
wilderness, with no trace of man. After canoeing three 
hundred miles more, they approached the mouth of the 
Arkansas. Here they beheld a cluster of wigwams on the 


west bank. "Their inmates were all astir, yelling the war- 
whoop, snatching their weapons, and running to the shore 
to meet the strangers," who were badly frightened. Several 
canoes filled with savages were putting out from the shore, 
above and below them, to cut off their retreat, while a 
swarm of headstrong young warriors waded into the water 
to attack them. The current proved too strong; and failing 
to reach the canoes of the Frenchmen, one of them threw 
his war-club, which flew over the heads of the startled 
travelers. Meanwhile, Marquette had not ceased to hold 
up his peace pipe given him by the Illinois, but the excited 
crowd gave no heed. They strung their bows and notched 
their arrows for immediate action. 

Saved by the Peace Pipe. When at length the elders 
of the village arrived and saw the peace pipe, they quieted 
the young men, and invited the Frenchmen to come ashore. 
Marquette and his companions did so, trembling with fear. 
They were more kindly received than' they expected. One 
of the Indians spoke a little Illinois, and through him they 
had a friendly conference, followed by a feast. The 
Frenchmen spent the night here in the lodges of their hosts. 

Meeting with the Arkansas Nation. Early in the 
morning they passed on down to a village of the Arkansas 
tribe, about twenty-four miles below. "Notice of their 
coming was sent before them by their late hosts; and as 
they drew near, they were met by a canoe, in the prow of 
which stood a naked Indian, holding a peace pipe, singing 
and making si^ns of friendship." 

On reaching the village, which was on the east bank, 
opposite the mouth of the Arkansas, they were conducted 
to a sort of scaffold before the lodge of the war-chief. 
The space beneath had been prepared for their reception, 
the ground being covered with rush mats. On these they 
were seated, and the warriors sat around them in a semi- 


circle; then the elders of the tribe; and then the pro- 
miscuous crowd of villagers, standing and staring over the 
heads of the more dignified members of the assembly. All 
the men were naked; but to compensate for the lack of 
clothing, they wore strings of beads in their noses and ears. 

Our Heroes Resolve to Return. "The travelers now 
held a council as to what course they should take. They 
had gone far enough, as they thought, to establish one 
important point: that the Mississippi discharged its 
waters, not into the Atlantic or the Sea of Virginia, nor 
into the Gulf of California, but into the Gulf of Mexico. 
They thought themselves nearer to its mouth than they 
actually were, the distance being still about seven hun- 
dred miles; and they feared that if they went farther, they 
might be killed by Indians or captured by Spaniards, 
whereby the results of their discovery would be lost. 
Therefore they resolved to return to Canada and report 
what they had seen." 

Toiling up the Mississippi. So, on July 17th, they 
began their homeward voyage. "It was no easy task 
to urge their way upward, in the heat of midsummer, 
against the current of the dark and gloomy stream, toiling 
all day in the parching sun and sleeping at night on the 
swampy and unhealthy shore, or in their narrow little canoes 
anchored in the river." Marquette was taken sick. Still, 
"day after day, and week after week, they won their slow 
way northward." 

Upon the Beautiful Illinois. "At length they reached 
the mouth of the Illinois, and entering it followed its course, 
charmed as they went with its shady forests and its rich 
plains, grazed by the bison and the deer." They stopped 
at the chief village of the Illinois, then called Kaskaskia.* 

*Not the village founded later by the French near the Mississippi. 


A band of warriors offered to guide them to the lake of 
the Illinois, that is to say, Lake Michigan. They proceeded 
by the way of the Illinois, the Des Plaines, and the Chicago 
Rivers to Lake Michigan, and coasting its shores, they 
arrived at the mission of Green Bay in September. During 
the four months since they had left this mission they had 
traveled 2,500 miles. Here Marquette spent the winter 
trying to recover his health, while Joliet hastened to bear 
the report of his discovery to Count Frontenac at Quebec. 

Marquette Sets out for the Illinois Again. It was a 
year before Marquette had regained his health and strength. 
The strong desire to establish a mission on the Illinois 
still urged him on. He obtained permission from his 
superiors, and with two companions named Pierre and 
Jacques, one of whom had been with him on his great jour- 
ney of discovery, he set out for the chief village of the 
Illinois. They coasted south along the shore of Lake 
Michigan, entered the Chicago River and followed its 
course for some six miles, when Marquette's disease 
attacked him in a more severe form, and it was impossible 
to proceed farther. The two men built a hut by the river 
and prepared to spend the winter there. Pierre and 
Jacques provided buffalo, deer, and wild turkey for food. 
Visiting Indians sometimes brought corn and game. Here 
French traders came upon them too, and befriended them. 

Mission Established. Marquette, too weak to work, 
spent much time in prayer. He knew this would be his 
last journey, but he eagerly longed to lay the foundations 
of his mission before he died. Growing stronger, they 
crossed the portage to the Des Plaines and paddled south- 
ward till they came to the Illinois River, which they followed 
till they reached the chief town of the Illinois Indians, 
near Starved Rock. Here Marquette says he was received 
"like an angel from Heaven." He passed from wigwam to 


wigwam, teaching the truths of the Christian religion. The 
beauty of his character took strong hold on these savage 
minds, and they begged him to remain with them. 

On His Last Journey. Reading that his health was 
gone, and that he had not long to live, Marquette started 
on his last journey, accompanied by a crowd of Indians 
as far as Lake Michigan. His two companions rowed 
north along the east shore, hoping to reach Mackinac. 
But Marquette felt that his hour was near, and as they 
passed a small stream he requested them to land. They 
did so, built a shed near the shore, and carried the dying 
Jesuit to it. He calmly told them how he wished to be 
buried, asked their forgiveness for all the trouble he had 
caused them, and thanked God that he was permitted 
to die in the wilderness, a faithful missionary and a Jesuit. 
They dug a grave beside the hut, and here they buried 
him, as he had directed, then made their way to Mackinac 
to bear the tidings to the priests at the mission. 

Marquette's Final Resting Place. Some years later, a 
party of Ottawa Indians was hunting on Lake Michigan, 
and when they returned home they carried the bones of 
Marquette, who had been their teacher. Opening the 
grave, they washed and dried the bones and placed them in 
a box of birch bark. "Then in a procession of thirty canoes 
they bore it, singing their funeral songs, to St. Ignace, 
where they buried it beneath the floor of the little chapel 
of the mission." 


1. What reasons led the French nation to seize a part of the new 

2. What motives induced the Jesuit fathers to visit America? 

3. What mutual interests of the church and the state led the 
priest and the explorer to go hand-in-hand? 




4. Whicli has done most to advance the cause of civilization, 
the zeal of the missionary, the love of conquest, or the desire for 

5. Write a short description of an Indian canoe and its part 
in the settlement of America. 

6. Trace the route of Marquette and Joliet on the map. Imagine 
this route to be divided into 125 days' journeys of twenty miles each, 
and you will realize the stupendous task they accomplished. 


The Birch-bark Canoe. The birch-bark canoe was light, strong, 
and easily propelled. It made the Indian master of every lake, 
river, and stream. Wherever there were water-ways he could travel 
quickly, silently, and with little effort. If he liked, he could go in 
his own private conveyance from the source of the Ohio to the Gulf 
of Mexico, or from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the Niagara. 


The Wild Oat. The wild oat, whose name they bear because 
it is found in their country, is a sort of grass, which grows naturally 
in the small rivers with muddy bottoms, and in swampy places. 
It greatly resembles the wild oats that grow amid our wheat. The 
cars grow upon hollow stems, jointed at intervals; they emerge from 
the water about the month of June, and continue growing till they 
rise about two feet above it. The grain is not larger than that of 
our oats, but it is twice as long, and the meal therefrom is much more 


Explorations and Discoveries of Marquette and Joliet. Harper's 
Magazine, Vol. Ill, Pages 74-82. 

Old South Leaflets. Vol. 2, No. 46. 

Father Marquette. Thwaites. 

France in America. Thwaites. 

La Salle and the Great West. Parkman, Pages 48-87. 

Making of the Great West. Drake, Pages 85-92. 


Service with La Salle means the hardest marching and heaviest 
labor a voyageur ever undertook. I have heard he is himself tough 
as iron. But men hereabouts who have been in his service will take 
to the woods when they hear he has arrived. 



Our Hero Becomes a Jesuit. Robert Cavelier, Sieur de 
La Salle was born of a rich family at Rouen, France, in 
1643. As he grew toward manhood, his mind became 
filled with a desire to win glory and to make a name for 
himself. He had heard of the heroic lives of the Jesuits 
in the American forests, and, since he liked to study, he 
entered a Jesuit school, where he proved himself an 
apt scholar. 

But this life was not to his liking, because the rules 
of the order were very strict, and he had to obey his 
superiors. He wished rather to be a leader himself, and 
to tell others what to do. So he parted from the Jesuits 
and, having lost his right to inherit his father's wealth 
because of his connection with this sect, he set out for the 
wilds of America to make his fortune. 

La Salle at Montreal. We soon find him at Montreal, 
then the most dangerous place in Canada, because it was 
exposed to the frequent inroads of the Iroquois. They 
had been bitter enemies of the French since the days when 
Champlain fought with the Algonquins against them. 
But they had recently been punished by the French and 
forced to make peace. There was no knowing what hour 


they might break out again, and no man could venture into 
the forest without taking his life in his hands. 

La Salle Longs to Explore the Wilderness. La Salle 
was given a grant of land at La Chine, eight miles above 
Montreal, on the St. Lawrence. This dangerous outpost 
was exposed to Indian tomahawks, but it was a fine loca- 
tion for fur trading. Here he built a palisaded village 
and granted land to settlers in small tracts. He studied 
the Indian language so diligently that within two or 
three years he could speak the Iroquois and seven or eight 
other dialects. Many Indian visitors came to see him at 
La Chine, bringing their furs to exchange for European 
finery, trinkets and goods. They told him much about 
the wild and lonely country toward the sunset. His mind 
became filled with an intense longing to explore this great 
pathless wilderness. He hoped he might find a passage 
to the South Sea (Gulf of California), and a new road for 
commerce to the riches of China and Japan. 

First Hears of the Ohio. A band of Seneca-Iroquois 
once spent the winter with him. They told him about the 
Ohio a river in their country which flowed into the sea 
so far away that it required a journey of many months to 
reach its mouth. No white man had ever yet seen the 
Ohio. La Salle thought it might flow into the Gulf of 
California, and, if so, it would give him the longed-for 
passage to China. 

The First White Man Sees the Ohio. He determined 
to explore this river, and hastened to Quebec to lay his 
plans before Frontenac. He won the Governor's permis- 
sion to make the trip, provided he bore the entire expense. 
La Salle had no money, but he concluded to sell his prop- 
erty at La Chine, which he did. He then bought four 
canoes and the supplies he needed, and hired fourteen 
men. Others joined the party, and they started from La 


Chine, up the St. Lawrence, guided by the Indians. They 
coasted the south shore of Lake Ontario till they arrived 
at the mouth of the Niagara. 

Everything seemed to go wrong. Some of the party 
would not follow La Salle. The Iroquois were unfriendly 
and refused to furnish guides. They told him that the 
Indians along that river would take his scalp. La Salle 
knew no such word as fear. He had a will like iron, and his 
heart was set on the success of the expedition. Some of 
his party left him to return to Canada, while others went 
westward along the Great Lakes. La Salle made his way 
with an Indian guide from a friendly tribe to the head waters 
of the Ohio, and floated down as far as the falls at Louis- 
ville. Soon the news of Marquette's explorations reached 
his ears, and he became convinced that the Mississippi 
flowed, not west into the Gulf of California, but south into 
the Gulf of Mexico, and that he could win undying glory 
by seizing this magnificent valley for France. 

The Great Plans of La Salle. He would discover the 
mouth of the Mississippi, build a fort there, and thus keep 
out both the English and Spanish, and at the same time 
make it safe for the ships of France to navigate on the 
Mississippi and its tributaries. 

La Salle learned from the Indians, as did Marquette, 
that the Mississippi was so far south that it would not 
freeze during the winter, and that the French could traffic 
with the Indians there at all seasons. Fortunes could 
soon be made in hides of buffalo and furs, and at the same 
time France would gain a vast continent. Perhaps La 
Salle thought he might obtain command of this fort, and 
so become immensely rich by controlling all of this trade. 

Frontenac a Friend to La Salle. He must first win 
the support of the authorities in Canada and obtain money, 
for it would require vast means to carry out Kis plans. 


He returned to Canada and conferred with Frontenac who 
had recently come to America, a ruined man, bent on mend- 
ing his fortune. Frontenac had built a fort on Lake Ontario, 
where Kingston now stands, and by this means had cut off 
the rich fur trade that had been going on with the English 
and Dutch on the Hudson. All the profits of this splendid 
business now fell to him. The other merchants and traders 
of Canada, chafing because they had no part in this trade, 
became bitter enemies of the Governor and also of La 
Salle, who took sides with Frontenac. 

Louis XIV. Bestows a Blessing but No Money. La Salle 
returned to France armed with letters of praise from 
Frontenac, and was kindly received at the court of Louis 
XIV. The explorer made two requests of the king. He 
wished to receive a title of nobility because of his explora- 
tions, and to be made commander of this new fort on 
Lake Ontario, which he named Fort Frontenac. La Salle 
offered to pay back to the king all the fort cost, to main- 
tain the fort, pay the soldiers there, as well as the laborers, 
to build a church and to support friars all at his own 
expense. The King granted both petitions, and La Salle 
returned to Canada a noble, and commander at Fort 
Frontenac, where he might easily amass a fortune by 
controlling the greater part of the Canadian fur trade. 
Frontenac, of course, shared in this good fortune. 

La Salle Rebuilds Fort Frontenac. But La Salle was 
not satisfied with mere riches. He had not sought control 
at Frontenac for the sole object of wealth, but partly 
because it was a step toward his plan of getting control 
of the Mississippi valley, and planting a colony there. 
He had no doubt made much money at Frontenac, but he 
had also spared no pains to fulfill the conditions under 
which it was granted to him. He had rebuilt the fort of 
stone, constructed a guard house, a lodging, a forge, a 


mill and a bakery. Nine cannon were mounted upon the 

La Salle Makes Enemies. At the same time he had 
made many bitter enemies. All the traders in the country 
joined against him for monopolizing the fur trade, and 
"Canada became for him a nest of hornets, buzzing in 
wrath, and watching the moment to sting." 

The Jesuits troubled Frontenac because he preferred 
other priests to them, and he paid them back in the same 
coin. They naturally had no love for La Salle either, for 
these two were usurping most of the power in Canada that 
had formerly rested with the Jesuits. When La Salle's 
plan of exploring and colonizing the West was known, 
the Jesuit opposition took deep root, for they sought con- 
trol over this same region. 

Louis XIV. Again Smiles on La Salle. La Salle now 
believed the time ripe to push his plans. He left the fort 
in charge of a lieutenant and set sail for France, 1677. 
His enemies had sent word before him that he was fit only 
for a madhouse. But friends pleaded his cause before 
the King, who gave him permission to explore the West, 
to build other forts upon the same conditions as that at 
Fort Frontenac, and to find a route to Mexico. La Salle 
was to bear the entire expense. The powerful Louis XIV. 
wanted all the land he could get in America, if some one 
else would pay the bills. 

To carry out La Salle's plans would require an enormous 
sum of money. He did not have the funds himself, but 
succeeded in borrowing a vast amount from relatives and 
friends in France. He also mortgaged Fort Frontenac. 
He was staking his own fortune and that of every one who 
would loan him, on the success of his undertaking. La 
Salle himself believed, and he convinced others, that there 
would be great profits and little risk in it. 


A Faithful Lieutenant. While at Paris, La Salic met 
and attached to himself an Italian officer, Henri de Tonty, 
who had lost a hand in the war of Sicily. This hand had 
been replaced by one of iron which he often used with 
great force upon his enemies. Tonty came to be called 
in America the "Man with the Iron Hand." He was the 
one man who remained true to La Salle to the last. 

La Salle also met in France a man named La Motte, 
whom he invited to join his expedition. With these two 
La Salle returned to Quebec, where he made a league 
with some Canadian merchants, in order to further add 
to his resources. 

Two Ships Planned. La Salle's band of ship- 
carpenters, blacksmiths, pilots, sailors and priests gathered 
at Fort Frontenac with the iron, cordage and anchors 
for two vessels, one of which was to be built on Lake Erie 
above Niagara Falls, and the other on the Mississippi. 
Father Hennepin joined the party and became its historian. 

Off to the West. La Motte and Hennepin, with sixteen 
men, set sail in advance in a little vessel bound for the 
Niagara River. After a stormy and dangerous voyage they 
entered this river, on December 5th, and landed near a 
village of the Senecas, attracted there by the fisheries. 
Hennepin with several others started up the Niagara in 
canoes, to explore. The fury of the mighty rapids drove 
them ashore. They pushed on afoot up the steep heights 
through the wintry forests, until they beheld the magnifi- 
cent cataract. 

La Motte now began building a fortified house a few 
miles above the mouth of Niagara, some ten miles below 
the falls. Hot water was necessary to soften the frozen 
ground, but this was not their only trouble, for the neigh- 
boring Senecas grew sullen and unfriendly. By controlling 
the Niagara, the Indians Lad possession of a profitable 


fur trade carried OP between the four great lakes to the 
west and the Dutch and English at Albany. 

La Motte and the Senecas. La Motte saw the necessity 
of making friends with these powerful tribes, and getting 
their consent to the erection of his fortified warehouse, 
and to the building of a ship on Lake Erie. So, with 
many valuable presents and heavily armed with guns, La 
Motte and Hennepin set forth on a five-day march toward 
the great village of the Senecas, situated near the present 
site of Rochester, N. Y. Upon arriving, they were con- 
ducted to the lodge of the great head chief about whom 
were squatted on the ground, forty-two other chiefs clothed 
in robes of beaver, wolf or black squirrel skin. La Motte 
tried with all his power to persuade the Indians that his 
plans would benefit them. He "placed gift upon gift at 
their feet coats, scarlet cloth, hatchets, knives and beads." 
They gladly accepted the gifts, but when pressed for their 
consent, they hung back. The presence among them of 
two Jesuit priests perhaps accounts for their refusal. The 
party returned unsuccessful and half-famished to Niagara. 

La Salle Successful. They had no sooner left the 
Indian village, when La Salle and Tonty arrived at this very 
spot. La Salle was on his way from Fort Frontenac to 
join La Motte, but after an unlucky voyage he had landed 
near these Indians. Always skillful in dealing w r ith the red 
men, La Salle won over the Senecas to his plans. 

La Salle' s Troubles Begin. A few days later the pilot 
left in charge of the vessel, while La Salle was exploring 
the Niagara, disobeyed orders and wrecked the ship on 
the shore. Little was saved except the anchors and cables 
for the new vessel. This was a bitter disappointment to 
La Salle, and anyone but him, says Hennepin, would have 
been so downcast as to have given up the enterprise. His 
quarrelsome, jealous crew of French, Dutch and Italians 



UlflYERSmr OF H'_ 


was discouraged and hard to manage because his enemies 
had tampered with them. La Motte was not to be depended 
upon either, but, by good luck, he became ill and had 
to return to Fort Frontenac. Tonty alone was loyal and 

Portage Around Niagara Falls. The next difficult task 
was to carry the heavy supplies for the new vessel up the 
steep heights and around Niagara Falls, through snowy 
forests, to quiet water above, a distance of twelve miles. 
This done, they felled trees, cleared a place and set the 
ship-builders at work. A few sullen Senecas, who had not 
gone off on the annual hunt, loitered about and acted 
suspiciously. One of them, pretending to be drunk, tried 
to kill the blacksmith, but a red hot bar of iron kept him 
off till Hennepin came up and rebuked the Indian. 

A Long Journey on Foot. La Salle laid out a fort and 
put some of his men to work on it. He left the faithful 
Tonty in charge of the building of the ship and set out on 
foot for Fort Frontenac, two hundred and fifty miles away, 
to secure supplies to replace those lost in the wreck. He 
and his two companions trudged through the snowy 
forests and over the ice to Lake Ontario, living on parched 
corn. This gave out, and for two days they had no food. 

Tonty and The Griffon. Tonty meanwhile finished the 
vessel, and as spring opened, it was launched with much 
ceremony. "The friar pronounced his blessing upon her; 
the assembled company sang the Te Deum, cannon were 
fired; and French and Indians, warmed alike by a generous 
gift of brandy, shouted and yelped in chorus as she glided 
into the Niagara. Her builders towed her out and anchored 
her in the stream, safe at last from incendiary hands, and 
then swinging their hammocks under her deck, slept in 
peace beyond the reach of the tomahawk. The Indians 
gazed on her with amazement. Five small cannon looked 


out of her portholes, and on her prow was carved a porten- 
tous monster, the Griffon, whose name she bore." 


1. Write a brief account of the life of La Salic. 

2. Trace the travels of .La Salle on the map. 

3. Was La Salle your ideal explorer? Why? 

4. Compare the character of La Salle with that of Tonty. 

5. Tell the story of the building of the Griffon. 

6. Explain the meaning of the words La Chine and Te Deum. 


La Salle's Patent. "Louis, by the grace of, God King of France 
and of Navarre, to our dear and well-beloved Robert Cavelier, 
Sieur de la Salle, greeting. We have received with favor the very 
humble petition made us in your name, to permit you to labor at 
the discovery of the western parts of New France; and we have the 
more willingly entertained this proposal, since we have nothing 
more at heart than the exploration of this country, through which, 
to all appearance, a way may be found to Mexico ... we 
permit you by these presents, signed with our hands, to labor at the 
discovery of the western parts of our aforesaid country of New 
France; and, for the execution of this enterprise, to build forts at 
such places as you may think necessary, and enjoy possession thereof 
under the same clauses and conditions as of Fort Frontenac, con- 
forming to our letters patent of May thirteenth, 1675, which, so far 
as needful, we confirm by these presents. . . 

Given at St. Germain en Lave, this 12th day of May, 1678, 
and of our reign the 35th year." 


Joutel's Journal of La Salle's Last Voyage. Review Dial, Vol. 
42, Pages 283-285. 

La Salle and the Great West. Parkman. 

Great La Salle. Harper, Vol. 110, Pages 335-343, Feb. '05. 

Wilderness and Empire. New France and New England, Pages 

Pioneers in the Settlement of America. Crafts. 


It is easy to i-eckon up his defects, but it is not easy to hide from 
sight the Roman virtues that redeemed them. Beset by a throng 
of enemies, he stands, like the King of Israel, head and shoulders 
above them all. FRANCIS PARKMAN. 


Hard Blow From His Enemies. La Salle returned 
to Fort Niagara in August, bringing a tale of another mis- 
fortune. His enemies had convinced those who had made 
loans to him that he had gone on a reckless, foolhardy 
expedition, and would never return. Whereupon, his 
creditors, excited by these rumors, seized on all of La 
Salle's property, though that at Fort Frontenac alone would 
have more than paid his debts. There was nothing he 
could do about it, however, for to have given up his enter- 
prise would have afforded his enemies just the victory they 
sought. La Salle bore the blow with a brave heart. 

The First Ship Sails Lake Erie. The Griffon was 
taken up the Niagara with tow-ropes and sails. On the 
seventh of August, 1679, La Salle and his followers fired 
their cannon, sang the Te Deum, and steered westward 
on Lake Erie where sail was never seen before. After a 
voyage of three days, they turned northward into a river 
which La Salle named Detroit. They soon emerged into 
a small lake which he called St. Clair. Passing through 
the lake and a river beyond, they came out upon Lake 
Huron Here a violent tempest overtook them and all 
but sent them to the bottom. The angry lake quieted, 



however, and the Griffon made her way to Mackinac and 
from there to Green Bay. 

Robbed by His Agents. Before leaving Niagara, La 
Salle had sent ahead a number of traders laden with goods 
and trinkets to be exchanged for fur. Most of these 
traders deserted him, taking with them the valuable furs 
they had bought with his goods. Only those sent to Green 
Bay remained faithful, and had collected a rich cargo 
for the Griffon. 

La Salle resolved to send the Griffon back to Niagara 
laden with furs, collected here and along the way, in 
order to pay certain debts. He knew that he was risking 
everything upon a pilot who had not proved entirely 
trustworthy, but he thought best not to go himself, for he 
feared that the rest of the men would desert. Besides, 
he saw that his enemies were stirring up the Iroquois to 
make war upon the Illinois Indians, in order to defeat 
his plans. Tonty would have been sent back with the 
Griffon, but he had gone to Sault Ste. Marie to arrest the 
deserting fur traders, and had not yet returned. 

Her Cargo. The Griffon sailed for Niagara with La 
Salle's entire fortune. He had even left on board part 
of his goods and implements that could not be transported 
easily in canoes. She had orders to return to the southern 
end of Lake Michigan, as soon as possible after discharg- 
ing her cargo. From Green Bay, La Salle and his party 
pushed southward along the western shore of the lake 
in four canoes heavily laden v, ith a forge, tools, merchandise 
and arms. They encountered two dreadful storms, but 
each time made shore safely. They shuddered when they 
thought of the Griffon riding such a tempest. La Salle 
was advised by some of the red men along Lake Michigan 
not to go to the country of the Illinois, for that tribe hated 
the French for stirring up the Iroquois against them. 


This information convinced La Salle that his enemies 
had hatched this scheme of Indian wars in order to ruin 
him. Nevertheless, he coasted on south, past where Chicago 
now stands, and around the southern shore of the lake, to 
the mouth of the St. Joseph river, which he named Miami, 
from an Indian tribe dwelling near. Here Tonty was to 
meet him, coming from Mackinac along the eastern shore 
of the lake. 

They Wait for Tonty. But Tonty was nowhere to 1 e 
seen. Winter was approaching, and supplies were low. 
They must either starve or attempt to reach the country 
of the Illinois, before that tribe went off on its winter 
hunt. La Salle's men urged him to set out at once, but 
he would not desert the faithful Tonty. He put his men 
to work building a fort to divert their minds. After twenty 
days, Tonty arrived with but half his men. The others 
who had been delayed to procure food, since supplies had 
given out, came up a few days later. But Tonty brought 
no tidings of the Griffon. She had had more than time to 
make the voyage to Niagara and back again, and La Salle 
watched anxiously for her approach. Day after day they 
scanned the horizon, but no sail appeared. With heavy 
hearts La Salle's men prepared to go on without the sup- 
plies she was to bring. He sent two men to Mackinac to 
await her coming and to direct her to Fort Miami. On 
Dec. 3, 1679, La Salle and his men embarked and paddled 
up the St. Joseph in eight canoes. When they reached the 
present site of South Bend they began looking for a portage 
to the head waters of the Kankakee. 

Loses His Way. The Mohegan guide was absent, 
hunting, and they passed by the path without noticing it. 
La Salle started out alone to search for it. The snow was 
falling and he lost his way in the tangled forests. When 
hours had passed without his return, Hennepin and Tonty 


grew uneasy and began to scour the country for him. 
They fired several guns, but the deep, silent forests made 
no reply Night came on, and still their lost leader did 
not appear They sat down sadly to consider what might 
have happened to him. It was not till the next afternoon 
that he returned with two 'possums hanging to his belt. 
These he had killed with a club as they hung head down- 
ward from the branches of a tree. He had lost his bear- 
ings and had tried to circle a great swamp. He, too, had 
fired signals, but no sound replied except the echo. 
He finally came in sight of a smoking camp fire to which 
he hastened, only to find it deserted. He called out in all 
the Indian tongues known to him, but the savages, if there 
were any, did not respond. So he crawled into a bed of 
leaves by the fire and slept till morning. 

Portage to Kankakee. Before La Salle's return, the 
Mohegan hunter had rejoined the party and quickly 
pointed out the portage path. On the following morning 
they shouldered canoes and baggage and trudged through 
the snowy forests to a branch of the Kankakee, four miles 
away. They saw around them dreary plains, strewn with 
skulls and bones of buffalo. One of the party walking 
behind La Salle, against whom he had a grudge, raised 
his gun to shoot his leader, but was prevented by another. 

They had at last found a stream that would carry 
them to the Mississippi, and on it they were soon afloat. 
Day after day they passed through the dreary, lifeless 
forests. At night they spread their mat beds around the 
glowing camp fire, while the wintry wind whistled through 
the forest about them. 

A Lucky Find. Their supplies were running low because 
the Mohegan hunter could bring down only two lean deer 
and a few wild geese. La Salle's men would hare deserted, 
but they did not see how that would keep them from 


starving. Finally, they came upon a buffalo bull fast in 
the mire. They killed him, threw a line around his body, 
and by pulling and tugging together, twelve men dragged 
the buffalo out. 

A Deserted Indian Village. Passing by the site of 
the future town of Ottawa, and by Buffalo Rock, a favorite 
dv/elling place of Indians, they glided among some islands 
and saw overhanging the river a lofty cliff, known later 
as Starved Rock. 

They floated down the beautiful Illinois river bordered 
by broad meadows, and on the right the low hills where 
Utica now stands. Hennepin counted at this point four 
hundred sixty Indian lodges. These were built of a frame 
work of poles covered with mats of rushes, with an arched 
top. Each lodge contained three or four fireplaces, and 
accommodated from six to eight families. Here then, 
were the homes of several thousand Illinois Indians, but 
they were nowhere to be seen. The homes were empty 
and the fires out. All about was dead silence. 

La Salle Finds the Corn Pits. La Salle knew that this 
was the winter hunting season, and this city of deserted 
homes was no great surprise to him. He was, however, 
at a loss to know what to do, for he had expected to pur- 
chase corn and supplies here for his half-famished followers. 
They searched the deserted town and found covered pits 
in which the red men had hidden their stock of corn. They 
could not buy; for there was no one to pay. To take the 
corn without bargaining for it, might offend the Indians. 
La Salle hesitated, and finally decided to supply their 
wants, with the hope of paying for it later. So they opened 
the pits, filled their canoes and resumed their voyage down 
the Illinois. 

Prepares for Peace or War. Early in January, they 
reached the widening in the river now known as Peoria 


Lake. As they floated slowly down the lake to the present 
site of Peoria, they beheld in the distance faint lines of 
blue smoke rising above the gray forests. They knew 
this must be the Illinois tribe on their winter hunt. La 
Salle had been warned that these tribes regarded him as 
their enemy. They had been led to believe that he had 
stirred up the Iroquois against them. So upon approaching 
their camp, he prepared for peace or war. 

The lake had now narrowed to a river, and La Salle 
arranged his canoes in battle line across the stream, with 
Tonty commanding one end, and he himself commanding 
the other end of the line. As the current bore them on 
abreast, they put aside their paddles and seized their 
guns. In this array they were carried unnoticed into the 
Indian camp which lined both banks. 

The Indians Surprised. TITe savages were panic- 
stricken. Warriors whooped and howled, squaws and 
children screeched in chorus. Some snatched their war 
clubs and bows; some ran in terror; and, in the midst 
of the hubbub, La Salle leaped ashore followed by his 
men. La Salle knew that the best way to deal with the 
Indians was to show no sign of fear, and to let them first 
offer the peace pipe. So his little band stood, gun hi 
hand, ready for battle. Two Indian chieftains hastened 
forward, holding out the calumet. La Salle now offered his 
peace pipe, also. The uproar quieted at once, and mes- 
sengers hastened to bring back the fleeing savages. 

La Salle Lays His Plans Before the Illinois. The whole 
village now greeted the Frenchmen and feasted them, 
much as they had Marquette years before. Gifts were 
exchanged, and La Salle told them that he had been forced 
to take corn from their pits to keep his men from starving, 
but he promised either to pay for it in full or to return it. 
He said he had come to protect them from their enemies 


t I 








and to teach them to obey the true God. He promised to 
furnish them with guns, and to fight for them in case the 
Iroquois attacked them. La Salle told them also, that he 
would like to build a fort close by to protect his men. He 
wished to build a great wooden canoe, too, in which to 
descend the Mississippi to the sea and return. In this way 
he would furnish them all the white men's goods they 
needed. If they Avere unwilling for him to do these things 
he would have to go to their enemies, the Osages, who would 
reap all the benefits of friendship and trade with the 
French, while the Illinois were left unprotected and at the 
mercy of the powerful Iroquois. Being very jealous of 
the Osages, the Illinois readily granted all he asked. 

La Salle's Enemies Still Busy. They had sent an 
Indian chief, Monso, with gifts of knives, hatchets and 
kettles to the Illinois. In a secret midnight council, he 
told the Illinois that La Salle was a spy of the dreaded 
Iroquois and could not be trusted. Monso said that La 
Salle was now on his way across the Mississippi to stir 
up those tribes to join in a war against the Illinois, who 
would thus be attacked by enemies from both the west 
and the east at the same moment, and utterly destroyed. 
He advised the Illinois, in order to save themselves from 
ruin, to check La Salle and cause his men to desert him. 

When morning came, Monso had departed and La 
Salle found his hosts sullen and suspicious. He, of course, 
did not know that Monso had been there, and could not 
understand why the Illinois had changed so suddenly 
from friends to foes. During the day he won the secret 
from a chief by the gift of two hatchets and three knives. 

The Illinois Chief Points out Dangers. In the after- 
noon the head chief invited the visitors to a feast, where 
he told them of the dangers of descending the Mississippi. 
He said the shores of the "Father of Waters" were beset 

by populous tribes of bold, fierce braves, against whom it 
would be hopeless for a handful of palefaces to contend. 
The river, too, was alive with serpents, alligators and 
monsters; it was a raging torrent, leaping among rocks 
and whirlpools; and at its mouth it plunged headlong into 
a bottomless gulf. This speech frightened many of La 
Salle's men, who were already on the point of deserting. 
La Salle replied very calmly, thanking the chief for his 
friendly warning. But, said La Salle, the greater the 
danger, the greater the honor. Even if what the chief 
had said was true, it would not frighten his brave 

The Lies of His Enemies Exposed. He told the Indians 
that he knew that they had been deceived by lies. '-'We 
were not asleep, my brother, when Monso came to tell 
you, under cover of night, that we were spies of the Iroquois. 
"Why," asked La Salle, "did Monso skulk away in the 
dark, if he were telling the truth? Why did he not show 
himself in broad daylight?" La Salle showed them that 
the French had many chances to kill them without waiting 
for aid from the Iroquois. He asked them to go and bring 
Monso back, and let him speak out boldly. 

His Men Disloyal. The following night six of La 
Salle's men, including two of his best carpenters, deserted. 
He called the remaining ones before him and reminded 
them of his many favors. He told them that, if they were 
afraid of the unknown terrors of the Mississippi, they 
might remain there until the next spring, and then return to 
Canada without dishonor. This desertion was a severe blow 
to the iron-hearted leader. But this was not the worst. 
An attempt was made to kill La Salle by poisoning his food, 
but an antidote of a friend saved him. 

Builds Fort Crevecoeur. La Salle resolved to leave the 
Indian camp. He chose a site a few miles below for a 


fort. It stood on a hill with a deep ravine on either side, 
and a marsh in front. They dug a ditch behind the fort 
to connect both ravines, threw up embankments on all 
sides, with a palisade twenty-five feet high. The lodgings 
of the men were built of musket-proof timber at two 
corners, the house of the friar was at the third corner, 
and the forge and the magazine were at the fourth. The 
tents of La Salle and Tonty were within. 

This fort, named Crevecoeur (Broken Heart), was the 
first permanent building of civilized man within the state. 
Up to this time La Salle still hoped for the return of the 
Griffon, with the rigging and anchors for the new vessel 
with which he was to descend the Mississippi and sail 
to the West Indies. But now his hopes had vanished, he 
knew the ship bearing his fortune was lost. Nothing was 
ever heard of her. 

La Salle Returns to Far-off Canada. There was no 
building a ship for his journey to the Gulf without cables, 
anchors, and rigging, and Fort Frontenac was twelve 
hundred miles away. His stout heart would not give it 
up. He might himself make that long, dangerous voyage 
on foot to fetch these articles, but could he trust his men 
to hold the fort until his return? From some visiting 
Osages, La Salle learned the truth about the lower Missis- 
sippi, and this quieted the fears of his men. He decided to 
leave Tonty in command at the fort, to finish the new ship 
which was now well started, and to return himself to far-off 
Canada. With five companions he traveled the thousand 
miles to Fort Niagara in sixty-five days, enduring hunger, 
hardship and disease. 

Tonty Left in Command. When La Salle left Fort 
Crevecoeur on his perilous journey to Fort Frontenac, he 
placed Tonty over the small band left behind. It con- 
sisted of a few trusted men and a half-score of knaves 


who were already ripe for revolt. As La Salle passed 
Starved Rock, he noted that it was a fine site for a fort, 
and he sent word back to Tonty to fortify it. Tonty left 
some of his party to hold Fort Crevecoeur, while he and 
the others made their way up the river to the Illinois 
village a few miles above. The scoundrels left at the fort 
destroyed it, together with the arms and supplies, and set 
out for Canada. 

The Iroquois Approach. The Illinois tribes had now 
returned from their winter hunt to their village near 
Starved Rock. Tonty was living with them, when one day 
an Indian crossed the river in hot haste to report that a 
great horde of Iroquois was approaching. A panic followed. 
The warriors seized their arms; women and children ran 
screaming about; and an excited throng gathered about 
Tonty, charging him with stirring up the Iroquois. They 
seized his forge, tools and goods, and threw them into the 
river, and many called loudly for his scalp. But when 
he promised to fight for them against the ferocious Iroquois, 
they spared his life. 

The Illinois braves spent the night in preparing for the 
battle. They greased their bodies, painted their faces and 
be-feathered their heads. All night long they sang war 
songs, danced, yelled, and waved their tomahawks, to work 
up their courage for the coming onset. The squaws and 
children were sent to an island down the river. 

Tonty With a Flag of Truce. When the Iroquois 
appeared upon the plain in large numbers and well armed 
with guns, Tonty saw that the Illinois would be crushed. 
The battle opened with yells and terrific howlings, and 
amid flying arrows and bullets, Tonty advanced alone 
toward the Iroquois holding out a wampum belt, as a flag 
of truce. He meant to remind the Iroquois that both they 
and the Illinois were allies and friends of the French, 


and that they would get into a war with the French if 
they attacked the Illinois. 

The Iroquois at first did not take Tonty for a French- 
man, because of his dark complexion. They thronged 
about him with murder in their hearts, brandishing their 
tomahawks with fury. One warrior plunged his knife 
into the brave Tonty, but it glanced aside from a rib and 
did not reach his heart. Another standing behind was 
raising his hair to scalp him, when an old chief called 
out that his ears were not pierced, and that he must there- 
fore be a Frenchman. The hot heads hesitated. 

Tonty Deceives the Iroquois. Breathless and bleeding, 
Tonty declared that the Illinois were under the protection 
of Governor Frontenac. He told them that the Illinois 
had a great number of warriors, besides sixty Frenchmen 
to help them, and should be left in peace. Unwilling to 
incur the displeasure of Frontenac, and fearing the great 
number of French and Illinois warriors, they sent Tonty 
back with a belt of peace. Dizzy and fainting from loss 
of blood, Tonty rejoined his friends, and was warmly 
embraced by the two friars. 

But the Iroquois were bloodthirsty, and the truce 
was sure to be broken. So the Illinois burned their 
village, and retreated down the river. The Iroquois took 
possession of their burning lodges and fortified them- 

Saved by His Wits. During this time, Tonty and his 
men occupied a hut not far away. The Iroquois becoming 
suspicious, made the Frenchmen come into their fort. 
They soon learned that Tonty had deceived them as to 
the number of Illinois warriors and French, and they 
turned angrily upon him. "Where are your sixty men?" 
they demanded. They said he had robbed them of the 
glory and spoils of victory, and, in revenge, they thought 


he should be killed. Tonty was cool-headed and tactful , 
and managed to escape their fury. 

The Iroquois Bloodthirsty. Some days later, they 
summoned Tonty to a council and presented him with six 
packs of beaver skins. One was to say that the Governor's 
children, the cowardly Illinois, should not be eaten; the 
second was a plaster to heal Tonty's wound; another was 
oil to anoint him on his journey; the next said that the sun 
was bright; and the last required Tonty's men to leave the 
country at once. Tonty thanked them for their gifts, 
but demanded to know if they would return home and 
leave the Illinois in peace. At this the Iroquois became 
angry, and one warrior was heard to say that before they 
left they would eat Illinois flesh. Tonty then kicked away 
the packs of beaver skins, and told them that if they were 
going to eat the Governor's children, he would have none 
of their presents. In anger they drove Tonty from the lodge, 
and ordered him and his men to be gone. Tonty saw that 
it was hopeless to try to prevent bloodshed, and that it 
was dangerous for him to remain exposed to the wolfish 
passions of the Iroquois. 

Tonty's Journey to Mackinac. The Frenchmen set 
out for Green Bay, living meanwhile on acorns, roots, 
and wild onions. Their canoe gave out, and they were 
compelled to go on afoot. They passed by where Chicago 
now stands, and followed the west shore of the lake. Tonty 
was taken with a fever and delayed, and starvation stared 
them in the face. Luckily, some friendly Indians gave 
them food, and at last they reached Mackinac. 


1. Why did not La Salle build his ship on Lake Ontario or the 
St. Lawrence River? 

2. Write an imaginary account of the destruction of the Griffon. 


3. Give an account of the travels of La Salle between August, 
1679, and April, 1680. 

4. Recite the experience of Tonty at Starved Rock. 

5. About how far had the Iroquois traveled to make war on the 


Killing a Buffalo. "Run, Father, run!" cried the hunters. 

"It is dead," asserted Father Membre. "I will rest my gun 
across its carcass to steady my aim at the other buffaloes." 

He knelt to rest his gun across its back. 

The great beast heaved convulsively to its feet and made a 
dash at the R4collet. It sent him revolving heels over head. But 
Father Membre" got up, and, spreading his capote in both hands, 
danced in front of the buffalo to head it off from escaping. At 
that, with a bellow, the shaggy creature charged over him across 
the prairie, dropping to its knees and dying before the frightened 
hunters could lift the friar from the ground. 

"Are you hurt, Father?" they all asked, supporting him, and 
finding it impossible to keep from laughing as he sat up, with his 
reverend face skinned and his capote nearly torn off. 

"Not unto death," responded Father Membre, brushing grass 
and dirty hoof prints from his garments. "But it hath been greatly 
impressed on my mind that this ox-savage is no fit beast for the 
plow. Nor will I longer counsel the women to coax the wild cows 
to a milking. It is well to adapt to our needs the beasts of a coun- 
try," said Father Membre', wiping blood from his face. "But this 
buffalo creature hath disappointed me!" 



La Salle and the Great West. Parkman, Pages 164-258. 

Making of the Great West. Drake, Pages 93-109. 

Heroes of American Discovery. Bell. 

Pioneers in the Settlement of America. Crafts. 

The Discovery of the Mississippi. Falconer. 

Pioneers of Illinois. Matson. 


Whoever reads the marvellous story of his twenty years' toil 
must confess his greatness, and the power of that ideal which held 
him firm. His life and death constitute the one supreme tragedy 
of the Mississippi valley. RANDALL PARRISH. 


Bad News at Ft. Niagara. Upon arriving at Fort 
Niagara, La Salle learned the woeful tidings that not 
only had the Griffon disappeared with a loss of thousands 
of dollars, but that a ship from France with a large cargo 
of his goods had been wrecked and lost at the mouth of the 
St. Lawrence, and that the twenty hired men who had come 
from Europe to join him, had been told that he was either 
dead or had returned home. Without loss of time, leaving 
his sick companions at Fort Niagara, he pushed on to 
Fort Frontenac. 

More 111 Luck. Upon his arrival there, stories of more 
ill fortune fell upon his ears. He found that his agents 
had squandered his money, his creditors had seized his 
property, and that several of his richly laden canoes had 
been lost in the rapids of the St. Lawrence. He hastened 
to Montreal where he overcame all his evil fortune with 
wonderful courage, and was soon on his way back to Fort 
Frontenac with supplies for his new ship on the Illinois. 

La Salle Receives a Letter from Tonty. No sooner 
had he reached Ft. Frontenac, than a blow more severe 
than all the others fell upon him. In a letter from Tonty, 
he learned that soon after he left Ft. Crevecoeur for Canada, 
nearly all of the men left with Tonty deserted, after destroy- 





ing the fort, and throwing into the river all the arms and 
stores they could not carry off with them. These scoundrels 
then went to the fort on the St. Joseph, where they seized 
valuable furs belonging to their leader, destroyed the fort, 
and pushed on toward Montreal, to save themselves from 
punishment. La Salle heard of their approach, met them 
on Lake Ontario, and killed or captured the whole party. 

Headed Again for Illinois. With carpenters, joiners, 
masons and soldiers, together with the outfit for the ves- 
sel, La Salle was soon on his way to bring aid to his faithful 
lieutenant, Tonty. Another toilsome journey, and his 
party landed at the fort on the St. Joseph, where he left 
the heavy stores to be brought on as speedily as possible. 
With a handful of men, he pushed on ahead with anxious 
heart to join Tonty. Up the St. Joseph, across the portage 
and down the Kankakee they went, with no word or sign 
of Tonty's having passed that way. La Salle hoped that 
Tonty was still at his post. 

A Buffalo Hunt. As they paddled down the Illinois 
they beheld a wonderful sight. "Far and near the prairie 
was alive with buffalo; now like black specks dotting 
the distant swells; now trampling by in ponderous columns 
or filing in long lines, morning, noon and night, to drink 
at the river wading, plunging and snorting in the water; 
climbing the muddy shores and staring with wild eyes at 
the passing canoes. It was an opportunity not to be lost. 
The party landed and encamped for a hunt. Sometimes 
they hid under the shelving bank and shot the buffaloes 
as they came to drink; sometimes, flat on their faces, they 
dragged themselves through the long dead grass, till the 
savage bulls, guardians of the herd, ceased their grazing, 
raised their huge heads and glared through their tangled 
hair at the intruders. The hunt was successful. In three 
days they killed twelve buffaloes, besides deer, geese, and 


swans. They cut the meat into thin flakes and dried it in 
the sun or in the smoke of their fires." 

Down the Illinois. With a plentiful supply, they pushed 
on in joy to relieve Tonty and his hungry followers. They 
passed the cliff afterward called Fort St. Louis (Starved 
Rock) , where La Salle had advised Tonty to build a fort. 
But as they scanned the lofty top, there was neither cabin 
nor palisade to be seen. 

Soon they beheld the site of the once populous village 
of the Illinois, but where were the swarming savages? 
The plain was- strewn with ashes, charred poles that had 
once been the frame-work of the lodges, and human skulls. 

The Butchery of the Iroquois. The fiendish Iroquois 
had blotted out the village and slain all the inhabitants. 
The pits had been rifled and the corn fields laid waste. 
There were signs of .savage horror on every hand. One 
thought filled La Salle's mind, where were Tonty and his 
men? He searched the ruins for trace of them, but in vain. 

Leaving three of his men in hiding on an island in the 
river, with orders to make no smoke by day, to conceal 
their fire by night, and to fire no guns, he journeyed down 
the Illinois with four men heavily armed, each having 
two guns, a pistol and a sword, to locate Tonty. He 
passed place after place where the opposing Indian armies 
had camped, but still no traces of Tonty. He came upon 
the dismantled Fort Crevecoeur and the half-finished ship, 
still unharmed. The silence of death reigned throughout 
this vast country. 

La Salle's First View of the Mississippi. On down the 
river went the mighty La Salle, till the "Father-of Waters" 
met his view. He saw where the Illinois had made their 
last stand against the victorious Iroquois, and the field 
of the war-dance where the women and children of the 
Illinois braves had been tortured and burned at the stake. 


Joliet'a Journey 

La Sail, 

Tonty's Voyage _..__..^_.._ 



His faithful followers offered to accompany him to the 
sea, but La Salle did not wish to abandon those left on 
the island, and he believed Tonty had gone north; so 
the party retraced its steps and picked up the three men 
on the island, and soon reached the St. Joseph again. 
Here the men had rebuilt the fort and cleared ground 
for planting, but they had no tidings of Tonty. 

With his supplies, tools and arms at Fort Crevecoeur 
destroyed and his company scattered, his second expedi- 
tion which had cost so much in money, in toil and in hard- 
ship, was a failure. His white enemies had beaten him by 
setting the red men to destroy each other. 

Another Long Trip to Canada. Would La Salle give 
up? He knew no such word as fail. Nothing could 
turn him from his purpose of discovering the mouth 
of the Mississippi and building a fort there. His voyage 
depended upon supplies which could be had only in 
Canada, and to Canada he must go again that long, 
toilsome journey through the wilderness. He met Tonty 
at Mackinac, and together they trudged and paddled to 
Fort Frontenac. 

What could he say to those who had loaned thousands 
to further his expeditions, both of which had failed? His 
iron will overcame all obstacles, and he was soon back on 
the Illinois with his supplies. 

Canoeing Down the Mississippi. He now gave up 
the plan of building a ship, but set out in canoes down 
the Mississippi. Day after day, and week after week, 
found them slowly drifting southward. They passed 
the mouths of great rivers, visited many strange tribes, 
and were many times feasted on roast dog and other 

Victory at Last. Finally they came to where the 
river divides into three broad channels. Soon they smelled 


the salt air of the sea. With eager eyes they looked ahead 
to catch the first glimpse of the ocean. Presently the broad 
bosom and the tossing waters of the long-sought Gulf of 
Mexico burst into view. Success had at last crowned the 
long years of patient toil and suffering, and La Salle had 
won a place for himself on the pages of history. 

La Salle Takes Possession of an Empire for His King. 
A short distance above the mouth, La Salle erected a 
column bearing the arms of France. The astonished 
Indians looked on in silence while the Frenchmen sang 
the Te Deum, fired a salute with their muskets, and shouted 
"Long live the King." La Salle then proclaimed in a 
loud voice that the entire Mississippi valley and the valleys 
of all the rivers that flowed into the Mississippi belonged to 
the King of France. In honor of his king, Louis XIV., he 
named this great land, Louisiana. Then a cross was planted 
beside the column and a leaden plate bearing the arms of 
France was buried at its base. On this plate in Latin were 
the words, "Louis the Great Reigns." 

By this ceremony, La Salle gave to France a magnificent 
present, the entire Mississippi valley from the Alleghanies 
to the Rockies, and from the Gulf to the Great Lakes. 
This region was then a wilderness inhabited by scattered 
tribes of dusky savages. In it today there are twenty 
great American states, dotted all over with thousands of 
farm houses and hundreds of cities, with their millions 
of happy, liberty-loving people. One of the greatest of 
these states is our own Illinois. Do you think La Salle 
knew what a wonderful empire he gave to his King that 

Bearing the News Homeward. The explorers turned 
back, and slowly forced their canoes northward against 
the muddy current of this mighty stream. The weather 
was warm and the swampy region brought severe illness 


to the great explorer. He was compelled to stop to regain 
strength, while he sent Tonty on to Mackinac with news 
of his success. As soon as he was able, La Salle joined 
Tonty there. 

La Salle's Life Work Not Yet Done. Will not La Salle 
rest now? Will he not return to France to be received 
with honors and enjoy his last days? No, not he. His 
work is not yet done. He has resolved to build a line of 
forts from Canada to the mouth of the Mississippi, so as to 
protect the region from the English and Spanish. He wished 
also to unite all the western tribes of. Indians against the 
Iroquois and, by protecting these Indians, get all their 
rich furs to carry down the Mississippi and to Europe 
by ship. 

In order to protect these Indians, La Salle had to make 
them friendly to each other. This was no easy task, but 
he knew the heart of the Indian, and they loved him. They 
finally agreed to become friends and to live together in 
peace as children of "Onontio," as they called Frontenac. 
A Fort on Starved Rock. La Salle, in looking about 
for a good place to settle with his savage friends, decided 
upon Starved Rock, on the Illinois river, because here he 
could build a strong fort and with a handful of men could 
hold out against great odds. The beautiful Illinois river 
valley is very fertile, and corn, pumpkins and other Indian 
crops would grow easily. Besides, he could go by water 
from here to the sea. 

"The cliff, called Starved Rock, . . . rises steep 
on three sides as a castle wall, to the height of a hundred 
twenty-five feet above the river. In front it overhangs 
the water that washes its base ; its western brow looks down 
on the top of forest trees below; and, on the east lies a 
wide gorge or ravine, choked with the mingled foliage of 
oaks, walnuts and elms. . . . From the brink you may 


drop a plummet into the river below, where the catfish 
and the turtles may plainly be seen gliding over the wrinkled 
sands of the clear and shallow current. The cliff is acces- 
sible only from behind, where a man may climb up, not 
without difficulty, by a steep and narrow passage. The top 
is about an acre in extent." 

Many Tribes Gather About La Salle. On the top of 
this cliff, La Salle and Tonty built a palisaded fort in which 
were warehouses and dwellings, the timber for which they 
dragged up the steep and narrow path. This fort he named 
Fort St. Louis. The Indians soon gathered about their 
champion. On the plain below, La Salle could look down 
upon bark lodges and log cabins, squaws laboring in the 
fields, and warriors lounging in the sun. About this fortified 
eagle's nest gathered the Shawnees from the Ohio, Abenakis 
from Maine, Miamis from the Kankakee and the Illinois, 
who, to the number of six thousand, had now returned to 
their favorite dwelling place. There were also the Weas and 
the Piankishaws. In all, La Salle says, there were twenty 
thousand, from whom could be mustered four thou- 
sand braves. 

Two Things Needed to Hold the Red Men Together. 
La Salle knew that in order to hold these savages together, 
he would have to do two things. First, he must protect 
them from the dreaded Iroquois. Second, he must supply 
them with French goods in exchange for their furs. To 
bring all these things by way of Canada, where he had so 
many enemies, was risky. Frontenac had been called home 
to France, and a new governor, La Barre, who was 
unfriendly to La Salle, had taken his place. La Barre 
was jealous of La Salle, and was bent on ruining him. 
He cut off supplies from going to Fort St. Louis, captured 
furs sent to Canada by La Salle, and even urged the Iro- 
quois to again take the field against the Illinois. 


La Salle Sails on the Gulf. La Salle was desperate. 
He left Tonty at Fort St. Louis and set out for France 
by way of Quebec. At court he met with favor, and four 
ships were fitted out to go to the Gulf of Mexico and 
fortify the mouth of the Mississippi. After many mishaps 
and many disputes between La Salle and the commander 
of the fleet, the expedition sailed past the mouth of the 
Mississippi without knowing it, and landed on the coast 
of Texas. 

His Misfortunes. One ship was captured by the Span- 
iards and another was wrecked, the waves scattering the 
provisions of La Salle's army along the Texan beach. 
Scores died of disease, and many deserted the noble La 
Salle. Some were killed by savages, others lost their lives 
by accident. 

His Death. Worn out by worry, disappointment, and 
the loss of his last ship, La Salle set out on foot to find the 
mouth of the Mississippi, but was brutally shot down by 
some of his own men. These murderers were themselves 
killed in a quarrel by their companions. At last, a few of 
La Salle's followers reached the mouth of the Mississippi, 
and, following it, they arrived at Fort St. Louis on the 
Illinois. Here Tonty received them kindly. But they did 
not tell him that their great commander lay dead upon the 
plains of Texas, slain by traitors of his own band. Some- 
time later, Tonty learned from the Indians of the death of 
the great explorer. 



1. How could a letter from Tonty have reached La Salle in time 
for him to return and meet the robbers on Lake Ontario? 

2. Give an account of La Salle's -second expedition and how it 

3. What resolution on the part of La Salle led to his third expe- 

4. What was the attitude of Governor La Barre toward La Salle? 

5. Give an account of La Salle's last expedition and his death. 

6. Review the life work of La Salle, and tell to what extent you 
think his deeds influenced the colonization of America. 


Death of La Salle. La Salle, continuing to advance, soon saw 
him, and, calling to him, demanded where was Moranget. The 
man without lifting his hat, or any show of respect, replied in an 
agitated and broken voice, but with a tone of studied insolence, 
drawing back as he spoke, to the ambuscade, while the incensed com- 
mander advanced to chastise him. At that moment, a shot was 
fired from the grass, instantly followed by another, and, pierced 
through the brain, La Salle dropped dead. 


Tonty's Grief. So slowly did events move then, and so power- 
less was the man, an atom in the wilderness, that the great-hearted 
Italian weeping aloud in rage and grief, realized that La Salle's 
bones had been bleaching a year and a half before the news of his 
death reached his lieutenant. It was not known that La Salle 
received burial. The wretches who assassinated him threw him 
into some bush. It was a satisfaction to Tonty that they all per- 
ished miserably afterwards; those who survived quarrels among 
themselves being killed by the Indians. 



La Salle and the Great West. Parkman. 
Pioneers in the Settlement of America. Crafts. 
Starved Rock. Osman. 
Cartier to Frontenac. Winsor. 
Pioneers of Illinois. Matson. 


The roughest hunter or boatman among them could appear in 
a ballroom with the carriage and behavior of a gentleman. At the 
same time, the French women were remarkable for the grace and 
elegance of their manners. GOVERNOR THOMAS FORD. 


La Salle's Village at Ft. St. Louis Abandoned. After 
La Salle's departure from his settlement at Ft. St. Louis, 
the Indians soon scattered and the Illinois tribe alone 
was left. Among them remained a number of French 
traders, trappers and priests. Some years later, 1695, 
the rumor spread that the red-handed Iroquois were coming 
again to match tomahawks with the Illinois. The Illinois 
had no relish for another encounter with this dreaded foe. 
So they moved down the river to the Mississippi, accom- 
panied by the French priests and fur traders. This change 
may have been urged by the priests and the traders, who 
wished to be in closer touch with the new French settle- 
ments on the Gulf of Mexico. 

Kaskaskia Founded. Between the mouths of the 
Illinois and the Kaskaskia rivers, there is a fine, fertile 
tract that came to be called the American Bottom. Here, 
near the banks of the Mississippi, the Illinois Indians 
pitched their wigwams. The town that soon grew up 
about them they called Kaskaskia, as they did also the 
river near by. 

Starved Rock. Some members of the Illinois tribe 
had, however, chosen to remain upon the beautiful Illinois 
River. In 1769, they were charged with the assassination 


St. Louts 





of the several Villages *' M* 


with Part of the 

River Mississippi &c, 


Scale of Miles 



of Pontiac, and the tribe with whom he had been connected 
attacked them from the north. A bloody engagement took 
place near the site of Fort St. Louis. Badly beaten, the 
Illinois band escaped in the night and climbed up the 
rocky bluff where the fort had been. Here they were 
besieged for twelve days. At last, being unable to get 
water and provisions, they resolved to sell their lives as 
dearly as possible, and to die fighting rather than to starve. 
They sallied forth to battle, but in their exhausted condi- 
tion they fell easy victims to their watchful enemies below. 
The victors then climbed the heights and tomahawked the 
remaining ones, who had been too weak or too timid to 
join in the last struggle. Only one escaped to tell the 
tale. The whitening bones marked the summit of this 
bluff for years, and that is why it took the name of 
Starved Rock. 

Kaskaskia Flourishes. The new village of Kaskaskia 
prospered. The soil of the great American Bottom was 
so rich that crops of squash, pumpkins and corn grew 
with little labor. This was a splendid location, too, for 
the fur trade. Canoes loaded with peltries paddled down 
the Wisconsin, Rock, and Illinois rivers on the east, and 
the great muddy Missouri on the west, as well as on the 
Mississippi itself, to Kaskaskia. Here was a good place 
to collect hides and furs from the trappers and send them 
on to New Orleans. The Indians also found Kaskaskia 
a convenient place to start from, on hunting or 
fighting expeditions. 

Fort Chartres Built. The Mississippi was fast becoming 
the passage-way for the French going from Canada and 
the Great Lakes to the new settlements on the Gulf of 
Mexico. New Orleans was founded by them in 1718, 
and a small army was soon on its way to the Illinois to 
build a fort. Its walls were made first of wood, but later 


of limestone. They were two feet thick and sixteen feet 
high. This stone fort was thought to be the strongest in 
America. Fort Chartres, for so they named it, was the 
seat of the government of Illinois while the French 
ruled here. 

Other Villages Founded. Other settlements sprang up 
in this region. Hither came immigrants from Canada in 
large numbers, when they heard that the soil was very 
fertile, and the climate much milder than in their frigid 
settlements on the St. Lawrence. Some came also from 
New Orleans, but for another reason. They had heard 
that the climate of Illinois was cool, and the hunting and 
trapping good. 

How the French Lived. These early French settlers 
lived mainly by hunting. The plains were covered with 
buffalo, deer, and elk, while the forests abounded in game 
and wild fowl. During those early days Kaskaskia was 
the largest town west of the Alleghany Mountains. It was 
the center of social life and gayety. The latest fashions 
of New Orleans and Paris were copied here in the wilderness 
with great pride. The ballroom was the scene of much 
pleasure. There met the rich and poor, the old and young, 
to indulge in their favorite pastimes. The priest, too, 
came to look on. New Year's eve was the merriest event 
of all. The whole village assembled, each one bringing 
some refreshments, and gayly they danced the old year 

In the ballroom everything was well ordered. Two 
elderly persons were chosen provosts. It was their duty 
to select persons for the dance, one choosing the ladies 
and the other the men. Each one danced in proper turn, 
and no one was slighted. The provosts also decided upon 
the hour to retire and the time to meet again. In this 
manner, many winter nights were happily spent. 


French Dress. Blue was the favorite color in dress. 
Men wore coarse blue pantaloons in summer and buck- 
skin in winter. Hats were little used. Blue handker- 
chiefs appeared on the heads of both men and women 
instead. In winter was worn a cape of white, with a cap 
fastened behind. The cap rested upon the shoulders when 
the weather was warm. In cold weather it was drawn 
snugly over the head. Deer-skin moccasins were worn 
by both sexes indoors, and they were often neat as well 
as serviceable. Out of doors, the men wore on their feet a 
thick leather called by the Americans, "shoe packs." In 
those days a man scarcely thought himself properly clothed 
without a belt. Suspended to this, on one side was a tanned 
pole-cat skin bag containing a pipe and tobacco, and a 
flint and steel for use in starting a fire. On the other side 
hung the hunting knife. 

The French Till the Soil. While hunting and trapping 
were the main occupations, yet as the years passed, there 
came to be considerable agriculture. They raised wheat, oats 
and tobacco. Corn was grown, too, but mainly to fatten 
hogs. They often made hominy, but never corn bread. 

Their farming tools were rude and poor. The plows 
were of wood, with a small piece of iron tied on with raw- 
hide, to cut the soil. For a hundred years no wagon was 
seen in the prairie country. The French used carts with 
wheels of solid wood. There was no tire of iron. Neither 
oil nor grease was applied to the wheels, and their creaking 
could be heard a long distance away. There being no rocks 
or stones, these wooden wheels lasted well. The Americans 
called them "bare-footed carts." 

They had horses of Arabian breed, introduced into 
America by the Spaniards. The harness for these was not 
made of tanned leather, for the French did not go to the 
trouble to tan for any purpose. Neat harness was made of 



Or US ' 3 


rawhide, strong and tough. Horses were not driven abreast, 
but one before the other, tandem, we call it. They were 
never hitched to plows. The French used cattle for this 
labor. Oxen were yoked by the horns, rather than by the 
neck. The ox-yoke was a straight stick of wood, cut at 
the ends to fit the horns of the oxen to which it was tied 
with thongs. It is said that these animals can draw as 
heavy a load with their heads as with their necks. 

The Beginning of Commerce. As time passed, a profit- 
able trade sprang up with the French settlements on the 
Gulf. Regular cargoes of flour, bacon, hides and tallow, 
of leather, lumber, wine, lead, and furs were transported 
in keel boats and barges to New Orleans, where was found 
an excellent market. On their homeward voyage, the boats 
brought such articles as sugar, rice, indigo, cotton, and 
manufactured tobacco. The Frenchmen moved against 
the current by towing, sailing, and cordelling, which last 
consisted in pulling the boat up stream with a long rope, 
one end of which was tied to a tree, the other end in the 
hands of the men on board. The round trip often took 
four months. 

Their Government. So happy and contented were 
these French peasants that they got along well without any 
government. Neither did they pay any taxes, except the 
dues to the priest and to the fiddler. The priest held gentle 
sway over them. He settled all disputes among his flock, 
and from his decision there was no appeal; yet he never 
abused his power. He was, indeed, their gentle shepherd. 

Rivalry Between England and France. We have seen 
how England and France vied with each other to get 
possession of North America; how France seized upon 
the St. Lawrence and Mississippi valleys, the two gateways 
to the heart of the continent, and how she set about defend- 
ing it by a line of forts from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of 


Mexico, leaving to England only a narrow strip along 
the Atlantic coast. 

England had no intention of stopping at the summit 
of the Alleghanies. Claiming the whole of the continent 
by virtue of its discovery by John Cabot, she gave to 
several colonies grants extending from sea to sea. Englkh 
pioneers soon pushed through the mountain passes into 
the Ohio valley, only to be ordered out by the French. 
A series of wars broke out, lasting nearly a hundred years. 
At last, in 1763, France was forced to give up to England 
all land east of the Mississippi. 

A year later, England sent Captain Thomas Sterling 
from Fort Pitt, Pittsburg, with a hundred Highlanders 
to take possession of Fort Chartres and the Illinois coun- 
try. Descending the Ohio, he arrived at his destination 
in 1765. He immediately hauled down the "Lilies of 
France" from the fort and ran up the Union Jack. The 
French in Illinois were highly displeased that England, 
their ancient enemy, should rule over their villages. They 
feared that the British, being a Protestant nation, would 
interfere with their religious worship, and they planned 
to emigrate across the Mississippi. But Captain Sterling 
hastened to assure them that he had no intention of inter- 
fering with their worship. However, many did not like 
to live under the Cross of Saint George, and so moved to 
New Orleans or to St. Louis, where the French flag still 
floated, taking their slaves and their property with them. 
At least a third of the inhabitants left the Illinois country 
at this time. They soon learned, to their great disgust, 
that France had ceded all land west of the Mississippi to 
the Spaniards. 

The French Control the Fur Trade. The English tried 
very hard to make friends with the Indians, in order to 
control the rich fur trade of the prairies. But the French 


fur traders, who had moved across the Mississippi, were 
not willing to give up this profitable commerce if they 
could avoid it. The Indians naturally liked the French 
better because they had grown up together like children. 
The French had adopted Indian customs and manners, 
and had treated the savages like brothers. They often 
supplied them with food and joined in their war dances. 
Many Frenchmen even took Indian women for their 
wives. Besides, they had, in a manner, taught the Indians 
to hate the British. So, it was an easy matter to persuade 
the red men to bring their peltries to St. Louis to sell. 
From here they were shipped to New Orleans. In this 
way the British were cheated out of the rich traffic. 

Early Fortifications. Fort Chartres was, for some 
reason, built on the river bottom about a mile from the 
banks of the Mississippi. Its limestone walls were proof 
against the attack of human enemies, but the "Father of 
Waters" was not taken into account. The Mississippi 
gradually wore away the east bank and approached the 
fort until it undermined the defiant walls. The fort was 
abandoned and the government transferred to a new for- 
tress, named Fort Gage, opposite Kaskaskia. What is 
left of the old fort is now on an island in the Mississippi, 
the channel having changed during a flood. 

Captain Sterling lived but a short time. After his 
death the British garrison became tired of their lonely 
life in the wilderness. They were disappointed, too, at 
not sharing richly in the fur trade. So they sailed off 
down the Mississippi never to return. Thus the govern- 
ment of the country again came into French hands, though 
it still was carried on in the name of George III. 

When the King of England saw war approaching with 
his American colonies, the entire country, northwest of 
the Ohio, was annexed to the province of Quebec. By 


this act George III. hoped to secure the aid of that province 
against the other English colonies. In case the colonies 
should win, this might save this great region to England. 
But, we shall see how George Rogers Clark upset this plan. 


1. Why was the village at Ft. St. Louis abandoned? 

2. Tell the story of the founding of Kaskaskia. 

3. Describe the manner of life of the early French settlers at 

4. What geographic advantage had New Orleans in securing 
and controlling trade? 

5. Why was this advantage later lost to the post at St. Louis? 

6. What circumstances aided England in her conflict with 
France for the control of this continent? 


Kaskaskia Before the Coming of Clark. In hunting and fish- 
ing; in agriculture of the most primitive kind, with implements 
which might have been used two thousand years before; in trad- 
ing down the river to New Orleans; in feasting, in frolic with all the 
gayety of their French nationality, the uneventful days glided by. 
Except at Kaskaskia, there was not a school in the whole territory, 
although, incredible as it may seem, there was a billiard table in 
the settlement on the Wabash! The little education received was 
imparted by the faithful and devoted missionaries who dwelt among 

Kaskaskia and Fort Chartres, the principal military posts, were 
turned over to the English in 1765, and the post at Vincennes some- 
time later. The conquest made little difference, however, to the 


Kaskaskia Records. Alvord. 

Illinois in the 18th Century. Mason. 

History of Illinois under French Rule. Wallace. 

The Settlement of Illinois. Boggess. 

Pioneer Life in Illinois. Ferryman. 

English Settlement in Illinois. Sparks. 


As Clark and his men lay there by the postern gate they could 
hear the sounds of French fiddles squeaking a quadrille, and now 
and then gay shouts of laughter. REUBEN GOLD THWAITES. 


The "Hair-Buyer" General. During the Revolution, 
when the thirteen colonies were fighting for their independ- 
ence, the British had garrisons at Detroit, Kaskaskia 
and Vincennes. Governor Hamilton ruled over this entire 
region, with headquarters at Detroit. His instructions 
were to hold this vast wilderness for King George III., 
and to stir up the Indians to make war on the Americans. 
He was called by the Americans the "Hair-buyer" General, 
because he paid the Indians for every scalp they brought in. 
With the aid of these savage butchers, Hamilton planned 
to drive the American frontiersmen back over the Alleghany 
Mountains. The savages, urged on by the British gold, 
massacred men, women and helpless children wherever 
they could find them. They made journeys of hundreds 
of miles for .their bloody work. Sometimes they even 
crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky, spreading terror 
and destruction behind them. It was no uncommon thing 
for a frontier farmer, on returning home after a day's 
work, to find his log cabin in ashes and his wife and 
children murdered. 

Plans of Colonel Clark. Among these sturdy frontier 
folk was an Indian fighter named George Rogers Clark, who 
had been appointed colonel to protect the western settle- 
ments. He was determined to punish the Indians, and was 



also bent on teaching Hamilton a lesson for setting on the 
heartless red men. His plan was to capture the British 
strongholds, put the wicked Hamilton in irons, and drive 
the Redcoats out of the entire Northwest. Educated in 
the frontier school of "hard knocks," Clark was just the 
man for this undertaking. He could outwit the enemy every 
time, and he knew the Indians like a book. With a hand- 
ful of men, he was able to pass through the forests and 
make the savages believe he had a great army. If anybody 
could drive the British out of the Northwest country, it 
was Clark. 

It costs a great deal to equip and support an army, 
besides, the soldiers must be paid. Having no money, 
Clark set out for Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia, 
to lay his plans before Governor Patrick Henry and his 
Council, because Virginia claimed not only Kentucky, but 
all the territory north of the Ohio river, through a charter 
given her by the King in 1609. 

Governor Henry was well pleased with Clark's plan. 
But Virginia could not spare much money nor many 
soldiers, for every man was needed to fight the great 
British armies along the Atlantic coast. Governor Henry, 
however, did the best he could. He commissioned Clark 
to raise seven companies of fifty men each among the 
frontier settlements, to serve three months. The Governor 
furnished the guns and ammunition, as well as the boats to 
take the army from Pittsburg down the Ohio. Clark was 
given six thousand dollars in paper money to pay his sol- 
diers, each of whom was to have, in addition, three hundred 
acres of land, if they drove out the Redcoats. 

In order to succeed with this small army, Clark knew 
he would have to take the British by surprise. For fear 
his purpose might be reported to Hamilton, he kept his 
plans a profound secret. Not a man in his army knew 


where they were to be led. They supposed that the Indians 
alone were to be punished. 

Clark was popular wherever he was known, and the 
sharpshooters and trappers of the mountain valleys gladly 
joined his band, although they knew the campaign against 
the Indians would be a hard one. But he was unable to 
muster more than four companies, because many frontiers- 
men feared to go far away to fight, and leave their own 
homes unprotected. 

The Expedition Leaves Pittsburg. After some delay, 
Colonel Clark embarked at Pittsburg with two hundred 
men, and floated down the Ohio. As they went day after 
day with no Indians in sight, nothing but the wilderness 
about them, the soldiers began to complain because they 
were already so far away from their families. When 
they reached Corn Island in the rapids of the Ohio, opposite 
where Louisville now stands, some of the dissatisfied soldiers 
threatened to desert, so Clark decided to land. He built a 
block house on the island to protect his supplies, and planted 
a crop of Indian corn. Some time was spent in drilling his 
men. They were not in uniform, but wore the hunting 
shirt, leggings and moccasins of the backwoodsman. 
They were armed with long, heavy, flintlock rifles, and 
carried hatchets and long knives in their belts. A powder 
horn hung at one side and a game bag at the other. The 
head was covered with a squirrel-skin or fox-skin cap, 
with the tail dangling behind. 

Clark Makes Known the Secret. Clark now told his 
soldiers that he was going to lead them against the Red- 
coats at Kaskaskia. Most of them were delighted. They 
were ready to follow their brave leader anywhere. Some, 
however, objected to the journey and wished to return 
home. As Clark needed every man, he refused to let 
them go. At night they slipped by the guards, waded to 



the Kentucky shore and took to the woods. Some were 
captured the next morning and brought back, but most of 
the deserters made good their escape. This left Clark 
but a small band to do the great work he had set before 
him. The British were in strong forts. Thousands of 
savages were aiding them. Besides, there were hundreds 



of French allies. Against such an enemy, Clark was march- 
ing with but one hundred fifty-three men, and with no 
cannon. But nothing seemed too hard for this brave 
soldier. Had he not often beaten a whole tribe of Indians 
with a few followers? 

Clark Divides His Forces. Leaving a few men on 
Corn Island to protect his supplies and raise a crop, Clark 
embarked with the others and passed down the Ohio to 
the mouth of the Tennessee, where he met a party of hunt- 
ers from Kaskaskia. He made friends with them at once 


and obtained from them valuable information. They told 
him who was the commander of Fort Gage, at Kaskaskia. 
They said the fort was strong and the garrison well drilled, 
and that the commander was on the lookout for enemies 
who might be coming up the Mississippi to attack his fort. 
Before leaving Corn Island, Clark received a letter from 
home stating that the King of France had recently joined 
forces with the Americans against the haughty British. 
This good news he thought could be used when he met the 
French in Illinois. The hunters told Clark that the British 
had led the French at Kaskaskia to believe that the "Long 
Knives," as they called the frontiersmen, were more savage 
than the Indians, or even cannibals. This bit of news Clark 
also planned to use when he met the enemy. 

He Changes His Plans. It seemed as clear as daylight 
to Clark, that he could not take Kaskaskia except by sur- 
prise. When informed by the hunters that the British 
had scouts out on the Mississippi, he concluded to change 
his route. He planned to leave the river and march straight 
across the country to Kaskaskia, and take the British 
unawares, for they would hardly dream of any enemy com- 
ing through the pathbss wilderness, when the Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers offered an easy route to the same place. 

The distance overland was one hundred twenty miles, 
and a most difficult journey for an army without wagons 
and provisions, but it was his only chance to surprise 
the enemy. Securing one of the hunters to guide his band, 
he set out through the forest. The guide once lost the 
way, and the men were about to shoot him for treachery, 
when he again discovered the trail. At last after much 
hardship, he brought Clark's little company in sight of 
Kaskaskia and Fort Gage, on the Fourth of July, 1778. 
Colonel Clark concealed his men until dark and sent 
scouts to reconnoitre and bring back a report. They 


returned with the good news that all was quiet, and that 
the British and French were behaving as though there 
were no enemy within a thousand miles. When night 
came, Colonel Clark advanced to a house close to the vil- 
lage. He decided to 'strike both the fort and the village 
at the same time. So he divided his band it could hardly 
be called an army. He sent one party under the fearless 
Captain. Helm to capture the village, while he, at the same 
time, led the others against the fort. Before advancing 
to battle, Colonel Clark gave a short address to his soldiers. 
He said: "Soldiers! We are near the enemy, for which we 
we have been struggling for years. We are not fighting 
alone for liberty and independence, but for the defense of 
our own frontiers from the tomahawk and scalping-knife 
of the Indians. We are defending the lives of our own 
women and children, although 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 Fourth of July. We must act to honor it; 
and let it not be said in after times that Virginians were 
defeated on that memorable day. The fort and town, 
I repeat, must be taken at all hazards." 

The Town and Fort Captured. The troops then separ- 
ated, Captain Helm advancing on the town. His men 
entered the village in silence, and no one dreamed of the 
presence of the dreadful "Long Knives" in their midst. 
Suddenly Helm's men set up such a terrific howling and 
yelling that the inhabitants were frightened almost out 
of their senses. They now felt sure these "Long Knives" 
were demons, and they prepared for the worst. Helm's 
men told them to remain quietly in their houses and they 




would not be hurt, but if they came out or showed resistance 
they would be eaten alive. The poor French believed it, 
too, for not a man of them showed himself. Two hours later 
they gave up all their arms, thinking this the only way of 
saving themselves from a frightful death. So, without fir- 
ing a gun, or so much as injuring a single hair of a French- 
man's head, Captain Helm had captured the village of 
Kaskaskia and run up the stars and stripes. 

While this was taking place, Colonel Clark was under- 
taking the more dangerous task of capturing a strong 
British fort defended by well-trained soldiers with cannon. 
Having no heavy guns, Clark had to rely on his wits. His 
band advanced very quietly. A pack of dogs soon set up 
a loud barking. But even this did not disturb the deep 
slumber of the Redcoats. Clark's men entered a small 
back gate and took possession of the fort before anybody 
knew that an enemy was near. They entered the command- 
ing officer's chamber, and had some difficulty in arousing 
him sufficiently to inform him that he was their prisoner 
of war. He was furious to think he had been surprised and 
that his fort, strongly protected with cannon and manned 
by regulars, had surrendered to a beggarly handful of back- 
woodsmen. He became so insolent that Clark, as a lesson 
to others, put him in chains and sent him to Virginia. 

The Captives Are Well Treated. The next day the 
"Long Knives" tried to live up to what the French believed 
them to be, the most bloodthirsty creatures on earth. 
They did not hurt anybody, but they made the French 
think that their last days had come. Having had no 
opportunity to shave for months, and no change of cloth- 
ing, their ragged, half-naked appearance struck terror to 
the hearts of the simple French, who now prepared for the 
worst tortures imaginable. The priest and a few leading 
citizens waited upon Colonel Clark, begging him to permit 


the inhabitants of Kaskaskia to meet in the church once 
more before they were put to death or shipped, like the 
Acadians, to a foreign land. Clark now thought he had 
worked them up to the highest pitch of terror, so he 
addressed them in these words: "Do you mistake us for 
savages? Do you think Americans will strip women and 
children and take bread out of their mouths? My country 
disdains to make war on innocence. To prevent the horrors 
of Indian butchery on our wives and children, we have taken 
up arms and penetrated to this stronghold of Indian and 
British barbarity, and not for despicable plunder. The 
King of France has united his powerful arms with those of 
the American colonists, and the war will soon be ended. 
The people of Kaskaskia may side with either party. To 
verify my words, go tell your people to do as they please, 
without any danger from me." 

This good news was so unexpected that the French 
went wild with joy. They entered the church to render 
thanks to God for their deliverance from the jaws of 
death. With all speed they hastened to swear friendship 
to Clark. They promised to help him drive out the Brit- 
ish, with whom they had never been very friendly. This 
was just as Clark would have it, for he needed the help 
of the French in order to hold this vast region, since his 
soldiers were so few. Then the people of Kaskaskia per- 
suaded their neighbors of Cahokia to receive the Americans 
without resistance. Thus another town came into Clark's 
hands without bloodshed. This great fighter always used 
his head to win victories, and in this way he saved the 
lives of his soldiers. 

Having now served the full three months for which 
they enlisted, Clark's soldiers clamored to be mustered 
out and sent home. What could he do? He knew the 
country ought to be held until peace was made, yet he had 


no right to keep the soldiers who had served out their 
time. A hundred having agreed to stay, Clark organized 
a new company. With these and what help he could get 
from the French and Indians, he vowed he would hold 
the land he had captured. 


1. Explain how Governor Hamilton became known as the 

2. How would Hamilton's conduct be considered by civilized 
nations today? 

3. What preparation had Colonel Clark for his undertaking? 

4. Give an account of his expedition and the capture of Kaskaskia. 

5. What was the attitude of the French settlers toward the 
"Long Knives"? 

6. What steps did Clark take to strengthen his position? 


The Capture of Kaskaskia. The story of his exploits reads 
more like one of James Fenimore Cooper's fanciful Indian tales 
than like sober history; how he surprised the post at Kaskaskia 
without a blow, and, by intrepid assurance and skillful diplomacy, 
induced the French and Indians of the Mississippi Valley to transfer 
their allegiance from the British Empire to the new American 


Clark and His Conquest of the Great West. Outing, Vol. 49, 
Pages 474-481. 

Border Fights and Fighters. Brady. 

Pioneers of Illinois. Matson. 

Kaskaskia Records. Alvord. 

How Clark Won the Northwest. Thwaites. 


Wading in the cold waters of the spring floods, breaking through 
the thin ice, living on scanty rations, Clark and his men captured 
and recaptured Vincennes and the other forts and towns within the 
district, and held them until peace was declared. 



Captain Helm Sent to Vincennes. Hearing that there 
were no British soldiers in the fort at Vincennes, but that 
it was manned by a few French, Father Gibault, the vil- 
lage priest of Kaskaskia, undertook to bring the people of 
Vincennes over to the American side. He succeeded, and 
Clark sent Captain Helm with a few French recruits to 
take possession of that town and fort. Helm, like Clark, 
knew well how to manage the red men. He tactfully won 
all the Indians of the Wabash country to his side. 

Governor Hamilton Takes the Field. Hamilton, still 
in command at Detroit, was chagrined at the loss of Vin- 
cennes. He set about to regain both that city and Kas- 
kaskia. With this in view, he gathered together a large 
army of Canadians and Indians, and embarked on Lake 
Erie for the Wabash country. They paddled up the 
Maumee River, crossed the portage of nine miles with 
great labor, and floated down a tributary of the Wabash 
toward Vincennes. 

Upon hearing of their approach, the French recruits 
under Captain Helm deserted him, and he was left with 
one lone man to hold the fort. When Governor Hamilton 
approached with an army of five hundred warriors and 



Canadians, he found a loaded cannon pointing out of the 
open gate of the fort, and Captain Helm standing by, with 
a lighted match in hand ready to fire. "Halt," called 
out Helm. Hamilton demanded the immediate surrender 
of the garrison. Helm replied in a loud voice: "No man 
shall enter here until I know the terms." Hamilton, sup- 
posing there was a strong garrison, answered: "You shall 
have the honors of war." Helm then surrendered, and 
his garrison consisting of himself and one private, marched 
out and laid down their arms. They had forced the honors 
of war from an army of five hundred, to the great disgust 
of Governor Hamilton. 

The winter coming on, Hamilton concluded to postpone 
his attack on Kaskaskia until spring, because with the 
river frozen, it would be almost impossible to transport 
his heavy cannon and baggage through the pathless for- 
ests. He sent most of his Indian allies home, to return 
in the spring, when he purposed, with a thousand Indians 
and several hundred Canadians, to capture Kaskaskia 
and carry the war to the frontier towns of Kentucky. 
Knowing how few were Clark's soldiers, he felt sure of 
taking them with ease, but Hamilton did not know that 
Clark alone was equal to a host. Had he pushed on at 
once he would no doubt have made short work of Clark's 
little company. 

Clark in Difficulty. When news of the taking of Vin- 
cennes reached our Indian fighter at Kaskaskia, he was in 
hard straits. The Indians and French, who now feared the 
British, began to waver in their loyalty to him. The 
Kaskaskians wished to be neutral, but Clark would not 
listen. He threatened to burn their town if they refused 
to support him. At this, they assured him of their help. 

He saw, that if he waited till spring, the British would 
come with a large army and his allies would desert to 


them, and he would be crushed or driven across the Missis- 
sippi. He said, "If I do not take him, he will take me." 
So, hearing that Hamilton had retained only a small 
garrison, he planned to attack Vincennes before the Indian 
army returned. "It was at this moment," he declared, 
"I would have bound myself seven years a slave to have 
had five hundred troops." The best he could do was to 
muster one hundred seventy men Americans, French, 
and Indians. Again he depended largely on finding the 
enemy unprepared. In order to do this, he could not take 
the route on the Ohio and Wabash rivers, for these were 
being watched. It was two hundred thirty miles overland 
to Vincennes. It would have been an easy journey in 
summer, perhaps, or even in the dead of winter, when the 
streams were ice-bound and the prairies frozen, but Clark 
started in February, when the ice was breaking up, and the 
small streams, swollen to rivers, were spread out over the 
valleys. The ground was soft and progress was slow. 
Floods had driven away much of the game, and it was 
with great difficulty that enough food could be procured to 
keep them from starving. Each day one company would 
scatter in search of game and, at night, invite the rest of 
the army to feast. Here the ever-present French fiddle 
helped revive the drooping spirits of the men. At the 
end of a week, they arrived at the "drowned lands" of the 
Wabash. From here to Vincennes the country was flooded, 
the water being from three to five feet deep. It rained 
nearly half the time, but they never halted on this account. 
They Reach Vincennes. They could now hear the 
morning and evening guns at the fort. Weak with hunger, 
with ten miles of water between them and the enemy, the 
little army was in deep gloom. They had no boats. The 
game had disappeared, and they dared not shoot for fear 
of being discovered. Often they waded in water up to the 


l'N!VnSIT v OF 


armpits, and camped at night, wet to the skin, without 
food or fire. Two days having passed without a mouthful 
of food, it now became necessary to help along those weak 
from hunger. At noon of the following day, a canoe with 
five Frenchmen from the village came upon them, who told 
Clark that Hamilton had no suspicion of their presence, 
and that the French in Vincennes were kindly disposed 
toward them. This, together with the killing of a deer, 
gave the little army new courage. 

Placing the weak and famished in canoes, they again 
plunged into the flooded valley, wading and holding their 
guns above the water. In places the pack horses had to 
swim, while their loads were transported on rafts. At 
best, they could advance but two or three miles a day. 
At last they reached dry ground a short distance from the 
village, where the half-starved soldiers soon forgot their 
suffering. Colonel Clark, in order to appear strong 
and confident, sent the following letter to the people 
of Vincennes: 

"To the Inhabitants of Post Vincennes: 

Gentlemen: Being now within two miles of your village with 
my army, determined to take your fort this night, and not being 
willing to surprise you, I take this method to request such of you as 
are true citizens, and willing to enjoy the liberty I bring you, to 
remain still in your houses. And 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 if any such as do not go to 
the fort, shall be discovered afterwards, they may depend on severe 
punishment. On the contrary, those who are true friends to liberty, 
may depend on being well treated. And I once more request them 
to keep out of the streets: for everyone I find in arms on my arrival, 
I shall treat as an enemy. G. R. Clark." 

To the frightened people of Vincennes, Clark's army 
seemed to have come up suddenly out of the swamp, for 
they thought no human beings could have marched through 


such a drowned country. While the village assembled in 
the public square to hear the letter from Colonel Clark, 
his army could be seen maneuvering some distance away, 
but it was not visible at the fort. In order to deceive the 
villagers as to his numbers, Clark marched his troops 
around a grove several times under different colors. From 
the different colored banners, the French thought the 
Americans were at least a thousand strong. 

The Indians wishing to be on the victorious side, and 
being unable to judge who would win, drew off and remained 
neutral. In the excitement in the town, no one had enough 
presence of mind to carry the news to the fort. Again 
the army was arranged in two divisions, one under Bowman 
to attack the town, and the other under Clark to capture 
the fort. 

The Fort is Attacked and Captured. As Bowman 
marched into Vincennes at dark, the people immediately 
joined him. A hundred Indians also swelled the numbers 
as they passed on toward the fort. Not a word had yet 
reached Hamilton and his garrison. The first firing he 
mistook for that of drunken Indians. Looking out into the 
moonlight, the astonished Governor saw his stockade 
surrounded by backwoodsmen and a battle going on. 

Having no cannon, the American hero relied upon his 
sharpshooters who poured such a hot fire through the 
port holes that the gunners could not hold their posts. 
The firing continued through the night. Morning found 
the garrison badly crippled, but not yet willing to surrender. 

A party of British and Indians who had gone out some 
days before, now came noisily into town with their scalps 
and prisoners for Hamilton. Before they realized the 
changed condition, Clark's men set upon them and killed 
or captured the entire party. Six who were captured wvre 
tomahawked in sight of the fort and thrown into the river. 


This frightened the Indians outside the stockade, as well 
as the garrison within. Hamilton now surrendered his 
force of eighty men, and Clark ran up the stars and stripes 
over the fort, re-naming it Fort Patrick Henry. Hamilton 
was sent to Virginia in irons. 

Clark held this country until the close of the Revolu- 
tion, when England ceded it to the United States. But 
for George Rogers Clark's heroic deeds and the terrible 
suffering of his followers, this great Northwest would 
probably have remained in British hands. 


1. Give an account of the capture of Vincennes. 

2. Tell the story of Hamilton's retaking of Vincennes and the 
incident of Captain Helm. 

3. Describe the hardships endured by Clark and his men on 
their march. 

4. What ruse did Clark employ to conceal the weakness of his 


The Winning of Vincennes. Before the day was ended, Ham- 
ilton agreed that the garrison should surrender as prisoners of war. 
It was a great humiliation to him to be obliged to yield, as he said, 
to "A set of uncivilized Virginia woodsmen armed with rifles." 
But what else could he do? His men seventy-nine in all marched 
out and laid down their arms. The British flag was hauled down, 
the American colors were again hoisted, and the stockade received 
a new name, Fort Patrick Henry. JAMES BALDWIN. 


Pioneer Life in Illinois. Ferryman. 
How Clark Won the Northwest. Thwaites. 
The Submission of Fort Vincennes. Am. Hist. R., 14, Pages 

Border Fights and Fighters. Brady. 
Pioneers of Illinois. Matson. 
Making of the Great West. Drake. 


A log cabin, made entirely of wood, without glass, nails, hinges, 
or locks, furnished the residence of many a contended and happy 


Real Settlement of Illinois Begins. At the close of 
Clark's campaign, many of his soldiers returned home 
and spread among their neighbors and kinsmen of Vir- 
ginia and Maryland glowing accounts of the beauty and 
fertility of the Illinois country. They declared it to be 
a land of high promise, and when the war was over, many 
of these soldiers came back to settle, bringing their families 
with them. 

The Hunter-Pioneers. But, while a few of the early 
American settlers were from the eastern states, southern 
Illinois was first occupied mainly by the hunter-pioneers 
of Kentucky and Tennessee, most of whom had seen service 
in the Indian wars, and were accustomed to the rough life 
of the frontier. The Ohio and the Mississippi were the 
routes by which these backwoodsmen entered the state. 
They gradually chopped their way northward along the 
wooded banks of the Illinois River and other streams, 
not venturing out on the open prairie. 

They seized upon the hardwood forests bordering the 
rivers, in order to have fuel and logs with which to build 
the cabin and fence the "corn patch." The timber also 
served as a wind-break in winter, protecting the cabin 
and the few domestic animals, and in summer it afforded 



shelter from the swarms of flies infesting the prairies. 
Then, too, the river furnished the needed water supply for 
home use and for the stock. 

These early pioneers lived mainly by hunting. They 
loved the simple frontier life, and when other settlers 
began to approach their lonely cabins, they moved farther 
into the wilderness. The crack of their rifles told heavily 
upon the large game, such as the buffalo, elk, and deer, 
which gradually grew scarcer, until by 1800, the shaggy 
buffalo had disappeared forever from the prairies of Illinois. 

The Woodland-Pioneer. Close upon the heels of the 
hunter-pioneer, came the woodland-pioneer, who, being 
unable on account of the scarcity of game to bring down 
enough for his needs, was forced to lay aside his rifle 
and seize the ax and the plow, and to depend mainly upon 
the crops he raised to support his family. He, too, clung 
to the woodlands, preferring to clear the land of trees to 
breaking the prairie sod. The trees upon the open prairie 
were so scarce and stunted that these early settlers con- 
cluded the soil was too poor to grow them, so they called 
the treeless prairies the "barrens." They blindly passed 
by some of the finest farm lands in the world, until every 
acre of the woodland was taken, even though some of 
it was so low and swampy as to require draining. These 
marshy lands were very unhealthful, and the settlers suf- 
fered much from fever and ague. In places, running water 
was scarce in summer, and wells had to be dug to water the 
stock. Reports were noised abroad that the Illinois country 
was full of dreadful diseases, and this turned some away. 

The Wave of Immigration Widens. As the years went 
by the westward home-seekers grew in numbers. They 
toiled through the mountain passes of the Alleghanies to 
some tributary of the Ohio. In 1810, emigrants from Vir- 
ginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee were 


pouring into Illinois. Day after day the ferries on the 
Ohio, at Shawneetown, were crowded with passing families 
with their negroes, wagons, carts and carriages. 

The National Turnpike. When Ohio was admitted 
as a state, 1803, Congress promised to take part of the 
money received from the sale of public lands and with 
it build a hard wagon road across the Alleghanies. This 
promise was kept, and by the time Illinois became a state, 
1818, this great national road had been built from the 
headwaters of the Potomac, at Cumberland, Maryland, 
to Wheeling on the Ohio. In this way the long toilsome 
journey over the Alleghanies was made easier. 

Down the Ohio. Once the Ohio was reached, a raft, 
a keel boat, or an ark was built, and provisions laid in 
for the long journey. Pittsburg was the great supply 
city for rafts and flatboats on the Ohio. For seven months 
of the year, the streets of this frontier city were crowded 
with emigrants arriving and departing, and its waterfront 
was fringed with boats of every description. Boatbuilding 
was the chief industry, and, as none of these early boats 
ever came back, the business never flagged. 

The poorer emigrant tied some logs together and made 
a raft on which he placed his family, tools and live stock, 
and pushed out into the current. Several of these rafts 
were sometimes hitched together. Keel boats were built 
with a view of protection from the Indians, as well as for 
carrying great loads. The upper work was of wood with 
loopholes. They often carried several families. Three 
hands were necessary to man them, one to pilot and two to 
row. Occasionally there were side wheels kept in motion 
by horses walking in a treadmill. One such boat carried 
eighteen persons, horses, cattle, hogs, geese, ducks, and 
farming tools, from wagons to hoes, besides household 
furniture, and a year's stock of provisions. The trip to 


Shawneetown required three or four weeks. Similar boats 
came down all the tributaries of the Ohio, and drifted slowly 
towards the west, with unbroken forests stretching about 
them in all directions. 

"All day long flocks of turkeys littered the trees over- 
head, and at times a bear or elk might be seen swimming 
the river. At night the woods on every hand resounded 
with the bark of wolves. Then it was that the lonely 
emigrants were tormented with all manner of fears." 
They dreaded to go on at night for fear of being wrecked 
or stranded on sand bars, and they hesitated to tie fast to 
the bank because of lurking Indians. They usually spent 
the night moored to the shore, with a sentinel standing 
ready to cut the ropes if an enemy were sighted while 
the others slept. 

Some of these boats stopped at Shawneetown and 
were sold, while others floated on to the mouth of the Ohio, 
and from there were pushed by long poles to St. Louis, 
where they were sold or exchanged for wagons. Over 
these wagons, was spread a canvas, and tar was smeared 
on the outside to make it waterproof. After a visit to 
the land office, the emigrants were off to locate their 
quarter sections. 

The woodlands of southern Illinois were soon taken 
up, and newcomers had the choice of making their homes 
on the open prairies or moving farther west. The north- 
ward advance was checked by the Black Hawk war, in 
1832. which drove the people in from the outlying settle- 
ments to the more thickly populated section. 

Home-Building. The early pioneer, after choosing a 
site in the wilderness for his home, set to work to build 
a log cabin. With his own ax he cut down the forest 
trees and built first the open camp, the corners of which 
were notched together. The roof, of thatch or bark, was 


supported on poles. The open side served for window, 
door and fireplace. Skins were often hung up to keep 
out the storm. In his boyhood days Abraham Lincoln 
lived in such a cabin. 

Everybody, whether invited or not, went to the raising 
of the log cabin. The heavy lifting called for many hands. 
While four men notched the logs, the others ran races, 
wrestled and played leap frog, kicked the hat, and did 
everything then considered an amusement. Usually the 
cabin was put up in a day, and the family moved in that 
night, after having lived in camp during the weeks while 
the logs were being cut in the forest. 

Clapboards were split out for roofing and weighted 
down with stones. There were no nails, hinges, locks, 
nor glass in those early forest cabins. Doors were hung 
on wooden hinges or straps of hide, and the latch string 
was always out. The cracks between the logs were 
"chinked" in with wedges of wood and clay. Some cabins 
even had no "chinking." In a certain part of the country 
a "settler while sleeping, was scratched on the head by the 
sharp teeth of a hungry wolf, which thrust his nose into the 
space between the logs of the cabin." 

The floor was often the bare ground, but cabins some- 
times had the luxury of puncheon floors. These were 
made of the halves of logs, the flat sides of which had 
been hewed smooth with an adz. One early settler's wife 
pleaded to have the cabin built around a splendid flat 
stump, which served as a dining table. A small plat- 
form along the wall, two feet high and supported by 
posts, formed a bedstead. The bed consisted of the boughs 
of trees, sometimes of the skins of animals. The chimneys 
were made of logs coated with mud six inches thick. The 
fireplaces were vast in size, often so big that the fore-logs 
and the back-logs for the fire had to be dragged in by a 


SIT V Or Ht^Oi 


horse. These, except in the coldest weather, would burn for 
several days. The home-made furniture was of the rudest 
pattern. Here and there were a few pewter spoons, dishes, 
and iron knives and forks. 

How They Obtained and Prepared Their Food. Their 
food consisted of corn bread, bacon, bear and deer meat, 
and other wild game and fowl, as well as vegetables, which 
they called "roughness." Bear meat was a delicacy in the 
fall. It is said to be as good as venison. Salted down, it 
became an important item of the winter's supplies. Some- 
times a hunting party would return with the carcasses of 
thirty or forty of these beasts. A single sportsman often 
killed as many as a half-dozen deer in one day's hunt. To 
approach a deer on the prairie, the hunter crawled on the 
ground, holding a green bush before him, stopping when 
the animal showed signs of becoming alarmed 

Of corn, they made many dishes. There were pone, 
hominy, samp, "roasting ears," popcorn, and succotash. 
Besides, there ^were pumpkin, squash, beans and dairy 
dishes. Mills were so few and far apart that remote set- 
tlers often had to go fifty miles on horse-back, with a bag 
of corn, a journey of from two to four days. The building 
of a mill was hailed with more satisfaction than that of a 
church. When the mill was too far away, or could not 
be run because of low water, they pounded the corn into 
coarse meal in mortars. Sometimes the stump of a tree was 
hollowed out for this purpose, and a block of wood shaped 
to fit in it. 

The bread was, for a time, baked on "johnny," or 
journey, boards, which gave it the name of johnny-cake. 
These boards were smooth, two feet long by eight inches wide. 
Corn meal was mixed with water, the dough spread out on 
the board and then turned up to the fire. After one side was 
baked, the dough was turned and baked on the other side. 


Clothing; Books; Money. Clothing was made of 
dressed skins of the deer, wolf, or fox, while buffalo and 
elk skins were made into caps and moccasins. There were 
neither books nor libraries, schools nor churches. Arith- 
metic was studied a little in the evening by the light of a 
tallow dip. Sunday was spent in hunting, fishing, getting 
up stock, gathering wild honey from hollow tree trunks, 
breaking young horses, shooting at marks, and in foot 
racing and horse racing; but no labor was done on that 
day. Peltries and furs were used as money. Deer skins 
passed from hand to hand at the value of three pounds 
to the dollar. Raccoons and muskrats were numerous, and 
their skins in great demand. 

Amusements. A favorite form of merry-making was 
the "shucking bee." To these festivities gathered both 
old and young, for miles- around. Sides were chosen, and 
equal piles of corn in the husk placed before them. Those 
who had records as the best corn huskers were made 
captains, and the contest was on. Whichever party first 
finished husking its pile was the winner. The lucky finder 
of a red ear was entitled to a kiss from the girls. 

After they had feasted upon the fat of the land, came 
the dance. The only music was the violin, and "fiddlers" 
were in great demand. "They often danced all night 
and went home with the girls in the mofning," some on 
foot, some on horseback, the only mode of conveyance. 

At weddings, there was the run for the bottle. A bottle 
was filled with whisky and decorated with ribbons. The 
judges held this at the end of a mile course, and all who 
had pride in their fast horses, entered the race. 

There had been introduced a fine blooded horse, noted 
as a racer. Soon there were many fast horses in the 
settlements. Horse races became common Everybody 
talked about them and went to see them. At these races, 


business was transacted, horses swapped, and debts paid. 
They had foot races, wrestling, jumping and shooting 
matches here. Small kegs of whisky were brought to 
the races on horseback, a keg in one end of the sack and a 
stone in the other, thrown across the saddle. Notwith- 
standing the boisterous nature of these gatherings, they 
were a means of education to the people, both morally 
and socially. 

The great drawback to farming was the want of a 
market for the produce. It was a long distance to town, 
and when they arrived there they found no demand for 
the produce they had brought. To reach the cities on 
the Atlantic coast by overland route was out of the question. 
Some trade in tobacco, flour and live stock, sprang up with 
New Orleans. 

When these pioneers did go to town, which was seldom, 
they would often see for the first time, improved articles 
for the house or farm. For these they exchanged vegetables, 
grain, or live stock. A farmer having seen for the first time, 
in the Black Hawk war, a team of horses driven abreast, 
sent for a set of double harness; but when they arrived 
he found himself totally unable to fit them to the 
horses, and had to send a long distance for a man who 
knew how to put the harness, horses and wagon together 


1. Compare the reports brought back by Clark's returning 
soldiers concerning the Illinois Country with that of the spies sent 
out by Moses to investigate the land of Canaan. (See Numbers XIII, 
26 to 29.) 

2. Distinguish between a "hunter-pioneer" and a "woodland- 

3. By what natural highways did the settlers from the east 
reach the Mississippi valley? 


4. It has been frequently stated that if the Mississippi River 
had emptied into the Atlantic Ocean, say at Chesapeake Bay, the 
American colonies would still belong to Great Britain. What 
reasons can you discover for this belief? 

5. Describe the life of an average pioneer, tell how he built a 
home, planted crops, and fed and clothed his family and himself. 


From a Pioneer's Diary. Thurs (May) 30th (1775). We set 
out again and went down to Elks gardin and then suplied ourselves 
with seed corn and irish tators then went on a little way and turned 
my hors to drive before me and he got scard and ran away threw 
Down the Saddel Bags and broke three of our powder goards and 
Abrams beast burst open a walet of Corn and lost a good Deal and 
made a turrable flustration amongst the Reast of the Horses Drakes 
mair run against a sapling and noct it down we cacht them all again 
and went on and lodged at John Duncans. 

Sunday 23rd. This morning the people meets and draws for 
chois of lots this is a very warm day. 

Monday 24th. We all viaw our lots and some Dont like 
them. .... 

Wednesday 26th. We begin building a house and a plaise of 
Defense to Keep the Indians off this day we begin to live without 

Satterday 29th. We git our house kivered with Bark and move 
our things into it at Night and Begin housekeeping Eanock Smith, 
Robert Whitledge and myself. '. . . 

Tuesday 2nd. I went out in the morning and killed a turkty 
and come in and got some on for my breakfast and then went and 
sot in to clearing for Corn. 

Extract from the Journal of William Calk 


English Settlement in Illinois. Sparks. 
Pioneer Life in Illinois. Ferryman. 
The Settlement of Illinois. Boggess. 
Illinois in the 18th Century. Mason. 
Making of the Great West. Drake. 
Pioneers of Illinois. Matson. 


But bickerings and jealousies had arisen; and to put an end to 
the dangers threatened by these, Virginia voluntarily surrendered her 
empire. A nobler peace-offering the world never saw. 



States Give Up Their Western Claims. By the treaty 
at the close of the Revolution, 1783, the Mississippi became 
the western boundary of the United States. Now, Vir- 
ginia claimed all the territory northwest of the Ohio, 
as we have seen, not only because of her old charter, but 
because she had sent an army under George Rogers Clark 
who drove the British out of it. Other colonies also claimed 
portions of the territory west of the Alleghanies. 

But, after our independence was won, the small states 
such as Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey, which had 
no western claims, refused to join with the larger states 
under one roof and one flag unless these larger states 
gave to the government their claims of western territory. 
The small states were stubborn about this, and finally the 
large states yielded, with the understanding that this 
western territory be divided into states and admitted 
into the Union on the same basis as the thirteen 
original states. 

The Northwest Territory Divided Into States. Thomas 
Jefferson suggested that the territory northwest of the 
Ohio might be divided by parallels and meridians into ten 
states. James Monroe thought that ten would be too 
many. He had made a short trip to the West and talked 


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with many people on the journey. Monroe came to 
believe, from what he had heard, that much of the western 
land was miserably poor, and that the prairies of what is 




now Illinois were a desert. "Not so much as a bush would 
grow on it," he said, "and to cut such a region into ten 
states by straight lines would be unwise." Some states 
would, he argued, be all poor land, some all rich land. 



Some would have no frontage on the lakes, while others 
would not touch the Ohio. Monroe and Washington, 
therefore, advised Congress to so divide the territory that 



each state might have as much water boundary as possi- 
ble. This was the wiser plan, and Congress followed it. 
As for names, Congress concluded to let the sections choose 
their own, when they came into the Union. 


So, when the Ordinance of 1787 was adopted, it declared 
that there should be not fewer than three, nor more than 
five states in this territory, and that their boundaries should 
be as shown on the map. The Ordinance stated that 
this solemn agreement among all the thirteen states should 
"forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent." 
In spite of this, not one of the five states came into the 
Union with the exact boundaries fixed by the Ordinance. 
Congress changed the boundaries at pleasure, without 
asking the consent of a single state. The whole Northwest 
territory, save Ohio, was governed as a unit until 1809, 
when Indiana was set apart, leaving Illinois and Wisconsin 
together under the name of Illinois Territory. 

Illinois Admitted as a State; Boundaries. When 
Illinois became a state in 1818, the northern boundary was 
fixed, not by a line running west from the extreme south- 
ern end of Lake Michigan, as prescribed in the Ordinance, 
but by a parallel sixty-one miles farther north. Nor did 
Congress even ask the people of Wisconsin to consent to 
this encroachment on her soil. Nathaniel Pope was, at 
that time, the delegate in Congress for Illinois Territory. 
He laid before that body these reasons for placing the 
Illinois boundary sixty-one miles on Wisconsin soil. He 
said that Illinois would not have any lake frontage, if the 
Ordinance were followed, and, if she were not given a 
lake port, she would face southward, and her commerce 
and interests would be with the slave states rather than 
with the free. "Then," he said, "if the Union is ever 
broken up, Illinois will go with the South." The only way 
to prevent such a catastrophe," he declared, "was to give 
Illinois an outlet on Lake Michigan, and thereby connect 
her with the commerce of the Great Lakes and the East. 
Pope convinced Congress of the wisdom of his position, 
and so won for the Prairie State a wide strip of country 



embracing fourteen counties, and eight thousand five 
hundred square miles of rich agricultural lands, which 
includes the fine lake harbors of Chicago and Waukegan, 

APRIL 18, 1818 


as well as the sites of such prosperous inland cities as 
Rockford, Freeport, Galena, Oregon and Elgin. 

Northern Illinois Claimed by Wisconsin. Wisconsin 
was organized as a territory in 1836, and the northern 


boundary of Illinois was left where it had been placed in 
1818. Two years later, however, the Wisconsin Legisla- 
ture sent a message to Congress protesting against the 
injustice of giving to Illinois a vast section which, according 
to the Ordinance, rightly belonged to Wisconsin. She 
claimed the entire tract as far south as the southern end of 
Lake Michigan. Congress, influenced by the able repre- 
sentatives from Illinois, gave no heed to this commu- 
nication. The next year the Wisconsin Legislature re- 
turned to the attack. It declared that "a large and valuable 
tract of country is now held by the state of Illinois, con- 
trary to the manifest right and consent of the (Wisconsin) 

Nine Illinois Counties Dissatisfied. The people in the 
disputed district expressed their views at the ballot-box, 
and at public gatherings. A convention representing 
nine counties met at Rockford and declared that the four- 
teen northern counties of Illinois belonged by right to 
Wisconsin. An election was held in Stephenson County 
in 1842, and out of five hundred seventy votes, all but one 
were in favor of uniting with Wisconsin. The Boone 
County election was likewise almost unanimous. Other 
counties also leaned toward our northern sister. Although 
Chicago was promised both senatorships by Wisconsin, 
she realized that her best interests were served by being 
in Illinois, and voted accordingly. The people of Wisconsin, 
outside of the Legislature, took little interest in the dispute. 
Their law makers, nevertheless, continued to hurl defiant 
messages at the deaf ears of Congress. They threatened to 
secede from the Union; they boasted that "The moral and 
physical force of Illinois, of the whole Union, cannot make 
us retrace our steps." 

Old-Fashioned Laws. When Congress appointed Arthur 
St. Clair, to be the first Governor of the Northwest Terri- 


tory, he met the judges, who were also chosen by Congress, 
at Marietta, Ohio, 1788, and they wrote out a code of laws 
for the Territory. As there was no printing press nearer 
than Pittsburg, the laws were written and posted upon 
trees at the mouths of creeks and rivers, or wherever 
it seemed likely they might be seen by passersby. The 
man who pulled down such a copy was to be put in the 
stocks for three hours, fined the cost of re-writing and 
posting it, and shut up in jail until the fine was paid. 
A drunkard was fined "five dimes" for the first offense, 
a dollar for the second, and, if he could not pay, was put 
in the stocks one hour. Thirty-nine stripes were given 
those who robbed a house, or broke into a shop, or made a 
false oath. If the burglar were armed he was deprived 
of all his property and put in jail for forty years. A man 
might be imprisoned for debt, a bachelor under forty for 
seven years; a married man under thirty-six, for five years. 
If the sheriff allowed a prisoner to escape, he must take 
the offender's place, assume all his debts and pay the fine for 
which he had been imprisoned. 

Squatters Buy Their Land. Shadrick Bond was the 
first delegate to Congress from the Territory. It took 
him over a month to make the trip on horseback, and by 
stage, from Kaskaskia to Washington. Prior to 1813 the 
settlers had not been able to secure a good title to the 
land on which they squatted. Nine-tenths of the people 
of Illinois had settled on land which they had no right 
whatever to pre-empt. Very few improvements were 
made, because no one was sure to receive the land or the 
pay for improvements made. For years the people had 
begged Congress in vain to give them the right to buy at 
a fixed price the land on which they had squatted and built 
their cabins. Such conditions discouraged new settlers 
and retarded the growth of the Territory. 


Bond induced Congress to pass a law granting squatter ; 
the preference over all others when their land was sold by 
the government. They could now hope for a home in their 
old age, and they became enthusiastic over the future of 
their prairie settlements. This act entitles Shadrick Bond 
to the gratitude of his state, as it not only secured justice 
to the old settlers but brought in a flood of newcomers. 

Counting Forty Thousand People. After a few years 
the people of the territory became anxious to make it a 
state, so they might have a hand in directing the affairs 
of the nation in Congress. That body decided that Illinois 
Territory might become a state, provided it had a popula- 
tion of 40,000. So the people set out to count that many 
heads. It soon became evident that the census would fall 
short of this number. So the Marshal stationed his deputies 
along the roads, and instructed them to count everybody 
that passed, no matter who they were nor where they were 
going. Immigrants and movers were thus counted several 
times after they entered the state. The returns footed 
up 40,000, and Illinois was admitted as a state, 1818, but 
it was afterward ascertained that her population was really 
only 34,620. No other state has been admitted with so 
small a population. 


1. Which states claimed territory northwest of the Ohio? How 
were these conflicting claims settled? 

2. What plan did Jefferson propose for the division of this 

3. How many and what states were created from this terri- 
tory by the Ordinance of 1787? 

4. What provisions did the Ordinance of 1787 contain relative 
to establishing and maintaining free schools? (See Appendix.) 

5. Give the history of the separation from Wisconsin of the 
fourteen northern counties of Illinois. 


6. What were the circumstances under which Illinois was 
admitted to the Union? 


From Cabin to Community. The cabin was made of logs, 
notched at the ends so as to fit at the corners, and laid one above 
another until the house was ten feet high. There was but one 
room, one door, and one window. The door was made of rough 
boards swung on leather hinges, and opposite the door was left 
an open space on the ground for the fireplace, the chimney being 
built outside of flat sticks like laths, and plastered with mortar. 
The floor was made of planks hewn out with the ax, and the roof 
of lighter planks resting on rafters made of saplings. In such a 
home many a good family lived for ten or twenty years, the ances- 
tors of many of the leading men of today. The cabin built, the pio- 
neer would begin battling with the forest, clearing a few acres each 
year, carrying his grain perhaps twenty miles on horseback to the 
nearest mill. Soon his land would become more productive; and 
at length, if thrifty and industrious, he would make a good house 
and abandon the cabin. Other movers would settle near, then a 
town would be founded, and another, and another, and eventually 
a railroad would be built through the new settlement. The com- 
murlity is transformed in twenty-five years; the markets are near, 
the comforts of life have multiplied, the farm of the first settler is 
now worth thousands of dollars, and he has added other hundreds 
of acres to it. His children settle on the farm or enter the business 
of the professional world, and the old settler spends his declining 
yaars amid peace and plenty; and he gathers his grandchildren about 
him and tells them of the days of long ago, of the long journeys in 
the moving wagon, and of the time when the forests frowned on 
every side, and the wolves howled about his lonely cabin in the 


Illinois in the 18th Century. Mason. 
English Settlement in Illinois. Sparks. 
Making of the Great West. Drake. 
The Settlement of Illinois. Boggess. 
The Settlement of Illinois. Pooley. 
History of Illinois. Carpenter. 


I saw a dot upon the map, 

And a housefly's filmy wing 
They said 'twas Dearborn's picket-flag, 

When Wilderness was King. 



Why a Fort Was Built on the Chicago River. The 

Louisiana Purchase added a vast tract to the United 
States, and more forts were needed to protect our western 
territory. The British upon the upper lakes were court- 
ing the favor of the countless Indian tribes in that region, 
and had been gaining in influence with them since the 
Revolution. To offset this British influence and impress 
the Indians with the power of the United States, Congress 
decided to build a fort at the southern end of Lake Michi- 
gan. Commissioners came from Washington to select a 
place for it. The mouth of the St. Joseph river afforded 
by far the best harbor on the southern border of the lake, 
and, by this river and by portage, there was a good passage 
to the Illinois and the Mississippi. This was, therefore, 
chosen as the site for the fort and future city. The Indians, 
who still retained all this land, however, refused to give it 
up, so the commissioners were forced to look elsewhere. 
A site was finally chosen at the mouth of the Chicago river, 
where there was a harbor and a portage to the Illinois, 
and where the government had already obtained some land 
from the Indians. 



Fort Dearborn Built. Hither came the American sol- 
diers, marching through the unbroken wilderness from 
Detroit. Arriving at the Chicago river, they harnessed 
themselves up with ropes, for there were neither horses 
nor oxen to be had, and dragged together logs for the 
blockhouse and palisade. During the summer and fall 
they completed the soldiers' quarters and the blockhouse, 
which .they called Fort Dearborn. 

John Kinzie Fur Trader. John Kinzie soon settled 
here and began to develop an extensive fur trade. He 
became known as the "Indian's Friend," and throughout 
the stormy years that followed, his family moved about, 
not only unharmed by the Indians, but protected by them. 
Kinzie traveled far and wide, visiting different Indian tribes 
and establishing profitable trade with them. Fort Dearborn 
became a fur trading post, the peltries being brought in on 
horseback. The vessel which came in the fall and spring 
with supplies for the fort and goods for the trade, carried 
the furs to Mackinac. Kinzie, in addition to his fur trade, 
manufactured ornaments and trinkets in which the 
Indians delighted. 

Fort Dearborn Too Far From Supplies in War. When 
the war of 1812 broke out with England, the Indians, 
led by the famous chief, Tecumseh, joined forces with the 
king against the Americans. Fort Dearborn was far away 
from other frontier forts and settlements, and surrounded 
by treacherous savages, so it would have been difficult to 
get supplies in case the British took Detroit. Therefore, 
it was thought best to evacuate the post and march the 
garrison and the few families sheltered there to Fort Wayne. 

Captain Heald, who commanded at Fort Dearborn, 
received the exciting news from General Hull, at Detroit, 
that war had .been declared against England. Along 
with this news, came the order to distribute all goods 


and supplies in his warehouse to the Indians, and to repair 
to Fort Wayne. This could have been done quickly and 
safely before the Indians knew of the approaching war, 
and this was what other officers and Kinzie advised, but 
Captain Heald insisted on waiting till he could assemble 
all the tribes, so that he might distribute the goods equally. 
Meantime the Indians grew insolent and warlike. Kinzie 
was the only white man for whom they had any regard. 
They had been promised a share in the supplies but they 
thirsted for blood. 

Distributing Supplies to the Indians. The two things 
the Indians most wanted were whisky and muskets, and 
there was abundance of both in the fort, as they well knew. 
Captain Heald thought that these were just the articles 
that the Indians ought not to have. He distributed broad- 
cloth, calico, ribbons and paints, but he said, "The surplus 
arms and ammunition I thought proper to destroy, fearing 
that they would make bad use of them. I also destroyed 
all liquor on hand, soon after they began to collect." 

The Indians, prowling around the fort, found the guns 
broken and the casks of liquor with heads knocked out 
and contents emptied into the river. This made them 
angry, because they had been promised everything in the 
fort. The old chiefs now said that they could no longer 
control the young braves who were bent on war. 

A Noble Indian Chief. Black Partridge, a chief, who 
had some years before been given a badge as an emblem 
of friendship, now came to Captain Heald and gave it back, 
saying, "Father, I come to deliver up to you the medal 
I wear. It was given to me by the Americans, and I have 
long worn it in token of our mutual friendship. But our 
young men are resolved to imbrue their hands in the blood 
of the whites. I cannot restrain them, and I will not wear 
a token of peace while I am compelled to act as an enemy." 


The Indians Plan to Destroy the Whites. Unknown to 
the Americans, the Indians had held a council of war 
and resolved to destroy the garrison. At nine o'clock on 
the fifteenth of August, 1812, the gates of the fort were 
thrown open and the troops began their march toward 
Fort Wayne. Brave John Kinzie left his family with some 
friendly Indians and set out with the soldiers, hoping to 
save them if possible. The Indians told him not to go, but 
he disregarded their advice. 

The Fort Dearborn Massacre. Four or five hundred 
Indians followed the small company of Americans south 
along the trail by the lake. Soon they attacked and 
killed all but twenty-five soldiers and eleven women and 
children. Mrs. Helm, the daughter of Mrs. Kinzie, had 
a narrow escape. She was attacked by a young Indian, 
but warding off the. blow of his tomahawk, she threw her 
arms around his neck, trying to get hold of his scalping- 
knife. Just then an old Indian seized her and dragged 
her to the lake and plunged her into the water, allowing 
her head only to remain above the waves. She saw he 
was not trying to drown her, and, upon looking at him 
closely, she discovered him to be Black Partridge. After 
the battle she was taken to a place of safety. The next 
day the fort and agency building were burned, and the 
captives distributed among the various tribes. The sav- 
ages decked themselves in the ribbons and finery and held 
a war dance. 

Sometime later, Black Partridge heard that Captain 
Helm was held a prisoner by the Indians on the Kan- 
kakee. He reported this to Kinzie's brother, and they 
sent the faithful chief to ransom the prisoner. He found 
the Indians would not accept the ransom he had brought, 
so he gave them his pony, his rifle and a large gold ring 
which he wore in his nose. This was accepted, and he 


brought Captain Helm back, and restored him to his 

More Indian Fighting. During the war of 1812, the 
Indians carried on cowardly and merciless raids on the 
unprotected settlers of Illinois, murdering and plunder- 
ing, and then disappearing before armed forces could reach 
them. They would not fight, even with smaller bands of 
settlers. A year after the war closed, all the tribes of the 
Northwest made a treaty with the United States, near what 
is now Alton, Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi. 
They remained quiet until the Black Hawk war of 1832. 

Fort Dearborn Rebuilt. President Madison, in his 
message to Congress in 1814, called the attention of that 
body to the importance of a ship canal to connect the 
waters of Lake Michigan, at Chicago, with the Illinois 
and Mississippi rivers. This idea had been first suggested 
by Louis Joliet in 1673. With this canal in view, the 
War Department ordered Fort Dearborn to be rebuilt. 
On July 4, 1816, while the bones of the victims of 1812 still 
lay scattered over the sand drifts, the American soldiers 
arrived at the mouth of the Chicago river, and began the 
new fort on the same spot where the first had stood. Sur- 
veyors also came to examine the divide and report on the 
cost and difficulty of the canal project. During that sum- 
mer John Kinzie returned with his family, to find that the 
Indians had spared his house from the flames. 

Fort Dearborn Gets Supplies from Kaskaskia. The 
northern half of the state was still unsettled, except in 
a few places, though southern Illinois had advanced so 
far that it was about to ask to be admitted into the Union 
as a state. Communications were soon opened with 
Kaskaskia by the way of the Chicago, Des Plaines, and 
Illinois Rivers. Along this route by rowboats and portage, 
supplies of flour, meat and other necessities were brought 


from southern Illinois to Fort Dearborn. Fur trade 
again became the leading industry of the settlement. 

Glimpses of the Pioneer City. In 1818, there were but 
two log huts outside of the enclosure of the garrison. 
The nearest postoffice was Fort Wayne, Indiana, from which 
place mail was brought once a month. 

In 1820, Schoolcraft, who was on a visit to Chicago, 
found it "a small village of ten or twelve houses, accom- 
modating sixty people half-breeds, Canadian-French, fur 
traders and Virginians." 

Major Long gives the following description of Chicago 
in 1823: "The village presents no cheering prospects 
as ... it consists of but a few huts inhabited by 
a miserable race of men scarcely equal to the Indians, 
from whom they are descended. Their houses are low, 
filthy and disgusting, displaying not the least trace of 
comfort." Mr. Long thought that Chicago would never 
become a great commercial city, because of the dangers 
of lake navigation and the scarcity of harbors. 

The Illinois-Michigan Canal. The state of Illinois, 
having been given by Congress a wide strip of land along the 
proposed canal route, began in earnest to plan the Illinois- 
Michigan canal. Commissioners arrived in Chicago in 
1829, platted the city on land donated to the state by 
Congress, and began to sell lots. The canal project 
attracted many people here, and the population began to 
grow, and real estate to rise in value. In a year the pop- 
ulation had increased to about one hundred, but still Chi- 
cago had no postoffice. The mail carrier now came once a 
week instead of once a month. There grew up a brisk trade 
with the Indians of this region, but their presence was a 
hindrance to the growth of the city. 

Cook County Organized. In 1831, Cook County, 
named for Daniel P. Cook, was organized, and thereafter 


had its own tax collector. Prior to that the collector 
was forced to make a long trip of one hundred miles or 
more on horseback to Chicago, for a few dollars in taxes, 
which would not pay the expenses of his trip. 

Chicago as Seen in 1832. The people of Chicago in that 
early day are described as follows: "Next in rank to the 
officers and commissioners, may be noticed certain shop- 
keepers and merchants resident here. . . . Add to this 
a doctor or two, two or three lawyers, a land-agent and five 
or six hotel keepers. These people inhabited some fifty clap- 
board houses. Land speculators as numerous as the sand : 
you will find horse-dealers and horse-stealers rogues of 
every description, black, white, brown, red half-breeds, 
quarter-breeds, and men of no breed at all ; dealers in pigs, 
and poultry, and potatoes . . . sharpers of every degree, 
peddlers, grog sellers; Indian agents and Indian traders of 
every description, and contractors to supply the Pottawa- 
tomies with food. The little village was in an uproar from 
morning to night, and from night to morning, for, during the 
hours of darkness, when the housed portion of the population 
of Chicago strove to obtain repose in the crowded plank 
edifices of the village, the Indians howled, wept, sang, yelled 
and whooped in their various encampments. With all this, 
the whites to me seemed to be more pagan than the red men." 

The City Grows and Real Estate Rises. In 1833 Chicago 
began a wonderful growth. The village was organized, and 
by the end of the year there were one hundred sixty houses. 
In the same year, four steamers arrived, and lake com- 
merce began. The harbor was poor, vessels being compelled 
to anchor outside and push their live stock overboard to 
wade ashore. But Congress made appropriations to 
improve it. The first newspaper, the "Chicago Weekly 
Democrat," was established, though it frequently sus- 
pended publication for lack of paper. Land agents were 


in 1837 stGeMT ' 



good advertisers. Soon hosts of immigrants began to come, 
and property along the canal rose amazingly. 

One transaction may be noted, by the way of illustra- 
tion. Early in the spring of 1835, a Mr. Hubbard bought 
eighty acres of land east of the river, paying for it $5,000. 
A few months after his purchase he had occasion to go 
east, and upon visiting New York, much to his surprise, 
he found quite a speculation in Chicago property raging 
there. Grasping the opportunity for a good bargain, he 
hired an engraver, had a plat of his eighty acres prepared, 
and sold half of his land for $80,000. Upon returning to 
Chicago and spreading the news, city property went up 
enormously in value. "Each man who owned a garden 
patch stood on his head, imagined himself a millionaire, 
put up the corner lots to fabulous prices, and, what is 
strange to say, never could ask enough." The price of 
lots rose from a hundred, to a thousand times what they 
had been. Speculation ran wild, until the panic of 
1837 came. 

So rapidly did the newcomers swarm into the town, 
that the taverns could not begin to hold the crowd; men, 
women, and children thronged the wharves and streets. 
Store-houses were thrown open for their shelter, and 
when this device could no longer supply the demand for 
lodging places, tents were set up in the streets. Lumber 
could not be brought fast enough to supply the demands. 
Lake Street was not properly graded and drained, and 
stagnant water stood there, breeding fevers. Many new- 
comers, hesitating to risk their health in Chicago, went 
into the interior of the state. 

Dirt Begins to Move for the Canal. In the winter of 
1835, and 1836, the Legislature finally passed the act 
authorizing the canal, and there was great rejoicing in 
Chicago. A mass meeting was held at which it was voted 


to fire twelve guns in honor of each man who voted for 
the measure, and to request the Chicago newspapers to 
print their names in large capitals, while the names of 
those who voted against it were to be printed in small 
italics. On July 4, 1836, it is said that every man, woman 
and child in Chicago, whose health would permit, went 
to Canalport to celebrate the removal of the first shovelful 
of dirt. 

Chicago's Trade Grows. The actual digging of the 
canal was the signal for still larger flocks of settlers, many 
of whom made Chicago their home, while hundreds pushed 
on to the prairie farms. They laid in supplies at Chicago 
for their new homes on the distant plains, and this trade 
made the merchants wealthy. From a hundred miles and 
more away, the farmers came to Chicago to market their 
produce and ouy merchandise. All this hastened the growth 
of the town, so that in 1837 Chicago was made a city. 
There were at that time five hundred buildings, inhabited 
by four thousand people. 

Hard Times. Then came the panic, which gave the 
young city a terrible blow. Immigrants ceased to come. 
Everybody was anxious to sell his property, but could 
scarcely give it away. Some, who later became wealthy 
men, owed it to the fact that they could not sell their 
property at any price during these dark days. Commerce 
was dead. For two years gloom and hard times prevailed. 

Lake Commerce. Chicago now began to be a shipping 
point. In 1838, seventy bushels of wheat were exported 
from her harbor, the next year nearly four thousand. 
By 1845, nearly a million bushels were carted in by farmers 
for export. They found Chicago a good market for their 
hogs and cattle, and they came great distances to sell the 
products of their rich farms. Commerce on the Great 
Lakes made rapid strides. 


No Paved Streets. North of the Chicago River lay 
the residence section, connected by bridge and ferries 
with the business district to the south. Sidewalks were 
built and trees planted. This helped to make life here 
more pleasant, though the streets were not yet paved. 
Prairie grass still grew in them. In rainy seasons they 
became almost impassable. In order to attend social 
events, it was often necessary for the men to wear high 
boots, and for ladies, sometimes, to go on drays, because 
carriages were yet scarce in this pioneer city. 

The First Water Works. In 1839, was built the first 
water works. A reservoir and pumping station were con- 
structed on the shore of the lake. The water was dis- 
tributed through a pipe-line made of logs with a six inch 
bore. Where this line did not reach, water was carried 
in carts. 

The First Coal in Chicago. The first shipment of coal 
to Chicago came in 1841, in the schooner, "General Har- 
rison." It consisted of eighty tons of soft coal from Cleve- 
land. It took the dealer nearly two years to dispose of 
it. Wood was the only fuel then used in' Chicago, and 
might be had for $2.50 per cord. Coal could not be 
burned until grates, standing on legs, were cast and set in 
the fireplaces. 

After the panic, Chicago recovered her prosperity and 
grew steadily in population and commerce. Wheat, flour, 
corn, oats and meat poured in from the rich farming 
section. By 1850, the beef and lumber trade had grown 
to be the greatest in America. Frame business blocks 
began to give place to substantial brick structures. 

The First Public School Building in Chicago. There 
was not a school building in the city prior to 1844. Schools 
there were, to be sure, but they were conducted in rented 
rooms. A few years later, Alderman Miltimore obtained 


an appropriation to build a public school. The people ridi- 
culed the idea. They said it was squandering money. 
When completed, it was called "Miltimore's Folly." 
The Mayor, too, scoffed at it because it was too extravagant 
to build such a useless, costly structure. He declared that 
it would accommodate more children than there ever would 
be in Chicago, and that it should be turned into an asylum 
for the insane. If this mayor had been living in Chicago 
sixty years later, he might have counted more than a score 
of great high schools, nearly three hundred elementary 
schools, and three hundred thousand school children. For 
some years the Board of Education was not able to construct 
buildings fast enough to keep pace with the increasing 
number of school children. 

Plank Roads. In those early days, Chicago's com- 
merce dwindled away in the spring of the year, because 
it was well-nigh impossible at this season for the farmers 
to make their way over the low, flat prairies, through the 
muddy roads. To overcome this hindrance, plank roads 
were built by private companies in every direction from 
the city, costing from 1,000 to 1,500 dollars per mile. 
Whoever used these roads had to pay a toll of one and a 
half cents per mile, to keep the roads in repair. These 
plank roads paid the owners from fifteen to forty per 
cent, per year, which proved a fine investment. 

There were still, 1850, no paved streets in the "Windy 
City." In the spring, teams stuck in the mud in almost 
every block on Lake Street. On boards sticking up in the 
streets, might be read such signs as, "No Bottom Here," 
or, "Shortest Road to China." The plank street-crossings 
were covered with mud, and seemed only to keep the foot- 
passengers from sinking out of sight. 

"The chief business of the city at that time," said a 
newcomer, "seemed to be receiving emigrants bound for 


the West, and fitting them out for their journey across 
the country. As we entered the narrow river which is the 
harbor, we could see muddy streets, along which were suc- 
cessions of small frame buildings, with a few brick, no two 
of them the same height, with board sidewalks on such 
differing levels that pedestrians in walking a single block 
were obliged to ascend and descend stairways a dozen 
or more times." 


1. What were some of the reasons why a fort was necessary at 

2. Describe the conditions of life at Fort Dearborn up to the 
time of the massacre. 

3. What was the appearance of Chicago in 1832? 

4. What is the history of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, and in 
what condition is it at present? 

5. How does the growth of the public school system of Chicago 
compare with the growth of the schools in the state outside the 


Chicago in 1831. The fort was inclosed by high pickets, with 
bastions at the alternate angles. Large gates opened to the north 
and south, and there were small portions here and there for the 
accommodation of the inmates. The bank of the river which 
stretches to the west, now covered by the light-house buildings, 
and inclosed by docks, was then occupied by the root-houses of the 
garrison. Beyond the parade-ground which extended south of the 
pickets, were the company gardens, well filled with currant bushes 
and young fruit-trees. MRS. JOHN H. KINZIE. 


Early Chicago and Illinois. Mason. 

Chicago before the Fire. Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 17, Page 663. 

Chicago in Its Infancy. All the Year, Vol. 75, Page 198. 

Making of the Great West. Drake. 

Early Illinois. Matson. 


Their council-fire has long since gone out on the shore, and 
their war-cry is fast fading to the untrodden west. Slowly and 
sadly they climb the distant mountains, and read their doom in the 
setting sun. CHARLES SPRAGUE. 


The Chief Indian Village. For generations the Sacs 
and Foxes had roamed the plains of Illinois. Their chief 
village of Saukenuk was located near the mouth of Rock 
River. The nation's graves were here, and the affections 
of the whole tribe were centered about this village. 

The Indian Treaty. Shortly after the War of 1812, they 
ceded to the United States fifty million acres of ground, 
mostly in Illinois, for the annual payment of one thousand 
dollars. The Indians were to be permitted to hunt on this 
land as long as it belonged to the government. This treaty, 
as usual, was all in favor of the United States, and now 
they wished the Indians to withdraw across the Mississippi. 

The Squatters Want the Indians' Cornfields. There- 
was, as yet, no need to crowd the red men out, since the 
settlements had not approached within fifty miles of their 
village, and the whole of northern Illinois was still unoc- 
cupied, except by a few scattering farmers near Chicago. 
But a report of the fertility of the Indian lands had attracted 
that restless class of squatters who were always reaching 
out to the distant frontiers. They knew there were millions 
of acres of vacant land on the prairies just as good as that 
about the Indian village, but it was not in a condition to 
plant crops. 



The Cause of Trouble. The real cause of the trouble 
was, that the whites universally detested and feared the 
red men. This feeling is shown by a law passed in 1814 
by the Illinois Legislature, offering a reward of fifty dollars 
for every Indian captured while on the warpath, or killed 
in any settlement of the whites, or one hundred dollars for 
each warrior, squaw or child taken prisoner or killed in 
their own territory, during hostilities. The presence of 
the savages in the state could no longer be tolerated, and 
the cry was, "the Indian must go." 

Squatters Ordered Off by Black Hawk. Every year, 
when the Sacs and Foxes returned from their annual 
hunt, they found more of their cornfields fenced in by 
white squatters, who had not the shadow of a right to them. 
The squaws and children were driven off and sometimes 
their lodges were burned. When the warriors returned in 
the spring of 1830, to find the graves of their ancestors 
turned under by the plow, the patience of Black Hawk was 
about exhausted, but no outbreak occurred until the fol- 
lowing spring, when they returned from an unsuccessful 
hunt to find most of their fields in other hands, and starva- 
tion staring them in the face. They were in no mood to 
parley. When told, with a threat, to clear out, they replied 
that if anyone was to withdraw, it must be the whites, 
and that they meant to help them go. 

Governor Reynolds Drives Black Hawk across the 
Mississippi. The squatters, numbering about forty, now 
appealed to Governor Reynolds to protect them from the 
misused Indians. They told the Governor that the Indians 
had thrown down their fences, driven off their cattle, and 
threatened their lives. Reynolds replied by ordering the 
removal of the tribe entirely from the state. The militia 
was called out and Black Hawk, seeing the uselessness 
of fighting many times his own number, retreated across 


the Mississippi. He was forced to agree not to return, but, 
for some reason, he came back the following year. Black 
Hawk claimed that the chiefs who signed the treaty 
giving away the lands had no right to do this, that the lands 
belonged to the tribes, and not to the chiefs. 

Indian Fighting Continues. Eight thousand volunteers 
were called out to join fifteen hundred soldiers of the regu- 
lar army, to expel from the state this starving tribe of four 
hundred braves and their women and children. 

The war lasted three months. During this time there 
was pillage, burning, and bloodshed among the various 
unprotected settlements. The scattered pioneer families 
quickly withdrew, with their valuables, to the block- 
houses and forts. Those about Chicago, to the number 
of five hundred, crowded into Fort Dearborn, where it 
was almost impossible to feed and shelter them. It hap- 
pened that two settlers had gone into stock-raising, and 
had, already for market, one hundred fifty cattle. They 
drove them into the enclosure of the fort, and thereby 
averted a meat famine. 

General Scott soon came by steamer, with reenforce- 
ments for the garrison, but he brought along also the 
dreaded cholera, which had broken out among his soldiers 
on the steamer. The inhabitants of the fort were soon 
dying so fast, that there were left hardly enough well 
ones to take care of the sick and bury the dead. As 
soon as they knew what the disease was, the settlers fled 
from the fort, preferring the possible danger of toma- 
hawk and scalping knife, to the ravages of this fatal 

The Indians were hotly pursued by superior numbers 
and driven from place to place. Having no chance to 
obtain food, they were forced to eat bark stripped from 
the trees, and meat from the carcasses of their dead ponies. 


Frequently, along the march, were found the bodies of 
those who fell from starvation and exhaustion. 

Battle of Bad Ax. The wretched band was at length 
run down, surrounded on the banks of the Mississippi, 
and mercilessly butchered. So furious was the American 
firing that many warriors threw down their muskets and 
climbed trees to save their lives, only to be picked off 
by sharpshooters. When the slaughter ceased, the three 
hundred women and children who survived, retreated 
across the Mississippi, helpless from hunger and suffering 
from wounds. Here they supposed they were safe, but 
General Atkinson had instructed a band of Sioux Indians 
to attack them, and about half of the poor survivors 
were slain. 

Black Hawk Surrenders. Black Hawk had escaped 
to the forest before his nation was driven across the Missis- 
sippi. After the war he gave himself up. He said, "I loved 
my village, my cornfields and my people. I fought for them. 
They are now yours. I have looked upon the Mississippi 
since I was a child. I love the great river. I have always 
dwelt upon its banks. I look upon it now, and I am sad. 
I shake hands with you. We are now friends." 

Black Hawk's Last Days. Black Hawk was taken 
east to see President Jackson. He said to him, "You 
are a man, and I am another." He was put in prison, 
first at Fortress Monroe, and later, after being taken on 
a tour through the eastern cities, he was placed in Fort 
Armstrong. After five years, his freedom was given him, 
and, at the age of seventy-one, he was placed upon a reser- 
vation in Iowa, where he soon died. 

The Red Men Disappear from Illinois. Thus, the last 
of the red men disappeared from the fertile plains of 
Illinois. The war cost millions of dollars, and a thousand 
lives. The whole disgraceful contest might have been 


avoided by wise and just treatment of the Indians, and 
the payment of a few thousand dollars for land worth 
millions. It is interesting to know that Abraham Lincoln 
and Jefferson Davis fought side by side in this war. 


1. On what theory was the ownership of the land vested in the 

2. Would white citizens who were guilty of the crimes the 
Indians perpetrated on the occupants of Fort Dearborn be allowed 
to own property and run at large? 

3. Could the white settlers have lived in peace with the Indians 
if there had been no occasion to quarrel over the ownership of the 

4. Give your estimate of the character of Black Hawk. 

5. Was he a typical Indian? 


Attempts to Surrender. The chief was so touched by the suf- 
ferings of the women and children; the starving condition of the 
men, and the utter hopelessness of continuing the unequal strug- 
gle, that he decided to surrender. Accordingly he sent a hundred 
and fifty-six warriors to the edge of the stream with a flag of -truce. 
An effort w r as made to communicate with the Winnebago inter- 
preter on board the boat. But either the interpreter failed to under- 
stand what was shouted to him by the Indians on shore, or he was 
treacherous and failed to report the message correctly to Captain 
Throckmorton, of the Warrior (name of boat), or Lieut. Kingsburg, 
who commanded the troops, for certain it is those on the boat paid 
no attention to the white flag of truce or to the expressed desire on 
the part of Black Hawk to surrender. NORMAN B. WOOD. 


The Story of the Black Hawk W r ar. Thwaites. 
History of the Black Hawk War. Wakefield. 
Making of the Great West. Drake. 
Memories of Shaubena. Matson. 
The Black Hawk War. Stevens. 
Decisive Dates in Illinois History. Jones. 


God took care to hide that country till He judged 

His people ready, 
Then He chose me for His Whisper, and I've found 

It, and it's yours! 



Why People Rushed to the West. Perhaps you will 
wonder why so many people were willing to leave their 
friends and relatives and their old homes on the Atlantic 
for the lonely cabin life on the prairies, about which they 
knew so little. There were many reasons for this tide of 
emigration to the West. 

The soldiers who had chased Black Hawk and his 
tribe of Indians up and down the state, carried back to 
their homes in the East glowing accounts of the prairies. 
Land companies were formed to speculate in western lands. 
They sent thousands of circulars among the people of 
the Atlantic seaboard, pointing out the golden opportuni- 
ties in Illinois. The walls of buildings in the eastern 
cities were covered with maps of western towns that never 
existed, and whose location was miles in the wilderness, 
without a house or a human being. The land craze spread 
over the East. Those who came first were delighted, and 
wrote back to their friends, painting the prairie life in bright 
colors. Thus many were taken with the "western fever." 
Some restless characters came for the mere sake of adven- 
ture. They longed for the excitement and dangers of the 
frontier life. Others bent their way westward because they 



believed that a new country offered a better chance to get 
on in the world, and to make a fortune. 

Cheap Lands in the West. Farm lands in the East had 
risen in price beyond the reach of the poor, while the fine 
prairies of Illinois could be had for two dollars an acre. 
This was later, 1841, reduced to a dollar and a quarter 
an acre. Products could be raised in the fertile West, 
shipped to eastern market, and sold cheaper than the 
eastern farmer could raise them on his rocky hillside farm. 
This led the New England farmer to sell out and make 
his way toward the setting sun. There were crop failures 
in New England from 1824 to 1837 that drove many to 
seek new homes. Yankee farmers of wealth went into 
sheep-raising, which, on account of the tariff on wool, was 
very profitable. They could use large tracts of compara- 
tively poor land for sheep pastures, and so they bought 
out the small farmers, thus giving the sellers a chance to 
move toward the sunset frontier. 

Western Trade Floated to New Orleans. The trade 
of the entire Ohio and Mississippi valleys was floated 
down to New Orleans, and her wharves were lined with 
hundreds of flatboats unloading wheat, flour, pork and 
live stock, gathered up on the central prairies. Fifteen 
hundred flat-bottomed boats and five hundred barges 
floated down the Mississippi to New Orleans in one year 
(1817). New Orleans was enjoying a rich harvest, and 
her population was growing. 

Water is always the cheapest way to carry goods. 
The Cumberland Road brought Baltimore and other east- 
ern cities into easier communication with Wheeling and 
Pittsburg, but it still cost too much to haul goods over 
this long route. The freight on a single ton of goods from 
Philadelphia to Pittsburg, by wagon, was one hundred 
twenty-five dollars. For hauling a hundred pounds of 





sugar three hundred miles by wagon, the charge was five 
dollars. In fact, the freight was often greater than the 
first cost of the merchandise. Western cities could still 
get goods much cheaper by way of New Orleans. 

Why Canals Were Built to Reach the Ohio and the 
Lakes. Now the eastern cities were not willing to see 
New Orleans enjoy all this rich trade, but how could they 
prevent it, unless they, too, could get a short water route 
to these western regions? At last they hit upon the idea 
of building canals to the Ohio along the waterways that 
penetrated the backbone of the Alleghanies. 

There was also another reason for this canal craze 
that swept over the Atlantic states. People were flock- 
ing westward in such numbers that the East was being 
drained of its population, especially of the laboring classes. 
In order to stop this loss, the legislatures of Virginia and 
North Carolina decided to build good roads and canals, 
and to improve their rivers so that farmers could get to 
market more easily. This, they thought, would satisfy the 
farmers, and cure their longing for the west. 

Effect of the Canals. New York tried to get Congress 
to build a canal from Albany to Buffalo, and when the 
national government refused, the state undertook it alone. 
When the Erie Canal, as it was called, was completed, 
1825, the trade of New York City with the Great Lake 
region, and even with Pittsburg, grew rapidly. Philadelphia 
business men could not long remain idle and see their rivals 
at New York City growing rich upon trade that should 
come to them, and so Pennsylvania was soon building a 
system of canals to connect different parts of the state 
with Pittsburg. 

All these roads and canals, instead of checking the 
westward movement, helped it along. In early days, the 
emigrants directed their steps toward the Ohio, because 


once reached, it would carry them westward without 

The Portage Railroad. But one emigrant, bound for 
Illinois by way of the Ohio, built his boat on the east side 
of the Alleghany mountains. He did not expect, when he 
started, to ride in it clear over the top of this mountain 
range. But, let us follow his westward journey: 

"Jesse Cheesman loaded his boat, which he called 
the 'Hit or Miss,' on the Lacka wanna river in north- 
eastern Pennsylvania. He had on board, besides his wife 
and children, beds, furniture, tools, pigeons, and live 
stock. He sailed down stream till he came to the Penn- 
sylvania canal at Harrisburg. Here his craft was taken 
into the canal, which he followed westward to its end 
at Hollidaysburg, on the east side of the Alleghany range, 
where he expected to sell his boat. 

"But he found at this point a curious portage rail- 
road, thirty-six miles long, leading over the mountains 
to Johnstown, on the other branch of the canal. The rail- 
road agent told Cheesman not to sell his boat, because he 
would have to buy or build another on the west side. 
He said he could take Cheesman's family over the moun- 
tains, boat and all, if he would put the vessel on wheels. 
This was done, and the vessel and cargo started over the 
Alleghanies on the railroad. Horses and mules served as 
engines on some of the level stretches of track of this 
portage railroad, and stationary engines pulled them up the 
steep inclines, by winding up a long cable, one end of which 
was tied to the car. There were six inclines on each side 
of the mountain range, where stationary engines were 
necessary on account of the steep grades. 

"Cheesman's boat, starting at noon, rested at night 
on the top of the mountains, like Noah's ark on Ararat. 
Thie was done, too, without disturbing the family arrange- 


ment of cooking, eating and sleeping. The next morning 
the boat was let down in the same manner into the Ohio 
valley, launched in the canal at Johnstown, and sailed for 
Illinois. To cross this portage of thirty-six miles, Chees- 
man's boat was hitched to twelve stationary engines, twelve 
different mule teams, and nine locomotives. It took fifty- 
four trainmen and drivers to conduct him across, twelve engi- 
neers and twelve fireman for the stationary engines, nine 
of each for the locomotives, and twelve drivers of mules." 

Steamboats on Western Rivers. The first steamboat 
on the Ohio was built in 1811. It was six years before 
the first one landed at St. Louis. These early boats were 
not well suited for river use, because they were copied after 
deep sea vessels, and drew too much water. So, during 
the summer when the river was low, they were useless. 
Most of them used stern wheels, because Fulton had a 
patent on the side wheels, and made owners pay to use 
them. Early steamboats were poorly built and met with 
many accidents. Boilers blew up, and often they were 
stranded on sand bars or tree trunks hidden under the 
water. They went very slowly up stream, two or three 
miles an hour. 

A writer of that day gives the following description 
of a boat's human cargo: "In the cabin you will find 
ladies and gentlemen of various claims to merit, on the 
forward part of the boat, the sailors and firemen, full 
of noise and song, and too often, of whiskey; whilst above 
in the deck cabin there is everything which may be called 
human all sorts of men and women, of all trades, from 
all parts of the world, of all possible manners and habits. 
There is the half-horse and half-alligator Kentucky boat- 
man, swaggering and boasting of his prowess, his rifle, 
his horse, and his wife. One is sawing away on his wretched 
old fiddle all day long, another is grinding a knife or a 


razor; here is a party playing cards; and in yonder corner 
is a dance to the sound of a Jew's harp." 

The Overland Trip. It was no small task to provide 
roomy flatboats, or arks, for the live stock that many emi- 
grants wished to take with them to their new homes, so 
large numbers made the entire journey overland. 

For the overland trip to Illinois the ox-cart was much 
used. A yoke of oxen could draw an enormous load. 
They went at a snail's pace one and a half miles an 
hour. In the autumn, when the crops were harvested and 
the oxen were fat, and the roads dry and hard, farmers 
from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana could be seen, some- 
times singly, sometimes in caravans, making their way to the 
great West to try their fortune. Newspapers of that day 
often made mention of large parties passing. "On the 27th 
ult. quite a caravan of the hardy sons of Pennsylvania passed 
through this city on their way to Stephenson County, Illi- 
nois. There were fourteen wagons and sixty-one persons." 

One man, traveling through Indiana, towards Vin- 
cennes, counted four hundred emigrant's wagons in fifty- 
five miles. Some even traveled afoot. "Sometimes the 
light wagons containing the possessions of the movers 
were drawn by the people themselves, the head .of the 
family between the shafts of the wagon, harnessed with 
a collar and traces, while the rest of the family, according 
to their strength, pulled with ropes attached to various 
parts of the vehicle. Below the axle dangled pots and ket- 
tles of all sizes and forms. To a Yankee mover, a plow, a 
bed, a barrel of salty meat, a supply of tea and molasses, 
a Bible, and a wife, were the indispensable articles." 

Children Driving the Stock. In front usually rode 
on horseback, the eldest sons or daughters driving cows, 
sheep, and hogs. "To start off with a mixed drove of 
animals was no trifling affair, for, though they would 


drive pretty well after getting used to the road, their 
obstinacy and contrariety at first were surprising, and a 
boy to each animal was little enough. First a pig would 
dart back and run like a deer till he was headed and turned, 
by which time the others would meet him and all have to 
be driven up; while, in the meantime, a cow or two would 
be sailing down a by-lane with elevated head and tail, 
and a breathless boy circling through a field or the woods 
to intercept her career; and then the sheep would start 
over a broken piece of fence, the last following the first, 
and leaping higher over every obstacle, till they were brought 
back to the road." Sometimes the horses would get loose 
during the night, and, having a feeling of homesickness, 
they would make off toward the old home, leaving the 
family in great despair. 

In very hot weather the caravans traveled at night, 
and rested by day in some cool shade, near water and 
wood. When they camped, the fire was started, the cook- 
ing utensils brought out, and while the meal was cooking, 
the men unharnessed the tired horses, and put them out 
to graze on the open prairie, while the children skipped 
about, exploring the new surroundings. Beds were made 
up in the wagon, and sometimes, in good weather, upon 
the ground. 

In the morning there was a stir and bustle to get started. 
The stock was rounded up and driven on ahead. After 
breakfast, camp was broken and all were again moving 
westward. Fifteen miles was a good day's journey. 


1. What is meant by the present-day phrase, "back to the land"? 

2. Do the so-called "land-boomers" do more harm than good 
by their glowing descriptions of the beauties and profits of western 


3. Did the canals play as important a part in the settlement 
of the West as the ox-cart? 

4. Trace the journey of Cheesman's boat on the map, and note 
what great railway line closely follows that route today. 


"Booming." The first use of boom to indicate a rapid develop- 
ment occurred in the "St. Louis Globe-Democrat," July 18, 1878, 
in the sentence, "The Grant Movement is booming." The author, 
J. B. McCullogh, says in a letter to the editors of the Century Dic- 
tionary, "I can not explain how I came to use it, except that while 
on the gunboats on the Mississippi River during the war, I used to 
hear the pilots say of the river, when rising rapidly and overflowing 
its banks, that it was 'booming.' The idea I wished to convey 
was that the Grant Movement was rising, swelling, etc." 

The Expansion of the American People. In one year 97,736 
passengers left Buffalo for the West. During another year ninety 
vessels reached Detroit, one carrying seven hundred people. The 
first stanza of a song circulated in the eastern states to induce 
migration runs: 

Come, all ye Yankee farmers who wish to change your lot, 
Who've spunk enough to travel beyond your native spot, 
And leave behind the village where pa and ma do stay, 
Come, follow me and settle in Michigania. 

In a St. Louis paper an advertisement of the burlesque town of 
"Ne Plus Ultra" appeared. The streets were to be one mile in 
width, and the squares were sections of six hundred and forty acres 
each. In the heart of the city a road from Pekin to Jerusalem 
crossed another from the south pole to Symmes' hole at the 
north pole. EDWIN ERLE SPARKS. 


History of Immigration. Lend a Hand, Vol. II, Page 276. 
Early Illinois. Mason. 
History of Illinois. Carpenter. 
History of Illinois. Moses. 
History of Illinois. Ford. 


The representative Yankee, selling his farm, wanders away to 
seek new lands, to clear new cornfields, to build another shingle pal- 
ace, and again to sell off and wander. ANONYMOUS. 


Black Hawk War Checks Western Immigration. When 
Black Hawk and his nation took the war-path, in 1832, 
all the outlying settlements became greatly alarmed. Not 
knowing at what hour of night they might be awakened 
by the warwhoop, they made haste to seek safety. Some 
took their belongings and returned to their old homes in 
the South. Others withdrew southward to the nearest 
settlements or block houses. Stories of Indian barbarity 
were told in the Atlantic states, and the enthusiasm for 
prairie homes soon cooled. 

A New Route to the West. After the Black Hawk 
war was over and the prairies cleared of red men, immi- 
gration set in stronger than ever, but coming now mainly 
from New York and New England. The opening of the 
Erie Canal, 1825, made the trip from the Hudson River 
to Buffalo an easy one, while steam vessels on the Great 
Lakes enabled the emigrants from Buffalo to reach Chicago 
quickly and easily. This northern route to Illinois now 
became very popular with the Yankee farmers, who came 
in such swarms as to quickly seize hold of the northern and 
central parts of our state. 

Steamers on the Great Lakes. The first steamer that 
ever floated on Lake Erie, called Walk-in-the- Water, 



in the old 


I -Vj New England Settlements 



reached Detroit in 1818, and the next year proceeded to 
Mackinac, where the savages were made to believe that 
the strange looking vessel, with neither oars nor sails, 
was drawn by a huge team of trained sturgeon. It was 
several years, however, before the first steamer reached 
Chicago. The first one arrived in 1832, bearing provisions 
for the army that was fighting Black Hawk. The number 
of steamboats on the lakes increased wonderfully in the 
next few years. 

Where Immigrants Left the Lakes. In 1834, eighty 
thousand emigrants departed from Buffalo westward. 
Some of these left the lake at Erie, Pennsylvania, and fol- 
lowed the Indian trail to the headwaters of the Ohio. 
Others, among whom was Stephen A. Douglas, stopped 
off at Cleveland, and directed their course toward the 
Ohio. Still others left the lake at Toledo, ascended the 
Maumee river, as General Hamilton had done years 
before, and came down the Wabash to Vincennes. A con- 
siderable number took their course through the forests 
from Detroit, either to the Kankakee, which they followed 
to the Illinois river, or around the southern end of Lake 
Michigan to Chicago. 

Steamboats to Chicago Increase. But after the steam- 
boats began regular trips to Chicago, most of the Yankee 
farmers bound for Illinois came to this city. There were 
four arrivals of boats at Chicago the first season, the next 
year nearly two hundred, and in 1836 the number had grown 
to four hundred fifty. 

A Chicago paper in 1835 said: "Almost all the vessels 
from the lower lakes are full of passengers, and our streets 
are thronged with wagons loaded with household furniture 
and the implements necessary to farming. Foot passengers, 
too, with well filled sacks on their shoulders, come in 
large numbers." 


Final Journey by Stage. Stage lines ran from Chicago, 
carrying these newcomers in all directions. The chief one 
followed the state road to Danville. Another carried 
passengers to the Kankakee, where they took boat for 
central Illinois or St. Louis. In 1839, the Frink and 
Bingham stage line from Chicago to Galena advertised 
the journey of one hundred sixty miles by stage, in two 
days, the passenger's fare being twelve and one-half 
dollars. Many immigrants purchased their teams and 
wagons in Chicago, laid in a supply of implements and 
provisions, and started off to find a home. The roads 
were miry in places, and the teams often stuck in the mud. 
Then followed a long wait for some mover to approach. 
By double-teaming they pulled each other across. 

Yankees Meet Southerners in Central Illinois. These 
immigrants from New England were farmers who knew 
very little about pioneer life. They differed very much 
from the woodland-pioneers, who, with their slaves, had 
settled the entire wooded region of southern Illinois. This 
northern or prairie pioneer, brought with him, instead 
of a rifle and hunting knife, his oxen and farming tools. 
With him came the merchant, the schoolmaster and 
the preacher. 

The Yankees quickly took possession of all the wood- 
lands of northern Illinois. Knowing little of how to farm 
the open prairies, they refused to abandon the timbered 
regions until they were all taken. Then some moved out 
on the higher prairies, and fortune smiled on them. 

These prairie pioneers came in such numbers that they 
soon overflowed southward, meeting, in the central part 
of the state, the woodland pioneers from the South, who had 
seized upon the timbered river valleys. The Yankee 
farmers elbowed their way between the wooded regions, 
seizing upon the open prairies. 


Problems of the Prairia Pioneers. Under those new 
conditions there were some hard problems for the prairie 
pioneers to solve. First, he must build a house for his 
family. If his prairie home was within a few miles of tim- 
ber, he might, if he had the money, buy logs for a cabin. 
But, if he had settled twenty or thirty miles from wood- 
lands, he had to be satisfied with a clay or sod house. The 
latter was built of sods about two feet long, eighteen inches 
wide, and four inches thick, cut fresh from the prairies. 
These were laid upon each other after the manner of brick- 
laying, and held firm by wooden pegs driven through two 
or more layers. To roof it, shingles had to be drawn with 
ox teams from Chicago, fifty or one hundred miles away. 
By the time the farmer got his lumber to his cabin it had 
cost him such unheard-of prices that few could afford it. 
Usually the pioneer had to be contented at first with a roof 
of thatch or straw. 

After a time some one introduced a sawmill. This 
venture proved so profitable that soon scores of mills were 
set up in the timber belt. The trees were sliced up so fast 
that the mud cabins rapidly disappeared, and comfortable 
frame houses took their places. 

Plowing the Prairie Sod. The next problem of the 
prairie farmer was to get his fields ready for planting a 
crop. He did not have to clear his ground of trees, to be 
sure, but it was a difficult job to plow the tough sod of the 
prairie. It was as tough as leather, and neither a single 
team of horses nor oxen could turn it over with a plowshare. 
What could the farmer do? At last ox teams to the number 
of three, four, five, and even six yoke were used, hitched to 
a pair of cart wheels, and these to a plow with a beam four- 
teen feet long, and a share which weighed anywhere from 
sixty to one hundred twenty-five pounds. 

This cut a furrow from sixteen to thirty inches wide, 


and a few inches deep. Shallow plowing proved the best, 
as it killed the prairie grass by exposing the roots to the 
hot sun. The expense of hiring this first plowing done was 
greater than the cost of the land itself. The first season 
brought a fair crop, and in a few years the black prairie 
soil was yielding immense returns. 

The Pioneer Builds Fences. But the farmer had to 
protect his crop from stock, and so needed fences. Along 
the wooded valleys this was a simple problem, for rails 
could be split out of trees and a fence made of them. 
Farther from timber, this could not be done. These 
Yankee farmers knew how to build a fence out of stones, 
as they had done in the East, but there were no stones 
on the prairie. Sod fences were tried, but cows and pigs 
climbed over them into the cornfields, unless they were 
strengthened by a rail or board along the top. Hedges 
were planted, but they would not turn Mr. Hog, besides, 
weeds and grass grew in them, and that helped to spread 
dangerous prairie fires. Board, or picket fences were too 
expensive. Some farmers followed the plan of fencing 
in enough for the cattle, hogs, and sheep, and farming 
the prairie without a fence. Newcomers frequently raised 
crops of corn without protection. During the day, the boys 
kept stray cattle off, and at night the crop took its chances. 
This difficulty of finding the proper fence was not met until 
wire was used for this purpose. 

It was impossible to protect crops against gophers and 
prairie chickens, which often dug up two or three plantings 
of corn. Gopher hunts, to kill off these pests, became 
popular. The prairie wolves were more dangerous. They 
would steal pigs and lambs, and rob hencoops. On holidays 
hunts were organized to run them down. 

Finding a Market. The black prairie soil on ten thou- 
sand farms was producing immense crops. The farmer's 


corn cribs were bulging out. His wheat and oat bins 
were full to overflowing, and his cattle and horses were 
sleek and fat, but he was not contented. To be sure, he 
was raising many times more grain and stock than his 
family could use, but where could he sell his surplus? 
There were few cities in Illinois where much farm produce 
was wanted. So the farmer fed corn to cattle and hogs, 
because they could walk to market. Such vast quantities 
were raised that it had to be shipped to the Atlantic cities 
to find a market. Those who happened to live near large 
rivers, such as the Wabash, Illinois, Ohio, and Mississippi, 
could ship by water on the Mississippi and the Atlantic 
to the eastern cities. But this was a long, long voyage, 
and the sea trip dangerous. The farmer found it better 
to sell his produce to a steamer at the landing than to 
have no market at all. 

"The Ohio was now, 1825, dotted with floating shops. 
At the sound of a horn, the inhabitants of a village, or 
the settler and his family, would come to the river to 
find a dry-goods boat fitted with counters, seats and 
shelves piled high with finery of every sort, making fast 
to the bank. Now it would be a tinner's establishment, 
within which articles of every description were made, 
sold and mended; now a smithy, where horses and oxen 
were shod and wagons repaired; again, a factory for the 
manufacture of axes, scythes and edged tools." The 
farmer could here exchange grain or stock for clothing, 
cooking utensils, furniture, and farm tools. 

National Road a Friend to the Farmer. By 1840, the 
Cumberland National road had been extended, at a cost 
of $7,000,000, through Columbus, Indianapolis and Van- 
dalia, to St. Louis. It played an important part in the 
life of the West, enabling people to travel overland easily 
between the Atlantic seaboard and the Mississippi. Traffic 


on this road was very heavy in both directions. Drovers 
gathered up sheep, cattle and hogs from the prairie farms 
and drove them to the eastern markets along this pike. 
Emigrants from Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania nocked 
to Illinois over this route. But it was out of the question 
for farmers to haul their wheat and oats a thousand miles 
to Baltimore, even over this good road, to find a purchaser; 
besides, this pike was convenient for those only who lived 
along it 

Farmers who had settled near Lake Michigan found a 
ready market at Chicago, where their stock was slaughtered 
and their grain shipped east by way of the Great Lakes 
and the Erie Canal. 

The Long Haul of the Inland Settler. The inland 
counties were dotted with farms and granaries bursting 
with golden grain, but there were no buyers short of 
Chicago, a hundred miles away. Here the inland farmer 
must go to sell hi,3 grain, and buy the things he had to 
have. Once or twice a year he set out on this long trip. 
Sometimes farmers clubbed together, loaded two or three 
wagons, hitched two or three yoke of oxen to each, and 
away across the prairie they toiled. The trip took two 
weeks or more. Their wheat was not put into bags, but 
was shoveled loose into the wagon box which was lined 
with a sheet. It was not uncommon to see a hundred 
such wagons a day on the state road between Chicago 
and Galena. The roads were poor and muddy much of 
the year, and few streams were bridged. So, there arose 
among the farmers a demand for good roads, canals and 
railroads, which even yet has not been fully answered. 

Great Improvements Needed. Our state is so vast 
and was settled so quickly that it was impossible to do 
many things that needed to be done. The heaviest taxes 
that could have been laid would not have brought in 


enough money to cut out half the roads, or build half 
the bridges required, or clear half the streams so boats 
could run on them. The people, however, insisted on these 
improvements. The craze for canals, railroads and river 
improvements was so overwhelming that the State Leg- 
islature undertook to carry out the people's wishes. 

Congress Gives Illinois a Vast Land Grant. The Illinois- 
Michigan Canal was already under way. Through the 
efforts of Daniel P. Cook, our representative in Congress, 
the government had granted to Illinois two hundred 
twenty-five thousand acres of public land along the route 
of the canal. This land was to be sold by the state, and the 
proceeds used to build the waterway. But farm lands in 
those days, could be had for two dollars an acre, therefore 
the sale of this land could bring but a small part of what the 
canal would cost. 

So, the state was compelled to borrow millions for this 
project. When completed, this canal would accommodate 
only the people who happened to live along its path 
between La Salle and Chicago. Now, Illinois is a big state, 
and the people in every section of it demanded their share 
of these improvements so they could get to market. The 
men whom they elected to the Legislature foolishly tried 
to do it all at once. Railroads were surveyed in all direc- 
tions, and the great task begun. 

Illinois Borrows Heavily. A state can borrow money 
by selling its bonds. Whoever sells bonds agrees to pay 
interest on them, and to buy them back at a certain time, 
at their face value. So the state government, being unable 
to raise enough money from taxes at that time to pay 
even the ordinary expenses, began to sell its bonds by the 
millions, to build the railroads and canals. 

Bonds Sold, in Europe. Men were sent to New York 
and other eastern cities with loads of state bonds to market. 


They kept putting the price down, so that people would 
buy them. When this failed to bring in enough money, 
salesmen were sent to Europe to dispose of more bonds, and 
they had to sell them very cheap to get rid of them a 
hundred-dollar bond, for as little as thirty dollars. 

Huge Debt Piled up. The state was soon saddled with 
such a huge debt that people at last refused to buy her 
bonds at any price, fearing that she could never redeem 
them. Before the people came to their senses, they had 
piled up a debt of nearly fourteen million dollars, and it 
began to look as though the state could not even pay the 
interest on this huge sum. 

Then the bubble burst; the money ran out; and no 
more could be borrowed, so all work on improvements 
had to cease. The state was nearly ruined; a hundred- 
dollar state bond was worth but fourteen dollars; and 
people began to talk of repudiating the whole debt, that 
is, simply refusing ever to pay it. This would have been 
a great disgrace to our state, and we are glad to know 
that it did not happen, for Illinois paid every dollar of 
this stupendous obligation. 

Illinois Fails in Business. After the crash came, and 
the state was bankrupt, it was found that only twenty- 
five miles of railroad were finished that between Mere- 
dosia and Jacksonville. An engine was put on this track, 
but it could not pay expenses. It was, therefore, taken off, 
and mule teams were used to pull the cars for a few years, 
when the road was sold to a private company. Though the 
state had spent and wasted a million in building this short 
road, it was given away for barely twenty thousand dollars. 

The Canal Saved. What should the people do now? 
The rich prairie farms were almost worthless unless the 
produce raised on them could be got to a market. The 
people declared that the canal, at least, should not be 

' I: 





given up. Chicago had donated thousands of dollars 
towards its building, but this, too, had been spent. So, 
for a certain time, the canal was to be turned over to those 
who had bought our bonds, provided they would furnish 
the $160,000 necessary to finish it. At last this was done, 
and the Illinois-Michigan canal was completed in 1848. 

Canal Pays Results. It was one hundred miles long, 
sixty feet wide at the surface, and six feet deep. It had 
cost in all six and one half million dollars, but it earned 
enough in thirty years, together with the money obtained 
from land sales, to pay it all back. General Thornton was 
the first to pass through the canal, and the event was cele- 
brated along the way by the booming of cannon, speeches 
and enthusiastic meetings. This water road brought 
more business to Chicago, gave the farmers and mer- 
chants along its route cheap conveyance for their prod- 
uce and goods, and caused a boom in real estate all along 
the line. Upon the arrival in Ottawa of the first barge 
load of lumber from Chicago, the price dropped from sixty 
dollars a thousand feet to thirty, and it went still lower. 

The Chicago to Cairo Railroad. As early as 1835, 
Judge Sidney Breese suggested that it would be a fine 
thing to build a railroad across the state from Chicago 
to Cairo. During the craze for improvements, the state 
actually built a few .miles of this line, as we have seen, 
but gave it up. Since Congress had donated so many 
thousand acres of land to Illinois to help her build her 
canal, Breese and Douglas, at that time our senators, 
urged that body to give another splendid grant to assist 
in building this railroad. 

Another Generous Gift. Year after year, their bill was 
defeated in one house or the other, but they kept bring- 
ing it before Congress. Finally, in 1850, Illinois received 
the magnificent donation of two and one-half million 


acres along the route of the proposed railroad, to be used 
as the state saw fit in helping to build the road. 

The Illinois Central. Since the state itself had made 
such a failure in building-improvements a few years before, 
it was thought best to turn this fine land grant over to 
some private company which might thus be induced to do 
the work. This was done, and the Illinois Central received 
three thousand seven hundred acres of land for every mile 
of railroad it was to build. The main line from Cairo to 
La Salle, three hundred and one miles, was completed in 
1855. It was extended to Chicago the next year. Another 
line ran from La Salle, via Galena, to Dunleith. 

What the Illinois Central Pays the State. In return 
for the land, the railroad was to pay the state each year 
seven per cent, of its gross earnings. It is claimed that 
Illinois has received from the railroad, during the last 
fifty years, enough to build all our fine state institutions, 
including the magnificent state capitol at Springfield. 

The Illinois Central proved a great blessing to the 
people near it and to Chicago, which soon sprang to the 
front as the largest city west of the Alleghanies. The 
prairie farms quickly doubled in value. The state has 
now become a net-work of railroads reaching out to the 
farms and towns in every corner of its domain. Today 
one can scarcely find a spot in all Illinois where he can not 
see the smoke or hear the whistle of a locomotive. 

Illinois Farmers Need Pikes. The flat surface of most 
of our state, with the slow drainage, makes our wagon 
roads fearfully muddy and almost impassable in the wet 
season. For years the prairie farmer has longed for good 
hard wagon roads. But now, with the coming of the 
automobile, the cities, too, are urging the need of limestone 
pikes. This is a task to be accomplished, perhaps, by the 
boys and girls who read this book. 



1. What, effect did the early Indian wars have on immigration 
to Illinois? 

2. Trace three routes by which settlers from the Kast came to 
this state. 

3. Which in your opinion has been of greater value to the farmer, 
the wire fence or the mowing machine? 

4. Write a short history of the construction of the National 

5. Tell the story of the Illinois-Michigan Canal. 


The National Road. With the tinkling of bells, the rumbling 
of the wheels, the noise of the animals and the chatter of the people 
as they went forward, the little boy who had gone to the road from 
his lonesome home in the woods was captivated and carried away 
into the great active world. But the greatest wonder and delight 
of all was the stage coach, radiant in new paint, and drawn by its 
four matched horses in their showy harness, and filled inside and on 
top with well dressed people. I think yet that there has never 
been a more graceful or handsome turnout than one of these fine old 
stage coaches drawn by a team of matched horses and driven by 
such drivers as used to handle the ribbons between Richmond and 
Indianapolis. We could hear the driver playing his bugle as he 
approached the little town, and it all seemed too grand and fine to 
be other than a dream. 

B. S. PARKER, in the Ohio Valley Journal. 

The Road Today. Gradually, after the coming of the railroads, 
the glory of the National Road declined, until at last it was just 
a common highway, lacking its stage coaches, its carriers, its train 
of immigrant wagons. Once the "broad highway" of the country, 
over which passed rich and poor, the resplendent stage coach, and 
the poor immigrant's two-wheeled cart, it is now but an ordinary 
road over which the farmer jogs to market, disturbed now and 
then by the passing of an automobile, or an electric trolley on the 
track that follows along by the road. The glory and glamour of 
its past are gone, but we should cherish the memory of these golden 
days as one of the most interesting chapters in the annals of our 
early history. ROBERT JUDSON ALEY. 


Shall the United States the free United States, which could not 
bear the bonds of a king cradle the bondage which a king is abolish- 
ing? Shall a Republic be less free than a Monarchy? Shall we, in the 
vigor and buoyancy of our manhood, be less energetic in righteousness 
than a kingdom in its age? Dr. Fallen's Address. 


The First Slaves in Illinois. Slaves were first brought 
into the Illinois country at an early date. The French 
were hardly well settled in the American Bottom, when 
one Philip Renault was employed by a French company 
to come to Upper Louisiana, as the Illinois country was 
then called, and develop mines. He gathered two hun- 
dred miners-and laborers, and set sail from France in 1719. 

On his way across the Atlantic, Renault stopped at 
San Domingo and purchased five hundred black slaves. 
With these he pushed on to the mouth of the Mississippi 
and sailed slowly up this broad river, until he finally landed 
and established headquarters at a place which he named 
St. Philip, not far from Kaskaskia. 

Renault immediately sent out parties in all directions 
to locate the gold and silver, which he hoped would soon 
make him and his company immensely rich. He found 
plenty of Indians, buffaloes and wild game, but no gold. 
After about twenty years spent in fruitless searching, 
he gave up in discouragement, sold his slaves to the French 
colonists, and returned to France. 

Slaves Do Not Increase. .The number of slaves in the 
Illinois country did not increase very rapidly, though a 



few more were brought up from New Orleans. Thirty 
years after Renault came, a French missionary to the 
Illinois Indians wrote, "In the five French villages there 
are, perhaps, eleven hundred whites, three hundred blacks, 
and some sixty red slaves or savages." 

Thus we learn that Indians as well as negroes were 
held in slavery here. A few years later, 1763, when France 
gave the Illinois country to England, there were nine 
hundred slaves counted. But many of the French colonists, 
not wishing to live under English rule, moved to St. Louis 
or New Orleans, taking their slaves with them. This 
reduced the number. 

Uncle Sam Receives Illinois With Her Slaves. While 
England ruled over this country northwest of the Ohio, 
she did not interfere with slavery, and so, at the close 
of the Revolution, the country of Illinois came into the 
hands of the United States with slavery firmly established. 

When Virginia gave up to Uncle Sam her claims to 
the Illinois country, 1784, she did so upon the condition 
that tht; French inhabitants of Kaskaskia and neighbor- 
ing villages be allowed to retain their property and their 
rights. The French understood from this that they might 
continue to hold their slaves unmolested, for, "surely," 
they said, "our slaves are our property." 

The Ordinance of 1787 Forbids Slavery. Soon, how- 
ever, Congress passed the ordinance of 1787, which, among 
other things, prohibited slavery in the Northwest Terri- 
tory. The slave owners were much disturbed, and many 
planned to move across the Mississippi into Spanish 
territory, but Governor St. Clair said he understood the 
Ordinance to mean that no more slaves were to be brought 
into the territory, though the people might keep those 
they already had. The governors who succeeded St. Clair 
believed the same way, and soon everybody came to accept 


this view. In this manner slavery continued in Illinois 
under a law that forbade it. 

Desire for More Slaves. But there were not slaves 
enough in the territory to go around. Many new settlers 
were coming into Illinois from southern states where they 
had always had slaves. These newcomers thought they 
had as much right to have slaves as the older French 
settlers, and they besought Congress to change the Ordi- 
nance, so as to allow other slaves to be brought in. They 
sent petition after petition to Congress, but no attention 
was paid to them. After the purchase of Louisiana, while 
Illinois was yet a part of the Indiana Territory, the slave 
holders begged to have Illinois set off from Indiana and 
joined to Louisiana, so as to make it slave soil. When 
Congress refused to do this, the slave holders hatched a 
scheme to evade the law, for they were determined, by 
hook or crook, to have negro servants to do their work. 

Plan to Evade the Law. They remembered how in 
early Virginia days, white immigrants had been bound out 
for a term of years to pay for their fares across the Atlantic. 
They were called indentured servants. Southern immigrants 
to Illinois hit upon this plan to secure slaves in the territory. 
Negroes were brought in freely and bound out to service, until 
everybody who could afford them had these black servants. 

In order that this kind of slavery might appear lawful, 
the people had their Territorial Assembly pass a number 
of laws, fixing the term of service, and the rights and 
duties of masters. These laws, passed in 1805 and 1807, 
came to be called the "Black Laws." 

"The Black Laws." Under these laws 'all male negroes, 
under fifteen years of age, must serve till thirty-five years 
of age; women till thirty-two. Children born to persons 
of color during the period of service could be bound out, 
the boys for thirty years, and the girls for twenty-eight." 





XJACK-I Un4 ; ',.., .<s 


(Shaded Parts Indicate Slave Counties) 


The names of these servants had to be registered with 
the County Clerk' where they lived. Ninian Edwards, 
the first Governor of Illinois, entered his servants as follows: 

"Rose, twenty-three years of age, for thirty-five years: 
Anthony, forty years old, for fifteen years: 
Maria, fifteen years of age, for forty-five years: 
Jesse, twenty-five years of age, for thirty-five years of service." 

Many masters paid no attention whatever to the law, 
and registered servants for as long as they wished. In 
Madison County records is the following: 

"1817, November 6, Peter, aged seventeen, bound 
to serve ninety-nine years." 

No one took the trouble to prosecute these law breakers, 
because so many were guilty. Besides, those were free and 
easy days, settlements were scattered, and laws hard to 
enforce. Thus we see that slavery went on in southern 
Illinois about the same as in a southern slave state. 

Illinois a Slave or Free State. During the early days 
not much had been said as to whether it was right or 
wrong to enslave negroes, "to eat one's bread in the sweat 
of another's brow," as Lincoln said. But now that the 
people wished to make a state of their territory, they began 
taking sides on the slavery question. Some wished to 
make Illinois an open slave state. Others were convinced 
that slavery was a moral evil, and that it would hinder the 
growth and settlement of their state. A third party wished 
to continue the "indenture system," because they feared 
that Congress would not admit Illinois with a slave con- 
stitution, and it would be better to compromise than to 
lose all. Besides, they felt that indentured servants were 
almost as satisfactory as slaves. There was indeed little 
difference. This last party finally won in the Constitutional 
Convention at Kaskaskia. in 1818, and Congress accepted 


the Illinois constitution with the "indenture system," 
and made the territory a state. 

The New Constitution and the Slave. The new state 
constitution made no change in the term of servants already 
indentured. All these unfortunate blacks must serve their 
terms, however long. -But children of indentured servants 
were to become free, boys at twenty-one, girls at eighteen. 
No new indenture contracts could be made for more than one 
year, and even then the servant's consent must be obtained. 

To have the legal terms reduced from thirty-five years 
to one year seemed a long step toward freedom for the poor 
slaves, but it did not work out that way, for masters usually 
forced their ignorant negroes to renew their contracts year 
after year. And so little relief came to negro servants by 
the change from territorial to state government. However, 
the number of blacks brought in from the South grad- 
ually decreased. 

Demand for a Slave Constitution in Illinois. When the 
question of admitting Missouri as a slave or free state 
came up in Congress, Daniel P. Cook, the able representa- 
tive from Illinois, made bold attacks on slavery, and 
many Illinois people at home took a lively interest in the 
Missouri contest, throwing their influence against slavery. 
This, of course, angered the Missouri slave holders, who 
resolved to retaliate by stirring up trouble in Illinois, 
and thus to give the anti-slavery people of Illinois enough 
to do at home. So they persuaded the pro-slavery ele- 
ment in Illinois to demand a change in their constitution 
so as to make slavery legal. 

Now, the only way to change the Illinois Constitution 
was for the Legislature to pass a resolution favoring a 
convention and then submit this resolution to the people. 
If a majority of them favored it, a convention would be 
called to consider the proposed changes. 


Slave Holders Confident. The pro-slavery people felt 
certain that they could control the convention to their 
liking, provided the Legislature would only start the move- 
ment by passing a resolution, and provided also, that the 
people voted in favor of a convention at an election held 
for that purpose. So secret plans were made to bring about 
a convention and fasten slavery upon Illinois forever. These 
plans, however, were disclosed and spread broadcast. This 
made such a stir that the attempt was postponed a few 

Immigrants to Missouri Stir Up Slavery. In the mean- 
time Missouri, a slave state, had been set up along the 
western border of Illinois, and wealthy emigrants were 
passing through Illinois with their flocks and slaves. They 
refused to stop in Illinois because it was not open to slavery. 
Even the poor emigrant from the South with his worn-out 
old horse and broken down wagon, who had never owned a 
slave, likewise refused to make the Prairie State his home, 
for the same reason. One of those who did not own enough 
"plunder to buy a cat," on being asked why he did not stop 
in Illinois, replied, "Well, sir, your sile is mighty fertile, 
but a man can't own niggers here, gol durn you!" The 
pro-slavery men in Illinois used this as an argument to 
prove that slavery would be a good thing for the state, as 
it would attract new settlers. So they began to push their 
plans to change the state constitution. 

The Slave Holders Start the Fight. The time seemed 
ripe in 1822, when it became necessary to elect a new Gov- 
ernor, a Representative to Congress, and also members to 
the state Legislature. The contest for Governor was won 
by Edward Coles, an opponent of slavery, who had emi- 
grated from Virginia some years before. He had brought 
his slaves with him and had set them free. Cook, also an 
opponent of slavery, as we have seen, was reflected to 


Congress, but the supporters of slavery elected a majority 
to the Legislature. 

Governor Coles Urges the Negro's Rights. As soon 
as he was inaugurated, Governor Coles set about improv- 
ing the condition of the negro. He recommended the repeal 
of the infamous "Black Laws," and asked the Legislature 
for a severe law to punish the kidnaping of free negroes. 
But the Legislature turned a deaf ear to his appeals. 

It soon appeared that the pro-slavery legislators were 
bent upon passing the resolution for a constitutional con- 
vention. It was introduced in the Senate, and passed by 
that body. But when it came to be voted on in the House, 
it was defeated by two votes. There was much excitement, 
and a determined effort was made to win over two votes 
and reconsider the question. The pro-slavery men adopted 
the motto," The Convention or Death." They hesitated 
at no means that might win the two votes. Slave holders 
from Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri were present in 
.the corridors stimulating sentiment in favor of slavery. 

Two Votes Won and One Lost. News of the contest 
spread like wildfire over the state, and soon a flood of let- 
ters poured in upon the members, some favoring, others 
opposing the resolution. At last Mr. Rattan, of Green 
County, announced that the sentiment in his county was 
in favor of the convention and that he would change his 
vote accordingly. Likewise Mr. McFatridge, of Johnson 
County, was won over by the promise to change the county 
seat in his county. 

The pro-slavery men now thought there could be no 
hitch, so they brought the resolution to a vote again. 
When the result was announced they were dumfounded, 
for the resolution was again lost by but one vote. Their 
anger knew no bounds when they discovered that Repre- 
sentative Hansen, of Pike County, had, at the last minute, 


changed sides and voted against them. While a few weeks 
before the House had decided unanimously that Hansen 
was fairly elected to his seat, the pro-slavery members 
were now bound to reverse that vote, take his office from 
him and give it to his opponent. This they could do by a 
mere majority vote. 

How the Slave Owners Won. That night excitement 
ran high. Men and boys burned Hansen in effigy; they 
marched through the city, blowing horns, beating drums 
and tin pans, shouting "The Convention or Death"; they 
went to the homes of Governor Coles and the friends 
of freedom and gave cat-calls, followed by three groans 
for Hansen and three cheers for the convention. The 
next day a vote was hurriedly taken, by which they 
unseated Hansen and gave his place in the House to his 
opponent, whom they had unanimously declared a few 
weeks before had no right whatever to it. Hansen's 
opponent, of course, had promised to vote with them. 
The resolution was then taken up for the third time, and 

The Resolution and the People. Great was the rejoic- 
ing of the slavery advocates. The victory was celebrated 
by a noisy torch-light procession, with beating of drums 
and great shouting, with cheers and groans. But their 
high-handed behavior soon acted as a boomerang. The 
news spread quickly over the state, and the infamous and 
unjust way in which they had ousted Hansen turned many 
against the convention. 

Now at last the people were to vote on the question 
of calling the convention, and both sides girded themselves 
for the battle. Open slavery in Illinois was hanging in the 
balance. The result of the election would decide whether 
the Prairie State should become slave soil or continue to be 
numbered among the free states. 


Newspapers Take Sides. At first the pro-slavery side 
seemed to he gaining in influence and confidence. News- 
papers of the South took up their cause, and likewise 
the St. Louis papers, which had a considerable circulation 
in Illinois. Besides, four out of the five newspapers then 
published within the state favored slavery. For a while 
the pro-slavery advocates denied that the purpose of 
calling a convention was in order to fasten slavery upon 
the state. But, it was all too evident, and they soon boldly 
admitted it. 

The Convention and Freedom. The anti-slavery forces 
were not without strong supporters. They adopted the 
battle cry, "No Convention and Freedom," and set about 
the task of arousing the people to the dangers threaten- 
ing their free state. A large number of ministers and 
many influential writers espoused their cause. Governor 
Coles gave his entire salary to fight the call for the con- 

The People Vote the Resolution Down. The resolution 
passed the Legislature in February, while the election was 
not to occur till a year from the following August. So, 
there was plenty of time for working the people into 
a fever heat. As the election day approached, every citizen 
took part in the struggle. Neighbors wrangled and even 
resorted to blows. The topic was debated from every 
platform and pulpit. Families became divided, and com- 
merce almost ceased till the burning question could be 
settled. At last the fateful second of August (1824) came. 
It was a day of excitement and controversy. When night 
put an end to the struggle, it was found that the friends 
of freedom had won and the convention call had been 
defeated by 1,668 votes. 

The Result of the Fight. The result of that day's 
battle was far-reaching. It decided that Illinois was to 


remain permanently among the free states. For this 
reason, emigrants ceased to come into the state from the 
South, because they saw that the great battle for slavery 
in Illinois had been fought and lost. On the other hand, 
pioneers from the North and East flocked in to take pos- 
session of the free, fertile prairies. 


1. By what means and for what purpose were slaves first brought, 
to Illinois? 

2. What conditions made slave labor more profitable to their 
owners in the South than in Illinois? 

3. What were some of the features of the "Black Laws"? 

4. Give the story of the conflict between the anti-slavery and 
pro-slavery advocates in Illinois. 

5. Is there any phase of labor in the great cities today that is 
more objectionable than slavery as practiced in Illinois in 1842? 


A Slave in Illinois. No matter under what name the farmers 
held their negroes whether as "servants," "yellow boys," or "yel- 
low girls" the fact still remained that slavery existed in the Terri- 
tory of Illinois as completely as in any of the Southern States. 
It was not limited to the settlements and towns along the Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers, but was practiced all over the southern portion 
of what is now the State of Illinois. RUFUS BLANCHARD. 

A Man for Sale. On Monday morning at ten o'clock, Sheriff 
Lowe will sell at or near the jail, to the highest bidder, Edwin Heath- 
cock, now confined for being free, to pay the legal expenses for hold- 
ing him on suspicion of being a slave. The solid men of Chicago 
are requested to be present and witness the first man-sale in our 
county. Poster distributed in Chicago. 


History of Negro Servitude in Illinois. Harris. 
Slavery in the Border States. Eliott. 
Beacon Lights of History. Lord. 
History of Illinois. Ford. 


He's true to God who's true to man, wherever wrong is done, 
To the humblest and the weakest, 'neath the all-beholding sun. 
That wrong is also done to us; and they are slaves most base, 
Whose love of right is for themselves, and not for all the race. 



Slavery Goes On as Before. While the people of 
Illinois fought desperately to prevent their soil from becom- 
ing open slave territory, they were not yet ready to stamp 
it out altogether. As soon as they had defeated the call for 
a convention they allowed the subject to drop. Everybody 
seemed anxious to forget about the bitter struggle. No 
attempt whatever was made to do away with indentured 
servitude. Slavery went on as before, and the "Black 
Laws" remained in force. 

How Slaves Were Treated. Indentured negroes were 
whipped for laziness or misbehavior. When not needed 
at home, they were often rented out. A year's service 
was worth about one hundred dollars. They were fre- 
quently sold at auction, just as in the cotton states, 
except that in Illinois the slave's consent had first to be 
obtained. But this served as no check, because if the 
servant refused his consent, his treatment became so harsh 
that he was glad to exchange masters. The price of a 
black boy or girl was from three hundred to six hundred 
dollars, according to size, health, and the length of the term 
of servitude. 



The newspapers of those days contained many adver- 
tisements offering servants for sale, along with horses and 
cattle. The following appeared in the Kaskaskia Repub- 
lican, May 2, 1842: 



Offers For Sale the Estate of the Late Marie L. 
Blais, to wit: 

One mulatto woman, 28 years. 
One mulatto man, 21 years. 
Two mulatto girls, 10 and 8 years. 
One mulatto boy, 5 years. 

Also Hogs, Horses, Cattle and Sheep; Household 
Furniture and Farming Tools. 

Negroes were also bequeathed by will. One Benjamin 
Kuykendall willed to Polly Gatten his negro boy, David, 
"to have and to hold as her own property, from this time 
forth and forever." 

New Laws Tighten the Shackles. Some new laws were 
even enacted which made it almost impossible for a slave 
to get his freedom. He was forbidden to act as a witness 
in court against any white person. What hope was there 
for him to get justice when he could not even testify to the 
truth? Every law seemed designed to tighten the shackles 
of the slave. 


The Lot of the Free Negroes. But the lot of the free 
negroes in Illinois was a hard one. They were looked 
upon as a necessary evil. They had neither the protection 
of the laws nor the right to vote, and of course no chance 
to get an education. Public sentiment did not permit 
them to own property. Colored persons found within the 
state without freedom papers could be arrested and sold 
at auction by the sheriff for one year's service. , 

The Negroes Kidnaped. There grew up also the evil 
practice of kidnaping free negroes and carrying them 
back to the cotton states to be sold to the highest bidder. 
Severe laws were made in Illinois to stop this infamous 
business. Kidnapers were to be put in the pillory, to 
receive from twenty-five to one hundred lashes, and to be 
fined one thousand dollars. But the law was not enforced, 
and kidnaping increased and became very profitable. 
Young negroes brought good prices. It was easy to make a 
hundred dollars or more, apiece. 

How This Evil Business Was Managed. For the pur- 
pose of kidnaping negroes, two or three persons usually 
worked together. One stationed himself at a border town 
like St. Louis, and advertised himself as a slave merchant. 
He planned the measures and means of getting away with 
whatever prey was turned over to him. The others scoured 
the country looking for free negroes. They used various 
inducements to get the negro to the border town. Any kind 
of promise or threat was used to entice the negro on board 
a boat or wagon, and then under cover of darkness, all 
haste was made to get out of the county before the sheriff 
could overtake them. Once out of the county, they were 
among strangers and proceeded without being suspected. 
At the border town the blacks were smuggled aboard a 
Mississippi steamer bound for the slave marts at Memphis 
or New Orleans, and were heard of no more. 


"On the night of May 25, 1823, a free colored man, 
named Jackson Butler, his wife, and six children, residing 
in Illinois, a few miles from Vincennes, were kidnaped 
by a band of raiders from Lawrence County in this state. 
Butler had belonged to General Harrison in Kentucky, 
had been brought to Indiana, had been indentured, and 
had faithfully worked out his term of service. His wife 
was born free, which rendered his children also free. They 
were taken down the Wabash to the Ohio, and from there 
disappeared farther south. Harrison, learning of the out- 
rage, at once offered a large reward for the capture of the 
perpetrators. His name gave the matter wide publicity, 
and the Butlers were rescued at New Orleans, just as they 
were about to be shipped to Cuba." Hundreds of free negroes 
were thus kidnaped, and dragged back into hopeless 
life-long servitude. 

Slaves Decrease. After the fight of 1824 to make 
Illinois a slave state was lost, the number of slaves gradu- 
ally decreased, until 1830, there were only seven hundred 
forty-six. They ceased to be brought in from the outside. 
And of those already in Illinois, some died of old age, 
and some of disease. Some worked out their contract time 
and were given freedom papers. Still others were taken by 
their masters to other states. Occasionally some good man 
gave his slaves their freedom, because his conscience told 
him it was right to do so. This did not happen very often, 
because slaves were valuable, and could be sold for several 
hundred dollars each. One master gave his slave his free- 
dom because "he has compensated me by his labor and 
money for the amount I paid for him, viz., $825." 

St. Glair's Opinion of the Ordinance. It is difficult to 
understand why slavery continued in Illinois for half a 
century after it had been clearly forbidden by the Ordi- 
nance of 1787, The people of the territory were, of course, 


preparing to obey the law as they would any other. Those 
who were determined to keep their slaves were getting 
ready to move to New Orleans or across the Mississippi, 
when Governor St. Clair declared that the law forbade 
bringing in any more slaves, but that it did not affect those 
already here. This view pleased the people, who were 
chiefly immigrants from the slave states. So they decided 
to remain and to continue to hold their slaves until ordered 
to do otherwise. 

Who Decides What a Law Means. Now a governor's 
opinion of what a law means is no more binding than 
that of a private citizen. In our government, only a judge, 
sitting on the bench, has a right to interpret a law, and even 
he must wait until a case comes before him which brings 
that particular law into dispute. Strange to say, for thirty 
years, neither the Supreme Court of Illinois nor the United 
States Supreme Court had a chance to decide whether or 
not it was lawful for slavery to go on in Illinois. 

Why Slaves Did Not Appeal to the Courts. There 
were several reasons for this. In the first place the slaves 
were ignorant of how to proceed to test the law, and no 
one wanted to assist them. Then, too, the slaves were very 
poor, and we all know it costs a great deal to go to law. 
Lawyers must be employed, witnesses paid, and there are 
other costs in a law-suit that either party may have to pay. 
Sentiment throughout southern Illinois was so strongly 
pro-slavery that it was even unsafe to express views opposed 
to it. The laws were so written that the negro could not 
protect himself, and few whites had the courage to espouse 
his cause and face the unpopularity and persecution that 
were sure to be encountered. In some cases lawyers who 
tried to help the negroes were shamefully treated. 

Northern Illinois for Freedom. But northern Illinois 
was rapidly filling up with Yankees, as we have seen, and 


the sentiment here was strongly opposed to slavery. Even 
among the slave counties of southern Illinois, friends of 
the negro were beginning to speak out boldly. They helped 
the slave to get his case before the courts. For a time, the 
j udges who had been elected by the pro-slavery men, dodged 
the real question, or simply decided the cases against the 
negro, because they thought most people would gladly 
uphold them in that decision. 

Gradually, however, anti-slavery men increased in 
number and influence. Lawyers began to plead the negro's 
case so powerfully in the courts that judges were forced to 
give justice to the slave. Some of these friends of the negro 
were at last elected to the bench, and then decisions 
multiplied in behalf of freedom. 

Slaves Gradually Freed. In 1836 the court declared 
that children of registered servants were free. In 1845 
two great decisions of the Illinois Supreme Court unloosed 
the shackles of the slave in this state and set him 
free; one, in effect, declared that indentured servitude 
was illegal, and the other freed the descendants of the 
slaves of the old French settlers born after 1787. Other 
decisions followed, but the infamous "Black Laws" were 
left on the statute book until 1865, when they were 
at last repealed. 

The number of slaves decreased from about seven 
hundred in 1830, to less than three hundred in 1840. When 
the great decrees of 1845 came, most holders of servants 
and slaves at once gave them their liberty. 

Now that we have followed the story of how Illinois 
shook off the curse of slavery from her own soil, it remains 
only to notice what an active part her people took in stamp- 
ing it out from the rest of the Union. 



1. Compare the life of a free negro in Illinois, in 1840, with that 
of one held in slavery under a good master. 

2. Find from the dictionary the origin of the word kidnap, 
and explain how it came to include the stealing of slaves. 

3. What influences tended to diminish the numbers of negroes 
held in slavery in Illinois? 

4. Why did not the slaves take advantage of the "Black Laws" 
and other laws passed for their protection? 

5. Consult the map, "Sources of Settlers in the Northwest 
Territory," in this book, and see if you can decide what portion of 
Illinois was most strongly opposed to slavery. 


Uncle Tom's Cabin. One of the most powerful agencies in shap- 
ing the political conscience at the North during the decade preced- 
ing the war was "Uncle Tom's Cabin," by Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
This novel can not be named among the greatest works of genius. 
The narrative shows much bias in the writer, and she is often unfair 
to the South; but as a series of pictures of slave life, colored with 
a profound human sympathy, the book attracted and held the atten- 
tion of the readers of every class. It sprung into immediate popu- 
larity; three hundred thousand copies were sold within the first 
year after publication; the sales soon exceeded a million; the book 
spread over England and her colonies, and was translated into 
twenty different languages. The political effect of the novel did not 
appear at first, but it eventually became an important agent in the 
world of politics. The story appealed particularly to the young, 
and thousands of the boys who in the "fifties" laughed at Topsy, 
loved little Eva, and wept over the fate of Uncle Tom, and became 
enraged at the brutal Lagree, were voters in 1860; and their votes, 
as determined by that book, which led them to believe that slavery 
was wrong, became a powerful element in effecting the political 
revolution of that year. HENRY WILLIAM ELSON. 


History of Negro Servitude in Illinois. Harris. 
The Black Laws of Illinois. Jones. 
Beacon Lights of History. Lord. 
Narration of Riots at Alton. Beecher. 


We are the richer for valor displayed alike by those who fought 
so valiantly for the right, and by those who, no less valiantly, fought 
for what they deemed the right. 




Opposition to Slavery. Since the days of the Revo- 
lution, there had been in both the North and South men 
who were opposed to slavery. They believed that it was 
not only wrong but that it stood in the way of progress. 
Washington, Jefferson and Madison were all slave holders, 
yet they were opposed to slavery. They hoped that it 
would decline and gradually disappear from American 
soil. Jefferson said: "I tremble for my country when 
I remember that God is just." 

The Cotton Gin. Most northern states had freed their 
slaves prior to the Revolution, and it was hoped that the 
South would sooner or later do the same. But the cotton 
gin, invented by Whitney (1793), made cotton raising 
immensely profitable in the South, and negroes were 
wanted in large numbers to hoe and pick this crop. Plan- 
tation owners were becoming wealthy, and were naturally 
unwilling to part with their slaves. 

Northern people came to see that the South could net 
be trusted to abolish slavery, so certain conscientious men 
of the North began to fight for the freedom of the slaves. 

The North Divided on Slavery. There were all shades 
of opinion among the people who opposed slavery. The 
great body of northerners were in favor of merely hedging 



it about in the fifteen states where it existed, and thus pro- 
venting it from spreading into the other states and terri- 
tories. A few people believed that it should be blotted 
out from the slaves states even, but they would do it grad- 
ually, so as to work as little harm as possible to the slave 
owners. They believed that if the slave holders could be 
brought to see how great a sin slavery was, they would 
willingly set the blacks free. 

Abolitionists. Still a handful of others would abolish 
servitude everywhere in the Union, and would do it imme- 
diately, by force, if necessary, regardless of who would 
suffer, or what the consequences might be. This class came 
to be called in the South the "Black Abolitionists." William 
Lloyd Garrison was the leader of this party. 

Garrison founded the "Liberator," published in Boston 
in 1831, and in this paper he denounced slavery with great 
power and severity, demanding "immediate emancipation." 
He said that the constitution which permitted this great 
evil was a "covenant with death and an agreement with 
hell." At an open-air celebration of Abolitionists in 
Massachusetts, he burned a copy of the United States 
Constitution. He would break up the Union, he said, 
if slavery could not be destroyed in any other way, for he 
would have no union with slave holders. His bitter words 
were sent everywhere through the columns of the "Liber- 
ator," and they gave great strength to the Abolition 
movement. In 1835 there were in the North, two hundred 
abolition societies, five years later the number had grown 
to two thousand. For a long time the Abolitionists stood 
for a despised cause. Sometimes they could not even get a 
hall in which to hold their meetings, and were obliged 
to meet secretly in stable lofts. 

Attempts to Silence Abolitionists. There was opposi- 
tion to the Abolitionist doctrine throughout the country. 


The South was violent with anger. In the North, too, men 
who were opposed to slavery regarded "immediate eman- 
cipation" as dangerous doctrine. They feared that it would 
stir up bitter strife between the North and the South, 
break up the Union, and do much more harm than good 
to the negro cause. Attempts were made in almost all of 
the northern states to silence the Abolitionists. Their 
meetings were often broken up, and Garrison was mobbed. 
Elijah Lovejoy became a martyr to liberty in our own 

Lovejoy's Early Life. To be the eldest son of a New 
England minister, a century ago, meant anything but a 
life of luxury. Elijah Lovejoy's father, in addition to his 
church duties, tilled the soil to help provide for his family. 
The son was early encouraged by his parents to become a 
scholar. He read the Bible at the age of four. Perhaps he 
appreciated his hours of study all the more because they 
had to be taken when the day's work on the farm was over. 
At any rate, he made good use of them, for he graduated 
from Waterville College at the age of twenty-four, much 
admired by all his fellow students, not only for his scholar- 
ship but for his dignity and noble character. It is also 
said that he made a fine figure in athletics. 

His taste for writing first showed itself in some very 
commendable poetry. After teaching a few years in 
Maine, he became interested in the West, and came to St. 
Louis, where he taught and began newspaper work by 
contributing to the local papers. 

Lovejoy Urges Freeing the Slaves. While living in 
St. Louis, Lovejoy entered the ministry, and it was in 
connection with a religious paper, "The Observer," which 
he edited, that he began his famous crusade against sla- 
very. His editorials aroused much indignation, for the 
slave holders resented the idea of giving freedom to their 




negro servants, as much as they would the proposition to 
give away their horses and cows. 

Lovejoy knew this, but he was an intensely conscien- 
tious man himself, and he believed that if the people were 
brought to see that slavery was wrong, they would of their 
own accord set their negroes free. For this reason he at first 
disagreed with the Abolitionists, who believed that the 
owners of slaves should be forced to give them up at once. 
Lovejoy plainly stated his views in an editorial saying: 
"Gradual emancipation is the remedy we propose. This 
we look upon as the only desirable way of effecting our 
release from the thralldom in which we are held." 

His Life Threatened. Although he was so considerate 
of the slave holders' rights, many of them became very 
angry with his article on slavery, so much so that nine lead- 
ing citizens, who were Lovejoy's good friends, sent him a 
petition begging him to stop stirring up the question, 
because they had heard so many threats concerning him 
that they feared for his life. 

Lovejoy kept this petition, and two years later wrote 
on the back of it: "I did not yield to the wishes here 
expressed, and, in consequence, have been persecuted ever 
since. But I have kept a good conscience in the matter, 
and that repays me for all I have suffered or can suffer. 
I have sworn eternal opposition to slavery, and by the 
blessing of God I will never go back." 

Elijah Lovejoy was a man of such earnest convictions 
that he was not influenced in the least by this petition. 
He declared that the Constitution of the United States 
guaranteed to all citizens the right to free speech, and to 
the freedom of the press, and that he should exercise those 
rights in denouncing the crime of slavery. 

Driven Out of Missouri. The public became so incensed 
with Lovejoy's utterances that an attempt was made to 


destroy his press, and he was asked to resign as head of the 
Observer. St. Louis at last became so hostile that plans 
were made for the removal of the press to Alton, Illinois, 
which had the first Abolition society in the state. They 
promised their support, and Lovejoy again assumed control 
of the paper. 

Lovejoy in Illinois. The press arrived in Alton on 
Sunday, and, while it lay unguarded on the wharf, the boxes 
were broken open, and the pieces of the press thrown into 
the Mississippi river by slave owners. 

The citizens of Alton condemned this act at a public 
meeting, and raised funds for a new press. Mr. Lovejoy 
was still in favor of gradual emancipation, and would not 
declare himself an Abolitionist, though he said he was the 
"uncompromising enemy of slavery." For almost a year 
the Alton Observer was published, Lovejoy taking the 
same bold stand against slavery, yet treating all his oppo- 
nents fairly and with kindness. 

Becomes an Abolitionist. It was during the disap- 
pointment and persecution of this year that he was won 
over to Abolitionism. This is shown by his statement; 
"If a tree will not bear good fruit, it should be lopped off 
at the roots." 

Advocates an Anti-Slavery Society. When he advo- 
cated in the Observer, the forming of an Illinois Anti- 
Slavery Society, the wrath of his enemies knew no bounds. 
But Lovejoy was fearless. All over the north opposition 
to slavery was running high, and feeling against the Aboli- 
tionists was at a white heat throughout the slave 
holding section. 

Two days after Mr. Lovejoy's article appeared, a public 
meeting was called "for the suppression of Abolitionism." 
A committee was named to wait on Mr. Lovejoy to express 
their disapproval of his course, and to ascertain if he still 


intended to persist in publishing an Abolition paper. 
Lovejoy replied by an editorial outlining his anti-slavery 
principles in no uncertain terms. 

Mob Threatens. In August, 1837, a mob set out to 
tar and feather him. They met him coming to town from 
his home, stopped him and told him their purpose. Love- 
joy replied that he knew that they had power to do as 
they pleased with him, but he said he was going into 
town for medicine for his sick wife. He promised, how- 
ever, that if one of the party would take the prescription 
to the drug store and return with the medicine to his 
wife and reassure her about him, that he would go with 
them and do whatever they wished. At this they were 
ashamed to attack the brave man, but they did a more 
cowardly thing. They went to his office, broke in and 
destroyed his press and all his material. They believed 
this would stop the Abolition movement in Alton, but 
they were mistaken, for the friends and supporters of 
Lovejoy soon bought another press by subscription. It, 
too, was promptly destroyed the night it arrived, and the 
pieces thrown into the river. 

Lovejoy Refuses to Leave Alton. Discouraged by the 
fourth attempt to muzzle Lovejoy, and the destruction of 
his third press, the Abolitionists assembled and discussed 
the advisability of moving the press to Quincy where there 
were more anti-slavery sympathizers, but Lovejoy thought 
the paper should stay at Alton. 

In this he was supported by the organization of fifty- 
five men into a state Anti-Slavery Society. The proslavery 
men were frantic with anger when they knew that a fourth 
press had been ordered. Another public meeting was held 
at which Lovejoy made a pathetic appealfor protection. 

His Appeal for Protection. He said, in part, "Mr. 
Chairman, it is not true, as has been charged upon me, that 


I hold in contempt the .feelings and sentiments of this 
community in reference to the question that is now agitat- 
ing it. But, sir, while I value the good opinions of my 
fellow citizens as highly as anyone, I may be permitted to 
say that I am governed by higher considerations than either 
the favor or fear of man. I plant myself down upon my 
constitutional right, and the question to be decided is 
whether I shall be protected in the enjoyment of these 
rights. That is the question, sir, whether my property 
shall be protected, whether I shall be suffered to go home 
to my family at night without being assailed, threatened 
with tar and feathers and assassination; whether my 
afflicted wife, whose life has been in continual jeopardy 
from alarm and excitement, shall, night after night, be 
driven from her sick bed into the garret to save herself 
from brickbats and the violence of the mob. . . . 
I know, sir, that you can tar and feather me, hang me, 
or put me in the Mississippi, without the least difficulty. 
But what then? Where shall I go? I have concluded, 
after consulting with my friends and earnestly seeking 
counsel of God, to remain in Alton, and here insist on 
protection in the exercise of my rights. If the civil author- 
ities refuse to protect me, I must look to God, and, if I die, 
I am determined to make my grave in Alton." 

The Fourth Press Arrives. The courage of this man 
should have moved even his enemies, but the feeling 
against him was too bitter. When the fourth press arrived 
in Alton, the mayor of the city detailed a body of private 
citizens to protect it. It was removed to the warehouse 
of Godfrey, Gilman & Co., at two o'clock at night and 
placed on the fourth floor. 

All was quiet during the day, and, at evening, the militia 
band of about sixty came together at the warehouse to 
drill. They were ready to disperse about nine o'clock, 


when Mr. Gilman suggested that it might be safer to leave 
a detail all night. Mr. Gilman and Mr. Lovejoy stayed 
with the twenty men who remained. 

Another Angry Mob. Shortly afterward the mob 
appeared. Two men were sent in with the message that no 
one would be harmed if the press were handed over to 
them. When these messengers saw how weak the defense 
was, and when the militia refused to give up the press, the 
rabble attacked the building with stones and clubs. 

Lovejoy Slain. The militiamen recognized in the 
gathering crowd in the bright moonlight below, their 
friends and neighbors, and hesitated to shoot, but they 
defended the building successfully for a time. Then one 
of the militiamen fired and shot a man among the band, 
who died before they could reach a physician. At this, 
the rabble attempted to set fire to the building. Lovejoy 
and two others exposed themselves to protect the roof 
from fire-brands, and were fired upon from below. Wounded 
in five places, Lovejoy reentered the building, and crying 
"I am shot, I am dead," fell to the floor and expired. 

The militia, to save the building and its contents, 
then surrendered the press which was broken into pieces. 
During this battle the minister's wife had bravely rung the 
church bell, but no help came. 

His Burial. The next morning the body was removed 
from the warehouse and quietly buried on a hill-top, with 
almost no service, for fear of exciting the mob afresh. 
The hill later became a cemetery, and Lovejoy's body was 
removed from the center of the street where it lay buried, 
and a simple tombstone was erected by a friend. 

The Wrath of the Country. A storm of indignation and 
sorrow swept over the whole country. Wendell Phillips, 
the great Abolitionist, speaking in Fanueil Hall, Boston, 
compared the courage of Lovejoy with that of the Revolu- 


tionary heroes. He said the patriots were ready to die to 
defend themselves against unjust taxes and laws that 
touched their pocketbooks merely. Lovejoy died for a 
great principle the right to say, and preach, and write 
what he believed about the wrongs of slavery. 

It is said that the example of his life and the manner 
of his death did more to help Illinois to stand as one man 
for the cause of freedom than any other influence. 


1. What is the etymology of the word abolitionist? 

2. Name three great leaders of the abolitionist movement. 

3. Give an account of the life of Lovejoy from his boyhood 
until his death. 

4. Are the acts of a mob ever justifiable? 


A Martyr for Liberty. The first sign of Mr. Lovejoy's readi- 
ness to adopt abolitionism came in June. The secretary of the 
National Anti-Slavery Society wrote the Observer (a paper of 
which Mr. Lovejoy was editor), for the names of persons willing to 
assist in petitioning Congress for the abolition of slavery in the 
District of Columbia. The editor approved of the plan, and pub- 
lished this letter in the issue of June 29. 

Thus Mr. Lovejoy took his stand in the front ranks of Aboli- 
tion. He never regretted the step; never faltered; never looked 
back; but fought valiantly and fearlessly for the cause as long as he 


The Slivery Struggle of 1823-24 in Illinois. Washburne. 

Slavery and Abolition. Hart. 

Anti-Slavery Days. Clarke. 

The Martyrdom of Lovejoy. Tanner. 

Early Illinois. Mason. 

Decisive Datss in Illinois History. Tanner. 


ADVERTISEMENT. Gentlemen and Ladies who may wish to 
improve their health or circumstances by a northern tour, are 
respectfully invited to give us their patronage. Seats free, irre- 
spective of color. 

From "The Western Citizen," July 13, 1844. 


Anti-Slavery Societies in Illinois. The death of Love- 
joy did not silence the Abolitionists, but only added fuel 
to the flames. In fact, it drove many men of moderate 
views into the Abolitionist ranks. Anti-slavery societies 
were organized in every county in Illinois. They held 
quarterly meetings, engaged men to give public lectures, 
sent petitions to Congress, printed and circulated thou- 
sands of pamphlets, and stirred up the people in every way. 

The Underground Railway. The South demanded that 
the North should hush the fiery Abolitionists who, they 
said, were urging the slaves everywhere to rise against 
their masters. In some places rewards of from one to 
two thousand dollars were offered for the delivery, south 
of Mason and Dixon's line, of certain Abolition leaders. 
But all efforts to silence them were in vain. Many of the 
anti-slavery men banded together secretly to aid runaway 
negroes to escape to Canada. This was called the Under- 
ground Railway. 

Why Slaves Were Dissatisfied. It was the policy of 
all plantation owners to keep their slaves in dense ignor- 
ance, so that they might not know about other states 
where members of their race were free. In most of the 



cotton states, it was unlawful for any one to teach a negro 
to read or write. Thus it was hoped the slaves would 
spend their lives in the cotton fields contentedly. But, 
there were all over the South dissatisfied slaves. Some 
were unhappy because they were mistreated by cruel slave 
drivers. Thousands stood in constant fear of being sold 
and separated from their families. Throughout the border 
states, there was a strong demand for slaves for the large 
sugar and cotton plantations of the far South. So, in 
these border states the negroes were especially eager to 
learn of places where they might be free. 

Slaves Learn about Canada. From northern people 
who visited the South, they heard much about the free 
states and about Canada. If a master could find his slave 
anywhere in the United States he had the right, by law, 
to seize the fugitive and take him back home; but, if a 
runaway could get his foot on Canadian soil he was safe. 
Friends of the negro sometimes made journeys through 
the South for the very purpose of directing slaves how 
to escape to Canada. They told them how to recognize 
the north star, and advised them to go in that direction. 
When stars were not shining they were instructed to 
look for moss which grows only on the north side of 
tree-trunks. Some followed river valleys or mountain 

How Runaways Traveled. They usually traveled by 
night, and remained in hiding during the day. Some 
used rowboats, and so for hundreds of miles, they left no 
track behind for the keen-scented bloodhound or the more 
dreaded slave catcher. A few reached the land of free- 
dom by being sent in boxes as merchandise. Now and 
then, one was even sent in a trunk by express. Fre- 
quently men dressed as women, and women in male attire, 
escaped the searching eyes of pursuers. Mulattoes often 


blacked their faces with burnt cork in order to escape recog- 
nition. Occasionally slaves in disguise rode on the same 
train with the men who were looking for them, and were 
not recognized. 

Origin of the Underground Railway. When the runa- 
ways reached the Ohio river and the free states beyond, 
they found friends. The name, Underground Railway, 
first started in this way. When runaway slaves began to 
appear among the Quakers at Columbia, Pennsylvania, 
plans were made to hide them away or to send them on 
toward Canada. Slave catchers usually had little trouble 
in tracking the slaves as far as that town, where they lost 
all trace. Unable to find out how the Quakers had dis- 
posed of the negroes, the pursuers declared that there 
must be an underground railway somewhere about, and 
so this name came into common use. 

The Railway System. The stations of the railway 
were farmhouses, the farmer was the conductor as well 
as the engineer, while his horses and wagon made up the 
train. There was a fine of five hundred dollars for har- 
boring a negro or aiding his escape, the fine later, 1850, 
being increased to one thousand dollars, with six months 
in prison. So it was necessary to run trains chiefly at 
night. Every man who was connected with this under- 
ground system kept it a secret. Suspected farmers were 
often closely watched by hired agents of the slave holders. 

The Underground in Illinois. The movement in Illinois 
started as early as 1818, the year the territory became a 
state, and by 1835 there were regular lines of travel from 
the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, northward toward Chicago 
and Milwaukee, where negroes were smuggled aboard 
boats bound for Canada. A few found homes among the 
Yankees of northern Illinois. One of these lines of travel 
was from Alton along the Illinois River to Chicago. 


Passengers Concealed at Stations. The negroes wero 
concealed in one place, sometimes for a week, in order 
to throw their pursuers off the track. The hiding place was 
usually the cellar, the attic, or a secret room. When 
closely watched they resorted to a hay loft or a wood pile. 
At Galesburg, Illinois, the belfry of the church was used for 
this purpose. 

John Hood, of Sparta, aided a negro and Irs wife to 
escape from some slave catchers who had them in charge 
on the homeward journey, and who had stopped at Hood's 
house for the night. The negroes were locked up in the 
cellar by the kidnapers. During the night, Hood removed 
them to the center of a large haystack, where they were 
fed and concealed for a week. 

Trains Run at Night. Fugitives were sent on usually 
at night, either by wagon or afoot, with careful directions 
where to find their next friend, and how to signal him, 
by tapping on the window. Mr. John Weldon, of D wight, 
took negroes to Chicago concealed in wagons loaded with 
bran. Often a load of hay or straw served as a blind at 
midday. In one case at Cincinnati, twenty-eight negroes 
appeared at one time, and several closed carriages were 
formed into a pretended funeral procession. Thus they 
safely proceeded northward in broad daylight. 

The underground lines were sometimes zigzag, and 
often there were two or three parallel routes, so that in 
case one was being watched the other could be taken by 
the fugitives. 

The Number of Slaves Aided. Great numbers were 
aided and directed to freedom by the Underground Rail- 
way. H. B. Leeper, of Princeton, Illinois, said his best 
record was aiding thirty-one men and women in six weeks. 
One conductor in Pennsylvania, during forty years, gave 
aid to no fewer than one thousand. There were no tele- 


graph ines along the Underground, but messages were 
often sent by mail. These messages were cautiously 
written. Below are some specimens: 

David Putnam : 

Business is arranged for Saturday night. Be on 
the lookout and, if possible, let a carriage come and 
meet the caravan. 

J. S. 

Mr. C. B. C.: 

By tomorrow's evening mail you will receive 
two volumes of the "Irrepressible Conflict" bound 
in black. After perusal, please forward and oblige. 
Yours truly, G. W. W. 

Dear Grinell: 

Uncle Tom says that if the roads are not too bad 
you can look for those fleeces of wool by tomorrow. 
Send them on to test the market and prices. No 
back pay. Yours, HUB. 

"We know little regarding those old secret routes 
now; they have left only dim traces, although a few hoary- 
headed men linger, who can tell thrilling stories of that 
little section on which they once faithfully served. It 
may be none were acquainted with the entire distance 
traversed; certain it is that all that any station-keeper 


needed to know was the location of the next station lying 
east or north of his own. The fugitives came to him in 
the dark hours before dawn; all that day they lay hidden 
securely from prying eyes, and when night again dark- 
ened, he led them swiftly onward to another similar place 
of safety. No record was ever kept of the number that 
passed, but many a hundred, including men, women, and 
children, thus won their weary way to freedom across the 
night-enshrouded prairies of Illinois." 


1. Describe the operations of the Underground Railway. 

2. Trace the route of the main lines of the Underground Rail- 
way across Illinois. 

3. Draw a star-map showing how the position of the north 
star may be determined. 

4. Bring to class an account of the experience of a runaway slave, 
which you have learned tfrom the Recommended Readings or else- 

5. What was the Dred Scott decision? 


An Underground Railroad Station. Three principal lises 
from the South converged at my house: one from Cincinnati, one 
from Madison, and one from Jeffersonville. Seldom a week passed 
without our receiving passengers by this mysterious Underground 
Railroad. We knew not what night, or what hour of the night, 
we would be aroused by a gentle rap at the door, which was the 
signal of the arrival of a train; for the locomotive did not whistle 
or make any unnecessary noise. Recollections of Levi Coffin. 


The Underground Railroad. Siebert. 

Anti-Slavery Days. Clarke. 

History of Negro Servitude in Illinois. Harris. 

Negro Servitude and the Underground Railroad. Davidson. 

The Underground Railroad. Still. 


But somehow South could ne'er incline 
This way or that to run the line; 
And always found some new pretence 
'Gainst setting the division fence. 



Douglas Explodes a Bomb. On January 4, 1854, 
Stephen A. Douglas, senator from Illinois, introduced 
into Congress a bill which startled the whole country. 
This Kansas-Nebraska Bill provided for the forming of 
two territories out of that part of the Louisiana Purchase 
which lay west and north of Missouri. There was no 
harm to come from this provision, but the bill further 
provided that each of the two territories so formed, should 
decide for itself whether or not slavery should exist within 
its borders. This was the bomb that exploded in every 
northern state. The reason for this excitement was, that 
for more than thirty years, most people of the North had 
looked upon slavery in the Louisiana Purchase as forever 
prohibited. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 had pro- 
vided that slavery should never exist north of the parallel 
of 36 degrees, 30 minutes, north latitude, save in the state 
of Missouri. This compromise the northern people had 
looked upon as a sacred agreement, and they had consoled 
themselves that, whatever might happen, slavery ould not 
go north of that forbidden line of "thirty-six thirty." Now, 
suddenly, like thunder from a clear sky, Douglas proposed 



to throw open this territory, all of which lay north of the 
Compromise line, to slavery or freedom, as the people 
might decide. It was like throwing a piece of meat to two 
hungry bull-dogs, and bidding them fight for it. 

The Kansas-Nebraska Bill Passes Congress. Nobody 
had asked Douglas to introduce such a measure. The 
South had not sought it. The North had not consented. 
In fact, Douglas himself had written the bill of his own 
motion, in his own house, and had consulted with only two 
people about it, the President and Jefferson Davis. The 
South was surprised, because they had not even hoped for 
slavery in this great northwest. However, they were 
delighted at the prospect, and quickly fell into line behind 
Douglas. The bill was passed, after Douglas had spoken 
all night in defense of his measure. 

Douglas Visits His Home State. A storm of rage 
swept over the North. Douglas was condemned as a traitor. 
He was called Judas Iscariot, and a certain society of 
women sent him thirty pieces of silver. He later said he 
could have traveled from Boston to Chicago by the light 
of his own effigies. Attempting to make a speech in Chi- 
cago, in his home state, he was hooted off the stage. For 
hours he tried to speak, but the people hissed and shouted 
until Douglas gave it up. Had it not been for his courage, 
the people would have laid violent hands upon him. In 
southern Illinois he had a kinder reception, but outside his 
own state he was bitterly denounced by the newspapers, 
public assemblies, legislatures and private citizens. 

Why Douglas Favored the Slave Holders. What do 
you think prompted Douglas, a northern man, represent- 
ing a free state, to join hands with the South in extending 
slavery? The people said he did it in order to win friends 
among the southern slave holders, so that they would help 
to elect him President. He had tried to get the nomination 


in 1852. All the northern Democrats favored him at that 
time, but the southern Democrats would not hear to it, and 
Douglas failed. Many believed he was now sacrificing the 
welfare of the North, as a bid for votes in the South for the 
coming election. If this was his plan, it looked as though 
he was doing what he set out to do, for the whole land of 
Dixie resounded with his praises, but it was two years before 
the next election. 

In the meantime, civil war broke out in Kansas over 
the question of slavery in that territory. The country, 
both North and South, was greatly wrought up over 
"bleeding Kansas," and Douglas had to bear the brunt of 
blame for it, since it was his bill that made Kansas a 

When the next Democratic convention came, Douglas 
was in high hopes, but he was again put aside for a north- 
ern Democrat, Buchanan. However, he came much nearer 
the goal than four years before. He had gained many 
votes in the southland, but not quite enough to be nomin- 
ated by his party. This must have been a keen disap- 
pointment to Douglas, for he had thrown open a vast 
region, hitherto free, to slavery to please the South. He 
had gone through fire and water to defend himself from 
the angry North all to win favor with the slave holders. 
Now he was coldly put aside for one less worthy. 

Slave Holders Try to Force Slavery upon Kansas. The 
pro-slavery men in Kansas soon got together and made a 
constitution favoring slavery. They would not let the 
people of the territory vote on it fairly, so the free-soil 
people there refused to vote on it at all. The pro-slavery 
men declared it adopted, and asked Congress to admit 
Kansas as a slave state. The southern Democrats were 
eager to do this, and so was President Buchanan, while 
the Republicans and anti-slavery men were boiling in 






anger. But the Democrats were in the majority, and were 
about to admit Kansas when Douglas interfered. He told 
his party that the Kansas election was not fair, and that 
there were frauds in it. He insisted on giving the Kansans 
another chance, and a fair chance, to vote on this consti- 
tution. Douglas said he cared not whether slavery was 
voted up or voted down, but that for an honest election 
he would stand to the last. 

"Superb fighter that he was; he had a fighter's best 
opportunity great odds to fight against, and at last a 
good cause to fight for. President Buchanan threateningly 
reminded Douglas that 'no Democrat ever broke with a 
Democratic administration without being crushed.' Doug- 
las scornfully retorted, 'Mr. President, I wish to remind 
you that General Jackson is dead.' The whole South, 
so lately reciting his praises, rose up against him and reviled 
him as a traitor." They accused him of deserting them in 
order to make sure of his reelection as Senator from 
Illinois. But few of his fellow Democratic Senators had 
the courage to follow him. So magnificent was his fight, 
that almost single-handed, he forced the great slave power 
to send back to Kansas her slave constitution, with permis- 
sion to vote on it again. In this second election the people 
of Kansas voted slavery down five to one. 

A Warm Welcome Home. There was rejoicing all 
through the North over the victory for freedom in Kansas, 
and Douglas was highly praised for insisting upon honesty 
and fair play. Upon his return to his home state to stand 
for reelection as Senator, Chicago gave him a royal welcome. 

He realized that he would have a hard fight when he 
heard who was to be his opponent, for the Republicans 
had enthusiastically named Abraham Lincoln as their 
candidate. Douglas feared Lincoln more than he did the 
ablest men in Washington. 


Lincoln's Stand on Slavery. The speech that Lincoln 
made when he was nominated for Senator against the 
''Little Giant" won for him wide fame. "A house divided 
against itself," he said, "cannot stand." "I believe this 
government cannot endure permanently half-slave and 
half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved, I do 
not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease 
to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the 
other." This was a bolder st?.nd than his party wished 
him to take. When he read this speech privately to his 
friends before he gave it in public, they all, save one, dis- 
approved of these sentences and urged him to leave them 
out. His party managers told him these words would hurt 
his chances of election. Lincoln replied, "If it is decreed 
that I should go down because of this speech, then let me 
go down linked with the truth let me die in the advocacy 
of what is just and right. ... I would rather be 
defeated with this expression in the speech than be victo- 
rious without it." 

Lincoln Challenges Douglas. Lincoln awaited Doug- 
las's arrival at Chicago, heard his speech and answered 
him the next night. He followed Douglas into the center 
of the state, and challenged him to a series of joint debates 
before the people of Illinois on the questions of the day, 
chief of which was slavery extension. Douglas would 
rather have faced any other man in America than Lincoln. 
He hesitated, then accepted the challenge. 

The "Rail-splitter" against the "Little Giant." Lin- 
coln's friends trembled for the result, for Douglas was 
known all over the country as the ablest off-hand speaker 
and debater to be found. He had met and defeated all 
the great statesmen in Congress. Dashing, brilliant leader 
that he was, he had become the idol of the masses. Lin- 
coln was scarcely known outside of his own Prairie State, 


and his followers were yet few. He knew the marvelous 
power of his opponent as an orator, and the great risk ho 
himself was facing, but he felt that he had truth and justice 
on his side, and he believed that he could hold his own. 

Douglas in Hard Straits. Lincoln had no fame to lose, 
but everything to gain, while Douglas had a national 
reputation. Besides, he wished to fasten his grip on the 
senatorship until he could again make the race for Presi- 
dent, and he dared not forget that the entire South was 
hearing every word and watching every move. Douglas 
represented an old party with old theories, while Lincoln 
was put forward by a new and enthusiastic party that 
stood for freedom and against slavery. 

Side by side, on wooden platforms, in the open air, 
stood the great rivals, with farmers by the thousand 
gathered to hear them. There stood "Honest Old Abe," 
lean, long-limbed, and awkward, and by his side the 
"Little Giant," scarce five feet high, but compactly built 
and full of energy. Lincoln's voice was high pitched, 
strained and unpleasant, while the voice of his opponent 
was that of a trained orator. In gesture and manner, 
too, Douglas had the advantage, for Lincoln was stiff 
and ungraceful. In language Douglas was bold, fluent, 
and severe. Lincoln's speech was simple, forceful, and so 
logical that Douglas could neither dispute nor evade its 
truth. Many had thought that Douglas would make 
short work of the "Rail-splitter," but it was evident that 
he had at last met his match. At the close of the first 
debate at Ottawa, Lincoln was carried away on the shoul- 
ders of his rejoicing admirers. 

Lincoln's Shrewd Questions. In seven cities these 
giant debaters met, while the whole country was reading 
their speeches. They put questions to each other to be 
answered before the people. Lincoln so framed his ques- 


tions on slavery that Douglas would either have to please 
the people of Illinois and displease the South, in which 
case he would never be elected President; or he must 
please the South and displease his home state, in which 
case he would lose the senatorship. Douglas answered as 
Lincoln thought he would, won the senatorship, but 
disappointed the slave states; and thus his chances of some 
time living in the White House were forever ruined. 

Lincoln Champions the Negro. Douglas accused 
Lincoln of trying to make the slave the equal of the white 
man. In reply Lincoln said, "There is no reason in the 
world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights 
enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right 
of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that 
he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree 
with Judge Douglas, that he is not my equal in many 
respects certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral and 
intellectual endowments. But in the right to eat the bread, 
without leave of anyone else, which his own hands earn, he- 
is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal 
of every living man. All I ask for the negro is that if you 
do not like him, let him alone. If God gave him but little, 
that little let him enjoy." 

The chief difference between the views of Lincoln 
and those of Douglas was in regard to slavery in the ter- 
ritories. Douglas stood for the principle of "Popular 
Sovereignty," as expressed in his Kansas and Nebraska 
Bill that is, that the people of each territory should decide 
for themselves, when their territory entered the Union, 
whether or not they should have slavery. Lincoln held 
that since slavery was a great evil, it ought not to be allowed 
to spread over the territories. It should, he thought, be 
confined to the fifteen slave states where it then existed, 
with the hope that it would some day die out entirely. 


Lincoln's Defeat and Victory. While Lincoln failed 
to defeat Douglas for Senator, he was beaten by but a 
few votes. The "Rail-splitter" suddenly awakened to find 
himself famous throughout the land. Invitations came to 
him from all the great cities of the North to lecture, and in 
this way he became well known, and a most promising can- 
didate for the Presidency. 


1. What is meant by a "figure of speech"? Illustrate. 

2. Explain the literary meaning of the sentence, "Douglas 
explodes a bomb." 

3. Get from the dictionary, or your history, the meaning of the 
expression "Squatter sovereignty," and tell how it was related to 
the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. 

4. Contrast the attitudes of Lincoln and Douglas on the ques- 
tion of slavery. 

5. Give a brief account of the conduct and results of the Great 


A Convincing Answer. When Judge Douglas says 'that who- 
ever or whatever community wants slaves, they have a right to 
have them, he is perfectly logical, if there is nothing wrong in the 
institution; but if you admit that it is wrong, he cannot logically 
say that anybody has a right to do wrong. When he says that 
slave property, and horse and hog property are alike to be allowed 
to go into the Territories, upon the principle of equality, he is reas- 
oning truly, if there is no difference between them as property; 
but if the one is property held rightfully, and the other wrongfully, 
then there is no equality between the right and wrong. 

From Lincoln's Speech at the Sixth Debate. 


Morse's Life of Lincoln. Dial, Vol. 15, Page 263. 

Life of Lincoln. McClure, Vol. 5, Page 481; Vol. 6, Page 2. 

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Sparks. 

Decisive Dates in Illinois History. Jones. 


This man whose homely face you look upon, 
Was one of nature's masterful great men; 

Born with strong arms, that unf ought battles won; 
Direct of speech and cunning with the pen; 

Wise, too, for what he could not break, he bent. 



The Debates Make the "Rail-Splitter" Famous. One 
of the first men among Lincoln's friends to believe it 
possible to nominate him for President, was Jesse W. Fell, 
who had been traveling in the East during the time of 
the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Finding that Lincoln's 
speeches attracted so much attention everywhere, and that 
they were copied by many eastern papers, Fell returned 
to Springfield to urge Lincoln to make the race for 
the Presidency. 

"I have been East, Lincoln," said he, "as far as Bos- 
ton . . . traveling in all the New England states, 
save Maine; in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, and everywhere, I hear you 
talked about. Very frequently I have been asked, 'Who 
is this man Lincoln, of your state, now canvassing in oppo- 
sition to Senator Douglas?' ... I usually told them 
we had in Illinois two giants instead of one; that Douglas 
was the little one, as they all knew, but that you were the 
big one, which they didn't at all know." 


His Friends Determined. Throughout the year 1859, 
a few of Lincoln's life-long friends worked quietly to arouse 
the Prairie State for "Honest Abe." It was arranged 
first to have the country newspapers come out one by one 
for Lincoln. Later, city papers were to take up his cause. 
Soon Lincoln began to receive offers of aid from unexpected 
quarters. In reply to one editor he wrote: "I must in all 
candor say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency." 
Early in 1860, so many were urging him that he 
became convinced that, fit or not, he was in the race, 
and he consented to write the little sketch now known as 
his autobiography. 

His Autobiography. "I was born February 12, 1809, 
in Hardin County, Kentucky. . . . My father removed 
from Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, 
in my eighth year. . . . There I grew up. There 
were some schools, so called, but no qualification was ever 
required of a teacher beyond readin', writin', and cipherin' 
to the rule of three. I have not been to school since. I was 
raised to farm work, which I continued until I was twenty- 
two. At twenty-one, I came to Illinois, Macon County. 
Then I got to Salem County, where I remained a year as 
a sort of clerk in a store. Then came the Black Hawk war, 
and I was elected a captain of volunteers, which gave me 
more pleasure than any I have had since. I ran for the 
Legislature the same year, 1832, and was beaten, the only 
time I have ever been beaten by the people. In 1846 I was 
elected to the Lower House of Congress. ... I was 
losing interest in politics when the repeal of the Missouri 
Compromise (Kansas-Nebraska Bill) aroused me again. 
What I have done since is pretty well known. I am in 
height six feet four inches, nearly; lean in flesh, weighing 
on an average one hundred and eighty pounds; dark 
complexion, with coarse, black hair and gray eyes." 



"There is not much of it," he apologized as he sent the 
sketch in, "for the reason, I suppose, that there is not much 
of me. If anything be made out of it, I wish it to be modest, 
and not to go beyond the material." 

The Illinois Convention. When the Illinois Republicans 
held their state convention at Decatur, on May 9th and 
10th, 1860, Lincoln received a strange ovation. While 
the delegates were in session, Lincoln came in to look 
on and was invited to a seat on the platform. Soon after 
one of his friends offered a contribution to the conven- 
tion, which was accepted. A curious banner made of 
two fence-rails decorated with flags, was borne up the 
hall. On it was this inscription: 



Two rails from a lot of 3,000 made in 1830 by Thos. 
Hanks and Abe Lincoln whose father was the first 
pioneer of Macon County. 

The convention wildly applauded this banner, and 
shortly after Lincoln was enthusiastically named as the 
choice of the Republicans of Illinois for President. 

Too Inexperienced for the East. Eastern men did not 
yet consider Lincoln seriously. They made long lists of 
suitable candidates for President, but made no mention 






of Lincoln. A few had read his speeches, but because 
he was a great debater was no proof that he would make 
a good President. The East naturally preferred a man 
with more experience as a statesman. 

The National Convention. The National Republican 
Convention opened in Chicago on May 16, 1860. For days 
before, delegates, politicians, and newspaper men were 
thronging the pioneer city. The friends of each candi- 
date brought along a big crowd of his men, hired to march 
and to cheer at every mention of their favorite. New 
York brought 2,000 to applaud the name of Seward. 
A celebrated band accompanied each state delegation. 
Hundreds of spectators flocked hither, until there were 
said to be 40,000 strangers in the city during the conven- 
tion. Processions, with bands at their heads, marched 
the streets with banners and hissing rockets, shouting for 
Seward, for Cameron, for Chase, or for Lincoln. Illinois 
was not to be outdone. Lincoln banners floated across 
the streets and upon prominent buildings. When Lin- 
coln's friends saw the great crowd of "rooters" for Seward 
they gathered together 10,000 "Hoosiers" and "Suckers," 
everybody in Chicago with fog-horn voices, to march, 
shout, or fight for the "Rail-splitter." 

The Wigwam. The convention met in a rude structure 
built especially for the occasion, by the Chicago Republican 
Club. In true western style, it was called the Wigwam. 
There were crowded into it at the opening of the convention 
10,000 persons. As each candidate's name was introduced 
there was deafening applause by his followers. At the 
name of Lincoln, 5,000 people jumped from their seats with 
one wild yell. The Seward men were confident; but Lincoln 
shouters made the greater noise. As the roar died away a 
voice cried "Abe Lincoln has it by the sound now; let 
us ballot!" 


The Wild Balloting. There were eight other candi- 
dates besides Lincoln and Sewafd, and the Illinois workers 
tried to unite all those opposed to Seward to vote for Lin- 
coln. They worked night and day to bring this about. 

The delegates proceeded to vote. On the first ballot 
Seward led with 173^ votes, Lincoln being second with 
102. On the second ballot Pennsylvania threw her 52 
votes to Lincoln. Other scattering votes brought his gain 
to 79, while Seward gained but 11. To win, required 234 
votes. All those opposed to Seward now began throwing 
their votes to "Honest Abe," who received on the next 
ballot 231^. The excitement was intense, and every- 
body was keeping count. Instantly the chairman of the 
Ohio delegation shouted: "Mr. President, I rise to change 
four votes from Mr. Chase to Mr. Lincoln." A mighty 
shout from ten thousand voices broke forth. Men leaped, 
tossed their hats and canes into the air, and the ladies 
waved a sea of flags and handkerchiefs. 

How the News Was Received. The Seward men were 
broken-hearted, and their leader, Thurlow Weed, burst 
into tears. A man on the platform shouted to one sta- 
tioned on the roof: "Hallelujah, Abe Lincoln is nom- 
inated!" A cannon roared the news to the multitudes in 
the streets below who took up the shout. Whistles on the 
river, on locomotives and factories, broke forth and soon 
the prairies resounded with hurrahs, spreading gradually 
with the news to other cities and states. 

"Hurrah for our cause of all causes the best! 
Hurrah for old Abe, Honest Abe of the West!" 

News Telegraphed to Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln was in 
Springfield nervously' awaiting the result, when suddenly 
a messenger boy rushed pell-mell into his office shouting, 
"Mr. Lincoln, you are nominated!" The shout was taken 
up on all sides and people flocked about their hero, half- 


laughing and half-crying, shaking his hands when they 
could get them, and when they could not, one another's. 
Lincoln was overjoyed, but realizing what it all meant, 
he said, "My friends, I am glad to receive your congrat- 
ulations, and as there is a little woman down on Eighth 
Street who will be glad to hear the news, you must excuse 
me till I inform her." And off he hastened, only to find 
her already acquainted with the good tidings. Mrs. 
Lincoln for years had firmly believed that her husband 
deserved to be President, and that he would some day have 
that honor; and her faith was now being justified. 

The Platform. Lincoln's party platform pronounced 
slavery an evil, and while denying any intention of inter- 
fering with it in the states where it then existed, demanded 
that Congress prohibit it in all the territories. 

The Democratic Party Splits over Slavery. The 
Democrats held a convention and split in two sections over 
the question of slavery in the territories. The northern 
wing named Douglas as its candidate, and declared for 
popular sovereignty; that is, that Congress must keep 
hands off and let the people of the territories vote slavery 
iu or out. The southern wing again put Douglas aside 
because they advocated that nobody, not even the people, 
had a right to interfere with slavery in the territories; 
that it was the duty of Congress to protect it there. So, 
they named Breckenridge as their standard bearer. The 
break in the Democratic ranks made the election of Lincoln 
a certainty, and the southern states prepared to break 
away from the Union to form a government of their own, 
with slavery as the chief corner stone. 

The Campaign of 1860. In Illinois every schoolhouse 
and grove resounded with stirring speeches and the music 
of bands. Our people seemed to give themselves up entirely 
to this great campaign. With two sons of Illinois in the 


contest, the Douglas and Lincoln men fought for every 
inch of advantage in this state, and when the votes were 
counted Douglas's great popularity was shown by his 
falling below Lincoln in his home state by only 13,000 
votes in a total of 330,000 votes cast. 

Lincoln's Training. Many thought Lincoln unfit for 
the great office, but his preparation was better than they 
knew. He had drunk the cup of poverty and associated 
with the poor. As farm-hand, as rail-splitter, as flat-boat- 
man, as sawmill tender, as grocery-keeper, as militiaman, 
as surveyor, as lawyer, as member of the Legislature and 
Congressman, Lincoln knew every phase of life and all 
classes of people, and they believed in him. He had known 
years of trial and disappointment, which was, in itself, fine 
training for the heavy load he was now to carry. 

Slave States Secede. Soon after Lincoln's election 
South Carolina seceded from the Union, followed quickly 
by six other slave states. Every lover of the flag was 
downcast, and the whole country looked anxiously to 
Lincoln with some hopes, but with many fears, for he was 
yet an untried man, and an awful burden lay upon 
his shoulders. 

Bids His Neighbors Farewell. Lincoln left Spring- 
field for Washington, February 11, 1861, and his friends 
and neighbors gathered about him at the station to bid 
him farewell. He addressed them briefly, saying: 

"My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appre- 
ciate my feelings of sadness at this parting. To this 
place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. 
Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed 
from a young to an old man. Here my children have 
been born and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing 
when or whether ever I may return, with a task before 
me greater than that which rested upon Washington. 


Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever 
attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, 
I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and 
remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us con- 
fidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care com- 
mending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend 
me, I bid you an affectionate farewell." 


1. Bring to class an account of an incident in the life of Lin- 
coln that you have read from some book in the library or at home. 

2. Recite five facts concerning Lincoln's life that are given in 
his autobiography. 

3. Describe the scenes attending the nomination of Lincoln. 

4. Upon what issue did the Democratic party divide in this 


Leader Wanted. "Make our Lincoln your leader; he has a 
heart that we can trust," and Lincoln was made the heart of the 
people in the great cause of human rights. Lincoln, who had been 
true to his father, when the experience had cost him years of. toil- 
some life. Lincoln, who had pitied the slave in the New Orleans 
market, and whose soul had cried to heaven for the scales of Justice. 
Lincoln, who had protected the old Indian amid the gibes of his 
comrades. Lincoln, who had studied by pine-knots, made poetry 
on old shovels, and read law on the lonely roads. Lincoln, who 
had a kindly word for everybody, and yet carried a sad heart. 
Lincoln, who had resolved that in law and politics he would do just 


Nomination of Lincoln. Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 14, Page 654. 
Life of Lincoln. McClure, Vol. 7, Page 79; Vol. 8, Page 43. 
Illinois and Her Noted Men. Gillespio. 
Decisive Dates in Illinois History. Jones. 


Let the American youth never forget that they possess a noble 
inheritance, bought by the toils and sufferings and blood of their 
ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved and faithfully guarded, 
of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings 
of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, of property, of religion, 
and of independence. JOSEPH STORY. 


Foresees Defeat and Pleads for Union. The split in 
the Democratic party made it impossible for either the 
northern or southern wing to elect their candidate, and 
Douglas realized, long before the election, that he could 
not win. When he heard during his tour of speech-making, 
that the Republicans were gaining strength in the North, 
he said, "Lincoln is the next President. I have no hope 
and no destiny before me but to do my best to save the 
Union from overthrow. Now let us turn our course to 
the South." 

He proceeded through the heart of the cotton states 
making speech after speech, appealing to the maddened 
southerners not to lift their hands against the Union their 
fathers had made. His plea was noble, full of patriotism 
and love for the old constitution, but the South would 
not hear. 

His Following. The November election, 1860, gave 
Lincoln 180 electoral votes, while Douglas had only 12, 



having carried but one state. But in the votes of the 
people, he was not far below Lincoln, who^e total was 
1,866,452, while Douglas's was 1,376,957. 

No other statesman not even Henry Clay ever had 
a more devoted following than the "Little Giant," and 
these million voters looked to him for guidance. For 
twenty-five years, when he came before the people, Douglas 
had never suffered defeat. The great question of that 
hour was, whether he would swing these million followers 
to the support of Lincoln and the Union, or whether the 
North was to be broken by party hatred and the South 
to be allowed to separate in peace. Douglas's attitude 
toward Lincoln was manly. When Lincoln arose to give 
his inaugural address, and was looking awkwardly about 
for a place to lay his hat that he might adjust his glasses, 
Douglas came forward and gracefully took it from his hand. 
This courteous act was taken to mean that he proposed to 
support Lincoln in defending the flag. 

A True Patriot. Defeat only served to show more 
clearly than before the nobleness and true patriotism of 
Douglas. He returned to Congress to labor night and day, 
in season and out of season, to save the Union. He begged 
and pleaded with the Republicans of the North and Dem- 
ocrats of the South, to adjust their differences by each side 
yielding a little. He said he was willing to give up his 
doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty" and to restore the 
Missouri Compromise line, if that would satisfy both 
sections. The Republicans were willing to yield to every 
demand except slavery in the territories, but the stubborn 
slave power would yield not one inch of advantage. South- 
ern men now withdrew from Congress to join the Confeder- 
ate army, and rebel guns were soon trained at the Stars 
and Stripes above Fort Sumter. But Douglas did not live 
to see the end of the awful strife. 


The "Little Giant" Supports "Honest Abe." Before 
the booming of the cannon died away Douglas was closeted 
with Lincoln at the White House the two leading men 
of the nation, both from Illinois devising means of saving 
the country. One historian says that it was the "most 
momentous conference ever held on the western hemi- 
sphere." What the former rivals said to each other in 
that critical hour we do not know, but from what occurred 
afterward we know that Douglas promised to swing the 
entire northern wing of the Democratic party to the support 
of "Honest Abe" in saving the Union. Without this 
support Lincoln could not hope to hold the country together; 
with it, he not only saved the Union but blotted out the 
curse of slavery from our soil. 

Urges North to Stand By the Flag. After the important 
conference with President Lincoln, Douglas stated his 
position to the newspaper men, and it was published and 
read from ocean to ocean. He said that he was prepared 
to sustain the President in preserving the Union and main- 
taining the government. He said that the Capital was in 
danger and must be defended at all hazards, and at any 
expense of men and money. Senator Douglas immediately 
left Washington and traveled through the country, arous- 
ing the people with his own loyal sentiments as no other 
man could. He was never before so earnest, and had never 
before spoken with such power. 

Douglas at Springfield. Douglas finally went to his 
own state capitol, and spoke before both houses of the 
Legislature. The South, he claimed, had no cause that 
would justify their "mad attempt to overthrow the Repub- 
lic." He said he had labored for some compromise to avert 
war, but that now there was but one thing to do: "Forget 
party, remember only your country. Allow me to say to 
my old friends, that you will be false and unworthy of your 




principles, if you allow political defeat to convert you 
into traitors. The shortest way now to peace is the most 
stupendous preparation for war." 

Douglas at Chicago. His Last Speech. From Spring- 
field, the "Little Giant" hastened to Chicago, where a 
vast crowd received him in the Wigwam where Lincoln 
had been nominated. Again he urged all Americans, and 
faithful Democrats especially, to stand by the Union. 
"There are," he said, "only two sides to this question: 
every man must be for the United States or against it. 
. . . There can be no neutrals in this war, only patriots 
and traitors. ... I express it as my conviction before 
God, that it is the duty of every American citizen to rally 
around the flag of his country. . . . Illinois has a 
proud position, united, firm, determined never to per- 
mit the government to be destroyed. ... So long 
as hope of peace remained I pleaded and implored for 
compromise. Now that all else has failed, there is but 
one course left, to rally as one man to the flag of Wash- 
ington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin." 
The great audience listened with breathless interest, and 
again and again broke into the wildest applause. 

Loyal to the Last. As those patriotic words fell from 
the lips of Douglas, they were telegraphed over the land 
and read by millions, from ocean to ocean. Thousands 
were awaiting the word of their leader, and no one 
can measure the part that Douglas took in uniting all 
Northerners to preserve and protect the flag. Douglas 
lived but a few months longer, but long enough to see 
his supporters springing to arms and marching to the 
front. Less than three months after the firing upon Ft. 
Sumter, Douglas lay upon his death bed at the Tremont 
House, Chicago, sending this last message to his sons 
who were far away: "Tell them to obey the laws and 


support the Constitution of the United States." These 
were his last words. 


Important Position of Illinois. The stand taken by 
Illinois in the war was of supreme importance. Our state 
extended farther south, and nearer to the heart of the 
"Cotton Kingdom" than any other free state, Cairo being 
in the same latitude as Richmond, Virginia. 

There were then almost no railroads running from 
north to south, and for transporting troops and supplies 
for the great armies, the Mississippi and its tributaries 
the Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee and Cumberland were of 
vast consequence. Whoever held Illinois would control 
all these waterways, by planting cannon at Cairo. For 
another reason Cairo was important. It was the southern 
terminus of the Illinois Central railroad. Here, too, was 
the natural starting point for Union armies going south. 

Morever, Illinois was bordered on two sides by the 
slave states of Kentucky and Missouri, and the action of 
our state toward the Union would exert a strong influence 
on the stand of these two border slave states. So, it was 
evident that Illinois was the keystone of the Union in this 
conflict, and many were anxious to see if she would uphold 
the hands of her noble son in the White House. 

Loyalty of Governor Yates. In his inaugural address 
given three months before the fall of Fort Sumter, Governor 
Richard Yates, of Illinois, said that the people of this 
great Mississippi valley would never consent to let any 
portion of it pass to any other government, and then be 
required to pay a tax on all goods sent down this important 
waterway. "Before that day shall come," he said, "the 
banks of the 'Father of Waters' will be a continuous sepul- 
cher of the slain." On the question of the union of the 


states, he declared that Illinois would stand firm. "The 
foot of the traitor has never yet blasted the green sward 
of Illinois. All the running waters of the Northwest are 
waters of freedom and union; and come what will, as they 
glide to the great Gulf, they will by the Ordinance of 1787, 
and by the higher ordinance of Almighty God, bear only 
free men and free trade on their bosoms." 

Governor Yates took a bold, fearless stand for the 
Union, and by his patriotic words and vigorous deeds 
aroused the Prairie State, from the Wisconsin line to 
Cairo, to do its full share in putting down the rebellion. 

Illinois Answers the Call. When President Lincoln 
called for seventy-five thousand men to defend the flag, 
Governor Yates lost no time in summoning forth the sons 
of Illinois. Douglas men and Lincoln men forgot their 
differences, and hastened to enlist in the ranks. They 
came, too, in such numbers that our share of the call was 
soon filled, and many had to be turned away. 

The Secretary of War, realizing the importance of 
the control of Cairo for the Union, telegraphed Governor 
Yates to occupy that town as soon as he had mustered 
in enough troops to hold it. Our energetic war governor 
did not wait for the mustering of troops, but, in less than 
forty-eight hours, had a special train flying thither, bearing 
General Swift, of Chicago, with four batteries of artillery 
and six companies of infantry. They arrived none too soon, 
for a force of Confederates was moving in that direction. 

Southern Sympathy. You will remember that southern 
Illinois was settled mainly by immigrants from slave 
states. So, a good many people of our southern counties 
naturally sympathized with the South. When the loyal 
people in one of those southern villages had called a meet- 
ing to enlist a company for the Union army, southern sym- 
pathizers rushed in upon the meeting, overpowered the 


Union men, tore up their flag, chopped down the flag pole 
they had just raised, and broke up their meeting. 

The Union men wrote to Governor Yates, asking what 
they should do about it. He told them to call another 
meeting, get a flag and a pole, and, if the disturbers again 
interfered, to kill as many as possible. "And if a jury 
can be found in Illinois that will convict any one of you for 
defending the flag of your country, I will pardon him." 

Under the patriotic leadership of Yates, Illinois sent into 
the field 259,000 men who were organized into 156 regiments 
of infantry, seventeen of cavalry, and two of artillery. 
No other state furnished more, save Ohio and New York. 

It was Illinois troops mainly that prevented Missouri 
from going with the South; it was largely Illinois troops 
that bore the brunt of battle in Grant's magnificent cam- 
paign for the possession of the Mississippi, which broke the 
backbone of the South. 

Illinois at Shiloh. Illinois' share of the glory of these 
western campaigns may be well illustrated by the battle 
of Shiloh. A large percentage of the men in the ranks in 
this battle were from the Illinois prairies, and they proved 
themselves brave men. A large proportion of the men who 
carried the muskets, as well as those who wore the shoulder 
straps in that dreadful conflict, were from our own state. 
First among the Union generals at Shiloh was Ulysses S. 
Grant, ably assisted by generals McClernand, Prentiss, 
Wallace, Hurlburt, McArthur and Stuart, all from 
Illinois, and they were all heroes in that fight. The only 
aide to Grant who did not hail from our prairies was 
General Sherman. 

When news of the dreadful carnage at Shiloh reached 
Governor Yates, he at once chartered a steamboat, and 
was soon on his way to the battlefield with physicians, 
nurses and medical supplies, to care for the wounded. 


When the boat touched at Pittsburg Landing, the scene 
of battle, the soldiers had heard of the coming and mission 
of the Governor, and wherever he appeared cheers went up 
for "Dick Yates the Soldiers' Friend." A thousand sick 
and wounded Illinois boys were soon carried on board the 
steamboat. Some could not yet be moved, so dangerously 
were they wounded, and their disappointment was pitiful. 
One poor fellow said bitterly, that he would be entirely 
satisfied if he could only go home to die. When told that 
the Governor was coming back for them, he asked: "Does 
the Governor say he will come after us?" "He does," 
was the reply. "Then he will come," said the dying man, 
"Dick Yates never broke his word to a soldier." When 
the Governor returned this poor soldier was lying in his 
grave. Of all the many loyal state governors during the 
war, none were more patriotic and untiring in supporting 
Lincoln than our own Governor Richard Yates. 


Logan's Boyhood. From childhood, John A. Logan 
lived on the borders of Kentucky and Missouri, in that 
extreme southern part of Illinois known as "Egypt." 
His father was a country doctor, and Logan grew up 
on a farm. Even as a boy, Logan believed in fair play, 
and always gave warning of what might be expected 
from him. Once, when the squirrels were destroying his 
father's corn, Logan was set to guarding the. crop. He 
wrote out in his boyish handwriting this notice and posted 
it on a tree by the cornfield: 

I give notice to all the squirrels to keep out of this 
cornfield. If they don't keep out they will be shot. 

John A. Logan. 


A Douglas Democrat. Logan's mother was a native 
of the South, and his associates had always been southern 
people, or those of southern parentage. It was but natural 
that he should feel a sympathy with the southland. Edu- 
cated for the law, Logan early entered politics as a follower 
of Douglas, and was elected to Congress. He thought 
Lincoln and the Republicans had brought all the trouble 
on the country, and said so in strong language. 

Demands Free Speech for All. But Logan loved the 
Union and the old flag under which he had fought in 
the Mexican War, and appreciated the liberties guar- 
anteed by that flag, one of which was the right of free 
speech. Though he disliked the Abolitionists, he thought 
they had a right to speak their opinions. Upon one occa- 
sion, when Owen Lovejoy the Abolitionist arose in Congress 
to make a speech against slavery, several southerners 
shook their clenched fists in his face, and dared him to 
utter a sentence, at the peril of his life. Lovejoy. insisted 
on the right of free speech, for which his brother had Ipid 
down his life at Alton, but the southerners only grew more 
excited. Suddenly, Logan appeared at Lovejoy's side, 
saying, "He is a representative from Illinois, the state that 
I was born in, and which I also have the honor to represent. 
He must be allowed to speak without interruption, other- 
wise I will meet the coward or cowards outside of this 
House, and hold them responsible for further indignities 
offered to Mr. Lovejoy." The fire-eaters knew that Logan 
meant what he said, and so took their seats and allowed 
Lovejoy to make his speech. 

Experiences a Change of Heart. In 1860, Logan was 
sent to Charleston to help nominate Douglas for the 
Presidency. Here he first saw the auction-blocks and 
slave-pens of the South, and he felt in his heart that sla- 
very was wrong, and that he could no longer endorse it. 


Logan at Bull Run. When the boys in blue and those 
in gray were marshaling their forces upon the battlefield 
of Bull Run, Logan left the halls of Congress and hastened 
to join the Union Army, where he fought that day as a 
private. When the northern army broke and ran, Logan 
tried to rally them, but his vigorous language did not stop 
them. He was among the last to leave the field. Someone 
asked who the soldier was with a silk hat, and was told that 
he was John A. Logan, Congressman from Illinois. Logan 
then came home to follow the flag, and if need be, to "hew 
his way to the Gulf." He found many people in "Egypt" 
undecided whether to join the South or the .North, but his 
loyalty led them all, save a few, into the Union Army. 
In fact his district furnished more Union soldiers, in pro- 
portion to its population, than any other in the whole 

Loyalty to the Union. But the "Copperheads" and 
disloyal Democrats taunted Logan, calling him an Abo- 
litionist. He replied, "If loving the flag of our country 
and standing by it in its severest struggle if that makes 
us Abolitionists . . . then I am proud to be an Abolition- 
ist, and I wish to high Heaven that we had a million more. 
. . . The man that today can raise his voice against the 
Constitution, the laws of the Government, with the design 
of injuring it ... should, if I could pass sentence upon 
hiui, be hung fifty cubits higher than Haman, until his 
body blackened in the sun and his bones rattled in 
the wind." 

A Valiant Soldier. Logan soon took rank as our great- 
est volunteer soldier, and was held in high repute as a 
general. In battle he always sought the post of danger 
where the blows of death fell thickest. "Fearless as a lion, 
he was in every part of the field, and seemed to infuse 
every man of his command with a part of his own indom- 


itable energy and fiery valor." Bareheaded, he often rode 
along the battle line, encouraging his men. Upon one 
occasion he was sitting upon his black stallion, too far in 
front of his command, when another general rebuked him 
for exposing himself. Logan replied that he didn't care a 
continental where he was, so long as he got into that fight. 
Remembers Faithful Veterans. After he had shown 
his splendid bravery on a score of battlefields, and the 
Union was saved, Logan came home to serve his state 
in the Senate. He never forgot, in the honors of later 
years, the battle-scarred patriots who had followed him 
to victory at Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. 


Unknown and Unsuccessful at Thirty-nine. When the 
war cloud darkened the sky in '61, there was working 
in a leather store in Galena, Illinois, a man who had grad- 
uated at West Point, and had served with honor in the 
Mexican war as "a captain. But he had resigned to enter 
business life, in order to better provide for his family of 
six. He had tried various occupations farming, real 
estate, and politics, but in each he had failed. At last his 
father, disappointed at his son's failures, gave him this 
position as clerk in his store. This soldier's name was 
Captain Ulysses S. Grant. 

Captain Grant had resided in Galena almost a year, 
but few people knew him, because he lived such a quiet life. 
He talked so little that he has been called the "Silent Man." 

Back to the Army. The people of Galena were soon 
enlisting a company for the war, and knowing that this 
''Silent Man" had been a soldier, because he sometimes 
wore the only blue army overcoat in town, they called 
upon him to help organize the company. Captain Grant 




seemed to know so much about drilling, equipping and 
getting the boys ready for the war, that they offered .to 
make him captain of their company; but he declined, 
because after his long service, he thought he ought not to 
accept a lower command than that of colonel of a regiment. 
However, he agreed to go with the company to Spring- 
field, and to assist them until they were mustered 
into service. 

Goes Begging for a Regiment. At Springfield, he 
found Governor Yates' office thronged twenty rows deep 
with office-seekers. After days of waiting, Grant was 
admitted to the Governor's presence to say that the "Joe 
Daviess Guards" from Galena were ready to be mustered 
in, and that he would like to serve his state in some capacity. 
The Governor simply said: "I'm sorry to say, Captain, 
there is nothing for you to do now. Call again." 

Grant's bearing was not that of a trained soldier, and 
he was not in the habit of boasting of his ability. There 
was nothing to indicate to the Governor that this plain 
man had the qualities of a great general. Since no impor- 
tant politicians were urging Grant's appointment, he was 
put aside for others, some of whom proved totally unfit 
for army office. 

His Loyalty. Grant departed from the Governor's 
office sorely disappointed. He had left home with a slen- 
der purse, and was in no position to wait long. He said 
to a friend: "I'm going home. The politicians have 
got everything here, there's no chance for me. I came 
down because I felt it my duty. The government educated 
me, and I felt I ought to offer my services again. I have 
applied, to no result. I can't afford to stay here longer, 
and I'm going home. 

Rejected at Home Applies Elsewhere. The Governor, 
however, needed some experienced soldiers to help muster 


in the many companies now gathering at Springfield, and 
he asked Grant to aid in this work. In mustering the 
Seventh District regiment, Grant made a favorable impres- 
sion upon the men and officers. However, their colonel 
had already been appointed, and there was no chance 
here for him. It looked as though his home state would 
offer him no command, so he made his way to St. Louis. 
But Missouri had no place for him. He applied to the 
Governor of Indiana, with the same result, and he set 
out for Ohio, his native state, hoping to receive a regiment 
of "Buckeyes" to lead against the South, or to secure a 
place on the staff of General McClellan, a comrade of the 
Mexican war, who now commanded the Department of' 
the Ohio. For two days, Grant tried to see McClellan at 
his headquarters in Cincinnati, but failed. 

Appeals to Washington. Meantime, Grant had written 
to the War Department at Washington, but his letter was 
unanswered. The letter was somehow misplaced, and never 
reached the eyes of Lincoln nor the War Secretary. The 
government was in sore need of just such experienced 
soldiers to organize and drill the raw armies, but such was 
the pressure for office that the wrong men often got the 
responsible places. 

While in Cincinnati, Grant met an old boyhood friend 
who begged him to wait there while he himself went to 
Columbus. He told Grant there ought to be a command 
fer him somewhere. 

Offered Two Regiments. When his friend returned 
from the Ohio capital, with a commission appointing 
Grant colonel of the Twelfth Ohio regiment, he found the 
"West Pointer" already rejoicing over a telegram from 
Governor Yates, asking: "Will you accept the command 
of the Seventh District regiment?" Grant had already 
accepted the Illinois command, but Ohio almost robbed 


the Prairie State of the glory of sending to the front this 
man from Galena, who was destined to become the greatest 
Union general of the Civil War. . 

Who Discovered Grant. Grant's appointment came 
about in this way. The colonel of the Seventh District 
regiment, the Twenty-first Illinois, had lost control of his 
men. A bread riot broke out in the regiment and sol- 
diers had burned the guard house. The men were foraging 
among the farmers, stealing chickens and pigs. The 
disorderly behavior of the troop at last became unbear- 
able. Since the colonel could not stop this rowdyism, 
Governor Yates decided that a change must be made. So 
he called the officers of the regiment before Lim to ascer- 
tain their choice for the position. Having seen a little of 
Grant, they expressed a strong preference for him, and the 
Governor gave him the appointment. Grant took hold of 
the command with energy, and was soon off to the war with 
the best disciplined regiment in the state. Lincoln shortly 
afterward made Grant Brigadier General, with head- 
quarters at Cairo. 

Two Big Jobs. There were two great tasks for the 
Union army to do, in order to conquer the seceded 
states and save the Union. The first one was to cap- 
ture the rebel forts along the Mississippi. This would 
open this great river to Union boats with their soldiers 
and provisions, and it would cut the South into two 
parts. The other task was to capture Richmond, the 
rebel capital. 

Grant Opens the Mississippi. Lincoln gave Grant a 
large army and a fleet of gunboats, and told him to haul 
down the rebel flags along the Mississippi, and this unflinch- 
ing fighter set out to do it. He captured the forts, Henry 
and Donelson, defeated a great rebel army at Shiloh, 
and completed the job by starving them out of Vicksburg. 


Saves a Starving Army. Meantime, the Confederate 
General Bragg had cooped up and surrounded a large 
Union army under Rosecrans, in Chattanooga, and was 
starving them into surrender. Since Grant had not thus 
far failed in a single undertaking, Lincoln called upon 
him to rescue the starving Union men. The sturdy fighter 
from Galena made short work of it. He soon carried pro- 
visions to the hungry troops, and sent the rebels flying 
southward with General Sherman in pursuit. 

The Other Task Still Undone. For three long years, 
Lincoln had been looking for a general who could whip 
Robert E. Lee and capture Richmond. General after 
general, with immense armies had tried it, only to fail. 
McClellan, McDowell, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade, each 
in turn, marched upon Richmond, but Lee with a smaller 
army drove them back one by one, and himself had threat- 
ened the city of Washington. 

Succeeds George Washington. Oongress now created 
the high office of Lieutenant General, a position hitherto 
held only by George Washington. Lincoln promptly 
gave this great command to Grant, turned over to him 
the control of all the Union armies, and sent him after 
Lee. For months Grant hammered away at Lee's fortifi- 
cations, saying that he would fight it out on that line if 
it took all summer. He finally made it so hot for that 
famous general that he abandoned Richmond and retreated, 
only to be surrounded by Grant and forced to surrender. 

Within four years, nearly half a million men went to 
their graves, that the Union might be preserved and the 
nation freed from slavery. Boys and girls of Illinois may 
take just pride in knowing that no other soldier con- 
tributed so much to that mighty achievement as the modest 
clerk of Galena, who was almost unknown, even among his 
own townsmen, when the war began. 


What the People Thought of Abraham Lincoln. The 

world knew little of the splendid character of Lincoln 
and of his ability to manage men when he entered the 
White House. The South heaped abuse and ridicule upon 
the "Black Republican President," while even the North 
had many doubts, because he was yet untried. Many 
Northerners believed that Lincoln, would never be any- 
thing but the tool of Chase or Seward, or whoever proved 
the strong man in his cabinet. 

The Shrewdness and Foresight of Lincoln. When 
Lincoln went to Washington, the South thought there 
would be no war because the North was not united on 
the slavery question, and not likely to be. But Abraham 
Lincoln was a far-sighted man. In his inaugural address 
he put slavery in the background and made the Union 
first. About slavery, he simply said he had no right and 
no inclination to interfere with it in the states where it 
existed, but that he meant to prevent its spread to the 
territories. The Union he would maintain. 

Sometime afterward, Lincoln made this reply to the 
fault-finding of Horace Greely: "My paramount object 
in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to 
save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without 
freeing any slave I would do it; and, if I could save it by 
freeing all the slaves I would do it; and, if I could save it by 
freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. 
What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because 
I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, 
I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save 
the Union. ... I shall adopt new views so fast 
as they shall appear to be true views." The shrewd Lin- 
coln thought he might not be able to unite the North and 


bring it to the fighting point on the question of slavery, 
but he believed that all Northerners loved the Union and 
the flag, and for these they would fight. 

Afraid to Strike First. The South did not want a war, 
least of all did they want to strike the first blow. In any 
fight, it always looks bad for the party that strikes first, 
unless he has right on his side. The South hoped if there 
must be a fight that Lincoln would begin it. 

Now, "Honest Abe" was far too wise to make that 
mistake. He believed, if the South first fired upon the 
flag without good cause, the North would rise as one man 
to avenge the insult. Besides, it would put the .South in'a 
bad light with foreign countries from whom they expected 
help, and with the border slave states that had not yet left 
the Union. So, Lincoln played a waiting game. Week 
after week he waited patiently for the South to fire the 
first gun. Many began to criticise the President for his 
attitude of delay, but Lincoln knew what he was about. 

Attempts to Get Sumter Without a Battle. The South 
held nearly every fort in their territory except Fort Sum- 
ter, in Charleston harbor. They had again and again 
summoned its brave commander, Captain Anderson, to 
give it up, but he told them he did not propose to haul 
down the Stars and Stripes unless Lincoln ordered him 
to do so, that, if they got that fort, they would have to 
fight for it. Being unwilling to fire the first gun, they sent 
commissioners to Washington to prevail upon Lincoln to 
give up Sumter. They found that Lincoln had made up 
his mind to do no such thing. So they went to Secretary 
Seward whom they considered the real President. 

Seward, who had perhaps done more than any other 
anti-slavery man to provoke the war, now weakened and 
said he was in favor of giving up Ft. Sumter. He told 
Lincoln so. Everybody, even General Scott, advised the 


President to abandon Sumter, but the people now found 
out who was President. 

Lincoln the Real President. Supplies in the fort were 
low, and could last but a few days. There was no way 
of reaching it but by water, for the rebels had surrounded 
it with an army, and were in high hopes that Anderson 
would soon have to leave it or starve. 

Lincoln now informed the South that he meant to 
send food to the fort, but he would not send ammunition 
nor men. The southern men could no longer restrain 
themselves. Unable to get possession in any other way, 
and being unwilling to see it provisioned, the rebels opened 
fire upon the Stars and Stripes. After holding out grandly 
for thirty-six hours, Anderson surrendered. Lincoln 
immediately called for 75,000 men to defend the flag, 
and now the united North responded with 300,000. It was 
the supreme patience and good judgment of "Honest 
Abe" that united the North and saved the border 

His Cabinet. One of the hardest tasks Lincoln had 
was choosing his cabinet advisers. He wanted the strong- 
est men in the country to help him guide the ship of state, 
so the people would have confidence in him and stand 
by him; he wanted, so far as possible, to get men who 
believed as he did, so he might have harmony in his official 
family. But, he put the Union above everything else, and 
determined to do a risky thing to take into the cabinet 
four men who had been his rivals. Seward, Chase, Bates, 
and Cameron had all been candidates against him at 
Chicago, and now he asked them to be his advisers. Nobody 
thought Lincoln could manage them or hold them together. 
They had little respect for the "Rail-splitter." Each one 
expected to be the "boss," but they did not yet know 
Abraham Lincoln. 


Lincoln's Forgiving Spirit. It made no difference to 
the great-souled Lincoln whether these statesmen had 
slighted or mistreated him, if they could only help him 
save the Union. Stanton had gone about the country 
saying many bitter things. He had called Lincoln "Old 
Ape," "Ignorant Baboon," and "The Original Gorilla," 
and he even said that the new President was neither 
honest nor patriotic, that he had mismanaged things 

Now, Lincoln soon needed a strong man to take Cam- 
eron's place as Secretary of War, and he came to the con- 
clusion that Stanton was the best man he could find. He 
thought Stanton was able and loyal to the Union; besides, 
the people believed in him, so he was called into Lincoln's 
cabinet. Stanton continued to be haughty and overbear- 
ing toward the President, but Lincoln patiently endured 
the slights. 

Once when Lincoln was entertaining his log-cabin 
cousin, Dennis Hanks, in the White House, this simple, 
quiet guest became disgusted with the conduct of Stanton 
and urged Lincoln "to kick the frisky little Yankee out." 
But Lincoln replied: "It would be difficult to find another 
man to fill his place." The lion-hearted Stanton, however, 
came at last to appreciate the greatness of Lincoln. When 
the President lay dead, pierced by the assassin's bullet, 
Stanton looked upon the body, saying, "Now he belongs 
to the ages." "Lincoln," he later declared, "was the most 
perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen." 

Father Abraham Frees the Slave. When the time came 
that Lincoln thought he could help the cause of the Union 
by setting the slaves free, he called his cabinet together. 
He told those great statesmen that he had decided to free 
the slaves. He said he did not wish their advice as to 
whether or not he should do this, for he had already prom- 






ised it both to himself and to his Maker, but he would like 
their opinions as to how best to put his proclamation 
into effect. Then, with a stroke of his pen, he freed four 
million slaves. So it was with almost every great question 
that came up. Lincoln always listened to the advice of his 
cabinet and everybody else, but he had usually made up 
his mind beforehand after a careful consideration, and he 
seldom changed his plans. 

Bearing the Nation's Burdens. During the darkest 
days of the war, when the northern armies had met with 
severe defeat and terrible loss of life at Chancellorsville, 
or Fredericksburg, and when there was mourning in almost 
every home in the land, President Lincoln was bearing an 
awful load of care and sorrow. It was then that everybody 
was criticising and blaming him. Delegation after dele- 
gation, committee after committee, went to Washington 
to protest about something, and Lincoln with his mind 
weighed down and his hands already full, had to listen 
patiently to all this petty and unjust criticism. 

To a body of clergymen who came to complain and to 
tell him how the war ought to be managed, Lincoln said: 
"Gentlemen, suppose all the property you were worth 
was in gold and you had put it in the hands of Blondin 
(the famous tight-rope walker) to carry across the Niagara 
river on a rope. Would you shake the cable, or keep 
shouting at him, 'Blondin, stand up a little straighter 
Blondin, stoop a little more go a little faster lean a 
little more to the north lean a little more to the south'? 
No, you would hold your breath as well as your tongue, 
and keep your hands off until he was safe over. The 
government is carrying an enormous weight. Untold 
treasures are in their hands. They are doing the best 
they can. Don't badger them. Keep silence and we will 
get you safe across," 


Lincoln's sad face seemed to grow sadder, and his 
long, thin body to grow thinner. Often he could neither 
eat nor sleep. Stanton once said to a friend: "Many a 
time did Lincoln come in after midnight in an agony of 
anxiety occasioned by dispatches he had received. He 
Would throw himself at full length on the sofa and cry 
out: 'Stanton, these things will kill me! I shall go mad! 
I can't stand it!' " 

Comforting Words From a Friend. Among those who 
visited the White House during those dark days was a 
company of ladies who found the President in deep gloom. 
His face looked as if it never smiled. But a little Quaker 
lady spoke words of comfort. "Friend Abraham," she 
said, "thee need not think thee stands alone. We are 
praying for thee. The hearts of the people are behind 
thee, and thee cannot fail. Yea, as no man was ever 
loved before does this people love thee. Take comfort, 
Friend Abraham, God is with thee; the people are 
behind thee." 

"I know it," said Lincoln, with trembling voice. "If 
I did not have the knowledge that God is sustaining 
and will sustain me until my appointed work is done, I could 
not live. If I did not believe that the hearts of all loyal 
people were with me, I could not endure it. My heart 
would have broken long ago. . . . You have given a 
cup of cold water to a very thirsty and grateful man. I knew 
that good men and women were praying for me, but I was 
so tired I had almost forgotten. God bless you all." 

Popular with the Plain People. During these years 
of trial and worry, the plain people had come to under- 
stand and to love Lincoln. They had read and appreciated 
his stories and homely wit. His noble heart, tender sympa- 
thy and rugged honesty had won him hosts of friends 
everywhere. Politicians might criticise and : cheme to put 


somebody else in his place, but the millions of common 
people declared that "Father Abraham," as they lovingly 
called him, was the only man to finish up that cruel war and 
save the Union. 

The end of his four-year term was approaching, and 
the discontented were looking about for another candi- 
date. They asked Grant to run, but that hero replied, 
"No, my place is with the army. Lincoln should 
be reflected." 

Reelected. When the Republican Convention met at 
Baltimore, in June, 1864, Illinois again presented her 
noble son, Abraham Lincoln. A roll call of states was 
then taken. One state after another answered: "Solid 
for Lincoln," until all but one of the thirty states and 
territories had voted solidly for him. The Democrats ran 
General McClellan, but "Father Abraham" swept 
the country. 

Both North and South Mourn. Scarcely had Lincoln 
served a year of his second term, when the southern armies 
were forced to surrender. The long and cruel war was 
over, the Union was saved, and the slaves were forever 
free. Amid the general rejoicing, the world was over- 
whelmed with sorrow to learn that the noble Lincoln had 
been struck down by the assassin's bullet. While his 
body was being carried to its final resting place on the 
prairies that he loved, the whole country was in mourning. 
The South, too, grieved because it felt that it had lost a 
powerful friend. 

Our Supreme Contribution. Every citizen of Illinois 
may take a just pride in the service of her sons in the 
Civil War. There was Douglas, who died praying for the 
Union; Richard Yates, our patriotic war Governor, who 
did everything in his power to uphold the cause of Lin- 
coln; Logan, and a score of other officers, who faced Con- 


federate guns without flinching; and the tens of thousands 
of men from Illinois, who displayed their bravery on many 
a battlefield; and the world-famous General Grant, 
who led the Union armies to victory; and, above all, the 
immortal Lincoln, who gave his life to free the slaves and 
to preserve the Union. "Greater love hath no man than 
this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." 


1. Write a short biography of Stephen A. Douglas. 

2. Name five incidents in the life of Douglas that confirm the 
statement of one historian that in courage and intellectual ability 
he was superior to any other American in public life at the time. 

3. Explain how the geographic position of Illinois made this 
state an important factor in the Civil War. 

4. What can you say of the character and deeds of Governor 

5. Give an estimate of the character of Logan and of the value 
of his services to the Union. 

6. Give the principal events in the life of Grant from 1862 to 

7. Relate an incident illustrating the sympathetic nature of 


Illinois in the Rebellion. Almost simultaneously with the call 
for troops, enlistments commenced, and within ten days 10,000 
volunteers offered service, and the sum of near $1,000,000 was 
tendered by patriotic citizens to procure supplies, for which the 
State in sudden emergency had made no provision. 

The women of Illinois, in common with others all over the land, 
were the first to relieve the sufferings of the soldier. In this they 
were actuated not only by a heroic love of country, but their kin- 
dred were enduring the privations of war, and who like them could 
feel for their distress? How many weary sufferers on the battle 
field, and in the lonely hospital, were relieved by their bounty and 
cheered by their presence, none but the recording angel can tell. 

From Chapters in Illinois History. 



In a land like ours, where every citizen is a sovereign and where 
no one cares to wear a crown every year, presents a battlefield and 
every day brings forth occasion for the display of patriotism. 



Chicago's First Railroad. The very year that the 
Illinois-Michigan Canal was completed (1848), the "iron 
horse" made its first appearance in Chicago. This loco- 
motive steamed westward on the newly built railroad 
for Galena and the Mississippi River. 

Valuable lead mines, known for a hundred years to the 
Indians and French, had early attracted American miners 
and settlers to Galena, where a prosperous city grew up, 
with a splendid trade. Up to this time, the Galena com- 
merce had all been carried to the East by water, by way of 
New Orleans. Her people now wished to trade with the 
giant young city on Lake Michigan, and through this port 
with the East. This brought about the Chicago and Galena 
Union Railroad, which is now a part of the Chicago & 
Northwestern system. 

Chicago's Wonderful Location. Four years later 
Chicago was connected by rail with the Atlantic seaboard, 
the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, and the Michigan 
Central, both tapping Chicago trade in 1852. With this 
start, other railroads came rapidly, for it was easy to build 
across the level prairies. 

The upper Mississippi region of Wisconsin, Minnesota, 
and the Dakotas began a rapid settlement and growth, and 



railroads that would run into this boundless Northwest 
from the East must all pass around the southern end of 
Lake Michigan, through Chicago. Then, too, roads from 
the West and Southwest, reaching out for the Great 
Lakes, found Chicago to be the nearest port. When the 
time came to connect New York with San Francisco by 
rail, Chicago was again found to be in a direct line. 

With these iron rails running out in all directions, 
Chicago was fast becoming a railroad center, besides 
being the center of canal and lake traffic from north to 
south. Situated as it is in the heart of the continent, 
at the head of lake navigation, and in the midst of the 
finest grain and stock-raising section in the world, Chi- 
cago had, by 1870, developed into a great commercial 
center, a shipping point, the seat of a wholesale and retail 
distributing trade, of grain and live stock markets, of meat 
packing and tanning industries. The iron ore from Lake 
Superior, and the fuel from the Illinois coal fields, met 
here to build up important iron and steel works. There 
were at that time 300,000 people living in the city limits, 
covering thirty-six square miles. 

Chicago had raised herself out of the mud to a level 
from eight to fourteen feet higher, had built substantial 
waterworks, paved her streets, bridged the river in many 
places, and at others tunneled beneath it. Chicago 
business men were facing the future with enthusiasm and 
bright prospects, when a dreadful calamity occurred. 

Swept by Fire. On Sunday night, October 8, 1871, 
the city of Chicago was swept by fire. A little before 
nine o'clock in the evening, flames were discovered in the 
barn belonging to Patrick O'Leary, located southwest of the 
heart of the city. The season had been very dry, little rain 
having fallen for six weeks. That part of the city where 
the fire originated was built up chiefly of wooden buildings, 




and, besides the homes, contained some lumber mills and a 
match factory. There was a high wind blowing from 
the southwest. 

The Wind Carries Burning Shingles. Almost instantly 
the buildings surrounding the barn were in flames. In 
thirty minutes the fire had spread over the entire block 
and had overleapt the streets. The firemen worked hero- 
ically, but they were powerless. The flames were sweeping 
the earth and sky, and the wind, now blowing a gale, was 
carrying burning shingles far and wide. Fresh fires broke 
out in many places, as much as a mile distant from the 
scene. The progress of the conflagration was unparalleled. 
In sixty seconds it traversed an entire block, and the 
frightened people fled before it for their lives, leaving 
to its fury all their property and goods. 

Waterworks Burn. Throughout the night the fire 
raged unchecked. The courthouse bell kept up its warning 
to the people. When at last, this building, too, was sur- 
rendered to the flames, the janitor set the bell so that it 
continued its faithful clanging, until it fell at half-past two 
in the morning. The waterworks burned and, thereafter, 
there was no water at hand with which to fight the flames, 
except along the lake front; but there was no use fighting. 
The lake crib, although two miles from the burned district, 
would have been destroyed, except for the all-night fight 
of the keeper and his wife. 

The Business and Residence Districts in Ashes. Soon 
the fire, having laid low the entire business district, now 
known as the "Loop," approached the main Chicago River, 
beyond which was the north side residence district with 
its thousands of fine homes. The people had anxiously 
hoped that the river would stop the fire, but the roaring 
flames leaped easily across, and all hope of saving this 
beautiful residence section was gone. 





From the following letter, written by Mrs. Mary 
Fales to her mother, we get a vivid picture of those 
awful days: 

"Chicago, October 10, 1871. 

Dear Mamma: You have probably heard of our fire, 
and will be glad to know that we are safe, after much 
tribulation. Sunday night a fire broke out on the west 
side, about three miles southwest of us. The wind was 
very high, and David said it was a bad night for a fire. 
About two o'clock we were awakened by a very bright 
light, and a great noise of carts and wagons. . . . They 
thought the fire would stop when it came to the river, but 
this proved no obstacle, and the north side was soon on 
fire, and Wells and La Salle streets soon crowded with peo- 
ple going north. We saw that with such a wind it would 
soon reach our neighborhood, and David told me to pack 
what I most valued. It seemed useless to pack in trunks, 
as every vehicle demanded an enormous price, and was 
engaged. Several livery stables were already burned, and 
loose horses were plenty. One of the Wheeler boys had a 
horse given him for nothing except the promise to lead it 
to a safe place. . . . Having no wagon, it was of no 
use to him, and David took it, and after a while, succeeded 
in finding a no-top buggy. We felt very lucky as no one 
around could get either horse or conveyance. David 
packed it full of things, set me and himself on top, and 
started to the Hutchinson's. 

I cannot convey to you how the streets looked. Every- 
body was out of his house without exception, and the 
sidewalks were covered with furniture and bundles of every 
description. The middle of the street was a jam of carts, 
carriages and wheelbarrows, and every sort of vehicle 
many horses being led along, all excited and prancing, some 
running away. ... I was glad to go fast for the fire 


behind us raged, and the whole earth, or all we saw of it, 
was a lurid, yellowish red. David left me at Aunt Eng's 
and went for another load of things. This he soon brought 
back, and then went off again, and I saw him no more for 
seven hours. People came crowding to Aung Eng's, and 
the house was full of strangers and their luggage. One 
young lady, who was to have had a fine wedding tomorrow, 
came dragging along some of her wedding presents. One 
lady came . . . with six blankets -full of clothing. 
Another came with nurse and baby, and, missing her little 
boy, went off to look for him. This was about daylight, 
and she did not come back at all. Now and then some- 
body's husband would come back for a moment, but there 
was work for everybody, and they only stayed long enough 
to say how far the fire had advanced and assure us of safety. 
The Hubbards thought they were safe in a brick house 
with so much ground around it, but wet their carpets and 
hung them over the wooden facings for additional safety. 
It was all to no purpose. David saw our home burn and 
fall, and theirs suffered the same fate. The McCagg's 
large house and stable burned in a few minutes, also the 
New England Church and Mr. Collyer's. In the afternoon 
the wind blew more furiously, the dust was blinding, the 
sky gray and leaden, and the atmosphere dense with 
smoke. We watched the swarms of wagons and people 
pass. All the men and many of the women were dragging 
trunks by cords tied to the handles, and children were carry- 
ing and dragging big bundles. Soon they said Aunt Eng's 
house must go too. Then such confusion as there was! 
Everybody trying to get a cart and none to be had at 
any price. After a while two of the gentlemen, who had 
wagons, carried their wives farther north, and those that 
were left watched for empty wagons, but nobody spoke a 
word. Mr. Hutchinson, David, and some others, were tak- 


ing things out and burying them, and many of the ladies 
fairly lost their wits. Poor Aunt Eng even talked of sending 
home a shawl that somebody left there long ago. David 
started for a cart. Again he was successful, and got an old 
sand cart with no springs, one board out of the bottom, with 
a horse that had not been out of the harness for twenty-four 
hours. . . . The west side was safe, but to get there 
was the question. The bridges were blocked and some 
burned, but the man who owned the cart thought we could 
get there. . . . Many times we were blocked and it 
seemed as though the fire must reach the bridge before 
we did. But we were much too well off to complain. Some 
carts had broken down, horses had given out, and many 
people were walking and pulling big things, and seemed 
almost exhausted. Furniture and clothing lay all along the 
road. The fences were broken in all the unbuilt fields, and 
furniture and people covered every yard of space. After 
a ride of two hours we reached Judge Porter's at dusk, 
and found a warm welcome. 

Every family I know on the north side is burned out. 
I can't enumerate them. It would be useless. 
We were the only ones who took our things from Aunt 
Eng's. The lady with six bundles left five behind her. The 
lady with four servants . . . left the baby and nurse. 

I never felt so grateful in my life as when I heard the 
rain pour down at three o'clock this morning. That 
stopped the fire . . . David says the piano burned 
under ground, nothing was left but the iron plates. The 
north side is level, as is the burned part of the south side, 
so that the streets are not distinguishable. They say 
that people in every class of life are out of doors. The 
churches are full, and food is sent to them, but hardly 
anybody has any to spare. I will write again soon. 

Lovingly and thankfully, MARY." 


The Results of the Fire. The fire raged for three long 
days and nights, destroying the best residence section and 
the entire business district. The burned area was four 
miles long and two-thirds of a mile wide. Nearly sixteen 
thousand buildings and a hundred seventy-five manufac- 
turing plants were in ashes. One-third of Chicago's 
population was homeless, and thousands penniless. The 
prices of food soared, though fast express trains brought 
load after load to the stricken city, and millions of dollars 
were freely given to its relief. 

Real estate values shrank, and many sold to move 
away. Hundreds left the city, predicting that Chicago 
would never recover. Sad, indeed, were the faces of the 
multitude, as they looked upon the ashes of their once 
beautiful homes and fine business blocks. Many, however, 
believed the ruins before them would yet become a 
great city. 

Nature Planned Chicago. Long before man appeared 
hi the western wilderness. Nature called in convention 
the Spirit of the Prairies, the Spirit of the Lakes, and the 
Spirit of the Forests, and they decided that on this spot 
there should some day arise a great city. The Spirit of 
the Prairies said that it would supply vast crops of grain 
and herds of live stock, to make the city a great market. 
The Spirit of the Forests promised the lumber, while the 
Spirit of the Lakes said it would carry the immense trade 
to the ocean and the cities of the East and bring back 
from the northern lakes millions of tons of iron and copper 
ore, building stone and lumber, to make the future city a 
manufacturing center. The only other thing needed 
was an abundance of fuel. "Good," said the Spirit of the 
Prairies. "I have thousands of square miles of fine coal 
lands not far away. On the border of this lake, by thi? 
river, shall the city be built." 


Chicago Rebuilt. The conflagration had indeed checked, 
for a brief time, the proud city's growth and prosperity, 
but her great advantages would build her up again more 
wonderful than before. Within a few years, not a scar was 
left. That which some had said would require twenty years 
was achieved in three. From the ashes arose finer homes 
and more imposing business blocks than, perhaps, would 
have existed for many years, but for the great fire. 

Chicago's misfortune advertised her the world over, 
and hither came workmen to find employment, and men 
of all classes to share in her prosperity. So the metropolis 
of the West continued her marvelous growth. 

Chicago Again in Trouble. A big problem for all 
large cities is how to dispose of their sewage. Chicago had 
been draining all its sewers into the sluggish river, and as 
the population approached the half-million mark, the river 
water became so heavy with refuse from sewers that it 
failed to carry its load into the lake. The offensive odor 
became an unbearable nuisance and a danger to public 
health. So in 1880, the city built a big plant to pump lake 
water through a tunnel into the river, in order to increase 
the volume and flow of water, and thus help to carry away 
the sewage. This brought relief for a time, but the popula- 
tion grew so rapidly, that before long the lake water was 
becoming contaminated from the river, and unfit for use. 

Some other way of disposing of the sewage had to be 
found, because there was nowhere else for the city to get 
water except from the lake. Engineers were asked to solve 
the problem. They said the best solution was to dig a 
huge, deep drainage canal through the low divide to the 
Des Plaines River, and by this means to reverse the cur- 
rent in the Chicago River, making it 'flow south into the 
Des Plaines. This, they said, would caKry all sewage by 
way of the Des Plainee into the Illinois River, and on, to 


the Mississippi. A good many people laughed at the idea 
of making a river run up hill, for so it seemed. 

Such a stupendous sewerage project had never before 
been undertaken by a great city, but Chicago likes big 
tasks, and seeing no other way out of her troubles, began 
at once to collect the millions of money needed. 

The cities along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers 
uttered a vigorous protest. They claimed that the drainage 
from Chicago would pollute the waters of the Illinois and 
Mississippi, which were their only source of supply. To 
this the engineers replied, that by making the drainage 
canal large enough to carry an abundance of lake water 
the river would purify itself as it flowed along. 

Special laws had to be secured from the Legislature, 
and a sanitary district organized, in order to levy the 
taxes necessary to complete this great project. 

Work was begun in 1892. The river was deepened by 
dredging for five miles, to Robey street on the south 
branch, where the canal proper begins. It was to be 
twenty-eight miles long, more than a hundred feet wide, 
and deep enough for large lake vessels, for it was to be 
used for navigation, also. For miles it was blasted through 
solid rock at a vast expense. At Lockport, the southern 
terminus, where the water is discharged into the Des 
Plaines, there was built a large basin, so that boats could 
turn around. After eight years, the work was completed, 
at a cost Of thirty-three million dollars, and the water from 
Lake Michigan now flows into the Gulf of Mexico. This 
drainage canal is doing what its engineers said it would, 
and Chicago's water supply is now excellent, and the city 
is noted for its low death rate. 

Evanston has completed a canal from the lake to the 
north branch of the Chicago River, and in this way that 
city, too, discharges its sewage through the drainage canal. 


The World's Columbian Exposition. As the year 1892 
approached, there arose all over the country a desire 
to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the dis- 
covery of America by Columbus, by holding somewhere a 
great exposition. Many cities sought the honor, and vied 
with each other in Congress to secure the exposition, but 
Chicago won over them all. Jackson Park was chosen as 
the site, and here were laid out magnificent grounds cover- 
ing six hundred sixty-six acres. Under the excellent direc- 
tion of Daniel H. Burnham, assisted by hundreds of the 
best artists and architects in the land, the wonderful 
"White City" was built. Nothing like it in beauty and 
grandeur had ever before been seen on the western con- 

Because of the extensive plans and mammoth buildings, 
the exposition had to be postponed one year. In the spring 
of 1893, it opened its gates with splendid promise. All 
through that summer and autumn, thousands of visitors 
from all parts of the world flocked thither, and none were 
disappointed. Almost every foreign country had its build- 
ing, and a display of the wonders of its progress. The 
exposition proved a great means of collecting ideas from all 
over the world, and scattering them broadcast, to benefit 
the human race. 

Chicago enjoyed a boom in all lines, and the entire 
state was greatly benefited in many ways. The varied 
and beautiful architecture of the "White City" opened 
the eyes of the West. Our people had never dreamed, 
how far behind the other countries of the world we were 
in architecture and art. We were used to big buildings, 
but we had no idea of the importance of making them 
beautiful. From that day, Chicago people have made 
great strides in beautifying their city, as is shown in her 
noble boulevards, magnificent parks, and beautiful edifices. 



1. What is meant by the statement, "Nature planned Chicago"? 

2. What reasons can you give why a ship canal should be built 
from the Lakes to the Gulf? 

3. What conditions have arisen in Chicago that make the con- 
struction of a passenger subway necessary? 

4. Name three civic improvements which in your judgment 
would be of most benefit to the city, and give your reasons. 


The World's Columbian Exposition. The exhibits of the great 
fair were bewildering in their attraction and their numbers. Never 
before in the world's history had such a collection of the products 
of art, science, and manufactures been made. It seemed nothing 
was wanting of the best that the world could give from every nation 
and every clime. The Centennial Exhibition of 1876 had appealed 
chiefly to the artistic and the sentimental; the World's Columbian 
Exposition, while equally artistic and far more extensive, aimed 
chiefly to show the progress of the human race during the preced- 
ing four hundred years. For example, in the transportation build- 
ing were exhibited the old Conestoga wagon and the stagecoach of 
a hundred and fifty years ago, side by side with the best equipped 
modern locomotive. So, in many exhibits, the old and the new were 
contrasted in such a way as to present most strikingly to the eye 
the wonderful progress of modern times. 



New Chicago. Outlook, Vol. 92, Pages 997-1013. 

Illinois of Today. Pritchard. 

Illinois As It Is. Gerhard. 

Chicago After the Fire. Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 17, Page 663. 


Still sits the schoolhouse by the road, 

A ragged beggar sunning; 
Around it still the sumachs grow, 

And blackberry-vines are running. 



An Inspiring Picture. When the school bells rang this 
morning throughout the length and breadth of our state, 
a million pupils took up their studies and orderly reci- 
tations. The great majority of them did this under 
conditions favorable to health and happiness. The class- 
rooms in the main are fairly well lighted and heated. 
The sanitation is much improved, there is usually an 
abundant supply of pure water, and but few schools 
where drinking cups are used in common. The instruction 
is in the hands of teachers competent to give the needed 
help to all. Under these circumstances, this is a good time 
to look into the past and to question the future, that we 
may understand how far we have advanced in the right 
direction and what remains yet to be done. 

Looking Backward. As you have learned, the spirit of 
the free public school was planted in the Northwest Terri- 
tory by the Ordinance of 1787. In the act creating the 
Territory of Illinois, Congress made a public school system 
possible by setting aside the sixteenth section, or one of 
equal value, in every township, 998,448 acres in all, for 
that purpose. Three per cent, of the net proceeds from 
the sales of all public lands in the state was given by the 



general government for the encouragement of education, 
with a provision that one-sixth part of such revenue should 
be used to establish a college or university. 

Pioneer Schools. Even with all this assistance from 
the government, the schools were in a bad condition. The 
people were too poor to tax themselves to pay the teachers, 
and the receipts from the school lands, much of which was 
sold at $1.25 an acre, brought but little relief. A law 
taxing the people for the support of the schools was passed 
in 1825, but there was so much opposition that it was 
repealed four years later. Meanwhile the cause of public 
education fell to a very low stage. The schoolhouses were 
either poorly built of logs, or some abandoned building was 
used for the purpose. The courses of study were usually 
limited to instruction in the three R's "Readin', 'Ritin' 
and 'Rithmetic." The whole school studied and recited 
together from such books as could be brought from home. 
In some instances a spelling book or the New Testament 
was made to do duty for the entire school, the pupils reciting 
"out loud," and in concert. The teacher, who was too 
often an incompetent adventurer, either "boarded around," 
or traveled from house to house, spending part of the day 
instructing the children of each family. Sometimes he 
received his pay in produce, pork, beef, corn or tallow 
and in one instance at least, a calf. There was no fixed 
standard by which teachers' certificates were granted, the 
principal question asked the applicant being whether he 
could "keep order." 

A teacher of those days in describing his first examina- 
tion says: "The only question asked me at my examina- 
tion was 'What is the product of twenty-five cents by 
twenty-five cents?' As this question did not occur in 
Pike's Arithmetic, I could not answer it. The examiner 
thought it was six and one-quarter cents, but was not sure. 


We discussed its merits for an hour or more, when he 
decided that he was sure I was qualified to teach school, 
and a first-class certificate was given me." 

Better Schoolhouses Needed. If one takes a ride 
through the state on any railroad, the country schoolhouse 
is the most familiar object in the landscape. It is painted 
white, and stands in a field or school ground, lonesome and 
alone, "a ragged beggar sunning." There is but "one door 
and that opens directly into the schoolroom. The windows 
are high and narrow, and placed at regular intervals on 
three sides, and it sometimes happens that no shades are 
provided to regulate the light. The heating is done with a 
stove that is placed where it should not be, and is an ever- 
present danger to the clothing of the pupils and to the 
building itself. In many instances there is no means of 
ventilation except by opening a window or door. 

Thanks to the State Superintendent and many ener- 
getic County Superintendents, the people are being 
instructed in a wiser way of building. Plans for almost 
any type of rural school may be had at a small cost. These 
plans show the proper method of lighting, heating and 
ventilating, and how to make the building most attractive 
at smallest cost. 

Improve the School Grounds. Here and there we find 
a school yard planted with trees and made beautiful with 
shrubs and flowers. But a great work remains to be done, 
and this work must be begun and carried forward by the 
pupils themselves. No more pleasant and profitable task 
can come to those who read this book than an earnest 
effort to make the school grounds beautiful. Study the 
soil and its possibilities. Read the flower and seed cata- 
logues, and garden magazines. Plan and work under the 
direction of the teacher, and for your own sake, make it 
a labor of love. 


Looking Forward. While our schools are rapidly 
improving, the country boys and girls are still at a dis- 
advantage; not because the farmer is unwilling to pay 
taxes, but because the country teacher has to instruct 
thirty or more classes a day, representing usually several 
grades of advancement. On the other hand, the city teacher 
has, ordinarily, not more than a dozen classes, and these 
all of one grade. Centralized rural schools must wait for 
good roads, the limestone for which nature has given us in 
abundance; but it still lies beneath the surface. Surely, 
the young who read this book will do what they can to 
centralize the rural schools when they grow to be men and 
women, and they will try to make them as good as the 
efficient township high schools now found all over the state. 

Above the excellent graded schools and the high schools, 
are the normal schools, colleges, and the splendid State 
University at Urbana, of which we all may be proud. 
So ample are the opportunities for an education that 
no boy or girl need to go into life handicapped by ignorance. 

The State's Chief Treasure. Marvelous as are the 
resources of Illinois in minerals, soil and rivers, our greatest 
wealth lies not there, but in the boys and girls who are to 
be the men and women of tomorrow. The state is levying 
heavy taxes in order that its future citizens may be well 
trained. To this end every property owner, whether he 
has children to educate or not, must bear his part of the 
cost of the schools. The poor man pays next to nothing, 
and yet his children share equally the benefits of the 
public schools with the children of the rich. Truly, ours is 
a land of liberty and enlightenment. 

Who are True Citizens? But what our dear old Illinois 
needs today, perhaps more than anything else, is more 
unselfishness among its citizens. Thousands of men and 
women, after receiving their education in the public schools, 


fail to show their love for the state and their interest in its 
welfare. They become so engrossed in their own private 
affairs that they will not give enough time to see that good 
men are elected to office. They allow dishonest and cor- 
rupt politicians to get control, and these bring the state 
of Douglas and Lincoln into disgrace before the nation. 
Every citizen, deserving the name, should be interested in 
politics, and not only take enough time from business to 
vote upon every occasion, but, if he really loves his state, 
he should be present in political councils where candidates 
are agreed upon. Political machines we must have, for 
that is merely another name for organized work, but we 
can and must make these machines serve the best interests 
of the public. 


1. Draw a floor plan of a one-room schoolhouse. Locate the 
teacher's desk, and state in the margin how you would heat the 

2. If you wished to enlarge the above to a two-room building, 
would you place the added room at the side or above the first? Give 
reasons for your answer. 

3. Make a diagram or plan of the school yard, and place an X 
where each tree should be planted. 

4. Name five of the most desirable kinds of shade trees for 
planting in Illinois. 

5. What kinds of shrubs are best suited to withstand a severe 
winter? What is meant by "hardy perennials"? 


To the Parents and Pupils of Illinois: 

If an inhabitant of Mars, gifted with superior vision, could 
have looked down upon the State of Illinois in the early September 
days, he would have beheld a scene of unusual interest a million 
children on their way to school. Up from the farm, along the wind- 
ing country roads, up from the villages and towns, out from the 


great cities, comes this multitudinous army of children. Where is 
the Pied Piper with his magic flute who charms this host of chil- 
dren from their homes? Listen! Ten thousand bells ring and the 
pace quickens. That is the magic flute and the piper, the thirty 
thousand teachers of the State of Illinois. To what mountain does 
he lead them? To the mountain of the common school. Why? 
Not to destroy them; not to alienate them from their parents and 
homes; not to hide them in the dark interior of misery and gloom, 
but to lead them up the mountain side; up into the sunshine and the 
light; up into a clearer and wider vision; up into the presence of the 
God of truth who shall write with His finger upon the tablets of their 
hearts and minds, the laws of art and science; the beauty of know- 
ing and doing; the sweetness of being and serving; the decalogue 
of a wholesome, happy life. This is what we hope the Martian 
saw, heard and believed. 

Let us hope that the twenty-six millions of dollars spent each 
year on the common schools shall not be wasted; that the thirty 
thousand teachers shall not toil in vain; that the million of children 
shall not come back empty-handed. To realize this ideal, calls for 
the earnest, intelligent, loyal support of the parents in the homes of 
Illinois. Yours sincerely, 

F. G. BLAIR, State Superintendent. 

We are added unto by every living thing we love and care for. 
Therefore let us respect and do good unto the other forms of life 
in order that we may do the greater good unto ourselves. Let us 
harbor and love the birds. And in order that they may have a har- 
bor and a nesting-place for their young, let us plant a tree. The 
associations with the tree and the birds and the abiding memory 
of them will be our complete reward. 

We do those who are to come after us a lasting good by planting 
trees and shrubs on the school grounds. There are now one thou- 
sand one hundred twelve school yards in Illinois without a tree. 



The Boyhood of Lincoln. Butterworth. 
The Evolution of Dodd. Smith. 
Illinois School Report, 1908-1910. 


Stand to your work and be wise certain of sword and pen, 

Who are neither children nor Gods, but men in a world of men! 

A Song of the English RUDYARD KIPLING. 


An Unrivaled Boundary. There is perhaps no other 
state in the Union so favored in its boundaries as our 
own. The navigable Wabash River defines one hundred 
fifty miles of the southeastern limits of the state; for a 
hundred miles across the southern border winds the beau- 
tiful Ohio, bearing steamboats and barges loaded with 
valuable merchandise; while the entire western boundary 
is formed by one of the most important river in the world, 
the Mississippi. These, together with the fifty miles of 
frontage on Lake Michigan, give us a water boundary 
unequaled for its commercial advantages. 

Navigable Waters Within the State. Besides, there are 
navigable rivers within the state, the Kaskaskia, the Rock, 
and the Illinois, the last being five hundred miles long, and 
navigable for small boats for two hundred fifty miles. The 
Illinois and the Rock are connected by the Hennepin 
canal, which was recently completed at a cost of eight 
million dollars. Water transportation will probably always 
be the cheapest, and, while slow, can be used for heavy and 
bulky articles such as coal, lumber and stone, whose 
transit need not be rapid. The high cost of the necessities 
of life is due partly to the excessive freight charges of the 
railroads, and this will force us, sooner or later, to depend 
more upon the cheaper water transportation in which 
Illinois easily excels. 



Lakes-to-Gulf Waterway. Large steamers can now 
penetrate nearly forty miles toward the heart of the 
state, through the drainage canal; and many of our lead- 
ing statesmen believe that either the state or the national 
government ought to extend this deep waterway to the 
Mississippi. The old Illinois-Michigan canal is much 
too shallow for the boats of today, and so is little used. 
It would certainly be a wonderful commercial advantage 
to be able to load vessels at Chicago, or other lake ports, 
and send them to foreign countries by way of a great ship 
canal and the Mississippi. It would save a long haul by 
rail and reloading at some seaport. Some day this Lakes- 
to-Gulf Waterway may be realized, and when that day 
comes, Illinois will enjoy the advantages of a seaboard 

Underground Resources. There are no precious metals, 
such as gold and silver, found in Illinois, but this lack 
is overbalanced many times by the abundance of other 
mineral deposits. A large part of the state is underlaid 
with limestone, and there have been discovered recently, 
splendid oil fields in the southern part of the state. But 
by far the most important under-soil wealth we possess 
lies in our boundless coal fields, covering more than thirty 
thousand square miles, or nearly two-thirds of the state. 
In many places the deposit consists of vein after vein, 
varying in thickness from one to nine feet. After Pennsyl- 
vania, Illinois is the greatest coal-producing state in the 
nation, furnishing fuel for countless industries at home 
and abroad. 

As the years go by, this coal wealth will doubtless be 
mined much more extensively than at present. Illinois 
has been, hitherto, chiefly a farming section, but factories 
are certain to multiply in all our cities because of the 
convenience and abundance of fuel. 


The Fertile Soil. With the exception of Louisiana and 
Delaware, ours is the most level state in the Union. There 
is very little waste land. The soil is a black loam of great 
fertility. For half a century, it has poured forth annually 
its hundred-fold of grain, even though sadly abused by the 
farmer. While Illinois possesses the richest soil in the 
world, it may yet be as poor as the worn-out hillsides of 
New England, unless those who till it, learn to conserve 
the elements of plant growth. 

There are three elements that are very necessary to 
plant production, and therefore to human food. They are 
nitrogen, potash and phosphorus, the last being, perhaps, 
the most important. Deprive the soil of any .of these ele- 
ments and it will cease to produce crops. 

We are told that the average of the different kinds of 
Illinois soils, for the upper seven inches of surface, contains 
1,191 pounds of phosphorus per acre. But a seventy-five 
bushel crop of corn, for instance, will remove from an acre 
seventeen pounds of phosphorus. At that rate, the total 
supply of this element would be exhausted in seventy years, 
unless returned to the soil in some manner. 

The Prairies Abused. Our farmers have not always 
known the injury they were doing to the soil by raising 
on it the same crop every year, for a score of years. They 
have not known that different crops take from the land 
different elements, and that what is taken out should be 
put back somehow; that it is best to rotate the crops and to 
turn the fields to different uses, so as to give the land a rest 
and a chance to gain back the elements taken out. Western 
farmers have burned up millions of tons of straw and 
cornstalks which contained large amounts of plant food, 
and which should have been scattered on the ground and 
allowed to decay, thus feeding their elements back to 
the soil. 


Some farmers have been guilty of plowing up and 
down the slope, and in this way assisting the water to form 
rills that during storms carry away the good top soil which 
alone contains plant food. It is said that the Mississippi 
carries into the Gulf every year enough good soil to support 
the entire population of Nevada if converted into farms. 
Much of this loss is due to the ignorance of those who 
sow and reap. 

Our Farmers are Kings. Through the splendid work 
of the Department of Agriculture and its experiment sta- 
tions, our farmers are learning how to secure greater yields, 
and at the same time to keep their fields well supplied with 
plant food by fertilizing, and by rotating crops. The 
number of people who can live on our prairies is limited 
only by the amount of human food obtainable from the 
earth. So, the future of the state lies almost wholly in 
the farmer's hands. How great it is to be depends upon 
how well he learns the lesson of conserving the richness of 
the soil. 

Illinois Excels in Railroads. In railroad mileage, 
Illinois has no equal, and to railroad building there seems 
to be no end. Interurban lines are spreading to the villages 
and farming communities. No other people are so blessed 
with transportation facilities as are those of our prairies. 
This leads to much travel and to the interchange of ideas. 
From travel comes the best of education and culture, and our 
advantages in this respect must become evident each year. 

Illinois has no large cities except Chicago, whose 
population was in 1910, 2,185,283, but other cities have 
fine locations and excellent sites for factories, and these 
factories are certain to appear because of the coal supply 
and the cheap water transportation of the future. 

Ours a Mixed Race. The people of Illinois are a 
remarkable mixture of races and nationalities. The early 

West f 



settlers came from many states of our own country, and 
from many foreign lands. There were among them New 
Yorkers, Virginians and Yankees, and men from the 
various states of the South. From Germany, France and 
Holland, from the British Isles, and from Norway and 
Sweden, came hosts of hardy settlers. Such a sifting of 
the peoples of the earth as is sprinkled over our prairies is 
hardly found anywhere else in the world. The mixing of 
these nationalities by intermarriage has produced our 
energetic men and women of today. 

As we look back over the history of the past, we notice 
that the mixed races the Greeks, the Romans, the Eng- 
lish, have made the most notable advances in civilization. 
Our country is the most remarkable of all times in this 
respect, and the mixing process still continues. No common- 
wealth can boast of a more noble or more varied ancestry 
than the Prairie State. 

The Outlook. No citizen of the state can read the story 
of Illinois without feeling a just pride in what she has done 
to upbuild the lives of her own people and to help others. 
There is no blot nor stain on the pages of her history. 
The past is secure, and we can turn to the future with the 
confident expectation that greater things are to come. 
With the passing of the hardships and privations of the 
pioneers have come wealth and culture, and these are being 
strengthened and made more effective by the broadening 
influence of travel. 

It was said in ancient times that all roads led to Rome. 
And so it is of Illinois. There is scarcely any great conti- 
nental route of travel that does not come within her bor- 
ders. Her gates are open to all the earth. If her people 
will grasp the opportunities that nature and circumstance 
afford, there is no ideal of future usefulness that may not 
be realized. 



1. With the map of Illinois before you, trace the boundaries of 
the state as given in the Appendix. Name all the waters touching 
upon the state, and tell whether navigable or not. 

2. Name five minerals that comprise the principal underground 
wealth of the state. 

3. What can you find from the encyclopedia or other sources 
regarding the origin of coal? 

4. What is meant by "intensive farming," and what has it to 
do with the future of our state? 


I can not too earnestly invite you to the closest personal atten- 
tion to party and political caucuses and the primary meetings of your 
respective parties. They constitute that which goes to make up 
at last the popular will. They lie .at the basis of all true reform. 
It will not do to hold yourself aloof from politics and parties. If 
the party is wrong, make it better; that's the business of the true 
partisan and good citizen. WILLIAM McKiNLEY. 

America Means Destiny. The geographic conditions for Ameri- 
can growth seem to have been perfect. At a critical time in the 
history of European thought and life, a sturdy people needed a new 
field. That field was opened to them by the voyages of the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries. It was entered from the Atlantic side 
and opened so freely on those waters as to insure swift occupancy 
and a single dominion from ocean to ocean. It had the widest 
variety of surface, soil, and climate, and was fitted, or can be fitted, 
to produce nearly all that human comfort and intelligence can 
crave. The land is large enough to support an enormous popula- 
tion, and still produce a surplus for the markets of the world. The 
very largeness of American problems has helped to make a people 
able to solve them, and that people now finds itself fronting the 
two great oceans, where, more than any other nation, it can reach 
out and touch every part of the world. 


Illinois. Washburne. 

Chicago Today. Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 17, Page 663. 
Illinois of Today. Pritchard. 



The boundaries and jurisdiction of the State shall be as fol- 
lows, to-wit: Beginning at the mouth of Wabash River; thence 
up the same, and with the line of Indiana, to the northwest corner 
of said State; thence east, with the line of the same State, to the 
middle of Lake Michigan; thence north along the middle of said 
lake, to north latitude forty-two degrees and thirty minutes; thence 
west to the middle of the Mississippi River, and thence down along 
the middle of that river to its confluence with the Ohio River, and 
thence up the latter river along its northwestern shore, to the place 
of beginning: Provided, that this State shall exercise such jurisdiction 
upon the Ohio River, as she is now entitled to, or such as may here- 
after be agreed upon by this State and the State of Kentucky. 

The Constitution of Illinois, Article I. 



No person demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly man- 
ner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship, or 
religious sentiments, in the said territories. 


The inhabitants of said territory shall always be entitled to the 
benefits of the writ of habeas corpus, and of the trial by jury; of a 
proportionate representation of the people in the legislature, and of 
judicial proceedings according to the course of common law. * 




Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good 
government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means 
of education shall forever be encouraged. * * * 


The said territory, and the states that may be formed therein, 
shall forever remain a part of this confederacy of the United States 
of America. * * * 


There shall be formed in the said territory not less than three 
nor more than five states; and the boundaries of the states, as soon 
as Virginia shall alter her act of cession and consent to the same, 
shall become fixed and established as follows: * * * 


There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the 
said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof 
the party shall have been duly convicted. * * * 


By the first state constitution, Kaskaskia was made the capi- 
tal, when Illinois was separated from Indiana in 1809. The consti- 
tution further provided that the General Assembly should "petition 
Congress for a grant to the State of four sections of land for a seat 
of the government." 

Congress granted the land to the state, March 3, 1819, and the 
capital commission at once set about to lay out the town, sell lots, 
and build a temporary capitol. The official records were moved 
from Kaskaskia to Vandalia, as the new town was called, December, 

The first capitol was a small frame building, which was burned 
in 1823. Another building was erected at once, but was torn down 
in 1836, and a new one built in its place by the citizens of Vandalia, 


who feared the capital would be moved to Springfield. This was 
done later, and the legislature selected Springfield as the seat of 
government in 1837. 


Illinois has had three constitutions. The first, framed at Kas- 
kaskia, in 1818, was a very crude affair, and mainly remarkable for 
its silence on important questions of government. The principal 
defects of the first constitution were corrected in a second, in 1848. 
But in this no adequate measures were provided for raising the 
money required to meet the needs of a rapidly growing state. 

The third, and present, constitution was adopted in 1870, by 
a vote of the people. It is in many ways a remarkable document, 
the phraseology being unusually clear and direct. But even now, 
the changing conditions that made the first and second constitu- 
tions inadequate, are creating an apparent necessity for a fourth 
constitution. The rapid growth of cities calls for new and greater 
powers than those contemplated in 1870, and the people will doubt- 
less soon be asked to vote again to adopt or reject a new constitu- 
tion, giving larger powers of taxation and self-government to munic- 


The explorers who first made the portage from Lake Michigan 
to the Illinois River were early impressed with the possibility and 
advantages of a canal connecting these waters. And, coming down 
through the years, the project was often the subject of editorials, 
messages, and state papers. 

After several false starts and the unwise expenditure of a good 
deal of money, the canal was actually begun in 1836. The work 
progressed slowly till 1842, when operations were suspended, with 
a debt of $237,000. Work was again resumed in 1845, and the 
canal completed in 1848, at a total cost of six and one-half million 



The "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," or the 
MormoR Church, as it is usually styled, had its beginning at Fay- 
ette, New York, in 1830, and Joseph Smith was its first president. 
The church built its first temple at Kirtland, Ohio, 1836. From 
Kirtland the majority of Hs members moved to Independence, 
Missouri, in obedience to a revelation that they were to establish 
there the new City of Zion, and hither came Joseph Smith, in 1838. 
Falling into trouble there with the officials of the county and state, 
and being harassed on all sides *hey purchased a tract of land in 
Hancock County, Illinois, and founded there the city of Nauvoo. 

But, again in conflict with the authorities, and accused of har- 
boring criminals, they became unpopular and were subjected to 
much persecution. Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were 
slain by a mob while confined in the county jail, June, 1844. 

Under the leadership of Brigham Young; the Mormons began 
to migrate to Utah in 1846, where they established the stakes of 
the Holy City of Zion, and erected the remarkable buildings known 
as the "Temple" and the "Tabernacle." The church has today 
about 500 organizations and a membership of nearly 500,000, chiefly 
in Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. 


In May, 1846, Congress authorized the President to accept 
the services of 50,000 volunteer soldiers, apportioned among the 
several states, of which Illinois was to furnish three regiments. 
The Secretary of War also gave permission for the organization 
of a fourth regiment, which went out under the command of Col. 
E. D. Baker, of Springfield. Later, 1847, two additional regi- 
ments were mustered in, as were also a few independent companies. 

The Illinois soldiers saw hard service in this war, and gained 
an enviable reputation for bravery. In reporting the conduct of 
our troops at the battle of Buena Vista, General Taylor wrote: 
"The first and second Illinois and the Kentucky regiments served 
under my eye, and I bear a willing testimony of their excellent 
conduct throughout the day. The spirit and gallantry with which 
the first Illinois and the second Kentucky engaged the enemy in 


the morning restored confidence to that part of the field, while the 
list of casualties will show how much they suffered in sustaining 
the heavy charge of the enemy in the afternoon." 



State University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 
Illinois State Normal University, Normal. 
Southern Illinois State Normal University, Carbondale. 
Northern Illinois State Normal School, De Kalb. 
Eastern Illinois State Normal School, Charleston. 
Western Illinois State Normal School, Macomb. 
Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield. 

Elgin State Hospital, Elgin. 
Kankakee State Hospital, Kankakee. 
Jacksonville State Hospital, Jacksonville. 
Anna State Hospital, Anna. 
Watertown State Hospital, Watertown. 
Peoria State Hospital, Peoria. 
Chester State Hospital, Chester. 
Lincoln State School and Colony, Lincoln. 
Illinois School for the Blind, Jacksonville. 
Illinois School for the Deaf, Jacksonville. 
Illinois Industrial Home for the Blind, Chicago. 
Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, Quincy. 
Soldiers' Widows' Home of Illinois, Wilmington. 
Soldiers' Orphans' Home, Normal. 
Illinois Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago. 
State Training School for Girls, Geneva. 
St. Charles School for Boys, St. Charles. 
Chicago State Hospital, Dunning. 

Illinois State Penitentiary, Joliet. 
Southern Illinois Penitentiary, Chester. 
Illinois State Reformatory, Pontiac. 


Abolitionists, 213-222 
Algonquian Family, The, 14 
Alleghany Mts., 81, 91, 119 
Alton, Treaty at, 147 

Observer, 218 
Anderson, Major, 272, 273 
Anti-Slavery Society, 218, 223 
Arkansas Kiver, 40 
, Nation, 41 
Armstrong Fort, 161 
Atkinson, General, 1G1 

Black Hawk, 120, 147, 159, 163, 173 

War, 158, 163 

Black Laws, 192, 199, 203, 210 
Black Partridge, 143, 144 
Bond, Shadrick, 138 
Boone County, 137 
Bowman, Capt., 114 
Breckenridge, J. C., 249 
Breese, Sidney, 187 
British, 119, 120, 127 
Buchanan, James, 234, 237 
Buffalo hunt, 22, 119 
Buffalo Rock, 63 
Butler, Jackson, 208 

Cabot, John, 94 

Cairo, 258, 259 

Cahokia, 108 

California, Gulf of, 37, 42, 49 

Cameron, 247 

Canada, 42, 48, 50, 51, 52, 68, GO 

74, 80, 82 
Canal, 167, 183 

Erie, 167, 173 

Hennepin, 303 
Canalport, 152 
Castle Rock, 105 
Catholic, 30 

Chartres, Fort. 90, 91, 97 
Chase, 247, 248 
Cheesman, Jesse, 168, 169 
Chicago, 61, 72, 137, 148, 149, 151, 


177, 179, 181, 227 

Later times in, 281-293 

First railroad to, 281 

Location of, 281, 290 

Fire, 282-290 

Rebuilt, 291 

Sewerage project, 291 

River, 42, 43, 141, 291 

Republican Convention, 247 
Clark, George R., 99-107 

Plans of, 99 

Changes plans, 103 
Coles, Edward, 199, 200 
Columbian Exposition, 293 
Columbus, 30 

Constitutional Convention, 194 
Cook, Daniel P., 148, 183, 198 

County of, 148 
Corn Island, 102 
Cotton gin, 212 
Cumberland Road, 120, 164, 181 

Davis, Jefferson, 162, 233 
Dearborn, Fort, 141, 142, 148, 160 
Des Plaines river, 43, 291 
Detroit, River, 59 

Fort, 99, 143, 177 
Douglas, Stephen A., 177, 187, 231, 

Debates of, 231-241, 242 

Reflected, 241 

In the war, 252-257 

Following of, 252, 253 

Loyalty of, 253 

Last speech of, 257 
Drainage Canal, 291 
"Drowned Lands," 112 

Edwards, Ninian, 194 
Elgin, 134 
England, 93 
English, 82 
Erie, Lake, 53, 59 
Canal, 173 



Fell, Jesse W., 242 

Fox river, 33 

France, 30, 52, 81, 84, 93 

Freeport, 134 

French, The, 30, 70, 112-120 

Frontenac, Gov., 32, 39, 43, 49, 50, 

51, 82, 83 
Fort, 51, 52, 54, 59, 69, 74, 80 

Gage, Fort, 103 

Galena, 134, 178, 182, 264, 281 
Galesburg, 228 

Garrison, William Lloyd, 213, 214 
Gibault, Father, 110 
Grant, Ulysses S., 259, 260, 264- 
270, 279 

In Mexican War, 264 

Applies to Yates, 267 

Appointment of, 269 

At Chattanooga, 270 

Lieut. Gen., 270 
Great Debates, 231-241, 242 

Lakes, 32, 81, 152, 173 
Green Bay, 43, 60, 72 
Griffon, The, 57, 59, 60, 61, 74 

"Hair Buyer," General, 99 
Hamilton, Gov., 99, 100, 110, 111 
Hansen, 200 
Harrison, Gen., 208 
Heald, Capt., 142, 143 
Helm, Capt, 104, 110, 111 

Mrs., 144 

Hennepin, Father, 53, 54 
57, 61, 63 

Canal, 303 
Henry, Patrick, 100 

Fort, 117 
Hood, John, 228 
Hull, Gen., 142 
Hunter, Pioneer, 118 
Huron, Lake, 59 

Illinois River, 42, 63, 78, 89 
Country, 118 
Settlement, 119 
Territory of, 133 
Boundary, 133, 134, 303 
Statehood, 197 
Bankrupt, 184 
Constitution of, 197 


Position of, 258 

In the war, 252-280 

Resources of, 304, 305 

Railroads, 30<5 

Cities of, 306 

People of, 306 

Schools of, 297-301 
Illinois Central Railroad, 188, 258 
Illinois-Michigan Canal, 148, 183, 

184, 304 
Immigration, 100, 163, 170, 173, 

177, 178 

Indentured servants, 191, 192 

of Illinois, Chap. ., 32, 72, 74, 77 

Name and origin, 13 

Iroquois, 14, 48, 64 

Work of the squaw, 14, 15 

Work of the brave, 16, 17 

Training of children, 17 

How to become a brave, 18 

Customs, 18 

Arithmetic, 21 

Writing, 21 

Buffalo-hunt, 22, 23 

Cooking and tanning, 24 

Tribe on the war-path, 27 

Superstitions and religions, 27, 

And the white man. 28 

Eight tribes of Illinois, 14 

Ilurons and Ottawas, 33 

Wild Rice, 33 

Mascoutins or Fire-Nation, 34 

Gods described, 40 

Algonquins, 48 

Senecas, 54-58 

Osages, 67, 69 

Sacs and Foxes, treaty, 158 
Indiana, 133 

Jackson, Andrew, 161 
Jefferson, Thos., 129, 131, 212 
Jesuits, The, 30, 31, 44, 48, 52 
Joe Daviess Guards, 267 
Joliet, 30, 31, 32, 147 
Kankakee river, 61, -77 

Porlpge to, 62 
Kansas- Nebraska Bill, 231, 233 

In civil war, 233 



Kaskaskia, 42, 88, 90, 99, 102-107, 
111, 122-147, 190, 194 

River, 88, 90 

First Capital, 138 
Kentucky, 99, 100, 111 
Kidnapping, 204, 207 
Kingston, 51 
Kinzie, John, 142-147 

La Barre, 83 
La Chine, 49-50 
La Motte, 53, 54, 57 
La Salle, 48-84 

Becomes a Jesuit, 48 

At Montreal, 48 

On the Ohio, 49 

Tlans of, 50 

Enemies of, 52 

Builds the Griffon, 57 

Followers disloyal, 68 

First view of the Mississippi, 78 

Victor? at last, 80 

His death, 84 
Lee, Robert E., 270 
Leeper, H. B., 228 
Liberator, The, 213 
Lincoln, Abraham, 122, 162, 194 

On Slavery, 238 

Challenges Douglas, 238 

Great debates of, 238-241 

Nomination and election of, 242- 

Autobiography, 243 

Before Decatur Convention; 244 

Before Chicago Convention, 244, 
247, 248 

Farewell at Springfield, 250 

In the White House, 271-280 

His Cabinet, 273 

Death of, 279 
Lockport, 292 
Logan, John A., 261-264 

A Douglas Democrat, 262 

On Slavery, 262 

Loyalty of, 263 
Long, Major, 148 
"Long Knives," 104, 107, 108 
Louis XIV, 51, 52, 53, 81 
Louisiana Purchase, 231 
Louisville, 101 
Lovejoy, Elijah, 212-222 

Lovejoy, Early life of, 214 

On Slavery, 214 

At St. Louis, 214 

At Alton, 218 

Monument of, 215 
Lovejoy, Owen, 262 

Mackinac, 32, 33, 44, 59, 61, 72, 

80, 82 

Madison, James, 212 
Marietta, 138 

Marquette, Father, 30, 31, 32-44 
Maumee river, 110, 174 
MfClellan, Gen. Geo. B., 268, 279 
Menominee river, 33 
Mexico, Gulf of, 32, 37, 42, 81, 84, 


Miami, Fort, 61 

Michigan, Lake, 33, 43, 44, 60 
Miltimore, Alderman, 153, 154 
Mississippi river, 32, 37-42, 78, 80, 

88-90, 181 
Missouri river, 40, 90 

Compromise, 231 
Monroe, James, 129, 131, 132 
Monso, Chief, 67, 68 
Montreal, 48, 74, 77 

National Road, 120, 181 

New Orleans, 90, 91, 93, 94, 127, 

164, 167 

Niagara river, 50, 53, 54, 57 
North Carolina, 80 
Northwest Territory, 129, 132 133 

137, 191 

Ohio river, 40, 49, 120, 121 
Ontario, Lake, 50, 51, 57, 77 
Ordinance of 1787, 133, 191 
Oregon, 134 
Ottawa, 187, 239 

Peacepipe, 38, 41 
Peoria lake, 63 
Philadelphia, 167 
Phillips, Wendell, 221 
Pioneer Hunter, The, 118, 178 

Woodland, The, 119 
Pioneer, The 

Clothing, Books, etc., 124 

Prairie, 178 



Pitt, Fort, 94 
Pittsburg, 94, 120 
Plank Hoads, 154 
Pope, Nathaniel, 133 
Popular Sovereignty, 240 
Portage Railroad, 168 
Potomac river, 80 

Quakers, 227 
Quebec, 30, 43, 49, 84 

Renault, Philip, 190 
Reynolds, Governor, 159 
Richmond, 270 
Rock river, 90, 158 
Rockford, 134 
Rosecrans, General, 270 

Sacs, 158 

San Domingo, 190 

Sankenuk, 158 

Sault Ste. Marie, 60 

Scott, General, 160 

Schoolcraft, 148 

Scward, William II., 247, 248, 272, 


Shawneetown, 120, 121 
Sherman, General W. T., 270 
Shiloh, 260 
Sioux, 161 
Slave, Auction, 204 

Merchant, 207 

Mart, 207 

Territory, 192 

Set free, 210 

States secede, 250 
Slavery, In Illinois, 190-202 

Under England, 191 

At Kaskaskia, 191 

Indentured, 192 

Fight on, 198 

Decline of, 203-211 
Spanish, 82 
Springfield, 188 
Stfii.ton, Edward M., 274 

Stephenson County, 137, 170 

Steamboats, 1(59, 173, 177 

Sterling, Capt., 94 

St. Clair, Lake, 59 

Governor, 137, 208, 209 
On slavery in Illinois, 191 

St. Ignace, 33, 44 

St. Louis, 40, 121 
Fort, 78, 83, 84, 90 

Sumter, Fort, 253, 272, 273 

Swift, General, 259 

Tecumseh, Chief, 142 
Tennessee, 99 
Texas, 83, 84 
Tonty, 53-84 
Tremont House, 257 
Turnpike, The National, 120 

Underground Railway, 223-230 
I'tica, 63 

Vlneennes, 99, 110-117 
Virginia, Sea of, 42 

State of, 100, 112, 119, 127, 129, 

Claims to Illinois. 101 
Wabash Country, 112 

River, 113 

Walk-in-the-water, 171-173 
Washington, George, 132-212 
Waukegan, 134 
Wayne, Fort, 142 
Wheeling, 164 
Whitney, Eli, 212 
Wigwam. The, 247 
Williamsburg, 112 
Winnebago, Lake, 34 
Wisconsin, River. 34. 90 

Territory. 133 

Claims of, 136 
Woodland Pioneer, 119 

Yankees, 173. 178-182, 209 
Yatcs, Richard, 258-2G1, 267, 209 

19 33 ;