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ILLINOIS HISTORICAL SURVEY






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HISTORY OF ILLINOIS



BY

L. E. ROBINSON. A.M.

PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, MONMOUTH COLLEGE
AND

IRVING MOORE




NEW YORK : CINCINNATI : CHICAGO

AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY



COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY



ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL, LONDON
E. P. I



113
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PREFACE



It is important that every American citizen should
know the history of his state as well as the history of his
country. This knowledge of state history can best be ac-
quired in the public schools, and it is primarily to furnish a
convenient and comprehensive text for the schools of the
Prairie State that the authors have prepared this History of
Illinois.

It is believed that teachers who use the book will be
able to make the study of Illinois history more interesting
and instructive if they correlate it with the history of
the United States, using the history of the nation as a
background for the study of state history. It will be easy
to show pupils how the state history fits into the story
of the nation, especially in chapters of state history on
such subjects as Joliet and Marquette, La Salle, George
Rogers Clark, The French and Indian War, Slavery in
Illinois, Railroads, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and Outbreak
of the Civil War.

If the school library contains books treating of the par-
ticular topics where the state history and national history
meet, the plan of correlating the two subjects should in-
clude references for outside reading. There are many such
books, among which the following will be found particu-
larly helpful: Parkman's La Salle, and The Jesuits in
North America, Baldwin's Discovery of the Old Northwest, and
The Conquest of the Old Northwest (for young people), Hins-

3



4 PREFACE

dale's The Old Northwest, Thwaites's How George Rogers
Clark Won the Northwest, Wilson's The Slave Power in Amer-
ica, Linn's Story of the Mormons, Warman's Story of the
Railroad, Johnson's Life of Douglas, Nicolay's or Tarbell's
Life of Lincoln, Baldwin's Abraham Lincoln (for young
people), Grant's Memoirs, Macy's or Woodburn's History of
Political Parties, Johnston's History of American Politics,
Fiske's The Mississippi Valley in the Civil War, and Hosmer's
History of the Mississippi Valley. The bibliography found
in the Appendix is intended for those who wish to pursue
the study of Illinois history further than is provided for in
the text. It would be well if the school libraries were pro-
vided with copies of the more important state publications,
such as the Blue Book, the reports of the State Historical
Society, the session laws of the general assembly, and the
annual reports of the Farmers' Institute, the Geological
Survey, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and other
officers.

In the preparation of this book the authors have en-
deavored to keep in mind not only the needs of teachers
and pupils, but those of the general reader as well. As a
convenient book of reference, also, they venture to hope
that the History of Illinois may commend itself to librarians.

The thanks of the authors are due to Mrs. Jessie Palmer
Weber, Secretary of the State Historical Society, and to
Mr. Hugh R. Moffet and Mr. Rufus H. Scott of Monmouth,
for use of illustrative material.



CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAGE

I. INTRODUCTION 7

II. MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS 13

III. JOLIET AND MARQUETTE 18

IV. LA SALLE 25

V. THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS 31

VI. THE FRENCH IN ILLINOIS 35

VII. THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR (1754-1763) 39

VIII. ILLINOIS UNDER THE BRITISH (1765-1778) 45

IX. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 49

X. ILLINOIS A COUNTY OF VIRGINIA (1778-1784). . . 58

XI. THE ORDINANCE OF 1787 61

XII. NORTHWEST TERRITORY, AND INDIANA TERRITORY 64

XIII. THE TERRITORY OF ILLINOIS 68

XIV. THE FORT DEARBORN MASSACRE 70

XV. ILLINOIS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NINETEENTH

CENTURY 73

XVI. ADMISSION TO THE UNION; THE FIRST CONSTITU-
TION 79

XVII. SLAVERY IN ILLINOIS 83

XVIII. ADMINISTRATION OF NINIAN EDWARDS (1826-

1830) 90

XIX. THE BLACK HAWK WAR 92

XX. ILLINOIS IN 1830-1840 99

XXI. STEAMBOATS ON THE MISSISSIPPI 104

XXII. THE ANIMALS OF ILLINOIS 109

XXIII. ADMINISTRATION OF DUNCAN (1834-1838) 112

XXIV. HARD TIMES 118

XXV. THE MORMONS 121

XXVI. CONSTITUTION OF 1848; FRENCH'S ADMINISTRA-
TION (1846-1853) 126

5



6 CONTENTS '

CHAPTER PAGE

XXVII. THE COMMON SCHOOL SYSTEM 129

XXVIII. RAILROADS 132

XXIX. THE ABOLITIONISTS 135

XXX. STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS AND THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA

BILL 138

XXXI. THE BEGINNING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN

ILLINOIS 143

XXXII. LiNCOLN-DbuGLAS DEBATES 148

XXXIII. THE NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF LINCOLN. . . . 154

XXXIV. ILLINOIS IN 1860 , 160

XXXV. OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 162

XXXVI. ILLINOIS'S SHARE IN THE STRUGGLE 168

XXXVII. AT HOME DURING THE WAR 170

XXXVIII. CHICAGO 177

XXXIX. UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF 1870 188

XL. STATE BOARDS AND INSTITUTIONS 195

XLI. SCHOOLS 211

XLII. ILLINOIS SINCE 1870 215

APPENDIX

1. CHRONOLOGY 227

2. REFERENCE BOOKS 229

3. ORIGIN OF CERTAIN ILLINOIS NAMES 230

4. LIST OF COUNTIES 237

5. UNITED STATES SENATORS FROM ILLINOIS 239

6. LIST OF GOVERNORS OF ILLINOIS 240

7. CONSTITUTION OF ILLINOIS. 241

INDEX 284

MAPS

GENERAL MAP OF ILLINOIS . . Frontispiece

ILLINOIS IN 1834 . . 100



HISTORY OF ILLINOIS



I. INTRODUCTION

Illinois embraces an area of 56,650 square miles just
about the average size of the states in our country. Of
this area 650 square miles are made up of water surface,
principally rivers. Illinois is 218 miles wide at its widest
part. Its extreme length is 385 miles, reaching as far
north as Boston, Mass., and as far south as Richmond, Va.
It is very fortunate in its boundaries. Its entire western
side is washed by the Mississippi, while its southern end
reaches to the Ohio. It is bounded on the north by Wis-
consin, and on the east by Lake Michigan, Indiana, and
the Wabash River. Thus more than two thirds of its
boundary is made up of navigable water. This fact has
been of great importance in the settlement and commercial
growth of the state. The Illinois River, also, has facili-
tated the development of the interior. The rivers of the
state are so well distributed that no extensive section is
without an outlet for its surplus rainfall.

The surrounding states are all of a higher altitude than
Illinois. Its average height above the sea level is about
600 feet. The highest point is Charles Mound, in Jo
Daviess County, which is 1,257 feet above the sea and 600

7



8 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS

feet above the Mississippi. The surface of the state, as
a whole, slopes gently southward ; about 50 miles from the
south end, however, it is crossed by the Ozark Ridge, the
highest point of which is 985 feet above the sea. Beyond
this ridge the slope continues southward to Cairo, the low-
est point in the state, about 300 feet above the sea.

The great length of the state gives it a somewhat vary-
ing climate. A summer temperature of 105 degrees is not
uncommon in the southern part, while in the northern
counties a winter temperature of 35 degrees below zero
has been registered. The average temperature is about
58 degrees. The average rainfall is about 34 inches a year
in the northern part and 41 inches at Cairo. About 35
inches is desirable for the best yield of corn. Although
corn and other cereals can be grown in every part of the
state, yet the great corn belt is in the central part. The
southern portion of the state is adapted to wheat, while in
the northern counties much attention is given to dairying.

The state is for the most part composed of a wonderfully
rich and level prairie land. The French word prairie,
meaning meadow, was used by Hennepin and other French
explorers in the seventeenth century to describe the vast
plains they found in this region. At that time these
great plains were covered with a thick growth of tall blue-
stem and other varieties of wild grass. Many flowers of
brilliant hues were scattered everywhere it was a land of
flowers. It is uncertain how the prairies are to be ac-
counted for. The Indians were accustomed to set fire to
the prairie grass in the fall in order to provide tender pas-



INTRODUCTION 9

turage in the spring for their game; and some think that
these prairie fires prevented the spread of trees. When the
first white men came to Illinois they found about three
fourths of its area treeless. What forests there were con-
sisted of walnut, ash, elm, maple, honey locust, buckeye,
cottonwood, pecan, hickory, oak, poplar, sycamore, some
wild fruit trees such as papaw, plum, crab apple, and such
undergrowth as grapevines, redbud, and hazel. Trees were
more abundant in the southern counties and for some years
supported an important lumber industry there. But north-
ward the trees have always been limited, so far as we
know, to the margins of streams.

The settlers were spared the necessity of clearing off an
overgrowth of heavy vegetation, as had been necessary in
the states from which they came. The soil of the older
states when cleared of timber was mellow and easily broken
by a wooden plow with a sharp iron sheath in front. But
in Illinois the deep, thickset roots of the prairie grass did
not yield easily to these frail half-wooden plows. This was
the first state where the settlers had to face the problems
of prairie tillage in a large way, and the demand for more
effective machinery stimulated invention. The first steel
plow in America was invented in 1837 by Harvey May, a
citizen of Knox County. This was the beginning of nu-
merous Illinois inventions which have contributed to make
the state rank first in the manufacture of agricultural
implements.

New York and Pennsylvania are the only states that
have a greater population than Illinois. By the census of



10 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS

1900, Illinois had 4,821,550 inhabitants. Since then the
population has grown considerably beyond the five million
mark. There are 102 counties and about 1,000 incorpo-
rated towns and cities in the state. More than half of the
people live in towns and cities of over 4,000 inhabitants
each. The chief city, Chicago, is the second largest city in
the New World. The capital of Illinois, Springfield, is an
inland city of over 36,000.

The state ranks first in the Union in the total value of
farm lands and improvements; and first in the total value
of all cereals produced. Illinois likewise holds first place
in the slaughtering and meat-packing industry, with a pro-
duction valued at more than one third of the total of that
industry in the United States. In an important sense,
Chicago is the meat market of the nation. Illinois is the
third manufacturing state in the Union, and Chicago is the
second manufacturing city. Illinois manufactures more
agricultural implements than any other state, and there is
scarcely a place in the civilized world where the imple-
ments made here are not used. It ranks first also in the
manufacture of watches and of distilled liquors; and second
in the manufacture of furniture, musical instruments, soap,
and men's clothing. While there are no forests to speak
of in Illinois, yet it has the lumber industries of Michigan,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada to draw upon. The
furniture industry of Illinois owes much of its prosperity to
the central location of the state and its excellent transpor-
tation facilities.

Illinois manufactures more railway cars than any other



INTRODUCTION 11

state, and has the greatest steam railway mileage. The
20,000 miles of railway in operation furnish abundant
transportation facilities to all parts of the commonwealth.
Chicago is the greatest railroad center in the world. There
are more than 1,200 banking institutions in the state, with a
grand total of more than $150,000,000, capital and surplus.
Illinois ranks second among the states of the Union in print-
ing and publishing. More than 1,700 periodicals of all
kinds are published in the state. Among the states of the
Mississippi valley, Illinois expends the most money for ed-
ucational purposes, and publishes the largest number of
books, newspapers, and periodicals.

This is a remarkable development for a state less than a
century old. Among the causes that have brought about
this rapid growth are her large area of fertile soil underlain
with great stores of mineral wealth, and her fortunate
position in the heart of two of the greatest river valleys of
the continent. Geographically, Illinois is the natural cen-
ter of trade and exchange for the eastern and western halves
of the United States; and the position of Chicago on the
shore of Lake Michigan gives the state a focal point for
this trade. By the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and Lake
Michigan, Illinois has deep-water communication with the
world.

About 40,000 square miles, or two thirds of the surface
of the state, is underlain with a fine quality of soft or
bituminous coal, the largest coal area possessed by a
single state in the country. The first coal discovered in
America was found in Illinois by a French priest, Father



12 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS

Hennepin, in 1679, near the present site of Ottawa. Coal
was first mined in the state in 1810, in Jackson County.
The abundance of coal is a source of great wealth and is an
important factor in making Illinois a manufacturing state.

Oil was for some years found in small quantities only. In
1905 important discoveries were made in a number of coun-
ties in the southern part of the state, and now the state
ranks high in the production of petroleum.

Illinois has another source of wealth in her widely dis-
tributed clay deposits. More than 500 Illinois firms are
engaged in the manufacture of commercial, paving, and
pressed brick, draintile, roofing tile, sewer pipe, and vari-
ous kinds of pottery.

Limestone is found in large quantities. More than 160
quarries in thirty different counties are in operation. The
harder kinds of stone are used for building; the softer, for
making lime and cement. The quarries of the state have
furnished stone for many of the important buildings in Chi-
cago and elsewhere in the state.

Lead and zinc ores have been found in paying quantities
in Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties. Lead was first
mined in Illinois about 1826, and zinc was first marketed
in 1860. The mines in the region about Galena produced
the largest amounts of ore between 1840 and 1850.

Fluorspar was discovered near Shawneetown in 1819.
This mineral was first mined in Hardin County, and this
county still has one of the largest mines of fluorspar in the
United States. It is used in making enamel and glassw r are,
in steel making, and in other foundry work.



II. MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS

Illinois was once the home of a people whom we call the
Mound Builders, from the strange earthen mounds which
they built throughout the Mississippi valley. But who
they were, whence they came, and whither they went, no
one knows, not even the Indians whom the first white men
found here. Perhaps they were the ancestors of the Az-
tecs or the Incas, or perhaps they were exterminated or as-
similated by the Indians of the Mississippi valley. The
most recent view is that they were simply the ancestors of
the Indians of this region.

The mounds they made vary in size and shape, represent-




RELICS FOUND IN MOUNDS

ing in some instances birds, beasts, reptiles, also pyramids
and other geometric figures which indicate that the Mound
Builders were somewhat removed from savagery. Some of
these earthworks were built for war, some for burial, some
for religious purposes; but it is impossible to say to what use
others were put. In them along with the bones of the build-
ers are found their tools and weapons of stone and copper,

13



14 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS

fragments of the cloth they wove, and pottery they made.
For instance, chopping axes made of grooved stone and
weighing sometimes as much as twenty-three pounds,
grooved stone hammers, battle-axes, various agricultural
implements, stone trays, pipes of numerous designs, and
small stone idols have been taken from these mounds. One
of the most remarkable things found there was an image of
human form made from a large piece of -fluorspar.

These mounds are found in different parts of the state,
especially along the Rock and Illinois rivers. In Craw-
ford County there is a group of fifty
mounds. But the chief dwelling of
this people seems to have been in the
"Great American BottomJ' that is,
the low fertile tract about 75 miles
long and from five to ten miles wide
along the Mississippi River south of
East St. Louis. At the old site of
Cahokia, across from St.
Louis, there are about
one hundred mounds.
One of this group is the \
largest earthwork in the
United States. Shaped some- ^
what like a pyramid, it rises in
four terraces to a height of one WIGWAM
hundred feet; its base covers fourteen acres, an area larger
than that covered by the largest Egyptian pyramid.

The Indians of Illinois were very little different from the




MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS 15

other Indians of North America. They lived in lodges or
wigwams, and clothed themselves in skins of animals. The
forest, prairie, and stream abundantly supplied them with
meat, and the squaws raised small patches of corn and vege-
tables. Their learning was confined to the ways of the for-
est, and their religion was but a superstition. Hence they
made but little progress and lived on in the same way from
generation to generation.
The densest Indian population of the West was along




BUFFALO

the Illinois River, where there were several large Indian
towns. And no wonder, for Illinois, with its broad prairies
where fed the buffalo and deer, and its streams and forests
full of all manner of fish and fowl, was a very congenial
home for the red man. The different nations within its



16

bounds were often at war with one another for its posses-
sion, and it is not surprising that so beautiful and produc-
tive a country should be coveted by other tribes as well.
Its fame spread even to the Iroquois in New York, who
desired it very much for a hunting ground, and who, in
the latter part of the seventeenth century, made a great
raid down the Illinois River. Five hundred picked Iro-
quois attacked the Illinois Indians and put them to rout.
Thereafter the Long House, as the Iroquois Indians were
called, laid claim to the country, although they never came
here to live.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the state was
inhabited by several different tribes. The most numerous
of these were the Illinois, who had returned after their de-
feat by the Iroquois. They were a confederation composed
of the| Kaskaskias, Peorias, Tamaroas, Cahokias, and Miche-
gameas.) Their largest villages were on the Illinois River,
and their favorite hunting ground was in central Illinois,
but they claimed all the country westward from the Illi-
nois to the Mississippi, and southward to the Ohio. Father
Membre, one of La Salle's exploring party, tells us that
they were "tall of stature, strong and robust, the swiftest
runners in the world, and good archers, proud yet affa-
ble . . . idle, revengeful, jealous, cunning, dissolute,
and thievish."

The combined tribes of Sacs and Foxes lived near Rock
Island; the Miamis near the eastern boundary of the state;
the Pottawatomies in the region between Lake Michigan
and the Illinois River. The Kickapoos, the most ambi-



MOUND BUILDERS AND INDIANS 17

tious and the most bitter against the white man, built
their wigwams on the prairies around the present sites of
Springfield and Bloomington. There were also remnants
of several other tribes in the state. As their places of
abode were constantly changing, the boundaries of the
different tribes were not well defined; and as they became
fewer in numbers several tribes would often unite and form
a new tribe or confederation.

In many cases the white settlers were to blame for the
trouble the Indians caused them. The whites often
treated the red man as if he were a brute instead of a
human being. They cheated him, took his land even
when they did not need it, and violated many of his rights.
The savages were thus often stirred up to revenge in the
form of pillage, fire, and murder.

The Indians were not altogether a hindrance. In some
ways they were an aid to the exploration and settlement of
the state. They acted as guides for the explorer, and be-
ing on good terms with the French, sold them furs and often
furnished them with food. Their trade led to the settle-
ment of the country. Although the red men have van-
ished they have a lasting monument in the names they
have left on our map the name of the state itself, the
names of its largest rivers, of some of its counties, and of
many of its towns and cities.



Illinois 2



III. JOLIET AND MARQUETTE

The first white man to visit the Illinois country of whom
there is any record was a Frenchman by the name of _ Jean
Nipfllrt. He discovered Lake Michigan in 1634, and at
the same time perhaps visited the region about Fox
River and the northern villages of the Illinois Indians.
Following him came the French coureurs de bois and voya-
geurs, the fur traders and the trappers, who in all probabil-
ity roamed over Illinois before the coming of Joliet or La
Salle, but left no written account of their adventures.

The French in Canada had long heard from the Indians
stories of the far away Mississippi and the land of the Illi-
nois. Bold and restless, they wished very much to see
this region for themselves and claim it for their king. So
Louis Joliet (1645-1700), who had visited the copper.mines
of Lake Superior, and who was perhaps the first white man
to sail on Lake Erie, obtained from Frontenac, the governor
of Canada, a commission to find the Mississippi and ex-
plore the regions roundabout. He secured as a companion
Father Jacques Marquette, and a better qualified man for
the undertaking he could not have found, for this Jesuit
priest had a knowledge of half a dozen Indian dialects and a
singular faculty for gaining the good will of the savages.

Joliet joined Marquette on the festival of the Immacu-
late Conception. The good father, having long desired to

18



JOLIET AND MARQUETTE



19



undertake the expedition, was so full of joy that he resolved
to name the first mission that he should establish in the un-
known country the Mission of the Immaculate Conception.
And so he did. To the Indians who tried to turn him from
the venture by picturing the dangers of the way and the




JOLIET AND MARQUETTE ON THEIR JOURNEY

wildness of the men, he replied in these brave words: "I
shall gladly lay down my life for the salvation of men."

On the 17th of May, 1673, accompanied by five men,
Joliet and Marquette started on their perilous journey,
with two birchbark canoes, a bag of corn 'meal, some
smoked meat, a blanket apiece, and beads and crosses.
They ascended to the head of Fox River, carried their



20 HISTORY OF ILLINOIS

canoes across the narrow portage to the Wisconsin River,
and sailed down the Wisconsin until their frail birchbarks
floated on the mighty waters of the Mississippi. They were
the first white men to view the upper waters of the river.

As they floated down the Mississippi they came upon a
path on the west bank of the river. Following this,
Marquette and Joliet came in sight of an Indian village.
Four men came to meet them, offered them the peace
pipe, and escorted them to the village, where the whole
tribe gathered to welcome them with much ceremony.
The old chief addressed them in words something like these:
"I thank thee, black gown, and thee, Frenchman, for
taking so much pains to come and visit us. Never has the
earth been so beautiful, nor the sun so bright as to-day.
Never has our river been so calm nor so free from rocks
and sandbars which your canoes have removed in passing;
never has our tobacco had so fine a flavor, nor our corn
appeared so beautiful. I pray thee to take pity upon me
and on all my nation. Thou knowest the Great Spirit
who made us all. Thou speakest to him and hearest his
words. Ask him to give me life and health, and come and
dwell with us that we may know him."

Marquette and Joliet floated down the Mississippi until,
it is supposed, they came to the Arkansas. Satisfied that
the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf of Mexico and fearing
to descend farther on account of the Spaniards, who held
control of the lower river, they turned back and began the
laborious journey upstream. When they came to the mouth


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