The site of the present State was first explored by Marquette
, French missionaries from Canada
, in 1763, who were followed by La Salle
Twenty years later mission stations were established at Kaskaskia
, and Peoria
; and early in the eighteenth century a French monastery was established at Kaskaskia
By the treaty of 1763, the “Illinois
country,” as it was called, passed under the jurisdiction of the English
By the treaty of
1783 it was ceded to the United States
, and it formed a part of the Northwest Territory
The country conquered by General Clarke
, in 1778-79, the Virginia Assembly erected into a county, which they called Illinois
It embraced all
territory north of the Ohio
claimed as within the limits of Virginia
, and ordered 500 men to be raised for its defence.
In 1809, when the present boundaries of Indiana
were defined, Illinois
and a part of Minnesota
, and in 1810 contained more than 12,000 inhabitants.
On Oct. 14, 1812, Gen. Samuel Hopkins
, with 2,000 mounted Kentucky riflemen, crossed the Wabash
on an expedition against the Kickapoo
and Peoria Indian
villages, in the Illinois
country, the former 80 miles from his starting-place, the latter 120 miles. They traversed magnificent prairies covered with tall grass.
The army was a free-and-easy, undisciplined mob, that chafed under restraint.
Discontent, seen at the beginning, soon assumed the forms of complaint and murmuring.
Finally, when halting on the fourth day's march, a major rode up to the general and insolently ordered him to march the troops back to Fort Harrison
Very soon afterwards the army was scarcely saved from perishing in the burning grass of a prairie, supposed to have been set on fire by the Indians.
The troops would march no farther.
called for 500 volunteers to follow him into Illinois
Not one responded.
They would not submit to his leadership, and he followed his army back to Fort Harrison
, where they arrived Oct. 25.
This march of 80 or 90 miles into the Indian
country had greatly alarmed the Indians, and so did some good.
Towards the same region aimed at by General Hopkins
another expedition, under Colonel Russell
, composed of two small companies of United States regulars, with a small body of mounted militia under Gov. Ninian Edwards
(who assumed the chief command), in all 400 men, penetrated deeply into the Indian
country, but, hearing nothing of Hopkins
, did not venture to attempt much.
They fell suddenly upon the principal Kickapoo
towns, 20 miles from Lake Peoria, drove the Indians into a swamp, through which they pursued them, sometimes waist-deep in mud, and made them fly in terror across the Illinois River
Some of the pursuers passed over, and brought back canoes with dead Indians in them.
Probably fifty had perished.
The expedition returned, after an absence of eighteen days, with eighty horses and the dried scalps of several persons who had been killed by the savages, as trophies.
discharged the mutineers and organized another expedition of 1,250 men, composed chiefly of foot-soldiers.
Its object was the destruction of Prophetstown.
The troops were composed of Kentucky
militia, some regulars under Capt. Zachary Taylor
, a company of rangers, and a company of scouts and spies.
They rendezvoused at Vincennes
, and marched up the Wabash Valley
to Fort Harrison
, Nov. 5, 1812.
They did not reach the vicinity of Prophetstown until the 19th.
Then a detachment fell upon and burned a Winnebago town of forty houses, 4 miles below Prophetstown.
The latter and a large Kickapoo
village near it were also laid in ashes.
The village contained 160 huts, with all the winter provisions of corn and beans, which were totally destroyed.
On the 21st a part of the expedition fell into an Indian ambush and lost eighteen men, killed, wounded, and missing.
So destitute were the troops, especially the Kentuckians, who were clad in only the remnants of their summer clothing, that the expedition returned without attempting anything more.
They suffered dreadfully on their return march.
Among the prominent events of the War
of 1812-15 in that region was the massacre at Chicago
(q. v.). After that war the population rapidly increased, and on Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois
, with its present limits, was admitted into the Union
as a State.
The census of 1820 showed a population of more than 55,000.
The Black Hawk War
(q. v.) occurred in Illinois
There the Mormons established themselves in 1840, at Nauvoo
); their founder was slain by a mob at Carthage
, in 1844, and soon afterwards a general exodus of this people occurred.
A new State constitution was framed in 1847, and in July, 1870, the present constitution was adopted.
The Illinois Central Railroad, completed in 1856, has been a source of great material prosperity for the State
During the Civil War Illinois
furnished to the national government (to Dec. 1, 1864) 197,364 troops.
In 1899 the equalized valuations of taxable property aggregated $953,099,574; and in 1900 the entire bonded debt consisted of $18,500 in bonds, which had ceased to draw interest and never been presented for payment.
The population in 1890 was 3,826,351; in 1900, 4,821,550.
See United States, Illinois
|Shadrach Bond||assumes office||1818|
|William L. D. Ewing||acting||1834|
|Joseph Duncan||assumes office||1834|
|Augustus C. French||1846|
|Joel A. Matteson||1853|
|William H. Bissell||1857|
|John Wood||acting||March 18, 1860|
|Richard Yates||assumes office||January, 1861|
|Richard J. Oglesby||January, 1865|
|John M. Palmer||January, 1869|
|Richard J. Oglesby||January, 1873|
|John L. Beveridge||acting||March 4, 1873|
|Shelby M. Cullom||assumes office||January, 1877|
|John M. Hamilton||acting||Feb. 7, 1883|
|Richard J. Oglesby||January, 1885|
|Joseph W. Fifer||January, 1889|
|John P. Altgeld||January, 1893|
|John R. Tanner||January, 1897|
|Richard Yates||January, 1901|