Albion – A post town, the capital of Edwards county, situated on section 2, of township 2 south, in range 10, east of the third principal meridian, 40 miles southwest of Vincennes, and 110 southeast of Vandalia. It was laid out 3 years since by Messrs. Birbeck and Flowers, and is principally inhabited by English emigrants. It contains 4 or 5 stores, a market, a mill, and a population of upwards of 200. The situation of this place is high and healthy, being little subject to those diseases which are so prevalent in many parts of this state during the summer and autumn. The surrounding country, which is rapidly increasing in population, is very fertile, and is handsomely diversified with woodland and prairie.
Alton – (lower), a small post town of Madison county, laid out by Col. R. Easton, in 1818, on fractional sections thirteen and fourteen, in township 5 north, in range 10, west of the third principal meridian. It is situated on the east side of the Mississippi river, on a rocky bluff, which forms the northern boundary of the American bottom, two miles above the junction of the Missouri with the Mississippi, and 18 miles below the mouth of the Illinois. The population of this place is rapidly increasing, and the improvements are going on with great activity. Alton, although as yet small and unimportant, possesses natural advantages rarely equalled. Situated as it is at the junction of three large and navigable rivers; possessing a fine commodious harbor, and landing for boats at all seasons of the year; surrounded by a fertile and thickly settled country, it bids fair to become a populous, wealthy and commercial town. The fact that this is almost the only good town site on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, is much in its favour. Stone coal, of a good quality, is found in abundance at a short distance from this place. It is overlaid by strata of limestone and sandstone; the former of which furnishes good lime; and the latter, possessing a fine grit, is quarried for architectural purposes. Gypsum has also been discovered in this vicinity, but it is still uncertain whether it exists in any considerable quantity. In addition to these advantages, the road leading from the east to Boonslick and Salt river countries, passes through this place, and crosses the Mississippi at Fountain ferry. Alton is in lat. 38 degrees 52′ N. 20 miles north of St. Louis, and 60 miles west of Vandalia.
Alton, (upper) a small post-town of Madison county, about one mile east of Lower Alton, laid out in 1816, and incorporated under the government of a board of trustees in 1821. The limits of the incorporation include all that part of section 7 of township 5 north, in range 9, west of the 3d principal meridian, lying south of a tract in said section, commonly called the Hodges tract, of 255 acres. The situation of this town is high and healthy. It contains nearly 100 houses. The inhabitants, a great proportion of whom are from the eastern states, are enterprising and industrious. The soil of the surrounding lands is generally fertile; the face of the country undulating; the prevailing growth, walnut, hickory, and oak. The original proprietors of Alton made a donation of 100 town lots, one half for the support of the gospel, and the other half for the support of public schools. These, by the act of incorporation, are placed under the direction of the trustees.
America, a post town, and the county seat of Alexander, situated on the west bank of the Ohio river, 10 miles above its junction with the Mississippi. It was incorporated in 1821, under the government of five trustees. The boundaries of the incorporation included sections nine, ten, three and four of township 16 south, in range 1, east of the 3d principal meridian. This town is situated at the mouth of the Cash river, a small stream emptying into the Ohio, and on the first high land above the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi. On this account it may become a place of some importance. At present, however, it contains but few inhabitants. The surrounding country is low, marshy, and subject to intermitten and bilious remittent fevers. America is situated in Lat. 37 degrees 10′ N. and 125 miles due south of Vandalia.
Apple Creek, a small stream of Greene county; runs a west course, and empties into the Illinois river, in section 36, township 11 north, in range 14, west of the 3d principal meridian.
Athens, a small town in St. Clair county, 27 miles southeast from St. Louis, and 14 miles nearly south from Belleville. It is situated on a high bank of the Kaskaskia river. The lands in the vicinity are generally of a good quality, and abound with springs of the finest water. There is a ferry here, and a number of saw and grist mills in the vicinity. The new road from St. Louis to Shawneetown by this place and Big Beaucoup, is said to shorten the distance several miles.
Au Vase river, see Big Muddy.
Balance creek, a small stream, forming a part of the boundary between Sangamon and Greene counties. It runs a westerly course, and empties into the Illinois on the left side, four miles below the mouth of Crooked creek.
Bachelor’s run, a small stream of Sangamon county; holds a west course, and empties into the Illinois on the east side, nearly opposite Fort Clark. On its banks are several beautiful and fertile prairies, which already contain a comparatively dense population, constituting the most northern settlement on the east bank of the Illinois.
Battery rocks, a ledge of perpendicular rocks on the right bank of the Ohio, 24 miles below the mouth of the Wabash, and 8 above Cave in Rock.
Bean river, (Riviere au Feve, Fr.) a navigable stream of Pike county, emptying into the Mississippi three miles below Catfish creek, twenty miles below Dubuque’s mines, and about seventy above Rock river. Nine miles up this stream, a small creek empties into it from the west. The banks of this creek, and the hills which bound its alluvion, are filled with lead ore of the best quality. Three miles below this, on the banks of Bean river, is the Trader’s village, consisting of 10 or 12 houses or cabins. At this place, the ore procured from, or brought in by the Indians, is smelted, and then sent in boats either to Canada or New Orleans. The mines are not present extensively worked by Col. Johnson of Kentucky, who, during the last session of congress, obtained the exclusive right of working them for three years. From the rapids of Bean river, which are about three miles above the creek, to its mouth, the current is very gentle, and the water deep – affording navigation at all seasons to boats of the largest size, and thus presenting every facility for exporting the lead. The lands on this stream are poor, and only valuable on account of the immense quantities of mineral which they contain.
Bear creek, (Mah-waro-kee-ta, Ind.) a stream of the northwestern part of the state. It runs a westerly course, and empties into the Mississippi near the northern boundary line of Illinois. At the mouth of this stream the bluffs approach the Mississippi, and form a commanding site for a fort.
Beaver creek, a small stream, rising in township 5 north, in range 2 and 3 west of the 3d principal meridian, and running a southerly course through Bond and Washington counties, empties into Shoal creek on the left side, in the upper part of township 1 north, in range 4 west. It is about twenty-five miles in length, and waters a very fertile tract of country.
Beaucoup creek, see Big and Little Beaucoup.
Beck’s creek, a small stream of Fayette county. It rises in township 11 north, in range 1, cast of the 3d principal meridian; runs a southeast course about 20 miles, and empties into the Kaskaskia river on the west side. The lands between this creek and an easterly branch which rises in township 10 north, in range 3 east, are first rate, handsomely diversified with timber and prairie. On this stream are situated Beck’s and Wakefield’s settlements, each consisting of about 20 families.
Belleville, a flourishing post town, and the seat of justice of St. Clair county. It is situated on the east bank of Richland creek, four miles east of the bluffs, which bound the American bottom, and fifteen miles southeast of St. Louis. It contains a court house, a jail, an academy, and a public library. The academy is under the government of ten trustees, who have the power of leasing upon their own terms for ten years, section 16 of township 1 in range 8, west of the third principal meridian, reserved for the use of schools in said township. The population of this town is upwards of five hundred. It is in the centre of the Turkey-Hill settlement, which is one of the most flourishing in the state. Belleville is in latitude 38 degrees 25′ north, 60 miles southwest of Vandalia. It is located on an old Spanish claim, including parts of sections 22, 23, 27 and 28, of township 1 north, in range 8 west of the third principal meridian.
Belgrade, a post town in Pope county. It is situated on the Ohio river, on the southern parts of sections 8 and 9, of township 16 south, in range 5, east of the third principal meridian. – It contains from 12 to 20 houses and cabins, which are frequently deserted on account of the inundations of the Ohio. The surrounding country is low and marshy.
Big Bay creek, a small stream rising in the northeastern part of Johnson county, and running in a southwardly direction through the centre of Pope county, falls into the Ohio in section 36, of township 14 south, in range 6, east of the third principal meridian, ten miles north above the mouth of Cumberland river. It is nearly 30 miles in length.
Big Beaucoup creek, rises in the southeastern part of Washington county, and running a southwardly course through Randolph and Jackson counties, about 40 miles, falls into Big Muddy river, in section 35, of township 7 south, in range 2, west of the third principal meridian. A toll bridge has lately been built across this stream, where the state road leading from Shawneetown to Kaskaskia crosses it.
Big Muddy river, (Riviere au Vase, ou Vaseux, discovered and named by the French,) a considerable stream in the southwestern part of the state. It rises between the waters of the Kaskaskia and Little Wabash, and running a southern and southwestern course through the counties of Jefferson, Franklin, Jackson and Union, empties into the Mississippi, between sections 1 and 12, of township 11 south, in range 4, west of the 3d principal meridian, about 50 miles above the mouth of the Ohio. Being fed by Little Muddy river, Beacoup[sic] creek, and several other smaller streams, it is rendered boatable for 40 or 50 miles through a fine prairie country. About 25 miles from its mouth, stone coal of a good quality, is found in a sufficient quantity to supply the surrounding country, and afford a surplus for exportation. Native copper has also been found in detached masses on the banks of this stream
Big Piasau creek, a considerable stream of Greene and Madison counties, running a southward course, and emptying into the Mississippi on the left side, at Smeltzer’s Ferry, 5 miles above Alton, and 12 below the mouth of the Illinois, in section 25, of township 6 north, in range 11, west of the third principal meridian. Its length is about forty miles.
Blackbird creek, a small stream, running a southeasterly course, and emptying into the Kaskaskia river, on the right side near its source.
Bon Pas, a creek in Edwards county. It empties into the Wabash in section 14, township 3 south, in range 14, west of the second principal meridian – 25 miles below the mouth of White river.
Brulette river, a stream of Clark county, runs a southeast course, and falls into the Wabash river, a few miles above Fort Harrison. It crosses the eastern boundary line of the state, 70 miles north of Vincennes. At this place it is 100 links in width.
Bountyville, a town in Pike county, laid out in 1819, on the east half of section 31, of township 10 south, in range 2, west of the third principal meridian, between the bluffs and a bayou of the Mississippi. The surrounding country is fertile, but subject to inundation.
Brownsville, a flourishing post town, and the seat of justice of Jackson county, incorporated in 1819, under the direction of five trustees. It is situated on Big Muddy river, on section 2, of township 9 south, in range 3, west of the third principal meridian. The inhabitants are principally German. About 4 miles above this place, on the east bank of Muddy, is a saline building stone of the best quality also exists in abundance. Brownsville is in latitude 37 degrees 45′ north, 84 miles, somewhat west of south, from Vandalia.
Brush creek, empties into the Sangamon river from the south, a short distance from Mowaweequa creek. There is a considerable settlement on this stream.
Buffaloe heart, a fine settlement of Sangamo county, in a grove so called, situated between Salt creek and Sangamo river, in township 14 north, in range 4, west of the 3d principal meridian. The grove is about 2 miles square, and is surrounded by a large prairie, which is gently undulating, and very fertile. The prairie is also surrounded by timber of the best quality, such as oak, walnut, maple, &c. The settlers reside on the edges of the timber, extending their plantations into the prairie. The grove, which received its name from its resemblance to the buffaloe’s heart, is considerably elevated above the surrounding prairie, and affords the most beautiful situations for farm houses. It already contains a dense population.
Cairo, a town in Alexander county, laid out under the authority of the legislative council of the territory of Illinois. It is situated three miles above the mouth of the Ohio river. (See Alexander county.)
Cahokia creek, rises in Greene county; runs in a southwardly direction through the counties of Madison and St. Clair, and empties into the Mississippi four miles below St. Louis. On this stream are several flour mills, which, though of great importance to the inhabitants, are a prolific source of disease. This stream is so sluggish, that one dam across it in the American bottom, backs the water, following its meanders, 15 miles. In this distance it communicates with numerous ponds and marshes, which, during freshets, are filled with water backed into them from the mill-pond; and which, when the water falls, are exposed to the action of the sun.* It is observed by the French inhabitants who reside on this stream, that they formerly enjoyed good health; but that fevers have been much more frequent among them since mill-dams have been erected. Near the upper dam on the bottom on the same creek, scarcely an individual has ever been known to spend the summer and autumn, without an attack of fever of the intermittent or remittent kind. – On the banks of this stream are an immense number of mounds, of different sizes and descriptions.
Cahokia, a post village in St. Clair county, three fourths of a mile east of the Mississippi river, and five miles south of St. Louis. It is one of the oldest settlements in the state. The Caoquias, a considerable tribe of Illinois, had, for a long time previous to the discovery of the Mississippi, made it a resting place, probably on account of the game with which the river and the ponds in the vicinity abounded. We have no distinct account of the first settlement of this place by the French; but it is probable that it occurred shortly after La Salle descended the Mississippi in 1683. Pleased as some of his followers were with the apparent ease and happiness which the savages enjoyed, it is probable that they chose rather to remain among them, than return to their own country. Instances of this kind are frequently mentioned by Tonti and Hennepin; and as the object of the adventurous La Salle was to settle and civilize the country, their choice seldom met with opposition. Father Charlevoix, who visited this place in 1721, observes: – “I was astonished that they had pitched upon so inconvenient a situation, (being so far from the river,) especially as they had so many better places in their choice; but I was told the Mississippi washed the foot of that village when it was built; that in three years it has lost half a league of its breadth, and that they were thinking of seeking out another habitation.” – The Indians gradually abandoned Cahokia, as the French settlers increased: they were, however, always on the most friendly terms with them.” In 1766, Cahokia contained forty families; and at the commencement of the revolution, their number had increased to about fifty. By an act of congress passed in 1788, 400 acres of land adjoining the village was granted to each family; and by a subsequent act, the lands used by the inhabitants of Cahokia and Prairie du Pont in common, were appropriated to the use of said inhabitants, until otherwise directed by law. Cahokia contains above 100 houses, the majority of which are built of pickets, one story high; they generally have piazzas on every side, and being whitewashed on the outside, have a lively appearance. Here is also a Roman Catholic chapel, in which service is regularly performed. The inhabitants, between 4 and 500 in number, are principally French. These preserve all their ancient manners and customs; with few exceptions, are poor, indolent and illiterate. The utmost extent of their industry is to raise a few acres of corn, and procure a few loads of prairie hay. This place formerly enjoyed, on account of its proximity to the Indians, an extensive and valuable fur trade; but at present it possesses few or no advantages, and from the number of decayed and deserted houses, appears to be on the decline. The situation, although somewhat elevated, is damp and disagreeable: in high water it is frequently inundated. The Americans seldom pass a season without suffering from the affects of the miasma arising from the ponds in the vicinity. The French, whether on account of their being inured to the climate, their manner of living, or from their possessing more hardy constitutions, are little affected by it, but generally enjoy good health. – Coal is found in the vicinity of this place. Its discovery was singular, and deserves to be noticed. “Some years since, a
*See Dr. Woodworth’s essay on the injurious effects of mill-dams, read before the Illinois agricultural society in 1821.
…2 pages missing…
Cash river, a navigable stream in the southern part of the state. It rises in the northern parts of Johnson and Union counties, near the third meridian, runs a south course about 20 miles; then turns to the southeast, and continues in that direction until it empties into the Ohio seven or eight miles above its mouth. Previous to its turning to the southeast, it approarches within a mile and a half of the Mississippi several miles above the junction of the Ohio. At this place it is contemplated to unite the Cash and Mississippi, by means of a canal. This will be a considerable saving of distance, and the means of avoiding the disagreeable navigation at the mouth of the Ohio. This stream was declared navigable by the legislature of the state, from its mouth to the junction of its two main forks, in township 13 south, in range 3, east of the third principal meridian. The object of this is to prevent its being obstructed by mill-dams. – It is, however, only navigable about l2 or 15 miles. Cash river is about 30 miles in length; receives several tributaries, on one of which, Big creek, iron ore of a good quality has been found.
Cave creek, rises in the southern part of Gallatin county, and empties into the Ohio, 12 miles below Saline creek. It is a very inconsiderable stream.
Cave in Rock – This natural curiosity is to be seen on the Ohio river, 30 miles below the mouth of the Wabash. It is a large cave, called by the Indians, “the habitation of the Great Spirit.” The following description was taken on the spot by a gentleman of observation.* “For about 3 or 4 miles before you come to this place, you are presented with a scene truly romantic. On the Illinois side of the river, you see large ponderous rocks piled one upon another, of different colours, shapes and sizes. Some appear to have come through the hands of the most skilled artist; some represent the ruins of ancient edifices; others thrown promiscuously in and out of the river, as if nature intended to show us with what ease she could handle those mountains of solid rock. In some places, you see purling streams winding their course down their rugged front; while in others, the rocks project so far that they seem almost disposed to leave their doubtful situations. After a short relief from this scene, you come to a second, which is something similar to the first and here, with strict scrutiny, you can discover the cave. Before its mouth stands a delightful grove of cypress trees, arranged immediately on the bank of the river. They have a fine appearance, and add much to the cheerfulness of the place. The mouth of the cave is but a few feet above the ordinary level of the river, and is formed by a semicircular arch of about 80 feet at its base, and 25 feet in height, the top projecting considerably over, forming a regular concave. From the entrance to the extremity, which is about 180 feet, it has a regular and gradual ascent. On either side is a solid bench of rock; the arch coming to a point about the middle of the cave, where you discover an opening sufficiently large to receive the body of a man, through which comes a small stream of fine water, made use of by those who visit this place. From this hole, a second cave is discovered, whose dimenions, form, &c. are not known. The rock is of limestone. The sides of the cave are covered with inscriptions, names of persons, dates, &c. In 1797, this cave was the rendezvous of Mason’s gang of robbers, who plundered and murdered the crews of boats descending the Ohio. It still serves as a temporary abode for those wanting shelter, in case of shipwreck, or other accidents, which frequently happen to emigrants. Families have been known to reside here for a considerable length of time. The trees which formerly sheltered the mouth of this cave, have been cut down, and it is now completely exposed to view. The limestone, which forms its walls, abounds with shells, at once pointing out its secondary character. Although this cave is inferior to many others on the Illinois and Mississippi, it is well worthy the attention of the curious and scientific.
*See journal of a tour into the territory northwest of the Alleghany Mountains, made in the spring of 1803, with a geographical and historical account of the state of Ohio by Thaddeus M. Harris, A.M., Boston 1805.
Cedar creek, a small stream of Jackson and Union counties. It runs a northwest course, and empties into Big Muddy river, in section 11, of township 10 south, in range 3, west of the third principal meridian.
Cedar creek, a small creek of Pike county, runs a westerly course, and empties into Henderson river on the left side, __ miles above its mouth.
Chenail ecarte, (Snicarty) an arm or bayou of the Mississipi, in Pike county, commonly called a “sloo.” It extends from the middle of township 3 south, and continues through the alluvion, from one to four miles from the river, to the upper part of township 8 south. It is about 40 miles in length. The lands in the vicinity are first rate, but are subject to annual inundations from the river.
Chicago, a village in Pike county, situated on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of Chicago creek. It contains 12 or 15 houses, and about 60 or 70 inhabitants. From this place to Green Bay, by the way of the lake, the distance is 275 miles, and 400 to the island of Michillimackinac. On the south side of the creek stands Fort Dearborn. “The country around Chicago is the most fertile and beautiful that can be imagined. It consists of an intermixture of woods and prairies, diversified with gentle slopes, sometimes attaining the elevation of hills, and irrigated with a number of clear streams and rivers, which throw their waters partly into Lake Michigan, and partly into the Mississippi river. ‘ As a farming country, it unites the fertile soil of the finest low-land prairies, with an elevation, which exempts it from the influence of stagnant waters, and a summer climate of delightful serenity; while its natural meadows present all the advantages for raising stock, of the most favorred part ot the valley of the Mississippi. It is already the seat of several flourishing p1antations, and only requires the extinguishment of the Indian title to the lands, to become one of the most attractive fields for the emigrant. To the ordinary advantages of an agricultural market town, it must hereafter add that of a depot for the inland commerce between the northern and southern sections of the union and a great thoroughfare for strangers, merchants and travelers.” (Schoolcraft’s Travels.)
Chicago creek, an arm of Lake Michigan, dividing itself into two branches at the distance of one mile inland from its communication with the lake. The north branch extends along the west side of the lake; is about 10 or 11 miles in length, and is supplied from the prairies. The south branch has an extent of several miles and communicates with the lake. In wet seasons, boats of considerable size pass from this stream to the Des Plaines, and thence down the Illinois. The entrance of the Chicago into the lake is about 80 yards wide. At present it is obstructed by a sand-bar, which wil1 only admit boats to pass over it. Several expedients have been proposed for removing this bar; and among the number, one of the most ingenious, and perhaps the most practicable, is that of turning the Kalamick river, by means of a short canal, into the Chicago above the fort, and thus, by the increased volume of water, to drive out the sand which is continually thrown up by the lake. It is feared, however, that the construction of a good harbour will be attended with much difficulty and expense. This stream has, for nearly a century, been one of the most common northern routes to the Illinois and Mississippi. The greatest proportion of the furs of the northwest are conveyed through this channel to the lower lakes.
City of Illinois, see Illinois city
Clear creek, a small stream in the southern part of the state. It rises in Union county, and running in a southerly direction about 25 miles, empties into the Mississippi in the northern part of Alexander county, 40 miles above the mouth of the Ohio. There are many small branches emptying into it from the east.
Colesgrove, a post town and the seat of justice of Pike county. It was laid out in 1821, and is situated in township 11 south, in range 2, west of the fourth principal meridian. Very little improvement has as yet been made in this place, or the vicinity. The situation of the town is high and healthy, and it bids fair to become a place of some importance.
College township, 5 north, in range 1, west of the 3d principa1 meridian, 6 miles square, granted by the United States to this state for the support of a seminary of learning. The northern boundary is three miles below Vandalia. It is watered by the Kaskaskia and several of its tributaries, and is in general first rate land. It is situated in Fayette county. By an act passed in 1821, the auditor of public accounts was authorised to lease, to any individuals applying for that purpose, any of the lands in this township, upon the following terms, viz. The lessee shall make his entry either for one hundred and sixty or eighty acres, as he may choose, in a book kept by the auditor for that purpose, and shall have the land the first three years free and clear of all rents whatever; and after that time, shall pay at the rate of 6 percent per annum, on the quantity of land he may enter, estimating the land in every instance at two dollars per acre; the lessee to be bound to commit no waste; and should he not take possession within twelve months of the date of his entry, to perfect his lease, the auditor shall have power to distrain for rent, in the same way that any landlord in this state could or might do. Provided, however, that no lease be for longer terms than ten years; and that any, or all of the lessees shall be entitled to a credit out of his rent for the value thereof, if he chooses to plant any apple trees, not exceeding two hundred, upon any one quarter section; which he must do to entitle him to credit within the first seven years of his lease. The improvements are also bound for rent, and may be sold therefor.
Colombo creek, runs a southeast course through the northwestern part of Jackson county, and empties into Big Beaucoup creek.
Columbia, a small post town, and formerly the seat of justice of Franklin county. It is situated about three miles east of Big Muddy river, in section 19 of township 7 south, in range 3, west of the 3d principal meridian.
Copperas creek, a small stream of Pike county. It rises in township 8 north, in range 5, east of the 4th principal meridian; runs a southerly course, and empties into the Illinois river in section 24 of township 6 north, in range 5, east of the 4th principal meridian.
Covington, an incorporated post town, and the seat of justice of Washington county, situated on the left bank of the Kaskaskia river, in section 33 of township 1 north, in range 9, west of the 3d principal meridian. This p1ace is nearly central for the county, and from present appearances promises to become of considerable importance. It is under the government of five trustees. By an act of the last legislature, a toll bridge is to be built over the Kaskaskia, opposite the town. Covington is in latitude 38 degrees 25′ north; 50 miles east-south-east of St. Louis, and 45 southwest of Vandalia.
Crooked creek, a small stream of Washington county. It rises in township 1 north, in range 1, east of the 3d principal meridian, and running a westerly course, empties into the Kaskaskia river in section 27 of township 1 north, in range 3, west of the 3d principal meridian.
Crooked creek, a navigable stream of the Illinois military tract, which, from its length, deserves more properly the name of river. It rises by two heads in township 7 north, and after their union, runs a southeasterly course, and empties into the Illinois river in section 15 of township 1 south, in range 1, west of the 4th principal meridian, 100 miles above its junction with the Mississippi. The length of this stream is about 100 miles, and it extends nearly the whole distance across the tract. The lands on this stream are generally first rate, but those immediately on its banks are subject to occasional inundation. It has many small tributaries emptying into it from the east and west, which affords good mill seats. A short distance above its mouth is a very large pond, which no doubt will be a source of disease to the settlers. ‘ Coal, iron ore, and fine freestone abound in the banks of Crooked creek.
Crow Meadow river, a considerable stream in the northern part of the state. It rises in the hills near the head waters of the Vermilion of the Wabash, and running a northwest course, empties into the Illinois a short distance above Lake Peoria. It is more than 20 yards wide at its mouth, and is navigable for some distance. Little is as yet known of the lands on the banks of this stream.
Demiquain, a large lake emptying into the Illinois on the east side, 3 miles below the mouth of Spoon river. It is several miles in length, and from 1 to 2 in breadth. In ascending the Illinois, it is very common, for those who are unacquainted with the navigation, to run up the lake; to avoid this, it is necessary to keep close to the west shore from Spoon river. At the lake, the river turns to the west, nearly at right angles with its former course.
Des Plaines, see Riviere des Plaines.
Diamond Grove, a fine settlement in Greene county. It is situated in the centre of a large prairie, on the head waters of Mauvaise’terre creek, 25 miles from the Illinois. The grove is in the form of a diamond. The surrounding country is beautifully interspersed with prairie and woodland; and its advantages in point of health, good water, fertility, &c. are such as to insure to it a dense population. It may be considered as one of the most desirable tracts in the state. Diamond grove is 75 miles northwest of Alton, from which place there is a public road. The first settlement was commenced in 1820.
Donaldson, a town in Washington county, one mile east of Carlyle. It is laid out on sections 17 and 20, of township 2 north, in range 2, west of the 3d principal meridian, about 2 or 300 yards from the Kaskaskia river, on an elevated eastern bank. This town is as yet little more than laid out on paper. The country in the vicinity is tolerably fertile, but the proportion of prairie is too great to secure to it a very dense population. In the vicinity of Donaldson, there is a spring, which is said to be medicinal.
Duchet river, a considerable stream in the northern part of the state. It empties into the Wabash river between Fort Harrison and Tippecanoe river. (I have noticed this stream upon the authority of several authors, although it is not laid out upon the survey of the eastern boundary line of Illinois, which it must cross if the above description is correct.)
Du Page river, see Riviere du Page.
Eagle creek, see L’Aigle creek.
Edwards river, a considerable stream in the northern part of the Illinois military tract. It rises in township 15 north, in range 1, west of the 4th principal meridian, and running a westerly course to the middle of township 14 north, in range 5 west, turns to the south, and empties into the Mississippi on the east side, in section 16, of township 13 north, in range 5 west of the fourth principal meridian. It is navigable for a short distance, and passes through a district of country high and undulating, but abounding with prairies, which, in many instances, are very extensive.
Edwardsville, an incorporated post town, and the seat of justice of Madison county. The old town was laid out in 1815, on a branch of the Cahokia creek, in sections 2, 3 and 11 of township 4 north, in range 8, west of the third principal meridian, and 20 miles northeast of St. Louis. It contains a court house, a jail, a land office, a brick market, and about 60 or 70 dwelling houses. The inhabitants ate generally enterprising and industrious. In the vicinity, is a grist mill, on the branch of the Cahokia creek. The growth of this place has been very rapid, and it bids fair to become an important inland town. The new town was laid out about three or four years since, and being principally owned by a few wealthy individuals, it flourished considerably. Here is a bank, and a printing office, from which is issued a weekly paper, entitled the “Edwardsville Spectator.” A great rivalship exists between the inhabitants of these towns, which, though it may have been a temporary advantage, will finally be an injury to both. The local situation of Edwardsville is pleasant. It is on the highlands, which bound the American bottom, and the centre of a fertile and healthy country, well watered and timbered, and gently undulating, presenting at once to the agriculturalist the most desirable place for settlement. It would be useless to observe that this country is rapidly settling with frugal and industrious farmers. In the vicinity, many plantations have been opened by persons residing in the town, who find it much to their advantage to devote a part of their attention to agriculture. Edwardsville is in latitude 38 degrees 45′ north, 50 miles east-south-east of Vandalia.
Elkheart grove, a fine settlement of Sangamon county, in township 17 north, in range 5, west of the third principal meridian, between Saline creek and the Sangamo river. The grove contains about 1000 acres of the finest timber; it is considerably elevated above the surrounding prairie, and it is already thickly settled. The surrounding vicinity, for some distance, is generally interspersed with prairies and woodland; high, undulating, healthy and well’watered, and for farming purposes, cannot be excelled.
Elkhorn creek, a small stream of Washington county. It rises in township 3 south, in range 4, west of the third principal meridian, and running a northwest course about 20 miles, empties into the Kaskaskia on the left side, in section 30, of township 1 south, in range 5, west of the third principal meridian.
Ellison’s prairie, a beautiful prairie, situated between the Embarras and Wabash rivers, and containing a large and fluorishing settlement. It is surrounded by a belt of the finest timber.
Embarras river, (Embroy.) a navigable stream in the eastern part of the state. – It rises in Clark county, near the sources of the Kaskaskia and Little Wabash rivers, and running a southeast course, empties into the Wabash on the west side, 5 miles below Vincennes. The banks of this stream are low and subject to inundations, but heavily timbered and fertile. There are many valuable, mill-seats on the Embarras and its tributaries.
Feve river, see Bean river
Fort Chartres, a large stone fort, built by the French while in possession of the Illinois country. It is situated about a half mi1e east of the Mississippi river, six miles above the village of Prairie du Rocher, and about a mile west of the bottom road from St. Louis to Kaskaskia. It is unquestionably among the most astonishing works of art in our country. This fort was originally built by the French in the year 1720, to defend themselves against the Spaniards ‘ about the same time that New Orleans was founded. In 1756, it was rebuilt in its present form. The only particular description of this fort which I have been able to find, is contained in Capt. Pittman’s history ot the European settlements on the Mississippi, published in 1770. It is as follows: “Fort Chartres, when it belonged to France, was the seat of government of the Illinois. The head quarters of the Eng1ish commanding officer is now here, who is in fact the arbitrary governor of this country. The Fort is an irregular quadrangle; the sides of the exterior polygon are 490 Feet. It is built of stone, and plastered over, and is only designed as a defense against the Indians. The walls are two feet two inches thick, and are pierced with loopholes at regular distances, and with two port holes for cannon in the faces, and two in the flanks of each bastion. The ditch has never been finished. The entrance to the fort is through a very handome rustic gate. Within the walls is a banquette raised three feet, for the men to stand on when they fire through the loop’holes. The buildings wihin the fort are, a commandant’s, and commissary’s house, the magazine of stores, corps de garde, and two barracks; these occupy the square. Within the gorges of the bastion are a powder magazine, a bake-house, and a prison, in the lower room of which are four dungeons, and in the upper, two rooms, and an out house belonging to the commandant. The commandant’s house is thirty’two yards long and ten broad, and contains a kitchen, a diningg-room, a bed’chamber, one small room, five closets for servants, and a cellar. The commissary’s house (now occupied by officers) is built on the same line as this, and its proportion and the distribution of its apartments are the same. Opposite these are the store’house, guard-house; they are each thirty yards long and eight broad. The former consists of two large store-rooms, (under which is a large vaulted cellar,) a large room, a bed’chamber, and a closet for the store-keeper; the latter, of a soldiers’ and officers’ guard’room, a chapel, a bed’chamber, a closet for the chaplain, and an artillery store-room. The lines of barracks have never been finished; they at present consist of two rooms each for officers, and three for soldiers; they are each twenty feet square, and have betwixt them a small passage. They are fine spacious lofts over each building, which reach from end to end; these are made use of to lodge regimental stores, working and intrenching tools, &c. It is generally believed that this is the most convenient and best built fort in North America.’ Such was this fort half a century since. Since it was first erected, several changes have taken place in the channel of the Mississippi, which it may not be uninteresting to notice. Father Charlevoix, who visited the Mississippi in 1721, observes, that ‘Fort Chartres stands about the distance of a musket shot from the river; and that M. Duque de Boisbrillard, a gentleman of Canada, commands here for the company, to whom this place belongs.’ In 1756, it was a half mile from the water side; in 1766, it was but eighty paces. In 1770, Capt. Pittman observes, “the bank of the Mississippi is continually falling in, being worn away in the current, which has been turned from its course by a sand-bank, now increased to a considerable island, covered with willows. Eight years ago the river was fordable to the island, the channel is now forty feet deep.” After this time the river was gradually making encroachments, and about 1772, it inundated its banks, and formed a channel so near the fort, that one side of it, and two of its bastions were thrown down, which circumstance induced the British to abandon it. Since its abandonment, a bar has again been formed in front of the fort, nearly half a mile in width, and is covered with a thick growth of cottonwood and willows. At present this work exhibits only a splendid ruin. The Mississippi as before stated, has, by its encroachments, torn away the front or west face, and those parts of the wall which have escaped, have been destroyed hy the neighboring inhabitants. In front, all that remains, is a small stone cellar, which has no doubt been a magazine; some distance above, or north of this, is an excavation in the earth, which has the appearance of having been burned; it may have been a furnace for heating shot, as one of the cannon must have been in this vicinity. Not a vestige of the wall is to be seen on this side, except a few stones, which still remain in the lavine be1ow. At the southeast angle there is a gate, and the wall is perfect. It is about fifteen feet high and three feet thick, and is built of coarse limestone, quarried in the hills about two miles distant, and is well cemented. The south side is, with few exceptions, perfect; as is also the southeast bastion. The northeast is generally in ruins. On the east face are two port holes for cannon, which are still perfect; they are about three feet square, formed by solid rocks or clefts worked smooth, and into proper shape; here is also a large gate, 18 feet wide, the sides of which still remain in a state of tolerable preservation; the cornices and casements, however, which formerly ornamented it, have all been taken away. A considerable portion of the north-side of the fort, has also been destroyed. The houses, which make up the square in the inside, are generally in ruins. Sufficient, however, remains to enable the visitor to ascertain exactly their dimensions and relative situations. The well, which is little injured by time, is about twenty’four feet north of the northeast house, which, according to Pittman, was the commandant’s house. The banquette is entirely destroyed. The magazine is in a perfect state, and is an uncommon specimen of solidity. Its walls are four feet thick, and it is arched in the inside. Over the whole fort, there is a considerable growth of trees, and in the hall of one of the houses, there is an oak about eighteen inches in diameter. In the vicinity of the fort are the ruins of a small village. In 1764, it contained about forty families, and also a parish church, dedicated to St. Anne, and served by a Franciscan friar. When the English took possession of the country, they all abandoned their houses, except three or four poor families, and settled in the villages on the west side of the Mississippi, choosing to continue under the French government. The history of this fort is interesting, as it is intimately connected with the early history of the country. Ever since the discovery of Louisiana by the French, it appears to have been a favourite object with them to secure a communication between the Canadas and the sea. As soon us the spaniards became aware of their designs, and the vast importance which the country thus secured would be to them, they became jealous of their neighbours, and began to make encroachments upon them and as early as the year 1699 they attempted to prevent the landing of M. D’Iberville, with his colony at the mouth of the Mississippi. It was not, however, until after the grant made by Louis XIV, to Crozat had been retroceded, and the celebrated company of the west formed, that the possession of Louisiana excited such lively interest. When it was supposed that the precious metals were to be found here in abundance, then it was that the eyes of all the speculating capitalists of Europe were turned to the new world. They seized with avidity an opportunity to enrol themselves as members of the company, and partake of the promised wealth. Under the direction and management of M. Law, whose genius, talents and influence were of the highest order, each supposed that his coffers were already filled, and his happiness complete. It was dating this paroxysm, that the estahhshmeat of Fort Chartres was first projected. It was considered an advantangeous site, being in the centre of the settlements; but more particularly as being in the vicinity of the mines, which they supposed would need protection and defence. It continued under the direction of the company until 1731, when their splendid schemes having totally failed, this, together with the whole territory, was retroceded to the crown, and continued in its possession until the year 1762, when it was ceded to the British, who, however, did not take possession of it until 1765. In 1772, Fort Chartres was abandoned by the British, and has never since been occupied. At present, its only use is to furnish building materials to the inhabitants in the vicinity.
Fort Clark, see Peoria
Fort Dearborn, a military post on the south shore of Chicago creek, 4 or 500 yards from its entrance into Lake Michigan – consisting of a square stockade, inclosing barracks, quarters for the officers, a magazine, provision-store, &c. and defended by bastions at the northwest and southeast angles. Its situation is high and pleasant; and should the canal be completed between the lake and the Illinois river, this must become a place of considerable consequence, being the ony good town site on the margin of the lake for several miles. It is at present occupied by a hundred and sixty men, under the command of Captain Bradford. It is 63 miles due west from the St. Joseph of the lakes, and by the meanders of the south limb of the lake, 99 miles, according to the survey of Major Whistler. This fort was abandoned in 1812, in consequence of the disgraceful surrender of Gen. Hull. A great number of the troops shortly after leaving the fort, were inhumanly murdered by the savages, who lay in ambush on the margin of the lake. The following account of this affair is extracted from M’Afee’s history of the late war in the western country. “On the morning of the 15th (Aug.) at sunrise, the troops, consisting of about 70 men, with some women and children, marched from the forts with pack horses in the centre, and Capt. Wells with his Indians in the rear. They had proceeded about a mile from the fort, when the front guard was fired on by the savages, who were posted behind a sandbank on the margin of the lake, and in a skirt of woods which the party was approaching, the rest of the country around them being an open prairie. At the same time they saw a body of Indians passing to their rear, to cut off their retreat to the fort. The firing now became general, and the troops seeing nothing but death and massacre before them, formed in line of battle, and returned the fire of the enemy with much bravery and success, as they slowly retreated in the prairie. The Indians made several desperate efforts to rush up and tomahawk them but every charge was repulsed by the firmness of the troops, who fought with desperation, determined to sell their lives as dear as possible. Capt. Wells being killed, his Indians retired from the party and joined the others. Several women and children were also killed; and our ranks were at last so reduced, as scarcely to exceed twenty effective men, yet they continued resolute, and stuck together, resolved to fight while one remained able to fire. But the Indians now withdrew some distance, and sent a small French boy to demand a surrender. The boy was Capt. Heald’s interpreter, who had run off to the Indians at the commencement of the action. He advanced cautiously; and Mr. Griffith, who was afterwards a lieutenant in a company of spies, in Col. Johnson’s Regiment from Kentucky, advanced to meet him, intending to kill him for his perfidy. But the boy declared, that it was the only way he had to save his life, and appeared sorry that he had been obliged to act in that manner. He then made known his business; the Indians proposed to spare the lives of our men, provided they would surrender. The proposal being made known to the surviving soldiers, they unanimously determined to reject it. The boy returned with this answer to the Indians; but in a short time he came back, and entreated Mr. Griffith to use his influence with Capt. Heald, to make him surrender, as the Indians were very numerous. The captain, his lady, and Mr. Griffith, were all wounded. He at last consented to surrender; and the troops having laid down their aims, the Indians advanced to receive them; and notwithstanding their promises they now perfidiously tomahawked three or four of the men. One Indian with the fury of a demon in his countenance, advanced to Mrs. Heald, with his tomahawk drawn. She had been accustomed to danger; and knowing the temper of the Indians, with great presence of mind, she looked him in the face, and smiling, said, “Surely you would not kill a squaw.” His arm fell nerveless; the conciliating smile of an innocent female, appealing to the magnanimity of a warrior, reached the heart of the savage, and subdued the barbarity of his soul. He immediately took the lady under his protection. ‘ She was the daughter of Gen. Samuel Wells, of Kentucky. The head of Capt. Wells was cut off, and his heart was cut out and eaten by the savages. The Indians having divided their prisoners, as usual in such cases, it was the fate of Capt. Heald, his lady, and Mr. Griffith, to be taken by the Ottawas on the lake beyond the mouth of the river St. Joseph. Their wounds being severe, they looked upon destruction as inevitable; but Heaven often smiles when we least expect it. Griffith had observed a canoe, which was large enough to carry them and they contrived to escape in it by night. In this frail bark they traversed the lake 200 miles to Mackinaw, where the British commander afforded them the means of returning to the United States.” After the war, this fort was repaired, and again taken possession of by the American troops. Since which time, it has always been occupied by a garrison. “About twenty miles north of this fort, there is a bed of red oxide of iron, in a state of great purity, and its preparation as a pigment, may be expected to result from the influx of emigrants. Pyrites are also very common in this vicinity; yet it is a singular fact, that the bricks at Chicago, which are manufactured from the earth, taken upon the banks of the creek, burn white, like the Stourbridge fire-bricks, indicating, as I am led to conclude, an absence or iron, in any of its numerous forms of combination, at least, in the usual degree.” Schoolcraft. – Fort Dearborn is in latitude 41′ 45′ N.
Fort Edwards, is situated on the east bank of the Mississippi, in Pike county, at the foot of the rapids of the Riviere des Moines. These rapids are in the Mississippi, and take their name from being near the mouth of the Riviere des Moines. They are nine miles in length, and terminate about half a mile above the junction of the two streams. Opposite the fort, the water is deep and gentle. The fort is situated on a high rocky bluff consisting of sandstone, which, however, but rarely appears on the surface. The country east, is undulating, well timbered and well watered. In the vicinity of the fort, in Pike county, native alum is found in abundance. It is somewhat darker in its colour than the manufactured, but is said to be almost equally pure. There are also a number of caves, in which salt petre is found in ahundance. ‘ In many of them, the bottom of the cave is white, and the mineral appears in the form of waves.
Fort Massac, a small settlement of Johnson county, formerly a military post, situated on the bank of the Ohio, nine miles below the mouth of Tennessee river, and forty above its junction with the Mississippi. A fort was first built here by the French, when in possession of this country. The Indians, who were then at war with them, laid a curious stratagem to take it, and it answered their purpose. A number of them appeared in the day time on the opposite side of the river, each of whom was covered with a bear-skin, and walked on all fours. Supposing them to be bears, a party of the French crossed the river in pursuit of them. The remainder of the troops left their quarters, and resorted to the bank of the river in front of the garrison, to observe the sport. In the mean time, a large body of warriors, who were concealed in the woods near by, came silently up behind the fort, and entered it without opposition, and very few of the French escaped the carnage. They afterwards built another fort on the same ground, and called it Massac, in memory of this disastrous event.* It was occupied by them until about 1750, when it was abandoned. After the revolutionary war, it was repaired by the Americans, and was garrisoned for several years. At present it is in a state of decay. The traveller can, however, still observe the ruins of three block-houses, and a number of barracks built in the form of a square. The latitude of Fort Massac, according to Ellicott, is 37′ 15′ N. It is 110 miles below the mouth of the Wabash. *Stoddard’s Sketches of Louisiana.
Fort river, a small branch of the Kaskaskia river, emptying into it from the west, in township 11 north, in range 5, east of the 3d principal meridian. Its general course is southeast. About 12 miles above the mouth is a bluff, on which is a fort called Chickesaw. It was erected, by the Kaskaskia Indians, and taken from them by the Kickapoos.
Fox river, a navigable stream in the northern part of the state. It rises near Lake Michigan, passes within 12 miles of the Melwakee, (which discharges itself into Lake Michigan, 90 miles north of Chicago,) runs a southwest course, and empties into the Illinois on the right side, a short distance above the great bend. At the place where Fox river approaches to within twelve miles of the Melwakee, there is an Indian village, from which, fifty miles due west, is a portage to a large Winebago village, called Coscoenage, (or republic,) on Rock river. Fox river is a clear and beautiful stream, with a gentle current, uninterrupted by rapids. Near the point of its embouchure is an extensive and valuable bed of mineral coal. “The stratum appears en the banks of the river, and is said to have an extensive range to the northwest, and is only covered by a light deposit of alluvial soil of a few feet in thickness.” Schoolcraft.
Fox river, a small stream, runs a southeast coarse through Crawford and Edwards counties, and falls into the Wabash on the right side.
French village, (Village du Cote, Fr.) a small village of St. Clair county. It is situated about seven miles southeast of St. Louis, at the foot of the Mississippi bluffs, in sections 28 and 35 of township 2 north, in range 9, west of the 3d principal meridian. The inhabitants are principally French, who preserve all their ancient manners and customs.
Gibraltar, a small post town in Madison county, on the east bank of the Mississippi, opposite to the mouth of the Missouri river. It is located on a high rocky bluff, on sections 17, 18 and 20, of township 5 north, in range 9, west of the 3d principal meridian. There is an ox-mill at this place, a post-office, and five or six houses.
Golconda, (formerly Lusk’s ferry,) a small post town, and the seat of justice of Pope county. It is situated on the right bank of the Ohio river, about eighty miles above its junction with the Mississippi, and twenty below the mouth of Cumberland river. It contains about fifty houses, and is in a state of improvement. Here is a ferry across the Ohio, which affords a direct communication by roads with different parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Grand Kalimick river, a considerable stream in the northern part of the state. Its course is devious, forming a semicircle nearly parallel with the south limb of Lake Michigan, into which it empties in the state of Indiana. It unites with the Little Kalimick, and at some seasons forms a communication with it.
Grand Pierre creek, a small stream of Pope county, emptying into the Ohio four miles above Golconda.
Grand Prairie. ‘ This is by far the most extensive prairie in the state. It extends from about the base line near the third principal meridian, between the Kaskaskia and Wabash rivers, in a northeast direction; then veering to the north, between the head waters of Vermilion of the Wabash, Woman river of Tippecanoe, Iroquois and Ma-qua-pin-a-con of the Kankakee, on the north side, to near the junction of the Illinois and Kankakee rivers, leaving on the southwest the Sangamo, Michilimacinac and Vermilion river of the Illinois; thence crossing the Kankakee, bordered with small skirts of timber, passing northeast to Chicago, leaving on the west the Illinois river, and on the east the Kalimick of Lake Michigan; thence continuing north between Lake Michigan and the River des Pleines, to the northern boundary of the state, and eastwardly between the waters of the Kankakee, to within nine miles of the Cowpen tradinghouse on St. Joseph’s river. North and east of this, wood land prevails. This prairie is generally high and undulating, with a sandy soil. It is very questionabile whether it will ever be thickly settled.
Greenville, a flourishing post town, and the seat of justice of Bond county. It is situated in section 10 of township 5 north, in range 3, west of the third principal meridian, on the east fork of Shoal creek. The first house was built here in 1819. At present it contains upwards of fifty. The situation of the place is high and healthy. The surrounding country is well watered, and contains a sufficiency of timber. The soil is generally fertile. Both the town and country in the vicinity are in a state of rapid improvement. Greenville is in latitude 38′ 50′ N., 18 miles southwest from Vandalia.
Hamburg, (formerly Penrod’s ferry,) a small town in Union county, on the left bank of the Mississippi river, in section 11, of township 13 south, in range 3, west of the third principal meridian. Its situation is low and unhealthy. As yet this place contains but 10 or 12 houses, which are chiefly built of logs. Here is a ferry, at which the road from America to Boon’s Lick crosses the Mississippi. The distance from America is 30 miles.
Hamilton, the seat of justice of Montgomery, laid out in 1821, in sections 10 and 15 of township 8 north, in range 4, west of the third principal meridian – three quarters of a mile west of the middle fork of Shoal creek, at the edge of a small prairie, on high, firm, and commanding ground it contains within its units several never failing springs of excellent running water. The surrounding country is well timbered, well watered, fertile, and thickly populated. Its situation, in point of healthiness, is not exceeded by any in the state. Hamilton is in latitude 39′ 8′ N.; about 30 miles northwest from Vandalia.
Harrisonville, a post town, and the seat of justice of Monroe county, situated in section 8 of township 3 south, in range 11, west of the third principal meridian. It contains 40 or 50 houses, scattered over an extensive surface, which is low and subject to inundation. The surrounding country is very fertile, and a considerable quantity of its surplus produce is shipped to the southern market. A sand-bar is forming in front of this place, which wil1 greatly affect its commercial importance. The town is surrounded by a heavy growth of timber, consisting of oak, maple, elm, &c. In its vicinity are several distilleries, and saw and grist-mills. Some time since, a small quantity of native copper was found on the highlands, a short distance east of this place. A shaft was sunk in 1817; but in consequence of some untoward circumstances, was shortly after abandoned, and has not since been worked. About 5 miles east of this place there is a salt-lick, near which were found, about twenty years ago, fragments of vessels, which appeared to have been about four feet square, two or three feet deep, and one inch thick. They were made of clay, sand and shells, were very hard, and appeared to have been used as salt kettles. Harrisonville is nearly opposite Herculaneum, in latitude 38′ 20′ N.; 30 miles south of St. Louis, and 85 miles southwest of Vandalia.
Henderson’s river, a navigable stream in the northwestern part of the Illinois bounty tract. It rises in township 12 north, in range 1, east of the fourth principal meridian; runs a westerly course for some distance, then turns to the southwest, and empties into the Mississippi on the left side, in section 14 of township 10 north, in range 6, west of the fourth principal meridian. It is about 50 miles in length, a considerable part of which is navigable. The lands bordering on this stream are generally prairie. For some distance below its mouth, the banks of the Mississippi are very low, and subject to annual inundation.
Horse creek, a small stream of Randolph county. It rises in township 4 south, in range 9, west of the third principal meridian, and running a southerly course, empties into the Kaskaskia on the right side, in section 12 of township 5 south, in range 8, west of the third principal meridian.
Hurricane fork of Kaskaskia river, rises near the sources of the south fork of the Sangamo, and running a southerly course, empties into the Kaskaskia on the right side, twelve mi1es below Vandalia. The banks of this stream are mostly well timbered, but in many places subject to inundation. It not unfrequently happens, that a rain of two or three hours renders this stream impassible; its fall, however, is generally as sudden as its rise.
Illinois bounty tract, see Mi1itary bounty tract.
Illinois city, a town of St. Clair county, located in 1819, on a part of the common fields of the village of Cahokia. The lots were distributed among the inhabitants of the village, and were confirmed to them by an act of congress passed in 1820. No improvement has as yet been made on the premises. The town is laid out on the prairie, a short distance from Cahokia.
Illinois lake, an expansion of the Illinois river, commencing at Fort Clark, two hundred miles above its junction with the Mississippi, and extending in a northerly direction about twenty miles. It receives its name from the circumstance of its being wider than the river, and having scarcely any current. The name given to it by the Indians, is Pin-a-tah-wee; on account of its being frequently covered with a scum which has a greasy appearance. The water of the lake is clear, and its bottom gravelly. It abounds with fish of various kinds, such as sturgeon, buffaloe, carp, several different species of bass, pickerel, pike, perch, white-fish, &c. These fish are so abundant, that they form an important article of export. The shore of the lake in many places is sandy; the descent gradual, and unobstructed by trees, affording every facility for carrying on an extensive fishery.
Independence, a town in Bond county, situated on a bluff, one hundred and sixty yards from the right bank of the Kaskaskia river, on the northwest quarter of section 19, of township 4 north, in range 1; west of the third principal meridian. The situation of this place is very unhealthy, being surrounded by a number of stagnant ponds and marshes. The town is laid out on a very extensive scale, but no improvements have as yet been made on the ground. It only exists on paper, and constitutes a part of the speculating medium of the state. It was laid out during the time of the town-making mania, and a few of the lots were sold to those who were either ignorant of their true situation, or who expected to sell them to other persons at a large profit.
Iroquois river, see Canawaga river.
Johnsonsport, nearly opposite the mouth of the Missouri, in Madison county, contains a large ware house, formerly owned by Col. Johnson, and two or three dwelling houses. At present it is merely a stopping place for the boats bound to the northern part of this state.
Jonesborough, a flourishing post town, and the seat of justice of Union county, incorporated in 1821, under the government of five trustees. The limits of the incorporation include the whole of section 30. of township 12 south, in range 1, west of the third principal meridian. It is situated on one of the branches of Clear creek, and contains about 40 or 50 houses. A great proportion of the inhabitants are Germans, who, by their industry, have contributed much to the improvement of the settlement. They chiefly belong to the religious sect called Dunkards. Jonesborough is 28 miles north of the town of America, from which a post road has been established, by an act of congress. It is in latitude 37′ 25′ north, 25 miles south of Brownsville, 18 east of the Mississippi, and 102 nearly due south of Vandalia.
Jortue river, a considerable stream in the northeastern part of the state, running a serpentine course for a considerable distance east, and emptying into the Wabash between Vincennes and Fort Harrison. (I have noticed this stream on the authority of several authors, although it is not mentioned in the survey of the boundary line between Illinois and Indiana, which it must cross, if the above description is at all correct.)
Kankakee river, see Theakiki.
Kaskaskia, an incorporated post town, and the seat of justice of Randolph county, and formerly the capital of the state. It is situated on the right bank of the river of the same name, seven miles above its junction with the Mississippi, from which it is about three miles east, it is near the southern extremity of the American bottom. The first settlement made here was by the French of Canada, shortly after the visit of La Salle in 1683; and so long as the French continued in possession of the Illinois country, Kaskaskia was its capital and was flourishing and populous. When Charlevoix visited it in 1721, it contained a Jesuit college, the ruins of which only remain. In 1763, this place, as well as the country east of the Mississippi, was ceded by France to Great Britain. In 1766, it contained about 100 families, which number it retained until the revolutinary war. In 1778, the fort situated on the east side of the Kaskaskia river, was taken by Col. afterwards Gen. George Rogers Clarke. ‘ After that time, and until within a few years, this town continued gradually to decline; owing chiefly to the ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude, in what was then denominated the northwestern territory. The slave holders were disposed to preserve this species of property, and in order to do it effectually, they abandoned their ancient habitations, and joined their friends in the new dominions of Spain, on the west side of the Mississippi. At present this place contains upwards of 150 houses. They are scattered over an extensive plain; and the greatest proportion are built of wood, in the French style. Many or them have fine gardens in front and rear, which give them a rural appearance. Here is a Catholic church, a court house and jail, and a land-office for the sale of public lands in this district. A bridge is about to be erected across the Kaskaskia river, under the authority of an act of the legislature. This will be of immense advantage to the town and surrounding country. On the east side of the river, directly opposite the town, the bluffs approach the river, and continue parallel with it to its junction with the Mississippi, when they billow the course of that stream, in a southerly direction, and terminate thirty-five miles above the mouth of the Ohio, forming the southern boundary of the highlands on the Mississippi. From the town to the junction of the Kaskaskia with the Mississippi, there is a body of land, called “the Point,” which is low, and subject to inundation, but well timbered. It abounds in wild horses, numbers of which are annually caught. By an act of congress, passed in 1788, a large tract of land was granted to the different French villages on the east side of the Mississippi, and a separate tract to the inhabitants of Kaskaskia, to be used as a common. It is situated on the Mississippi, and contains twenty thousand acres. It is under the direction of the trustees of the town, in conformity with the special acts of the legislature. Kaskaskia is in latitude 37′ 57’ north, 3 miles east of the Mississippi river, 60 miles south’southeast of St. Louis, and 85 south’southwest of Vandalia.
Kaskaskia reservation, a tract of land containing about 700 acres, situated on Big Muddy river, in township 9 south, in range 8, west of the third principal meridian. This is all that at present belongs to the Kaskaskia Indians, who, but a few years ago possessed nearly the whole state of Illinois. Should the land become available, it is not probable that they will continue to keep possession even of this small tract.
Kaskaskia river, a large stream, rising in the northeastern part of the state, near the head waters of the Embarras and Little Wabash rivers, and running in a southwestern direction through the state, empties into the Mississippi on the left side, in sections 14 and 15, of township 9 south, in range 7 west of the third principal meridian, about 100 miles above the mouth of the Ohio. It is upwards of 300 miles in length, and receives numerous tributaries. The most considerable of these are Lost, Crooked, Elkhorn and Plumb creeks from the east; the West fork, Turkey, Blackbird and Meahkaninon creeks, Fort River, Hurricane fork, Shoal, Sugar, Silver, Richland and Horse creeks, from the west. This river is navigable in high water to Vandalia, 150 miles from its north. Its banks, and those of its tributaries, are generally fertile, and contain some of the richest and most flourishing settlements in the state. The country is generally undulating, and is well adapted to the cultivation of corn, wheat, rye, oats and tobacco. Cotton is not a sure crop, on account of the early frosts. With care and attention, a sufficient quantity is raised for home consumption, and it may in time become an article of export. The Kaskaskia is about 150 yards wide at its mouth. The left bank is high, and affords a fine situation for a town; but in many places the banks of this stream are low, and subject to inundation, which is a fruitful source of disease.
Kickapoo, or Redbud creek, a small stream of Pike county, running a south and southeast course, and emptying into the Illinois river on the right side, two miles below Fort Clark. On the banks of this stream is an extensive bed of coal, which furnished fuel to the garrison and the inhabitants of Peoria. The stratum is about 12 or 14 feet below the surface, and is overlaid by slate, limestone and sandstone. There are also several valuable mill-seats on this stream.
Kincaid creek, a trifling branch of Big Muddy river.
L’Aig1e creek, a small stream of Monroe county, running a northeast course, then bending to the southwest, and emptying into the Mississippi on the left side, in section 7, of township 3 south, in range 11, west of the 3d principal meridian, about one mile above Harrisonville.
Lake Peoria, see Illinois lake.
La Page river, see Riviere du Page.
Lawrenceville, the county seat of Lawrence, situated on the west bank of Embarras river, about ten miles west of Vincennes, on the direct road to Vandalia, in the centre of a fertile and thickly settled country. The Embarras is navigable to this place. It is in latitude 38º 40′ north; 77 miles east-south-east of Vandalia.
Lebanon, a flourishing post town of St. Clair county, situated on the west bank of Silver creek, in section 24 of township 2 north, in range 7, west of the 3d principal meridian – about 20 miles east of St. Louis, on the direct road from Vincennes to that place. The town is located on the ridge of a small prairie; the streets cross each other at right angles, and are from 60 to 75 feet wide. This place, although as yet small, promises to become a considerable inland town. The situation is very pleasant and healthy, and has many local advantages. There are a number of mills of different descriptions in the vicinity, and the country generally is rapidly increasing in population.
Lick creek, a small stream, emptying into the Kaskaskia river on the left side, a short distance above the mouth of Sugar creek. It heads in the Grand Prairie, and receives its name from the number of salt-licks on its banks. The lands on this stream are generally well timbered; the soil is what is called by the surveyors, second rate.
Little Beaucoup creek, a small branch of Big Beaucoup, running through Randolph and Jackson counties.
Little Detroit, an Indian village, situated on the east bank of Lake Peoria six miles above Fort Clark.
Little Kalimick river, a small stream of Clark county; runs a north course, and falls into Lake Michigan some distance west of Grand Kalimick. The lands between these two streams are very low; and during the prevalence of north winds, they form a junction, which affords a navigation for small boats. About 500 Ottawa Indians reside on the banks of these streams.
Little Michillimacinac, a navigable stream of Sangamon. It runs in a westerly direction through the county, and empties into the Illinois on the east side, twelve miles below Fort Clark. Its head waters interlock with those of the Kaskaskia.
Little Muddy creek, a small stream in the southern part of the state, running a southern direction, and emptying into Big Muddy on the right side, in section 13 of township 8 south, in range 1, west of the 3d principal meridian.
Little Piasau, a small creek, running a westerly course through Madison county, and emptying into the Mississippi on the left side, near Fountain ferry.
Little Prairie, is situated on the east side of Illinois river, opposite Fort Clark. It contains a fine settlement. The soil of the prairie is very fertile, being a rich vegetable mould – having been under cultivation many years since, by the inhabitants of Peoria. Corn was raised here, during the last season, without the use of a plough. This prairie is washed by Bachelor’s run, and is bounded on all sides by hills.
Little Vermilion river, a small stream, running a southeast course through Clark county, and emptying into the Wabash below Big Vermilion river. It crosses the eastern boundary line of the state 85 miles north of Vincennes, at which place it is 100 miles in width.
Little Wabash river, rises near the head waters of the Kaskaskia, and running a southern course through the counties of Clark, Fayette, Crawford, Lawrence, Wayne, Edwards, White and Gallatin, empties into the Big Wabash, a short distance above its junction with the Ohio. It is about 150 miles in length, and receives many tributaries, of which West and Skillet forks are the most considerable. The banks of this stream are in general fertile, but in many places subject to excessive inundations. This is particularly the case with the country between it and the Skillet fork. In many places it is flat and swampy, so that the water remains upon it during the whole season. In the autumn this stream is very sluggish, and has a very scanty supply of water. A company has been incorporated by the legislature of the state, called the Little Wabash navigation company, for the purpose of erecting a toll bridge across it at the town of Carmi.
Lusk’s creek, a trifling stream, running a southerly course through the county of Pope, and emptying into the Ohio at Golconda.
Lusk’s ferry, see Golconda.
Madison, a town in Madison county, laid out in 1820, on a high prairie, in the centre of the Marine settlement. No improvement has as yet been made on the premises.
Magopin creek, see Ma-qua-pin.
Mah-waw-kee-ta, see Bear creek.
Ma-qua-pin creek, a small stream, running a westerly course through Greene County, and emptying into the Illinois on the left side,twenty-six miles above its junction with the Mississippi. It received its name from certain roots, so called, found on the banks, which if eaten raw, are rank poison; but boiled for five or six days or longer, lose their noxious qualities. The country on the banks of this stream is fertile, and rapidly increasing in population. The creek is 25 yards wide at its mouth, which is in section 24, of township 8 north, in range 14, west of the 3d principal meridian, and is boatable for a short distance. Iron ore has been found on the head waters.
Marais Casu, an inconsiderable stream in the northern part of the state. It runs a westerly course, and empties into the Mississippi, 20 miles above the mouth of Rock river, nearly opposite the mouth of Swan river, at which place is an Indian village.
Marais de Proulx, a considerable stream, running a southeasterly course through the northern part of the state, and emptying into the Illinois on the right side, near the northeastern boundary of the military tract. In wet seasons, there is a communication formed between this stream and Rock river, which is navigable for boats of considerable barthen.
Marine settlement, a very flourishing settlement of Madison county. It is situated on a beautiful prairie, near a branch of Silver creek, in township 4 north, in range 6, west of the third principal meridian. The settlement was commenced in 1819, by Capts. Blakeman and Allen, and is now one of the most flourishing in the state, it is healthy and well watered; the lands are gently undulating, and the soil very fertile. (See a report of the Illinois agricultural society, in the description of Madison county.) Marine settlement is about 12 miles east of Edwardsville, on the mail route between St. Louis and Vandalia.
Mary’s river, a stream of Randolph county, running in a southwest direction about 20 or 30 miles, and emptying into the Mississippi, 85 miles above the mouth of the Ohio, and six below the Kaskaskia, in township 7 south, in range 6, west of the 3d principal meridian. It has several tributaries.
Mascontin river, a stream of the northern part of the state, running in an eastern course, and emptying into the Wabash on the west side between Vincennes and Fort Harrison.
Mauvaise Terre creek, (called by traders, Negro Creek.) a beautiful stream of Greene county, running a west course, and emptying into the Illinois on the left side, 80 miles above its Junction with the Mississippi, and three miles below Mckee’s creek, opposite section 3 of township 4 south, in range 2, west of the 4th principal meridian. At present, it is only navigable for a short distance, owing to the quantity of timber with which it is obstructed. The banks of this stream are generally fertile. About 20 miles above its mouth, is Diamond Grove, which has already become a considerable settlement. There is also another within a mile of the Illinois. The beautiful prairie which is called the Mauvaise terre extends for some distance on both sides of the creek. It is several feet above high water mark, and has been considered an eligible situation for a town. The only objection to it is the ponds under the bluff. The French, who first visited this country, supposed from its appearance, that the soil was poor, and as this was uncommon on this river, they gave it, as they thought, an appropriate name. The Americans generally call it “Yellow Banks.” The soil is fertile, and this prairie and the surrounding country, in every other respect, is desirable for settlers. Nothing can exceed its beautiful appearance in the spring.
Meahkaninon, a creek of Bond county, emptying into the Kaskaskia river, on the right side above Fort River.
Melwakee river, runs in a northern direction through the northeastern part of the state, and empties into Lake Michigan, in lat. 43° N. Father Hennepin calls it Melleoki, and observes that Maskontins and Outtonagamies resided on its banks.
McDonald’s creek, a small stream in the southern part of Pike county. It heads in township 8 south, in range 6, west of the fourth principal meridian, and running in a southerly direction, empties into Chenail Ecarte, in section 29, of township 4 south, in range, 7 west of the fourth principal meridian. The lands at the mouth of this stream are reported, by the surveyors, as first rate.
McDonald creek, a small stream of Clark county, rises in the state of Indiana, and running an east-northeast course, empties into Canawaga or Iroquois river. It crosses the eastern boundary line of Illinois, 130 miles north of Vincennes. The lands on the banks of this stream are high and undulating.
McKee’s creek, a considerable stream of Pike county. It rises in township 1 south, in range 7, west of the fourth principal meridian, and running an east and southeast course, empties into the Illinois river, ninety miles above its junction with the Mississippi, in section 26, of township 3 south, in range 2 west, of the fourth principal meridian. It is about 30 miles in length, and the lands bordering on it are generally of the first quality.
Michillimacinac river, see Little Michillimacinac.
Military Bounty Tract. Having given a general description of the lands in this tract under the head of Pike county.
Milton, a town in Madison counly, situated on Wood river, three miles from its mouth, and one and a half southeast of Alton. It contains 3O or 40 houses; but a large mil1-pond in the centre of the town has rendered it unhealthy, and prevented its increase. In the vicinity are a number of mills aud distilleries.
Mill creek, a small stream, running a southwest course through the southwestern part of Pike county, and emptying into the Mississippi in section 12 of township 3 south, in range 9, west of the fourth principal meridian. Its banks are low, and abound with ponds.
Monk mound, situated on the American bottom, eight miles north-northeast from St. Louis. Its shape is that of a parallelogram, extending from north to south. On the south side there is a broad apron or step, about half way down; and from this another projection into the plain, about 15 feet wide, which was probably intended as an ascent to the mound. The circumference of the base of the mound is about 600 yards, and its height about 90 feet. The step or apron was formerly used as a kitchen garden by the monks of La Trappe settled near this, and the top was sowed with wheat. Nearly west is another mound of smaller size, and thirty others are scattered through the plain. Two also are seen on the b1uffs, three miles distant. Several of them are of a conical form. There are also a great number of small elevations of earth, which rise to the height of a few feet, at regular distances from each other, and which appear to observe some order. Near them are found pieces of flint, and fragments of earthen vessels, and frequently human bones. The mound received its name from having been for some time the residence of the monks of La Trappe. “This monastery was formerly situated in the province of Perche in France, in one of the most solitary spots that could be chosen. It was founded in 1140, by Botrou, count of Perche. This monastery had fallen into decay, and its discipline much relaxed, when reformed by the Abbe Rance in 1664. Rance had met with some misfortune which is rendered life hateful to him – some assert the sudden death of Madame Montbazon, whose favourite lover he had been. He had been a man of fashion, and possessed of some pretensions to literature; he is said to have translated the poems of Anacreon. Into this monastery, whither he came, he commenced a reform of the most savage austerity. The vow was perpetual silence; the miserable Trappist denied himself during his existence, every comfort of life. He laid himself on a stone, and was frequently called in the dead of night to his devotions. His food was bread and water, and this but once in 24 hours. Each day he was to remove from his intended grave one spadeful of earth, in order to keep ever present to his mind that he must soon cease to be of this world.” (Breckenridge); Some years since, a few of these miserable beings came to the United States, and having stopped a short time in Kentucky, removed to Florissant near St. Louis, and from thence to the place above described. By their industry, they here raised a sufficiency for their own support. Their number gradually increased, and at one time amounted to eighty, including boys. Upon the accession of Louis 18th to the throne of France, they returned to their native country. Nothing now remains, except the ruins of their former habitations.
Monroe, a town in Pike county, laid out in 1820. It is situated on the first high ground above the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers on the borders of a prairie about one mile in width, and within half a mile of a good steam boat landing. In the vicinity, are several good stone quarries, good timber, and many fine springs of water. Within half a mile of the town is a good mill seat. From the town to the river, there is a gradual descent. The situation of this p1ace, near the confluence of three of the largest streams in the western country, must secure to it important commercial advantages. Monroe is situated in section 25, of township 12 south, in range 2, west of the fourth principal meridian, 30 miles northwest of St. Louis, and 10 from St. Charles.
Mound Prairie, is situated in Madison county, ten miles southeast of the junction of the Illinois with the Mississippi and contains a flourishing settlement. The prairie is from four to six miles in length, surrounded by a thick growth of timber. The soil is of the best quality, and the surface is undulating, presenting the most eligible situation to the agriculturalist.
Mount Carmel, a post town in Edwards county, situated on the west side of the Wabash, nearly opposite the mouth of White river, in section 20, of township 1 south, in range 12, west of the 2d principal meridian.
Mount Joliet, a mound situated on the west bank of Riviere des Plaines, about 16 or 18 miles above its junction with the Kankakee. It is 3 or 400 yards in length, north and south, and 2 or 300 in breadth, east and west. It is in the form of a pyramid, and is evidently the work of art. From the river, it appears nearly square. The companions of Joliet, who visited this country in 1673, gave it this name. It is about 150 miles above Fort Clark.
Mount Vernon, a post town, and the county seat of Jefferson, situated in section 29, of township 2 south, in range 3 east of the third principal meridian. It is in latitude 38′ 20′ north, 40 miles south-southeast from Vandalia.
Mowawequa creek, (southfork of Sangamo,) a small stream running a northwesterly course, and emptying into the Sangamo river on the left side, a short distance above Brush creek. – On an east fork of this stream, is a rock five feet in height, and twenty-four in circumfrence, to which the natives pay homage, by depositing on it some tobacco or paint.
Mud creek, a small stream running, a northwesterly course through the counties of Washington and St. Clair, and emptying into the Kaskaskia on the left side, 40 miles above its mouth, in township 2 south, in range 6, west of the third principal meridian.
Muddy saline, situated on the Muddy river near Brownsville, the county seat of Jackson. It is owned, and has been leased by the state to different individuals.
Otter creek, a small but beautiful stream of Greene county, running in a westerly direction, and emptying into the Illinois about 18 miles above its junction with the Mississippi, in section 6, of township 7 north, in range 13, west of the third principal meridian opposite section 23, of township 11 south, in range 2, west of the 4th principal meridian.
Otter creek, a stream of Pike county, rises in township 4 north, in range 1, east of the 4th principal meridian and running a southeast course, empties into the Illinois, 130 miles above its mouth, in section 22, of township 3 north, in rauge 3, east of the fourth principal meridian. In high water it is navigable for a short distance, but is much obstructed with drift wood. On the banks of this stream, are several advantageous situations for settlement. There is a mill seat about 10 miles from its mouth. The lands in this vicinity are first rate, and contain a sufficient quantity of timber for the supply of a saw-mill. Lumber might be sent down the Illinois to St. Louis, where it generally commands a good price. Coal is found in abundance on the banks of this stream.
Ovid, a town in Jackson county, laid out in 1820. It is situated eight miles east of the Mississippi river, near the line which divides Jackson and Union counties. The main road leading from America and Golconda through Jonesborough and Brownsville, to Kaskaskia and St. Louis, passes through this place. It is 15 miles south of Brownsville, and about the same distance nearly north of Jonesborough. The lands in the vicinity, are of a very good quality, and mill seats are numerous within a few miles of the place.
Palestine, a post town, and the county seat of Crawford, situated three miles west of the Wabash river, in sections 33 and 34 of township 7 north, in range 11, west of the second principal meridian, 25 miles north of Vincennes. Here is the register’s and receiver’s office for the land district of Palestine. This town is in latitude 38° north, 82 miles nearly due east from Vandalia.
Palmyra, a post town, and formerly the county seat of Edwards. It is situated on the west side of the Wabash, in section 31, of township 1 south, in range 12, west of the 2d principal meridian, 20 miles southwest of Vincennes. It is considered very unhealthy, and on this account the county seat was removed to Albion.
Peoria, a small settlement in Pike county, situated on the west bank of the Illinois river, about 200 miles above its junction with the Mississippi. “The old village of Peoria was situated about one mile and a half above the lower extremity or outlet of the Peoria lake. This village had been inhabited by the French previous to the recollection of any of the present generation. About the year 1778 or 1779, the first house was built in what was then called La Ville de Maillet, afterwards the new village of Peoria, and which has recently been known by the name of Fort Clark, situated about one mile and a half below the old village, immediately at the lower point or outlet of the lake. The situation being preferred in consequence of the water being better, and its being thought more healthy, the inhabitants gradually deserted the old village, and by the year 1796 or 1797, had entirely abandoned it, and removed to the new village. The inhabitants of Peoria consisted generally of Indian traders, hunters and voyageurs, and had long formed a link of connection between the French residing on the waters of the great lakes, and the Mississippi river. From that happy facility of adapting themselves to their situation and associates, for which the French are so remarkable, the inhabitants of Peoria lived generally in harmony with their savage neighbours. It appears, however, that about the year 1781, they were induced to abandon the village, from the apprehension of Indian hostility; but soon after the peace of 1783, they again returned, and continued to reside there until the autumn of 1812, when they were forcibly removed from it, and the place destroyed by a Captain Craig, of the Illinois militia, on the ground, as it was said, that his company of militia were fired on in the night, while at anchor in their boats before the village, by Indians, with whom the inhabitants were suspected by Craig to be too intimate and friendly.”* (*See a report to the Secetary of the Treasury, in conformity with the provisions of the act of 1_th May, 1820?, for the relief of the inhabitants of the village of Peoria in the state of Illinois, by Edward Coles, Esq. formerly register of the land-office at Edwardsville, and now governor of the state of Illinois.) The poor inhabitants, being thus deprived of shelter, fled for refuge to the different villages on the Mississippi. In September, 1813, General Howard marched, with about 1400 men, from Portage des Sioux, for Peoria. The regulars, who manned the boats, arrived, and commenced building a block’house, which they named Fort Clark, in honour of Gen. George Rogers Clark. General Howard, with his mounted rangers, ascended the Mississippi as high as Two Rivers, and then crossed over to the Illinois. By this judicious plan, the whole frontier was swept of the enemy, who was continually harassing them. On the 29th of September, the general arrived at Fort Clark. The Indians had attacked it two days before; but Lieut. Col. Nicholas, who commanded, gave them so warm a reception that they soon retired. It was concluded that they had gone to Gomo’s town, about thirty miles distant. The general immediately made arrangements, and marched the next morning to attack it. When he arrived, he found the enemy had taken water and ascended the Illinois. He burnt the village, and two others, and remained in the vicinity for two nights. He then marched back to Peoria, to assist the regu1ars in building Fort Clark, which had been commenced and christened previous to his arrival. With considerable labour, they cut and hauled the necessary timber across the lake, and the fort was in a complete state of defence in twelve days. While they were engaged about the fort, Majors Christy and Boone were detached on separate commands. Maj. C. was ordered to ascend the river, in two armed boats, to the foot of the rapids, (about 80 miles) to ascertain if the Indians had embodied, or formed any new establishments in that quarter. Maj. Boone was sent over in the direction of Rock river, to collect every necessary information concerning their traces, &c. Both these officers returned in five or six days, and reported that the enemy had fled at all points. Soon after this the weather became cold, and as no provision had been made for a winter campaign. Gen. Howard determined on returning; and accordingly took up his line of march on the 15th of October, leaving a small garrison in the fort. About the termination of the war, Fort Clark was abandoned by the Americans and a short time afterwards, it was burnt by the Indians, as they assert, through the instigation of the traders. A settlement has been recommenced near its ruins. The situation of this place is beautiful beyond description. From the mouth of the Kickapoo or Redbud creek, which empties into the Illinois two miles below the old fort, the alluvion is a prairie, which stretches itself along the river in a northwesterly direction three or four miles. The shore is chiefly made up of rounded pebbles, and is filled with springs of the finest water. The first bank, which is from six to twelve feet above high water mark, extends west about a quarter of a mile from the river, gradually ascending; when it rises five or six feet to the second bank. This extends nearly on a level to the bluffs, which are from 60 to 100 feet in height. These bluffs consist of rounded pebbles overlaying strata of limestone and sandstone, rounded at the top, and corresponding in their course with the meanders of the river and lake. The ascent, although steep, is not perpendicular. On the bluffs the surface again becomes level, and is beautifully interspersed with prairie and woodland. From the b1uffs the prospect is uncommonly fine. Looking towards the east, you first behold an extensive prairie, which in spring and summer is covered with grass, with whose green the brilliant hues of a thousand flowers form the most lively contrast. Beyond this, the lake, clear and calm, may be seen emptying itself into, or by its contraction forming the river, whose meanders, only hid from the view by the beautiful groves of timber which here and there arise, can be traced to the utmost extent of vision. From the preceding description, it may be inferred that this section of country is not very rich in minerals. Coal, however, is abundant on the banks of Kickapoo creek, about one mile above its mouth. It was first discovered by the soldiers stationed at the fort, and being of a good quality, was used by them for fuel. It is found 12 or 14 feet below the surface; is over’laid by slate, limestone and sandstone, and contains vegetabLe remains. Steatite is found on the banks of Lake Peoria, a few miles above the fort, and is wrought by the natives in to pipes and other utensils. It is of a dark gteen colour, and hardens on exposure. It is probable that copper exists in this vicinity; for a grant made by the king of France to M. Renault, at the old villaqe of Peoria, embraces a copper mine. The Indians frequently exhibit specimens of copper to the traders, but are willing to give their loyalty. Those which I have seen are native, in the form of rounded malleable masses.* (*I visited Fort Clark in 1820, and obtained a specimen of native copper found in its vicinity. It weighs about two pounds, and is similar to that found on Lake Superior, of which the following description was given at the mint of Utrecht in the Netherlands, at the request of Dr. Eustis: “From every appearance, the piece of copper seems to have been taken from a mass that has undergone fusion. The melting was, however, not an operation of art, but a natural effect caused by a volcanic eruption. The stream of lava probably carried along in its course the aforesaid body of copper, that had formed into one collection, as fast as it was heated enough to run, from all parts of the mine. The united mass was probably borne in this manner to the place where it now rests in the soil.” Phillips’ Mineralogy, Amer. Ed., p. 191 note.) They are said to have been found on the surface of the earth, and therefore afford no evidence of a vein of the ore in the vicinity, any more than the masses of granite which are found every where on the prairie, of the existence of a primary formation in their immediate vicinity. The climate of this place is much influenced by its peculiar situation. There is generally a fine current of air sweeping through the valley of the river, either from the north or south. – South winds, which are by far the most common, are generally pleasant. Winds from the north and northwest, generally bring cold weather, and those from the east and northeast, are presages of storms. The diseases which prevail here, are such as are found in all newly settled countries. A few cases of intermittent and remittent fever have occurred, occasioned, probably, by heat succeeding to heavy rains, which inundated the alluvion on the opposite side of the river. The country in the vicinity of Fort Clark, presents many inducements to emigrants. On the west side, the valleys of the Illinois and Spoon rivers, and the tract of country forming the table land between them, are celebrated for their beauty and fertility, and are calculated to support a very dense population. – On the east side, directly on the bank of the river, is a large growth of timber, consisting principally of oak, hicory, walnut, pecan, maple, &c. which extends east about half a mile. Proceeding still farther east, we reach a prairie, upon which is the Bachelor’s Run settlement. The soil here is a rich loam, about 10 or 12 feet deep, and of such a nature, that it requires very little labor to prepare it for the reception of seed. In a southeasterly direction from this, you reach the Sangamo country, which has already been described.
Peoria, a town of Pike county, laid out in the spring of 1820, on section 8, of township 8 north, in range 8, east of the fourth principal meridian, about half a mile south of the ruins of Fort Clark. No improvement has as yet been made, but from its local advantages, and the fertility of the surrounding country, there is no doubt but it will become a place of the first consequence.
Peoria lake, see Illinois lake.
Perryville, a post town in Fayette county, situated on the west bank of the Hurricane fork of the Kaskaskia river, in sections 5 and 6, of township 4 north, in range 1, west of the third principal meridian. It was formerly the county seat of Bond, but upon the erection of the new county of Fayette, Greenville was substituted. Commissioners were appointed to assess the damage done to Perryville, in consequence of the removal. It is a very trifling place, containing only about 12 or 15 houses.
Pickamink river, see Canawaga.
Plumb creek, a small stream of Randolph county, rises in township 4 south, in range 5, west of the 3d principal meridian, and running in a southwest direction ten or twelve miles, empties into the Kaskaskia river on the left side, a short distance above Horse creek.
Pope’s river, a considerable stream in the northern part of Pike county. It rises in township 14 north, in range 1, west of the 4th principal meridian, and running in a westerly direction about 30 miles, empties into the Mississippi on the left side, in section 34, of township 13 north, in range 5, west of the 4th principal meridian. A great proportion of the land on this stream is prairie.
Portage creek, a small stream in the northern part of the state. It rises about seven miles east of Lake Michigan, runs in a southerly direction, and empties into the Riviere des Plaines, on the left side, twelve miles west of Chicago.
Portland, a town in Randolph county, laid out in 1819, on sections 23 and 14, in township 7 south, in range 7 west of the 3d principal meridian, being on the east bank of the Kaskaskia river, at its junction with the Mississippi. This is perhaps the best town site on the Illinois side of the Mississippi, from the mouth of the Ohio to Alton. The situation is high and healthy. It is supplied with a number of fine springs, and the vicinity furnishes building materials and fuel in great abundance. The shore at this place is bold and rocky, and the mouth of the Kaskaskia furnishes what is very rare on the Mississippi – a good harbor for boats at all seasons of the year. The first building was erected here in the spring of 1820, and there is now in operation an ox, saw and grist mill, which are not only useful to the inhabitants, but profitable to the enterprising proprietor. This place also contains a number of good mechanics of different kinds. A large ware house has also been erected here. From the ease with which produce can be shipped to this place, and the constant intercourse which may be had between it and New Orleans, it bids fair to become the principal depot of the country, watered by the Kaskaskia and its tributaries.
Prairie du Long creek, a trifling stream of St. Clair county. It runs in a southeast direction, unites with Richland creek, and empties into the Kaskaskia, in section 30, of township 3 south, in range 7, west of the 3d principal meridian.
Prairie du Pont, a small village in St. Clair county, one mile south of Cahokia. It contains a few houses, which are generally in a state of decay. The inhabitants are chiefly French. Like the other French villages, it has a common field in the vicinity. This place was settled about the same time with Cahokia.
Prairie du Pont creek, a small stream of St. Clair county, rises in a pond under the bluff of the American bottom, and running a devious course south and west, empties into the Mississippi, two miles below Cahokia.
Prairie du Rocher, an incorporated post village in Randolph county, on the American bottom, near the rocky bluff, from whence it derives its name, twelve miles northwest of Kaskaskia. It was settled by the French about the same time with the other villages on the Mississippi. Its situation is low and unhealthy, and during wet seasons is very disagreeable. The houses are generally built in the French style, and the inhabitants are, with few exceptions, poor and illiterate. The streets ale very narrow and dirty. Here is a Roman Catholic chapel, which is its only public building. In the vicinity, is an extensive common, which is attached to the village, and is under the controul of the trustees. Prairie du Rocher, in 1766, contained 14 families; at present, between 30 and 40. It is about three miles east of the Mississippi, and 50 miles south of St. Louis. Few Americans have as yet disturbed the repose of the ancient inhabitants of this place, nor is it probable they ever will, as it possesses no advantages, and is withal very unhealthy.
Rainy river, a small stream, runs a west course, and empties into the Illinois river on the left side, near the head of Lake Peoria.
Red bud creek, see Kickapoo creek.
Rejoicing creek, heads in the northeastern part of the state, and running in a southeasterly direction, empties into the Wabash, between Fort Harrison and Tippecanoe rivers, in the state of Indiana. At its mouth it is about 100 yards in width.
Richland creek, a small stream, emptying into the Sangamo river, below the south fork. Its course is about north. The country on the banks of this stream is very fertile, and is settling rapidly.
Richland creek, an inconsiderable stream of St. Clair county, runs in a southerly direction, and after uniting with Prairie du Long creek, in section 22, of township 3 south, in range 8, west of the third principal meridian, empties into the Kaskaskia river on the right side. Iron ore of a good quality has been found on the banks of this stream.
Ridge prairie, so called from the appearance of its surface. It is several miles in extent, and is bounded on all sides by fine timber. Such is the fertility of its soil, and the pleasantness of its situation that it already contains a flourishing settlement. It is situated in Madison county.
Ripley, a town in Bond county, situated on Shoal creek, a branch of the Kaskaskia river, 33 miles east of the Mississippi, in section 9 of township 5 north, in range 4, west of the third principal meridian. This place possesses few advantages, and it is not probable that it will ever become of much importance. Scarcely any improvement has as yet been made here, and had it not been staked off into squares and lots, it would never be noticed as a town. The land in the vicinity is generally fertile. The road from St. Louis to Vandalia passes through this place.
Riviere au Feve, see Bean river.
Riviere des Iroquois, see Canawaga.
Riviere des Plaines, a considerable stream in the northeastern part of the state. It rises in the low lands bordering in Lake Michigan, has a southern and southwestern course, and by its union with the Theakiki, forms the I11inois. The valley of the river, which is generally about one mile in width, is in the form of an inverted cone, terminated on both sides by regular banks, nearly parallel to each other. In ascending the river, the banks gradually decrease in height, and at the distance of thirty or forty miles up the river, they form right angles with the course of the river ‘ that on the right taking an easterly, and that on the west a northwesterly course.* (*See a report made to the war office in 1819, by L. H. Long, major of topographical engineers, extracted in N. B. Van Zant’s description of the Illinois territory.) – They then form an extensive curve, encircling a large tract of flat prairie. This in summer is dry, but in the spring, during high water, is a lake of about twenty miles in area. This lake communicates with both the Riviere des Plaines and Chicago rivers, by means of a canal, which has been made partly by the c urrent of the water, and partly by the French and Indians, for the purpose of getting their boats across in high water. The distance from the Riviere des Plaines at the mouth of Portage creek, to Chicago, is twelve miles; but from the head of the creek to the head of Chicago river, it is only three miles. In wet seasons, boats of considerable burthen pass from Lake Michigan to the Illinois river, with the greatest ease.+ (+The practicability of cutting? them by means of a canal, is treated of in the General View, page 18, et seq.) In the bed of the Des Plaines, about forty rods above its junction with the Theakiki, there is a fossil tree, of a very considrable size. The following description of it is given by Mr. H. R. Schoolcraft, in a memoir read before the American geological society, in 1821: “This extraordinary species of phytolites occurs, imbedded in a horizontal position, in a stratum of newer floetz sandstone, of a grey colour and close grain. There are now fifty’one feet six inches of the trunk visible. It is eighteen inches in diameter at the smallest end, which appears to have been violently broken off prior to the era of its mineralization. The root end is still overlaid by the rock and earth of the western bank of the river, and is two feet six inches in diameter at the point of disappearance; but circumstances will justify the conclusion, that its diameter at the concealed end cannot be less than three feet. The trunk is straight, simple, scabrous, without branches, and has the gradual longitudinal taper observed in the living specimen. It lies nearly at right angles to the course of the river, pointing towards the southeast, and extends about half the width of the stream. Notwithstanding the continual abrasion to which it is exposed by the volume of passing water, it has suffered little apparent diminution, and is still firmly imbedded in the rock, with the exception of two or three places where the portions of it have been disengaged and carried away; but no portion of what remains is elevated more than a few inches above the surface of the rock. It is owing, however, to these partial disturbances, that we are enabled to perceive the columnar formation of the trunk, its cortical layers, the bark by which it is enveloped, and the peculiar cross fracture, which unite to render the evidence of its ligneous origin so striking and complete. From these characters and appearances, little doubt can remain that it is referable to the species juglans nigra, a tree very common to the forests of the Illinois, as well as to most other parts of the immense region drained by the waters of the Mississippi. The woody structure is most obvious in the outer rind of the trunk, extending to the depth of two or three inches, and these appearances become less evident as we approximate the heart. Indeed, the traces of organic structure in the interior, particularly when viewed in the hand specimen, are almost totally obliterated and exchanged, the vegetable matter being replaced by a mixed substance, analogous in its external character to some of the silicated and impure calcarcous carbonats of the region. Like those carbonats, it is of a brownish grey colour and compact texture, effervesces slightly in the nitric and muriatic acids, yields a white streak under the knife, and presents solitary points or facets of crystals resembling calc spar. All parts of the tree are penetrated by pyrites of a brass yellow colour, disseminated through the most solid and stony parts of the interior, filling interstices in the outer rind, or investing its capillary pores. There are also the appearance of vents or seams between the fibres of the wood, caused by its own shrinkage, which are now filled with a carbonat of lime, of a white colour, and crystallized.”
Riviere du Page, a considerable stream in the northeastern part of the state. It rises a few miles west of the Riviere des Plaines, and running a south course, empties into it six miles above its junction with the Theakiki. It is about 40 miles in length.
Riviere la Mine, see Crooked creek.
Rock river, a large stream in the northern part of the state, running in a westerly direction, and emptying into the Mississippi above the Illinois bounty tract, 300 miles above the mouth of the Illinois river. Opposite to the mouth of this river is Rock island, on which is a fort, garrisoned by a company of U. States troops. Rock river is a beautiful stream, and the lands on its banks are very fertile. It is navigable for 2 or 300 miles, and is connected by a short portage with the Melwakee river, about 100 miles above its junction with Lake Michigan. A short distance below its mouth, on the banks of the Mississippi, are several groups of mounds, some of which are very large. Near these is a large village of the Sacs and Foxes, living promiscuously together. It consists of 60 lodges, being, it is said, one of the largest and most populous Indian villages on the continent.
Saline creek, a small stream of Gallatin county, rises by two heads, the one in Franklin and the other in White county, and running a southeast course, empties into the Ohio a few miles below Shawneetown. It is navigable for boats to the Saline, which is eleven miles from its mouth.
Saline creek, a considerable branch of the Sangamo, emptying into it on the right side, after running a southwest course through a fertile tract of country, and receiving a number of tributaries.
Saline fork of Little Wabash, a small stream, running a southeast course, and emptying into the Little Wabash in White county, 25 miles above its mouth.
Salines, are so numerous in this state, that it would be impossible to give a detailed enumeration of them. They exist in almost every county, and promise to become sources of wealth to the inhabitants, and of revenue to the state. The one near Shawneetown, called the Ohio saline, is at present the most valuable (vide Gallatin county.) Near Brownsville is another of considerable value, called Muddy saline; as also on Shoal creek, in section 36 of township 6 north, in range 4, west of the third principal meridian. These are the most extensively worked. Salines have also been discovered on the main or north fork of the Sangamo ‘ between Little Vermillion river, and Fox river of the Illinois ‘ on the north side of the Illinois river, about nine miles above the military tract, which was once worked by the French – and in township 11 south, in range 2, west of the fourth principal meridian.
Salu, a town in Madison county, laid out in 1819. It is situated on the bluff, a mile and a half east of the Mississippi, and one mile north of Alton, in section 6 of township 5 north, in range 9, west of the third principal meridian. The road leading through the state from east to west, runs near this place, and forks so as to cross at Smetzer’s, or Fountain ferry. Ihe town is well supplied with springs, and its situation is considered healthy and advantageous.
Sandy creek, a small stream of Greene county, running a westerly course, and emptying into the Illinois above Apple creek, in section 13 of township 13 north, in range 13, west of the third principal meridian, and opposite to section 36 of township 5 south, in range 2, west of the fourth principal meridian.
Sangamo river, a large stream in the northern part of the state. It rises near the head waters of the Kaskaskia river, Vermilion of the Wabash, Woman river of the Tippecanoe, and Iroquois river of the Illinois, about 70 miles northwest of Fort Harrison, and running a northwesterly course, empties into the Illinois, about 130 miles above its mouth. It is about 130 miles in length, 70 of which are navigable. Its tributaries are Mowawequa or South fork, Brash, Sugar, Spring and Richland creeks from the south, and Salt creek, and several other smaller streams, from the north. The current of the Sangamo is brick, and the water clear. The land bordering on it and its tributaries, are uncommonly fertile; the soil being of such a nature, that immense crops are raised with very little labour. Emigration to this section of the state has been so great, that it already contains a population of several thousands. On the head waters are several salines, which must become valuable, as the demand for salt increases.
Seaton’s creek, a small stream of Alexander county, running a westerly course, and emptying into the Mississippi near the southern part of township 14 south, about 35 miles above the mouth of the Ohio.
Shawneetown, a post town, and the seat of justice of Gallatin county, situated on the Ohio river, nine miles below the mouth of the Wabash, in section 6, of township 10 south, in range 10, east of the third principal meridian. The bank of the Ohio at this place has a gradual ascent, but is annually subject to inundation. On account of the peculiar situation of this town, it commands a fine view of the river for several miles above and below. It contains a bank, a printing office, from which a weekly paper is issued, a land office for the district, and about 100 dwelling houses, a great proportion of which are built of wood. The town extends along the river about half a mile, but has rather the appearance of decline. This may be owing to the inundations of the river, and the unhealthiness which they occasion. Mr. Birkbeck, in his notes on a journey in America, remarks: “This place I account as a phenomenon, evincing the pertinacious adhesion of the human animal to the spot where it once has fixed itself. As the lava of Mount Etna cannot dislodge this strange being from the cities which have been repeatedly ravaged by its eruptions, so the Ohio, by its annual overflowings, is unable to wash away the inhabitants of Shawneetown. Once a year, for a series of successive springs, it has carried away the fences from the cleared lands, till at length they have surrendered and ceased to cultivate them. Once a year, the inhabitants make their escape to higher lands, or take refuge in their upper stories, until the waters subside, when they recover their position on this desolate sand bank.” Shawneetown, is in latitude 37° 40′ north, 110 miles southeast of Vandalia.
Shoal creek, a beautiful stream, running in a southerly direction through the counties of Bond and Washington, and emptying into the Kaskaskia, in section 6, of township 1 south, in range 4, west of the third principal meridian. It is formed by the union of the east and west fork, and is navigable for small craft for a considerable distance.
Silver creek, a considerable stream, running a southerly course through the counties of Madison and St. Clair, and emptying into the Kaskaskia in section 28, of township 2 south, in range 7, west of the third principal meridian. It is about 50 miles in length, and has several small branches watering the western parts of Washington and Bond counties. On these are some of the most flourishing settlements in the state.
Smallsburg, a hamlet, containing a mill and five or six houses, situated on the west bank of the Embarras river, five miles above its mouth, and about six miles southwest of Vincennes. – The alluvion between this place and the Wabash, is heavily timbered and subject to inundation. The water is frequently from twelve to fourteen feet in depth, so that an uninterrupted boat navigation is established through the timber, from Smallsburg to the Wabash, a distance of three miles.
Sme1tzer’s ferry, on the Mississippi, a mile above Alton.
Snicarty sloo, see Chenail ecarte.
South fork of the Sangamo, see Mowawequa.
Spoon river, a large and beautiful stream of Pike county. It rises in the northeastern part of the Illinois bounty tract, and runs a southwest and south course, until it reaches the line between townships 5 and 6 north, in range 1, east of the 4th principal meridian; it then changes to southeast, which course it continues with litle variation, until it empties into the Illinois, 150 miles above its mouth, in section 32, of township 4 north, in range 4 east of the 4th principal meridian. This stream is navigable for some distance, but it is much obstructed by rafts of timber. At its junction with the Illinois, is a large lake, which, extending north and south, is frequently the cause of embarassment to the emigrant, who is able to mistake it for the channel of the river. The mouth of Spoon river, is about 30 or 40 yards wide, and may be known by its being 8 miles below a sandy bluff on the east side of the Illilnois, on which are small mamelles. The land on this river and its tributaries, is considered the most eligible in this section of the state, being high and undulating, well watered, and handsomely diversified with prairie and timber. ‘ Coal, of a very fine quality, is abundant on the banks of this stream, and will be valuable, on account of the scarcity of timber, particularly in the northern part of the military tract.
Spring creek, a small stream, running a northwest course, and emptying into the Sangamo river on the left side below the south fork. On its banks are a number of flourishing settlements.
Springfield, a post town, and the seat of justice of Sangamo county, laid out in 1821. It is situated on Spring creek, a branch of the Sangamo river, in township 16 north, in range 5, west of the third principal meridian. Although this place is as yet in its infancy, the circumstance of its being the centre of a fertile and thickly’settled district of country, must soon render it of considerable importance. Springfield is in latitude 39° 50′ north, 96 miles northeast of St. Louis, and 65 northwest of Vandalia.
St. Germain, a small stream, running through the northeastern part of the state, and flowing into the Wabash between Vincennes and St. Harrison. It was discovered by the French.
Stinking creek, see Beaver creek.
St. Mary, a town in Madison county, situated on the east bank of the Mississippi, at the mouth of Wood river, and nearly opposite to the mouth of the Missouri. It is 18 miles north of St. Louis, and 22 south of the junction of the Illinois with the Mississippi. Wood river, which runs through the town, affords a good harbor for boats, and has on it several valuable grist and saw mills, and distilleries. No improvement has as yet been made in this place, and it is doubtful whether it will become other than a mere settlement. The situation is in many respects unfavorable, and on this account can never rival Alton, and the other towns above. About a mile south is a ferry across the Mississippi.
St. Philip, a French village of Monroe county, now almost entirely deserted. It is situated on the American bottom, near Fort Chartres, 45 miles below Cahokia. While the French continued in possession of the territory east of the Mississippi, this was the residence of several families. Like all the other French villages, St. Philip has a large common field for the use of its inhabitants.
Sugar creek, a small stream of Fayette county, rising in the prairies, and running a southeast course about 20 miles, empties into the Kaskaskia river near the centre of township 8 north, in range 2, east of the third principal meridian. Near the mouth of this creek is a flourishing settlement. The lands on its banks are generally first rate, and handsomely diversified with prairie and timber.
Sugar creek, runs a northerly course, and empties into the Sangamo river on the left side, a short distance below the forks.
Sugar creek, a small stream, rising in township 4 north, in range 5, west of the third principal meridian, and running a southerly course through the western parts of Madison and Washington counties, empties into the Kaskaskia river, by two mouths, near the base line, in range 5, west of the third principa1 meridian. It is about 20 miles in length and waters a fertile country, which is rapidly settling. Coal is found in great abundance on the banks of this stream.
Theakiki river, a large navigable stream, rises in the northwest part of Indiana, and interlocking with the head waters of St. Joseph of the Lakes and Tippecanoe, runs a northwesterly course through the northeastern part of Illinois. After receiving Yellow river, Iroquois river, and several other tributaries, it unites with the Des Plaines, and forms the Illinois, 30 miles above the mouth of Fox river. Navigation can be effected through the Theakiki and St. Joseph of the Lakes, when it cannot through Chicago creek and the Des Plaines. Boats of ordinary size may ascend as high as British lake, at which place is a trading house, 60 miles due south of Chicago. From this lake the river loses itself in a cranberry marsh, extending 50 miles east, and rising at the big spring, near the state line between Illinois and Indiana. To this spring it is navigable, at all seasons of the year, for small boats. From this to the St. Joseph’s is a portage of nine miles across a sandy ridge. The Theakiki was discovered by the French at a very early period, and was one of the principal routes to the Illinois. Charlevoix, in his travels, gives the following account of it: – “I yesterday departed from the fort on the river St. Joseph, and sailed up that river six leagues. I went ashore in the night, and walked a league and a quarter, first along the water side, and afterwards across a field, in an immense meadow, entirely covered with copses of wood, which produce a very fine effect. It is called the meadow of the buffaloe’s head, because it is said that a head of that animal, of monstrous size, was once found there. This morning I walked a league further in the meadows, having my feet almost always in the water; afterwards I met with a kind of pool or marsh, which had a communication with several others of different sizes, but the largest not a hundred paces in circuit. These are the sources of the river Theakiki, which, by a corrupted pronounciation, our Indians call Kiakiki. Theak signifies a wolf, in I do not remember what language; but this river bears that name, because the Mahingans, who are likewise called the Wolves, had formerly their refuge on its banks.” He further observes, “This river is very narrow at its source, and very crooked; but ten men would in two days make a straight and navigable canal, which would save a great deal of trouble, and ten or twelve leagues of way. After this, the river by degrees takes a straighter course; but its banks are not pleasant, till at the distance of fifty leagues from its source. It is, even throughout that whole space, very narrow, and it is bordered by trees, which have their roots in the water; when any one happens to fall, it bar’s up the whole river, and a great deal of time is lost in clearing a passage for a canoe. All these difficulties being passed, the river, at the distance of fifty leagues from its source, forms a small lake; after which it grows considerably broader. The country becomes beautiful, consisting of unbounded meadows, where buffaloes are to be seen grazing in herds of two or three hundred.” The junction of this stream with the River des Plaines or the Illinois, is called by the Canadians the Forks. It is here a beautiful stream, while the Illinois is very shallow. From the Forks to Cowpens, on St. Joseph of the Lakes, by water, is 180 miles; by land 8O. The natives and traders still call this stream the Teaukeekee, according to the French orthography, Theakiki; of which Charlevoix has given the correct definition. But it is frequently called Kankakee, a corruption of the corruption mentioned by the same author. It is, however, proper that the aboriginal name should be preserved. The Theakiki crosses the eastern boundary line of the state, 180 miles north of Vincennes, and 35 miles south of Lake Michigan. At this place its width is 300 links.
Town of Illinois, (formerly Jacksonville,) a post town in St. Clair county, situated on the east bank of Cahokia neck, about 400 yards from the Mississippi, directly opposite to St. Louis. It is surrounded by a fertile tract of country, but has few commercial advantages. Here are 20 or 30 houses, and upwards of 100 inhabitants. The situation is unhealthy, but in this respect has improved much within a few years. The road from Vincinnes to St. Louis passes through this place, and its contiguity to the latter will always secure to it some importance.
Turkey creek, a small stream of Fayette county, running a southeasterly course, and emptying into the Kaskaskia river on the right side, above Blackbird creek.
Turkey hill, a flourishing settlement of St. Clair county, and one of the oldest American settlements in the state, it includes the town of Belleville, and much of the surrounding country. Many of the inhabitants are Methodists.
Vandalia, the capital of the state, and the seat of justice of Fayette county, laid out in 1813, by commissioners appointed for that purpose, under the authority of the state. It is situated on the west bank of the Kaskaskia river, in sections 8, 9, 16, and 17, of township 6 north, in range 1, west of the 3d principal meridian. The site is high and undulating, and entirely above the inundations of the river. The streets cross each other at right angles, and are 80 feet in width. The public square is a high and commanding situation, and is already ornamented with a temporary state house, and a brick bank. There are also in the town, several stores, a printing office, from which is issued a weekly paper, entitled the “Illinois Intelligencer,” about 150 dwelling houses, and 700 inhabitants, among which are professional men, and mechanics of every description. Vandalia is under the government of five trustees, who are elected annually by all the free white male inhabitants of twenty-one years and upwards, who shall have resided six months immediately preceding the election, within the limits of the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at the southeast corner of section 16, in township 6 north, in range 1, east of the 3d principal meridian, thence north to the northeast corner of section 9, in the same township, thence west to the northwest corner of section 8, in the same township, thence south to the southwest corner of section 17, in the same township, and thence east to the place of beginning. The trustees have the power of appointing an assessor, whose duty it shall be to value and assess all the lots, regularly laid off in the said town, and make a return of them to the trustees, having previously taken an oath before some justice of the peace, truly and impartially to perform the same; but in the valuation of said lots, the houses and other improvements thereon, shall not be taken into consideration and upon the return of such list of taxable property by the assessor, the trustees shall levy a tax thereon, at a rate not exceeding three per cent per annum on the valuation of said lots, for the purpose of paying for the clearing, cleansing and repairing the streets, and such other improvements as may be deemed by them expedient and neccssary. The act of the legislature appointing trustees to the town of Vandalia, of which the above is an extract, also provides, that for the purpose of enabling the said trustees to drain any ponds or slashes which may be in the neighborhood of said town, and erecting a bridge across the Kaskaskia river opposite the same, and constructing a road from said bridge across the bottom on the east side of the river to the highlands, there shall be granted to the said trustees and their successors in office, in fee simple, fifty lots in said town, to be selected by them, in conjunction with the auditor of the state, under certain provisions mentioned. These lots may be disposed of by the trustees in such manner as, in their opinion, shall be most conducive to the object for which the grant is made. The same act also authorises the trustees to lease out any part of the prairie lying within the town tract, and any quantity of land within said tract, not exceeding six acres to any one person, nor for a longer period of time than six years, for the purpose of brick yards, mills, &c. on such terms as they may think most advantageous to the state; and the said trustees shall allow sufficiency of timber for the purpose of fencing any lands which they may lease. The advantages of Vandalia are by no means few or inconsiderable. Many intelligent men are still, however, of opinion that a more eligible situation might have been selected. Soon after it was located, 150 lots were sold for an average amount of $234.89 each. The highest brought $780, and the aggregate sale amounted to $35,234.76. Considering that the town was then a wilderness, and not a stick of timber missing in it, except what was necessarily removed for the purposes of surveying, this was a more favorable sale than could have been anticipated. – Although it does not possess commercial advantages, the Kaskaskia being too low for navigation for more than nine months in the year, yet the fact of its being the seat of government for 20 years, must secure to it a rapid increase of population. Besides this, the fertility of the surrounding country, must also contribute much to its improvement. Here must of course be a considerable market, to which the farmers of the vicinity will send their produce. In regard to health, Vandalia may be said to differ little from the neighboring towns. Although its local situation is such as to lead to the conclusion, that it will be healthy, yet the inundated alluvion, and the ponds by which it is surrounded, bring with them their train of summer and autumnal fevers. But as this is a calamity attendant upon all newly settled countries, it can form no particular objection to this place. Among the advantages which it possesses, are fine springs in abundance. Good water may be obtained in any place by digging about 20 feet. A large proportion of the inhabitants of this place and the vicinity are Germans, who emigrated in 1820. ‘ In general they are good citizens, and sustain the character of their countrymen, in different sections of the United States, for industry and frugality. West of this place are a number of prairies, considerable portions of which are under cultivation. On the east side of the river, is an extensive bottom, about two miles in width, heavily timbered, and subject to inundation, which sometimes renders it impassible. Beyond this, prairie predominates. Vandalia is in latitude 38′ 55’ north, 70 miles northeast of St. Louis, and on the mail route from Vincennes to that place.
Vermilion river of the Illinois, a considerable stream, running a westerly course through the northern part of this state, and emptying into the Illinois river on the left side, a short distance below the rapids.
Vermilion river of the Wabash, rises in township 23 north, in range 11, west of the 2d principal meridian, near the eastern boundary line of the state, within 16 or 20 miles of the Wabash. It then runs a west-southwest course, until it receives two considerable tributaries, one of which rises near the source of the Sangamo, when it changes its course to the southeast, and continues in this manner to its junction with the Wabash. For this information, I am indebted to W. S. Hamilton, Esq. who, during the last season, explored the country bordering on this stream. He also informs me, that the country is fine, and will support a dense population. On the south fork, are valuable salines, which are worked. The water is found at the distance of 12 feet below the surface. They are as yet worked entirely by squatters; the land having been recently surveyed, and of course still in the possession of the U. States. On this account, the improvements are very inconsiderable. The lands on the banks of this stream are settling rapidly, and when brought into market, will no doubt command a high price on account of the number of salt springs. The Vermilion is navigable for some distance above its mouth. It crosses the eastern boundary line of the state, 100 miles north of Vincennes, at which place it is 300 links in width. It falls into the Wabash, near latitude 40° north. Little Vermilion empties in a short distance below.
Vienna, an incorporated post town, and the seat of justice of Johnson county, situated on the waters of Cash river, in sections 5 and 6, of township 13 south, in range 3, east of the 3d principal meridian. The main road from Golconda to Kaskaskia passes through this place. It is in latitude 37′ 25′ north, 110 miles nearly due, south of Vandalia.
Waterloo, a town in Monroe county, laid out in 1819. It is situated about 12 miles east of the Mississippi river, on the ridge road between St. Louis and Kaskaskia, in section 25 of township 2 south, in range 10, west of the 3d principal meridian. ‘ So little improvement has as yet been made here, that a traveler would scarcely be able to find the town.
Wilkinsonville, formerly a military post on the Ohio, 25 miles above its mouth, commanded by General Wilkinson. It was situatd on a high bank, called Cedar bluffs. There were a few inhabitants here, but it is now deserted.
Wind river, a small stream in the northern part of the state, runs a southwest course, and empties into Fox river on the left side.
Wolf’s head river, a branch of the Sangamo, emptying into it on the left side, below the forks.
Woman river of Tippecanoe, a considerable stream, rises in the northeastern part of the state, above the Vermilion, of the Wabash, and running an east course, empties into Tippecanoe river, in the state of Indiana. A small part of this stream only runs within the state of Illinois.
Wood river, a small stream of Madison county, runs a westerly course, and empties into the Mississippi, nearly opposite to the mouth of the Missouri. On this stream are many fine mill seats and flourishing settlements.
Yellow banks, on the Embarras river, in Crawford county. – A company has been incorporated with a capital of $150,000, for the purpose of making a turnpike from this place to Vincennes, called the “Embarras turnpike company.”
Yellow banks, see Mauvaise terre creek.