A Gazetteer of the States of Illinois and Missouri
by Lewis C. Beck, A.M.
Albany: Printed by Charles R. and George Webster; 1823.
Topographical View of the Towns, Villages, Rivers, Creeks, &c. &c. in the State of Illinois.
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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.
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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 38° 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.
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