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They left behind all manner of artifact including burial sites, burned-out campfires along the bases of bluffs, pottery, flints, implements, and weapons. Interesting structures that were built by Indian tribes are known as stone forts or pounds.

At least eight other structures are known in the region. The French were the first Europeans to reach Illinois in about When they arrived, the Indians welcomed them. It was French explorers who gave Illinois its name by referring to the land where the Illini Indians lived as the Illinois.

The French explored the Mississippi River, establishing outposts and seeking a route to the Pacific Ocean and the Orient. Because of increasing Indian unrest and warfare in northern Illinois, the French concentrated on building outposts in the southern part. The earliest European settlers in Southern Illinois concentrated along the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers at the southern end of the state. Their settlements became important way stations and supply depots between Canada and ports on the lower Mississippi River.

Their rule of this area was short lived. During the American Revolution in , the state of Virginia backed a military expedition led by 23 year old George Rogers Clark.

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Landing at Fort Massac in Illinois which was abandoned a decade earlier , his force of soldiers marched across Southern Illinois and defeated the English at forts in Kaskaskia, Illinois and Vincennes in western Indiana. This laid the claim by the Americans to this territory. When news of the conquest by Clark reached Virginia, it claimed Illinois as one of its counties. Virginia ceded the county of Illinois to the federal government in when it realized that it could not govern so sparsely populated and distant land. Non-French speaking settlers were slow to arrive in Illinois probably less than 2, non-Indians lived in Illinois in But soon thereafter many more settlers came from the backwoods areas of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

These early settlers were of English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent. They chose to settle in the southern part of Illinois as its wooded hills reminded them of the mountains they left behind.

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They found an abundant amount of wood and lived off the land; growing some crops, fishing, and hunting for game. Illinois became a part of the Indiana Territory in Illinois settlers wanted more control over their own affairs and Illinois became a separate territory in On December 17, a great earthquake awakened the settlers in Illinois with a violent trembling.

Fields rippled like waves on an ocean. Trees swayed, became tangled together, and snapped off with sounds like gunshots. In some places sand, coal, and smoke blew up into the air as high as thirty yards. People as far away as Canada and Maryland felt the tremors. It was reported that the earthquake shook so violently that tremors were felt as far away as Boston.


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It was reported that this earthquake made the Mississippi River flow backward momentarily. The river changed its course in several spots as a result of the earthquake as new islands appeared and others disappeared in the river. The earthquake is estimated to have been equivalent to an 8. Fortunately, few people lost their lives because the quake centered in a sparsely populated area.

Called the New Madrid fault, seismic activity is a threat to this region today. There was very little violence in the Illinois frontier.

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Murders and violent assaults were rarely reported. However, for a few decades there were bandits and river pirates operating along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. On the Ohio River, these bandits and pirates often located in or near Cave-in-Rock, a natural cave facing the river. The bandits and pirates added to the hazards and uncertainties of pioneer life and made settlers eager to have law enforcement agencies nearby.

In the U. Congress approved an Act that enabled the Illinois territory to become the 21st state of the Union. Immigration to Illinois increased after it became a state as more settlers arrived from New England and foreign countries.

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These settlers tended to migrate to central and northern Illinois, causing a noticeable Yankee influence in northern Illinois as opposed to the southern influence in the southern region due to a majority of settlers coming from southern states. The states population exploded from 40, people in to , in App Download Follow Us. Macbooks All In Ones 2 in 1 Laptops. Home Theaters Headphones. Towels Sink Urinals. Close to Ceiling Lights Pendant Lights.

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