American History and Genealogy Project

State of Illinois

Page 290

Illinois, one of the Western United States, is bounded n. by Wisconsin ter.; e. by Lake Michigan and Indiana; s. by the Ohio River, which separates it from Kentucky; and w. by Missouri and Iowa ter., from which it is separated by the Mississippi river. It is between 37° and 42° 30' N. lat., and between 87° 17' and 91° 50' w. Ion., and between 10° 20' and 14° 21' w. lon. from W. It is 350 ms. long by 180 broad, containing 50,000 square miles, or 32,000,000 acres. The population in 1810 was 12,282; in 1820, 55,211; in 1830, 157,575; in 1840, 476,183; of which 255,235 were white males; 217,019 do. females; 1,876 were colored males; 1,722 do. females. Employed in agriculture, 105,337; in commerce, 2,506; in manufactures and trades, 13,185; in mining, 782; navigating the ocean, 63; do. lakes, rivers, and canals, 310; learned professions, 2,021.

This state is divided into 87 counties, which, with their population in 1840, and their capitals, were as follows:

County, Population, Capital

Adams, 14,476, Quincy Lee, 2,035, Dixon
Alexander, 3,313, Unity Livingston, 759, Pontiac
Bond, 5,060, Greenville Logan, 2,333, Postville
Boone, 1,705, Belvidere Macon, 3,039, Decatur
Brown, 4,183, Mount Sterling Macoupin, 7,826, Carlinville
Bureau, 3,067, Princeton Madison, 14,433, Edwardsville
Calhoun, 1,741, Gilead Marion, 4,742, Salem
Carroll, 1,023, Savannah Marshall, 1,849, Lacon
Cass, 2,981, Virginia McDonough, 5,308, Macomb
Champaign, 1,475, Urbana McHenry, 2,578, McHenry
Christian, 1,878, Edinburg McLean, 6,565, Bloomington
Clarke, 7,453, Marshall Menard, 4,431, Petersburg
Clay, 3,228, Lewisville Mercer, 2,352, Millersburg
Clinton, 3,718, Carlyle Monroe, 4,481, Waterloo
Coles, 9,616, Charleston Montgomery, 4,490, Hillsboro'
Cook, 10,201, Chicago Morgan, 19,547, Jacksonville
Crawford, 4,422, Palestine Ogle, 3,479, Oregon City
De Kalb, 1,697, Sycamore Peoria, 6,153, Peoria
De Witt, 3,247, Clinton Perry, 3,222, Pinckneyville
Du Page, 3,535, Napierville Pike, 11,728, Pittsfield
Edgar, 8,225, Paris Pope, 4,094, Golconda
Edwards, 3,070, Albion Putnam, 2,131, Hennepin
Effingham, 1,675, Ewington Randolph, 7,944, Kaskaskia
Fayette, 6,328, Vandalia Rock Island, 2,610, Rock Island
Franklin, 3,632, Benton Sangamon, 14,716, Springfield
Fulton, 13,142, Lewiston Schuyler, 6,972, Rushville
Gallatin, 10,760, Equality Scott, 6,215, Winchester
Greene, 11,951, Carrollton Shelby, 6,659, Shelbyville
Hamilton, 3,945, McLeansboro' Stark, 1,573, Toulon
Hancock, 9,946, Carthage Stephenson, 2,800, Freeport
 Hardin, 1,378, Elizabethtown St. Clair, 13,631, Belleville
Henry, 1,260, Morristown Tazewell, 7,221, Tremont
Iroquois, 1,695, Montgomery Union, 5,524, Jonesboro'
Jackson, 3,566, Brownsville Vermilion, 9,303, Danville
Jasper, 1,472, Newton Wabash, 4,240, Mt. Carmel
Jefferson, 5,762, Mt. Vernon Warren, 6,739, Monmouth
Jersey, 4,535, Jerseyville Washington, 4,810, Nashville
Jo Daviess, 6,180, Galena Wayne, 5,133, Fairfield
Johnson, 3,626, Vienna White, 7,919, Carmi
Kane, 6,501, Geneva Whiteside, 2,514, Sterling
Knox, 7,060, Knoxville Will, 10,167, Juliet
Lake, 2,634, Little Fort Williamson, 4,457, Bainbridge
La Salle, 9,348, Ottawa Winnebago, 4,609, Rockford
Lawrence, 7,092, Lawrenceville ..

 Page 291

Springfield, near the center of the state, is the seat of government.

The surface of this state is generally level. There is no mountain in its whole extent, though the northern and southern parts are hilly and broken. The portion of the state s. of a line from the mouth of the Wabash to the mouth of the Kaskaskia, is generally covered with timber, but n. of this, the prairie country predominates. The eye sometimes wanders over immense plains, covered with grass, with no other boundary of its vision but the distant horizon, though the view is often broken by occasional woodlands. The dry prairies are generally from 30 to 100 feet higher than the bottom land on the rivers, and frequently no less fertile. A range of bluffs commences on the margin of the Mississippi, a short distance above the mouth of the Ohio, and extends n. beyond the Des Moines rapids, sometimes rising abruptly from the water's edge, but generally a few miles distant from it, leaving between the bluffs and the river, a strip of alluvial formation of inexhaustible fertility. The banks of the Illinois and Kaskaskia, in some places, present sublime and picturesque scenery. Several of their tributary streams have excavated for themselves deep gulfs, particularly those of the Kaskaskia, whose banks, near the junction of Big Hill creek, present a perpendicular front of solid limestone 140 feet high.

The peninsula between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers has been surveyed as military bounty lands by the United States, making an area equal to 240 townships of 6 miles square, which would be equal to 8,640 square miles, or nearly to 5,530,000 acres. These lands are said to be of excellent quality. The soil throughout the state generally may be considered as fertile. The forest trees most abundant are oak of different species, walnut, ash, elm, sugar maple, locust, hackberry, buckeye, sycamore, and some white pine about the head waters of the Illinois. The vegetable productions are Indian corn, wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, potatoes, turnips, cotton, hemp, flax, tobacco, castor bean, &c.

In this state there were in 1840, 199,235 horses and mules; 626,274 neat cattle; 395,672 sheep; 1,495,254 swine; poultry valued at $309,204. There were produced 3,335,393 bushels of wheat; 82,251 of barley; 4,988,008 of oats; 88,197 of rye; 57,884 of buckwheat; 22,634,211 of Indian com; 650,007 pounds of wool; 17,742 of hops; 29,173 of wax; 2,025,520 bushels of potatoes; 164,932 tons of hay; 1,976 of hemp and flax; 564,326 pounds of tobacco; 460 of rice; 200,947 of cotton; 1,150 of silk cocoons; 399,813 of sugar. The products of the dairy were valued at $428,175; of the orchard at $126,756; of lumber $203,666. Value of skins and furs, $39,412. There were made 474 gallons of wine.

The most important mineral production of this state is lead, which is found in the n. w. part in inexhaustible quantities, and in one year 13,000,000 pounds have been smelted. Galena is the center of the lead trade. Several valuable salt springs are found in the e. and s. part, particularly near Shawneetown, which are owned by the United States, and leased to the manufacturers. Coal abounds in the bluffs, and iron exists in various parts of the state.

The climate is generally healthy, the air pure and serene, but the winters cold. The average temperature through the year is from 50° to 53° of Fahrenheit. In the neighborhood of low and wet lands, particularly near the mouths of the Wabash and the Ohio, the country is unhealthy. The summers in the s. part of the state are warm.

The Illinois is the largest river in the state. Fox and Des Plaines rivers, its 2 largest branches from the n., rise in Wisconsin, and with Kankakee River, from Indiana, form the Illinois, and after a course of more than 400 miles, it enters the Mississippi 20 miles above the Missouri. It is navigable a distance of about 250 miles. Rock River rises in Wisconsin, and after a course of 300 miles, mostly in Illinois, it falls into the Mississippi. The Kaskaskia rises near the middle of the state, and after a southwestwardly course of 250 miles, enters the Mississippi, 63 miles below the Missouri. It is navigable for boats for 150 miles. The Wabash forms a part of the e. boundary. (See Indiana.) The Little Wabash, after a course 130 miles, enters the Wabash a little above its confluence with the Ohio. Peoria Lake, through which the Illinois River flows, about 200 miles from its mouth, is a beautiful sheet of water, 20 miles long, and 2 broad.

The principal commercial depot in the n. is Chicago, on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of Chicago River, with a tolerable harbor, which has been improved by piers extending into the lake. The most commercial place on the Mississippi is Alton, 21 miles above the Missouri. It has a fine landing place, with a natural wharf consisting of a flat rock well suited to the purpose. The other principal places are Springfield, Quincy, Galena, Peoria, Vandalia, and Kaskaskia.

There were in this state in 1840, 2 commercial and 51 commission houses engaged in foreign trade, with a capital of $333,800; 1,348 retail dry goods and other stores, with a capital of $4,904,125; 405 persons employed in the lumber trade, with a capital of $93,350; 117 persons employed in internal transportation, who, with 268 butchers, packers, &c, employed a capital of $642,425.

The amount of homemade or family manufactures was $993,567. There were 4 fulling mills and 16 woolen manufactories, employing 34 persons, producing goods to the amount of $9,540, with a capital of $26,205; 4 furnaces produced 158 tons of cast iron; 20 smelting houses produced 8,755,000 pounds of lead, employing 73 persons, and a capital of $114,500; 22 persons produced 20,000 bushels of salt, with a capital of $10,000; 3 persons produced confectionery to the amount of $2,240; 1 paper mill produced $2,000; 24 persons manufactured tobacco to the amount of $10,139; 68 persons manufactured hats and caps to the amount of $28,395, and straw bonnets to the amount of $1,570, employing a capital of $12,918; 23 potteries, employed 56 persons, producing articles to the amount of $26,740, with a capital of $10,225; 155 tanneries employed 305 persons, and a capital of $155,679; 626 other manufactories of leather, as saddleries, &c, produced articles to the amount of $247,217, with a capital of $98,503; 71 persons produced machinery to the amount of $37,720; 20 persons produced hardware and cutlery to the amount of $9,750; 12 persons produced 20 cannon and 238 small-arms; 7 persons manufactured the precious metals to the value of $2,400; 26 persons manufactured granite and marble to the amount of $116,112; 995 persons produced bricks and lime to the amount of $263,398, with a capital of $104,648; 25 persons produced 519,673 pounds of soap, and 117,698 pounds of tallow candles, with a capital of $17,345; 150 distilleries produced 1,551,684 gallons, and 11 breweries 90,300 gallons, the whole employing 233 persons, and a capital of $138,155; 307 persons produced carriages and wagons to the amount of $144,362, with a capital of $59,263; 98 flouring mills produced 172,657 barrels of flour, and with other mills employed 2,204 persons, and manufactured articles to the amount of $2,417,826, with a capital of $2,147,618; vessels were built to the amount of $39,200; 244 persons produced furniture to the amount of $84,410, with a capital of $62,223; 334 brick or stone houses, and 4,133 wooden houses were built by 5,737 persons, and cost $2,065,255; 45 printing offices, and 5 binderies, 3 daily, 2 semiweekly, and 38 weekly newspapers, and 9 periodicals, employed 175 persons, and a capital of $71,300. The whole amount of capital employed in manufactures was $3,136,512.

The Illinois College, at Jacksonville, was founded in 1829; Shurtleff College, (Baptist,) in Upper Alton, in 1835; McKendree College, (Methodist,) in Lebanon, in 1834; McDonough College, at Macomb, in 1837. In these institutions there were in 1840, 311 students. There were in the state 42 academies, with 1,967 students; 1,241 common and primary schools, with 34,876 scholars; and 27,502 white persons over 20 years of age who could neither read nor write.

The Methodists have 160 travelling preachers; the Baptists have 160 ministers; the Presbyterians, of different descriptions, about 100 ministers; the Episcopalians 10 churches, and the Roman Catholics 12; and there are some of other denominations.

At the beginning of 1840, there were in this state 9 banks and branches, with an aggregate capital of $5,423,185, and a circulation of $3,724,092. At the close of 1840, the state debt amounted to $13,465,682.

The governor is elected by the people for 4 years, but is eligible only 4 years in 8. A lieutenant-governor is elected at the same time, who is president of the senate, and in case of the death, resignation, or absence of the governor, discharges his duties. The senators are elected for 4 years, and the representatives for 2 years. The representatives shall never be less than 27, nor more than 36, until the inhabitants exceed 100,000. The number of senators shall never be less than one third nor more than one half the number of representatives. The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the joint ballot of both houses of the legislature, and hold their offices during good behavior. All white male inhabitants over 21 years of age, who have resided in the state 6 months next preceding an election, have the right of suffrage.

This state has undertaken an extensive system of internal improvements. The Illinois and Michigan canal extends from Chicago 106 miles to near Peru, at the head of steamboat navigation on the Illinois. This distance includes a navigable feeder of 4 miles, and a few miles of river navigation. It was commenced in 1836, and is estimated to cost $8,654,337. A railroad extends from Meredosia, 53 miles, to Springfield. Coal Mine Bluffs railroad extends from the Mississippi River, 6 miles, to the coal mine. Besides these, a large system of railroads has been projected and partly executed, the principal of which is denominated the Central railroad, extending from Cairo, at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi, and terminating near the s. termination of the Illinois and Michigan canal; and thence extending in a n. w. direction to Galena; the whole distance being 457i miles, at an estimated cost of $3,800,000. This is designed to be intersected by railroads to the e. and w., some of them crossing the state. But none of these works are yet completed.

The French in 1720 from Canada, settled at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, where their descendants are still found. By the treaty of peace between Great Britain and France, in 1763, this country came into the possession of the British. Nearly all the settlements in this state by emigrants from other states have been made since 1800. In 1789, it constituted a part of the Northwest Territory. In 1800 Indiana and Illinois became a separate territory. In 1809 Illinois was made a separate territory under its present name; and in 1818 it was admitted to the union as an independent state, being the 23d to that time admitted.

Table of Contents

Source: A Complete Descriptive And Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith, 1843

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