Americans first settled in southern Illinois because of the importance of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers as transportation routes. By 1840, canals in Illinois linked inland farmers with Lake Michigan and the East and encouraged the settlement of the northern part of the state.
|Settlement pattern, 1820||Settlement pattern, 1840|
Adapted from a map in Harlan H. Barrows, Geography of the Middle Illinois Valley, 1910
© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96