On the Fringes of the Prairie, 1800-1850
Maps Maps - Settling Illinois

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
1820 Population Map [9k] 1840 Population Map [15k]

Adapted from a map in Harlan H. Barrows, Geography of the Middle Illinois Valley, 1910

Button Bar [8k]

© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96