On the Fringes of the Prairie, 1800-1850

1 Log cabin on the fringes of the prairie [23k]

Explore early Illinois and meet the people who lived here.

When Americans began moving into Illinois, they avoided settling on the prairies and stayed close to the forests and rivers. In their minds land that did not grow trees could not possibly be fertile. They were also dependent on the wood the forest provided for fuel, fences, tools, and shelter. Finally, the prairie was very difficult to plow. The thick roots of the prairie grasses were almost impossible for their plows to cut.

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© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96