On the Fringes of the Prairie, 1800-1850
Timeline Timeline 1800 - 1850
Vandalia [11k]
Vandalia [35k]
1809 Illinois Territory was created including area of Wisconsin.
1814 First newspaper was printed in Illinois--the Kaskaskia Illinois Herald.
1818 Illinois became a state with Kaskaskia as the capital and about 40,000 people. State Constitution let slave holders retain slaves already in state but prohibited slaves from being brought into state.
1819 Federal land sold for $1.25 an acre with a minimum sale of 80 acres. Claims were filed in land offices in Kaskaskia, Shawneetown, and Edwardsville.
Steamboat in Alton [10k]
Steamboat in Alton [28k]
1820 State capital was relocated to Vandalia. Vandalia's centralized position on the National Road made it an important stagecoach stop. This road carried passengers and mail from Baltimore to St. Louis in only three weeks.
1820 First steamboat trip made up the Illinois River to Peoria. Steamboat traffic soon became common on major rivers. Flatboats continued to use river currents to take goods downstream. Upstream shipping cost two to three times more than downstream.
1829 Abraham Lincoln came to Illinois from Indiana.
1829 Illinois College was founded in Jacksonville by a group of young Yale graduates interested in bringing higher education to the frontier.
1832 Black Hawk War resulted in the removal of last organized group of American Indians from state. The last remaining Indian lands were ceded to the government the next year.
Riot in Alton [13k]
Riot in Alton [30k]
1832-1834 Asiatic cholera epidemics and a longstanding problem with malaria led to reports that Illinois was an unhealthy place to live.
1836 Building of Illinois & Michigan Canal began. Completed in 1848, the canal made port towns of LaSalle, Peru, Joliet, and Lockport and provided a shipping link with the Great Lakes for Illinois agricultural products.
1837 John Deere invented the first successful self-scouring steel plow that would revolutionize prairie farming. He could only produce a few plows a year until he opened his factory in Moline in 1858.
1837 Elijah Lovejoy, editor of the antislavery Alton Observer newspaper, was murdered by a proslavery mob.
13 Drawing of Bishop [13k]
First winter at Bishop Hill [35k]
1837 Chicago was incorporated as a city with a population of 4,170.
1839 State capital was moved to Springfield as settlement moved north.
1845 Nauvoo, founded by Mormons in 1839, became the largest city in Illinois with over 20,000 people. The Nauvoo charter granted by the state allowed the city to maintain its own militia and court. In 1846 Mormons left for Salt Lake City after much turmoil with their non-Mormon neighbors and the murder of leaders Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
1846 Bishop Hill was settled by Swedish emigrants, who worked communally under the religious leadership of Erik Jansson.
1847 Cyrus McCormick came to Chicago to establish a shop that produced 500 horse-drawn reapers during the next year. The McCormick reaper could cut 15 acres of wheat a day. A man with a scythe and cradle could cut only 3 acres.

Button Bar [8k]

© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96